The Curious Case of Time Travel

By: Cliff Daigle

Almost a year ago, I wrote about the 6:2:1 ratio when it came to the ‘usual’ model of how a three-set block ends up opening lots and lots more of the big fall set and a lot less of the following two expansions. Wizards has thrown out that model and Khans block is the last time we’re going to have three sets in a block. (Well, until they do something freaky in a few years)

In case you didn’t know, we’re embarking on a unique set, with Fate Reforged being drafted next to Khans of Tarkir for the next three months, and then with Dragons of Tarkir for three months after that!

I bring this up for a few reasons: First, we’ve got three months of opening two Khans packs ahead of us. Fetches, Sarkhan, Siege Rhino…all of these have not hit their bottom. There’s room for them to go up in price if a deck breaks out, but we’re going to get lots more of the cards you’re already familiar with.

Put another way: Look at the Khans price list. Now take everything below Bloodstained Mire and cut its price by 30% or so. I think the fetches and the planeswalkers will not lose as much value, but the others are going to have their supply increase more than the demand does.

The FRF-DTK-DTK drafts mean that Khans of Tarkir will have the supply cut off abruptly, and prices will bottom out sooner than in most years.

The second point here is that we’re going to get one pack of Fate Reforged in each draft for the next six months. I want to do the math and see where that leads us. We’re going to use the same example of a barely-attended store, which does one draft per week with exactly eight people.

8 people in a draft 3 drafts per month 3 months in a season
3 packs of Khans of Tarkir 24 packs 72 packs 216 packs


8 people/draft 3 drafts/month 3 months/season
1 pack of Fate Reforged 8 packs 24 packs 72 packs
2 packs of Khans of Tarkir 16 packs 48 packs 144 packs

So far, everything is the same. No reason to change anything, but let’s add in the final season of this block:

8 people/draft 3 drafts/month 3 months/season
1 pack of Fate Reforged 8 packs 24 packs 72 packs
2 packs of Dragons of Tarkir 16 packs 48 packs 144 packs


So in our example store, we will have opened 360 packs of Khans, 144 packs of Fate Reforged, and 144 packs of Dragons of Tarkir, a final ratio of 5:2:2.

It’s very noteworthy that Dragons is also going to be a big set, but will be opened less than half as much as Khans was!

So what do we do with this information?

First of all, I’m freezing out Khans singles right now. I’m not trading for them or buying them. We’ve got a lot left to open.

Second, I’m not going after anything too hard from Fate Reforged, especially at pre-order prices. Too many of those are just going to drop and never recover.

Third, I’m already planning on saving my trade and liquid capital to move on Dragons of Tarkir cards. This set will be opened a full 33% less than any other big set, and even if Magic 2016 is a dud to draft, not many stores will go backwards and draft FRF-DTK-DTK.

Finally, a reminder that Khans block is going to rotate out in Spring of 2016, not Fall. That’s six months early, and a topic you’re going to hear a lot more about.

For the Prerelease this weekend:

  1. If you open the foil alternate-art Ugin, hold on to it. This weekend will represent the largest supply of these cards and the lowest price. If Ugin ends up as an awesome card in Modern Tron decks, then the pimp foil has yet another outlet to fetch a high price. Commander players all want the card anyway! (Including me)
  2. Trade away almost everything else. Supply on Fate Reforged this week is at its lowest, and you should sell into the hype. Everything is hyped, so move it all.
  3. The exception to this rule is Whisperwood Elemental. This is an amazing casual card but it’s also pretty great in Standard, as a free source of card advantage. I think it has room to grow, and multiple sites are increasing their preorder price on it.

Good luck to you this weekend!


2 thoughts on “The Curious Case of Time Travel”

  1. I am afraid your math is off. Dragons release is in March (21st?). That means fate and khans is only drafted together for about 8 weeks.

  2. Is it possible to open a foil alternate art Ugin? I opened a non-foil alternate art Ugin (blue skin instead of green) and traded it away for $50 in Standard staples.

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