I’m going to start this article on a bit of a somber note. News has come to my attention at the time of writing this article that leaves me in a reflective mood. Satoru Iwata, only the 4th president of Nintendo, died at 55 years young. It is truly a terrible day in the life of any gamer to see such a revolutionary and dedicated figure in the gaming community pass away. Mr. Iwata was a gamer first and foremost just like the rest of us. He was a role model for gamers and business men alike. While you may not play Nintendo’s games, his work is a part of our culture and we will need many more Iwatas to continue to push ahead the future of gaming.
“On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer” – Satoru Iwata
On a lighter note, we have some great news! The recent release of the deck list for the Magic Origins clash packs is fantastic! The deck list can be viewed here. The number of valuable tournament staples included in these clash packs is a great opportunity to buy in at a suppressed price. The reality of clash packs is they are not infinite in number and these are unlike the last few. They included much better tournament cards for the alternate art foils. They also included many cards that will be included in decks as 4 copies. What does this mean for us? A lot and we’ll discuss it all.
The last few clash packs (which alternate with event decks every other set now) include two 60 card decks that are meant to be like duel decks. They are made up of entirely standard legal cards and include 6 alternate art foil cards. Clash Pack’s retail price is $30 similar to Event Decks but they can be found on Amazon and other similar sites for approximately $20-25. That means the contents of the deck must be collectively be worth less than $30 in order for this to not be a “good” buy. Coincidentally, as of this writing, two cards in the package combined have a MTGPrice fair trade value of $32.33. This means there could be literal basic lands in the other 118 cards in the deck and it would be worth buying. This is a huge step up from previous event decks that included very little of value outside of one card.
Another important thing to note is that the cards that are seeing tournament play from this deck are part of decks that play four copies of them. This strongly incentivizes people to buy four decks and keep most of the higher value cards. I think this is a great buy for anyone who doesn’t have four of the tournament staples because you can’t really beat the price. The fact that the deck has such high value cards that are likely to be kept by the player opening the deck means the price drop of these cards won’t be very steep. Courser of Kruphix was in the last clash pack and saw an initial dip before rebounding back to close to its original price.
What does this mean for us? Well if you follow me on Twitter you likely could have bought in early. I pre-ordered four copies of this deck because it’s just a no-brainer. There is tons of value and the pieces you don’t need can be easily traded out. It is important to be on top of supplementary sealed product releases just like these decks as they can also be great opportunities to purchase expensive cards for much less.
Well, what if I don’t play standard? This is great value even for m=Modern players! Each deck includes 1 Windswept Heath and 1 Collected Company, which are major players in Modern right now. However, I would not suggest Modern players to invest their money in this above other things. Cards from Modern Masters 2015 are finally out of their rut and all beginning to rise again. Tournament staples like Spellskite and Fulminator Mage continue to get more popular and supply is very quickly outstripping demand, though this could change very soon.
These charts show that despite being a rare these cards are still in very high demand to combat popular archtypes. Spellskite is even above its presale price now at just a touch under $20. Without any real reason for Wizards of the Coast another printing of the card lined up, it’s poised to continue climbing. The only Modern Masters 2015 cards that may continue to fall are more casual cards that require less copies. I think the time to buy your Modern Masters 2015 staples is very quickly passing.
If you’re thinking about finishing off cards outside of those sets, it’s still time to keep waiting. If history repeats itself we should get major spoilers for Battle for Zendikar during Pax Prime (August 28th – 31st). Wizards of the Coast hosts a party that included the spoilers for allied fetch lands last year. That date is going to be important to note because if they don’t spoil Zendikar fetch lands during that party, I think it is highly unlikely they will be reprinted at all. Fortunately, a panic shouldn’t trigger unless they are confirmed not in the set so you will have some time to pick up the remainder of your Scalding Tarns or Verdant Catacombs to finish your deck. After that you can pretty much wait until December for the best prices.
As you can see from this graph, before the reprinting of Cryptic Command in Modern Masters 2015 it had it’s most significant dip in late December into early January. The best line to look at here is the best buylist price. If stores are not willing to pay a lot on the card it can be inferred that supply is high and demand is low. The buylist line is slowly creeping up now after crashing during GP Vegas. Take a look at the price graphs of cards you’re interested in owning and consider the buylist line as an indicator of future growth.
Thanks for reading and hopefully next week we will have some interesting results after a weekend with Magic Origins to talk about!