Going Mad – Welcome to the Chase

By: Derek Madlem

In case you missed it, Wizards broke the internet on Saturday night with their PAX preview party for the upcoming set Battle for Zendikar. The stream was pretty abysmal thanks mostly to the inclusion of Wil Wheaton making butthole jokes and telling us that the Eldrazi were the good guys… and that every single card was “AWESOME” even if it was probably closer to mediocre at best. They unveiled a lot of sweet things that I’m stoked to talk about in the coming weeks, but they also decided now was the time to jump the shark:


In Battle for Zendikar we’ll have a subset of full art FOIL lands encompassing ten fetch lands, ten shock lands, and five of Zendikar’s new dual land… and they look AWESOME. They’re being referred to as Expedition lands and I want a playset of each… but I’m not exactly ready to sell off my Power 9 to acquire them. Did I mention they’re going to be rare? No, rarer than that.

In the stream they were described as being about the same rarity as a Mythic FOIL rare but a little more common because there are 25 of them vs. 15 Mythics. While we’ve yet to see exactly what that means in terms of actual rarity, there is roughly one FOIL Mythic rare in every 216 packs of Magic, so let’s use that as our starting point. For reference: there are 216 packs (36×6) in a case of Magic!


So what are these going to be worth? It’s a safe bet to assume that all of these are going to be worth more than their regular FOIL counterparts, even if they do have a questionable hedron-laden frame.

Here’s what current incarnations of these cards look like financially:

Zendikar FOIL Scalding Tarn – $180
Khans of Tarkir FOIL Polluted Delta – $90
Return to Ravnica FOIL Steam Vents – $45

So what kind of premium do we place on the new hotness? The fetchlands are likely to hold a higher premium than the shocklands because of their inclusion in Vintage and Legacy, two formats where players are no strangers to “pimping”.

It’s no stretch pricing the full art Scalding Tarn in the $250+ range and I can see that anchor point pulling all of the other fetches up to the same price range with the blues easily settling in the $200-250 range and tapering down from there to Marsh Flats at $150 or so.

The shock lands are easily going to top out with Steam Vents and Watery Grave in the $100-125 range and the rest spanning the $75-100 range.

The new duals will bring up the rear with a likely top end in the $50 range based almost entirely on rarity as I don’t expect these cards to have much impact outside of Standard; there’s just too few scenarios where these are better in Modern than a shock land and they are unplayable in Legacy and Vintage.

This is the point where I insert a disclaimer stating that all of these estimates are probably on the conservative end of the spectrum, and that some of these (looking at you Scalding Tarn) could hit obscene numbers initially.

So that’s pretty awesome right? Even the disappointment of opening a tango land because it could have been a fetchland won’t feel that bad…a free fifty bucks is nothing to sneeze at! But what impact will these cards have on the financial market as a whole?


Aggregate Pricing

For retailers, the bulk of the initial singles supply comes from opening boxes. Typically when you look at a new set, you’ll see that the preorder prices typically create an EV (expected value) per pack that exceeds the price of a pack. As time goes on and more and more singles flood the market, the value of a pack fast approaches an equilibrium where the singles contained within a box become roughly in sync with the price of a box…then MTGO redemptions hit the market and that price implodes as additional cards enter the market.

The effect this has on the secondary market is very noticeable once you know what to look for. Let’s take Khans of Tarkir as an example, because some of the singles prices are almost criminally low. Khans featured the five card cycle of fetch lands that we’ve all grown to love and everybody JUST HAS TO HAVE. Because those fetch lands took up so much of the EV equity, many other cards plummeted in price. As retailers and players alike shredded packs to acquire fetch lands, they were left with piles of Sarkhan Dragonspeaker, Siege Rhino, Wingmate Roc, and other competitive level rares…but they were only selling the fetch lands and were stuck with piles of these other cards – until they lowered the price.

The contents of an in-print Magic booster box can only be worth so much money. What’s this have to do with the Expedition lands? If the Expeditions lands average out to $120ish each and show up one per case, that’s essentially soaking up $20 in EV equity from every box, which will push prices of every rare in the set downward. Combine this with 50¢ a piece on full-art basics and you’re easily looking at $35+ EV equity being carved out of every box.

Earnings Expectations

Wizards of the Coast is a division of Hasbro, the company that derives much of it’s income from Transformers and and licensed action figures from intellectual properties like Spiderman or The Avengers. The licenses for much of the Marvel product lines can evaporate on a whim from Disney so Hasbro has a lot of it’s eggs in the Transformers basket, an intellectual property that has relied on half hour commercials (cartoons) and blockbuster movies to boost sales. With no Transformers movie on the horizon until 2017, Hasbro is looking elsewhere to make up that lost revenue…lucky for them, Magic has been experiencing year over year growth for the last seven or eight years.

For the most part, Hasbro stays “hands off” as far as Magic goes, relying on the people that have made the game a success to continue making it a success…but you can bet that Magic continuing year over year growth is an expectation that is on the table.

Last year Wizards sold more packs of cards than ever, thanks heavily to the fetch lands and partly thanks to a pile of dragons. This is awesome, a growing game is great for everyone involved right? But some growth is not growth…what do I mean? Let’s look at an example:

For the first year let’s say there are 10 total Magic players and they buy 10 packs each.

Magic sells 100 packs.

Which scenario the following year is better for the game long term:

15 total Magic players buying 10 packs each?
10 total Magic players buying 15 packs each?

If you guessed 15 players buying 10 packs each, you and I are in the same boat.

So this year Wizards is staring down an expectation to beat last year’s sales, they’re already returning us to one of the most beloved planes to face down some of the most revered villains in Magic’s history and that should be enough, but what if it’s not? Enter Expedition lands. These are all but guaranteed to sell more product and Wizards is likely to experience another year of continued sales growth. But what happens next year?

Another gimmick? FOIL full-art Planeswalkers? Tarmogoyfs and Vendilion Cliques? Rishadan Ports and Wastelands? Wizards is painting themselves into a corner with the expectation of super ultra rare promos in future sets. If the sets after Zendikar and its expansion don’t contain this type of promotion will the players feel shorted? How much will that affect sales?

Seriously, how do they match this level of awesome in a future set without resorting to an escalation of gimmicks? Where does this road lead us?

Sports card collectors will tell you that they’ve been down this road before. The sports card industry underwent an escalation of absurdity when it came to chase cards and as collectors cracked open cases to find these ultra-rare chase cards, the rest of the contents (that would have traditionally been worth money) became near-worthless.

Hallowed Fountain

Why Now?

Why now? Seriously, why is Wizards resorting to gimmickry now? Since Wizards doesn’t release print run or player base numbers to the public anymore we can’t be sure what exactly Magic’s growth looks like. Did the Magic player base grow 2% last year but sales increased 4%? That’s important information to know.

My biggest concern going forward is where the growth is coming from, if we’re reaching a plateau in playerbase growth and Wizards is pushing out super ultra chase rares to increase revenue in a different manner, that will have a significant impact on the secondary market long term. Cards rotating out of Standard will take longer to rebound in price, or they might stop rebounding at all.

For a card to appreciate once it’s rotated out of Standard and into Modern, the demand for a card in non-rotating formats has to grow…something that won’t happen if supply greatly exceeds demand.

Miscellaneous Concerns

Another side effect of the Expedition lands is the shift from buying boxes to buying cases of product. I’m already locking myself in to either buy a case of Battle for Zendikar or none at all…missing the box that contained the Expedition land would be an absolute blowout when it comes to getting a return on your initial investment. Along this same vein is the reality that loose boxes will partly become “damaged goods” as retailers can just start opening packs until they hit the Expedition land and then put the rest of those boxes on the shelf to sell individually or as single packs. Sure those other boxes “could” have an Expedition land in them, but it’s going to be less likely given Wizards’ collation methods.

The impact on local game stores is also something to consider. Nobody opens a game store to sell packs of Magic, it takes far too many boosters sold to pay the rent; the real money is in singles. But what if the bulk of those singles aren’t worth anything anymore? Many retailers will tell you that their bread and butter is selling cards ranging from $5-20 because the margins are always good and the profits add up quickly. If the average rare in a set is worth 20% less because of super ultra chase rares, that’s going to have an impact on their bottom line. Sure, they can sell the super ultra chase rares as well…but almost anyone will tell you that they would rather have ten $20 cards to sell than one $200 card because expensive cards just sell slower.

Silver Lining

In a sense, the Expedition lands could have a very nice socialist redistribution of wealth effect on the secondary market. If so much of the EV equity is being soaked up by these super ultra chase cards, the price of most of the other cards should go down, essentially creating a situation where the people that have the money to shell out for these stupidly rare cards are subsidizing the price of singles for players that can’t afford them at all. This means that maintaining a competitive Standard deck will likely get a little easier…for the next two sets, then we’ll see where Wizards goes from there.

In Conclusion

I love these lands and very much want to own a playset of the shocks and fetches but know that despite my Magic budget and resources being well above average, that’s not even a fathomable reality for me. I couldn’t even begin to consider shelling out the $12,000 or so it would take to complete a playset of these cards. I’ve grown accustomed to not having everything thanks heavily to the From the Vault and San Diego Comic Con products, so I can live without.

I’m not against the idea of these cards existing, I’m against the level of unattainability that they’re being offered to us and concerned what this means for future Magic releases. Is it only a matter of time before we see these promo subsets with every release? What’s this mean for the secondary market as whole? These are real questions that we have to consider if we’re to continue playing the #mtgfinance game in the coming years.

Shameless self promotion: I’ll be working with Hotsauce Games at the SCG Open in Cincinnati this weekend, stop by and see us!

52 thoughts on “Going Mad – Welcome to the Chase”

  1. This is a take I hadn’t considered before. I suppose it’s nice for the 1% to have something new to chase, though 🙂

    1. Hey! Don’t so quickly throw the foolish out, some of us may yet drop our life savings on these ;P

  2. Great Article. We really needed a different perspective on this and you provided it. Thanks for all the maths too!

    If we do indeed see more and more gimmicks then I hope what you mentioned in your Silver Lining comes true. Maybe in 20 years Magic will be in a place where it is completely possible to have a $500 deck and a $20,000 deck with the exact same functioning cards… But one is pimped beyond belief. I say let the rich nerds have their fun as long as the poor nerds can have fun too.

    You have to realize… There are going to be 30-year age differences between players soon enough. Markets are shifting as the OG’s get older. Teenagers still need to be able to play but there will be that one guy that would rather pimp his deck when he turns 50 rather than buy himself a hot-rod or something. I think that the 30 to 50 year old “rich guy” is an emerging market that is going to obviously grow in the coming years. WotC is doing a GREAT job taking advantage of this emerging market with this move.

    I think they know exactly what they are doing and if a mistake is made in the future… They will most certainly learn from it and come back even stronger. We will see some experiments and probably a failed set or two or maybe some immediate bannings of cards but in the end I have faith that WotC will always come back stronger.

    1. I personally dislike the change because it makes it much harder to speculate on cards when all of them aren’t worth money! But I do like the prospect of playing competitive standard decks without breaking the bank

      1. Derek, I think we should consider the idea that putting a damper on financial speculation may well be a goal of Wizards’. I’m sure they, like many, don’t enjoy seeing the wild, roller coaster price fluctuations every time they announce a new product or Mark Rosewater mentions something on his blog.

  3. Players who can and want to spend large amounts of money on “pimp” cards can do so, other players will occasionally open cards that pay their rent for the month.

    -> Everybody should be happy, except if you’re a person who can’t stand the thought of not being able to afford some luxury nonsense

  4. I agree here with you on this. Your point of whats to stop local card shops from opening their product until they hit the chase land then throwing the left overs out to their customers knowing they got the best card out of the case is spot on. I believe the only thing that will keep this set reasonable in the card store are the big box stores. You local Wal-Mart or Target doesn’t care about individual cards. Hopefully this will keep the prices at retail. I have been hearing that some places are taking pre-orders for the fat packs and some places are jacking the prices of the fat packs to $115. I really hope this isn’t the norm for WotC.

    1. Anyone jacking the price of Fat Packs to $115 is out of their mind, there’s no way shelf after shelf of these doesn’t exist at every Target / Walmart / Meijer in town. Full art basic lands are neat, but they aren’t $2 a piece neat

  5. Madman-

    Another fine article, thank you! As an example of player you mentioned- I, myself,am now 31 years old and I purchased my very first booster pack in June of this year and have never looked back! My personal collection is growing rapidly and I currently have around 10k cards which have come almost exclusively from opening sealed product. I have purchased a ton of singles as well and am already an active member of Pucatrade. Because of my involvement I’ve also created 5 other new MTG players. I am hoping that my little story is a microcosm of the player base growth that will continue to come.

  6. Hi Derek !
    Thank you very much for your accurate insights on the consequences of the new “Hidden Treasure”. I was feeling like this introductory (kind of new rarity level, like back in the day of Alara…) was going to change the standard mtg economics but didn’t really understand the mecanics. And then, I read your post… I think your article is so far one of the clearest and most enlightning about the way these Zendikar Expeditions could impact mtg singles secondary market.

    1. You brought up something I forgot to mention in the article but meant to: this is not the same as adding Mythic Rarity. When they added Mythics, they reduced the overall number of cards in sets (including rares) and your average Mythic Rare was only slightly more rare than any random rare was in the set prior. The effect this had overall was more consistent draft environments and brought down the value of tier 2 rares to be more affordable and ultimately made regular rares more common than before.

  7. Hi Derek,

    This is a great article!
    I’m not too alarmed at the moment because this is remanescent of the Hidden treasure frenzy of the initial Zendikar release.
    I think it’s going to be very interesting to see what wizard is going to do for the next 2 block sets. It’s definately worth it to be tracking what Wizard’s behavior is on set releases.

    Also, the rich and poor subculture seems like an interesting topic.

    Thanks again for the article


    1. Hey thanks for commenting, but this is likely nothing like the Hidden Treasures thing we experienced last time around. Full art fetchlands are much less enticing the MP Phyrexian Dreadnoughts and the hidden treasures were only the first print run of Zendikar whereas this (seemingly) continues throughout.

      While it was exciting to find out my friend opened a Mox Jet at his first prerelease, the bulk of the hidden treasures were cards that were “just kinda neat”, like a Cyclopean Tomb or the previously mentioned Dreadnought, rather than something useful and awesome.

      1. Thanks for the fast response!

        I was referring to the Hidden treasure as for the initial frenzy. You are completely right in saying that 1st print run vs all of them for a set is 2 different things. This will have a permanent or very big effect on the price of everything else on this set. Kinda like what Siege Rhino’s price is like in a set with fetlands.

        Anyways, this is a great (ongoing) topic.

        Thanks for the heads up


  8. Excellent article, bud. You’ve articulate every single thought racing through my mind the second I saw these Expeditions flash across the Twitch stream screen. I’m very interested to know if you go in on a case, after all is said and done. I think I know you well enough to assume the answer is “Yes,” but what the heck is the plan for outing the mountain of product left over after you hit and Expedition land? Clearly it will all garner well below normal rates of return for a very long time.

    Would love to know your thoughts on this one.

    1. Im still on the fence, but I’m leaning more towards the “buy no product” side. Typically I look at the cards that I want for myself, how much that would cost to buy and compare the EV of opening a box vs buying the cards outright.

      If you dump most of the cards quickly you’re still in that hyped preorder price window and you can make a good haul, but if you dally then you’re stuck with a mountain of product like you said.

      It’s really going to come down to how many cards I feel are “staples” vs random rares, so far I’m not impressed with any of the cards I’ve seen so far outside of the tango lands. Factor that in with how infrequently I play Standard these days and I’m making a strong case for no case.

  9. Great article, the comparisons to the sports card market are terrifying. But we do have some historical precedence on this – when foil cards were introduced in Magic. Did foil printings suppress the value of the non-foil rares when they came out? Have we seen evidence that this is occurring?

    1. When FOILs were first introduced to the market the internet was in its infancy and there wasn’t near as much price efficiency. Stores would open some amount of singles to sell in the store and that was the basically the entire singles market. Would be hard to draw a direct comparison.

  10. 1. A contributor to the ‘why now ?’ is that due to the new rotation and MM2015 causing rescheduling of sets the financial year 2014-2015 saw 4 full sets released on top of the core set. FInancial year 2015-2016 will see only 2 sets (BFZ and Oath). There is massive pressure on this financial year and they especially needed something to boost sales.

    2. Having been a collector of comics/coins/cards for nearly five decades I fully support the idea that WotC are creating a bubble which could seriously damage the hobby. People who play but aren’t collectors/investors probably don’t see it but the reprint policy is extremely dangerous.

    1. 1. There are still going to be four sets in the fiscal year containing BFZ/Oath

      2. Having collected comics in the 1980s and 90s, I know where you’re coming from. So much wasted money… if only I bought Magic cards instead.

      1. If you’re going April to April you’re missing Origins and either Dragons of Tarkir or the set after Oath.

  11. I think the addition of reprints as mega-mythics in a set could be a healthy practice, as long as it is not the norm. Remember that as magic matures, the pool of cards from from which these reprints can be drawn grows, so even an ever-increasing, though decelerating, rate of reprints is sustainable in principle. We’ve all grown accustomed to Modern Masters, FTV, Duel decks, etc, reprints as a matter of course. I believe that they are sustainable at current levels, but only given the current growth rate, and only just barely.

    What would the alternative scenario look like? Arcane (cough Kamigawa) sets with not much power creep, wound up in their own mythology and mechanics, with little relevance to non-standard play. Would a sustained output of such sets cause a pent-up inertia behind the game to form? Fetch lands are great, and so are Dragons, but there are lots of unexplored “aces in the hole” that magic has left that have been left off the table. I think the signs will be clearer when the market finally maxes out and starts to shrink (which is an inevitability, though maybe not for some time).

    Another antidote that is essentially free for Wizards to create is a secondary or much expanded reserve list. Imagine a new card being released in a set that is automatically placed on the reserve list, for no reason other than collectability.

    This whole thing, all 22 years of it, has been a balancing act.

    As always, it’s a question of: will Wizards flood the engine?

    1. They’ve demonstrated a long history of delivering despite the idea that they have to run out of ideas soon.
      We’ve been in a veritable renaissance in Magic and when you’re doing something right and it’s working year after year, it’s foolish to take these kinds of risks

  12. While the comparison to baseball cards (and their implosion) is apt, I think the thing to remember is that these guys (WoTC) are very good at what they do. Is there pressure for growth? Of course there is. Will that pressure for growth lead to a never-ending cycle of them producing more and more rare chase cards? In my opinion, hell no. Wizards has been very good about protecting their biggest asset – the FUTURE value of the game and the ongoing interest of everyone in the ecosystem. There are several examples in my mind that go to show this. When they saw the success of Modern Masters, did they go ape-shit-crazy and reprint Duals and Moxes in a Vintage Masters set? No. They made a well-balanced and smart follow-up set that leveraged some reprint equity, but not GOBS AND GOBS of it. When they saw the success of FTV, did they immediately crank up the dial and print 10 versions/year? No. They continued to make them at a smart rate, again balancing reprint equity with card accessibility, collector item status, etc. When Khans had Fetches and BFZ was announced, did they immediately say “oh we need the other fetches in here?” No. Like I said, these guys are fucking smart. They know they have several levers to drive sales…and they wanted to save the enemy fetches for another time. As to the fear that they continue to do these chase rares in every set…they aren’t going to just push the same button over and over and over and over again. These are not button-mashers. These are smart and calculated people who know that they don’t want to kill the golden goose. They know that chase cards are interesting. Did Mythic Rarity kill the game? No. Will Zendikar Expeditions kill the game? No. But it will be an exciting thing that drives sales, similar to the Hidden Treasures promotion they did the first time Zendikar was around.

    1. Did Mythics kill the game? No. But can you tell us what the highest price for a rare was before Mythics were printed?

      When Lorwyn was in print Thoughtseize, Cryptic Command, and Bitterblossom all topped out at $20 or less, it wasn’t until Mythics were printed that cards regularly went above that threshold.

      When we look at mtgfinance as a whole, we have to look at the contributing factors to the pricing of cards, and a new level of rarity that consists solely of highly sought-after cards will redistribute the value of cards, depressing the value of many rares and Mythics.

      Is this just a lever that they can pull? Sure. But why did they need to pull it? Aren’t full art basics, the new duals, and Eldrazi enough to sell packs already?

    2. What did they do in response to MM ? They significantly increased the price of MM2015 and put out a product that is disappointing in a number of ways.

      I also disagree they are necessarily protecting the future value of the game. Collecting has always been an integral part of CCGs. It’s an integral part of Wizards financial strategy. Their reprint policy and now the introduction of an extra tier of rares is a danger to the hobby of Wizards own making in the pursuit of profits.

      Some might say that id doesn’t matter because it will just make it cheaper for everyone to get the cards they want. But it’s not that simple – if collectors move out of the hobby then Wizards and people like SCG take a massive hit. That would threaten the playing infratructure (tournies, FNM support, promotions etc) as well as other aspects like development.

  13. I thought this was an excellently crafted article. Love the redistribution of wealth comment, and think it’s entirely true. These expeditions will have a huge effect on all non-expedition cards in the set, likely a more extreme version of what happened to khans with fetchlands.

    Expedition lands will effect every standard player financially. Not by opening them, but by how they will significantly suppress the cost of BFZ cards. Makes the high earners/spenders indirectly help out the highschool FNM player, with Wizards being the middle man.

    I think this may also pull some casuals to look at card prices/MTG things online for the first time. “Wow! What is this worth?!”

    I’ll be curious to see how this effects standard prices in non-BFZ sets as well.

    1. I don’t think these will have a noticeable impact on the price of non-BFZ cards and there’s a good chance the Oath of the Gatewatch Expeditions just aren’t as cool as shocks / fetches so I expect them to have a lesser impact.

  14. Hi Derek, I agree with most of what you said about WotC trying to beat their previous sales figures (to please investors and their owners, Hasbro) with tactics such as these ultra rare chase cards.

    Neckbeards and those with trust funds wouldn’t hesitate to get these chasecards from singles retailers directly as they are the only ones with the capital and stock buying power. These singles retailers also are able to directly or indirectly control the circulation of these cards based on their capital to buylist these cards.

    Remember Tarmogoyf? The Tarmogoyf effect is still happening today.

    But for the rest of the Magic Community, having rock bottom priced LagLands and other cards is a boon for the game in general.

    Having ultra premium chase cards in Magic is not necessary a bad thing, as long as you are not the sort to chase after all these new shinies… as I mentioned above, it help drive the singles cost down for all the other cards and hence making those cards more accessible for a bigger pool of players.

  15. I was wondering if u could elaborate anymore on what you ment by slightly less rare than the current foil mythics. 15 cards vs 25 cards. ? I wasn’t sure how that made them less rare.
    Lastly, I hope this doesn’t turn into a sports card type of thing where there are so many versions ( gold, silver, foil, autograph, etc etc). Imagine an actual sketch card?

    1. I can’t elaborate too much as I am only going off what was described in the PAX stream, Maro said exactly that these will appear slightly more common than current mythic rares because there are 25 of these vs 15 Mythics, I’m sure it has something to do with how these are printed and collated

  16. I too am concerned. What next FTV revised duels? Once I see that I’m selling out. Really though I don’t think this is a good idea for anyone. I guess it’s not so bad for the player this time because we have fatpacks to buy instead of boxes. But most cards are opened buy events and the big guys at star city and others like them. They will have 90% of these lands and charge a months rent for one. Not sure how thats a good thing. If pimping out a deck is needed plenty of artists can be hired to make you a full art polluted delta.

  17. These special cards appear 1 every 3240 cards. Even if they are worth $100 each. They are only taking $0.03 (3239/100) of value from each other cards. And there is NO reason they wold take more value away from some popular cards (good rares) and less from less popular cards (crappy commons).

    All in all these super rare cards are not gonna have any significant impact on other playable cards!

    1. You’ll want to look again into what EV equity in a box is and it will make more sense, these will have an impact on the value of most other cards in the set because aggregate pricing will put the value of a contents of a case within a certain % of the cost of a case, it’s been true of every set released in the last 7 or 8 years.

      1. Stop patronizing me! You don’t even acknowledge my points.
        EV has nothing to do with the uniformity of the depreciation of the rest of the set.
        ALL the other cards are gonna be worth less. Not some of them. If 6 boxes (a case) cost 480EUR and there is 75EUR of value from the special cards. Now ALL the remaining cards in the case are worth 405EUR. The global value was lowered.

        My point is that the other Playable cards will see little loss of value from the Special cards because the depreciation is spread on all the cards.

      2. Derek didn’t come across at all as patronizing.

        You are using numbers that don’t reflect what MaRo said and your prices are multiples lower than dealers are selling at.

        3240/1 is the occurrence of foil mythics. MaRo said these are more common than foil mythics at the rate of 25/15 or 1.67. Arid Mesa and Steam Vents are selling at over double your suggested 75 euros. I expect Scalding Tarn to be something like $300-400, perhaps more.

        Further you haven’t accounted for the value of full art basics and full art basic foils.

        Overall I will be surprised if full art basics and the Expeditions cards don’t account for over half the cost of a case to people like SCG (SCG pay around $430 a case).

        What I expect to see from BFZ is high EV early on and prices crashing on singles.

      3. How about this:

        You argue that these only take away 3 cents per card, but that’s because you’re averaging the number out over EVERY card in the set rather than just the rares. Most commons are literally worth nothing and the bulk of uncommons recently have landed in the same boat.

        There is no uniformity in the depreciation of the rest of the set because the bulk of the set is already going to be worth $0.00.

        The depreciation is going to be put on the backs of rares and mythics almost exclusively.

  18. I enjoyed how many angles you attacked the reveal of expeditions. I believe should the gimmicks continue in the long term, players will see them as just pieces of cardboard. The thing that kept me back from standard is that price fluctuations occur fast, and personally it stresses me out when i want to play with something but know that it can be made into multiple of the same card in the future. I think lowering the barrier of entry to buy singles from bfz and future sets will be ultimately beneficial as long as standard is supported. That being said ill be disappointed if i dont get one because the art is straight up fantastic

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