PROTRADER: Price Trajectory for Key EMA Reprints

The full spoiler for Eternal Masters is out and the moment of truth is upon us.  There’s one thing and one thing only on my mind regarding this set: how will it impact prices?  Whether or not this is a balanced set, a good draft format, good EV, or fun to play is irrelevant to me.  As an MTG finance person first and player second, my natural response to the set is one of financial analysis.

There are two analyses that can be conducted now that the full set is spoiled: an intra-set analysis and an extra-set analysis.  That is, what will cards in the set do price-wise and what will cards outside the set do price-wise.  These are two very different perspectives that each merit their own dedicated column.  This week I’m going to focus on the intra-set analysis.

Basis for Prediction

Before I begin assessing individual cards, first I want to briefly summarize my approach.  First and foremost I need to assume a print run – given the lack of Grand Prix to celebrate the release of Eternal Masters, I don’t believe the print run will be as large as Modern Masters 2015.  But based on the fact that prices didn’t tank after MMA and MM2015, I speculate that Wizards of the Coast would want to err on printing more packs than less simply because it will generate more sales.  Therefore, I’m going to assume a print run of MM2015 and use MM2015 pricing to predict magnitude of price change.  If nothing else, the MM2015 assumption will allow for a “worst case” prediction.

Next, I’m going to leverage MM2015 reprints as a way to predict the direction of EMA prices.  The closer a parallel exists, the easier it will be to predict price movement.  A card’s utility in different formats will most certainly carry heavy weight in this comparison.  A strictly casual card must be compared with another strictly casual card in as many cases as possible.  This is especially true when considering the ubiquity of a card in a respective format as well as the quantity of copies played in decks that use said card.  All of this will become clear once I begin my analysis so rather than dribble on here, let’s jump in!

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8 thoughts on “PROTRADER: Price Trajectory for Key EMA Reprints”

  1. I’m not sure I see Crypt stay so high. I don’t believe there are many EDH players out there who are willing to spend $120 on it (and those that are probably got the original copies they need already). I think it’s more likely to behave like Vampiric Tutor for the same reasons, but drop further before it reaches a point where enough EDH players would be comfortable spending the money. I can see it dip to $80.

    Otherwise I like your reasoning, thanks for the analysis!

    1. Thanks for the comment and input! You could be right – I secretly hope Crypt dose drop further because I would like a copy for Vintage eventually. Though it’s worth noting that Star City Games began preorders on Mana Crypt at $50 and has since sold at at $60, $70, $80, and now $90. Keep in mind my prices are generally approximate retail prices – so copies could very well trade or sell at $80 even if retailers are in the $120 range.

      I will say, though, that given SCG has book promo Mana Crypts at $120 currently if feels unlikely that regular EMA printings will also merit such a high price tag. Maybe $100 is about right. We shall see!

      1. I’m not saying there’s nobody who would buy at retail over $80, but the question is where an equilibrium will be found between what enough people are willing to pay and how low retailers are willing to go. For the preorders SCG probably sold to people willing to pay more, which is why preorder prices are usually high in general: the people who just want the cards buy then, but the question is whether there are enough of those people to keep the price at $90 or higher. I don’t see that happening.

  2. Love your thought process and how you educate others on how to make estimations instead of just “here are my picks and why”.

    That’s not a jab at the other authors though, because as a busy family man with a job sometimes all I want is a list of probable movers so I can make quick evaluations and go. Either way love your stuff mate.

    1. Korias,

      This means a great deal to me. Thank you SO much for the kind words. I put a good amount of effort into this article, trying to analyze things objectively using historical data rather than emotion. Hopefully it resonated. I know my analysis is far from perfect, but the thought process is most important here.

      What are your thoughts on EMA? Do you agree with the trajectories I’m predicting?


      1. I want your karakas and wasteland prices to be too high, but i havent found fault with them.

        Personally im interested in what will happen with foil young pyromancer, im hoping the multiplier stays constant as I did move my single foil. Probably going to drop since hes getting replaced by mentor though.

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