Hearts of Glass

The Secret Lairs are shipping, and there’s a surprise waiting in there!

Well, it’s not really a surprise anymore, and that’s a HUGE relief. 

Let’s talk about the stained glass planeswalkers, at least the ones we’re getting in the Secret Lair drop…

First of all, it appears that there’s only 15 of the 36 planeswalkers in this drop. An asymmetrical number, to be sure. I don’t think there’s mystical significance, and we are already able to get some prices, thanks to Wizards’ decision to print a bunch ahead of time and then print more to fill the demand. 

Blessedly, everyone who wanted one got one, and a max of ten. The different price points are interesting too–I can’t remember the last time the offered price on these varied, as they know that some of these sets are more valuable than others.

CardStained Glass Market PriceJP Alternate Art in Foil
Teferi, Time Raveler$92$94
Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God$72$80
Jace, Wielder of Mysteries$30$50
Ral, Storm Conduit$15$27
Tamiyo, Collector of Tales$14$45
Gideon Blackblade$14$41
Domri, Anarch of Bolas$13$19
The Wanderer$12$10
Ashiok, Dream Render$10$43
Angrath, Captain of Chaos$10$5
Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord$9$40
Nahiri, Storm of Stone$8$9
Ajani, the Greathearted$7$13
Teyo, the Shieldmage$7$7
Huatli, the Sun’s Heart$5$8

I put the prices for the alternate-art planeswalkers up because it’s a handy comparison. How far will we go?

Clearly, we won’t go as far. The stained glass is only in the background, making the change minor and the price bump not as significant. I’m a bit surprised by this, because I don’t have any figures on Secret Lair sales, but I’d have to imagine that there’s a larger number of Lair sales than foil JP walkers.

It’s also worth mentioning that we haven’t reached saturation on the Secret Lairs yet either. Lots of copies are still being printed or shipped, and that’s a lot more copies of these stained glass cards coming into the market, lowering the price further.

So where will these settle? Well, that depends on their playability. 

Teferi is clearly going to be the winner in this regard, as he’s super-popular in Legacy and Pioneer, with a healthy dose of Modern and Vintage in there too. His star isn’t shining bright in Standard at the moment, which makes his price that much more likely to stick. If you haven’t embraced the warm, cozy feeling of having Teferi, Time Raveler in play during a Commander game, I strongly urge you to try it out. Feels pretty amazing, knowing you’ll get to do your thing.

Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God is going to fall a bit farther, I think, probably to the $30-$40 range. This is the FIFTH version of this card, as you can get it in original pack art, Mythic Edition, SDCC, Alternate Art, and now Stained Glass. For a mythic, that’s a ton of copies, and it allows people to pick the art they like best and roll with it. I don’t like this card long-term, precisely because of the glut of copies around. If it does go up, it’s going to be after a long, long, long incubation period, and I have other places to put my money.

Fun Fact: NBDG just broke the tie with Liliana Vess and Jace Beleren, as ‘card with most arts’ when all of them were stuck at four. (Do you know of others? Drop a comment or hit me up on Twitter @WordOfCommander)

I think Jace, Wielder of Mysteries can stay at $30, and given the win condition he represents in a lot of combo decks (especially in Commander, where it’s not always easy to make three players draw their decks) this price is likely to be sticky. Just enough people are playing copies and this is a nice upgrade over a regular copy without breaking the bank for the foil JP alternate. 

The rest of the prices, at $15 or less, I’d feel okay about picking up now if you want to collect the first half of the stained glass set. This is the time to buy, as people get their Lairs in the mail and open them, seeking to gain what value they can. Once these are opened, that’s it. 

As I wrote three weeks ago, collecting Magic cards and then hoping for a rise in value just because you picked up special versions is a losing play. You might want to get a stained-glass set of Teferis, and I’d support that because Teferi is a very good card in Eternal formats. The price won’t go up because it’s stained glass, it’ll go up because Teferi is really good.

Rest assured, if you’re collecting the set of Stained Glass (to match your WAR originals and your JP Alternate Art) you’ll have a chance to buy the rest of the planeswalkers that didn’t get the stained glass treatment this time. Maro alluded to it on his blog, and even if it takes a while, they will get to it. 

Might take a while, but I think they are on a shorter timeline than a project like Sword of X and Y completing the cycle. 

There’s some real winners in the 21 left to be printed. Nothing is going to match the prestige of a foil Amano Liliana, but this version of Narset, Parter of Veils will command quite a price, as will the Karn, the Great Creator. When we’ll get these cards is entirely subjective, but I’d be willing to bet that they will be released before War of the Spark rotates out of Standard this coming October of 2020. Just be patient!

Cliff (@WordOfCommander) has been writing for MTGPrice since 2013, and is an eager Commander player, Draft enthusiast, and Cube fanatic. A high school science teacher by day, he’s also the official substitute teacher of the MTG Fast Finance podcast. If you’re ever at a GP and you see a giant flashing ‘CUBE DRAFT’ sign, go over, say hi, and be ready to draft.

(Yeah, my title is a Blondie reference, and I’m fully aware that the song predates Magic and most of its players. )

3 thoughts on “Hearts of Glass”

  1. The two comments above are correct, and my prices for the JP foils were my mistake. I listed the prices for the prerelease versions of each card, and I’ve fixed it. Thanks for reading, commenting, and keeping me on my toes!

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