Tag Archives: Conspiracy 2

Conspiracy 2 and You!

Two years after the original Conspiracy, the sequel is here and it looks badass. I’m super stoked to draft a bunch of it, and add some new sweet cards to all sorts of decks.

From a finance standpoint, I want to make something clear: While Kaya, Ghost Assassin took out Brago, King Eternal in the storyline, Conspiracy: Take the Crown is going to assassinate prices.

Here’s the current prices for the original Conspiracy. Plus, if you’re into that sort of thing, here’s the foils. Looking at these two lists, I want to bring up some data points that will inform my purchases for Take the Crown.

First of all, some of those foil multipliers are outlandish. Dack Fayden’s foil is thirteen times more expensive, and that’s even after being in Eternal Masters! Dack is one of the most powerful cards in Vintage and in Cube, so his price isn’t too shocking. Marchesa, the Black Rose is more than ten times as pricey in foil. Scourge of the Throne is big, as are lots of others. This tells me that the casual demand is pretty high for these cards, or in some cases, the Legacy/Vintage demand.

I do expect the foil demand to be high again for Take the Crown, and mostly, I’ll be going after foils for myself and for long-term value. Note that the value of Conspiracy foils have stayed pretty stable since about January 2015, so I don’t want to get foils right freaking now OMG shiny!! I do want to get them before Christmas. Generally speaking, the time to get cards in one set is after the next set has come out.

The print run of original Conspiracy was big enough to torpedo prices. Here’s the graph of Urza’s Saga Exploration:

Exploration

Note the dip around the time before/during Khans of Tarkir being released. The card was $50, and has stayed stable at $10-$15.

This has all the ingredients of a card that should be $50 or so. It’s a four-of in a powerful and effective Legacy deck (Lands) and only has two printings. But because one of them is a modern-day supplemental set, the price is quite reasonable. This loss of 75% of value is repeated elsewhere in the set. Misdirecton went from $30 to $5. Mirari’s Wake dived by half. Hydra Omnivore went from $15 to $3. And so on.

I’m going to treat Take the Crown as something that’s going to be printed a lot, and opened a lot. This has a lot of valuable cards, at a regular booster’s price. You cannot expect a Modern Masters-type effect here, you can only expect prices to take a bath. A big one.

With that in mind, here’s my list of things you need to trade away right now, send out via Pucatrade, whatever the case may be. These are going to fall and fall hard. I’m focusing today’s picks on the nonfoils, and I’ll be interested in seeing how the foil prices fluctuate.

Ghostly Prison – How much do we love these effects? This has been printed three times, plus a FNM promo, and still it’s this high. Granted, those three printings were Champions of Kamigawa, Commander 2011, and Planechase 2012, which are all three possibly not going to add up to the number of these that will be put into circulation. These will be lucky to keep half their value and likely end up in the $3 range.

Hallowed Burial – About to be a dollar rare.

Pariah – Buckle up, because you’re headed for the bulk bin.

Desertion – $6 for a foil or $9 for the Commander’s Arsenal version. Either way, this will hit $2 and stay there for a while. It’s an awesome spell and has long-term potential, but the market is about to be flooded.

Kami of the Crescent Moon – Smug little smile, less than a dollar in price.

Serum Visions – This might stay at $1.50, but that’s the highest. Again, we are about to get a big influx.

Show and Tell – This was $80 before the announcement. It’s not done falling, not nearly. I suspect that $30 is reasonable and $20 is in play. I don’t know if it has enough Commander appeal to soak up extra copies. Side note: I like picking up Griselbrand and Omniscience as the best things to put into play. More Show and Tell cards may lead to more Show and Tell decks.

Inquisition of Kozilek – Possibly the banner card for reprinting, It’s already down to $10 and I will be surprised if it stays above $5. I think two or three bucks.

Phyrexian Arena – Six printings, and three of those had foils too! It’s just so good in just about any deck, though it’s too slow for Modern or Legacy. The casual crowd is going to soak up a lot of these, and when it’s down to $2 or so, I’m going to start buying them.

Burning Wish – The demand for this card just isn’t very high. I think this struggles to stay above $4.

Gratuitous Violence – One of my all-time favorite cards, now destined to be bulk. People just don’t have the intestinal fortitude for this.

Kiln Fiend – I look like a genius, because two weeks ago, I sent out a dozen of these on Puca from old draft boxes. This price was due to scarcity, and it will be at a quarter, maybe fifty cents.

Beast Within – This has had a lot of supplementary printings, but those weren’t high volume. The volume of Take the Crown is going to be much higher, and it’s an uncommon, dropping it to a dollar or less.

Birds of Paradise – Doesn’t matter how many you print. This is going to fall, and then creep up over time. Again. Notably, this hasn’t been printed at all since Magic 2012 five years ago. It’ll fall to $2-$3 and stay there for a long while.

Berserk – Can you believe this is in the set? I still can’t. Printings are Alpha, Beta, Unlimited, FTV:Exiled, and now this. That is a tiny, tiny supply, and I suspect that a lot of Commander games are about to be ended by using this on someone else’s creature. I think the market gets pretty flooded, and this stabilizes around $25 in two weeks, but it could go lower.

Burgeoning – Exactly the path of Exploration. Huge hit to its value, likely to sub-$5.

Forgotten Ancient – We made this card! We will also see it hit bulk.

Platinum Angel – This mythic has been resilient to reprints, and I’m reluctant to forecast too much of a hit. Down to the $5 range seems about right.

Did I leave something off? Let me know in the comments or in the forums!

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PROTRADER: Let’s Get Supplemental (Part 2)

Hello, and welcome back! When we left off last week I had gone through all the Commander sets looking for financial opportunities, and finding plenty of them. I was surprised by just how many juicy targets there were in those sets, to be honest. After seeing several big spikes over the past year, I thought maybe the opportunities would be limited. Instead I found a bunch of stuff worth picking up, and a handful of cards on the verge of a spike whenever they hit a critical. Exciting stuff.

So now it’s time for Part Deux: Archenemy boogaloo.

I’m bad at jokes.

So let’s just dig into the rest of the supplemental sets we’re going to cover today.

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Who is Conspiracy and What does He Do?

I was on record being pretty displeased about Eternal Masters. The set basically threatens to tank a lot of Legacy cards that players had invested a lot of money in while simultaneously making Reserved List cards like Underground Sea unattainable. It won’t make Legacy more accessible but it will drain the value out of most of the cards in Legacy players’ collections and concentrate them in a few cards they may or may not own.

Last week we went over the cards that are EDH-playable and also on the Reserved List which therefore have a lot of exposure to upside. Some of the cards we discussed have started to go up already, namely Null Rod, City of Traitors and Serra’s Sanctum. They went up a lot. Legacy saw people start to jam Eldrazi in that format which is disappointing because it goes to show that WotC learned precisely nothing from the Affinity disaster over a decade ago. Cards that aren’t needed to fight Eldrazi will go up over time because Reserved List cards just tend to do that so I basically wrote an article where every shot I called will go up eventually and some have already spiked hard, making me look like a genius. If I get any better at this, I’ll be able to call cards after they go up and still have people congratulate me. What can I say? I’m that goulah.

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No, I don’t know what the hell he meant

How goulah I am (very) aside, what do I talk about this week? It’s really hard to top an article where you got 100% of your picks correct (you know, eventually) and I don’t want to phone this one in, resting on my laurels. Maybe we should talk about a call I got super wrong. Namely, the time on Brainstorm Brewery (the podcast you should all be listening to every week) that I said Eternal Masters wasn’t really necessary because you could just do a second Conspiracy set this year and put more Legacy reprints in that set.

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Was this not a fair assumption to make? We had alternated Modern Masters -> Conspiracy -> Modern Masters for 3 years and that’s enough data points to consider a trend. The announcement of Eternal Masters seemed to preclude another Conspiracy. After all, how could they do both in the same “slot” that was reserved for the summer set? True, we’re not doing core sets anymore, but we’ll still have Eternal Masters, Conspiracy 2, an FTV, Commander 2016 and Eldritch Moon in the same 3 month period. What are we supposed to buy? Well, Wizards is banking on people thinking “not everything is for me” and only buying what they care about. This is a silly way to stack sets –  so silly that I absolutely assumed Eternal Masters was going to replace Conspiracy 2. And in a way, I think maybe it is.

What’s Conspiracy going to look like next year? We can start to look at some unsafe cards and shift our money elsewhere and we can start to look at which cards will get cheaper, enabling more people to access certain archetypes. There’s no question that cheaper Exploration helped EDH deck builders, for example, and there are a lot of ripples in the pond we can analyze from that one big splash. Let’s look at some numbers from the last Conspiracy set.

The last Conspiracy set had 210 cards and I expect a similar number of cards this time around. Of the 210 cards, 65 of them were brand new cards and 13 conspiracy cards. Of those 65 new cards, a whopping 20 of them were rare. Of the 10 mythics, 4 were new cards, all of them pretty saucy including Dack Fayden, a Vintage-playable card whose foil price is pretty bugnutty. If we can expect similar numbers for the next Conspiracy set, we’re in for some great new commanders like Selvala, Marchesa and Brago were last time around. That’s fun but not knowing exactly which new cards we’re going to get doesn’t tell us much. Instead, I want to look at what happened to the prices of the cards that were reprinted last time around to see if we can project the impact of a new Conspiracy set.

Some of the cards were reprinted last time because their prices were out of control from speculation (Edric) or were high because of a ton of EDH use (Exploration) or high because of a decent amount of use in Legacy (Stifle, Misdirection) or for weird, nostalgia purposes (Spiritmonger). Honestly, the set was weird and weird isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

How much Legacy needs to be in Conspiracy 2? They knew they were doing Eternal Masters at the same time they knew they were doing Conspiracy 2 (I have to assume since they’re coming out at the same time and it usually takes a given amount of time to make a set) so they had to know that Eternal Masters could take a lot of pressure off of the Legacy and Vintage cards they’d need to put in Conspiracy. This doesn’t tell us as much as you think because the Commander 2016 sets coming out not long after these two sets will remove some of the impetus to reprint Commander cards. What to make of all of this? Will there be more casual cards that don’t have an obvious home like Spiritmonger and Mirari’s Wake? Will we have a Conpsiracy set that’s very similar in scope and composition to the last one? Will Eternal Masters have any EDH-playables like Modern Masters did or will it focus on Legacy and Vintage staples? All of these are great questions. The only thing I do know is what happened to the cards that were reprinted last time around, so let’s look at those.

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Before I remind you when Conspiracy 1 was printed, see if you can guess by looking at the graph. I bet you can guess.

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June of 2014. The price drop was pretty profound, which surprised me a tiny bit seeing as how fugly the art on the Conspiracy copies is. Brought down from nearly $50 to its current $13ish, this was a major casualty. Somehow not on the Reserved List (they needed to make room for Zephid and Herald of Serra, I guess) they were free to reprint this card and reprint it they did. This was good for EDH players and good for people who like to sell cards and didn’t have any of these in stock. Reducing the price to a third of its former glory but giving us a foil copy in exchange which is merely twice the cost of the Saga non-foil (could that be the correct multiplier? ) this reprint was pretty bloody but ultimately pretty satisfying for people who wanted to give this a try in EDH. It’s also in Legacy Enchantress but I doubt that was as much of an impetus for the reprinting although overlap is always good for price recovery. I would put the odds of this being in Conspiracy 2 pretty low but nothing would surprise me. Being able to ramp in a 4-player free-for-all can be the difference between life and death.

Possible Conspiracy 2 Analog

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This is roughly the same cross-format overlap (although Summer Bloom’s nerfing makes this less applicable in Modern – but did they know that when they made this set?), does roughly the same thing and is at roughly the same price point as Exploration was. Whether they’re going to want to shift the reprint toward spells because they’re printing a lot of new creatures, I can’t say. If I were designing this set, though, I’d probably jam Azusa in there. I doubt Eternal Masters wants a Modern/EDH card like this, I doubt they want a $40 card in the Commander 2016 decks and I doubt I’m right about this being in  Conspiracy 2. Still, this feels analogous and I really wouldn’t be surprised. They’re at their peak in price but not desirability, so this slight chance of a reprint is just reason number, like, 480 to buylist these if you got in before the major jump.

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How did they see this price spike coming? It started basically when they started work on the set and this card got ridiculous before the end. A $50 sideboard card isn’t good for any format and this reprint pulled the pants off of Stifle. A reduction in demand probably had a bit to do with the decline, but this is still a very powerful card. Canadian Thresh decks which basically became RUG Delver were maindecking this card for a while because it was a stone rain against fetches and stopped all kinds of nonsense from their delver flipping to modular to their Jitte getting counters. It’s less useful now and there are a lot more copies out there. Stifle took a beating from this reprinting – you can get the (ugly) Conspiracy versions for like $3.

Possible Conspiracy 2 Analog

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This doesn’t do close to what Stile did in terms of how the card plays, and this isn’t a $50 card like Stifle pretended to be for a while, but Bribery is about the price Stifle was when they got to work on Conspiracy. This sees less Legacy play but this is very good in 4 player Limited, it’s great in EDH, it’s not as likely to get printed in Commander 2016 since they’re doing multicolored decks this time around and this card is VERY blue. $16ish isn’t super oppressive in terms of price, but if these were $5 I’d buy $30 worth for my decks and I won’t spend $30 on two of them, now. The price isn’t going down any other way and EDH will always love this card. Again, this is just the card I’d put in if I were making the set. I’m not saying hurry up and sell these if you have them, but the price isn’t going up soon but could go down. I don’t like the risk.

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This was the second reprinting this card got and it was enough. The price was cut in half. I like the original art the best but no one else seems to care as much because the Shadowmoor and Tempest versions are nearly identical in price. This might have climbed some more and seemed to have mostly recovered from the Shadowmoor reprinting. EDH demand is going to increase on this card based on the new rules changes but we’re not expecting to see a jump anytime soon. Besides, this could get another reprinting which basically doesn’t matter at this point.

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Possible Conspiracy 2 Analog

This one’s ballsy

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This would likely be thrown in at mythic, but I will be very surprised if we go through Eternal Masters and Conspiracy 2 and don’t see a reprinting of Cavern. It’s a card that needs to be inexpensive and it’s just as good in casual as it is in competitive. This is a card I went after very hard for $20 when it was first printed and expected it to hit $50 and was very pleased when it finally did.

This is a card that needs a reprinting and is going to get one, soon. This is when you sell these and if you’re still holding these when it’s reprinted, you’re going to be sorry. I don’t like holding onto this hot potato and I urge you to ship.

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This was a brutal reprinting and no one ever really talked about the price trajectory here. We saw a profound drop over 6 months but it seemed relatively unperturbed initially so everyone thought this wasn’t quite the slaughter it ended up being. P Deed is around $5 which is great for EDH players and bad for people who had money tied up in P Deed. Are you good with the amount of analysis I did here?

Possible Conspiracy 2 Analog

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This is already on its way down, but it’s still a little pricey for EDH players for what it does and it could be a staple removal spell because it solves every problem. Ayli and Daxos are very popular EDH Commanders right now, and a $5 Vindicate seems good. Unmake is getting play and Vindicate being a sorcery hurts it a bit, but being able to get rid of Reliquary Tower or Serra’s Sanctum seems worth it. P Deed is an old school card that solves EDH problems and Vindicate feels like it could get that spot. The declining price of Vindicate right now is as much an impetus to sell quickly as the reprint risk, however. I’m just picking analogous cards, not trying to tell you how to manage your collection.

Conspiracy 2 is going to be a good set. It’s going to give Cube players nifty cards that affect the way players draft, which is amazing. It’s going to give us new EDH generals and staples, which we appreciate. It’s going to reduce some high-priced cards the way the first Conspiracy did. Most of all, it’s going to give my critics another thing I got wrong to point to. I’m fine with all of that

 

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