Tag Archives: EMA

PROTRADER: The Irony of Eternal Masters

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Last week I talked about the incoming price declines we can expect from the release of Eternal Masters.  Reprints of Legacy, Vintage, and Commander staples are sure to drop prices to varying degrees simply because the demand for more staples will not likely outpace supply.  This is especially the case for 1-ofs like Mana Crypt, Karakas, and Vampiric Tutor.  Prices are about to fluctuate significantly.

We could pause and celebrate a successful set release for Wizards of the Coast at this point.  They’re going to generate more profits for Hasbro and the player base will have easier access to numerous eternal staples.  A true win-win right?

Well, not exactly.  You see, some cards didn’t get reprinted in Eternal Masters.  Obviously everything can’t get a reprint – there are far more cards worth reprinting than there were slots in the set.  Some cards will inevitably have to wait their turn for next time.  The problem is, those cards which dodged reprint are now very likely to jump higher in price!  Players may open up a few valuable Legacy staples and wish to trade for other parts of the deck which weren’t in Eternal Masters.  Speculators are definitely going to pounce on opportunities where supply did not increase.  And overall we’ll see copies dry up over time, leading to higher pricing.

Thus, some card prices in key archetypes will jump higher, counteracting much of the relief delivered by Eternal Masters.  The world is an ironic place, isn’t it?

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Eternal Masters: The Rares

Here’s the list of rares in Modern Masters 2015 that are currently worth the MSRP of a pack:
Noble Hierarch $47
Spellskite $33
Fulminator Mage $29
Leyline of Sanctity $15
…and that’s it. Only four rares worth the retail of $10, and that doesn’t account for any markup you paid along the way.

I am pretty sure that there will be a similar trajectory for the rares of Eternal Masters, though some of the foils will have amazingly high prices. I’m expecting low things, much more in line with Modern Masters 2015: a few chase mythics, a little value at rare, and a lot of $5 and under cards.

I’m not going to go over every card, just the ones that I think will be near, at, or above the $10 mark by the time we get to Eldritch Moon.
Enlightened Tutor – Currently, this is solidly at $16 for the two nonfoil versions. Supply is tiny, though, and a lot of these are going to get put into Cubes and decks. I think this ends up just about $10.

Karmic Guide – The original is at $6, the Commander 2013 version is $3 and even the Judge Foil is barely at $20. This is the nail in the coffin, and will settle around $2.

Mother of Runes – Three printings keep this between $3 and $5, and I see no reason for that to change. The foils on this are interesting, as this art is more appealing than the other two foils, so we may see $25 or more on the foils.

Mystical Tutor – This is $8 with a From the Vault lurking at $25. It won’t be higher than $10, but it will be more than $5. The foils will easily be $25 or more, though, as people will get rid of the FtV foil and the unusual look those have.

Serendib Efreet – It’s never been good enough, though the stats alone are impressive. It’s a 3 /4 flyer for a mere three mana! It’ll be a dollar rare, unfortunately.

Ichorid – I’m inclined to say this takes a dive. Currently at $11, I’m pretty sure it’ll fall to $6 or lower. It’s just not popular enough. It’s possible that people open this and want to build a Dredge/Bridge from Below deck, but I highly doubt it.

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Sinkhole – Let’s get this out of the way: It’s not going to stay $30. This was a judge foil in 2010, and while it was a common, it was last printed in Unlimited. I would be fascinated to know if there were more Judge versions out there than Alpha and Beta ones. I suspect it’s close, though I don’t know for sure. This is best friends with Hymn to Tourach, but as a rare, I think this is going to end up very close to $10 out of pure price memory.

Toxic Deluge – It’s played rarely but it was nudging up to $20 before the reprint news cut it to $10. I think it falls all the way to $5, and at that point, it’s intriguing as a pickup.

Gamble – There are enough decks that want this to keep the price high, though I feel it will fall to $15 or so. Losing half of its value is still painful. Foils on this could be quite silly, though, because a lot of Commander decks will love it.

Sulfuric Vortex – This will put all the versions to bulk, though the foils might make it to $5.

Heritage Druid – Elf players need to brace themselves, because this is going to drop like a rock. Three dollars, but the foil will be about $15.

Regal Force – This is a surprisingly awesome card in a range of creature decks, which you might not expect for its stats. Financially, though, this is going to be a $5-$7 card with the foils about $20.

Shardless Agent – The buylist on this has already dropped by $5 in the last couple weeks, and that’s a very bad sign for anyone who has these in stock. Once pushing $25, these will end at about $10.

Vindicate – That’s a scary graph for a card, gradual declines over the last couple of years and now this. It’s a universal answer, though, and you can never have enough of those. I want it to be higher, but this won’t be above $10.

Vindicate

Isochron Scepter – Once, this was expensive and amazing with split cards, but it’s gotten supplemental products here and there and this will put it to $2.

Sensei’s Divining Top – The top has dropped nearly $10 since being spoiled and that’s a very telling indicator. I personally can’t stand people running this in Commander, as it is incremental advantage in a battlecruiser format, and it just takes so long! I expect this to settle at about $10, but I’m prepared for foils to carry a big multiplier, likely to about $40-$50.

Maze of Ith – I love to think about cards where the FTV version is less expensive than the original. Is it the art? The foiling process? Maybe it’s amazing in 93-94? Thirty dollars is not where it’s going to stay, but I do think we are going to see some odd price disconnects with this. The Eternal Masters version will likely settle between $10-$15.

Mishra’s Factory – First off, I think your original four seasons versions are perfectly safe. Every other version is going to be just above bulk.

Wasteland – A Tempest uncommon, a Judge Foil, a Player Reward, a Zendikar Expedition, and now this. It’s had that many extra printings and I think all the specials are relatively safe. They will feel a bump, but the Tempest version has lost more than $20 so far and it’s going to fall farther. I think it ends up about $30, and that’s a price I’m going to think about buying a few at.

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Grinder Finance – Eternal Masters part 2 : The Masters Quandry

ema class of 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s welcome the Eternal Masters class of 2016.  Otherwise known as the 21 cards currently pre-ordering for at least the cost of an Eternal Masters booster pack (at MSRP).  That’s right guys, of the 53 rares and 15 mythics, only 10 rares and 11 mythics are worth at least the cost of a pack.  But how does this compare to a normal set?  Currently (at retail prices) there are 24 cards in Shadows over Innistrad worth at least the cost of a booster (which for this exercise I assume is $3).  Shadows over Innistrad is a little weird with it’s flip cards but the number of break even cards is roughly the same.  What’s the problem then?  Finding Eternal Masters boosters at MSRP.  It is suggested, after all.

The Masters Quandry

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) Wizards of the Coast, a Hasbro subsidiary, can’t reprint expensive cards into oblivion.  It gets brought up often, but, Wizards of the Coast, a non-Hasbro subsidiary, did that exactly once.  Chronicles was a big problem and they are slowly trying to creep toward a middle ground.  This set will be a lot like Modern Masters and kill the price of a few casual cards but otherwise not make a dent in the prices of decks it is supposed to help.

The other issue with Masters sets is the need to “hold things back” for future Masters sets.  Modern Masters 2015 was generally perceived as underwhelming by the majority of people although it was more widely available at MSRP.  Without another round of reprints from the first set it was difficult to find enough new cards to print.  At some point, if they find it too difficult to reduce the over lap in Masters sets we might just get full set reprints (ie Modern Masters released in 2019).

These issues all culminate into a rather complex question: “How do we satisfy everyone?” I’m not sure there is an answer.

The Future of Eternal Masters

Well some of these cards will likely fluctuate up and down but there are some I am sure will see a sharp decline going into the end of the year.

shardless agentbaleful strixmaelstrom wanderer

All three of these cards made their debut in Planechase 2012.  Coincidentally, Planechase Anthology has already been announced to be including the Planechase 2012 decks and all of the planes.  Baleful Strix has already been reprinted in one supplementary product so it’s already not very expensive but Shardless Agent and Maelstrom Wanderer will likely quickly fall from their $10 pre-order price.  In fact, they may already be lower than $10 by the time this article is out.

Commander

The great Commander resource website, EDHrec.com, was able to get me some data about the playability of Eternal Masters cards. Here is a dump of the frequency of cards from Eternal Masters in the decklists they parse.  Unsurprisingly, Swords to Plowshares, Counterspell, and Sensei’s Divining Top are 3 of the most played cards in their study.  They’re all extremely flexible, cheap, and powerful.  I woudn’t be worried about the prices of any of those changing much (although foils might get a little cheaper with more copies).  The biggest loser I can see on this list is Regal Force.  I expect this card’s price to take a bath similar to Adarkar Valkyrie.  Once a nearly $10 card based mostly on rarity the tiny print run has brought Adarkar Valkyrie into basically bulk rare territory.

Commander players tend to be more casual and even though you don’t need to pay for the cards you put on your decklists online, many people leave out prohibitively expensive cards in large numbers.  As a result I believe that we will not see much of a dip in the price of Mana Crypt.  It’s functionally very similar to Sol Ring (the most popular card in Commander – beating the next card, Command Tower, by about 30%) so the appeal to own a copy or five for your Commander decks is pretty high.  As a result, if the price drops any significant amount it will cross a lot of player’s thresholds into “purchasable.”  Mana Crypt started pre-order pricing on StarCity Games for $50.  As of this writing, it’s sold out at $90 which is just $30 less than the original printing.  The original printing is also sold out so it’s unlikely the demand for these can be satisfied this time.  I’m expecting Mana Crypt to follow Tarmogoyf as the chase mythic in all Eternal Masters sets.
spirit_awakening_riley2

Foils

Is it a little misleading that I’ve intentionally ignored the foil slot in calculating cards you can open in a booster pack to pay for it?  Maybe a little.  However, as of this writing, no stores have posted pre-order prices for foils.  It’s possible they don’t know the math exactly on how little they plan to open for pre-orders or they just don’t want to be the first one to blink.  The first store to set the prices of foils will be planting their flag in the ground and seeing if it sticks.  Some of these foils will be uncharted territory and it’s possible they could be leaving a lot of money on the table by being the first to sell out.  Let’s do a little recap on first time foils.

Technically first time foils (for completeness sake)

emmessi tome field of souls humble monk idealist giant tortoisephantom monster roots tidal wave wake of vultures

These cards all have original pack printings from Urza’s Saga or earlier.  There were no foil cards in those packs yet.  It’s unlikely any of these cards will light up any price graphs.

Expensive first time foils

ashnod's altar tooth and claw worn powerstoneperegrine drakepyroblasthydroblastbaleful strixcontrol magicgamblemalicious afflictionpyrokinesistoxic delugeunexpectedly absentwinter orb

Originally I had separated these into different groups.  One group of Commander foils, one group of Pauper foils, one group of Vintage and Legacy foils, one group of Cube foils, etc.  But I realized that breaking them down that way implies that there is no overlap and that’s just not true.  These first time foils will be worth some order of magnitude more than than their non-foil counter part.  Despite being an uncommon, I think Pyroblast foils will likely command the highest price tag on this list.

Missing Link

So as I stated earlier, Wizards of the Coast, a Hasbro subsidiary, needs to hold some of the best cards for the next set.  What are the biggest missing cards from this set?  Well one obvious one is damna…

port

As many people have already become well aware, Rishadan Port was left off the reprint list this time.  I don’t often talk about Magic Online but this miss hurts MTGO the most.  Rishadan Port was creeping down to about 150 tickets (1 ticket is about $1) while people feared a reprint but immediately shot up 50 tickets once it was announced to not be in the set.   There is some incentive not to reprint Port again so quickly after it was just announced as a Judge foil but this one stings.  Rishadan Port is part of one of the few Legacy decks that doesn’t use any reserve list cards (Death and Taxes).  This card was likely selected to be held back for another Eternal Masters set in 2 years.

jitte

Umezawa’s Jitte is one of the best equipment ever printed and one of the few cards from Betrayer’s of Kamigawa  worth talking about.  This card is not quite as pricey as a lot of things included in Eternal Masters but it’s a really hard card to reprint in a draftable set.  Jitte is frequently seen as a one-man army type card that would almost assuredly be a mythic these days.  Every time we get a set that can reprint Jitte and is evades another printing there is a possibility the price goes up.  Umezawa’s Jitte has a GP Promo version but this was before full year promos.  As a result only 6 months of Umezawa’s Jitte promos means there are not that many to go around.  It’s only saving grace is you don’t often want more than one of this legendary equipment in your Legacy deck.

flusterstorm

Flusterstorm is a card that was “printed” many times online but only twice in paper.  Currently your choices for Flusterstorms in paper are the original Commander printing or judge foils.  At a minimum of almost $60, it’s fair to say Flusterstorm should be on Wizard’s radar for a reprint.  It’s possible that it still is on track to get reprinted this year.  Conspiracy: Take the Crown is going to be released in two short months and could include some Legacy and Vintage reprints with multiplayer applicability. Flusterstorm’s Storm ability plays nicely with a 4 player game (as it was originally intended as a Commander counter spell).  I’m not saying it’s likely, but its possible we get Flusterstorm in Conspiracy: Take the Crown.

show and tell

Show and Tell is a wonderful card.  It’s wonderfully pricey and part of two Legacy decks that don’t lean heavily on the reserve list (Sneak and Show and Reanimator).  It’s also the card that I am most surprised is missing.  If there is anything they could leave out of Eternal Masters to be in Conspiracy: Take the Crown it’s Show and Tell.  That card is easy to put into a draft set because you can control the worst thing put into play.  It also plays pretty nicely with a multiplayer game.  I just hope if it get’s reprinted they use the Urza’s Saga art.  Nothing against Zack Stella, but this one is so much cuter.

counterbalance lotus petal

These last two are not terribly expensive, yet.  I would have expected them to get a reprint to help ease the price while it’s not high.  Wizards has shown reluctance to reprint very expensive cards close to their original rarity especially if they can be detrimental to a draft format.  I’m guessing when we see a Lotus Petal reprint it won’t be at common.

aether vial chalice of the void damnationSnapcaster

Some cards are notably missing from Eternal Masters but I would never expect them to print in an Eternal set.  Aether Vial, Chalice of the Void, Damnation, and Snapcaster Mage are all Modern cards first and foremost.  If we get those in a Masters set, it will be Modern Masters not Eternal Masters.  I know every set goes by and people wonder if we’ll ever get Damnation again.  I’m sure it will come eventually and it will be in a Modern Masters set.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming

Eldritch Moon

We just got the full spoiler for Eternal Masters and we’re about to hit the ground running with Eldritch Moon spoilers.  Generally for Standard sets, spoilers last for two weeks and end the week before the pre-release.  Based on this, Eldritch Moon spoilers should start in about 3 weeks, on June 27th. Eternal Masters will have been released for 17 days before spoilers for the next set start.  I’m expecting some Magic fatigue in the worst kind of way.

Shadows over Innistrad logo

Have you been paying attention to the card prices for Shadows over Innistrad?  They’re reaching near time lows.  When the spoilers start for Eldritch Moon people will begin to buy more as they get re-excited for Standard.  If you’ve been waiting for some prices to go down before they rise again you’re nearing the best times until the late summer.

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Eternal Masters Spoiler Coverage

Eternal Masters 

Release Date: June 17, 2016

eternalmasters-1-825x460

This promises to be another small print-run set that makes cards a little more available for a little while if not more affordable in the long run. With boosters costing an awful lot and the draftability of the set unclear, this may end up doing little more than offering foils of cards that haven’t been foil before. That’s not that much of a problem, frankly, if it means people can get $100+ cards for the price of a booster and have copies of cards they want for legacy and EDH without wrecking prices. Modern Masters and Modern Masters 2 impacted prices, but they weren’t enough to keep them down forever. Here’s everything in those sets that ended up more than the projected $10-$15 per booster pack.

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People who are worried about Force of Will should have some perspective. Tarmogoyf is lower than it would have been without intervention but that doesn’t mean it’s a lot lower than it ever was. Printed in both Modern Masters sets, Tarmogoyf is a 4-of in a lot of decks and that means demand will never really be soaked up.

Untitled

It isn’t the big money cards we need to worry about losing our investments in, so don’t sell those Force of Wills, unless you like the new art better because you’re wrong.

We had most of the cards anyone is going to care about spoiled in one shot, so let’s talk about it.

Force of Will

Jason Alt – This is currently $80 and it’s predominantly played in Legacy and Vintage, formats no one seems to want to play these days. This was the first Mythic spoiled but it isn’t the most expensive mythic in the set. I imagine this set will have a small, marginal impact on price. I don’t think the art is that great, but it’s better than the judge foils, which are the real losers here. If you have Forces, probably save them because they’ll recover, especially since the old art is better.  This is this set’s Dark Confidant or V. Clique.

Mana Crypt

Jason Alt –  The book promo is $200 and the judge foil is $225. That’s a difference of $25, $25 being the amount I sold my Mana Crypt for in 2004. Daggers.

This is this set’s Tarmogoyf for sure. So many EDH and Vintage players want these that I can’t imagine demand won’t soak up supply. However, the media promo and judge reward foil are the only way to get these currently. Will the set foil be $200 or will the set non-foil? Star City is betting the non-foil will be $80. Having an inexpensive basic set version should help shelter the value of the media promo and judge foil. The judge foil should also enforce somewhat of a ceiling on the set foil since there are so few judge foils. It’s going to be weird to see what happens, here. Will the flood of cheaper non-foils pull down the price of the media promo, or will the more “pimp,” rarer version maintain value?. I personally think there won’t be enough Eternal Masters copies to crater the price of the older promos. Still, with more people jamming Mana Crypt, the rules committee is going to take a second look at this card, now, and an EDH ban would hurt the price a ton. It’s already restricted in EDH, after all.

Sneak Attack 

Jason Alt – Pre-selling for $30 on SCG, Sneak Attack likely loses some value even at mythic. It will probably recover from where it ends up, especially given that copies disappear 4-at-a-time for Legacy and EDH players want this card and will now be able to get it more affordably. The older copies should be able to maintain $45 in the face of the reprinting. A comparable card from Modern Masters is Sword of Fire and Ice in my opinion. That had a set printing, a judge foil and a Modern Masters printing and its growth stopped but it mostly maintained its price. Sword appeals more broadly but I think the price trajectories are a good corollary if not the prices themselves. Let’s look at just the Modern Masters printing.

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Supply never ends up enough to satisfy demand on Masters-set mythics.

Necropotence 

Jason Alt – This is mythic because it would ruin Limited otherwise. It’s powerful enough, sure, but it’s not expensive enough to be mythic. This probably will drive the already-reasonable price of Necropotence down, which is fine, but the price was never a barrier to begin with seeing as how there were plenty of Ice age and 5th Edition copies easily accessible. This “feels” mythic but doesn’t do much to sell $15 booster packs. SCG wants $10 for these despite Ice Age copies which look cooler being that price. This was already on a downward trajectory before the reprinting, Legacy can’t play this and not all EDH decks want this. I bet this loses money.

Balance

Jason Alt – Who is playing Balance? This is a $4 mythic at pre-order and I don’t even know if it will maintain that. This needs to be mythic for its power level, but this certainly wasn’t reprinted for availability purposes. The set needs cheap mythics and it’s getting them.

Dack Fayden

Jason Alt – This is a great reprint. This all but rules it out of Conspiracy 2, which is fine. Vintage and EDH players alike love this card and this is a chance for more foils to hit the market, lowering the barrier to jamming a foil one in your cube. The non-foils are $25 and that seems about right. They are $35 now but are on a downward trajectory. I think this is the kind of card you want in this set.

Karakas

Jason Alt – Craig Wescoe spoiled this card because of course he did. This is a reprint everyone saw coming. Legacy demand for a while saw this sit at $30-$50 until everyone realized you didn’t autolose to Emrakul if you had this. Knight of the Reliquary decks used this to great effect, putting Knight in with Show and Tell and then using Knight to get Karakas before they could untap and swing with Emrakul. Currently almost $200, Legends Karakas should take a bit of a hit. Demand is 100% Legacy and Vintage (mostly Legacy) due to how banned this is in EDH. The judge foils should take a bit of a hit due to competition from set foils, but not too much of a hit. This is pre-selling for $80, which is less than half of its current retail. I expect that to be a bit too low, but not enough that I’m a buyer at $80. I think even at mythic, this should do a decent job of satisfying current demand, especially since it isn’t run much as a multiple the way Goyf is. This is good news for people who want to run Mangara D&T I guess.

 

Chrome Mox 

Jason Alt – The Modern banning really hurt the price of this card. Despite being very solid and having the word “mox” in the title, this is a mere $20 due to its unavailability for use in Modern. This isn’t used much in EDH. Legacy combo uses this but Mox Diamond probably gets roughly the same amount of Legacy use and this also has to compete with Mox Opal. Mythic rarity will help the price sliding too much but this is pretty inexpensive for a reason.

Worldgorger Dragon

Jason Alt – Every set needs a Comet Storm, I guess. Not sure why it’s always red that gets it. Prepare to lose a portion of the $2.50 you have invested in this card.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Jason Alt – Star City wants $80 for this and that seems reasonable. I imagine this follows the price trajectory of Vendillion Clique or Dark Confidant. If this is ever unbanned in Modern, I expect this to follow the price trajectory of Dark Confidant when they announced Modern and go nuts. I’m not buying an $80 lottery ticket and betting on an unban, but this is Jace and more printings slow his growth but that’s mostly all. This is OK in EDH, it’s in a few Legacy decks and it’s banned in Modern. The price is still nuts because this is one of the most iconic Magic cards of the modern era and the price is always going to be higher than we can justify with mere data. I am not worried about this tanking the current value.

Vampiric Tutor 

Jason Alt – Vampiric Tutor is sicko in EDH but being printed at mythic means we won’t get as many copies as we need. Currently a little under $40 for the Visions version, the real loser here is the $100 judge foil. Either the set foil ends up way higher than the judge foil, or this gets pushed to around $20-$25 in the short term. Either way, I’m hoping this gets cheap enough to actually help EDH out.

Enlightened Tutor

Jason Alt – Currently at $16 as a Mirage uncommon and pre-selling for that much on SCG, I think this is due to fall more than SCG predicts, or they’re hoping they can pre-sell a bunch before the price drops. However, I think this could recover. Kira, Great Glass Spinner was about $15 before Modern Masters reprinted it and after spending some time around $9, it’s $15 again.  It’s hard to guess if there are more copies of Kira as a rare in Betrayers of Kamigawa or of Tutor as an uncommon in Mirage and 6th Edition. What I do know is that I expect the price of this to come back to where it is now, or close to it. This will only help availability without hurting price. I like it.

Sylvan Library 

Jason Alt – I think this should bring down 4th and 5th Edition versions and maybe impact the Commander’s Arsenal foils a small amount in the short term. ’93/’94 is what’s propping up the Legends version and this won’t affect that at all. This is a good reprint and putting it a rare means it will make it widely available for EDH to snatch up all of these copies and Legacy to take the rest. SCG wants basically current retail for pre-orders and I expect that it can get back to that price soon.

Control Magic

Jason Alt – This art is great, which won’t take the sting out of opening a card that should be an uncommon in the booster your LGS charged you $20 for. The set needs bulk rares and this is a P1P1 in Limited, so I guess we all understand why this is in here. I’ll be replacing my current versions with this because of the art.

Entomb

Jason Alt – SCG wants $16 for this and they’ll probably get it. Entomb has shrugged off quite a few reprintings but this may be the one that does it in. Odyssey versions are twice what SCG wants for this version. I half expect it to go up from $16, but the Graveborn foil hurts the upside for set foils, and I don’t know if this can climb to $30+ or if the Odyssey versions can maintain that price. You certainly don’t have to worry about counterfeiting with the new versions, and the art is better. We’ll see what happens. If this goes down in the short term, I may look at it because the pre-order price is half of current retail and that’s not the case for the rest of these cards.

Toxic Deluge

Jason Alt – There is no question this brings the price down even more and SCG agrees, pre-selling for a mere $6. The only real question is what will the foil settle at? I have some Deluges so I’m eating it on this reprint, but I guess I don’t hate to see it. Commander 2014 had some real gas in it.

Diminishing Returns

Jason Alt – An example of diminishing returns is paying over $10 for a booster pack and getting a bulk rare.

Maze of Ith 

Jason Alt – This likely won’t stay at the $20 SCG is asking for it. This card is too good in both EDH and Legacy to be $20, though the downtick in popularity of Knight of the Reliquary decks in Legacy has caused the card to lose value over time even before this reprinting. Foils will compete with the judge foils, but honestly this is a card that could go up a tad, but will need a change in the Legacy paradigm to do so.

Gamble

Jason Alt – I expect this card to go down in price significantly. This isn’t bought as a 4-of the way Sneak Attack is and it’s not at mythic in this set. This should satisfy a lot of the demand for this wacky card, although the old art is probably going to be more popular. Pre-order is down to $10, and that just might hold.

Deathrite Shaman

Jason Alt – I have a big box of these and I was waiting for Legacy and EDH demand to help the price recover after the Modern banning. The SCG pre-order price of $5 makes me sad, but it’s probably accurate. There is little demand for this card compared to a few years ago. Legacy elves loves it and EDH probably uses it less than it should. I hate to see this reprinted before I could recoup my investment. Luckily, when Shaman first spiked, I sold enough copies to break even so all the copies I’m sitting on were free, but I’d rather get $10 for them than $3. Them’s the breaks.

Sensei’s Divining Top

Jason Alt – If being uncommon in a fairly recent set and being in a $12 precon weren’t enough to keep this card under $25, hopefully the few extra copies this adds to the market can bring it down a smidge. Still, despite EDH wanting these one at a time, Legacy wants these 2-4 at a time and that’s going to mean that we need to cough up 2-4 copies or every one new deck built. This shouldn’t hurt the price too much, but the old art is way better. This needed to be rare.

Wasteland

Jason Alt – One of the first cards spoiled, we’ve had a lot of time to debate the effect of the reprinting on the price of Wasteland. Pretty good in EDH, a staple in Legacy and Vintage and printed originally at uncommon, Wasteland is pre-selling for $60 on SCG. That seems a tab high, but with boxes at $250, maybe not. Every new Legacy deck will eat multiple copies meaning demand is likely poised to soak a ton of the supply up. $60 is higher than the current retail for the Tempest version, though, so I’m not sure what SCG is banking on. With judge foils, expeditions and other ways to get this foil, the set foils will likely be just another version, and probably the least popular of all of them. I think there’s downside at $60.

Goblin Charbelcher

Jason Alt – Not all of them have to be gems. This won’t be that good in Limited, and price wasn’t the reason to reprint this nor was availability. This gives us more foils, I guess, but all this did was stop the older version from inching up in price the way a card you invested in does, ideally. This is fine but I’m not a buyer, even at $3.

5/25/16

They haven’t let up on revealing cards since yesterday and there are a ton of them. I sort of hate them making us twiddle our thumbs for the months since they spoiled Force and Wasteland and then vomiting everything on us in 72 hours, but what do I know?

Maelstrom Wanderer

Jason Alt – I think this actually will affect prices and here’s why. The Commander’s Arsenal foils are trash. It’s a different foiling process and it sucks. I hated my foil Commander’s Arsenal Maelstrom Wanderer so much that I switched to non-foil Japanese and the rest of the deck is foil, that’s how much screw that foiling process. This gives us a shot at nicer-looking foils. If this doesn’t drag the price of Commander’s Arsenal foils down, what will happen is we’ll see a big divergence in price as people want these overwhelmingly. The art’s even way better. I feel like these are factors that people busting foils of this won’t take into account and I like these foils if they end up being priced beneath the price of Commander’s Arsenal foils initially.

Baleful Strix

Jason Alt – Foils of this are likely to exceed $50 which is pretty crazy. This didn’t need another reprint, per se, but I’m fine with it getting one and getting copies into the hands of players. The dip from WotC having to overprint Mind Seize decks has mostly ironed out and we could use some more supply. This is good in some EDH decks as well as quite a few Legacy decks and it’s a card we want in players’ hands. Having a chance to get these in foil is all upside.

Shardless Agent

Jason Alt – Well, this burns. I have been socking away Japanese copies because those were the best you could get and now you can get Japanese foils. I’m likely to lose  bit of value, but I think the price will recover mostly. This is a very good card in Legacy. It’s not as great in EDH but I still jam it in my Maelstrom Wanderer deck for some reason. I always end up hitting a mana rock, but every once in a while I’ll Maelstrom into Etherium-Horn Sorcerer into Bloodbraid into Shardless Agent into Coiling Oracle. I call it the Temur Ultimatum. Foils of this are likely to be pretty close to what they are for Baleful Strix and that price is likely to climb over time, so maybe trade for those foils if you can.

Nevinyrral’s Disk

Jason Alt – This gets a non-zero amount of use in EDH, but this won’t bring prices down. Alpha, Beta and Unlimited copies are still run in ’93/’94 and are still old so this will just crater the 4th edition copies and such, which is fine since now people can have a good-looking foil copy because that FTV copy is trash, and only $7.

Ichorid

Jason Alt – They really want reanimator and possibly dredge (it looks like the black/green archetype will be elves, though) to work in Limited. Ichorid is a sweet card and this is a chance to get more foils of it, so that’s cool. Ichorid is currently about $12, down from its historical high of $30+ and I can see this slipping down a bit more. This is exactly the price Divinity of Pride was and that’s now $3, though a second reprinting may be what’s kept it down. Still, now it’s Divinity of the Fall and Modern Masters was all it took to drive its price into the dirt. Will Ichorid fall as far as fast? Doubtful because every new deck needs 2-4 copies vs. every new EDH deck only needing one Divinity of Pride. Demand will soak up copies much faster. We’ll see what happens, but I think he $5 SCG wants right now is pretty close.

Hymn to Tourach

Jason Alt – Foil Hymn is going to be a very sexy prospect. This shouldn’t hurt the already dirt-cheap Fallen Empires copies but the prospect of getting foil copies is exciting. This is the same art as FTV:20 but better foiling process. I expect these to potentially stay close to the $7 the FTV copies are.

Regal Force

Jason Alt – This is a sicko card-drawing machine and EDH and Elf decks have made this a $15 card, a price SCG expects to be cut in half by this set. I could see this slowly climbing, but it’s not a 4-of in Legacy like Ichorid which means I expect it to end up below where Ichorid ends up despite having EDH applicability that Ichorid doesn’t have.

Unexpectedly Absent

Jason Alt – SCG only wants $1 for this guy, which is all the old copy went for. This is a good card but it’s also played in about 600 of the 21,000 white decks on EDHREC. This seems too powerful to be a bulk rare, but them’s the times we live in.

Dualcaster Mage

Jason Alt – This card is fetch. As in, I wish they’d stop trying to make it happen. They decide which cards become judge foils long before players start playing with the cards so they made Dualcaster Mage hoping people would play it in Legacy and EDH and pair it with cards like Heat Shimmer and there were no takers. This seems to be in a cycle of Commander set reprints and Toxic Deluge is basically the only one we’ve seen so far (unless you count Baleful Strix, which I don’t) which isn’t a bulk rare. Oh well.

Chain Lightning

Jason Alt – This is a great example of a reprint that will enfranchise players. The Reserved List isn’t going away. You can whine about how you can’t afford Volcanic Island or you can build burn and play Legacy until you can trade into the deck you want. This was basically the only thing in a serviceable burn list that cost anything unless you’re playing with Goblin Guides. This also gives us better-looking foils which should stay around the $15 people want for the ugly Premium deck version.

Cabal Therapy

Jason Alt – Basically everything that was true of Chain Lightning is also true of this, except Cabal Therapy doesn’t really slot into any reasonable Legacy decks. Nic Fit and Sam Black’s Zombardment are both decks I’ve run in Legacy and gotten away with cheaply(ish) but that was because I had dual lands from 2004. This isn’t going to enfranchise people to the same extent that a cheap Chain Lightning is, and Cabal Therapy has a lot more printings and yet is almost the same price, meaning there is a lot more demand which should help stabilize the price. I think this will diverge in price from Chain Lightning a bit, but there’s no real need to go that in depth on an uncommon that has foil printings already, including a sexy set foil.

Rorix Bladewing

Jason Alt – And you worried they wouldn’t have anything to pair with Sneak Attack in Limited. Bulk rare.

Vindicate

Jason Alt – I went over what would happen to the price if this ended up in Commander 2015 and I think what I said then applies now. Vindicate has been seeing a decline in demand of late and EDH hasn’t fully picked up the slack. SCG wants $10 here and I have an odd feeling that $10 is too much for Vindicate. It used to be much better than it is.

Bloodbraid Elf

Jason Alt – Something is keeping this at $3 despite being banned in Modern. Will that same thing keep this above $3 going forward? I expect it to dip in the short term and I’m not touching them at the bottom, but you can if you think these can hit $3 again. Don’t pre-order them from SCG or you’ll only save a cent.

Mystical Tutor

Jason Alt – This is currently $8 and a big reason why is a Legacy ban. This is a chance to get foil copies that aren’t the ugly FTV foiling, but those are only $20ish so there isn’t even a ton of upside on the foils. This is just going to get more copies into the hands of EDH players, which is fine with me.

5/26/16

Void

Jason Alt- Sets need bulk rares. This bulk rare happens to win games in Limited. I actually wonder why I have never tried to play this in EDH… It doesn’t matter, this is so cheap already that the reprint is almost an insult. It sure will be fun to draft, though. Ideally you take a $75 foil rare and someone passes this to you.

Wrath of God

Jason Alt – Half of the people think this means Damnation is definitely in the set, the other half think this means Damnation is definitely not in the set. Seriously, if they don’t print Damnation here, where even can they do it? They have to know that EDH needs Damnation to be affordable. If you have Damnations, I’d say to sell them, but I don’t think we’re ever going to get that reprint.

I almost forgot to talk about Wrath. Um, it’s been printed a lot. Now it will be cheaper.

Call the Skybreaker

Jason Alt – I remember that Standard RW splashing GBU deck called “Spanish Inquisition” that ran this as a finisher. Good times. That wasn’t enough to make its price high enough that a Commander 2015 reprinting didn’t make it bulk. This doesn’t help, but I want to play this in Limited.

Giant Solifuge

Jason Alt – This card is better than you think it is. It’s a bulk rare, though.

Natural Order

Jason Alt – This is the kind of reprint I was waiting for Green to get. Very cool. Mythic rarity means it likely recovers from its price dip, but lower demand than we used to see could mean that this will shatter the illusion cast by price memory and price this card more “fairly” which wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest. I could see this getting cheaper, but at a certain point, that activates new demand from people who had previously considered this unreasonably expensive which likely buoys the price a bit. We’ll see where it equilibrates.

Green Sun’s Zenith

Jason Alt – Weird to see both Natural Order and Green Sun’s Zenith in a set where there are no real good targets, yet. Emperor Crocodile, I guess. Regal Force? Craterhoof reprint incoming? Who knows. What I do know is that it was silly for this card to be $9 last week and it will be even sillier next week. Expect a drop.

Sinkhole

Jason Alt- Normally I hate rarity changes, but good on them for not making this common. These will get soaked up four-at-a-time by Legacy which should help its price from sliding down too much, but this can’t soak up such a high percentage of the value in the set so we could see this get pushed way down, at least initially. Someone wants me to make Deadguy Ale, it would seem. I don’t expect this card to hold $30+ and we could see the price, well, sink.

Isochron Scepter

Jason Alt – This is a good card and more players should play it if they want to, but it wasn’t exactly super scarce, having been printed at uncommon and not exactly being a staple the way Sensei’s Top is. Still, $6 for an uncommon that was in a duel deck shows how popular this is. I love this card in EDH and I even toyed with trying to make this work in Modern. Research//Development, yo! Ultimately, this could be fun in Limited but it requires them to print really good cards at uncommon and common, which they might do. I could see this shedding a few bucks off of its price, but price reductions for this card tend not to stick. Maybe trade for these when you’re convinced they’re done losing.

Karmic Guide

Jason Alt – This is a fine reprint. It’s a card that used to be ridiculously expensive due to the set it was in and that has been controlled by reprinting. This could bring the foil price down a bit since there aren’t many foils from Urza’s Legacy and judge foils don’t add many copies, either. I expect the non-foil price to be mostly fine and I expect foils to take a pretty sizeable hit, although Legacy foils are still way hotter. The first reprinting of a card always hurts more than subsequent ones and we’re used to seeing this get reprinted and it’s like $3 right now so who even cares?

Price of Progress

Jason Alt – I expect the price of Price of Progress to take a hit. This will give us better foils, so the Premium series printings should take a hit in price since these are better foiling (although worse art, mostly) and being uncommon should squash prices for at least a year, if not forever. Good reprint – Legacy burn should be dirt cheap so people stop whining about the Reserved List and just sleeve up a deck to go jam with.

Goblin Trenches

Jason Alt – I can dig bulk rares that absolutely turn Limited into a 1-sided bloodbath. I used to play this in Extended and it’s a beating. It’s also a bulk rare, so that’s a thing.

Argothian Enchantress

Jason Alt- Shroud means this is the gold standard for enchantresses. Scarcity means it’s worth its weight in gold. This has been $15-$20 basically forever. New foils means the judge foils lose value. New non-foil copies at Mythic might not be the beating to the price that we may think. It all depends, though. I think people are ready to soak up every Force of Will. I’m not so convinced about people being poised for every copy of this card. Legacy Enchantress wants multiple copies, but I think most of this will be EDH decks taking 1 copy at a time and that will be slow. I think the price sinks and may never recover.

Sulfuric Vortex

Jason Alt – Pulling pants down with this in Extended a few short years ago (Like 6 or whatever, but, give me a break, I’ve been playing since 1996) makes me wish we could use this in Modern. Not sure this can even go down much from $1.50, but it’s going to try.

Winter Orb

Jason Alt – So they re-added the “if it’s untapped” clause. This isn’t just card face errata, this is functionality errata. They are changing how the card works back. That’s amazing. This is also like a $5 card before the reprinting. However, this is the first opportunity (unless I missed something) for this to be foil, which means the market could dictate something crazy for the foil. I think if this dips to like $3.50 and someone wants a 2x multiplier, I’m a buyer.

5/27/16 – This is the end

Mother of Runes

Jason Alt – This is a chance to get these foil and the fact that this was switched to rare means it won’t mess up the price too much. This is a staple and I like the new art (albeit less than last time) so foils of this are welcome. The FNM foil with the old art is $30 and this should drag that down a bit, although not a ton necessarily.  This is welcome and with the non-foil around $5, printing this at rare means it should hold or at least rebound. Good news all around.

Swords to Plowshares

Jason Alt – I expect this to basically follow the same trajectory as Hymn to Tourach with respect to foils. I think these foils will be desired above the weird FTV foils so there is upside here since the FTV price will inform the market but preference will diverge the prices.

Brago, King Eternal

Jason Alt – An EDH staple, foils are a mere $15 on this guy and that would be gone up over time, but this should make the price plateau for a while if not go down. This is a bulk rare with a $15 foil but this signals that Brago is truly dead by the time Conspiracy 2 rolls around. If we do get Brago in Conspiracy 2, it will be a new Brago with new abilities, which would be sweet. This is a popular commander and foils will start at $15 but they had upside before at that price and will again, unless he gets reprinted with regularity, which would keep his price down. I am all about enfranchising EDH players, but foils should be expensive and a $1 card with a $15 foil is everything and EDH-playing financier like me could ever ask for.

Heritage Druid

Jason Alt – At $40, this foil is more expensive than a lot of the rares in the set. Opting not to put this in Commander 2014 in the elf deck made this hit $10. Reprinting this at not rare is going to make this very reasonable, both in foil and non-foil. This reprint is going to do what reprints should, and not putting it in a commander precon means the foil price won’t diverge out of control. All in all, this is what this set should do.

Eight-and-a-half Tails

Jason Alt – Quick, without looking, how much is this card? Now check. Surprised? I wasn’t, but I play EDH. Champions of Kamigawa was widely regarded as one of the worst sets ever, but that whole block gave EDH and casual so many staples it isn’t funny. This guy hit $7 with a $24 foil and those prices are going to be impacted for sure. Good reprint for enfranchising EDH, I guess.

Jareth, Leonine Titan

Jason Alt – The commander reprint made this a bulk rare but left the Onslaught version around $2. All this will do is pull the $12 foil down, but only by a bit. This is fine.

Wall of Omens

Jason Alt – Some cards shrug off reprint after reprint and then, one day, a reprint pulls the card’s pants down and it never recovers. This may not be what does Wall of Omens in, but we have to be getting close. This should drag the $20 foils down less than it drags down the $7 non-foils, despite a commander and duel deck printing. This is just good all around.

Arcanis the Omnipotent

Jason Alt – This guy is like $4 despite multiple reprintings and with good reason. He’s bonkers. This likely won’t destroy his price but it’s the third time this was printed in foil and it likely can’t hold $20 after this.

Future Sight 

Jason Alt – Bummer. This means we get this art in foil and the duel deck printing meant my Onslaught foils maintained their value. I didn’t see this coming and it feels bad, but if you wanted this in your EDH deck and wanted it in foil, this should be a bit more affordable, now. The non-foil price was like $1 so this is just getting more foils in people’s hands.

Inkwell Leviathan

This is a $1 card with a $2 premium deck series foil and a $5 set foil because this block did those all-foil packs for less than a booster of EMA costs. No financial relevance here

Phyrexian Ingester

Jason Alt – Underrated EDH card I had in foil because a Commander reprinting wouldn’t touch it gets crushed by a rarity shift. Why, cruel fate? Why?

Serendib Efreet

Jason Alt – This is a good card in Legacy Sea Stompy, which could be a good way to get into Legacy for cheap since the most expensive card would be a sword or jitte if you build it mono-blue with no Force of Will. Sea Drake is down, Illusory Angel is bulk, etc. This won’t affect prices because this is a bulk rare in Revised despite being misprinted and it’s a $4 FTV foil already. Still, this has no real financial impact except it gives us non-terrible foils.

Braids, Cabal Minion

Jason Alt – Banned in EDH, this is still a $35 foil. That will most likely change.

Blood Artist

Jason Alt – This was pulling away from Zulaport Cutthroat, but this should tamp the price back down. A commander precon printing would have preserved the foil multiplier, but I’m not unhappy with this.

Malicious Affliction

Jason Alt – Good news! Now we have a foil version of a bulk rare from C14 I’ve never seen anyone cast. This is better in EDH than it gets credit for, but I still don’t see foils going above $5.

Visara the Dreadful

Jason Alt- This has been printed 3 times and in foil twice already. The $6 FTV foil cut the $20 set foil in half already so this card was already tanking. This is whatever at this point.

Beetleback Chief

Jason Alt – Remember when the reddit crew bought all of these and it hit $15 and now it’s like $0.50? Good times. This is the first chance to get these in foil, but I don’t know that anyone cares. This is fun in Limited, though.

Crater Hellion

Jason Alt – A bulk rare seeing its first foil printing, but a bulk rare all the same.

Siege-Gang Commander

Jason Alt – Bulk rare with a $6 foil likely becomes a bulk rare with a $5 foil.

Tooth and Claw

Jason Alt – Basically just played in Prossh, I still think foils have upside here, but very long-term. I’m just saying don’t bulk out the foils if you get them.

Imperious Perfect

Jason Alt – I don’t know if this will bring down the $3 non-foil price more than other reprints, but like I said about Wall of Omens, this could be the one that does it. The $9 Lorwyn foil could be impacted but the $12 full-art Champs versions are likely safe. This is fine and should be rare because Limited shouldn’t make you said.

Silvos, Rogue Elemental

Jason Alt – $2 rare with a $7 foil becomes a bulk rare with a $4 foil

Xantid Swarm

Jason Alt – This is a $4 card with a $24 foil despite losing a lot of ground due to its falling out of favor in Legacy. This basically stopped seeing play when they banned Mystical Tutor. This is still good in VIntage, but low demand means the price is in danger.

Duplicant

Jason Alt – This is a card that has seen less and less play in EDH lately, but which is still solid and this should bring the price down a bit. Cards under $10 usually take big hits because there wasn’t pressure on them to take up any of the value of the set in the first place, that falls on the cards over $50. With boxes of Modern Masters 1 still only like $350, there isn’t much pressure on $6 cards like Duplicant to do any work for a while and this could end up very cheap, especially if demand continues to wane. This is the first decent foil printing of this art, if that matters.

Relic of Progenitus

Jason Alt – Daggers

Worn Powerstone

Jason Alt – Double Daggers. I was holding onto Saga versions since it seemed unlikely it would be in a set where it could be foil. Now it’s going to be foil, and it could be a $7-$10 foil at that.

Sphinx of the Steel Wind

Jason Alt – Somehow the set foil is $9 despite those foil packs and the Premium series foils being like $2. This should bring that down quite a bit. This is a bulk mythic otherwise.

Glare of Subdual

Jason Alt – Bulk rare with a $5 foil becomes a bulk rare with a $3 foil

There were some very notable exclusions including Worldly Tutor, Damnation, Flusterstorm and Show and Tell. Where will those cards go? It’s hard to say, but those exclusions here could bode very well for Conspiracy 2 later on. Stay tuned when those cards start to come in!

 

 

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