Tag Archives: Expeditions

Expeditions Begetting Inventions

So I have to say that the Invention series is gorgeous. I am entranced by all of them and I want to pick up all of them. Mostly. I don’t have a use for the mana accelerants, but they are all beautiful and shiny and really appeal to the showing-off aspect of playing Commander.

I have many direct wants for different decks when it comes to Inventions, and I know that right now is not the time for buying Inventions. Supply is too low, demand is sky-high. They are getting opened in droves, which means volatility in prices.

What I want to do today is look back at the Expeditions and see if there are price trends that I should be paying attention to. I wrote a year ago about what to do if you opened an Expedition, and while the principles still apply, I want to focus on the Expeditions and how they relate to what I think will happen in the end with Inventions.

Let’s look at one of the high-end Expeditions: Scalding Tarn.


So it started CRAZY high, at $450 when this was first introduced, but it swung down to nearly $200 and then back over three, which is about where it’s settled in now.

This graph makes a lot of sense. We didn’t know how many of these there would be, and we didn’t know what the pricing would be. As the numbers came out (more copies than expected) the price dropped, but recovered well. Most importantly, it’s been relatively stable for this year, and that’s what I want to know.

How about a mid-level Expedition? Here’s Steam Vents:


This is an interesting graph as well. We have the same fluctuation at first, but there is a distinct downward trend. It’s a slow trend, but it’s there, with the drop in buylist pricing is there in July for almost all of the Expeditions, even if the price is creeping upwards.

How about the low-end ones? Cinder Glade:


These are also trending slowly downwards, and that’s important to note with the Gearhulks and whatever the newer Inventions will be. When Aether Revolt lands, I will look at those Inventions alongside the Oath of the Gatewatch Expeditions.

So in general, these have trended downwards slightly. That’s super important to keep in mind going forward, indicating that patience is my keyword when it comes to the Inventions I want.

It’s not universal, though. For one, Overgrown Tomb has gone up, perhaps matching the recent rise of Abzan decks in Modern. Not every Expedition has followed the same track, and it’s worth noting that there were no first-time foils in the Expeditions, where we have our first foil Mana Vault.

Other writers have noted that the presence of Inventions will lower the price of every other card in the set, and that looks true for Battle of Zendikar. Prices for that set are extremely low, even considering that the set only has six months to rotation. In general, I expect all prices to drop over time, but what I want to know, and what only time will tell me, is how patience will pay off for the Inventions as well as the Expeditions.

Full disclosure: I’ve put a couple of Inventions on my Puca want list, with a bonus of 15%, and I am confident that I’m going to get at least one of the ones I want. I know that a lot of people are down on PucaTrade at this point, so I want to be clear that I still have points and I still have faith.

PROTRADER: A 2015 Year-End Review

Many will look back at 2015 with shaded glasses, unwilling to think critically about the data that now lies behind us. Money can no longer be made in 2015, so it’s easy to strictly focus on what’s ahead, ignoring valuable lessons from behind. It is certainly easy to do so – humans are creatures of habit, and our conscious mind is inherently lazy. That’s all right, don’t feel bad, my mind is lazy too.

But this morning, as I ponder the most important trends to me throughout 2015, I force myself to think critically about where I am today and where I want to focus next year. So at the risk of giving you yet another cliché “year in review” article, I think it’s important I share some really impactful observations throughout 2015. These five trends will be based solely in data, and require heightened scrutiny next year as I continue to strive towards my MTG financial goals – a full tuition for my son’s college education.

One day at a time.

Observation # 1 – The Impact of Fetches and the Super Mythic Rare

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expensive cards

ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

PROTRADER: Their Second-Best Album

By: Travis Allen

If you’re reading this the day it goes live, Christmas is in two days. My condolences to all of you that receive intro decks from well-intentioned relatives. I suppose it’s too late for my open letter to friends and family members of Magic players to be useful, though if you have one aunt that waits until the last second to do her shopping, perhaps she’d take it to heart.

Gift-giving holidays make me anxious in a way that few things do, and receiving things like Theros intro decks is part of the reason why. This person tried—genuinely tried—to give you something they they thought would be meaningful to you, and you’re forced to feign excitement for a stack of cards you normally wouldn’t accept for free. Nothing stirs up a slurry of decisively unseasonal emotions like off-the-mark Magic card gifts. Blegh. Here’s hoping you handle it better than I do!

This year I took control of the holiday and opted to buy myself a Magic-laden Christmas gift. I have to say, I really surprised myself with my generosity. My magnanimity knows no bounds.


I ended up purchasing nearly $2,000 worth of Expeditions lands over the course of the last week and a half or so, with the intention of keeping basically none of them. This is a speculative purchase, and I’m looking to profit on these within the next four months or so. I’m not just horn-tooting, though. I want to show you why I considered this, the research I did, and how I arrived at my decision. It’s my hope that by illustrating my process, you’ll see that doing your homework is vital to succeeding in these endeavors, and hopefully be able to apply these techniques to your own purchases down the road.

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expensive cards

ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

Reddit Questions #3: Finance 101

I really enjoy writing these personalized response threads, because I know for a fact that my content is helping at least a few specific people in particular with their questions about Magic finance. If you weren’t around to read the first two articles where I answered questions from Reddit, then feel free to do so. I mean, I’m not sure if the answers to those questions are still relevant two months later, but they should at least make for some decent reading material if you’re bored. Hopefully next week, I’ll be back with a more comprehensive article on collection buying, since that appears to be my niche among MTGPrice writers.

GriselGrand Prix

Our first question comes from user Edward_Dionysos


Griselbrand GP promo. It’s played in Legacy, modern and has a lot of casual appeal. It’s down to 13 and I think I can pick a number up for 11.

Worth buying into or wait a couple months yet? The regular foil is at 60.


I don’t think the promo Griselbrand is the best pickup you should be aiming for right now (unless you happen to need copies for personal play, in which case I don’t think you need to wait for it to drop any further). The supply on these is absolutely huge, and I think people often forget that these are still being given out! There will be over a thousand more copies added to the pool this weekend at GP Pittsburgh, and I don’t think the casual appeal on this is as high as you suggest, partially due to his “banned in Commander” status.

If you’re looking for safe Modern-legal investments, I would turn your attention towards Modern Masters 2015 cards that have been suppressed over the summer and fall, and will continue to dodge reprints through next year. We’re not opening anymore of that set, and we’re almost guaranteed to see cards like Remand that have hit an all-time low start to creep back up. I also wouldn’t hate you for picking up Fulminator Mage, Mox Opal, or Cryptic Command.

Boros Bartering

Question number two comes to us from A_Tattooed_Biker:


I pulled an Arid Mesa Expedition (currently @ $105) and a Sacred Foundry Expedition (currently at $65). I’ve watched the Mesa climb from mid 70s to the current price. My question is, how long should I hold on to these guys? They’re only going up, right?



Expeditions lands have definitely settled down over the past month, although I don’t recall Mesa ever being at $70. If you’re someone looking for pure finanical gain, then you’re correct that I think these can only go up in the long term. However, that long term is, well, a very long term. I expect these to slowly creep up over years, not weeks or months. If you’re a player who is on the hunt for pieces to decks, then I can only recommend trading or selling them to help you play Magic.

If you’re looking to get into Modern, these two lands can help to put a decent dent in some of the higher-dollar cards that you probably don’t want to shell out pure cash for. The Foundry can turn into a set of regular Foundries plus $15 in other random goodies. The Mesa can split itself into two Mesas plus some other small stuff. There’s probably someone at your LGS who is hunting these down and has a fully stocked trade binder for you to go digging through that you normally wouldn’t have access to without these kinds of cards. If you care about trying to build a deck, I think these are your ticket to help with that. If you’re not planning on playing anytime soon, they should be considered reasonably stable holds.

The Waiting Game

Next up at bat is N1trobunny asking about the potential growth of sealed product:



I usually just lurk on r/mtgfinance[1] , so please forgive me if I’m asking a question that always comes up (a link would be nice too!)

I was thinking of snagging a couple boxes of Khans to hang onto, as I imagine they’d go up in value due to the fetch land content. Is this a realistic Idea, or would I be better off buying fetches and letting them go up?

Thanks all!

Not to go too deep into the time machine, but one of my favorite articles that I wrote back on Brainstorm Brewery was about investing in Sealed product, and how it’s really not what it used to be. Return investment on boxes of RTR have been, well, lackluster to say the best, and that was three years ago. The TL;DR of the article is that other than novelty product like the  first-ever Commander set, I really don’t think we can expect the return on investment for fall- or spring-set booster boxes to be what it used to, like with Zendikar or Scars of Mirrodin. You’d be waiting three, maybe four years to get a return of 20, maybe 30, percent and then what? Selling them will be brutal with all of the shipping costs. I really think you’re better off looking into single card specs at that point, although not fetches. They’re currently too high from their ubiquity in Standard. If you’re looking for card specs that have the potential to span over several years, you can continue reading and we’ll get to that in just a bit.


If you’re looking to hold onto the boxes for three years and then have some booster drafts with your friends down the road for nostalgia, then my advice is a bit different. I’d tell you that you can find KTK boxes for around $85 on Massdrop. If you can’t wait patiently until the next drop becomes available, you can find a local judge who’s willing to sell you his box that he received for judging an event, or until you find a lucky deal on eBay or something. I wouldn’t feel like you have to run out and buy it right now is the point I’m trying to make here.

Bulk Rares are Best Rares

Lastly, we have a question on cheap cards to invest in that have the potential to show a lot of growth very suddenly, from dbchiu.


Okay, so maybe he wanted to know more about Pauper picks, but he didn’t ask that specifically in the question, did he? Eh, I’ll use any excuse to talk about bulk rare penny stocks. Instead of Pauper penny stocks that you may or may not have a hard time getting rid of to a large crowd, I love setting aside certain bulk rares that I pick up for a dime a piece. Eventually some of them pop, like Spoils of the Vault earlier this year. More recently, Kabira Evangel and his other ally friends from Zendikar gave me some pretty ridiculous percentage gains.

In terms of risk versus reward, I absolutely love cards that just have that sense of “this could be broken if the right card is printed.” At a dime each, you can’t really go wrong. The worst case scenario is buylisting back to a large vendor at a Grand Prix, or shipping them to someone like me who wants all of your bulk rares.


Okay, seriously. Someone has to break this eventually. It has so much potential, and just screams combo.


Once a proud $6 card, now reduced to a mere bulk rare. This one’s less of a “combotastic Modern sleeper” and more of a “non-competitive slow gainer over three years,” but I’d rather have 1,000 copies of this instead of a booster box of Khans of Tarkir any day. Even if I wait two years for a slow gain back up to being buylistable at 50 cents, I’m perfectly fine with that.

End Step

Normally this is where I give you some random small tid-bits of information that I realized at some point throughout the week, but I’m not sure I have anything today.

This coming weekend is Grand Prix Pittsburgh, and you might see me there. If I do decide to go, I promise I won’t write about it for next week. I’m trying to think of a topic focusing on collection buying that I can hone in on, so if you have any suggestions or requests, then I’d be glad to hear them! Hit me up on the Twitter or Facebook, or in the comments section. Have a great week!