Tag Archives: Reprints


Welcome back, financiers! Before we get into talking about dollars, cents, and mana symbols, I want to thank everyone for sticking with me for the past 60 articles that I’ve written for Brainstorm Brewery and MTGPrice. I’m extremely excited to be on this Avengers-esque superteam that MTGPrice.com has created, and I have dibs on being Iron Man. We’re in the process of ramping up the benefits that ProTraders on the site receive, so please check out  this video if you’re interested in turning Magic into a more serious form of income that can work for you.

While some of our articles are going behind a paywall, I’m glad to report that my content will remain free to read. Now, let’s get into the real introduction to this week’s topic of discussion.

Reprints and Card Values

“Man, the reprint of Adarkar Valkyrie really killed the value.” How many times have you heard a statement or question similar to that? When done correctly (or incorrectly, depending on your view of the game and whether or not you own the cards), reprints can absolutely destroy the value of a previously expensive card by overloading the supply in the market. Back in the 1990s, Chronicles nearly destroyed the game due to the massive devaluing of collections across the board. We saw (well, I didn’t personally, as Chronicles was released when I was nine months old) the original five elder dragons tank down to fractions of their roughly $25 values.


Learning from its mistakes, Wizards of the Coast was much more cautious with the print run of the first Modern Masters. Popular and hard to find casual reprints such as Divinity of Pride  and Adarkar Valkyrie were hammered down to 20 percent of their original prices, and they don’t look like they’ll ever be able to recover anytime soon, especially since they both took an additional punch from the Commander products. Other top contenders for largest percentage price drop due to a reprint have been Polluted Delta, Stifle,  and Sanguine Bond.

Thankfully, WOTC has managed to tread the careful line between “Every card being on the Reserved List” and “Going full Yu-Gi-Oh! by reprinting practically everything, all the time”. Today, I want to talk to you about making money (or losing less money) in Magic, and how to utilize reprints to your financial benefit. In the past week or so, I’ve tuned into a subset of cards that, when reprinted, have shown enough consistent demand to warrant buying in at their floors post-reprint, because they will continue to show upward trajectory over the next several months or years.


Untitled1 Untitled

I promise that I don’t get extra money in my paycheck for pointing out the benefits of ProTrader, but these daily emails are honestly a huge help in noticing trends that I otherwise wouldn’t. In fact, the detail in these two daily emails sparked my interest for the topic of this week’s article. Blame my lack of attention if you’d like, but I was under the impression that the Conflux edition of Nicol Bolas was still only $5 or $6, closer to the price of his Duel Deck version.

The specific common trait that piqued my interest with both Platinum Angel and Nicol Bolas is that each has been printed at least three times, and yet still managed to climb in price over the next several years after each reprint. While Nicol isn’t cashing out at $20 anymore, he still managed to double up from $5 to $10 since his inclusion in Magic 2013. Platinum Angel was scraping $3 back in 2012 after consecutive printings in two core sets, and has steadily reached a plateau of about $8 since early 2014. If you bought in at the floor of either of these cards post-reprint and had been holding onto them in the past few months, you’d be very happy to sell out now. In addition to the “invisible” profit of the cards going up, these are two extremely iconic and popular cards to the casual crowd, so it shouldn’t be too much of a chore to liquidate multiple copies as long as you have a Facebook account or a TCGplayer store.

I might be exaggerating a bit here when I use the term “immortal,” but these are examples of the cards that shrug off being “killed” by reprints over an extended period of time. They’re spearheaded by popular or unique casual categories (angels, dragons, planeswalkers, having the ability to prevent you from dying), and grow in popularity with the game.

liliana ves

If we continue in the vein of planeswalkers, one of my favorite “immortals” to “speculate” on time and time again has been Liliana Vess. Heh. Get it? She gave her soul for eternal youth, so she’s—eh, forget it. I put speculate in quotations, because I really don’t think there’s a whole lot of risk buying into this version of Liliana every time she drops a bit too far below $10. Liliana Vess has been printed six freaking timesand she still refuses to be a $5 card. While I don’t think we’ll be seeing her again for a while (Magic: Origins will contain the new double-sided Liliana, and then I assume WOTC will be busy trying to prevent her accessorized version from having a $100 price tag. This isn’t to suggest to go out and buy a ton of copies right this moment, but I’ve always been willing to trade for Vess because of how easily she sells, and how casually she shrugs off reprints.


Remember when Doubling Season was reprinted in Modern Masters, and went down to $15 from the original Ravnica’s $30? Grabbing a bunch of those at their floor and dumping them today would have provided you with a much nicer investment than most sealed product that you could have purchased around that time, and would have also been easier to move with lower shipping costs. If, for whatever reason, Doubling Season shows up again in Modern Masters 2015(I do not think that this will happen, as I believe Wizards has a plan to implement a different type of Limited environment that Doubling Season would not fit well into) and the price drops to $10, I’ll trade for as many as I can find.

Did Someone Mention Modern Masters 2015?

Oh, would you look at that. We seamlessly segue’d into Modern Masters 2015. What a well-timed coincidence. If you’ve read this far, then you might be thinking; “But DJ, what about Tarmogoyf, Vendilion Clique, and Dark Confidant? They all shrugged off a reprint in Modern Masters, does this mean that they are the same types of card as those listed above? Am I safe to invest in them with their announced Modern Masters 2015 inclusion?” Well, high-pitched puppet hand voice, I’m going to have to go ahead and veto that idea.

The first Modern Masters set was a perfect storm of an extremely limited print run, a massive boom in the number of players wanting to get started in the Modern format, and the fact that opening a very expensive card has the tendency to encourage a player to build a deck containing it. While there will always be some players who are perfectly happy fire selling their prerelease pools, the following adage aptly describes a lot of what happened with the “Tarmogoyf effect” that followed shortly after the release of the first MMA set:

“Give a man a ‘Goyf, and he’s going to want three more.” – Derek Madlem

MMA2015 is already confirmed to have a larger print run than its predecessor, that much is obvious. The major question is whether the print run will have more of a noticeable impact on the top-dollar cards in the set this time around—and I expect that it will. If you were around for the release of the first Modern Masters, you might remember having trouble finding a box even at $250. SCG was selling boxes regularly at $350, but even they sold out relatively quickly. The big difference this time is that while boxes are approximately $250 retail, at least they are readily found everywhere around the web at that price.

Modern Masters ‘Mmortals

Remember that Divinity of Pride and Adarkar Valkyrie were absolutely crushed by their first reprints, and that there will be similar cards that will be targeted this time around. Our goal here is to find the Doubling Seasons of the set, that will take the hard-hitting reprint with a grain of salt, but slowly grow back over time and provide us with a consistent and steady gain. While there will be a larger print run, I have faith that we will be able to find specific casual cards at their floors when the dust settles, and take advantage of their slow and inevitable gains. I’ll point out one today:

Tezzeret the Seeker.full


What metal-armed, ambitious artificer sounds like a good candidate for the task? Tezzeret has already been locked in for the set, and he fought back from his Duel Deck reprint steadily over time. As these get cast aside and sold off for more ‘Goyf lottery tickets, I can definitely see him plummeting back down to $6 to $7. When he does, I’ll be more than happy to target all of them in trades, or maybe buy in if I’m looking to place my money in a solid long-term hold. If Tezzeret can survive being ripped apart by angry rat ninjas and being mind wiped by Jace, then certainly our “immortal ” half-metal walker can survive a Modern Masters 2015 reprint.

What do you think? Is there anything in Modern Masters 2015—confirmed or expected—that you are targeting at its floor price? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Cold Tomatoes

Welcome back, financiers! I was happy (and a little bit relieved) to receive a lot of positive feedback to my article last week. It looks like my year and a half writing for Brainstorm Brewery prepared me well for this jump to MTGPrice. One of the Facebook comments on last week’s article asked for discussion of a completely opposite topic: the cards that can’t be reprinted in Modern Masters 2015 and other upcoming supplemental products. I thought that was just a fine and dandy idea, since it keeps me from having to come up with another idea for this week. Let’s look at what won’t be reprinted in the near future, why it won’t be reprinted, and what to do with the cards—whether you have them or not.


Oh, right, I almost forgot to explain the title of this piece. You see, because this article is the opposite of last week’s, I wanted the title to be the opposite to match it.

The opposite of hot is easy: cold. But what’s the opposite of a potato? Well you don’t have to Google that, because I already did that for you. I blindly clicked on the first few results, and I’ll let you see what I saw.




Interesting stuff, this internet thing has to offer. Where were we again? Right, Magic finance. Let’s get back to that.

Snapcaster Mage 


Let’s get the big one out of the way first. I get frequent requests to explain what to do with Captain Snaps now that he’s reached close to $50. He can’t be put into Modern Masters 2015 because the set only goes through New Phyrexia (which is one of the reasons he’s climbed this high already). He can’t realistically be put into Magic Origins, because that would require reprinting and creating a bunch of new cards with the flashback mechanic. They’re already bringing back double-faced cards from Innistrad as a mechanic (yes, I know it’s only for the five transforming planeswalkers), but I highly doubt they resurrect flashback along with that.

So, what do we do if we have Snapcasters? If you bought or traded for a bunch of Tiagos back when they were $20 or $30, you’re in luck! You don’t need to be in a huge hurry to cash out, and you can probably continue to expect a steady climb into the $55 to $60 range.

This is a classic example of the steady, consistent gains that I love to see in a spec. I’d start to move them toward the end of summer or start of the fall, just to be safe and lock in profits before anything is announced that could warrant a reprint. If you’re actively using them in a deck and don’t see that changing in the near future, I wouldn’t worry about unloading them. The utility you gain from holding onto them and playing them in actual events will most likely outscale the profit you gain by ripping them from your deck, selling them, and waiting for the reprint.

So, what do we do if we don’t have Snapcasters? I’ve heard a lot of people suggest buying in now for the flip potential, because the $55 to $60 price range coming in the next few months is all but guaranteed. Personally, I couldn’t disagree more with this strategy. First of all, you’re tying up a lot of money over a long period of time. If you buy in right now at $47, and look to sell at $60 towards June or July, you’re making next to nothing after fees and shipping. There will most likely be multiple hot specs between now and then that could have made you a lot more money.

On the other hand, what if you need them for a deck? What if you desperately want to play Splinter Twin, and have zero copies of Snapcaster despite the deck running a playset? Well, I think you just have to bite the bullet and buy them. Burn the $200 before you have to burn $240 later in the year, and at least you’ll get the value of casting them during the time you own them. The card’s not getting any cheaper. Try to forget about the fact that you didn’t get in at $30 and mitigate that error by getting in now.

Voice of Resurgence 


The good old $60 Standard mythic has been reduced to a token of its former self, hanging out at $18 ever since its rotation from Standard. It holds onto a relevant price tag thanks to seeing play in one of the stronger Modern decks of the format, and the fact that there were approximately seven packs of Dragon’s Maze opened throughout the entire world. It’s outside the realm of reprints in the near future, so do we want to pick itup at $18?

My position on this card is similar to Snapcaster, so I should be able to save a few words here. If you need the card to play with in the Abzan deck, I recommend picking it up now. I don’t think it goes any lower than its current price, and the trajectory looks to continue on a plateau, maybe going up a couple of dollars over the next few months due to how few copies there are on the market.

If you’re looking for a sweet spec target, I’d look elsewhere. If it does creep upwards, the trend will likely be too small to make a reasonable profit. It does, however, look like a nice trade target (along with Snap) if you’re trying to turn volatile Standard stuff into a secure chunk of value that won’t move for a while.

Liliana of the Veil 


Liliana is more expensive than Dark Confidant and has been for almost two months now. I don’t know why so many people are clamoring for another reprint of Bob when he hasn’t been seen in a top-tier Modern deck for a long time now. Liliana is by far the more powerful and popular card, seeing play in a variety of decks. She has a small reprint on the way in the form of a PTQ promo, but I don’t expect that to slow down her price growth very much. There won’t be a massive number of promos out there, and she’s certainly not going to be in any of the rest of the currently announced products for the rest of 2015.

To be perfectly honest, I fully expect Liliana of the Veil to be the next $100 Modern staple, a price currently sustained only by Tarmogoyf.

Quick Aside on Dark Confidant:

If you’re not using these (and you probably aren’t), I actually recommend selling them. While the card probably won’t be in Modern Masters 2015, it also hasn’t put up any significant results for a while. Bob has even seen a lot less play in Legacy lately, so I feel that a large chunk of its price is inflated by a combination of price memory and how iconic the card itself is. Trading Bobs into the other cards mentioned in this article will provide a much better return on investment in both the short and long terms.

Mikaeus, the Unhallowed 


Speaking of mythic black cards from Innistrad: “Dead Mike” has slowly crept up the past year and a half from his low of $4 to the current price of $12. Although he obviously has zero competitive applications, his power level in Commander is not to be ignored. I play one myself in my Marchesa list, and I’m never disappointed to draw it.

I don’t think this card stops creeping upward as the year goes on, and I can see it hitting $20 by the end of 2015. Foils are currently $32, and I’d get them now if you feel that you really need one for Commander, as there certainly won’t be any more getting added to the market anytime soon.

Mikaeus seems like a Doubling Season-esque situation to me, where the card will invisibly creep up to $25 or $30, and everyone will wonder when that happened.

Oh, Doubling Season is $30 again, by the way. And the judge foil can be found for $30 on eBay right now, with a few copies trailing behind in the $35 range. You can’t explain that.


Abrupt Decay 


Decay has been sitting at a steady $12 to $13 for almost six months now, refusing to budge above that and break into the $15 range. What has changed, however, is the card’s buylist price. If you check out the blue line on our MTGPrice graph, the strongest buylist price has slowly crept up from $6, which is a 50 percent spread, up to $9, a mere 25 percent.

I don’t need to tell you how powerful Decay is in both Modern and Legacy—you already know that. You probably also knew that this card was going to creep back up to $20, due to the fact that it will be hard to find a spot for a reprint in the coming months. I’m here to give you a thumbs up and tell you that you’re right. Abrupt Decay is a fine pickup in both trades and cash, assuming you’re looking for an extremely safe investment.

I also want to touch on foil Decays. While it’s not impossible to reprint Decay due to its ubiquitous name (it doesn’t reference a specific plane, name, or faction, unlike Inquisition of Kozilek, for example), foils will be a lot harder to put into the market. I can see Abrupt Decay being put into a Duel Deck product in the future (although they’ve already done Golgari ones to death), or a casual product like Commander, but the cards in those decks aren’t foil. Copies are approximately $75 at the moment, but they’re definitely safer from reprint than non-foil copies. I admit, though, that I don’t expect quite the same double-up with foils as for non-foils.

End Step

Overall, I’m seeing a pretty similar trend in a lot of these “un-reprintable” (at least in the coming months) staples. If you can acquire them in trades by liquidating Standard staples, or cards that are ripe for reprinting, then I fully approve.

I also wouldn’t disapprove if you were purchasing Snapcasters, Voices, or Lilianas for your own personal deck construction, because they appear to either be holding steady, or steadily creeping up over the course of the spring and summer.

You still have a chance to liquidate all of your Zendikar fetches, Bolts, Probes, and Mox Opals before Modern Masters 2015 arrives, but be sure to pick up your staples that you’ll be needing before the full brunt of the storm arrives, too.

Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or content that you feel needs to covered. I’m easily reachable through Twitter, Facebook, email, Reddit, or the comments section below. Thanks for reading!

Conjured Currency: Hot Potatoes

It’s That One Guy from Brainstorm Brewery

Hey, everyone! You might remember me from brainstormbrewery.com, where I’ve been writing Magic finance articles for the past year and a half. You might remember great classics as Be Your Own BuylistChecking in the ClosetPower 10,  One More Card,  The Nekusar Effect,  Common Rares, Rent a Car(d), and Wizards has Never Done That! If I had to give a list of my articles that I’m most proud of and feel are the most informative, I think that’s a pretty comprehensive list. Hopefully, this week’s bundle of words is going to be one that gets added to that list. While I will no longer be writing finance content for Brainstorm Brewery, you can still read my articles here on MTG Price every week, and I’ll still be working with BSB in one shape or form. Thanks for sticking with me!

Have you Heard about the Word?

The word of the week (and month, and next couple of months), is dragon. Dragon, dragon, dragon. Dargon, winged wyvern, scaly fire-breathing lizard, Shivan—however you want to say it. Dragons are the talk of the town, in both the casual realm and the finance world. Everyone’s hunting down the next Scion of the Ur-Dragon, as if they were the Khans in the first set of the block. While there are so many people rushing to pick up cards that they’re expecting to spike, I’m leaning towards liquidating some cards that are either dead weight at this point, or are likely candidates for reprinting in the near future.

Modern Masters 2015 is a mere two months away, and so is Grand Prix Las Vegas (with GP Chiba in Japan and GP Utrecht in the Netherlands being played simultaneously), so I’m looking to start getting rid of the inflated Modern staples that have a shot at being in the set. There’s also Magic Origins on the horizon, not to mention From the Vault: Angels coming out toward the end of the summer. There are lots of opportunity for Wizards to reprint some of the more valued cards in various formats, so I’m looking to stay clear of being hit too hard by selling early. I want to reinforce that the idea of this article is less of a “What do I think will be in Modern Masters???!!!111”, and more of a “I think these cards are too risky to hold onto in the short term, and I am looking at liquidating them in the next couple of weeks.” Some of you might be more inclined to hold these cards for a bit longer, but I prefer to avoid as much risk as possible, and just lock in what I can, when I can. 

The Praetor Cycle

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite 
Urabrask the Hidden 
Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur 
Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger 
Sheoldred, Whispering One

eleshnorn jin vorinclex sheoldred urabraskj

New Phyrexia is the most recent set that MMA2015 will contain, and it’s already confirmed to have a higher print run than the original set. But how much larger, you ask? Well, we can’t really say as of yet. However, it’s safe to assume that Wizards has realized the mistakes that occurred in 2013, and will be rectifying them in 2015, at least to a degree. What’s important to take away here is that if they get reprinted, some praetors will take a bigger hit than others. Elesh Norn is the biggest red flag here, at $33. If she’s not reprinted, she probably continues to creep upward to $40, but I’m jumping ship here while I can lock in money. I don’t want to own any Praetors that I’m not using come May.

Gitaxian Probe 


Gitaxian Probe is a $3 common. Let that sink in for a moment. It wasn’t printed a decade ago like Serum Visions was, but it’s still $3. Maybe there’s a chance of it creeping up towards $4 in the longer term, but I don’t really care to have any part of that. I’m happy buying these across the buylist table at $1, and shipping them for $2 or $2.50 out of my local display case. While Phyrexian mana is pretty awkward to have to reprint, Modern Masters is pretty much the perfect excuse to do it.

Lightning Bolt


Did you know that the cheapest edition of Bolt is also pretty much $3 at this point? It’s the most popular nonland card in Modern, according to MTG Goldfish. The last time it was printed was in the Premium Deck Series: Fire & Lightning set, and before that was M11. If it’s not going to be in MMA2015, I can see it being put into another casual product like a Duel Decks or Commander product. I had these in my spec box when they were $1, and now I believe they’ve ripened to the point where I want to harvest the crackling energy that is pure profit. That being said, this isn’t something I would liquidate in an emergency if you’re running them in a deck. At the most, you’ll probably lose $6 per playset if it’s put into a supplemental product. I just wouldn’t advocate holding onto extras or stocking up on additional copies expecting a continued climb for too much longer.

Congregation at Dawn


If you haven’t heard, this recently jumped up in price to $3 because of speculation on a new (well, semi-new) Modern combo with Collected Company. The idea is to tutor up three small creatures that can go infinite together, then slam them all on the board at once with the new Dragons of Tarkir rare. Personally, I think the combo is a bit too clunky, and it’s trying too hard to be what Birthing Pod used to be. Foils have jumped up to $15 on the low end of eBay, but I’m still not upset about getting rid of the one I had at $12 while it was on the rise. While the card is getting increasingly hard to find due to lack of reprints, I’d get out now if you managed to buy in for cheap.

Master of Waves 


Once Nightveil Specter took a vacation, Master of Waves was lonely, and sank into a deep financial depression. Until Dragons of Tarkir came along and a newfound friend appeared! Because of Shorecrasher Elemental’s reveal, there were rumors spread throughout the community. Is Mono-Blue Devotion going to be good again? Should I buy a significant amount of Master of Waves, and be prepared to sell them for $20 like I did last year? Apparently the answer to all of those questions was a resounding and presumptuous “YES!” Unfortunately, that’s not exactly what I expect to happen. While it has jumped from $3 to $7 in the past couple of weeks, I’m advocating that you also make a jump of your own: out of your copies of MoW that you already own. Even if Devotion becomes a deck again, there’s no “Wow” factor this time at a pro tour to make everything’s price go absurdly crazy. Get out while you can, there’s really no financial hope for Master of Waves in any other format than Standard.

Zendikar Basics


Ever since these were inserted into the Zendikar and Worldwake booster packs, I remember people saying, “I’m stocking up on these, they’ll be the next Unhinged lands,” or something to that effect. Well almost six years have gone by, and these still have barely breached $1.50 each, let alone the $5 that was predicted by many. Instead of becoming hard to find chase basics that show off how regal an individual’s deck is, the non-foil ones are mediocre for “blinging out” purposes, and have mainly been relegated to cubes and Limited players’ arsenals for a cheap alternative to Unhinged.

If you were hoping for these to pay for your retirement, I’d stop and give it up already. This slow to non-existent growth is accompanied by the fact that we’re returning to Zendikar this fall, and there’s a non-zero possibility that Wizards decides to include some nostalgia in the packs by reprinting these full-art lands. Instead of keeping the ZEN full art lands in your spec boxes, they’re probably best kept for personal use or unloaded to move cash elsewhere. While I think the foils are still a fine pick-up in trades, I wouldn’t touch the non-foils unless you get them as throw-ins for practically free.


The little anti-Twin that could has slowly climbed higher and higher these past few years, and as its increasing utility in Modern grows, the number of existing copies stays the same. If Gitaxian Probe manages to see a reprint, ‘Skite will almost certainly be in the same boat. I don’t think there’s enough potential left in the Phyrexian mana magnet to warrant holding onto copies if you’re not actively sleeving it up and sending it into battle, so I recommend unloading extra copies while you have the chance. Channel Fireball is offering $15 cash for copies while I’m writing this article, which seems like a darn good deal to me. If ‘Skite is shown to be in Modern Masters this year, I can’t see it staying above $10, maybe even $5 depending on the print run.

Angels on the Battlefield

Last, but certainly not least on the pricing spectrum, I want to talk about the candidates for the upcoming From the Vault: Angels. While the product doesn’t come out until later this summer, there are a couple of cards that I’m still wary about holding due to the fact that they could be in the FTV or MMA. There’s very little to be gained on either of these cards, and I have multiple copies of each on TCGplayer right now, to put my money where my mouth is.

Avacyn, Angel of Hope 


This card is approaching $40 through casual appeal alone. It’s fine in EDH, sure, but other than that? Pure. Casual. 78-card mono-angel-tribal land. That’s where this card sees play. I don’t think Wizards wants its Legendary Mega-Mythic Super 8/8 Angels™ to be $40, at least not just a few years after being printed. I’m going to sound like a broken record at this point, but if you’re not using them; sell them now.

Linvala, Keeper of Silence


Although Linvala sees a tiny bit of Modern play as a one-of to shut off value-based creature strategies, she sees even less play now that Pod got the axe. A prime target for either of the products we’ve been talking about in this article, Linvala’s price stagnated at $50 for the entire year of 2014, before starting to creep down, presumably because of the FTV: Angels announcement. She’s $42 right now, but I would try and unload her before anything else happens.

End Step

Anyone else have a list of hot potatoes that they’re trying to get rid of? How about those Zendikar fetchlands? There’s been a decent amount of controversy as to how “obvious” it would be if they slammed the enemy fetches into Battle for Zendikar this fall, but I’m on the fence myself. I’m still definitely selling off all of my extra Misties, Mesas, and Tarns at the moment, just in case.