Tag Archives: take the crown

Learning from Past Conspiracies

Good lord, I can’t draft Conspiracy: Take the Crown enough. Did two drafts in a row on Friday, one more Sunday, and I’d be up for drafting it any night of the week. The combination of valuable cards AND messing with a draft AND incredible multiplayer mechanics and gameplay is just breathtaking. This set is a jewel and I strongly encourage you to go experience it.

An aside: If your LGS doesn’t know how to do this, allow me to give a plug to mine. Eight people draft, break into two four-player pods. Two games will be played, with prizes to first and second place for each game. The second game is to mitigate from mana problems, and it takes a truly busted deck to win two games. More often, the person who won game one will get hated out early in game two.

My ravenous joy in this set is tempered by my experiences with the original Conspiracy set. I’m treating Take the Crown as though it’s the original set. There’s four things I learned from last time around, and I’m taking those lessons to heart.

Lesson #1: Stuff is cheap!

Exactly ten cards are worth more than a pack at $4. That’s a terrible ratio, and all of the special schemes are less than a dollar in nonfoil. Truly, that’s atrocious. Conspiracy is not a place for long-term value, and there’s a consistent graph of reprints tanking in value.

So I’m not looking for value in these, and in fact, I think that right now, you should be avoiding Take the Crown cards, as they have farther to fall. Likely around the release of Kaladesh, I’ll be prowling these cards for the best value, as supply will be maxed.

The impact of this being a print-to-demand set is real. Take the Crown is in the big-box stores, and there is no limit to the supply, aside from when people stop asking. Do you know when they stop asking? When your local store is stocked up and actually has more than they want! I’m hoping that my store and my peers want to keep drafting this until Kaladesh shows up.

Lesson #2: Except for Foils!

As I pointed out last week, there are some amazing foil multipliers at work in original Conspiracy, and there are some amazing ones already at work in Take the Crown. Leovold, for instance, is multiplied by seven. Kaya’s alternate-art foil is about ten times more expensive. Marchesa is fifteen times more pricey, to get the foil!

I’m all about shiny cards. I am absolutely that kind of magpie person, who needs to have the new one be shiny and new and some of these cards are calling to me. I want to let the initial rush fade, and be patient in my pursuit of these cards. I’m hoping they come down some in the second and third weekend of release.

Lesson #3: Sealed Product

While the original Conspiracy is a lot of fun to draft with friends, it’s not a place to park value. I refer you to others who have kept more sealed product around, and the short version is that there isn’t value in it. Even now, I can get a box of the original on Amazon for less than $100 shipped.

The value in long-term holds of sealed product is the value of the cards, not the worth of the experience. This has Berserk, and Show and Tell, and some other fun things, and the end value of those cards will determine the long-term value. I’m inclined to say no, nonetheless.

Lesson #4: Draft-specific cards don’t hold value

Allow me to give you the benefit of my ill-spent money. I went after the assorted ‘draft matters’ cards in foil, spending some significant amounts.

I bought early, and set them aside, thinking that as people build Cubes, they will need Cogwork Librarians and such. But they don’t. They absolutely don’t. So while you might really want that foil Sovereign’s Realm, you should get one for yourself and don’t try to corner the market.

My $20 foil Worldknits are just going to sit here in a corner and weep silently. Don’t join us.

Conspiracy 2 and You!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Hallowed Burial – About to be a dollar rare.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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