Throughout the past three weeks I've been giving nearly daily updates for the prices on Return to Ravnica singles. For today's article I'm going to give some overall thoughts about the financial direction of cards in this set and give a cheat sheet for my thoughts on the longer-term values of Return to Ravnica cards. By longer term I mean “the value they will settle at by the time Gatecrash comes out in February.”
– The shocklands are all going to hold or increase in value. Many people are arguing “they are going to drop in value because they are reprints and a ton of Return to Ravnica is going to be opened” but I counter four things.
- They've already dropped from their original values (Hallowed Fountain was a $35 card from Dissension before the reprint was announced) so they've already reached a “normalized” price.
- There isn't going to be enough Return to Ravnica printed to keep up with demand by the time Gatecrash is released.
- There are a ton more Standard players than PTQ/Modern players so the demand on shocklands will be a multiple higher than they were when they blew up in price once Modern was announced.
- We are about to enter a Modern PTQ season.
– It looked like Vraska was going to be the winner planeswalker from this set and Jace the loser. Initial testing has shown that Jace is really good and Vraska not as much. I expect them both to pass each other in value—Jace staying where it is (or going up slightly) and Vraska taking the Planeswalker Plummet™—dropping 50% in value before the next set is released.
– I believe Epic Experiment will be a breakout card at the Modern Pro Tour in Seattle in a few weeks; keep a very close eye on it. If it's not broken at the Pro Tour it'll quickly drop to the $3-$4 range.
– Many of the casual kings in this set are going to take a short-term drop in value. This includes cards like Niv-Mizzet Dracogenius Trostani Grave Betrayal and Corpsejack Menace. I think these will all go up in value over the course of a year but will go down if we're just looking at the “Until Gatecrash” timeline.
– Cards that will drop in value but I believe have potential to break out in the long term: Angel of Serenity Detention Sphere Mizzium Mortars (which will take a small dip because it's one of the rares in the Izzet Intro Pack) Pithing Needle Rest in Peace and Underworld Connections. These are the cards I would pick up after they have the “lots of supply in the market” drop because I think they all have potential to jump up a lot over the course of a year.
– Aside from the shocklands Chromatic Lantern is the most solid rare/mythic in this set as far as short and long-term value. Fantastic for all casual players playable in all decks (since it's an artifact) and likely to break through in Standard. It's also quietly good so it will take a little while to start shooting up in value—but keep in mind it took Coalition Relic three months to start shooting up in price and it hit the $7-$8 mark.
– Yes this set is really this good. Yes Gatecrash will likely be every bit as good as well.
– If I were a betting man I'd take bets at even odds that both Tarmogoyf and Dark Confidant will be reprinted in the third set of this block. If Wizards is going to put 5x shocklands in each set then the third set of Return to Ravnica block seems like the perfect place to put two of the really higher-dollar Modern staples. Dark Confidant is a Ravnica reprint; Tarmogoyf would fit in perfectly with Golgari.
(Bold: Rares or mythics that I feel are worth getting now)
|Card||Current Price||Future Price|
|Angel of Serenity||$15||$10|
|Isperia Supreme Judge||$4||$3|
|Jace Architect of Thought||$30||$30|
|Jarad Golgari Lich Lord||$5||$5|
|Rakdos Lord of Riots||$10||$6|
|Trostani Selesnya's Voice||$10||$6|
|Vraska the Unseen||$40||$20|
|Card||Current Price||Future Price|
|Archon of the Triumverate||$1||$0.50|
|Grove of the Guardian||$1||$1|
|Rest in Peace||$4||$3|
|Search the City||$1.25||$0.75|
|Sphinx of the Chimes||$1||$2|
Average Box Value: ((mythics + 2 * rares) / 121) * 36
Editor's Note: In case you're wondering how the equation works the math is based on the fact the rare sheet has 121 cards one of each mythic rare and two of each rare. Take the average price of the mythics and rares in the set calculate the average value of a booster pack based on those ratios (assuming the average price of commons and uncommons don't contribute significantly) and multiply that by 36 to get the average value of a booster box. Tada!
Current: $174.50 a box
Future: $150 a box
Current Mythics (minus bulk) = $165 | Rares = $174
= $153 a box
Future Mythics (minus bulk) = $126 | Rares = $155
= $130 a box
So in conclusion the EV of this set is very high (on the level of Future Sight New Phyrexia and Zendikar when it was Standard legal) and while many of the cards will go down in value most of the money rares should not plummet entirely and I foresee the shocklands maintaining or rising in value as we enter straight into a Modern PTQ season.
SPECIAL NOTE: This was the first time we did the Financial Values article as a set of daily updates. The feedback on this format has been greatly positive and greatly appreciated! We instituted collapsing articles for older entries (based on feedback) and so I would love to hear any and all feedback about what you did or didn't like about the formatting on this article series. Let your voice be heard in our comments section!
- Ben Bleiweiss
- General Manager StarCityGames.com
I am Orzhov. Because if anyone was going to care about the Financial Value of themselves it'd be Orzhov.