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In the past, Un-set finance was incredibly simple. The stuff that's normally tossed aside during a draft (lands and tokens) was worth money, while the actual rares and mythics were pretty much worthless. The only rares from Unhinged worth more than $3 are City of Ass, Mox Lotus, and Richard Garfield, Ph.D. For a set released more than ten years ago (that hasn't been hurt by a single reprint!), that's terrible.
The big knock on Unhinged is that the cards weren't all that fun to play with once everyone got the joke. I don't think that was the set's only problem, though. To me, another big knock on Unhinged is that the set is really, really underpowered.
For example, why couldn't Meddling Kids have just cost UW? Why didn't they make cards like Greater Morphling and Mox Lotus reasonable to cast? It's not like you had to worry about them destroying the balance of Standard or Legacy (Modern didn't exist yet, remember). Cheatyface is still one of my favorite cards, but I'm always disappointed when I realize that it's just a generic 2/2 flier in the end. Unhinged was a chance for Wizards of the Coast to push the envelope a bit, but they failed to do so even slightly.
And then, yeah, a lot of the cards in Unhinged just aren't any fun to actually play with. Form of the Squirrel is neat until you cast it and instantly lose. Yet Another Aether Vortex and Zzzyxas's Abyss are kind of cool in theory, but does anyone really want to go to the trouble of building around them? The payoff is just so tiny. Looking up and down that image gallery, it's hard to find a single card that's actually fun to play with, not just fun to look at once or twice.
On the Bright Side!
The good news is that Unstable isn't like that. Sure, there are still plenty of spells that are jokey, parasitic, or will otherwise probably not do all that much beyond Unstable's short-lived time as a draft set, but there are also a bunch of interesting cards that will make the leap into Commander and Cube.
I hate to keep comparing Unstable to Unhinged, a set from before Magic's 2011-2014 player base explosion, but for all its faults, Unhinged has loads of valuable foils. Richard Garfield, Ph.D. is a $180 foil, Who/What/When/Where/Why is $50, City of Ass and Mox Lotus are both $40, Gleemax is $35, and Blast from the Past is $25. There are plenty of others in the $15-$20 range, too. Richard Garfield, Ph.D. is a special case—people want to get the card signed by the creator of Magic—but Who/What/When/Where/Why and Blast from the Past are expensive because of Cube. There's real demand for silver-bordered foils…if the cards are good.
I also wouldn't be surprised if most Commander playgroups permanently lessen their objection to silver-bordered inclusions now that Unstable is here. That's already happening on a temporary basis (most Un-cards will be Commander legal from now until January 15th—more on this a bit later!). While many Unhinged cards tended to be deliberately confusing (Ambiguity, Staying Power, etc.) most of the best spells in Unstable are just a breath away from being able to be printed in a black-bordered set, and I doubt too many casual playgroups are going to mind if you play with them. I wouldn't even be shocked if the Commander Rules Committee allows Un-cards to be played on a more or less permanent basis. More people are going to find ways to use those cards than you think.
Before you go too crazy with the preorders, though, there are still a couple of factors that should keep the price of Unstable's best rares pretty low.
First, let's not forget that each pack of Unstable comes with a full-art land. Right now, these are retailing between $2 (Mountain and Plains) and $4 (Island). A booster pack of Unstable retails for $4, so right now these are making up between 50% and 100% of the overall pack value. Oh—and you have to factor in the value of sometimes opening a foil full-art land as well.
Second, each pack of Unstable comes with a foil token. Half of them will have full art on the back instead of an ad, and these variants are going to be incredibly desirable. I can't see the better ones (Zombie, red Elemental, Angel, maybe Spirt and Beast) selling for less than $1 each. If we call the APV of a land slot $3 and the foil slot $1, that gets us to $4 without even factoring in the rares. Since you can buy a box of Unstable from StarCityGames.com® for just $2.64/pack, something's gotta give, and it probably won't be the lands or tokens.
And we haven't even discussed the size of the print run, which will determine the real future value of these cards. Mark Rosewater has already said that the Unstable print run won't be limited—if it sells out, they'll print more. Of course, that still doesn't tell us much about how long the set will remain on sale, nor how popular it will really end up being. If Unstable doesn't sell well initially, we might not get a second print run, and the set's best cards will end up being worth more over the long haul.
Of course, if the set doesn't sell well initially, that probably also means that demand for silly things like Baron Von Count is lower than I think it'll be.