I've been cautiously excited about Throne of Eldraine for about a month now, but that amazing gingerbread person trailer sealed the deal for me.
This set is going to be epic, and I can't wait to start messing around with Wizard's twisted fairy tales.
Of course, I'm just one player. Financially, what matters is how popular Throne of Eldraine ends up being with the community at large.
Popularity has a complex relationship with value when it comes to new Standard sets. If a set is very popular, it'll debut with high price tags (people want these sweet new cards!), but its prices tend to tank later on because so many booster packs end up being cracked. Conversely, unpopular sets usually debut with low price tags (who cares about Core Set 2020 when we're still tangling with Modern Horizons?), but the value of singles increase over time as people realize that they need key staples for their Standard decks. In layperson's terms, you should do a lot more buying during the pre-order period when a set is a snoozer.
So far, it looks like Throne of Eldraine is going to end up being a slightly above-average fall set in terms of popularity, though this might change once the full contents are known. fall sets tend to be the best-selling expansions of a given year regardless, because excitement for Standard peaks right after set rotation. I don't expect that to be any different this time around. Throne of Eldraine prices are likely to rise between now and mid-October, but they'll start to erode after that as supply increases to meet demand. This general pattern is true for most sets of course, but it's especially pronounced with fall expansions.
You'll still need to buy Throne of Eldraine cards if you want to play them in your Standard deck early on, but be aware that you are likely paying even more of a premium than you usually do when pre-ordering cards from winter, spring, and summer sets. This isn't necessarily a bad thing – the point of doing all that trade grinding and speculation during the rest of the year is to be able to treat yourself to a 4-pack of the hottest new fall set planeswalker without feeling too much of a financial pinch, but understand that it's kind of like buying a new car: you might lose a certain amount of value the moment you drive it off the lot. If you really want to be prudent, I suggest focusing on key cards from Core Set 2020, Guilds of Ravnica, and the other sets that are still dirt-cheap right now thanks to the depressed summer market. In fact, I wrote a whole article about what to buy from those sets!
Of course, you and I both know that we're going to buy a stack of Throne of Eldraine cards anyway. They're just cool, and who doesn't want to mess around with Magic's latest and greatest? That's where this set review comes in. Even though a large number of these new cards are going to be dropping in price between now and the holiday season, there's a big difference between spending $20 on a card that might end up being a bulk mythic and spending $20 on a card that's never going to drop below $15. And if you can get more than $5 out of that latter purchase over the 5-6 months before you decide to move on to another deck, I call that a big win.