Financial Predictions for Return to Ravnica

Feature Article from Craig Wescoe
Craig Wescoe
9/27/2012 11:26:00 AM
submit to reddit » Print «

As was the case with each of my previous Financial Predictions articles, the advice I offer herein is educated speculation. Some of my predictions will be accurate and some will not. My advice is informed by research of past financial trends, expert evaluation of card quality, and initial demand for the new products. The overall financial advice I've given in past articles has proven to be profitable, though in all cases there have been at least a handful of cards where my prediction was wildly incorrect.

It is not advisable to invest heavily in one card unless you desire to make a high risk investment and believe that the potential return on that investment is worth the risk. Rather, I recommend investing in a handful of cards that you believe will rise in value. I would also recommend taking into consideration the value you will gain owning the cards you choose to invest in. Which cards do you want for your Commander deck? For your Cube? For your FNM deck? The great part about investing for profit is that you gain additional value from holding onto the product invested in, whether in the form of winning prizes or enjoyment playing with the new cards (or both).

Concerning the format of this article, I will not address every card in the set. I will focus primarily on Rares and Mythics, and I will only discuss the ones I believe will change significantly in price from what they are currently at, or ones that are currently pulling a high price. Except in cases where I mention a specific time frame, the predicted price point is at three months from the set's release (i.e. the time when the next set is released). Since that is usually one of the lowest points of a card's price history, my predictions are generally that card prices will drop. However, pay careful attention to my analysis of when I believe is the best time to buy or sell a certain card because in many cases the best time to buy will be at that three-month point. At the end of the article I offer a recap and concluding thoughts.

High
Mid
Low
 Vraska the Unseen
$7.99
$3.25
$2.00
Store QTY Price  
tehsbe TCG 1 $2.00
adamlandon 3 $2.06
Ninetailed Fox Cards 1 $2.25
Manawerx 1 $2.34
NWGamersChoice 1 $2.39
DJs Games 1 $2.40
Subterranea 1 $2.44
ExeGames 1 $2.49
Top Tyr Games 1 $2.49

>> View all Prices for Vraska the Unseen <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Vraska the Unseen Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Vraska the Unseen
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $28.82
Predicted Price in 3 months: $20.00

Vraska is almost always a 2-for-1. If you +1 her immediately, then she has enough loyalty (6) that it will usually take (at least) two creatures to kill her, and due to her +1 ability, both creatures will then die. And if she is not attacked, then you can -3 her twice after the initial +1, which will again kill two things. So she is very good on defense. If the board is stalled, she can generate three lethal creatures in just a few turns. I expect her to play a roll similar to Gideon Jura in midrange and control decks. Jund and BUG are likely the best fit, though BGW or straight Golgari (Rock) are not out of the question. She will definitely see play and if it weren't for her two colors limiting her applications (say, if she were 3BB), I would predict a higher price spike. As is, I expect her to retain the majority of her value, but will drop like nearly every other card in the set. There are not many better follow-ups to Mutilate than Vraska, and with Overgrown Tomb and Blood Crypt in the format, Mutilate is no longer a monoblack only card.

High
Mid
Low
 Jace, Architect of Thought
$16.90
$3.38
$1.81
Store QTY Price  
DrewEnglund 4 $1.81
elandis 1 $1.98
ssbbt 1 $1.98
BanHammerCards 1 $2.00
TheGatheringMagic 1 $2.24
TrollandToad 9 $2.57
All The Singles 2 $2.60
The Deck Box 1 $2.63
Pandemonium 13 $2.65

>> View all Prices for Jace, Architect of Thought <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Jace, Architect of Thought Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Jace, Architect of Thought
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $28.50
Predicted Price in 3 months: $18.50

Planeswalkers generally start out as the highest priced cards in a set. No one wants to miss out on the next Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Generally speaking, Planeswalkers are always ‘good' cards, ranging from ‘barely good' to ‘very good'. Sometimes the price tanks abruptly (Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded, and pretty much any Chandra) and other times it skyrockets beyond precedent ( Jace, the Mind Sculptor). The new four-mana Jace is certainly playable, and people will want to play with it alongside Tamiyo, the Moon Sage. It is not, however, anywhere close to as good as Jace, the Mind Sculptor. It does a marginally effective job of protecting itself, and it has some immediate value and lasting value in the -2 ability, and its ultimate may draw some casual appeal. I don't expect it to be a format-defining card in Standard though, and that's pretty much what would be required for it to maintain its current price tag.

High
Mid
Low
 Abrupt Decay
$19.99
$11.65
$7.77
Store QTY Price  
JulianMTG 1 $7.77
Western Ohio Gaming 1 $8.19
Vatechguy in NC 1 $8.43
POP Culture 4 $8.43
HaeMTG 1 $8.45
Oak Street Games 1 $8.45
NetherworldGames 1 $8.76
Treasure Coast Magic 6 $8.79
Arrowstar Games 3 $8.97

>> View all Prices for Abrupt Decay <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Abrupt Decay Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Abrupt Decay
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $19.52
Predicted Price in 3 months: $12.00

One of the best cards in the set, will see play in nearly every format, and in all likelihood will surpass both Planeswalkers and every other card in the set (except maybe shocklands) by the time rotation happens. Think Maelstrom Pulse, but slightly better. So why do I say it will drop in value by 40%? Well, look at the context. There are five slam-dunk Rares in the set that will pull $10+ for the foreseeable future (Shock lands). There are also a handful of powerful Mythics (including a pair of Planeswalkers) that will retain reasonably high demand. So where will all this value be spread out? Will every card retain a high price? Certainly not at the 3-month mark, but long term I expect this set to be among the higher demand products.

High
Mid
Low
 Overgrown Tomb
$28.25
$8.95
$5.22
Store QTY Price  
FarasMTG 1 $5.22
Scooter Picks 1 $6.00
The Magic Arena 1 $6.89
Oak Street Games 1 $7.20
MagicRN 1 $7.26
TheGreenDragonOnline 6 $7.27
Hero Support 1 $7.31
Buds Place 1 $7.32
PFC Games 1 $7.50

>> View all Prices for Overgrown Tomb <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Overgrown Tomb Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Overgrown Tomb
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $11.99
Predicted Price in 3 months: $10.00

I expect Golgari to be among the higher demand colors in the beginning. It hasn't been good lately, and it has multiple interesting pulls. Aggro players want to make GB Zombies work while control players want to make Jund or BUG work. Each of these requires Abrupt Decay and Overgrown Tomb. Hence at the moment Overgrown Tomb is the highest demand among shock lands. I expect the five shock lands to retain value long term, so they are the safest pickups at any point.

High
Mid
Low
 Hallowed Fountain
$19.99
$7.99
$4.45
Store QTY Price  
True Haven 1 $4.45
FarasMTG 1 $4.45
TheCrossroadsGaming 1 $6.01
Game Corps 1 $6.37
DrewEnglund 2 $6.45
NetherworldGames 1 $6.50
Dogs of War Gaming 1 $6.64
TMVgames 2 $6.67
The Deck Box 1 $6.70

>> View all Prices for Hallowed Fountain <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Hallowed Fountain Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Hallowed Fountain
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $11.30
Predicted Price in 3 months: $10.00

Azorius got a few sweet cards for control players: Supreme Verdict and Detention Sphere. They also got Sphinx's Revelation, Jace, Architect of Thought, and Angel of Serenity. Aggro did not get as much, however, so unlike Overgrown Tomb, there may not be the multiple pulls in Standard for Hallowed Fountain. However, Modern is a growing format and Hallowed Fountain is a major card in Modern. It's hard to predict which decks will be the most popular since the best decks aren't always popular proportionate to their power level. So instead of speculating where there are too many unknown variables, I'm calling all five shock lands $10, though depending on circumstance, they will likely range between $8 and $15.

High
Mid
Low
 Steam Vents
$26.89
$10.49
$8.00
Store QTY Price  
Scooter Picks 1 $8.00
Siberiantiger 1 $8.15
Home Field Cards 1 $8.65
Game Corps 1 $8.68
The Game Shoppe 1 $9.04
The Kessel Run 1 $9.20
HaeMTG 1 $9.20
TurnZeroMTG 1 $9.40
The End Games 1 $9.49

>> View all Prices for Steam Vents <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Steam Vents Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Steam Vents
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $11.23
Predicted Price in 3 months: $10.00

Izzet is the most popular of the ten guilds, according to the Planeswalker Points data. It's the true combo guild, which is enough to inherently attract a third of the Combo-Control-Aggro audience. Steam Vents in particular plays a role in RUG and Grixis as well. If you're a combo player, I would recommend picking up a play set of these. You'll find plenty of combo options in Modern, and likely something powerful and fun for Standard as well, perhaps involving Epic Experiment and/or Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius.

High
Mid
Low
 Angel of Serenity
$9.15
$1.83
$0.83
Store QTY Price  
Magic Boone 1 $0.83
Cosmic Oasis 1 $0.90
Grinders Emporium 1 $1.09
Two Headed Games 1 $1.19
TurnZeroMTG 1 $1.22
The Night Sky 1 $1.25
BuyThisCard 1 $1.30
The Magic Arena 1 $1.30
TurnZeroMTG 6 $1.33

>> View all Prices for Angel of Serenity <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Angel of Serenity Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Angel of Serenity
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $10.95
Predicted Price in 3 months: $15.00

The obvious comparison is the Elesh-Norn, Grand Cenobite, and Angel of Serenity compared unfavorably in terms of killing creatures, mainly because a removal spell on Elesh Norn still kills all their guys whereas a removal spell on the Angel does not. But upon further reflection there are multiple strong attributes to the Angel. First of all, the creatures are returned to owner's hand, as opposed to bring brought back onto the board. This is one bonus. The second is that you can choose creatures in your own graveyard. For instance, you play the Angel once you reach seven mana; you target your opponent's threat and two creatures in your own graveyard. If the opponent doesn't have the removal spell, then you 2-for-1'd him and have a large evasive threat that will win the game in a few turns. If the opponent has the removal spell, then you effectively 3-for-1'd the opponent (traded the Angel for his removal spell and two creatures from your graveyard) AND bounced his threat back to his hand. When considered in this light, the Angel's amount of value is not so far from Elesh-Norn's value after all. Given that Elesh-Norn is rotating out of Standard, I suspect there will be a void to fill in the “Go large” department, and in my estimation, Angel of Serenity is the best candidate to fill that role. I also see her as a one-of in Legacy Reanimator. She is probably the best long-term Mythic investment since few of the others really have appeal outside of Standard.

High
Mid
Low
 Armada Wurm
$2.99
$0.96
$0.59
Store QTY Price  
MTGEmporium 1 $0.59
CrimsonImpGamesInc 1 $0.60
Get There Games 4 $0.61
Manawerx 4 $0.69
Collector's Friend 1 $0.71
DNA Comics and Games 1 $0.71
ShuffleandCut 4 $0.71
Static Age Games 1 $0.71
OldSchoolGaming 2 $0.72

>> View all Prices for Armada Wurm <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Armada Wurm Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Armada Wurm
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $10.49
Predicted Price in 3 months: $5.00

The wurm is one of the best targets to populate, and ten power (trample) for six mana is quite the return on mana investment. Nevertheless, I do not see this being “the next Titan” as many have been claiming. All it does is attack and block. Unlike the Titans, Sphinxes, and Praetors, it doesn't draw cards, kill things, search out Valakut, the Molten Pinnacles, recur Phantasmal Images, or produce another four power worth of creatures whenever it attacks (a la Grave Titan). Will it see play? Yes. It is basically a Broodmate Dragon. Broodmate Dragon was good in Five-Color-Control. Initially people also thought it was good in Jund, and then later realized it was not. Armada Wurm is a reasonable card, but certainly nothing to go cock-wild over, and certainly not worth $10+, even for a Mythic.

High
Mid
Low
 Blood Crypt
$19.99
$7.90
$6.00
Store QTY Price  
All The Singles 3 $6.00
Zuby MTG Shop 1 $6.26
Game Corps 2 $6.37
adamlandon 1 $6.50
Wandering Havoc 2 $6.52
TheGreenDragonOnline 3 $6.57
Hero Support 1 $6.59
Magic Pro Shop 1 $6.64
Cloak and Dagger 14 $6.65

>> View all Prices for Blood Crypt <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Blood Crypt Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Blood Crypt
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $9.85
Predicted Price in 3 months: $10.00

Rakdos's Return, Dreadbore, and Rakdos, Lord of Riots are all pretty exciting cards. Rakdos has also been the most popular combination for Black Aggro as of late. I suspect Golgari may be taking over that role in the near future, but given these handful of sweet new Rakdos additions, I would not be surprised to see Rakdos retaining a high level of popularity among Aggro players. There will also be Grixis control players who want Blood Crypts, especially since you can search them out with Liliana of the Dark Realms.

High
Mid
Low
 Rakdos's Return
$7.49
$1.51
$0.60
Store QTY Price  
defconxxx TOybox 1 $0.60
Computer Bytes 1 $0.87
TurnZeroMTG 4 $0.91
Grinders Emporium 2 $0.97
TurnZeroMTG 9 $0.99
SIbilantSpirits 2 $1.00
DraculaNToby Cards 3 $1.00
SIbilantSpirits 2 $1.00
Standstill Games 1 $1.00

>> View all Prices for Rakdos's Return <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Rakdos's Return Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Rakdos's Return
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $8.96
Predicted Price in 3 months: $3.00

Hymn to Tourach : Blightning ::
Mind Twist : Rakdos's Return

The inherent problem with discard spells is that they are very bad when you are behind or in top-deck mode with the opponent. Hymn to Tourach and Mind Twist each have this drawback. To make up for this drawback, each spell is undercosted, thus making its impact that much larger when played on time. In contrast, Blightning made up for the inherent drawback of discard spells by tacking on a Lava Spike. This meant that even if the opponent had no cards in hand, it was still worth 3 damage. Rakdos's Return compensates in the same way. Playing it for 5 mana means not only a 3-for-1 but also a free Lava Spike, which can conveniently kill off a Planeswalker or make up for the tempo lost from attacking their hand instead of the board. Most importantly, however, it is a late game Fireball when drawing a discard spell is at its worst. Since it is great late game (as a Fireball) and great mid-game (as a Mind Twist), the only time it's really bad is in the early game (since you really have to play it for at least four mana to gain a worthwhile effect). This will keep it from seeing as much play as Blightning saw, but it is still a fine card, especially out of the board against slower decks, and especially when the damage is relevant (i.e. if you're an aggressive deck).

High
Mid
Low
 Lotleth Troll
$4.75
$0.95
$0.25
Store QTY Price  
Soused Scotsman 1 $0.25
Lincoln Cards 1 $0.48
Geeks MTG 2 $0.62
Manawerx 8 $0.66
Subterranea 1 $0.67
DNA Comics and Games 1 $0.69
Collector's Friend 2 $0.70
CloudCityGames 2 $0.70
MagicWorldMarket 1 $0.70

>> View all Prices for Lotleth Troll <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Lotleth Troll Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Lotleth Troll
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $8.95
Predicted Price in 3 months: $6.50

The troll is the biggest reason to play BG Zombies. Gravecrawler + Lotleth Troll is a very powerful and synergistic combination. You discard the Gravecrawler to the Troll, then pay a black mana to bring it on the battlefield (since the Troll is also a Zombie). The troll is also very good in conjunction with Vengevine in older formats such as Modern. Consider this turn 2, off a turn 1 Birds of Paradise or whatever: Lotleth Troll, discarding Gravecrawler, Bloodghast, and Vengevine. Play a Swamp, getting back Bloodghast, play the Gravecrawler from the yard, trigger Vengevine to come back. That's a 5/4 Troll, 4/3 Vengevine, and a pair of 2/1's, each of which is resilient to removal. While there are not quite as many sweet interactions in Standard as there are in Modern, I suspect that an Aggro Rock Zombie deck will be a major player in Standard, and Lotleth Troll will be a 4x in that deck. If this deck sounds appealing to you, picking up a set of trolls may be well worth the investment.

High
Mid
Low
 Temple Garden
$26.75
$9.10
$6.00
Store QTY Price  
Cosmic Odyssey 1 $6.00
TheCrossroadsGaming 1 $7.09
Perfect Storm MtG 2 $7.59
NWGamersChoice 1 $7.59
Dogs of War Gaming 1 $7.61
The Deck Box 1 $7.66
TheGreenDragonOnline 1 $7.67
Game Corps 1 $7.70
The Magic Arena 1 $7.75

>> View all Prices for Temple Garden <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Temple Garden Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Temple Garden
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $8.73
Predicted Price in 3 months: $10.00

Temple Garden is currently in the least demand among shock lands. My prediction is that the prices of these five will wax and wane depending on which decks are most popular at various points. Hence I would advise picking up the cheapest ones now (Temple Garden and Blood Crypt) in anticipation of them rising. Really any of the shock lands are relatively safe investments though. I would be very surprised if they were worth less than $10 each in a year.

High
Mid
Low
 Trostani, Selesnya's Voice
$10.00
$2.07
$1.00
Store QTY Price  
Dwarf Mountain 1 $1.00
I Got Game 1 $1.40
The End Games 2 $1.42
The End Games 1 $1.49
Auggie's Games 1 $1.53
Geeks MTG 2 $1.54
Subterranea 1 $1.56
Treasure Coast Magic 8 $1.59
The Deck Box 1 $1.60

>> View all Prices for Trostani, Selesnya's Voice <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Trostani, Selesnya's Voice Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Trostani, Selesnya's Voice
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $7.95
Predicted Price in 3 months: $5.00

Trostani should garner a decent amount of casual appeal. There is a large market for token generators, and Trostani carries not only a reusable populate ability but also a life gain ability that fits well with the token-generating theme that would want her. She also has formidable enough stats to see play in Constructed. I wrote about a Selesnya Tokens deck last week that plays her. Being Legendary makes her a sweet Commander General, but hurts her Constructed value since it makes her less likely to be a 4x in the decks that want her.

High
Mid
Low
 Rakdos, Lord of Riots
$5.00
$1.51
$0.41
Store QTY Price  
Zuby MTG Shop 1 $0.41
TheGatheringMagic 3 $0.96
Mr Magic Inc 1 $1.00
Outer Realm Cards 1 $1.00
Static Age Games 1 $1.05
Subterranea 3 $1.15
Meta-Gaming 3 $1.19
adventuresON 2 $1.19
On The Stack Games 5 $1.22

>> View all Prices for Rakdos, Lord of Riots <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Rakdos, Lord of Riots Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Rakdos, Lord of Riots
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $7.70
Predicted Price in 3 months: $10.00

Creatures have certainly improved since the early days of ancient Magic history. When I first started playing, Juzam Djinn was considered one of the best creatures in the game (and rightly was). Nowadays such stats leave you asking, “Where's the upside?” Abyssal Persecutor was mono-color, Like Juzam, but carried a pretty significant drawback. You basically had to have a removal spell in order to win the game once Abyssal Persecutor did its job. Rakdos, on the other hand, requires a bit more setup, but once on the battlefield, it has a large advantage rather than a large disadvantage. I don't expect people to be casting Emrakul, the Aeons Torn off Rakdos, but I do expect Rakdos to see play as the top-of-the-curve finisher in aggro decks, as well as an efficient finisher in midrange and control decks. This is one of the better Mythics, and if anything keeps him from seeing the amount of play that I expect, it will be his inhibitive mana cost (RRBB). Is suspect with Shock lands this will not be a deal-breaker though.

High
Mid
Low
 Dreadbore
$7.45
$1.49
$0.40
Store QTY Price  
Grants Cards 1 $0.40
MoggBog 1 $0.75
Petries Family Games 1 $0.99
Meta-Gaming 6 $1.00
I Got Game 1 $1.00
The Magic Arena 3 $1.05
MTGEmporium 5 $1.08
Pastimes 3 $1.09
Auggie's Games 1 $1.09

>> View all Prices for Dreadbore <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Dreadbore Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Dreadbore
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $6.45
Predicted Price in 3 months: $5.00

If you liked Jund back in the days of Bloodbraid Elf, then you have quite a few cards in Return to Ravnica that should help recreate those awesome feelings. Instead of Terminate and Maelstrom Pulse, you have Dreadbore and Abrupt Decay. If a Planeswalker gave the old Jund deck a problem, Pulse would take care of it. Today's Jund instead has Dreadbore. If an early creature is the problem, and/or you need an instant-speed solution, Terminate was the default solution. Today we have Abrupt Decay to solve that problem. I don't expect Dreadbore to see as much play outside of Standard that Abrupt Decay will see, and hence I expect a smaller price tag, but as far as Standard Jund is concerned, I expect each to be a 4x somewhere in the 75.

High
Mid
Low
 Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius
$3.00
$1.21
$0.75
Store QTY Price  
Mr Magic Inc 2 $0.75
Geeks MTG 1 $0.79
ChannelFireball 9 $0.89
ShuffleandCut 2 $0.89
MagicWorldMarket 1 $0.90
Quality Collectibles 4 $0.90
The Magic Arena 1 $0.90
Geek Cred 1 $0.94
DNA Comics and Games 5 $0.94

>> View all Prices for Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $6.17
Predicted Price in 3 months: $12.50

Remember when I said I don't expect Armada Wurm to be the next Titan or Sphinx? Well, that doesn't apply to Niv-Mizzet because HE IS THE NEXT TITAN! A 5/5 flyer for 6 mana is of reasonable enough size to hold off attackers the turn you play it, and it's also large enough to end the game within a few turns of casting it. What makes Niv-Mizzet a true powerhouse is that it both kills creatures and draws cards. So it's basically Inferno Titan in that it can Arc Lightning each turn, and it is also Consecrated Sphinx in that it can draw you multiple cards each turn. Its only drawback is that if it dies right away to a removal spell, then you did not gain any value out of it (assuming you play it on 6 mana). This is much the same drawback that Baneslayer Angel had. If you can kill it immediately, you're probably in decent shape, but if you cannot, they you pretty much always die. If Niv-Mizzet were solid blue or solid red, I would predict a much larger price tag, but as is, I'm conservatively estimating the Legendary Dragon Wizard to double in value in three months (in contrast to decline in value like most other cards in the set).

High
Mid
Low
 Detention Sphere
$4.21
$1.06
$0.39
Store QTY Price  
Oh Two Drop 1 $0.39
Simic Jeff 1 $0.65
Geeks MTG 3 $0.71
TheGatheringMagic 1 $0.73
Liquidorian Emporium 3 $0.75
The Mana Cave 2 $0.75
Signpost Games 6 $0.77
Shadow Lab 1 $0.80
Outer Realm Cards 1 $0.80

>> View all Prices for Detention Sphere <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Detention Sphere Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Detention Sphere
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $5.94
Predicted Price in 3 months: $5.00

At first glance, this is strictly better than Oblivion Ring. Upon further reflection, what if you want to take out the opponent's Detention Sphere? This won't happen much in older formats, but in Standard this is a real concern. Oblivion Ring is also great because it can take care of any threat even if you're having trouble finding your second color. Detention Sphere cannot. With this said, it really is the Maelstrom Pulse version of Oblivion Ring and hence I expect it to retain most of its value. I look forward to playing with this one.

High
Mid
Low
 Deathrite Shaman
$18.25
$8.90
$6.50
Store QTY Price  
MTG General Store 1 $6.50
AttackonZach 1 $6.50
Vatechguy in NC 2 $6.76
TMVgames 6 $6.90
PFC Games 2 $7.00
TheCrossroadsGaming 1 $7.00
NetherworldGames 1 $7.10
ABunchOfLetters 1 $7.11
Oak Street Games 1 $7.11

>> View all Prices for Deathrite Shaman <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Deathrite Shaman Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Deathrite Shaman
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $4.68
Predicted Price in 3 months: $7.50

When I first saw the card, I was not particularly impressed. These sorts of cards are never big winners. However, an old friend of Mine – Sol Malka, caused me to take a closer look at the Shaman. You see, Sol Malka knows GB Rock the way I know White Weenie. Ever wonder where the name “Rock” came from to describe Green-Black? About 15 years ago Sol Malka (aka the People's Champion) wrote an article describing an Extended deck called “The Rock and his Minions,” a deck primarily based around Phyrexian Plaguelord and Deranged Hermit. The Plaguelord was the Rock (after the professional wrestler), and all the squirrels and other weenie fodder were his minions. Sol almost always played Green-Black and qualified for multiple pro tours with the archetype. So when Sol claimed that Deathrite Shaman was the best card in Return to Ravnica, amidst all the other highly esteemed Golgari cards, this definitely caught my attention.

To start out, the Shaman can be (in formats where fetchlands are legal) a turn one mana producer. This already puts him on par with Birds of Paradise, but not in Standard where having lands in the graveyard is not a given. But wait! That's only the beginning. You can also pay a green and removal a creature from either graveyard to gain 2 life. This makes the Shaman a great answer to Reanimator type decks as well as Zombie decks and anything else that looks to utilize creatures in the graveyard. But we're not even at the best part yet! The best part is being able to pay a black mana to remove an instant or sorcery to have the opponent(s) lose 2 life. This means Snapcaster Mage has to play on your terms instead of visa versa, and if you get two Shamans active, the opponent will never be able to play their Snapcaster Mage profitably (assuming you only activate one per turn). And aside from exiling Flashback cards, 2 life each turn is quite good. Sure, it doesn't kill creatures, but it produces mana, it gains life, it causes the opponent to lose life, and it only costs one mana! I'm not a Golgari expert, but Sol is, and if he believes Deathrite Shaman is the real deal, then I am inclined to accept his assessment. The People's Champion has spoken!

High
Mid
Low
 Supreme Verdict
$14.20
$2.84
$2.00
Store QTY Price  
Stomping GroundsPA 1 $2.00
Jeffs Cards 1 $2.00
The Deck Box 3 $2.17
Gamers Emporium 3 $2.22
NWGamersChoice 1 $2.24
The Game Hub 1 $2.27
The Deck Box 3 $2.28
The Game Shoppe 1 $2.28
GameFuzion 1 $2.29

>> View all Prices for Supreme Verdict <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Supreme Verdict Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Supreme Verdict
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $4.45
Predicted Price in 3 months: $3.00

Back when Sol Malka was winning PTQs with The Rock, Jon Finkel was winning Invitationals. When he won his Invitational, the card he designed was Wrath of Leknif (his last name spelled backwards). What did the card do? It cost 1WWU and buried all creatures, then untapped up to four lands. The card never saw print because it was deemed too powerful for control decks. So instead they made Shadowmage Infiltrator, which debuted in the same set as Psychatog. Supreme Verdict is not the same card as Wrath of Leknif, but it solves a similar range of problems just as effectively. Instead of wiping the board and leaving you with mana untapped to stop whatever the opponent does to recover from the board wipe, you are guaranteed not to be thwarted by a counter. This would have been a particularly good answer to Delver of Secrets by getting around Mana Leak, but even now it is good enough to see play. Not only is Mana Leak gone from Standard, but so is Day of Judgment. This means anyone looking for a board wipe will have to look toward Terminus, Mutilate, or Supreme Verdict. Among these options, I like Supreme Verdict, though Wrath of Leknif would still have been much better.

High
Mid
Low
 Epic Experiment
$2.00
$0.77
$0.41
Store QTY Price  
Auggie's Games 4 $0.41
Meta-Gaming 5 $0.43
OldSchoolGaming 1 $0.43
Harpyhoney 4 $0.45
OldSchoolGaming 4 $0.48
Dips Cards 1 $0.49
Ubidoncards 1 $0.49
Alter Reality Games 7 $0.49
Nerd Rage Gaming 2 $0.49

>> View all Prices for Epic Experiment <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Epic Experiment Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Epic Experiment
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $4.34
Predicted Price in 3 months: $6.50

I'm not sure how best to use this card. In Standard it's a Genesis Wave for instants and sorceries, which Conley Woods will probably make work somehow, and Frank will then make an epic video with the deck. My price prediction is largely hinging on how popular the card will be in older formats. If it also ends up having casual or Standard appeal, the price is sure to increase, since it's a Mythic. Otherwise I still feel like $4.00 is low for the card.

High
Mid
Low
 Chromatic Lantern
$6.83
$4.01
$2.79
Store QTY Price  
Top Tyr Games 1 $2.79
Dungeon Masters Lair 1 $2.80
DrewEnglund 1 $2.80
Bababiff Games 3 $2.99
Legends TC 1 $3.00
Geeks MTG 2 $3.21
Bababiff Games 1 $3.25
Top Deck Games 1 $3.25
Treasure Coast Magic 1 $3.29

>> View all Prices for Chromatic Lantern <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Chromatic Lantern Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Chromatic Lantern
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $3.95
Predicted Price in 3 months: $3.00

Who, other than me, doesn't want Chromatic Lantern? I'd say about half the Commander decks in existence want Chromatic Lantern. Most Cubes probably want it. Will there be Constructed decks that want it? I'm guessing, yes. In two color control decks, Pristine Talisman is better, but in 3+ color decks, the Lantern is way better. This won't even be a debate, however, since the Talisman is rotating. Besides, with the amount of awesome multicolor cards in Return to Ravnica (and more to come in the next two sets), what control deck will want to limit itself to just two colors? I expect Chromatic Lantern to be the type of card that is gradually worth more and more money, driven by casual appeal. In three months, however, I expect it to be at its lowest price point, at which time it will begin gradually climbing until it gets reprinted in some promotional product. If you want Chromatic Lantern, buy it now. If for some reason it never gets reprinted, it could eventually reach $10, but I suspect it will get reprinted before then.

High
Mid
Low
 Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
$6.00
$1.37
$0.75
Store QTY Price  
Frugal Cards 2 $0.75
MTGEmporium 1 $0.87
adventuresON 11 $0.89
NWGamersChoice 6 $0.89
Manawerx 1 $0.95
Standstill Games 4 $0.99
Brute Force Games 8 $0.99
The Magic Dungeon 1 $0.99
The End Games 2 $0.99

>> View all Prices for Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $2.75
Predicted Price in 3 months: $2.00

Jarad is in Izzet vs. Golgari, along with Life from the Loam, Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, Eternal Witness, Golgari Grave-Troll, Isochron Scepter, and Brainstorm. I suspect people will purchase this product mainly because of Niv-Mizzet and Life from the Loam, which will flood the market with excess Jarads. Still, an improved Lhurgoyf is pretty sweet. I expect him to see marginal play, and when a deck comes out that contains him, I expect his price to briefly spike and then gradual decline again and to finally stabilize around $2. The deck will likely be Zombies or Reanimator. The spike may not come until after the 3-month period.

High
Mid
Low
 Underworld Connections
$3.00
$0.76
$0.25
Store QTY Price  
MoggBog 1 $0.25
Pork Roll Gaming 1 $0.36
Brickmaster Games 1 $0.36
CloudCityGames 1 $0.36
Pearl Trident Magic 1 $0.40
ChannelFireball 12 $0.44
ShuffleandCut 8 $0.44
Auggie's Games 1 $0.44
Plug & Play LLC 1 $0.45

>> View all Prices for Underworld Connections <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Underworld Connections Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Underworld Connections
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $1.33
Predicted Price in 3 months: $2.00

Upon first glance, I thought “This is basically Phyrexian Arena.” Then I thought about it said, “No, this is much worse because it basically requires you to lose a land.” Then I thought about it some more and realized, “Actually the land replaces itself because you can draw a card the turn you play it.” So it's better than Arena in the sense that you get an extra card the turn you play it (until you tap out for it), but worse in the sense that if you use the land for mana, you don't get the card that turn. It's also incidentally worse in that it dies to land destruction. All things considered, it's about on par for a deck with mostly low-mana-cost spells whereas it is worse in decks that use its mana more regularly. Regardless, it's all we have since Phyrexian Arena is not in Standard, and as such, it is quite the option to have!

The more apt comparison, as far as Standard is concerned, is to Liliana of the Dark Realms. Instead of fetching up a shock land with Liliana, you can just draw a random card with the Underworld Connections. It's a heavier mana investment and doesn't give you a body (nor dies to creature removal), so it's certainly no Dark Confidant, but I expect it to see more play than its current price tag is giving it credit for. Hence I expect a slight rise in price.

High
Mid
Low
 Pack Rat
$12.45
$2.49
$1.31
Store QTY Price  
Other Worlds Games 1 $1.31
Discordia Games 1 $1.61
I Got Game 1 $1.72
Manawerx 1 $1.81
Auggie's Games 1 $1.93
Signpost Games 3 $1.93
GamingGoat Champaign 1 $1.98
ChannelFireball 12 $1.99
Home Field Cards 2 $2.00

>> View all Prices for Pack Rat <<

Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time!
Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Pack Rat Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card



Pack Rat
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $0.39
Predicted Price in 3 months: $1.00

Do you have a Relentless Rats deck? Do you know someone who does? If you've ever played with a Relentless Rats deck, you're familiar with how annoying it is to draw Swamps when all you want are more rats. Well guess what, Pack Rat is basically a Relentless Rats that turns your excess Swamps into more copies of itself! Sure, you can only play 4 copies of Pack Rat in your Relentless Rats deck, but it's a great addition and should thereby pull more than $.39 worth of demand. Pick up a play set and throw them into your Rat deck, or give them to the person you know who has a Rat deck. You'll be glad you did.


Conclusions and Further Comments

I expect there to be a higher density of $10+ (non-mythic) Rares from this set than from ordinary base sets, due primarily to the printing of five shock lands. I expect this to pull the price of Mythics downward. There are also, however, an inordinately high amount of casual Rares and Mythics from this set as well, which I expect will initially keep the prices of all cards in the set relatively low, except for the few whose demand will spike disproportionately to what it is currently, due primarily to misevaluation of card quality (i.e. Niv-Mizzet). After the 3-month mark, I expect prices on many cards to gradually climb.

I also expect the set as a whole to retain more value than most sets due to its appeal to multiple markets (Standard, Casual, and Non-Rotating formats). Much like the original Ravnica set, I would not be surprised if boxes of Return to Ravnica are worth a premium compared to the average set. While shock lands are the primary cash cow, there are enough cards like Doubling Season, Glimpse the Unthinkable, Life from the Loam, Chord of Calling, and Privileged Position to keep it afloat. It may or may not be lacking a breakout Dark Confidant, though Sol Malka seems to think it contains something of the sort in Deathrite Shaman.

To recap, the cards I would be most inclined to invest in for profit right now are:

Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $6.17
Predicted Price in 3 months: $12.50

Deathrite Shaman
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $4.68
Predicted Price in 3 months: $7.50

Angel of Serenity
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $10.95
Predicted Price in 3 months: $15.00

Epic Experiment
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $4.34
Predicted Price in 3 months: $6.50

Rakdos, Lord of Riots
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $7.70
Predicted Price in 3 months: $10.00

Underworld Connections
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $1.33
Predicted Price in 3 months: $2.00

Pack Rat
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $0.39
Predicted Price in 3 months: $1.00

Longer term, barring a promotional reprint (which I think is not unlikely), I would also add the following:

Chromatic Lantern
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $3.95
Predicted Price in 3 months: $3.00

And of course, the safest investments, and those with the biggest play value upside:

Any of the Five Shock Lands
Current TCGplayer.com Low: $8.73-11.99
Predicted Price in 3 months: $10.00

Craig Wescoe
@Nacatls4Life on twitter



submit to reddit » Print «