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By: xger, Xger
Aug 24 2017 12:00pm
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A change of schedule due to Standard gauntlet bugs means we are getting the Ravnica flashbacks. Time to dive in and look at the value in the set! This time I will do an analysis of the shocklands over time instead of a history of Ravnica, as I did that in my previous article.

If you want to jump past the introduction, click here. To jump to the fiscal analysis, click here. 

Introduction to Article Series

To jump to the set background, click here. To jump to the fiscal analysis, click here.

Over the course of this year, Wizards will run flashback drafts that are from the Modern sets. One week for each format. The flashbacks will stop when there is a prerelease or release going on. More info here.

While Wizards has promised flashbacks throughout the year, we do not know what the next one will be, nor do we know when it will be. 

First, I will do a fiscal analysis. While a lot of players will play just for the fun of it, knowing what cards are worth something is a good plan. Since none of these formats are competitively valued anymore, there really is no reason to pass on a $30 card. Even if it is terrible and useless in limited. Further, knowing what common and uncommons are worth the effort to sell could be useful.

However, just a rote listing of pricing is only so helpful. A lot of the cards, particularly core sets and the older sets, just don't have the supply to adequately meet demand. That means some of the cards might tank quickly when there is a sudden surge of supply. Some of these sets have probably never had flashbacks, or it has been many years. That means the market reaction might be extreme or subtle. It is also unknown how many cards will enter the system—if the drafts are popular, the effect is greater.

To give the most useful information, I am going to track the value of the sets already given a flashback as well as the time just prior to the flashback. Hopefully this will give some idea of the fiscal value of the flashback draft. Of course, it is still going to be a lottery most of the time.

Second, I will give some very brief drafting advice and provide links to other articles from those better experienced. 

With that, let's get started:

Ravnica Shockland Price History

Probably the best place to start would be where the 4 shocklands were last time around, about 17 months ago:

*Overgrown Tomb was not in the top 10 rares during the last flashback, so this is the price history from MTGGoldfish.

This time around, the prices are vastly different for some, others, not so much:

Historically, Shocklands have been popular targets for long term growth due to their persistent demand for a variety of formats. What's interesting here is that in the 17 months between flashbacks, there has been no growth, and only a drop. This belays the normal, expected pattern. Let's take a took at the one that didn't drop (at least no statistically speaking), Sacred Foundry:

The first thing to notice is that the shockland peaked a few months prior to the flashback, but after the announcement. Of course, this is also around the time of the last Modern Pro Tour. This was also the dreaded Eldrazi Winter, so it seems odd to consider that Sacred Foundry spiked then. Most likely it was just a general interest in Modern, and the probability of a ban. The only notable rapid change is the significant drop around Kaladesh. This one I am completely unsure of what would result in such a change, other than the traditional sells around the release of a new set. 

If you go further back, the real rise of Sacred Foundry occurred toward the end of its time in Standard, where it reached about 10 tickets for a short stint. All in all, it looks fairly standard. 

What's interesting is looking at Watery Grave and Overgrown Tomb. They largely follow the ups and down, but neither has the strong dip around Kaladesh, whereas Temple Garden has a similar dip, albeit to a lesser degree.

The end result is fairly straightforward though--looking back, the peak is at the end of the standard cycle. It is questionable whether the shocklands are worth investing in long term, without the prospect of a Standard reprint. None of the lands, at least for Ravnica--the set most heavily opened in the original block--have gained substantially outside of a Standard period. At the same time, they are likely to always have some level of value.

Fiscal Value

Prices are from MTGOtraders and MTGgoldfish as the evening on the 22nd. 

Ravnica

 

Top 10 Rares
Name Price
Dark Confidant $14.75
Life from the Loam $8.72
Sacred Foundry $4.00
Chord of Calling $3.69
Glimpse the Unthinkable $3.51
Doubling Season $2.69
Watery Grave $2.41
Temple Garden $2.40
Birds of Paradise $1.52
Overgrown Tomb $1.47

 

Top Uncommons
Name Price
Remand $2.08
Lightning Helix $0.58

 

Worthwhile Commons
Name Price
None!

What's most important here is noticing that this time, there are far fewer valuable commons and uncommons. Last time, the uncommons numbered 5 and there were 2 commons. Remand dropped a little, but Lightning Helix is up 44¢.Similarly, the rare table isn't as good, as the drop happens quicker this time around. In short, don't expect a similar amount of value as last time, even though the prize--Dark Confidant--is around the same, and still pays for the draft. It's also critical to note that the price increased by $2, so really, do not expect a similar value to last time, if you recall that.

 

These charts show the inflection points of the sets' rares--here the set average is $0.56. That's not great, but not terribly abnormal either. Sadly, it's down about 33% from the last Ravnica was in flashback.

Set Trend Pack Value Average Draft Value
The set is going through the normal ups and downs, and is currently in a down period. $0.61 Normal Pack

$1.84

$0.60 Without Commons $1.80
     

At least Ravnica is a fairly popular format, so this should be fun. Just don't do it for value.

 

Trend Values

I know it has been quick a while since I've run the Trend sets, but it seems like an interesting experiment to look back after such a long break. Here we go:

  Before Price After Price Percent Change Change Since Last Article
Eighth Edition $101.2 $99.39 -1.8% -32.9%
Blood Moon $35.00 $19.45 -44.4% -59.7%
Mirrodin $94.9 $72.34 -23.8% -9.2%
Oblivion Stone $35.00 $9.41 -73.1% -39.8%
Darksteel $68.60 $46.74 -31.9% 8.8%
Aether Vial $5.60 $7.72 37.9% 43.5%
Fifth Dawn $106.00 $75.38 -28.9% -31.3%
Serum Visions $2.80 $2.00 -28.6% -31.7%
Champions $75.50 $46.75 -38.1% -1%
Through the Breach $13.33 $13.78 3.4% -0.2%
Betrayers $63.20 $31.90 -49.5% -1.8%
Goryo's Vengeance $28.86 $14.53 -49.7% 49.5%
Saviors $61.10 $20.77 -66% -56%
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds $15.50 $3.33 -78.5% -34.7%
Ninth Edition $102.40 $57.30 -44% -37%
Phyrexian Arena $5.20 $5.16 -0.8% 8.6%
Ravnica $78.20 $54.72 -30% -16.5%
Dark Confidant $12.59 $14.75 17.2% 60.3%
Guildpact $41.60 $34.12 -18% 32.3%
Orzhov Pontiff $8.40 $1.99 -76.3% 24.4%
Dissension $74.50 $64.67 -13.2% 4%
Infernal Tutor $36.66 $38.61 5.3% 1%
Coldsnap $74.70 $71.71 -4% 46.9%
Mishra's Bauble $6.15 $11.30 83.7% 82.3%
Time Spiral $44.90 $35.46 -21% -28%
Ancestral Vision $21.01 $15.89 -24.4% -39.1%
Planar Chaos $26.20 $17.95 -31.5% -27%
Damnation $14.32 $4.98 -65.2% -46.9%
Future Sight $203.60 $130.29 -36% -8.1%
Grove of the Burnwillows $39.02 $22.40 -42.6% 29.3%
Tenth Edition $104.40 $49.80 -52.3% -22.8%
Crucible of Worlds $25.77 $13.11 -49.1% -10.8%
Lorwyn $78.70 $45.89 -41.7% 1.8%
Thoughtseize $6.45 $7.05 9.3% 30.3%
Morningtide $99.10 $111.08 12.1% 65.8%
Scapeshift $30.16 $36.10 19.7% 75.2%
Shadowmoor $108.40 $82.06 -24.3% 33.3%
Fulminator Mage $12.62 $17.06 35.2% 56.1%
Eventide $118.00 $45.18 -61.7% -37.8%
Twilight Mire $15.90 $3.65 -77% -71.4%
Shards of Alara $46.60 $26.78 -42.5% -10.7%
Ajani Vengeant $14.47 $8.16 -43.6% -28.4%
Conflux $49.10 $41.93 -14.6% 6.4%
Noble Hierarch $21.48 $22.33 4% 1.4%
Alara Reborn $30.10 $17.79 -40.9% -9.7%
Maelstrom Pulse $5.07 $4.17 -17.8% 37.2%
Magic 2010 $46.40 $31.48 -32.2% 16.3%
Time Warp $7.63 $7.73 1.3% 37.1%
Zendikar $157.70 $97.39 -38.2% -7.2%
Scalding Tarn $31.78 $27.18 -14.5% 2.9%
Worldwake $100.30 $73.82 -26.4% 12.6%
Celestial Colonnade $26.97 $22.67 -15.9% 51.2%
Rise of the Eldrazi $50.00 $52.40 4.8% 58.5%
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn $12.30 $9.35 -24% 19.6%
Magic 2011 $81.60 $87.15 6.8% 51.1%
Primeval Titan $12.66 $20.00 58% 117.2%
Scars of Mirrodin $94.18 $105.64 12.2% 45.9%
Mox Opal $29.53 $54.65 85.1% 98.2%
Mirrodin Besieged $87.67 $48.56 -44.6% -16.2%
Inkmoth Nexus $32.78 $10.33 -68.5% -53.5%
New Phyrexia $148.90 $144.57 -2.9% 6.6%
Batterskull $23.90 $18.03 -24.6% -8.1%
Innistrad $121.30 $150.25 23.9% 1.2%
Liliana of the Veil $85.14 $69.84 -18% -23.4%
Dark Ascension $40.68 $30.55 -24.9% -9.7%
Grafdigger's Cage $17.04 $7.57 -55.6% -51.3%
Magic 2012 $42.01 $66.33 57.9% 50%
Visions of Beyond $4.21 $0.93 -77.9% -71.1%
Avacyn Restored $131.20 $78.38 -40.3% -34.9%
Cavern of Souls $33.43 $25.17 -24.7% -12.3%
Magic 2013 $41.41 $36.95 -10.8% 2.4%
Thragtusk $4.80 $1.36 -71.7% -62.3%
Return to Ravnica $48.58 $51.6 6.2% 38.4%
Rest in Peace $6.15 $9.69 57.6% 157.7%
Gatecrash $32.96 $31.39 -4.8% 28.1%
Stomping Ground $6.49 $7.59 16.9% 52.7%
Dragon's Maze $26.05 $21.94 -15.8% -16%
Voice of Resurgence $19.15 $14.14 -26.2% -26.2%

It's been so long that there really is no way of determining what caused any of this. There are some obvious things--Modern sideboard cards like Rest in Peace and Fulminator Mage--while others don't have an obvious cause--Twilight Mire crashing so hard, for instance.

Again, this was mostly just to see what it looked like. Hope you enjoyed looking at it, it was definitely interesting to me!

Wrap Up

Should you want other articles, here's a search link! Of course, keep in mind that will include Return to Ravnica.

Don't forget that the Karoos (i.e. Golgari Rot Farm) are very good, and often are first pick worthy.

As always, I appreciate any comments! 

xger

xger21 on MTGO.