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By: xger, Xger
Mar 24 2016 10:00am
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Guildpact--named for the 10,000 year old governing document of Ravnica and the guilds--is the second set of Ravnica block and gives three more guilds a chance to shine. Unfortunately, the mechanics are weaker than Ravnica, but the set is still fun. It also changes up the draft environment a fair amount. If you want to jump past the introduction, click here. To jump to the fiscal analysis, click here. 

Introduction to the 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.

Ravnica Block: Ravnica article.

Here is the upcoming schedule:

Format Dates
Triple Ravnica 3/16-3/23
Ravnica-Ravnica-Guildpact 3/23-3/30
Ravnica-Guildpact-Dissension 3/30-4/6
Triple Coldsnap 4/6-4/13
Break for Shadows over Innistrad 4/13-5/4
Triple Time Spiral 5/4-5/11

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 brief drafting advice. This will come either from my own experience and memory (if I actively drafted the set) or from what articles I can dredge up. Likely, it will be both, but will probably lean more towards the articles.

With that, let's get started:

Guildpact History and Background:

Guildpact picked up where Ravnica left off, bringing in three more guilds: the Gruul clans, the Izzet scientists, and the Orzhov syndicate. In the Ravnican world, the Gruul is loosely organized at best, and rarely venture into the city, mainly sticking to the little outskirts that remain scarcely populated. The Izzet conduct grand experiments and discard them readily for the next, mostly causing disruptive annoyances for the other guilds. The Orzhov are the connection of the citizens to law, both its good and bad side. Knowing the laws, the syndicate often acts as a mafia--but completely within the byzantine Ravnican law.

The mechanics of Guildpact include one miss, one disfavored, and one accepted mechanic. The Orzhov got Haunt (the mechanic that missed). While flavorfully intriguing and fitting, the mechanic is incredibly clunky and a good section of players had difficulty understanding and grokking it. Replicate, the Izzet guild's experiment, (the disfavored mechanic) has great potential for abuse and specific uses, but it is mana intensive and can lead to unfun decisions--such as waiting to cast Shattering Spree until you can hit every target. That leaves the accepted mechanic, Bloodthrist, the Gruul clans fighting approach to the Ravnican world. Bloodthrist is the only Guildpact mechanic to come back fully in another set and leads generally to a style of play Wizards likes to encourage (attacking).

blind huntershattering spreeSkarrgan Skybreaker

Guildpact continued the hybrid cards, with only one really notable: Debtors' Knell. Probably the most memorable card from Guildpact is Teysa, Orzhov Scion because she is a popular combo commander and a generally solid card. There were also a couple of combo-esque cards in Ghostway and Hatching Plans.

Debtors' knellteysa, orzhov scionghostwayhatching plans

While Teysa is probably the single most memorable card, Guildpact also contains a controversial, unique cycle of creatures: the Nephilim. The only 4-color creatures in Magic, they are mostly mediocre cards themselves. But, by virtue of being four colors, they have impact. The real issue though, is that the Nephilim are not legendary, so they cannot be commanders and, thus, Magic has no four color commanders (at least, yet). The issue is that designing four color creatures is more about the missing color than the four colors. Wizards seems to regret not making them legendary, since at the time Commander was nowhere near as big as it is now.

yore-tiller nephilimglint-eye nephilimdune-brood nephilim

ink-treader nephilimwitch-maw nephilim

As for MTGO, Visions came out not too long after Guildpact, continuing bringing old sets online. Nothing else really happened client wise.

Fiscal Value of the Flashback

Prices for the individual cards are from MTGOTraders sell price on Monday evening the 7th. Set trends are from MTG goldfish. 


Top 10 Rares
Name Price
Orzhov Pontiff $8.39
Stomping Ground $6.15
Steam Vents $5.05
Godless Shrine $4.63
Leyline of the Void $4.01
Ghostway $2.92
Stitch in Time $1.57
Teysa, Orzhov Scion $1.33
Debtors' Knell $0.86
Leyline of the Meek $0.64


Top Uncommons
Shattering Spree $1.64
Electrolyze $0.06
Feral Animist $0.04
Mortify $0.04
Frazzle $0.04
Worthwhile Commons
Silhana Ledgewalker $0.06
Izzet Boilerworks $0.05

Guildpact is not a good set, financially. It is lower valued at the starting point than other small sets that have already been drafted in the flashback are currently. There just are not tournament cards in Guildpact and not many casual all-stars. The three shocklands--recently reprinted--hold more than a third of the entire set's value. Fiscally, do not expect much from Guildpact.


This chart shows the inflection point of the rares--here, between the 10th and 11th rares. That means that 10 rares in the set are priced higher than the average rare ($0.70), which is only decent because of the very low average value of the rares. Guildpact has the lowest average, by nearly 20%. An interesting trend here, however, is the cluster of rares right under the average value. Typically, we have seen a decent drop and only one rare close to the average value. Here, we have three right under the average and one just above it. More a curiosity than helpful, but I like those little weird occurrences.

A lottery rate of 0% will mean the set is balanced, and 100% will mean a single card accounting for ~70% of the rares total value (70% is an approximation of the percentage of drafts that will not have the top value rare).

Guildpact's Lottery Rate: 85%

If people are interested in the math, I can add it in the comment or in future articles. Here, the top 5 rares hold more than 70% of the value. At least with the shocklands accounting for three of those slots, the overall price shouldn't be too strongly affected, as historically, the shocklands have maintained a decent value.

Guildpact is a bit hard to determine here. The set value is already so low that it seems unlikely to drop heavily, as there just is not much room. However, if something like Orzhov Pontiff had a decent price because of limited supply, the price could drop a fair bit.

Set Trend Pack Value Average Draft Value
Despite its low value, Guildpact has actually climbed almost 20% since the start of flashbacks. $1.05 With Commons $2.57
$0.83 Without Commons $2.06
$0.63 Without lottery rares $2.15

Given the position of Guildpact, I listed the 3 shocklands and Orzhov Pontiff as lottery. Hopefully the shocks will remain at a decent price and help keep Guildpact from being too depressing, at least financially.

Flashback Trends:

  Before Price After Price Percent Change Change Since Last Article
8ed $101.20 $114.98 13.6% -3.0%
Blood Moon $35.00 $24.25 -30.7% -6.0%
Mirrodin $94.90 $65.42 -31.1% -3.0%
Oblivion Stone $35.00 $17.38 -50.3% 2.8%
Glimmervoid $10.20 $6.59 -35.4% 10.4%
Darksteel $68.60 $61.95 -9.7% 1.6%
Arcbound Ravager $9.10 $7.49 -17.7% -2.7%
Aether Vial $5.60 $4.70 -16.1% 8.8%
Fifth Dawn $106.00 $90.32 -14.8% 1.0%
Auriok Champion $27.10 $22.56 -16.8% -0.6%
Serum Visions $2.80 $2.49 -11.1% 7.8%
Champions $75.50 $54.04 -28.4% -2.0%
Sensei's Divining Top $3.50 $3.62 3.4% 2.5%
Betrayers $63.20 $49.18 -22.2% 0.4%
Goryo's Vengeance $28.86 $18.45 -36.1% -2.9%
Saviors $61.10 $59.89 -2.0% 0.4%
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds $15.50 $11.04 -28.8% -5.7%
Ninth Edition $102.40 $75.53 -26.2% -0.5%
Adarkar Wastes $12.96 $5.95 -54.1% 11.6%
Ravnica $78.20 $58.23 -32.4% N/A
Dark Confidant $12.59 $10.10 -19.8% N/A

This week it looks like a number of the individual cards are starting to claim back up, and most things seems to have at least become less volatile. Ravnica took the expected dip, less than Mirrodin but a little harder fall than Champions of Kamigawa. I have to wonder if the reason Dark Confidant is so low is the upcoming Eternal Masters, where he seems a likely candidate. It doesn't help that Modern is in the state it currently is, so the ban announcement, if there is one, might produce a bump. Now just to see how Guildpact fares.


Don't forget to look at articles here on PureMTGO. Here is a search link for Guildpact articles. Old articles on the draft format: 

  • Here's a two part series on Wizards' site, pretty in depth. Part one, Part Two. Both are by Noah Wells.

This time around, there are two primary options: Embrace or ignore the Guildpact guilds. Since Guildpact is just one pack, the last to arrive, there is a chance that even if you plan for a guild, you may get nothing good. This can be particularly difficult with things like the guilds. As such, sometimes it is better to build a good deck with the two Rav packs and just look for non-guild cards in Guildpact. The other option is to find a common core and use that. For instance, in Rav, pick Boros and Selesnya. That means Gruul will be helpful in Guildpact because you are already in red and green, with white as the core.

As always, I appreciate any comments! Still working on the card pop-ups. Unfortunately, I am quite busy and not an HTML expert, so it is posing quite a problem for me. I'll keep at it though.


xger21 on MTGO.


Games are not more on by kookeecraze at Sat, 03/26/2016 - 03:43
kookeecraze's picture

Games are not more on winning. Sometimes it requires a better fight. - Fred Wehba