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By: xger, Xger
Jun 09 2016 12:00pm
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This week is wrapping up the short lived cheery fairy tale land. Unfortunately, we do not get new planeswalkers because Wizards originally was not sure players would want new walkers each set. The set also departs from the rather rosy financial world of Lorwyn. 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.

Here is the upcoming schedule:

Format Dates
Lorwyn, Lorwyn, Morningtide 6/8-6/15
Triple Shadowmoor 6/15-6/22
Shadowmoor, Shadowmoor, Eventide 6/22-6/29
Triple Shards of Alara 6/29-7/6
Shards of Alara, Shards of Alara, Conflux 7/6-7/13
Shards of Alara, Conflux, Alara Reborn 7/13-7/20
Magic 2010 7/20-7/27
Break for Eldritch Moon 7/27-8/17

Wizards has updated the schedule, so these are confirmed dates (they've even included dates beyond what I have here).

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:

Morningtide History and Background:

Morningtide continues the Celtic influence fairy tale world of Lorwyn. The biggest additions are the inclusion of more cards that further clog up the board. Cards like Cenn's Tactician can really alter a player's position at a short notice. It can really require good concentration on the board. Forgetting the free beefy blockers of Fendeep Summoner would be very costly.

cenn's tacticianfendeep summonerseething pathblazerunstoppable ash

Morningtide brought three new mechanics: Prowl, Kinship, and Reinforce.  I couldn't find anything about the reception of Reinforce, but both Prowl and Kinship weren't particularly well received. Morningtide continues the rather lackluster Lorwyn block mechanics. As for play, Prowl encourages attacking and rewards pushing through damage, so be wary of Blue and Black decks trying to sneak in. Kinship is not something I would plan on using, as any tribal deck might not get the right Kinship cards. Just consider Kinship icing on the case.

auntie's snitchmudbutton clangerrustic clachan

Morningtide has a number of cycles, including fan favorites of cost reductions such as Ballyrush Banneret. The set also includes some new lords, another popular crowd favorite: Sage of Fables. Another good cycle is the tribal equipment such as Thornbite Staff.

bosk banneretrage forgerdiviner's wand

Story wise, the set largely follows the exile of Rhys, whom the elves blamed for a cataclysm. Part of the theme of the set is that the elves are obsessed with perfection, so when Rhys had his horns severed, he became too ugly for the elves. After the exile, Rhys must deal with the Aurora, a time when the plane gets a brief night and sometimes fundamental alterations. Ashling searches for the source of her nightmares.

rhys the exiledashling the pilgrim

For MTGO, V3 looms large as the "38" day countdown continued past the 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90 day marks. Since the transition happens when Shadowmoor comes out, I will discuss the results then. Preview: it was a nearly end of MTGO disaster. 

Fiscal Value of the Flashback

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


Top 10 Rares
Name Price
Scapeshift $30.16
Vendilion Clique $19.62
Bitterblossom $12.10
Mutavault $7.36
Idyllic Tutor $6.73
Leaf-Crowned Elder $2.91
Chameleon Colossus $2.16
Murmuring Bosk $1.93
Notorious Throng $1.14
Grimoire Thief $1.05
Top Uncommons
Heritage Druid $2.00
Worthwhile Commons
Shard Volley $0.42

And, we are back to lottery sets. While Lorwyn was a nice break, it was not meant to last. Luckily, there are three lottery rares so the odds of seeing something worth more than the draft cost are better than a lot of sets. Additionally, Heritage Druid is solid value for an uncommon and will likely keep decent value longtime. It's used in combo and elves, both casual fun, popular, and occasionally tournament worthy.


This chart shows the inflection point of the rares--here, between the 8th and 9th rares. That means that 8 rares in the set are priced higher than the average rare ($1.91). That average rare price is quite high, and a number of the high value cards are strong cards likely to see lots of play for a long time. Hopefully that means the valuable cards won't fall too far and will recover relatively quickly.

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).

Morningtide's Lottery Rate: 88%

The rate isn't too bad for the fact there are three pretty clear lottery rares.

Set Trend Pack Value Average Draft Value
The set dropped about 15% since the flashbacks were announced. It really hasn't had any rebound. $2.40 With Commons $3.96
$2.12 Without Commons $3.22
$1.16 Without lottery rares $2.72

The lack of long term climb for Morningtide is somewhat troubling for the impact of this flashback. If the set wasn't generally rising over the last six months with any real substance, it might have more trouble recovering from the flashback than the normal set. We'll have to wait and see, and it might be an interesting trend to watch.

Flashback Trends:

  Before Price After Price Percent Change Change Since Last Article
Eighth Edition $101.20 $103.14 1.9% 1.0%
Blood Moon $35.00 $29.46 -15.8% 8.2%
Mirrodin $94.90 $74.06 -22.0% 1.0%
Oblivion Stone $35.00 $14.85 -57.6% -11.1%
Darksteel $68.60 $58.95 -14.1% 1.1%
Aether Vial $5.60 $6.57 17.3% 3.6%
Fifth Dawn $106.00 $102.81 -3.0% -0.8%
Serum Visions $2.80 $2.62 -6.4% 4.0%
Champions $75.50 $55.52 -26.5% 3.4%
Sensei's Divining Top $3.50 $2.29 -34.6% -9.5%
Betrayers $63.20 $45.35 -28.2% -6.5%
Goryo's Vengeance $28.86 $14.42 -50.0% -15.9%
Saviors $61.10 $64.61 5.7% 1.8%
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds $15.50 $9.86 -36.4% 3.9%
Ninth Edition $102.40 $76.64 -25.2% 0.0%
Phyrexian Arena $5.20 $4.48 -13.8% -10.9%
Ravnica $78.20 $65.32 -16.5% -1.6%
Dark Confidant $12.59 $10.65 -15.4% -14.5%
Guildpact $41.60 $34.54 -17.0% 11.3%
Orzhov Pontiff $8.40 $4.73 -43.7% 3.7%
Dissension $74.50 $83.28 11.8% 9.6%
Infernal Tutor $36.66 $52.54 43.3% 16.7%
Coldsnap $74.70 $57.63 -22.9% 3.4%
Dark Depths $25.09 $19.41 -22.6% 2.3%
Time Spiral $44.90 $48.76 8.6% 10.3%
Ancestral Vision $21.01 $26.41 25.7% 16.1%
Planar Chaos $26.20 $23.21 -11.4% 2.1%
Damnation $14.32 $10.98 -23.3% -1.2%
Future Sight $203.60 $179.62 -11.8% 2.5%
Grove of the Burnwillows $39.02 $35.77 -8.3% -2.3%
Tenth Edition $104.40 $79.35 -24.0% -5.3%
Crucible of Worlds $25.77 $20.64 -19.9% 3.4%
Lorwyn $78.70 $55.06 -30.0% N/A
Thoughtseize $6.45 $6.06 -6.0% N/A

The trend of older cards and sets slowly climbing week over week continues. Again, this is a generally good sign that the flashbacks aren't causing severe long-term damage to the economy. The most surprising change is probably (Infernal Tutor:gpt), which jumped quite a bit. It's just off that (Infernal Tutor:gpt) might climb enough to be worth more than Guildpact as a whole started at. 

The trend of the non-rares might be the most insightful for a realistic look. Visions is taking quite a while to climb back, Vial is strong, and Divining Top is resilient, considering its recent reprint. Essentially, speculation can definitely drive prices but demand can recover the prices reasonably quickly. Visions has long been a heavy speculation target, and now the demand is lower and it is played less, so it is not recovering. Top is not down too much despite a new reprint, because it will always be needed for a variety of decks and formats.


Don't forget to look at articles here on PureMTGO. Here is a search link for Lorwyn articles. Again, we have a number of older articles, feel free to poke around. Old articles on the draft format: 

  • Here's an article from SCG by Nick Eisel
  • Here's a video article from a previous time LLM was a flahsback, at MTGO Academy, by Windmill Slam

Morningtide has much the same, a lot going on onboard, but Lorwyn continues to dominate the format and the draft choices. The usual third pack small set issues.

As always, I appreciate any comments! 


xger21 on MTGO.