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By: xger, Xger
Jul 06 2016 11:00am
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Conflux centers on Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker's plans to reunite the shards to harness the united mana. The Conflux is the beginning of these plans, where the Shards and their existences begin to blend, leaving utter chaos and confusion. The set adds more to the shard options for draft, but unfortunately not much financially. However, the most valuable card is not a mythic, Noble Hierarch.  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
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:

Conflux History and Background:

Information about Conflux hit the public sphere before Shards of Alara prereleases started. An MTG Salvation forum dweller did a seemingly innocuous Google search. He simply wanted a list of Magic cards, and he happened across a list that contained every printed Magic card. By sheer coincidence (reportedly), the card he was looking at had a Conflux card next to, so it had an unknown name and unknown set code. Lo and behold, the entire card list of Conflux was in the pile, So, we knew that the set had a Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker as well as some of the reprints such as Unsummon and Worldly Counsel.

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The Conflux was a (anti-)cataclysmic event that reunited the Shards of Alara. The reunification brought the shards into direct conflict, and we see that in cards such as Celestial Purge, Controlled Instincts, and Filigree Fracture (which is referencing Filigree Sages from Shards). The Conflux also awakened the five colored creatures, such as Dragonsoul Knight and Progenitus, that had long lay dormant on the plane.

Continuing from last week, next up is the Grixis and Jund shards. Grixis was a shard of undeath, with many dangerous and deadly areas. The denizens practiced much necromantic magic and gathered Vis from various sources--Absorb Vis--to channel into their dark magic. Upon reunification, many of Grixis prospered as they turned fallen enemies into undead soldiers to fight for them. After the influx of magic, Grixis influence spread, causing demonic cults to spring up throughout the plane.

Jund was a land dominated by numerous volcanoes, throughout the Savage Lands. Jund had only one rule: only the strongest survive. This meant that Jund was a constant battle for survival, which can be seen with Devour cards such as Hellkite Hatchling. The reunification of the shards drove Jund into a more peaceful overall, though the dragons began to sow havoc throughout the plane. 

As for MTGO, Worth ruled out leagues in the following 4 months, but stated the plan was to implement them in the current version of the client. 

The big news was the announcement of the Magic Online Championship Series (MOCS). This was the start of bringing MTGO players onto the pro scene and it started with the chance to win $32,000 at a tournament after a year of MOCS seasons finished up.

Fiscal Value of the Flashback

Prices are from MTG Goldfish, from Tuesday evening July 5th.

Conflux:

Top Mythics
Name Price
Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker $3.29
Maelstrom Archangel $2.06
Child of Alara $2.00
Progenitus $1.68
Ethersworn Adjudicator $1.66
Top 10 Rares
Name Price
Noble Hierarch $21.48
Knight of the Reliquary $3.29
Master Transmuter $1.24
Nyxathid $0.74
Font of Mythos $0.68
Martial Coup $0.55
Banefire $0.52
Mark of Asylum $0.51
Exotic Orchard $0.50
Wall of Reverence $0.46
Top Uncommons
Path to Exile $2.46
Countersquall $0.43
Hellspark Elemental $0.30
Ancient Ziggurat $0.10
Worthwhile Commons
Scattershot Archer $0.43

So, right after being introduced to mythics, we get a curveball in Conflux: a rare, Noble Hierarch, is the most valuable card. Because of redemption, there is a glut of rares on MTGO, so the proportion of rares is about 6 times higher than if there was no redemption. On top of that, the best mythic is barely worth much, and has been reprinted twice.

 

These charts show the inflection points of the mythics and rares--here, between the 5th and 6th mythic and between the 3rd and 4th rare. That means that 5 mythics and 3 rares in the set are priced higher than the averages ($0.98 and $0.89, respectively). Both of those inflection points are interesting. The mythic point is actually quite low, and the mythic spread is decent, at least compared to previous spreads. The Rare is really bad, indicating a poor value for the set.

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). The same is applied for mythics. The blended rate below is 7/8 rare rate and 1/8 Mythic. I will probably continue to tinker with the blended rate.

Conflux's Rare Lottery Rate: 96%

Conflux's Mythic Lottery Rate: 47%

Conflux's Blended Lottery Rate: 90%

The mythic rate is the best we've seen, though I would take that information with a grain of salt. Modeling the mythic rate is tricky because the pool is so small. You have about a 7% for each mythic, and so the rate could be skewed. As a result, I would look toward either the rare rate or the blended rate to consider the economic value. For Conflux, it's not good.

Set Trend Pack Value Average Draft Value
Despite being a relatively low value set now, Conflux has climbed about 30% since the announcement. $1.43 Normal Pack

$2.76

$1.23 Without Commons $1.87
$1.37 Without Mythics $2.14

The value of the Shards packs has fallen quite a bit, to around 66%. This also shows the stark difference in the value spread between the two sets: Shards had most of its value in mythics, whereas Conflux has nearly half of its value in a single rare-Noble Hierarch.

Flashback Trends:

  Before Price After Price Percent Change Change Since Last Article
Eighth Edition $101.20 $114.17 12.8% 4.9%
Blood Moon $35.00 $36.82 5.2% 10.8%
Mirrodin $94.90 $73.42 -22.6% -4.4%
Oblivion Stone $35.00 $16.72 -52.2% 7.5%
Darksteel $68.60 $60.85 -11.3% -3.6%
AEther Vial $5.60 $6.52 16.4% -1.7%
Fifth Dawn $106.00 $121.65 14.8% 3.3%
Serum Visions $2.80 $2.72 -2.9% -6.5%
Champions $75.50 $56.50 -25.2% -2.2%
Sensei's Divining Top $3.50 $2.07 -40.9% -20.4%
Betrayers $63.20 $51.40 -18.7% 0.7%
Goryo's Vengeance $28.86 $15.99 -44.6% -3.7%
Saviors $61.10 $72.01 17.9% 3.9%
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds $15.50 $11.81 -23.8% 5.4%
Ninth Edition $102.40 $84.93 -17.1% 6.7%
Phyrexian Arena $5.20 $4.55 -12.5% 0.9%
Ravnica $78.20 $72.19 -7.7% 9.5%
Dark Confidant $12.59 $12.58 -0.1% 0.2%
Guildpact $41.60 $33.70 -19.0% 10.6%
Orzhov Pontiff $8.40 $3.67 -56.3% 12.9%
Dissension $74.50 $85.94 15.4% 1.2%
Infernal Tutor $36.66 $49.11 34.0% -7.2%
Coldsnap $74.70 $59.92 -19.8% 3.9%
Dark Depths $25.09 $19.96 -20.4% -0.2%
Time Spiral $44.90 $79.89 77.9% 47.2%
Ancestral Vision $21.01 $55.43 163.8% 75.4%
Planar Chaos $26.20 $26.13 -0.3% 6.2%
Damnation $14.32 $10.22 -28.6% -1.0%
Future Sight $203.60 $182.87 -10.2% 2.4%
Grove of the Burnwillows $39.02 $33.68 -13.7% 5.5%
Tenth Edition $104.40 $85.38 -18.2% 4.0%
Crucible of Worlds $25.77 $21.68 -15.9% 2.4%
Lorwyn $78.70 $59.46 -24.4% 8.7%
Thoughtseize $6.45 $6.02 -6.7% 0.8%
Morningtide $99.10 $83.74 -15.5% 3.1%
Scapeshift $30.16 $26.76 -11.3% -4.1%
Shadowmoor $108.40 $69.30 -36.1% 9.1%
Fulminator Mage $12.62 $12.90 2.2% 13.4%
Eventide $118.00 $99.61 -15.6% -6.8%
Twilight Mire $15.90 $14.19 -10.8% -4.4%
Shards of Alara $46.60 $32.97 -29.2% N/A
Ajani Vengeant $14.47 $9.10 -37.1% N/A

The big news here is the ascendant rise of Ancestral Vision. I cannot determine a reason, particularly when considering that the paper counterpart for Vision has been relatively steady since it was revealed not to be in Eternal Masters. In fact, right now, the online version is more valuable than the paper version, something that is extremely rare. My guess would be that this is the result of some speculators who are assuming Vision is unlikely to be reprinted anytime soon, which is probably accurate. However, that is a gamble. Right now, Ancestral Vision is approximately the 7th most valuable normal card on MTGO.

The rest of the news is pretty par for the course. Most things are gradually climbing. Serum Visions continues its wild variations, this time dipping back under its starting value. Hoarders may still be waiting, so it's possible that once Visions tops $3 the hoarders dump and the price tanks. Be wary and patient.

Wrap-up

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

  • Here's an article from Tom LaPille at Wizards.
  • Here's an article from Dee at Magic Game Plan.

I agree with the second article that two color aggro can be surprisingly strong. Because you aren't going for a shard you can get better cards sooner as other players fight for the three color cards.

As always, I appreciate any comments! 

xger

xger21 on MTGO.

1 Comments

Super useful article. Thanks by ricklongo at Thu, 07/07/2016 - 10:29
ricklongo's picture
5

Super useful article. Thanks for this!