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By: xger, Xger
Aug 24 2016 11:00am
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Worldwake is a set defined by its notable cards--Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Stoneforge Mystic, Abyssal Persecutor, Celestial Colonnade and Kor Firewalker as some examples. Fiscally, the set is strong, which rounds out with Zendikar for one of the more impressive flashback drafts, at least value wise. So, let's dig in! 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
Zendikar, Zendikar, Worldwake 8/24-8/30
Triple Rise of the Eldrazi 8/31-9/6
Triple Magic 2011 9/7-9/13
Triple Scars of Mirrodin 9/14-9/20
Mirrodin Besieged, Scars of Mirrodin, Scars of Mirrodin 9/21-9/27
New Phyrexia, Mirrodin Besieged, Scars of Mirrodin 9/28-10/4
Break for Kaladesh 10/5-10/25

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:

Worldwake History and Background:

As I've already alluded to, Worldwake made its impact primarily because of Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Among the many issues that came with Jace is logistics of a highly desirable card being a mythic in a small winter set. The number opened just wasn't that high, and boxes of Worldwake often sold for quite high values long after it was out of print. Jace also caused waves, both pleasant and tumultuous, in the tournament scene, eventually enabling the demonic (or to select few, angelic) Caw-Blade deck. Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic join the exclusive list of cards banned in standard (which includes such gems as Channel, Zuran Orb, Mind Twist, Tolarian Academy, and Skullclamp).

Jace, the mind sculptorstoneforge mystic

The primary theme of Worldwake is a focus on lands that have extra utility, primarily becoming creatures. The allied colored rarecreaturelands are here, including Creeping Tar Pit, Raging Ravine, and Lavaclaw Reaches. It also included a set of animate land enchantments reminiscent of the Genju of Kamigawa. Compare Genju of the Spires with Crusher Zendikon. It also brought the instant landfall cards, two of which has really made their place--Searing Blaze and Groundswell. There is also one of the rare non-mana producing lands with Eye of Ugin.

Time to go back a little into the story. As usual, click the button for the story and find out the Worldwake is!

In the world of MTGO, Legacy finally makes it way online, and Classic becomes a "specialty" format. For those unaware, classic was a stand in for legacy before most of the necessary cards were online, and it had its own unique meta. Here, its death knell was sounded.

Fiscal Value of the Flashback

Prices are from MTG Goldfish, from Tuesday evening August 23rd.


Top 5 Mythics
Name Price
Avenger of Zendikar $10.08
Jace, the Mind Sculptor $6.73
Abyssal Persecutor $3.69
Omnath, Locus of Mana $3.27
Dragonmaster Outcast $2.57
Top 10 Rares
Name Price
Celestial Colonnade $26.97
Death's Shadow $13.10
Creeping Tar Pit $11.55
Raging Ravine $7.18
Basilisk Collar $2.69
Joraga Warcaller $2.40
Stoneforge Mystic $1.93
Amulet of Vigor $1.87
Stirring Wildwood $1.38
Kalastria Highborn $0.75
Top Uncommons
Tectonic Edge $0.91
Kor Firewalker $0.10
Worthwhile Commons
Searing Blaze $0.59

Personally, what I find most interesting is that JTMS is being beaten by Avenger of Zendikar. I fondly remember playing ZEN/WWK sealed where I managed to open back to back Jace, which supported my habit for quite a while. Now, JTMS is being beaten by a plant! Back to reality--theres a little more than a 10% chance of opening a card in Worldwake that will singlehandedly cover the cost of the draft, which isn't good, but isn't terrible either. While there are not a lot of good uncommons and commons, both Tectonic Edge and Searing Blaze are cards likely to hold value over time, as they are both terrific cards that serve their respective purposes quite well.


These charts show the inflection points of the mythics and rares--here, between the 5th and 6th mythic and between the 6th and 7th rare. That means that 5 mythics and 8 rares in the set are priced higher than the averages ($2.27 and $2.05, respectively). The rare inflection is particularly high here, as the value the rares drops very quickly, reaching sub $0.10 well before normal. The mythic inflection seems pretty standard.

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.

Worldwake's Rare Lottery Rate: 92%

Worldwake's Mythic Lottery Rate: 47%

Worldwake's Blended Lottery Rate: 87%

These rates are worse than recent ones. There's really a lot more weight in a few cards this time, mostly Avenger of Zendikar and Celestial Colonnade. Worldwake makes the overall draft a bit more random luck for value, but that isn't too abnormal historically.

Set Trend Pack Value Average Draft Value
Worldwake has one of the longer falls, dropping about 25% of the last eight or so months. About half of that is from Jace, the Mind Sculptor alone. $2.58 Normal Pack


$2.30 Without Commons $6.58
$2.20 Without Mythics $6.07

Surprisingly, we've had two sets with a strong pack value. Even after Zendikar's nearly 20% drop, we still have a quite high average draft value. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Flashback Trends:

  Before Price After Price Percent Change Change Since Last Article
Eighth Edition $101.20 $92.70 -8.4% 0.3%
Blood Moon $35.00 $27.89 -20.3% 1.6%
Mirrodin $94.90 $64.66 -31.9% 6.7%
Oblivion Stone $35.00 $15.11 -56.8% 13.1%
Darksteel $68.60 $52.13 -24.0% 3.0%
AEther Vial $5.60 $6.21 10.9% 12.7%
Fifth Dawn $106.00 $120.50 13.7% 5.9%
Serum Visions $2.80 $1.95 -30.4% -1.5%
Champions $75.50 $56.57 -25.1% 17.3%
Through the Breach $13.33 $19.20 44.0% N/A
Betrayers $63.20 $48.53 -23.2% 4.9%
Goryo's Vengeance $28.86 $17.03 -41.0% 7.4%
Saviors $61.10 $73.12 19.7% 2.8%
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds $15.50 $15.55 0.3% 3.5%
Ninth Edition $102.40 $76.83 -25.0% 1.4%
Phyrexian Arena $5.20 $3.71 -28.7% -14.1%
Ravnica $78.20 $77.81 -0.5% 6.1%
Dark Confidant $12.59 $11.39 -9.5% 6.4%
Guildpact $41.60 $33.92 -18.5% 8.8%
Orzhov Pontiff $8.40 $2.12 -74.8% -8.6%
Dissension $74.50 $67.83 -9.0% 0.4%
Infernal Tutor $36.66 $33.66 -8.2% 3.0%
Coldsnap $74.70 $55.10 -26.2% 13.4%
Mishra's Bauble $6.15 $14.22 131.2% N/A
Time Spiral $44.90 $51.87 15.5% -4.1%
Ancestral Vision $21.01 $28.68 36.5% -10.8%
Planar Chaos $26.20 $20.93 -20.1% -3.3%
Damnation $14.32 $9.81 -31.5% 2.6%
Future Sight $203.60 $167.93 -17.5% -6.3%
Grove of the Burnwillows $39.02 $29.04 -25.6% -3.6%
Tenth Edition $104.40 $87.27 -16.4% -2.0%
Crucible of Worlds $25.77 $17.92 -30.5% -10.3%
Lorwyn $78.70 $55.18 -29.9% -0.8%
Thoughtseize $6.45 $5.15 -20.2% 1.8%
Morningtide $99.10 $80.43 -18.8% 0.7%
Scapeshift $30.16 $29.04 -3.7% 1.9%
Shadowmoor $108.40 $72.48 -33.1% -3.5%
Fulminator Mage $12.62 $11.93 -5.5% 5.8%
Eventide $118.00 $95.59 -19.0% 2.0%
Twilight Mire $15.90 $19.24 21.0% 11.1%
Shards of Alara $46.60 $29.21 -37.3% -3.8%
Ajani Vengeant $14.47 $8.89 -38.6% -5.1%
Conflux $49.10 $42.49 -13.5% 6.0%
Noble Hierarch $21.48 $23.91 11.3% 8.3%
Alara Reborn $30.10 $26.90 -10.6% 3.1%
Maelstrom Pulse $5.07 $3.82 -24.7% -3.5%
Magic 2010 $46.40 $35.54 -23.4% 0.9%
Time Warp $7.63 $5.53 -27.5% -7.1%
Zendikar $157.70 $127.25 -19.3% N/A
Scalding Tarn $31.78 $26.27 -17.3% N/A

First, a couple of notes: I've removed Sensei's Divining Top and Dark Depths because of reprints that are going to affect the price so much that there is little point to tracking them. I've put in Through the Breach and Mishra's Bauble in their place. Through the Breach is by a decent measure the most valuable card of Champions and is one of the few to increase, so it is a good tracking candidate. Mishra's Bauble is now one of the most expensive uncommons, and its price has shifted considerably more than Counterbalance. I may change that card though, so I welcome input.

Another interesting card is Engineered Explosives. Since the time of the Fifth Dawn flashback, explosives has nearly quadrupled in price! It accounts for all of the Fifth Dawn increase, and a substantial portion of its recovery. 

Overall, we are seeing a mostly positive trend, which is in line with my reasoning for the decline from last week. With the pre-releases fully over, players will again focus on constructed and casual, meaning players will buy back in. 

Scalding Tarn continued its fall, which had started before the flashback. The Flashback did relieve some pressure, but the fetches still have enough demand that Scalding Tarn less than the set as a whole, percent wise. In other words, other cards ate the fall more than Scalding Tarn. If you are considering jumping into Modern, I would think now might be one of the better times to pick up the fetches. While there is the specter of a reprint, it seems dubious at this time.

Last, Serum Visions. Wow, has this card fluctuated over time. Once the stalwart of wise investment, perhaps now Serum Visions is over-invested in. Often, any discussion about affecting the market through investment has to grapple with the size of the market and its elasticity. However, there might be an argument that the widespread trend of investing in Serum Visions has actually been enough to really affect the market. In the over seven months since the flashback, Serum Visions only once came back up, and barely. It has been well below the highs of last year. Perhaps it's time to move on...


Don't forget to look at articles here on PureMTGO. Here is a search link for Worldwake articles. Per usual, this includes several old articles that might be helpful anyway. Old articles on the draft format: 

  • Here's an article from Gavin Verhey from SCG with Worldwake pick orders.
  • Here's an article from Lauren Lee at GatheringMagic about adding Worldwake.

The make lands into creatures cycle can be very powerful (except Guardian Zendikon), but if you plan on extensive use, make sure you have a healthy enough number of lands in deck.

As always, I appreciate any comments! 


xger21 on MTGO.


Serum Visions is probably by Cheater Hater at Wed, 08/24/2016 - 21:55
Cheater Hater's picture

Serum Visions is probably being hurt by the Conspiracy 2 reprint, even if we don't know if it will be reprinted on MTGO yet.