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By: xger, Xger
Sep 01 2016 11:00am
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I'm a little behind this week, but it shouldn't affect things too bad. Now that we've seen the plane of Zendikar, it's time to watch it sunder, as the Eldrazi shatter the realm! While an interesting story aspect, the financial bit is fairly standard, thought Rise does have a number of cards that hold long term value through causal and eternal play. Let's dive in and see what's happening! 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
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:

Rise of Eldrazi History and Background:

Rise of the Eldrazi is an interesting conceptual choice for Wizards. When Mark Rosewater first got approval for a Land block, most thought it would only be two sets worth, and so the third set was going to be separate. Wizards had also been long trying to solve the "third-set problem"--the third set was under opened, it kept the blocks going to long, and it often lack direction or completion on its own. So, Rise is one of the early efforts to ameliorate the issue. Rise was the first Large spring set since the blocks were introduced, and so it was a potentially large gambit. However, it paid off and Wizards started the model of third set as a large set every other year.

Because of the concerns about the space of a Land set and the new block structure, Rise of the Eldrazi was a reboot of the block and so it contained very little link to the first two sets, and no real mechanical link to speak of. As such, there were no returning mechanics. Rise brought the "mechanic" of the colorless creatures as well as Annihilator and Level Up. Annihilator is a rather harsh win-more style mechanic with low prospects of returning. Level Up is what it says, and its prospects of return are better than Annihilator, but that it not saying much. Both mechanics, and many of the themes of the set lead to an environment that is slow and able to cast big spells. Ulamog's Crusher can be a great card, particularly in the right decks (cough* Overgrown Battlement *cough).

Rise also brought Rebound and Totem Armor. Rebound obviously was strong enough as it made an appearance in Dragons of Tarkir with cards like Blessed Reincarnation. The mechanic is quite powerful, and in this environment, the higher cost is not nearly the detriment it would be otherwise. While Totem Armor shared some of the characteristics of Bestow, Mark Rosewater does believe it will come back on its own at some point--much more likely than Annihilator and Level Up.

staggershockconsuming vapors

Story wise, the set's name tells a good portion of what happens. The Eldrazi, who have transcended colored mana, are escaping and will want to consume the Blind Eternities again. 

emrakul, the aeons tornulamog, the infinite gyrekozilek, butcher of truth

The world of MTGO is rather uneventful in this period, as more work continues into the new platform without any major releases or shake ups.

Fiscal Value of the Flashback

Prices are from MTG Goldfish, from Wednesday the 31st (sorry, a day late on this article!).

Rise of Eldrazi:

Top 5 Mythics
Name Price
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn $12.30
Linvala, Keeper of Silence $6.91
Gideon Jura $3.14
Vengevine $2.94
All Is Dust $2.01
Top 10 Rares
Name Price
Eldrazi Temple $2.70
Eldrazi Conscription $2.30
Kor Spiritdancer $2.11
Training Grounds $0.48
Splinter Twin $0.39
It That Betrays $0.29
Student of Warfare $0.16
Awakening Zone $0.08
Keening Stone $0.02
Bear Umbra $0.02
Top Uncommons
Inquisition of Kozilek $2.06
Forked Bolt $0.31
Worthwhile Commons
Kiln Fiend $0.18
Sea Gate Oracle $0.16
Flame Slash $0.13
Ancient Stirrings $0.06

All I can really say this time is that be glad Triple Rise is a good format, as you are not going to get your value back with the cards you open. At least the commons have some value, and Inquisition of Kozilek is good value. However, I would not be surprised to see IoK in the Modern Masters 2017. The rares this time are particularly bad, so it really comes down to the Big Bertha and Little Betty lottery.


These charts show the inflection points of the mythics and rares--here, between the 4th and 5th mythic and between the 6th and 7th rare. That means that 4 mythics and 6 rares in the set are priced higher than the averages ($0.17 and $2.38, respectively). The rares, as I said, are just pitiful. There is nearly no value, with only three over a buck. The Mythics aren't much better, with a heavy weight at the top two.

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.

Rise of Eldrazi's Rare Lottery Rate: 92%

Rise of Eldrazi's Mythic Lottery Rate: 60%

Rise of Eldrazi's Blended Lottery Rate: 88%

The rates here show just how bad this is. However, it also makes me reconsider how to determine the rate for Mythics, as it always seems to hover in the same ranges. If you have a suggestion, let me know!

Set Trend Pack Value Average Draft Value
Rise's fluctuations have been pretty standard, and it sets very close to where it started. $0.81 Normal Pack


$0.60 Without Commons $1.81
$0.51 Without Mythics $1.53

This value, while unsurprising, is really sad. It is particularly telling that commons are nearly a quarter of the pack value and mythics, which only appear one out of eight packs roughly, are about 38% of the pack value. There simply is not value here.

Flashback Trends:

  Before Price After Price Percent Change Change Since Last Article
Eighth Edition $101.20 $95.70 -5.4% 3.2%
Blood Moon $35.00 $29.40 -16.0% 5.4%
Mirrodin $94.90 $68.80 -27.5% 6.4%
Oblivion Stone $35.00 $22.98 -34.3% 52.1%
Darksteel $68.60 $53.93 -21.4% 3.5%
AEther Vial $5.60 $6.26 11.8% 0.8%
Fifth Dawn $106.00 $123.26 16.3% 2.3%
Serum Visions $2.80 $2.93 4.6% 50.3%
Champions $75.50 $71.04 -5.9% 25.6%
Through the Breach $13.33 $29.96 124.8% 56.0%
Betrayers $63.20 $50.49 -20.1% 4.0%
Goryo's Vengeance $28.86 $15.76 -45.4% -7.5%
Saviors $61.10 $75.03 22.8% 2.6%
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds $15.50 $16.16 4.3% 3.9%
Ninth Edition $102.40 $82.33 -19.6% 7.2%
Phyrexian Arena $5.20 $3.91 -24.8% 5.4%
Ravnica $78.20 $76.16 -2.6% -2.1%
Dark Confidant $12.59 $10.81 -14.1% -5.1%
Guildpact $41.60 $37.75 -9.3% 11.3%
Orzhov Pontiff $8.40 $2.39 -71.5% 12.7%
Dissension $74.50 $77.24 3.7% 13.9%
Infernal Tutor $36.66 $40.15 9.5% 19.3%
Coldsnap $74.70 $55.31 -26.0% 0.4%
Mishra's Bauble $6.15 $15.34 149.4% 7.9%
Time Spiral $44.90 $51.96 15.7% 0.2%
Ancestral Vision $21.01 $28.84 37.3% 0.6%
Planar Chaos $26.20 $22.77 -13.1% 8.8%
Damnation $14.32 $9.91 -30.8% 1.0%
Future Sight $203.60 $178.12 -12.5% 6.1%
Grove of the Burnwillows $39.02 $29.96 -23.2% 3.2%
Tenth Edition $104.40 $91.52 -12.3% 4.9%
Crucible of Worlds $25.77 $18.23 -29.3% 1.7%
Lorwyn $78.70 $56.14 -28.7% 1.7%
Thoughtseize $6.45 $5.13 -20.5% -0.4%
Morningtide $99.10 $80.32 -19.0% -0.1%
Scapeshift $30.16 $28.13 -6.7% -3.1%
Shadowmoor $108.40 $73.13 -32.5% 0.9%
Fulminator Mage $12.62 $11.16 -11.6% -6.5%
Eventide $118.00 $97.38 -17.5% 1.9%
Twilight Mire $15.90 $19.44 22.3% 1.0%
Shards of Alara $46.60 $30.63 -34.3% 4.9%
Ajani Vengeant $14.47 $8.49 -41.3% -4.5%
Conflux $49.10 $45.96 -6.4% 8.2%
Noble Hierarch $21.48 $26.73 24.4% 11.8%
Alara Reborn $30.10 $27.52 -8.6% 2.3%
Maelstrom Pulse $5.07 $4.06 -19.9% 6.3%
Magic 2010 $46.40 $36.93 -20.4% 3.9%
Time Warp $7.63 $5.96 -21.9% 7.8%
Zendikar $157.70 $115.85 -26.5% -9.0%
Scalding Tarn $31.78 $26.93 -15.3% 2.5%
Worldwake $100.30 $79.51 -20.7% N/A
Celestial Colonnade $26.97 $23.53 -12.8% N/A

So, Serum Visions continues its wild ride. If I had any invested, I would probably consider trying to sell, as it's been all over the place for so long now. While it might go up some, it might also make an appearance in Modern Masters 2017.

Speaking of Modern Masters 2017, I have to wonder if some of the changes are starting to show hesitation based on possible reprint. Particularly, I think this might apply to Scalding Tarn and brethren. I know it just went up in price, but consider the whole situation. The fetches are always hot, so there was very likely a large number of players waiting until these flashbacks to dive in. With that many purchasers, it wouldn't be weird for the price to climb. Here, it's only climbed a little for Scalding Tarn. The fetches seem a prime candidate for reprinting in Modern Masters 2017. Maybe players are going to wait and see...

Another thing I've been considering is the uninformed player. There is likely a high number of players that know about the flashback drafts but don't follow the prices closely (I'd argue most players). Under that assumption, a card like Noble Hierarch makes more sense. While the flashback wasn't that long ago, and there hasn't been a huge shake up (at least not that I'm aware of), Noble Hierarch has climbed 25%. An uninformed player may just know that the draft was recently and assume the price is lower. While very difficult to prove, I think conceptually it makes sense and explains some potential anomalies.


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 by Eric Froehlich from Channel Fireball
  • Here's an article by Simon Goertzen from MTGO Academy.

Rise is a very deep format, so there could be a lot of variation. That said, Overgrown Battlement is bonkers good if you can get it early with another defender.

As always, I appreciate any comments! 


xger21 on MTGO.