xger's picture
By: xger, Xger
Nov 16 2016 12:00pm
Login or register to post comments

Welcome back to the normal flashback schedule! We're just in time to see Avacyn (temporally) restored to her previous glory! The set has a lot of powerful cards, but they are not that spectacular in limited, so it's an interesting environment. Overall, it's slow and not usually well liked, so we'll see how popular the drafts are. At least the value is pretty strong! Let's get into it.

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 Avacyn Restored 11/16-11/22
Magic 2013 11/23-11/29
Triple Return to Ravnica 11/30-12/6
Triple Gatecrash 12/7-12/13
Dragon's Maze, Gatecrash, Return to Ravnica 12/14-12/20
Triple Magic 2014 12/21-12/27

Wizards has updated the schedule. They haven't announced the next year's schedule, if any, so this is what we have for now.

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:

Avacyn Restored History and Background

Avacyn Restored is Wizards second take at a Large-Small-Large set structure, following Zendikar block. Supposedly, Wizards had learned from some of the lessons from that block, particularly that there would be a feeling of continuity. While that was very true for those closely following the storyline, it was less clear just based on the card. Does Wolfir Silverheart really feel like a continuation of werewolves like Huntmaster of the Fells or do the Wolfir seemed somewhat tacked on to semi-support the old cards?

wolfir silverhearthuntmaster of the fells

Another way that Wizards tried to up the continuity was the thematic fit of one of the mechanics: Miracle. In Dark Ascension, we saw humans on the run and desperate, hoping for anything to save them. And, suddenly we start having 'miracles' that start to restore the balance of nature on the plane. When spelled out, there is a connection between Fateful Hour, with a Thraben Doomsayer followed up by cards like Revenge of the Hunted. However that connection was not as clear as it could be. Of course, Miracles are their own controversial topic. Sometimes they created iconic moments--such as Brian Kibler losing to the only out of Bonfire of the Damned.

Other mechanics included Soulbond and the "return" of undying. I put return in quotes because it was supposed to help link up the block. Avacyn Restored contained 244 cards. Only 6 had undying, a paltry number. There was a flavor reasons--monsters on the decline--but it did not help connect the block as much as it could have. The flavor also caused some serious limited issues. Black is extremely weak unless you can manage to pull together the loner deck--such as Demonic Rising. Of course, the problem there is letting yourself survive off a single creature. With black so weak, you end up with an unbalanced set, and drafting can be difficult--23rd cards can be quite bad.

demonic taskmasterhomicidal seclusionlone revenant

In the MTGO world, MTGO celebrated its tenth anniversary and held a giveaway based on the age of each account. If you ever wondered why Premium Decks are so cheap, this is why, as it introduced hundreds of copies of something that was hardly used to being with (I still have mine in the hope I might one day get some value). Cube drafts also started right before Avacyn Restored come online.

Fiscal Value of the Flashback

Prices are from MTGOtraders and MTGgoldfish as the evening on the 15th. 

Avacyn Restored

Top 5 Mythics
Name Price
Griselbrand $22.82
Craterhoof Behemoth $12.50
Avacyn, Angel of Hope $8.89
Entreat the Angels $7.84
Sigarda, Host of Herons $6.54


Top 10 Rares
Name Price
Cavern of Souls $33.43
Restoration Angel $6.28
Vexing Devil $2.00
Terminus $1.75
Wild Defiance $1.00
Reforge the Soul $0.80
Desolate Lighthouse $0.46
Exquisite Blood $0.36
Cathars' Crusade $0.16
Conjurer's Closet $0.04


Top Uncommons
Name Price


Worthwhile Commons
Name Price
Battle Hymn $0.20

While there is only one uncommon or common of note, the mythics are probably the strongest bunch we've seen so far. Nicely, Griselbrand should retain value long term, as he is a staple in eternal formats and a wildly popular casual card.  Cavern of Souls is the kind of card that will hold its value for quite a long time. It's just too widely used and serves such a critical purpose. Craterhoof Behemoth is a popular closer in a lot of decks. So, good value and it'll likely retain it for quite a while. Keep in mind, though, that with Modern Masters 2017 coming up soon, Griselbrand is a shoe in, and other Avacyn Restored cards are likely candidates.


These charts show the inflection points of the mythics and rares--here, between the 6th and 7th mythic and between the 5th and 6th rare. That means that 7 mythics and 8 rares in the set are priced higher than the averages ($5.41 and $0.88, respectively). The mythic value is very high, and it's not significantly weighted toward one ridiculous card (see Liliana of the Veil). The rares are pretty imbalanced toward Cavern of Souls and Restoration Angel.

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.

Avacyn Restored's Rare Lottery Rate: 100%

Avacyn Restored's Mythic Lottery Rate: 46.7%

Avacyn Restored's Blended Lottery Rate: 93.3%

This is an interesting set of rates. The mythic is fairly low, while the rare is as high as it gets. So, if you get a mythic, decent chance it'll be a good one.

Set Trend Pack Value Average Draft Value
Avacyn Restored fell about 20% right before the release of Kaladesh. $1.70 Normal Pack


$1.50 Without Commons $4.49
$1.03 Without Mythics $3.08

The overall pack value is pretty good, but that should not be surprising by this point. I honestly have no idea why Avacyn Restored fell so much pre-Kaladesh. While some fall is normal, that seems quite large. My only thought is that with Modern Masters 2017 upcoming, maybe people dumped more Avacyn Restored since it'll be its first time on the reprint option list.

Flashback Trends

  Before Price After Price Percent Change Change Since Last Article
Eighth Edition $101.2 $126.44 24.9% 13.4%
Blood Moon $35 $44.75 27.9% 13.5%
Mirrodin $94.9 $76.41 -19.5% 11.5%
Oblivion Stone $35 $16.46 -53% 45.8%
Darksteel $68.6 $52.31 -23.7% 1.1%
AEther Vial $5.6 $6.18 10.4% 13%
Fifth Dawn $106 $105.91 -0.1% 3.6%
Serum Visions $2.8 $2.62 -6.4% 4.8%
Champions $75.5 $45.71 -39.5% 11.5%
Through the Breach $13.33 $16.76 25.7% 13.6%
Betrayers $63.2 $35.45 -43.9% 6.3%
Goryo's Vengeance $28.86 $10.48 -63.7% 30.5%
Saviors $61.1 $58.15 -4.8% -4.1%
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds $15.5 $8.68 -44% -13.5%
Ninth Edition $102.4 $83.7 -18.3% 7.1%
Phyrexian Arena $5.2 $4.57 -12.1% -1.3%
Ravnica $78.2 $73.74 -5.7% 3%
Dark Confidant $12.59 $8.99 -28.6% 5.3%
Guildpact $41.6 $32.96 -20.8% 8%
Orzhov Pontiff $8.4 $1.7 -79.8% 18.1%
Dissension $74.5 $70.25 -5.7% 4.1%
Infernal Tutor $36.66 $41.72 13.8% 6.7%
Coldsnap $74.7 $54.96 -26.4% 13.3%
Mishra's Bauble $6.15 $12.65 105.7% 56.4%
Time Spiral $44.9 $48.62 8.3% 24.1%
Ancestral Vision $21.01 $28 33.3% 40.4%
Planar Chaos $26.2 $20.74 -20.8% -2.4%
Damnation $14.32 $9.07 -36.7% -0.3%
Future Sight $203.6 $153.72 -24.5% 3.5%
Grove of the Burnwillows $39.02 $28.58 -26.8% -2.1%
Tenth Edition $104.4 $66.53 -36.3% 5.1%
Crucible of Worlds $25.77 $13.45 -47.8% 8.3%
Lorwyn $78.7 $44.92 -42.9% 9.7%
Thoughtseize $6.45 $5.48 -15% 10.9%
Morningtide $99.1 $74.87 -24.5% 4.7%
Scapeshift $30.16 $28.07 -6.9% 7.8%
Shadowmoor $108.4 $50.91 -53% 7.5%
Fulminator Mage $12.62 $8.67 -31.3% 14.2%
Eventide $118 $81.28 -31.1% -5.7%
Twilight Mire $15.9 $23.23 46.1% -1.4%
Shards of Alara $46.6 $28.2 -39.5% -1.6%
Ajani Vengeant $14.47 $8.87 -38.7% 3.4%
Conflux $49.1 $47.03 -4.2% 1.9%
Noble Hierarch $21.48 $26.95 25.5% 2.1%
Alara Reborn $30.1 $23.07 -23.4% -2%
Maelstrom Pulse $5.07 $3.16 -37.7% -2.2%
Magic 2010 $46.4 $28.68 -38.2% 0.2%
Time Warp $7.63 $5.85 -23.3% -6.4%
Zendikar $157.7 $116.73 -26% 3.6%
Scalding Tarn $31.78 $25.2 -20.7% -18.3%
Worldwake $100.3 $61.91 -38.3% 4.7%
Celestial Colonnade $26.97 $17.65 -34.6% 0.6%
Rise of the Eldrazi $50 $28.02 -44% -2.4%
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn $12.3 $5.85 -52.4% -0.5%
Magic 2011 $81.6 $55.29 -32.2% -5.5%
Primeval Titan $12.66 $7.98 -37% -0.2%
Scars of Mirrodin $94.18 $79.89 -15.2% 11%
Mox Opal $29.53 $32.51 10.1% 6.1%
Mirrodin Besieged $87.67 $56.3 -35.8% 1.8%
Inkmoth Nexus $32.78 $24.33 -25.8% -0.7%
New Phyrexia $148.9 $125.15 -16% 11.6%
Batterskull $23.9 $16.92 -29.2% 5%
Innistrad $121.3 $143.22 18.1% 9%
Liliana of the Veil $85.14 $86.31 1.4% 11.1%
Dark Ascension $40.68 $35.31 -13.2% 5.9%
Grafdigger's Cage $17.04 $16.92 -0.7% 10.6%
Magic 2012 $42.01 $40.5 -3.6% N/A
Visions of Beyond $4.21 $4.04 -4% N/A

Some interesting movement this week. Goryo's Vengeance jumped back up quite a bit, meaning people might be trying to dive back into that deck. Oblivion Stone finally started to climb--it had been quite depressed historically. Ancestral Vision continues to climb as people find success with it. Though my burn deck has torn through any deck that goes turn 1 Vision (which of course may just be anecdotal). 

Some long term speculators will probably notice that Serum Visions is back up above what it was at the start of this adventure. However, it's still low historically. I would not be surprised to see it drop next week as some people dump their supplies. Serum Visions might be the card that is most arguably affected by speculators, at least on MTGO. So it's a pretty interesting card to track.

Magic 2012 dropped very little, which is quite surprising. It might just be that its value was so low to begin with that there simply was not more room for it to drop. It could also be that it is another core set, which are generally not that popular of draft formats.

Last Mishra's Bauble had another large spike. This is another one that surprises me to see so much movement. Maybe the supply is just that low that the price moves very easily. If that's the case, it might have been a buyout target.


Should you want other flashback articles, here's a search link! There's a fair bit there from some older articles, so enjoy!

  • Here's an article about underrated cards in AVR by Jackie Lee at SCG.
  • Here's an article from Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa on Channel fireball.

As always, I appreciate any comments! 


xger21 on MTGO.