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By: xger, Xger
Mar 10 2016 1:00pm
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Back to a Core Set! For those unaware, back when the core sets were numbered and not listed by year, the core sets were every other year and stayed in standard for two years. Hence, the space between the core sets. If you want to jump past the introduction, click here. To jump to the fiscal analysis, click here. I'm trying out some card "hover" displays, so you can see the card without jumping to the link. I'm limited in what I can do, both by my limited HTML knowledge and the HTML editor for the site. That means that the rest of the page will jump down when you over it. For example: Mesmeric Orb. Since the coding is not automatic, and this is a new approach, I've only included it in the lists for selecting Ninth Edition in the background section. Let me know what you think, and if readers like it, I will continue to refine it and automate it.


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 Ninth Edition 3/9-3/16
Triple Ravnica 3/16-3/23
Ravnica-Ravnica-Guildpact 3/23-3/30
Ravnica-Guildpact-Dissension 3/30-4/6
Triple Coldsnap 4/6-4/13

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 brief drafting advice. This will come either from my own experience and memory (if I actively drafted the set) or from what articles I can dredge up. Likely, it will be both, but will probably lean more towards the articles.

With that, let's get started:

Ninth Edition History and Background:

Ninth Edition continued the "Selecting" voting that allowed the players to vote cards in or out of Ninth. The selection brought us gems like

In the dust, these were left behind:

Here are some other winners:

Blinding AngelRewindBlackmailWeird Harvest

Ninth was also a first and a last for Magic. It was the first set printed in Russian, and the last set to have white borders. The Russian version was printed in black border. As a result, Wizards was able to realize that black border was more popular and that white border was not particularly favored, and helped spurred the purge of white border.





Ninth Edition also brought back Trample and Protection to the core sets. Those mechanics had been left by the wayside because, apparently, they were too complex for the core set. Ninth Edition also introduced the rules change for auras and gave equipment its subtype.

Force of Naturecircle of protection: blackpacifismloxodon warhammer

Ninth also brought back the lucky charms (gain a life when a spell is played) and brought another reprint of the painlands. Boiling Seas was put in place of Boil because Wizards hates Red (I'm joking.....but no, really, they do).

Dragon's ClawBattlefield Forgeboiling seas

MTGO continued along in its hampered way, waiting for the mystical version 3 to fix the issues.

Fiscal Value of the Flashback

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

Ninth Edition:

Top 10 Rares
Name Price
Blood Moon $30.37
Adarkar Wastes $12.96
Worship $7.96
Karplusan Forest $5.88
Phyrexian Arena $5.11
Wrath of God $4.31
Shivan Reef $3.96
Defense Grid $3.92
Brushland $3.58
Caves of Koilos $2.53
Top Uncommons
Name Price
Urza's Power Plant $1.27
Kird Ape $1.24
CIrcle of Protection: Red $1.16
Urza's Mine $0.88
Urza's Tower $0.84
Worthwhile Commons
Sleight of Hand $0.04
Volcanic Hammer $0.04

This time, there are a decent number of rares over a buck, which is looks good. But, there are 110 rares in 9th, so you have only about a 38% chance of opening one of those rares in your three packs of a draft. However, the uncommons are much better than average, so there is some chance for recovery there. Particularly, the 5 valuable uncommons are mainstays where the price likely has less to do with scarcity and more to do with how much they are played.


This chart shows the inflection point of the rares--here, between the 16th and 17th rares. That means that 16 rares in the set are priced higher than the average rare ($0.86), which is the best we've seen so far, but still heavily weighted in the top few rares. 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).

Ninth Edition's Lottery Rate: 87%

If people are interested in the math, I can add it in the comment or in future articles. So the top 8 rares account for 70+% of the rare value, While spread out over 8 rares, there are so many rares in Ninth that it does not lower the lottery rate dramatically.

As for the predicted value, Ninth Edition should follow a path similar to Eighth Edition. However, Ninth is not that different from Eighth, so the amount of people that want to draft it is probably lower. Further, it is a core set, which are generally not good draft environments, so the fire rate may be suppressed. Overall, that means Ninth might not take the same hit as Eighth. Last, Ninth doesn't have a saving grace like Eighth's Ensnaring Bridge.

Set Trend Pack Value Average Draft Value
It has increased 20% since announcement. The increase has been steady until recently, as people sell off some before the drafting starts. $1.20 With Commons $6.61
$1.05 Without Commons $3.15
$0.49 Without lottery rares $1.48

The lottery rares here are Blood Moon, Adarkar Wastes, and Worship as those are the rares before the prices level out a bit. Taking out just those three shows they contained ~60% of the value.

Flashback Trends:

  Before Price After Price Percent Change Change Since Last Article
8ed $101.20 $129.23 27.7% 1.7%
Blood Moon $35.00 $29.93 -14.5% -3.4%
Mirrodin $94.90 $66.68 -29.7% -6.9%
Oblivion Stone $35.00 $16.72 -52.2% -2.2%
Glimmervoid $10.20 $11.29 10.7% 41.8%
Darksteel $68.60 $63.72 -7.1% -2.3%
Arcbound Ravager $9.10 $9.16 0.7% -16.2%
Aether Vial $5.60 $5.31 -5.2% 1.0%
Fifth Dawn $106.00 $87.34 -17.6% -1.8%
Auriok Champion $27.10 $22.38 -17.4% -6.3%
Serum Visions $2.80 $2.60 -7.1% -1.5%
Champions $75.50 $52.08 -31.1% 4.3%
Sensei's Divining Top $3.50 $2.70 -22.9% -9.3%
Betrayers $63.20 $48.07 -23.9% -1.2%
Goryo's Vengeance $28.86 $20.96 -27.4% -0.8%
Saviors $61.10 $57.80 -5.4% N/A
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds $15.50 $13.19 -14.9% N/A

A comment last week pointed out the historical difference of Serum VIsions. Previously, value commons would recover quickly and generally surpass the previous value, sometimes significantly. Here, Serum Visions is floundering. There are a number of potential factors including the poor placement of UR in Modern, the cratering of the price prior to the flashbacks (visions was over $5 a bit before the flashbacks), or the way flashbacks are this year. We've never had this type of rotating flashback so consistently, so some of the predications are going to be more speculation than educated guess. I imagine visions will return in price over time, particularly if UR returns to favorability.


Don't forget to look at articles here on PureMTGO. Here's a search link for "Ninth" in the title--hopefully it will bring up the articles, if any! Old articles on the draft format: 

As always, I appreciate any comments! Sorry again for the lateness and shortness, next week should return to normal. In particular, I'd appreciate thoughts on the card pop ups I created!


xger21 on MTGO.


Great work with the hover by Plainswalker83 at Thu, 03/10/2016 - 13:53
Plainswalker83's picture

Great work with the hover over card images. It will be a welcome addition in the future.

This is a great start to the by jay85 at Fri, 03/11/2016 - 04:24
jay85's picture

This is a great start to the hover over images. It gets a little crazy when looking at the cards quickly because, like you said, the page jumps down, but this site could definitely use this. I really wish I had the know-how to help you perfect it, but I know nothing about coding unless it's RPG Maker. Please keep up the hard work!

It would be better to have by kangmaroo2016 at Sat, 05/14/2016 - 23:52
kangmaroo2016's picture

It would be better to have the fulle set of it. Most especially if you really aim to win in the battle. - Gary McClure