Welcome back, readers! I always say “welcome back,” but I’d like to take a moment to mention how much I honestly mean that. It’s not a cheap way to get three extra words on the page to finish this article sooner. I received a lot of excellent feedback on my analysis of the Modern Event Deck last week, and I’ve been reading some comments and messages on the various mediums of the internet about how there are some people who appreciate my writing, and that makes me feel amazing. If I can help others out there to play Magic cheaper, or make some side cash while maintaining their collections, then that’s all I need to continue writing. If anyone has any topics that they want me to write about for future articles, always feel free to let me know!
Emotional ramblings aside, let’s talk about a word that, historically, people have wanted to avoid talking about. Conspiracy. For those who haven’t been subjected to WotC’s evil corporate mind games that are manipulating you into buying this extremely awesome product, I’ll let you in on the fun with a link to this video explaining what it is.
Even if you’re normally someone who never buys booster boxes on principle because they’re “bad value” (I am one of these people), I highly recommend finding a group of friends who are willing to split the costs and jam one of these drafts. Before we get into the financial analysis of the currently spoiled cards, I think that in the spirit of the set, we can just say “screw money drafting” for once. Conspiracy looks to be one of the most interesting, extraordinarily fun sets to draft in a long time, going back to Unhinged levels of absurdity. If you’re a cold-hearted, solely financially-minded individual like myself, try to consider the fun you’ll have to be part of the value in this set while drafting. I know I’m going to try to attend as many of these events as my budget allows, profit be damned.
Now, let’s look at some of the (potentially) financially interesting spoilers, try to determine whether they’re worth buying into at presale prices, and predict their future values in the coming months as more and more product is opened. We’ll also analyze what kind of players will want which cards and how that will affect their prices. There aren’t many preorder opportunities to grab Conspiracy singles at the moment, so it’s hard to actually find “current” prices to compare to. I’ll be going by a rough guide of current eBay listings for what you can order the cards for right at this moment, and whether they look like good buys. For further reference, here’s a list of every card spoiled from the set thus far.
Give Me The Financial Info Already
Dack Fayden – Currently available for $37
New cards to Conspiracy will not be legal in Modern or Standard, just Legacy and Vintage. So we have to ask ourselves: is Dack Legacy playable? My guess is no. In my opinion, a good measuring stick for Legacy playability is, “Does [card]Show and Tell[/card] care about this?” [card]True-Name Nemesis[/card] didn’t exactly topple the steady ship that is Legacy, so Dack has some pretty steep competition. Stealing [card]Batterskull[/card] doesn’t give you the germ, and there aren’t too many other game-breaking artifacts worth stealing. Also, the decks that want to play [card]Faithless Looting[/card] care that it’s a one-mana sorcery that can be cast multiple times per turn. $37 definitely seems like a case of planeswalker hype to me, so if you’re looking for one for cube or EDH, wait a bit. He’ll probably settle in the $15 range in a few months.
Scourge of the Throne – $11
Super casual EDH playable, five/six-costing red dragon that wants to attack #115? Yep, we got him. Worth anywhere near $10? Nope. It’s a mythic dragon that won’t be drafted a whole ton though, so it probably won’t hit bulk. $4-5 in the coming months seems reasonable, and it’s definitely a cool use of the dethrone mechanic.
Plea for Power – $6
Breaking News: most people won’t let you [card]Time Warp[/card] for one blue mana less. It’ll almost always end up being [card]Concentrate[/card], and that’s boring. If you can bribe your friends with some sort of multiplayer political scheme, be my guest, but that’s probably more effort then it’s worth. Speaking of worth, $2.
[card]Exploration[/card] – $23
Well. This one is a bit of a kick in the balls for me, because I happen to own five of these things from when I played Legacy Lands before taking it apart. They recently spiked to $40, I got greedy and waited to see if they’d go any higher, and now this comes along. In my opinion, the new artwork is gorgeous, and I’m glad that it might ease the entry into Legacy for a few individuals, if ever so slightly. To be honest, $15 doesn’t sound like a bad entry point if you can find them for that price, and want them to play with. It might take a couple of months, but I don’t think it’ll ever be a whole lot lower than that. If you watched the video, you’ll hear that foils of the cards in this set will exist. Foil [card]Exploration[/card]s have never existed before. Take that how you will.
[card]Misdirection[/card] – $21
This is less of a kick in the balls for me, because I own zero copies. This is another highly sought-after Legacy card, but I would wait a bit on this one and see if the reprint drops it lower. There’s much less casual appeal in this than [card]Exploration[/card], and I wouldn’t be surprised if the reprint is $10 by the time M15 is released. On a side note, I think these two reprints are a strong example of how no card that’s not on the reserved list is safe from reprint. “It’s really old,” and, “It’s too powerful,” aren’t very compelling arguments. Even cards like [card]Elspeth, Knight-Errant[/card], can receive the lash of the reprint whip several times within just a few years. If you want an absolutely safe investment, stick to the Reserved List or sealed product. I made the mistake of holding onto [card]Exploration[/card]s despite that they had the possibility of being reprinted. I don’t suggest dumping every card you own that can be reprinted, but keep it in mind if you’re holding out for that tiny bit of extra value.
[card]Rout [/card]- $8
I may or may not have previously suggested this had the possibility of being in an upcoming product named From the Vault: Annihilation. I may or may not have been horribly wrong, and that this may or may not be included in a product that does not have a limited print run and its price may or may not drastically tank as a result. Art and flavor text are sick, though.
Marchesa, the Black Rose – $15
Well, I have a new EDH deck to make. One that will have the back of a [card]Plains[/card] as a general with “Marchesa” scrawled onto the back of it in Sharpie until this card is under $6 in price. I don’t expect to have to wait too long.
[card]Brainstorm[/card] – $1-3 (edition depending) and [card]Swords to Plowshares[/card] $3-5 (edition depending)
Two of Legacy’s most powerful and versatile one-mana instant spells will always hold demand, and the prices of these will depend on whether or not the art sucks. Foils will definitely be spicy, and people will want them, but don’t expect Masques foil Brainstorm prices. These will have a much higher print run.
Lore Seeker, Aether Searcher, Deal Broker, and Paliano, the High City
Due to the fact that such a huge portion of the attraction of these cards is only present during the draft, there will most likely be a huge flood of these singles entering the market after the dust settles, and the only target audience for the singles are people who need the cards for a cube of some sort. That audience won’t fill the demand for the massive supply, so I don’t recommend picking them up just because of how unique they are. They’ll be bulk soon enough, as will any of the actual “conspiracy” cards.
What About the Rest?
There are a good number of other $5 or $10 rares in the set, but my verdict on them is pretty much the same. The set will not have a limited print run, and Mark Rosewater stated on his Tumblr that there will be print runs as needed to satisfy demand. The [card]Silent Arbiter[/card]s and [card]Decimate[/card]s of the set will likely lose up to 50% of their prices, and remain depressed as more Conspiracy continues to enter the market. Some cards like [card]Fact or Fiction[/card] may be reduced to bulk.
What do you guys think about Conspiracy? What about other potential reprints of Legacy cards that we might see in upcoming supplemental products? Am I terribly wrong about the entire set? Let me know in the comment section, on Twitter, or on the appropriate Reddit thread on r/mtgfinance. I personally think the set looks extraordinarily fun, and I can’t wait to hear all of the hilarious stories that result from drafting this innovative set. Until next week!