9, Aug, 23

MTG Unbans Cause Major Financial Flux After Just 2 Days!

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Article at a Glance

It may not seem like it at first glance, but ban announcements are one of the most significant events in the world of MTG finance. Ban announcements are, really, one of the biggest announcements in all of MTG since it can determine the fate of many player’s decks and collections.

Take this snapshot of Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath from mtggoldfish.com, for example. This Simic Titan proved to be too powerful for multiple MTG formats. It eventually would get banned in Modern, Standard and Legacy. The difference in price between before and after Uro got banned is massive. Looking at the graph should dictate whereabouts this happened.

Significant bans don’t just affect the aforementioned banned card either. Any cards that synergized well with the banned card may lose value thanks to a drop in playability. New strategies can also emerge and gain value because of an increase in playability.

This is all to say that a ban announcement changes the financial landscape for MTG in a significant way. As such, here’s how the recent unban of Preordain and Mind’s Desire have affected the marketplace just a few days after the announcement went live.

The Namesake Cards

Since Preordain and Mind’s Desire’s unbans were the changes made in Wizards of the Coast’s announcement this week, it makes sense to start there.

Thanks to its common rarity, Preordain has A LOT of printings, and not every single printing is going to see a huge price increase. That said, rarer artworks of the cards are seeing a significant price increase as a result of the card’s newfound legality in the Modern format.

To start, however, the cheapest market average of Preordain has risen from about 25 cents to 75 cents over the course of a few days. It will be quite difficult finding any copies of Preordain for less than 50 cents right now.

Scaling up a bit, the most expensive iteration of Preordain (excluding M11 foils) is currently the one from Secret Lair OUR SHOW IS ON FRIDAY. CAN YOU MAKE IT?

This copy of Preordain has jumped from $7.50 to $29 since the ban announcement on Monday! The Secret Lair itself is going for about $58.

The old bordered Preordain from The Brothers’ War’s Commander decks have also seen a significant spike. These are only available in nonfoil treatment, which is actually a blessing for a majority of players who may be interested in Preordain thanks to its legality change. Foils can get you in trouble for marked cards thanks to their tendancies to warp, and old-bordered cards have a lot of nostalgic value.

As a result, this particular Preordain has seen a price increase from about $1 to $10, but there are copies selling for as much as $14.

For players who want the full-art Preordain treatment, this version from Commander Legends comes in at the third-most expensive for its nonfoil version, but competes with the above treatments in foil. Both of these variants still seem to be increasing, but you can find a nonfoil full-art Preordain for between $6.50 to $10. Foils have a wide range of price depending on condition, and language. They tend to be selling for between $15 and $30 at the moment, but a majority of cards are falling around the $20 mark.

Coming out of Jumpstart 2022, the next most expensive Preordain appears to be this anime treatment. These have been known to garner some premiums for their respective treatment, so about a $9-10 value for these cards is not too surprising. Notably, these are only available in nonfoil.

Excluding Foil Preordains (the original M11 foils have sold for as much as $50 recently), these are the last copies of Preordain that seem to be going for a premium. You can find this specific card in the Elven Council preconstructed Commander deck for Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth.

Like many other variants on this list, this Preordain is only available as a nonfoil variant. the price range on this card is quite vast, selling for between 50 cents and $5 for the most part. Expect to find these for around $2-3.

Read More: Commander Masters Release Causes $100 Price Drop!

Mind’s Desire

Like Preordain, Mind’s Desire has also seen a significant uptick across the board thanks to its unbanning in Legacy. The cheapest of Mind’s Desire’s copies currently has spiked from about 20 cents to a dollar, but this is far from the most expensive variant that Mind’s Desire has.

Mind’s Desire’s most expensive variant (excluding Surge foils) is a Judge Promo. These cards are handed out to active Judges who keep players at competitive REL events in-line to help resolve sticky issues, prevent cheating and, overall, promote a smoothly run event, making it more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Because this copy of Mind’s Desire does not have a lot of copies in circulation, it’s currently selling for about $25, but prices can vary on condition. The card saw about a $10 spike thanks to the unban announcement.

Mind’s Desire showed up in Strixhaven: School of Mages. Thanks to its inclusion in the Mystical Archives Bonus Sheet, Mind’s Desire has a bunch of different variants from this set. The above variant is the Japanese one generally only found in Collector Booster packs.

This card has a normal, foil, and Etched Foil treatment. Currently, the Etched Foil variant is going for anywhere between $5 and $20, but is definitely spiking hard. The foil iteration of this card is selling for around $15 rather consistently, and the nonfoil version appears to be hovering around $5, tending to be a tad bit under.

Read More: Turn Three Emrakul Combo Causes Massive 900% Price Spike!

This is the last iteration of Mind’s Desire that is going for a notable premium. The nonfoil copies of Scourge Mind’s Desires varies a bunch, with condition being a big deal. $4 to $6 seems like the going rate for any condition above damaged, at the moment.

Foils are another story entirely. These can go for a couple hundred dollars each. If you have one of these, you may be in for a surprisingly large payday.

Other Effects

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, while the affected cards definitely steal the financial spotlight, ban announcements also affect other cards that were moving as a result of a shift in playability that is either speculation or a reality.

A good example from our recent financial outlook was Splinter Twin. This card saw a huge price spike right before the ban announcement, and there’s a strong chance that at least part of the reason for this was because many players speculated that this card would get unbanned in Modern. Since it didn’t, a price drop in recent weeks would not be very surprising.

The card that players expected to be affected the most by Magic’s recent ban announcement was The One Ring, and it was, just not in the way that many expected.

Thanks to its insane 45% of the Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Pro Tour metagame share, many players thought this card would get the axe. Thanks to its colorless nature, The One Ring, in the words of many, has had a major homogenizing effect on the Modern metagame. Many decks want to play The One Ring thanks to its protection and ability to draw a ludicrous amount of cards. The One Ring’s biggest downside is also ironically mitigated by playing multiple copies of it.

To many’s surprise, The One Ring did not get banned in Modern, so the card is beginning to see a price spike. In the days prior to the ban announcement, normal copies of The One Ring tended to go for between $45 and $50. Nowadays, the card has jumped back up to selling for about $55 on average, with $60 being the high end of nonfoil copies.

Read More: The 12 Most Rare and Expensive MTG Cards of All Time

A similar trend can be seen when looking at the foil scenic art The One Ring commonly available in bundles. This card was retailing for around $30-35 in the days prior to the ban announcement. Now the card is selling for $40-50.

This trend continues when looking at Orcish Bowmasters. Another card expected to show up on the banlist in some way thanks to its Modern and Legacy presence, Orcish Bowmasters was retailing for about $35-40 in the days prior to the ban announcement. Now $40 is the absolute floor for this card, with prices pushing towards $50.

More to Come

This is only a few days after the official ban announcement was relayed to the MTG community which can mean a few things. Preordain and Mind’s Desire have definitely showed that they can tangle with their respective formats according to early results, but these cards are still in their honeymoon phases – meaning that there is a lot of interest in exploring Modern and Legacy’s new tools.

As time passes, these cards may stop showing up in decklists if they simply are not keeping up with the rest of the format. These immediate spikes could come down as a result. Alternatively, if the cards continue to put up results, prices could keep going up.

The secondary market has not really had time to adjust to new strategies that may appear as a result of these cards’ unbanning either. Both of these cards support combo decks in their respective formats, which have been suppressed a bit respectively. If we see a resurgence of some decks thanks to these new cards, and a retrospective metagame change, the financial applications of this ban announcement could be far from over.

Read More: MTG Designer Reveals Why Sets Are So Expensive

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