A month ago, the Commander Rules Committee made an announcement in which Worldfire was unbanned. This was BIG news, as all unbannings are. Naturally, it generated a lot of hype, and the price of Worldfire skyrocketed. But where does Worldfire stand today? And when is it a good time to buy unbanned cards?
Worldfire was $1.50 at the beginning of September. It was basically a bulk mythic. Then it got unbanned and it jumped to nearly $30.00 overnight. Slowly but surely, the hype and price for the card have been on the decline since then. Today, Worldfire is available for about $8.00.
Beware the Hype Behind Unbannings
Wizards of the Coast used to have scheduled Banned and Restricted announcements. Around the time of each announcement, banned cards like Splinter Twin and Birthing Pod (both banned in Modern) would see big price spikes. Then, when the cards didn’t get unbanned, they’d dip back down in price over the following weeks.
Something similar happened when Worldfire was unbanned. People thought, hey, if the Rules Committee is willing to unban this nine-mana sorcery, what will they unban next?
Sway of the Stars
A few days after Worldfire jumped in price, Sway of the Stars followed suit. People thought if Worldfire could be unbanned, there was a chance Sway of the Stars would be unbanned too.
This generated another wave of hype by Commander players that blew the price of Sway of the Stars out of proportion. It was less than $1.00 before all the unbanning hype, then jumped to the $20.00 range.
Sway of the Stars was and remains banned in Commander. Because of this, Sway of the Stars has dropped back down to about $4.00. The longer it remains banned, the more it should drop in price.
If Sway of the Stars were to actually be unbanned, I’d still be cautious of buying it right away. This is because it would follow a pattern similar to Worldfire. Initial hype would drive its price up. Heck, it may reach $40.00 the day of its unbanning. But it would eventually settle back down, perhaps to around the $10.00 range.
Don’t Always Ride the Hype Train
This may seem like obvious advice. But it’s easy to get excited about new Magic products and news such as unbannings.
Of course, hype can sometimes be justified. Look at Stoneforge Mystic for example. It was banned in Modern since the format’s inception. When it was finally lifted from the ban list, it ended up performing well (and continues to do so), justifying its roughly $50.00 price tag today.
But sometimes cards don’t live up to what people make them out to be. (i.e. Worldfire was hyped up to be $30.00 but now it’s $8.00.)
If you get caught up in an MTG craze, try to take a step back, and think about things rationally. How much do I want/need this card for my decks or for an upcoming tournament? How much will this card be in one month’s time? Will this card be played in a variety of decks, or is will it only be played in a niche subset of decks in only one format?
There are a lot of things to take into consideration when speculating on MTG’s secondary market, but emotion is generally not one of them.