Since the World Championship just finished (huge congrats to Jean-Emmanuel Depraz!), one would expect new breakout synergies to make an impact on the secondary market. Don’t get me wrong, there are some interesting secondary market changes to talk about, but many of them pertain to Commander and not to Standard. Subsequently, the most interesting financial news to talk about, at least in my opinion, is instead what the changes to the new Lord of the Rings Collector Boosters will do to a certain subset of cards.
Up to this point, Surge Foil Foil Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth cards were exceptionally rare. Only available with a small open rate in Collector Booster packs, the multipliers on these cards were insane. Cavern of Souls, for example, at its peak, was worth $600 as a Surge Foil! A regular foil Cavern of Souls from Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth was worth around $80 at that time. Nowadays, prices have continually dropped to $300, and a sale for this card has not been made in about two weeks.
Thanks to new developments that broke over the weekend, anyone who paid these excessive prices for Extended Art Foil LOTR cards is about to lose a lot of secondary market value on their cards.
Surge Foils Are Not Rare Anymore
As was addressed by Ben Bleiweiss on Twitter, while all the new cards and art treatments remain at the forefront of the Lord of the Rings holiday release, there is an underlying change that did not receive the spotlight. The previously rare Surge Foil Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth will no longer be rare. At least, not nearly as rare as they have been.
As has been revealed in the recent update to the Collecting Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth article from Wizards of the Coast, the new Holiday Edition Collector Booster packs have a LOT of Surge Foil cards in them.
Previous to the Holiday release of Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, only the Realms and Relics Box Topper cards were available with a Surge Foil treatment. These cards showed up in slightly under 1% of Collector Booster packs, making them incredibly rare.
For reference, slightly under 1% of packs generally translates to about one per case of Collector Booster Boxes. Even finding one Surge Foil card in a Collector Booster Box was considered incredibly lucky.
The recent changes to Surge Foil rarity for Holiday Edition Lord of the Rings Collector Boosters puts Surge Foil appearances at multiple instances per pack. This means that the Surge Foil treatment overall, which was once lucky to get in a Collector Booster Box at all, is now guaranteed in every single Holiday Collector Booster pack.
Unfortunately, things aren’t as straightforward as just that, because multiple different card types are now available as a Surge Foil. It’s not just the Realms and Relics cards anymore. In fact, the previously ultra-rare Extended Art Foil cards that only appeared in Collector Booster Sample packs are also showing up as Surge Foils in these new Holiday packs.
What Can be Surge Foil?
To start things off, the guaranteed Surge Foil cards that appear in Holiday Edition Collector Booster packs are not Realms and Relics cards. They are instead full-art Map Basic Lands and the aforementioned Extended Art Rares and Mythics from Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth. Notably, these may only appear as Surge Foil cards and not Traditional Foil ones, which means that the rare Extended Art Traditional Foil treatment may still be worth a premium.
The Realms and Relics, in comparison, are much rarer than the above cards but are still a heck of a lot more common than they previously were. These can be found in 12.6% of Special Edition Collector Boosters – literally making them 12 times more likely to appear in a Holiday Edition Collector Booster. Expecting to find one of these in every Holiday Edition box is not unrealistic.
In addition to the aforementioned Surge Foil treatments, you can also find some of the Showcase Ring cards in Surge Foil. The uncommons are rather easy to find, showing up 50% of the time in the final Collector Booster slot. All of the other rarities of the cards selected are significantly less common, with the one Surge Foil Mythic Rare Borderless land from the main set showing up 0.4% of the time (Mount Doom).
The new Scene Box cards also have a chance of popping up as a Surge Foil, and are a tad bit more difficult to come by. The Rare ones aren’t too bad, showing up in 16.7% of packs. The Mythic Rare ones, however, only pop up in 1.7% of packs.
Finally, the double-sided tokens appearing in these packs are also Surge Foil.
New Realms and Relics Chase Cards
While Surge Foil Realms and Relics cards are about to become a lot more common than they have been, a new Realms and Relics chase card will take the ‘chase card’ throne for these full-art Box Toppers. Much like the new Rock Poster cards that can appear in Holiday Edition Collector Boosters, Realms and Relics cards will also be getting a Double Rainbow Foil Serialized treatment. Only 100 of each of these will be available, and they show up in about 0.2% of Holiday Edition Collector Boosters. If you’re after some new Realms and Relics chase cards, these are what should be interesting to you.
Don’t Buy Surge Foil Realms and Relics Cards… For Now
Unless these cards really do race toward zero and become incredibly cheap, you’re better off avoiding Surge Foil Realms and Relics cards for the time being. Surge Foils are going to be all over the place with these new Lord of the Rings Holiday Edition Collector Boosters, which should make Surge Foil Realms and Relics cards a lot less scarce and a lot more affordable.