The end of the year
- Dr. Hans Joachim Höh
End of the year price reduction incoming.
Special Promo Boosters
It is getting cold outside, so Wizards decided to heat up their Organized Play and Store Reward System with the Standard Showdown events and additional Buy-a-Box incentives.
Stores can sign up to receive 40 special boosters for those upcoming Standard events and another 44 boosters to throw two of them onto every box sale during the holiday season.
"Buy-a-Box and Standard Showdown booster packs each contain three cards:
One premium card from a currently legal Standard set, including Kaladesh Inventions or Zendikar Expeditions, not including double-faced cards.
Two non-premium cards that are either a rare or a mythic rare from a set currently legal in Standard* (Battle for Zendikar up through Kaladesh).
*Cards from Oath of the Gatewatch and double-faced cards not included.
Kaladesh Inventions and Zendikar Expeditions appear in roughly 1 in 33 boosters."
This means that every participating store will be “donating” approximately 3 Masterpieces, 81 Foil cards, and 168 Standard-legal rares/mythics to their player-base. That is the (relevant) content of more than 4 displays.
That sounds like a lot of extra product entering the market, although it really isn't in comparison to the number of players receiving it. The rares won't matter, with the “free” foils and masterpieces being the most relevant for their respective price developments. While the numbers might not support it, the perception of “a lot of additional copies entering the market” could be enough to cause a sale and a temporary low price for Expeditions and Inventions. If you were looking to pick up copies of those cards the December and early January weeks should provide the best chances in a while. Just make sure to keep checking prices on a regular basis and only buy when they stop falling. If you were considering to sell any copies, you should have done so long ago, but today's price is probably better than what you will be able to get in a long time.
If you aren't playing Magic Online you might have missed the following announcement, which may or may not have some relevance for your real cardboard as well:
“In the latest Magic Online release, we added a whole lot of cards to Treasure Chests that you might not have seen before. There are the Commander 2016 cards, of course, and several cards from Conspiracy: Take the Crown too, but there are also a whole bunch of promos we added to Treasure Chests. Some you’ve seen in paper products like a Duel Deck, some have previously been in the system and just not available to players, but some of them are brand-new, never-before-seen pieces of art.
Remember, these are all found as Curated cards in your Magic Online Treasure Chests!”
Did Wizards really just create a bunch of artworks only for Magic Online, or are these brand-new pieces of art an indication of things to come? There is at least one reserved list card with new artwork, which indicates that they might actually have created those pictures for digital use only, but it can't hurt to look up the list. Maybe you want to sell your additional copies of those cards sooner rather than later if you are afraid of those artworks landing on physical reprints at some point.
This card is not coming back to physical space due to the reserved list.
EMA Xmas drafts
Meanwhile EMA has started the continuous descent approach. Due to the “holiday reprint” displays are selling below 170 € now (!) and some single prices are crashing as well. Force of Will is approaching 60 € after selling above 70 € for months, and Karakas, Jace, Mana Crypt are trending downwards again as well.
It is a tradition for card prices to be low around the end of the year, but this year could set a new record in that regard.