The Nutt Draw – Set EV and Booster Pack Values

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This week as you are chomping down on some turkey and fixin’s (Pack 1 Pick 1 or leftover) grab a slice of the latest Set EV data in this article.

The format this time around is the same as it was last time, though the all the backend data has been updated and redone. All primary calculations are now based on the middle prices from which is probably closer to the trading values you’re used to seeing then the previous eBay data was. I’ve reintegrated some of the eBay sales information that was incomplete for so many weeks though so I should be able to offer up some more comparisons later and redo the Womby List featured in the Buy List articles.

Speaking of which, I have continued to update the backend data for both the Buy List tool and the Card Values tool featured in my article two weeks ago. The Nutt Draw: Buy Lists and More

If something you read in this article looks confusing you may wish to check out some of my processes and explanations here. The Nutt Draw: Primers and Glossary

First we’ll take a look at some standard EV values.

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As of the time of writing, the most valuable set in Standard is Scars of Mirrodin by a pretty good margin. This is aided by being top heavy with several high value cards. Koth of the Hammer, Venser the Sojourner, Mox Opal, Molten-Tail Masticore, and Elspeth Tirel still hold an online median of over $20 each. Don’t let the Worldwake EV fool you. Jace the Mind Sculptor just keeps going up and up and it’s skewing the whole set. As you will see below you only have a 1.25% change of opening one out of a pack but a decent 45% chance of getting one out of a box. Due to the bulk of the money being in Rare cards instead of Mythics, Zendikar is the best overall choice for pack value (unless you want to gamble on getting a Jace the Mind Sculptor) if you’re only picking up a few packs, though Scars is a pretty close second.

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When we pull out the highest valued cards we get a better picture of what Worldwake is really worth when not buying cases. Since it’s a small set it’s still not terrible (thanks also to Abyssal Persecutor, Avenger of Zendikar, and Stoneforge Mystic. Even when you take the highest card out of Zendikar though (Eldrazi Monument) it’s still the best value pack for pack.

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Here we can see the highest priced Mythics, Rares, Uncommons, and some Buy List values. All the cards on this list are not too surprising, and most of us probably have, or at least want to have playsets of all of them to toss into decks.

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Here we can see alternate ways to look at the Set EV including some interesting trivia like how much you would need to buy booster boxes for if you wanted to make 50% profit and were able to sell every card you open.

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The numbers guy in my loves this chart. Here we get to see the odds in opening gold. Even though you have more than 100% chance of opening a pack with one $1 card, Zendikar remains to have the best odds of the more moderately prices cardboard.

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The final chart for this week shows us that the price of Jace the Mind Sculptor still skews the value of Worldwake even when other factors are taken into account. These are mostly impartially weighted numbers, and a suggestion on what packs to grab if you want to spin the wheel.

I’m sorry for the short article this week. As you will see on Monday, I’ve been a very busy bee indeed.

Chris McNutt
Magic Analyst
Level 1 Judge
@fatecreatr on Twitter

Chris McNutt

Born in Seattle, Washington, Chris McNutt has been playing and collecting Magic: The Gathering since Unlimited Edition. As an active player, tournament organizer and judge he regularly scrubs out of Pro Tour Qualifiers but inexplicably cleans up at the local draft tables. When not net decking Chris is either busy working as an Information Technology Sales Rep or spending time with his family. Other non-magical pastimes include playing guitar and an unhealthy number of video games. Cursed with an undying love of generating spreadsheets purely for “fun”, he’ll be crunching the numbers each week in order to serve up delicious data burritos to the salivating, hungry readers of Quiet Speculation.

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One thought on “The Nutt Draw – Set EV and Booster Pack Values

  1. So, is it correct (re: EV) to still simply go for Zendikar packs when choosing product payout at the end of a tournament? That's what I got from the above. Except, as you mentioned, if you want to simply get more commons/uncommons from a particular set, or take riskier packs for the lottery possibilities.

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