Insider: Mirrodin Besieged Prerelease Prices

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It’s been far too long since I last put digits to keyboard to report on the pure numbers I see floating around me. My adopted web admin responsibilities have kept me very busy (what do you think of the new look?) but I intend to get back into a more or less weekly accounting of prices, buy lists, ebay, demand indexes, and a new idea I had last night. For this edition, I decided that the time was right to bring you some Mirrodin Besieged Prerelease information.

If any of the terms or even perhaps concepts need more explaination, please try checking out my Primers and Glossary page. If there is still confusion, please comment or contact me and I will update the Primers and Glossary page.

As you know, we now have premium content that is available only to Insiders (gotta keep the lights on). I feel though that with many of the subtle aspects I cover, some leeway can be employed and I should be able to give you at least a taste of what the full on Insider counterparts will have. As I did previously with Scars of Mirrodin [link] I intend on publishing daily updates to all the numbers, charts, and downloads for the upcoming Mirrodin Besieged all the way up until its release. I haven’t really discovered what the best mix of Free vs. Insider is going to be yet so I’ll take a guess at what might be a bit useful, and hopefully enticing. After all, I can’t cheat the Insiders by giving all the secrets away.

If any of the terms or even perhaps concepts need more explaination, please try checking out my Primers and Glossary page. If there is still confusion, please comment or contact me and I will update the Primers and Glossary page.

1/7/11 - Even though we are only three weeks away from the release of Mirrodin Besieged we only have about seven spoilers reliably confirmed. Traditionally the entire set is up in the visual spoiler during the week before the prerelease tournaments and all this timing has a few repercussions from my stand point. With the very short amount of time we have to get all the details in the set Wizards has most likely cut the presales down by a ton for singles dealers (time will tell, and so will the numbers since that’s something I track) and possibly cost the secondary market a good deal of money. Conversely it has also made for some spoiler news packed days. I’m guessing that the speculative pricing is going to be especially inaccurate since we have less time to really work out the values. As such, check out the pricing in these guides, remember the card rarity you’re pre-ordering since that should be a good guide, and have a deck planned for their use as the prices start to climb. The safe bets are going to be the cards that fit into existing archetypes, and the speculative bets are those who might bring the next “tier 1” deck to the field. Baneslayer Angel (from a year ago) and Jace, the Mind Sculptor has set new bars for what we can expect the expensive cards to be. Four casting cost Planeswalkers are all but guaranteed to be $50 out of the gate, though they may fall later.

One other point to consider here is that we are at the beginning of Extended season. There is still plenty of room for break out strategies and decks no one has thought of, but there are very few slots in most of the existing competitive decks that can accept a new card from a new set. This likely means that the cards which are going to dominate standard might get overlooked for a time by those who are selling to the Extended buyers. I’m a competitive player, but not a Pro, and I’m a terrible deck designer so I’ll refrain from lending too much pricing advice based on playability. Some of my fellow writers on this site though are going to have a good perspective into which cards to watch out for so if you want your money’s worth, now is certainly a good time to join up.

1/26/11 - I started to get curious about how the pricing was breaking down by faction so I crunched some more numbers and made some charts for ya. As I currently understand it, when you get your packs for the pre-release sealed events you choose a faction, Mirran or Phyrexian. You'll be issued 3 packs of Scars of Mirrodin, and 3 packs that are from the faction you choose and then be able to build from all the cards you have opened. At this point I can only assume that the rarity distribution will be similar to that of a standard pack. The Mirran faction has 4 Mythics, 17 Rares, and 21 Uncommons. Phyrexia has 5 Mythics, 18 Rares, and 19 Uncommons. So the first question is, dispite the uneven rarity, which factions cards are worth more?

As you can see above, the Pyrexian total value is higher, but they also have one more Mythic, and one more Rare. The Mirran Mythics total more than Phyrexian even with fewer cards. The Phyrexian Rare total is higher then Mirran by a good amount and with Rares being easier to come by than Mythic, Phyrexia might just win the value battle. We'll need to weight those numbers though against general pack rarity distribution figures.

As you can see, right now the Mirran Packs have a slightly higher EV then Phyrexian. Mirran Packs also boast a higher average Mythic card value, but a lower Rare value. If the rarity distribution is standard you can expect to see one Mythic in every eight packs, so a sealed flight has a 37.5% chance of getting a Mythic. Here's the other thing to consider. (The following prices are all based on averaging store and the last two days worth of eBay prices). The Mirran high dollar Mythic is Thrun at about $19, and the highest Rare is Cryptoplasm at about $3.75. The Phyrexian money Mythic is the contoversial Blightsteel Colossus at $13.25 and the Rare is Inkmoth Nexus at $8.80 (Green Sun's Zenith is a close second at $7.18). We have a 9.4% chance of getting the Thrun, and a 7.5% chance of getting the Blightsteel Colossus in our 3 packs. We also have a 21.4% chance of opening the Cryptoplasm and a 20% chance of opening an Inkmoth Nexus. Tezz 2.0 remains an unknown factor. He's not of either faction, but does that mean he'll be in both packs, or neither? Both packs if Wizards had it's senses when constructing this thematic idea, but if he is in the faction packs and the distribution is typical then you would have a 7.5% chance of opening Tezz 2.0 in a Mirran pack and a 6.3% chance in a Phyrexian pack. The verdict is that Mirran packs have the best EV in the long run, but the Phyrexian have more higher dollar cards available. Below are the exact numbers.

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On to the other numbers. (Insiders will see the full and exact lists)

1/7/11 – This isn’t going to be very interesting until we have some more spoilers I think.

1/13/11 - It's been almost week since I added commentary and we haven't seen any new really exciting cards spoiled. We know 12 more than last week and they have all been Uncommon and Common. I do need to give a special thanks to MTG Salvation for keeping the spoilers page up to date and assembling the printable spoilers.

1/17/11 - In the last 24 hours we've gone from 20 to 31 confirmed spoilers. Lets see how things have changed today.

1/19/11 - We've gone up to 59 confirmed spoilers in the last 2 days and I'm hoping for more later today.

1/24/11 - We're up to 111 confirmed spoilers (112 if you count Cryptoplasm). With 40-ish to go, and no official rarity breakdown yet announced, I'm unsure of just how many more Standard playables we could end up with. We have 9 Mythics, 31 Rares, 28 Uncommons and 28 Commons spoiled so far. The bulk of the remaining 44 will be Common, but since historically the small sets have only had 8 Mythics, are we going to get another one? Are we going to get another Planeswalker maybe? If not, it looks like this set isn't going to have a $50+ card in it. Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas might get there if he's broken and used to win some events, but his dependence on Artifacts makes him somewhat inflexible.

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1/7/11 – As of right now, the top five is the same as the full list since no one has picked up any of the spoiled Uncommons in the last week…. The order on this list is pretty much what you would expect, though the Thopter Assembly might be a good one to grab for $3-$4 playset.

1/13/11 - Other than someone picking up a set of Signal Pests for over $5 each there still isn't much action.

1/17/11 - Of all the cards revealed so far, Thrun, the Last Troll seems to have grabbed the most attention with eBay sold prices of up to $22 each. This seems very high for a card that is more then, but not a great deal more than Troll Ascetic or Cudgel Troll. Don't get me wrong, he has some major upsides and only minor downsides, but his applications in Standard and Extended will at best be a combination of what Troll Ascetic was and what Great Sable Stag is and I don't think he can hold a $20 value unless the rest of MBS is completely unredeemable. Even if he ends up being a $20 card, I'm not sure if how is the time to gobble them up with so little of the set revealed.

1/19/11 - Hero of Bladehold seems to be holding pretty steady but has been firmly displaced by Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas, Thrun, the Last Troll (though in my head he will always be Thrun the Barbarian thanks to Terry Prattchet) and the one shot killer Blightsteel Colossus. Coming in at 5th most expensive card we have Consecrated Sphinx which is actually more adaptable to decks then the first three. I can see decks being made around Blightsteel Colossus, Thrun is most definitely a support card (though a very good one) and Tezzeret 2.0 will probably follow a similar pricing path to Venser, the Sojourner and Elspeth Tirel. Tezz is probably more useful than either of those, but he certainly has to be in an artifact deck, or at least one with a lot of artifacts to get any use out of him. I'm suspicious that Thrun and Tezz can hold their price past a month or two. This is largely dependent on other cards in the set and what we start to see in the top 8 lists after release.

1/24/11 - Other then the still rumored (not posted on the MTG Salvation page yet) Cryptoplasm, the new list is sorted about how the old one was. Sword of Feast and Famine has dropped a bit and some other cards have been pushed aside to make room for the new ones, but there haven't been any sweeping changes.

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1/7/11 – Here we see exactly the same list as above, but with a bit more history on the cards. The pricing for the cards spoiled so far has been very stable. Expect a shake-up in the coming weeks though.

1/13/11 - Hero of Bladehold has been the clear leader in the current price war for MBS, but the suspected Planeswalkers and other unknown cards will probably kick that down unless she becomes crucial to an archetype.

1/17/11 - There hasn't been enough time since the new ones were spoiled for this chart to change much, but since at it's core it's partly driven by the total dollars consumed I would have to say that Thrun has made a good one day showing to be so far up the list. Conversely, this is also an indication of how the timeline of spoiled cards has effected the secondary market.

1/24/11 - Tezz 2.0 is still out in front with only a $0.25 decline from last Friday. Thrun is still holding strong which is an indication to me that there aren't very many expensive Standard and Extended playable in the set. Inkmoth Nexus is getting a lot more attention and it seems that Blightsteel Colossus is still being bought up quite vigorously. The constant popularity of Hero of Bladehold seems to keep going as well.

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1/7/11 – Here is where things start to get interesting. Sometimes the high volume cards are the cheaper ones that a lot of people want. Most of the time the expensive ones still see similar volumes preordered though the total volume is mostly a factor of how long it’s been since they have been spoiled. Online vendors committing to presales of large volumes or cards are right now are essentially promising to open up X number of cases to make sure that they can fill all the Mirran Crusader orders and are desperately waiting to find out the name of all the left over cards so they can get those sales running too. Without the close cooperation of some large stores I can’t say for sure what this is going to do to pricing of the rest of the set, but I think that for the short term, shortly after the release of the set, the bottom will drop out of the “crap rares” a lot faster than normal. On the flip side, the speculative cards should jump up faster.

1/13/11 - Merlira's Keepers are off like a bullet huh? There are no big changes in the list yet, though it's almost like looking at the rings of a tree to tell the age when looking at the large gaps in volume to detect the time since they were spoiled.

1/17/11 - No major changes here yet. This chart will be significantly different in another week.

1/24/11 - Phyrexian and Mirran Crusaders still have more purchases then any other single. This isn't surprising since they were spoiled almost a month and a half before any thing else was. Green Sun's Zenith seems to be selling quite a few (lots of Elves players out there?) and Inkmoth Nexus is within striking distance of the top spots.

Now on to my favorite part, the graphs. Due to performance issues I've decided that these are better served in separate windows. Please see the links below.

eBay Charts

Set Comparison Charts

Chart comments...

Highest Average Price

1/24/11 - I remember when Zendikar was spoiled, and even Worldwake... the lines on those charts were no where near as flat. Lotus Cobra was up and down all over. Same goes with the fetch lands. To me this indicates either that we've nailed the correct pricing right away, or that the cards impact is either negligible, or not understood. We'll see in a few months.

Set Comparison Charts

1/24/11 - The totals so far seem to be trending right along with Worldwake but below most of the others. This could indicate either that it's typical of a small set, or I believe, typical of the time spoiled. This is worth looking into.

Here is another pricing matrix for you.

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This is one that will be handy to have with you at the prerelease and release events. The store prices are coming from Starcity Games, Cool Stuff Inc, Chanel Fireball, and Kelly Reid’s Dragons Den Online.

Here is a link to the Google Docs page if you want to print it out.

1/7/11 – Since there are only seven cards known for MBS right now, this isn’t an exciting list. If this was the entirety of what to expect I would say to just jot it down on a napkin and take it with you everywhere. It’s going to get a lot more detailed.

1/13/11 - A bit more interesting. We'll see how this one shapes up next week.

1/17/11 - Yeah! We finally can fill a whole page!

1/24/11 - It's very interesting how close the store prices are sticking to eBay for MBS. There is typically a 15% - 25% difference, but the stores are just barely above the eBay prices... Maybe they are reading these articles?

Lastly I’d like to include a link to a list indented to be used as a pricing guide for shop owners.

Shop Guide

Magic Analyist
Chris McNutt
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.

View More By Chris McNutt

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7 thoughts on “Insider: Mirrodin Besieged Prerelease Prices

  1. Thanks Chris, Hell insiders worth it alone to save me the 3-4 hours I normally put into my own charts, Also idk if you get this in depth but I am working an additional chart that tracks prices for the Mirran cards and the Phyrexian cards to best get an idea money wise which is the smarter prerelease route to go financially.. Im sure it will be fairly close but as with buying packs there's always a variation. Also helps in knowing which packs to pick up later if the prerelease packs are ever available as extra prize at some stores.

  2. Chris: My apologies if this turns out to be a dumb question…but is there a page where we can look up the various terms in your charts? For example: I have no idea what a "demand index" is or how you determine it. I wouldn't expect you to define this every time you put together one of these articles, but a link to a page where the terms are defined would be great, if possible.

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