Hello everyone! It's been awhile, I know, but some time life just takes over and writing is the last thing you want to do. However, I am now taking over the Friday financial spot and will hopefully be able to find 4 topics a month that aren't rehashed or common sense. Consider this the Making Money with Magic Advanced Class.
I think there is a lot of crap that is just thrown out at you in the disguise of financial advice when in fact, you are just being entertained and not being taught anything. I have heard everything from obvious fake trade and deals where it makes the author look like a genius to a writer on a "major" site tell his audience to just pitch bulk commons and uncommons instead of saving them to sell off in bulk later on. It was one of the most idiotic things I have ever read, especially since you can make a TON of money on bulk, but I digress, that is not the topic of this week's article. This is all about Mythics and the argument that they are bad for magic and why I think that they are in fact good.
Mythics were brought in during Shards of Alara to add more flavor to the game. Since then, we have had $1 mythics and we have had $80 mythics and everywhere in between. I hear a lot about people saying they want mythics out of the game because they are making the game too expensive but I think they are making the game cheaper!
The last rare to go big while in Standard was Tarmogoyf, granted he had two main things going for him: Third set print run and fit into most decks in all 4 competitive formats. They created the perfect storm for this monster to explode in price and to maintain a similar price to this day. Since then, some rares during Lorwyn-Shadowmoor block have gone around $20-$30, but nothing to the height of Mr. Goyf. Then, once Shards block hit, everything we knew about rares changed. The biggest hitters that saw $10 during that time was Maelstrom Pulse, Ignoble Hierarch, and Knight of the Reliquary. Ranger of Eos was flirting with it, but was only at that level for a week or 2. These were played in either the most popular deck by far (Jund) or played in all 4 competitive formats (yes, even Vintage). Currently, in type 2, the only rare to break $10 is Stoneforge Mystic with his ridiculous showing in PT Paris as well as finding homes in Extended and Legacy.
Mythics on the other hand can blow up at any second and reach significant prices, far higher than any rare will hope to reach. Jace, the Mind Sculptor went from $35 to $60 to $80 since his release. Gideon Jura has gone from $30 to $40 down to $20 and now has started to climb back up to $30. Mox Opal started at about $30, went all the way down to $10 or so and has now gone back up to $18ish due to Boros and Tezz decks popping up. Mythics are a fickle bunch in reality and a few choice examples illustrate how expensive they can get. They are performing one important function though and that is keeping rare prices down.
Imagine if Jace was a $50 rare, like Tarmogoyf was during his reign. He would be a lot more accessible to people due to such a large amount being available. However, he would be put on the rare sheet with the likes of Stoneforge Mystic and Celestial Colonnade along with the other mythics in the set. This would create fewer of those cards being printed in the long run. I could easily foresee Colonnade being a $10+ card with its play in Extended and Type 2. Stoneforge Mystic would potentially break $30 due to him seeing a large uptick in play. The Scars of Mirrodin lands, especially Seachrome Coast and Darkslick Shores would all see a huge spike in price, and go from $3-$4 each to upwards of $10-$12.
Another point to note are the Zendikar Fetchlands. If there were no Mythics, there would be far fewer of the lands available. They would go from an easy $8-$9 on eBay to upwards of $15-$20. The Onslaught fetchlands would also see a rise in price due to there being fewer Zendikar Fetches to replace them.
Let's look at an example, GerryT's U/W/R control deck that won the SCG DC 5k last weekend:
Current price for Rares/Mythics in the Maindeck (Using rough eBay averages):
1 Sword of Body and Mind - $10
1 Sword of Feast and Famine - $16
4 Stoneforge Mystic - $15
3 Gideon Jura - $20
4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor - $80
4 Day of Judgment - $2.50
4 Arid Mesa - $8
3 Celestial Colonnade - $4
2 Glacial Fortress - $2
3 Scalding Tarn - $8
3 Seachrome Coast - $3
This has been the norm for Type 2 Tier 1 decks for awhile now: huge price tags. Let's compare it now to my best guess at what prices could look like without any mythics around to keep rare prices in check:
1 Sword of Body and Mind - $8
1 Sword of Feast and Famine - $13
4 Stoneforge Mystic - $30
3 Gideon Jura - $20
4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor - $50
4 Day of Judgment - $5
4 Arid Mesa - $15
3 Celestial Colonnade - $8
2 Glacial Fortress - $5
3 Scalding Tarn - $18
3 Seachrome Coast - $10
The difference is $42, which is about a 7.5% increase of cost of the deck. Buying from a site like Star City would only amplify the difference between costs since their prices are a lot higher than eBay at the moment.
Mythics have clearly been the most important change to the Magic Finance game since probably eBay was created, and that isn't even a hyperbole. They have changed the way cards are available and priced forever. Rares that go above $10 will now be the exception, not the norm. I would rather have people complain about the price of 2-3 cards than complain about 10+ cards that are overpriced due to availability.
Join me next week when I explain how to go infinite on MTGO, and this one won't be for the weak-hearted either. Start saving those pennies now!
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