Some huge news came out of Comic Con this weekend, and there’s a lot more to it than just “ZOMG BLACK PLANESWALKERS!”
The other big news was Jace.
It’s safe to say reaction to the Jace reprint in From the Vaults: Twenty was just as passionate as the response to any of the Theros spoilers. Foil Jace, the Mind Sculptor is basically considered Power right now, and From the Vault could change this.
The fact that the FTV version is using the same art only adds to the issue, since you won’t be able to easily tell the difference just by looking. This matters because sometimes in the case of reprints, the “original art” commands a premium.
So how will this affect Jace’s price going forward? Let’s see if we can draw any parallels to cards in similar situations.
Maze has had several printings, but the most relevant one came from From the Vault: Realms in August of last year. Since MTGStocks is down at the moment, I’m using ark42.com (which tracks historical SCG prices) as our guideline, which I feel is an appropriate snapshot of the effect of reprints.
Maze fluctuates quite a bit in its history, but topped out at $50 for a six-month period leading up to the reprint. After the reprint, it fell to $40 and is now at $30. While its price decrease is somewhat tied to the demise of Maverick in Legacy (where it was played), it can also be traced to the From the Vaults reprint.
Verdict: A 40% decline, some of which can be attributed to the reprint.
Mox Diamond was $50 before the printing of From the Vault: Relics in August 2010. After the printing it dropped to $35, and though it went up again afterwards, it sits today at $35.
Verdict: a 30% decline.
Foil Crucible of Worlds
Here, we can talk about foil prices, though we are comparing a Judge Promo instead of a specialty product. But I still think we can draw some conclusions here, as well as with the next card.
The original printing of Foil Crucible was $60 a year ago, and today is up to $75 despite some additional copies coming in with the judge promo.
Verdict: A 25% increase.
Foil Grove came out in August 2012 in Realms, and that moved the price from $30 to $25, a slight decrease. Of course, now the card is up to $50 since it’s become more of a player in Legacy.
Verdict: A slight decrease, but up 100% today.
Foil Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Progenitus
These are a really good comparison because both were in a recent FTV set and both primarily see Eternal play, either in Legacy or Modern, similarly to Jace.
FTV: Legends came out in August 2011, when foil Kikis were $35 and foil Progenitus were around $40. Both came down a little after that, but today both have risen significantly, with Kiki-Jiki at $60 and Progenitus at $50.
These are a little skewed because of Modern, but they’ve also seen an additional reprint in Modern Masters that Jace didn’t. I feel like these two factors somewhat balance each other out and allow us to draw conclusions.
Verdict: Down initially, then up big.
As you’ll notice reading through this, it’s actually really hard to find a precedent for something like this Jace reprint in a FTV set. Loyal Retainers may be the best to look at, since it was in Commander’s Arsenal a year ago.
This is also a flawed comparison, though, given how few there were in the first place, and the fact there were no foils. But the price went from $150 to $130 today.
Verdict: A drop of about 15%.
Like I said, it’s hard to draw definitive conclusions here, but my research and personal experience has led me to this:
Regular Jace is $150 now, and could possibly come down to $125 or so in the next few months (SCG has dropped their buy price, by the way). $800 foil Jaces are likely to take a larger hit, simply because the gulf between the current price and what they’ll be available at, even on the secondary market, is so large. Basically, I don’t want to be in on foil Jaces right now, but even if I did have them I wouldn’t panic.
But we see that foils have rebounded in the past, and I have no reason to expect Jace to be any different. Unlike some of the other cards on this list, Jace is as iconic and as much of a staple as there can be, so I don’t expect as much cyclical demand variation as there is with something like Mox Diamond or Maze of Ith.
Personally, I own six Jaces, and based on what I’ve shared with you today I’ve decided to hold onto them. While I think the upside is more limited now, I do think that upside still exists, and now that Jace is seeing a reprint we have less reason to fear a large-scale reprinting in the near future. That means that, while obviously there’s a buy call on sealed FTV: 20, I’m putting a “hold” call on any copies of regular Jace you have.
I’m also leaning toward a “hold or sell” on the set foils, but only from a strict financial standpoint. I don’t think the price is going to come down so far that you can sell at buylist and rebuy in later for cheaper. I think the retail price will come down some, but I don’t think it’s going to implode, at least not over the medium- or long-term.
So that’s where I’m at on this particular issue. What do you guys think? Did I miss any good comparison points that would change my perception of the situation? Let me know.
And thanks for reading,
@Chosler88 on Twitter