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Insider: The Impact of FTV: 20 on Jace

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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.

Comparisons

Maze of Ith

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

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 of the Burnwillows

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.

Loyal Retainers

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%.

Conclusions

Like I said, it’s hard to draw definitive conclusions here, but my research and personal experience has led me to this:

Don’t panic.

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,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter

8 thoughts on “Insider: The Impact of FTV: 20 on Jace

  1. Hey Corbin, How are you?, I believe that Jace will probably be effected short term as you said and climb back up, the ceiling is definitely lower now, but how would you factor in pre orders from 250-400 on to the foil ww version? I’m guessing that there’s a possibility the dip is super short term, like goyf but you never know. What’s your impression on the zen fetches?, blues ones are running into the 50s and it’s not even modern season, it’s only a matter of time before scg raises them again, i believe if they dont get reprinted by the modern season after next they could tie the legacy ones and eventually surpass them because of the demand snowballing with this new eternal format. They are used way more in legacy and only available in modern with a growing crowd and the bubble could be permanent till the reprint if they do do it.

    1. I’m doing well, thanks!

      I think the foil ones are going to dip and probably stay low for six months or so, at which point they’ll begin their climb back up.

      As for fetches, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see them climb up toward $60-70 at this point. If Fulminator Mage can push past $25, there’s basically no ceiling on fetches. And I don’t think there’s going to be reprints for a little while, so there’s nothing but upside for now.

  2. Great article as always. I noticed FTV 20 BINs are down to 250 (and have been on a downward trajectory).

    As these continue to go down it makes it a bit easier to obtain jace (not that there will be any more copies but the price to entry is lower). However the current Jace can be had for under 90 on ebay, would you consider that a buy? (I have 3 and looking to round out a playset!)

    1. First off, thanks! I think they’ll continue trending downward for a little bit at least, and I wouldn’t blame you for pulling the trigger on that Jace. That said, I think it may go down even further in the next month before rebounding, so whether you get in now or in a month I think you’re going to be in at a good price come a year or two from now.

  3. I don’t have anything constructive to add, but on a side note…

    I had a look around the mtgo finance subreddit, and a lot of people were slagging off QS, and saying that it was written by amateurs etc. (Is ‘slagging off’ slang only where I come from?)

    I bring it up because it’s articles and discussions like these that prove them wrong; I have no idea if Corbin is right or not, but he’s put a lot of thought into it, and has put his considered opinion.

    Keep up the good work QS writers.

    1. Thanks 🙂

      That subreddit is overrun with people who instinctively are against anything that costs money, and they just try to rationalize after that. Some of the things I see said in that forum, frankly, make me very sad. Not necessarily for the trolls, but for the newbies who may miss out on good information or lose money because it’s hard to discern which is which. That’s why the QS forums are so great.

      1. Indeed. Pay little attention to those cheapskates. The subscription fee is easily paid for if you read regularly and use just a fraction of the QS writers’ advice.

        Thanks for another good article.

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