Welcome back readers! This week I will be breaking down FTV: 20. I feel this is necessary given the current going rate on eBay for this product, around $200-$240. What everyone jumps to is the foil JTMS and many people assume that a FTV Foil is close to a pack foil. In reality, they are typically more equivalent to the regular version.
A lot of stores are using the current price of the contents to hype it to players, failing to account for the fact that prices will drop across the board for every card in it. But how much do we expect them to drop? For this we'll look over previous card values for comparison.
Past Chase Cards
The following cards were considered the "chase" cards of the previous FTV series. Each card is accompanied by its price trajectory. (As usual all price data came from Black Lotus Project.)
|Card Name||FTV Release Date||Price Before Spoiler||Price at FTV Release||Current Price|
|Nicol Bolas (Legends)||August 29, 2008||$8||$8||$14|
|Berserk||August 28, 2009||Not Available||Not Available||$43|
|Mox Diamond||August 27, 2010||$37.50||$32.18||$18.33|
|Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker||August 26, 2011||$5||$7||$17.50|
|Maze of Ith||August 31, 2012||$27||$27||$21.60|
First of all, there are a few issues with these cards that make analysis tricky. The main one is that we can't disassociate the change in value due to playability. What I mean by this is that if I have a $10 card and it gets reprinted, we expect a price drop (for ease of math let's say its reprint puts exactly twice as many into the market place). Assuming constant demand, that would imply the price should drop by about one half (to $5).
But what happens if that card suddenly becomes the secret tech in some top tier deck and demand doubles, thus jumping it right back to $10? Because we are looking for the trend of what the reprinting does to the value, looking solely at the price at time A and comparing to time B we'd say well reprinting has no effect on value, which is not only counter-intuitive but known to be incorrect (see the entire Chronicles set).
On the flip side, metagames change and cards that used to be highly sought after fall by the wayside as better cards get printed or decks fall out of favor. Thus, you ideally want to use cards whose value was disassociated with their actual playability.
The best one on this list for that is Mox Diamond. While it saw some play in Legacy (mainly Lands) that deck was never highly played enough to constitute it having played a significant role in Mox Diamond's value. I don't like to determine trends from one data point however.
Luckily, I already wrote an article on how reprints affect price. My data indicated roughly a 27.66% price drop when regular cards were reprinted in a major set (i.e. not specialty product). Comparing that with Mox Diamond we actually see that Mox Diamond dropped by about 43%.
That being said, I believe the demand for Jace the Mind Sculptors will remain considerably higher than the demand for Mox Diamonds, and thus expect less drastic of a drop. Still, it's good to see them side by side. So assuming we use only the 27.66% price drop that means our $135 Jace drops to just over $99.
Parsing Out FTV: 20
Our own store was nice enough to compile a list of current values for the full FTV 20 list.
1. Dark Ritual $0.84**
2. Swords to Plowshares $3.57**
3. Hymn to Tourach $1.45
4. Fyndhorn Elves $0.96
5. Impulse $0.55
6. Wall of Blossoms $1.61
7. Thran Dynamo $5.43
8. Tangle Wire $4.80
9. Fact or Fiction $1.75
10. Chainer's Edict $1.15
11. Akroma's Vengeance $1.54
12. Gilded Lotus $2.87
13. Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni $6.83
14. Char $0.60
15. Venser, Shaper Savant $17.59
16. Chameleon Colossus $2.71
17. Cruel Ultimatum $0.88
18. Jace, the Mind Sculptor $135
19. Green Sun's Zenith $4.51
20. Kessig Wolf Run $1.50
**These two come with a caveat, as existing foil prints are quite valuable and hard to find, whereas non-foil ones are cheap. FNM foil Swords to Plowshares go for upwards of $100 each, the Judge promos closer to $30. Foil Dark Rituals are in a similar boat with pack foils in the $25-$35 range, judge foils in the $50-$75. I do expect these existing prices to take a hit, but the type of person who wants to foil out their Legacy deck is unlikely to want FTV foils over the long term. (They will likely trade for them, but will likely move towards the originals.)
If you add them up you get $196.14. Multiplying by the expected value (73.4%) you get roughly $144. The good news is that a few of the FTV cards will likely be worth more as they are either the first foils (Hymn to Tourach) or simply much cheaper alternatives to pack/judge foils (Swords/Dark Ritual).
However, the value of several cards was predominantly due to a complete lack of availability that will for the most part be solved by this printing (Thran Dynamo, Fyndhorn Elves). These cards are the ones which will take a much larger hit.
The last factor to consider is that with most of the FTVs there's a few "chaff" cards that will languish in your trade binder and won't be able to unload at their current value (Char, Impulse, Wall of Blossoms, Chainer's Edict, Fact or Fiction, Cruel Ultimatum, Kessig Wolf-Run, Akroma's Vengeance). These are by no means bad cards, but the little existing demand for them will be satiated by this printing.
The last card I want to touch on is Venser, Shaper Savant because I feel he will take the biggest price hit of the entire printing. His current price is dictated by a lack of availability and demand as a one-of by Legacy control players (usually Miracles). This printing I expect will drop his price considerably, and I won't be suprised if he ends up in the $6-9 range.
Having said all this, I wouldn't recommend picking up an FTV:20 as a financial investment unless you can get it for under $120. Personally, I don't need any of the cards in it so I'm setting my buy price at $100 or less as a financial investment. However, inversely I do recommend trading for these singles out of it, should they trade anywhere near their existing price:
- Swords to Plowshares
- Dark Ritual
- Hymn to Tourach
- Gilded Lotus
- Green Sun's Zenith
All five have a lot of potential as foils; the first two for Legacy players who want to foil their deck but can't afford pack foil versions. Hymn is the only foil version available (and with new artwork). The last two are great EDH staples.