Insider: Looking Back at Magic 2015

Are you a Quiet Speculation member?

If not, now is a perfect time to join up! Our powerful tools, breaking-news analysis, and exclusive Discord channel will make sure you stay up to date and ahead of the curve.

It feels like just yesterday I was writing my Prerelease Primer for Magic 2015. And, in a way, it was. The Core Set isn’t ever out for very long before we get deep into Fall set spoilers, in this case Khans of Tarkir. I’ve been mostly holding off on spoilers, but I’ll have my full set review out next week in advance of the prerelease.

That also means it’s time to look back at Magic 2015 and evaluate how my predictions held up. Core Sets are the most difficult to gauge, because expensive cards can stay more expensive with even a modicum of play, and the Standard format they’re entering is much less important financially than the one they’re going to rotate into in a few months.

With that said, let’s get to the calls.

Crucible of Fire


“There’s nothing special about this card, but it’s clearly a seed for Khans of Tarkir and the fact that dragons and Sarkhan will play a major role.

That said, it’s quickly nearing bulk prices, and before this reprint the original version was nearing $5. I really like this one on the cheap for long-term play.”

Now: Yeah, basically everything still applies. It’s a true bulk rare even though the original copy is still $3. Perfect card to find in bulk boxes and draft leftovers everywhere.

Same applies to Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient, Obelisk of Urd, Phyrexian Revoker, Preeminent Captain and the Avacyn/Ob Nixilis cycle (mostly those two).

Grouping all of that together because it’s the “cheap but solid long-term pickup" group.

Soul Cycle


“So I don’t think these are insane. Soul of New Phyrexia is pretty clearly the best one, and Soul of Theros isn’t bad. That said, the prices are all over the place. I think all of these will end up $2-4, with Phyrexia being a bit higher, if they see little to fringe play.

If any do take off then we’re looking $8-10. That said, I’d rather put my money else where in this set right now.”

Now: Pretty much exactly where we expected.



“One of the places I want to put [my money] is into the painlands. I know these aren’t exactly sexy reprints given how unloved they were and are, but they do get the job done. Once shocks rotate out these will look a lot better, and I’m pretty sure $3-5 is where they will all be. If you want yours to play with, the current prices are fine, and I see more up than downside here, even if it’s not a very large gap.”

Now: We have in fact watched these move up, with most of them around the $4-5 mark. I wouldn’t be surprised to see these actually go to $6-7 in a few months given the way the graphs are progressing. The aggro decks will need ways to play untapped lands, and since the fetches won’t get there in the enemy colors, these could fill the void.

Sliver Hive


“Of course, where I really want to park my money is in this card. It’s under $3 right now because it’s not expected to see a lot of Standard play.

Well, when it comes to slivers I don’t care even a little about Standard play. There’s no reason this won’t be $10 in a few years, and I want to scoop every one of these I can this weekend.”

Now: These went from $3 to $5 a little bit after I wrote that, and they’ve since settled to around $4. I still love that price, especially in the coming weeks as rotation is finally moves into the rearview.

The Chain Veil


“$4-5 sounds exactly right for this long-term, though it will dip in the short term. It’s extremely unlikely to make a big splash in Standard, but it is a mythic and does go infinite in Commander, so it’s not going to all of a sudden become bulk.”

Now: $2.50 and trending down. Honestly, this will probably bottom out at $1-1.50, and it’s an okay long-term pick up then, though I’m not expecting too much in the next year or two.

Liliana Vess


“Normally reprinting planeswalkers tanks the value, and sometimes they don’t ever really recover (see the formerly-$20 Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker).

But the original Liliana is now up to six printings, and all but the newest one in M15 are at least $10. Then you look and see that this can be had for $4. It doesn’t get much more simple than that. Snagging these all weekend. Similarly, I like Chandra at the $4-5 price point.”

Now: $10. I feel really good about this call because there wasn’t a ton of quick money to be made in this set outside of Goblin Rabblemaster, which I missed along with pretty much everyone else. But I did at least get Liliana and Chandra right, and both of those have steadily risen.

Waste Not


“Part of the $7 price here is because of the hype of it being community-designed. But that’s not enough to maintain this price, and while it has some fringe applications in Modern and Legacy (8-Rack, anyone?), it’s going to fall hard from $7.”

Now: $4.50 and falling. I guess players really like their discard, and this is a super Liliana's Caress. I think it’ll probably fall to $3 or so, at which point it becomes a solid long-term play.

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth


“They basically turned the “cool reprints” dial up to eleven on this set, and here’s one of the poster children of that. Planar Chaos Urborg was $35 before this, and is currently falling off a cliff. The newest version is going for under $7. This will likely fall to $5 or so in the next few months, and then it’s time to move hard on this, because it will definitely not sit there for more than a few months.”

Now: Sitting right at $5 where I expected it to land. The price has stabilized there and it’s still less than 50% of the price of the original printing. Time to move in on these.

Chord of Calling


“Surprisingly low preorder at $8. I like this to hold that price moving forward. Not only will it likely make a few Standard appearances, there’s a whole crop of some Modern but mostly Commander players who want this now that it’s not $30.”

Now: Now sitting at $9 after some movement up to $10. Again, right where we expected it to be, and I still think it will hold steady at that price if it sees fringe Standard play. If, on the other hand, it becomes a large part of the metagame, which I wouldn’t be surprised by, it could conceivably go up to $12-15. Keep an eye out in the first few weeks.

Sliver Hivelord


“The price is still volatile on this one, but if we assume a $12 preorder (where it sits on Wednesday, compared to $19 on Tuesday), I like it to hold that price.

This is the best five-color sliver ever printed. Things that get the “best” tag don’t typically tank in value. People have a bad taste in their mouth due to last year’s slivers and are really skimming past this year’s. Foils of this will always be super valuable, and I imagine this increasing in price steadily over the next few years.”

Now: $11 but showing a little weakness. If this thing hits $10 or lower I think it’s probably time to start moving in. It’s never going to be a “spike overnight” sort of thing, but it’s a fairly guaranteed long-term growth prospect.

Jace, the Living Guildpact


“Better than people gave it credit for coming out of the gate, but still overpriced at $13. I do think this will see some Standard play after rotation, but it has nowhere but down to come in the meantime, likely to the $5-7 range.”

Now: We got delve as a mechanic back, and that will certainly help to prop up Jace’s price. It’s sitting at $10 and while I don’t love that price point for a buy-in, I think it’s going to remain a little stronger than my initial projection and sit around $10-15 for the next few months. Again, nothing exciting to buy in on, but a fairly decent hold.

Ajani Steadfast, Nissa, Worldwaker, Garruk, Apex Predator


“$13, $17 and $23 respectively. All will come down, but I think the Garruk will crash especially hard in comparison. Given that it’s a core set, there won’t be infinite amounts opened so none of these are going to immediately plummet 50% or anything, but I think a 20-30% drop is likely on all of these.

These are definitely worth evaluating come rotation, because while the next few months is clear, it’s way too early to speculate where the prices will go until we know what’s in Tarkir.”

Now: Ajani is $15, Garruk is $20 and Nissa went nuts and is holding $40.

This seems crazy, and I guess it’s clear just how few people wanted this Core Set. I don’t know if it’s lack of new player growth, a bad year of Duels of the Planeswalkers or what, but we’ve seen precious little downward movement on stuff compared to what you’d expect. The fact that these planeswalkers have held such high prices is a testament to that.

That said, there’s no way these aren’t all sells at current prices, especially Nissa and Garruk. Garruk sees a little competitive play as a one-of, Ajani sees none now or in post-rotation brews, and while Nissa is truly nutty there’s not way she’s double-the-price-of-Jace, Architect of Thought-when-he-was-at-his-peak nutty, right?

If you have Nissa and you sell her at $40 and then she goes to $50 you’ll feel silly but be fine. If you hold her expecting $50-60 and she goes to $20 in a few months you’re both going to feel silly and be out money. I’m a strong advocate of selling in the next month to maximize value.

Overall, I found a few gems in Magic 2015 but missed Rabblemaster and Nissa, and the former especially hurts given how much it rose. But no one bats 1.000, and I’d always rather miss a card than tell you to buy into something that bombs since that actually costs you money. Like I said, Core Sets are always weird and coming back to these prices in three months could paint a very different picture than they do today.

Still, this has been a profitable rotation for me already based on my rotation calls, and I hope I passed some of that along to you guys. I’ll be back next week with my full set review of Khans of Tarkir. I’m looking forward to it!


Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter

PS: I talked about Polymorphist's Jest in the forums last week, and the card is still showing solid growth. I’m not sure at $3 you want to buy in now, but I would trade for them and search through dollar boxes/binders for them since most people assumed it was bulk.

The card will be nuts in the BUG-colored mirrors that were so prevalent at the Pro Tour and featured a million Prognostic Sphinx scrys. This fits into those decks and solves all the board stalls, not to mention it’s seen some Modern sideboard play.

2 thoughts on “Insider: Looking Back at Magic 2015

  1. “Garruk sees a little competitive play as a one-of, Ajani sees none now or in post-rotation brews, and while Nissa is truly nutty there’s not way she’s double-the-price-of-Jace, Architect of Thought-when-he-was-at-his-peak nutty, right?”

    Jace was in a fall set, and later in a duel deck. Much more supply out there as opposed to a 3rd set or core set. That said, I think she’s close to here peak, though I don’t think she’s going down anytime soon as the decks that run her (Jund Walkers, Green Devotion), didn’t lose much from rotation.

Join the conversation

Want Prices?

Browse thousands of prices with the first and most comprehensive MTG Finance tool around.

Trader Tools lists both buylist and retail prices for every MTG card, going back a decade.

Quiet Speculation