Insider: Evaluating the Effect of Promo Reprints

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Welcome back, readers! Today's article will be on promotional reprints and their effect on card prices. The idea for this article came from our forum discussion regarding the promotional reprinting of Stoneforge Mystic as an upcoming GP promo.

I've previously written an article on the effects of judge promo printings on card prices (found here) and I got a lot of positive feedback. The latest announcement got me thinking about all the other, non-judge, promos.

Unfortunately, I ran into a pretty big snag---the site with the oldest pricing data has gone dark (given a cease and desist order). Most of the other sites only have data going back to 2012, and as you'll see below, many of our promos came out before then.

Even if our data is incomplete, we can still glean some information from looking at it. We'll try to get a general idea of how these promos affected the overall Magic financial market.

The Promos in Question

Below are the promos I'll be analyzing today. We're not paying attention to the low-value stuff like FNM promos of Standard cards, but rather limiting ourselves to the high-impact promos from GPs and invite-only events.

There are plenty of other promos that don't appear here (some of them extremely valuable), but their value is most often tied to extreme rarity. These include older FNM promos, some JSS promos, and some Champs promos.

Today I want to focus just on the cards that were reprints of highly-in-demand staples at the time.


  • GP Promo - Spiritmonger
  • PT Promo - Eternal Dragon

spiritmonger2007 eternaldragon2007


  • GP Promo - Call of the Herd
  • GP Promo - Crystalline Sliver (Originally FNM promos that were stolen and sold on eBay. Most were later recovered, but WotC decided to distribute them as GP promos in the summer of 2008.)
  • PT Promo - Mirari's Wake

callofherd2008 sliver2009wake2008


  • GP Promo - Chrome Mox
  • PT Promo - Treva, the Renewer

mox2009 treva2009


  • GP Promo - Umezawa's Jitte
  • PT Promo - Avatar of Woe

jitte2010 woe2010


  • GP Promo - Maelstrom Pulse
  • PT Promo - Ajani Goldmane

pulse2011 ajani2011


  • GP Promo - Goblin Guide
  • GP Promo - Lotus Cobra

guide2012 cobra2012


  • GP Promo - Primeval Titan
  • GP Promo - All is Dust
  • WMCQ Promo - Vengevine

titan2013 dust2013 vengevine 2013


  • GP Promo - Batterskull
  • WMCQ Promo - Geist of Saint Traft



  • GP Promo - Griselbrand
  • WMCQ Promo - Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
  • RPTQ Promo - Liliana of the Veil

griselbrand2015thalia2015 liliana2015


  • GP Promo - Stoneforge Mystic
  • RPTQ Promo - Snapcaster Mage

stoneforge2016 snapcaster2016

The (Incomplete) Data Set

As I stated earlier, due to the site with the longest running database of prices going under, our data set is pretty limited.

For those interested, here is the full set we'd ideally be working with, replete with the lacunae. "OG" means the original, non-promo version of the card.

Promo Type Date of Announcement OG Value at Announcement OG Foil Value at Announcement OG Value 6 Months Later OG Foil Value 6 Months Later OG Value 12/6/15 OG Foil Value 12/6/15
Spiritmonger GP Promo 12/04/06 - - - - $1.65 $10.99
Call of the Herd GP Promo 11/16/07 - - - - $0.75 $3.42
Crystalline Sliver GP Promo 05/30/08 - - - - $5.36 -
Chrome Mox GP Promo 12/01/08 - - - - $14.24 $40.90
Umezawa's Jitte GP Promo 11/05/09 - - - - $31.11 $246.74
Maelstrom Pulse GP Promo 10/15/10 - - - - $10.56 $15.67
Goblin Guide GP Promo 12/06/11 - - - - $29.90 $42.99
Lotus Cobra GP Promo 04/06/12 $5.99 - $4.99 - $10.97 $19.49
Primeval Titan GP Promo 12/10/12 $9.08 - $7.88 - $10.07 $19.58
All is Dust GP Promo 04/25/13 $16.36 - $17.98 - $8.87 $27.44
Batterskull GP Promo 09/05/13 $13.00 - $19.59 $44.92 $14.75 $33.25
Griselbrand GP Promo 08/04/14 $24.97 $99.99 $17.05 $73.99 $13.73 $50.99
Stoneforge Mystic GP Promo 12/04/15 $22.03 $130.72 - - $22.78 $128.92
Eternal Dragon PT Promo 09/02/06 - - - - $1.38 $10.92
Mirari's Wake PT Promo 11/09/07 - - - - $7.11 $24.65
Treva, the Renewer PT Promo 12/01/08 - - - - $1.14 $16.53
Avatar of Woe PT Promo 11/02/09 - - - - $2.89 $18.71
Ajani Goldmane PT Promo 10/15/10 - - - - $8.99 $13.00
Vengevine WMCQ Promo 02/27/13 $15.00 - $13.36 - $16.64 $27.52
Geist of Saint Traft WMCQ Promo 06/06/14 $18.28 $58.50 $13.32 $50.00 $14.59 $39.57
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben WMCQ Promo 03/30/15 $4.74 $32.08 $5.21 $29.38 $5.23 $27.36
Liliana of the Veil RPTQ 10/11/14 $63.00 $275.32 $90.63 $220.00 $94.99 $249.95
Snapcaster Mage RPTQ 10/18/15 $64.00 $184.95 - - $59.63 $178.21


Sadly that's a lot of little dashes (meaning lack of data), but we'll just have to work with what we have. I have four full data points to work with and one partial (Batterskull).

First let's look at the prices of the original versions, at the announcement of its respective promo, six months later, and now. As we might expect, this yields an overall negative trend.

promoprice graph

Removing Snapcaster Mage and Liliana of the Veil (the latter which forces a much larger Y-axis increment), we get a better view of the other cards.

pricebreakdown 2

Here we see three promos causing a downward price drift six months after the announcement. (Note that in some cases, six months after the announcement there were still no copies on the market.)

Two others appear to have gone up. Thalia's price looks more flatline than positive, and could be an artifact of the way prices were calculated. Batterskull, however, showed true positive growth (followed by a decline once copies saturated the market.)

The general trend is down, but this is far from conclusive. The variation in the few viable data points we have make it difficult to make a blanket statement.

What if we look at the original foils' value though?

og foil value chart

Here we go... In this chart every single item shows an initial negative trend (although Liliana of the Veil did recover subsequently).

This implies that for those who want to pimp their decks, enough demand is satisfied by the promos to cause a drop in price. The magnitude of the drop seems heavily dependent on the card, but the trend is at least somewhat defined.


In conclusion, these types of promo printings don't seem to terribly affect the original card's value, but they do seem to affect the original pack foil's value. It's also readily apparent that from the day of announcement to six months later, all have dropped in value. Whether they recover depends on the card's desirability and playability in various formats.

There are obviously lots of other factors that can play a role in these cards' value. This includes changes to the Banned & Restricted List, the announcement of a new format (Modern was announced in May of 2011), and new cards that interact with old ones in powerful ways.

All of these factors, and many others, can affect card prices. So while we seem to have uncovered a (relatively obvious) trend, without a good bit more data I don't feel confident calling it universal.

Hopefully I can dig up some better data for a future article and revisit this topic. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

- David

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David Schumann

David started playing Magic in the days of Fifth Edition, with a hiatus between Judgment to Shards. He's been playing Commander since 2009 and Legacy since 2010.

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2 thoughts on “Insider: Evaluating the Effect of Promo Reprints

    1. Thanks. I really wish I had access to the old Black Lotus Project database (as they had data dating back before 2010) and I’d have liked to get a more probably trend, but sadly you can only work with what you have access too…and I still feel the concept is important to consider (even if specific numbers can’t really be attributed to anything)

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