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Insider: Ixalan Box Report & Weekend Winners

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Welcome to this installment of my #BoxReport series. In this article series we break down the value of actual boxes of Magic that I’ve opened, note the value, and talk about the price direction of cards in the set.

Initially, Ixalan has looked like many other sets before it with the planeswalkers at the top of the price food chain during preorder season. We had Growing Rites of Itlimoc // Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun and Carnage Tyrant at the top of the curve too which is cool and interesting. Now that we’ve had our first tournament, we’re already seeing some movement in the highly played cards from SCG Dallas.

I think this is going to be better, waiting until after this event to evaluate the box price. Previously I’ve written this article before the initial price changes have started happening, so I think this will work out a bit more accurately. Often times the Pro Tour will change a lot as well, so I may revisit this article after that event and update you guys. I think Ixalan has a ton of potential and once we see what the format will actually look like, I think the set will prove more valuable, but time will tell.

Let’s jump into the Box Report!

Box 1

$1 Axis of Mortality
$1 Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle
$6 Search for Azcanta // Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin
$4 Vraska's Contempt
$4 Dire Fleet Captain
$1.5 Deadeye Tracker
$3 Rampaging Ferocidon
$13 Growing Rites of Itlimoc // Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun
$2.5 Shapers' Sanctuary
$4.5 Deathgorge Scavenger
$9 Ripjaw Raptor
$5 Vona, Butcher of Magan
$2 Treasure Map // Treasure Cove
$2 Primal Amulet // Primal Wellspring
$2 Vanquisher's Banner
$2.5 Dragonskull Summit
$4 Drowned Catacomb
$2 Sunpetal Grove

$4 2x Unclaimed Territory

$6 Foil Drowned Catacomb
$15 Foil Vona, Butcher of Magan

Box 1 Total: $94

To me this seems like an average box. We have three mythics, none of which are amazing. The rares help this box a bit and the bomb uncommon, Unclaimed Territory, helps your boxes a lot too. Search for Azcanta // Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin, Vraska's Contempt, and Drowned Catacomb have all gone up a bit since release, but Growing Rites of Itlimoc // Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun has gone down a bit to average them out.

I think your foils are more likely to help you out from this set as well. The Vona, Butcher of Magan definitely bumped the final price of this box up for sure, but there are tons of great foils in this set. Every flip card has a decent foil price and plenty of other cards in the set are solid foils as well.

Box 2

$1 Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle
$1 Ashes of the Abhorrent
$2 Kopala, Warden of Waves
$1.5 Spell Swindle
$4 Dire Fleet Captain
$1.5 Fathom Fleet Captain
$2 Ruin Raider
$1.5 Star of Extinction
$3 Growing Rites of Itlimoc // Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun
$9 Ripjaw Raptor
$2.5 Shapers' Sanctuary
$13 Vraska, Relic Seeker
$2 Vanquisher's Banner
$2 Sorcerous Spyglass
$2 Primal Amulet // Primal Wellspring
$2.5 Glacial Fortress

$4 2x Unclaimed Territory

$8 Foil Legion's Landing // Adanto, the First Fort

Box 2 Total: $62

As you can see here, this is probably the worst you are likely to see from this set. It could have been a little worse without the foil Legion's Landing, which as I said before, has a pretty decent foil multiplier. The double-sided foils just look so cool right!? I think they do, and so do others based on the prices of these new cards. Still, this was a pretty disappointing box and I hope you don’t get one like this.

Box 3

$2.5 Legion's Landing // Adanto, the First Fort
$3 Settle the Wreckage
$1.5 Tocatli Honor Guard
$1.5 Spell Swindle
$13 Jace, Cunning Castaway
$2 Ruin Raider
$4 Vraska's Contempt
$2.5 Rampaging Ferocidon
$3 2 Captain Lannery Storm
$1.5 Star of Extinction
$2.5 Shapers' Sanctuary
$3 Dowsing Dagger // Lost Vale
$1.5 Treasure Map // Treasure Cove
$4 2 Sorcerous Spyglass
$7 Regisaur Alpha
$10 Huatli, Warrior Poet
$15 Hostage Taker
$2.5 Admiral Beckett Brass
$2.5 Rootbound Crag
$2.5 Glacial Fortress
$2.5 Dragonskull Summit
$2 Sunpetal Grove

$4 2x Unclaimed Territory

Box 3 Total: $93.5

Seems like we have another average box here. The inflated price of Hostage Taker right now contributed toward this box's total. We will most likely see that price dip back down in another week or two unless the pros prove its worth.

The card is definitely good, but the problem is that there are approximately fifty ways to kill it and basically every removal spell in the format does so. Just in red, one of the most popular colors right now, there are a bunch of great and efficient ways. I know Hostage Taker just won the SCG Open, but it’s not where I want to be for sure. Unclaimed Territory I do love, though. Horde those for sure.

Box 4

$1 Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle
$1.5 Tocatli Honor Guard
$2 Kopala, Warden of Waves
$1.5 Fathom Fleet Captain
$1.5 Deadeye Tracker
$2 Vance's Blasting Cannons // Spitfire Bastion
$4.5 Deathgorge Scavenger
$13 Growing Rites of Itlimoc // Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun
$9 Ripjaw Raptor
$24 Carnage Tyrant
$3 Dowsing Dagger // Lost Vale
$2 Primal Amulet // Primal Wellspring
$2 Thaumatic Compass // Spires of Orazca
$2 Vanquisher's Banner
$2.5 Tishana, Voice of Thunder
$5 Vona, Butcher of Magan
$7 Regisaur Alpha
$2.5 Rootbound Crag
$2.5 Glacial Fortress
$4 Drowned Catacomb

$4 2x Unclaimed Territory

$6.5 Foil Spell Swindle
$1 Foil Emperor's Vanguard
$8 Foil Tishana, Voice of Thunder

Box 4 Total: $112

Bomb box four here is probably up there in terms of best boxes. Outside of foil planeswalkers, I think this is what the peak of your expectations should be. This box had some of the best cards in the set all in one box!

Total Value

Box Average: $88

If we take a look at the average, $88 per box is definitely decent. That means not only are you getting all of the sweet cards from the set but your investment is pretty good as well. A lot of times we buy boxes because we need the cards, so losing money isn’t really on our mind. But when we get good value also, that’s the perfect spot to be.

Nothing will be better than boxes with Masterpieces, because when you hit, you make a huge profit. That said, for a set without Masterpieces, Ixalan is shaping up nicely.

In doing some research for this article series, I stumbled upon a site that aggregates TCG price data for sets. The site actually tracks the total value of a set, so comparing with my findings is great. According to the TCG mid for Ixalan, the average price per box should be a bit higher than what I personally opened. They have the average at just over $96 per Ixalan box. I’ll have to keep that site in mind the next time I revisit this article series.

One important note that stuck out to me was the number of lands per box and per case. The buddy lands seem to be averaging about three of each per case or, if you’re lucky, a playset of each. Regarding Unclaimed Territory, you should get about a playset of that one per case as well. These lands may be inexpensive, but I’m sold out of buddy lands and I’ve sold a ton of Territories. The price memory of players plus the extra printings will keep the price down, but the demand will always be there. They are great cards to always have in stock.

Top Finance Winners From Last Weekend

One of the most important things to know in regards to finance is not just what cards might spike, but also which cards have gained value for you. Some cards from this past weekend stuck out to me as the big winners from the weekend.

The clear best winner has to be The Scarab God, with second place going to Hostage Taker. Both of these cards more than doubled their previous price points thanks to the first-place deck from SCG Dallas utilizing them. Those cards were the hot news from the weekend, so I’m sure you already know about them.


Hostage Taker should drop back down quickly, but The Scarab God might stick around with a huge price tag. There are no really expensive cards from Hour of Devastation so that makes it more likely that this god will be the top of the food chain for that set. Gabriel Nassif said this week that The Scarab God is the best card in Standard. If other pros think that too, we could have this guy stick around the $30 price point for a while.

One of the things I realized early in testing was that Metallic Mimic is the best lord for any of the Ixalan tribes. None of the tribes really have a lord. Pirates has Admiral Beckett Brass but she doesn’t feel like he counts because she’s three colors. Payoff cards like Dire Fleet Captain or Fathom Fleet Captain are more like lords than Brass.

In Merfolk, Kopala, Warden of Waves is a nice incentive but it doesn’t grant the lord buff to your other creatures stats. Same goes for Regisaur Alpha for Dinosaurs. He feels like the lord but doesn’t do normal lord-style things. Metallic Mimic does exactly what we want a lord to do and it can be played for any Ixalan tribe or other Standard tribe. I think players are realizing this as well because Mimic’s price bumped up a couple bucks this weekend too.


I don’t know what the pros are cooking up, but Tezzeret the Schemer also increased a bit recently as well. This was the most interesting card that I found and it definitely has the potential to jump even more if a deck breaks out at the pro tour containing new Tezzeret. I think it’ll settle back down but it would be cool if Tezzeret got his own deck at some point.

Walking Ballista is gaining some ground again. Players may have set their Ballistas aside briefly, but this is still a super versatile and powerful card. The fact that anyone can play it makes its price ceiling higher than it would normally be. All we need for this card to jump again is for it to find a real home instead of being played sporadically here and there in a variety of strategies.

Gideon of the Trials is definitely not as good as Gideon, Ally of Zendikar but that’s because he’s different. Trials is only three mana and that’s obviously a huge deal. I haven’t seen anyone advocating him, but from my testing he’s been great. Gideon has gone up despite not much attention so if he turns up in a winning deck, I’d expect him to go up even more. Keep an eye on him from the Pro Tour for sure.


Fetid Pools and Drowned Catacomb both ticked up most likely from the popularity of the blue-black color combination but also because of the deck that won the Open. I like all of the lands in Standard and they play really well with each other too. Your tap land actually makes your other dual land come into play untapped. That typically doesn’t happen.

Wrap-Up

That’s all for me today. Hopefully I gave you some good info about the value of your boxes and what to expect if you’re planning on opening some up, as well as some current cards to watch.

Standard right now is super exciting to me. I built four decks and I might put together a couple more. I love the format and I think Ixalan will give us tons of new archetypes. I think most of the breakout cards from the Pro Tour will be from Ixalan and not from previous sets, but hold off on unloading your cards until after the event. That way you can maximize your profits.

Until next time,
Unleash the Force!

Mike Lanigan
MtgJedi on Twitter
MtgJedi on YouTube

2 thoughts on “Insider: Ixalan Box Report & Weekend Winners

  1. I enjoy these reports (predominantly so I can live vicariously through someone willing to open a lot of boxes). But I do think it’s absolutely critical to emphasize that you have a store front to sell these cards. I think an individual seller without a store front would definitely lose money on most of these boxes as the sub $3 cards (if they sold) would lose all or most profit in the typical transaction fees and shipping if sold online.

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