Insider: MTGO Promos and the Ixalan Lands

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As Matt noted last week, Ixalan has dropped by 30 percent this past week and should continue to drop for a few more weeks. He advocated for not investing in anything in Ixalan at the present time, and I'd like to echo his sentiment.

Once redemption kicks in and Iconic Masters is released on November 17, I suspect that Ixalan will be drafted a lot less, which means that prices should stabilize. I actually expect Ixalan to rebound more quickly than most other fall sets because of Iconic Masters. Thus, I'll publish my traditional two-part series covering the current set's best speculation opportunities in the very near future. This week, I'd like to take a look at a few different financial matters relevant to MTGO players and investors.

I. Promo Finance

This week, MTGO players were introduced to prize packs for the MTGO Players Reward Program. If you play in events and buy tickets from the MTGO Store, you'll get some number of these prize packs once a month. If you haven't checked your account for them, you should do so now; they'll be where your booster packs are in your collection.

Every prize pack contains one of 45 different cards (the list is found on the page I linked). Some the highlights include Serrated Arrows, Adaptive Snapjaw, Fatal Push, Path to Exile, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, and Birds of Paradise. These packs contain cards relevant for every format and will help make certain formats like Pauper more accessible.

You also should check your collection for the cards on this list and sell your copies if you have invested in any of them. For those of you who own playsets of these cards, you'll want to compare your versions to the promo versions and decide which you like better. These promos are not foil, which most MTGO players prefer. In general, the promo versions are much cheaper than the normal versions, and the normal versions have lost about 40 percent of their value on average.

My recommendation is to not invest in any of these cards, either in their promo or their normal version. There are simply too many of them flooding the market, and the marketplace will be injected with a fresh batch every month for the foreseeable future. The calling card on these promos is that they are all alternate art, so they most likely won't be rotating them in and out at a high clip.

II. Ixalan Check Lands

Many players I know are having a hard time determining whether to speculate on the allied checklands. Right now, their prices are as follows, placed alongside their allied land counterparts in Standard:

Also important is what both looked like at this same point in their Standard life cycles. Here they are after three weeks of Standard legality:

I'm actually quite surprised that the Ixalan lands are doing so well financially. Their values, by and large, compare favorably to the Amonkhet lands, yet this is their fourth reprinting. Their prices aren't atypical of duals that are currently being opened in Limited. Another good sign is that the hierarchy of their values corresponds to that of the Amonkhet lands, reaffirming that they are behaving normally and can be expected to behave like most land cycles do, despite this being their fifth printing.

Most importantly, their prices are high enough to indicate that the market is not so flooded with them that they don't have the potential for future movement upwards. Like their Amonkhet counterparts, I expect these to become good investments.

To give you some more relevant data, I'd like to show you the price ceilings and floors of the enemy-colored painlands from Magic Origins, the last oft-printed duals to see a major Standard reprint. Although these are weaker than the Ixalan lands, they make for a good comparison, because this was their fourth or fifthth reprint in Standard as well (depending on whether MTGO was around way back when Apocalypse was released). As I've done before, I'll be giving what could be called financial lows and financial highs, that is lows and highs that had wide enough windows for you to buy and sell a decent number of them. These prices are for the Magic Origins versions.

As a suite of cards, the enemy painlands would have been a good investment to make. Some would have resulted in minimal profit (Battlefield Forge and Llanowar Wastes), while others would have been quite good (Shivan Reef and Yavimaya Coast). Further, these lands all maintained their values throughout most of their life in Standard – while market saturation and past reprintings probably lowered their ceilings, they still exhibited the usual trends that lands follow. This bodes well for the Ixalan duals. While it is impossible to predict which Ixalan lands will see the most play and which will be the best investments, the three data sets above give me confidence that investing in them will be a safe and wise move.

As with the rest of Ixalan, I recommend waiting one to three weeks before buying in.

Signing Off

I hope you found the above information useful. As always, please leave your questions and comments below and I'll be sure to get back to you. Here is a copy of my portfolio, and you'll notice that I've added a second sheet for manually adding your buy transactions. I'll be doing the same thing for sell transactions this week. This should make this template even more user-friendly to use if you are so inclined.

This week, I'd like to share the final charm in the cycle of charms I created in June. World, meet Nocuous Charm.

4 thoughts on “Insider: MTGO Promos and the Ixalan Lands

    1. Remember the Beta version of MTGO was up and running before MTGO was released in 2002, so IPA Draft was in fact the first draft format available on MTGO.

    2. That makes sense. I vaguely recall that MTGO offered Invasion Block draft for a few months sometime in its infancy, but I might be wrong about that. Thanks for the history knowledge David 🙂

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