Daily Stock Watch: Tolarian Academy

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.

Good day, everyone and welcome to the Wednesday edition of the Daily Stock Watch! Today, I'll be featuring one of the more celebrated lands in the game that both new and old-school players are familiar with. It is part of the Reserved List, but I actually think that it's worth taking a look at, especially in the coming days.

Today, let's talk about Tolarian Academy

Tolarian Academy has been creeping up slowly over the past few weeks because of its strength in Vintage MUD decks. In case you're not aware, the deck is called MUD not because it's a Mono Blue Devotion deck (which is what the acronym stands for), but because the cards in the deck still have that brown border that gives it a "muddy" color. Some even think that it's a "Mishra-Urza-Deck" but you could only find Mishra cards in this deck, and no Urza in sight. Meh. In case you're wondering how the deck looks like, here it is:

This deck looks like a TriniStacks deck minus Smokestack, and we're down to one Trinisphere. Okay, so maybe this isn't that kind of deck after all. However, this deck relies on the synergy of artifact creatures that's powered by the always reliable Mishra's Workshop, and the presence of, well, six out of the "Power Nine" cards. There's no way to search for that singleton Tolarian Academy, but it is very strong when you draw it.

Lands that will always be Reserved

These lands are all part of the Reserved List, along with Tolarian Academy, and some other household names that we grew up playing with. Barring any MAJOR changes, the only place where you could get them with ease is via MTGO. However, such is not the case with Tolarian Academy, which I believe still has tons of potential to go up in value as soon as people realize how good it really is, and that it's not coming back anytime soon (I still believe that something will be done about the Reserved List in the future, but that's rather arbitrary).

Right now, you could find a Tolarian Academy in decks that run at least 20 artifacts in Vintage. Unless something crazy happens, Magic would continue producing artifacts, which means that more decks would want a copy of Tolarian Academy to play with. Although Vintage is not that popular anymore, and Tolarian Academy is an R1 card, I think that $37 (the listed price for TCGPlayer median price) is still a low price tag for a card with such a high power level. I'm thinking that $50 is what it's worth in the near future. I wouldn't mind speculating on this on a personal note, because there will always be a demand for it, however way you think of it.

You could still get copies of Tolarian Academy from TCGPlayer from anywhere between $20.99 up to $38, with the pricing range being that broad because of their differences in card condition. I'd say that you try to go for at least an MP copy if you're going to keep it for personal purposes, and try to buy the cheapest ones in the best condition possible for speculating.

And that’s it for the Wednesday edition of the Daily Stock Watch! See you again tomorrow, as we'll have a special month-end edition to take a look at how my picks for the month of November are faring so far. As always, feel free to share your opinion in the comments section below. And if you want to keep up with all the market movement, be sure to check in with the QS Discord Channel for real time market information, and stay ahead of the hottest specs!

9 thoughts on “Daily Stock Watch: Tolarian Academy

  1. With Academy ONLY legal in vintage though, why would one expect the price to continue upwards? The format has die hard fans but it isn’t growing. There is also a lot of discussion on a potential banning for workshop which would eliminate most of the decks playing this card…Also all artifact decks have been referred to as MUD decks LOOOONG before Mono Blue Devotion existed.

  2. MUD is one of those things from the history of the game, nobody knowledgeable on that would ever think it refers to mono-blue devotion. Solidarity, The Rock (and his Minions, as it was originally) and The Deck have similar histories, Full English Breakfast and Fruity Pebbles are even more weirdly named, yet they were commonly seen deck names for a while.

    I agree that there can’t be much interest in a card only legal in Vintage. Your reasoning would be sound if only the card could be played anywhere. If it could be though it would’ve gone much higher long ago.

    What is an R1 card?

  3. That’s why I said that this is pretty much arbitrary, gents 😛 Speculating is all about hits and misses, anyway. I am a gambler by nature, and I don’t play my cards like they are always aces and kings; you also have to play your ten deuce like they are of the same kin. But your statements are all valid, and thank you for them!

    1. The only arbitrary you mentioned was regarding the reserved list. We’re just saying this will very likely be one of the misses. I can’t imagine you would not prefer to avoid misses.

      In Magic finance there are many more opportunities than in a poker game. The question should not be whether you play a ten deuce, the question is on which of many hands you’ll play. The question for any card speculation, including on Tolarian Academy, should be whether there are alternatives that are more likely to pay out that are also available to you right now. If you figure there’s an X% chance Academy pays off n dollars and an X+Y% chance a different card also pays n dollars at similar buy in cost, you should be investing in the different card. Of course you could be figuring that the chance that Academy pays off is very high, but David and I both disagree with that. Do you reckon there is a very high chance of it paying off significantly?

      If you’d ask me I’d reckon that the chance of Academy paying off significantly in the last month of this year is in the 1-2% range, and it paying off significantly some time next year is in the 10-15% range. I’ve been far more confident in other cards, so other than for collecting purposes I am staying clear of Academy.

  4. If not Vintage, then how about the bump in interest from collectors when we return to Dominaria? Hell, we’ve already seen it in the background of one of the spoiled arts! I understand it’s banned pretty much everywhere, but I always thought Academy was undervalued realtive to the other cards in Saga, and especially now compared to all the literally unplayable RL garbage that’s spiked (and fallen) since summer. I like the potential here from a collector’s pov

  5. How bout 9 of them? I know it sounds insane to have Academy in the same conversation as the power 9, but this card is certainly in the running for the most powerful card *of all time*. I get that it’s 5 years younger and the supply’s much higher, but this card has the pedigree to be a collector’s item at some point in the not too distant future. I’ll be picking up a few more just in case,

    1. That’s actually 0 of them, exactly because of age and supply. It’s not a question of card power, I’m happy to agree it’s in the top for Urza block power level. The point though is that there is almost no reason to play them. Even Yawgmoth’s Will, its most likely contender for the top position, is allowed in more formats and doesn’t cost significantly more (I realize it IS worth more, but not enough to make it interesting to buy Academies, have them shipped, sell and ship them out again, and make a significant profit in the process). Yawgmoth’s Will being allowed in Commander is a huge boon for it and even then it’s only worth about 25% more.

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.