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Time Spiral Speculations: Sealed and Singles

With the new Time Spiral Remastered coming out later this month, it begs the question, what will the sets value be like? That question even further complicates with the distinction between singles and sealed product. Thankfully, Time Spiral Remastered only has one option for sealed products, that being a simple draft booster box, making it considerably easier to make estimates. No “Double-Triple Collector VIP Set Boosters” for this one. Without further ado, let’s check out the information we have, and evaluate what this might mean for this poorly timed draft experience.

Sealed Product

The only available sealed product for this set is the draft booster box. The box contains 36 booster packs of 15 cards each(16 if you count the marketing card). Currently, the boxes are sitting on Amazon for around $199. If you look on TCGPlayer you’ll find similar prices at $196 per box. If you look at a whole case, TCG is $1196.97 for a case of six boxes. If you look at eBay, the cheapest sold listing is $170 plus shipping. Newer listings with boxes left are sitting at the low end around $185 to $210.

I’ve heard some chatter around the internet about possible early shortages, some suggesting an extremely limited supply, while others state that the bulk of the boxes are being reallocated to Amazon and other big box stores, in an increase to previous standards. It’s impossible to 100% predict how the supply is going to pan out, but I would guess that it is going to be similar to a Mystery Booster-style situation. For Mystery Booster there are currently, there are 13 listings on TCGPlayer, with the lowest price being $225. It has been out for around a year, and if we all remember the WOTC initiative to help stores through the pandemic by offering free boxes totaling $10,000,000, the supply might be slightly more than we might be getting now for TSR. This could mean that TSR boxes could see higher short-term value than Mystery Booster, and even very likely a higher long-term value.


One important aspect to consider is the demand for this for Drafting. This is being released in a period of time where most LGS aren’t offering any in-store play, it would be reasonable to assume that a majority of the orders and purchases early on are not going to be for the purpose of drafting or sealed play. I would reason that in a couple of months when in-store play and other in-person events and gatherings start to open up, we will see a lot more demand for TSR sealed. With the majority of purchases likely not coming from players for the purpose of playing, the bulk of the product might be held in the hands of speculators and investors.

We could see one of two things happening with that situation. If people hold onto the majority of their boxes within the first few months, depending on how the product is introduced to the market after demand rises, we could see a relatively flooded market at first with low prices, and a possible retrace to very high prices long-term as supply dwindles, or we could see people slowly introducing their product into the market, allowing for consistently high prices across sellers, and an eventual rise in value. The core differences in these situations are the rate at which the product is being dispersed, and subsequently held or removed from the market permanently.

A faster early on dispersal rate could bring higher prices earlier, at the cost of the profits for sales during that period of high supply, while a lower dispersal rate would allow for higher profit margins during the initial period of high demand while lengthening that period by controlling the rate at which the product is being sold. Knowing that the likely case might just be a faster dispersal to promote higher liquidity would suggest that holding on to the bulk of your product early on may be a smart decision but at the end of the day that will be up to you to decide.

Singles

With Time Spiral Remastered being a reprint set, it makes it a lot easier to try to predict the prices of singles, and perhaps the boxes estimate value. Let’s get into the data. In the main set, we have 289 total cards, all reprints from the original Time Spiral block. This includes 121 commons, 100 uncommon, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares. There is an additional sheet of timeshifted cards that will appear at a rate of one card per pack. There are also foil timeshifted cards that will be included, but otherwise, all timeshifted cards have an equal rarity. The only way to get singles from TSR is through the draft booster boxes, reducing the chance that certain cards will be devalued by higher pull rates in contrasting products.

The selection of normal singles is very promising, with notable reprints including Pact of Negation at $31.95, Sliver Legion at $60, and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth at $25. It’s no surprise that some of the timeshifted cards are among the highest preorder prices for these cards, despite the value of the original card. The current highest preorder price is for the timeshifted Thoughtseize at $68, with Chalice of the Void sitting at around $55. If we compare the effect on reprints to these cards in the past, we can get a picture of what this reprint may look like. I figured a good example to look at might be the card Thoughtseize, as it has several previous reprints, and sees a good amount of play in formats that it is legal in.

With this information, you can gather generally that with each reprint, the price tended to drop, however with the number of cards on the market increasing beyond a point of simple healthy availability, the price trended lower and lower over time. This appears to be congruent with other modern playable reprints in this set with the notable exception of Pact of Negation, but this may not be true with the other cards being reprinted, so let us take a look at Sliver Legion, which has seen one reprint, however only as a judge promo. This lower quantity card may benefit from a reprint, with more interest arising, it could draw attention to the modern-frame printing as an alternative to the Core Set 2015 frame.

Sliver Legion only being reprinted once is a very important thing to consider. Especially considering the reprint was a very limited Judge Promo, which, as the name suggests, is only given out to current Magic Judges. Another important thing to consider is the estimated value of the box. While we are still in the preorder period, something to consider is that there are 3 major sources of possible big hits. Timeshifted cards are standing out to me considerably. About 60% are preordering for above $3, around 50% above $5, and about 10% above $10.

Normal Rares are also looking not too bad, with around 1/3 being worth more than $5, and 10% worth more than $10. Especially with Pact of Negation being in the rare slot, and a total of 53 rares in the set, double rares should occur not too rarely, as you could theoretically receive 2/3’s of the set in one box. Mythic pull rates were recently changed from 1/8 to 1/7.4, and while this may not seem like a very large change, it actually changes things a lot. A majority of boxes will now lean towards 5 mythic boxes, which when we go to look at the mythic sheet, adds a large amount of additional value. A little under half of the Mythic’s in the set are currently priced at over $15 at preorder, with another 25% of the sheet consisting of cards $5 or more. If we account for foils we now have added value.

In every box, we should see generally between 1 and 2 foil timeshifted cards. We don’t have much information on pricing for foil timeshifted cards, however, we have a few cards priced out for preorder. Chalice of the Void is seeing foil prices at $300, while Ponder is seeing $125. Now at this point, you should be a little concerned that I mention the preorder prices so frequently, as preorder prices are very often overvalued and not accurate depictions of the price.


Taking this into with the recent preorder price comparisons, a good rule of thumb is to mark everything down a little under half. Sometimes a bit over, but not by enough to make too much of a difference. If you were to pull a box with about 25% of the cards in each category being the middle range, and cutting the prices in half, you should still be left with about $190-200 in value. If you pull a big hitter foil, you could kiss the price tag goodbye. Of course, the chances of that are well under what would be considered reasonable.

With the boxes themselves being only $200 right now, something has to go. With the supply possibly being possibly partially distributed in large retailers and online, we could see both. It could go down in either or both, depending on the supply. It’s all about the supply. I will be going more in-depth in an article coming out later this week, so if you are interested keep an eye out.

The Takeaway

With more information likely coming closer to release, we can continue to evaluate as time goes on. I would be keeping a very close eye on this product. Hindsight is 20/20, and Future Sight is coincidently part of the Time Spiral block. Have a great day, be smart, and invest in cardboard.

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Kai Haas

Kai Haas

Kai has always had a profound connection to the game of MTG, and as time went on, the allure of the financial aspect took hold. They spend most of their spare time looking into the ins and outs of the bizarre and erratic world of MTG finance. When they aren't speculating, they mostly play Commander, CEDH, Draft, Cube, and more recently, Standard. The most important thing to Kai is the pursuit of knowledge, because it's not what you know, it's knowing where to find what you don't.

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