I ought to be exactly the target market for Unfinity. I’m an established player, with a love for puns and dad jokes, and I even have a silver-bordered draft set cube that no one ever wants to play. I’ve been a huge fan of the other Un-sets, including the absolute masterpiece which was the Contraption deck and mechanic in Unstable.
I’m not going to spend any time or energy on Unfinity, and definitely no money.
Unfinity represents a loss of money. Most drafting does, as it’s quite difficult to get your money back. The prize structure does most of that work, but Unfinity is going to have three levels of stuff worth money:
Tier One: Shocklands
The Shocklands in regular, traditional foil, and galaxy foil
Shocks have some special printings to compare this to, though your taste is important here. Battle for Zendikar Expeditions had the full cycle of shocklands, and only in foil. There was a Secret Lair drop with all ten lands, but that was all nonfoil. Original Ravnica/Guildpact/Dissension shocklands are by far the most expensive version of the cards, and I expect that to continue.
What we do know is that Wizards outright told us that 4% of Collector Boosters will have a traditional foil borderless shockland, and 4% will have a galaxy foil of those lands. Yes, that means 16 out of 1000 Collector Boosters will have one of each, which isn’t even as rare as the Legends in Dominaria United Collector Boosters.
We also can’t overlook that there’s some quantity of these shocklands being opened in Draft boosters, but it appears to be the case that only nonfoils can be opened in those boosters. Plus, every box, both Draft Boosters and Collector Boosters, will come with a Box Topper pack guaranteed to contain a traditional foil borderless shockland.
There’s no doubt in my mind that original foil shocklands stay the most valuable versions of shocks. I’m equally sure these will be more expensive than the foil versions of shocklands from either revisiting of the Ravnican plane.
So will these end up higher, lower, or about the same as the BFZ Expeditions? My hunch is that the traditional foils will be lower, but the galaxy foils will be higher. Pretty easy to foresee that these shocks in nonfoil will be the most pricey nonfoils when all is said and done, but the extra copies from the Box Topper will go a long way towards making the price gap very real between the two treatments.
Tier 2: Basic Lands
Un-Lands have always had a special place in Magic lore. Borderless cards were premiered in Unstable, several years before they’d try that with Collector Boosters.We’ve gotten some truly outstanding lands this way, and Unfinity doesn’t disappoint, giving us traditional foil and galaxy foil versions of two cycles, named orbital and planetary for each cycle.
The problem is, we’ve got a ridiculous number of sweet basics to choose from, not least because they were a throw-in for Secret Lair bundles until recently. Full-art is not the flex it used to be. Theros: Beyond Death gave us a Nyx frame for basics focused on the mana symbol, which DMU has changed to a stained-glass approach. Both are gorgeous, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just not as special as it used to be.
Because galaxy foil is only in Collector Boosters, I would expect them to hold a high price, but these will not be $100 foils like Unhinged and Unstable have. Each Collector Booster will have one galaxy foil land and one traditional foil land, which if you’re chasing foil shocklands, will give you a nice amount of basic lands to put on the market. That’s going to be a high quantity going into circulation, but given how slow basics are to appreciate these days, I can’t advocate picking them up in hopes of reselling.
If you’re in the mood to get a set of basics for your deck or your cube, I’d prepare to get those a week or two after release. You don’t want to be in the first wave, the desperate buyers, and I promise there will be lots of these foils available.
Tier 3: Everything else
I’m going to come out and say it: Losing the silver border is a mistake. It was unique and awesome and an easy way to identify what is what. If a card can work on its own in a black bordered set, like
The Cheese Stands Alone, then reprint it in a set, or give it a Secret Lair. Mixing the ‘legal’ cards for Commander/Legacy with the illegal ones, and having a different-shaped holo stamp is not enough.
Additionally, the inclusion of shocklands and the smattering of Commander-legal cards is simply a way to sell more packs. They are hoping that because Comet, Stellar Pup is allowed in Commander, we’ll pay exorbitant amounts for it. I strongly hope people don’t, but they pushed Comet hard enough to make it worthwhile for some decks to play the pup.
Legacy is a trap when it comes to paper prices. It’s been a long time since a brand new card made such a splash in that format as to be good. There’s just not enough organic paper demand for the cards, especially when so many stores offer tournaments with X number of printed proxies. Avoid buying cards because they are good in Legacy/Vintage. Don’t get me started about the headache that is Space Jace.
It’s difficult for other cards in the set to make a long-term impact financially. Being foil helps but that’s no guarantee. Memes are funny online but blessed few people want to pay for them. There’s so many other targets in the Magic world right now that I would strongly urge you to get what you want about two weeks after release and ignore the set otherwise.