War of the Spark is going to have 36 planeswalkers, an amazing one per pack, just as Dominaria had one legend per pack.
This tidbit of news has caused some prices to go crazy, but a lot of those cards are going to be rotating out of Standard at the end of summer. I don’t play a lot of Standard, but it would hurt my value-loving soul to be buying this for a high price right now that are going to lose a lot of their value in six short months.
Let’s look at some examples.
So the lowest price was $7 a mere six weeks ago, and it’s doubled since then. We don’t get two-CMC mana rocks in Standard anymore because they're too good at getting a control deck ahead and Wrathing the board a turn early.
We do have
Mox Amber though, and if there’s some more two-mana Planeswalkers, or (heaven help us) a one-drop planewalker, this is going to act a whole lot like a real Mox.
The price is $16 now and what I’m focused on is the price at the end of 2019. I like this card as a long-term grower. I believe people will adopt it in Commander or it’ll get broken in Modern. I don’t want to buy it now, so when will I and how much will I pay?
Price memory is the term for when people believe an object has a certain price, because they paid a certain price. We remember what something’s worth, even after that price has changed. For me that’s
Sol Ring from Revised. It's a card I’ve had endless copies of over the years, which I don’t think it’s worth much, but the cheapest NM on TCGPlayer is more than double the price stuck in my mind right now.
I believe that people who are buying Mox Amber right now for $10, $15, or more will have a very hard time selling for sub-$10 at the end of this year, and that’s really going to impact my plan for this card. I’ll stay hopeful but my expectations have definitely shifted.
The Immortal Sun
You can see that
The Immortal Sun has had three notable spikes in its Standard life and none of those are due to high-level results. It’s mostly down to being a sideboard card or hoping that something new comes along. For a moment, when Vivien Reid was seemingly everywhere, this was hailed as the cute and ironic answer to her, since the ability can’t be activated to destroy The Immortal Sun, but the results just haven’t been present. In almost all cases, it’s a one-of in some assorted sideboards.
This most recent spike is entirely due to the following line of thought:
“Did you hear? There’s 36 Planeswalkers in War of the Spark! They are gonna be everywhere!”
“Holy rusted metal! That’s a lot of loyalty! What are we gonna do?”
“Let’s run out and buy a six-drop that turns all of them off, but we can’t have backup copies in play!”
“What an amazing card! Take my $30.00!”
And here we are.
This is a card that has managed to never be too cheap, likely due to casual players who open it and put it into a Commander deck and never let it get onto the market. I had a spare playset tucked away and I just let them all go to my LGS, but I do want to buy these back up when they rotate.
I’m hoping they will get back to below $10, but if $10 is as low as they go, that’s fine by me. I’ll be curious to see where foil prices go on this card as it’s quite off on the foil multiplier. I’d expect a $30 card to have a foil price of at least $60, maybe up to $90, but it’s only $45 right now... but there’s only four under $50 on TCG, and then four more copies. Only three foils on eBay, all above $50.
The supply just isn’t there, it seems. If you want a foil, I’d advocate for you to start putting out a strong offer on Cardsphere now, or take the hit on TCGPlayer/eBay. I fully expect people to sell off the nonfoils as rotation happens; I am doubtful that sell-off will happen to the foils.
Oath of Teferi
This seems straightforward but has some sly implications.
Oath of Nissa and
Oath of Gideon have jumped for their Commander implications, and 36 new Planeswalkers means a lot more superfriends decks.
Teferi’s Oath, though, implies some people are hoping to get it done in Standard, and that’s a lot of hope. Generally using Planeswalkers twice is the bee’s knees, but the first ability is a mere flicker of your own stuff. If you’re Esper and you played a
Ravenous Chupacabra on turn four, you’re super far ahead... as long as you played a Planeswalker or two before that.
This is a hard card to set up in Standard and unlike the original five Oaths, drawing this in multiples is pretty lame. Those at least had some effect on the board by themselves and Teferi’s misses that mark.
The foil was about $3 before the spike to $10, and as you can imagine, I’m really eager to jump on more foils. I'd love this card to have long-term casual growth, because it does what
The Chain Veil does for a fraction of the financial cost. It’s a lot like
Growing Rites of Itlimoc vs.
Gaea’s Cradle. One is clearly better but the other version is still pretty darn good.
I think that the foil price has gone up as a reflex to the nonfoil prices. Players saw the card spiking, knew they wanted a foil or two for decks, and jumped on. There’s only 30 copies available on TCG, so vendors either don’t have more to list or they haven’t bothered to put them online yet.
Still I’m hoping that the foils come back down to something reasonable like $5, and if nonfoils fall to a dollar or less, I’ll likely pick up a few.