Three in a Month!

Cliff Daigle • June 26, 2020

Okay, let’s go through this calmly and rationally and definitely don’t go off in a panic buying everything in sight.

Signature Spellbook: Chandra

First, the easier one: Chandra’s Signature Spellbook is available on June 26 through your LGS. This is a decent buy if you can get it around $25 and want to keep it around, but the foils are going to be chaseworthy. Fiery Confluence foil is going to be the chase card, as it’s the only foil printing. Plus this frame is, for lack of a better term, HOT.

The previous Spellbooks haven’t grown significantly since their release, but there’s a theme in this month’s releases: I think all three sets are going to be undersold. Lots of stores aren’t open, people aren’t able to play in person, we’re all paranoid about catching this virus... there’s clear reasons why we wouldn’t engage with physical cards quite yet.

Still, the point remains that the Spellbook cards are going to grow slowly, but there’s a tipping point involving the foil version of Fiery Confluence. It’s not a huge part of EDHREC’s database, only listed in 3% of decks there. Still, being the only foil in existence, for now, is a point in its favor and something that should keep sealed Spellbooks in the $20-$30 range. If the foil itself gets too high in price, it’ll be feasible to crack the Spellbooks and sell the contents.

This also means that the other cards in the Spellbook will follow the trajectory of cards from previous years: Go low and stay there. The only notable growth from any Spellbook card has been Mystical Tutor, which has grown lately across all versions:

Don’t read too deeply into that, just know that the lowest price you see in a couple of weeks will be the price it’ll stay at for a couple of years, barring the unforeseen. If they suddenly decide that Fiery Confluence needs to be in Standard, or Chandra, Torch of Defiance is reprinted in a Core Set, that’ll make these versions take off.

Core 2021

Core 2021 comes out this week too, and availability is going to be varied. Some places are having actual prereleases, lots of places are doing some kind of at-home version, others are totally closed. The most basic advice of ‘sell your cards this week’ has never been more true. Cards are going to be at a super-premium, and you’re going to get some very high percentages being offered. Be prepared for that. In previous years, I’ve listed my cards DURING the event and sent them out the moment I got home, and that’s not a bad plan now.

Here’s some of the cards that you should pay attention to in price:

Azusa, Lost but Seeking (Currently listed at $11)

Azusa was a rare in Masters 25, a set that was under-opened, but that version is down more than $10 since we found out that she’s in the Core Set. I think $11 is a good starting point for a card that has light Modern play and is in nearly 12,000 EDHREC decks. As supply gets opened, though, this is going to fall a bit farther. I think $7 is going happen quick, and $5 is in play too. Sell as quick as you can.

Mangara, the Diplomat ($12)

I’ve gotten into a few discussions online about Mangara, the Diplomat. I think it’s straight garbage in Commander, and I think the price is going to fall accordingly. Your opponent has the choice about when to let you draw a card, and that traditionally means you will only draw when they’ve got it locked up. White doesn’t get good card draw, and this isn’t good either. I’d play any number of artifact draw cards over this, frankly. The lowest copies on TCG right now are $7 with shipping, and it’s got farther to fall. I won’t be surprised when this is nearly-bulk, then is a two-of in some mono-white deck, jumps to $5 briefly, then declines down again.

Terror of the Peaks ($11)

Terror of the Peaks is not notably cheaper on TCG, which bodes better for everyone. This is a ridiculous card, and along with Elder Gargaroth, an effort to show just how pushed a five-mana mythic can be. The Terror requires an immediate answer, as does the Gargaroth, because the next creature entering play means a stack of damage going anywhere. This isn’t a legend, either, so multiples are more than welcome. I think it’ll stay around $8-$10 as a fantastic Commander card and someone will have this plus Fiery Emancipation in their Sealed pool, which will be just sick.

Elder Gargaroth ($12)

Haste is your friend, and frankly, Rhythm of the Wild is criminally underplayed right now. The big beast won’t hold $12, but if this gets down to $5 or so, I’ll likely want to pick up copies in anticipation of a rise after Teferi, Time Raveler rotates.


Finally, we have Jumpstart, a mix of brand-new cards, Core Set 2021 printings, and other reprints. There are themes that have four different sets of cards, themes with two sets, and ‘mythic’ themes of one. In total, one Jumpstart pack can be any of 121 different variations. Mix two together and presto! Instant Sealed Deck.

Jumpstart is about to be the least-opened set in a long long time. Its target audience is as side play at an event or LGS, neither of which is happening. Instead, these are going to be boxes full of special cards, special reprints, and amazingly, special lands. The one that has people buzzing is the Phyrexian Swamp, a card that looks amazing and will be one of the most expensive basics for a long time. You get exactly one if you happen to open a Phyrexian pack, and you have a 1 in 121 chance of doing so. Each pack has a unique land, and many of these will have impressive prices for a regular-frame, nonfoil basic land.

Note that this release is along the lines of Conspiracy 1 and 2, and Battlebond, in that they offer a mix of pricey reprints and very fun Limited play.  That plus the smaller amount being opened means that Jumpstart is one of the best sets in quite a while to pick up sealed boxes and keep. If you’d bought Battlebond under $100 two years ago, you’re flipping them for double now and that’s the kind of return that makes dreams come true.