Return to Ravnica Financial Wrap

Don’t miss Ben’s daily updates for the financial value of Return to Ravnica here. Today, he wraps it up with some overall thoughts and a cheat sheet for the Prerelease weekend.

Throughout the past three weeks, I’ve been giving nearly daily updates for the prices on Return to Ravnica singles. For today’s article, I’m going to give some overall thoughts about the financial direction of cards in this set and give a cheat sheet for my thoughts on the longer-term values of Return to Ravnica cards. By longer term, I mean “the value they will settle at by the time Gatecrash comes out in February.”

Overall Thoughts

— The shocklands are all going to hold or increase in value. Many people are arguing “they are going to drop in value because they are reprints, and a ton of Return to Ravnica is going to be opened,” but I counter four things.

  • They’ve already dropped from their original values (Hallowed Fountain was a $35 card from Dissension before the reprint was announced), so they’ve already reached a “normalized” price.
  • There isn’t going to be enough Return to Ravnica printed to keep up with demand, by the time Gatecrash is released.
  • There are a ton more Standard players than PTQ/Modern players, so the demand on shocklands will be a multiple higher than they were when they blew up in price once Modern was announced.
  • We are about to enter a Modern PTQ season.

— It looked like Vraska was going to be the winner planeswalker from this set and Jace the loser. Initial testing has shown that Jace is really good and Vraska not as much. I expect them both to pass each other in value—Jace staying where it is (or going up slightly) and Vraska taking the Planeswalker Plummet┢—dropping 50% in value before the next set is released.

Armada Wurm is Broodmate Dragon version 2.0—don’t underestimate how good this card is because it’s in the “weak” guild.

— I believe Epic Experiment will be a breakout card at the Modern Pro Tour in Seattle in a few weeks; keep a very close eye on it. If it’s not broken at the Pro Tour, it’ll quickly drop to the $3-$4 range.

— Many of the casual kings in this set are going to take a short-term drop in value. This includes cards like Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius, Trostani, Grave Betrayal, and Corpsejack Menace. I think these will all go up in value over the course of a year but will go down if we’re just looking at the “Until Gatecrash” timeline.

— Cards that will drop in value but I believe have potential to break out in the long term: Angel of Serenity, Detention Sphere, Mizzium Mortars (which will take a small dip because it’s one of the rares in the Izzet Intro Pack), Pithing Needle, Rest in Peace, and Underworld Connections. These are the cards I would pick up after they have the “lots of supply in the market” drop because I think they all have potential to jump up a lot over the course of a year.

— Aside from the shocklands, Chromatic Lantern is the most solid rare/mythic in this set as far as short and long-term value. Fantastic for all casual players, playable in all decks (since it’s an artifact), and likely to break through in Standard. It’s also quietly good, so it will take a little while to start shooting up in value—but keep in mind it took Coalition Relic three months to start shooting up in price, and it hit the $7-$8 mark.

— Yes, this set is really this good. Yes, Gatecrash will likely be every bit as good as well.

— If I were a betting man, I’d take bets at even odds that both Tarmogoyf and Dark Confidant will be reprinted in the third set of this block. If Wizards is going to put 5x shocklands in each set, then the third set of Return to Ravnica block seems like the perfect place to put two of the really higher-dollar Modern staples. Dark Confidant is a Ravnica reprint; Tarmogoyf would fit in perfectly with Golgari.


(Bold: Rares or mythics that I feel are worth getting now)


Card Current Price Future Price
Angel of Serenity $15 $10
Armada Wurm $15 $15
Epic Experiment $8 $10
Isperia, Supreme Judge $4 $3
Jace, Architect of Thought $30 $30
Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord $5 $5
Necropolis Regent $2 $2
Niv-MIzzet, Dracogenius $10 $8
Rakdos’s Return $15 $10
Rakdos, Lord of Riots $10 $6
Sphinx’s Revelation $6 $5
Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice $10 $6
Utvara Hellkite $3 $2
Vraska the Unseen $40 $20
Worldspine Wurm $4 $3
TOTAL $177 $135


Card Current Price Future Price
Abrupt Decay $20 $15
Archon of the Triumverate $1 $0.50
Ash Zealot $3 $1.50
Azor’s Elocutors $1 $0.50
Blood Crypt $12 $12
Carnival Hellsteed $0.50 $0.50
Chaos Imps $0.50 $0.50
Chromatic Lantern $5 $5
Collective Blessing $1 $1.50
Conjured Currency $0.50 $0.50
Corpsejack Menace $1.50 $1
Counterflux $3 $2
Cryptborn Horror $0.75 $0.50
Cyclonic Rift $4 $2
Deadbridge Goliath $1 $1
Death’s Presence $0.50 $0.50
Deathrite Shaman $6 $4
Desecration Demon $4 $2
Detention Sphere $10 $6
Dreadbore $8 $6
Firemind’s Foresight $1 $0.50
Grave Betrayal $1 $0.50
Grove of the Guardian $1 $1
Growing Ranks $1.50 $1
Guild Feud $0.50 $0.50
Hallowed Fountain $15 $20
Havoc Festival $0.50 $0.50
Hypersonic Dragon $1.50 $1
Jarad’s Orders $1.50 $1
Lotleth Troll $10 $8
Loxodon Smiter $5 $3
Mana Bloom $1.25 $1.50
Martial Law $0.50 $0.75
Mercurial Chemister $0.75 $0.50
Mizzium Mortars $4 $3
Nivmagus Elemental $4 $2.50
Overgrown Tomb $20 $20
Pack Rat $1 $1.50
Palisade Giant $0.50 $0.50
Pithing Needle $2 $1.50
Precinct Captain $2 $1.50
Rest in Peace $4 $3
Righteous Authority $1.25 $1
Search the City $1.25 $0.75
Slaughter Games $1 $1.50
Sphinx of the Chimes $1 $2
Steam Vents $15 $20
Supreme Verdict $6 $5
Temple Garden $12 $15
Underworld Connections $3 $2
Volatile Rig $0.50 $0.50
Wayfaring Temple $1 $1
Wild Beastmaster $1 $0.75
TOTAL $204.75 $185.25

Average Box Value: ((mythics + 2 * rares) / 121) * 36

Editor’s Note: In case you’re wondering how the equation works, the math is based on the fact the rare sheet has 121 cards, one of each mythic rare and two of each rare. Take the average price of the mythics and rares in the set, calculate the average value of a booster pack based on those ratios (assuming the average price of commons and uncommons don’t contribute significantly), and multiply that by 36 to get the average value of a booster box. Tada!

Current: $174.50 a box

Future: $150 a box

Current Mythics (minus bulk) = $165 | Rares = $174

= $153 a box

Future Mythics (minus bulk) = $126 | Rares = $155

= $130 a box

So in conclusion, the EV of this set is very high (on the level of Future Sight, New Phyrexia, and Zendikar when it was Standard legal), and while many of the cards will go down in value, most of the money rares should not plummet entirely, and I foresee the shocklands maintaining or rising in value as we enter straight into a Modern PTQ season.

SPECIAL NOTE: This was the first time we did the Financial Values article as a set of daily updates. The feedback on this format has been greatly positive and greatly appreciated! We instituted collapsing articles for older entries (based on feedback), and so I would love to hear any and all feedback about what you did or didn’t like about the formatting on this article series. Let your voice be heard in our comments section!

I am Orzhov. Because if anyone was going to care about the Financial Value of themselves, it’d be Orzhov.