The Post-Rotation Blues

I was curious about what happens to card prices after their set rotates from Standard. Presumably most cards go down in price unless they remain playable in an eternal format like Modern or Legacy, but how many make the move, and how much do things drop? I’m always debating whether to wait to buy cards for my decks or jump in now – some cards will go up when the set stops being drafted I guess. I’m going to look at Zendikar block, which rotated out last September: What is still out of my price range (more than $4 – the price of a booster pack)? How many do I still hesitate to buy more than 1 of (i.e. in the $1-$4 range – it’s easy to proxy up when you only play at the kitchen table)? How many do I actually own? Let’s find out:

(I used Channel Fireball’s prices, as they are quite attuned to competitive magic and it’s easy to search and sort their cards).


Even though they were only rares, the fetch lands from Zendikar really retained their value – plenty of decks in Modern and Legacy use them. Iona is still being used as a finisher and/or sideboard utility card, and Goblin Guide is still pretty standard in Goblin lists (haven’t seen much of them lately, though). The other three are mythic rares, two planeswalkers that I don’t think get played much in eternal formats (although Sorin is technically still in Standard) and a mana producer that I haven’t seen much in Modern and Legacy – makes me wonder if it is hanging on to its value simply because it was so valuable in old Standard. From this list I have a Verdant Catacombs (from an Event Deck), two Nissas (promotional cards I got as a gift), a Sorin (it was cheap enough somewhere else) and 4 Goblin Guides (from Event Decks).

Misty Rainforest R $14.99

Scalding Tarn R $14.99

Iona, Shield of Emeria M $11.99

Arid Mesa R $9.99

Marsh Flats R $9.99

Verdant Catacombs R $9.99

Lotus Cobra M $5.99

Nissa Revane M $5.99

Sorin Markov M $5.99

Goblin Guide R $4.99

18 more are in the $1-$4 range. That’s 28/229 (12%) cards holding some sort of value.


I must admit to being a little surprised that Jace has held as much value as it has, but it is a very good card in any format it is legal in. (I recently saw an old Magic Show wherein several prominent pros dismissed the new Jace, the Mind Sculptor card – one even said the old Jace was better! The three guys who were sure of its awesomeness even if it didn’t have a deck yet: Luis Scott-Vargas, Brian Kibler, and Sam Black – now I know who to listen to). Stoneforge Mystic is still seeing plenty of play in Legacy as well. I have to assume that the Dragonmaster’s value is because of casual play.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor M $59.99

Stoneforge Mystic R $7.99

Dragonmaster Outcast M $5.99


12 more are in the $1-$4 range. That’s 15/145 (10%) cards holding some sort of value.

Rise of the Eldrazi

The mythic Eldrazis are holding some value since various decks in Modern and Legacy find ways to sneak them into play, for the win, plus there’s probably some casula appeal there too – I know I wish I could get my hands on one. A bunch more mythics (that makes for 9/15 mythics in this set holding value – pretty impressive) are still up there, although I wonder if the Gideon Jura will go down once it rotates out of standard (it was reprinted in M12). The one rare is still an Eldrazi. The vampire is probably based on casual appeal – I really need one for my Drana deck.

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn M $14.99

Kozilek, Butcher of Truth M $14.99

Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre M $11.99

Vengevine M $9.99

All Is Dust  M $7.99

Gideon Jura M $7.99

Linvala, Keeper of Silence M $6.99

Nirkana Revenant M $6.99

It That Betrays R $4.99

Khalni Hydra M $4.99

13 more are in the $1-$4 range. That’s 23/228 (10%) cards holding some sort of value.

I’m not sure what all this means, but I’ll try to follow up on this and see if I can’t find some meaning. For now, I’m going to cross my fingers and wait until rotation for most of the cards I want.


I won the booster pack lottery this week: Huntmaster of the Fells!!!


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