To no one’s surprise, Wizards has announced Return to Ravnica as the new block set starting in the fall. This has created a lot of excitement because the Ravnica block has been one of the most popular sets in the history of Magic. Judging by the art for the release, it looks like the story will center around Wizard’s favorite planeswalker and what appears to be Niv-Mizzet (who may also be in planeswalker form).
Now that the Return to Ravnica is official, there has been a lot of speculation on the return of the Ravnica block dual lands. Commonly known as Shock Lands (due to the fact that they can Shock you upon entering the battlefield), these lands have been very popular. While the card always held a decent price due to formats like EDH/Commander, they really shot up in value with the creation of Modern. Below is the price history of a few of the more popular Shock lands:
Please note, prices are pulled from major online retailers and can usually be found cheaper on eBay.
As shown above, the lands stayed around the $10 – $20 range until the announcement of Modern becoming a real format. This drove the prices of the lands up dramatically for a period before they went back down a little. They are still above the pre Modern prices though. Wizards has mentioned that they want Modern to be an affordable format which gives the impression that very expensive cards will be eventually reprinted to allow a cheaper barrier to entry.
Lands are an obvious choice for reprinting, especially with the Return to Ravnica. It has been speculated that they may bring the lands back in M13, cycling out the current dual lands from the base sets. Either way, it is likely they will return before the year ends.
The question is how will the reprinting of these lands affect their pricing. Is it time to hold on to your copies, or sell them now while they are high?
Unfortunately I can’t find a great example of something similar to this because it seems like this will be the first reprint of expensive modern cards. The closest example I can find is Solemn Simulacrum. Below is the recent price history of the card:
As seen above, the card stayed at a steady value until it was spoiled in a Commander deck. It was a brief spike. When it was announced in M12, the card really shot up in value as everyone was attempting to get a play set. It later went down and has recently seen a resurgence.
Does this mean the same will happen with Shock Lands? Lands are always popular and needed so it is quite possible that they will jump up; but with them being so high already, they may have reached their peak. I don’t really know what will happen to the current value of the lands when the new ones are spoiled. I do know that if you are waiting to get into Modern and aren’t in a rush, it would be better to wait for the reprints to come out. Mark Rosewater recently said that lands occupy the rare slot to sell packs, and this would be a great example of that.
I will definitely be keeping an eye on the changes over the next few months to see what will happen to these lands.