Did you know?
A sealed box of Modern Masters is $350! When these came out last summer, they were about $200 to $250 per box depending on where you went and who you knew. It was really hard to get them at MSRP, which was $6.99/pack. Writers everywhere said to pick these up and hold them not only because of the value of the cards within, but the fun in drafting the set and the lower print run. I believe that the value of the cards in the set is the primary driver of the price, but how much of a factor is the likeability of the draft format and scarcity?
Have you looked up the value of other booster boxes from sets over the past 5 years on SCG? Here’s a quick run down:
- Lorwn: $600.00
- Future Sight: $600.00
- Zendikar: $500.00
- Worldwake: $500.00
- Rise of the Eldrazi: $400.00
- Shards of Alara: $250.00
- Conflux: $350.00
- Shadowmoor: $500.00
- Eventide: $500.00
All of these sets have valuable cards in them to open, with Shards of Alara and Conflux having the least. I don’t recall Future Sight being very fun to draft, but it has tons of valuable cards to open. Rise of the Eldrazi was respected by most people as a fun set to draft, but the Eldrazi themselves don’t offer enough value to match other sets on this list.
What about the block that was the most fun to draft according to most players that have been around for a while; Ravnica block?
- Ravnica: $500.00
- Guildpact: $350.00
- Dissension: $300.00
This block has the original shocklands, Dark Confidant, and Chord of Calling leading the prices. That’s not a lot of cards that still have value, but the block is also older and it’s harder to find a sealed box. But still, even the most popular block to draft of all time isn’t as expensive as the more recent Lorwyn and Future Sight boxes. Most people don’t consider Zendikar or Worldwake fun to draft either, but boxes of those sets are $500. It appears that the value of the cards in the set are far more important than the fun in drafting it. Considering how many valuable cards are in Modern Masters, $350 is sounding like a really good deal. I don’t think any other modern legal set has as much value, and boxes are only a year old. I feel certain that boxes will be $500 within another year and could go even higher.
How does scarcity affect the price? Just look at price of recent sets that can still be found everywhere:
- Innistrad: $200.00
- Scars of Mirrodin: $180.00
- Mirrodin Beseiged: $180.00
- New Phyrexia: $300.00
- Dragon’s Maze: on sale for $80.00
- Theros block sets: $100.00 each
Modern Masters was definitely a good investment. Are there any other boxes that we should look out for? I don’t think Return to Ravnica block is a good one to get in to, especially Gatecrash and Dragon’s Maze considering they didn’t offer very many exciting cards. Theros block seems a little better considering the gods will be popular in commander forever, but there’s a ton of Theros out there and it will be a long time before we see any appreciation. My eye is on Conspiracy. It won’t be standard legal, so the print run will be smaller, and I don’t foresee many people buying sealed boxes to open for singles. It will only be around for a few months before M15 becomes the set to draft. It will contain several popular casual cards and a new planeswalker. People will want some of these cards for cube, especially considering how interesting some of them are with draft mechanics. Since the value of the singles has to be there, I will wait for more spoilers before making any final decisions, but I have high hopes for sealed boxes of this set.
If you prefer to stick to singles, look out for foil copies of the commander cards and cube cards. And who knows, maybe the special draft mechanics of this set will make sealed boxes even more valuable later on!