This strictly short was inspired by a phone call I received this morning. My good friend and one of my MTG mentors Steve called me to ask my advice. Steve runs the LGS that I used to call home, The Dragon’s Lair. Steve read Strictly’s Simple Prerelease Finance Primer and wanted to know my opinion on the new Planeswalker Decks. Well Steve, This one is for you buddy.
The good folks over at MTG Goldfish have already posted the deck lists, with the current pricing of the decks on their site. At first glance, these decks seem to be a bargain. MSRP is $14.99 and as of the writing of this piece, Ajani’s deck has an estimated value of $18.08 and Tezzeret’s deck has an estimated value of $17.84. They come with two booster packs each ($4 MSRP), but I don’t feel this makes it a valid investment with the idea of selling cards immediately. Not every single in this deck will be able to be sold (even by stores), for anything more than bulk prices. The actual dollar value of a collectible is what a buyer would pay for the item. By the time you sell the singles in these decks you may have earned enough to buy a coke. Even though the numbers tell me that it’s not a good investment for resale, I ordered my copies of the decks weeks ago.
I purchased these to help teach my eight-year-old the mechanics of this set, and have him get used to decks of equal power. I did the same thing with the Kaladesh Planeswalker decks. I sleeved the decks up and played many many games with the little guy. The decks are fairly balanced, and with a few budget changes, we have two really sweet decks. I love these decks for casual play or as a training tool for new players. After months of intensive training on the Kaladesh decks, my son has graduated to his first real standard deck. Collectively we have logged over 20 hours of fun with our decks. Looking at the cash investment of the decks as a cost of entertainment, these decks are already a better bargain than taking him to the movies by a factor of ten.
These decks also contain standard legal cards that are not printed anywhere else. These cards include the namesake Planeswalkers along with some commons and uncommons. The Chandra Kaladesh deck contains four copies of Flame Lash, which is a unique burn spell. One of the most interesting phenomena of Magic the Gathering is when everyone including the pros overlooks some card. If someone breaks the format with one of these unique cards I will have them on hand when I want to play them. I’ve also started venturing into other formats that contain more than 60 cards and having these Planeswalkers on hand for my Battle-Box or an EDH deck is also a benefit.
I’ve been accused of having a serious illness when it comes to opening sealed product. I open a ton of it. I also love these decks because they are available a week earlier than the preorder boxes, and I get an opportunity to crack packs before most other collectors. I do not recommend this behavior because opening packs for value is not a viable investment opportunity. It is just fun.
As far as considering purchasing these and keeping them sealed for long term value, my recommendation is to hold off and wait till they have been printed for a while. In the event that the EV of these decks goes up, there will be plenty of time to acquire your copies. The good thing about these decks is that you’ll always know what you are getting and at the first sign that something is increasing with them. In the event of a buyout at local game stores you will still be able to find them at your evil annoying big box stores.
The Nissa deck from Kaladesh is still holding at $16. Some stores are already putting these on sale to move extra stock and it would be a good time to grab then if you get a deal. Any price close to $10 it is definitely worthwhile, especially with the 2 booster packs.
To conclude, if you’re looking for instant gratification and cash flow, do not buy. If you are like me and do not need every penny returned immediately on an investment, or actually enjoy playing the game of Magic, buy at least one of each. If you’re looking for long term investment, hold off and watch what happens. I will be sure to let you guys know when the time to buy these decks is.
Thanks for joining me and as always Drive a Tranquil Bargain Friends.
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Jeremy aka “Strictly Average” is an ‘average’ guy with ‘average’ plans. He is the creator and overboss of Strictly Average Gaming, which includes the Patreon group and StrictlyAverageMTG.com