New Phyrexia Stock Exchange: Is the Dual Land Bubble Ready to Pop?

There are several methods to investing in Magic, with some being a little more secure than others. One regular piece of advice you will find when doing your research is to invest in Reserved List cards – specifically dual lands. Our original dual lands have hit the same sort of protection status that other popular Reserved List cards enjoy such as Gaea’s Cradle and Yawgmoth’s Will. What does this mean? Given the fact that these currently cannot be reprinted and are staples in eternal formats, theoretically the price can only go up as Demand increases and Supply stays the same. This has been generally true while at the same time overlooking the ebbs and flows that come along with these heavily speculated cards. This might be pretty obvious to those entrenched in Magic Finance, but the dual lands’ market prices are clearly being manipulated to some extent.

Dual lands that can produce blue mana tend to be in higher demand than those that do not. Usually, Plateau sits at the bottom of the roster as a Red-White dual land. In recent history I have generally agreed with the rule of thumb that dual lands are a good hold item to sell for a profit later. However, with the current movements in the market, it may be a bad time to jump in.

Part of this goes back to Speculating on Data vs. Emotions, where I discussed the need to appropriately decipher data to understand what is really going on. People can list cards for any price they want to on various platforms which will move the market price on many of those platforms – even though it is not actually selling at that price.

One of the more transparent examples is the Alpha version of Underground Sea. Currently, there are “market prices” listed around $8,000. However, there are only three copies listed on TCG Player, all at less than Near Mint (NM) condition and ranging from $6,500 to $8,000 in price. The only recent sale of an Alpha Underground Sea on eBay was an auction that sold for around $31,000. However, that copy was a BGS Graded Gem Mint 9.5 so it is not really in the same wheelhouse as a raw NM copy. While looking at the historical price of USea, you can easily see it bauble back and forth over the past few years. What does this mean? Well, the market has decided that there is a floor and a ceiling on the price of the card – any time it falls to around $3,500 copies are purchased until the price is driven back up to the $6,000 area and then peaks and falls back down to the sub $4,000 range. Because of this, it may be wise to pick up your copies when the listed price is somewhere around or below $4,000 as there is historical precedent for it to go back up, but I would be incredibly weary about buying a copy at $7,000 for investment purposes (go crazy with your deckbuilding, I suppose).

As the prices of Alpha, Beta, and Unlimited have risen, it only seems obvious that the Revised Edition market has been tapped as well. Investors have been onto the Revised USea for years, but is the bubble finally ready to pop? We saw aggressive investing in 2018 with this card in particular. Between mid-April and June of this year, the card gained 50% in its list values from an already moderate $500 to around $800. The actual market price lagged a bit behind that, but has caught up quite a bit and sits just below $700. However, we are also starting to see the value start to fall off the table a bit – and not just with the Revised Usea. Revised Tropical Island has also seen its list and market price top out and are beginning to drop. Revised Volcanic Island is also starting to even out on its prices. This trend can be seen on almost all Revised dual lands at the moment.

This differs from the Alpha and Beta version in that there are, at the moment, more backroom dealings happening on those cards than with Unlimited or Revised. It is not uncommon to see eBay sales where an offer was accepted, so the general public is in the dark about what things are truly selling for.

Due to the Reserved List policy and real player demand, dual lands are definitely a good item to have for the future. However, I want to note that the market condition is not to buy them up at just any price as others insist that it is. What kind of dual land stock are you sitting on? Let us know in the comments. You can also reach out to me on my YouTube channel’s twitter account: @mtg_vc

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Mike VC

Mike started playing Magic around 2005 - starting with the Kamigawa block. His favorite format to play right now is Pauper which he regularly plays on MTGO. Mike is a Magic YouTube content producer who specializes in sealed product openings; you can find his content under MTG Vintage Crack. Find him on Twitter @mtg_vc.

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