Well, Wizards did it again. They created an exclusive promotional card which has both excited one group in the community and made another group upset – though to be fair is there a topic that does not polarize the Magic community? Last time it was Dominaria’s promo Firesong and Sunspeaker and now it’s the M19 Core Set promo called Nexus of Fate which are both only available as Buy-A-Box promos and cannot be opened in booster packs. As always, this doesn’t replace professional financial guidance.
Functionally Unique Promos
It’s worth noting that deciding to print Firesong and Sunspeaker as an exclusive promo wasn’t the first time Wizards had printed a functionally unique promo card. The first time was Nalathni Dragon which was given to those who filled out an information card that would have been received while attending DragonCon 1994. It was announced with a print run of 10,000 copies which received much backlash from players and collectors due to the fact that the only ways to obtain the card were to attend the convention in Atlanta or to buy one off of the secondary market for an elevated price. Realizing this mistake, Wizards attempted to rectify the issue by increasing the print run and distributing it through two issues of The Duelist magazine. Along with this came the notion that they would no longer print functionally unique promotional cards.
Wizards obviously learned a lesson of sorts, so what made them do it again? It’s tough to say for sure, we know the Reserved List has been circumvented in the past, but it is obvious that Buy-A-Box promos are directly tied to promoting booster box sales.
Pro Tour 25’s Influence
Pro Tour (PT) 25 helped to shine the spotlight on a new “Turbo Fog” Standard deck which runs four copies of Nexus of Fate and involves going infinite with turns. Let’s look at how this has affected the price over the last couple of weeks:
In the week leading up to PT25, the card spiked from about $14 to $30 – a 114% price increase. Directly after PT25 the card hit its current max of about $40 and has begun to slowly come down since. It is currently sitting at around $25.
My point? The time to sell was yesterday.
Criticisms of Nexus of Fate
I have noticed comments online claiming that the deck is too powerful for Standard, but I don’t really buy that. First, if we actually look at the results for PT25 we’ll see that only one Turbo Fog deck placed in the Top Eight and to that point it placed fifth – outside of the Top Four. Further, we’ll notice that five of the Top Eight decks are Rakdos Aggro; the other two were W/U decks.
Clearly this deck did not perform that well in this particular competition and there are definitely answers to it. In fact, at the time of this writing, I have not been able to find the results of another major tournament that included the deck in the Top Eight and wasn’t dominated by Rakdos Aggro or Midrange. Looking at the last 10 Standard events on mtgtop8.com, PT25 is the only event with a Turbo Fog deck in the Top Eight.
The main part of the outrage comes from the fact that the card was not distributed through any of the traditional sealed products. People believe that it has created a situation where the card is scarce and causes its market value to artificially inflate. Wizards’ Head Game Designer Mark Rosewater has actually responded to this point on his blog by mentioning that there are currently more Buy-a-Box Nexus of Fates in circulation than any other printed Mythic Rare from the set – including unopened product. Since this has been confirmed to be case, I would argue that including it with the printed set would have actually inflated the price more due to having a scarcity level that matches the other mythics in the set.
The Fate of Nexus?
Since Nexus of Fate is not relatively scarce, and in my opinion is not an unanswered game-breaking card, I believe that it hit its short-term ceiling around $40 and will settle in the $10-17 range where I hope to buy my copy back. For reference, I sold my copy at $32.
What do you think will happen to Nexus of Fate? Let us know in the comments down below. You can also reach out to me on my YouTube channel’s twitter account: @mtg_vc
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