But now, we look at a card that’s actually bottomed out. If you’ve been playing Magic the Gathering for awhile, you may be surprised at the card.
But we’re talking about it because it’s simply not going to go lower. I mean, it’s freaking Mutavault.
So, when I looked on Monday, its market price was $9.40. That’s compared to a TCGPlayer Mid price of $12. The mid price is usually what a lot of people use when valuing a card, but people are shifting towards market price for a good reason. It reflects the actual sales of a card.
What’s more interesting is at the time of this writing, you can get lightly played foils of Mutavault for $12! For a card that sees as much Modern play as this guy does, you won’t care if it’s in near-mint condition if you’re looking to play with it.
What’s so great about Mutavault? Well, it’s a generically good nonbasic land. Not only does it tap for colorless mana, but for a single mana you can turn it into a 2/2 creature with all creature types until end of turn. This makes Mutavault particularly awesome in Tribal decks, especially Elves, Faeries, Merfolk, and Spirits. A lot of tribal decks still play as many as four copies of the “man-land.”
Originally printed in Morningtide, this was once an extremely expensive card. The reprinting in Magic 2014 greatly diminished this card’s value, although full art Champ Promos are still among the most expensive cards in Magic ($600!). But lately, even with more tribal support being released in Dominaria and Magic 2019, Mutavault has actually been on a downward slide.What’s going on here?
Well, a big reason for the card’s sudden slide is a Grand Prix foil promo that has the same artwork. It’s selling for between $10-12. Because of that, the nonfoil printings are taking a hit. Why buy a nonfoil M14 copy when you can just buy a foil promo copy that looks just as good as a foil M14 one?
Also, cards fall in and out of favor with players. Mutavault is a card that’s always up and down. As you can see from the chart, the market price and mid price often meet, then diverge, then meet again, then diverge. Recently, the divergence has been striking, and that’s because people just aren’t buying them for over $10. That’s especially true when the Grand Prix promo foil is selling around that price, too.
This is why it’s important to actually watch a card’s market price trend, which is far more accurate than seeing what people list cards for and hope to get. It’s much like watching eBay completed listings, but a lot easier to track.
Speaking of eBay… there’s lots of listings for $12 that simply aren’t selling or are taking best offers. That’s for both the Grand Prix foil AND the M14 version. The Morningtide version, long the more expensive printing, is sharing a similar fate.
So, what should you do? I’d be picking up the Grand Prix foils at the lowest price that you can. With the M14 foils selling for little more than $20, there’s no reason not to get the cheaper premium version. Also, if you happen upon nonfoils under $10 and M14 foils around $12 you should jump on them.
Also, Grand Prix promos tend to recover pretty well. Look at Stoneforge Mystic who hit a low of about $15 before being $35 market price today. Primeval Titan got as low as $10 before recovering to around $20. Batterskull recovered from a low of $13 to $25. Other cards haven’t been quite as lucky after getting the Grand Prix Promo treatment, like Griselbrand.. Also, this one has the same artwork as the original card. Still, being a card you really want four-of, like the Mystic and Titan, getting back to $20 isn’t out of the question.
In any case, it’s great to see such a versatile and competitively relevant card available for such a low price. It’s really not hard to see Mutavault doubling in price in the near future, but it’s also a card to take some caution with. But unlike a lot of the other Grand Prix promos like Mystic, Prime Time, and Griselbrand, Mutavault isn’t a card that anyone is thinking about banning in any format. So, it’s a pretty safe bet to pick these up as you see them in the $10 range and hold them long-term.
Any other cards you see bottoming out and being great long-term holds? Let us know in the comments!