Ixalan Pre-Release Financial Primer

We’re back online! Sorry if you’ve been missing me but I went on vacation and missed a week and then a hurricane plowed through the state I live in so I’ve been a bit busy. I’m returning to bring you the best advice for pre-release and beyond.

Ixalan is a special set

We’ve become so accustomed to a Masterpiece series being in every Standard set that I think people forgot what card prices were before they existed. I’ll be honest; it’s not something you’re going to look forward to. Rares and mythics can and will be more expensive because of the exclusion of Masterpieces. We need to make sure to look at this set through a lens similar to Eldritch Moon, which has no shortage of expensive rares and mythics. Ixalan is likely to be in the same boat, and a lot of people are going to be surprised at how expensive they can really get. Glorybringer is the third most popular creature in Standard and is only $5. Bristling Hydra is the 7th most popular creature and is only $2. Ripjaw Raptor from Ixalan looks like it could be played more than both of those and is already pre-ordering for $10! You may scoff at that price and assume it’s never going to go up from there but look at the price of Collective Brutality. It’s a $12 rare from Eldritch Moon because Eldritch Moon doesn’t have any Masterpieces to soak some value from the set, so even cards that aren’t played in Standard can get expensive at rare.

Sell sell sell!

Before you try to bite my head off for starting with this, let me explain. Yes, this does a very good Gaea’s Cradle impression and people know that card is very powerful. This card doesn’t look like a card that will be able to see the amount of play necessary to be a $17 rare. Trust me when I say this, you will regret holding onto this past the pre-order rush. It’s flashy and looks good on paper but we just don’t have the tools to support the current price tag.

Huatli has a bit of Planeswalker tax keeping the price high, but she is also a new Planeswalker character. I expect her to remain popular, but she doesn’t do anything particularly interesting. She doesn’t have flashy abilities like Gideon of the Trials or Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh, so I can’t imagine her staying at $15. Liliana, Death’s Majesty is $10 and Nissa, Steward of Elements is $6. I’d expect Huatli to settle between the two of them.

This is a pretty flashy card, but I think it reads a lot better than it’s going to end up playing. The best pirate cards are cheap and aggressive and making your opponent lose 1/3 of their life after you’ve been beating them down for a while doesn’t seem enticing. If you can trade these away for pretty much any other card I probably would.

Buy buy buy!

Grasp of Darkness is about to rotate and this card very cleanly deals with Glorybringer and Ripjaw Raptor while being cheap enough to not feel terrible killing small Red creatures. There is a knock against it because it is a sorcery but the flexibility of the card will probably put it high on the list of things people are playing. Right now you can find copies online for less than $1 and I would recommend getting a playset if you want to play Standard. Abrade is a similar card that sees a ton of play and was $3 for a while. While this isn’t a flashy or exciting card to buy, it’s a card you will need and it will get more expensive.

If the format slows down and card advantage gets more important, these two unassuming cards will be the headliners of those types of decks. They don’t have any existing land equivalents like Growing Rites of Itlimoc so I think people are less excited for them. They’re both only a few dollars right now and I think they’re pretty safe to get for the lifetime of Ixalan in Standard if you tend to gravitate toward those colors.


There are a ton of uncommons in this set that I’m not huge on buying right now but are definitely worth picking out of your pre-release kit or purchasing if you’re feeling like they’re up your alley. In no particular order, I think all of these will find some home in Standard and are worth owning.

The last thing I want to talk about are two dinos that are killing it in the pre-order period.

If you play Standard and like to attack with creatures, these will be played and they will be dominant. Both of them survive Glorybringer very easily and will be the bane of every player’s existence in the near future. If you open some, I think there is some merit to holding them if you plan to play with them. Otherwise you can feel free to trade them away but I don’t think you need to worry about trading them away as much as the other mythics I listed earlier.

Prerelease weekend

No matter what Constructed format you’re a fan of, the pre-release brings everyone together for an amazing weekend of Magic. Hopefully this article can help you get the most out of your weekend and may you pulls be the sickest!

Ixalan is now available for Preorder! Pick up sealed product and singles as they're posted!