Journey to Nyx is about to come out an I noticed many of the websites have already priced the cards. I'm wondering if anyone has any advise on when the optimal time to pick up new cards is? I realize that these pre-release prices are somewhat arbitrary and will change. I expect many of the cards to jump in price as soon as they are released as everyone is scrambling to get them then I expect things will die down a little until the pros start making their decks at which point the cards that appear most regularly will sky-rocket. I am assuming that the best point is the trough in the middle. Is this a correct assumption and if so, when will this trough begin? I also guess that the risk here is that many cards that people think will be valuable might end up being duds and conversely, I may end up over-looking sleeper cards that no one guessed would be great cards. Am I going about this the right way or is there a better way? I would greatly appreciate any input.

**EDIT: This question has received several mixed votes on the basis that the answer is speculative. I want to make it understood that I am not asking for a specific or unanswerable question. An analogous hypothetical example to my question would be something in the vein of: When is the best time to buy electronics?

Answer: Prices generally spike right before Christmas and generally are discounted after the Holiday season and before the new models come out.

As it is not written in stone, my hypothetical question is, technically, speculative but given the fact that it happens every year I don't feel that it is an unreasonable question or unanswerable.

**I am not asking if there is a way to tell which cards will fluctuate or what price the will reach/fall to. I'm simply asking if there is, traditionally, a good time to buy new cards from a new set.

  • Why was this downvoted?
    – GendoIkari
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 17:32
  • @Gendolkari I upvoted the question because I like it, but I also voted to close the question because it is likely to generate a lot of speculation and it doesn't have a correct answer. You might think a $30 card sucks. I might think a 50 cent rare has potential. We might both be wrong.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 21:23
  • Journey into Nyx was actually released last week (May 2).
    – jwodder
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 21:28
  • @Jwodder It doesn't get released until May 12 on MTGO (which is what I play).
    – xXGrizZ
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 1:03
  • I think this is generally a fine question, since as you say you're not trying to predict for specific cards. The one red flag for me was "overlooking sleeper cards" - that's veering back toward "how do I know whether cards will be good".
    – Cascabel
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 23:06

1 Answer 1


There is no way to accurately predict at what price a given card will settle during a Standard season. Pre-order prices generally spike for mythics and obviously good cards, but as the season continues, prices will fluctuate based on what decks make it in the meta.

Worse, some cards in Standard may find a home in Modern, Legacy, or Vintage (or Commander!), which alters the price in an even more unpredictable way given the larger card pool; at least in Standard you can fairly easily look at what combinations you've got available to you, with under 1000 distinct cards.

Judging what cards are low and will go higher, and what cards are high and will go lower, is a process called speculation. Speculation is not an easy thing to be good at, and there are people who make their (shaky) careers on it.

  • For a nice demonstration of this unpredictability: quietspeculation.com/2016/07/… The trends for the total value of all the cards in the set are completely different from set to set.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 2:49

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