When Innistrad came out in the beginning of September 2011, the most expensive card was "Liliana of the Veil", selling for a little over $25.

Liliana of the Veil

This card kept this price for almost a month. On September 30th the price suddenly increased - a week later the price has already doubled. This graph shows the development.

What caused this sudden increase? Has someone discovered a combo that is really strong or is there a specific deck that runs well and requires Liliana? I am asking because I was lucky and got 2 of them from boosters and I wonder how I could put them to good use. I also want to use this example to learn about price development in trading card games as well.

Important Edit: Sorry guys, I am pretty stupid... Innistrad came out on September 30th, not in the beginning... Mixed that up somehow. The increase started the day Innistrad was released. Thanks to Ian for pointing that out.

  • 1
    Innistrad came out on Sep. 30th - everything before that was a prerelease order, and even then the average price was in the $30s. Oct 10, 2011 at 4:30
  • @IanPugsley : +1, I don't know why I though Innistrad came out a month earlier. Especially since I bought my booster packs on the first day of the release.
    – Demento
    Oct 10, 2011 at 7:16
  • It does seem a little incredible that it's only been 10 days since launch. Oct 10, 2011 at 12:44

2 Answers 2


Magic cards rise in price when the pro players start analysing the new sets and proposing that certain cards will be key players in the new Standard. I believe Liliana has attracted a lot of favourable press, and has appeared in some successful "Solar Flare" decklists at big events lately: of course people are going to jump on that bandwagon, in case she turns out to the be the next big tournament all-star Planeswalker.

Having said that, a cautionary word from channelfireball's Traderous Instinct column:

Liliana of the Veil

Over the past few days, Lilly has started making an end run toward Jace, the Mind Sculptor prices.

She’s out of stock both here and at Star City, and if you want her on eBay you’re going to have to spend at least $55.

If I had one for trade at the moment, I would be asking for around $70 worth of stuff in return.

While many people immediately point to Jace as the obvious comp for Liliana, a better comparison is Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas. That card debuted around $45 retail, and had fallen to around $30-$35 by the first weekend it was tournament legal. The deck performed well, and the card gained $25-$30 in value overnight.

Yeah, people REALLY don’t want to miss “the next Jace.”

Just like Tezzeret, though, Liliana is REALLY narrow. She is currently seeing Standard play, and I don’t expect that to change, but she doesn’t draw cards, bounce creatures, lock your opponent out of the game, and then win the game like Jace does.

The thing is, though, Magic players like to have fun – even tournament players. And for many Spikes, fun is roughly equivalent to playing the most wonky, slow, toolsy control deck that it’s possible to crush the opposition with.

Much like mono black control, people REALLY want Solar Flare style decks to be good. So when two show up in the top 16 at an open, game on!

Even if Solar Flare is tier-1, there’s no way Liliana holds a $60+ price tag for long. She’s only there because she’s a planeswalker and we still haven’t really figure out how to value those yet, five years after their inception. I recommend that you sell on Liliana right now and buy back in when the hype has died down somewhat.

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    I pitched mine for $55 the other day, and I'm a happy camper. There's no way she'll maintain. Oct 14, 2011 at 22:09
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    It's kinda funny reading this two years later. Not so much because of the price -- her initial $50 price didn't hold, but it's rising back up pretty aggressively, and she will clearly be a lasting card like Dark Confidant or Thoughtseize -- but because Chas' evaluation of her role turned out to be dead wrong.
    – Alex P
    May 31, 2013 at 22:30
  • It took a long time for her role as one of (if not) the best planeswalkers in modern to solidify. I traded off mine towards the end of her standard run, and then bought back in (at a slight loss on the last 1 or 2 copies) as she became a modern staple, very glad I did as she has almost tripled in price since then.
    – Patters
    May 26, 2015 at 8:31
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    Looking back at her 6+ years later, as she is at around $95 dollars now. It just goes to show how hard it can be to predict card prices.
    – Malco
    Feb 17, 2017 at 20:29

The main reasons are that some big decks in the current metagame are mono-black, UB control, and Solar Flare - all of them will run her. A planeswalker that protects herself and whose discard is particularly useful in the current block (and has convereted mana cost of 3) is very, very playable.

Solar Flare is the one people seem to be liking quite a bit - the combination of things like Sun Titan and Liliana (along with Unburial Rites or Forbidden Alchemy for discard/flashback fodder) is actually very mean. So yeah, the combination of good Solar Flare decks and it's playability in the current metagame have driven it up pretty quickly.

  • +1: I built a Solar Flare deck myself today and my first games went really well. A fun deck to play - I can see why it got popular so fast.
    – Demento
    Oct 15, 2011 at 18:09

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