The Curious Case of Rotation

With M20 on the Horizon after Modern Horizon’s folks flights of fancy seem to turn toward the thoughts of Rotation. Many players start coming off of rotating cards. Monetary speculation on current cards begins. And Wizards stops printing the soon to be rotating sets

For bargain hunters; this is a great time of year. Many players start coming off singles that will be rotating. They do this now to capitalize on higher prices and to ween themselves off of mechanic crutches that have developed. Let’s take Explore. This mechanic came on the scene in 2017 with Ixalan and has been a staple mainstay from Kaladesh block to RTRTRavnica Block and has a Tier 1 and Tier 2 playable format. It has been relatively budget, and a really impressive ‘side’ build for many decks. Jadelight Ranger has been as high as $12-15 and as low as $3. Saying goodbye to Explore is going to be bitter-sweet. Since it isn’t heavily featured at this exact second, many folks will start tapering down on the mechanic as it prepares to sunset.

As old hotness dwindles away, new hotness will become the flavor sensations. With Vraska’s Contempt finally going the way of the dodo, what will be taking its place? Little offers the single color power that Contempt offers as well as the life swing that so stifled things like Mono Red. Bring to Trial and Grotesque Demise hit both sides of the spectrum, but are spread across black and white; don’t give life gain, and don’t target planeswalkers. Wanderer’s Strike is more expensive, and gives proliferate, but again misses Planeswalkers. Despark hits most of the higher cost permanents at a much cheaper cost (albeit 2 color rather than mono colored), but doesn’t give lifegain. An uncommon vs a rare as well. Despark is looking like a solid replacement, but it forces the white splash for black. And you still need to plan for ‘low to the ground’ casting cost creatures.

Many of the sets have already left print. Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, & Dominaria have all seen their print runs prematurely stop. M19 is heavily overstocked (as is Rivals and Ixalan) at most distributors & I expect it will stop very soon (and there are reports that it has ‘unofficially’ stopped already), while Dominaria has already left the shelves in most places. Cards like Teferi, Karn, & Lyra are becoming more scarce but their prices haven’t shifted much as folks are starting to come off them in preparation for rotation and the general loss of favor for these cards in the meta. Teferi may hang in there as he is seeing some Modern usage as well as Legacy. This premature stoppage however isn’t new. All 4 of the previous sets that were rotating stopped printing as early as March (for Hour of Devastation). This generally doesn’t impact play-ability of cards since there is still some liquidity in the cards due to the factors discussed above

What cards are you picking up on the cheap after rotation? Are there any cards you’re speculating will climb in value from GRN/RNA? Leave us a comment below to answer with your thoughts! Follow us on YouTube