The Numbers on the Reserved List buyouts

25 Aug
by Arjen

The last weeks I have been a bit fascinated by the buyouts that are happening all across the board, where mainly cards from the notorious Reserved List seem to be targeted. Cards that aren't played like, anywhere, which were only a few dollars are jumping into the hundreds, solely based on speculation.

So what makes these cards so wanted? Just the fact that Wizards isn't going to reprint them. Ever. There's a finite amount of these cards in circulation, while there is a growing userbase. The reserved list came into existence when collectors protested that their cards were rapidly devaluating because of Fourth Edition and Chronicles. Cards that were added on the intial list were all cards in Alpha Edition and Beta Edition which weren't reprinted in Fourth Edition or Ice Age, all rares and uncommons from Arabian Nights and Antiquities that haven't been reprinted in white border, and all rare cards from The Dark and Legends that weren't reprinted.

We've seen some quite explainable price corrections on dual lands, since they're heavily played in Legacy in Vintage, but also spikes like Sword of the Ages and Cleansing that have spiked over 1300%.

Let's have a quick look at the financial implications these recent buyouts have on Magic finance. Let's pull out some numbers from the sets that include reserved list cards and let's look at all reserved cards as a whole. Below is a table of the average prices of the sets and the reserved list, based on 1 year ago and today. I also included some categories of reserved list where we filter out the lower segment.

  All cards Reserved only
Set 1 year ago Today 1 year ago Today
Alpha Edition$192.99$304.55$922.45$1464.07
Beta Edition$213.01$232.97$1178.26$1256.20
Unlimited Edition$80.54$78.76$452.64$464.35
Revised Edition$6.38$6.76$62.88$69.95
Arabian Nights$41.15$62.67$154.48$234.06
The Dark$1.31$2.30$1.59$6.81
Fallen Empires$0.27$0.28$0.44$0.48
Ice Age$0.46$0.48$0.68$0.68
Urza's Saga$2.39$2.33$26.09$25.90
Urza's Legacy$1.39$1.37$11.33$10.94
Urza's Destiny$1.57$1.74$10.70$11.08
Reserved List$179.04$225.14
Reserved List
With average above $5
Reserved List
With average above $50

Arjen has been playing Magic since Ice Age and has mostly played the Legacy format. Ten years ago he founded MTGStocks because he and his friends wanted to buy Magic singles at the right time to play with.

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