Magic: The Gathering's 2021 spring Standard set, Kaldheim, released on February 5th, 2021. The set's theme is loosely based on Norse mythology with Dwarfs, Berserkers, Gods, and other tribal creatures inhabiting the plane. Two new mechanics—foretell and boast—were introduced in Kaldheim. Between the set's flavor, mechanics, and return of snow lands, Kaldheim has a lot to offer.
Players enjoyed Kaldheim so much it became Wizards of the Coast's biggest winter set of all time! That's an incredible achievement considering sanctioned, in-store paper play is just now returning. The sheer amount of sealed product offerings for Kaldheim didn't hurt either. Kaldheim contains six different types of sealed products for purchase, including Theme Boosters and Commander Decks.
As a print-to-demand Standard set, Kaldheim is readily available at retail outlets, but there's been a few price swings on some sealed productssince release. Let's take a look at current pricing for Kaldheim Draft Booster boxes, Set Booster boxes, and Collector Booster boxes while contemplating Kaldheim's future.
The traditional Kaldheim Draft Booster box currently has an average market price of $97. Draft Booster box average market pricing has hovered around $95 since release. Meanwhile, Set Booster boxes sell for about the same price as Draft Boosters with an average market price of $100. There is little reason to expect Draft or Set Booster box prices to change in the short term due to availability from distributors and retailers.
Set Boosters may contain cards from The List—a curated list of 300 cards from past and present MTG sets. For Kaldheim Set Boosters, WotC made a few changes to the cards included in The List. In total, WotC swapped 48 cards in The List for Kaldheim. While a few high-priced cards got added to The List, the odds of pulling one card from The List out of a Set Booster pack remain a relatively low 25%. I don't believe the changes to The List noticeably alter the value between Set Boosters for Zendikar Rising and Kaldheim.
As in-store paper returns in 2021, we could see bolstered demand for Kaldheim Draft and Set Booster boxes. A handful of chase mythic rares for Standard could rise in price, especially after fall rotation. In particular, we may see upward price movement for Alrund's Epiphany and Goldspan Dragon. If Sultai Control and Mono-Red are not the top meta decks after fall rotation, Alrund's Epiphany and Goldspan Dragon could see increased demand.
Two other desirable mythic rares featured in the top-performing Sultai Control deck are Valki, God of Lies and Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider. Currently, only single copies of them appear in most Sultai Control builds, but after fall rotation, this pair may have two to three copies included in other Constructed decks.
Based on the current Standard meta and singles prices, I believe Valki, God of Lies and Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider have less price growth potential from a percentage basis than Alrund's Epiphany and Goldspan Dragon. My reasoning is Valki, God of Lies and Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider are Legendary creatures, two of the three most expensive regular version Kaldheim cards, and included in arguably the best Standard deck.
Player demand for the above Kaldheim mythic rares could raise singles prices, causing a higher expected value (EV) from Kaldheim booster boxes. An increased EV usually causes booster box prices to rise, otherwise, arbitrage opportunities may appear in the market. As of May 27th, 2021, MTG Dawnglare shows a market EV of $86 for Kaldheim Draft Booster boxes. With Friday Night Magic and sanctioned paper play returning soon, I could see Kaldheim Set and Booster boxes selling for $105 to $110 around October 2021.
In the long run, I predict Kaldheim Draft and Set Booster boxes will appreciate well with the set's inclusion of excellent Commander (EDH) cards. Tergrid, God of Fright, and Esika, God of the Tree are the two most popular Kaldheim commanders on EDHREC, each with over 1,000 decks. Also, EDHREC ranks Tergrid, God of Fright and Esika, God of the Tree already within the top 150 most-played commanders in EDH. Honorable mention goes to Orvar, the All-Form, currently ranked as the 168th most-played commander on EDHREC.
When looking at most played non-commander cards, Birgi, God of Storytelling stands out the most. Birgi, God of Storytelling sees play in over 6,272 EDHREC decks, and infinite combos with a handful of other cards. Back in March, I featured Birgi, God of Storytelling as one of my top picks.
Birgi, God of Storytelling isn't a budget card anymore.The average market price jumped from about $2 in March to $7 in May. I don't see her dropping below $5 again any time soon.
Another factor that may add long-term value to Kaldheim booster boxes is snow-covered basics and dual lands. While the snow-covered lands are commons, they could add incremental value to a Kaldheim Draft or Set Booster box. Players wanting to build Standard or EDH snow decks need a lot of snow basics. Even without a snow-themed deck, players might want to include snow duals in EDH decks as inexpensive, fetchable two-colored lands.
Kaldheim Collector Boosters contain a medley of showcase cards, extended-art cards, foils, and even Commander Deck cards. A list of contents for Collector Boosters is available in WotC's Kaldheim Product Overview. Many of the short-term and long-term remarks stated above apply to Kaldheim Collector Boosters. Of particular interest is the Collector Booster slot containing foil borderless, showcase, and extended-art versions of mythic rares.
A few mythic rare foil borderless, showcase and extended-art versions fetch a nice premium on the secondary market. Foil Phyrexian and showcase versions of Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider sell for around $200 and $100, respectively. A borderless foil version of Valki, God of Lies will set you back about $50.
At release, Kaldheim Collector Booster boxes had an average market price of just under $200. Over the past few months, prices for Kaldheim Collector Booster boxes fell to the current average market price of $179. Kaldheim Collector Booster boxes are the only Standard set Collector Booster boxes with an average market price under $200.
Even though Kaldheim Collector Boosters don't contain Godzilla, Expedition, or Mystical Archive cards, I believe Kaldheim Collector Boosters are selling at a discount. The cards found in Kaldheim, from mythic rares to snow-covered basics, will prop up the price of Collector Boosters in time. By the end of summer 2021, I predict Kaldheim Collector Booster boxes will sell at or above $200.
It is hard to predict future price points for Kaldheim Collector, Draft, and Set Booster boxes since the set is only a few months old. Also, Set Boosters are a relatively new product first offered with Zendikar Rising. I think a Standard set with multiple booster box products will ultimately stunt value appreciation due to market cannibalization. Also, the introduction of Collector Boosters has put downward pressure on prices for the versions of cards found in Draft and Booster boxes.
Prices for booster boxes don't always reflect the EV of the cards found inside. Historically over time, a booster box price premium is added to the EV. This price premium may occur due to multiple factors, including scarcity and collectability of sealed booster boxes. For example, MTG Dawnglare shows the TCGplayer Mid EV price of $110 for a booster box of Guildpact, but sealed booster boxes of Guildpact are selling for around $700.
Assuming the demand for sealed MTG booster boxes continues to grow, I estimate Kaldheim Set and Booster boxes will sell on average between $120 and $130 two years from now. Take this estimate with a grain of salt, though. The trajectory of MTG could change between today and 2023. If you see Kaldheim booster boxes selling at discounted prices close to $90, it might be a buying opportunity.
Collector Boosters have only been available since the release of Throne of Eldraine. Their allure might fade away as more sets offer them, but WotC has done well so far by making Collector Booster content exciting for players and collectors. Also, the limited print run for Collector Booster boxes makes them appealing as a buy-and-hold strategy.
I don't see Kaldheim's Collector Booster boxes reaching the secondary market prices of Throne of Eldraine or Ikoria: Lair of the Behemoths. Still, Kaldheim is a solid set with desirable cards. I predict Kaldheim Collector Booster box prices will reach $250 to $275 within two years, based on current price trends for Collector Booster boxes. This prediction is a rough estimate, but I do believe Kaldheim Collector Booster boxes are a $200+ product in the future.
MTG may continue to set sales records as the game continues to thrive. In time, MTG could lose momentum due to an overwhelming number of product releases, a significant shift away from paper MTG, or stalled player growth. For now, all signs point to MTG, both paper and digital, flourishing in 2021 and beyond.