Speculating on Reprints

by Ada Korman 17th December 2021 6 : 03

Hey y’all! Everfest is on the horizon. I know this because LSS has encouraged me to tell you that I’ll have a preview card to show you over on my personal site on January 27th, and you can bet that around that same time, the Rathe Times will have some awesome previews of their own.

With that in mind, now feels like a really good time to talk about reprints. This is particularly appropriate for Everfest since it’s a supplemental set; and our first supplemental set, Crucible of War, was where Flesh and Blood had its first meaningful reprint: Fyendal’s Spring Tunic. From the Out of Print announcement for Arcane Rising, we already know Everfest will reprint Arcanite Skullcap- arguably the most necessary card to reprint- which is currently selling at $235 for the cheapest version even though anyone who is paying attention know that a reprint is inbound. But what other cards do we need to see reprinted, how likely are they to appear in EVR, and what happens if they aren’t included?

"Wait, isn’t this the card that has been printed in the most sets next to Cracked Bauble?"

It totally is! (Boy, I sure hope that was technically accurate and people aren’t going to come dunk on me in the comments.) Tunic is, to my mind, the iconic card of Flesh and Blood, even more so than Heart of Fyendal. And the reason I make that claim is because it has been so omnipresent in the meta at almost every stage of the game’s life. Pick a time period and check the top 8 classic constructed decks on the LSS homepage; there’s a strong chance that the majority of decks will have a Tunic in them.

Due to this, demand for Tunic has never gone down. The lowest it’s been in recent memory was $140 back at the end of August/beginning of September, and it’s since climbed back up to $180 (WTRu) or $175(CRUu). Unless we see more copies of them injected via another reprint or the card is banned, I expect that price to be back over $200 before too much longer.

While I would love to see Tunic show up in Everfest in the abstract, I don’t see it happening. Like I said at the outset, we already know that Arcanite Skullcap is going to take one of the L slots in Everfest. When we combine that information with the fact that CF Legendaries are a big part of the draw for getting people to open cases of new sets, it seems very unlikely that LSS would use two of the three Legendary slots on cards that can’t be printed in cold foil.

I would tend to recommend that, if you don’t own a Tunic and want to play competitively, you should start looking sooner rather than later. Tunic is generically good, and future heroes will likely consider using it as well, especially if they lack a strong class chest piece (and even then, some heroes that do use their class chest piece have historically considered including Tunic as well to swap in for certain matches).

I do believe that at some point LSS will either ban Tunic, reprint it enough to drive it down to a more reasonable price, or print enough competitive options to reduce its share of the meta. In any of these scenarios, the price of the cheapest copy will be notably less than the current market price- but you’re really taking a risk on when that will happen, and between now and then, you can expect prices to climb.

Command and Conquer is $90 and has been thereabouts for most of 2021. It performs a unique function in the game as an effective way of attacking your opponent’s arsenal, and the card is present as a three-of in a staggering number of top 8 decks. The "three C&C and a Tunic" package will set you back about $450. If you want to play competitively and you accept that you’ll probably need to change heroes now and again to stay competitive as new sets are released, you should realistically own all four cards.

C&C doesn’t need to be $1 or anything, but it does need to get down to something that is more approachable for prospective players. I think LSS is well aware of this issue, which hopefully means that they’re looking to reprint it at the modern Majestic pull rate. Everfest would be a great place to put it, and if you aren’t personally in need of it in the next couple months for an event, I would consider waiting to see if it’s going to be included.

If it is, you’ll see significant price drops on all non-first edition versions. This creates a really ugly situation where, if you buy now and it is reprinted in Everfest, you’re going to lose a ton of value- likely over 50% of current market. But if it isn’t, you’re going to have to either pay even more than current market or keep waiting for the reprint while being locked out of the ability to build a large portion of strong decks.

I think the upper limit of what copies of C&C could get up to without a reprint in 2022 are frankly kind of scary. Enlightened Strike is very similar in that it is also too expensive for the cheapest copy ($55), is used widely as a three-of, and has never been printed at the modern Majestic rarity; but it’s not at the level of urgency that C&C is.

Ok, this one may seem a bit random at first, but given the incredibly strong performances of both Chane and Briar, Runeblade has been a dominant class for most of the year. It’s also just a generally popular class among the playerbase. While Everfest might improve some non-Runeblade classes and help them fight for a spot in the meta, it would have to have some pretty strong hate cards to actually knock the class out of the competitive landscape and tank the value of its cards. Add to that the language in the recent Banned and Restricted announcement, and it sounds like LSS isn’t going to step in anytime soon to address the class’ strength with bans. Due to those factors, Grasp of the Arknight is currently a $190 card in its cheapest printing (it’s doubled since September).

And now the grim reality of the situation: if I don’t think Tunic is making it into Everfest, then Grasp has an even slimmer chance as a non-cold foil eligible card that is also a class-specific legendary. So it has the Tunic problem, AND it has what I’ll call an advanced form of the Command & Conquer problem as well- that is to say, it is going to keep going up until either it gets a reprint or LSS bans enough stuff such that there isn’t a tier 1 Runeblade who wants to use it. So, it’s already rather expensive and that price will almost certainly crash on a reprint; but until we get said reprint, the price will only climb higher.

What makes Grasp’s situation particularly rough is that Runeblade is the only class to appear in each of the last three standalone expansions. If I had to bet on any class not being in the Q2 2022 standalone set, it would be Runeblade. That means we’re probably at least two product releases away from a reprint. So, as rough as it sounds, if you want to play Runeblade any time soon, you’re probably best off buying now and accepting that your card is going to lose 50% or more of its value if and when the reprint comes.

Ending on a High Note

These cards I just discussed paint kind of a rough picture. And while the average price point of Legendary equipment in general (of the 21 pieces, only 6 are below $100 in their cheapest printing) is worth interrogating as a separate issue, the overall reprint situation is actually pretty good at the moment. Outside of E-Strike and C&C, Majestics are pretty much all at or under $40 (usually well under), and the ones that are closer to $35-40 are mostly equipment like Courage of Bladehold and Crater Fist, so they don’t need to be purchased as triplets.

Best of luck picking up whatever cards you’re still chasing, and I’ll see you in a couple weeks for the State of the Market!

Ada Korman

Ada (Freyja on Discord) got into Flesh and Blood a few months before it took off in the US and has been heavily involved in the financial side of the game ever since. When she’s not writing finance pieces for The Rathe Times, her FAB-related writing can be found on her blog: https://fabwithfreyja.com/