Friday Finance – Crack-a-box

Friday Finance – Crack-a-box

Hello hello hello and welcome to Friday Finance here on the Constructed Criticism network. This week we will be delving back into the world of product cracking and looking at what happens when you do. I will then throw out a few picks that I am liking this week as well as a few that have unfortunatley already popped off, but I will talk about that later. Lets get it going.

Crack-a-box MM17 Edition

Cracking product is a strange phenomenon. It’s something that appeals to almost all players of the game and honestly I can’t tell you why. It’s a money pit. The EV is always lower than the price you likely payed and leaves you at a loss both moneywise and also as to why you did that to yourself and your wallet. I think that’s why videos of box openings have taken off so wildly on platforms such as Youtube. It’s all the fun of cracking, but none of the monetary risk. Win win. So why am I cracking a box you may ask… Well that’s because I am not a man who follows my own advice. Also I love looking at the EV and seeing how I did and then sharing that experience, hopefully scaring a few people away from doing the same as myself.
So this box of MM17 was obtained through some savvy trade in’s whilst I was in the US, so the box actually came in at around $160 for myself. With the EV of a box coming at around $220 the profit was looking likely. Surely at least breaking even was a certainity and then their is always that possibility of getting the God Box. So i sat down in sunny Florida with the box and went about cracking it open. This is what happened.
I don’t know if there was a God Box in the store I bought mine from, but they certainly didn’t send it my way. If anything they sent the opposite to me. I decided last week to make this week’s article about the cracking of the box with the hope that it would give me lot’s of material to talk about… Cards to sell now and cards to keep whilst they reclaim their price points. Instead I was essentially given a pile of junk. Let me list it for you:
First let’s do foils.
We managed to snag two foils worth $1 each. Séance and Coiling Oracle. Yeah, not much to say about either of these. Foil Coiling Oracle’s are potentially a bit of bulk to look out for, but minus that these are fairly dull cards. Not a good start.
Running Total: $2
Next stop, is commons. There are a few that are worth a little bit. We’ve got Spell Pierce at 84c and then both Burning Tree Emissary and Soul Warden at 25c a pop. We managed to crack a grand total of: 0 Burning Tree Emissary’s, 1 Soul Warden and a respectable 3 Spell Pierce’s. This manages to add $2.77. Couple this with around $1.50 of bulk and we can add $4.27 to the total… It’s better than the foils.
Running Total: $6.27
Finally we move onto a section where we can find some actual value. Uncommons. Unlike the previous MM15 this set actaully has a good amount of value uncommons. Not as good as the original Modern Masters, but better. All of the signets and tri-lands are worth money, so i bunched them togther at around 25c a go. We managed to nab 6 signets and 6 tri-lands adding a tidy $3 to the total. There are 9 other Uncommons that have value and we managed to open 6. We got: Path to Exile $5, Might of Old Krosa $2.50, Flickerwisp $1.10, Terminate 85c, Wall of Denial 85c and Gaea’s Anthem 85c. This adds a good $11.15 to the pool.
Running Total: $17.42
Moving quickly on, we hit the rares. The bulk of where the money comes from. This is truly where a good box can be made or a weak box sustained. First of all we got 11 true bulk rares, so they add $1.10 to the total. This leaves us 10 rares. Starting from the bottom and working up, we pulled: Summoning Trap $1.25, Obzedat, Ghost Council $1.25, Pyromancer’s Ascension $2.10, Zur the Enchanter $2.20, Restoration Angel $3.20, Death’s Shadow $6, Venser Shaper Savant $7.50, Goblin Guide $15, Scalding Tarn $42 and Verdant Catacombs $42. The two top end fetch lands saved us here. The rares are bringing in $123.60 in value, with 2/3rds of that coming from the fetch lands.
Running Total: $141.02
Finally we reach the mythics. The sharp eyed reader will know that I opened 3 mythics. We are still short of $19 to break even and $80 to reach the EV. So lets see what we got. Past in Flames $1.95, Bonfire of the Damned $2.20 and Sphinx’s Revelation $3.30. Our mythics brought us in $7.45 giving us a grand total of… $148.47. A loss of just over $10 for myself, but a gulf of $70 from the EV.
This was a bad box. If the two fetches had been other weak rares we were looking at a $50 box. After the previous box openings I did for this article where we managed to make a profit from both Aether Revolt and Conspiracy: Take the Crown, this hopefully highlights that whilst profiting from a box is possible, a full bust is a mere few cards away.
If you enjoyed reading this full breakdown of a box opening I am happy to continue doing them, but I need both feedback and help which I will discuss at the end of this article.

Promising Pickups

This week I actually had a few picks spike before I could share them. Unfortunatley this is part of the parcel and I am looking into ways of getting picks out to people before the weekly article to help avoid situations like these. I will put both of them in regardless, just in case you manage to find them somewhere where the prices have not been updated.

Barrin, Master Wizard

barrin wm


The card is on the reserved list and is a possibility for sliding into one of the new commander pre-cons. The card has already jumped from $1 to around $9, but it dropping down again. Watch this space. Unfortunately we missed the jump, but this is primed for a second jump. EDH players are slow to buy the parts for the pre-cons they’ve bought and this could easily go again.

Current: $6 (Look to get closer to $4)

Likely: $15

Rating: B

Rooftop Storm



I honestly didn’t know this card existed until I saw it cast on a recent episode of Commander VS. When I looked it up I couldn’t believe that with only 1 printing this was still so low. I love these in foils, as a reprint isn’t the easiest and a lot harder in foil.

Current: $6

Likely: $20

Rating: A

Untaidake, the Cloud Keeper



Another card that unfortunately the release schedule for the article meant the jump was missed. So instead I am warning you away from this card. The hype is strong and it will find a home, but not at this current price point.

Current: $9.50

Likely: $4

Rating: A

My second week in the US is completed and I am now home in the UK. It was an interesting trip. I didn’t get to play as much as I liked, but visited a fair few stores. I was amazed by the range of prices shops used (Finding boxes of standard legal sets ranging from $90 to $130) and also surprised at the difference in product you have available, for example the singularly packed booster packs. I didn’t manage to find any truly amazing deals, but did manage to grab at Japanese Commander 2016 Breya deck for $40, this should be an easy double up to $80 for me. I should hopefully be heading over again soon with a much more magic focused trip and I will bring you updates from that adventure.

This week I would like to talk to you about the long term future of this article and all of my potential content. Since coming back to writing these Friday Finances here on the Constructed Criticism network I have found that the appetite for the content is high and my enjoyment from creating it is also equally high. With plans for video content and a podcast in the works the realisation that this isn’t free is a hard pill to swallow. I’ve always been happy to eat the costs of the box openings (and will continue to do so), but the purchase of extra equipment is currently a bridge to far for me. This is why I have made the step to brand myself and all future content under the umbrella of Cardboard Commodities. The aim is to keep releasing with the help of Constructed Criticism and to keep it all free. However, if more content is wanted I will need help funding and that is why I have set up a Patreon which can be found at This will allow for the purchase and upgrading of equipment to allow for the creation of better and more content. I will be happy with any amount donated and I hope the rewards and goals are appealing, but they will be worked on as we go with improvements.
That’s enough of the heavy stuff this week. I look forward to the next.

Until next week


If you have any recommendations or feedback of any kind, please feel free to contact me at:

Twitter: @MTGKirby


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