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Turn Down for SDCC 2014 Roundup

By: Travis Allen

San Diego Comic-Con carried with it a slew of new Magic information as well as the return of the mixed-reception black-on-black Planeswalkers. Today we’re going to look at what came out of the event and see what we can piece together about the near future.

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Jared spoke at length about this Monday, so I’ll keep this short. Wizards stepped it up a bit this year, as it comes with six walkers instead of five (due to multicolor Garruk’s presence). They even tossed in a Nerf Garruk’s Axe as well. Last year these promos mostly flew under the radar until it started leaking from the con floor that nearly all had been sold on Friday and that they may be unavailable Saturday and Sunday. Prices doubled and tripled on eBay within a few hours. This time around the set of walkers was a known quantity though, and the market was prepared. Sets hit eBay for $500-$700 initially in an attempt to cash in on the fervor of last year. The prices have since settled and it looks like they’re finishing under $400 right now on eBay. I’d expect we’ll see the floor on these within one to three weeks before a very gradual rise. If you want a set(s), start keeping an eye on completed eBay listings now. Like most of this type of product, it will be guaranteed to rise over the long term, but I can’t promise there aren’t faster ways to make money. I’ll personally probably grab a set so that I have it, but that may be about it. It is worth considering that this year’s crop of Planeswalkers is much better than last years. Liliana Vess has had strong casual demand for years, Nissa and to a lesser extent Jace could end up being Standard playable, and Garruk will definitely be popular in the long term.

Originally Liliana of the Veil was slated for M15, but they pulled her for power level concerns. Can you imagine what the SDCC version of that would have gone for in a few years?

The Magic panel was mostly about Khans of Tarkir and its prerelease, with additional info FTV:Annihilation, a new Duel Decks anthology, the Speed vs Cunning Duel deck, and Commander 2014. Let’s start small.

FTV:Annihilation is confirmed to have Armageddon, Wrath of God, Living Death, Rolling Earthquake and Cataclysm. Armageddon, Wrath and Living Death are mostly uninteresting. This will be the first foil printing of Cataclysm, so it should do pretty well. It may end up being the 2nd or 3rd most valuable card in the box.

Rolling Earthquake is the big ticket item here. English P3K versions are going for $150 at the moment. The printing here will probably pull that down a fair bit. We have two good prior comparisons: Loyal Retainers and Imperial Recruiter. Loyal Retainers used to be nearly $150 just two years ago when Commander’s Arsenal was released. Today, P3K versions can easily be found for $50. Imperial Recruiter hung around $280-$350 prior to the judge printing, and it seems like it’s still in that territory. The judge copy is a bit under $200 right now.

Why did Loyal Retainers drop so much when Imperial Recruiter held most of it’s value? I would guess it’s mostly due to playability. Retainers are only barely played in Legacy and not much elsewhere. Recruiters continue to show up in Legacy, albeit in more fringe lists. I’d also hazard a guess that Retainers show up in EDH and Cube a fair bit more, but that’s purely speculative. Regardless, the demand for Imperial Recruiters has prevented the P3K price from crashing like it did for Recruiters.

The question is whether Rolling Earthquake is an Imperial Recruiter or a Loyal Retainer. My guess is that it will behave much more like Loyal Retainer. The only people looking for Rolling Earthquake are guys with cubes and maybe a few EDH players here and there. Overall, there just aren’t that many people who need the card. This influx of copies won’t completely decimate the price, but I’m guessing that it will drop a fair bit, although it won’t happen overnight. If you’ve got copies you don’t especially need at the moment I’d probably ship them. If the price does drop you can reacquire for much cheaper in a year. If it doesn’t drop, you can just rebuy at the same price you sold it for down the road.

Moving on, we’re getting a Duel Deck Anthology in December. It will be a reprint of the four original Duel Decks: Elves vs Goblins, Jace vs Chandra, Divine vs Demonic and Garruk vs Liliana. This is an overall win for most players and shouldn’t harm holders of the original sealed product much at all. It specifically says the reprints are in new frames, so the original sets will clearly be different. People holding the original sealed product won’t be harmed because those will still be the original run, while these will be a re-release that just won’t be the same. Imagine if they reprinted Superman #1. Even if they printed hundreds of thousands of them, the original’s price wouldn’t be touched. It will be no different here. As far as singles go, it’s hard to say. We don’t know what the distribution on these is going to be. I’d guess it will have a mild impact on the best singles, but it shouldn’t be too severe. I doubt these anthologies are going to be print-on-demand the way the latest Commander batch has been.

Commander 2014 has some exciting new Planeswalkers for us. The one spoiled is Teferi, Temporal Archmage. I’ve long talked/hoped to see old characters reprinted as Planeswalkers in additional product, and it’s great to see it come to fruition. The two big twists for Teferi are that he (and his cycle) can be your commander, and Teferi specifically grants you an emblem that allows Planeswalker abilities to be used as instants. This idea certainly isn’t new. It’s definitely cool to see, although I don’t see it Teferi specifically making a splash in any formats. If he let you use the abilities as instants right out of the box it would be one thing, but given that you only receive that privilege with the emblem, I think Teferi will be relegated to the 99 card realm.

The rest of the product should be nifty, and I’m curious to see who they release as the Planeswalker commanders and the cycle of old legendary creatures that never saw a card. The sealed product itself shouldn’t be brutally expensive, as Wizards has learned their lesson on distribution caps for casual product. However be aware that this release is probably too soon after last year’s Commander product for them to have fixed any True-Name Nemeses.

As for Khans, we got a decent sized dump of information. Khans is indeed the counterpart to Alara, being a shard set with official names for combinations like RUG and BUG. (The new names are not nearly as good as the Alara ones, by the way.) They made a point to say that Khans is a shard set, not a shard block though. If only a single set in the block is a sharded, I’m left wondering if we will see a tri-color land at all. It’s entirely possible we finish the Alara triland cycle at uncommon and see a more normal set of dual lands. I’m thinking that whatever they are, they won’t be come-into-play-tapped (CIPT) lands. The temples already force you to play the land tapped, and if the Khans land cycle does it as well, that has implications for the Standard format. I’d guess we may see something that gives you an option, akin to the Ravnica duals or the M10 checklands. Maybe we’ll finally get part of the Future Sight cycle? A Grove of the Burnwillows cycle would be an interesting complement to the painlands of M15.

Two things I do see this does ruling out is manlands and fetchlands. The manlands because of the CIPT, and the fetchlands because there is simply not going to be enough support for them. Each clan has it’s own mechanic, with morph being the sixth mechanic. (We’ll get to morph in a minute.) The last time we had fetchlands landfall was the predominant mechanic in the set. With five clan-specific mechanics, how are they going to make fetchlands matter as much as they should? The answer is that they can’t. When fetches come back they’re probably going to be alongside landfall, and there simply isn’t enough room for it here.

Speaking of mechanics, what are we getting? First of all, morph is confirmed to be returning. That’s a bit surprising, as I get the impression morph wasn’t all that popular the first time around. I’ve heard tales of how much Zombie Cutthroat ruined draft, so don’t expect any free morphing to show up. Most of the morph cards from days past are tribal, as a good majority of them showed up in Onslaught block. That limits how many reprints we’ll see. Flipping through all cards with morph, there are two that catch my eye.

The first, and potentially more lucrative reprint, is Birchlore Ranger. It’s a relatively unassuming common elf. A 1/1 for one that gives you a mana if you tap two elves. Seems unimpressive, right? The hook here is that Modern elves would kill for this card. Having access to Birchlore Ranger means Modern elves can play things like Beck without bending over backwards to accommodate it with mana. It also gives them access to all sorts of important off-color spells that will fill holes from other missing Legacy cards. If Birchlore is reprinted, expect Modern elves to become a lot more relevant. In this scenario Beck is a good choice, but we can go deeper. Cloudstone Curio may be what we want, perhaps Craterhoof Behemoth, or quite possibly something I’m not even aware of. In the event that Birchlore shows up again, start watching Modern elves lists like a hawk.

A second, less exciting reprint would be Exalted Angel. Exalted Angel won a Pro Tour I believe, and even if she didn’t, she definitely made her mark on Standard back in the day. A reprint would jack up the pack foil for sure, and possibly the judge foil if the art is different this time around.

What else will we see out of Khans mechanics? Delve is a reasonable safe bet. According to this tweet from the panel, the Sultai (BUG) is a resource manipulation mechanic. That can mean a lot of things, but one of them is certainly delve. There are only three cards in Magic’s history with the keyword already, and only one relevant one: Tombstalker. If Tombstalker is reprinted, does he rocket in value?

Not necessarily. The Modern Masters edition would certainly take a hit, as the any new printing will have the same border. Only the Future Sight edition would stand to gain. It may jump a bit if he’s spoiled, but I’m not convinced he’ll make enough of a mark on Standard to matter. He’s already legal in Modern and sees no play there, so the only place this reprint will matter is Standard. Once Ravnica rotates we are not going to have much left in the way of graveyard support. Sure he can be a 2 mana 5/5, but does that matter enough on turn six or seven? It’s possible that the rest of the Sultai cards will have some graveyard support, but I’m hesitant to say that Tombstalker will be strong enough. Considering the FUT foils are $20+ already, this seems easy to stay away from.

Another Khans piece of info is that the prerelease will not have five promos, but forty. Each color will have eight options. For example, if you’re playing green at the prerelease, you get to choose between Overcosted Hydra, Weak Hydra, Situationally Relevant Hydra, Giant Growth Hydra, and four other hydras. Assuming distribution is similar to past prerelease promos, this will serve to suppress the price on forty different rares instead of five. There were fifty-three rares in Theros, which means only about thirteen Khans rares will be potentially financially relevant. This doesn’t feel like too much of a departure from the norm, but now the cards we should care about are much more clear. If 75% of the rares in the set are promos, only 25% have a chance to really climb.

What’s most interesting about this is if this is a plan they intend to continue implementing. Born of the Gods and Journey Into Nyx only have thirty-five rares. Are they adding five rares to the small sets to keep up with the forty promos? Does that mean every rare will have a promo? They can’t all have alternate art, right? This will be pretty important down the road, but for now we simply don’t have much info.

One point that sort of slipped under the radar of most coverage is that the winter and spring set’s release dates have been moved. Apparently, the winter set will hit in January and the spring set will be releasing in March. For reference, Journey into Nyx was released May 2nd. Even if “Louie” hits the last Friday in March, the 27th, it’s still a solid five weeks earlier than JOU, and there will only be six or seven weeks between the winter and spring sets. That’s a rather breakneck release schedule after the first of the year. My guess is that the reasoning behind this is to put a little room between the “Louie” and a large announcement next summer; possibly Modern Masters 2. There was only a month between the original Modern Masters and Dragon’s Maze. MM stole most of DGM’s thunder, especially since the Modern reprints were so much more exciting than most of what DGM had in store. I’m not exactly sure what impact this will have on Khans block singles at this point. We’ll figure that out at a later date.

Moving the spring set back a month and a half really sets up a big product in early summer. If it’s not another Modern Masters, it’s sure to be something exciting.

There certainly was a lot to cover this year, and I don’t doubt that I missed parts of it too. If I missed something you want to discuss, plop it in the comments.

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A Rumbling in San Diego

By: Jared Yost

It’s that time of year again! Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) has come and gone and with it Magic players had the chance of purchasing the Axe Pack of SDCC planeswalkers that are an exclusive of the 2014 SDCC. If you were able to attend in person and buy the set for the retail price of $110.99, or even buying at double markup, then you made out like a bandit. This planeswalker set is currently being sold anywhere from $350 to $475 on eBay and $450 (with axe) on Starcitygames. Even the axe is being sold individually for $65 on eBay.

The difference this year is that we now have six planeswalkers in the set rather than five. Since the core set this year had six planeswalkers, the promos had to mirror this setup in order to coincide with the walkers in the core set. The art also looks exactly the same as last year’s SDCC set. A black background is outlined in the planeswalker’s respective color in order to add a more dramatic effect to the card.

If you’re interested in picking up either the whole set of SDCC planeswalkers or an individual one, I think it would be best to take a look at the past SDCC planeswalker prices to determine if it is better to purchase them as a whole set or to buy them on an individual basis. Since the previous set has been in the market for a year, I want to see if purchasing the original set as a bundle or as individual planeswalkers was better.

Based on sold ebay listings, if you shop savvy you could have yourself the first run of SDCC planeswalkers for around $500 to $520. Several of the sold listings have gone over $600, so being able to get one close to $500 is a great price but realistically expect to pay anywhere from $550 to $600 for a sealed box of the original planeswalkers.

If we turn back the clock to SDCC 2013, you could pick up this product on eBay for $475 BIN. I couldn’t find any listings closer to the date of the comic con, however if I recall correctly people were selling them for the first week or so after the event for around $250 per set. A few months later, once people realized how rare the set was, the price doubled and the rest is history.

Even more interesting was that Starcitygames was buying the 2013 sealed packs for $500 per set a few months after they came out. Unfortunately they aren’t being nearly as generous this soon after the convention for 2014. They are buying the 2013 set for $450 and the 2014 set for $275. This takes SCG out of the picture as an easy way to sell the 2014 set because you are losing some money selling the pack to their buylist if you managed to pick one up at SDCC. Instead, you should take your time selling the set on eBay or another outlet to try and get the most bang for your buck.

Looking at the prices now, the 2013 SDCC planeswalkers are priced as follows:

 

Card Price (average)
Garruk, Caller of Beasts $180
Chandra, Pyromaster $236
Jace, Memory Adept $140
Ajani, Caller of the Pride $120
Liliana of the Dark Realms $94
Total $740

There is definitely a premium to buying the cards separately. From the averages, I can tell that players want the SDCC Chandra, Pyromaster the most and Liliana of the Dark Realms the least based on price. I would highly recommend that you buy the SDCC 2013 planeswalkers as a set if you get the chance because it is the cheapest way to pick up all the walkers for your collection if that is your goal. However, many players can’t afford or don’t want the whole set, so if you looking to try and get singles from this set I would recommend that you pick up either Liliana or Garruk.

Liliana is the cheapest of the bunch, yet she is still as rare as the rest of the planeswalkers. Her cost of entry is lower than the other Planeswalkers so I believe that she is the planeswalker to get in on if you want to own a piece of the 2013 exclusive set. Her price will only go up along with the rest of the 2013 walkers over time. I’ve heard that this first run was only 5,000 sets – which means that there are less copies of these singles of out there than any other Magic card barring test prints, Alpha / Beta rarities, and other Magic oddities (I’m not sure what the numbers are for media inserts like Mana Crypt, Jace, or Standstill). Wizards has created a way for new players to own a piece of Magic history. Who knows how much these sets or individual cards will be worth in 20+ years if the game is as strong then as it is now.

I’m also a believer in Garruk from the 2013 set. He isn’t as expensive as Chandra and I feel that he has the most to gain as the set ages if you can purchase him for $170 to $200. He is my favorite Planeswalker from this set because he is strong in Commander and casual formats, which will be the main driver of the price of these cards. I think the price of the SDCC promo will reflect this as players try to acquire him for Commander decks and cubes.

I admit, Chandra is definitely the best planeswalker from this set for cubes – I feel that many of the 2013 Chandras have made it into someone’s cube already. Realistically though, $240 is a lot for a single card out of this set especially since there is a SDCC 2014 version of her. Garruk is much more affordable and just as good without the reprint, so I feel that more players will be looking to pick him up as time goes on which in turn will drive the price up.

Back to the 2014 batch of walkers. Sealed sets on eBay seem to be selling anywhere from $350 to $475 – this is exactly in line with what the 2013 sealed sets were selling for last year once people realized what they had. Priced individually, the Planeswalkers are being offered at the following prices from Starcitygames:

Card Price (based on SCG)
Nissa, Worldwaker $100
Garruk, Apex Predator $120
Ajani Steadfast $80
Jace, the Living Guildpact $80
Liliana Vess $80
Chandra, Pyromaster $80
Total $540

Again, buying the singles individually over time is going to cost you more than the whole set. Many people are saying that this set is a good deal right now even at $500 because there are six planeswalkers which means there is a higher chance that any of them could break out and become very popular. In other words, as most premium products go the sooner you pick yours up the better. If you’re looking to buy singles out of the 2014 set, I would wait for the prices to settle a bit more before diving in even if that means that one of the Planeswalkers could spike higher than the rest. We don’t yet know which of the Planeswalkers will be the most sought after. At this stage in the game, purchasing singles means you’re gambling on what you think most players will want in the future. I’ve found that many times I’ve been mistaken about this, so I imagine many of you have as well. It especially hurts to be wrong on a product that doesn’t have a low cost of entry.

For example, I could argue that 2014 Liliana will be the most expensive in the future because Liliana Vess has a billion printings and still commands a price of $6 for the M15 version. Players seem to love Liliana Vess, and I’m not saying that if she only had one printing she would be the same price as Liliana of the Veil but I’m betting she would still be at least $30. I couldn’t even imagine what the foil price might be. This is all just a hypothetical yet I wanted to point out that anyone could give a valid argument for any of the planeswalkers from SDCC 2014.

All told, the SDCC 2014 promos seem to be history repeating itself again. If you want your set, any offer from $375 to $450 seems pretty fair to me depending on how quickly you want to sell them. I would only recommend buying the cards as a set at this point because I don’t know if there were more 2014 sets released than 2013 – 5,000 2013 sets seems pretty low for an extremely popular promotional product that I’m guessing sold out at Hasbro within a week, two weeks tops. If there was a much larger release of the 2014 walkers than some of the singles prices could be much higher than their actual demand, much like a presale price when a new set is released. I’m going to let the hype die down before I decide which planeswalkers are the best.

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Weekend Update for 7/26/14

By: Jim Marsh

Every week, some cards from Magic the Gathering increase and decease in value based upon a number of factors.

Let’s take a look at some of the cards whose values have changed the most and the factors behind why those changes have occurred.

10 Big Winners of the Week

10. Walk the Aeons (Time Spiral)
From $4.19 to $4.69 (11.93%)

If there is one thing that players like doing it is taking an extra turn. There is always casual demand for effects like this and Walk the Aeons has a special place since it has buyback.

If you have enough mana and lands you can theoretically take infinite turns. Azusa, Lost but Seeking and Crucible of Worlds can allow you to go infinite if you can keep them both in play.

Sometimes fun casual interactions are tinkered with to create fringe competitive decks.

Both Monoblue and Simic Time Walk decks have been played but have yet to have much success.

Every time an extra turn effect gets printed this deck edges towards playability.

The buyback mechanic is powerful but leads to monotonous play. Walk the Aeons is the perfect example of the danger of such cards so I do not think that it is likely to be reprinted.

These are cheap enough that getting a couple play sets will not break the bank. Casual appeal should help them hold value if not increase over time.

I would also take a look at Beacon of Tomorrows and Time Stretch.

9. Ajani Goldmane (M10)
From $8.57 to $9.85 (14.945)

Ajani is getting a lot of attention right now. There are three versions in standard. This is not one of them.

It has a lot of casual appeal since it is helpful for decks that are focused on lifegain or tokens.

This lets it be included in some builds of Modern Soul Sisters.

It has been printed three times so far so there is a decent amount of stock available.

Ajani’s storyline is focused on protecting others right now so I do not think it will get reprinted for a while. I suspect this will be a slow gainer until that time.

8. Wrath of God (8th Edition)
From $6.12 to $7.12 (16.34%)

Wrath of God will always be the definitive mass removal spell. It takes me back to when my friends and I were playing Revised.

It is still used today in a wide variety of modern and casual decks.

It may have some competition from Supreme Verdict if both blue and white mana are available but it is still going to be in the sideboard or main deck in any good control deck.

Its price been a little depressed since the release of Commander 2013. It was reprinted yet again in the Naya Commander deck. You would recognize it from every Walmart and Target shelf you have visited lately.

It has started recovering its price.

The vendors have started adjusting their price and that has caused some disparity.

You can buy them for $4.39 and sell them for $4.80.

7. Teferi’s Puzzle Box (9th Edition)
From $2.56 to $2.99 (16.80%)

Store have been stocking twice as much Mind Seize as the other Commander 2013 products. It is not hard to see why. People rush home sell the True-Name Nemesis and have a subsidized Nekusar, the Mindrazer deck.

Every good Nekusar deck needs wheel effects that cause everyone to draw a lot and take heaps of damage.

Teferi’s Puzzle Box has gone from bulk rare to $3.00 on the strength of this commander alone.

After the numerous printings that the Puzzle Box has gone through I do not see it climbing much higher. You should be trading these away to any friends who are fine tuning their Nekusar deck.

6. Reaper King (Shadowmoor)
From $2.74 to $3.21 (17.15%)

As much as I would love to say that scarecrow tribal has finally happened the biggest contributing factor to Reaper King’s price is its mana cost.

It is played in a fringe Legacy Blazing Infect Deck.

It will drop a quick Glistener Elf or Blighted Agent. Reaper King or Progenitus can be exiled to Blazing Shoal to create a lethal threat. They can both be fed to Force of Will as well to protect the combo.

Reaper King is used as a full four copies which is the most attention it has ever received. Reaper King can also come down as a threat for as little as five mana if things are going wrong. Progenitus likely never be cast.

These are cheap and the people with them in their binders have probably been sitting on them since Shadowmoor. You should be able to get these as toss ins if you ask nice enough.

5. Galerider Sliver (M14)
From $2.20 to $2.60 (18.18%)

This will probably be the peak for Galerider Sliver. Mono-Blue Devotion is probably on its way out at rotation and the resurgence of slivers will only be for the next few months.

I do not want to suggest that Galerider Sliver will ever get to be a bulk rare because the casual appeal alone will keep it around a $1.00 to $1.50 but unless something drastic happens soon I do not think it is getting any higher.

On the bright side you can still get them for $1.50 and sell them for $1.67 which means you at least have a good way to unload any that you have have lying around.

4. Flames of the Blood Hand
From $1.73 to $2.06 (19.08%)

Burn decks have been performing rather well in legacy and several Modern players have been trying to translate those decks to their format of choice.

Mono-Red Burn is always a popular choice. Flames of the Blood Hand is a great way to answer Archangel of Thune and Spike Feeder or Melira and Kitchen Finks.

There are several variations on Burn being brewed with none have really seen very much success recently.

This type of card is always a welcome find in collections as people tend to value them as bulk but I would not actively trade for them unless you want to play with them.

I would not be too hasty to trade away your Skullcracks as they fill a similar role and can be played a turn earlier.

3. Suppression Field (Ravnica)
From $1.82 to $2.32 (27.47%)

Suppression Field is the quintessential sideboard card. It is backbreaking in certain matchups and utterly useless in others.

The nice thing is that it is highly underestimated since it was printed as an uncommon. I find these in bulk all of the time and I am always happy to see them.

It is currently used in several modern sideboards including Bogles, Soul Sisters and Boros Burn decks.

These can be found for $1.38 and sold for $1.55.

Sideboard cards only hold their value as long as they are the most efficient way to deal with the threat or while the threat is a significant part of the anticipated meta game. I would move these.

2. Blackmail (9th Edition)
From $0.81 to $1.22 (50.62%)

How many one mana discard spells do you need?

Blackmail has seen some use in Modern Monoblack Infect alongside the usual suspects like Thoughtseize, Duress and Inquisition of Kozilek.

I suspect the recent release of Waste Not has led rogue deck builders to put together their brews in hopes of free mana, card draw and zombies.

Any deck running discard has a lot of choices at one mana. This would not even crack my top five.

If you have copies of Blackmail or Waste Not I would trade into the hype.

1. Hero of Iroas (Born of the Gods)
From $0.48 to $1.14 (137.50%)

Hero of Iroas has some potential. It has had a chance to shine in Theros Block Constructed Heroic decks including Azorius and Boros variants. The ability to toss a couple of Ordeals or Fate Foretold at the bargain price of a single mana can lead to some explosive starts.

With rotation coming soon Theros block decks can give us a clue to potential Standard decks once the doors have closed on Return to Ravnica.

It is very vulnerable to removal like Hero’s Downfall or Silence the Believers.

This is still a bulk rare but the sudden surge of interest does give us an opportunity.

You can buy the Hero for as little as $0.49 and sell it for $0.80.

That makes it a Hero in my book.

5 Big Losers of the Week

5. Lighthouse Chronologist (Rise of the Eldrazi)
From $9.58 to $8.60 (-10.23%)

We discussed earlier casual appeal of Time Walk effects. They tend to exhibit slow but steady growth.

It may be that we are finally getting over-saturated with them. Lighthouse Chronologist requires a total investment of nine mana before it does anything. That is almost Time Stretch mana.

I think that this will drop to $6.00.

4. Courser of Kruphix (Born of the Gods)
From $16.83 to $15.05 (-10.58%)

Has Courser of Kruphix hit its peak?

It has been seeing lots of play in Standard, Modern and Legacy decks.

It still has a full year in standard and it is doing well in block.

What happened? It had a double whammy.

M15 included a reprint of Back to Nature which pretty much dares people to try and play constellation.

More importantly it was reprinted in the M15 Clash Pack. I see Courser dipping down to the $10 range.

It is still powerful but it is now readily accessible.

3. Fist of Suns (Fifth Dawn)
From $7.32 to $6.34 (-13.39%)

Fist of Suns has become nearly synonymous with a baseless price spike.

A rogue deck was built using Fist of Suns to cheat out powerful creatures like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Griselbrand.

It could also use Goryo’s Vengeance or Through the Breach to get these monstrosities attacking.

The deck never really developed. A lot of people bought into Fist of Suns due to the hype.

There is a slight silver lining. You can still buylist your Fists for $4.01. This is not bad considering you can still purchase them for $3.96.

Hopefully you did not pay more than $4 for them.

2. Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni (Betrayers of Kamigawa)
From $6.83 to $5.89

Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni is a personal favorite of mine. It has casual appeal since it is a ninja and it can be used to reanimate creatures from your opponent’s graveyard.

It has been reprinted in Planechase and From the Vault 20.

Most players are cracking their From the Vault for Jace, the Mind Sculptor. That leaves a lot of leftover rats.

Its supply has increased but demand is not really growing with it.

1. Kokusho, the Evening Star (Champions of Kamigawa)
From $12.54 to $10.28 (-18.02%)

Kokusho has seen better days. He used to dominate standard and extended.

There are just much more exciting fatties these days.

He was reprinted in Modern Masters which has not helped his price.

He is still powerful in Commander and multiplayer casual games. He no longer has the competitive demand that he used to have.

If you are sitting on these waiting for a recovery then you have several years to wait. It would move these.

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ArchangelofThune_M14_2560x1600_Wallpaper

The Pattern of Growth

By: Cliff Daigle

In the past couple of weeks, I and others have shared with you some advice on Theros block cards that are likely to go up during Khans of Tarkir block this coming fall/winter.

We aren’t basing these cards on pure chance, but on a series of previous cards that have hit a low as their block ended, then rose during the next.

Let’s go over a few of these so you can see trends to look for. I’ll be using the initial price, the 9-month price, the 14-month price, and the 2-year price. We are almost to that two-year mark, and as we get closer, prices will go even lower as the card prepares to rotate out of Standard.

Remember, all you have to do is set the slider to look into a card’s financial past.

Jace, Architect of Thought
Initial: $40
9 months: $8
14 months: $25
2 years: $5

While this cards exemplifies the trend I’m talking about, it’s far from the only one. As a planeswalker, Jace 4.0 had a high initial and preorder price, which lowered over the course of the block. He was an easy pickup at $8, and when he spiked, there was a lot if money to be made.

Desecration Demon
Initial: $3
9 months: $3
14 months: $10
2 years: $2

Pack Rat
Initial: $1 or less
9 months: $1 or less
14 months: $6
2 years: $2

desc dem

Both of these cards, as well as Underworld Connections, benefited from the rise of black devotion decks, and the reach of Gray Merchant of Asphodel. Pack Rat was a bulk rare, notable only for how impossible it was to beat in Draft or Sealed formats. Demon’s price was often lower than $3 because of the tokens everywhere his first year, especially off of Lingering Souls.

When these two hit, they hit big. They are back to a low price now because there’s no home for them in Modern, and there isn’t enough casual appeal to maintain the high price. Remember, you always want to sell into the hype. Don’t get greedy. If your $2 card hits $7 on buylists, sell or trade them all. Don’t agonize over feeling like you might miss more profit–take your profit and be happy. Just look back at Jace, AoT. He spiked then trickled down for months.

Supreme Verdict
Initial: $5
9 months: $3
14 months: $8
2 years: $4

I don’t have a lot of money to speculate with. I prefer to trade, not purchase, but when I have a dozen that I traded for at $3 get to a buylist price of $5, that’s a really good feeling. There’s a chance this starts creeping back up, because Modern might utilize this over Wrath of God. Keep in mind that this was the buy-a-box promo, so the supply is slightly higher for casual players.

Domri Rade
Initial: $15
9 months: $10
14 months: $30
2 years: $9

Domri, as a three-drop planeswalker, has mountains to climb. Cheap ‘walkers can rarely protect themselves, but he can grind out advantages, and his interaction with Courser of Kruphix led to his abrupt spike. It’s amusing to me how much this and Xenagos both want to be in all-creature decks!

Nightveil Specter
Initial: $2
9 months: $2
14 months: $10
2 years: $3

This was another card that went crazy with the premiere of the Devotion mechanic. It fit into the mono-black AND the mono-blue lists, both of which surged in popularity, and are still among the top archetypes. Being the Release promo didn’t make a difference to the price at all, something to keep in mind when a card is spiking.

Notable about this card is that there was a window between devotion being spoiled and this card exploding. This is why spoiler season brings out all the speculators, for good or ill. Boros Reckoner hasn’t made the same sort of impact, mainly due to the colors. Blue wants Thassa to be a creature and Master of Waves to make lots of tokens. Black wants the biggest Gray Merchant of Asphodel effect. Red does have the Fanatic of Mogis interaction, but that hasn’t proven to be as strong.

Mutavault
Initial: $15
6 months: $35
1 year: $25

These last two cards, being part of Core Sets, have a shorter time in Standard, but the curve is apparent. Started low (especially for being a reprint of a $40 card) then got very high as all sorts of decks started including the best ‘man-land’ ever, and is trickling downwards as we near rotation. It sees some Modern and Legacy play, mainly in tribal decks, but not enough to justify too high a price.

It’s a tribute to the consistency of Temples and shocklands that three-color control decks would run a few of these, often as an answer to opposing Mutavaults, but wow. Colorless lands in a three-color deck!

Archangel of Thune
Initial: $30
6 months: $15
9 months: $35
One year: $15

arch thu

There has been a real rollercoaster on this card in the past year.  As a mythic of a very popular tribe, her price is never going to be very low, especially at a measly five mana. She spiked when control decks boarded her in, a threat that grows and gains you life, and tricks with Mutavault help too.

These are only a few examples. There are historical ones too, but we need to keep an eye on what Magic is now, especially in terms of the number of cards printed.

I hope this helps you think about and identify the same trend in Magic 2015 and Khans of Tarkir!

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