Weekend Recap 4/12/14

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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 occurred.

10 Big Winners of the Week

10. Exploration
$36.81 to $43.93 (19.3%)

Exploration leads to explosive starts in the Legacy Lands deck. The varied power and abilities of the lands it plays make it unexpectedly powerful.

It can take full advantage of Life from the Loam and Intuition to find exactly what it needs, dump it into its graveyard and play it.

It also has the combination of Dark Depths and Thespian’s Stage for a powerful 20/20 Indestructible Marit Lage token.

What the deck really needs are results.

It made Top 16 this weekend, but a few Top 8s would go a long way to justifying the large strides that Exploration has made in price recently.

9. Leonin Arbiter
$2.99 to $3.57 (19.4%)

It’s good to be the king! Or at least respected. Leonin Arbiter is one of only a couple of creatures in Modern GW Hatebears that use the full playset.

The other are Flickerwisp and Noble Hierarch. That should speak of its power.

It cripples Modern mana bases that rely upon Fetchlands to search out Shocklands. It slows down Birthing Pod.

I expect them to continue to climb to around $6 before Modern season has ended.

8. Disharmony
$5.00 to $6.24 (18.6%)

Disharmony is the purely defensive version of Ray of Command.

It is a rare from Legends and is on the Restricted List.

It is not played in any competitive deck so its value is tied strictly to low supply and casual use.

It is a $5 card that occasionally flirts with being a $6 or $7 card and then goes right back to $5.

Since it is used so little, I would just try to get them as toss ins on trades from people that have them stuck with their budget rares.

7. Karakas
$120.00 to $149.99 (25.0%)

Sneak and Show decks have been doing well in Legacy recently. They made up half of the semifinals on Sunday, April 6th.

Karakas helps play defense against Griselbrand and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. If you keep bouncing their creatures you can keep your permanents and your life total safe.

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It is a land, so it can be used in a wide variety of decks such as Lands, Death and Takes, UWR Miracles, ANT, Junk Depths and anything else that wants it.

It is a rare from Legends which means it is in quite small supply. It is unlikely that Wizards of the Coast will ever reprint it outside of its Judge Promo. I do not see the price coming down.

6. Hurkyl’s Recall
$2.98 to $3.73 (25.2%)

This card keeps picking up steam. It is a powerful sideboard card in both Modern and Legacy.

It is commonly used in Merfolk, Ad Nauseam and BUG Delver decks to keep Affinity decks at bay. Since Affinity is the one of the most aggressive decks in Modern, I don’t see this falling out of favor any time soon.

The one unfortunate thing about hate cards is that if they do their job too well then the decks they are fighting will fall out of favor. This makes the sideboard slot less useful.

It’s a terrible cycle and gives Hurkyl’s Recall a ceiling which I believe it will hit soon. It will then plateau around $5.

5. Sigil of the Empty Throne
$1.79 to $2.32 (29.6%)

Journey into Nyx previews are upon us and that brings us to the new Constellation mechanic.

It is featured on several enchantment creatures that have an enters-the-battlefield effect which triggers every time an enchantment enters the battlefield under your control.

This will hopefully bring an evolution to modern Mono-White Prison and Azorius Control decks.

We have not seen many of these cards yet, but if they have powerful enough effects, we could see the birth of new control decks that take advantage of a cornucopia of free effects that bury your opponent in card advantage.

The card has only been printed twice. The first time was in Conflux and the second time was in the Planechase 2012 decks.

Supply is short and the buy in price is low. I think that this card could easily hit $4 or $5 or more if the right cards line up. I’d grab mine while they are still budget rares.

4. Negate (Textless Magic Players Reward Card)
$8.50 to $11.35 (33.5%)

Negate is used as a sideboard card in several Standard and Modern control decks.

Pimping decks with foil and promo versions of cards is the hallmark of an eternal format, as no one wants to invest the extra money into a deck that has an expiration date.

Last week we looked at Negate’s rise in price, and while it did get to $13 briefly, it has already begun its descent.

The decks that want it only want one or two copies and even those mostly reside in the sideboard.

I still feel this will settle in the $8 to $10 area.

That is great news if you bought in at $4 a couple of weeks ago but not so great news if you want to buy in now.

3. Ichorid
$7.42 to $12.01 (61.9%)

Ichorid has long been a staple of Legacy Dredge decks, both vanilla Dredge and Manaless Dredge.

When graveyard hate begins to become lax it makes a powerful (and relatively inexpensive) metagame choice. This Sunday was just such an occasion, as Manaless Dredge was able to make its way into the Top 8.

I have long thought of Ichorid as a card that is primed for a jump in price, but I think that this was a little too much, too quickly.

I think the card will settle down to the $10 area, but it will hold steady after that.

With the price of dual lands skyrocketing, it is no wonder that people are exploring ways to play Legacy that skirt around the greatest price barrier in the format.

2. Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
$1.10 to $3.27 (197.3%)

The Standard Golgari Dredge deck has been a darling for many after what had been a rather stale Standard environment over the past few months.

I think this deck will gain a lot with the printing of the Green/Black Scryland and a god.

However, the important thing to not is that this price spike is for the printing from Duel Decks: Izzet vs Golgari and not the Return to Ravnica mythic rare.

This smells like someone trying to corner the market on the card.

I would have no problem trading for these at $1 to $2, but with rotation looming and a new set coming out, I would be wary of a card tripling in value on one version but not the other when they came out so close together.

I would sit this one out.

1. Edric, Spymaster of Trest
$4.28 to $23.0 (437.4%)

Eric Rill singlehandedly made this happen! On Sunday, April 6th he took down the Milwaukee SCG Legacy Open with his Four Color Delver Deck.

In a format as powerful as Legacy every card matters. A few attacks from Insectile Aberration and Haste-y Elemental Tokens can really make a difference.

Young Pyromancer combined with many powerful one mana spells, including Ponder, Brainstorm and “free” spells like Daze and Gitaxian Probe to keep the beats coming.

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Edric, Spymaster of Trest was only available in the original Commander decks and Commander Arsenal so supply is hard to come by.

If you have been holding onto these and don’t want to play with them, I would move them quickly. This spike is based off of one week’s results and now this deck will be a known entity.

I would certainly never buy in on a spike like this, but if results continue then $20 could become the new price.

5 Big Losers of the Week

5. Sensei’s Divining Top (FTV)
$48.94 to $45.80 (-6.4%)

This is regarding the printing of Sensei’s Divining Top included in From the Vault: Exiled. It is among the Top 20 Most played cards in Legacy.

Its effect is simple but strikingly powerful with Delver of Secrets, Counterbalance and Entreat the Angels.

Its efficient cost makes it ideal in nearly any deck.

I would look at any momentary lapse in price as a discount. There is no way that these do not continue to increase in value over time.

4. Twilight Mire
$30.45 to $26.99 (-11.4%)

Twilight Mire is still on an upward trajectory. It has just stumbled a little in its rise from $16 to $32.

Jund has been been slipping from the Modern standings, but Green/Black Obliterator is the new flavor of the month and uses the Eventide rare as well.

It helps set up mana for Kitchen Finks into Phyrexian Obliterator which is no easy feat.

I would still consider this as a great card to pick up in trade on its way to $40.

3. Xenagos, God of Revels
$13.81 to $12.00 (-13.1%)

Xenagos, God of Revels may be upsetting the pantheon on Theros, but he is failing to keep steady results in Standard.

The decks that play him, Naya Midrange and Jund Midrange tend to only play one or two copies.

He has been slipping steadily since he was printed. He is from a second set, so he will continue to be opened at the same rate with JOU-BOG-THS drafts as he was before. Supply will continue to increase at a steady pace throughout the summer.

His cost of five mana makes him awkward in quick, aggressive decks and there are usually better cards to play if you are trying to go over the top.

I think as we get more gods in Journey Into Nyx, he may find himself replaced in both Jund and Naya decks.

This will continue to go down. I would keep any eye on it and try to catch a few when it hits $8. Casual appeal of a god will make sure that it never gets too much lower than that.

2. Ancient Tomb
$49.51 to $36.00 (-27.3%)

The release in From the Vaults: Realms got up to almost $50 before coming back.

A month ago this card only $12. The Tempest copy jumped up around the same time and has been staying strong at $24.

Keep in mind that this is the only foil copy of the card. I think it should be more than just 50% more than the vanilla version.

I will not be surprised when it gets back to $50.

I don’t think its ever going back below $35, especially with the strong showings from Sneak and Show.

1. Silent-Blade Oni
$9.75 to $5.05 (-48.2%)

This card actually jumped all the way to $15 before sinking to $5. Sometimes when I think of what the value of this card has been doing (based on almost nothing so far as I can tell) I think someone is just punking the Magic finance community.

However, I think $5 is a terrific price and would gladly snatch it up at that price.

Wait a day and sell it for $9.

Wait for it to go back to $5.

Rinse and repeat.

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2 thoughts on “Weekend Recap 4/12/14”

  1. It is a rare from Legends which means it is in quite small supply. It is unlikely that Wizards of the Coast will ever reprint it outside of its Judge Promo. I do not see the price coming down.

    Karakas is an uncommon, rather than a rare.

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