Weekend Update for 6/14/14

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Weekend Recap

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. Hero of Bladehold (Mirrodin Beseiged)
From $7.97 to $8.57 (7.53%)

The Modern Event Deck is letting players craft a Black White token deck.

This deck is decent but there is definitely room for improvement.

People who bought the deck will absolutely be looking for threats like Hero of Bladehold and Brimaz, King of Oreskos for their decks. This is a golden opportunity for anyone who has been sitting on Hero since Scars of Mirrodin block rotated.

I expect more growth as these are heavily traded in the short term.

9. Slaughter Pact (Future Sight)
From $4.49 to $4.90 (9.13%)

Slaughter Pact is all over Modern. Melira Pod, Jund, Amulet of Vigor, BG Rock and other decks love their free removal spell.

Modern season for PTQs has officially begun and this is one of the cards I would most love to have ready in my trade binder as people brew decks.

8. Vampire Nocturnus (M13)
$4.55 to $4.98 (9.45%)

It is a mythic rare vampire lord. This guy has crazy casual appeal and only two printings in Core sets.

He is going to be in every casual vampire tribal deck ever. This gives the card lasting sustainable value even if he never sees a competitive deck.

I like him as a long term hold.

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7. Thraximundar (Alara Reborn)
From $4.78 to $5.27 (10.25%)

Thraximundar has the misfortune to be printed in the Mind Seize Commander 2013 deck. His stock has been plummeting as people rip open the boxes for True-Name Nemesis and Baleful Strix.

He does not fit anywhere in the Nekusar, the Mindrazer Commander decks that most people fashion so he tends to get tossed into trade binders and sit.

Why the sudden resurgence in appeal?

I give the credit to Marchesa, the Black Rose from Conspiracy. He slots in perfectly at the top of the curve for her deck. He gets rid of opposing creatures and gets all important +1/+1 counters that make him a big threat that Marchesa can help recur.

He is also a great arbitrage opportunity at the moment. The lowest vendor has him listed at $3.33. The highest buylist is $4.01.

Anytime there is a negative spread you should be paying attention. It is the most important flag that card stores can give that they think the price is going to be higher soon.

More importantly it is a chance to make some free money. Keep reading. There are several more opportunities coming up throughout in the article.

6. Enduring Ideal (Saviors of Kamigawa)
From $4.29 to $4.74 (10.49%)

This build around me rare from Saviors of Kamigawa gets people excited every time powerful new enchantments are printed.

I cannot envision someone running this in a Modern or Commander brew and not at least testing out Theros gods.

It is often used in Prison style decks so I am not surprised to see it get a little bump as Modern season is underway.

I just do not have faith in it to do much. I would trade mine away.

Hopefully for Ghostly Prison.

5. Voidslime (Dissension)
From $7.81 to $8.68 (11.14%)

This card has always puzzled me. It is Stifle stapled onto Cancel with green splashed in for reasons I cannot fathom.

It has an unforgiving mana cost that makes it impossible to splash unless your deck is already running both blue and green mana.

It is a unique combination of effects but there are certainly more efficient ways to deal with spells.

I like Trickbind better if you are trying to trip up a Birthing Pod activation or prevent a fetchland from finding anything.

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Squelch will do the same thing and does not even cost you a card.

Voidslime is powerful but it has yet to find a home which makes me hesitant to do anything but trade away the card into whatever hype it is experiencing.

4. Furyborn Hellkite (M12)
From $2.53 to $2.99 (18.18%)

This is a mythic rare dragon with a keyword that has already been used in a Core Set. It is every casual gamer’s dream as their eyes light up envisioning casting a 12/12 for a mere seven mana.

It can even be used in a Marchesa Commander deck or in casual dragon decks.

It is pretty cheap and I think it will hold its value nicely.

3. Commandeer (Coldsnap)
From $2.89 to $3.48 (20.42%)

Usually people assume when you are tapped out that you cannot play any spells.

They may play a critical burn spell and still ask you if it resolves fearing a Pact of Negation. You nod that it does and they visibly relax.

That’s when you cast Commandeer. It could be a Cruel Ultimatum in a multiplayer game of Commander or a lethal Lightning Storm from an Ad Nauseam deck in Modern.

Either way, you are about to ruin someone’s day.

Free spell effects are few and far between.

This is no Force of Will but it still should be more than a meager $3. I could see this getting to $5 or $6 pretty easily as Modern season heats up.

2. Mark of Asylum (Conflux)
From $0.93 to $1.32 (41.94%)

I have always had a soft spot for the little bulk rare that could. It is not about to take any format by storm but it does show up in numerous Modern sideboards.

GW Hatebears and Soul Sisters both run one or two copies in their seventy five.

Right now there is a negative spread on it. The lowest vendor price is $0.40 but the highest buylist is $0.65.

Sometimes people overlook the value of bulk and pass up opportunities for free money.

1. Pyretic Ritual (M11)
From $0.69 to $1.21 (75.36%)

This is one of the cards I keep an eye for when I purchase “bulk” from people.

The mythic rares and format staples have been picked out but many people ignore commons. There are usually stacks of commons and uncommons that will add up to a respectable pay day from a friendly buylist.

Pyretic Ritual has only been printed in M11. It is used in Modern UR Storm and in Legacy Belcher decks. It is pretty much Desperate Ritual numbers five through eight in those decks. That makes it key to the deck.

Right now an opportunity is available for someone to make some money off of this one. The lower vendor price is $0.25 but the highest buylist price is $0.46.

A few dimes may not seem like much but you are nearly doubling your money.

This is the bread and butter of Magic finance to me.

5 Big Losers of the Week

5. Sphinx’s Revelation (Return to Ravnica)
From $14.76 to $12.47 (-15.51%)

We all know that Revelation is on its way out of standard. That will not happen for several months and even then it will not be a lost cause.

It has seen adoption in several Modern decks including UWR Control, UW Tron and UW Control decks.

Vendor confidence in the card is strong. The lowest vendor price is $9.49. The highest buylist is $9.00.

This may not be an arbitrage opportunity but with such a thin spread I expect many of you will have friends trying to unload these for a drop that is not coming. I would be very comfortable trading for these around $10.

4. Obzedat, Ghost Council (Gatecrash)
From $8.67 to $7.24 (-16.49%)

Unlike Revelation above Obzedat is used purely in Standard. The card is very strong but the it does not have a deck it can easily slip into.

I would trade these away while you can still get a shockland for them.

3. Cyclonic Rift (Return to Ravnica)
From $4.56 to $3.78 (-17.11%)

Rotation will not be a large issue for Cyclonic Rift. It did not see a lot of adoption in Standard. Even the monoblue devotion decks only run one copy.

It is showing up in Modern Mono U Tron  and Mono U Control decks and sideboards.

It is also very powerful in Commander games.

I think it will settle around $3. I would trade them away if you want to get your money’s worth but I would not feel bad if you cannot move them. They are not going to slip that far.

2. Nightveil Specter (Gatecrash)
From $5.89 to $4.61 (-21.73%)

This will be another victim of pure Standard usage. Unfortunately the time to get out of these was the beginning of the year when they were still $10.

Get out now if you have any left.

You will be finding these in bulk rare bins before the end of the year.

1. Herald of Torment (Born of the Gods)
From $3.12 to $2.11 (-32.37%)

One last but important opportunity for arbitrage.

The lowest vendor price is only $0.74 and the highest buylist is $1.15.

Even the prospect of free money is not quite tempting enough. You can make a little money now or make a lot of money a little later.

It is used in Monoblack and even Junk decks in recent block GPs.

The best black cards are Thoughtseize and Hero’s Downfall alongside Bile Blight. Those are not going anywhere. Black decks will still be a force after rotation.

Monoblack control will lose Desecration Demon and Pack Rat but Herald of Torment and Master of the Feast could take some of those spots.

Herald is very well positioned for the fall. I would grab as many as I could.

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