Weekend Update for 9/20/14

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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 have occurred.

10 Big Winners of the Week

10. Aether Vial (Modern Masters)
From $23.19 to $26.15 (12.76%)

Magic the Gathering is in an interesting place right now. Shocklands and fetchlands are both relatively affordable at the moment. This lowers the barrier to entry into the modern format.

It would be nice to think that modern decks will suddenly become cheaper because you can now set up your entire mana base for less than a play set of Scalding Tarns would have cost you earlier this year. The truth is that Modern staples will increase in price as more people explore the format. This will be even more noticeable with budget modern decks.

Aether Vial is a powerful addition to modern and Legacy Merfolk, Hatebears, Death and Taxes and even some Goblins decks. It is also a powerful inclusion in Commander, Cubes and casual decks that like cheap and efficient creatures.

Most Top 8 lists in Modern or Legacy will feature at least one deck that packs a play set of Vials.

On 9/7/2014 the SCG Legacy tournament in St. Louis had two Legacy Death and Taxes decks make Top 8. The modern portion of the tournament had a Hatebears deck get second place.

This steady growth will only continue.

I do wonder why the FTV Relics copies are only $30.94 and the foils are only $34.53. I would try to pick up a few before the price correction boosts them up to $50 to $60.

9. Memnarch (Darksteel)
From $6.89 to $7.99 (15.97%)

Memnarch is an interesting commander. The rules have to be adjusted slightly to make him work but he is well worth the effort if you want to generate a lot of mana to steal everything at the table.

He has not seen any competitive play. His need for lots of blue mana make Mono-Blue Tron seem unlikely to include him. He is far too expensive for affinity decks.

I do not expect anything more than slow sustained growth from him. You can purchase the Archenemy copies for as little as $4.99 and sell them for up to $6.27.

8. Battlefield Forge (10th Edition)
From $4.47 to $5.22 (16.78%)

It is not worth discussing current standard decks this week except to look forward to a new Standard in six days time.

Aggressive Mardu and Jeskai combo decks will run Forges as additional copies of Mana Confluence. This makes it one of the better positioned painlands since these are the colors that want to end the game quickly before the lands can do much damage.

I think that Boros Burn will disappear as an archetype in standard but it will always have a home in Modern.

I expect all of the enemy painlands to stay in the $4 to $7 range for the duration of their standard stay depending on the metagame.

7. Goblin Rabblemaster (M15)
From $8.48 to $10.70 (26.18%)

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I have to admit that I have been constantly surprised by this card. I thought it would fall back down to $3 at rotation but instead it is sitting pretty at nearly $11.

Rotation time usually is the best time to be playing quick and aggressive decks. Red Deck Wins is usually a winner out of the gates as everyone is figuring out the metagame.

Goblin Rabblemaster is positioned nicely to lead the charge. It will also work very nicely with cards utilizing the Raid mechanic.

It is surprising me even more that it is seeing some experimentation in larger formats.

Legacy Goblin Stompy is a deck that can quickly play a three mana goblin on turn one and uses Trinisphere to set everyone back while it deploys threat after threat. It took second place in a MODO Legacy Daily on 9/12/2014.

It has also seen some sideboard play in Modern burn decks.

The card is nearly $11 so I think the time to get into it has passed but foils are only $17.32. It is a big gamble but if it does get picked up by Modern and Legacy then this is the best time to get in.

If you want to play it safe then this is about as high as the card is likely to get. Cash out now.

6. Trickbind (Time Spiral)
From $4.23 to $5.49 (29.79%)

Trickbind is picking up a little steam. Fetchlands are getting a lot of attention and cards like Trickbind, Shadow of Doubt and Squelch are easy targets to ruin someone’s day when they try to crack their fetch.

It is played in Legacy OmniTell as well. The deck managed to take top spot on 8/24/2014 in the Master Game Summer Legacy tournament.

I would not get too excited though. It was only a single copy out of the sideboard.

I would sell or trade away copies into the hype. Earlier this year you could get copies for $3. You are almost doubling your money.

5. Eidolon of the Great Revel (Journey into Nyx Foil)
From $24.98 to $32.5 (30.14%)

Eidolon of the Great Revel has been making a splash in standard, modern and Legacy Burn decks.

Can you believe these used to be $8?

If you have quadrupled your money and want to cash out that is respectable. I do believe that these will continue to be a long term hold.

The SCG Legacy Open in Atlanta on 9/14/2014 had a Burn deck make Top 8. This is getting to be a regular occurrence for the deck.

I will take a moment to say that the tournament had three Berserk Poison decks in the Top 8 as well.

Right now foil Blighted Agents are $10.51. Foil Glistener Elf is only $2. They are both commons from New Phyrexia. Glistener Elf enables a possible second turn kill. I would pick up as many as you can before the price corrects itself.

While we are on the topic the Commander copies of Invigorate can be purchased for $0.99 and sold for $1.17. The Invigorate foils are $12 as well.

4. Sundering Titan (Darksteel)
From $4.31 to $5.91 (37.12%)

So you want to be “that guy.” The one that summons a Sundering Titan through ramp, reanimation or abuses it with flickering.

It is a staple in Commander and Modern lists. It is a brutal way to punish people for greedy mana bases using shocklands, dual lands in addition to basic lands.

It is used in modern Gruul Tron, Mono-Blue Tron, Legacy MUD, Vintage MUD and Stax.

It has been reprinted in small quantities in Archenemy and From the Vault: Relics.

Due to its mana cost it is usually only played as one or two copies when it shows up at all.

It has been getting some attention recently in Stockholm.

Khans of Tarkir PTQ on 8/16/2014 had a Top 8 with two GR Tron decks in the Top 8 including the winner. Two weeks later at the GPT on 8/31/2014 Gr Tron placed second place.

Very few cards hit the battlefield with such a resounding thud.

You can purchase From the Vault copies for as little as $4.98 and sell them for up to $5.81. I think they are a solid pickup in the long term.

3. Thoughtseize (Theros Foil)
From $52.66 to $77.22 (46.64%)

I was going to compose a list of decks that run Thoughtseize but it is pretty easy to say that any deck that taps swamps for mana in Standard, Modern and Legacy is either running it or asking themselves tough questions about whether or not they should run it. It is an answer to almost everything.

Some decks like legacy Elves even splash black just to board in Thoughtseize out of the sideboard.

Mono-Black Devotion is going to be releasing its stranglehold on standard but foil prices are derived from Modern, Legacy, Vintage and Cubes. I am afraid commander does not count for this particular card due to constraints of the format.

Modern PTQ Khans of Tarkir at Riccione, Italy had three out of the Top 8 decks were running Thoughtseize. This includes the winner. A total of twelve out of thirty-two possible copies appeared in decklists.

I feel that this is the new price. If you got cheap copies when Theros came out then this is a great time to take some profit. If you are more patient these will be a solid hold until the next time it is reprinted.

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2. Crystalline Sliver (Friday Night Magic)
From $10.15 to $15.93 (51.57%)

Sliver Hivelord has gotten everyone excited about building sliver decks.

It can make your entire team indestructible but sometimes that is not enough. Crytalline Sliver can keep your slivers safe from ill timed disruption like Swords to Plowshares or Path to Exile that might ruin an otherwise unstoppable offence.

The wonderful thing about slivers is that there is always an appeal. This is a safe hold for a long time to come. This is all the more true since Wizards has been using hexproof rather than shroud in recent years. I doubt we will see any reprints any time soon.

1. Metalworker (Urza’s Destiny)
From $13.73 to $25.58 (86.31%)

Metalworker has just been unbanned in commander. This means you will soon be seeing infinite mana courtesy of Staff of Domination, Umbral Mantle and Voltaic Construct among others.

You can win the game anyway you want with your infinite mana. My personal favorite way is through Golem Artisan.

There are plenty of other ways to abuse the large swaths of mana it is capable of generating.

Metalworker has been featured in Legacy and Vintage MUD decks as well as Vintage Stax.

This news makes for a huge pay day for anyone who happened to be holding onto Metalworkers. I would observe the example of Bitterblossom’s unbanning in Modern. It spiked immediately due to the frenzy of players trying to get their hands on the card and trying it out in the format. This new format only requires a single copy per player so I would sell into the hype as quickly as possible.

5 Big Losers of the Week

5. Merrow Reejerey (Lorwyn)
From $6.20 to $5.63 (-9.19%)

Merrow Reejerey is a feature in Modern and Legacy Merfolk decks.

Unfortunately it has seen its place in the deck challenged by newcomers Master of Waves in Modern and True-Name Nemesis in Legacy.

The sweet spot for Fish tends to be two mana so even a three mana lord that accelerates mana and taps down blockers is only featured as a two of.

The Reejerey will continue to decline until it hits around $3. I would get out now. It is only used in an unstable spot in a pet deck for now.

2014 modern state championships – maine

4. Living End (Time Spiral)
From 8.82 to $7.92 (-10.20%)

Living End is used solely in the appropriately named Living End Modern deck. It is an all in reanimator deck which is easily hated out with an early Rest in Peace or a timely Bojuka Bog.

It has been falling in favor in the Modern metagame. It has been over a month since it has been in a Top 8.

This deck tends to be cyclical. When reanimator decks fade a bit and graveyard hate is removed from sideboards it will rise again. This has caused the price to be nearly half the $15 it commanded at the beginning of the month.

I would grab a cheap play set or two and wait for the deck to come back into favor.

3. Mutavault (Morningtide)
From $26.81 to $23.65 (-11.79%)

Mutavault has been everywhere in standard and it will happily continue to be played in several Modern and Legacy decks.

I would wait another month or so. Mutavault will be as cheap as it will ever be as standard players unload their copies to pick up new fetchlands. If you can find any copies under $20 I would move on them and hold onto them.

They are an excellent long term investment.

2. Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni (Betrayers of Kamigawa)
From $7.49 to $6.44 (-14.02%)

I need to make a confession. I love Ink-eyes in all of its casual glory. It combines ninjas, rats and reanimation. It is hard to kill and helps rebuy enters the battlefield effects.

None of this make it a great investment. It is not played in any competitive format. It is still a casual favorite and will show up in Commander decks.

Wizards of the Coast seems determined to keep reprints accessible. It was a prerelease promo, was in Planechase 2012 and was reprinted again in From the Vault: Twenty.

It has been on a slow decline for a while. Casual appeal will keep it out of bulk range but I could easily see it getting to $3 to $4 before you know it. I would keep your one copy for any fun decks you want and sell the rest.

1. Elspeth, Knight-Errant (Shards of Alara)
From $20.45 to $17.56 (-14.13%)

I suggested above that Ink-Eyes has been reprinted to frequently to keep its price up. Supply is exceeding demand.

The same case could be made for Elspeth. She is a strong planeswalker and sees play in Modern Orzhov Tokens and even Naya Zoo. Legacy runs her in Esper Stoneblade and Stoneforge Bant.

She was in Shards of Alara and you could get her in the all foil packs. She had her own Duel Deck vs Tezzeret. Wizards printed her again in Modern Masters. This summer they packaged her in the Modern Event deck.

The deck that wants to use her most can now get her prepackaged with a Sword of Feast of Famine. It will take a while to recover from all of these printings.

She is just so strong that she has been holding onto value. I would move any copies that you have. Eventually it will be reprinted enough to get it into the $10 range.

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3 thoughts on “Weekend Update for 9/20/14”

  1. I have different thought on Goblin Rabblemaster. Mardu has a high potential to be in one of major clans in the coming Meta.

    We will probably see a playset in every Mardu decks and that means his price could go even further (my target is around $15.) As far as I see, the best time to sell rares are around 1-2 months after the release. This is too early to cash out. Its current price would not be dropping much from 1-2 months from now but it still has a big upside to increase around 50% from now.

  2. “It is a staple in Commander and Modern lists.”

    Or, you know, not. It’s banned in commander and occasionally shows up as a 1 or 2-of in Modern Tron lists. A deck that has put up pretty middling results for its entire life in modern.

    1. You are correct. I had seen it in several EDH lists online. I guess those were house rules. It is a casual format and I would be surprised if it is not used in many kitchen tables despite bannings.

      Tron decks consistently feature in Top 8s. It may not be a Tier 1 deck but I would not place it lower than 1.5.

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