Category Archives: Digging for Dollars

Black Friday 2017 Magic the Gathering Sales

ADVERTISEMENT:


The 2017 holiday season beckons, and alongside the inappropriately early Christmas music and the excessively hyped ginger spice lattes it’s time to take Black Friday on like a pro. Go ahead and cuddle up by the fire with your holiday sweater on, half conscious from turkey coma chemicals, while you chuckle at the fools who don’t know how to use the Internet to buy things on sale.

For Magic: The Gathering speculators and players in need of some savings, the holiday season from mid-November to the new year is often a pretty great hunting ground, with plenty of sales going on and plenty of folks looking to turn cards into cash fast so they can finance presents and travel plans. For the most part you’ll likely want to save your speculation budget to focus on the couple of weeks at the end of December when some pretty significant sales can be had during late night Ebay hunts, but for now let’s see whether the online Magic vendors have any goodies worth considering this year.

Here’s a round up of the Black Friday sales going on at various online vendors that you might be interested in, with some highlights of the sweetest deals as of Thursday night. We’ll update on Friday again with fresh details so check back in:

CardKingdom

ChannelFireball

Here’s the best of what CFB has to offer this year:

Collector’s Cache

CoolStuffInc.

FacetoFaceGames

  • Planechase Anthology or Hour of Devestation or Amonkhet Booster Boxes: ~$61 USD, ~$76 shipped to USD. $79.99 CDN + $11.50 shipping in Canada, free pickup in store in Toronto or Montreal.
  • 15% off singles

Ideal808

StarCityGames

TCGPlayer.com

  • 10% kickback on all MTG singles

WizardTower.com

  • 20% off Magic singles
  • Various booster box deals

So that’s that. If you’d like to share a really sweet deal you found online, hits us up in the comments below!

Track your collection's value over time, see which cards moved the most, track wishlists, tradelists and more. Sign up at MTGPrice.com - it's free!

ADVERTISEMENT:


Please follow and like us:

PRO TRADER: Digging for Dollars: Amonkhet

By: James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

The release of Amonkhet this spring found Magic: The Gathering in a pretty strange place. After having committed to 8 ban announcements per year, WoTC declined to ban Felidar Guardian when the infinite combo was first discovered, citing lack of data. After it became clear the deck was narrowing the format and limiting player participation, the ban hammer still didn’t drop five weeks after Pro Tour Aether Revolt. This brought us to one fateful monday, when the company again declined to ban any cards in Standard, only to change their minds a couple of days later, completely outside the set schedule for such announcements, and ban Felidar Guardian after all. Fast forward a month or so and Aetherworks Marvel decks posted up as the new dominant archtype, leading to yet another ban.

Between this crazy sequence of events and the (at best) mixed reaction to the Amonkhet Masterpiece card frames, the very positive reactions to the limited format makes the debut of the set a tangled web indeed.

So now that the dust has settled and the set has reached something close to peak supply, how does one go about trying to make some money on Amonkhet cards?

Well, as per usual if you planned to crack cases and sell singles, you should already have done so, since just a couple of weeks after release you were already facing a saturated market and singles prices that fell to lows as much as 80% below starting prices. At present there are just three mythics over $10 (Gideon, Rhonas and Liliana) and just two rares over $4 (Anointed Procession & Glorybringer). In other words, the set is cheap and still getting cheaper as early hype fades into a more realistic picture of which cards are actually playable in the near term.

Secondly, as a large spring set with several unique cards, Amonkhet is likely to end up with a bunch of cards that don’t quite have the necessary pieces to make it in Standard, only to show up in other formats down the road as folks figure out the most efficient deck shells or new combo partners appear.

Finally, with the Masterpiece Innvocations present in Amonkhet, the Expected Value of the rest of the set is similarly impacted as it was with the Kaladesh and Zendikar blocks, though to a lesser extent since only Force of Will, Cryptic Command and Daze are holding over $50 thus far.

There are also several interesting cards in the set for Commander and a few for Modern, but it’s not certain which are traps and which aren’t.

Now, Digging for Dollars is about looking for opportunities that aren’t played out yet, not identifying the most powerful cards in the set, or the obvious cards most likely to see the biggest gains. Many of these picks need planets to align to earn you money, so make sure you’ve exhausted your best options before you go digging folks. Where a card has not yet found it’s bottom, or has been hyped above it’s value, I will try to identify the proper entry point.

For Amonkhet we’re going to break up our specs into three categories: Standard Breakout Targets, Potential Eternal Staples, Long Term Casual Targets, and the Invocations. The first group generally needs to find a home within the year in multiple standard decks to do well for you. The latter two groups are mid to long term holds that you should be aiming to acquire at their forthcoming peak supply lows for solid potential future gains.

FUTURE STANDARD STAPLES?

When considering potential standard staples, you first need to be cognizant that Standard has had a pretty rough year, lost a bunch of players and doesn’t yet show definitive signs of recovery. As such, I’ll be steering clear of Standard specs for a while, especially with such fertile ground in Modern, EDH and via European arbitrage, but if you’re aiming to accumulate some staples you might need later it can’t hurt to consider your options.

1. Bontu the Glorified

Bontu the Glorified

Now: $3.50 ($8 foil)
Target Buy Price: $3.00 ($8 foil)
Target Sell Price: $8 (+167%)/$20 foil (+150%)
Timeline: Short to Long Term (0-12+ months)

So a 4/6 indestructible creature with menace for 3cc is clearly a pretty good rate. Sure, you need to make sure one of your creatures dies this turn to get him into the red zone, but he does carry that on-board ability to make sure things will line up so long as you have some filling fodder on board. In Standard some of the Embalm creatures interact positively with this play pattern, and Sultai brews have been spotted, but I haven’t seen a truly great list yet.

In Modern, cards like Hangarback Walker, Walking Ballista, Kitchen Finks and Lingering Souls all set this up reasonably well, but it’s not clear that the payoff is worthwhile when Tarmogoyf and Death’s Shadow are setting the standard for creature rates in Modern. I am testing Bontu in B/W tokens for Modern as a 1/2 of instead of a planeswalker, and it’s possible he could be useful in some kind of Aristocrats style brew, but it’s pretty unlikely he becomes a real Modern staple. Most of the gods carry some casual and Commander appeal, so under $3 I’ll start picking up a few sets for the long haul, with an eye to getting out earlier if Standard gives him a quicker boost. Foils may turn out better down the road, especially if Meren EDH players catch on to the synergies.

2. Approach of the Second Sun

Approach of the Second Sun

The question here is whether there is life for this card in Standard without Aetherworks Marvel. The odds are not good, but at $.50, it’s not going to make or break your bankroll either way. Mostly a personal play set option I think.

MODERN/ETERNAL PLAYABLE?

3. Harsh Mentor

Harsh Mentor

When this was first revealed, people seemed pretty excited at the prospect of punishing their opponents in Modern and Legacy whenever they cracked a fetch land, spun their top, or activated their Arcbound Ravager, but the excitement seems to have cooled and many pros seem to have decided the card isn’t such a big deal after all.  Mentor doesn’t punish planeswalker activations, and there aren’t any fetches in the format, so unless vehicles stays dominant I have a feeling we’re going to see the bottom drop out on this card by summer, opening the door for a decent buy-in price.

Personally I feel that Harsh Mentor is likely to see at least occasional play in Modern, with long term potential to break out as a staple in the right meta. I was considering testing the card alongside Eidolon of the Great Revel in a revised burn shell, perhaps something like Josh Silvestri recently wrote up over on Channel Fireball. Craig Wescoe, on the other hand, has been looking at Mentor in R/W Hatebears for Modern. Both of these concepts could end up as little more than thought experiments, so commit accordingly.

In Commander, this effects all opponents in a format with a ton of on board triggers, so foils may have some legs from that angle.

ADVERTISEMENT:


Now: $1.50 ($7 foil)
Target Buy Price: $1 ($5 foil)
Target Sell/Trade Price: $5 (400%+)/$20 foil (+300%)
Timeline: Long-Term (12-36 months+)

4. Glorious End

Glorious End

Now: $3 ($7 foil)
Target Buy Price: $2 ($4 foil)
Target Sell Price: $10 (+400%)/$10 foil (+150%)
Timeline: Mid to Long (12-24+ months)

ADVERTISEMENT:


Glorious End is a classic trap card. In the right circumstances it can be a time walk that cancels your opponent’s turn and and gives you the one extra casting or attack step you need to put the game away. If you can chain them, you can take multiple turns in a row without your opponent being able to do much. (You’d like to Snapcaster Mage this back to really get rolling, but you can’t because Glorious End exiles itself from the stack.) If you play cards like Gideon of the Trials, Platinum Angel or Angel’s Grace you can dodge your fate, but the question is whether someone will find the right shell to make all this durdling worthwhile.

I’d put the odds somewhere around 30/70 that this makes a splash in Modern somewhere down the line but I don’t think you need to rush into owning any, so feel free to keep an eye out for interesting deck lists and snap some up during a summer sale if you’re excited to try and break it.

 

5. Bone Picker

Bone Picker

Now: $4 foil
Target Buy Price: ($3 foil)
Target Sell Price: $10 foil (+333%)
Timeline: Long Term (24 months+)

This guy doesn’t quite look like Delver of Secrets now that we’ve had some time to put him to the test, but there is still potential for him to slot into a very quick aggro strategy in Modern if the right combination of ways to activate him reliably appear. I’ve seen him tested in Legacy.

As an Uncommon, I’m not interested in non-foils, but a few sets of foils around $3 seem fine as a low priority target that may or may not get there in the next few years.

6. Shadow of the Grave

Shadow of the Grave

Now: $0.50 ($4 foil)
Target Buy Price: $4 foil
Target Sell Price: $10+ foil (+250%)
Timeline: Long Term (12+ months)

Here we have the poster child for open ended synergy, a card that works with both cycling and discard, both of which have plenty of support now, and will only gain additional options down the road. As a two-mana instant this has the potential to set up really nasty combo turns, and whether that ends up being with Seismic Assault, Dredge cards or Life from the Loam doesn’t matter much to me. I only care that this card is only going to gain momentum as time goes on and is unlikely to see frequent reprints given the mechanical focus. I love these foils at $4, and intend to stock up this summer and await the inevitable spike.

7. As Foretold

As Foretold

Now: $5 (Foils: $20)
Target Buy Price: $4 (Foils $20)
Target Sell Price: $10+ (+150%)/Foils: $40 (+100%)
Timeline: Long to Very Long Term (12-36 months+)

The As Foretold hype machine was running hot during spoiler season, with the card charging out of the gates close to $20. With no home in Standard and none of the Modern brews making major waves yet, the hype has cooled and I think there’s a good chance you can pick up a pile of these for $4 or so this summer and stock them away for down the road when someone outright breaks the card.

It’s important to keep in mind that despite the fact that this card does nothing when it hits the board, it immediately starts letting you cast up to two extra spells per turn cycle including Living Death (Living End), Wheel of Fortune (Wheel of Fate), Balance (Restore Balance) and Ancestral Recall (Ancestral Vision) effects. The card has open ended synergy with similar future cards that might appear, as well as with mana denial strategies, and in EDH it can potentially allow you to cast X spells per turn cycle, where X is the number of opponents, assuming you have a way of keeping your hand full. That’s enough for me to grab twenty to thirty copies.

Foil supply is already relatively low at $20, and as a mythic rare that is going to be played as a four-of if it’s played at all, I’m happy to pick up a dozen at that price as well.

8. Gideon of the Trials

Gideon of the Trials

The latest incarnation of the Gatewatch’s resident bruiser has been in steep decline since he was pre-ordering at $40. Now available for just $10, the card has shown up in a few Modern control lists including UW and RW strategies, usually as a 1 or 2 of. Those aren’t the kind of numbers that are likely to cause a major spike, but I’d keep your eye out for foils closer to $20 than $30, because foil supply is relatively modest and they could end up over $40 down the road.

I’ll be picking up a play set of non-foils this summer, but will mostly focus on getting six to eight copies of the foils as cheaply as possible as a longer term hold.

Now: $10 ($22 foil)
Target Buy Price: $6 ($20 foil)
Target Sell Price: $12 ($40 foil)
Timeline: Short to Very Long-Term (6-36+ months)

9. Hope of Ghirapur

Hope of Ghirapur

Now:  $3 (foil)
Target Buy Price: $2 (foil)
Target Sell Price: $10 (+400%)
Timeline: Long Term (24+ months)

It’s a total trap, so just ignore me. For this to ever be a thing, a few things need to line up. You need a meta where you can consistently get a 1/1 flyer in for damage and where stealing your opponents ability to cast non-creature spells is powerful. You’re really doing it if you figure out how to recurse this thing and give it Haste, perhaps via Thopter Engineer. Trinket Mage and Ranger of Eos can go find this card, and Leonin Squire can bring it back. Master Trinketeer makes it bigger, and Silence and Isochron Scepter could form the nucleus of a soft lock. I only listed the foil prices above because the formats I can see this being most useful are Legacy and Vintage, where Xantid Swarm has been useful out of the sideboard. This one is a definite long shot, but it sets off my spidey senses and I’ll likely pick a few up once they get cheap for a casual Thopters deck if nothing else.

Long Term Casual Targets

10. Cascading Cataracts

Cascading Cataracts

Now: $.75 ($5 foil)
Target Buy Price: $0.50 ($4 foil)
Target Sell Price: $4 (+700%)/$16 foil (+300%)
Timeline: Long Term (24+ months)

In a few months we’re getting at least one new five color Commander deck (Dragons), and possibly others as well. That aside, 5-color EDH decks are only going to get more robust as time goes on and this land is  an auto include in all of them. Foils should be the play here, and they’re dead cheap if you’re comfortable with a longer hold. I already bought some experimental Japanese foils, and I’ll definitely be stashing some more of these away once I see a solid deal on English copies.

11. Rishkar, Peema Renegade

Rishkar, Peema Renegade

Rishkar has already seen plenty of play in Standard, but I’m more interested in his long term usefulness in EDH. The strong utility of both buffing creatures and turning them into Llanowar Elves is going to be popular in casual circles for years to come and being both an Elf and a Druid is a boon for Commander. Interactions with Atraxa, the other “cares about counters” commanders, and Hardened Scales/Doubling Season only bolster the appeal. I’d focus on foils here, since there are likely to be plenty of non-foils lying around once he wraps his tenure in Standard.

Now: $4 foil
Target Buy Price: $4 foil
Target Sell Price: $12 foil
Timeline: Long Term (24+ months)

12. Throne of the God Pharoah

Throne of the God-Pharaoh

Yeah, that says “each opponent” all right. Attack or tap your creatures in EDH to hit all your buddies at once. That’s enough to get me on board here, but I suspect this cheap and deadly artifact will find a home in Modern and/or Legacy at some point as a finisher that doesn’t have to attack through blockers to win. Legendary status holds it back some, so I’ll focus on foils here as well, expecting modest growth, but allowing for more exciting results if someone figures out how to break out of the pack on the back of this card. At just a quarter for regular copies, hard to go wrong with those either.

Now: $0.25 ($3.50 foil)
Target Buy Price: $0.25 ($3 foil)
Target Sell Price: $4 ($10 foil)
Timeline: Long Term (12+ months)

13. Pyramid of the Pantheon

Pyramid of the Pantheon

Now: $0.25 ($2 foils)
Target Buy Price: $0.25 ($2 foils)
Target Sell Price: $3 (+1200%)/$8 foils (+300%)
Timeline: Long Term (24+ months)

No one seems very excited about this card, but in Atraxa EDH decks, this “Builded Lotus” can get rolling pretty quick and ramp you into more shenanigans. It’s unlikely to escape the range of mediocre to medium good in that format, and is likely unplayable everywhere else, but at $2 for foil rares, I’m willing to throw $20 at this and see where it lands in a few years.

 

So there you have it. Anything I missed that you’re on top of? Logic to kill one of the specs? Share your thoughts for the benefit of all in the comments.

James Chillcott is the CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

Please follow and like us:

Digging for Dollars: Aether Revolt

By: James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

Aether Revolt swoops in this week to find the mainstream Magic: The Gathering in a bit of a weird place. In the aftermath of a return to the 24 month Standard rotation cycle, a trio of aggressive Standard bans and the specter of a ban cycle with twice as many announcement dates, investing in uber powerful Standard cards just got significantly riskier.

So how does one go about trying to make some money on Aether Revolt cards?

Well, as per usual now is the time to sell the set if you’re already holding. If you intend to crack cases and sell singles, you should already have them in hand, as within two weeks or less you’ll be dealing with a saturated market and prices that have fallen to lows as much as 40-50% below starting prices. At present there are over twelve rares and mythics from Aether Revolt priced above $5, most of which will fall back to earth in the coming weeks.

Secondly, as a small winter set packed with unique cards that are practically dripping with combo potential, Aether Revolt is likely to end up with a bunch of cards that don’t quite have the necessary pieces to make it in Standard, only to show up in other formats down the road as folks figure out the most efficient combo shells.

Finally, with the Masterpiece Inventions present in Aether Revolt, the Expected Value of the rest of the set is similarly impacted in the same way as it was with Kaladesh and the recent Zendikar block. On the flip side the set is more densely packed with complex and interesting cards than the average set, which bodes well for the potential value of sealed product once it leaves print.

Note: there has been some confusion in the past over the intent of this article series, let’s get clear. Digging for Dollars is about looking for opportunities that aren’t played out yet, not identifying the most powerful cards in the set, or the obvious cards most likely to see the biggest gains. Many of these picks need planets to align to earn you money, so make sure you’ve exhausted your best options before you go digging folks. Where a card has not yet found it’s bottom, or has been hyped above it’s value, I will try to identify the proper entry point.

For Aether Revolt we’re going to break up our specs into three categories: Standard Breakout Targets, Potential Eternal Staples and Long Term Casual Targets. The first group generally needs to find a home within the year in multiple standard decks to do well for you. The latter two groups are mid to long term holds that you should be aiming to acquire at their forthcoming peak supply lows for solid potential future gains.

STANDARD BREAKOUT TARGETS

1. The Expertise Cycle

Yahenni's ExpertiseSram's ExpertiseBaral's ExpertiseKari Zev's ExpertiseRishkar's Expertise

Now (In order): $5/$4/$2/$2/$1
Target Buy Price: $1
Timeline: Short to Long Term (0-12+ months)

I know one or more of these cards is going to make waves, I just don’t know the what, where, when, why or how. The potential for abuse is clearly high when we’re casting spells for free, but the marginally playable base effects and the sorcery speed could end up making some of these too clunky in context. Let’s take stock of our options:

Yahenni’s Expertise: This card is an inferior damnation at the same cost that lets you drop a 3-mana planeswalker, a kill spell or a threat onto a theoretically empty board…in the right metagame. The ability to take out a few threats and get one into play will almost certainly show up in Standard, and could hit Modern in the right shell. It’s notable that because this is a sorcery (as is every card in the cycle), it doesn’t work well in decks that run a lot of counters. The card is expensive for a rare at present, so I’m steering clear for now.

Sram’s Expertise: This is the only card I’ve tested out so far, and I think it has a likely home as a 1-2 card value accelerator in B/W tokens for Modern. The ability to play this into a Liliana of the Veil, Intangible Virtue, Lingering Souls, Bitterblossom or Smuggler’s Copter is a solid turn indeed. The ability to Snapcaster this back in the late game might also have potential, though I can’t quite picture that shell yet. I like it, but I want it cheaper.

Baral’s Expertise:  At five mana, this is likely too slow for Modern, where many of the creatures you might want to bounce might be deactivated creature lands, protected by counters or hexproof boons, or already licking their chops from killing you the turn before. In Standard however, I can easily picture a control strategy that wants to bounce your early plays on five, casting Gideon, Ally for Zendikar for free and making a token. Value!

Kari Zev’s Expertise: A great threaten effect typically wants to find a home in a red aggro deck so fast that removing the first solid blocker and swinging with it puts the game away. If you aim to go deeper, you might then have a sac outlet on hand to remove the card from play permanently, and all the better if that outlet happened to be the card you played for free. Maybe there’s a deck that wants this in Standard in the next eighteen months, and maybe not. Maybe the Modern meta gets so aggro heavy that this becomes relevant in something like Naya Zoo, but it’s pretty tough to find free slots in those hyper efficient decks whose curve generally stops on two mana. I’m not very excited about this one so far.

Rishkar’s Expertise: Ok, so draw a bunch of cards off my biggest threat and then cast one of them for free? Sounds like EDH heaven to me. This card is going to get down below $.50, at which point I’ll buy twenty copies as a long term penny stock for Commander. The foils should be acquirable around $2-3, and that price range will trigger my acquisition motion. The fact that this only costs five means it will end up getting played in something sweet in Standard, and has an outside chance of being interesting in Modern, but that’s just gravy here.

Ultimately, as with many of the cards in this article, it will be time and new cards that are most likely to eventually unlock the true power of these open ended powerhouses. So far, all I know is that I want to be holding cheaply acquired play sets in multiples when the value train rolls through town.

2. Mechanized Production

Mechanized Production

Now: $4 ($10 foil)
Target Buy Price: $2 ($4 foil)
Target Sell Price: $8 (+300%)/$16 foil (+300%)
Timeline: Short to Long (0-24+ months)

There are inevitably going to be faster ways to kill people, but the allure of alternate win conditions is usually enough to get people brewing, and with all of the artifacts lying around in this set, I can picture a world where this ends up being a 4-of in a Blue/White servos deck that casts Baral’s Expertise into Sram’s Expertise into Servo Exhibition or something and wins with this card on Turn seven or eight while hiding behind Metallic Rebuke. A Metalwork Colossus deck might find room for this as well. The fact that this card starts cloning a potentially dangerous card on your side long before it actually wins the game helps justify the experiment. On the other hand, most of these “alt win” cards fail to get anywhere financially, so I’m not really interested unless the card gets down to $1, or shows up on camera in something sweet that can actually win games consistently.

 

POTENTIAL ETERNAL PLAYABLES

3. Greenwheel Liberator

Greenwheel Liberator

This card has a non-zero shot at seeing play in Modern and will definitely see play in Frontier. If you cast this off a cracked Fetch on your second turn, this is a 4/3, which is a solid rate. If your first turn involved the casting of Hardened Scales, this thing is a 5/4. The card could easily end up as a 4-of in Standard as well, though Revolt is somewhat harder to turn on in the format at present than it is elsewhere. At some point a Hardened Scales deck may hit a tipping point in Modern and finally be worth playing in lieu of Affinity, Naya Zoo, Burn, Infect or Death’s Shadow.  That time may even be near, but even if it isn’t, being an elf never hurts a card’s long term prospects. If you think you are going to play it this year, $4 play sets are a perfectly reasonable expense that might yield longer term benefits. At $3, foils are also pretty safe, and may get as low as $2 if the card doesn’t make a splash. I’m not prioritizing this card, but I’ll definitely own a set.

Now: $0.75 ($3 foil)
Target Buy Price: $.50 ($2 foil)
Target Sell/Trade Price: $4 (700%+)/$8 foil (+300%)
Timeline: Short to Long-Term (6-36 months+)

4. Whir of Invention

Whir of Invention

Now: $1.50 ($10 foil)
Target Buy Price: $1 ($5 foil)
Target Sell Price: $5+ (400%)/Foil: $20+ (+300%)
Timeline: Long Term (12 months+)

Between Improvise and the Expertise cycle, the predominant theme of future money cards from Aether Revolt is going to be the same thing that has resulted in countless busted cards from Magic’s past: reduced casting costs.

As a flexible artifact tutor that can achieve reduced cost via tapped artifacts, Whir of Invention is basically the blue Chord of Calling, a card that has already proven itself to be Modern playable many times over. I don’t need too much convincing that completing artifact based combos or searching up relevant threats is a powerful and flexible package that is going to end up at the center of a new archetype somewhere along the way.  With foils currently holding a 7-8x multiplier, clearly I’m not the only one with designs on making this work. Keep an eye out for delayed success to trigger lower prices and you have a solid prospect worth stashing away.

5. Sram, Senior Edificer

Sram, Senior Edificer

Now: $1.50 ($6 foil)
Target Buy Price: $0.50-1 ($3-4 foil)
Target Sell Price: $5+ (900%)/Foil: $20+ (+400%)
Timeline: Long Term (24 months+)

What’s important here is that this guy sets up value and combos with three different card types, and two of them (Auras/Equipment) already had significant role players (eg: Puresteel Paladin, Argothian Enchantress, Eidolon of Blossoms) waiting for some additional redundancy to show up. Being a Legend might dissuade some decks from playing a full play set, but then again, the effect might be more important than having a copy trapped in hand if this ends up driving a new Modern deck. I’m happy to start with foils near my target, on the basis of inevitable EDH/casual play, and move in on non-foils at peak supply to accumulate 20-30 copies for whatever unfolds beyond the obvious.

6. Walking Ballista

Walking Ballista

Now: $4 ($12 foil)
Target Buy Price: $1 ($4-5 foil)
Target Sell Price: $5+ (900%)/Foil: $20+ (+400%)
Timeline: Long Term (24 months+)

Walking Ballista is the latest in a long line of artifact creatures that will be underestimated by many at first glance, despite already showing up in a pile of proposed deck lists and enjoying a hype spike. The important thing for the long term here is that this clunky looking construct wins the game on the spot whenever you have access to either a lot of mana or a lot of +1/+1 counters. There are all sorts of potential combos floating around that can use this as a finishing move. Myr Retreivers + Krark-Clan Ironworks + Arcbound Ravager kind of stuff, but perhaps a more elegant solution that requires fewer puzzle pieces will reveal itself.

Over in Frontier, brewmaster Anthony Cameron has been working on this deck he’s calling The Terminators. Check out this more feasible nut draw on Turn 2:

In Standard, the card fits into the GW Tokens deck with Nissa and Rishkar, Peema Renegade, or possibly into GB brews that work with Winding Constrictor. It will also end up seeing play in the myriad counter based EDH decks.

The price is too high at present to be chasing after this one, but keep an eye out for falling prices at peak supply or if the card fails to perform in Standard and stock away a few for future brewing efforts.

7. Inspiring Statuary

Inspiring Statuary

Now: $1.50 (Foils: $5)
Target Buy Price: $.50-$1 (Foils $2-3)
Target Sell Price: $5+ (+900%)/Foils: $10 (+250%)
Timeline: Very Long Term (36 months+)

Again with the cost reductions, but that’s not the whole story. What I really love about this card is that it offers brewers the ability to think wayyyy outside the box, reaching for a world where they can get a bunch of artifacts into play more easily than other ramp options, with an end game that involves casting either a) a non-artifact spell that wouldn’t normally be easy to ramp into and benefits from board state full of tapped artifacts or b) a cost reduction ability like the one on Etherium Sculptor that lets you chain a bunch of spells in a flurry for purposes yet unknown. Cards like this are hot garbage right up until the exact moment their true calling is uncovered, and are likely to get real low and let you stock up at your leisure, but keep an eye out for articles or camera time that could change the game plan in a hurry.

Of course, Inspiring Statuary will just slot right into a new Standard deck, as proposed by Kenji Tsumura:

8. Indomitable Creativity

Indomitable Creativity

This card could easily end up getting busted down the road. Sure, it costs three solid red mana just to get going, and is therefore an effectively awkward 4-5 mana spell, but that spell is a multi-tutor for a flurry of busted cards that pop out of your deck to wreak havoc.  In comparison to past cards with similar effects, such as Shape Anew or Nahiri, the Harbinger, Indomitable Creativity has the benefit of being able to tutor for either redundant game ending threats or combo pieces that effectively do the same thing. The fact that you can also use this to remove potent threats on your opponent’s board while going off is a nice bonus.

The key to making this all work out is that you want the only artifacts or creatures in your deck to be things that win the game. Sure, you also need a way to generate artifacts or creatures that doesn’t include casting those card types, but that’s not too tough in formats beyond Standard. One approach is to use spells to get token creatures or artifacts into play to set things up.

Take a look at this rough brew I threw together:

ADVERTISEMENT:


Here we use point removal ot hold down the fort, and look to translate Bitterblossom and Lingering Souls tokens into Emrakul, Platinum Emperion and/or Blightsteel Colossus on five or six mana. That has my attention.

Now: $1.50 ($6 foil)
Target Buy Price: $1 ($3 foil)
Target Sell Price: $6 ($10+ foil)
Timeline: Very Long-Term (36+ months)

9. Hope of Ghirapur

Hope of Ghirapur

Now:  $5 (foil)
Target Buy Price: $2 (foil)
Target Sell Price: $10 (+400%)
Timeline: Long Term (24+ months)

For this to ever be a thing, a few things need to line up. You need a meta where you can consistently get a 1/1 flyer in for damage and where stealing your opponents ability to cast non-creature spells is powerful. You’re really doing it if you figure out how to recurse this thing and give it Haste, perhaps via Thopter Engineer. Trinket Mage and Ranger of Eos can go find this card, and Leonin Squire can bring it back. Master Trinketeer makes it bigger, and Silence and Isochron Scepter could form the nucleus of a soft lock. I only listed the foil prices above because the formats I can see this being most useful are Legacy and Vintage, where Xantid Swarm has been useful out of the sideboard. This one is a definite long shot, but it sets off my spidey senses and I’ll likely pick a few up once they get cheap for a casual Thopters deck if nothing else.

Long Term Casual Targets

10. Metallic Mimic

Metallic Mimic

Now: $4 ($10 foil)
Target Buy Price: $1 ($3 foil)
Target Sell Price: $6 (+500%)/$10 foil (+333%)
Timeline: Long Term (24+ months)

Prices on this card are high for a rare so far, likely because the open ended synergy it represents in nearly every format is obvious, but I have a feeling that the one format it won’t make a splash up front is Standard, and that should mean that peak supply and summer sales will get us to our price targets to stock up for the long game.

Do not underestimate the power of a universal utility “lord” that can slot into almost any tribal deck and carries the additional benefit of conveying blessings via the distribution of +1/+1 counters instead of a standard buff. The counters certainly matter if your tribe can double up the bonus under a Hardened Scales or similar effect and a colorless lord adds flexibility to multi-color tribes.

In my Legacy Slivers deck for instance, Mimic gives me a full sixteen lords on two, which could be enough to push my clock up a turn. Here’s my updated list:

I live for colorless cards that can slot into dozens of decks in multiple formats, and gain additional synergies over time. I’ll be going pretty deep on this spec when the price floor is reached.

11. Rishkar, Peema Renegade

Rishkar, Peema Renegade

Rishkar is going to see play in Standard and everyone knows it, so you’re likely going to need to wait for the renegade elf to fall out of the meta before you get a shot at better pricing for the long term. As with Sram, being a legend hurts a bit, but the supreme utility of both buffing creatures and turning them into Llanowar Elves is going to be popular in casual circles for years to come. Interactions with Atraxa, the other “cares about counters” commanders, and Hardened Scales/Doubling Season only bolster the appeal.

Now: $4 ($7 foil)
Target Buy Price: $2 ($4 foil)
Target Sell Price: $8 ($20 foil)
Timeline: Long Term (12+ months)

12. Paradox Engine

Paradox EngineParadox Engine

Geeeeeeez. This card looks like it fell off the back of the Urza’s Saga block delivery truck and got delivered to Kaladesh by mistake twenty years late. Make no mistake, this card is busted. There are so many ways to abuse the “cast something, untap everything” ability strewn across the history of Magic that it’s going to take years to uncover them all. Our best case here is that no one figures out how to bust it in Standard or Modern for a while, which should should set up a solid entry point by later spring/early summer.

At minimum, foils will be at a premium in Commander/EDH given enough time for supply to drain out of the market, so it might be tougher to find a deal on those and the Masterpiece printing should end up the gold standard on the card in EDH regardless. This thing isn’t Sol Ring or Rings of Brighthearth good because it really wants permanents with mana or tap abilities in quantity to hit full potential and as such, can’t just slot into any old deck. That being said I will be keeping a special eye on the price of the Masterpiece Invention version of the card in Europe, hoping for some sweet arbitrage opportunities.

Now: $5 ($20 foil/$55 Masterpiece)
Target Buy Price: $3 ($10 foil/$25 Masterpiece)
Target Sell Price: $10 ($30 foil/$50 Masterpiece)
Timeline: Long Term (12+ months)

13. Oath of Ajani

Oath of Ajani

Now: $2 ($5 foils)
Target Buy Price: $0.50 ($2 foils)
Target Sell Price: $5+ (+900%)
Timeline: Long Term (24+ months)

There is a world where GW will end up playing this in Standard, but so far it’s not looking to promising. As a result, I think you’re going to see this card sink down to bulk status in a hurry, at which point I’ll be looking to go fairly deep for the long haul. Counter based team buffs and cheaper PWs will both have a shot in EDH, and casual demand will buoy the card a few years out if nothing else on the back of the unique set of effects. There’s no rush to get push your chips in, but it’s a nice pet card to stash a pile of.

Cards You Should Be Selling

1. Heart of Kiran ($15+)

Heart of Kiran

Card is good, will see play in Standard, but mostly as 2-3 of, and likely only in GW alongside Nissa and Gideon. It gains more options as more sets appear, but I think this falls under $10 before a better long term entry point appears in summer.

2. Saheeli Rai ($20)

Saheeli Rai

Sure, Saheelis from Kaladesh, but her hottest combo is from Aether Revolt and the possibility of a ban in five weeks make this a definite sell. Either the deck does too well, and gets the ban hammer, or it doesn’t do very well, and demand for Saheeli flags. The middle ground where the deck is good, folks keep buying in on it but it doesn’t cause trouble is too narrow for my liking. If you were in below $10, selling into this hype train will leave you with solid profits regardless of what happens next.

So there you have it. Anything I missed that you’re on top of? Logic to kill one of the specs? Have at it. Let’s figure it out!

James Chillcott is the CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

Please follow and like us:

Digging for Dollars: Shadows Over Innistrad

By: James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

Shadows Over Innistrad picks up where we left off five years ago, revisiting a plane that delivers on both flavor and play-ability.  After the ripples of dissatisfaction that seem to have marred our collective experience with returning to Zendikar, the flavor home run on Innistrad is a welcome boost to fan satisfaction. In terms of card power however, SOI seems to be a set rich with unique, subtly powerful cards that are likely to make their mark at some point down the road.

So what does this mean for those of us looking to make some money on Shadows?

First off, on average, now is the time to sell the set if you’re selling. If you intend to crack cases and sell singles, you should already have them in hand, as within two weeks or less you’ll be facing a saturated market and prices that have fallen to local lows as much as 40-50% below starting prices. At present there are over ten rares and mythics and SOI priced above $10, a completely unsustainable cohort of power cards that will be cut by half within the next few weeks.

Secondly, as a large set packed with cards that are tough to evaluate, but with a lot of potential both mid and long term, the prospects for SOI cards are likely to be a mix of short-term Standard spikes and long term breakouts unlocked by rogue deck building and the printing of companion pieces.

Finally, with the Expedition-style Innistrad Echoes  rumors now debunked, card values from this set will be less repressed than they were in Battle for Zendikar.

Now as there has been some confusion in the past over the intent of this article series, let’s get clear. Digging for Dollars is about looking for opportunities that aren’t played out yet, not identifying the most powerful cards in the set, or the obvious cards most likely to see the biggest gains. Many of these picks need planets to align to earn you money, so make sure you’ve exhausted your best options before you go digging folks. Where a card has not yet found it’s bottom, or has been hyped above it’s value, I will try to identify the proper entry point.

This time around we’re going to break up our specs into three categories: Standard Breakout Targets, Future Modern Staples and Long Term Casual Targets. The first group generally needs to find a home within the year in multiple standard decks to do well for you. The latter two groups are mid to long term holds that you should be aiming to acquire at their lows for solid future gains.

STANDARD BREAKOUT TARGETS

1. Nahiri, the Harbinger

Nahiri, the Harbinger

Now: $10
Target: $20+
Timeline: Short to Long Term (0-12+ months)

Nahiri tops my list largely on the basis that she is a solid card in Standard that may have a shot at turning into a significant card in Modern. Yes, Modern. This afternoon I watched a Jeff Hoogland Modern stream to find him running two copies of Nahiri in his KikiChord deck, only to run up against a WR Humans deck that started aggro, established early board presence, dropped Nahiri and proceeded to find Emrakul for the win. It’s especially nice that you can discard your single copy of Emrakul to Nahiri for extra value and have it shuffled right back into your deck for future shenanigans. Without top 8 camera time, she may not ever get there, but any $10 mythic that may show up in multiple Modern decks deserves a second look. Her floor is between $6-8 during her Standard tenure, so there’s not much risk in picking up a play set to use, with solid potential upside.  In Standard, Nahiri has mostly been showing up in WR Eldrazi and Naya Superfriends builds. Last weekend, Jacob Bard placed 12th in the SCG open running four copies in the main.

I’m in for three play sets for now, and my confidence is at 60% that this will pay off before she rotates out of Standard. Foils are already around $30, which is pricing for success in Modern, but if I see some closer to $20 my wallet may open.

2. Olivia, Mobilized for War

Olivia, Mobilized for War

Now: $10 (try to acquire around $20 at peak supply)
Target Buy Price: $7
Target Sell Price: $14 (+100%)
Timeline: Short to Mid (0-12 months)

The vampire queen enjoyed significant hype pressure shortly after she was announced, as we all assumed that SOI would cough up a serious BR Vampires aggro deck. Instead testing showed that there wasn’t quite enough power in the tribe, nor enough relevant madness cards, and Humans turned up in force as the best aggro deck. The thing is, we still have another set to go in this block, and we may well get the one or two aggro oriented vampires in Eldritch Moon that are necessary to put Olivia back on the table. If the new vampires are sexy enough, you may be able to unload into a preview spike regardless of whether the deck breaks out. If none of that happens, look to nab Olivia around $5 during summer lulls, as she has a solid chance of topping $10 a few years down the road on casual demand alone. Pick confidence at 6/10 on this one.

3. Fevered Visions

Fevered Visions

The key with Fevered Visions is that you get to draw first, which is a big step up vs. many of the previous Howling Mine variants. Last weekend Todd Anderson was on camera at the SCG Invitational, abusing the heck out of this card in his innovative UR Control build in Standard. In that Pyromancer’s Goggles driven deck, four copies of Visions come out of the sideboard to put slow moving opponents in a very uncomfortable position. The ability to redirect the damage triggers to take down planeswalkers is a sexy bonus. There is every reason to believe that the meta could adapt within a reasonable time-frame and possibly push this deck out of the format, but I’m happy to pick up copies of this card under $1 now, with the knowledge that they could easily hit $3-4 in a few years on creeping casual demand or a break out Modern appearance. If you wait it out, you may be able get these on sale somewhere this summer around $.50. The skeptic in me is keenly aware that Dictate of Kruphix is still widely available at $1, so my confidence in the pick is a mere 5/10.

Now: $0.75
Target Buy Price: $0.50
Target Sell Price: $3+ (+300%)
Timeline: Short to Long (0-12 months)

POTENTIAL MODERN PLAYABLES

4. Traverse the Ulvenwald

Traverse the Ulvenwald

In a world where you can’t reliably achieve Delirum, this is a pretty lame land retrieval spell. In Modern or Legacy however, where stocking the graveyard fast and early is relatively easy, the prospects for a card that can tutor for any land or creature for just one mana are worth paying attention to. Lengthy Commander games are even more likely to find you with the necessary four card types in your graveyard to turn on the powered mode here.

It could take some time, but I expect this card will find a home in Modern sooner or later. Foils are currently around $10, but if this ends up played in a Tier 2+ deck in Modern at some point you may be able to unload over $20, after getting in around lows of $6-8. My pick confidence rating is 6/10 here.

Now: $4
Target Buy Price: $2-3
Target Sell Price: $10 (150%+)
Timeline: Long-Term (12-36 months+)

5. The Gitrog Monster

The Gitrog Monster

Now: $7
Target Buy Price: $5-6
Target Sell Price: $15+ (115%)
Timeline: Long Term (12 months+)

Potential Commander in EDH? Check. Unique set of powerful abilities that ooze synergy? Check. Big dangerous body? Check. Mythic and memorable? Check, check.

All of that is enough is to convince me that this card will eventually top $15. My guess is that it takes a few years, unless of course, someone figures out how to bust it in Modern, and it ends up as a 3-4 of. As a 1-2 of in a single deck, regular copies would still likely need some time to top $15. Foils are currently priced for success at $20, but I’d be more interested at $15, and will look for deals over the next couple of weeks. Pick confidence of 8/10.

6. Drownyard Temple

Drownyard Temple

Now: $2
Target Buy Price: $1.50-2
Target Sell Price: $10+
Timeline: Very Long Term (36 months+)

This card has gone under the radar for most players, but as Todd Anderson has demonstrated in gleaning value from the card in UR Goggle Control, being able to pay discard costs with Temple can be pretty sweet. This is not an uber-powerful staple by any means, and the growth is likely to be slow and steady for 3-5 years, but I think you’ll get a chance to get these under $2, and get out down the road as high as $10 when the implied synergy becomes valuable in a previously unseen Modern deck that wants either discard cost reduction, extra landfall triggers, or both. Lands with snyergistic upside are some of the best long term targets, so there is little to fear here. Pick confidence is 8/10.

Long Term Casual

7. Startled Awake

Startled AwakePersistent Nightmare

This card is no Glimpse the Unthinkable, but it does provide casual mill players with a form of inevitability and thirteen cards off the top is a lot in sixty card formats.

Now: $3 ($7 foil)
Target Buy Price: $2 ($5 foil)
Target Sell Price: $10 ($20+ foil)
Timeline: Very Long-Term (36+ months)

7. Relentless Dead

Relentless Dead

When this card was revealed during spoiler season for SOI, everyone was convinced it was going to be an automatic 4-of staple in Standard, and speculation about Modern play-ability was being bandied about. But then the zombie deck components failed to show up in the full set list, and this card has been on the backslide ever since. Long term the power level is high enough that between potential synergies with Eldritch Moon cards, Modern potential and casual demand, I’ll be happy to stash some copies away once the price drops low enough. This is the kind of card that gets played as a 4-of when it is played at all, and that’s a great place to be with a mythic that can show price growth from any of one of multiple angles.

Now: $11
Target Buy Price: $5
Target Sell Price: $10+
Timeline: Mid-to-Long Term (6-12+ months)

8. Seasons Past

Seasons Past

Note: This article was written the Thursday before the Pro Tour. Apologies that this card spiked before you got to see this guys. 🙁

This is a green mythic that can draw an entire grip full of cards on Turn 4 or 5 in kitchen table magic pretty reliably, and has all the hallmarks of a card that will be forgotten only to get bought out in five years and spike over $10. It’s by no means a high priority, but $2 mythics are largely risk free, and I’d be stoked to stash several playsets away if they up cheaper during an online sale or at summer lulls. It’s also not impossible that someone will find a use for this in Standard on camera before it rotates, which could push it over $5 in a hurry.

Now: $2
Target Buy Price: $2
Target Sell Price: $5+
Timeline: Short-to-Long Term

Cards You Should Be Selling

1. Archangel Avacyn ($40+)

Archangel AvacynAvacyn, the Purifier

There is no doubt at all that Avacyn could stay a $40+ card for parts of her career if the meta breaks right and for long enough to drive demand beyond her peak supply period later this month. My fear is that the format is going to relegate Avacyn to one major archetype, and that, like Dragonlord Ojutai before her, she will fall under $15 before peaking once again during a future meta shift. If you are playing the card, it’s a hold, but any extra copies are a solid trade out right now and will cover nearly 1/2 of a box to find more cards you need.

2. Arlinn Kord ($25)

Arlinn KordArlinn, Embraced by the Moon

Yeah, I know you love werewolves, and flip planeswalker werewolves are awesome, but this card is going to end up under $15 within the month. There a couple of potential shells for Arlinn in Standard, and she could be anywhere from 2-4 copies in R/G Aggro build, a R/G Eldrazi build or some kind of “super friends” deck. None of that is going to change the fact that she is much more likely to fall below $20 heading into peak supply than she is to peak over $30. The one caveat is if she wins a major standard tournament, or starts putting up consistently dominant results on MTGO leading into a buy out, but I find that unlikely. Once she’s closer to $10 she’ll be more tempting, but keep in mind that most planeswalkers peak early, fail to earn their keep and fall back to reality in a hurry without ever enjoying major demand in Standard. Get out now and you’re unlikely to be upset about it later. Jace, Unraveler of Secrets above $15 is a certain exit point as well as I see the card ending up $8-10 within a month or two.

3. Relentless Dead ($11)

Relentless Dead

As stated above, get out now, and look for any entry closer to $5 when folks realize they have no good place to play this away from the kitchen table and before potential partner cards show up in Eldritch Moon spoilers.

4. Westvale Abbey ($12)

Westvale AbbeyOrmendahl, Profane Prince

Don’t get me wrong, Westvale Abbey is a very real card, a likely Modern Tier 2 staple and a future acquisition target around $4-6, but as a rare in a large set it is highly unlikely to hold above $10. Sell now, get in later.

Oath of the Gatewatch Update

In Digging for Dollars: Battle for Zendikar, I called out the following specs as undervalued cards with some chance of financial success (shown with original and current pricing):

1.  Goblin Dark Dwellers (Promo): $6 to $3 (-50%)
2. Thought-Knot Seer (Foil): $25 to $40 (at peak, +60%)
3a. Slip Through Space (Foil): $1.50 to $3.00 (+100%)
3b. Expedite (Foil): $1.50 to $1.50 (+0%)
4. Stone Haven Outfitter: $.75 to .50 (-33%)
5. Eldrazi Mimic (Foil): $3 to $20 (at peak, +670%), now $8
6. Sea Gate Wreckage (Foil): $7 to $7 (+0%)
7. Nissa, Voice of Zendikar: $16 to $13 (-19%)
8. High Demand Oath Expeditions: Various
9. Wastes (Foil, Kozilek Art): $10 to $15 (+50%)

The Oath portfolio did relatively well in a short period of time, largely on the back of my being out in front on the Eldrazi Winter thing. Early testing showed Eldrazi to look utterly busted, and I correctly called Though-Knot Seer and Eldrazi Mimic foils in time to set you up for solid gains if you got in before everyone realized it was all going to get banned. Mimic still has some long term potential as it gets turned on by colorless rather than Eldrazi creatures, and Thought-Knot Seer foils are actually looking tasty again around $15 given that folks are already showing the deck can be competitive without Eye of Ugin, and given that Eldrazi is very real in Legacy and highly unlikely to be attacked with a banning there. Eye of Ugin expeditions can be found right now as low as $70 and that is a very tempting entry point.

Expedite foils haven’t gone everywhere, but Slip Through Space foils have already doubled up, and I expect both to be $5 down the road when they Top 8 something nasty that involves a lot of cantrips.

Goblin Dark Dwellers promos are the better art of the two options, and are now as low as $3. This card is going to be a 1-2 of Modern staple for a long time in at least Jund and Grixis decks, and I like the card a lot at current pricing. Stone Haven Outfitter is down to a very tempting $.50 and the entry point is excellent. Sooner or later equipment combo becomes a thing, and this card hits $5. Could be a year, could be give but I already have 100+ copies, and I’ll look for more on sale this summer. Sea Gate Wreckage foils haven’t moved much, but that’s because they were targeted for long term growth. Check back in on those two years from now. Kozilek Wastes full-art foils have already gained 50% and will easily beat $20 within the next year or two. A good call there.

And here were the cards I advised be sold:

1. Lesser Expedition Lands: Various, But By & Large Down by 10-40%
2. Kozilek, the Great Distortion: $20 to $6 (-70%)
3. Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet: $8 to $20 (+150%)

Lesser Expedition lands and Kozilek were good sell calls, having shed significant value from their peaks. Kozilek can be had now around $7-8, and I like that entry point for slow future gains with potential in Standard and Modern. Kalitas ended up doing much better in Standard than he was set to when I made the call to sell him, but the larger miss was seeing his potential in Jund for Modern. Mea culpa.

Battle for Zendikar Upate

In Digging for Dollars: Magic Origins, I called out the following specs as undervalued cards with some chance of financial success (shown with original and current pricing):

  1. Drana, Liberator of Malakir: $15 to $8 (-47%)
  2. Oblivion Sower: $5.50 to $8.75 (+60% at peak)
  3. Retreat to Corelhelm (Foil): $12 to $4 (-67%)
  4. Woodland Wanderer: $4 to $1 (-75%)
  5. Emeria Sheppard (Foil): $8 to $5 (-38%)
  6. Painful Truths: $1.50 to $3 (+100% at peak)
  7. Bring to Light (Foil): $16 to $6 (-63%)

So far, this list isn’t doing very well. Let’s see what’s going on.

In many ways Battle For Zendikar has played out as we predicted. The presence of some very expensive lottery tick – er, I mean Expeditions has held down the price of most of the cards in the set, and if it weren’t for fetch/battle lands driving insane mana bases, Standard would have been pretty affordable this season. Those Expeditions found their lows during peak supply in late November, and have since rebounded, just as I expect the Oath ones to. Moving forward it will be worth keeping an eye on Expedition pricing, as boxes of BFZ around $90 may get pretty tempting next fall if the prices climb high enough on the sexy lands.

Drana, Liberator of Malakir is a decent card that simply hasn’t found a home. I’ve been running two copies in my WB Aggro/Control build in Standard for months, but most players find her to have too little board impact in a format that is contending with fast aggro decks and angelic bombs. If she hits $5 I’ll take another look, hoping for new synergies in Eldritch Moon with long term casual as the backup plan.

Oblivion Sower peaked around $9, but has since fallen back to $3, which is a very solid entry point for a Modern playable mythic.

On the long term side, the Retreat to Corelhelm deck hasn’t posted a big result in Modern yet, but that’s a good thing here because you can now get in on the prospect of this busted card eventually doing big things for just $4 per foil. I love that price. A Bant Company deck did well on camera at the SCG Invitational last weekend running the combo with Knight of the Reliquary, and sooner or later it will stick.

Emeria Sheppard foils are back up to $5 now, and I endorse stashing some of those away for future EDH/Casual angel gains. Painful Truths is flat vs. my buy price, but you had a solid chance to trade out for a double up when it was peaking in early winter. Bring to Light has collapsed, but both cards have foils carrying a whopping 10x foil multiplier, a sure sign that people expect them to do big things moving forward. Both cards are seeing experimental play in Modern, and some enterprising pros are already swearing by Truths in Legacy, so grabbing a bunch of these at current pricing for long term gains seems reasonable.

Magic Origins Update

In Digging for Dollars: Magic Origins, I called out the following specs as undervalued cards with some chance of financial success (shown with original and current pricing):

  1. Nissa, Vastwood Seer: $26 to $18 (-28%)
  2. Erebos’s Titan: $8.40 to $1  (-87%)
  3. Abbot of Keral Keep (Foil):  $13 to $20 (50%+)
  4. Evolutionary Leap (Foil):  $15 to $6 (-60%)
  5. Harbinger of the Tides (Foil):  $18 to $6 (-67%)
  6. Demonic Pact:  $3.75 to $3 (-20%)
  7. Animist’s Awakening: $10 to $4 (-60%)

So far, the only solid win from the list was Abbot of Keral Keep foils, if you rode the earlier spike above $20. I correctly identified that the card was Modern-playable and likely to rise on demonstrative play. As it turns out, the card is seeing play in both Grixis and Temur decks in Modern, including the innovative Temur Prowess deck played to a solid finish last year by Patrick Chapin. Since the fall spike noted in our last check-in, these foils have fallen back to $10 or so as the price of Jace has continued to rise. I’d recommend moving in on the card at this price if you haven’t already, as I still predict a future price over $20 on further Modern play.

As for the rest, Erebos’s Titan and Pact never got anywhere, but Abbot, Leap and Harbinger all represent excellent long term value. Of the three, Harbinger and Abbot are the most proven, so focus on those.

So there you have it. Anything I missed that you’re on top of? Logic to kill one of the specs? Have at it. Let’s figure it out!

James Chillcott is the CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

Please follow and like us: