Category Archives: Jared Yost

Standard Deck Value Check

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There seems to be an uproar this Battle for Zendikar standard season with the price of Standard decks. Never before since the original Zendikar block have Standard decks reached heights bordering on $1,000 – at least during the first few weeks of the set’s release. However, the price of decks has settled back down even though everyone is playing three or four colors since we have fetchlands and fetchable duals in Standard.

Looking at the price of top decks of the format, we are safely now below the $1,000 mark.

Price of Standard Decks as of 11/21/2015

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Unfortunately, many of the decks are still over $500 with two of them (Dark Jeskai and GW Megamorph) even bordering on the $700 mark which I still think is way too expensive for Standard. As others on MTGPrice have pointed out, this boils down to a combination of fetchland reprints and the last Magic Core Set being released. The reason that the Core Set is important here is because it is released right in the middle of the summer, which is a known downtime when it comes to players purchasing cards, which lead to the price of Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy reaching the lofty heights of $80 and up for a short time.

Now as we approach December, the price of Standard decks are starting to settle down again but they still feel expensive to me. Where are the current values of the decks now?

Abzan Aggro

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Since Abzan Aggro now contains a full playset of Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, we know who the main offender is here. Also, Den Protector is still around $13, which is lower than its previous high of $16 but still very expensive for a rare. Its unusual for rares to maintain a price this high for very long – I mean, even Snapcaster Mage wasn’t much more than $20 during its lifetime in Standard, and it was one of the more dominant cards of the format. I’d keep a close eye on Den Protector since Dragons of Tarkir will be Standard legal for longer than Khans and Fate, so Den Protector might break $20 if it continues to be a strong inclusion in green strategies moving forward.

Hangarback Walker is also a good chunk of the price, even with an event deck printing to help get copies out there. I feel like we’re going to encounter another Thragtusk situation here, since even that had an event deck printing and still reached highs of almost $30 during Innistrad Standard. Funny how some of these situations mirror Innistrad Standard so closely, but I guess history is doomed to repeat itself until we are fully into the new Standard rotation schedule that Wizards has planned out for all future sets.

Ultimately though, the largest chunk of the deck’s value is of course from the lands. Playing twelve fetchlands, four manlands, and a few of the new battle lands, that is close to $250 tied up just in the mana base. This isn’t a good thing, definitely not from a player’s perspective, and I’m hoping it is going to get better once the fetchlands rotate from Standard.

Dark Jeskai

Jace, Vrn’s Prodigy takes up a huge chunk of the deck where four of them will cost you almost as much as the fetchlands in the deck priced together. It is pretty funny of me to say this, but I would much rather trade four Jaces for twelve fetchlands than I would ever want to keep holding four Jaces. I think he is going to drop like a rock when he rotates from Standard, and many players are going to be (rightfully) pissed off when he starts plummeting in price back down to the $20 or lower range again. I realize that Jace has plenty of eternal appeal in Modern through Legacy, but do you really think that is going to make his price continue to command $30 or higher upon rotation? I’m not that confidant, especially when I know fetchlands have proven to be very lucrative in the past.

Speaking of fetchlands, I think the ones in this deck in particular (Bloodstained Mire, Flooded Strand, and Polluted Delta) are still pretty lowly priced considering how the Zendikar fetches ultimately ended up in the $50 and higher range once Modern became a thing, and blue ones reached heights so high that people’s heads were spinning for a while. Do I think we’re going to see $80 to $100 (or above) Polluted Deltas eventually? No. But I do think they have a great chance of hitting at least $50 during the height of Modern seasons in the future. Not this Modern season of course, but a few years down the line you’ll be very happy that you stocked up on blue lands in particular once Modern ultimately becomes the eternal format of choice.

Esper Tokens / Esper Control / Esper Dragons

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Again, we have Hangarback Walker, Gideon, and the manabase taking up the majority cost of the Esper Tokens deck too. The cards are the same, just assembled in a different order alongside of choices like Secure the Wastes and Wingmate Roc to help generate creatures as the game goes on. I expect Gideon to keep dropping until around February / March of next year, once Oath is released and players have their eyes on new cards coming out from the new set. If he still continues to be a powerhouse, he could retain a high price due to the lower power curve of Battle for Zendikar overall but even then I still think he is due for  drop as we proceed through the winter doldrums.

Besides lands, Little Jace and Ugin are the big offenders from Esper Control, along with Dragonlord Ojutai for those decks that may maindeck him or bring him in from the sideboard for certain matchups. Ugin is interesting to me – his price isn’t going down any time soon, yet I can’t help but feel he will take a hit in some way upon rotation even though he is one of most popular casual planeswalkers to come along since the release of Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker – you know, being Bolas’ counterpart and all. I like holding onto extra copies but we all know that the even deck / supplemental product printing for Ugin is going to be a matter of when, not if. I think it is best for extra copies be moved, especially since we are in the hype of R/G Ramp that is jamming a full playset within the main deck.

Finally, Esper Dragons is definitely packing the Dragonlord Ojutai’s, along with again Little Jace and the lands to accompany the deck. The pieces are again just reconfigured to make the maximum use of the “dragons matter” spells from Dragons of Tarkir, which we’ve all seen are excellent when used to their full effect. Dragonlord Ojutai is without a doubt tanking upon Dragons of Tarkir rotation but could see a huge spike when Khans and Fate Reforged rotate, since he is one the powerhouses that is remaining to help the Esper Dragons deck continue to be a force in the metagame. Keep a close eye on him and sell into any hype he might see when Khans/Fate Reforged rotate in the upcoming months.

GW Megamorph

     

We have a mix of high value cards here in the form of Den Protector, Deathmist Raptor, Nissa, Vastwood Seer, Dromoka’s Command, and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar (along with of course lands, but at this point I believe that goes without saying). Interestingly enough, none of these cards are rotating at the next rotation schedule, so I think GW Megamorph should be heavily watched to see where the core pieces of the deck are going in price since fetchlands are going to rotate soon too. I wonder especially if Dromoka’s Command is in for another spike – copies were super cheap after the event deck printing, and they have rebounded nicely over the past few months as Dragons of Tarkir is drying up and players have been focused on the expedition lottery in Battle for Zendikar.

I guess what I’m saying is that GW Megamorph is still going to be a huge force in the metagame even once rotation happens, so I expect at least one, if not several, of the cards to experience spikes (at least in the short term) after Khans and Fate rotate.

4C Rally

Finally, the last somewhat expensive deck is 4C Rally which makes use of Collected Company and Rally the Ancestors to defeat opponents by overwhelming them with creature value. Little Jace again is a huge offender in this deck and even Collected Company is still commanding an $8 price tag – certainly better than the$16+ it was once it exploded into Modern, though still one of the more expensive pieces of the deck. I definitely think it can potentially be higher priced once rotation happens. Collected Company is the card to watch from this deck, as Modern demand in addition to Standard demand could propel it past $10 again despite the event deck printing.

Wrapping Up

     

All in all, yes – Standard is expensive but at least we’re not shelling out $1,000 for decks at this point and they are only going to get cheaper once the fetchlands rotate from Standard. Keep an eye on all Dragons of Tarkir and Magic Origins staples, as the upcoming rotation will not be affecting them negatively in price and several of the current staples will probably see significant gains once the new metagame shakes out. As always, I love to hear your thoughts in the comments so let me know what you think about my analysis and what your own has been since Battle for Zendikar has been released.

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Commander 2015 – Legacy Initial Thoughts

Now that all the Commander 2015 spoilers have been revealed, I can’t help but notice that this year’s set is feeling pretty underwhelming to me. In fact, all things considered I can’t think of a previous Commander product that had less desirables from a Constructed standpoint. The Confluences are the closest thing to Legacy playable – if they weren’t all four mana or greater in casting cost.

I mean, think about it – even the red Confluence (Fiery Confluence) would be INCREDIBLE in Legacy if it cost just one mana less at three mana, even if that cost were 1RR. For its effect and limited amount of formats it sees play in I don’t think it would have been much to ask. However at four mana it might not be able to get there. Out of all the Confluences, I think it has the highest chance of seeing Legacy play but the jury is still out on the Confluences until results roll in.

Other than the Confluences, I’m not seeing anything pop out to me immediately as Legacy format staples like we have in the past releases (Containment Priest, True-Name Nemesis, Flusterstorm). These cards were all built with Legacy in mind, and everyone knew it even as the cards were being spoiled. I’m sure something from this set will make its way into Legacy or Vintage, so let’s take a look and see if we can make the case for any other cards in the set. First though, I want to finish my thoughts on Fiery Confluence.

Fiery Confluence

If any card makes the cut in Legacy, I think it is going to be this one since it is the cheapest. It is extremely versatile in the format and will shine best in Burn decks alongside of Eidolon of the Great Revel, though maybe out the sideboard more than the main deck since this card has more options for handling a wider range of decks. I’ve briefly mentioned some of my other thoughts on this card (and all the Confluences in general) above so let’s move along to my next pick on power level in Constructed from this set.

Karlov of the Ghost Council

This card feels like it is going to get out of hand very fast in the right deck. Unfortunately, Legacy ‘life gain’ isn’t really thing – yet. I wonder if it might slot into something like Deadguy Ale and totally transform the deck around the incredible ability.

Not only does the card get bigger, but you can eventually use those +1/+1 counters later in the game to get rid of any creature on the battlefield! All for two mana. Definitely feels like Legacy to me.

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The downside to Karlov is his Legendary status, so that limits the amount of copies you could see in a deck. Still though, Karlov interacts with cards that randomly gain you life like Umezawa’s Jitte and might slot into Death and Taxes in the right metagame. I really think you need a deck built around him to make full use of his ability. Only the future will tell!

Scourge of Nel Toth

This card seems like it takes too much work to get online, but you never know. Dredge might be able to take advantage of a card like this in the right situation.  It reminds me of a cross between Tombstalker and Delraich, though better in both cases. Not only is this card a 6/6 flyer, but you only need to sacrifice two creatures rather than three black creatures.

It does take some work to get online, so Legacy might not appreciate this card immediately. We may not see it in the format, but if more support in the future is printed we could very well see this in a deck at some point.

Centaur Vincrasher

Yes, I realize that this card isn’t Dark Depths however I still feel like it could fit into Life from the Loam strategies quite well in Legacy. Lands might even be able to make use of this card, maybe out of the sideboard if the opponent still expects the Dark Depths strategy to take over the game.

Actually, now that I think about it this card could also probably fit into other green Legacy decks as well – the centaur’s recursion triggers when any land is put into any graveyard, and fetchlands are so rampant in Legacy that it might be worth it for slower green decks to play. This guy quickly becomes huge while also having built-in recursion, which isn’t something we see very often.

I’m sure people will experiment with this card, and I really hope this breaks into Legacy because Loam decks should be able to capitalize on the card’s great recursion, along with other decks that seek to create grindy matchups where there is a ton of removal.

Mizzix’s Mastery

This card blows Past in Flames out of the water! Being able to straight-up cast all the instants and sorceries in your graveyard rather than give them flashback is so, so much more powerful. The best part is that you can also cast it for the regular cost if you need to recast an instant/sorcery in a pinch.

I definitely think that Storm now has a new tool to play around with, and I believe it will replace the single Past in Flames copy in the deck since it is so much easier to re-cast your whole graveyard once you overload this pseudo-Yawgmoth’s Will.

An Aside – Legacy’s Future

With SCG restructuring their tournament series, in both rebranding the series and cutting back on Legacy events, it is starting to feel like more and more like Legacy is slowly going away.

Not only are the events being cut back, but we also constantly have to worry about counterfeits entering the community. I feel like we’re going to see more announcements like the one that happened this weekend at GP: Seattle as the counterfeits continue to enter the market and community at large. How many people do you think were playing with counterfeits and didn’t get caught? How many people do you think weren’t even intentionally playing with counterfeits and went unnoticed, and are even unaware of it themselves until someone with a discerning eye gives them the unfortunate news? It’s definitely a wake-up that yes, your older, reserved list cards are being created as knock-offs for fractions of the price. With such easy access to these proxies and the improvement of the creation process, I feel like more and more players are going to start to become attracted to playing with proxies as the price of the reserved list staples increases.

I think this is why Star City Games is cutting back on Legacy, as players will have less incentive to purchase these proxies if they don’t need them for a tournament setting. It sucks to think about but I think it makes the most sense. Even if it decreases the market prices of cards like dual lands, the rise of Modern as the eternal format of choice (which guarantees reprints) and the continuation and improvement of Chinese (and other) proxies means that less Legacy support makes sense in order to prevent the mass purchases of these cards for tournament play.

It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out in the future, but problems always have creative solutions. I’m sure if Legacy is demanded by enough players then exceptions will be made, one way or another, to keep the format alive. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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Battle for Zendikar Standard Possibilities

Let’s take a look at some decks this weekend from Grand Prix Indianapolis that are somewhat different than what we’ve seen before. I like taking a look at decks that are up-and-comers, and taking a look at the decks that made the Top 8 of a Grand Prix are definitely worth considering to see if they are the newest decks on the block that will continue to see success in Standard.

Links to the decklists:

http://magic.wizards.com/en/events/coverage/gpind15/top-8-decklists-2015-11-01

Bant Hardened Scales

So it looks like there is now a legitimate reason that this former bulk rare has reached new heights. While the previous high of $5.50 has now lowered to $4, we might see another spike of Hardened Scales in the near future based on last weekend’s performance. Of course, it is going to be very short lived since HS is from Khans of Tarkir, which is coming closer and closer to rotation. I would advise that any extra copies be sold into the hype – and then later on, when Hardened Scales rotates, you can pick up copies again because this card is mini Doubling Season and I expect it to have casual appeal for a long time.

Other cards from the deck worth talking about are Managorger Hydra and Avatar of the Resolute, along with Dromoka’s Command and Hangarback Walker. The position of these cards will be different moving forward because they all survive the next rotation when Shadows over Innistrad is released. Now granted, I highly doubt we’re getting anything insane with this next return to Innistrad like Snapcaster Mage or Liliana of the Veil but I think we’re definitely getting a Werewolf legendary creature (since last time Wizards admitted that was one of their biggest mistakes with Innistrad and Dark Ascension was not having a R/G legendary werewolf to complete the tribe like Olivia Voldaren did for Vampires and Grimgrin, Corpse-Born did for Zombies) and other green components that the deck could consider.

Anyways, with Managorger Hydra and Avatar of the Resolute, I’m not sure what their position will be after rotation. They both feel like they only fit into a deck where Hardened Scales is the key card, and with HS rotating I’m not sure if they will be able to continue to make the cut. Hopefully though, Shadows will introduce something that also plays nicely with +1/+1 counters since that seems to be a thing that Wizards supports pretty heavily these days – especially in terms of Limited environments where plenty of set mechanics revolve around +1/+1 counters. I am seeing that both cards are trending upwards, and a continuation of Hardened Scales success with the potential printing of another static effect that plays well with +1/+1 counters may create a bright future for these cards. Hold on to any copies you might have, with possibly stocking extra copies of Avatar since it is the cheaper of the two options (both dollar-wise and mana cost-wise).

Dromoka’s Command Hangarback Walker will continue to be major Standard players. I can’t fault anyone for picking up copies now, so if you’re going to do so I would do it sooner rather than later. The future price of both hards have been hindered by reprints in supplemental products, however I think most of us remember that this did nothing in the long run to reduce the price of Thragtusk. I think they are both fine speculation targets, with preference going to Walker over Command since colorless will fit into more decks than multicolored. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see Hangarback Walker back at $20 or higher after Khans and Fate Reforged rotate from Standard. I’ll definitely be keeping close tabs on these cards to determine what rotation will look like for key role players in the new Standard schedule. It makes me wonder if baby Jace will continue the upward trend past $100…

Esper Tokens

This deck seems to be rather new to the scene, as opposed to other decks like Hardened Scales being around but not seeing as many Top 8 results as the other Standard archetypes like Jeskai Black. The key cards to the Esper Tokens strategy are Secure the Wastes, Sorin, Solemn Visitor, and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. Knight of the White Orchid is an interesting inclusion from Origins that we should watch moving forward, since it will survive rotation along with Secure the Wastes and Gideon. Finally, last mentions from this strategy include Painful Truths and Shambling Vent, with Vent seeing a full four copies being played in the manabase.

Speaking of which, the Battle for Zendikar manlands are super cheap right now. With Shambling Vent at $6 and Lumbering Falls at a paltry $2.50, I don’t think you can go wrong by starting to stock up on extra copies of these cards. We haven’t reached the low point of BFZ cards yet since set redemption will need to occur, however man lands have generally been very successful in Standard decks past due to their ability to both fix mana and become creatures in a pinch when needed. I think that the five man lands throughout the BFZ block will all see Standard play in one form or another in their Standard lives, so the adage of “invest in real estate” really rings true to me for this cycle.

Unfortunately, cards like Wingmate Roc and Sorin aren’t worth picking up since their rotation is coming up in a short five months. We might see some more movement in these cards from the GP results, so my advice here is to sell into any hype that the cards might see since the coming months are only going to lower the price of these mythics until Khans rotation.

R/G Landfall

     

Finally! We have a deck that is based off Battle for Zendikar rather than the other way around! Oh wait, there are still only nine cards in the deck that are actually from BFZ… Hey, I guess we need to start somewhere, right?

I have to admit that I did not see Snapping Gnarlid actually having Standard potential. However, I’ve been proven wrong in this case, as both Scythe Leopard and Snapping Gnarlid were key components of the deck that was able to propel it into the Top 8 of the Grand Prix. Outside of the Landfall creatures, the deck focuses on pump spells and haste creatures in order to finish out games quickly. This deck is truly a Stompy deck to the core – play some creatures, attack with them, and pump them up as much as possible for maximum damage. It has a much different feel than Atarka Red because rather than burn spells the deck focuses on cheap creatures with pump effects. It’s actually a very interesting deck that rewards players for being able to maximize the number of triggers they can make through Landfall and Prowess, with pump spells to push in the last bit of damage.

     

Unfortunately, many of the deck’s pump spells are rotating when Shadows over Innistrad is released, with the key cards Become Immense and Temur Battle Rage among them. I don’t think I would expect this deck to survive rotation unless Oath and Shadows give use something that is similar. You never know though, Steppe Lynx was pretty awesome when it was in Standard, and I expect Wizards to push Landfall even more in Oath. One way or another the Landfall creatures are sticking around. The issue is what type of pump spells are released with the next sets, so I’ll be keeping a close eye on new pump spells due to the explosive nature of Landfall aggro decks.

These three decks were the most interesting, at least to me, of the Top 8 of GP Indianapolis. I’m starting to get excited again for the future directions that Standard could take! Thanks for reading and let me know in the comments what decks you’ve seen take off since BFZ was introduced to Standard.

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Unanswered Questions

Inspired by a recent article by our very own Douglas Johnson, I thought I might also take a stab at answering some unanswered questions from Reddit that are many #mtgfinancer’s minds.

Using the Weekly Ask MTGFinance Anything thread, I am going to try and answer all of the (currently) unanswered questions that may have been asked later in the week and got buried near the bottom. No question is a stupid question, so let’s dig our way up from the bottom and see what we have this week.

   

Mattscriv writes:

Alright guys, I decided to drop in and ask a few questions. Just to get this out of the way: I am in possession of a BFZ land brick. Is it okay to take off the plastic and use them, or will the value decrease a lot if I try to sell them later on? Second of all, I have a list of a few cards I was lucky enough to open in packs and I want to know whether I should keep, or get rid of:

Ruinous Path Shambling Vent – Foil Sunken Hollow Canopy Vista Liliana, Heretical Healer Archangel of Tithes Bloodstained Mire Dragonlord Ojutai Fathom Feeder – Promo Greenwarden of Murasa Sarkhan, the dragonspeaker Smothering Abomination – Promo Sword of the Animist

(Side note: I know that I should try to pick up ask many KTK fetches as possible, but what other lands around $10 or less should I try to pick up too? Pain lands?)

Thanks everyone that helps me out, but be warned, I may have further questions.

Land brick response:

Crack it and sell now. The only item that will maintain significant value in the future in terms of full art lands is the sealed Zendikar fat packs. The land packs won’t be worth much more than MSRP for all lands in the pack because players can get lands in boosters. Plus we also need to consider that Oath will contain full arts in many supplemental products as well.

Keep or Sell Questions:

Sell:

Sunken Hollow, Canopy Vista, Liliana, Heretical Healer, Archangel of Tithes, Dragonlord Ojutai, Greenwarden of Murasa, Promo Sword of the Animist, Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker

These cards are all propped up by Standard currently. I recommend selling cards like Sunken Hollow, Canopy Vista, Liliana, Heretical Healer, and Greenwarden of Murasa sooner due to Pro Tour and new BFZ hype to maximize the price you sell at.

Keep:

Ruinous Path, Shambling Vent – Foil, Bloodstained Mire, Fathom Feeder, Smothering Abomination

I believe all of these cards will either maintain value or go up in time if cards like Runious Path and Smothering Abomination find a home in Standard.

Side note response:

The only other Standard lands worth picking up right now are Khans trilands, which if you can get for $0.25 to $0.40 you should stock away in bulk. These tri-ands will be in great demand in the future because of all the Wedge Commander decks that people build and they are going to want copies for fixing.

dwaynebank writes:

Do you guys believe holday giftboxes will affect the price of fatpacks? I understand they also come with land packs, but they’re packs of 20, where the fatpacks have packs of 80. The MRSP on the holday gift boxes is $24.99. Is it possible the giftboxes sell out everywhere and will sell for more than their MRSP, similar to the fatpacks?

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT – No,  holiday gift boxes will not affect the price of fat packs because the holiday gift boxes contain regular art lands, not full art lands. The gift boxes should sell at past or current levels of demand.

Adelysium writes:

Hey all! After some good trading on Gameday I managed to procure a Jace. My intention was that its easier to move 1 card than the 15 I traded to get him, when I eventually know what I want and find someone with the some stuff I want. My questions pertain to him.

For maximum value should I try to move now or keep?
If we assume relatively few packs of Origins will be opened between now and when he rotates, how much is there to lose and will he rebound after a slight dip considering his playability outside of this format?

The fact is, I have the standard deck I want and am happy with, sideboard and all. As far as immediate gratification, I’m fine without trying to move him. However, if he won’t be this high within a year of rotating I might as well move now. I don’t have the intention to acquire more of him, that’s for sure.

Thanks for the help guys!

Move the Jace. It is at peak price right now due to a confluence of factors, which is explained in great detail by my fellow write Corbin in this neat little video he made on the topic.

There is quite a bit to lose in terms of Jace’s price if you do not move him soon – Snapcaster was only around $30 at the time of his rotation from Standard, and I expect Jace to be at that price point or less by the time he rotates from Standard next year. My more precise prediction is that Jace lands between $20 to $25 at Origins rotation. If he still proves as popular in eternal format then as now, rotation would be the perfect time to pickup copies for future growth since double-faced walkers are going to be tough to print in the future. Otherwise, if you have extra copies around that you aren’t using than I recommend selling ASAP.

kogikogikogi writes:

Is it possible to link friends directly to my mtgprice.com collection? I’ve googled around and searched their site but I can’t find it at all. If not I’ll just use export and use deckbox but having a direct link on mtgprice would be super helpful.

No, unfortunately we don’t have that feature of our collection manager just yet. For the current iteration of the website you will need to export and then send the file. However, we’ve been working very diligently on a mobile application for the website that should have many features that will make collection sharing better – trading with nearby users and remote trading should alleviate parts of the collection list sharing process. Though, having a button/permalink to your collection is also a nice feature. We’ll have to add it to our feature queue in the future.

   

DatsRadMan writes:

I have a foil promo Zada, Hedron Grinder (TCG: $6.65) and a foil promo Beastcaller Savant (TCG: $5.49) that I’d like to know what to do with – should I sell/trade them now or sit on them?

What are these card’s potential long-term? I have heard Zada is useful EDH card and Beastcaller has potential in Modern Elves (whether that’s true or not)…what do you guys think these cards will be at post-Standard rotation?

Thanks!

Zada and Beastcaller have gotten plenty of attention, Zada from the Commander crowd and Beastcaller from the constructed crowd. Personally, I believe that you should keep the promo Zada because even if he drops I don’t see it dropping too significantly over time. Foils in Commnader will always maintain value, and if he turns out to be a popular card in the format than the promo should also maintain value in the future.

Beastcaller I’m not so sure about. I would sell now while BFZ demand is still high and supply hasn’t crashed the prices. It doesn’t seem like a Commander auto-include and I don’t think it quite gets there in constructed.

G_Admiral writes

I have a bunch of sealed booster boxes from the Return to Ravnica block (mostly RTR and thankfully only a couple DM) and several boxes of Conspiracy. It seems like the price hasn’t moved since I bought any of them. Any thoughts on when it will move or if there’s an opportunity to open them and trade/sell singles?

Now this is an interesting question, where an entire article (or even series of articles) could be written about MTG sealed boxes and when is the best time to buy and sell sealed boxes .

First, let’s take a look at what I and others have said on this topic in the past. Sig and I have briefly discussed boxes as article subtopics, however James has focused two well written free articles on the value of sealed product and how booster boxes play a role in that.

Me:

http://blog.mtgprice.com/2014/09/08/ancestral-recall-casual-demand-and-why-its-important/

Sig:

Protrader – http://blog.mtgprice.com/2015/04/13/on-pro-tours-and-booster-boxes/

James:

http://blog.mtgprice.com/2015/09/25/is-magic-origins-the-next-innistrad/

http://blog.mtgprice.com/2015/05/21/best-bet-booster-packs-vs-fat-packs/

Now, the summary of all this information is that booster boxes will go up in value due to inflationary costs of packs at a normal rate except if they are extremely popular draft sets like Innistrad, which will go up even more over time. However, even if they are extremely popular to draft and have other in-demand eternal cards in the set, it will still take quite a while for you to get a turnaround on those boxes where it worth selling (factoring in shipping, fees, etc.). Sealed booster boxes are hard to move, and they don’t go up that much in value over the years especially if the set is post-Innistrad.

My advice to those who are packing away extra booster boxes of sets is not to crack them, not to sell them off en-masse now, but to play the waiting game. Eventually, these boxes will go up at some point, for one reason or another, if they contain eternal playable cards like shock lands or the new baby Jace. However, sets like Dragon’s Maze are a lost cause, similar to Saviors of Kamigawa. How old Saviors is compared to the price of those boxes is abysmal when considering the age. Unpopular sets will still be that the in future, and it’s the nature of the beast that some sets will be stinkers throughout Magic’s history.

CaptainKnusper writes:

What is your opinion on the filterlands (Twilight Mire etc.) ? Would you hold or sell them ?

Filter lands are extremely risky to hold onto long term at this point. Any reprint is going to cause the current prices of these lands to crash significantly. At least if they’re reprinted in a Standard set, they only drop by half initially since the reprint hype will be in full swing. But once the market is saturated? You can bet they’ll all be in the single digits (barring the more popular ones, of course).

However, for the short term the price should hold unless a surprise reprint happens in Commander 2015 which would be pretty unexpected. They will probably spike during the next Modern season next year, which will be the best time to get out. In summary, my advice is to hold until the next Modern spike next year and sell during the hype of the season.

   

VolcanicVaranus writes:

Does anyone think the Theros block temples will swing up in price eventually? I know that most stuff hits an all-time low at rotation, and many of the temples are sitting under $1. I know they likely won’t see much (if any) use in constructed formats, but do you think they’ll end up higher than they are now?

Yes, Theros temples will start going back up in price eventually, but it won’t be a swing but a slow crawl as the years go on. They have a high chance of being reprinted as well due to Scry now being an evergreen ability. So, they should go up slowly over time until the reprint. Many of them should go up past $1 (until the reprint) since they are all used in Commander in one way or another as budget lands but not enough that I would suggest picking them up en-masse.

DarthAbel writes:

You can get “Kiora, Master of the Depths” for $7 or less (TCGPlayer), is this a good time to pick a couple of Kioras or will she keep falling? Usually the floor for “meh” planeswalkers is around $5 but I am surprised about Kiora been close to the bottom so fast.

No, I don’t think now is the time to pickup Kioras. It was a no-show at the Pro Tour, so she should only go down in price more from here on out, especially if she makes another reappearance in the next duel deck product. If you want BFZ Kiora, I would suggest waiting until around December, when we start hitting peak BFZ supply.

Biohunter405 writes:

Hello everybody! My friend and I recently traded for a Mox, but due to inexperience and not understanding everything being said, we ended up with a “border inked” Unlimited Mox Sapphire. Now the border inking is not something we had taken into consideration, so we were wondering if getting it entirely altered through something like Klug alters would be a worthwhile endeavor? We’re just a little lost and would like some advice from some people with more knowledge than us. Thanks!

Very interesting question! I’m sure an article (or even series of articles) could be written on the value of alterations and what the market for alterations would look like. A great topic for this series would be your situation, where we have an HP/MP card that can be touched up and what the price of it would be after the alter.

I’m glad that this question was asked, because I have a friend that went ahead and did this for a foil Worldwake Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Here is the Klug posting for the story behind it and what it looks like after Klug touched it up. Now, this was a restoration-to-alteration rather than an alteration but I’m sure that this situation will be very close to what you want for the Mox. I’m sure if my friend tried to sell he would get a price very close to the current foil WWK Jace for the work that Klug did to the card.

Basically, the answer to your question is yes – I highly recommend that you get your card altered by Klug because it will look great and add value to the card. The waiting list is pretty long though, so be prepared to wait in the backlog for some time.

TheHat2 writes:

Knight of the Reliquary had a nice spike after BFZ was released, and has pretty well kept that high price in the weeks since. Where do you see this card going in the next six months?

I don’t see Knight of the Reliquary dropping until its next reprint. Retreat to Coralhelm is an awesome card with Knight that has spawned a new Modern deck, one that I don’t see being replaced anytime soon. I would say hold, and if you’re looking to get out of Knights to wait until peak Modern season next year. That way, if the deck does well at a huge event you can sell into the spike that Knight is sure to experience.

SOHC4 writes:

What’s Dragonlord Ojutai looking like? In the last week or so, I’ve seen it drop about $3. Doesn’t seem like Jeskai lists are running it anymore. Should I dump them now?

Yes, get rid of Dragonlord Ojutai if you’re not using him for Standard. He might experience another spike when Khans / Fate Reforged rotates from Standard but ultimately he will drop like a rock once Dragons rotates from Standard.


 

So there we are, as of Sunday night I’ve answered all of the unanswered questions for this week’s Ask MTGFinance Anything. I hope these answers provide some insight to everyone for my current thinking on several topics, and that they also continue to provide discussion on the future trends of topics in #mtgfinance. As always, thanks for reading.

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