Category Archives: Pro Tour Coverage

Pro-Trader Ixalan: MTGFinance Live Blog

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The battles rage on at Pro Tour Ixalan. The players have now completed the first three rounds of draft, and we are now facing the five rounds of Standard that will help define the evolving Standard metagame leading into the holiday season.

Follow along this weekend as we live blog relevant details as they appear!

3:49pm EST: Coverage desk calls out the following cards as likely to be pivotal this weekend:

  • Hazoret, the Fervant: Ramunap Red + BR Aggro
  • Fatal Push: Multi-Shell Removal Staple
  • Longtusk Cub: Key threat in the energy decks
  • Approach of the Second Sun: Control win condition
  • Anointed Procession: key deck at US Nationals, vulnerable to specific hate cards
  • The Scarab God: format defining finisher that the meta pivots around in multiple shells
  • Ramunap Ruins: card of the weekend at Pro Tour Hour of Devestation, deck is still good
  • Gate to the Afterlife: defined a new archetype, though a fringe one
  • Glorybringer: Major Temur Energy threat

Round 4 (Standard Round 1): Josh Utter-Leyton (4C Energy) vs. Yuki Matsumoto (4C Tokens)

Josh is running multiple copies of Vraska. He also has Nissa, Steward out of the sideboard. They players split the first two games one a piece. Game 3 turns into a late game duel between The Scarab God on Josh’s side and Anointed Procession shenanigans for Matsumoto. A Hostage Taker swings the tide and Yuki takes the match to go to 4-0.

Round 4 (Standard Round 1): Marc Tobiasch (4C Energy) vs. ???

Riddleform and Enigma Drake making an appearance in a spicy energy brew from Niels Noorlander.

Round 4 (Standard Round 1): Xiao Han (4C Energy) vs. Michael Maurici (Oketra’s Monument)

Michael is running Trial of Solidarity in this Monument brew but he loses the match to fall to 3-1.

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Deck Tech #1: Phillip Braverman on Mono-White Vampires

Phillip outlines that he feels the deck is favored against major decks in the format including Ramunap Red and Temur Energy. Angel of Invention used here to gum up the board and build the army. Tons of exile effects to deal with the multiple threats in the format that need that handling. Phillip has only won his first Standard match with the deck so far.

  • 4x Adanto Vanguard
  • 2x Duskborne Skymarcher
  • 3x Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle
  • 4x Metallic Mimic
  • 4x Legion Conquistador
  • 4x Legion’s Landing
  • 3x Angel of Invention
  • 4x Aviary Mechanic
  • 4x Oketra’s Monument
  • 3x Scavenger Gounds
  • 2x Cast Out
  • 1x Thopter Arrest
  • 3x Ixalan’s Binding
  • 15x Plains
  • 4x Shefet Dunes

Day 1 Metagame

Metagame breakdown for Game 1 seems to indicate that the major pro team were unable to do more than tweak the existing archetypes for this Pro Tour. While there are certainly a small number of rogue decks, they do not seem to be in position to break the tournament and shift the meta in significant fashion.

Round 5: Jeskai Approach (Guillaume Matignon) vs. Temur Energy (Paul Reistzl)

Matignon is playing an updated version of U/W control with Approach of the Second Sun and Harnessed Lightning. Matignon takes Game 1 after stabilizing at six life and setting up the Approach of the Second Sun clock with Paul stuck holding irrelevant cards.

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On a back table in a match between Wilson Hunter and Scott Lipp, a crazy board state emerges that revolves around God-Pharoah’s Gift, Angel of Invention, Hostage Taker and Oketra’s Monument. Paul Cheon mentions that the lower number of Abrade in the format turns on the higher potential for artifacts.

Round 5: White Vampires (Wilson Hunter) vs. Scott Lipp (Esper God=Phraoah’s Gift)

These players split their first two games off camera. In Game 3, Metallic Mimic does some good work on camera for Hunter, in coordination with a flipped Legion’s Landing. Hunter takes the match to advance to 4-1.

Metallic MimicAdanto, the First Fort

Dech Tech #2: Gerrard Fabiano (Sultai Pummeler)

Gerrard is on a new Sultai build of the Electrostatic Pummeler decks we saw earlier this year. He outlined that his team was doing very well with the deck on Magic Online so they decided to see if they could surprise the field.

Graphic by MTGGoldfish.com

Round 6: WB Tokens (Pascal Vieren) vs. UW God-Pharoah’s Gift (Pascal Maynard)

Both of these players come into the round at 4-1. The first game goes super long, with Marnard ending up with a stacked board but just two cards left in his deck. Vieren saves the day with a Fumigate and takes the first one. In Game 2 Maynard seems to be on his heels, when he manages to establish a hasty flying board presence via Angel of Invention that allows him to even things up. The third game goes to a one minute time extension and the downsides to playing super grindy decks in the mirror comes to forefront as the players draw.

Dech Tech #3: Temur Riddleform

This deck looks to set up shop by controlling the game tempo, forcing players to hold up mana rather than committing threats in the face of incoming flying threats. Sharing several elements with more traditional Temur builds may throw some opponents off.

RiddleformEnigma Drake

Round 7: PVD (4C Energy) vs. Gabriel Nassif (Esper God-Pharoah’s Gift)

PVD takes this one in extra turns after Nassif receives a slow play warning.

Dech Tech #4: Adam Jensen on Mono Black Aggro

This deck is similar to the BR Aggro decks, but without Hazoret and Lightning Strike to run faster and smooth mana handling. Adam says the Temur match up is good.

Round 8: Xiao Han (4C Energy) vs. Yam Wing Chun (Ramunap Red)

Both of these players came into this round at 7-0. In Game 1, 4C Energy withstands the early onslaught from Chun and takes over the game with Chun stuck on three lands. Game 1 to Han. In Game 2 Chun is able to apply a ton of early pressure, force some bad blocks from Han, and even things up. Chun takes the third game as well and puts red aggro at 8-0 on the day.

White vampires deck is now sitting at 6-1 facing BBD, with the first two games split already. Wilson manages to get to 7-1 and set up a potentially great weekend for a new deck.

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Pro-Trader Ixalan: Financial Preview

Welcome to Pro Tour Ixalan weekend! The 1st Pro Tour of the new 2017-2018 season and the final major individual event of the 2017 calendar is all set to explore the meta  anew over in Alberquerque, New Mexico this weekend.

Heading into the event the primary question from a financial perspective is whether the pros have managed to make use of the extra five weeks from the release of Ixalan to the Pro Tour to break out of the relatively settled metagame and set up shop with a fresh deck that can consistently prey upon the expected meta.

As per usual the best players in the world have been posted up in their respective testing zones for the last week or two, all seeking to locate the testing edge that will help them succeed on the game’s biggest stage.

With $250,000 USD on the line, and  $40,000 for the champ, players looking to Top 8 need to display both skill and luck to win through.

Negate
The most played card in Standard via Magic Online at present.

Taking a look at the results from the last major StarCityGames Tour Standard tournament, the Top 8 field features mostly familiar elements from the Sultai/Temur Energy, Ramunap Red, Control meta that we seem to be living in this fall. Here was the Top 8 from SCG Open Dallas, Sep 30th.

  1. Sultai Energy
  2. Ramunap Red
  3. Sultai Energy
  4. U/W Approach
  5. U/W Approach
  6. Four-Color Energy
  7. Four-Color Energy
  8. Esper Gift

The most notable deck in that list is the Esper Gift list that featured four copies each of Angel of Invention and Champion of Wits and two copies of God-Pharoah’s Gift.

Meanwhile over on Magic Online, the meta seems to be featuring variations on the following decks:

Looking over those Magic Online results, the decks most likely to generate price momentum would most likely come from Mardu Vehicles, Abzan Tokens or B/R Aggro, since those decks have been mostly under the radar in recent weeks.

For us finance types, this weekend is not an ideal hunting ground. If Standard stays settled, it will limit the price movement of the key cards, many of which are already riding high.  Even key cards in some of the tier two decks like Abzan Tokens are already quite high. Anointed Processon for instance is an Amonkhet rare sitting close to $10. Format design is also contributing to the limited financial opportunities, with nine of the ten most played cards being commons or uncommons, and Glorybringer being the only rare or mythic to make that list. Also of relevance is our temporal position vs. the holiday season with many Magic players limiting their spending in anticipation of purchasing gifts. This can easily put a damper on buylist and retail card values in Standard players trade in cards to cover their bills. Countering these factors is the absence of Masterpieces in Ixalan, as well as the relatively shallow pool of Standard playable mythics in the set, which combines to leave room for key rares to float closer to $10 than the $3-5 we’ve been used to from popular rares in the last few sets.

Glorybringer
Is this the most undervalued staple in Standard?

All of this adds up to an event that is likely to generate the usual number of hype spikes, but may not be able to sustain those prices heading into next week unless a truly dominant strategy emerges.

As per usual, it is worth noting that the Pro Tour currently requires that players succeed in a mixed schedule of booster draft (IXL/IXL/IXL) and Standard play with 3 rounds of draft Friday afternoon , followed by 5 rounds of Standard starting around 4pm EST/1pm PST.

Will any of the teams find a way to unlock a hot new deck with solid game against the entire field? Will a fringe deck from the early weeks of the format suddenly end up perfectly positioned to take off? Will there be a chance to get in on a must-have card that shows early promise or will the hype train leave the bandwagon speculators out in the cold without enough buyers come Monday morning? Follow along as we explore Pro Tour Ixalan all weekend!

Editor’s Note: We will not be providing round by round coverage this weekend, but will provide relevant notes as the weekend progresses. 

Cards to Watch

Heading into this Pro Tour stop, many of the most obvious specs have already played out and plenty of advance speculation has been going down. The potential for further spikes is still on deck, but so is the strong likelihood that some of these specs will collapse when they inevitably fail to join the central meta narrative of the weekend.

Here are a few of the interesting cards that seem like they should be on our radar this weekend:

Walking Ballista: Jack of All Trades

Walking Ballista

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Walking Ballista sees three or four of play in both Esper Gift and Sultai Energy so it’s value in the format largely depends on whether it can make it to Sunday in one or both decks. With additional play in Vintage, Modern and Legacy, supply is currently at a moderate level with an already high rare price tag of $14. At that price the risk of stagnation likely outweighs the potential to top $20 coming out of this weekend, but I still like the $20 foils longer term.

Current Price: $14
Predicted Price Monday: $16-18 (on 8+ copies Top 8)
Odds to Top 8: 3 to 2

Angel Esper Gift: Tuned to Succeed?

Angel of InventionGod-Pharaoh's Gift

We talked about this deck at the last Pro Tour, but it didn’t really get there. Basically the plan here is to get a bunch of good creatures in your yard and then start overwhelming your opponent by bringing them back more often than they can find removal or good blocks to deal with them. Just like last time, I won’t be surprised if this pairing of cards makes the Top 8, but I will be surprised if they dominate the tournament. Gate is an uncommon in plentiful supply, and Gift is a two-of in the deck, so those aren’t the targets here. Angel of Invention is the most noatable mythic in the list, and is run as a four-of, so a deep run this weekend could potentially move its’ price from $4 to something closer to $10.

Current Price: $4
Predicted Price Monday: $8-10 (on Top 8)
Odds to Top 8: 6 to 1

Grey Confidant: Multi-Deck Staple?

Glint-Sleeve Siphoner

This could quietly be setting up as one of the more undervalued cards in the format.  This poor man’s Dark Confidant is a typical four-of in both BR Aggro and Sultai Energy builds and both of those decks have a solid shot at running deep in this tournament. If 12+ copies of this card land in the Top 8 it isn’t a tremendous stretch to imagine that the relatively low supply could get attached, resulting in a spike over $5.

Current Price: $2
Predicted Price Monday: $5-6 (On multiple deck Top 8s)
Odds to Top 8: 1 to 1

Hazoret, the Fervant: Top Tier Mythic

Hazoret the Fervent

Mono-red aggro decks have made up 10%+ of the online meta for months, and there is little sign that anyone has figured out how to tame their more aggressive draws consistently. Hazoret was much more interesting around $8, so the potential to push up to a new plateau from the current price of 15-$18 depends almost entirely on how engaged the Magic player base stays in Standard heading out of this event. Current versions of the Ramunap Red deck tend to run the full complement of four copies of Hazoret in the main, so increased interest in the deck this winter could result in Hazoret peaking over $30. Additional demand from an emerging BR aggro deck could also help this along. Personally I don’t have enough confidence in format participation to take a stab at a $30/playset profit, but do as you will given that current online inventory is relatively modest.

Current Price: $18
Predicted Price Monday: $22
Odds to Top 8: 1 to 1

Anointed Procession: Tokens In Position?

Anointed Procession

Abzan Tokens has been making  inroads on Magic Online lately, with a list that features three copies of mythic Vraska, Relic Seeker, as well as four copies of Legion’s Landing, Fumigate and Anointed Procession as notable rares. This deck has the capability to generate a ton of life and a ton of tokens, and a good showing deep in this event might be enough to put a bunch of players on it for FNM usage. In that case Anointed Procession, already buoyed a bit by casual and EDH demand, could gain some ground and Legion’s Landing would also have a shot at hitting a value closer to $10 than $5.

Current Price: $10
Predicted Price Monday: $14+ (on Top 8)
Odds to Top 8: 2 to 1

Heart of Kiran: Fresh Attack From Above?

Heart of Kiran

Mardu Vehicles was a dominant presence in the first half of last season, but has fallen off heading into the fall tournament cycle. Just lately, versions of the deck running essentially zero cards from Ixalan have been putting up solid results yet again, both online and in paper. These builds still run the full four copies of Heart of Kiran, and as a $5 mythic, the potential is there for a strong spike if the deck shows up in force, puts up good Day 2 conversion rates, and lands a copy in the Top 8. On the other hand, none of the other decks run this card, so if Mardu doesn’t get there, you can expect it to stagnate.

Current Price: $5
Predicted Price Monday: $10+ (on Top 8)
Odds to Top 8: 1 to 1

Stay tuned for our MTGFinance coverage of Pro Tour: Ixalan throughout the weekend!

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.

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Hour of Devastation Pro Tour Coverage: Day 1 Lessons/Day 2

Welcome back. Day 1 of Pro Tour Hour of Devastation in Kyoto, Japan is now in the books and it’s time to take stock of what we’ve learned and see if there’s still any fresh money to be made or saved.

Heading into this tournament there was plenty of chatter on social media suggesting that ramp or UW God-Pharoah’s Gift or Vizier of the Menagerie might be the top secret tech for the tournament. With that in mind, let’s review how the meta actually shaped up at the start of Day 1:

The first point worth making is that many of the best pros clearly came out of their testing regiments believing that aggressive Ramunap Red decks were even better positioned than they had seemed heading into last week. Whereas the deck was already a significant 10% of the online meta (as best as anyone could tell), at the Pro Tour we see a whopping 25% of the players on the punishing, low slung red deck that attacks opponents from multiple angles.

Now just because the red deck was set up for success, didn’t mean it was going to plow through the field. In the last few Pro Tour stops decks that showed up in even larger quantities ended up butting up against the wall of fresh tech only to fail out of Day 2. This time however, at the end of eight rounds of play (including five rounds of Standard) the top tables were showcasing an even higher percentage of red decks than the Round 1 meta count would have suggested. Paul Cheon went so far as to name Ramunap Ruins as the card of the day, citing the reach that a nearly unanswerable late game damage source gives the red decks.

Ramunap Ruins

So where did all the cool combo/control decks go that were being heralded as approaching dooms? Day 2 coverage is now up and running, and control decks are being called out tonight as being largely relegated to the lower tables. With nearly 60% of the players on aggro decks at this tournament, the odds were already low that the rogue decks were going to find their footing and drive deep, but a day later we can now clearly see that many of the fancier brews just weren’t ready for prime time.

Instead, our top tables are largely crimson, with occasional sightings of zombies decks. Financially speaking, the likely dominance of red and black aggro decks doesn’t leave us with many targets since many of the zombie cards have already spiked and the red decks are running relatively few relevant mythics and rares. I have noticed that Falkenrath Gorger inventory is draining, and at $2 this has a solid shot at $5-6 if red fills up the Top 8 overnight. Hazoret the Fervent has inched up closer to $7 than $5, but many of the red pilots aren’t running enough copies to make clear this is even a valid target to accelerate.

Falkenrath Gorger

Champion of Wits, Gate to the Afterlife, Angel of Sanctions and Cataclysmic Gearhulk seem very unlikely to earn some price action this weekend, but keep an eye out for a rogue deck to navigate the aggro gauntlet and excite some purchasing power Saturday morning. The tournament location and timing is also likely to dampen financial speculation this weekend, since by the time many interested parties see something sexy happen over their breakfast cereal tomorrow morning, they will be able to reality check their ideas.

So far this tournament looks like a washout for specs, but I’ll be posting notes of interest through the night to flag any changes to that evaluation.

10PM EST: Donald Smith of Team Lingering Souls calls out Hazoret as the card that allows mono red to plow past the meta. Started testing three copies, moved up to the full four. Spec might not be dead.

1am: Cheon just ran us through the baseline lists for the most prevalent archetypes at the tournament:

 

Paul spent some time detailing that Abrade & Ramunap Ruins are the two cards that ultimately moved a quarter of the field away from some of the other Tier 1/2 options.

5am: We are facing a murder’s row in the Top 8 with PVDDR making his 12th (!) Pro Tour T8, and Sam Black, Sam Pardee, and Seth Manfield along for the ride. Five of the eight decks are Ramunap Red, and there’s one RB deck as well, all with a total of 20 copies of Hazoret, the Fervant. There are also 24 copies each of Falkenrath Gorger. Earthshaker Kenra (coverage Day 2 Card of the Day) and Bomat Courier so may see some some action on those rares, though Kenra has already spiked.

Here is the Top 8 participant list:

1st Place – Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa – Ramunap Red
2nd Place – Sam Pardee – BG Constrictor
3rd Place – Sam Black – Ramunap Red
4th Place – Wing Chun Yam – Ramunap Red
5th Place – Shintaro Kurata – BR Aggro
6th Place – Felix Leong – Ramunap Red
7th Place – Yusuke Sasabe – Mono B Zombies
8th Place – Seth Manfield – Ramunap Red

6am: The single B/G Constrictor deck in the Top 8 is pretty stock at unlikely to move much on the finance side. Ditto the single instance of mono black zombies. Might be time to start thinking about the control cards that address this meta appropriately.

7am: Overnight hype has pushed Hazoret, the Fervant copies very close to $10. Will be interested to see if they can push for $15 this week or whether the meta will immediately react by trying to hate RDW out of the format.

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.

 

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Pro Tour Hour of Devestation: Financial Preview

The third Pro Tour of 2017 is about to go down in Kyoto, Japan.  Mercifully, the oncoming festival of excellence lands just as the Standard format has finally escaped the shadow of recent card bannings.  After two seasons ended up requiring the banning of cards, the entire community wants to see a diverse and balanced metagame emerge at this tournament.  With Emrakul, the Promised End, Reflector Mage, Smuggler’s Copter, Aetherworks Marvel and Felidar Guardian[/mtg_Card] all banned, the format is by all accounts in a pretty diverse and health spot heading into the weekend.

As per usual the world’s best players have been hunkered down in their various Oni dens in Kyoto, Japan for the last week or two, all seeking to answer the only query that matters: is there a fresh deck or reconfiguration of existing archetypes out there that will allow them to catch the field off balance while offering consistent play against the known quantities in the field?

With $250,000 USD on the line, and  $40,000 for the champ, players looking to Top 8 need to marshall both luck and skill to lock down the trophy.

Taking a look at the results from the last major StarCityGames Tour Standard tournament, the Top 8 field features elements both familiar and relatively recent. Here was the Top 8 from SCG Open Cincinnati.

  1. Four-Color Control
  2. W/U Monument
  3. Four-Color Emerge
  4. B/G Energy
  5. W/U Monument
  6. Mono-Red Aggro
  7. Mono-Black Zombies
  8. Temur Energy

Meanwhile over on Magic Online, the meta seems to be featuring variations on the following decks:

  • Mardu Vehicles (11%)
  • UR Control (11%)
  • Mono-Red Aggro (10%)
  • W/U Monument (8.5%)
  • Temur Energy (8%)
  • GB Energy (6%)
  • G/R Pummeler (5%)
  • Mono-Black Zombies (3.5%)
  • U/B Zombies (2.5%)

For we finance types, this is not a super exciting scenario. With a wide open field, play skill and nuanced sideboard choices + luck may carry the day, and that’s without accounting for the six rounds of draft factor. All of that adds up to an event that is likely to generate the usual number of hypes spikes, but may not be able to sustain those prices heading into next week unless a truly dominant strategy emerges.

‘As per usual, it is worth noting that the Pro Tour currently requires that players succeed in a mixed schedule of booster draft (HOU/HOU/AMK) and Standard play with 3 rounds of draft Thurs night , followed by 5 rounds of Standard starting around 2pm EST/11am PST, Friday.

Will any of the teams find a way to unlock a hot new deck with solid game against the entire field? Will a fringe deck from the early weeks of the format suddenly end up perfectly positioned to take off? Will there be a chance to get in on a must-have card that shows early promise or will the hype train leave the bandwagon speculators out in the cold without enough buyers come Monday morning? Follow along as we explore Pro Tour Hour of Devestation all weekend!

Editor’s Note: We will not be providing round by round coverage this weekend, due to vacation scheduling but we will provide relevant notes as the weekend progresses. 

Cards to Watch

Heading into this Pro Tour stop, many of the most obvious specs have already played out and plenty of advance speculation has been going down. The potential for further spikes is still on deck, but so is the strong likelihood that some of these specs will collapse when they inevitably fail to join the central meta narrative of the weekend.

Here are a few of the interesting cards that seem like they should be on our radar this weekend:

God-Pharoah’s Gift: Grind King?

Gate to the AfterlifeGod-Pharaoh's Gift

There are at least a few versions of the God-Pharoah’s Gift decks floating around and they all look like a ball to play. Basically, you get a bunch of good creatures in your yard and then start overwhelming your opponent by bringing them back more often than they can find removal or good blocks to deal with them. If the format isn’t dominated by aggro, this might be a great place to be and at $3 (up from $0.50 or less), there’s still some room to grow here. I won’t be surprised if this pairing of cards makes the Top 8, but I will be surprised if they dominate the tournament. As such, the spec seems too risky in the fact of better options, and I think I’ll sit this one out.

Current Price: $3
Predicted Price Monday: $4-5
Odds to Top 8: 2 to 1

Champion of Wits: Good to Go

Champion of Wits

Originally underestimated and available under $1 during pre-order season, actual play with this flexible card selection/card draw spell sandwiched between two different bodies has proven it out as one of the better cards in the format. Four-color emerge decks run the full four in the main, alongside play sets of Elder Deep-Fiend, Grim Flayer, Haunted Dead and Prized Amalgam.  From a financial perspective, as a rare from a new set that is already close to $10, this one feels like an auto-sell to me. There could be a few more dollars left to reap here, but if you were in early I think you need to be happy with $24 play set exits and move on.

Current Price: $7
Predicted Price Monday: $8-10
Odds to Top 8: 1 to 1

Hazoret, the Fervant: Ripping Red

Hazoret the Fervent

Mono-red aggro decks make up a solid 10% of the online meta, and their most promising spec (now that Earthshaker Khenra has popped) is likely the hasty god from Amonkhet. This will end up more promising if the decks that show up at the Pro Tour are running more than the usual two copies. with a full 15 months left in it’s Standard life, this is a solid spec with multiple possible inflection points given how frequently we see this deck post up in the meta. Alternatively you might look at Falkenrath Gorger, but generally mythics will beat rares for gains.

Current Price: $5
Predicted Price Monday: $10+
Odds to Top 8: 1 to 1

Torrential Gearhulk: Can Control Get it Done?

Torrential Gearhulk

It’s hard to believe we had a shot at this card around $8 when it first released last fall. The power level on Snapcaster Mage’s big brother is undeniable, and the number of good control cards to flash back has only gotten better between all of the card draw, kill spells and counter spells now in the format. U/R Control is the most likely home for the big blue brute this weekend. This card featured a $30+ price tag a few months back but the weak interest in Standard in combination with a broadening format has weakened it’s ability to hold a higher price tier. There is an argument to be made to pick up a few playsets looking to unload them in the fall closer to $120 per play set, since it’s hard to imagine a shrunken Standard card pool not leaving this card near the top of the creature heap, but I’m going to stay away from this until I’m certain the format is regaining some of the bodies that were lost in the first half of the year.

Current Price: $20
Predicted Price Monday: $20
Odds to Top 8: 1 to 1

Cataclysmic Gearhulk: Emergent Tech?

Cataclysmic Gearhulk

With U/W Oketra’s Monument decks spewing out a ton of tokens, there has been some early chatter that this card might show up in a God Phraoah’s Gift build that looks to reset the board in the mid-game and take over with a heap of Eternalized creatures. This deck is still emerging, but has been gaining momentum over the last couple of weeks, and the only problem is that the Cataclysmic Gearhulk slot is not necessarily a lock, given that there are multiple ways to build the deck.

Current Price: $2
Predicted Price Monday: $8+ (on a Top 8 presence or strong early camera time)
Predicted Price Monday: $2 (on a muted presence or absence)
Odds to Top 8: 6 to 1

Fatal Push: Nowhere to go but down?

Fatal Push

The price of Fatal Push has fallen a bit since the last Pro Tour, but it’s future in Modern and Legacy is super secure for the foreseeable future. In Standard things have been getting very grindy and mid-game focused, and as a result there are likely to be less copies of the card in the Top 8 versus last time. That being said, your first play set is an easy hold since you’ll be using them for years. Beyond that, trading out next fall or early winter may be your best bet, but remember that there is a sweet FNM promo that may head off your road to profit.

Current Price: 7
Predicted Price Monday: $7
Odds to Top 8: 1 to 2

Heart of Kiran: Dominating the Skies

Heart of Kiran

Through all the bannings Mardu Vehicles has remained a very steady presence in the Standard meta, especially at the local level, where many players who started on the deck are likely still on it. Some versions of the deck have taken to running Gideon of the Trials instead of the Zendikar version, but otherwise all the usual suspects are still in attendance in most lists. Heart of Kiran is still a four-of, but with the deck likely to represent a much more muted presence at this event, I think this card is likely to stall until rotation gives it a shot at being a strong gainer as the fall meta shapes up.

Current Price: $7
Predicted Price Monday: $7 ($15+ possible by Nov)
Odds to Top 8: 1 to 1

Angel of Sanctions: Ready to fly?

Angel of Sanctions

U/W Monument may not be running this main most of the time, but they certainly enjoy pulling three or four copies out of the board in their grindier matchups. This powerful angel is just $2 at present, so any kind of significant showing could easily push it up over $6 on a hype spike, with your resale potential strongly dependent on how many copies make the Top 8. This is a risky pick, but in a field this open, most of your options are.

Current Price: $2
Monday Price: $5
Odds to Top 8: 1 to 2

 

Stay tuned for our MTGFinance coverage of Pro Tour: Hour of Devastation throughout the weekend!

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.

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