Category Archives: Weekend Update

WEEKEND UPDATE FOR OCT 18TH

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By James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

Here’s your weekly update on what’s been shifting around in price in the world of paper Magic: The Gathering this week. Overall, with the release of Khans of Tarkir still echoing through a refreshed and dynamic standard metgame, most of the movers and shakers are found in that format.

10 Winners of the Week

1. Astral Cornocopia (Born of the Gods, Rare): $.39 to $.88 (+208%)

Formats: Standard + EDH + Eternal Potential

I would love to claim I saw this one coming based on my 50+ copies, but in reality I only snagged them as a bulk rare with clear combo potential in early summer without any clue they would be playable in the scariest combo deck of the season (Jeskai Ascendancy). The Jeskai combo deck plays this card as a zero casting cost artifact with the slight potential upside of being a mana rock if necessary (it never is). It’s worth noting that the card can easily be swapped out for Briber’s Purse in standard, which should limit it’s short-term price below $3 unless it makes a showing in an eternal format in some random combo deck at a top table.

Verdict: Conditional Sell (on entry points below .$50)

2. Perilous Vault (M15, Mythic): $3.54 to $5.13(+145%)

Formats: Standard + EDH/Casual

Put simply it is the emergence of the U/B Control builds at the Pro Tour that is driving the resurgence in this card.  As a sweeper that can clear the board of everything but lands, the card gives control builds game against both creatures and planeswalkers out of the mid-range deck as well as stray enchantments and artifacts out of Jeskai Ascendancy.  Expect the future of this card to depend on how many control decks keep making top tables over the next few months. A faster field will put it to sleep and leave it as a spec to look at next summer for future EDH and casual interest.

Verdict: Hold

3. Pearl Lake Ancient (Khans of Tarkir, Mythic): $2.31 to $5.13 (+124%)

Format: Standard

As with Perilous Vault, Pearl Lake Ancient is under the spotlight as a somewhat reluctant finisher in various Jeskai and Dimir control builds for standard. The combination of Prowess, Flash and some resiliency to 1-for-1 removal makes PLA a reasonable top end for decks that can survive to that point. I have been a seller at the new price, having bought in to 20+ copies around $1.50, mostly because I think the card is merely good rather than great, and could easily fade from memory if the format shifts. It has no future in other formats and I wouldn’t want to be caught holding a bunch beyond the peak. On the other hand, if it posts a prominent finish at GP Los Angels this weekend, it does have upside potential similar to Wingmate Roc given it’s mythic rarity. Keep an eye on our wrap up coverage of the major tournaments Sunday night for clues.

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Verdict: Sell

4. Rakshasa Deathdealer (Khans of Tarkir, Rare): $1.63 to $4.09 (+66%)

Format: Standard

Initially speculators held off this card on the assumption that it would follow a similarly unexciting trajectory to Fleecemane Lion, another solid beater from a fall set that peaked over $10 in Nov ’13 only to fall to the $2 range later that season. Ironically the Deathdealer made a strong debut at PTKTK alongside the lion with both cards offering major coordinated offensive power in Mike Sigrist’s aggro Abzan build.  Despite the flexibility of the Abzan deck builds, I’m a seller of this card in the $5-6 range as we still have a ton more Khans product to be opened and the card isn’t likely to cross the border into older formats.

Verdict: Sell

 5. Dig Through Time (Khans of Tarkir, Rare): $8.16 to $12.58 (+54%)

Format: Standard, Modern, Eternal.

If I had to pick a card to be the Snapcaster Mage of Khans of Tarkir, this would be it. Initially overshadowed by the more hyped Treasure Cruise, it was soon revealed that Draw7/Pick2 is actually more powerful than Draw3, especially in control/combo decks that need specific answers or combo pieces to close out games. It’s so powerful, it’s popping up in pretty much any Standard or Modern deck that can cast it and wants the effect, and that’s a lot of them. As a rare in a heavily opened set it will have trouble holding a price point above $10-12 this season, but it deserves the better than average price curve and will be a definite spec once it floats lower on available copy volume heading into spring and summer. As an eternal and EDH gem, I’m holding multiple copies, English foils, Japanese foils, and multiple foreign copies. It’s a card worth trading into and acquiring wherever you find it. The only real question is whether the new delve cards will be too powerful in modern and lead to fresh bannings but we’ve got time to see how that plays out this winter.

Verdict: Sell (Short Term), Buy (Mid-Term/Long-Term)

6. Siege Rhino (Khans of Tarkir, Rare): $7.40 to $10.50 (42%)

Here is your leading candidate for the best creature in Standard and a virtual swiss-army knife in the current format. It’s an efficient beater, blocker and de facto counter spell against burn spells. It helped multiple Abzan builds dominate the Top 8 of PTKTK, it reverses starts against Aggro and Tempo that look unwinnable, it tramples over green ramp creatures, and it’s up 40%+ this week as Abzan takes the early mantle as the deck to beat. As a KTK rare it’s current level leaves little room for growth, so I’m a seller, looking to cash out from $4 pre-orders and reinvest for further profit potential elsewhere.

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Verdict: Sell

7. See the Unwritten (Khans of Tarkir, Mythic): $4 to $5.62 (+41%)

This is a card to watch. There is a strong legacy of green cards that leverage early ramp into massive creatures on board, and it’s easier than ever right now to push an early 4 power creature into 2 behemoths given the plethora of ramp creatures and mid-range power creep. The growth this week was based on some Green Devotion play at the Pro Tour leading into Hornet Queen, but with a strong possibility of Eldrazi and/or massive Dragons showing up in Standard later this year, there is definitely runway left for this undervalued mythic. I’m a buyer under $6.

Verdict: Buy

8. Wingmate Roc (Khans of Tarkir, Mythic): $14.88 to $20.12 (+35%)

Format(s): Standard

With Abzan (WGB) decks dominating the top 8 at Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir last weekend, Wingmate Roc has had plenty of camera time lately. The card has more than proven itself as a solid role player in any mid-range deck that can afford the mana cost of 3WW. In a standard format where folks are generally trading 1-for-1 against removal, adding two solid threats to the board for the cost of one can be big game against an exhausted hand. The card’s price is definitely vulnerable to metagame shifts, and it has no future in older formats, but it’s also seeing play in Jeskai Control and Mardu builds so it should be able to hold $15+ for most of the season.

Verdict: Sell

9. Glittering Wish (Future Sight, Rare): $15.99 to $19.36 (+21%)

Easily found for as little as $2 just 6 weeks ago, Glittering Wish was always a strong card waiting for the right deck. As a Future Sight era rare it is basically a Super Mythic, and the 1000% increase isn’t that surprising given the trajectory of other rares from that set in recent years once they found a home. Driving the trend is the pivotal nature of Glittering Wish in the modern version of the Jeskai Ascendancy combo deck where it serves as an extra 3-4 copies by fetching the central combo piece from the sideboard as necessary. So long as it’s Ascendancy rather than Wish that gets banned this winter (a result most consider likely), there is more room for upside here, so long as another deck finds a use for it. Even still, I’ve been a happy seller at this price point, because the upside from here is unlikely to outpace other options.

Verdict: Sell

10. Blood Moon (9th Edition, Rare): $16.24 to $19.49 (+20%)

Format: Modern + Legacy

At a time when many Modern cards are floating lower, the utility of Blood Moon in shutting down the increasingly complicated mana-bases in Modern and Legacy is still gaining traction. The card hasn’t been printed for a while and the recent boost is attributable at least partially to the increased prominence of Burn and U/R aggro strategies in older formats made possible by the emergence of Monestary Swiftspear. This is a card that’s fine to hold if you’re looking to play it and easy to sell if you see a chance to reinvest elesewhere.

Verdict: Hold

Noteable Losers

1. Savage Knuckleblade (Khans of Tarkir, Rare): $4.31 to $3.21 (-26%)

Format(s): Standard

The Estimated Value of a box of Khans of Tarkir is still too high at present, and with such a highly opened set, something has to give. Prime candidates will continue to include powerful but under-performing cards like Savage Knuckleblade that aren’t showing up at enough top tables to hold their value. Pending a strong finish of note, this card is headed to $1-2.

Verdict: Sell

2. Rattleclaw Mystic (Khans of Tarkir, Rare): $5.85 to $4.64 (-21%)

Format(s): Standard

Despite showing up as a four-of in the Jeskai Ascendancy standard deck, the Mystic is largely unrepresented compared to stronger rares found on the upswing this week from Khans of Tarkir. As such, expect it to settle in around $4 and look to snap copies up quickly if it posts a strong finish, since a metagame shift could easily see this come back up in the $6-10 range.

Verdict: Hold

3. Empty the Pits (Khans of Tarkir, Mythic): $5.34 to $4.30 (-19%)

Format(s): Standard, Modern + EDH/Casual

The power isn’t in dispute, but it’s unclear whether Empty the Pits can find a home in a powerful graveyard centered deck in Standard that can put up great results. Even when it shows up, it’s often just a 1-2 of. As a long-term pickup this card has strong potential as a mythic in the $5 range that could easily hit $15-20 in a few years.

Verdict: Buy

Quick Hits:

  • Sidisi, Brood Tyrant, Surrak Dragonclaw and Butcher of the Horde are all down 15%+ this week because they aren’t showing up in top table decks yet. All three can easily reverse course on better news. Keep an eye out for bargains, especially on the mythics.
  • Fetches have been a “sell” since the pre-release and will continue to be until they fall under $10-12 broadly as befits their status as fall set rare dual lands that are only seeing limited play in standard. Look to buy a ton of these next summer during fal set discount season.
  • I recommend selling boxes of Modern Masters which can be unloaded in the $360-400 range right now. Unknowns around the potential release of Modern Masters 2 as a global release make possible reprints from the 1st set a distinct possibility I don’t want to hang around to see proved wrong. The profits are solid for a 16 month hold, so I’m all out, saving only one box for way down the road.

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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Weekend Update for 10/4/14

By: Jim Marsh

Every week, some cards from Magic the Gathering increase and decease in value based upon a number of factors.

Let’s take a look at some of the cards whose values have changed the most and the factors behind why those changes have occurred.

10 Big Winners of the Week

10. Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker (Khans of Tarkir)
From $26.32 to $30.49 (15.84%)

If the first weekend of Khans standard is any indication then Sarkhan is the planeswalker we will be seeing the most of during the coming months.

He is being run in a variety of Standard Midrange and Control decks in every combination of colors that include red. He also somehow made his way into some Monogreen Devotion decks. He is usually used anywhere from two to four copies depending on the needs of the deck.

He is removal, a threat and his ultimate promises insane card advantage. It is everything that a Planeswalker should be. If you cast him and attack with his dragon form you can ensure triggers for Ferocious, Raid and Prowess. He just goes with everything.

Some stores are already pricing him at up to $40.

If we look at the Top 8 decklists from both SCG Standard tournaments on 9/28/2014 we see that eighteen copies of Sarkhan were used in nine different decks.

There were twenty-five Stormbreath Dragons across six different decks. Yet Stormbreath is half the price of Sarkhan. This inequity will be rectified as more Khans is opened. Theros was the most opened set when it came out and Khans is going to shatter that record.

I would try to trade any copies of Sarkhan for two copies of Stormbreath Dragon or rotating Return to Ravnica staples like shocklands and Abrupt Decay. In a few months this will look a lot better in your binder.

9. Sylvan Caryatid (Theros)
From $12.08 to $14.87 (23.10%)

I stated a few weeks that I thought that Courser of Kruphix would be the most played creature in Standard after rotation. Courser is doing well for itself but not as well as Sylvan Caryatid.

There were forty-two copies of Courser in the two Top 8s this weekend. Caryatid beat that by a full play set.

You cannot overestimate the importance of early color fixing and acceleration in a wedge set.

It was even used in the Modern Jeskai Ascendancy deck that took first place at tne IV Arcanis Deluxe Main Event. Caryatid is also making its presence known in Modern Gift Control and Loam decks.

Since it is seeing Modern play I am scratching my head why regular copies are almost the less than $20.

I could see regular copies going for that this weekend. Grab some foils instead.

8. Treasure Cruise (Khans of Tarkir Foil)
From $14.99 to $19.49 (30.02%)

Apparently a conditional Ancestral Recall is still really good.

It was a piece of Modern Jeskai Ascendency and was playing as a four of in the winning UR Delver Deck in the SCG Legacy Open in Edison on 9/28/2014. It was played alongside Brainstorm, Ponder and Gitaxian Probe. That should tell you something about relative power level of the card.

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The foil copies are commanding a premium but they are commons. I would unload mine as soon as possible. Modern and Legacy players love their foils but as more boxes are opened the price of these are going to coming down. Just think of the foil Ensoul Artifacts that have sunk from $20 to $13 over the past few weeks.

As you draft make sure you do not let any foil Cruises pass you by.

7. Sidisi, Brood Tyrant (Khans of Tarkir)
From $4.50 to $6.13 (36.22%)

Sidisi is going to be a popular commander. She works well with Dredge and Reanimator strategies which are always popular in the format.

She can also enable a color combination for zombie decks.

She has not seen any real competitive play yet so I am leery of picking copies up.

Foil copies will be a good hold for the long term. They are $15 but buylists are offering $10. I would not mind trading for them around that price.

6. Sultai Charm (Khans of Tarkir Foil)
From $4.94 to $8.44 (70.85%)

It gets rid of most creatures, artifacts and enchantments or just draws more gas.

It has been used in Legacy Sultai Delver decks. It is extraordinarily strong in Control and Midrange decks. There is almost never a time when most of its modes are not active.

All of the wedge charms will be popular in commander and casual formats. I would target foils. Some like Sultai Charm that are used in Modern or Legacy will be excellent long term holds.

5. Jeskai Ascandency (Khans of Tarkir Foil)
From $5.23 to $8.98 (71.70%)

Outside of fetchlands I saw more conversations about this card than any other. Johnnies were hard at work making infinite combos out of jank but they finally got there.

It won got first place in the IV Arcanis Deluxe Modern Main Event.

If you have any foil Cerulean Wisps I would sell them into the hype as soon as you can.

Jeskai Ascendency Storm is going to be a presence unless it gets banned. If you were fortunate enough to get your copies for $3 a few weeks ago you have already tripled your investment. I say take your earnings.

4. Ashcloud Phoenix (Khans of Tarkir)
From $2.80 to $5.69 (103.21%)

Ashcloud Phoenix is a recurring evasive threat. It is only played in the sideboard of Jeskai Midrange and nowhere outside of standard. It will probably settle back around $2 where casual interest holds other phoenixes.

I cannot find any justification for the price spike. I would trade these away to anyone who expresses any interest.

3. Monastery Swiftspear (Khans of Tarkir Foil)
From $9.51 to $24.99

Do we have the new Goblin Guide or Vexing Devil? The short answer is probably not.

It was included in that first place Legacy UR Delver deck in SCG New Jersey as a play set in the main deck.

It will be popular in Red Deck wins and in absolutely nuts with Searing Blaze or Searing Blood.

It is easy to stare at it and think of magical Christmasland where you can play a few Lightning Bolts and Gitaxian Probes and push through for large chunks of damage. It is also easy to see it staring across the battlefield at a Deathrite Shaman or Stoneforge Mystic with an empty hand and be impotent in a way that no Goblin Guide will ever be.

I could be wrong. I would rather sell the card at its likely high and let others figure out its role in the metagame.

2. Mantis Rider (Khans of Tarkir)
From $2.07 to $6.24 (201.45%)

I have always had a soft spot for Lightning Angel. They took one of the most efficient and evasive threats and made it even more efficient.

It plays offense, defense and loves to help you convoke Stoke the Flames when all is said and done.

Speaking of Stoke the Flames, did you know that it is now a $4 to $5 card? Trade those away for painlands and scrylands while you can.

I have a feeling we are going to see a lot of Mantis Riders clogging the skies during Khans standard. It is a great inclusion in Jeskai Midrange.

SCG New Jersey had two copies of Jeskai Midrange in the Top 8 including the winner of the tournament.

I know this will sound a little repetitive but I cannot stress how much Khans will be opened soon. Your best bet is to take all of these winning cards and convert them into staples or cash before supply catches up to demand.

1. Glittering Wish (Future Sight)
From $2.42 to $14.99 (519.42%)

Glittering Wish has been sitting around Modern sideboards for a long time but Jeskai Ascendancy really makes it sing.

The deck plays three copies of the Ascendancy in the main deck and one in the sideboard. The four copies of Glittering Wish allow the player to find the crucial combo piece or any of the toolbox of answers out of the sideboard.

This will be Glittering Wishes’ finest moment. Sell into the hype before Wizards has to emergency ban Jeskai Ascendency.

5 Big Losers of the Week

5. Sorin, Solemn Visitor (Khans of Tarkir)
From $29.10 to $27.02 (-7.15%)

Sorin did alright for himself this weekend but he was overshadowed by Sarkhan. Sorin is great in Mardu Midrange and Control decks.

He has tremendous synergy with Butcher of the Horde, Goblin Rabblemaster, and Brimaz. The decks threats are impressive and versatile.

Unfortunately only one copy made either Top 8 on the 28th.

It is hard to justify a $30 price tag without the results to back it up. I think he will continue to drop but I would keep an eye out if he gets below $15.

4. Griselbrand
From $21.86 to $20.09 (-8.10%)

He is the threat to reanimate in Modern and Legacy. You can use Sneak Attack, Omniscience, Dread Return, Show and Tell or whatever else you like but if you are in the market to cheat creatures into play then chances are you have a play set of Griselbrand alongside Emrakul.

The reason his price is dipping is that he has been announced as the 2015 GP Promo. Everyone who enters a GP Main event in 2015 will receive a copy.

I decided to look back on the price history of cards that had previous GP Promos Goblin Guide and Batterskull.

Both of them had their lowest prices after the announcement of the promo but before distribution. The reprint did not have any detrimental effects. You could point out the rise of Legacy Burn or the printing of True-Name Nemesis that helped the cards get a new foothold. The important thing is that Wizards want the promos to matter. It wants their promo cards to appear on camera and make people dream of being in the GP themselves. It supports the decks.

This should alleviate your worries that Griselbrand is going to be banned any time soon.

If you see anyone offering Griselbrand at $10 or $15 because there is a reprint coming up then you make the trade. Keep a binder full of them. You will not be sorry.

3. City of Brass (7th Edition Foil)
From $68.63 to $50.96 (-25.75%)

City of Brass is a staple of Legacy Dredge and TES. It shows up in Commander decks and Cubes of all variety.

Unfortunately it has some new competition in the form of Mana Confluence.

Those other formats will use both but given how many printings City of Brass has I would invest in copies of Mana Confluence instead. Trade away any excess copies you are sitting on.

2. Anafenza, the Foremost (Khans of Tarkir)
From $7.98 to $5.85 (-26.69%)

She is efficient and will be a tremendous commander. She works well with Kitchen Finks or any other creatures that appreciate +1/+1 counters. She hates out graveyard strategies which are very popular in Commmander and casual games.

She has not found a home in any competitive decks and so she will continue to drop in price. It has too much competition in the three mana slot. She is competing with Brimaz, Abzan Charm, Courser of Kruphix and Hero’s Downfall.

She will drop to around the $3 range until a home opens up or someone decides to build around her.

1. Surrak Dragonclaw (Khans of Tarkir)
From $12.21 to $7.92 (-35.14%)

Five mana? Any five mana card that is being played in standard right now has haste or is Planeswalker. We just cannot wait a full turn to see any action.

His flash is a nice work around but we need more pieces to make Temur work. Jeskai, Mardu and Abzan all have shells to build off of. Sultai and Temur have not had the same cohesion yet.

I think that is only a matter of time. He will continue to decline until someone does find a way to break him. Maybe a Temur Yisan build?

I could see grabbing copies once they are $3 to $4 copies. His effect will always be popular with casual players who hate having their fatties countered. He also works very well alongside Animar in Commander.

I would keep my eye out on foil copies in another few months when the prices will be the lowest.

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Weekend Update for 9/27/14

By: Jim Marsh

Every week, some cards from Magic the Gathering increase and decease in value based upon a number of factors.

Let’s take a look at some of the cards whose values have changed the most and the factors behind why those changes have occurred.

10 Big Winners of the Week

10. Battlefield Forge (10th Edition)
From $5.13 to $5.56 (8.38%)

M15 drafting has officially come to an end. More packs will be opened of course but it will be a trickle compared to the past few months. Why open a core set when there are wedges and fetchlands to release into the wild?

Battlefield Forge will be used in decks that want consistent mana early on and do not intend the game to continue for long.

Mardu will want to use it in aggressive decks.

Jeskai will want it for the combo deck featuring Jeskai Ascendency that everyone is trying to make happen. I am kicking myself for not picking up a few play sets at $2 each but such is the life of a Magic financier.

Modern Boros Burn and Jeskai Twin decks have also used a couple copies to supplement their mana base so demand will never go to absolute zero.

This will keep the lands in demand but with so many printings it can only get to about $7 or so. This means you can hold onto copies you already own and wait for the price to creep up but there is not enough room to really advise trading for Forges.

9. Temple of Malice (Born of the Gods)
From $5.22 to $5.66 (8.43%)

Slower decks in Standard will want to forego the pain and can make use of the scry lands. Temple of Malice is better served for Mardu midrange or Grixis control strategies.

I have even seen some deck brewers tinker with Temple of Malice in Jund aggro and Burn strategies.

Temple of Malice comes from the much maligned Born of the Gods so there are very few of them compared to the Theros temples. This does not convince me that Malice is going to go much higher than $7.

I still feel the smart money would be going for the Journey into Nyx temples.

Temple of Epiphany would be for Jeskai Midrange or Control. Temple of Malady is perfect for a grindy Abzan deck.

8. Purphoros, God of the Forge (Theros)
From $6.31 to $6.90 (8.43%)

Purphoros is primed to make an impact in Standard. We now have Raise the Alarm, Triplicate Spirits, Hordeling Outburst and the potentially terrifying Empty the Pits. He also pairs up brutally well with Bloodsoaked Champion.

He already seems some play in variations on Boros Burn, Gruul Chord and Red Devotion decks.

Modern has seen him shoe horned into Soul Sisters and abusing Norin the Wary. Some Birthing Pod lists include him in the seventy five.

He is not only a legendary creature but a god and that is going to go a long way towards making him a staple of kitchen tables for a long time to come. I really do not see any downside to hoarding some copies and potentially some good upside.

7. Mikokoro, Center of the Sea (Saviors of Kamigawa)
From $10.69 to $11.74 (9.82%)

Mikokoro is a legendary land that is used sparsely. It is sometimes seen in Modern Hatebear, TurboFog and Enduring Ideal decks.

It is best utilized in decks that create situations where the extra cards cannot be used effectively.

It allows you to pile on the card advantage when paired with Spirit of the Labyrinth and activated on your opponent’s turn after their draw step.

It is yet another group hug card for every Nekusar, the Mindrazer deck.

The decks that run copies only need one or two copies. They are fairly fringe decks with the exception of HateBears but it has not really been making waves lately. This is going to continue to grow slowly but steadily but I do not see a reason to rush on getting copies.

6. Kiora, the Crashing Wave (Born of the Gods)
From $17.97 to $19.91 (10.80%)

Kiora wants to help midrange and control decks accelerate or buy enough turns to establish the battlefield.

It can be used in a wide variety of decks. Temur Chord and Monsters decks are the most likely. Sultai Mindrange and Control decks could used her in generating additional card advantage. It will require a skilled pilot but will be a powerful strategy.

Kiora has even seen very limited eternal play. Restore Balance in Modern and Punshing Sultai in Legacy have both played with it.

Foils have recently jumped from $36.36 to $47.79 over the past few weeks.

She does not have the power level of Xenagos, the Reveler so I do not see why she has the same price tag. Her supply is significantly lower but the decks that do want her are content with only one or two copies.

I would trade her away into the hype.

5. Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver (Theros)
From $9.82 to $11.00 (12.02%)

Ashiok had been a $7 card in the not too distant past. It can be a powerful finisher in decks that are grinding out victory with card advantage.

Ashiok will be used in Sultai and Grixis versions of Midrange and Control decks.

Its second ability will be well served by efficient wedge creatures whose power is much more efficient due to strenuous mana costs. Ashiok just sees a free Mantis Rider for three loyalty counters.

Ashiok has been a $20 card before. I think a few tournament results and some price memory will be able to push it back into that range.

I would trade for them given the opportunity. This is especially true if people still think of it as a $7 to $8 card.

4. Soldier of the Pantheon (Theros)
From $3.05 to $3.49 (14.43%)

Soldier of the Pantheon will be playing dual roles for the coming year.

As a 2/1 for one mana with quasi-evasion it is as aggressive a threat as you can possibly ask. The same protection combined with the life gain clause will allow midrange decks to hold off much larger threats once it becomes outclassed.

How many one mana creatures can endlessly hold back Savage Knuckleblade or Surrak Dragonclaw?

The focus on wedges will give Soldier of the Pantheon another chance to shine. This will help it get past $4 soon.

Soldier of the Pantheon was a rare in a heavily drafted large set and was included in an Event Deck. This will probably keep it from hitting $5.

Time your outs and trade them high. Hopefully you picked them up as toss ins when they were below $2.

3. Flames of the Blood Hand (Betrayers of Kamigawa)
From $5.08 to $5.97 (17.52%)

Can you believe these were under $2 only two months ago?

Eidolon of the Great Revel really put burn on the map.

Shocklands and fetchlands are as cheap as they re ever going to be. This has allowed more players to transition from Standard to Modern. New players in a format tend to gravitate towards budget decks and known archetypes while they get used to everything.

Burn decks are both. They are also a gateway deck from Modern into Legacy. Both versions of the deck rely on a lot of the same staples.

This has been pushing up the value of cards for the deck. You can still grab Fire and Lighting copies for the same price. Modern and Legacy players love foils so I would get those instead.

I would also keep my eyes open for foil copies of Skullcrack. It is only $5 and plays a similar role to Flames at one mana cheaper. Prices are down due to Standard players offloading them for rotation.

2. The Rack (Antiquities)
From $5.51 to $9.51 (72.60%)

Players have been trying to make The Rack work in Modern for a while. Liliana’s Caress was more efficient than Megrim but The Rack is often a Lava Spike with rebound that you only have to pay for once.

Return to Ravnica gave us Shrieking Affliction. Foils of it can still be found for $2 and you should jump on those.

Waste Not from M15 may have finally given us the critical mass of cheap effects that bump discard from a rogue deck to fringe play.

Who does not want free zombies, cards and mana for playing Raven’s Crime over and over?

The rack was $4 only a month ago.

The only foil version of the card is from Time Spiral. I see it on eBay for $8 and I see vendors offering $10 for it. There is something there. Grab these. You will be glad you did.

I would also play both sides and grab some cheap Obstinate Baloths.

1. Sorin, Solemn Visitor (Khans of Tarkir)
From $11.98 to $27.40 (128.71%)

We all know that pre-release prices are guaranteed to be inflated. This is especially the case with planeswalkers since retailers do not want to be sitting on the next Jace, the Mind Sculptor.

It is normal for Planeswalkers to pre-order high and to sink back down to reality as they are introduced to the rigors of actual play.

It is unusual for one to jump up like Sorin does. He can be a slower Talrand’s Invocation which is great in limited but not really that exciting in constructed play.

His +1 makes racing impossible and makes token decks happy. He provides a free Cruel Feeding for your entire team.

He is going to be seeing some experimentation in Mardu Tokens and Orzhov Midrange. He seems custom made to team up with Brimaz.

He is already $30 so how much higher do I think he can get? The answer is still the same as any other Planeswalker at release. Trade him away as soon as your draft is over.

There is a 90% chance you will thank me for that later.

5 Big Losers of the Week

5. Courser of Kruphix (Born of the Gods)
From $17.28 to $16.03 (-7.23%)

Courser is still a fantastic creature. He will be played in every single deck with access to green mana and he just makes fetchlands seem unfair.

He is going to be in Abzan Control, Sultai Midrange, Jund and Naya Monsters not no mention RG Chord and probably more.

He is even showing up in Modern Jund, Birthing Pod and GB Rock decks.

The problem is that he is in the Clash Pack. Courser cannot maintain a $20 price tag when you can go online and order a Clash Pack for $22 that gives you a Courser along with a lot of other good cards like Nykthos and Prophet of Kruphix.

I doubt he will go down much further because he does provide incredible value but his ceiling does not provide much room to grow. He is a fatnastic place to store value and will be very liquid if you are looking for something to trade for.

4. Tidespout Tyrant (Dissension)
From $7.25 to $6.67 (-8.00%)

Tidespout Tyrant was one of the top targets in Legacy Reanimtor and Food Chain decks.

Unfortunately those decks only need a single copy each and neither have really been doing very well in the metagame.

It is still a bomb in Commander but with so little play and so much competition at the top from Griselbrand and Emrakul I think Tidespout has had its day. I would trade these away.

3. Birds of Paradise (8th Edition)
From $5.45 to $4.84 (-11.19%)

Despite being one of the most printed rares in the history of Magic I still feel Birds are underpriced.

They are a staple in Modern Melira Pod and any green decks that want a variety of colors right off the bat. Its role has become diminished since the widespread adoption of Noble Hierarch but it is still one of the best one mana creatures ever printed.

It is a tremendous way to start enable Jeskai Ascendancy Storm to win on turn two.

It is a staple in Commander, Cubes and casual decks the world over.

Foils can command a premium. Did you know that the 7th Edition Foil buylists for $85?

You can still buy some cheap regular copies as low as $3.51. I would stock up. I think M16 will feature Birds of Paradise and really help the wedges shine.

Even if that is not the case the day will come when it will be back in standard and prices will jump to $10 for a copy. In the mean time you can always move them to your casual friends.

2. Blood Moon (8th Edition)
From $19.65 to $16.57 (-15.67%)

Blood Moon is a powerful sideboard card that punishes greedy manabases and shuts down powerful lands like Gavony Township and Tectonic Edge.

The printing of more fetchlands in Modern makes it slightly worse but it will still hold a place in powerful decks.

Modern uses it in Affinity, UR Delver, Twin, Red Deck Wins and Pyromancer decks.

Legacy uses it in Jeskai Miracles, Sneak and Show, Imperial Painter and it plays a crucial role in Goblin Stompy.

Copies from The Dark can be had on ebay for as little as $20. This is a steal considering some vendors are currently listing them for as much as $45.

1. Brainstorm (Friday Night Magic)
From $109.99 to $85.17 (-22.57%)

There used to be two ways to get foil Brainstorms and both had the same artwork.

Conspiracy came around and introduced a fresh new supply for a fraction of the cost of the older and scarcer copies.

Brainstom is still one of the best draw spells ever printed and is a frequent addition in decks that run blue.

Legacy uses it in OmniTell, Sultai Delver, UW Miracles, ANT and more.

The recent SCG Legacy Open in Atlanta on 9/14/2014 featured twenty four copies in the Top 8.

It is only a common but it is a staple that will be played until it is banned. Legacy players will need four copies and will want foils for their decks.

I think the Mercadian Masques foil will maintain much of its value for being an old frame foil of a set that was opened in such small numbers compared to the sets today.

FNM copies lost their luster as the Modern frame version. Conspiracy provides a ready and cheaper supply. I think it is instructive to see that earlier this year FNM foils were only $20. I do not think it is going back that low but you should get out before we find out how low it will go.

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