Tag Archives: amonkhet

UNLOCKED PROTRADER: Time to Move in or Move on?

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I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving, and has had the chance to do some awesome drafts with Iconic Masters, which has such a different play pattern than Ixalan draft. It’s a nice change of pace, but I have to admit, I really hated paying $35 for a draft when I knew I could get a box for $160 all over the place.

I don’t think Iconic Masters is done falling in price, but we are only two weeks away from Unstable drafts, and then it’s dead in December until after New Year’s, when we dive into Rivals of Ixalan previews and prerelease!

If it seems that time is flying by, I’m with you. I’m also keenly aware that lots of stuff has settled in price and that means I need to evaluate two things, as it comes to Amonket and Kaladesh blocks:

  1. How likely is the card to see another bump before it rotates?
  2. Is the card Modern/Legacy/casual playable, and what’s the demand going to be going forward?

Now if you’re thinking, “What the heck, did he say rotation? It’s December!” that’s not wrong but you need to be aware that there’s not a lot of chances for a deck to break out.

With that in mind, I want to look at some cards and see if I want to get in or move on.
 

Glorybringer ($6): Right now, creatures are dying all over the place. Four toughness is not enough, with this dragon and with Chandra, Torch of Defiance. The fifth toughness is a big part of the appeal with it comes to The Scarab God. Glorybringer is seeing some play in a range of decks, but it’s only a four-of in some of the new Mardu Vehicles lists.

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Especially with a buy-in at this range, I don’t think this is worth a buy. It would have to spike past $10, into the $12-$15 range, and that means super-widespread adoption. Seems pretty unlikely to me, and since this doesn’t see much play. It’s in less than 700 Commander decks, so yeah, stay away.

Anointed Procession ($9): I have to be honest, I didn’t know that this had crept up to the threshold of $10. It’s now the #3 card in Amonkhet, and while I want to say that’s due to casual appeal, that’s not quite right. There’s a lot of these in EDH decks (4500!) and there’s a range of token strategies available in Standard. Bringing some Hidden Stockpile/Anointed Procession deck to FNM and making a huge stack of tokens does sound like a lot of fun!

Don’t count out the kitchen table players either. Something has been soaking up spare copies of this, to keep pushing it on the gradual upward curve. Legion’s Landing is the proximate cause, but at the root, the casual demand is super high on here, though the foil is still available under $20. I’m going to be looking for this to drop at rotation, but I don’t think it will fall far.

A caveat: This is very easy to reprint in a Commander product going forward. Be cautious if you’re stocking up.

Bontu’s Last Reckoning ($4): This is intriguing on a couple of levels. It’s hot garbage in casual formats, so that’s out, but it’s the cheapest Wrath of God variant available in Modern, where it’s popped up in a few sideboards. It’s not super-widely adopted yet, but there is room for that to grow. Lantern Control, a deck which is merciless to play with and against, has one or two in the board, as does 8-rack and some other fringe strategies. This price isn’t due to Standard, or to casual demand, so the amount of play it’s seeing has kept it from being a dollar rare.

I would like it better if it fell back into the $2 range, where it was a couple of months ago, but if it doesn’t dip at rotation, Picking up a few is something I can get behind.

Solemnity ($2): It’s got all sorts of fun combos, and frankly, it hoses a wide range of popular EDH strategies. Do note that it doesn’t care about planeswalkers, as happened in a game I was in. I’m hoping that rotation cuts this to a dollar rare or less, as it’s too unique an effect to stay this cheap forever. Also notable is that the foils are four times as much, but the card is only listed in 850 decks on EDHREC.

Panharmonicon ($3): If you don’t have a taste for reprint risk, this is a lock. It’s in more than 11,000 EDH decks. It’s the #81 artifact in that database, which is surprising to me until I looked at the list and saw all the mana rocks. Three bucks is too low for this card, it did make it to $10 when people were trying to get all the value possible early in the format. It’s highly reprintable, though…so the foils at sub-$10 are even more appealing to me. Foil Anointed Procession is already pushing $20, and this is the card that defines ‘win more’ which is what we all want to do deep in our filthy casual hearts. Go buy some of the foils right now and just sit on them for a little while, and thank me later.

Bonus Pick: The Chain Veil (Foil): There’s 23 copies on TCG right now, and none at several big sites. It’s only in 3500 EDH decks, but the supply is super tiny for a card that fits into the always-popular superfriends decks. I don’t think it’ll take long for this to get a hefty spike over $20, and while this is a strong contender to be put into a supplemental deck, I have a hard time seeing this in a Masters set or in a set that has foils.

Cliff is an avid Cuber and a player at a wide range of kitchen tables. He has yet to Top 8 a GP but eventually they will have a Cube event and he’ll have that locked right up! Find him on Twitter @WordOfCommander or here on MTGPrice every Friday.

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UNLOCKED PROTRADER: Amonkhet Stock Watch

There’s a lot of reasons why Amonkhet prices are falling as fast as they are, from Invocations to peak supply to a lack of new toys to play with, considering we’re about to get all of Hour of Devastation and we know a lot about Ixalan already.

With the Hour upon us, and prereleases next weekend, it’s time to take a look at the trajectories of some of these cards and see where they have to go. There are still packs of Amonkhet being opened, and while that’s going to exert some downward pressure, the historical data tells us that most prices won’t fall too much further.

Want some examples? Sure. Let’s start with a rollercoaster of a card: Panharmonicon.

 

So it spiked to $10 right away as people tried brewing midrangey value decks with it, and those were sweet. They were not winners, and Panharmonicon had been trickling down ever since.

I didn’t highlight when Aether Revolt came out. Looking at the graph, can you tell when it did? Maybe you know release dates off the top of your head.

See that spike in January? That’s when Aether Revolt came out, and there were decks trying to brew with this again, and it tapered off quickly. (I think this card is a steal at $2, which you can find on eBay. Foils at $10 or less are even better value.)

How about something more basic? Botanical Sanctum.

You already know when the second set came out, and you can see how the price barely moved. The demand was pretty steady, until pretty recently when everyone figured out that Marvel was the best deck, and now it’s banned.

 

With this data in mind, let’s look at some Amonkhet cards and see where they might be going.

 

Rhonas the Indomitable ($13 nonfoil/$23 foil/$52 Invocation) – What’s interesting is how little play this is currently seeing in Standard. It’s become a spicy one-of in assorted Collected Company decks in Modern, as a powerful attacker and also another way to use infinite mana if you haven’t drawn the Duskwatch Recruiter. If something comes along to make it good, it’ll spike (generically useful advice!) but barring that, this will continue to trickle downwards and will likely end up at $10 or so.

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Gideon of the Trials ($12/$24) – Oh how the mighty have fallen. This was preordering for $40! I hope you’re not preordering anything from Hour of Devastation. Just don’t do it. Haven’t you learned? That’ll be its own article soon.

Anyway, Gideon v6 (I’m counting Kytheon, Hero of Akros) was heralded as an unstoppable force in Legacy, as a combo enabler in Modern, and as a three-mana planeswalker, shouldn’t be underestimated in Standard.

He’s played mostly in Modern now and is making no waves in Standard at this time. He’s going to end up at $8 or less, and hopefully you’ve learned your lesson.

Vizier of the Menagerie ($6/$16) – No one is trying to make this work in any constructed format. This is a casual card, all the way. It started out at $10, and hasn’t fallen very far, and that’s mainly because this is an auto-include in almost any green Commander deck, and that’s absorbing the supply at a pretty good pace. I actually don’t think this will fall any farther, and it’ll stay stable until we get to Ixalan, at which point it might even start trending upwards.

Glorybringer ($4/$10) – You’d be impressed at the number of big hasty beaters who have never had a big price. Thundermaw Hellkite. Stormbreath Dragon. Either version of Kolaghan. And so on. This was $10 at first but the price has stabilized, and I don’t think it’ll go any lower. A pickup of this at $4 (or less!) is a decent one, but I’m not going to get too happy or too deep. Not many decks will seek to run a full four of these.

Sweltering Suns ($4/$6) – Yeah, take a look at that foil multiplier. I can’t recall the last time foils and nonfoils of a rare were that close in price, but here we are. The card is showing up in a lot of sideboards in Standard, and it’s a fun card to put in your UR control deck. The extra spicy tech in that deck is how Thing in the Ice is going to come down anyway, and live through the Suns. Nothing telegraphs a sweeper like refusing to play a creature into it.

It’s not common for us to see a card slowly rise like this over time. Usually, we see spikes as someone figures it out and does well, but this is getting play here, and there, and in this sideboard, and it’s possibly better in Modern than Anger of the Gods (you want cycling or you want exile, take your pick) but it’s a card that is a good contender to keep going up. Three damage is enough to kill almost everything played before turn three, and if you can get the double red, it’s hard for this to not get at least two creatures. And it cycles!

I’m not advocating buying Sweltering Suns right now. It’d have to go up in price tremendously to be worth it. I would, however, trade for them slowly and hold onto them for a while, because it’s going to be climbing more.

Cliff is an avid Cuber these days, having played far too many Commander games that lasted two hours. He first opened a pack of Revised in late 1994, and has been writing about Magic for longer than he’s been a father. He’s always on the lookout for value or weird ways to play.

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UNLOCKED PROTRADER: Checking in on Amonkhet

It’s been a month and the Pro Tour hype is over, and we are still adjusting and still innovating. I love that mono-black Zombies took it down, but I don’t love that much of the deck is going to rotate in six months. It’s gonna be a good time until then though!

Today I want to go over some of the movements of Amonkhet cards, and how far they might fall.

Gideon of the Trials ($20.69): He didn’t light up anything at the PT, so I’m not expecting much from him right now. We’ve also had hints that the Gatewatch is getting a little overplayed as a set of planeswalkers, so if he’s the only Gideon in the deck, he gets less good.

I do think there’s space for him to be good, we just haven’t seen the control deck that wants him yet. If he lands, and there’s a Fumigate or other wrath waiting to punish the opponent for overcommitting to the board, then I think there’s a whole lot of potential.

I’m not buying now, though, and he’s getting his price cut by a couple of stores. He’s gonna be $15 soon and I think he’ll be $10 by the time we get Hour of Devastation…which is where I’ll be getting in. I’ll be hoping for a double-up when he gets good.

Rhonas the Indomitable ($17.72): Believe it or not, this card is increasing in price even as it sees almost no Standard play. The foil is only 1.5 times more, and the Invocation is about 3x. I think it’s casual demand causing this graph:

I am super impressed that this is rising slightly, when most of the mythics are on a slow decline. Sure, this is good in Commander, but I didn’t think it was this good. I don’t know where this will go, but experience tells me that it should be going down. I definitely am not buying this now, but the rise in price over time is fascinating given how little Standard play it’s getting.

Vizier of the Menagerie ($8.13): It’s lower than when it was released, and the casual demand has been mostly sated. A creature that helps you get more creatures is always going to have a special place in my heart, especially when it’s half the mana cost of Garruk’s Horde. It’s hit $6 and has crept up a little, but I’d expect that to go back down over the next few weeks. I’d prefer to pick this up in the $3 range, but $5 might be the floor. Very few green Commander decks would skip this card.

Glorious End ($1.82): So in case you’re not aware, there are streamers who can cause a card to spike quickly. This was featured the other day and while the deck didn’t light the league up, it’s closing in on bulk-mythic territory…which is always an intriguing pickup, especially considering how much longer this will be in Standard. When it gets to sub-$1, I’ll be looking to grab a couple of playsets, because when these spike, it’ll be glorious.

Dispossess ($.59): You’d think that with all the vehicles and Marvels and Scroungers running around this would at least be a sideboard card. I’m both surprised and not surprised Lost Legacy saw some play when Emrakul, the Promised End was the Marvel target of choice, but the goal there was to take down the monster, not the enabler. I wouldn’t mind having some of these in bulk storage, but that’s the purest of speculative targets.

Special bonus pick: Fumigate ($1.79): It’s a wrath that catches you back up. Yes, it’s bad against planeswalkers and vehicles but it’s seeing more play now than at the beginning, and lots of people are trying very hard to make UW Control good again. I think eventually they will get there, and I want to have some sub-$2 copies of this handy for when it cracks $5.

Cliff is a father, teacher, and casual enthusiast who recently finished a ‘Busted Uncommons’ cube, which Sol Ring is not in because it’s too busted. His Magic career boasts two PTQ top 8s that were 8 years apart. He whispers to his stack of Prophet of Kruphix every night, telling them they are good boys and their time will come.

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PROTRADER: Price Targets for Amonkhet

Oh do I love the beginning of a set. Prereleases are among the purest tournaments to me, because I don’t know the tricks, the angles, the basics of what to be afraid of. There’s synergies to explore and so much to experience!

I don’t like picking Standard cards when there’s a banning announcement coming so soon, but there’s already some stuff that I’ve noticed and want to trade for soon.

A couple of caveats: First of all, my standing advice remains good: Trade away everything you open at the prerelease, and trade for anything that isn’t in Amonkhet. There’s going to be a big loss in almost all the prices, and picking the one or two cards that go up from here isn’t worth it. Assume it’s all going to lose value, and trade accordingly.

Second, about the price drops: The value loss is going to be real and big and significant. I’m going to give you my price targets, the value that I’m hoping these fall to before I start picking them up in earnest. Panharmonicon never fell to the dollar rare I was hoping for, but Lifecrafter’s Bestiary is surely there.

I’m going to list the prices that we currently have for these cards, but with this still being in pre-order mode, these prices reflect what stores want to get for them.

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