Tag Archives: bfz

Preparing for BFZ Rotation

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I wrote a lot of words when 18-month Standard was introduced. Many many pixels were burned out with the weight of speculation about what would happen to prices.

So now, we are looking down the barrel of the realigned plan, with Shadows Over Innistrad block and Battle for Zendikar block both rotating at the end of September. That’s about five months away, but with this current infusion of energy and vitality into Standard brewing, I want to look at what’s worth keeping till the end and what you should be getting rid of soon.

Battle for Zendikar

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar ($25): I would get rid of any extras you have. He’s got some appeal outside Standard, especially as he makes an Ally every turn, but he’s a small presence in a couple of Modern sideboards and that’s it. He’s still the defining card of Standard, though, while he remains legal.

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger ($23): I recognize that this card is about the best thing that Aetherworks Marvel can cast, and is a four-of in those Standard decks. Keep in mind, though, that this is also one of the best things to do in Modern Tron, and is also a popular card in the semi-niche Legacy Cloudpost decks. The foils available for $40 or less are something I would like to have going forward, as the Commander appeal is high. Keep all you have right now–he’s not going to dip far, if at all, when he rotates.

Sunken Hollow ($4) and the other double-check lands: If you think Frontier has a future, this is a fun spec. Fetches will be legal, and these would be among the choices for fetchable duals, since shocklands aren’t going to be allowed. I’m not going to load up on these, not yet. There is a market for these until September, as manabases are going to play lots and lots of duals (and Islands especially, for Engulf the Shore).

Part the Waterveil ($3.50): I don’t think these will fall very much, but this is among the best of the Time Walk effects in the modern day. I’m going to be trading for these on sight for the next year as a long-term hold.

Oath of the Gatewatch

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet ($22): If you like Golgari, or delirium decks, you love this card in Standard. Otherwise, he’s ready to take a big dive. I don’t want to have any at all in my possession when rotation hits. Keep your four if you love the deck in Standard, but he’s a one-of in Modern Jund and while he’s good in Commander, he’s not good enough to keep his price high. A loss down to the $10-$12 range seems likely.

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Kozilek’s Return ($11): I’d get out of this card too. It’s already done some funky tricks with its price during its time in Standard, and it’s seeing very little play outside Standard. Get rid of them.

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Chandra, Flamecaller ($7): Overshadowed by the Torch, and it’s going to lose some big value at rotation. Sell/trade away all of your copies.

Thought-Knot Seer ($7): The spotlight is off of the Eldrazi in Standard, but my goodness, this is a popular card in older formats. I’m advocating that you keep the ones you have, and aggressively go after more, especially the $20 foils that will be popping at some point.

Eldrazi Displacer ($7): Thought-Knot shines in Modern, and Displacer is not only good in that format but it’s an all-star in Commander. I’m in for picking these up in foil or in nonfoil. We know that the Commander decks this year are tribal, and having one of those decks be Eldrazi seems unlikely.

Oath of Nissa ($4): Not worth keeping, and I’ll get in on some foils after rotation if they fall to about $3, as I think that’s a good entry point for the effect in Superfriends Commander decks.

Sea Gate Wreckage: ($1.50/$3): I’d be picking these up all over the place going forward. I love the potential when it gets lower and lower, but it’s seeing just enough play to keep it out of bulk territory.

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PROTRADER: A 2015 Year-End Review

Many will look back at 2015 with shaded glasses, unwilling to think critically about the data that now lies behind us. Money can no longer be made in 2015, so it’s easy to strictly focus on what’s ahead, ignoring valuable lessons from behind. It is certainly easy to do so – humans are creatures of habit, and our conscious mind is inherently lazy. That’s all right, don’t feel bad, my mind is lazy too.

But this morning, as I ponder the most important trends to me throughout 2015, I force myself to think critically about where I am today and where I want to focus next year. So at the risk of giving you yet another cliché “year in review” article, I think it’s important I share some really impactful observations throughout 2015. These five trends will be based solely in data, and require heightened scrutiny next year as I continue to strive towards my MTG financial goals – a full tuition for my son’s college education.

One day at a time.

Observation # 1 – The Impact of Fetches and the Super Mythic Rare

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PROTRADER: Pro Tour Prep: Battle for Zendikar

BRIEF PROGRAMMING NOTE: Today’s edition of Accumulated Knowledge is coming out a day early, so as to give the most time before the Pro Tour. As always, MTGPrice will be updating you over the weekend, so make sure you check in all weekend!

Good morning, and welcome back to Pro Tour Weekend! Hopefully you are reading this before the event starts (or during the first draft), which means you’ll still have plenty of time to get in on some cards. We are gonna get right down to business again, so this paragraph is going to end… now.

Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar: I’m starting to have the feeling that this weekend will be more like “Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir, part 2”. Atarka’s Command, Dragonlord Ojutai, and Den Protector have all had big rebounds, while cards like Deathmist Raptor, Kolaghan’s Command, and Dragonlord Atarka have stayed strong. Dromoka’s Command has sneakily risen back up to above $6 after the Event Deck printing, and remains one of the best cards in the format in terms of versatility. If you still haven’t played with Dromoka’s Command, you’re missing out- it’s an incredible skill-tester that is typically going to be a 4x in lists that play it. Likewise, Atarka’s Command is truly outrageous1 and is THE lynchpin in the red deck du jour.

BRIEF PROGRAMMING NOTE: We are going to break down a bunch of different decks and individual cards from here on out, starting with the ones listed at the top. I just wanted to let you know.

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    PROTRADER: Invisible Hand Hard at Work

    My name is Sigmund and I’m a capitalist. I believe in the Invisible Hand and all the dictates of supply and demand in the realm of MTG finance. This means I embrace all the positives – and inevitable negatives – of such a system.

    I’ve been hearing many disgruntled voices lately berating one body of people or another for their business practices. Wizards of the Coast is executing sets poorly by mismanaging print runs and introducing new “rarities” via Expeditions. Local game stores are unfairly price gouging on new products when they receive less supply than anticipated. Even Hasbro cannot escape the pitchforks, receiving blame for manipulating Wizards and poorly executing an online gaming platform.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I’m not going to sit here and decry that everyone needs to embrace capitalism as I have. But everyone should at least be aware of the underlying drivers that have gotten us into certain pricing situations. And if you take away nothing from this article but one thing, I hope that one thing is simply that there isn’t a single body to blame for certain pricing behaviors. Oh, and you may learn a thing or two about MTG economics along the way.

    Ready for another off-the-beaten-path type of finance column? Here we go!

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