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Conspiracy 2 and You!

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Two years after the original Conspiracy, the sequel is here and it looks badass. I’m super stoked to draft a bunch of it, and add some new sweet cards to all sorts of decks.

From a finance standpoint, I want to make something clear: While Kaya, Ghost Assassin took out Brago, King Eternal in the storyline, Conspiracy: Take the Crown is going to assassinate prices.

Here’s the current prices for the original Conspiracy. Plus, if you’re into that sort of thing, here’s the foils. Looking at these two lists, I want to bring up some data points that will inform my purchases for Take the Crown.

First of all, some of those foil multipliers are outlandish. Dack Fayden’s foil is thirteen times more expensive, and that’s even after being in Eternal Masters! Dack is one of the most powerful cards in Vintage and in Cube, so his price isn’t too shocking. Marchesa, the Black Rose is more than ten times as pricey in foil. Scourge of the Throne is big, as are lots of others. This tells me that the casual demand is pretty high for these cards, or in some cases, the Legacy/Vintage demand.

I do expect the foil demand to be high again for Take the Crown, and mostly, I’ll be going after foils for myself and for long-term value. Note that the value of Conspiracy foils have stayed pretty stable since about January 2015, so I don’t want to get foils right freaking now OMG shiny!! I do want to get them before Christmas. Generally speaking, the time to get cards in one set is after the next set has come out.

The print run of original Conspiracy was big enough to torpedo prices. Here’s the graph of Urza’s Saga Exploration:

Exploration

Note the dip around the time before/during Khans of Tarkir being released. The card was $50, and has stayed stable at $10-$15.

This has all the ingredients of a card that should be $50 or so. It’s a four-of in a powerful and effective Legacy deck (Lands) and only has two printings. But because one of them is a modern-day supplemental set, the price is quite reasonable. This loss of 75% of value is repeated elsewhere in the set. Misdirecton went from $30 to $5. Mirari’s Wake dived by half. Hydra Omnivore went from $15 to $3. And so on.

I’m going to treat Take the Crown as something that’s going to be printed a lot, and opened a lot. This has a lot of valuable cards, at a regular booster’s price. You cannot expect a Modern Masters-type effect here, you can only expect prices to take a bath. A big one.

With that in mind, here’s my list of things you need to trade away right now, send out via Pucatrade, whatever the case may be. These are going to fall and fall hard. I’m focusing today’s picks on the nonfoils, and I’ll be interested in seeing how the foil prices fluctuate.

Ghostly Prison – How much do we love these effects? This has been printed three times, plus a FNM promo, and still it’s this high. Granted, those three printings were Champions of Kamigawa, Commander 2011, and Planechase 2012, which are all three possibly not going to add up to the number of these that will be put into circulation. These will be lucky to keep half their value and likely end up in the $3 range.

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Hallowed Burial – About to be a dollar rare.

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Pariah – Buckle up, because you’re headed for the bulk bin.

Desertion – $6 for a foil or $9 for the Commander’s Arsenal version. Either way, this will hit $2 and stay there for a while. It’s an awesome spell and has long-term potential, but the market is about to be flooded.

Kami of the Crescent Moon – Smug little smile, less than a dollar in price.

Serum Visions – This might stay at $1.50, but that’s the highest. Again, we are about to get a big influx.

Show and Tell – This was $80 before the announcement. It’s not done falling, not nearly. I suspect that $30 is reasonable and $20 is in play. I don’t know if it has enough Commander appeal to soak up extra copies. Side note: I like picking up Griselbrand and Omniscience as the best things to put into play. More Show and Tell cards may lead to more Show and Tell decks.

Inquisition of Kozilek – Possibly the banner card for reprinting, It’s already down to $10 and I will be surprised if it stays above $5. I think two or three bucks.

Phyrexian Arena – Six printings, and three of those had foils too! It’s just so good in just about any deck, though it’s too slow for Modern or Legacy. The casual crowd is going to soak up a lot of these, and when it’s down to $2 or so, I’m going to start buying them.

Burning Wish – The demand for this card just isn’t very high. I think this struggles to stay above $4.

Gratuitous Violence – One of my all-time favorite cards, now destined to be bulk. People just don’t have the intestinal fortitude for this.

Kiln Fiend – I look like a genius, because two weeks ago, I sent out a dozen of these on Puca from old draft boxes. This price was due to scarcity, and it will be at a quarter, maybe fifty cents.

Beast Within – This has had a lot of supplementary printings, but those weren’t high volume. The volume of Take the Crown is going to be much higher, and it’s an uncommon, dropping it to a dollar or less.

Birds of Paradise – Doesn’t matter how many you print. This is going to fall, and then creep up over time. Again. Notably, this hasn’t been printed at all since Magic 2012 five years ago. It’ll fall to $2-$3 and stay there for a long while.

Berserk – Can you believe this is in the set? I still can’t. Printings are Alpha, Beta, Unlimited, FTV:Exiled, and now this. That is a tiny, tiny supply, and I suspect that a lot of Commander games are about to be ended by using this on someone else’s creature. I think the market gets pretty flooded, and this stabilizes around $25 in two weeks, but it could go lower.

Burgeoning – Exactly the path of Exploration. Huge hit to its value, likely to sub-$5.

Forgotten Ancient – We made this card! We will also see it hit bulk.

Platinum Angel – This mythic has been resilient to reprints, and I’m reluctant to forecast too much of a hit. Down to the $5 range seems about right.

Did I leave something off? Let me know in the comments or in the forums!

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PucaPicks for August 25, 2016

Well, everyone, the much-hyped new Pucatrade is here and gosh, it’s pretty. It’s also clunky and everything is in a different spot, which is never really fun. I am not yet a fan of the new layout, I feel it’s a lot of extra graphics and unneeded stuff, especially on mobile.

However, I’m giving it and myself time to adjust to a new way of doing things. I’m planning on a more comprehensive review of the site and how things work next week, after I’ve had a chance to play with the settings and send out some cards.

This week, I’m going over my current picks from Eldritch Moon. Normally, I don’t advocate getting cards from the set in print and is being drafted every week, but there’s a new factor: Conspiracy.

The short version is that a ton of people are going to want to draft and play and buy Conspiracy: Take the Crown instead of the usual Eldritch MoonEldritch MoonShadows over Innistrad. Plus, we have only one month until the Kaladesh prerelease!

So now is the time to look at EMN cards and make some strategic pickups.

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From the Vault: Yawn

I figure I’m not the only one to make that joke, about this being FtV: Bore, but it’s so darn accurate that I’m not going to flinch.

This FtV is super disappointing, there’s no way around it. The marquee cards aren’t that expensive and they are about to get a damn sight cheaper. Uncool foiling, a tendency to warp, and unexciting cards just aren’t going to peg the needle very far.

Also, this set doesn’t have much of a connecting theme. I get that Magic has a lot of cool stories to tell, and cards that want to tell those stories, but this set is disjointed at best. FTV: 20 at least got to pick the best/iconic cards to represent twenty years of Magic, but this set didn’t hit a lot of the high points for me.

Financially, this set follows the previous From the Vaults, in having a couple of high-value cards, mostly $5ish cards, and a couple of super-bulk cards. I’m seeing presales vary, sets are going for $50-$70 right now and that seems high. You’re far better off getting your singles in a week or two when people are desperate to unload their extras.

 

Beseech the Queen – This is a $4 uncommon! Sneaky-great for picking out of bulk boxes, but these were two relatively small printings in Planechase and Shadowmoor. I expect this to end up in the $2 range.

Cabal Ritual – It’s a $2 common, and played in exactly one deck. It’s going to be a dollar or less, an easy pickup if you really need one or a set.

Conflux – There’s a Legacy deck which uses this and Dream Halls to really go off. It’s not good enough in Cube, it only goes in five-color Commander decks. I would expect this foil to settle out in the range of five to seven dollars.

Dark Depths & Marit Lage – This is one of the two money cards in the set. Dark Depths is quite the combo with Thespian’s Stage, and that’s why Stage has had a significant spike recently. A huge part of this card’s price is that it’s from Coldsnap, which was never in huge demand and 60 regular or 200 foil is about right for the play it gets. No one has ever done this card fairly, Vampire Hexmage caused a spike in Depths back in 2009.

This version will slice the price in half and then some, and I expect it to end up about $25.

Glissa, the Traitor – Nigh-impossible to beat in combat without help, she also has artifact recursion synergies. Don’t overlook that she was the prerelease foil, and so she’s going to be $1 at most thanks to FTV.

Helvault – Bulk before, bulk now.

Memnarch – This is one of the most terrifying sets of abilities ever. For seven mana, you can steal target land, permanently. Combines really well with other cards that make the ability easier and cheaper, which will absolutely, and rightfully, get you taken out quickly in Commander games. I would expect this to be about $10.

Mind’s Desire – If your Cube has a Storm deck, then it is up to you if you’ll run this as well as the other finishers (Tendrils of Agony, Brain Freeze, etc.) that cost less and are more certain to work. It’s barely a dollar card, and there is a Judge foil giving a top end, so I’d expect this to be around $3.

Momir Vig, Simic Visionary – I have to admit, I didn’t know this had gotten all the way to $10, and a $30 foil. It’s undoubtedly an amazing card in Simic decks, turning every G/U creature into a creature in your hand. Chaining Coiling Oracle into Prime Speaker Zegana and so on and so forth is certainly powerful. I think this will be lower than $10 and more than $5.

Near-Death Experience – So many things from Rise of the Eldrazi, and they picked this. Blah and bulk.

Obliterate – Oh joy, a card that resets the game, even down to lands. Suspending this with Jhoira of the Ghitu will get you attacked into oblivion. This won’t be much above bulk.

Phyrexian Processor – Yes, this is the first foil printing, and that is always awesome, but not every deck needs this card or this effect. The more life you pump into it, the more worried you’ll be. Waiting till you have mana to both cast and activate it is much safer. Price-wise, this will probably be less than $5.

Tolaria West – Another one of those ‘Holy crap, it’s a $5 uncommon!’ cards but a lot of that was the way this card was used in Summer Bloom decks. It’s not bad in Commander, where you can use it to find any land you want, or Pacts or other shenanigans, but there’s not much of a demand and I would be very surprised if this kept the $5 price.

Umezawa’s Jitte – This is tricky. On the one hand, it’s the best Equipment ever. On the other, it’s banned in Modern. It’s climbed to $45 based on a tiny original print run, and being the GP foil for the 2009 season. No one needs a playset of this, it’s always a one-of in Legacy thanks to Stoneforge Mystic. Generally speaking, Legacy players don’t like FTV foiling, so I don’t see much of a market there, and that leaves Commander and Cube. I think this remains in the $30 range, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it fell all the way to $20, simply based on few how many people need another copy.

Unmask – Oh, I love this card. I had a black deck once that wanted to go Swamp-Dark RitualHypnotic Specter. A blue deck could beat that only with Force of Will, and that’s what Unmask is for. It requires an answer, or it strips the answer away. It’s only $6/$33 now, and I would expect the FTV version to be sub-$5, maybe as low as $1.

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PucaPicks for August 18, 2016

Welcome back to PucaPicks!

I can’t wait to go over some of the cards which are undervalued and which are overvalued. Last week I talked about Oath of the Gatewatch and Battle for Zendikar, and this week most of my attention is on the rotation: Magic Origins and Dragons of Tarkir!

There are some cards in here which I love love love, and others barely worth the effort of a stamp. Let’s get to it!

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