Tag Archives: financial five

Financial Five: Magic Origins

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By: Houston Whitehead

I might say it in every Financial Five article, but they just keep getting better and better at pricing cards.  Though I applaud them, I think I still found some potential gems in Magic Origins worth speculating on.

Graveblade Marauder (TCG Mid $1)

graveblade MI understand at first glance his stats are underwhelming. What justified his inclusion in this weeks FF can be wrapped up with one word. Deathtouch!  Almost any creature in the format would laugh at a 1/4, but deathtouch puts the fear in both Dragonlord Ojutai and Silumgar, the Drifting Death. Though his ability begs to be built around, it’s really not that hard in Standard to put creatures in the graveyard.  He even works well with Fleshbag Marauder and Satyr Wayfinder.  The only roadblock I can forsee in his future is Deathmist Raptor. The dino’s synergy with Den Protector would be the only leash holding back Standard play. If you couldn’t already tell, this is my favorite card in the set. He’s currently at $1 but is begging to gain value if Deathmist decreases in play.

Funny sidenote: Did you know Graveblade is a font? Here’s proof.

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Herald of the Pantheon (TCG Mid $3)

We are familiar with constellation decks from Theros block.  G/B constellation was a tier one deck for a while and I think this will at least encourage some great minds to test this cards potential with that theme.

heraldofthepantheonPlayable discounted creatures in Golgari: Boon Satyr, Courser of Kruphix, Herald of Torment, Master of the Feast, Nyx Weaver, Spiteful Returned

All of the gods, but more so, the following; Athreos, God of Passage, Pharika, God of Affliction, Erebos, God of the Dead, Nylea, God of the Hunt

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Currently at $3, it’s already pulling a small amount of hype in its direction.  Gaining life ‘enchantmentfall’ shoudn’t be overlooked.  The obvious combination with Courser is sweet, but the 2/2 body is its clearest drawback.  Assuming you’re starting with the old G/B shell, Eidolon of Blossoms is a four of, but more importantly, another playset of 2/2’s.  Blocking profitably is not going to happen often so finding a way to win without taking dragons to your face is the first puzzle you have to solve.   On the surface, it seems too slow for Heroic decks. Plus, Hero of Iroas lines up better with the decks goals.   With the Pro Tour Origins kicking off on July 31st, I’d say all it takes is a deck tech to double it’s price.

Priest of the Blood Rite (TCG Mid $1)

priest of the blood riteIf Satyr Wayfinder isn’t enough fodder for you Sidisi, Undead Vizier or Fleshbag Marauder? I present to you, fodder and a Dragon-destroying Demon token (except Atarka, of course). Unless you’re playing FNM, Encase in Ice is the only ‘Pacifism’ effect in the current competitive Standard meta.

Since you’re already playing Wayfinder, what else goes well with self-mill strategies? Whip of Erebos! Whip takes away the drawback, adds lifelink to your 2/2, and leaves behind a 5/5 flying demon.  Together, they block Whisperwood Elemental and it’s first manifest creature well.  My only concern is the number of copies worth playing in a list. It clearly works best in the self-mill decks (Golgari or Sultai) but at a non-mythic rarity, it’s hard to expect a large jump even after heavy play.  Current price is $1 so a $4-5 price could come true if a whip deck finishes well in the next 2 months.

Hallowed Moonlight (TCG Mid $3.5)

hallowed moonlightThis was actually the hardest card for me to add to the list.  When it was first spoiled, It seemed way to narrow for my tastes and would end up being a meta call sideboard choice.  It’s grown on me the more and more I think about it’s potential.  It’s easy to think about when cards are good but will it be good more times than the times it’s bad.  The fact that it’s a cantrip takes most of the sting out, but did keeping two mana up on your opponents turn put you behind?  Probably not.

So what are the good times? It prevents reanimation, tokens, manifest, blinking, unearth, and Splinter Twin combo. Modern and Legacy benefit the most but Standard could justify a few sideboard slots.  I feel U/W/R modern decks benefit the most.  With Preordain and Ponder banned, these decks rely on cantrips to keep their hands full.   Most of these strategies also play most of there spells at the end of the opponents turn.  Problem is, rarity and lack of main deck potential turns this card into a long term spec.  Think of it to take a similar financial path as Shadow of Doubt.  $3.50 is the current price but I’d say you can pick them up off standard players for less during the Prerelease and release weekends.

Despoiler of Souls (TCG Mid $1)

despoiler of soulsI can’t help but look at devotion potential when I see this little guy.  Grey Merchant of Asphodel (Gary) is one of my favorite cards from Theros block.  Bloodsoaked Champion and D-Souls will obviously have great aggressive potential for Mono-Black Aggro, but the ability to bring back creatures to keep devotion high could lead to some explosive turns.

On top of those, Erebos’s Titan might not come from graveyard to battlefield but with devotion high, recasting him should be easy.  D-souls easily fits in two known archtypes, encourages you to play with a playset, and is currently prices at $1.  This price baffles me just as much as Graveblade Marauder. Yet another card that can only go up from here.

Wrap Up

If you can’t tell, black is my Magic Origins sleeper color.  If I though other cards in other color had more potential, my article would be a bit more colorful.  Alas, black is receiving additions in a variety of strategies and deck styles.  Cards that support these strategies could also see a rise but I wouldn’t underestimate what Liliana’s newly tainted necromancy will bring to the next two months of Standard.

As always thanks for reading

@TNSGingerAle


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Financial Leftovers: Dragons of Tarkir

Usually I write a column called Financial Five on Brainstorm Brewery at each set release. This column highlights my top five cards worth speculating on in the new Standard environment. With MTGPrice now sponsoring BSB, I reached out and was glad to be asked to join this team of knowledgeable MTG finance juggernauts.

With so much going on, my Dragons of Tarkir (DTK) article was caught in limbo during the website transition and couldn’t post until after Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir.

I still see value in my original FF: DTK article and want to find a way to relay that experience to you.  The below points aren’t me saying, “I could have told you where ‘X’s’ price was going to land.”  Rather, I’m revisiting some of the things I originally thought to help us all understand price changes from a set’s prerelease to after the Pro Tour. I learn something about finance every time a new set comes out. (And for those who dislike staring at graphs, this is a price fluctuation overview of DTK.)

Original Financial Five: DTK 

The prices cited below are release-day prices. Here’s what I said about the cards I called:

  • Sidisi, Usidisi undeadndead Vizier – $4 – Finding a creature to extort is not a problem in this metagame. Sidisi helps you break midrange mirrors and blocks well.
  • Surrak, the Hunt Caller – $4.50 – The Polukranos replacement we needed for this metagame. Perfect for Abzan Aggro and Green Devotion decks.
  • Stratus Dancer – $2 or less – This is an extra counter in the control mirror that pressures your opponent’s life total. It has potential in a R/U Dragons Tempo deck.
  • Hidden Dragonslayer – $1 – This is undervalued due to the expectation of only fitting in warriors decks, but remove the creature type and it’s removal against any opponent that plays stabilizing creatures on turn four or five.

 

Honorable Mentions

  • icefall regentIcefall Regent – $2 or less – I was so close to switching this with Hidden Dragonslayer, but ultimately felt it didn’t have as much room to move up.
  • Den Protector – $2 – I wanted to get behind this card, but thought Tasigur was clearly better card advantage. Black and green are almost always together in today’s Standard. Clearly, I was wrong.  Guess I should know more synergistic green uncommon enchantments from Journey to Nyx.

DTK That I Missed

  • Dragonlord Atarka – Holy cow! This is a great example of how MTG finance works with a mythic that gets played as a four-of at the Pro Tour.dragonlordsilumgar
  • Dragonlord Silumgar – I remember wanting to like him but never thought the removal-heavy nature of Standard would allow him to make waves (or flaps in his case, I guess).  The amount of board control in the U/B Dragon deck converted even the more serious skeptics, though.

Price Movements & Updates

  • Sidisi, Undead Vizier and Surrak, Hunt Caller both moved up in advance of the Pro Tour due to lack of available product and in response to the first streamed event with DTK (a Star City Games Open, I might add).
  • Hidden Dragonslayer, Blood-Chin Fanatic, and Stratus Dancer stayed the same.
  • Den Protector and Icefall Regent went from $2 to $5 for reasons different than I had originally mentioned.
  • Surrak, Hunt Caller & Sidisi, Undead Vizier went back down to around $4.50 each.

hiddendragonslayer

Financial Opportunities Left in DTK

  • The whole undercosted megamorph cycle (except for Silumgar Assassin) is powerful enough to see future Standard format play.
  • Hidden Dragonslayer and Blood-Chin Fanatic are still safe pickup targets due to post rotation speculations (at $2 or less).
  • If anything bumps Atarka off her pedestal, look for a small Hornet Queen or Genesis Hydra price increase.  Being rares, they won’t see a similar spike to the Dragonlord, but Hornet Queen is the only one of the two that has another printing.  They both have a chance to hit $5 again.
  • Sarkhan Unbroken still has some time to drop, but I think $10 or less is a good place to get in at.  The dual lands from the next block will hold a lot of weight in determining whether he is worthwhile. History shows Wizards like to switch back and forth between mono- or two-colored Standard and multicolored Standard.  Since DTK didnt have rare duals, tri lands, or gain lands, I suspect the Theros rotation will be a multicolor format. We know that Battle for  Zendikar will encourage printing unique rare lands (such as enemy fetches or Valakut-style lands) and land-mechanic synergies (like landfall).  I think Sarkhan keeps a lot of potential playablilty pre-Khans/Fate Reforged rotation.sarkhanunbroken

Am I thinking too far ahead? Maybe.  As you’ll find out in my next article, I take some unique or unconventional approaches to trading and finance.  It pays to be prepared, though.

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Wrap Up

fear the beard

I understand this article wasn’t chock-full of financial recommendations, but I do hope it can give you a little insight on how prices behave from a set’s prerelease to after the Pro Tour.

Let my correct predictions excite you for future Financial Five articles and let my screw-ups give you an excuse to send me a tweet saying, “How did you miss that?!?!”

As always, thanks for reading.

@TNSGingerAle

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