Tag Archives: Kaladesh

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.

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.

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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!

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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: Midpoint Pickups

Since Standard is on a once-a-year rotation, I like to think about what’s on deck. Yes, we are about to lose two blocks in September, but there’s two that have another 18 months or so, and that’s what I want to focus on. Kaladesh and Aether Revolt are at their low points, so this is when I want to look for value.

I’m looking at cards that are being played, and are not as expensive as their amount of play might indicate. I’m not expecting huge gains, but I do want to think about increases in value, especially in trade or Pucapoints (if you’re still doing that).

Verdurous Gearhulk ($7.89): Considering what a beating this is, I’m surprised that this mythic is as low as it is, especially because B/G Snake decks are a thing. Sometime in the next 18 months, a Gearhulk deck will have a great tournament and this will easily break $10, likely hit $15, and possibly $20 again.

The graph for the green Gearhulk is exactly where I want to be: getting in at the lowest point.

Dovin Baan ($3.16): I don’t see how this can get any cheaper, even if it doesn’t budge until rotation this is silly cheap for a planeswalker. I really like picking up specs that have good potential short term and long term. The fact that he’s the only planeswalker with the Dovin type is good for Commander too, since he’s a good fit in superfriends builds without being the seventh Jace.

Panharmonicon ($2.66): Shhh. Hush! Don’t say anything. Just slowly walk over to your store, grab all you can of these, and try to not look like you’re getting fantastic value. We’ve already seen this spike up to the $8-$10 range and it’s not gonna take much for that to happen again.

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The foil is still just 3x the value, which is very surprising to me. Buy for these. Trade for these. Don’t trade them till they spike, and if you’re into the long-term holds, the foils are going to be rock-solid.

Scrapheap Scrounger ($2.44): This is played in a huge number of decks and is always a four-of. Mardu has a target on its back, and that’s fine, but this is a card that requires the Magma Spray immediately or it’s going to just keep coming back. I’m shocked at how cheap this is, frankly, and if Mardu adds a card or adapts to the hate somehow, I’d expect this to climb to at least $5.

Skysovereign, Consul Flagship ($2.44): It’s an in-print mythic that just dominates the board and isn’t easy to answer. Heart of Kiraan is stealing a lot of the thunder, but this has become so cheap that I want to have a few copies just in case it pops up again.

Metallurgic Summonings ($1.25/$4.50): I want to try a couple copies of this card in the assorted control decks. I’m in love with Drake Haven right now but the potential of this card is astronomical. If you land it and live through the following turn, then your Glimmers come with a 4/4. You get a 2/2 when casting Grasp of Darkness. Your end-of-turn Pull from Tomorrow is as big as you want to make it. This is also a super-cheap mythic that is looking for the right deck, and should it hit, it’ll hit big.

Rashmi, Eternities Crafter ($1.37/$7.22): This is more of a very-long-term pick, as it is amazing in casual formats and why her foil price is six times higher. These are the best colors in Commander, and she’s going to get you some extra cards, no matter what. I love the foils a lot more but dollar mythics are always super intriguing.

Foil Paradoxical Outcome ($3): It’s a niche card, but that niche is Vintage. I appreciate when people try to make this work in Standard, with endless Bone Saw castings, but no, this is an Eternal card and I want to have some foils in long-term storage.

Cliff is an avid player of any and all casual formats, the weirder the better, going all the way back to his first tournament wins: Iron Mage, keeping a life total from round to round, and a grand melee where he cast a Hurricane for 43 and lived.

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PROTRADER: PucaPicks for 10/27/16

So here we are, a few weeks into this format, and it’s time to start looking at what’s a buy and what’s a sell. A lot of cards have hit a bottom, and a lot of other cards are still overpriced compared to how many more there are to be opened.

This week, I want to dive into Kaladesh and see what’s worth getting and what I think you should send away as soon as you crack it.

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Go! Get (out of) The Copter!

I don’t care if you’re tired of Smuggler’s Copter jokes. It needs to be done and I have to give a terrible apology if you hear the title in an Ahnuld accent.

So we missed the boat on the Copter. It’s $18 for an in-print Standard rare at week one, and while I know that the price is going to go down, how far can it go?

The answer is, pretty far. I want to examine some rares, not mythics, to see how far we can expect the Copter to fall.

Let’s start with Shadows over Innistrad, and look for commonly played rares. We aren’t going to look at Eldritch Moon, since that’s a small set and I want to compare apples to apples.

titi

One of the first rares to burst onto the scene, and one whose preorder price kept climbing upward, was Thing in the Ice. Since this has come out, it’s seen some play but not a lot, rarely being the centerpiece of a deck.

Yes, it was above $15 at one point at the beginning! The lack of play lowered the price, and then there was a time not too long ago where Blue-Red Thermo-Thing was popular, and that is why the buylist price bumped up a little.

But yikes. Fifteen bucks down to five, that’s a big loss…though the card isn’t terribly popular.

Let’s look at something that often got played alongside Copter: Declaration in Stone.

declaration

Two mana, exile a creature, and there are drawbacks in the form of Clues. Cheap, efficient, and powerful, and played a lot, though not as much as the Copter.

Even so, it’s gone from a high of $17 down to its current plateau of $4. It’s got Kaladesh and three more sets before it’s out of Standard, so there’s room for it to fall more or perhaps to creep upward. As a rare, there are a whole ton of these out there and that’s why the price has fallen has far as this. Removal this good should hold a price, and it’s actually not the usual thing for a rare to hold a price above that of a booster pack.

Shadows over Innistrad has three: Thing in the Ice, Declaration in Stone, and Tireless Tracker.

Maybe what we should also do is look at Battle for Zendikar, because that has Expeditions to goose people to buy more packs. The data doesn’t lie, either: it’s very difficult for rares to keep value. From Battle for Zendikar, the only rares over $3 are lands: Cinder Glade, Prairie Stream, and Shambling Vent.

My point is that the price on the Copter, and a lot of other rares, are about to start dropping as Kaladesh gets opened in earnest. There’s a big Limited Grand Prix this weekend, and that’s going to be a huge injection of supply into the market.

If you’re hellbent on playing Standard this weekend or next, you can go ahead and buy your playset for $70 or so, and play it for quite a while. It’s possible–possible!–that the Pro Tour next weekend spikes it even farther, but I can’t even remember the last $20 rare we had in Standard.

It’s going to be fascinating to watch.

Think of it like Aether Hub. Sure, it’s a four-of all over the place, and it’s a good card, but people, it is an uncommon. An in-print uncommon has an eBay price of $9-$10 a playset!

This first weekend of prices is crazy. The play is heavily to sell. SELL. You can buylist the Copter, a rare, for $9. You can get $10 for Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, and that’s a four-of mythic.

I’m trying very hard to bring up all the evidence that I can to convince you that if you’re buying a Copter right now, it’s to play it for the next 18 months. Please don’t buy it now, hoping it goes up more. Don’t chase the tail end of this. Wait. Be patient. The prices will drop, and you’ll lose money if you buy now and hope to sell the Saturday of the PT.

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