Tag Archives: theros

Goodbye to Theros, Hello to Holds

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Over the weekend, the last Theros legal tournament was held at SCG: Milwaukee. Because of this, many players are going to be looking at getting rid of extraTheros cards that they will no longer need moving forward. Rotation is upon us, so it is time to look at what the future might hold for Theros cards and which ones will be worth holding over the long term.

Target number one, the best of the best from Theros block, is going to be Thoughtseize. I mean, take a look at this history just to get a picture of how in-demand this cards is even with tons of players looking to dump Theros in favor of Battle for Zendikar.

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Rotation hasn’t even made a dent in this card. One would argue that Goblin Rabblemaster is another powerful card from the current Standard, and look at what rotation is doing to it.

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Arguably one of the most powerful cards in Standard is getting kicked in the teeth because of rotation. What does this tell us about Thoughtseize moving forward, a card that we can expect to always see in Modern and Legacy?

  • We’re not going to see much cheaper copies of Thoughtseize around, at least not until the next Modern Masters set is revealed.
  • Players are holding this one, as we’ve been advising to them to do as #mtgfinanciers. The low point for Thoughtseize was $15, so if you bought in then you’re looking pretty good now. The next best time to get out will be during the hype of the next Modern season.
  • Foils are also going to be very in demand, since eternal players like to foil out the various parts of their deck. Surprisingly, the foil copies of Theros Thoughtseize are starting to reach a low point upon this rotation cycle. Check out the price history below:
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We all have a pretty sweet chance to get in on a foil lull for the               card.

All in all, Thoughtseize is looking pretty good as a spec moving forward, as we all know it will be. But what about other maybe non-obvious pickups? Let’s review some of the more talked about cards from the Theros block in reverse order, since Journey into Nyx was opened less and therefore we can predict that cards from this set will be more valuable in the future since fewer packs were cracked for drafting.

Journey into Nyx Current Prices (Non-Foil Top 20)

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Eidolon of the Great Revel is the number one card from this set that you should be targeting if you play any Modern or Legacy. Burn was put back on the map due to the power of EotGR, so picking up copies for future value gains is a good move since players are looking for playsets that want to play them.

Keranos is looking to be the most valuable god from the sets, but I would pick up copies for Commander demand more than anything else. Yes, he does see play in Modern and sometimes Legacy, however I think his effect on these formats is marginal at best, and that most future demand for all the gods in general is going to come from the casual crowd. I would wait a bit to pick up all the gods, about three months from now when rotation prices are going to bottom out as more and more Standard players continue to dump cards like gods. All the gods from JIN are going to be great pickups at this point, as they are the rarest gods by numbers are JIN was the least opened of theTheros sets. A CAVEAT – The enemy colored Commander decks being released this fall could contain one copy of each of these gods. If that is the case, then the JIN gods are going to take a huge hit in value and be suppressed in price for quite some time. Keep this in mind while waiting to pickup gods. Foils are better targets for this reason, at least until we know if they’re in Commander 2015.

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Dictate of Erebos is the final mention I’d like to make.  This card is going to be casual gold and is the bottom dollar slow gainer that will make waves over time. It is already almost up to $2 retail with no Standard play and rotation about to happen. Foils will be especially good targets moving forward.

Born of the Gods Current Prices (Non-Foil Top 20)

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Unfortunately there just isn’t anything appealing to me in BNG for pickups moving forward. Brimaz is a great card, it is very efficient for the mana cost, but right now white weenie strategies in Modern just aren’t that great. He will be an amazing Commander, and will even be great in Legacy Death and Taxes, but for Brimaz to carry the bulk of the set’s value is pretty sad and I don’t think he is going to be going over $10 for the foreseeable future.

Even Courser, a Standard powerhouse, is lackluster in eternal formats and is hardly worth picking up right now. Again, Commander applications and sometimes seeing the Courser in Modern/Legacy isn’t going to be enough to make it see significant gains anytime soon.

Since we’re not going to be getting enemy colored Commander decks in the near future, I would feel very comfortable going deep on some of the more popular gods from the set about three months from now. Even with Karametra, you can’t go wrong picking up copies at $2 or less since casuals love these types of big, splashy mythics.

Theros Current Prices (Non-Foil Top 20)

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We’ve already discussed Thoughtseize at length, so let’s take a look at some of the cards in the set with the knowledge that they are going to be the most suppressed since Theros was open the most of the sets in the Theros block.

Ashiok is a sweet card, one that has applicability both because of Modern and Battle for Zendikar’s Eldrazi Ingest theme. I don’t think the card is going to get much cheaper than $6-$7 per copy, since UB Mill is a thing with casual kitchen table Magic. Picking up plenty of copies in anticipation of future demand is a fine move. On the other hand, I’m not so keen on Theros Elspeth due to the Duel Deck printing so I would advise to avoid these cards since there are tons more Elspeths than Ashioks out there.

Both foil and non-foil versions of Nykthos have started seeing upward movement upon rotation, and for good reason – this card is a Cabal Coffers for any color that is also Modern legal. I mean, the foil has already spiked and it hasn’t even left Standard yet! Pick up your copies now before the next season’s Modern deck is going to make non-foils spike as well.

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Master of Waves has a great Modern advantage due to being featured in Merfolk, one the top decks of the format. Foils are great targets, but even nonfoils at $4 and less are going to look good a while from now.

Monocolored gods, like their BOG and JIN bretheren, are also going to be nice pickups for future gains. Some will gain more than others as we see how they fit into Commander moving forward, but foils of each should be nice collector’s items in the future. If you want foils to finish out Commander decks than rotation is going to be the best time to get deals on these cards.

Final Thoughts

So there you have my thoughts about Theros since rotation is upon us. Is there anything else you guys think I should be mentioning, or that I glossed over that has more applications than I think? What are you guys targeting for rotation, and how deep are you? Personally, I’m looking to start picking up foil Theros Thoughtseize since I think it will be one of the more solid places to park value, but maybe I’m overlooking a cheaper option. As always, let me know in the comments and thanks for reading.

 

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PROTRADER: Rotation Pickups – Theros Edition

I guess it’s that time again. By “that time,” of course, I don’t mean it’s rotation, because we’re still a bit away from that, but I mean it is time to look ahead to the phasing out of Theros block!

You may wonder why I’ve been talking so much about rotation, and it’s because at this point of the year, the most important thing isn’t what new cards are dominating Standard (hello, Hangarback Walker) or what players are competing at the World Championship (which takes place next week at PAX Prime and is going to be awesome). Rather, it’s about looking ahead. There are a lot of people worrying about current events, and a lot fewer people worrying about what the landscape is going to look like two months from now.

And where others are looking away, we’re looing deeper. I’ve written in-depth over the past month or so about the way I see things progressing over the next few weeks and months in Standard, and considering that’s the place to put most of your money right now, I feel that’s justified.

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Strength of Languish

By: Houston Whitehead
languish full art

Since the exit of Supreme Verdict, players who enjoy resetting the battlefield have struggled to find an ‘always good’ sweeper.  Crux of Fate and End Hostilities were too late at five mana, unless you’re the only dragon owner in a control mirror. Drown in Sorrow and Anger of the Gods just never seemed to get everything in games two and three.  Now, I feel Languish is filling the void at the CMC we expect from a sweeper. Sure, it’s not the Damnation reprint everyone and their mother speculate during every spoiler season for the past year, but this should be powerful enough to asset in shaping the future metagame.

The list of creatures it kills is long and probably not worth talking about.  The list of creatures it can’t kill are far more important.  This could give hints on speculation-worthy rares for new Standard.

erebos titan

Languish doesn’t Kill, but rotates: Most Theros gods (if active), Doomwake Giant, Polukranos, World Eater, Reaper of the Wilds, M15 Soul/”Titan” Cycle.

Languish doesn’t kill, and doesn’t rotate: All Dragondlords (except Ojutai), Erebos’s Titan, Gurmag Angler, Siege Rhino, Tasigur, Archangel of Tithes, Sagu Mauler, Sidisi, Undead Vizier, Surrak Dragonclaw, Woodland Bellower, and Ashcloud Phoenix (4/1 mode).

Clearly not a lot of speculation prospects listed above. Some have multiple printings, don’t have enough power for consistent Standard play, or are already expensive.

elvish mysticThoughts on a Languish Standard format

  • Elves and goblins have a lot of hype but both easily fall to a well-timed Languish.
  • Abzan Midrange or Control will improve with the addition of Languish alongside metagame removal.
  • Green-based devotion strategies will fall out or favor due to their dependency on early mana dorks.
  • White devotion receives Tier 1 potential with Heliod and Archangel of Tithes at the top end of the curve. Brimaz and Wingmate Roc advance the board without over committing. Banishing Light and Chained to the Rocks (if splashing red) remove problems while also increasing devotion.
  • Black devotion receives tier 1 potential. I made many of these validations in last weeks article , Financial Five: Magic Origins. Erebos’s Titan along with the other returnable creatures help recover devotion without losing card advantage.

 

Focus Cards

Abzan Midrange/Controlelspeth sun art

Elspeth, Suns Champion ($6) – Even though she has two printings and will be rotating in a few months, she’s still a powerhouse.  Languish encourages players to play larger creatures. Elspeth wipes out those creatures.

Ajani, Mentor of Heroes ($10) – Potential value without being affected by Languish and also fits in decks that want to play Languish.

Tasigur, the Golden Fang ($8) – You should already be picking up this card anyway.  Surviving Languish is just added to the list.

 

Mono-White Devotionheliod god of sun

Soldier of the Pantheon ($0.50) – Potential evasion & Lifegain to avoid force-blocking

Knight of the White Orchid ($3) – Increasing or quickly recovering devotion while continuing to curve out.

Heliod, God of the Sun ($2) – Easier to turn on with Origins printing Knight and Angel.

Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit ($2) – Rewarding you for playing creatures and might even pull a few creatures out of Languish range.

Brimaz, King of Oreskos ($10) – One of the best creatures to cast on an empty board.  Best post-Languish play.

Wingmate Roc ($2.75) – A powerful top end to take advantage of your Nykthos.

 

Mono-Black Devotionherald of torrment

Despoiler of Souls ($1) – Recurring devotion plus reasons from last weeks article.

Bloodsoaked Champion ($1.75) – Recovering devotion plus reasons from last weeks article.

Herald of Torment ($0.25) – Bestow allows sweepers insurance, evasion, devotion assistance.

Master of the Feast ($1.25) – Survives Languish, blocks most dragonlords, evasion.

 

Final Thoughts

battle for zendi gideonLanguish doesn’t guarantee a defined Standard meta, but it does serve as an arrow pointing us in the right direction. From past experience, the influence of removal has on shaping the meta.  It hasn’t always guaranteed a profitable spec, but it does happen an above average amount of the time.  Clearly, the largest Standard card pool is going to increase my chance of overlooking deck potential, but we can learn a lot from past Standards.  Look at the influence of Hero’s Downfall over the past year.  Look at Lightning Bolt or Abrupt Decay and their influence on shaping the eternal formats.

Also, with the thought of rotation haunting the back of your mind, that doesn’t mean it’s time to dump anything Theros. Understanding the potential movement of Standard can set up optimal opportunities to dump rotating staples at key moments before they actually crash at the Battle of Zendikar release.

As always thanks for reading

@TNSGingerAle


 

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Competitive Keeps: Theros Block

By: Houston Whitehead

I hate to be first drop before the waterfall, but I can’t help but think ahead.  We might know October 2, 2015 as the first day to spend our paychecks on Battle for Zendikar, but it’s also the day most of your Theros Block and Magic 2015 magically turn from dollars to pennies.  Just the word ‘rotation’ makes Standard players cringe worse than the last time I cursed in Sunday school. I know you’re thinking, “Dude! It’s June! Why the hell are you writing about rotation?”  In my experience, it’s a lot easier to complete trades with rotating cards when players don’t have rotation on the mind.  You’ll start noticing that ‘keep staples’ mindset right when Origins releases.  Everyone will start hoarding what rares they feel will hold value and start going out of their way to unload the rest before it completely tanks.  This makes Pre-Origins the best time to pick up rares that will keep or gain value after rotation.  Also, if Standard is the only format you play, the rest of this article is not for you.

Keep in mind these are cards worth keeping for competitive play, not casual or EDH.  Otherwise, I’d just say trade for all the gods.

 

Theros

thoughtseizeThoughtseize – Let’s start off with an easy one.  Before it’s reprint Thoughtseize (Lorwyn) fetched a ~$75 price tag.  It’s been in the $15-20 range (Theros) throughout most of its time in Standard despite the massive amount of Theros product opened. This is one of your last chances to pick them up before they start to climb again.  It’s simple the best discard spell.  Pick up as many as you can.  Currently $24 Fair Trade Price

nykthosNykthos, Shrine to Nyx – Though Nykthos has only seen fringe Modern play in Mono-Green devotion decks, the cards power is real.  WotC uses restrictive mana costs to keep powerful cards away from other colors.  No one wants play in a Boros Reckoner + Phyrexian Obliterator fight deck.  Ok, that does sound pretty sweet, but minimizing the amount of decks powerful cards can be in keeps the formats diverse.  Nykthos rewards you for playing all the restrictive CMC cards of a chosen color while also helping you accelerate them out earlier than opponents are comfortable with.  My point is, WotC isn’t going to stop printing restrictive mana costed cards. Nykthos can only get better with each new set printed.  It’s one card away from Tier one Modern play.  At worst, casual players will keep its market demand up. Currently $5 Fair Trade Price

Theros honorable mentions: Anger of the Gods, Swan Song

 

Born of the Gods

courser of K borderCourser of Kruphix – I know has only been a two-of in a few successful Modern lists.  It falls to Abrupt Decay but survives Lightning Bolt.  It’s dead weight against combo but great for creating card advantage and hitting your lands for the late game.  You know it’s power if you’ve only playing a few matches of Standard.  Speculating on a Bant control deck utilizing Courser might be a stretch, but labeling it as unplayable doesn’t seem correct either.  The current $6 price might still be a bit high, but picking up a playset for $12 at rotation shouldn’t be a bad investment. This might be the only card on this list that’s worth waiting for a lower price. Currently $6 Fair Trade Price.

spirit of labSpirit of the Labyrinth (FOIL) – Why foil? Cause, Legacy.  Legacy players love foils and Legacy foils love having oddly high prices. Foil Spirit has been a steady $10 while only seeing 1-3 copies in successful Death & Taxes lists.  In May, it dropped to $6.  D&T hasn’t put up many high places finishes in a while. But, if you play Legacy, you know the meta is always changing.  It’s only a matter of time before it falls back into favor.  With zero play in any other format, Spirit’s price has been solely dependent on the Legacy environment.  This is a good time to pick up while you can still find them.  Currently $6 Fair Trade Price.

 

Journey into Nyx

mana confluenceMana Confluence – This upgraded City of Brass will continue to take its place in Modern and Legacy decks.  It’s been as high as $20 but has mostly stayed around $10-12 during its lifetime.  I don’t predict them going that much lower but wouldn’t be surprised to see them follow a slightly slower price trajectory as Cavern of Souls. Plus, it’s a powerful non basic land. Always a worthy investment.  Currently $12 Fair Trade Price.

eidolon of the great revelEidolon of the Great Revel – Probably the best eternal playable card printed in this block. It sees four copies in both Modern and Legacy Mono-Red lists and will continue to do so.  Picking up these should be just as obvious as picking up Thoughseizes.  To be honest, you probably should have picked them up when they were $5.  Currently $11 Fair Trade Price.

 

Magic 2015

Chord of CallChord of Calling – Chord fell from $40 to $20 after its M15 reprint and has steadily decreased slowly over the past year.  Previously played alongside the villainous Birthing Pod, Chord fell when Pod was banned and never found a home in Modern Collected Company decks.  Its lack of recent play doesn’t reflect the power of this convoking tutor. Though Pod won’t be unbanned anytime soon, I think Chord will learn to stand on its own again in a future Modern meta.  Zero chance this card falls to bulk after rotation. Currently $5 Fair Trade Price.

Final Thoughts

Investing in rotating rares isn’t the quickest way to gain financial value, but it is a perfect way to acquire future format staples with a long term investment bonus. I might only have a few rotations under my belt, but I’ve made a lot of profit being patient with rotating cards like these.  I hope now you can do the same before the ‘rotation plague’ sweeps over your LGS.

As always thanks for reading

@TNSGingerAle 


 

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