By: Jared Yost
The results from the Starcity Baltimore legacy tournament intrigued me. On the one hand I hate playing against Lands, but on the other hand I would love to play the deck outside of having to dump a lot of my current stock to pick up a Tabernacle. I also enjoyed seeing BUG Delver appear in the Top 8 at the hands of two players, as the deck is a running legacy classic that just never seems to go away; becoming more powerful over time.
I did notice that a few someones made a run on Dark Depths, and now they are $50+ from retail sites. There has to be a funny story behind this one right? Well, as you may have guessed it has to do with Starcitygames Baltimore. Lands was able to take down the tournament and I am interested in some of the pieces of the lands deck that have since seen an increase in price across the vendor websites.
Only two Dark Depths were in the decklist, so I’m not sure if $50 can be sustained. Buying out the market for Dark Depths at $30 seems wrong on so many levels. It’s banned in Modern and unless it is unbanned by the time they announce any changes (in which case I guess I’m eating my words) it is only ever going to matter in legacy. You can’t make a Legendary Snow Land your general in Commander, can you? Not even in French Commander, but that would be cool if you could.
What I’m trying to say is that you should ignore the Dark Depths spike and instead refocus your attention on some other cards that were included in that Lands decklist. Specifically those that appear as a playset in the main deck.
Grove of the Burnwillows
I think it is great that Grove is still played in playsets across different legacy archetypes. In addition to still being played extensively in Modern (Birthing Pod and G/R Tron decks), the original Grove 1-2 punch is being put to great use in Legacy by comboing with Punishing Fire. I would bet on slow, steady gains from Grove until it’s eventual reprinting since it still seeing Modern play, regardless of Punishing Fire being in the format. Similar to Thoughtseize, I expect the older, more unique version to maintain 75% of its original value once reprinted so don’t feel too bad if you really want to pick up a playset. Otherwise, I would hold off on this as a speculation target because of the chance of a reprint and the buy-in price already being so high.
So, apparently Starcity has now upped the ante for legacy again by raising their sell prices for many of the format staples over the past week. Rishadan Port did not escape this price rise, and now normal copies must be purchased for $100 apiece. In other words, just go to TCGPlayer or another vendor where you can still get them for around $70 which is still pretty close of their previous average of $60-$65.
I like Port as an investment in legacy because Death and Taxes seems to be an archetype that Wizards is pushing proactively – with the introduction of Spirit of the Labyrinth alongside Thalia, I can only see the deck becoming more and more popular. I expect some interest to start appearing for Enlightened Tutor in legacy to help assist in finding Spirit of the Labyrinth, so maybe pick up a few copies if you can find them for $15 or less.
Wow, Thespian’s Stage is still a $1. Quite a bargain, considering that you need four of them in order to run Kurt’s Lands deck at your local legacy tournament.
Realistically though, I think that the main driver of Stage’s price in the future will be the casual crowd. It seems like a great addition to Vesuva in Commander decks. For $1, I would pick up as many as you can. Foils will especially be worth quite a bit in the future, and even right now they’re around $9. Both foil and non-foil will be see a price bump in the future, so for the serious legacy player it would be worth it to pick up a playset.
Mox Diamond has been very stable; not having seen much of a price change at all over the past year. Even prior to 2013 I remember seeing Mox Diamonds available for $30. I think this is because Mox Diamond is played in a lot of fringe decks like Lands that are a small portion of the metagame, but matters a great deal to the decks that want it.
Legacy decks normally don’t play a lot of lands. Having to discard a land to make this mox worth it is a considerable drawback. Mox Opal’s drawback of being Legendary was significantly reduced with the legend rules change a while back so now more people who originally might have considered Mox Diamond for a deck have a more reliable mox that doesn’t make them discard a card.
Mox Diamond has been relegated to the land-based strategies of legacy, which currently include lands control decks and Aggro Loam. What does this mean for its financial outlook? Well, from what we’ve seen in recent sets Wizards hasn’t been giving much love to land based strategies, which is why Mox Diamond hasn’t moved at all in the last several years. If you enjoy playing the card, feel free to pick up a few copies, as the effect is very powerful and new legacy strategies are being formed every year. You never know when a new card could break Mox Diamond, so having a playset in reserve can’t hurt, especially since the price is so stable.
I’ve always like Exploration from a casual point-of-view because who doesn’t love playing two lands a turn as long as you are drawing a bunch of cards, right? Even though in legacy it is only played in one deck, I think Sneak Attack sets a good precedent here and that $40 is about right for Exploration. I’ve seen many copies under $40 gobbled up pretty quickly on TCGPlayer, so I wouldn’t be hesitant to trade or pick up any copies that others may have if you want to try out playing Lands in legacy (or even just to have a few extra ones for other Commander decks).
At $12, Gamble seems underpriced to me. In Lands it’s great because you honestly don’t care what you discard (so it is essentially a Demonic Tutor). It has applications in Commander, because large hands certainly aren’t out of the question and being able to tutor something from your deck for one red mana is really cheap, with the slight downside that sometimes you may not get to keep it. Outside of these risks, I like Gamble as a pickup and will be on the lookout for people that have extra copies that they are willing to trade. Who knows, maybe Gamble will even be played in decks other than Lands one day? You never really know with legacy, and that is the beauty of legacy finance – even if your card doesn’t move in price as fast as you want, the card’s rarity will still give it value. This way, you can easily trade them out into something else you want to play if you don’t really use them anymore.
BUG Delver – The Legacy Boogyman?
After reading this great piece by Bob Huang over at Starcity, I wanted to reiterate to players that yes, in fact Deathrite Shaman and Abrupt Decay are the real deal in legacy. Don’t hesitate to pick up extra copies here and there of either card, as even if Deathrite gets the banhammer in Modern he will be a staying force in legacy for a long time. Outside of True-Name Nemesis getting banned, I can only seeing BUG Delver (otherwise known as Team America) becoming more popular, especially after the recent finish in the top 8 of two BUG Delver decks.
Elves – Suppressed Yet Popular
Elves still need a bit more work in order to push themselves back to the top of the pile. After seeing the 9th and 10th place Elves list, I was a little heartbroken as this deck seems really fun to play to me. Oh, and guess what – Deathrite Shaman is a playset in this deck as well. Elves also happens to be the second most successful combo deck after Sneak and Show, so it may be worth it to delve into an Elves list to see if there is anything interesting that is underpriced.
Wow, after looking through those lists it appears a lot of the deck is underpriced. Some of the commons and uncommons that feel underpriced to me include Wirewood Symbiote, Nettle Sentinel, Quirion Ranger, and even Heritage Druid. The first three can be picked up quite cheaply, with Nettle Sentinel’s and Quirion Rangers even being throw-ins for trades. Other good targets at rare are the deck’s backbone – Glimpse of Nature, Green Sun’s Zenith, and Natural Order. Even though these are pricer targets, I can see Glimpse and Natural Order matching Sneak Attack’s price eventually, and Green Sun one day hitting $10. I guess what I’m saying is that if you want to build Elves in legacy, you better do it sooner rather than later – I don’t foresee the deck’s popularity going down, which means that even the uncommons and commons are bound to see price rises. If you don’t believe me, just check out Merfolk uncommon prices in Modern.
Also, keep in mind that these Elves lists do not play Priest of Titania. Gaea’s Cradle now being used twice in a turn has eliminated the need to play Priest in legacy. However, being a purely casual card will still mean that it holds value in the future. I just wouldn’t expect the value to rise from legacy.