[Editor’s note: Apologies for the late posting and lack of images here. We’ve had some major technical issues over the weekend with our host.]
by Jim Marsh
Every week, some cards from Magic the Gathering increase and decease in value based upon a number of factors.
Let’s take a look at some of the cards whose values have changed the most and the factors behind why those changes have occurred.
10 Big Winners of the Week
From $5.57 to $6.22 (11.67%)
Isochron Scepter is a casual favorite. It’s effects can range anywhere from just giving out incredible card advantage to being oppressively powerful depending on what is imprinted on it.
Even something as simple as a repeatable Lightning Helix or Remand is nothing short of insane. I have seen imprinted Ravnica charms do some serious work in commander and casual games in out groups.
It has now been almost two years since the reprint in Duel Decks: Izzet vs Golgari. The player base has grown and with it a desire to imprint Abrupt Decay.
The artifact is seeing play in a few very fringe Modern decks including a Polymorph Control deck and a Golgari Control deck.
This has strong potential in many cubes, commander decks and casual decks of all varieties.
Right now the spread is very thin. The lowest vendor is selling them for $3.79 which is not a very far cry from the highest buylist price of $3.51.
I would encourage trading for them and watching them grow slowly and steadily.
From $2.90 to $3.34 (15.17%)
Johnnies love a good challenge. How would you like to play a commander that you cannot cast? This one requires more hoops than Phage, the Untouchable.
That does not mean that it is no good in the ninety nine. You can still use Pull From Eternity and go to town.
There is a Modern Jund Pox build that uses it to abuse repeatable Nameless Inversions.
There have also been people brewing with them to rebuy Knight of the Reliquary in Junk Loam decks.
Modern jund poxabuses nameless inversion
I have a soft spot for the card because of how unique it is but I would not trade aggressively for it. So far all of its attention has been from experiments that have not really had any results to speak of.
From $2.53 to $2.92 (15.42%)
Standard is getting ready to rotate and everyone is wondering what to do with all of those Pack Rats that are no longer worth anything.
You can put together a pretty impressive casual rat tribal deck.
Ratcatcher is an often overlooked but potentially powerful inclusion. I would look into Swarmyard as well.
Ratcatcher lets you tutor for answers like Chittering Rats or powerful threats like Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni. It still lets you draw your cards so you can still feed them to Pack Rats while progressing your strategy.
It can also find toolbox cards like Marrow-Gnawer for a big finish.
There is a very close spread at the moment. The highest buylist is $1.35 and the lowest vendor is $1.60.
This would be an easy inclusion in a trade and could start showing more growth as the year continues.
From $5.23 to $6.05 (15.68%)
This card is on fire. The full four copies are being played main deck in burn decks in Standard, Modern and Legacy.
The Legacy burn deck sports the most impressive winning results with a semifinal finish on July 6th in the SCG Open in Worcester. This came just a few weeks since the deck put itself on the radar by winning an SCG Legacy Open.
Rotation is often the high point for aggressive red decks in Standard. I think we will see $10 in the next few months.
I would trade for these as I expect them to hold value for a long time to come.
From $2.06 to $2.46 (19.42%)
Reliquary Tower is still doing surprisingly well for an uncommon with two printings that has not seen any real competitive adoption.
Some Modern Eggs lists run it since they tend to draw so many cards each turn.
It is a popular inclusion in commander decks but it is a format that just needs one copy.
I find these in bulk or get them as toss ins. Most people do not realize the value.
From $1.48 to $1.81 (22.30%)
I think everyone wanted Tribute to have a bigger impact than it did. Flame-Wreathed Phoenix is the poster child for the mechanic. Both sides are powerful cards but it is like playing a split card where your opponent gets to pick the half you get.
As I have mentioned Red is always a popular and powerful choice when the card pools are at their lowest. Some are hoping the Phoenix will rise from the ashes of dissappointment.
This hope has led to opportunities. You can buy these as low as $0.45 and sell them for as much as $0.60.
I still have some reservations since the slot for four mana creatures will have stiff competition in the form of Purphoros, God of the Forge and Fanatic of Mogis.
From $1.54 to $1.89 (22.73%)
M15 brought a lot of crazy cards to the card pool. I do not think anyone bet one more slivers though. The next three months M14 and M15 will combine and we will find out if there is a critical mass of slivers to create a cohesive and powerful sliver deck.
Which way will it go? No one including the vendors knows. It is literally a coin flip. Does anyone have an extra copy of Krark’s Thumb handy?
There is no spread at all. Some vendors will sell these for a dollar and others will buy them for a dollar.
Here is one thing I do know. Casuals will always love slivers. This will maintain some value long after it has rotated from standard. I never feel bad having some solid slivers sitting in my trade binder.
From $0.61 to $0.79 (29.51%)
Last year’s Mono Red Devotion decks are hoping for a resurgence in the fall. Do you have any leftover Firedrinker Satyrs?
You can use them in the popular Boros Burn deck and get access to powerful spells like Warleader’s Helix and Chained to the Rocks.
You can also take advantage of being able to buy them for $0.22 and sell them for $0.35.
From $2.59 to $3.42 (32.05%)
I keep mentioning red decks. This is the enemy painland I am most excited for.
An aggressive deck does not mind losing a few life points for switching between Shock and Chained to the Rocks.
Battlefield Forge is even being used in Modern Boros Burn decks alongside Boros Charm and Lightning Helix.
We will find out soon if Khans will be a wedge block in which case you can use the Forge to help your WUR and WBR decks.
I would try to pick up a few of the painlands in drafts or trades but given how many printings they have I would be hesitant to spend or trade too aggressively for them.
From $0.54 to $0.73 (35.19%)
I know we are basically looking at a bulk card that is now a slightly better shade of bulk. The nice thing is that you can still trade for these for practically nothing. I would get as many copies as I could for under a dollar.
The Hall is a colorless anthem. You can use these and the M15 Paragons and suddenly monocolor devotion decks can become very real threats.
This card can also go into any Commander deck that runs a lot of creatures. Any commander with token synergies will want one and you can be certain that almost all of your creatures will share a color.
5 Big Losers of the Week
From $8.09 to $7.04 (-12.98%)
This planeswalker still suffers from only being played in standard.
It is not all hopeless though. The vendors paint an optimistic picture. The spread is still surprisingly small. Vendors will sell them to you for as little as $4.72 but will still give you up to $4.51.
Rotation is coming. You need to get out now if you have not already. At least there are decent outlets.
From $2.56 to $2.00 (-21.88%)
Spirit Mantle is still only seriously used in Modern Bogles. Even in that deck only two copies are used.
The power of the deck gives us hope. It has gotten 4-0 on some online dailies for the people that are not just drafting Vintage Masters until their eyes bleed.
It also has some nice financial opportunities. It buylists for $1.50. You can find a few copies for a dollar or less. There is even a copy out there for $0.25.
This negative spread extends to the Planechase copies as well. They buylist for $1.80 and can be purchased for as little as $1.50.
A few Modern Top 8s would go a long way to making this spike.
From $3.40 to $2.63 (-22.65%)
Thousand-Year Elixir has taken a little dip. It was reprinted in the Bant Commander 2013 deck featuring Derevi, Empyrial Tactician. If the shelves of my local Targets and Walmarts are any metric it was the least popular of the decks.
It is an interesting effect and can be used effectively with Elvish Piper, Master Transmuter or other crazy tap abilities in commander and casual decks.
Competitively is is only used in Legacy MUD and sometimes not even then.
I love when cards take a dip because not everyone updates their prices at the same time. This creates a disparity in value.
The Lorwyn copies can be purchased for $1.48 and sold for $2.01.
The Commander 2013 copies can be purchased for $0.30 and sold for $0.75.
From $37.61 to $25.93 (-31.06%)
This staple of Modern Kiki Pod and Melira Pod is coming to M15 and a standard near you. There is still no telling what decks it will be used with but the flood of new copies has caused the original printing to go into freefall.
This is not a bad thing. It lets new players get access to cards that they can use to transition to modern and lets financiers purchase copies for $15.99 and sell them for $20.47.
From $0.82 to $0.24 (-70.73%)
This one is almost certainly either a mistake in pricing or just someone who really hates Insectile Abberation. Any way you slice it there is a cheap copy of Delver that I absolutely encourage purchasing.
It is all over Modern and Legacy in almost every color combination that includes Islands. It is played in UR, BUG, RUG, UWR and even 4 Color Delver decks.
It may only be a common but due to being two sided and being so powerful it will be nearly impossible for Wizards to reprint it. I would get my play set and sit on them for the rest of your life.