By James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)
5 Winners of the Week
Most of the movement this week is coming from the ever-shifting Theros/Khans standard format, with new cards ascending and some old favorites slowly falling from grace. Let’s have a look at what’s up:
1. Master of the Unseen (Fate Reforged, Rare): $2.00 to $3.73 (87%)
It should come as no surprise that the week after this card dominated the finals of Grand Prix Miami it is suddenly in high demand. Some are worried that the G/W Manifest deck is the new boogeyman of standard, but I suspect that the metagame rolling into the release of Dragons of Tarkir will keep shifting and ensure that variety is still the defining element of the season. That being said, this is a winter small set rare, it fits into a bunch of decks, and therefore may be able to hit $4-5 before it rotates in winter 2016. As such, I’m ignoring the voices calling to sell and advocating a clear hold on this card looking for further profits. Of course if you were smart enough to stockpile at $.50, by all means do as you will.
2. Citadel Siege (Fate Reforged, Rare): $0.62 to $1.04 (68%)
Add this one to the list of underrated Fate Reforged rares that are just going to work in Standard lately. The ability to tap something down on the attack or drive home more points of damage via the application of counters provides a ton of versatility, though in the U/W Control builds that are running it, the tap function is king. I have no interest in outing cards under $3-4 period, so I’d recommend holding this one for a while if you are sitting on them as U/W could just be getting started in Standard.
3. See the Unwritten (KTK, Mythic): $3.00 to $4.70 (57%)
As noted last week, this is rising on the premise that either Dragons or Eldrazi will make it an essential component of a deck before it rotates next winter. I’m holding until September and you should likely do the same unless this pushes into the $6-8 range early, in which case, go for it since it won’t ever find a home beyond Standard play anyway.
4. Thassa God of the Sea (Theros, Mythic Rare): $4.81 to $7.08 (47%)
As detailed last week, Thassa and Master of Waves have both gained well in anticipation that Blue Devotion will once again be a deck. Depending on how early you got in on your copies, you could easily be looking to out by now, but I’m holding because I believe the deck will make a Top 8 before it rotates and lock in stronger profits. As one of the better Theros gods I’m also fine holding these for the longer term as necessary.
Format(s): Standard/Modern/EDH/Tiny Leaders
5. Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund (Alara Reborn, Mythic): $11.91 to $15.24 (28%)
With all the dragon hype leading into the release of Dragons of Tarkir, it’s hardly surprising to see some of the better casual dragons rising. Karrthus is one of the baddest of the bunch, and I’d feel comfortable selling into the hype if I had any lying around as it’s unlikely to enjoy much more of a bump once the summer doldrums hit.
3 Top Losers of the Week
1. Soul of Theros: $7.82 to $3.61 (-54%)
Soul of Theros got its’ moment in the sun in the Soul/Whip decks earlier this season, but the deck isn’t seeing much play these days, and rotation for M15 isn’t too far off, so I’d expect this to keep sliding down towards bulk heading into summer. Time to sell.
2. Stoke the Flames: $4.95 to $4.42 (-11%)
Don’t get it twisted. This is still the best spell in Standard, and will be for a few more months, but it’s natural for it to be shedding some value heading towards rotation. Unload your extras soon, because this doesn’t have a future beyond Standard.
3. Monastery Mentor: $25.28 to $22.89 (-9%)
This card is seeing play in multiple formats, but it’s not dominating anywhere. I think foils are still the key play, but I’m also hoping for a moment of weakness this summer shortly after the release of MM2 when we can swoop in and scoop up regular copies in the $12-15 range for future returns above $30 a few years down the road. The card is very, very good and just needs the right pieces to pair it with in any given format to be a great move.
Verdict: Sell (to buy in later)
- I’m having trouble imaging a better spec than Abrupt Decay at present. There are plenty of copies around $12 lying around. Sure, it was $6 a year ago, but it will likely be $20-25 by next year and there isn’t a reprint coming until at least MM3 which may or may not appear in summer 2016, depending on how the MM2 release goes. Either way, if you’re fooling around with long shots (as I tend to) and don’t have many of these stashed away yet (As I do) you might want to rethink where you’re parking your money.
- Snapcaster Mage is appreciating VERY nicely and pretty much right on schedule. Many of us were stockpiling around $20 at rotation, and now have easy outs for a double up. This was the last Abrupt Decay, get it? If you’re holding, you can wait for a possible $70-80 peak within the year, or just get out now and reinvest into something with a bigger upside, like say Abrupt Decay.
- With the currency shifts between the USD, Euro and Canadian dollar, there really are a lot of arbitrage opportunities to be had on big ticket items if you’re willing to do some math and shop by phone across borders. Get to it.
- If I have to choose between the Dragons of Tarkir planeswalkers I think you’ve got way more upside trying to snag Sarkhan around $20 than you will buying into Narset above $30.
James Chillcott is the CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.
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