Grinder Finance – Preparing for Eldritch Moon

With Eternal Masters coming out Friday I’m sure everyone is running out to spend all of their money and then some on the hottest singles.  As of Sunday night, nobody has foils up for pre-order yet so I’m still waiting, longing for a foil Maelstrom Wanderer.

Poorly Photoshopped by me
Poorly Photoshopped by me

Modern is coming

With the release of Eldritch Moon we will be moving in Modern PPTQ season.  If you’re planning on finishing up your Modern deck while prices are reasonable I would recommend buying in soon.  While we had some cards peak during the double Modern GP weekend (LA and Charlotte), we won’t see widespread Modern prices rise until PPTQs start.  Modern decks that also play Legacy staples or didn’t get deep reprints in Modern Masters 2015 will probably see the biggest bumps.  Plan ahead and hopefully you won’t get caught with your pants down and have to pay $10 more for that last Mox Opal.

pro tour

Preparing for the Pro Tour

With the release of Eldritch Moon in a month, it will quickly pave the way for another Pro Tour.  During Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad we saw some decks breathe new life into cards that were almost bulk before.  I am generally not so worried about getting everything before the Pro Tour but this time is a little different.  I managed to qualify via the Orlando, Florida RPTQ and will be making my first international Magic tournament GP Sydney.  I’m not a professional player with a deep team and a sponsor so I need to figure out a way to purchase the cards I might need early and cheaply.  Let’s talk about what I’ve got my eyes on.

Story Cards


Target Price: $18

Nahiri has already proven she can be a force in Modern but the lack of a “big finisher” really makes her a little lack luster in Standard.  With the never ending rumors that Emrakul will be in Eldritch Moon I really want to secure my copies before any spoilers come out.  If there is a new Emrakul, she will likely be the best mana can buy.  Nahiri is also fairly flexible with her ability to kill enchantments and creatures.  In my opinion, she’s on the cusp of breaking out.


Target Price: $5

Oath of the Gatewatch continued some of the mechanics from Battle for Zendikar.  I fully expect Eldritch Moon to continue some as well.  Currently, I’m expecting double-faced cards and Madness to be returning mechanics.  I think a black/red vampire deck might be a few cards from being very powerful.  Whatever aggressive deck spawns from it will likely include Olivia.  She’s still $6 so I’m not terribly worried about picking her up very quickly but if people see good Madness cards spoiled then she can shoot up.

Good on paper but lacking a home


Target Price: $10

Arlinn is so close to good.  Right now red removal is being outclassed by White removal so it’s hard to find her a home over Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.  If we get some more support for werewolves or some better red removal we could see her value increase.  She’s already a very popular planeswalker with casual players.


Target Price: $5

I’ve never met a Jace I didn’t like.  What’s a “living guildpact?”  I think Jace will have his time to shine when other more aggressive BFZ block walkers rotate out of Standard but he might be good now.  I don’t think we’ll have to worry about him during spoiler season because there are not a lot of obvious synergies he could have.


mindwrack demongoldnight castigator

Target Price: $1.50 – $2

These creatures are very “all or nothing.”  Either you play 4 or you play none.  If I have to play 4 I want to make sure I’m paying $2 per copy not $5 or more if they get popular.  These are also cards I wouldn’t worry about spiking during the spoiler season but may be important during the SCG Open in Columbus on release weekend.
Oldies but Goodies

archangel avacyn sorin, grim nemesis

Taget Price – Avacyn: $20
Target Price – Sorin : $8

Archangel Avacyn and Sorin, Grim Nemesis have already proven their worth as Standard staples.  I have already purchased my copies for play but I think they could definitely see a nice bump if their respective decks continue to dominate after the set release.  It’s pretty hard to surpass either card in those colors.

gideon, ally

Target Price: $15

So I say my target is $15 but I don’t think he will realistically ever get that cheap.  Gideon put up another dominant performance this weekend.  There were 27 of a possible 32 copies played at GP Costa Rica top 8.  He was the third most dominant card in the top 32 (with 71 copies).  Coincidentally, he was also the third most dominant card (behind the same two cards, Sylvan Advocate and Dromoka’s Command) with 63 copies in the Top 32 of SCG Atlanta.  If you’re going to play Standard for the next year you’ll probably need some Gideons.



Nissa, Voice of Zendikar and Ob Nixilis, Reignited are likely to be in the Nissa vs Ob Nixilis duel deck coming later this year.  I am not terribly happy investing any money in either card unless you absolutely need them to play with.


Dromoka’s Command might be the best removal spell in Standard but it’s scarcely played in Modern and is probably at it’s all time high right now.  If you don’t need them, sell them at the next Pro Tour as they will rotate in October.


12 thoughts on “Grinder Finance – Preparing for Eldritch Moon”

      1. Think you meant to say your first international tournament will be “PT” Sydney. You wrote GP Sydney.

  1. Wolverine stroking that photo reminded me that we need a profile picture of you for your posts. Don’t make us live with the grey silhouette when your photoshop skills are so evident.

  2. I’ve noticed Thought-Knot Seer and Reality Smasher seem to be at their price floor. I’ve been messing around with both in a BW Midrange list. Everyone seems to be focusing on BW Control with no creatures in the main. I personally love running Reality Smasher alongside Languish and whatnot.

    Do you think there is a possibility that BW Midrange picks up some steam and Reality Smasher and friends go up? (ORI/DTK rotation?) It seems like a GREAT time to pick up Reality Smashers right now around $3.50. Then again… maybe there is more room to drop. Just wanted to warn people that there are MULTIPLE versions of the BW list that could be good in Standard. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some Top 8/16 lists running 3-4 Reality Smashers at some point. Might want to go ahead and grab your playset now if you don’t have them.

    Personally… If Reality Smasher dips below $2-$3… I think I’m going to have to buy a couple more playsets… How about you? I guess it depends on future manabases but I think this card could go right back up to $5+ within the next year. If anyone thinks this card has more room to drop, let me know why. I realize we are losing Caves of Koilos soon, but there are plenty of other lands that produce colorless mana we could use, not to mention whatever we get with Eldritch Moon.

    1. I’m not terribly keen on buying into large numbers of a rare. It’s difficult for them to get enough play to warrant a big price tag these days. That being said I think it’s hard to go wrong buying smashers for $2-3 as they already have shown to be strong contenders in every format they are legal. There is no information that I can think of that would make it likely they would have any significant price jump before the Pro Tour.

  3. If you want a Commander’s Arsenal foil, I’ve got a spare if you want to work something out. 🙂

    @MorphWillbender on Twitter

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