UNLOCKED PROTRADER: Amonkhet Stock Watch

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There’s a lot of reasons why Amonkhet prices are falling as fast as they are, from Invocations to peak supply to a lack of new toys to play with, considering we’re about to get all of Hour of Devastation and we know a lot about Ixalan already.

With the Hour upon us, and prereleases next weekend, it’s time to take a look at the trajectories of some of these cards and see where they have to go. There are still packs of Amonkhet being opened, and while that’s going to exert some downward pressure, the historical data tells us that most prices won’t fall too much further.

Want some examples? Sure. Let’s start with a rollercoaster of a card: Panharmonicon.

 

So it spiked to $10 right away as people tried brewing midrangey value decks with it, and those were sweet. They were not winners, and Panharmonicon had been trickling down ever since.

I didn’t highlight when Aether Revolt came out. Looking at the graph, can you tell when it did? Maybe you know release dates off the top of your head.

See that spike in January? That’s when Aether Revolt came out, and there were decks trying to brew with this again, and it tapered off quickly. (I think this card is a steal at $2, which you can find on eBay. Foils at $10 or less are even better value.)

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How about something more basic? Botanical Sanctum.

You already know when the second set came out, and you can see how the price barely moved. The demand was pretty steady, until pretty recently when everyone figured out that Marvel was the best deck, and now it’s banned.

 

With this data in mind, let’s look at some Amonkhet cards and see where they might be going.

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Rhonas the Indomitable ($13 nonfoil/$23 foil/$52 Invocation) – What’s interesting is how little play this is currently seeing in Standard. It’s become a spicy one-of in assorted Collected Company decks in Modern, as a powerful attacker and also another way to use infinite mana if you haven’t drawn the Duskwatch Recruiter. If something comes along to make it good, it’ll spike (generically useful advice!) but barring that, this will continue to trickle downwards and will likely end up at $10 or so.

Gideon of the Trials ($12/$24) – Oh how the mighty have fallen. This was preordering for $40! I hope you’re not preordering anything from Hour of Devastation. Just don’t do it. Haven’t you learned? That’ll be its own article soon.

Anyway, Gideon v6 (I’m counting Kytheon, Hero of Akros) was heralded as an unstoppable force in Legacy, as a combo enabler in Modern, and as a three-mana planeswalker, shouldn’t be underestimated in Standard.

He’s played mostly in Modern now and is making no waves in Standard at this time. He’s going to end up at $8 or less, and hopefully you’ve learned your lesson.

Vizier of the Menagerie ($6/$16) – No one is trying to make this work in any constructed format. This is a casual card, all the way. It started out at $10, and hasn’t fallen very far, and that’s mainly because this is an auto-include in almost any green Commander deck, and that’s absorbing the supply at a pretty good pace. I actually don’t think this will fall any farther, and it’ll stay stable until we get to Ixalan, at which point it might even start trending upwards.

Glorybringer ($4/$10) – You’d be impressed at the number of big hasty beaters who have never had a big price. Thundermaw Hellkite. Stormbreath Dragon. Either version of Kolaghan. And so on. This was $10 at first but the price has stabilized, and I don’t think it’ll go any lower. A pickup of this at $4 (or less!) is a decent one, but I’m not going to get too happy or too deep. Not many decks will seek to run a full four of these.

Sweltering Suns ($4/$6) – Yeah, take a look at that foil multiplier. I can’t recall the last time foils and nonfoils of a rare were that close in price, but here we are. The card is showing up in a lot of sideboards in Standard, and it’s a fun card to put in your UR control deck. The extra spicy tech in that deck is how Thing in the Ice is going to come down anyway, and live through the Suns. Nothing telegraphs a sweeper like refusing to play a creature into it.

It’s not common for us to see a card slowly rise like this over time. Usually, we see spikes as someone figures it out and does well, but this is getting play here, and there, and in this sideboard, and it’s possibly better in Modern than Anger of the Gods (you want cycling or you want exile, take your pick) but it’s a card that is a good contender to keep going up. Three damage is enough to kill almost everything played before turn three, and if you can get the double red, it’s hard for this to not get at least two creatures. And it cycles!

I’m not advocating buying Sweltering Suns right now. It’d have to go up in price tremendously to be worth it. I would, however, trade for them slowly and hold onto them for a while, because it’s going to be climbing more.

Cliff is an avid Cuber these days, having played far too many Commander games that lasted two hours. He first opened a pack of Revised in late 1994, and has been writing about Magic for longer than he’s been a father. He’s always on the lookout for value or weird ways to play.

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6 thoughts on “UNLOCKED PROTRADER: Amonkhet Stock Watch”

  1. The “leaks” and subsequent preorder sales by the huge online stores is really starting to disgust me, and I am generally 100% pro business.

    ***The above point pretty much spells out my position. However, if you don’t mind semi-long and semi-ranty, then proceed. You have been warned.***

    In essence, it’s allowing many of these stores to individually price fix, as the anxious, panic prone nerds make like lemmings to buy as the original offerings sell out, knowing subsequent offerings will be at a significantly higher price while also knowing that the price will likely crater a couple weeks after release, but falling prey to the “gotta have it now” convenience attitude that is prevalent these days.

    And all the while, we get massive complaints about how the game, especially eternal formats, is too expensive. It’s obvious that Wizards recognizes this . I find it hard to believe that they don’t recognize how these preselling stores are hurting the player base.

    How long will it be before we start seeing massive numbers of complaints about standard being too expensive(we already get plenty) as players dump money into over priced presales, in some cases two and three times over the real value, thus losing even more money than they would have before presales became a thing. Not to mention having their money split between the constant offerings of new product, but that’s another issue.

    And how many sales does this take away from the smaller LGS that can’t afford to open 50 cases of boosters to guarantee preorder sales? You can’t keep the doors open on 5$ FNM and 20$ draft nights alone.

    Obviously nothing can be done about the presales from a legal standpoint, but we don’t have presales without the “leaks” and spoilers.

    Leaks are one thing, they are usually a couple cards, and it’s rather hard to keep a single individual from engaging in leaking. As well, there is nothing wrong with spoiling a couple cards, or even mechanics. That’s fun, and drives hype in a respectable way. The last point was subjective, I know. I think though that most of us do enjoy a couple of spoilers.

    Spoiling an entire set, thus wildly inflating the value of the set, is on a different level, to the point where the idea of value becomes less about what you are getting for your money, and more about how we can mitigate our loses on the cards we need to play. That change in attitude on the part of the buyer isn’t going to lead to anything constructive for anyone other than the Star City Games of the world, and Hasbro, who can now guarantee a number of sales out of the gate.

    It does make me wonder how sincere the player base is about their complaints about the game being to expensive, as they continue to do their part to drive presale prices, thus doing their part in making the game much more expensive. Are they really that ignorant? Or are they just so caught up in the feeding frenzy that presales have become?

    1. You’re bringing up a number of points, and I think I’m going to bring up an old standby here: Wizards makes money from sales of new product. Older formats, while they can cause people to come out for a GP or something, don’t make Wizards any money directly.

      Presales are good for Wizards, and they are a way of measuring the community’s excitement. Solemnity has caused a bunch of things to spike and it’s not done. So many thing use counters!

  2. Isn’t that this generations makeup now? Gotta have it. It’s pretty easy to go a 40 dollar planeswalker that already has another version that’s better isn’t worth 40 dollars. It’s their money, let them spend it how irrationally they want to. Let it crater out a few weeks later, then buy all that shit up and sell em back to the people that originally bought for 40, sold for 10 and want them back for 30. This is why we have subscriptions to sites like this, to make money off the schlubs

  3. All of Hour was not revealed yet, correct? Was this article published a week early? How did Cliff come by that idea?

  4. Cliff, I don’t quite understand the point of your article. I’m sorry to say but SaffronOlive on mtggoldfish (who I’m actually not the biggest fan of) does a better job analyzing prices and card significance better than you. If you don’t know the Standard format and what decks are played and potentially played please don’t give advice. You don’t know why Rhonas is $13??? Well maybe because it kicks ass in EDH and as a casual card. Maybe it’s indestructible and really easy to make a 5/5 deathtoucher out of him/her. Or it assists in the CoCo combo decks in Modern being a 3 drop and a mana sink (as you mentioned). It’s a big dumb green card that does big dumb green things in a set with no other chase cards, of course it’s going to be valuable. It also works excellently with Snake, Grim Flayer, Eldrazi, Glorybringer, Gideon, etc

    A whole slew of cards couldn’t be played because of Marvel and Ulamog. 3 Drop Gideon was useless vs that deck. 95% of the format was useless, that’s why it was banned. A popular deck now is Temur Energy substituting in Glorybringer and Chandra Torch in place of Marvel and Ulamog. Unfortunately for Amokhet as a set the cards have better synergy with other/older formats. It’s an extremely underpowered set, and Hour of Devastation looks even worse except for the ultimate hate enchantment which looks super fun to play against #Sarcasm. How long until Ballista owners and players on Energy decks complain about banning Solemnity out of Standard? I’ll give you a 100:1 on that happening within 1 week if it hasn’t started. Ballista+Snake+Rishkar+V Hulk vs Temur Energy vs. Mardu Vehicles vs. Combo deck X; this is a solid guess at what Standard will look like at the SCG invitational this week.

    I know you published your article several days ago, but you really have to do a better job with your articles, especially with no one writing on the site any more. Take a page from Jason Alt and learn one format extremely well and write the sh*t out of how to exploit it. If you are stuck writing about Standard I am sorry, because other than a few specs that get missed there isn’t going to be a lot of money opportunities for a while. And Glorybringer is likely a huge benefactor of the banning…plus Stormbreath and Thundermaw DID HAVE HUGE SPIKES AND PRICE TAGS, so I don’t know what the F’ u r talking about. Do You?!?!?!

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