UNLOCKED PROTRADER: Week One of HOU

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We’ve had one weekend of Hour of Devastation being legal for Standard, and there are some cards at surprising prices. I want to go over a few with you today and see what these trajectories tell us.

Something to note that’s a bit different about this set, as opposed to most other sets that have come out in the past few years: This set was regarded to be a little clunky when it was first revealed to the world, a bit underpowered as compared to what was already legal for us to play in Standard.

This led to some impressively low pre-order prices, and starting out that low has put more cards than usual on an upward trajectory.

On to the biggest gainer of the set so far, a card no one predicted would be selling for $4-$5 on eBay a week after release…

Fraying Sanity (up to $5 now, from a low of about $1 in prerelease season): So far, I’m super wrong about this card. People can’t get enough of it right now! It’s astounding, even though I know full well how popular mill cards are with the casual set. Yes, it’s an auto-win with Traumatize.  I was heavily dismissive of the card, I sold one for fifty cents on Cardsphere on prerelease weekend, and I told you to dump it at $2 a week ago after it had gone up from $1.

I cannot find records of a mill deck getting there in an event or even on a stream so far. I can see no shortage of people posting decks that might be good with it, and Startled Awake is riding a big bump because people want to mill 26 cards, but the card hasn’t gotten there yet. This level of interest is pretty unique, and I don’t know who is buying this at $4. Every other card with a similar focus got cheap and stayed there for a while, though I honestly don’t recall how cheap Glimpse the Unthinkable got to. It was 2005, so it couldn’t have been too pricey?

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There are going to be lots and lots and lots of this card out there. It’s not going to keep this price. I reserve the right to be shocked, but buylists are taking this at $3 right now and I don’t even know what to say.

Are we witnessing mass speculation at work? Are we seeing what happens when literally every FNM player decides to play the same wonky deck? I don’t know. I was comfortable getting my fifty cents, and I’d be comfortable getting $3 on a buylist right now.

Champion of Wits (up to $3 from about $0.75): This is what an on-camera spike looks like. The card fits very well into Emerge, and is showing a healthy bump due to helping two different players make the top 8 last weekend. So far it’s only shown up in this one style of deck, but it might keep this price. If there’s anything going on with graveyards in the next couple sets, this could spike again, though likely not above $5 or $6, even in a year.

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Crested Sunmare (now at $5, up from $3.50): Yes, it’s fun to do silly things with this card, and there will always be people trying to make something like this work, but I’m going to blame this bump on the streaming effect and move on.

Solemnity (Still about $5): I’m actually very impressed at the price stability of this card. We haven’t had a Modern event where it makes waves yet, but it’s another combo piece that’s hard to deal with. The preorder price has proven sticky, and that’s a relatively rare feat.

Hour of Devastation (up to $8.50 now): I think that not only does this keep Crested Sunmare decks in check, it’s going to define the Standard format quite well. There are very few decks that can take this hit and act like nothing happened, though Vehicles are the card type that can keep on chugging. I still like this to be a $10 card at the release of Ixalan, and tick up from there.

Finally, I want to call your attention to the uncommons that are making a financial splash and are worth snagging for the next few weeks at low prices or from draft chaff.

Supreme Will ($1): UR Control is going to be a good deck for a while, and this is exactly the sort of card that a permission deck loves to have. Normally, if someone leaves up three mana, you’re careful to play around this (or Metallic Rebuke or Cancel) but if you don’t make a play, their counter is now a card selection spell, getting what they need most out of the top four.

Abrade ($1.50): Flexibility is always something a card benefits from, and the heavy foil multiplier on this card indicates that it’s got some legs in the casual community. It was in a lot of the best-performing decks this past weekend, and while it’s going to be the participation promo for Game Day on the first weekend of August, I like this to be one of the most played cards from the set while it’s Standard legal. (Kaladesh and its Vehicles will rotate out along with Hour of Devastation in September 2018.)

Claim // Fame ($2): This is the one that I’m a little less enthused by. Yes, it’s amazing next to Snapcaster Mage, and Death’s Shadow, and on and on, but it’s not going to be a four-of. I’d be surprised if it was more popular than Kolaghan’s Command, a card with even more flexibility. I want to let this one cool off a little bit, let the foils get to the $7 range. Right now people are too eager and that doesn’t appeal to me.

Cliff has been writing about Magic in some format or another for six years now, a terrifying length of time. He has two kids, a full-time job, and an endless sense of humor about the fact that these pieces of cardboard keep being worth money! His goal is always to buy low and sell high, and is an avid user of Cardsphere. Follow him on Twitter @wordofcommander or tune in every Friday here on MTGPrice.

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