By: Travis Allen
Don’t miss this week’s installment of the MTG Fast Finance podcast, an on-topic, no-nonsense tour through the week’s most important changes in the Magic economy.
With MFLondon in the books, we have a clearer view of the London mulligan rule than we did a week prior. Conclusively, the result is “inconclusive.” While it didn’t appear to have a major impact on the decks at the top tables, with a familiar pack spearheading the best performing decks of the weekend, there was plenty of input from pros that it had impacts even before sitting down to the tables. These included main deck and sideboard choices, which some felt was inappropriate for the mulligan rule to inform. At the same time, it also reduced variance and made for more repetition in game states, as you less commonly had to skillfully navigate out of mana issues. My guess is that we won’t see the mulligan rule implemented as-is across all formats.
Cavern of Souls
Price Today: $60
Possible Price: $90
As I mentioned a paragraph ago, the top decks of London were a familiar group. Right there among them, with I believe the most successful archetype by raw match points, was Humans. Not only did it have the most pilots with 24 points or more (excluding Limited results), it put three into the top 8, including the eventual winner. Overall, one would have a difficult time making the point that Humans didn’t have a good weekend.
Front and central of Humans is one of the key lands that makes the machine work; Cavern of Souls. Cavern makes any color of mana, allowing the Humans player to slot in any meatsack they so choose, prevents said human from getting countered, and even has the courtesy to tap for a colorless mana should you need to cast something less fleshy, such as an Aether Vial. And, should the day ever come, it will even tap for Eldrazi.
Cavern was an excellent pick-up roughly eight or nine months ago. Basically right before Ultimate Masters was revealed, and its contents shown to include Cavern. (On that note, I should mention I own several copies of Cavern.) UMA’s reprinting slowed down Cavern considerably, to no surprise. Supply had juuuuust dwindled down to maybe a playset or two, and whammo, here’s another several hundred copies on TCGPlayer.
Here we are roughly six months later, and the numbers are getting lower again. They’re not low low, with maybe 200 NM copies between Avacyn Restored, Modern Masters 2017, and Ultimate Masters. Supply is shrinking though, and while prices debuted close to $50, there’s a small number available at $60 before climbing to $70. With Modern Horizons unlikely to make Humans any less relevant, no chance for a reprint in the set, and the possibility of support for additional tribes appearing, now seems as good a time as any to begin sneaking $60 Caverns into your carts in anticipation.
Requiem Angel (Foil)
Price Today: $1
Possible Price: $5
As Modern prepares for a big shakeup, EDH keeps on trucking along, same as it has for years. Feather is War of the Spark’s biggest name in the Commander world. The rest of Ravnica’s generals haven’t been sleeping though, and Teysa remains, and is set to remain, with no other generals providing as clear a path as Teysa does, remarkably popular.
One of the most popular cards in Teysa is undoubtedly Requiem Angel. After all, making a new body — and ideally two — as you march your legions of disposable creatures into the meat grinder for profit is one of the best things you can be doing. It replaces a blocker and provides additional food for whatever ability is next on the list. So long as players are building Teysa, they’ll be building Requiem Angel.
Angel has seen a single reprint since her initial run in Dark Ascension, and that reprint was in a Commander product. With only foils from Dark Ascension on the market, it’s a small wonder these aren’t cleaned out already. I know I’ve put together EDH lists that made use of her before, so she isn’t without utility. Overall demand today is still mild I guess, with about 3500 reported decks making use. Still, there’s less than 50 NM copies on TCG right now, and fewer still at $1 or less. You’re not going to get to charge $9 a copy here anytime soon, but getting in at $1 will give you chances to sell singletons on TCG at $5 or buylist a pile at $2 or $3 each, likely this year.
The Gitrog Monster (Foil)
Price Today: $22
Possible Price: $40
Everyone’s favorite frog (I suspect, anyways) isn’t any less popular than he was when Shadows Over Innistrad rolled out. You’ll find Kermit here headlining nearly 2,000 EDH decks, and finding room in another 5,000 more. More are added daily as well, with Lord Windgrace having taken a top seat in the “Top Commanders of the Month” group for quite some time now. The long and short of it is, if you’re going to seek to do heavy duty with your lands in EDH, you’re going to be hard pressed to put together a deck that doesn’t want to find room for Gitrog.
You won’t be the only one going down that path, which is obvious when you take a look at the supply numbers. There’s six — yes, six — prerelease copies out there, and barely more than twice that in pack foils. Other than that, there’s no other supply, and as a named character from Innistrad, with rumors of Theros on the horizon, he’s not looking to see many more copies in the near future.
Prices spiked on Gitrog from $10 to $20 right around this time last year, I believe due to Lord Windgrace’s spoiling. (Or at least the theme.) I’m not anticipating a major increase again in the next three weeks as a result of any particular announcement. I think instead that copies are going to continue to be bought, supply is going to continue to wane, and with so few copies on the market as it is, with most already over $25, it won’t be long before it will be forty dollars a frog.
Travis Allen has been playing Magic: The Gathering since 1994, mostly in upstate New York. Ever since his first FNM he’s been trying to make playing Magic cheaper, and he first brought his perspective to MTGPrice in 2012. You can find his articles there weekly, as well as on the podcast MTG Fast Finance.