The Watchtower 04/13/20 – MTGO Tix are the New World Currency

I had a bit of a think yesterday about something different I could do for this week’s article, but seeing as Cliff and Jason are still writing about real cardboard I thought I should continue talking about imaginary cardboard for y’all to buy. The strain on the USPS is starting to show, with warnings coming that it could shut down by June without significant financial aid. Losses have been increasing, and this has meant that it’s a bad time for us to be buying and selling physical cards – and that’s not even taking into account the potential danger of transmitting Coronavirus via mail. So it’s more MTGO picks from me for the foreseeable future, with maybe the odd special article here and there in between.

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

Price today: 11 tix
Possible price: 20 tix

Classic Tron has long been an unwavering mainstay in the Modern metagame. It’s had its ups and downs, but I don’t think this deck can, or will, ever die as long as Karn and his Tron lands are legal in the format. Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger started to be played in the deck soon after its printing in Battle for Zendikar, and became more of a staple once Eye of Ugin was banned and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn got pushed out of the deck.

Albeit a pricier deck in paper (it’d run you around $600), Tron is much cheaper online. You can pick the deck up for as little as 200 tix, and that coupled with the fact that it can be a relatively straightforward deck to pilot to a reasonable proficiency makes it ideal for the players that are currently migrating to MTGO for their Magic fix. The deck has been sat in the top five for metagame share for the past few weeks, and I don’t think that’s going to dip down much.

Ulamog is a single print mythic from nearly five years ago, which means that supply online is on the low side. Until it sees another print or release online, I think that this is going to keep ticking upwards towards 20 tix again.

Fabled Passage

Price today: 9 tix
Possible price: 15 tix

Fabled Passage is currently being played in pretty much every deck playing more than one colour in Standard. It fixes all your colours painlessly, as well as having extra utility like providing food to cast cards for their Escape cost in Uro decks and enabling triggers for Mayhem Devil in the Rakdos Aristocrats deck.

As we approach the release of Ikoria, I think that Fabled Passage is going to be more in demand for Standard decks. With the new tri-colour Legendaries, Ultimatums and Mythos(es?), colour fixing is going to be more important than ever. The new tricycle lands (yes, that’s what they’re called, don’t @ me) will help a lot with this, but you’re going to need fixing that comes into play untapped as well.

One of the decks I want to focus on here is the Rakdos Aristocrats deck – it looks like the addition of Luminous Broodmoth could be a big boon for the archetype, effectively giving all your creatures twice the number of sacrifice triggers. Fabled Passage is already a four-of in the deck, both for mana fixing and to trigger Mayhem Devil, and I think that this deck could rise even higher than it already is with the incoming new tech.

Fabled Passage saw a spike up to 18 tix a couple of weeks ago and has since retraced to 9, so I think this is a great spot to be picking them up. Throne of Eldraine grows older by the day, and I like buying these now to sell into Ikoria hype, or even to hold until rotation in the fall if you’re happier to sit back on these for a while.

Thassa, Deep-Dwelling

Price today: 1.3 tix
Possible price: 5 tix+

This is by far my most speculative pick this week, but I think that Thassa, Deep-Dwelling is probably the most powerful of the Gods from Theros Beyond Death (if we set aside the Heliod/Ballista combo; Heliod isn’t great outside of that). 

Thassa had quite the hype around her when THB was first released. Flickering your creatures with powerful enter-the-battlefield triggers is great, and if you can turn on Thassa’s devotion then even better. We initially saw her being used in UG ramp/ETB shells, flicking things like Risen Reef and Agent of Treachery. Since the first couple of weeks of new Theros Standard, however, she’s fallen off the radar a bit, other than seeing a smattering of play in less competitive Flicker or Elementals decks.

As we move into Ikoria, there are definitely some more interesting enter-the-battlefield triggers that we could be repeating with Thassa. There are quite a few Companions that could work really well with her too – Keruga, the Macrosage and Yorion, Sky Nomad both spring to mind as cards that could be great to build a Thassa deck around. The Ozolith also seems like a card that could be busted with Thassa. I’ll leave it to better deckbuilders than me to figure the details out, but I feel like Thassa is a strong enough card that should definitely be more than 1.3 tix. I’m honestly not sure on what the ceiling could be for this card, but it’s one of the lowest priced Mythics from THB so I think that the only way is up from here.

A note of advice to finish: if you’re missing the feel of playing Magic irl, take out a deck a couple of times a day and give it a shuffle. Feel the sleeves slip through your fingers…take a card out and smell the cardboard, fondle your favourite Commander…okay nah this got weird, we’re done. Bye!

David Sharman (@accidentprune on Twitter) has been playing Magic since 2013, dabbling in almost all formats but with a main focus on Modern, EDH and Pioneer. Based in the UK and a new writer for MTGPrice in 2020, he’s an active MTG finance speculator specialising in cross-border arbitrage.