Category Archives: James Chillcott

PRO TRADER: MTG Fast Finance Podcast: Episode 69 (May 26th/17)

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James Chillcott is the CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

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Pro Tour Amonkhet Finance: Standard Day 2

Here on MTGPrice.com we are providing MTGFinance coverage of Pro Tour Amonkhet all weekend long.  You can check out our Pro Tour Amonkhet financial preview over here, and our Day 1 round up over here. Today, join us for round to round coverage in live blog style below all day. Look for color coded text if you don’t have time for the whole thing.

First off, let’s review which decks showed up to try and take home the trophy this weekend:

As we can see, the hoped for narrative of Mardu Vehicles no longer being the dominant deck type was in question based on the number of pros that decided to bring the best deck so far of 2017 into a fresh meta. That being said, it’s unclear thus far how many of the Mardu decks have survived Day 1 and are hovering around the top tables.

That being said, my quick tally of the decks I think were at the top tables heading into the Day 2 draft, there seemed to be a lot of Temur Aetherworks Marvel decks in contention. Marvel has made a move from $6 to $10 so far, and could go higher if it proves out to be a major force heading into the Top 8. Other decks I expect to have a shot include UR Control, Mono Black and BW Zombies and a few Mardu Vehicles. We’ll know more around 4pm when the Standard rounds start.

Overnight, the spikes included New Perspectives pushing to $4 from $1, which it may have trouble holding given the relative lack of pilots deep in Day 2. Liliana’s Mastery, one of my picks for this week on MTGFastFinance moved from $1 to $3 on a strong zombies performance across the tournament and should be able to hold a price point in that range. Aetherworks Marvel has moved from $6 to $10 and could push higher if it proves out as the top deck of the tourney. 

Round 12: Reid Duke (Sultai Marvel) vs. Steve Hatto (BG Energy)

Reid has a few spicy cards in his build, including Liliana, Death’s Majesty, Yahenni, Undying Partisan and Demon of the Dark Schemes. In Game 1 Duke dumps Ulamog into his yard with Liliana and follows up by zombifying the giant Eldrazi. Hatto has nothing and we’re on to Game 2. Hatto gets out with an early advantage on his next try, with Aethersphere Harvester, Bristling Hydra, Riskhar, Peema Renegade and Winding Constrictor providing solid pressure while Reid has an Ulamog stranded in hand. Duke does manage to stabilize at 14 life behind a wall of mid-range creatures, but can’t find an answer for the Harvester in the air. A Skysovereign, Consul Flagship soon joins the board, but Ulamog finally joins the board to clear the skies and soon after take the match.

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Round 12: Gabriel Nassif (Mardu Vehicles) vs. Tsuyoshi Fujita (WR Exert)

Fujita is on a pretty spicy WR aggro deck that seeks to leverage exert abilities on cards like Glory-Bound Initiate with Always Watching for maximum benefit and zero downside. In Game 1 the life linking white creature gets Fujita up over forty life by the mid-game before the camera switches back.

Michael Majors called out for using four copies of Chandra Flamecaller as a way to combat aggro decks in his Temur Marvel build. He ends up tied a game a piece vs. Mardu Vehicles piloted by Lio Yuchen and it’s a long one. One Ulamog turns into another from Marvel and match goes to Majors, contributing to a dominant team position by Team Genesis.

Deck Tech #1: Reid Duke (Sultai Marvel)

Reid describes it as a hybrid between Marvel and GB Delirium and notes that he elected to run just two copies of Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger to minimize his reliance on keeping it out of hand.

Demon of Dark Schemes was highlighted as a card that can be a fantastic hit off of Marvel in the mid game against aggro decks.

Results after Round 12 look as follows:

Round 13: Eric Froelich (10-2, Temur Marvel) vs. Chris Fennell (11-1, WB Zombies)

Fennell represents the best hope for a zombies deck to make the Top 8 so far with this mirror breaking WB build. In Game 1, Froelich gets off an early Marvel activation for an Ulamog, as we’ve seen all weekend and Fennell struggles to find an answer, falling down a game.

In Game 2, Froelich takes a mulligan, stumbles on land and is facing down a full board by Turn 5. Game 3 looks much the same and Fennell goes to 12-1 and seems close to a lock for Top 8.

Thanks to stats master Frank Karsten, we now have fantastic information about the Day 2 conversion rates of each of the major archtypes that may inform our financial decisions in the format moving forward.

First off, the Marvel decks, which made up just under 20% of the field managed to put 71% of all related decks into Day 2, which is a very dominant position indeed. It’s worth noting that this was across six different variants of the deck, ALL of which put up at least 60% conversion except for the dismal 33% conversion of the six four color Marvel pilots. If Marvel gets a few copies into the Top 8 I’ll be very surprised if the card doesn’t bust past the current $8-10 price point on low supply. Anything less could indicate that Standard demand still hasn’t rebounded enough. The version running four copies of Chandra Flamecaller put an insane 100% of it’s pilots into Day 2, so that card is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Mardu Vehicles still put up positive results across all variants, but not quite as good as the Marvel decks.

Note the blue sideboard splash leading to the best results, with five of six pilots on that build making Day 2.

Interestingly the WB zombies decks did a little worse than the stock mono black builds, perhaps due to their slightly worse mana base. All told, these decks put 72% of their pilots into Day 2, and look almost as good as Marvel looking forward in the format.

BG Decks, in a variety of configurations put up underwhelming results, with just 55% of their pilots making it into the second day. Digging deeper however we see that the BG Cryptolith Rite deck got all five of it’s pilots into Day 2, which could suggest that the deck was underrepresented vs. it’s potential, perhaps because many teams failed to find it. Look for Bontu, the Glorified and/or Vizier of the Menagerie to possibly show motion if the deck makes Top 8 or gets further camera time.

So far Torrential Gearhulk based decks don’t seem to be where the format is headed, based on this mixed bag of results where only the two Dynavolt Tower pilots really made headway in the tournament. The card could be overpriced above $25 if this trend line continues.

Another archetype that put up great numbers despite being underrepresented on camera was Temur Mid-Range, without Aetherworks Marvel. 82% conversion is fantastic, and this might be another dark horse worth considering in your local meta.

Round 13: Dean McClaren (8-3-1, BG Delirium) vs. William Jensen (8-3-1, Sultai Marvel)

This match is more about putting Sultai Marvel on screen than representing top players with enough reach to Top 8. The players split the first two games. Jensen gets a Liliana, Death’s Majesty off a Marvel spin and brings back a zombified Ishkanah, Grafwidow to take the advantage. Jensen gets there and goes to 9-3-1.

Round 13: Yuuya Watanabe (9-3, Temur Marvel) vs. Josh Cho (9-3, Black Zombies)

As we come into this match Hall of Famer Yuuya seems well positioned to take the match  on time, and does so shortly to go to 10-3 and put himself in solid position to Top 8.

Deck Tech #2: New Perspectives Combo

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This deck is getting featured because it’s pretty cool, but it only got three of seven pilots into Day 2 so its future is not yet assured and you should likely be selling your New Perspectives if you can.

Round 14: Martin Muller (11-2, Temur Marvel) vs. Christian Calcano (11-2, Black Zombies)

In Game 1, Calcano manages to Grasp of Darkness an early Servant of the Conduit from Muller, after Muller stumbles on land, and Game 1 slides into the Zombies pilots hands in short order as Westvale Abbey becomes a massive flying demon and takes down Muller.

Game 2 gets pretty crazy, with early pressure from Calcano eventually met by a key Chandra Flamecaller, and after some jostling back and forth, Muller finds himself a Whirler Virtuoso with twenty-four energy on deck, resulting in eight (!) end of turn 1/1 flying Thopter tokens. With Calcano at thirteen and no easy way to deal with the air force Muller pushes the match to the final game.

In Game 3, Muller keeps a zero land hand with two Attune the Aether and two Aetherworks Marvel. Calcano manages to fire off consecutive Transgress the Mind to ensure Muller can’t get rolling and thereby ensures his first Pro Tour Top 8, exiting the round at 12-2 and able to ID his way in.

Off camera Gerry Thompson pushes to 11-3 on Black Zombies, with a solid shot to Top 8.

Deck Tech #3: BG Rites

This deck was notable for putting ALL of it’s pilots into Day 2. Bontu, the Glorified is the most notable opportunity here as a usual 3-of.

Round 15: Martin Muller (11-3, Temur Marvel) vs. William Jensen (11-3, Sultai Marvel)

Muller takes a quick Game 1 on the back of a quick spin. Game 2 is a drawn out affair, with Jensen on the back foot for most of the game. A late game Liliana, Death’s Majesty changes the equation a bit and several turns later Jensen manages to hard cast Ulamog and kill Marvel and Ulamog on Muller’s side. Chandra decides it again however and Muller is in at 12-3.

Round 15: Chris Fennell (13-1, WB Zombies) vs. Reid Duke (11-3, Sultai Marvel)

Chris Fennell takes it in two to take top seed for Top 8 at 14-1. Duke has a slim chance at 11-4.

Deck Tech #4: Abzan Tokens w/ Sam Black 

Anointed Presence shenanigans are in full effect with this deck. Black reports that he gained dozens of life in the final game of his last match. Aside from Gideon, the rest of this deck is super cheap if you’re looking for a technical budget build.

Round 16: Yuuya Watanabe (11-4, Temur Marvel) vs. Reid Duke (11-4, Sultai Marvel)

These two top pros are playing for potential access to the Top 8 here depending on their final tie-breakers. In Game 1 Duke is the first to get an Ulamog on the field, via his ace in the hole Liliana activation. Yuuya spins his own Marvel but can’t find what he needs and gives up first blood to Reid. Yuuya evens things up. In the final game, Yuuya finds a copy of Marvel facing down enough pressure to finish him off if he misses the spin. Finding a second Rogue Refiner to block Noxious Gearhulk, Watanabe stabilizes at five life and starts to pull away behind a wall of Negates in hand. Hall of Fame player Yuuya Watanabe looks locked for yet another Top 8.

Developing Top 8 of Pro Tour Amonkhet (Known Inclusions)

  1. BW Zombies (Chris Fennell): 42 pts
  2. BG Aggro Energy (Ken Yukuhiro): 39 pts
  3. Temur Marvel (Marc Tobiasch): 38 pts
  4. Black Zombies (Christian Calcano): 38 pts
  5. Temur Marvel (Martin Muller): 37 pts
  6. Black Zombies (Gerry Thompson): 37 pts
  7. Temur Marvel (Eric Froelich): 36 pts
  8. Temur Marvel (Yuuya Watanabe): 36 pts

By my count, that gives us 4x Aetherworks Marvel, 2x Black Zombies, BG Energy and a single BW Zombies. With some of the Temur decks having access to Chandra Flamecaller, barring bad draws, I give the edge to the Marvel players tomorrow.

This is yet another star-studded Top 8 at Pro Tour Amonkhet with multiple prior Top 8 competitors and two Hall of Fame members in Yuuya and Froelich. I haven’t noted any major spikes since yesterday, so people may be feeling cagey about rejoining the Standard fray so far. Let’s see how things play out tomorrow!

James Chillcott is the CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

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Pro Tour Amonkhet Finance: Standard Day 1

Check out our Pro Tour Amonkhet financial preview over here, and join us for round to round coverage in live blog style below all day. Look for color coded text if you don’t have time for the whole thing.

Before the start of the Standard Rounds, LSV highlights the cards he expects to see a lot of this weekend:

  1. Magma Spray
  2. Glorybringer
  3. Pull from Tomorrow
  4. Sweltering Suns
  5. Manglehorn
  6. Liliana, Death’s Majesty
  7. Censor

Round 4 (1st Round of Standard) starts at 2pm EST/Noon PST, Friday, May 12th, 2017 after three rounds of draft. Here’s how things are playing out.

Round 4: Martin Juza (2-1, Mono Black Zombies) vs. Masashi Oiso (2-1, New Perspectives Combo)

Coverage decides to start off with coverage of two of the newer decks, likely hoping to head off the potential Mardu narrative. Oiso, clearly well practiced with the new combo deck, quickly dispatches Juza, who amusingly posts an F6 note in the middle of the table as the Japanese player works through his combo for the win. In Game 2 Juza tables a strong offense backed up by a timely Transgress the Mind, and Oiso can’t find his combo pieces fast enough to hold him off. In Game 3 Juza is able to work around control elements from Oiso and advance to 3-1. N

Nevertheless, camera time has triggered the obvious buyout and New Perspectives is now bought out below $5. 

Round 4: Jacob Wilson (3-0, Temur Control) vs. ??? (2-1, Zombies)

Wilson takes this match down 2-1.

Deck Tech #1: Patrick Dickmann (Jund Gods)
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Patrick explains that he decided to run Amonkhet gods instead of planeswalkers due to the power of indestructible.

Deck includes:

Round 5: Joel Larsson (4-0,  BG Rites) vs. Kentaro Yamamoto (4-0, Temur Aetherworks Marvel)

Larsson is on a Cryptolith Rite deck sporting Bontu, the Glorified, a card that has been on my radar, but which hasn’t made much of a splash until now. Other cards include Vizier of the Menagerie, Walking Ballista, Catacomb Sifter, Manglehorn, Loam Dryad, Duskwatch Recruiter. Yamamoto manages to get an Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger onto the table in Game 1 and puts Larsson on the back foot. Game 2 doesn’t go much better for Larsson, who stumbles on lands a bit early and never manages to accelerate out past the reach of Marvel activation from Yamamoto.

Round 5: Sam Pardee (3-1,  BG Rites) vs. Travis Woo (4-0, Zombies)

As we enter this match, the players are tied at a game  a piece. Vizier of the Menagerie">Vizier of the Menagerie + Cryptolith Rite is tabled by Pardee, while Woo has a hoard of zombies. Ultimately it is an active Ormendahl, Profane Prince that puts the match away for Pardee and moves him to 4-1.

I’m hearing that 25% of the field is still on Mardu Vehicles. Lower than it could have been, but still pretty high.

Deck Tech #2: BW Zombies

This build gives up a bit of mana consistency to have a much stronger sideboard.

Here’s where we are in the standings after five rounds. A lot of big names on this list:

Round 6: Patrick Dickmann (3-2,  Jund Gods) vs. Craig Wescoe (3-2, RW Humans)

Here we see coverage again making the choice to show interesting decks instead of the players with the best records overall. Be aware that this may make certain decks seem more important in the meta than they really are.

Game 1 hinges on a couple of missed land drops from Dickmann, leading to a quick concession in the face of overwhelming offense from the famed white mage. Game 2 is a tighter, more drawn out affair, but ultimately it is Patrick that takes it to even things up. In Game 3 Dickmann manages to keep the pressure on Wescoe, who draws a few too many lands to stay in the race. Wescoe drops to 3-3, while Patrick moves to 4-2.

Owen Turtenwald is now at 5-1 on Mardu Vehicles.

Deck Tech #3: Paul Cheon (UR Control)

Paul walks us through the UR Control list that has been posting solid results on MTGO lately. The highlights here include 4x Disallow, 4x Torrential Gearhulk and 1-2x Commit//Memory.

Round 7: Chris Fennell (6-0,  WB Zombies) vs. Marc Tobiasch (6-0, Temur Marvel)

IN Game 1, Chris Fennell manages to get a ridiculous mass of zombies onto the table, leveraging Liliana’s Mastery and a posse of Wayward Servant to make the pile of assets on Marc’s side moot. Zombies takes Game 1. The reach of the white splash via drain effects really paid off in this game. Wayward Servant is commonly available at $0.25, but could easily end up as a $3-4 uncommon this season if zombies proves out this weekend and through the next few major events. Diregraf Colossus inventory has been draining out at $3, and the card could end up at $6+ by the end of the weekend. The next game isn’t much better for the Marvel player, and WB Zombies in the hands of Fennell goes to 7-0.

Round 7: Ari Lax (4-2,  Temur Marvel) vs. Alex Sittner (4-2, U/W Spirits)

On the back table, Ari Lax casts an insane six Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger in a game he eventually wins the first game against Alex Sittner on W/U Spirits after casting the Memory half of Commit/Memory. Sittner strikes back to even it up off camera, and in the third game Lax manages to find an Ulamog off Aetherworks Marvel to take out two potential attackers & lock up a victory to move to 4-3.

Deck Tech #4: R/W Humans (Craig Wescoe)

Craig is one of the only players on this list at the tournament so it’s unlikely to have much impact. This list is pretty similar to what we’ve see here.

Day 1 Metagame Breakdown

Here we see a solid falling off for BG Delirium decks, but Mardu Vehicles still making up a full quarter of the field. Marvel at nearly 20% could lead to further gains on their banner card (currently tough to find under $10) if it gets a strong contingent into Day 2 and on to Top 8. Zombies is the only other archetype over 15% and then we have 10+ other deck types with minor showings. This all suggests that the pros had trouble establishing consensus across teams on which decks were best in this newly minted format.

Round 8: Pierre Dagen (7-0,  BG Energy) vs. Oliver Oks (7-0, Temur Marvel)

Here we have a Marvel deck already well positioned for Day 2 success against one of the few aggro energy deck pilots. Marvel spins don’t quite pay off as hoped in Day 1 and Dagen is able to take the first game. In Game 2 Oliver again hits a low impact spin off his Aetherworks Marvel, netting a Servant of the Conduit against a board of aggressive threats (Greenbelt Rampager, Glint Sleeve Siphoner, Winding Constrictor) from Dagen. In the final game Oks ends up with a trio of Ulamog caught in his hand, and after many turns Dagen is able to put things away.

James Chillcott is the CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

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Pro Tour Amonkhet: Financial Preview

The third stop of the 2016-2017 Pro Tour season finds the Standard scene feeling tentatively hopeful for a rebound in format health and interest. After two seasons ended up requiring the banning of cards, the entire community wants to see a diverse and balanced metagame emerge at this tournament.  With Emrakul, the Promised End, Reflector Mage, Smuggler’s Copter and Felidar Guardian all banned, and Mardu Vehicles decks looking dominant in the latest tournaments, the format really needs a win this weekend.

Many of the best Magic players in the world have been stealth testing in Nashville, TN for the last week or two, all seeking to answer the question of the day: is there a brew out there that will allow them to catch the field off balance while offering consistent play against the known quantities in the field?

Gideon, Ally of ZendikarHeart of Kiran

Fatal PushScrapheap Scrounger

Can anything unseat the most defining cards in the format?

With $250,000 USD on the line, and a cool $40,000 for the champ, players looking to Top 8 need both the fortune of the gods, and excellent skill to take home the trophy.

Taking a look at the results from the first major StarCityGames Tour Standard tournament since the release of Amonkhet, the Top 8 field has still been dominated by Mardu Vehicles builds, with five of the Top 8 decks from SCG Atlanta being of that lineage. Looking over the remainder of the Top 16 decks from that tournament however, glimmers of hope do jump out, with all of the following decks posting at least one result in that group:

As per usual, it is worth noting that the Pro Tour currently requires that players succeed in a mixed schedule of booster draft (AMKx3) and Standard play with 3 rounds of draft Friday morning, followed by 5 rounds of Standard starting around 2pm EST/11am PST, Friday.

Will any of the teams find a way to unlock a new archetype with hot game against the entire field? Will a fringe deck from the early weeks of the format suddenly end up perfectly positioned to take off? Will there be a chance to get in on a must-have card that shows early promise or will the hype train leave the bandwagon speculators out in the cold without enough buyers come Monday morning? Follow along as we explore Pro Tour Amonkhet all weekend!

Cards to Watch

Heading into this Pro Tour stop, many of the most obvious specs have already played out and plenty of advance speculation has been going down. The potential for further spikes is still on deck, but so is the strong likelihood that some of these specs will collapse when they inevitably fail to join the central meta narrative of the weekend.

Here are a few of the interesting cards that seem like they should be on our radar this weekend:

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar: Time To Get Out

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

There is no debating that Gideon, Ally of Zendikar has been an important card in Standard for virtually the entire time it has been legal. The card seems safe from a ban at this point, but with rotation looming in October, the odds of this card showing gains are slim to none whether or not it performs well this weekend. In an outcome where it maintains a dominant role, excitement for the format will be weak, leading to lower singles demand, and if it is finally laid dormant, there’ll be no impetus for the price to jump. Either way this is a card you should have sold months ago, and if you’re holding copies you aren’t using, you should be selling now.

Current Price: $20
Predicted Price Monday: $20
Odds to Top 8: 4 to 1

Torrential Gearhulk: Can Control Get it Done?

Torrential Gearhulk

It’s hard to believe we had a shot at this card around $8 when it first released last fall. The power level on Snapcaster Mage’s big brother is undeniable, and the number of good control cards to flash back has only gotten better between all of the card draw, kill spells and counter spells now in the format. U/R Control is the most likely home for the big blue brute this weekend. As recently as late April you could get the blue construct for $14 or so, but recent gains have left us at limited supply with a $35 price tag. This card is a sell at this price, as any further gains are purely theoretical, since even Gideon failed to hold over $40 as one of the top 3 most played cards in the format.

Current Price: $35
Predicted Price Monday: $35-40 (on a strong Top 8 presence)
Predicted Price Monday: $20-25 (on a weak showing)
Odds to Top 8: 2 to 1

Aetherworks Marvel: New Best Combo Deck?

Aetherworks Marvel

Aetherworks Marvel decks have been floating around in the format since the first few weeks of Kaladesh last fall, but with the printing of Felidar Guardian, Marvel has spent some time on the sidelines. Now that Guardian is banned, and with Marvel decks having gained some new tools and end game options, the stage may be set for the deck to make a comeback. We now have Temur builds using Dynavolt Tower (10% of online meta) as well as Bant versions running Approach of the Second Sun, as well as at least a few other possible configurations.

We were practically yelling for months that the card was too cheap under $4, and now that there are hardly any copies available under $10, a strong showing this weekend could set the stage for this fall set mythic to hit $15-20+. Watch for two things to figure out whether you should be selling or holding: firstly, how many major teams are on the deck, if any, and secondly, what % of the total field is on Marvel vs. the win through rate for Day 2.

Note: Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger ($20) is still a 4-of finisher of choice in nearly all Marvel builds, and regardless of what happens this weekend, it’s fall rotation makes it a strong sell moving forward.

Current Price: $10
Predicted Price Monday: $20+ (on a strong Top 8 presence)
Predicted Price Monday: $8-12 (on a muted presence or absence)
Odds to Top 8: 1 to 1

Fatal Push: Nowhere to go but down?

Fatal Push

Heaven forbid Fatal Push had been a rare! It’s not often that we see $10 uncommons from in print sets, but strong cross-format demand for one of the strongest removal spells of all time has been driving this price for weeks. Contacts in Europe have been offering to trade me Masterpieces for piles of Fatal Push, which speaks volumes about how liquid this instant staple has become. Inventory is currently pretty solid, but there isn’t going to be a lot more Aether Revolt opened this year, so there is a decent chance that Fatal Push gets to $15 heading into the fall. Foils at $50 are pretty crazy, and I’m a bit worried that this card could get a promo version this year or show up in a supplementary product to challenge the price. There might be money to be made here, but I’m steering clear for a less volatile playing field.

Current Price: $10
Predicted Price Monday: $10
Odds to Top 8: 1 to 4

Heart of Kiran: Dominating the Skies

Heart of Kiran

The future for Heart of Kiran is at least partially tied to the continued  dominance of Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, Toolcraft Examplar and Scrapheap Scrounger, the creatures most likely to crew it, but as a two-mana colorless mythic from a small set, further opportunities for gains seem likely before it finally rotates in fall of 2018. I don’t think major movement is in the works for this card this weekend given the depth of current supply, but if the format plays out well and leads to renewed overall player interest at the local level then this is a card that should be able to hit a fresh peak in the next 18 months.

Current Price: $13
Predicted Price Monday: $13 ($20 before fall)
Odds to Top 8: 1 to 2

Sphinx of the Final Word: Unlikely to Soar?

Sphinx of the Final Word

Some MTGFinance folk seem to have made a move on this card leading into the Pro Tour, but I can’t fathom why. Sure, this has all the hallmarks of an excellent control finisher, but it hasn’t even cracked the Top 50 Standard cards on Magic Online. Further, despite showing up in multiple control shells, it is usually played as a 1-of, which is hardly a recipe for a sustained spike. As an Oath of the Gatewatch card, the clock is likewise ticking on fall rotation and I want nothing to do with this. Sure, getting in at $1.50 and out at $5 after fees is some decent math, but it’s a lot more attractive when you can sell a play set at a time. You probably have a couple of these lying around from draft leftovers and I think you should be selling now before this guy falls back to reality.

Current Price: $6 ($1 last week)
Monday Price: $5
Odds to Top 8: 6 to 1

Relentless Dead: Zombies MVP?

Relentless Dead

Heading into the weekend, the copies of this powerful zombie mythic that I stocked up on last summer at $4 have been selling well over $16. That’s a great return, but is there more meat left on this bone? Well, inventory is very low online and a solid showing this weekend at the Pro Tour might push this zombie staple, usually played as a 4-of, up into the $25-$30 range. 4-of mythics that only fit into one deck aren’t always your best bet, but when they rest at the intersection of zombie tribal and aggro in a format that rewards speed and a smooth mana base, the stage may be set for the undead to steam roll the tables.

Current Price: $20
Monday Price: $30 (On a strong zombie showing)
Monday Price: $15 (On a weak showing)
Odds to Top 8: 3 to 1

Liliana’s Mastery: Rolling in the Deep?

Liliana's Mastery

The zombie deck pilots have been quickly coming around to the benefits of having this combined creature creation spell and team buff effect sitting at the top of their curve. Most of those decks are running three or four copies of the card at this point, and I suspect that Zombies is going to be a lot more popular at your local LGS than all of the combo and control decks combined. This is one of the only cards I’ve been buying into a bit, on the basis that Standard success or not, this card will be an auto-include in casual and EDH zombie decks for years to come.

Note: Dark Salvation is also in a similar boat.

Current Price: $1
Monday Price: $1 ($4-5 Long Term)
Odds to Top 8: 2 to 1

Glorybringer: Flametongue Kavu 2.0?

Glorybringer

There isn’t any doubt this card is going to be a part of the format. It pressures Gideon, gets in tough to block damage and eliminates opposing threats when you have the breathing room to exert. If you were on the ball during pre-order season you have a chance to enter at $2 and exit over $10 when the hype was flowing, but now the card has settled back toward $6 as Amonkhet marches toward peak supply. There’s a good chance that this card gets a shot at a higher price point during its tenure in Standard, but we really need a dominant showing or an increase in copies played (typically 2-3) to push the price. I’m holding off for now, but it’s a card to look at if it generates repeated big plays on camera this weekend.

Current Price: $6
Monday Price: $10 (on multiple Top 8 showings)
Monday Price: $5 (on a weaker showing)
Odds to Top 8: 1 to 2

Approach of the Second Sun: Dawning Champion?

Approach of the Second Sun

This card is sweet, and there are Aetherworks Marvel builds that run it, but it’s rarely a full playset, and the Temur builds seem to be favored. It could also show up in the New Perspectives combo deck, but it only plays one copy as well. I don’t think this is where you want to be for speculation right now, given that this card has building supply and modest demand.

Current Price: $.50
Monday Price: $.50
Odds to Top 8: 20 to 1


New Perspectives: Last Minute Contender?

New Perspectives

Saffron Olive posted a video series on a recently discovered combo deck revolving around this card and those videos might end up with more viewers than the Pro Tour. Supply has been draining out of the market and there is currently less of this card out there than most of the other cards on this list. I went ahead and grabbed twenty copies on the expected reach for the deck list via Saffron, but combo is generally less attractive to a broad audience than aggro, and if the deck fails to show up at the Pro Tour, it won’t help move the needle. The more cycling cards we print however, the better this card gets as a build around long term in casual circles, so I’m fine sitting on my copies for as long as it takes to show a reasonable gain given that it’s nearly always a 4-of when played.

Current Price: $1
Monday Price: $3-4
Odds to Top 8: 20 to 1

Do you have an outsider pick for the tournament? Share it in the comments!

Stay tuned for round by round MTGFinance coverage of Pro Tour: Amokhet all weekend!

James Chillcott is the CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

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