Category Archives: The Gilded Goblin

Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar By the Numbers

Last weekend, we got our first look at the cards played from Battle for Zendikar in Standard and I was definitely surprised by the results. In order to make it more convenient for everyone I’ve created a table that inlcudes all cards found throughout the decks sorted by most played. I’ve even tracked the sideboard cards played, to show the direction that the format is taking.

Here’s a breakdown of the played cards at the Pro Tour by card type:

Land (199) Sorcery (21) Creature (127) Instant (99) Sideboard (120)
25x Flooded Strand 8x Dragon Fodder 16x Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy  Flip 11x Fiery Impulse 11x Disdainful Stroke
20x Wooded Foothills 6x Hordeling Outburst 15x Hangarback Walker 11x Dromoka’s Command 9x Surge of Righteousness
17x Windswept Heath 7x Treasure Cruise 12x Warden of the First Tree 10x Wild Slash 9x Duress
16x Mountain Enchantment (12) 12x Mantis Rider 8x Crackling Doom 9x Arashin Cleric
15x Polluted Delta 8x Silkwrap 10x Den Protector 7x Abzan Charm 6x Roast
15x Bloodstained Mire 4x Jeskai Ascendancy 8x Siege Rhino 6x Ojutai’s Command 5x Transgress the Mind
14x Plains Planeswalker (22) 8x Anafenza, the Foremost 6x Kolaghan’s Command 5x Rending Volley
14x Mystic Monastery 20x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar 7x Wingmate Roc 6x Jeskai Charm 5x Exert Influence
12x Forest 2x Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker 6x Tasigur, the Golden Fang 5x Valorous Stance 4x Wingmate Roc
8x Prairie Stream 4x Zurgo Bellstriker 4x Titan’s Strength 4x Ultimate Price
8x Canopy Vista 4x Soulfire Grand Master 4x Murderous Cut 4x Tragic Arrogance
5x Sunken Hollow 4x Seeker of the Way 4x Dispel 4x Silkwrap
5x Smoldering Marsh 4x Monastery Swiftspear 4x Dig Through Time 4x Radiant Flames
4x Shambling Vent 4x Deathmist Raptor 4x Atarka’s Command 3x Mastery of the Unseen
4x Llanowar Wastes 4x Abbot of Keral Keep 3x Temur Battle Rage 3x Fiery Impulse
4x Island 3x Nissa, Vastwood Seer  Flip 3x Become Immense 3x Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh  Flip
4x Battlefield Forge 2x Lightning Berserker 2x Utter End 2x Whisperwood Elemental
3x Swamp 2x Hidden Dragonslayer 1x Secure the Wastes 2x Valorous Stance
3x Cinder Glade 2x Dragonmaster Outcast 2x Tasigur, the Golden Fang
2x Nomad Outpost 2x Hordeling Outburst
1x Shivan Reef 2x Felidar Cub
2x Evolutionary Leap
2x Dragonmaster Outcast
2x Dispel
2x Den Protector
2x Crackling Doom
1x Sorin, Solemn Visitor
1x Self-Inflicted Wound
1x Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
1x Ruinous Path
1x Radiant Purge
1x Ob Nixilis Reignited
1x Negate
1x Narset Transcendent
1x Lightning Berserker
1x Gideon’s Reproach
1x Boiling Earth
1x Abzan Charm

Quick Stats:

Top Creature — Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy

Top Land  Flooded Strand

Top Instant — Fiery Impulse / Dromoka’s Command

Top Sorcery — Dragon Fodder

Top Enchantment — Silkwrap

Top Planeswalker — Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Brief Summary:

Abzan took down the Pro Tour, which is shocking to nobody. Key cards from the deck include Warden of the First Tree, Hangarback Walker, Den Protector, Anafenza, the Foremost, and Siege Rhino. Interestingly, even with a Pro Tour win I’m not sure how much Siege Rhino can gain throughout the rest of its Standard life. The Clash Pack printing has devastated the price of the card and I’m not sure if it is going to spike up a large amount simply due to the fact that there are so many other decks out there that aren’t playing Abzan colors, Pro Tour win aside.

Hangarback Walker is the talk of the town, as usual, as noted by its second place listing among the most played cards of the Top 8. I’m sure further breakdowns of the Top 64 and beyond will continue to show the trend, but as we all knew Hangarback Walker is going to continue to shine in Standard due to the fact that it is the strongest colorless option (amongst three and four color decks) that players can choose to include because it does so well against the sorcery speed removal of the format.

Which brings me to Silkwrap, one of the premier answers to Hangarback Walker that is left in the new Standard after Theros block has rotated out. I’m not surprised that copies are bordering on $2 at this point, and keep in mind that it is in Dragons of Tarkir so its shelf life has a farther expiration than Khans and Fate Reforged. I don’t expect Silkwrap to go down in value (unless of course it gets the event deck / clash pack / whatever reprint) so pick up your copies now in order to deal with the Hangarback Walker threat that will be seen over the course of the winter.

Of the most played cards in the Pro Tour Top 8 from BFZ, we have Prairie Stream, Canopy Vista, Sunken Hallow, Smoldering Marsh, and Shambling Vents making a splash in the decks. Outside of lands, the only cards from BFZ to see play in the maindeck of the top decks include Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, Dragonmaster Outcast, and Dispel – not a great showing of Battle for Zendikar since two out of those three cards are reprints. Based on these results, expect Gideon spike up to new highs and stay there for a while until the format becomes solved over time as players try and figure out how to make Ingest and Devoid work in Standard. I wouldn’t pick up extra copies of Dragonmaster Outcast since it is a reprint and will continue to drop in price as more BFZ packs are opened over the coming months.

As we continue into the Standard season, I hope that more variety is introduced to the decks. I’m really excited to see what Battle for Zendikar can add to Standard, but it seems like the power level hasn’t quite been figured out yet. Cards like Oblivion Sower seem really powerful in a vacuum but I’m not sure if they are good enough for Standard yet based on the Pro Tour results. As we continue on through Standard there should be opportunity for other cards to shine, like sideboard inclusions Radiant Flames and Exert Influence. Until then however, I would expect aggro decks and Jeskai (whether splashing black or green) to be dominant forces at FNM as more and more players realize that yes, Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy (and his insane price) is not going away from Standard anytime soon, unfortunately.

Battle for Fat Packs

As you may (or may not be) aware, fat packs are a hard commodity to come by these days. It really pains me to write this but Battle for Zendikar has only been out for a week and it seems like every local game store is already out of stock of BFZ fat packs. Umm… wow! That is some serious demand for full art lands.

The first pieces of evidence to stream in to Reddit include this posting, which stated that all sealed BFZ product for the player’s store was already out of stock. This by itself isn’t concerning since some stores pretty much always sell out of product quickly, especially if the store is smaller and there just aren’t many places around the area to buy product on release day. Next up we have this account from another player about how the store sold out of preorders almost immediately for fat packs, and that the store was actually telling people to buy the fat packs at big box Target and Walmart since they didn’t have any in stock and couldn’t order more. This is just so crazy, since the players were willing and ready to keep spending money at the LGS, and now that business has gone away from the LGS and spent at the big box stores. This shortage of fat packs boils down to the fact that Wizards only does one print run for fat packs – and this is how it has always been done in the past. Once that first print run has been sold out, there are no more to be had. This is why Zendikar fat packs are so crazy expensive. They are all first print run, which means that if you want to still try and play the hidden treasure lottery the fat packs give you a legitimate chance to pull a hidden treasure since all the fat packs are guaranteed to contain first run packs.


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It has gotten so bad that Deriums, a store that has a huge online presence and is closely connect to the Magic community, has gone out of their way to explain why fat pack prices cannot (and most likely will never be) MSRP prices at local game stores. It all started with this video that Deriums put up on Reddit explaining why the fat pack prices are going to stay at $55 or higher MSRP as your local game store.

Of course, as the post aged more and more users were calling Deriums out as justifying a price hike (or even claiming outright greed) by overcharging their customers for a currently hot product. However, Deriums quickly responded to these criticisms by showing evidence that Wizards has already taken the fat packs off of the product reorder list in their restock emails to stores and distributors.

In the usual Deriums style, he says that if you think he is lying to you or scamming the community that you should report him to Wizards. He stated that if he was on the other side of the fence that he would do the same thing if he thought a store was price gouging by lying to their customers about the availability in order to increase the price.

However, his thoughts were about the CURRENT information we have about fat packs in the past – if you recall, Wizards was able to add more Mind Seize decks in later shipments of Commander 2013 print runs due to an outcry from players looking to pick up (at-the-time) Legacy staple True-Name Nemesis. We’ll probably be seeing the same type of response from Wizards for BFZ fat packs, since the demand is clearly, CLEARLY there for fat packs and players should be able to buy them from local game stores and support their community. Right now, it is a choice between two evils – do you knowingly price gouge yourself and support your LGS, or do you get the fat pack for MSRP but buy from the evil corporation?

From Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price • FULL DOCUMENTARY FILM • BRAVE NEW FILMS

Let’s go over two of the counter-arguments for not price gouging yourself. We’ll first go to Tolarian Community College, who released last weekend his fat pack review for Battle for Zendikar. It gives great coverage to the fact that for MSRP $40 the fat pack is worth it, at least compared to past fat packs that didn’t contain full art lands. The Professor also spends a great amount of time going over that the land pack will only cost you $12-$15 if you get the lands separately, whether it is through TCGPlayer or Pucatrade (20 to 30 Pucapoints per BFZ full art land). So if you’re looking to buy a fat pack for the lands, it’s better just to pick them up individually or just get them slowly over time through drafts. He also pointed out the Star City Games and Channel Fireball are both charging $60 per fat pack, and we all know that many LGS’s go by SCG or CFB prices (but did not add that there was only one wave of fat packs released, which is why the price is so high). In the end, he actually advocates buying through Target or Walmart for this product (he never does this, by the way, so I was very surprised to hear him recommend this) if your LGS won’t budge on price.

Second, MTGHeadQuarters released an angry video about local game stores selling fat packs above MSRP and how it is wrong to price gouge your customers so much. His argument is that even though there is a ton of demand, local game stores shouldn’t over price the fat packs to meet market demand. “LGS stores that are doing that, right here (middle finger to camera)”. He states that local game stores are not charities and we are not obligated to spend extra money there just because it is a local game store.

I could go on about what MTGHeadQuarters is saying but I think the reply by Markus Wade in the comments section of the video (after clicking on the link, pause and scroll down past the video and you should see LINKED COMMENT expand that one to read Markus’ replies) does such a great job covering the counter points that I’m just going to briefly talk about what Markus said. Markus argues (and I agree) that Youtubers and others in the community just don’t understand how rare fat packs currently are – however, like Deriums says if they change this and release more fat packs, the price of the fat packs is going to lower overall considerably over time. However, if Wizards comes out with a statement indicating that they aren’t releasing fat packs for BFZ ever again, I would expect that the high demand for the land packs is going to keep the fat packs up in price at local game stores for the foreseeable future, since as Markus states mostly casual players support local game stores and they aren’t going out of their way to find the best deal on fat packs – they’ll see what they want in the store, and just go ahead and buy it.


So, what conclusions can we draw from this anecdotal evidence on Reddit and Youtube? Well, clearly there are plenty of stores upcharging on the MSRP price of the fat pack, but at the same time those stores give pretty good reasons for charging the higher price. Ultimately, I’m on the side of TCC on this one but will add my own two cents. Right now, it is best to buy the fat pack from Target or Walmart because it is the easiest way to get one without paying an arm and a leg. However, let’s not call the game stores greedy, or say that they price gouging customers. There is real demand for this product, which we saw coming but never thought about the fact that we were only getting one wave of fat packs. Those of us that read websites like MTGPrice are clearly looking for the best price of both singles and sealed product, and laugh at people paying $60 for BFZ fat packs. Yet like Markus indicates in the comments of the MTGHeadQuarters rant, casual players are happy to buy the fat packs from local game stores because that is the easiest way for them to get their product. It also additionally supports the local game store for those that want to “give charity” for all of those unsold Fate Reforged fat packs and razor thin margins the stores make on booster boxes.

Even I didn’t realize fat packs were similar to products like From the Vault and Modern Masters (I’m referring to the first Modern Masters here), where only one wave is released and the market dictates the price. I expect Wizards will be releasing a statement on BFZ fat packs in the near future since many players want a pack of the full art lands, so I’ll be following the fat pack craze pretty closely. My prediction is that they are going to release another wave of these things based on demand, just like they did with Mind Seize in Commander 2013. If you want to support the local game store, go for it – nobody is stopping you. Just realize that the MSRP for the fat pack is $40 and you shouldn’t be paying much more than that for full art lands since the price of those lands is going to come down drastically over the next several months as players open what is probably going to be the most Magic product in the history of the game so far. Thanks Expeditions!

I’ll end with saying that history indicates fat packs are great speculation targets at MSRP. Fat packs are great money makers in the long term, with more proven ROI than booster boxes. This will be true for BFZ as well, even if another print run is released due to the full art lands. I’ll be looking to pick up a few extra of these but certainly not at LGS marked up prices. Keep a lookout for another run of the fat packs in the future, and in the meantime check out your Targets and Walmarts to see if you can get one or two extra to stock away for future profits if your LGS is currently overcharging for fat packs.

What does everyone think about the current fat pack craze? As usual, let me know in the comments and thanks for reading.

Goodbye to Theros, Hello to Holds

Over the weekend, the last Theros legal tournament was held at SCG: Milwaukee. Because of this, many players are going to be looking at getting rid of extraTheros cards that they will no longer need moving forward. Rotation is upon us, so it is time to look at what the future might hold for Theros cards and which ones will be worth holding over the long term.

Target number one, the best of the best from Theros block, is going to be Thoughtseize. I mean, take a look at this history just to get a picture of how in-demand this cards is even with tons of players looking to dump Theros in favor of Battle for Zendikar.

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Rotation hasn’t even made a dent in this card. One would argue that Goblin Rabblemaster is another powerful card from the current Standard, and look at what rotation is doing to it.

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Arguably one of the most powerful cards in Standard is getting kicked in the teeth because of rotation. What does this tell us about Thoughtseize moving forward, a card that we can expect to always see in Modern and Legacy?

  • We’re not going to see much cheaper copies of Thoughtseize around, at least not until the next Modern Masters set is revealed.
  • Players are holding this one, as we’ve been advising to them to do as #mtgfinanciers. The low point for Thoughtseize was $15, so if you bought in then you’re looking pretty good now. The next best time to get out will be during the hype of the next Modern season.
  • Foils are also going to be very in demand, since eternal players like to foil out the various parts of their deck. Surprisingly, the foil copies of Theros Thoughtseize are starting to reach a low point upon this rotation cycle. Check out the price history below:
  • Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 6.47.39 PM

We all have a pretty sweet chance to get in on a foil lull for the               card.

All in all, Thoughtseize is looking pretty good as a spec moving forward, as we all know it will be. But what about other maybe non-obvious pickups? Let’s review some of the more talked about cards from the Theros block in reverse order, since Journey into Nyx was opened less and therefore we can predict that cards from this set will be more valuable in the future since fewer packs were cracked for drafting.

Journey into Nyx Current Prices (Non-Foil Top 20)

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Eidolon of the Great Revel is the number one card from this set that you should be targeting if you play any Modern or Legacy. Burn was put back on the map due to the power of EotGR, so picking up copies for future value gains is a good move since players are looking for playsets that want to play them.

Keranos is looking to be the most valuable god from the sets, but I would pick up copies for Commander demand more than anything else. Yes, he does see play in Modern and sometimes Legacy, however I think his effect on these formats is marginal at best, and that most future demand for all the gods in general is going to come from the casual crowd. I would wait a bit to pick up all the gods, about three months from now when rotation prices are going to bottom out as more and more Standard players continue to dump cards like gods. All the gods from JIN are going to be great pickups at this point, as they are the rarest gods by numbers are JIN was the least opened of theTheros sets. A CAVEAT – The enemy colored Commander decks being released this fall could contain one copy of each of these gods. If that is the case, then the JIN gods are going to take a huge hit in value and be suppressed in price for quite some time. Keep this in mind while waiting to pickup gods. Foils are better targets for this reason, at least until we know if they’re in Commander 2015.

Dictate of Erebos is the final mention I’d like to make.  This card is going to be casual gold and is the bottom dollar slow gainer that will make waves over time. It is already almost up to $2 retail with no Standard play and rotation about to happen. Foils will be especially good targets moving forward.

Born of the Gods Current Prices (Non-Foil Top 20)

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Unfortunately there just isn’t anything appealing to me in BNG for pickups moving forward. Brimaz is a great card, it is very efficient for the mana cost, but right now white weenie strategies in Modern just aren’t that great. He will be an amazing Commander, and will even be great in Legacy Death and Taxes, but for Brimaz to carry the bulk of the set’s value is pretty sad and I don’t think he is going to be going over $10 for the foreseeable future.

Even Courser, a Standard powerhouse, is lackluster in eternal formats and is hardly worth picking up right now. Again, Commander applications and sometimes seeing the Courser in Modern/Legacy isn’t going to be enough to make it see significant gains anytime soon.

Since we’re not going to be getting enemy colored Commander decks in the near future, I would feel very comfortable going deep on some of the more popular gods from the set about three months from now. Even with Karametra, you can’t go wrong picking up copies at $2 or less since casuals love these types of big, splashy mythics.

Theros Current Prices (Non-Foil Top 20)

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We’ve already discussed Thoughtseize at length, so let’s take a look at some of the cards in the set with the knowledge that they are going to be the most suppressed since Theros was open the most of the sets in the Theros block.

Ashiok is a sweet card, one that has applicability both because of Modern and Battle for Zendikar’s Eldrazi Ingest theme. I don’t think the card is going to get much cheaper than $6-$7 per copy, since UB Mill is a thing with casual kitchen table Magic. Picking up plenty of copies in anticipation of future demand is a fine move. On the other hand, I’m not so keen on Theros Elspeth due to the Duel Deck printing so I would advise to avoid these cards since there are tons more Elspeths than Ashioks out there.

Both foil and non-foil versions of Nykthos have started seeing upward movement upon rotation, and for good reason – this card is a Cabal Coffers for any color that is also Modern legal. I mean, the foil has already spiked and it hasn’t even left Standard yet! Pick up your copies now before the next season’s Modern deck is going to make non-foils spike as well.

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Master of Waves has a great Modern advantage due to being featured in Merfolk, one the top decks of the format. Foils are great targets, but even nonfoils at $4 and less are going to look good a while from now.

Monocolored gods, like their BOG and JIN bretheren, are also going to be nice pickups for future gains. Some will gain more than others as we see how they fit into Commander moving forward, but foils of each should be nice collector’s items in the future. If you want foils to finish out Commander decks than rotation is going to be the best time to get deals on these cards.

Final Thoughts

So there you have my thoughts about Theros since rotation is upon us. Is there anything else you guys think I should be mentioning, or that I glossed over that has more applications than I think? What are you guys targeting for rotation, and how deep are you? Personally, I’m looking to start picking up foil Theros Thoughtseize since I think it will be one of the more solid places to park value, but maybe I’m overlooking a cheaper option. As always, let me know in the comments and thanks for reading.


Jace, the $40 Origins Mythic

Blue is Back in Standard

For a set that is still being drafted, I find it hard to believe that there is a mythic that is $40 and still rising within the set.

However, Jace, Vyrn’s Prodigy has spiked to levels (for blue mythics) we haven’t seen since the last time Jace spiked this hard in Standard. And last time he kept going, past $100 eventually.

Let’s be clear – Vryn’s Prodigy is no Mind Sculptor, nowhere even close. First of all, Prodigy is a creature – a Merfolk Looter that will flip into Telepath Unbound once yet get five cards into your graveyard. Granted, this is pretty easy to accomplish, especially in decks based mainly around spells like Jeskai Tempo or Esper Dragons.

Even once he is flipped, he still affects the game only in marginal ways for each ability. Giving creatures -2/-0 is not bouncing them, he isn’t Fatesealing your opponent out of the game, and he isn’t giving you direct card advantage and/or selection. So what’s the deal? Why is this new Jace’s price, whose power was initially dismissed out-of-hand initially by many players, starting to mirror the version so good that it was included in From the Vault: 20?

Let’s view this from another perspective, that of Nissa, Worldwaker.

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Nissa also started out very high, around $30, and eventually hit $50 while in Standard and stayed there for about two to three months. Then, the decline started happening. By January of this year, she dropped to around $20 and has slowly been decreasing ever since. Now, she is around $10 and will probably go lower once she rotates out of Standard. I think that the new Jace will follow a similar trend. But only because I have Nissa to base him off. Let’s compare how Jace is different than Nissa, and how that could affect his future price.

First, Nissa is green which is arguably one of the strongest colors in Standard. Blue has been argued to be on the weaker side of the spectrum these days, since counterspells, removal, and card draw have been getting worse and worse over time. The decks where Nissa was included were some of the strongest in the Standard metagame, and there were no shortage of Pro’s that extolled her virtues both on camera and through the written word. Her abilities are really good if you can get her online, especially against control decks as she can create an army out of your lands over time. Jace being blue means that if he continues to be amazing, he will be included in basically every blue deck since the options for blue have been limited these days. This will, of course, make the price go even crazier eventually.

Second, Nissa costs five mana while Vryn’s Prodigy is only two. There is a colossal difference between two and five mana, which is why we see Jace being included as a playset in all decks that play him as a card. Another reason Jace is included as multiples in the decks he is featured in is because he can enable decks with combos to initiate them faster since his primary function in the deck is to loot, loot, loot. He is also a great target to use up your opponent’s removal, as you really aren’t losing much if he gets killed early (he’s only a 0/2 after all) and you will gain big over time the more he is left alone. So, Nissa was limited to two copies max in the main decks (with one or two copies in sideboards if control was big in a particular metagame) and Jace will see more copies played in decks since opponents will remove him early, which means you want more copies to replace those that are going to bite the bullet early game.

Finally, the last difference between Vryn’s Prodigy and Nissa is eternal applications. Check out the following stats for recent decklists that have featured Vryn’s Prodigy.

  • Modern, Splinter Twin – 22% of decks
  • Legacy, Grixis Control – 25% of decks
  • Legacy, Esper Stoneblade – 29% of decks
  • Legacy, Sultai Delver – 50% of decks
  • Legacy, Jeskai Stoneblade – 25% of decks
  • Vintage, Mentor – 29% of decks

Granted, the number of copies per deck is mostly restricted to one or two copies, but there is a clear breakthrough of Vryn’s Prodigy into Legacy since he is seeing play in at least four different archetypes that we know. This explains why his foil version is already $90 and climbing. I expect that he will break through to Modern as well once more blue decks pop up over time. The most surprising is Vintage, which as we know only the best of the best break through to see play. For Jace to see play in Vintage, either it was very good tech for the moment (which could be the case, I’m not a Vintage expert by any means) or his looting and flip to pseudo-Yawgmoth’s Will is actually a nice addition to decks that want to continue flashing back cards from their graveyard. All in all, the eternal play could be a flash in the pan for something like Vintage but I really think that Jace has staying power in Legacy since he is seeing play across at least four different archetypes as another way to (cheaply) help control the game.

All in all, Vryn’s Prodigy is one of those cards that is deceptively powerful. He could be compared to cards like Pack Rat, where if you never played against it you might think it isn’t that good, but once you get beat because of it you’ll forever be changed.

How about Vryn’s Prodigy’s price moving forward? I think Vryn’s Prodigy is going to drop once Origins approaches rotation as all Standard rares will, though the foil isn’t going to move much in price if he is already seeing play across several different eternal decks. If we base his price off Nissa’s, but alter it to include the fact that he is being played as playset in Standard decks and blue needs all the powerful tools it can get to be good, I think this could be his price trajectory:

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My boldest prediction is that Jace could hit $60 while in Standard, but only because he is currently being utilized as a playset in many blue decks. If that changes, then $60 will look like a silly prediction. Right now though, no one’s laughing at his $40 price. Being featured as a playset in, say, a Pro Tour winning deck could seal the $60 deal through winter. Eventually though, by August of next year he should be back down to around $15, if not before then if his time in Standard dwindles prematurely.

Hung Up on Hangarback

I also wanted to mention how Magic Origins was a preorder bonanza based on the past and current prices of the chase cards. You had the chance to preorder Vryn’s Prodigy and Hangarback Walker at bottom dollar prices. That’s not something that we see happen very often. Nissa / Goblin Rabblemaster were the previous pair from the last core set, and Rabblemaster was cheap initially but Nissa was never below $10. Usually the cheap preorder is either one or the other. This time players had a chance to get both!

While I and many others missed out on these preorder opportunities (since they almost never work out favorably) we shouldn’t get hung up on what we missed out on. This is the fastest way to drive yourself crazy with Magic finance. The best way to get back on track is to figure out where the metagame is going and how we might prepare for it.

We know with Battle for Zendikar that we’re continuing to get strong multicolored cards – both Converge and Devoid multicolored cards have been spoiled and several of them seem spicy enough to see Standard play. With all the converging and devoiding that is going to be happening the future, we know that Hangarback is going to continue being good since it is a colorless creature that slots into everything from aggro to control. What other conclusions might we draw from multicolored still being supported heavily?

Khans Uncommon Tri-Lands

The Khans  tri-lands will continue, along with fetchlands, to support these multicolored combinations. I expect the price of these lands to hold strong through Battle for Zendikar, with the off chance that one or more might go up at least $1 due to heavy Standard play.

Aggro Champions

On the flip side, aggro cards will be great against these slower 3+ color strategies that emerge. Cards like Monastery Swiftspear should rise to meet demand for decks like Red Deck Wins that exploit slower formats. Aggro also tends to be good shortly after rotation, since the format is still being figured out and the aggro deck’s linear strategy is easier to pilot than the emerging midrange or control deck’s strategy.

Rotation Staples

If you don’t have the time or energy to try and figure out the format, why bother? Just get a list together of eternal playable staples that are about to rotate and start picking them during the next few months after rotation. With Thoughtseize leading the Theros pack of rotation cards that are definitely going to hold value and even increase over time, there are certainly multiple other cards from the Theros block (and M15) out there that will be good long term holds. Granted, these cards aren’t going to turn you a quick profit, but they will hold value long term which one of the primary strategies I advocate with #mtgfinance.

That’s all I have for this week! As always, let me know what you think in the comments and on Twitter @gildedgoblin.