Category Archives: The Gilded Goblin

Catching up: Battle for Zendikar, Judge Promos Revealed and more!

A Much Needed Reprint

This weekend, we got a sneak preview of one of the upcoming Judge Gift Program promos that will be handed out. This is one of the first shots we received of one of the promos:

That’s right, Rishadan Port is finally getting a much needed reprint! Rishadan Port was all but confirmed in this Tweeted picture by @TokyoMTG and this is definitely a reprint that I and many players have been waiting for.

Historically, Rishadan Port’s price has been fairly stable at around $30 since it pretty much always saw play in the Legacy Goblins deck. This was the case for several years, before decks Death and Taxes and Lands became forces in their own rights in Legacy. Death and Taxes was better able to use the mana denial effect along with all of the tax and denial creatures that go introduced like Thalia, Spirit of the Labyrinth, and most recently Vryn Wingmare. After Legacy cards started spiking around the time of the Survival of the Fittest frenzy (thanks Vengevine), Port was one of the cards that started spiking along with original dual lands, Force of Will, and other Legacy staples. Since then, the card has creeped and spiked its way up to $100 per copy – which is pretty crazy for a card that only sees play in Death and Taxes, Goblin, and Lands, which only makes up a small portion of the Legacy metagame. With this reprint, the non-foil price should come down (though by how much, I’m not sure since Judge Foils are harder to get ahold of these days – honestly maybe only 10-20% at least initially) since more copies are about to enter the market.

What is also great about this reprint is that we finally get a foil version of the card that isn’t $500+. Masque’s foils are soooo rare, and with players needing four copies to foil out Legacy decks the supply quickly dries up for each person that wants to complete a playset. Now, there is a fine replacement out there (which also has amazing artwork, in my opinion)  that will be the same price as the non-foil copy! This is definitely a reprint that has been a long time coming, so kudos to Wizards for finally getting this one out to market.

Also, more Judge Promos were revealed by @ahalavais.

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So here, we’re also getting Temporal Manipulation  and Shardless Agent, both of which previously didn’t exist in foil! Just like Rishadan Port, Temporal Manipulation sorely needed a reprint – the card was previously over $100 when its equivalent Time Warp was only 1/10th of that price. It was ten times the price only due to scarcity. Now, that price should be significantly reduced since Temporal Manipulation only sees play in the Commander format.

While Shardless Agent didn’t necessarily have to be reprinted, I think it was still a fine choice to include as a Judge Promo. There isn’t any way to easily slide it into regular set, so Judge Foil printings are the only easy way of getting foil copies out there for Legacy players who play Shardless Sultai. I’m actually not sure where the price of this foil is going to wind up – it’s going to be more expensive than the regular, non-foil copies but exactly how much more expensive? Two times? Three times? Four or Five times!? (probably not). The final price, after copies have saturated the market, will probably settle in the 2x-3x range since Legacy players want foil copies and this is the only foil that is out there.

The Judge Foil spoilers so far are a pleasant surprise to us after the Damnation fiasco which was a lose-lose for everyone. It was lose for casuals, since they wanted a Damnation reprint but making a Judge Foil still made it unaffordable for the vast majority of players. It was a lose for collectors and more serious Commander / Eternal players, because it devalued Planar Chaos foils since now there is a new saturation of foil Damnations out in the market with the exact same art. Plus, they also printed Wasteland again as a Judge Promo in that same wave, so that further added to the “Why bother?” many players were thinking when that particular wave of Judge promos was released earlier this year.

I really think Wizards nailed these promos this time around. They did their market research before creating this batch of Judge Foils because all of them revealed so far have been spot on to what the market needs. If only all Judge Promos could follow similarly in the future…

In Other News


@Rose0fthorns gave us two gems of insight over the past week. The first is that (obviously) Shaman of Forgotten Ways has spiked hard. Going from $2.50 to $9 is some serious gains, and I agree with his advice to get out now while the gettin’s good. There is a huge difference between two (Rattleclaw Mystic) and three mana, especially when it comes to creatures that enable you to ramp up into bigger threats. Plus, the Shaman’s mana can only be used on creatures – something that may not seem like a drawback at first, but then you think about spells like Crater’s Claws and that extra two mana could mean the difference between ending the game on a critical turn or having to pass without having enough mana to Fireball your opponent’s face.

I feel like See the Unwritten has much more potential than Shaman to see significant Standard play. Mostly because with See the Unwritten, you’re getting a threat that needs to be dealt with while the Shaman’s ultimate isn’t coming online until the end game and you can easily predict when your opponent is setting up to activate the Formidable. The Pro’s will try to make StU work again – Jon Finkel was casting this bad boy on camera last time, and I expect to see it on camera again since Eldrazi are going to be so awesome to get off a pseudo-Tooth and Nail.

Second, we should start taking a closer look at Rise of the Eldrazi for more opportunities for pickups. Spawnsire of Ulamog was a fine example, and getting on foils before they spiked was a good call. There are plenty of other targets out there, including the recently reprinted Emrakul and Kozilek in Modern Masters 2015, that should also see nice gains over the next year. I highly suggest you check out DJ’s article from last week as it is a good primer of what cards are starting trend and what you should be looking out for if you’re trying to find the next casual hit that synergizes with Eldrazi.


Also, I would be remiss not to mention that @GoingMadlem released a wonderful piece describing what we can expect with the resurfacing of the “Priceless Treasures” Expeditions that are being distributed in packs of Battle for Zendikar. While I encourage you to read the article, the core theme is that Wizards needs to be careful releasing extremely desirable promos like these in regular MTG sets because it can have lasting and detrimental effects on the secondary market if done incorrectly (cough Yugioh cough).

Finally, @shormtg wrote a great Reddit post on Friday about the macro growth of Magic as a whole. It is a compelling read which tries to answer the essential question “Is Magic in a bubble?.” Shormtg argues that we aren’t in the bubble yet, using the example of the difference between comics and Magic in terms of exchange. We have multiple exchanges, like TCGPlayer and PucaTrade, to realize value with Magic cards than we do with comics and other antiques.

Now, another interesting thing about Magic in regards to bubbles is that there is more than one way to make money from the game – the latest example of this being the Art of Zendikar book that Wizards is releasing to accompany the Battle for Zendikar set. While this is one of many ways to get existing players to spend more money on the game they love and falls into Point Two of the posting, I think it is important that we’re starting to see products like this because it tells us that Wizards is thinking outside the box and will pursue multiple alternative routes for generating dollars than simply releasing more and more card based products every year. Though many of us roll our eyes at these products as “cash grabs”, Wizards/Hasbro are a company like any other – and if profits aren’t coming in as expected than budgets are cut and its going to be felt by everyone that plays. The macro economics of Magic are definitely something to consider as we move forward – like Sig always likes to say, it is definitely a viable strategy to make sure your primary collection value is tied up in the Reserve List.





Thinking About Future Stars of Standard

I’m writing this article mostly because I just saw Dig Through Time’s price and noticed that one of most powerful card selection spells in Standard reached its bottom in terms of price.

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Besides Standard, the card has burst onto the eternal scene and completely changed Legacy (it was already way too good for Modern, and along with Treasure Cruise quickly received the ban hammer). There has even been talk that this card should be banned in Legacy, right along with Treasure Cruise, because it just makes blue decks way too good – especially combo oriented decks like Omni-Tell, where if you have your combo countered initially you can just use all the trashed pieces in your graveyard to dig for another Show and Tell and Omniscience and still win even through an absurd amount of counter magic or hand disruption. For control decks, it makes them even more oppressive because they can also keep going through their deck until they again find a way to lock down whatever you’re trying to do again and again.

Now, Standard obviously can’t abuse Dig and Treasure Cruise like eternal formats. Even if they became more oppressive in the environment, because of the changes to the block structure Khans and Fate Reforged are going to rotate out earlier than they would previously (they rotate once the next large set after Battle for Zendikar is released). This means that there will be a smaller window for profit once we get into the accelerated Standard rotation window if cards like Dig become great. Picking cards before release should also become more profitable (or costly) depending on how good you are at it. For Magic Origins, many of the writers for MTGPrice were able to identify the vast majority of undervalued cards going into the set release so I highly recommend you follow authors like Derek Madlem, James Chillcott, and Travis Allen (if you have premium) so that you are better able to see which cards are undervalued. This way, you can make more informed decisions when it comes time to preorder if you like to add risk to your portfolio.

Besides preordering though, another way to profit on Standard cards is to pick up staples in the current block at undervalued prices before as rotation approaches. Of course, the counterpoint to this is to pick up undervalued casual or eternal cards in the rotating block, but here I would like to focus on cards in the current block that I feel have reached a bottom and have room to grow as Battle for Zendikar is released.

Dig Through Time

My strongest pick for value, both in terms of card selection and the current market price of the card, I would suggest that if you are a Standard player to finish your playset in the near future and if you want to speculate on the new Standard to pick up as many copies as you are comfortable holding. I think that this card is at least doubling up once rotation happens, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it headed to $15 or higher for a short period.


Another card that has reached a low point, this seems to be the direction that Wizards is taking Wrath of God cards. I believe that Standard players are going to be attracted to using it because a four mana board wipe that kills basically everything is the hotness. I especially think it will be a good pickup because Abzan is already an established boogeyman of the format and everyone will be playing aggro decks during the release of Battle for Zendikar to punish the slower decks. Well, this is an aggro punisher if I ever saw one!

I admit though, as Standard goes on I think that Languish will get worse and worse because I’m expecting some super large Eldrazi to come out of the next two sets (I mean, we might even see something bigger than Emrakul!) and Languish isn’t even coming close to killing them. I think the play here is to pick up copies now, and then get rid of extras once a spike happens because I don’t think it has a chance of a second spike during its Standard life.

Siege Rhino, Dromoka’s Command


The lynchpin of the current Abzan strategies, these cards were hit hard by the Clash Pack printing but should rebound nicely as rotation happens in the fall. We’re not going to see $10 Rhinos or $9 Dromoka Commands again but they each should go back up to at least $6, since I believe that many players are going to want tools to fight against Burn and super fast decks as the new Standard is being figured out. Also, both are applicable to Modern and should be buoyed financially if even they don’t experience a major spike in Standard. If you are looking for long term value, I think that since Siege Rhino and Dromoka’s Command were reprinted that both are good places to park some dollars in expectation of future gains, since they both have dropped in price considerably and have eternal application.

Dragon Whisperer

I’ve always ascribed to the philosophy that aggro tends to dominate Standard during the time of rotation, and this is a two-drop mythic rare that could fit nicely into a newly envisioned mono-red aggro deck. Another interesting possibility is its inclusion in a midrange deck which is able to take advantage of the Formidable ability, so you can generate 4/4 Dragons as the game goes on. Either way, for $2 you won’t be losing much if this doesn’t make a splash and have everything to gain if it does. On the plus side, Dragons of Tarkir will actually be Standard legal longer than Khans and Fate Reforged, so there is actually another rotation where this will be legal to see a spike. So you actually get two chances with this card to see a spike!

Whisperwood Elemental

Well, you know what they say, it’s always the quiet ones you need to watch out for… looks like both Whisper cards have hit their bottoms, and both being mythic rares means that if they spike then the price is going to go up higher and faster than their rare equivalents.

Whisperwood being green means that he’ll be better able to fit into ramp strategies, which I think players are going to experiment with once we get some large and imposing Eldrazis to work with in Standard. Whisperwood can keep generating 2/2’s as blockers to keep you alive until you get some Eldrazi online. Seems like a great card to me and I have big expectations for this guy.

Rattleclaw Mystic

I’ve been hyping the Rattleclaw Mystic money train for a while, and I’ve picked up plenty of excess copies of this guy in anticipation of a decent performance in Standard since this is predicted to be the best mana ramp creature we’re going to get. Going with what we’ve seen from Sylvan Caryatid, I expect Rattleclaw to start going up in price some time in October.

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Caryatid went from $5 to $15 in October, so going with Rattleclaw’s current price of $2 I expect it to be at least $6 by the time October hits.

Final Mention – Fetchlands


Wait a second, you say. How could these things possibl0y go even higher than they are now? Didn’t Polluted Delta and Flooded Strand recently see a significant appreciation in their price?

Despite both of these questions being valid concerns, fetchlands are in a league of their own when it comes to price and will be especially important to Standard since Landfall is being reintroduced in the coming-back-to-Zendikar block again.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Khans fetchlands go over $20 retail in their Standard life, with the most heavily played ones reaching $30 or more. We also have to consider that Modern will be driving demand in addition to Standard, since we just saw a spike of the original Zendikar fetchlands because of Maro letting us know that we have an “exciting” new type of dual land coming out shortly… mhmm, I think I’ll keep my excitement in check until I see those original Zendikar fetchlands reprinted again, mkay?

While the fetches have been trending up nicely over the summer, especially the blue ones, I still think they have room to grow before they rotate from Standard. I wouldn’t expect to get killer deals on these things near or after rotation – remember, everyone is going to be looking to pick them up at rotation so retailers aren’t going to be budging on prices much. While the best time to purchase fetchlands is behind us, I still think it is a good idea to complete unfinished playsets before Standard and Modern hype start bringing the Khans fetchlands to lofty new price highs.

That’s all I’ve got for this week! Which cards are you guys looking at in Standard that have reached their bottoms for some nice fall gains? I know I only covered non-rotating cards, so is there anything from Theros that you think is even more important to keep an eye on than Khans/Dragons/Origins?

Apples and Oranges

The apples and oranges of MTGFinance might be clear cut to some, however to others they can lead to mistakes that make Magic a very frustrating game to play on a set-to-set basis when considering the financial aspect of the game. These are some of the areas of interest that we all are aware of but sometimes think that the application of one area can apply similarly to the another in exactly the same way. The differences are subtle, but can make a world of difference when you consider the ramifications.

Let’s take a look at some of these scenarios and see where the differences lie.

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Example One – I’m buying or trading into my Standard cards for the next few months by closely watching Pro Tour coverage, and making my decision based on the the results seen. My friend is also making these same decisions at the same time but instead of watching Pro Tour coverage he is instead following the advice of Twitter personalities (finance or otherwise) in order to make his decisions.

Here, we might wrongfully assume that these two scenarios are basically the same thing. However, picking cards through watching coverage is vastly different than using Twitter to decide on which cards are the best to get in on. Twitter in this case can actually be much slower, and the reason why is the old adage “If someone already is talking about something it’s too late.” Also, by watching coverage you can actually see just how powerful the card in question really is. Did the card make an actual, significant impact on the game? Or was it just a “win-more” card that supplemented the game but wasn’t the vital piece of the deck’s strategy? A picture is worth 1,000 words and video coverage is almost impossible to convey in 140 character blurbs.

The reason I mention this is because even I myself have been burned in the past by thinking that Twitter is enough to see where card prices are going based on weekend results. The real gains come from a more in-depth look at the weekend, including watching live coverage and also deck analysis (if you have insider access to SCG premium for example) prior to the event.

In this example, both players would be on the same level if they both analyzed results on a deeper level.



Example Two – I have a great idea for a spec, and want to buy in on that spec in mass quantities before the market catches up to the real demand. So, I buy 300 copies of the card all at less than $1. The card is from the Commander product series and does see an increase from $0.75 to $4 within the next week.

My friend also decides to spec on a card, and he buys in on 300 copies of his card as well. The card is from a Standard legal set and also goes from (let’s say) $0.50 to $3 overnight as results from the latest tournament roll in. We’re both going to making bank, right?

Well, here you would (almost always) be dead wrong. Commander speculations are certainly great, however they are always for the long term – when making a Commander speculation I know that I am going to hold onto that card for at least one year before I can start largely liquidating the stock. Standard, on the other hand, everyone wants because it is the most popular format. That card that my friend speculated on will be super easy to liquidate since all the big retailers are going to want 20+ copies each, and will continue to want them as they keep selling out of stock. This also means that the buylist price will stay higher for a longer time since the demand is just so much greater. Niche cards tend to have their buylist prices decreased once supply is filled since stores run out of stock less often.

This is why for Commander I prefer to stock up on foil versions of popular cards rather than non-foil versions, simply because as they age they will go up even more in value than non-foil versions and I get the added benefit of being able to easily sell them on eBay since many players pick up foils through that medium. I’ve got a solid binder of Commander foils that keeps appreciating nicely over the years, and I attribute it to my philosophy on trying to get foil versions of Commander cards over non-foil.

mtg5           mtg6

Example Three – I keep a running tab of my purchases, sells, and profit margins through a spreadsheet that I maintain myself. My friend uses several different sources to keep track of progress – PucaTrade, Deckbox, MTGPrice, etc. We both know exactly where we stand in terms of net profits, right?

Here, the line becomes more blurred between apples looking more like oranges but I still feel that these two separate methods are distinct in a very big way. Time management. Managing your own spreadsheet of gains and losses, trades and buylist sells, can be exhausting and it doesn’t have to be that way. I used to spend hours combing through my list, sometimes daily, to see where I was headed in terms of boosting the value of my collection. Now, the internet and programming have made much that management very efficient. Utilizing tools like PucaTrade, Deckbox, and MTGPrice to keep track of a collection is nothing short of incredible. Only slight updates are needed and the system takes care of the rest. Sure, there are still time management issues when it comes to inputting large amounts of cards at a time (which hopefully will be resolved as picture scanning software becomes more usable for both commercial and private ventures) but hopefully as time goes on it will become less painful to manage larger and larger collections.

Look Out for Differences!

I hope that this article has shown you that there are differences, however slight, in the way that scenarios are setup that can lead to hugely different outcomes when dealing with the financial side of Magic. I’ve shared my top three scenarios that I find can sometimes mislead players into thinking they will get the same outcome as someone else, however did you have any other scenarios in mind when reading this article that you also think are pretty relevant to Magic (or more specifically MTG Finance) ?

I’m always on the lookout for more ways in which things appear to be the same but are actually different, for it is in this way in which we find the best path to compare methods and to see the optimal way to improve them.

Tarkir Block Spread Analysis

This week I’m going to take a look at the spreads on top cards from Tarkir block to see if there are any interesting trends that should be noted, especially since Magic Origins has been released.


Some background on spreads for the unfamiliar (reposted from an older article of mine):


Getting the Spread – To calculate the spread, you calculate the percentage difference between a store’s buylist price and the fair trade price of that same card. The smaller the spread value the more demand a store, or several stores, is driving for a particular card. Examples to demonstrate my point (prices out of date in calc):


Flooded StrandFair Trade Price – $19.99Best Buylist Price – $14.25Spread = 1-($14.25/$19.99)28.71% Sarkhan, the DragonspeakerFair Trade Price – $13.29Best Buylist Price – $7.40Spread = 1-($7.40/$13.29)44.32%


Negative Spread – There are two types of negative spread, Natural Arbitrage and Market Force Arbitrage. Natural arbitrage is the difference between one store’s demand of a card compared to another store’s demand. Market force arbitrage is when the market value of a card’s price is lower than a specific store’s buylist. Market force arbitrage lasts shortly but can be more profitable. Natural arbitrage is something I’m more inclined to analyze because this gives us enough time to pick up as many copies as we’re willing to invest in a card before the market corrects itself on the price. Market force arbitrage might make great sound bites on Twitter, but natural arbitrage is going to give you the most value over time.

Khans of Tarkir


Mythic Spreads


Name Rarity Fair Ebay CFB ABU StrikeZone CFB Spread ABU Spread StrikeZone Spread
Sorin, Solemn Visitor M $8.09 $5.99 $3.50 $4.30 $5.30 56.74% 46.85% 34.49%
Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker M $4.85 $4.25 $1.50 $1.70 $2.62 69.07% 64.95% 45.98%
Anafenza, the Foremost M $3.91 $3.00 $1.00 $1.56 $0.00 74.42% 60.10% 100.00%
See the Unwritten M $3.00 $3.10 $1.00 $1.07 $1.35 66.67% 64.33% 55.00%
Wingmate Roc M $2.85 $3.00 $0.50 $1.07 $0.00 82.46% 62.46% 100.00%
Clever Impersonator M $2.48 $2.29 $0.50 $1.13 $1.10 79.84% 54.44% 55.65%
Sidisi, Brood Tyrant M $1.92 $1.22 $0.25 $0.54 $0.00 86.98% 71.88% 100.00%
Ashcloud Phoenix M $1.36 $1.29 $0.25 $0.40 $0.00 81.62% 70.59% 100.00%
Surrak Dragonclaw M $1.36 $0.99 $0.25 $0.48 $0.56 81.62% 64.71% 58.82%
Hooded Hydra M $1.30 $1.49 $0.25 $0.63 $0.60 80.77% 51.54% 53.85%
Narset, Enlightened Master M $1.00 $1.06 $0.25 $0.28 $0.47 75.00% 72.00% 53.00%
Pearl Lake Ancient M $0.98 $0.99 $0.00 $0.26 $0.00 100.00% 73.47% 100.00%
Zurgo Helmsmasher M $0.93 $0.79 $0.00 $0.21 100.00% 77.42%
Empty the Pits M $0.85 $0.79 $0.00 $0.23 $0.00 100.00% 72.94% 100.00%
Ugin’s Nexus M $0.84 $1.00 $0.00 $0.19 $0.26 100.00% 77.38% 69.05%

Chart (click to view higher res)

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Rare Spreads


Name Rarity Fair Ebay CFB ABU StrikeZone CFB Spread ABU Spread StrikeZone Spread
Polluted Delta R $18.84 $14.99 $12.00 $10.00 36.31% 46.92%
Flooded Strand R $16.19 $12.50 $10.00 $9.77 $9.00 38.23% 39.65% 44.41%
Wooded Foothills R $15.11 $11.75 $8.00 $8.00 47.05% 47.05%
Windswept Heath R $14.02 $11.00 $7.00 $8.79 $8.00 50.07% 37.30% 42.94%
Bloodstained Mire R $11.86 $8.50 $7.00 $6.50 40.98% 45.19%
Dig Through Time R $5.83 $3.49 $3.00 $3.15 $0.00 48.54% 45.97% 100.00%
Siege Rhino R $4.27 $3.00 $1.00 $2.16 $0.00 76.58% 49.41% 100.00%
Rattleclaw Mystic R $1.87 $1.79 $0.25 $0.69 $0.50 86.63% 63.10% 73.26%
Bloodsoaked Champion R $1.75 $0.99 $0.25 $0.60 $0.79 85.71% 65.71% 54.86%
Hardened Scales R $1.14 $0.99 $0.10 $0.50 $0.31 91.23% 56.14% 72.81%
End Hostilities R $1.01 $0.99 $0.10 $0.15 $0.43 90.10% 85.15% 57.43%
Utter End R $0.96 $0.99 $0.10 $0.34 $0.52 89.58% 64.58% 45.83%
Jeskai Ascendancy R $0.88 $0.99 $0.10 $0.26 $0.00 88.64% 70.45% 100.00%
Rakshasa Deathdealer R $0.86 $0.99 $0.10 $0.24 $0.00 88.37% 72.09% 100.00%
Crackling Doom R $0.81 $0.99 $0.10 $0.22 $0.27 87.65% 72.84% 66.67%
Mantis Rider R $0.80 $0.99 $0.10 $0.23 $0.27 87.50% 71.25% 66.25%
Crater’s Claws R $0.66 $0.99 $0.00 $0.18 $0.25 100.00% 72.73% 62.12%
Altar of the Brood R $0.61 $1.00 $0.00 $0.06 $0.18 100.00% 90.16% 70.49%
Deflecting Palm R $0.59 $0.99 $0.10 $0.17 $0.00 83.05% 71.19% 100.00%
Savage Knuckleblade R $0.53 $0.99 $0.00 $0.10 $0.28 100.00% 81.13% 47.17%


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When looking at the mythics, I am shocked at the amount that are $2 or less retail. When looking at buylist prices the highest buylist offering on any of the mythics from Khans is Sorin, Solemn Visitor at $5. This tells me that there is definitely potential in the mythics from Khans to spike once Theros rotates from Standard. The cheaper mythics are starting to get fairly close to buylist, which is is a good time to speculate.


The mythics have a fairly linear decline in buylist prices the cheaper they get in retail, which means that right now the retail price of the mythics reflects their actual demand in Standard. Many of the mythics have power but just haven’t found a home in a deck yet. Cards like Wingmate Roc have previously shown that they can be excellent in Standard however the spread is still rather high. Many financiers, including myself, believe in the power of See the Unwritten due to the announcement of Battle of Zendikar and the expected spike in price once massive Eldrazi are revealed and players want to start brewing with the card.


When looking at the rares the spreads become much more obvious for deciding which cards are going to be in demand in the next Standard. All of the fetchlands have the lowest spreads, which is expected considering their eternal applications in addition to being in heavy demand in Standard. I think we can say based on these numbers that besides Windswept Heath (which just received a clash pack printing) that the fetchlands aren’t going down in price anymore. Pick up your copies now if you want them at their cheapest.


The next five rares that have the lowest spreads in general are Dig Through Time, Siege Rhino, Rattleclaw Mystic, Bloodsoaked Champion, and Hardened Scales. The first three cards are going to be great in post-Theros Standard however Bloodsoaked Champion and Hardened Scales is an interesting to see in the top five lowest spreads. Both cards must have significant casual demand. Hardened Scales is a sleeper favorite among many in the mtgfinance community for being a great long term pickup. Unfortunately, Bloodsoaked Champion had an event deck printing so the price cap is going to low on that guy moving forward.


Fate Reforged


Mythic Spreads


Name Rarity Fair Ebay CFB ABU StrikeZone CFB Spread ABU Spread StrikeZone Spread
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon M $27.09 $24.49 $15.00 $15.55 $0.00 44.63% 42.60% 100.00%
Monastery Mentor M $14.98 $11.79 $8.00 $8.82 46.60% 41.12%
Soulfire Grand Master M $9.07 $7.06 $5.00 $3.58 $5.85 44.87% 60.53% 35.50%
Whisperwood Elemental M $6.98 $5.00 $2.50 $2.37 $0.00 64.18% 66.05% 100.00%
Warden of the First Tree M $3.77 $3.50 $1.00 $1.50 $2.18 73.47% 60.21% 42.18%
Brutal Hordechief M $2.77 $1.99 $0.50 $1.05 $0.00 81.95% 62.09% 100.00%
Shaman of the Great Hunt M $2.05 $1.89 $0.25 $0.77 $0.00 87.80% 62.44% 100.00%
Temporal Trespass M $1.45 $1.45 $0.25 $0.34 $0.00 82.76% 76.55% 100.00%
Torrent Elemental M $1.19 $1.19 $0.25 $0.32 $0.76 78.99% 73.11% 36.13%
Ghastly Conscription M $0.82 $0.99 $0.00 $0.19 $0.21 100.00% 76.83% 74.39%


Chart (click to view higher res)

Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 2.13.32 PM



Rare Spreads


Name Rarity Fair Ebay CFB ABU StrikeZone CFB Spread ABU Spread StrikeZone Spread
Tasigur, the Golden Fang R $8.50 $6.99 $5.00 $4.78 $4.61 41.18% 43.76% 45.76%
Crux of Fate R $2.49 $1.99 $0.50 $0.69 $0.00 79.92% 72.29% 100.00%
Mardu Strike Leader R $1.37 $0.99 $0.10 $0.31 $0.49 92.70% 77.37% 64.23%
Outpost Siege R $1.00 $0.99 $0.10 $0.26 $0.00 90.00% 74.00% 100.00%
Silumgar, the Drifting Death R $0.93 $1.37 $0.10 $0.27 $0.00 89.25% 70.97% 100.00%
Mastery of the Unseen R $0.75 $0.99 $0.10 $0.09 $0.00 86.67% 88.00% 100.00%
Citadel Siege R $0.65 $0.99 $0.10 $0.19 $0.25 84.62% 70.77% 61.54%
Flamewake Phoenix R $0.64 $1.00 $0.10 $0.10 $0.00 84.38% 84.38% 100.00%
Crucible of the Spirit Dragon R $0.58 $1.00 $0.00 $0.17 $0.17 100.00% 70.69% 70.69%
Kolaghan, the Storm’s Fury R $0.58 $1.00 $0.10 $0.10 $0.21 82.76% 82.76% 63.79%
Atarka, World Render R $0.55 $1.00 $0.10 $0.10 $0.28 81.82% 81.82% 49.09%
Frontier Siege R $0.54 $0.99 $0.00 $0.08 $0.00 100.00% 85.19% 100.00%
Soulflayer R $0.49 $0.99 $0.00 $0.10 $0.00 100.00% 79.59% 100.00%
Dromoka, the Eternal R $0.47 $1.00 $0.00 $0.00 100.00% 100.00%
Alesha, Who Smiles at Death R $0.45 $0.99 $0.10 $0.05 $0.00 77.78% 88.89% 100.00%
Monastery Siege R $0.45 $1.00 $0.00 $0.24 $0.16 100.00% 46.67% 64.44%



Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 2.30.46 PM





While Khans had a more defined linear decline in rare prices, Fate Reforged has a much more drastic decline in mythic prices with Ugin leading the pack as one of the most expensive mythics in Standard. Fate Reforged mythic prices more accurately represent what I expect when looking at mythics since more than half of them have a fair trade price above $2. Spreads on Ugin, Monastery Mentor, and Soulfire Grand Master are all favorable right now across large retailers. Whisperwood Elemental has a higher spread however it could still be a great card moving into the post-Theros Standard. Cards with higher spreads that could still see a reasonable amount of play include Warden of the First Tree, Brutal Hordechief, and Shaman of the Great Hunt though depending on how Standard shakes out these could also be misses based on current store demand.


Besides Tasigur, all of the rares in Fate Reforged have insanely high spreads right now. Tasigur is starting to climb up in price so like Khans fetches now is the time to get in on cheap Tasigurs. Many rares are super cheap though like Mastery of the Unseen. Like Khans mythics, there seems to be potential in the rares of Fate Reforged since so many of them are below $1.


Dragons of Tarkir


Mythic Spreads


Name Rarity Fair Ebay CFB ABU StrikeZone CFB Spread ABU Spread StrikeZone Spread
Deathmist Raptor M $23.57 $0.00 $12.00 $13.83 $0.00 49.09% 41.32% 100.00%
Dragonlord Ojutai M $18.45 $0.00 $10.00 $7.04 $12.13 45.80% 61.84% 34.25%
Dragonlord Atarka M $10.41 $0.00 $5.00 $5.71 $6.07 51.97% 45.15% 41.69%
Narset Transcendent M $10.02 $0.00 $4.00 $4.43 $0.00 60.08% 55.79% 100.00%
Dragonlord Dromoka M $7.99 $0.00 $3.50 $4.62 $5.76 56.20% 42.18% 27.91%
Sarkhan Unbroken M $7.59 $7.99 $3.50 $4.71 $4.15 53.89% 37.94% 45.32%
Dragonlord Silumgar M $7.19 $0.00 $2.00 $3.57 $0.00 72.18% 50.35% 100.00%
Dragonlord Kolaghan M $3.80 $0.00 $2.26 $0.00 40.53% 100.00%
Shaman of Forgotten Ways M $2.46 $0.00 $0.50 $1.22 $1.08 79.67% 50.41% 56.10%
Dragon Whisperer M $2.44 $0.00 $0.50 $1.09 $0.00 79.51% 55.33% 100.00%
Shorecrasher Elemental M $2.44 $0.00 $0.50 $0.62 $0.00 79.51% 74.59% 100.00%
Ojutai Exemplars M $2.25 $0.00 $0.25 $0.61 $0.00 88.89% 72.89% 100.00%
Risen Executioner M $2.19 $0.00 $0.25 $0.93 $0.92 88.58% 57.53% 57.99%
Descent of the Dragons M $1.64 $0.00 $0.25 $0.84 $0.89 84.76% 48.78% 45.73%
Clone Legion M $0.87 $0.00 $0.00 $0.28 $0.31 100.00% 67.82% 64.37%


Chart (click to view higher res)

Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 2.16.13 PM

Rare Spreads


Name Rarity Fair Ebay CFB ABU StrikeZone CFB Spread ABU Spread StrikeZone Spread
Collected Company R $18.31 $0.00 $10.00 $8.18 45.39% 55.32%
Kolaghan’s Command R $9.31 $0.00 $6.00 $5.49 35.55% 41.03%
Den Protector R $6.80 $0.00 $3.50 $3.50 $0.00 48.53% 48.53% 100.00%
Atarka’s Command R $6.51 $0.00 $3.50 $3.61 $4.15 46.24% 44.55% 36.25%
Thunderbreak Regent R $6.05 $0.00 $2.00 $2.97 $0.00 66.94% 50.91% 100.00%
Dromoka’s Command R $5.98 $0.00 $3.00 $3.20 $0.00 49.83% 46.49% 100.00%
Haven of the Spirit Dragon R $4.34 $0.00 $1.50 $2.12 $2.37 65.44% 51.15% 45.39%
Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit R $2.45 $0.00 $0.50 $1.10 79.59% 55.10%
Secure the Wastes R $2.45 $0.00 $0.50 $1.09 $1.17 79.59% 55.51% 52.24%
Zurgo Bellstriker R $2.28 $0.00 $0.50 $0.82 $0.00 78.07% 64.04% 100.00%
Avatar of the Resolute R $1.75 $0.00 $0.50 $0.95 $0.85 71.43% 45.71% 51.43%
Icefall Regent R $1.63 $0.00 $0.25 $0.57 $0.00 84.66% 65.03% 100.00%
Sidisi, Undead Vizier R $1.37 $0.00 $0.25 $0.57 $0.00 81.75% 58.39% 100.00%
Stratus Dancer R $1.23 $0.00 $0.25 $0.46 $0.31 79.67% 62.60% 74.80%
Ojutai’s Command R $1.22 $0.00 $0.25 $0.35 $0.37 79.51% 71.31% 69.67%
Surrak, the Hunt Caller R $1.02 $0.00 $0.10 $0.26 $0.00 90.20% 74.51% 100.00%
Hidden Dragonslayer R $0.86 $0.00 $0.10 $0.24 $0.00 88.37% 72.09% 100.00%
Myth Realized R $0.76 $0.00 $0.00 $0.19 $0.42 100.00% 75.00% 44.74%
Arashin Foremost R $0.67 $0.00 $0.10 $0.19 $0.00 85.07% 71.64% 100.00%
Assault Formation R $0.67 $0.00 $0.10 $0.25 $0.31 85.07% 62.69% 53.73%
Dragon Tempest R $0.64 $0.00 $0.10 $0.18 $0.36 84.38% 71.88% 43.75%
Silumgar’s Command R $0.53 $0.00 $0.10 $0.08 $0.26 81.13% 84.91% 50.94%
Dragonlord’s Prerogative R $0.51 $0.00 $0.00 $0.08 $0.00 100.00% 84.31% 100.00%
Sunscorch Regent R $0.51 $0.00 $0.00 $0.19 $0.26 100.00% 62.75% 49.02%
Radiant Purge R $0.48 $0.00 $0.00 $0.06 $0.23 100.00% 87.50% 52.08%



Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 2.30.57 PM






Finally, looking at Dragons of Tarkir we see that prices are still rather high across the board for the various mythics within the set. The mythics are in this set are much more in demand than Khans or Fate Reforged at this point. Deathmist Raptor and Dragonlord Ojutai are leading the pack, and even the five most expensive mythics are all $7-$10 retail. The dragonlords are all really popular too, which is to be expected since their Standard demand on top of causal demand will help buoy their price. Even MTGO redemption hasn’t moved prices that much yet. However, as more and more people continue to redeem throughout the year the prices should continue to drop. No spreads really pop out to me as something that needs to be watched closely.


Top rares have more room to drop than mythics. Again, the event deck has capped Collected Company and Dromoka’s Command, while cards like Kolaghan’s Command and Den Protector have a tiny more room to drop as the summer goes on and Dragons continues to saturate the market. Again, like the mythics, nothing really pops up here yet as a cheaper card with a low spread, so the best way to get in on Dragons rares moving forward is going to be watching results closely to see where Magic Origins is taking Tarkir block cards.


Wrapping Up


That’s my analysis so far of Tarkir Block spreads. Where do you all see Tarkir block cards going based the data, or even your own observations? Magic Origins was released last weekend and the results are already shaking up the format. Plenty of Origins cards are moving one way or the other so which cards are you picking up outside Origins that reflect the new Standard format? As always, I love hearing from you guys in the comments.