Tag Archives: SOI

UNLOCKED PROTRADER: Shadows over Innistrad at Rotation

Ixalan previews should be starting next week, to match with the pre-previews that are being officially released due to geotagging and if you want to ignore the unofficial leaks, I respect that.

Today, though, I’m continuing to look at cards that are about to rotate, and what I want to pick up now that they are super cheap. A couple of weeks ago I looked at some great targets from Battle for Zendikar and Oath of the Gatewatch, and it’s time to look at the other big set that’s rotating out. (Eldritch Moon will be soon!)

We are looking for any of the following factors, or a combination thereof: Modern use, Legacy use, Commander use, Cubes, and other casual play. The more of those groups that want these cards, the better a bet they are.

The caveat, as always: We don’t know what will and won’t be reprinted. FTV: Zendikar could happen. We’ve got several Commander 2017 cards that should have been reprinted but weren’t, and a lot more that it’s a relief that they did get reprinted.

Foils are not a totally safe bet either, with Masters sets and Conspiracy and special releases, but foils can go up if the nonfoil is reprinted in a set like Commander 2017.

On to the cards!

Nahiri, the Harbinger ($10 regular/$35 foil): The foil is at the upper end of where I’d expect a card to be, and that’s because she’s really good at what she does. Exiling permanents is quite powerful in Commander, but you have to tap the creature or artifact first. It’s unlikely that she’ll nail a Darksteel Forge, for instance.

She pops up in Modern from time to time but never with frequency and isn’t the focus of a deck. I want to wait and see if she falls a bit further, as $10 is too high for my taste. I’m more comfortable getting in at $7 and playing a long game.

Relentless Dead ($7.50/$15 foil): I’ll be honest: I had a stack of these that I picked up when this was around $5 and moved out at the spike. This is an amazing tribal card in one of the most resilient tribes, and it can do some truly disgusting things in Commander. I’m surprised that the foil is so low, and this is one of my top targets at rotation for long-term growth from the casual market.

I would prefer the card to get cheaper, but the $15 foil is incredibly tempting. Zombies would seem to be a lock for the next time the Commander decks get tribal, and the foil will be much more resilient than the nonfoil in such a case.

Archangel Avacyn ($6/$15): She’s got one hurdle to clear: FTV Transform in November. I’m hoping she’s trickled down to $5, and if she dodges reprinting in that set, the difficulty in printing double-faced cards means she’s probably safe.

Startled Awake ($5/$8): Now this…this is a foil I want to have, but I can’t shake the FTV idea for this either. It’s a powerhouse mill card, and it’s reusable, and casual players are why Fraying Sanity isn’t a bulk rare. There’s only about 50 foils on TCG, the multiplier is low, but I’m not moving till that FTV list is out.

Arlinn Kord ($4/$8): We are now in an era where there’s enough planeswalkers to fill out a Commander deck easily. That means mediocre ones like her aren’t guaranteed to grow. She’s cheap, sure, and pops right into your Werewolf tribal deck, but it’ll take so long to grow that I don’t think she’s worth it.

Tireless Tracker ($4/$11): I’m picking up foils of this as fast as my budget can stand. There’s less than a hundred on TCG right now, and that includes prerelease foils. What you need to know is that this is popping up in several Modern decks as a value engine, and even in the sideboard of Lands decks in Legacy. This will be going up, and it’ll spike into the $20-$30 range when it settles.

Traverse the Ulvenwald ($4/$13): Another card with a relatively low number of foils on TCG (less than 80 total as of this writing) everything depends on which build of Death’s Shadow you like in Modern. If you like the Grixis better, this is worthless. If you play a version with Tarmogoyf, then you want four Traverse. These are not going to go down much, but I like the foils more for a spike in the next year, with nonfoils coming along for the ride. The Delirium mechanic makes it a little less likely to be reprinted soon but nothing is for sure.

Thalia’s Lieutenant ($1.50/$3): I dearly love this foil at $3, for two reasons: First, it’s an automatic four-of in any competitive Humans build that might pop up in Modern. A couple decks have tried, but no traction yet. Second, as a tribal enabler in foil, it will go up, even if the card is reprinted in a future tribal set.

For an example of this effect, here’s the graph of Dragon Tempest in foil:

The nonfoil has taken a small hit, but it’s in the Dragon deck, so the foil is where you want to be. Grab your foil Lieutenants now.

The Gitrog Monster ($1.50/$10): It doesn’t seem like that long ago, when all kinds of stuff was spiking madly due to his use in Commander. The enormous foil multiplier remains a strong sign of his appeal there, so picking him up now is an investment in slow growth over a very long term.

Seasons Past ($1/$3): I’m pretty bullish on this, especially for such a cheap foil mythic. We’ve already seen that with a tutor, it’s viable in Standard, so imagine the work it’ll do in Commander. This is probably not going to spike, so you’ll be on the ‘stick in a box and be patient plan’ that has served well for a number of EDH cards.

Prized Amalgam ($1/$5): It’s been pointed out as an easy target, and it has a surprising foil multiplier for a card that’s hard to use in casual formats easily, but this is easy mode. It’s a four-of in a Modern deck that comes and goes in waves, $5 for the foil is too cheap. It’ll spike to at least $10 after it does well on camera in some event, and with Modern being back on the PT, it might spike a lot harder.

Duskwatch Recruiter ($1/$4): Not only is this difficult to reprint, it’s one of the ways the Counters Company deck can instantly win, finding Walking Ballista at instant speed. It’s also a fantastic place to dump mana in Commander, and as an uncommon, there aren’t even any prerelease foils to mess with. TCG currently has 23 foils in assorted conditions.

I would love this a whole lot more if it didn’t feel like a very strong contender to be in the FTV this November, so as you can tell, I’m hesitating until we know what’s in that set.

UNLOCKED PROTRADER: Stuff Worth Keeping from BFZ and OGW

Hello and welcome back! I didn’t want to overwhelm everyone with acres of picks last week, so I’m back to talk about the other rotating block, Shadows over Innistrad and Eldritch Moon.

To repeat myself from last week: These are the cards that I think are good to have as they leave Standard, either for their value in Modern/Legacy, or as long-term casual holds.

I don’t think I gave you a good example last week of such a card, so let me do so now: Thespian’s Stage, in foil or nonfoil. Here’s the graph of the foil:

During Theros block, you could get the foil for under $10. Even at rotation, you could get it about $10. But now it’s double that, and nowhere to go but up. The nonfoil has gone from dollar rare to $3 casual gold, and I’m pleased with either of those graphs.

Every time the Stage dodges reprinting, it ticks up by fifty cents or a dollar. If it gets reprinted in Commander 2017, I don’t think the price will get hit much but the foil will tick upward. It’s going to take a Conspiracy/Masters set to impact the foil very much, and that seems unlikely in the next year (It’s not Iconic, after all).

Shadows over Innistrad

Traverse the Ulvenwald ($4.50 nonfoil/$14 foil): Really, we should have seen this coming. Delirium isn’t just easy in Modern, it’s the focus of Tarmogoyf. Getting the ‘Goyf as big as possible as fast as possible is why Tarfire spiked. Gotta get that Tribal type!

I think the nonfoils are going to go down a little, maybe as far as $3, but then they seem like a very solid pickup. As ever, for Modern/Legacy or casual use, I generally like the foils more than the nonfoils to hold value and to resist losing much when they are reprinted. (Yes, that’s WHEN they are reprinted. That’s my view going forward. Can’t say when, but it is going to happen.)

Archangel Avacyn ($10/$22): The poster angel for the set, a double-sided mythic, she’s going to be very hard to reprint. It’s my understanding that the double-sided require a whole sheet, and then are added, so it’s not possible to throw one two-faced card into a regular print run. The flip planeswalkers of Magic Origins were done on their own, lots of languages to a sheet, so I feel confident in thinking that Avacyn is safe from reprinting for a while.

She’s at the lowest she’s been during her time in Standard, and frankly the foils are super appealing. The foil multiplier isn’t even three yet! Let’s get in on these and just be patient. The growth will be real.

Thalia’s Lieutenant ($2.75/$6): I want this to drop further. I’d like picking these up a lot more at $1.50 or less, but this price is likely an artifact of a couple of recent Modern decks that have a Human theme. I would truly love it if the triggered ability could affect Soldiers too, but it’s still a very good card. Every set has Human creatures, and with every good creature to add to the deck, this card gets better.

Prized Amalgam ($2.25/$5.50): It’s one of the centerpiece cards for Modern Dredge, it’s an automatic four-of in the strategy, and yet it’s this cheap. Foils being $5 on eBay seem like a complete gift to your future self. It’s true that the ban of the Grave-Troll made the deck a little less appealing, but here’s what is going to happen:

  1. People pack lots of graveyard hate in Modern, making Dredge a bad choice.
  2. People move their sideboard choices to other decks, because no one is playing Dredge.
  3. Someone makes the right metagame call at the right big event and Dredge takes it all.
  4. This price goes up by at least double.

I don’t know when that process will happen, but it’s only a matter of time.

Honorable mentions at $1 or less: Fevered Visions, Descend Upon the SinfulSeasons Past, Duskwatch Recruiter, Second Harvest.

Eldritch Moon

Gisela, the Broken Blade ($8/$20) and Bruna, the Fading Light ($1/$6): I like all the foil Meld cards going forward, but this pair having a mythic member AND being part of an iconic tribe means that I love the casual potential here. Bruna is already very good in Angel decks, and I can’t imagine not making space for her sister in Commander decks.

Gisa and Geralf ($1.60/$6): The high foil multiplier here is a very good indicator that you want to have some of these going forward. This card never had a huge supply, being a small-set mythic, and Commander players are taking these out of circulation. I’d much much much rather have the foil version, because I can see this being the headliner for some future duel deck (Undead vs. Survivors or some such).

Bedlam Reveler ($1/$4.50): Another big foil multiplier indicates the foil is sought after more, either in Eternal (where it’s seen some play) or casual play, where only the most dedicated of decks play this. I’ve written about this before, so I don’t want to repeat myself too much, but I can see this spiking pretty hard with just one good showing.

Deploy the Gatewatch ($1/$4): So about a year ago, while I was guesting on MTG Fast Finance, James and I had a polite disagreement about this card. I thought it was trash for Standard, but an excellent long-term hold. The card has gone up about a dollar since then, but it remains a ridiculously safe pick in foil. I suspect we will get some Gatewatch-themed special issue deck at some point, but until then, snag lots of foils and just wait. You’ll thank us later.

Honorable mentions at $1 or so: Mind’s Dilation, Sigarda’s Aid, Ulrich of the Krallenhorde, Decimator of the Provinces

Cliff is impressively devoted to Magic, in a range of formats. His greatest love has been Commander, but Cube is the new hotness and it’s not as clear as it used to be. Who will steal his heart and get that rose? Tune in next week!

PROTRADER: Sig’s Quick Hits

This week I need to author an abbreviated column, as I have a family engagement that precludes me from writing a full article [Editor’s note – don’t miss James Chillcott’s Digging For Dollars piece to fill the gap!]. This will likely be the case next week as well. Rest assured, however – I still intend to at least provide you with my ever-so-popular Sig’s Quick Hits Feature! This time it’s expanded for even more value!

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Digging for Dollars: Shadows Over Innistrad

By: James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

Shadows Over Innistrad picks up where we left off five years ago, revisiting a plane that delivers on both flavor and play-ability.  After the ripples of dissatisfaction that seem to have marred our collective experience with returning to Zendikar, the flavor home run on Innistrad is a welcome boost to fan satisfaction. In terms of card power however, SOI seems to be a set rich with unique, subtly powerful cards that are likely to make their mark at some point down the road.

So what does this mean for those of us looking to make some money on Shadows?

First off, on average, now is the time to sell the set if you’re selling. If you intend to crack cases and sell singles, you should already have them in hand, as within two weeks or less you’ll be facing a saturated market and prices that have fallen to local lows as much as 40-50% below starting prices. At present there are over ten rares and mythics and SOI priced above $10, a completely unsustainable cohort of power cards that will be cut by half within the next few weeks.

Secondly, as a large set packed with cards that are tough to evaluate, but with a lot of potential both mid and long term, the prospects for SOI cards are likely to be a mix of short-term Standard spikes and long term breakouts unlocked by rogue deck building and the printing of companion pieces.

Finally, with the Expedition-style Innistrad Echoes  rumors now debunked, card values from this set will be less repressed than they were in Battle for Zendikar.

Now as there has been some confusion in the past over the intent of this article series, let’s get clear. Digging for Dollars is about looking for opportunities that aren’t played out yet, not identifying the most powerful cards in the set, or the obvious cards most likely to see the biggest gains. Many of these picks need planets to align to earn you money, so make sure you’ve exhausted your best options before you go digging folks. Where a card has not yet found it’s bottom, or has been hyped above it’s value, I will try to identify the proper entry point.

This time around we’re going to break up our specs into three categories: Standard Breakout Targets, Future Modern Staples and Long Term Casual Targets. The first group generally needs to find a home within the year in multiple standard decks to do well for you. The latter two groups are mid to long term holds that you should be aiming to acquire at their lows for solid future gains.


1. Nahiri, the Harbinger

Nahiri, the Harbinger

Now: $10
Target: $20+
Timeline: Short to Long Term (0-12+ months)

Nahiri tops my list largely on the basis that she is a solid card in Standard that may have a shot at turning into a significant card in Modern. Yes, Modern. This afternoon I watched a Jeff Hoogland Modern stream to find him running two copies of Nahiri in his KikiChord deck, only to run up against a WR Humans deck that started aggro, established early board presence, dropped Nahiri and proceeded to find Emrakul for the win. It’s especially nice that you can discard your single copy of Emrakul to Nahiri for extra value and have it shuffled right back into your deck for future shenanigans. Without top 8 camera time, she may not ever get there, but any $10 mythic that may show up in multiple Modern decks deserves a second look. Her floor is between $6-8 during her Standard tenure, so there’s not much risk in picking up a play set to use, with solid potential upside.  In Standard, Nahiri has mostly been showing up in WR Eldrazi and Naya Superfriends builds. Last weekend, Jacob Bard placed 12th in the SCG open running four copies in the main.

I’m in for three play sets for now, and my confidence is at 60% that this will pay off before she rotates out of Standard. Foils are already around $30, which is pricing for success in Modern, but if I see some closer to $20 my wallet may open.

2. Olivia, Mobilized for War

Olivia, Mobilized for War

Now: $10 (try to acquire around $20 at peak supply)
Target Buy Price: $7
Target Sell Price: $14 (+100%)
Timeline: Short to Mid (0-12 months)

The vampire queen enjoyed significant hype pressure shortly after she was announced, as we all assumed that SOI would cough up a serious BR Vampires aggro deck. Instead testing showed that there wasn’t quite enough power in the tribe, nor enough relevant madness cards, and Humans turned up in force as the best aggro deck. The thing is, we still have another set to go in this block, and we may well get the one or two aggro oriented vampires in Eldritch Moon that are necessary to put Olivia back on the table. If the new vampires are sexy enough, you may be able to unload into a preview spike regardless of whether the deck breaks out. If none of that happens, look to nab Olivia around $5 during summer lulls, as she has a solid chance of topping $10 a few years down the road on casual demand alone. Pick confidence at 6/10 on this one.

3. Fevered Visions

Fevered Visions

The key with Fevered Visions is that you get to draw first, which is a big step up vs. many of the previous Howling Mine variants. Last weekend Todd Anderson was on camera at the SCG Invitational, abusing the heck out of this card in his innovative UR Control build in Standard. In that Pyromancer’s Goggles driven deck, four copies of Visions come out of the sideboard to put slow moving opponents in a very uncomfortable position. The ability to redirect the damage triggers to take down planeswalkers is a sexy bonus. There is every reason to believe that the meta could adapt within a reasonable time-frame and possibly push this deck out of the format, but I’m happy to pick up copies of this card under $1 now, with the knowledge that they could easily hit $3-4 in a few years on creeping casual demand or a break out Modern appearance. If you wait it out, you may be able get these on sale somewhere this summer around $.50. The skeptic in me is keenly aware that Dictate of Kruphix is still widely available at $1, so my confidence in the pick is a mere 5/10.

Now: $0.75
Target Buy Price: $0.50
Target Sell Price: $3+ (+300%)
Timeline: Short to Long (0-12 months)


4. Traverse the Ulvenwald

Traverse the Ulvenwald

In a world where you can’t reliably achieve Delirum, this is a pretty lame land retrieval spell. In Modern or Legacy however, where stocking the graveyard fast and early is relatively easy, the prospects for a card that can tutor for any land or creature for just one mana are worth paying attention to. Lengthy Commander games are even more likely to find you with the necessary four card types in your graveyard to turn on the powered mode here.

It could take some time, but I expect this card will find a home in Modern sooner or later. Foils are currently around $10, but if this ends up played in a Tier 2+ deck in Modern at some point you may be able to unload over $20, after getting in around lows of $6-8. My pick confidence rating is 6/10 here.

Now: $4
Target Buy Price: $2-3
Target Sell Price: $10 (150%+)
Timeline: Long-Term (12-36 months+)

5. The Gitrog Monster

The Gitrog Monster

Now: $7
Target Buy Price: $5-6
Target Sell Price: $15+ (115%)
Timeline: Long Term (12 months+)

Potential Commander in EDH? Check. Unique set of powerful abilities that ooze synergy? Check. Big dangerous body? Check. Mythic and memorable? Check, check.

All of that is enough is to convince me that this card will eventually top $15. My guess is that it takes a few years, unless of course, someone figures out how to bust it in Modern, and it ends up as a 3-4 of. As a 1-2 of in a single deck, regular copies would still likely need some time to top $15. Foils are currently priced for success at $20, but I’d be more interested at $15, and will look for deals over the next couple of weeks. Pick confidence of 8/10.

6. Drownyard Temple

Drownyard Temple

Now: $2
Target Buy Price: $1.50-2
Target Sell Price: $10+
Timeline: Very Long Term (36 months+)

This card has gone under the radar for most players, but as Todd Anderson has demonstrated in gleaning value from the card in UR Goggle Control, being able to pay discard costs with Temple can be pretty sweet. This is not an uber-powerful staple by any means, and the growth is likely to be slow and steady for 3-5 years, but I think you’ll get a chance to get these under $2, and get out down the road as high as $10 when the implied synergy becomes valuable in a previously unseen Modern deck that wants either discard cost reduction, extra landfall triggers, or both. Lands with snyergistic upside are some of the best long term targets, so there is little to fear here. Pick confidence is 8/10.

Long Term Casual

7. Startled Awake

Startled AwakePersistent Nightmare

This card is no Glimpse the Unthinkable, but it does provide casual mill players with a form of inevitability and thirteen cards off the top is a lot in sixty card formats.

Now: $3 ($7 foil)
Target Buy Price: $2 ($5 foil)
Target Sell Price: $10 ($20+ foil)
Timeline: Very Long-Term (36+ months)

7. Relentless Dead

Relentless Dead

When this card was revealed during spoiler season for SOI, everyone was convinced it was going to be an automatic 4-of staple in Standard, and speculation about Modern play-ability was being bandied about. But then the zombie deck components failed to show up in the full set list, and this card has been on the backslide ever since. Long term the power level is high enough that between potential synergies with Eldritch Moon cards, Modern potential and casual demand, I’ll be happy to stash some copies away once the price drops low enough. This is the kind of card that gets played as a 4-of when it is played at all, and that’s a great place to be with a mythic that can show price growth from any of one of multiple angles.

Now: $11
Target Buy Price: $5
Target Sell Price: $10+
Timeline: Mid-to-Long Term (6-12+ months)

8. Seasons Past

Seasons Past

Note: This article was written the Thursday before the Pro Tour. Apologies that this card spiked before you got to see this guys. 🙁

This is a green mythic that can draw an entire grip full of cards on Turn 4 or 5 in kitchen table magic pretty reliably, and has all the hallmarks of a card that will be forgotten only to get bought out in five years and spike over $10. It’s by no means a high priority, but $2 mythics are largely risk free, and I’d be stoked to stash several playsets away if they up cheaper during an online sale or at summer lulls. It’s also not impossible that someone will find a use for this in Standard on camera before it rotates, which could push it over $5 in a hurry.

Now: $2
Target Buy Price: $2
Target Sell Price: $5+
Timeline: Short-to-Long Term

Cards You Should Be Selling

1. Archangel Avacyn ($40+)

Archangel AvacynAvacyn, the Purifier

There is no doubt at all that Avacyn could stay a $40+ card for parts of her career if the meta breaks right and for long enough to drive demand beyond her peak supply period later this month. My fear is that the format is going to relegate Avacyn to one major archetype, and that, like Dragonlord Ojutai before her, she will fall under $15 before peaking once again during a future meta shift. If you are playing the card, it’s a hold, but any extra copies are a solid trade out right now and will cover nearly 1/2 of a box to find more cards you need.

2. Arlinn Kord ($25)

Arlinn KordArlinn, Embraced by the Moon

Yeah, I know you love werewolves, and flip planeswalker werewolves are awesome, but this card is going to end up under $15 within the month. There a couple of potential shells for Arlinn in Standard, and she could be anywhere from 2-4 copies in R/G Aggro build, a R/G Eldrazi build or some kind of “super friends” deck. None of that is going to change the fact that she is much more likely to fall below $20 heading into peak supply than she is to peak over $30. The one caveat is if she wins a major standard tournament, or starts putting up consistently dominant results on MTGO leading into a buy out, but I find that unlikely. Once she’s closer to $10 she’ll be more tempting, but keep in mind that most planeswalkers peak early, fail to earn their keep and fall back to reality in a hurry without ever enjoying major demand in Standard. Get out now and you’re unlikely to be upset about it later. Jace, Unraveler of Secrets above $15 is a certain exit point as well as I see the card ending up $8-10 within a month or two.

3. Relentless Dead ($11)

Relentless Dead

As stated above, get out now, and look for any entry closer to $5 when folks realize they have no good place to play this away from the kitchen table and before potential partner cards show up in Eldritch Moon spoilers.

4. Westvale Abbey ($12)

Westvale AbbeyOrmendahl, Profane Prince

Don’t get me wrong, Westvale Abbey is a very real card, a likely Modern Tier 2 staple and a future acquisition target around $4-6, but as a rare in a large set it is highly unlikely to hold above $10. Sell now, get in later.

Oath of the Gatewatch Update

In Digging for Dollars: Battle for Zendikar, I called out the following specs as undervalued cards with some chance of financial success (shown with original and current pricing):

1.  Goblin Dark Dwellers (Promo): $6 to $3 (-50%)
2. Thought-Knot Seer (Foil): $25 to $40 (at peak, +60%)
3a. Slip Through Space (Foil): $1.50 to $3.00 (+100%)
3b. Expedite (Foil): $1.50 to $1.50 (+0%)
4. Stone Haven Outfitter: $.75 to .50 (-33%)
5. Eldrazi Mimic (Foil): $3 to $20 (at peak, +670%), now $8
6. Sea Gate Wreckage (Foil): $7 to $7 (+0%)
7. Nissa, Voice of Zendikar: $16 to $13 (-19%)
8. High Demand Oath Expeditions: Various
9. Wastes (Foil, Kozilek Art): $10 to $15 (+50%)

The Oath portfolio did relatively well in a short period of time, largely on the back of my being out in front on the Eldrazi Winter thing. Early testing showed Eldrazi to look utterly busted, and I correctly called Though-Knot Seer and Eldrazi Mimic foils in time to set you up for solid gains if you got in before everyone realized it was all going to get banned. Mimic still has some long term potential as it gets turned on by colorless rather than Eldrazi creatures, and Thought-Knot Seer foils are actually looking tasty again around $15 given that folks are already showing the deck can be competitive without Eye of Ugin, and given that Eldrazi is very real in Legacy and highly unlikely to be attacked with a banning there. Eye of Ugin expeditions can be found right now as low as $70 and that is a very tempting entry point.

Expedite foils haven’t gone everywhere, but Slip Through Space foils have already doubled up, and I expect both to be $5 down the road when they Top 8 something nasty that involves a lot of cantrips.

Goblin Dark Dwellers promos are the better art of the two options, and are now as low as $3. This card is going to be a 1-2 of Modern staple for a long time in at least Jund and Grixis decks, and I like the card a lot at current pricing. Stone Haven Outfitter is down to a very tempting $.50 and the entry point is excellent. Sooner or later equipment combo becomes a thing, and this card hits $5. Could be a year, could be give but I already have 100+ copies, and I’ll look for more on sale this summer. Sea Gate Wreckage foils haven’t moved much, but that’s because they were targeted for long term growth. Check back in on those two years from now. Kozilek Wastes full-art foils have already gained 50% and will easily beat $20 within the next year or two. A good call there.

And here were the cards I advised be sold:

1. Lesser Expedition Lands: Various, But By & Large Down by 10-40%
2. Kozilek, the Great Distortion: $20 to $6 (-70%)
3. Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet: $8 to $20 (+150%)

Lesser Expedition lands and Kozilek were good sell calls, having shed significant value from their peaks. Kozilek can be had now around $7-8, and I like that entry point for slow future gains with potential in Standard and Modern. Kalitas ended up doing much better in Standard than he was set to when I made the call to sell him, but the larger miss was seeing his potential in Jund for Modern. Mea culpa.

Battle for Zendikar Upate

In Digging for Dollars: Magic Origins, I called out the following specs as undervalued cards with some chance of financial success (shown with original and current pricing):

  1. Drana, Liberator of Malakir: $15 to $8 (-47%)
  2. Oblivion Sower: $5.50 to $8.75 (+60% at peak)
  3. Retreat to Corelhelm (Foil): $12 to $4 (-67%)
  4. Woodland Wanderer: $4 to $1 (-75%)
  5. Emeria Sheppard (Foil): $8 to $5 (-38%)
  6. Painful Truths: $1.50 to $3 (+100% at peak)
  7. Bring to Light (Foil): $16 to $6 (-63%)

So far, this list isn’t doing very well. Let’s see what’s going on.

In many ways Battle For Zendikar has played out as we predicted. The presence of some very expensive lottery tick – er, I mean Expeditions has held down the price of most of the cards in the set, and if it weren’t for fetch/battle lands driving insane mana bases, Standard would have been pretty affordable this season. Those Expeditions found their lows during peak supply in late November, and have since rebounded, just as I expect the Oath ones to. Moving forward it will be worth keeping an eye on Expedition pricing, as boxes of BFZ around $90 may get pretty tempting next fall if the prices climb high enough on the sexy lands.

Drana, Liberator of Malakir is a decent card that simply hasn’t found a home. I’ve been running two copies in my WB Aggro/Control build in Standard for months, but most players find her to have too little board impact in a format that is contending with fast aggro decks and angelic bombs. If she hits $5 I’ll take another look, hoping for new synergies in Eldritch Moon with long term casual as the backup plan.

Oblivion Sower peaked around $9, but has since fallen back to $3, which is a very solid entry point for a Modern playable mythic.

On the long term side, the Retreat to Corelhelm deck hasn’t posted a big result in Modern yet, but that’s a good thing here because you can now get in on the prospect of this busted card eventually doing big things for just $4 per foil. I love that price. A Bant Company deck did well on camera at the SCG Invitational last weekend running the combo with Knight of the Reliquary, and sooner or later it will stick.

Emeria Sheppard foils are back up to $5 now, and I endorse stashing some of those away for future EDH/Casual angel gains. Painful Truths is flat vs. my buy price, but you had a solid chance to trade out for a double up when it was peaking in early winter. Bring to Light has collapsed, but both cards have foils carrying a whopping 10x foil multiplier, a sure sign that people expect them to do big things moving forward. Both cards are seeing experimental play in Modern, and some enterprising pros are already swearing by Truths in Legacy, so grabbing a bunch of these at current pricing for long term gains seems reasonable.

Magic Origins Update

In Digging for Dollars: Magic Origins, I called out the following specs as undervalued cards with some chance of financial success (shown with original and current pricing):

  1. Nissa, Vastwood Seer: $26 to $18 (-28%)
  2. Erebos’s Titan: $8.40 to $1  (-87%)
  3. Abbot of Keral Keep (Foil):  $13 to $20 (50%+)
  4. Evolutionary Leap (Foil):  $15 to $6 (-60%)
  5. Harbinger of the Tides (Foil):  $18 to $6 (-67%)
  6. Demonic Pact:  $3.75 to $3 (-20%)
  7. Animist’s Awakening: $10 to $4 (-60%)

So far, the only solid win from the list was Abbot of Keral Keep foils, if you rode the earlier spike above $20. I correctly identified that the card was Modern-playable and likely to rise on demonstrative play. As it turns out, the card is seeing play in both Grixis and Temur decks in Modern, including the innovative Temur Prowess deck played to a solid finish last year by Patrick Chapin. Since the fall spike noted in our last check-in, these foils have fallen back to $10 or so as the price of Jace has continued to rise. I’d recommend moving in on the card at this price if you haven’t already, as I still predict a future price over $20 on further Modern play.

As for the rest, Erebos’s Titan and Pact never got anywhere, but Abbot, Leap and Harbinger all represent excellent long term value. Of the three, Harbinger and Abbot are the most proven, so focus on those.

So there you have it. Anything I missed that you’re on top of? Logic to kill one of the specs? Have at it. Let’s figure it out!

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.