Tag Archives: Zendikar

Grinder Finance – Winding Down the Year

With the conclusion of this three-Grands Prix weekend, we draw ever closer to the end-of -year lull in Magic.  Let’s talk about some new announcements and discuss the expected price drops in the comings weeks.

Shadows Over Innistrad

If you are a Vorthos player, you may have been expecting this.  In this article, Ugin explains to Jace that the only way to stop the Eldrazi is to seal them again.  He instructs Jace to go to Innistrad and find Sorin and bring him back to Zendikar.  Another important thing that Ugin mentions is that the Eldrazi Titans will planeswalk away when mortally threatened.  There are a few expectations we can draw from these events.

  • Shadows over Innistrad is the start of a new block.  It will be treated like a large fall set.
  • Liliana is MIA in the Zendikar storyline, I expect to see her return in Innistrad (This would be a prime place to reprint Liliana of the Veil without devotion in Standard)
  • We may see flashback return in SOI but with a Snapcaster Mage RPTQ promo he will likely not return in the set.
  • We may see an Eldrazi titan escape and attack Innistrad (Given the fact that Oath of the Gatewatch‘s set symbol looks like Kozilek’s head shards, it will probably be Emrakul)

This is all of course speculation but so far the story articles seem to be a reliable way to tell the future.

Why are we going back to Innistrad?


With a real definition of what is “new” and what isn’t, I expect this to continue to in the future and be a conduit for important reprints outside of Modern Masters.  We can expect the Fall 2016 set to be a “new” plane.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s shift gears and talk about events.

What events are left in the 2015 calendar year?

Do you know how many weekends of Grands Prix are left? After this triple Grands Prix weekend, there are five left on three weekends to close out the year.  Seattle/Tacoma (Legacy), Atlanta (Sealed), and Pittsburgh (Modern) are the last three Grands Prix in North America this year.  There are two Standard GPs left, one in Brussels and one in Kobe, and that’s it!  There is over a month off and then GP Oakland opens up the year with a Standard Grand Prix before almost another month off before the next set of Grands Prix after the release of Oath of the Gatewatch.  Thats not a lot of Standard being played outside of the LGS level.

Let’s take a look at the other major circuit, the Star City Games Open Series. There are five SCG opens for the remainder of the year.  Four are Standard (Philadelphia, Kansas City, Denver, and Las Vegas) and one is Legacy (New Jersey).  That’s also not a lot of opportunities for the rest of the year to play in high level Magic events.

What does this all mean?  Well, it precludes the December price dips.  You basically have one month to sell or trade any Standard cards you will not need for the rest of the year before their price starts to drop significantly.  I already traded away my Gideon, Ally of Zendikar this weekend for Eternal playables. I would recommend dumping any Khans of Tarkir cards especially since there will be no more Standard Pro Tours to breathe new life into them before they rotate.

siege rhino price

As you can see from this graph, the post Pro Tour price tag quickly dips into a yearly low in December.  If you want to get expensive cards from Battle for Zendikar, I’d wait until then.

gideon price

Although Gideon doesn’t have a long price history, we can see he’s peaked and is already on his slow descent.  I’m just guessing here but I could see Gideon being as cheap as $20 by Christmas.  While it’s clear he will be a player in Standard for his entire lifetime, it is unwise to hold copies you’re not actively using.  But, it’s not all gloom and doom for a buyer.


These two lands have already shown up in some decks as a way to ramp out huge Eldrazi.  It might not be a thing today but I feel like the deck is very close to breaking out.  I wouldn’t be surprised if these two lands are the mainstay of a top tier deck in Oath of the Gatewatch.  Kind of hilariously, right now that is the basis for one of the cheaper Standard decks as it doesn’t play any fetchlands, Gideons, or Jaces.  At about $0.50 per land, I wouldn’t fault you for picking up a playset of each in preparation for Kozilek in Oath of the Gatewatch.

Grand Prix Articles

Do you like the articles that Jeremy (@LengthyXemit) does for Grands Prix?  I will be lucky enough to attend the last two American Grands Prix of the year and can provide some commentary for people looking to buy cards.  Are there other questions you have for the Grand Prix process?

I took a week off due to some work-related complications but I will have the Pucatrade article for next week!  Hope you all had an awesome Halloween and I look forward to your comments below!


Wednesday: Fetchlands with Andrew Smith

Scalding Tarn. (c) 2013 Wizards of the Coast.

If you haven’t yet noticed, Wizards of the Coast wants you to play Modern. They’ve dedicated a PTQ season for it. There is a special limited release product of Modern-format staples due out this year. It’s a regular format for Grand Prix and Pro Tours alike.

The reasoning is simple: people want a non-rotating format they can afford.

Legacy players spend years perfecting their play with one deck without worrying about it being illegal in just a few months. But the barrier to entry is extremely high. Competitive decks can cost thousands of dollars, amounts most players just can’t afford.

Modern is supposed to be the cure, with relatively inexpensive cards that can be purchased without the threat of rotation. Bannings have been commonplace thus far, making it certainly less stable than Legacy.

This emphasis on Modern has caused prices to skyrocket. And nowhere is this more noticeable than in the price of the manabases. Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash have offered us reprints of the shocklands, but as those prices drop, fetchlands – their partners in crime – continue to increase with no end in sight.

At the end of October 2012, prices of the “blue fetches” from Zendikar, Misty Rainforest and Scalding Tarn, increased dramatically. Mid-October the average price was $15; by the end of the month it had risen to $30. Currently, the average price for a Misty Rainforest is above $35.

Misty Rainforest as of Feb 12, 2013
Misty Rainforest through Feb 12, 2013

The other Modern-legal fetches are catching up. Verdant Catacombs climbed to just under $30 this week. Arid Mesa and Marsh Flats are over $25. For players hoping to build a Modern deck, the savings on shocklands from the most recent block is more than overshadowed by these increases.

It’s important to note that the release of Modern Masters this summer will only serve to continue to drive up these prices. The announcement for Modern Masters stated that cards printed originally in Eight Edition through Alara Reborn would be eligible to be reprinted in this special set.

As players get their hands on high priced staples like Tarmogoyf, they are certainly going to start building new Modern decks. Unfortunately, Zendikar falls outside of this timeframe. It would appear that, barring a new set that returns us to Zendikar or a Modern Masters 2, no increase in supply will be available to offset the increase in demand that is surely coming our way.