1. Burning Earth – Turns out a nearly one sided Manabarbs is pretty good. This card was everywhere in Amsterdam by the time the World Cup got started thanks to the success Craig Wescoe and Brian Kibler had in the Standard portion of the World Championship earlier in the week. That said, it has already doubled in price and is worse now that the format has adjusted. I’d be shipping extra copies and looking to gradually buy back in before October.
2. Scavenging Ooze – It turns out this card is still fantastic. Its already in the high teens and I don’t think its done going up this summer. That said, this is a prime candidate to get reprinted into oblivion via Event Decks a la Thragtusk and I’d be a little nervous holding very many non-foil english copies after Theros hits.
3. Lifebane Zombie – Vendilion Zombie has doubled in the past week, and is seeing play all over Standard. While I don’t think its done going up, I think there are better places to put your $ now that the first real price bump has happened because I don’t think there’s room for another double up.
4. Fiendslayer Paladin – This card is seeing way more play than I thought it would as a mainstay in Bant Hexproof and Wescoe’s W/R Humans deck. I think the paladin tops out at $8-10 this summer, and as such don’t think there’s enough room for growth to justify holding onto any outside of what you need to play with.
5. Mutavault – Do people not remember that this card is insane? Its possible there’s not enough room in mana bases while you can still play 3 color decks with little drawback. Normally I’d be watching the Vault very closely because if Standard becomes less greedy its going to be everywhere, however everything I said about Scavenging Ooze being printed in Event Decks goes for Mutavault doubly so because it can go in all of them.
6. Garruk Caller of Beasts – It does not look like the Elves deck has staying power. However its sweet enough for fnm which combined with edh demand will keep the new ‘Big Garruk’ from tanking despite the potential dearth of high level finishes**. We should see a very gradual decline into rotation. After that, who knows? If Theros is all giant monsters, and Garruk cheating something absurd into play is a Tier 1 strategy than we could see $30 pretty easily. However, because Garruk is so demanding of any deck he’s included in we could also see competitive demand fall away completely and if he doesn’t have a home outside of 100 card decks the price will plummet.
7. Kalonian Hydra – The ‘Good Hydra’ has been mostly tied to the elf deck so far, but unlike Garruk the it can kill your opponent dead without playing 30 creatures in the deck (and for what its worth not all 30 creature decks are interested in ‘Gargantuan Garruk’). For the moment Hydra looks like another FNM Allstar, and I expect a similar gradual decline to the ‘Biggest of Garruks’ as we head to October but with a higher floor and lower ceiling after Theros.
8. Archangel of Thune – She’s seeing some play in B/W Human lists on MTGO which is something**, but I’d stay far away from this one for a while to see where the price settles at. If she ends up under $10 I’m interested, but beyond that there are better places to put your money.
9. Chandra Pyromaster – Apparently after the World Championships Kibler said he wanted her in the side of his G/R deck over Gruul Warchant, which is noteworthy because it means someone wanted her for something, and in a deck that could support small and medium Garruk no less. I still see her tanking as we close out the summer, but this is a good sign for people looking to buy cheap in September.
The new PTQ schedule is pretty fantastic.
Standard in the Winter keeps players out of the awkward position of needing mythics that are about tank in price due to rotation coming a few dead months later. Financially it’ll probably keep the price of Mythics down a little lower than we would have seen them under the old schedule (think $35 Liliana of the Veil instead of $45-50). I don’t think it’ll affect the ceiling of the shocklands very much, over the last few years the previous block’s dual land cycle has spiked during the fall anyways so the surest bet in Magic hasn’t changed but anything beyond that I’m more unsure of (though Abrupt Decay, and Supreme Verdict will probably be fine).
When I saw that Modern was going to start in June, I immediately thought we’d have a Modern Masters 2 coming in 2014 released as the season started. My reasoning was that Modern would be unplayable to the masses with Misty Rainforest being $50+. However after a loud debate at Buffalo Wild Wings with my friend Arthur Halavais, I was convinced that the second Modern Masters set is not necessary, instead we would just get fetch lands in M15. You see I was focussing on when the season started, when the more relevant information was that it ended August 24th, meaning most of the season would be played with M15 available which allows MM2 to be saved until more sets are available.
Its almost as if they planned it.
** A G/W Midrange list featuring both Archangel of Thune and Garruk, Caller of Beasts won a 5k last weekend. The deck looks pretty awesome, but I doubt it will cause major price changes barring something drastic happening.
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