Finance in a Flash: Scars Remain

Written by Paul Feudo on . Posted in Casual Magic, Commander

Finance in a Flash: Scars Remain

Paul Feudo

Paul Feudo started playing Magic in 1999 and became fascinated by the financial aspect of the game a few years later. He recently gave up the competitive dream and became focused solely on trends in the Magic economy. Follow him on twitter @plfeudo.

Did you know?

Falkenrath Aristocrat is over $15 using TCG mid, and sold out on SCG at 18. The market overcorrecting combined with zombie hype has made this card almost triple in the last two months.

Kaalia of the Vast is $8-10 depending on which store you’re looking at. It was $4-6 in June. The only thing keeping this card down in the next 6 to 10 months is a potential reprint in Commander’s Arsenal. Barring that, this card is a great longterm pickup and very popular in Commander circles.

Quick Hits

1. Bonfire of the Damned is $40 on some sites. Getting out of Bonfires before everyone gets the memo and getting back in when the hate goes too far in a few months is a great play.

2. Cathedral of War should go down once infect rotates. This is another great card to dump now and pick up low later when it’s undervalued during winter.

3. Detention Sphere is obviously very good, but it is not a $10 card, especially with Abrupt Decay in the format. Trade any you get during the next few weeks. You’ll be able to get them cheaper later.

4. Deathrite Shaman has Casual, Modern and Legacy potential, but is much too inconsistent in Standard. It really needs fetchlands to reach its full potential in a format. I think regular copies are overvalued right now. This is another card you can wait on and pick up for two-thirds of the current price in a couple months.

5. Abrupt Decay is the greatest Smother ever. It is not Maelstrom Pulse. Maelstrom Pulse hit $20-plus during its time in Standard because it was from a small set and was the only expensive card in one of the best decks in the format for the entire time it was legal. As amazing as the zombie decks appear to be right now, I have not heard anyone say we’re looking at the next Jund. The card certainly has Legacy implications, but that does not make a non-foil standard RARE $20.

6. Wild Beastmaster seems undervalued (it’s $.74 on Legit MTG). Not only does this card pump hordes of tokens in Commander, but it has the potential to be competitive in a G/W Humans list with cards like Rancor and Mayor of Avabruck, which may see a price bump despite having a promo version. The interaction between a pumped Wild Beastmaster and Champion of Lambholt is pretty disgusting assuming you have any other creatures on the board. This card is in the Golgari intro deck, which will lower its ceiling somewhat, but I still like it very much at the current price.

7. I think foil copies of Conjured Currency are a great pickup in general, but especially in the next few weeks. This card has casual Commander potential and will be traded as near bulk most of the time, making it a great deal sweetener if you’re trading away one of the hyped cards that have gotten people so excited about Return to Ravnica. Similarly, I’m very high on the long term potential of foil Spelltwines. This card has a fairly unique effect that seems perfect for Commander and can be found for $1 online. Many people do not take the card seriously in trades and they can be gotten practically for free. I like the nonfoil copies as well, mostly because there is little risk involved (They’re $.25 at Legit MTG).

8. Diabolic Revelation is already a Commander all-star, although you wouldn’t know it from the price. It’s $2 on Star City Games (less than $1 on Legit MTG), and should continue to rise over time. I’m very high on this card long term, and like most recently printed Commander staples it’s primed to rise much higher than its current price in a year or two.

9. Garruk, Primal Hunter seems better than Vraska the Unseen in many situations, especially in the midrange matchups. Being able to draw cards and pressure your opponent with an army of beasts is very important, while ticking up Vraska doesn’t really do anything a lot of the time. Because of the shocklands, Garruk’s triple green casting cost is no longer as prohibitive, allowing it to be played in a wider variety of decks. It’s less than $6 on Legit MTG, and could very easily double or triple in value when the format slows down once the meta overcorrects for aggressive strategies.

10. Staff of Nin is another very cheap M13 card. (Noticing a trend?) It has great potential, at least partially because of its low price tag. The release promos will hurt the card’s ceiling, but I like my chances when the card is $.50, draws you an extra card every turn, can be played in any color combination, and is fairly difficult for non-white decks to deal with. I can see Staff of Nin being $2-3 as a card-advantage engine in some green ramp/midrange strategy as the format slows down.

Last Word

Scars of Mirrodin block and M12 are rotating. I could go on about how the Scars ‘fast lands’, Birthing Pods, Karn Liberated, the ‘praetors’ from New Phyrexia and the ‘swords’ are all great pickups, but a lot of people have already written about that at length. I’m going to dig a little deeper. These cards are going to be Casual or Commander focused because their growth tends to be much more consistent over time, making them much safer investments.

Angelic Destiny is the best at what it does below eight mana (Eldrazi Conscription), and will be a staple in Sigarda, Bruna, and Uril decks as well as any other commander that wants to attack and can play it. Being a mythic that was only printed once will only help this card’s ceiling when combined with its ‘Angelness.’$10-15 retail is not an unreasonable expectation in a couple years, foils could hit $40+.

Rune-Scarred Demon is another great M12 casual card with a much lower ceiling than Angelic Destiny. While demons are not as popular as angels, people do still like them which will help drive the price. A staple in all black Commander decks, this card could easily be $3-4 in a few years with foils at $10-plus.

Praetor’s Counsel is a mythic from New Phyrexia, the short print set of SoM block, and I think it’s probably one of the best cards to invest in from the entire rotating card pool. Its effect on the game is dramatic, splashy and powerful, and it’s only $1. This one of those cards that you see on a dealer’s buy list a few years down the road for $3-4 and wonder how many you traded away over the years. I think $5-7 is a very reasonable price in a couple year, and foils could easily be $35-plus.

Tezzeret’s Gambit is much more a general Casual card than Commander staple, but that shouldn’t hurt its long term growth. From casual infect to proliferate to mono planeswalkers, this card has widespread appeal. It will be in greater and greater demand over time, especially considering it is effectively colorless. A $3-4 price tag in a few years would not surprise me, with foils being $10-plus.

Argentum Armor is another all-star in ‘fair’ Commander decks that like to beat down, particularly white ones with cards like Stoneforge Mystic and Stonehewer Giant. The best comparison is probably Eldrazi Conscription, which should give us a ceiling because Scars was opened more than Rise of the Eldrazi. Conscriptions retail for $2-3 online with foils as high as $6. Argentum Armor could match those numbers as Magic continues to grow.

Boom! Lux Cannon. Whether it’s for Commander or general Casual play, there is a subset of players in love with this card. It is $1 on Legit MTG and could easily triple or quadruple in price down the road. Foils will probably hit $15 retail.

— Paul Feudo
@plfeudo on Twitter

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