Finance in a Flash: Targeting One-Drops

Written by Paul Feudo on . Posted in Finance, Magic Culture

Finance in a Flash: Targeting One-Drops

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?

Increasing Confusion is sold out at $2 on Star City Games (SCG)? Yes, that’s the mill one.

What about foil Pillar of Flame being $4?

Snapcaster Mage, Entreat the Angels, Sigarda Host of Herons, Stromkirk Noble andGisela, Blade of Goldnight are selling on SCG for lower than their TCG player mid price. It’s important to note these exceptions from the norm as it can actually be correct to not follow the ‘Trade up using SCG pricing, Trade down using TCG pricing’ mantra depending on the trade when these cards and others with a similar price discrepancy are involved.

Quick Hits

1. Drogskol Reaver is a mythic from Dark Ascension (AKA the short print set) whose guild is coming in Return to Ravnica. It’s also $1.50 on SCG and lower elsewhere.

2. Sigarda, Host of Herons has been kept down by Phantasmal Image and Phyrexian Metamorph since she’s been printed. On paper the card is obviously insane, and her two biggest roadblocks are rotating this October when Selesnya comes back in RTR. Being able to trade for her at $6 using SCG prices for your cards is a winning proposition.

3. BR Zombies is a real deck and very good. The time to jump in on Geralf’s Messenger and Gravecrawler may have already passed, but it appears not everyone has gotten the message about Falkenrath Aristocrat, which happens to also be a mythic in DKA whose guild is coming in RTR (Noticing a trend here?). It’s sold out at $7.99 on SCG as I’m writing this, and is a great card to pick up at that price for both the short and long term.

4. @ssomers55 and I had a Twitter discussion about my last article, which we rehashed and continued in the comments. His point that really stuck with me was highlighting Chandra, the Firebrand as a buy low. I mentioned the card briefly when I wrote about the Grixis control deck, and have now jumped fully on board. As Stu stated, there is little to no risk in picking up copies, and I’ve found people are very willing to give them up. The upside is tremendous considering how low the price is ($4 on SCG), and this feels like a great Izzet card come RTR.

5. Deadeye Navigator is a casual favorite and hilarious six-drop in the Bant Pod lists. It’s $.50 using TCG mid and $1.5 sold out on SCG. Picking these up cheap in trades or for cash using the TCG price will make you money.

6. The Innistrad dual lands have started spiking. They have all jumped $1 to $2 on SCG in the past few weeks except for Isolated Chapel. I wouldn’t give up any extras I had easily, and will be actively looking for copies that are being valued at the old prices. They will only be going up from here.

7. Monoblack happened, and there was much rejoicing. Jonathan Caro’s monoblack midrange took down TCG Dallas last weekend while a monoblack Trading Post deck piloted by Matthew Pitzer finished Top 8 at SCG Denver. Both decks ran Liliana of the Veil. SCG was briefly sold out at $20. Caro’s deck also had a single copy of Liliana of the Dark Realms.

8. In addition to the monoblack list at SCG Denver, Kinny Fain’s Bant Trading Post deck was Top 8 at TCG Dallas. SCG is sold out of Trading Post at its sale price of $2.60, and TCG mid is still less than 2.00. I do not like this card for competitive play once Scars of Mirrodin block rotates. It seems to be a hot-ticket item in the short-term and any obtained cheaply should be easy to flip. The Bant Post deck also had two Entreat the Angels and a Drogskol Reaver in the maindeck.

9. Parallel Lives will be a very popular casual card come RTR and the Populate mechanic. Some people still think this card is bulk or close to it, even though its $1.50 on SCG and could hit $3 to $4 on casual appeal alone by December. If it goes in a competitive tokens deck, the card could spike hard. Howver, I think it’s likely that the card is not good enough for competitive play.

10. There is a ton of value in the Izzet vs. Golgari deck. From expensive commons and uncommons like Brainstorm (modern frame!), Magma Jet, Eternal Witness and Isochron Scepter to rares like Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, Life from the Loam, and Golgari’s new guild leader, Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord, this dual deck seems like a deal at MSRP ($19.99). It’s probably a good idea to get rid of extra copies of the Niv-Mizzets and Life from the Loams you have now, picking them back up cheaper once the decks are released.

BONUS! 11. Sheldon Menery has said he believes Kokusho the Evening Star can come off the EDH banlist (though not as a Commander). The decision is not his alone, and has not been made final, but foils will go up significantly if Kokusho is unbanned. The hype of an unbanning and coinciding price spike have little to do with the playability of the actual card (see Land Tax) and should happen regardless of the card’s popularity. Pick up pack foils if you see them; though they’ve been quite scarce the last few years, the FTV versions should be good buys as well.

The Last Word

Preston Stone’s second-place Delver of Secrets deck from SCG Denver has four Gut Shot and four Vapor Snag in the maindeck along with two Mental Misstep in the sideboard. Considering Delver is the defining deck of the format, it’s fair to say that the environment is not friendly to 1/1s for one that gain value the longer they stay in play. Luckily all those cards are rotating come October, and Champion of the Parish is going to start killing people again.

When Standard shrinks, aggressive decks tend to do well, particularly in the beginning of the season. All of the new decks have not been streamlined yet, making good aggressive draws even more punishing than they would be otherwise. Champion of the Parish into Gather the Townsfolk is a complete beating. What other color the deck includes, if any, is unknown, but the strategy is too powerful to be ignored in a Standard format with only five sets. Champion could easily hit $10 during the fall Standard season, and may go up even more as humans continue to be printed. Think about that. Every human card in the next three sets makes Champion of the Parish better. It has a lot of room to grow from its $5.99 price tag on SCG.

What if I told you that along with Gut Shot, Mental Misstep and Vapor Snag rotating, Timely Reinforcements would be getting the boot as well? What if people were paying two to four life a game for their lands to come untapped? How about human being a potentially even more relevant creature type than it already is as the format shrinks? Holy Stromkirk Noble Batman!

Stromkirk Noble hit $10 briefly after Innistrad was released when Monored saw some success on the SCG circuit. It’s $1.99 now, and is one of the best spec buys in Standard with an eye for the months following RTR’s release. Not only does the card fit into Monored strategies, but any aggressive Rakdos strategy would have to give it a long hard look at the very least.

What if there’s a tribal vampire deck? It’s very possible vampire tribal is competitive at the beginning of the season, even if it’s not successful. The tribal appeal can’t be ignored when considering this card whether it be casual, competitive or both. Stromkirk Noble could have even more demand than last year, and it’s very possible that it hits $10 again, making the $1.99 in trade it takes to get them today a bargain. Pick them up before people figure it out.

— Paul Feudo
@plfeudo

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