Finance in a Flash: Souls will Linger

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

Finance in a Flash: Souls will Linger

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?

Predator Ooze is $3 on Starcitygames? Or that Increasing Savagery is sold out at $2?

What about Baleful Strix being sold out at $10? Despite the initial hype and success of Shardless Agent in Gerry T’s Hypergenesis deck, Baleful Strix is now tied for the most expensive card in Planechase 2012 with Sakashima’s Student. They’re both in the Night of the Ninja deck.

Sublime Archangel’s TCG mid price is over $23, making it the most expensive card in M13 based on this metric. This is all based on casual appeal as the card has put up almost no results competitively; it could become very expensive if that ever changes.

Quick hits

1. The Golgari guild leader is a zombie-elf. If Overgrown Tomb is reprinted a B/G zombie list could have up to 12 green sources that will also cast Geralf’s Messenger.

2. M13 intro packs come with two boosters rather than the single pack previous iterations contained, 1/5 also have a foil Talrand, Sky Summoner.

3. Woodland Cemetery and Sulfur Falls respective guilds are both going to be in Return to Ravnica, demand for these should go up quite a bit come October.

4. Michael Kenney’s Grixis Control deck took second place at the TCG Player 5k in Columbus and featured not only Nicol Bolas, but Chandra, the Firebrand as well. The metagame has been missing a control deck, and more importantly from a financial perspective, control players have been missing a control deck. I wouldn’t go out of my way to pick up large quantities of either of the two planeswalkers yet, but keep your eyes open.

5. There were four Thundermaw Hellkites spread across three decks in the top 16 of TCG Columbus. This is the most we’ve seen of the ‘Red Baneslayer’ in quite a while, something to keep in mind if you come across people looking to get rid of theirs after being scorned by its very high release price.

6. Temporal Mastery is a four of in RUG Ramp which has top 4’d and won the last two SCG opens respectively. Mastery is a mythic that the public wants to be good, $9.99 seems cheap.

7. A Trading Post deck got tenth at SCGKC, giving validation to goat aficionados around the world. If this deck or something like it ever becomes even tier 1.5, people will build it just for the cool factor.

8. We saw Cathedral of War at its best in Nick Marriott’s infect deck at SCGKC, and it was insane. People are going to start trying it in decks without the infect mechanic soon enough, and I expect people to be asking for this card a lot over the next month.

9. Everyone knows the same thing you do about Commander’s Arsenal, which is not much. Our community loves to overreact when news comes out, it’s important to keep your head and not rush into a decision about whether to buy something without knowing the facts.

10. Now is not the time to pick up rotating Scars block/ M12 cards unless the deal is insane, wait until November/ December, when everyone is knee deep in Return to Ravnica goodness.

The Last Word

I think Lingering Souls is the best midterm speculation in standard right now (about six months). It has won a Legacy GP, a Modern GP, and top 4’d a Pro Tour, and is obviously very powerful. It was on SCG for $3.50 after Jon Finkel and Co. played Esper Spirits at PT Dark Ascension and has dropped down to $2.49 while not putting up a lot of results in standard the last few months. Think about that, it’s a $2+ dollar uncommon in Standard that isn’t winning anything. How expensive would it be with some results? Within a month or two of the release of GateCrash with all of its Orzhov guild goodness, I think Lingering Souls will hit $5 on the more expensive sites.

$5 is a lot for an uncommon in Standard, and there is not a lot of historical evidence to look back on with which to compare; however one card in particular comes to mind, Bloodbraid Elf. Bloodbraid Elf hit absurd prices while it was in Standard ($3.50 per the Black Lotus Project and higher at retail locations), which was at least in part due to it being in the ‘short print’ set of its block just like Lingering Souls. Bloodbraid Elf went into one kind of deck with a few very odd exceptions, dominated, and there were calls to ban it within the community. I do not think Lingering Souls is quite as good as Bloodbraid Elf, but it is also not far behind, and much more flexible. Lingering Souls fits into a variety of deck types: aggressive decks like tokens, aggro control decks like Esper Spirits, various control decks like Solar Flare, as well as more unconventional decks like Frites. It’s not unreasonable to expect Lingering Souls to be everywhere in Standard once there are actual B/W cards in Standard beyond the very disappointing Sorin, Lord of Innistrad and a potential shock land to help splash it in more ambitious mana bases, along with a price tag that reflects its popularity.

Populate Huh?

Selesnya’s guild mechanic is about making more tokens. This seems insane with Intangible Virtue, which I like a lot as a short term speculation for the Standard format after Return to Ravnica is released. B/W tokens was the deck to beat when Dark Ascension got released, and while it was quickly put in its place, the base in White for a very good deck is there with a few more cards (The Black in B/W tokens was for Lingering Souls flashback, Vault of the Archangel, and playing Sorin). I can’t pretend to know exactly how a G/W Selesnya token or G/W/B Junk token deck (adding the Black elements of the old B/W deck, especially Lingering Souls as well as any Golgari cards we might want) will look, but I do know it will have four Intangible Virtue.

Intangible Virtue is $1.49 on SCG almost exclusively based on casual demand and tier 2/3 standard decks. With an influx of token related cards the casual demand will go up because people want to play with the new RTR cards, while competitive demand will also go up due to people wanting to see if any token strategies are Tier 1. In the super long term, this is the type of uncommon that will be worth a lot just due to casual appeal, however I think the increased demand that will come with the release of RTR could cause the card to double in price very easily in the coming few months.

—Paul Feudo
@plfeudo

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