Finance in a Flash: Chaos in Standard

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Finance in a Flash Banner

Two consecutive Standard Tournaments and everything’s gone crazy. Unfortunately Standard is not a buyer’s market anymore, prices everywhere have already jumped (or skyrocketed in some cases) and I would be looking to lighten if not get rid of most of my Standard stock in the immediate future.

Hero’s Downfall (I can’t be the only person who calls this Hero’s Demise, right?) is $15 TCG Mid! There were 18 copies in the Top 8 of GP Louisville so this makes sense …kind of, if this was a creature I probably wouldn’t look twice at that price, but it feels very odd for a removal spell. I guess this is what happens when Doom Blade and Rampant Growth are printed at rare (Sylvan Cartyatid is $7 despite the Promo, which also seems insane). Needless to say, as with almost all Theros cards I would be cashing out now and look to buy back in during November and early December.

Rakdos’s Return is the future. This card is obviously a giant beating, but I think its particularly good in a world where people are trying to play lots of permanents over the first 3 turns to set up Devotion. X = 3 is going to end a lot of games before they really start vs these strategies and the card has always been devastating against the slower decks that are only going to become more prevalent as the format develops. I think this card hits $12 once it finds a home.

It was announced this week that Jace, Architect of Thought is going to be in a Duel Deck this March and naturally people freaked out. While understandable, this seems insane to me; Jace is a staple of the upcoming PTQ season and there will be plenty of people more concerned about finishing their deck that morning then what their cards will be worth tomorrow much less a few weeks and/or months from then. There’s no reason not to help anyone out who’s looking to offload their Jaces months ahead of the reprint and I have no doubt the good deed will pay off.

Pack Rat and Underworld Connections are both up to $2 TCG Mid., these are probably still free in trades for a week or two and I think there might be room to grow even at the new price. These cards are not just playable in Mono Black and I expect them to have expanded roles over the next few months.
I’m very curious to see whether Cyclonic Rift’s new price of $4 TCG Mid. is sustainable (its more than Detention Sphere and almost as much as Mizzium Mortars). Rift’s recent rise has been solely because of the success of the Mono Blue Devotion deck and it will likely need another home to maintain these gains.

At the very least this deck is awesome though the greedy part of me desperately wants to splash Red. Regardless of whether the above list has any kind of sustained success, it illustrates the destiny of Cyclonic Rift over the next few months, one of the premier interaction cards in Nykthos strategies. Because of the permanent density required to make the engine run properly, spell slots are at a premium and need to be high impact while being easy to cast which puts Rift at or near the top of a very short list. I doubt Rift can go above $6-7 this year which makes this a trade target rather than a buy, however the price memory is also very low so people will likely still be undervaluing them for a little while longer.

There isn’t much else I’d be targeting aggressively because nearly everything that is being played has already had significant price increases. Domri Rade made its jump during the Summer and has been relatively stagnant since then, something I think is due to change.

Domri 10.23

The popularity of Hero’s Downfall has made Standard a pretty hostile place for most Planeswalkers, especially coming out of control decks with limited alternative targets. Domri has no such problem, as almost any deck he’s in will have a high threat density which should help keep him safe. I think we’re only going to see more of him as the new Standard gets slower and grindier like it always does. He isn’t a cash play at $27 TCG Mid., but I wouldn’t hesitate to pick copies up in trade.

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