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Finance in a Flash: Death to Snapcaster

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Finance, Magic Culture

Did You Know?

Angel of Glory’s Rise is $2.50 on SCG. Lots of people still consider this bulk and its a great throw-in card. Similarly Predator Ooze is $2.00 TCG Mid ($4 SCG). Many players aren’t taking the Ooze seriously despite it placing 2nd in the MOCS championship in a B/G beat down deck that Brian Kibler revealed at the SCG Invitational.

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is almost $7 TCG Mid. Most people still think it’s $4-5 and this card’s potential in both the short and long-term is fantastic.

Quick Hits

  1. I was trading for Jace, Architect of Thought for between $16-18 this weekend. I suggest you do the same. Similarly, cards like Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice and Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius are dirt cheap and great trade pick ups.
  2. Master of the Pearl Trident is a great pick up before the January previews start. Remember, the Merfolk deck doesn’t have to be good for the card to go up–people just need to want to make it. At a little over $2 TCG Mid, you’re not risking much.
  3. I’m very big on Evil Twin and Havengul Lich. They’re obviously both fairly powerful and with Dimir coming soon, I like their upside. Evil Twin is a trade throw-in so any growth will make you money. Lich is a DKA Mythic, which will spike hard if it spikes and has enough casual appeal to keep its value if it doesn’t take off in Standard.
  4. Clifftop Retreat is very hot right now, combining anticipatory interest from Gatecrash and its overall popularity in the current Standard format. I never hesitate picking these up and recommend you do the same since the card could have a similar trajectory to Woodland Cemetery during the weeks leading up to Return to Ravnica’s release.
  5. There was a Bant control deck in 9th place at SCG Vegas that main-decked Rest in Peace along with Misthollow Griffin. Financially, this would not be interesting if the Griffin was not a $1 Mythic. Fortunately, it is a $1 Mythic and a reasonable buy-low that people thrown in all the time at the end of trades.
  6. Mono Red won the MOCS this weekend. This is really the only competitive budget option in Standard regardless of position in the metagame. Stromkirk Noble, Ash Zealot, and Hellrider are great binder stock that have potential to grow come Gatecrash when we get Boros and Gruul to play with.
  7. Between the MOCS and the two SCG events this weekend there were several white-based human aggressive decks in the top 16s. Keep an eye out for copies of Champion of the Parish that people have given up on–we could see a run on them soon if the deck is real. It’s also never a bad idea to pick up Cavern of Souls.
  8. Aluren exploded last week, and is now over $20 TCG Mid. I’m staying away from this one. There’s no information to explain it and the entry point is awful.
  9. Inkmoth Nexus is my favorite spec target left for Modern–even more so than Razorverge Thicket. Many of the other targets from earlier in the year have already taken a preseason bump and the entry point isn’t very good anymore (Mox Opal, fetch lands, Inquisition of Kozilek, etc.).
  10. Shardless Agent showed up in some of the BUG Legacy decks at the SCG Invitational, and could very easily equal or surpass Baleful Strix in price if the card becomes a mainstay. BUG appears poised to stay for the foreseeable future.

Last Word

Snapcaster Mage is the golden boy; arguably the best invitational card ever made and certainly in the top 2. There was never an argument against its long-term financial viability and many people felt it was destined to see prices tags in the same range as Dark Confidant a few years down the line as the game continued to grow. It may be time to revise that narrative now that Deathrite Shaman’s potential in Eternal formats is being realized.

Deathrite Shaman is of course very powerful in formats where its mana ability is fully utilized. It is also a complete beating against Snapcaster Mage. If Snapcaster is destined to be an eternal staple for all time and have a price to reflect that, shouldn’t we be seeing more of it in the Eternal format Wizards is actually pushing?

Deathrite Shaman1

Jund’s dominance certainly has a large influence on these numbers, but Deathrite Shaman’s flexibility means it hasn’t been limited to a single archetype.

Deathrite Shaman2

These numbers are of course significantly less staggering but they also discount 25 percent of the total decklists so take them for what you will.

Deathrite Shaman3

There were 24 Deathrite Shaman and 16 Snapcaster Mage in the Top 8 Legacy decks of the SCG LA Invitational. Most of the Deathrite Shaman were in BUG lists which exploded in popularity over the weekend. It will be interesting to see where the metagame goes come GP Denver at the beginning of the new year and whether Deathrite’s continued popularity will supress Snapcaster. I think the next few months will tell us a lot about where Deathrite Shaman can and can’t go in Legacy, which will in turn tell us how playable Snapcaster Mage is in the format and give us a better idea of its long-term potential.

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