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Finance in a Flash: Eye of the Beholder

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

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Did you know?

Consuming Aberration and Mind Grind are almost $2 each. It’s easy to pick these up for $1 in trade, if not for free, which is a pretty good deal considering they buylist for $1. Just like the Increasing cycle from Dark Ascension last year, these are free money for people who do their homework. (These type of throw-ins are a great way to help pay for GP weekends and are always worth your time. A long box full of Aberrations, Grinds, Utvara Hellkites ($.75-$1 buylist), and Worldspine Wurms ($.75-$1 buylists) can easily cover most of a trip’s expenses.)

Quick Hits

1. Immortal Servitude has seen fringe play in gimmicky decks like the one Scotty Mac played last week for Compulsive Research. We’re going to be hearing about this card until it rotates out of Standard because its flashy effect is always going to appeal to a certain type of rogue deckbuilder and Shadowborn Apostle should only increase its popularity. Deathrite Shaman, Rest in Peace and Scavenging Ooze will keep any graveyard strategy in check in Standard, but decks don’t need to be good for people to want to build them. Immortal Servitude could hit $2-$3 at some point in the next year and is easy to pick up for practically nothing.

2. Nightveil Specter was really popular at Pro Tour Dragon’s Maze, particularly as a way to break the Esper Mirror. Block Pro Tour results don’t guarantee Standard success, but Specter is less than $1, and can buylist as high as $.5 with a unique enough effect that will interest many casual players. This is another great card to pick up as a throw-in and put in a box for a little while to hold or just sell at your next big event.

3. Didgeridoo is the latest out-of-print card from the ’90s to get bought out on TCGPlayer. They were already buylisting for more than $1 due to interest based on rumors of Theros having Minotaurs, and I think that number will only go up as more people start thinking about the fall expansion. This is another piece of bulk-box gold that has been sitting around for years.

4. Coalition Relic is up to $9 TCG Mid and the lowest copy on eBay is $7, which is quite the jump considering TCG was $4-$5 a few days ago. The market will adjust in a few days but I doubt the card drops below $7 due to its casual popularity, and any extra copies you pick up at the old number will be easy to move.

5. Varolz, the Scar-Striped is poised to rise by the fall’s rotation. It’s relatively cheap ($3-$4) and saw play outside of Standard in the ninth-place Stifle Naught deck at SCG St. Louis a few weeks ago. Its also a popular Commander card (free sacrifice outlets are always needed in the format), both as a general and a combo piece. The low initial investment combined with competitive (possibly across multiple formats!) and casual demand should make Varolz rise to $6-plus once Dragon’s Maze is done being opened.

6. It’s time to start dumping Restoration Angel and other Innistrad block Standard staples. While it’s possible Liliana of the Veil and Snapcaster Mage hold most of their value, almost everything else is going to start tanking soon if it hasn’t already (check out what Huntmaster of the Fells is at these days). Buylist prices are already starting to go down, and its worth your time to find a big Standard tournament to go to in order to unload what you have to people trying to finish their decks before the event.

Last Word

The second wave of Modern Masters is coming soon, and with it will come the set’s floor. The Modern staples are an easy six-month hold (or whenever the next Modern season is if the PTQ schedule is drastically changed because of the newly added fourth Pro Tour), so buy or trade for them over the next few weeks and be patient. That said, it’s a poor idea to ignore the casual cards that Wizards shoehorned into the set. Casual demand is year-round, and cards like Divinity of Pride and Sarkhan Vol are strong bets that inherently have less risk than most tournament staples — their price recovery isn’t dependent on the community’s continued acceptance of Modern, but rather the growth of the game itself.

However, the most interesting cards financially are the alternate art versions of Eternal staples, particularly the foils. Unless the art is very poorly received, these will be more expensive than original versions and harder to find within a year.

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