1. Purphoros, God of the Forge brings the pain. Ebay is nearing $20 and that feels about right for this guy heading into Prerelease weekend. I expected Red to be very good at the beginning of Theros Standard and Purphoros should be putting up results right away but I doubt he goes over $35 barring something odd happening. That said, all of the Gods will have casual appeal, and it has yet to be seen whether they’ll be getting an extra price bump a la Angels, Dragons, or Planeswalkers, but I assume foil copies will be worth infinite in the beginning of October.
2. Context is everything. Stormbreath Dragon is not Thundermaw Hellkite, but just as Thundermaw felt tailor made to deal with Lingering Souls Theros’ new Dragon looks ready to punish people for playing with Sphinx’s Revelation (because over 60% of Standard will be from a multicolor block, its important to evaluate protections appropriately in this environment and understand how insane they can be. (Blood Baron of Vizkopa I’m looking at you).
Despite the obvious comparison to Thundermaw Hellkite, Stormbreath Dragon will probably never hit $40+ outside of the first week or two that Theros is out. Its important to remember that an obscene amount of Theros packs are going to be opened this October, especially in comparison to a Core Set. This feels like a $25 card to me, I wouldn’t be surprised if it hit $30, and I’d try to trade for them if it goes much below $20 before PTQ Season this winter, though we are being spoon fed a Big Red deck so I’m not sure that’ll happen (Ebay has buy it nows as low as $15, which isn’t enough to make much money on, but its a great price to get in at if you’re looking copies to play with right when the set is released).
3. Xenagos, the Reveler is by far the most interesting Theros card spoiled to date. My initial thought was using him as a role player in ramp decks alongside Garruk, Caller of Beasts assuming there was something appropriately absurd to ramp into, but he can do so much more than that. For instance he seems very good alongside Domri Rade in a Burning-Tree Emissary deck, where he can make your Polukranos, World Eater and Stormbreath Dragon get monstrous in a hurry. I don’t think we know enough to properly evaluate Xenagos yet (for all I know he’s the next Bloodbraid Elf), which makes him a stay away for me, but that could very easily change by prerelease weekend because the potential is certainly there.
4. Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx sold out several times last weekend before stabalizing at $10 on SCG with Ebay between $8-10. While this was happening people claimed ludicrous things like it’d be a 4 of in every Standard deck, and Deathrite Shaman would be tapping for mana all the time because people would be killing their extra copies to ramp harder. Calm down, the card is fine, and its probably pretty good in the Garruk, Caller of Beasts deck if it actually exists. It also seems great in Commander, and I love foils as a long-term pick up. That said, there is almost no way I am paying $10 for a rare in Theros that isn’t a reprint.
5. I understand that its fairly obvious that some of the double and triple Hybrid cost cards will see lots of play by people trying to hit Devotion early and often. So what? Boros Reckoner is going to see a ton of play alongside Purphoros, God of the Forge and Burning-Tree Emissary is going to be freaking everywhere. I think Reckoner will hit $15 fairly quickly with an outside shot at $20+ and Emissary will be $3-4 by Standard PTQ Season (it’s worth noting Nightveil Spectre saw some play at PT Dragon’s Maze and can be bought for next to nothing, I can think of worse ways to try to hit big).
6. So Gods are coming, moreover this is going to be an Enchantment block. Detention Sphere, Merciless Eviction, and Wear / Tear are all great buy lows that should see a surge in popularity. I think Sphere and the split card should see very solid gains and are fairly safe investments while Eviction could make you a lot of money if it hits.
7. Elspeth, Sun’s Champion feels clunky and fairly unimpressive. She’s closing on Ebay around $18-20 and I wouldn’t touch her at that price. She is never going to be a 4 of at 6 mana, and suffers very much from being a jack of all trades, master of none. It’s not all bad though, she does kill off Blood Baron of Vizkopa and Stormbreath Dragon without costing her controller a card which is a pretty good deal. I think Elspeth is going to drop fairly quickly once Theros is released is a stay away for the next few months.
8. Mizzium Mortars is going to be very good. Bonfire of the Damned is rotating, and people are going to need to kill Blood Barons and/or clear an opponent’s board to turn their Devotion off. Much like Sphere this feels like a very safe investment, you can buy these for between $2-3 and I think they’ll hit $6+ during this Standard Season while being played all over the place.
9. Hail to the king, Thoughtseize is back. Its a rare, and its going to drop from its preorder price of $20-25. I think it stabilizes around $15 which is pretty reasonable, and I’d make sure I had my set to play with while people are still drafting triple Theros. Thoughseize coming back of course begs the question, what happens to Inquisition of Kozilek now? Not much of anything really, the narrative that Inquisition is not only played as a fifth discard spell in Modern is just not accurate. Thoughtseize is played more out of the sideboard from decks like Affinity, but all of the B/G(/X/x?) midrange strategies played a 2-3 or 3-3 split and I expect Inquisition to hit $10+ in June.
Dragon’s Maze and M14 Mythics are going to be worth serious money if there’s any demand for them over the next year. Blood Baron of Vizkopa and Progenitor Mimic in particular feel very underpriced and should make you serious money if they see any competitive play (Mimic will see a long-term bump regardless because of EDH). Keep an eye out for cheap copies of Chandra, Pyromaster, Primeval Bounty, and Ral Zerek as well because the supply is going to dry up quickly once people start playing Standard again.
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