Bang for your Buck: Investing in Cards before Gatecrash – Multicolor
Disclaimer: I can not be held responsible for any poor decisions I make in regards to any cards you might buy in response to my article. I’m going to post my thoughts and plead my case for each card I recommend, and if you agree then by all means head out to your local gaming store or buy cards online and try to snap up some good deals. I’m basing my information off of months of standard gaming experience as well as prices in my area and how they’ve reacted to the ever changing metagame. I can only hope that the decisions I make are good ones and that my gamble pays off after buying the featured cards.
We’ve reached our third article. Phew. Did you buy anything since my last post? I picked up another Vault of the Archangel for 100 yen (about $1.20) and also bought a few Gilded Lotus that were on sale for about 100 yen for a friend of mine. The Gatecrash spoiler has now reached 122/249 cards, and we’re starting to get a good feel for the guilds as well as the flavor. Speaking of which, this set wins for best flavor EVER. Ogre Slumlord? Put a 1/1 deathtouch rat into play whenever a non-token creature dies? Awesome. Murder Investigation – put X 1/1 soldiers into play equal to enchanted creature’s power when it dies. I can just imagine these things happening in real time. Ravnica is full of interesting characters and the story that is told through the cards adds a lot of depth to the game as well. Not only will people be playing smash your face in magic, but some people will be creating their own narratives (not literally) through how their cards interact through synergy with others. One thing’s for sure, after Gatecrash we’re going to see a lot more creative and fun decks at Friday Night Magic.
Today’s post focuses on the multicolor cards that Wizards of the Coast has released over the last year and a half. The Return to Ravnica block has flooded us with a tidal wave of new multicolor cards, but before that they were few and far between. Since there was only one multicolor card from M13, I’m going to put the first two sets together.
M13 and Avacyn Restored Multicolor cards
While our good friend Sigarda, Host of Herons has been absolutely great in Selesnya midrange and Bant decks, the angel that has the most to gain from Gatecrash is Gisela, Blade of Goldnight. Months ago she did see some play in a few RBW Frites decks which could sneak her into play early, but since then she has seen almost zero play. Recently I have seen her appear in a few Grixis/Frites hybrid decks that splashed white for Unburial Rites to use her as their finisher, but since she was released, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight never really reached the level of her sister Sigarda, Host of Herons. Could it change? The addition of Orzhov and Boros lands could bring RBW control decks to the forefront. Red already has lots of great removal such as Bonfire of the Damned and Mizzium Mortars, and with black you get spot removal like Ultimate Price. Throw in some Obzedat, Ghost Council and you have a potent flickering creature that could pop in for 10 damage when teamed up with Gisela. I’ve recently seen Gisela as low as 368 yen ($4) at some stores, and for that price picking up one might not be a bad idea.
Nicol Bolas is another card that could see some more play after Gatecrash is release due to the new Dimir lands and more powerful control cards being release. I’ve seen him as low as 210 yen (about $2.50) at some places, and at that price he’s an absolute steal! If you can get him for around $3, I think two would be a perfect fit for a Grixis control deck.
Dark Ascension Multicolor cards
Let’s face it, if you haven’t already bought your Huntmaster of the Fells, you’re not going to get him any cheaper. He’s reached his peak and should remain there for the remainder of his time in standard. Four mana for 2 creatures and 2 life is amazing value (not to mention his flip side). Falkenrath Aristocrat and Sorin, Lord of Innistrad have also maintained their values through a very turbulent metagame, and with Orzhov set to take center stage again, you can be sure Sorin, Lord of Innistrad will see a brief spike in popularity as more Orzhov decks come out. These cards should keep their value easily after the new set, but the card I’d like to talk about is Havengul Lich.
I don’t know if you heard, but this guild called Dimir likes to mill cards out of your library. Oh, and it also has access to a new card in Gatecrash called Realmwright which lets you add a basic land type to all the lands you control. If you add Chromatic Lanterns to the mix, you’ll have plenty of ways to reanimate the creatures you milled into a graveyard with Havengul Lich. He’s currently selling between $3-$5 and I think you’ll be seeing a lot more of him in control decks after Gatecrash. He also isn’t a legend, so if you find a good deal it wouldn’t hurt to pick up a play set of him.
Innistrad Multicolor cards
The deals to be had for Innistrad multicolors were when Geist of Saint Traft was $10 and Olivia Voldaren was about $7 back when the set first came out. Since then both cards have ballooned in price, and only recently has Olivia Voldaren come back down in price a bit with the lack of interest in Jund control and Jund aggro decks. I don’t think any of these cards will go up or lose value once Gatecrash is released. The metagame is full of different strategies right now so everybody is looking for various cards instead of scrambling for the same one. Sure you’ll see spikes in price prior to big events like Grand Prix and Invitationals, but the prices usually stabilize a few weeks afterwards and you can get cards like Olivia at a good price then.
Return to Ravnica Multicolor cards
Yikes, now we get into the thick of things. We were blessed with dozens of multicolor cards in Return to Ravnica, but which ones will see more play once Gatecrash cards find their way into various metagames? I think cards like Sphinx’s Revelation and Deathrite Shaman will keep their value, but the other cards will all depend on what becomes big in the metagame. Let’s take a look at a few decks that will probably get big after Gatecrash and how their rise to popularity will affect card prices.
If GRW decks become big again, I think Armada Wurm (currently $5) could gain in value, but nowhere near the $20 it was at originally. Loxodon Smiter (currently $3) was another card that saw a lot of play in GW aggro a few months ago, but has been opened so much that I think there is more supply than demand at this point. However, it’s a perfect fit for Naya. It’s speed and power when coupled with Gruul’s new Bloodrush ability should make for some interesting turn 3s.
Bant, or WGU decks have already seen a lot of play in the current metagame. Access to Sphinx’s Revelation, Thragtusk, and Angel of Serenity has made this a deck to reckoned with. Supreme Verdict ($3.80) is another card that is rather cheap right now that I think has the potential to rise in price. Supreme Verdict is currently being used in Bant and UWR, but once the next set is release it will also fit into WBU decks. Detention Sphere ($3.30) is another card that is currently undervalued in my opinion. It’s great against Tokens, Planeswalkers, as well as other enchantments. Oblivion Ring might be easier to cast, but Detention Sphere takes out multiple things. Armada Wurm is another card that could go up in value due to this deck type as well.
Grixis (BRU) hasn’t gotten too much love from Return to Ravnica, but I think more people will be playing it come February. The mana fixing really isn’t the problem (Steam Vents, Blood Crypt, plus the M13 lands), but it could use some stronger cards. Dimir should fill that role nicely. Lazav, Dimir Mastermind and Duskmantle Guildmage will be great in Grixis control, and spells like Hands of Binding or Dimir Charm will definitely find their way into some decks. Another great card for Grixis decks that is a PERFECT fit for mill themed Dimir decks is Rakdos’s Return. At one time this card’s price was on par with Sphinx’s Revelation, but now it’s only a 3rd of it ($5.50). My bet is that Rakdos’s Return will see a nice increase a few weeks, and maybe even double in price when Grixis becomes big.
How will Gruul change Jund players’ strategy? Will the addition of Stomping Ground open up new strategies in Jund (GBR)? I’m kind of feeling the Molten Primordial in Jund control, and some of the other cards would be good in Jund aggro, but for the most part I think Rakdos’s Return will be the big winner. However, you shouldn’t count out Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord ($2) just yet either. One thing Gruul will give us is MASSIVE creatures.
Let’s say you just attacked with a Ghor-Clan Rampager (one of the best uncommons in the set in my opinion), you then Bloodrush another one for 8 damage, and then sacrifice it to Jarad so that your opponent loses another 8 for a total of 16 damage on one turn. Sure you could use Fling to do the same thing, but Jarad is reusable and you can Fling him afterwards for the final points of damage. He can also be brought back from the dead which is a pretty useful skill. Gruul will definitely give you a lot of fodder to play with in the graveyard, and I think Jarad would fit nicely into these aggressive strategies. At $2 a pop, you can’t go wrong with 2 or 3 of him.
While not in Jund or any of these other colors, Corpsejack Menace ($0.80) might see increased play in BUG decks alongside the Simic Evolve mechanic. Putting two +1/+1 counters on all your evolving creatures after you flash something in could suddenly destroy your opponent if they chose not to block.
Next time on Bang for your Buck
Three down, five more to go. I can say with certainty that the next article will cover one of the main colors (probably white). Multicolor was fun and I seriously can’t believe how cheap some of these cards are at the moment. Is it because so many packs of RTR were opened and there is a lot of supply? Or is it because nobody wants these cards? Well, whatever the reason is, it’s lucky for you and I. I know we all wish we could have bought Thragtusks at $10 each, or Craterhoof Behmoths when they were $3, but sometimes thems the breaks. A month after the release of Gatecrash I’d like to revisit my choices and see how much money I could have saved (or lost). I think I’ll finish in the black overall, but only time will tell. Thanks for reading and see you next time! Look for another article right around the time the full spoiler gets posted. I hope you can find some good deals!