Bang for your Buck: Investing in cards before Gatecrash – Green
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.
At this point I should change the title to “Investing in cards in Gatecrash Standard”, but that would be too long. As I write this Gatecrash has been on sale for one weekend already. What cards have been selling really well where you live? Sacred Foundry has gone up to as much as 1800 yen in some places (about $19) and Boros Reckoner has hit 1000 yen ($11) almost everywhere you go, but cards like Prime Speaker Zegana ($12) and Master Biomancer ($10) have been staying relatively stable. This probably means there will be a lot of Boros and Naya players in the coming weeks, so I hope you’re prepared for those types of decks. Today I’ll be covering green so let’s get started.
M13 Green Cards
If we’re talking about green and M13, then we’re going to have to talk about Thragtusk. Skullcrack is going to make a lot of players that use this beast angry. It’s no longer a surefire way to gain 5 life. I’m going to guess that it will drop in price a little bit because of this, but will still see a lot of play. If you’ve always wanted one I think you should be able to find them relatively cheaply in the next few weeks. It looks like they’re going for $18 right now, but I think they’ll go even lower. Garruk, Primal Hunter on the other hand, should hold his value. Green/Red, Jund, and Naya decks will become more popular because of access to new land, so a lot of the power cards in green should remain unchanged. If I’m going to bet on a card to get big, I’m going to say Quirion Dryad.
Many people forgot about Quirion Dryad, but she had a great few weeks towards the end of the summer when UG Delver and RUG Delver were making some tournament appearances. She got big very quick in those types of decks (thanks for Phyrexian cards like Gitaxian Probe), and I think it’s about time that Delver made a comeback in Simic, alongside Quirion Dryad. Notice that she’ll still get bigger from Simic spells because it meets the “blue spell” criteria. She’s going for about $0.60 each right now, and it wouldn’t be too hard to get a playset of her before the goes up. Yeva, Nature’s Herald is another undervalued card from M13. For 4 mana you can flash a 4/4 creature onto the battlefield, and on top of that she’ll give flash to all of your other creatures as well. Want to flash in a Wolfir Silverheart? Go ahead. Want to flash in a Thragtusk? Be my guest. If control gets big (and it will), creatures with flash will be a good way to play around it. She also allows you to flash in Master Biomancer and Prime Speaker Zegana. If Simic evolve decks get big, I think she will too.
Avacyn Restored Green cards
Avacyn Restored has a few cards that I think could take off in this new metagame. There are also a few that I think are going to decrease further in value. For example, I believe that Craterhoof Behemoth will drop in value over the next month or so. It was at its peak when it was $15-18, and from here on out I think it will hover around $6-8. It’s still a staple of GWB Reanimator decks, and might see some more play as people tweak Frites and reanimator, but I think there are so many other choices in the metagame right now that it won’t hit the prices that it hit before when choices were more limited. Primal Surge might see some more fringe play as well, but I don’t think it will go up that much in price. There are 2 cards that I think are undervalued right now and that I believe will go up in price in the next few weeks: Wolfir Silverheart and Champion of Lambholt.
Wolfir Silverheart is current selling for about $3 each, and in the past he demanded a $10 price tag. This was back when Naya aggro decks were big, and Birthing Pod was still in standard. Those decks had access to 2 types of dual lands (Copperline Gorge, Razorverge Thicket, etc), but once those cards rotated it became harder to play that type of deck. Now that Stomping Ground, Breeding Pool, and Sacred Foundry are standard legal, I think there will be an increase in both Naya, Simic, and RUG decks and Wolfir Silverheart packs quite a wallop in any of these decks. He adds an evolve trigger in Simic decks, and makes any creature he soulbounds with a threat.
Speaking of Simic decks, Champion of Lambholt seems like an amazing card choice in the new meta. On turn 3 (or two if you’re using mana acceleration), it won’t do much on the board, but as you put more creatures into play it will get bigger and bigger, along with your evolving creatures. It doesn’t even need to attack or have counters on it to be effective. You can cast a Simic Charm on it and suddenly all of your creatures can’t be blocked by anything with a power under 4. This makes Master Biomancer even better to play with because if you drop a Champion of Lambholt when it’s in play, she’ll come in as a 3/3, POSSIBLY evolve your other creatures, and then make many of your creatures almost unblockable. I really think Champion of Lambholt will see some play once Simic decks take off, so get yours now while the price isn’t too bad (about $1.50).
Dark Ascension Green Cards
Increasing Savagery has seen a lot of play in Bant hexproof decks as of late, and as long as that archetype stays strong I think the card will stay above bulk rare status like it was before. Predator Ooze is another card that I think will keep it’s value in DKA since it works well in mono green beatdown decks as well as a variety of others as an anti-control card. Vorapede was another card that saw some play before, but I don’t see where it could fit in the metagame anymore. Simic perhaps? Maybe a Golgari deck? I like the card but I don’t think it will become popular anytime soon.
Innistrad Green cards
Innistrad green has a few good cards, but nothing mind blowing. Garruk Relentless should continue to see some play and hold his value and Mayor of Avabruck should hold his value but not break out of GW Humans which is the only place you’ll find him right now. I always wanted to see somebody take advantage of Kessig Cagebreakers (BG Golgari always seemed like a winner but I guess the meta won’t allow it), but I don’t think it will see too much action in the new meta. The same can also be said for Tree of Redemption. Outside of a Simic deck sideboard as both an evolve trigger and a way to stay alive against fast aggro decks, I don’t think the Tree of Redemption will change value much.
Return to Ravnica Green cards
The only card out of RTR that I think might see some more play in the metagame is Deadbridge Goliath. Some Bant hexproof players were using him instead of (or in conjunction with) Increasing Savagery, and I could see him fitting in that mold, but he could also see some play in some Golgari aggro or Gruul aggro decks in the future. While this is unlikely, I think that 50 cents a copy isn’t bad and you can probably find him for cheaper than that in some places. It wouldn’t hurt to have some copies of him, and since he’s not rotating until 2014 you’ll get more use out of him in the future.
I heard that some players were testing out Wild Beastmaster in Bloodrush decks (because you can stack the bloodrush on top of her trigger to give everybody a bonus), but it seems like there are other cards that are just better than her. Maybe after rotation in October? Another card that I wish somebody would brew with is Worldspine Wurm. At 11 mana you’re not going to play him anywhere before your dead in the current aggro environment . I did however see an interesting brew from a local player here in Nagoya, Japan that was using Descendant’s Path from Avacyn’s Restored in a mono green Wurm deck. The idea was to start early with cards like Boneyard Wurm and play the Path so you can start putting other Wurm creature cards into play from your deck. Elderscale Wurm was in there to keep you alive, and of course Worldspine Wurm was in there as your finisher. I believe he had 2 Descendant’s Path because he was playing Elves as a second type to act as both card draw (Elvish Visionary) and mana (Arbor Elves). It was an interesting idea, but I don’t think it will take off.
Overall Return to Ravnica green cards should stay pretty cheap for the foreseeable future.
Next time on Bang for your Buck
I’m down to my last color finally, and I want to thank you all for sticking around. I’m feeling pretty confident about my three featured green choices in this article, so if you find the cards cheap and don’t mind speculating a little bit pick them up. GR and GRW aggro have already started to take off here in Nagoya and I’d expect them to keep their popularity for the next few weeks as people test the waters and see which deck is best. Next time I’ll be covering red, so be sure to come back in a few days and check it out. Thanks for reading, and as always comments and suggestions are welcome!