Bang for your Buck: Investing in Cards for Dragon’s Maze – Black

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.

Before another busy week of work is on top of me (and before Dragon’s Maze Game Day next weekend), I have another color and more cards to suggest for you investors out there. Black has seen a steady rise in play over the months. Various BR aggro decks, Jund (both control and midrange), Esper control decks, zombies . . . the list goes on and on. The Rakdos, Golgari, and Orzhov guilds have really helped to bring black back to the metagame, and I don’t forsee the color dropping in popularity any time soon. Before I go over my new suggestions, lets take a look at my choices from last time.

Previous Black Card suggestions

  • Disciple of Bolas – While I like this card, he never saw any play and his price dropped to about $0.60. Bad call on my part.
  • Liliana of the Dark Realms – She was around $10 before and I said I didn’t see her changing in value too much and I was right. She has hovered around that price for a while and is sitting at $8.50 right now. If she’s reprinted in M14 I could see her keeping her value. 
  • Killing Wave – Killing Wave didn’t see any increase in play, and it’s price didn’t change much. Another wiff on my part. 
  • Geralf’s Messenger – This is tough to explain. In my experience he’s still a good creature and is demanding at least a $10 price tag in Japan, but in the USA he’s down to $3.50. This is more a difference in meta than me being wrong. I still think he has some “un”life in him. 
  • Liliana of the Veil – I said she’d see some more play but didn’t expect her price to change too much, but boy was I wrong. She’s gone up to $45 or more in most places, mostly due to being one of the best planeswalkers ever made. She might drop in price a little after rotation, but she will continue to see play in modern and other older formats.
  • Bloodline Keeper – I said he’d keep his value and he did. The Keeper is still about $3 or so. Hopefully vampires will make a comeback and he’ll see a nice jump in value. 
  • Sever the Bloodline – It dropped in value a little bit, but held at about $1. Not seeing much play though so I’d expect it to drop more before October. 
  • Curse of Death’s Hold – It still sees some play in sideboards, but there are too many big creatures in the metagame to be effective. I guessed wrong with this one.
  • Desecration Demon – The demon has seen more play and his value has gone up like I thought. He’s seeing prices of about $3-4 in some places in Japan, but even his value of $2 in the USA is an improvement from before. Good buy if you picked it up before. 
  • Underworld Connections – I’ve been using this card a lot lately, but not many other people have. It’s dropped to about $.50. Bad call on my part. 

Some hits, some misses, but I feel like I’ve gotten a much better handle on the metagame now as well as which cards have a good chance to see play in standard. I’m going to play it safer this time with my suggestions, but I feel a lot better about them this time. Let’s take a look at the black cards going into the first month of Dragon’s Maze standard. 

M13 Black cards



My choice for this metagame is Mutilate ($3). Out of all of the rares in black, I think it has the most applications. I have a hunch that people are going to be looking for more board wipe type effects outside of Supreme Verdict and Terminus (especially in non white decks) and they’ll toy around with this card. The chances that mono black control will get big are slim, but keep an eye on the M14 spoilers in the coming months. If black looks like it could be big, pick this up. If it gets reprinted though, wait for a price drop. 

Innistrad, Dark Ascension, and Avacyn Restored Black Cards

With Griselbrand ($14) seeing a lot of play in older formats, his price has really gone up in the last few months. Exquisite Blood has seen some casual play in the WB infinite life/death deck, and Gloom Surgeon also saw some play in the past few months in BR aggro decks to side step cards like Pillar of Flame, but I really don’t see any cards from Avacyn Restored being a good investment at the moment. Griselbrand could probably see some more play in older formats, so keep an eye on his price the closer it gets to rotation. If you see him drop below $10 it might be a good idea to grab one.  

Geralf's Messenger

Geralf’s Messenger

I still can’t believe Geralf’s Messenger is down to $3.50 in the USA. I got burned by him last time, but I’m going to go with him again for this metagame. Rakdos aggro seems like it’s on its way back into the metagame, and there are more decks than just that one that the Messenger can fit into. Around $3 is a steal for this guy, but don’t wait too long. The closer it gets to rotation in September, the less valuable he’ll be. Let him sink his teeth into your opponent one last time and you won’t be sorry. 

Skirsdag High Priest

Skirsdag High Priest

I know I said I was going to try and stay away from risky cards this time, but with the number of sacrifice outlets in standard now, I kind of like the Skirsdag High Priest ($.80). Aristocrats could see some more play, human frites, etc. I don’t think he’ll go up too much, but he’ll add some power to those types of decks. He was going for about $2 before, so we could see reach that again in the coming months. 

Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash Black cards

I still think Desecration Demon ($2) is underplayed. It’s extremely powerful and great in control decks like Grixis that let you get him out safely on turn 4 and then proceed to out tempo your opponent and swing for 6 damage each turn. The closer it gets to rotation, the higher his price will inch up. Keep an eye on him.  

Next time on Bang for your Buck

I’m really not looking forward to the insane amount of cards in multicolor right now, so next time I’ll be continuing with either red or green cards. Hopefully I’ll have these articles done before Magic Game Day is over on Sunday, so stick with me! There were a few cards that I was on the fence with, so let me know your thoughts on this list. If there is a card you think will see more play and increase in value, let me know. Well, back to work now so check back later in the week. See you then.