Bang for your Buck: Investing in Cards for Theros – Black, Dimir, and Orzhov

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.

Black has been busy. Every since Theros were spoiled, countless players were whispering about how black control was finally back. After dominating the last few weekends with mono black control, Esper control, UB control, and more recently BW decks, it seems as they were right. Today I’ll be covering black, Dimir, and Orzhov, but first let’s look at the cards I talked about last time. 

Previous Black, Dimir, and Orzhov suggestions

  • Duskmantle Seer – Still an enigma to most players. UB control is seeing more play, but there are simply better cards to play in those colors than the Seer. It dropped to $2.50, so I was wrong that he would go up in value. It’s possible that he’ll break next year, but I’m not going to put any money on him this time. – 0/1
  • Lazav, Dimir Mastermind – I thought we’d see more Lazav once UB returned as a viable standard deck, but it’s still too early to tell. Perhaps he’ll see some play in the future, but I’m not so sure. 0/2
  • Notion Thief – At $1 I thought he was a safe buy, but he’s dropped even further to $0.70. Great against Sphinx’s Revelation, but not much else. He’s become very meta dependent, so I don’t think his value will increase unless we see more UB decks looking to stop that card.  0/3
  • Crypt Ghast – I said his price should stay close to $2.50, and he did. We might see more of him in the future. 1/4
  • Obzedat, Ghost Council – At $10 he was a bargain and I said to pick up a play set if you could. He’s now close to $15, so I was correct with my suggestion. I think he’ll see even more play so keep an eye on him. 2/5
  • Blood Baron of Vizkopa – Really???!?! It’s hit $20??!?! Holy crap it jumped in value. I said you should pick them up at $8 in my last article, and if you did you saved quite a bit of money. 3/6

I was 50% percent correct last time, but what I was right on I was REALLY right on. The big money cards I recommended really gained in value. I didn’t really cover any black cards last time, but I wish I could. Cards like Desecration Demon really exploded since rotation, and I’m sure there were a few more that slipped under the radar that I could suggested to you. Well, I’m not gonna let that happen again. I’m going to cover it this time. 

Black

Lifebane Zombie

Lifebane Zombie

M14 gave us a lot of good black cards, like Lifebane Zombie. The card is currently still hovering around $14 here in Japan, but in thee USA it’s about $8.50. I don’t think it will go up in value much until green midrange decks become popular. There are a few mono green decks that it would really hurt, and it would definitely hit cards like Polukranos in this new metagame, but I don’t think it will increase in value that much. Perhaps close to $10, but I don’t think it will hit Japanese prices. Keep your eyes peeled on the cards spoiled for the next expansion though. If you see powerful green and white cards being spoiled come December and February, get your hands on him before he hits $20.

Shadowborn Demon

Shadowborn Demon

Dear GOD pick these up for $5 NOW. This is an amazing creature, and with Whip of Erebos decks gaining in popularity, this dip won’t last long. He’s great in just about any midrange black deck, and we’ll be seeing a lot more of that color in the coming weeks. He’ll be back above $10 in no time.

Xathrid Necromancer

Xathrid Necromancer

The Necromancer ($3.50) is another solid card that I think will see play in the coming weeks. He’s seeing sporadic play at the moment, but I think he’ll become more popular as players start to experiment more with black. There are also a good amount of playable humans in the metagame, and a lot of good black ones from Theros such as Agent of the Fates, so you can expect the Necromancer to see a moderate price increase this winter. Not aristocrat levels of $10, but $5-$6 definitely. 

I want to apologize again for not promoting Desecration Demon last time. I bought mine for 59 yen back when RTR first came out and sold them for about 300 a few months ago, but who would have thought it’d hit $9? I’ve seen them as high as $14 here in Japan, so it’s quite possible the Demon will go even higher in the USA. $12 maybe? If you can still find him somewhat cheap, pick up a play set. He’ll be a fixture in the metagame for quite some time to come until next year. 

Pack Rat

Pack Rat

My big gamble for black this time is Pack Rat. I played against a BW aggro deck this past weekend using this, the Demon, and Lifebane Zombie along with other creatures and tons of removal, and it totally obliterated me. My opponent just sat back and kept discarding cards until his rats overwhelmed me. It’s only $0.50 now, but I think if black continues its dominance in the metagame, this card could hit $2. I might just pick up a playset myself. Underworld Connections ($0.75) seems like another card that could go up in value as more players switch to black, so get a play set at this low price. It could go up a few dollars if midrange and black control become more popular. 

Dimir

Nightveil Specter really caught me off guard. It suddenly saw a lot of play in both mono black and UB control decks, and just a few months ago it was less than a dollar in value. I don’t know if it can hold it’s value at $4.75 right now, so if you can trade them away, now’s the time to do it. I think you should be able to buy them back again in a few months for closer to $2. There’s not much else that I currently want to recommend in Dimir. I got burned badly by my last suggestions, and I don’t really think cards like Lazav, Dimir Mastermind or Mind Grind will see standard play. 

Orzhov

There has been lots of talk of Alms Beast ($0.25) becoming popular in this new metagame, but it will all depend on how oppressive BW becomes. If it does become big, I could see more players using this card in order to push the envelope to put more pressure on their opponents. At the current price, a play set wouldn’t be a bad idea at all. Blood Baron of Vizkopa ($20) seems to have greatly risen in value, and I think it should stay around $18-20 for the foreseeable future. There isn’t a lot to take care of it aside from a Mizzium Mortars, and those aren’t seeing too much play these days. 

Merciless Eviction

Merciless Eviction

If BW is the real thing, especially BW control and BW midrange, then you can be sure that Merciless Eviction will see more play in the near future. This last weekend alone I had it played against me 3 times, so I think more players will definitely have it in their sideboards in the coming weeks. It’s only $1 a piece now, so it’s a good idea to pick up a play set just in case. 

Obzedat, Ghost Council

Obzedat, Ghost Council

Obzedat was sitting at close to $30 when he originally came out in Gatecrash, and I think there is a good chance that he’ll get close to it again. He’s only $15 right now, and that is still underpriced I think. With all the black and white decks floating around, I think he’ll hit $20 effortlessly in the next few weeks and stay in the $20 range for a while. He’ll be a mainstay of BW midrange and control, but he’ll probably be played in Esper control and RBW as well. Might be worth trading for him or buying a play set if your store still hasn’t raised the price yet.

Next time on Bang for your Buck

I’m feeling pretty confident about my choices for black this time. I think I should be closer to 70% this time, and if you think so as well, go buy some cards before it’s too late! Black and Orzhov cards are going to be hot in the next few weeks, so be on the lookout for good deals. Sometime early next week I’ll be talking about Red, Rakdos, and Gruul, so if you’re a red mage wondering which cards are worth picking up for your aggro deck, be sure to stop back around Tuesday or Wednesday for some valuable information. 

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