Bang for your Buck: Investing in Cards for Theros – Green, Golgari, Selesnya, Artifacts, and Lands
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.
Today I’ll be covering the last batch of cards for Theros standard. The metagame is finally starting to settle down after the Pro Tour in Dublin, and most of the cards that are going to go up have gone up at this point (namely cards related to devotion decks like Nykthos, Master of the Waves, Nightveil Specter, etc). However, the colors I’m covering today have been largely untouched by the metagame. Therefore, I think there are still a lot of investment opportunities, especially in Selesnya and Goglari. Let’s take a look at what cards I recommended last time before we start.
Previous Golgari, Selesnya, Green, Artifact, and Land Suggestions
- Gaze of Granite – I thought this card would see more play, especially with where BG control was going at the end of Innistrad standard, but after rotation not many people continued to play the deck. Therefore it lost some value (though it might be good against Master of the Waves if BG control gets big again!).
- Varolz, the Scar-Striped – I said he would drop in value to about $2 if he nobody made a deck outside of Aristocrats that uses him, and I was right. He’s currently sitting at $2 and seeing little play.
- Abrupt Decay – I thought this card would see a lot more play and hit $10, but NOBODY is using Golgari colors these days so the card is still around the $7 range. Unbelievable. I don’t think it will stay this low forever though.
- Lotleth Troll – Again, the troll is a good card but the lack of Golgari colors anywhere has kept his price low. I was wrong in thinking he’d go up in value. He’s currently at $2.
- Vraska the Unseen – I said she should see some more play as control decks spread out in colors, and she’s gained about $1 to $8 now. Glad I got one right. I’m 1 for 5 with Golgari so far!
- Gyre Sage – I thought it would go up in value (and it’s still rather high here in Nagoya), but it hasn’t changed. You didn’t lose any money if you invested in a play set, but you didn’t make any either. Sorry.
- Armada Wurm – it lost value and went down to $2.25. Guess midrange hasn’t taken off as much as I thought it would. Another miss on my part.
- Skylasher – I said it would see more play, but it hasn’t yet. No change in value.
- Loxodon Smiter – I said the card should hold it’s value after rotation, and I was right. It’s no longer the 3 drop of choice in GW decks, but it’s still a very solid card. Glad I called that one correctly. Smiters are always good to have.
- Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice – I said she should hold her value and she did after rotation. Not sure if she can hold the $6-7 price tag, but we’ll see what happens to the metagame in the next few weeks.
- Advent of the Wurm – I said buy it at $4.25 and it’s gone up to $5. Not as much as I thought it would go up in value, but an increase nonetheless. Another good call on my part.
- Voice of Resurgence – I said it won’t change in value, and it hasn’t dropped from $44 (well it did, but now it’s back up to the price it was at before).
These colors were REALLY rough on me. The rotation was not kind to them and many of the decks that utilized their colors were gutted. The prices dropped, but the cards are still good. Therefore I think now’s a good time to invest in them.
Garruk has recently seen some play in mono green devotion decks, as well as in some GR midrange (ie Colossal Gruul) and his price has slightly recovered to $18. I think he will continue to see some more play alongside Xenaganos and Domri Rade, but he won’t be as necessary. I could see him in more green sideboards, and maybe a 2 of in some green decks, and because of that I think he’ll hit $20 in he next few weeks. Not really an investment, but I wouldn’t get rid of yours right now if you’re looking to sell them. I think he’ll go up in value.
The metagame seems a little quick these days decks like devotion that use Nykthos, and the more aggro skewed decks won’t give cards like Primeval Bounty ($6) many opportunities a chance to see play. I also think there is too much removal (mono black) in the metagame as well, so cards like Kalonian Hydra ($20) that require a lot of mana investment have become easy targets and not worth playing. Therefore, I think both cards will drop a little bit farther in value before bottoming out. I think now’s a good time to trade them away. Scavenging Ooze ($13.50) seems like it’s at a good value right now, and I think it will stay there for a while. However, if Whip of Erebos decks get popular, or if somebody figures out the new reanimator, you can expect it to hit $18 again. Watch the meta and buy them up if you see graveyard strategies becoming popular.
Skylasher ($.75) isn’t as big of gamble as it has been in the past. This card is much better than it was in the past thanks to the popularity of mono blue devotion decks. I will DEFINITELY have this in my sideboard for those match ups if I’m playing green. It stops everything mono blue has – Judge’s Familar, Cloudfin Raptor, Nightveil Specter, Thassa, God of the Sea, and Tidebinder Mage. It also can’t be targeted by blue removal. This card is in many ways better than Mistcutter Hydra because it can handle those threats. I think you should buy a play set at their current price. It won’t go up a lot in value, but if blue remains popular it could hit $2-$2.50.
Aside from GW aggro using Fleecemane Lion and Boon Satyr, there have been many decks using Green and white. However, I think that’s going to change in the future. One of the cards from Selesnya that I think is due to see a price increase is Selesnya Charm ($.50). It works great against the 2 biggest threats in standard now: Desecration Demon and the Gods. I believe we’ll see more GBW, UGW, and GW midrange decks in the future, and the charm will see a lot of play. I think it will go over $1 each before the next set.
I think Voice of Resurgence ($43) will hover around $40 again, so don’t expect their price to drop that much before the next set comes out. Aside from these cards, I don’t really see too many cards’ values changing in the coming weeks.
I really think we’ll seem more BG control and BG aggro decks in the next few weeks, leading up to the next new set in February. You should take advantage of the low prices now while they are still affordable. Abrupt Decay ($7) is worth buying at it’s current price I think, Lotleth Troll ($2) seems like a good deal as well, and I think Vraska ($8) will hold her value this winter. She is great at destroying fellow planeswalkers, and black and green give you a lot of cards to work with.
The card for Golgari that I’m going to push this season is Varolz, the Scar-Striped. He saw a lot of play with Aristocrats before rotation, but now he’s sitting alone in people’s trade binders. He’s only $2, which is a really good value, and with the meta moving towards more control (RBW, mono black, Esper, etc), I think Golgari is poised to make a comeback. I also think it’s a good time to pick up Putrefy’s ($.50). Reanimator decks will be back, it’s only a matter of time before people start to break Whip of Erebos. When that happens, you can expect BG to be right back at the forefront and a lot of their cards sneaking up in value. Keep an eye on them!
Lands and Artifacts
People were brewing with the Haunted Plate Mail back during M14, but that has tapered off. Just before rotation I saw a lot of interesting Trading Post Decks, and I think it’s possible we’ll see them again. The plate mail was a good card in those decks, but it also works well in control decks. Think of it as a precursor to Bestow Creatures. You can put it on a creature, but if it dies you can still attack with it. It’s only $0.50 now, so if you don’t mind being a little risky, pick up 4 of them at that price. They could see some play in the future and go up a dollar or two. Speaking of the Trading Post ($0.35), I think they are super cheap now and might be worth picking up to brew with. I doubt they’ll ever see north of $2 again, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see more people brewing with them this winter.
Mutavault’s price has been see-sawing a lot lately, recently hitting $16.75, but I think the popularity of mono colored devotion decks will lead to even more decks playing with it and raising the price to about $20 or so. I really wish I had bought them back when they were $10 each. *sigh* If you can trade for them or find them under $14, I think it’s worth picking them up.
With planeswalkers and monstrous creature like Polukranos out in force, Pithing Needle is finally getting some well deserved space in people’s sideboards. I personally have it in most of my sideboards as a way of shutting down Jace and Elspeth. It’s at $1 now, but I think the price will double as more and more people need to find ways to shut down the threats I mentioned above.
Most people said that shock lands are going to creep up more and more in price in the coming weeks as RTR packs are opened less and more people want scry-less lands. I’ve personally seen them creep up quite a bit these last few weeks.
- Blood Crypt – currently $9.25 – Since the scry land hasn’t been printed yet, I’m going to guess that this price could go up before the next set is released.
- Breeding Pool – currently $9.80 – Not a lot of Simic or bant players these days. I don’t think the price will change that much if at all.
- Godless Shrine – currently $10.50 – BW continues to show a lot of popularity, as well as Esper and RBW. I think this card will probably go up another few dollars in the next few weeks.
- Hallowed Fountain – currently $10.25 – Again, Esper is big, but other than that it hasn’t been used much. I would expect this to go up a few dollars if both Esper and UWR control become popular at the same time.
- Overgrown Tomb – currently $10 – As I said above, Golgari just isn’t popular right now, and neither is BUG, Jund, or any other mix with their colors. This might drop a little bit in price unless somebody starts winning with BG.
- Sacred Foundary – currently $13.75 – This card hasn’t really appeared in any top decks, but it has been gaining in popularity as more players switch to RW aggro, RW midrange, BRW control, UWR control, and Naya as well. I think it will hold it’s value for a while.
- Steam Vents – currently $9.50 – It was always the cheapest of the bunch, but Grixis seems to be on the cusp of standard, and UWR is on its way back too. I think we’ll see a slight increase in the coming weeks.
- Stomping Ground – currently $10.50 – This is a little undervalued I think. GR aggro is still a threat you have to play against, and Colossal Gruul from the Pro Tour is also slowly gaining in popularity. I think it will hit $12+ sometime this winter.
- Temple Garden – currently $12 – This seems like a good price for it, especially since nobody is really playing GW at the moment.
- Watery Grave – currently $10.50 – this is another card that hinges on success of Esper, and of course Dimir control too. Both are viable in my opinion, and I think Watery Grave will go up a little in value as people play with Esper more.
Well, that does it for this season’s Bang for your Buck. I hope any cards you decide to buy go up in value. A large part of the price depends on your metagame, so be sure to do some research on your own before making a large purchase. Coming up next week I’ll have a report about Theros Game Day here in Nagoya, some new deck ideas, and also a few more store reviews! If there are any comments or suggestions, please leave comments below. Thanks again for reading.