Bang for your Buck: Investing in Cards for Born of the Gods – Green, Selesnya, Golgari, and the Rest
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.
Well, I’m almost finished with this series and I can’t wait to get back into standard articles. I have quite a few deck ideas I’m dying to share, as well as my first baby steps into the world of modern. But before we do any of that, Green and its partner colors must be covered. Let’s not waste any time and start with how the colors fared since last time.
Previous Golgari, Selesnya, Green, Artifact, and Land Suggestions
- Garruk, Caller of Beasts – I said he’d see more play and that his price would go up a little bit. I was right, and value went from $18 last time to $22 thanks largely in part to GR devotion.
- Kalonian Hydra – I said the card died to easily to removal and that it would affect its play. I said sell at $20, and I was right as the card is now going for $15. Pretty good start with green so far!
- Primeval Bounty – Primeval Bounty was another card I said would continue to drop in price since it can’t find a home, and it went from $6 to $5. 3 for 3 so far!
- Scavenging Ooze – Well, graveyard strategies were more of a thing back when I did my Theros article and I thought it could hold it’s value at $13, but I was wrong. It’s dropped a whopping $5 to $8, but now that Deathrite Shaman has been banned in modern, it might go up again. My first miss.
- Skylasher – I was spot on about this card seeing more play as blue devotion gained popularity. It went from $0.75 to about $1.75. Good call on my part.
- Selesnya Charm – I thought it would see more play due to its effectiveness against gods and Desecration Demon, but people stopped playing Selesnya aggro decks altogether. It’s value remained unchanged, so I can’t count this towards my total.
- Voice of Resurgence – being the best card in the Dragon’s Maze set, I thought that it would hold its value at about $40, however, it has recently dropped to $29! That’s quite a drop (and a great deal too), and it’s thanks largely in part to the lack of GW aggro players in the metagame.
- Abrupt Decay – I said $7 is a good price to pick it up at and since it didn’t go down or up in price I guess I could say I was right. Still a great card and the closer we get to a GB scry land, the better the card looks.
- Lotleth Troll – The troll lost a little of its value (from $2 to $1.80), but being a good deal still holds true. I won’t count it against me because the difference in prices is so small.
- Vraska the Unseen – I said she’d hold her value at around $8, and she’s at $7.50 now, so I’ll consider that being right on target. With Jace Vs. Vraska coming out now, it won’t be that way for long.
- Varolz, the Scar-Striped – I pushed this card at $2, but he’s at $1.50 so I’ll consider this a lost. He just never found a deck to played in during Theros standard.
- Mutavault – a quote from my last article “-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”. I should have said BY $20, because it was sitting at $17 during my last article and has recently hit $35 pretty much everywhere. I definite win for me for suggesting people buy it back then.
- Pithing Needle – I thought it would see a lot more play than before due to planeswalkers and other activated abilities, and I was correct. It went from $1 to $1.75 to add yet another point in my win column.
- Shocklands – I got about 2 out of 10 of my guesses correct about the shocklands. I guess I was a little early to think they would go up in value since the lands are still for sale in decent qualities. I won’t make the same mistake again in this article.
Not counting the shocklands, my speculation on green last time was pretty freaking good. I got 8 out of 11 choices correct, or about 73%. The guess on Mutavault alone going up would have saved you about $80 if you bought a playset then. Can I repeat this feat again this time? I don’t know. It’s going to be tough now that the standard decks are more developed than at the beginning of Theros. I should be able to play it safe though and get a few right, but I don’t think there will be any big money items like Mutavault to guess on this time around.
I’m starting off strong right out of the gate and saying that at around $2.25, Boon Satyr is an undervalued card. People say aggro decks are dead, but that’s only at the moment. GW is going to make a comeback, and with cards like Hero of Iroas and Eidolon of Countless Battles joining those colors from BNG, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few Heroic/Aura based decks getting played. I’m calling for BOOM Satyr to hit $4 by the next set. I think Garruk ($22) could also see some more play now that players are flocking back to GR to play with Xenagos, God of Revels. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Caller of Beasts gaining a few dollars in value. I think you should also keep an eye out for Kalonian Hydra ($15). The new Xenagos god opens up many new angles of play, and giving the Hydra haste and making him a 12/12 trample is just the thing the card needs to see some serious play as a finisher. If GR or Naya midrange decks stick around, consider picking up before he goes up in value again.
Nylea, God of the Hunt seems like she should stay at $6 for the foreseeable future, as well as Mistcutter Hydra. If GW aggro ever takes off again, Hydra will definitely see some more play (especially in the sideboard against control).
At $7.75, I think Polukranos is a little on the low side. He’ll fit into just about any green deck you make, and I don’t think there was a green midrange deck from last season that I DIDN’T see him in. GR devotion, mono green devotion, Jund, GBW, UG flash . . . With the new Xenagos god adding fuel to the GR strategy, I think he could get close to $9-10 during Born of the Gods standard. If you need to finish off a playset, now’s a good time to get him.
While there isn’t much work for Scavenging Ooze to do in standard now, the recent banning of Deathrite Shaman in modern means there will be a need for graveyard hate and nothing else does it better in creature form. The play in modern could push it’s price of $8 back up above $10. I think now’s a good time to get your playset.
Another card that I think will see more play in Born of the Gods is Sylvan Caryatid ($5). If you’re playing green and need ramp, you play this card. If you’re playing a 3 color deck, you play this card. If you need an early blocker against aggro decks that won’t die to removal, you play this card. Devotion is still big, but as we get more time with less strict mana restrictions, I think this card will see more play. I’m calling for it to hit about $7 by the end of spring. Since we’re on the topic of hexproof creatures, I’d also like to drop Witchstalker ($3) into the discussion. Black is looking to be big in the first few weeks, and nothing says loving like hitting with a 3/3 that can’t be hit by anything other than a Devour Flesh. It’s a good sideboard card and think he could see more play once aggro players get solid footing in the metagame.
Nobody is playing GW, Junk (GBW), or Bant (GWU) now so it’s a great time to bargain hunt for cards in these colors. If I didn’t already have all these cards, I’d be going crazy buying stuff up.
I played a bit of GW aggro during Theros standard and this card was nigh unbeatable after the first few rounds. Dropping him turn 4, then using Ajani’s -3 to give him flying and double strike won me quite a few games. It’s only $3 a piece now, so pick your play set up now! This card has a lot of potential in the new metagame in a number of decks, and I’m expecting it to reach around $5 a card by May. I think Fleecemane Lion ($2.50) is also a good price now, and would definitely recommend picking him up. The lion will be standard legal until October 2015, so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
I bought these when they were $40 each, and you think I’d be disappointed that they are only $29 now, but don’t let the loss in value fool you. This is an amazing card and sees play in a large number of formats. The price will start creeping up against in value over the next few weeks, and if you have ANY inkling to play in Selesnya’s colors, you should buy/trade for it right now while it’s somewhat affordable. By May I expect it to be back around $35 again.
There isn’t much to say about Golgari this time around. I’d expect Vraska’s price to dip a little bit after the Jace Vs. Vraska event deck comes out. Deathrite Shaman will still see a lot of play in Legacy and it should stay above $10, so don’t hold your breath waiting for it to hit $7 or anything like that. Even if it was banned in modern, there are still plenty of people that want it. As for the other cards, I think we’ll have to wait until Journey into Nyx gets closer to make any bets. Abrupt Decay and Lotleth Troll should be good once Golgari gets their scryland, but until then I wouldn’t expect too many movers/shakers in GB.
There are a few artifacts of note that I think will see some sideboard play in the coming months, but nothing that stands out as a surefire way to make some money. Pithing Needle should continue to stay around the $2 range as a way to shut down a variety cards such as planeswalkers and Mutavault and Ratchet Bomb ($1.50) will possibly see more play as an extra sweeper against fast aggro/devotion decks such as Orzhov aggro or Mono blue. At most it might hit $2.50, but it depends on the metagame. Most of the other rares will probably remained unchanged.
Last time I went over all the shocklands and what I thought would happen to their value, but it turned out to be pretty bad for me. Most of the cards lost their value and are now at much lower prices. While it was bad for me last time, now is a probably a good time to get your playsets while they are cheap. The best deals at the moment are on Hallowed Fountain ($8), Steam Vents ($7.75), and Stomping Ground ($8.50). I think all of these shocks will go up in price, especially Hallowed Fountain as UW aggro, UW control, UWR control, and bant strategies start to take off. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go up about a dollar in value before next time. The other shocklands should retain their value over the next few months, but regardless of what happens before rotation, you should be slowly and surely picking up playsets of each. The lands are extremely useful in all formats and once Return to Ravnica rotates this fall the prices are going to creep up again. Now’s a good time to buy!
My gamble for BNG standard is Maze’s End ($1.75). There are 2 cards that make this strategy MUCH better to play over the next few months: Courser of Kruphix and Kiora, the Crashing Wave. Both cards are EXTREMELY powerful in this strategy and supercharge it. At face value, the Courser is 10 times better than Saruli Gatekeepers. It almost doubles the speed of your win condition as you can peel away a land almost every turn from your library, and its life gain is very relevant against burn and direct damage strategies. Kiora makes him even better, letting you draw a card with her -2 and play an extra land. That means you could be playing 2 lands a turn, gaining 2 life, and also drawing more fog spells to keep your opponent at bay. I always hated Maze’s End decks because they took so long to win, but with these new BNG Cards, I think quite a few people will warm up to the strategy. I could see Maze’s End hit $2.50-$3 by summer.
Mutavault continues to hold its value at $35, and I don’t realistically see it losing any of that value over the next few months. If you can find it under $30 anywhere, I’d buy it. It’s only going to go up as M14 gets closer to rotating and supply decreases. As we move away from devotion based strategies, I think Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx will become slightly more affordable. It’s at $9.50 now, but I think you’ll be able to get it for $8 after a month or two. Temple of Abandon ($3.50) is also a good price right now. Let’s face it. Theros is going to be around for another year and a half, and you’re going to need good mana. Just as with the Shocklands, getting a playset of each scry land is a good investment for the next season. Anything under $4 is probably a good value.
Until We Meet Again
And there you have it folks, my entire view on how Born of the Gods will change standard and affect prices of cards over the next few months. There are always a few wildcards that will shake things up, and with the way standard is right now (where any deck can win on any given day depending on their match ups), no card going up or down in value is a sure thing. I hope you found my articles insightful and helpful in making deck selections before BNG changes the metagame. If you would like to add any other cards to the list of mine, or comment on what I speculated on, please be sure to leave your thoughts down below.
This weekend will be my first REAL weekend playing standard Magic since before the Born of Gods pre-release. I look forward to bringing you updates on the metagame, deck ideas, updates on the Cardboard Samurai team, as well as insights on MTG as a whole in Japan. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you again in a few days!