Bang for your Buck: Investing in Cards for Journey into Nyx – White, Boros, and Azorius
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.
Since my last Bang for your Buck article, there seems to have been an explosion of speculative type articles on the web, as well as quite a few MTG Finance resources such as MTG Price. Does it spell an end to these articles? No way. I feel like having another voice to agree or disagree is always welcome so that people can see an argument from another viewpoint or find their opinion validated from another source. I will be continuing to post my investment articles, and will put a Japanese spin on things, relating it to the metagame and players here instead of back in the USA where play style and popularity of formats are radically different. I will still be using prices from the USA in my articles, but at the same time I will try and comment on things in Japan as well. Now that that’s out of the way, lets get started and take a look at the cards I thought would go up in value last time.
Previous White, Boros, and Azorius suggestions
- Ajani, Caller of the Pride ($9.50) – I said he would hover around $10 due to the popularity of white weenie decks (where he sees play from time to time) and he has done so. My first correct assumption.
- Chained to the Rocks ($1.50) – the card saw a slight increase but then settled back down again near $1.50. I had thought it would see more play, but most people went with BW aggro or GW aggro, leaving Chained to the Rocks in their trade folders. Boros Burn has seen a lot of play in the past few weeks, but it wasn’t enough to push the price up. I still haven’t given up on it though. I wasn’t correct in my assumption that it would go up.
- Elspeth, Sun’s Champion ($19.75) – Elspeth has seen heavy play over the past few months, and her prices has been going up and down between $20 and $23 depending on the meta. I said she’d go up to about $25, so I feel I was pretty close on this one. She’s seeing more and more play in decks like BW midrange and reanimator, so her price will hit my stated one eventually. Win for me, 2 out 3 so far.
- Imposing Sovereign ($1), Precinct Captain ($1.75), Soldier of the Pantheon ($2) – I thought white weenie decks would reach critical mass and push these 3 cards higher, almost doubling in price, but instead Supreme Verdict and control pushed them out of the metagame. Three incorrect guesses on my part, 2/6.
- Detention Sphere ($2.50) – Sphere was an absolute deal at $2 back during the start of BNG, and it went almost as high as $4 during Esper and UW control’s peak. It even got picked up by U/w devotion as well before settling at it’s current price. I said it would go up and it did, 3/7.
- Sphinx’s Revelation ($18) – I really thought this card would see more play with GW and UW scry lands being added to the mix, but people seem to be too stuck on Esper because of black’s access to Thoughtseize and other removal. It might be on a downward swing now going into rotation. That makes me 3 for 8.
- Supreme Verdict ($5.50) – It’s up from it’s current price, but not by much. I thought there would be a lot more control players out there in this meta, but that didn’t happen which kept demand somewhat low. I feel like there is still room for it to go up though. I’ll chalk this up to a win (barely). 4 out of 9.
- Assemble the Legion ($2.25) – I thought it would see more play in control decks and hit $3, but it didn’t see too much play in BNG standard. Miss on my part (4/10).
- Boros Reckoner ($10.50) – I said $11-$12 was a good price to buy him at and I wasn’t wrong, but he hasn’t gone up to $15 yet either like I thought he would. He might see some play still, but his window of opportunity is going to be closing soon. Another loss I guess, 4/11.
I misread the metagame a lot during BNG, or perhaps it was because the metagame didn’t change that much from Theros (mono black, mono blue, Esper control, and GR monsters remained the top decks throughout most of BNG standard). Lots of people stopped playing standard during this time because of the stagnation and people not wanting to try something new against the oppressive decks, and this in turn lead to a rather ho-hum atmosphere in card prices. I expect things to really change during Journey into Nyx though as people start playing standard again.
There are two camps concerning the prices of cards going into the next few months. In one camp, people say that NOW is the time to unload your cards that are going to be rotating in October. They’ve seen their peak prices, and are only going to fall further down in the coming months. The other group of people believe it’s a little too early to be selling and that some of these cards will see one more peak before dropping in price. The 2nd group believes the correct selling time will be in the weeks leading up to the M15 core set. I’d like to say that I’m in the second camp. Selling your cards in another 2 months until you see how the metagame is shaping up is a better strategy. Most high value cards should continue to hold their value a month or two into the new metagame anyways, so you shouldn’t lose that much by sitting on them for a little bit. However, I will also entertain the idea that selling now might be a good idea as well while I’m doing these articles. With that being said, let’s take a look at my picks for the next standard season.
I’d like to start off with Archangel of Thune, which is currently selling for about $25. She saw a peak of $33 or so during UW controls reign as a 4 of in the sideboard, and she also sees some play in Birthing Pod decks in modern, but aside from that I don’t think she’ll hold her value at $25. She was at $18 before the UW peak, and my guess is that she’ll drop closer to $20 in the coming weeks. There just aren’t enough decks that use her right now, and I don’t see how she’d see a lot of play in order to maintain her value. Brimaz, King of Oreskos is another card that is off it’s peak and also sitting at $25. I think he should still see more play in BW aggro decks, and with all the talk concerning how strong Athreos, the BW god will be, I think it’s worth holding onto him at this price. I don’t think he’ll go up in value, but I don’t see him dropping below $23 in the coming weeks.
My first recommend for the next metagame is going to be Elspeth, Sun’s Champion. She is a mainstay of Esper and UW decks, but lately she’s been finding her way into BW midrange and even Junk decks as well. If the UR scry land is picked up by UWR control players, that will also push up her price a little. I think she’ll tick up a few dollars in price to about $22 before M15 comes out.
If White aggro or BW aggro sees more play in this metagame, then I definitely think Blind Obedience will see more play in sideboards this summer. I was originally going to recommend Imposing Sovereign, but in a mirror match, this works out much better and doesn’t die to removal. Considering you’ll be making your opponent pay 3 life with Athreos when a creature dies, I think this has better synergy. It’s $2 right now, but I going to go out on a limb and say it will hit $3 sometime this summer.
Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve recommend this card on this website, but I think now’s the time to invest in them. They are currently going for $1.25, but with modern season just around the corner and Junk reanimator making a comeback at tournaments, I think it could easily double in price before June. Get a play set if you don’t have them, and maybe even pick up a few extra for cheap if you can. I think graveyard hate will be very popular.
I think Soldier of the Pantheon ($2) is another good investment. I believe that white weenie aggro decks will remain popular, and since this is a Theros card there is no need to worry about it dropping in price because of rotation. I’m also expecting a lot of two color aggro to become popular as well, such as BW and GB. Both of those decks have a lot of early multicolor cards, which means Solider would be a good match up against them. I don’t expect him to shoot up in price, but we could see $2.50 -$3 by summer.
I’m going to make some long-term guesses here and just say now that I don’t expect some of these cards to go up in value by the next set, but I still think they are worth picking up. The first card I think is worth picking up is Council of the Absolute. It’s going for less than $1 now, but I think there could be applications for it in modern decks in the future, so buying them out of the bulk rare bin might not be a bad idea. Get a play set for less than $5 and sit on them for a year or two. You never know when they could see play.
I still think Detention Sphere is somewhat underpriced at $2.50. If BW becomes popular again, then I think Esper humans could see a comeback as well. U/w devotion is another deck that uses this card and it did pretty well last season. When you add those decks using along with all of the control decks that have it as a mainstay, I think we’re looking at a $3-$4 card by summer. It’s still a great card against Pack Rats as well.
Another Azorius card people are probably wondering about is Sphinx’s Revelation. It’s currently at $18 but I can’t help but be on the fence on this one. With rotation in another few months, there are a lot of control players that will want to unload this card which will push prices down. Sure there are lots of people still playing control that will need it, but I think the metagame will shift away from control again and further depress prices. On another hand, it sees some play in modern, which could keep the price afloat with modern season around the corner (players in Nagoya LOVE UWR control). I’m going to be rather vague and say that it stays above $15 until summer, but I don’t think it will crack $20 again. If UW or UWR suddenly become very powerful in modern the price might shoot up, so be wary.
I feel a little more confident about Supreme Verdict. This is a strong card that can see play in eternal formats such as modern thanks to its “can’t be countered” text, and I also think more decks will be picking it up in Nyx standard. UWR control could see a comeback thanks to the UR scry land, Bant control/Super friends was gaining steam towards the end of BNG standard thanks to Saito Tomoharu’s success with it, and I think we could even see an Esper Humans midrange deck using this alongside Athreos to create a damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario for opponents (wipe the board and pay 15 life, or give me back all my creatures with your board gone). I wouldn’t be surprised to see this hit $7 by summer thanks to both modern and standard play.
While I think Boros Reckoner will definitely see some more play in the Journey into Nyx metagame, I don’t think that he’ll be able to keep his value above $10. RW aggro and RW midrange are definitely poised for a comeback, especially with the new Boros god Iroas in the mix. Reckoner is great in those decks, but I don’t think that deck will have the critical mass needed to push his price up. Boros Reckoner also doesn’t see much play in any eternal formats, so that’s another indicator that he won’t be able to hold his value past this standard cycle. I do want to point out that you can go infinite damage with him though! You’ll need to use Boros Charm on two Reckoners in play to make them indestructible as they are being blocked or blocking, redirect the damage to the other Reckoner, then flash in Dictate of the Twin Gods to make them double damage exponentially. Very fragile, but fun if you pull it off.
While Reckoner probably won’t see a price increase, I think Aurelia will see some light play in the aforementioned RW midrange decks as a 2 of alongside Iroas because she can activate the god almost by herself. She’s currently at $5.75, but I could see her hitting $7 if RW midrange becomes popular. She might also see some EDH play as that format continues to become more popular.
Along with Aurelia and Reckoner, I think Legion’s Initiative ($2.75) and Spark Trooper ($0.50) could also see more play in the new standard metagame in a RW deck. Spark Trooper sees play in Boros burn sideboards, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they double in price to $1 before M15. I’m not saying it will happen, but just stating which RW cards might see some movement.
As for uncommons to look out for, Boros Charm ($2.50) should hold it’s value very well. It’s a great sideboard card and sees play in both standard and modern burn. If you can find them under $2, it’s worth picking them up. Wear//Tear is another uncommon I’d recommend picking up a playset of if you don’t have them in your card box already. It sees light play in standard, but it also sees a decent amount of play in modern sideboards as well. It’s only $0.40 right now, so get them before they rotate.
Next time on Bang for Your Buck
Choosing which cards will go up in value after a slow standard season is always difficult. Will players return to the game and help prices increase again? Or will they stay away and make for another bad season of Magic? One thing to consider going into summer is that the Modern PTQ season will split players between modern and standard, as well as their wallets. People will have to choose which decks to invest in, and that could mean not buying anything new or sticking with affordable decks. This summer really feels like a crapshoot as far as guessing prices is considered, but I still think there is money to be made in standard and if you agree, go pick up some stuff in the next few weeks.
As for our next article, look for it Thursday night or Friday afternoon. I’ll be covering Blue, Simic, and Izzet. With the UR scry land finally in the mix, Izzet should be exciting to look at! Thanks for reading and see you then!