Bang for your Buck: Investing in cards for Journey into Nyx – Blue, Simic, and Izzet
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 we’re looking at the Blue, Simic, and Izzet cards and how they’ll be affected by Journey into Nyx. The Izzet (UR) scry land will open up some new strategies hopefully such as UWR control, UWR midrange, UR tempo, and maybe even some RUG decks. The question is, will these new decks have enough power to push their way into Tier 1 or Tier 2 rankings. UWR was a powerhouse during M13 with Snapcaster Mage, Restoration Angel, and Thundermaw Hellkite, but since then it has dropped off the face of the earth. Esper has supplanted it as the top control deck, but at the same time the color offers some things that black can’t. Before we go into what I think will happen to prices in standard next month, let’s first look back at the cards I thought would go up during Born of the Gods.
Previous Blue, Simic, and Izzet suggestions
- Jace, Architect of Thought ($10) – I said he would dip in value due to the Duel Deck featuring him, and he did. He’s now sitting at $10, which is very affordable if you always wanted a play set of him. I was good on this guess.
- Master of Waves ($7) – although mono blue devotion wasn’t hurt as much by Born of Gods as we though, enough people were scared away from it to send Master of Waves value plummeting. I thought people would pick up the deck again, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. This really hurt and makes me 1 for 2 now.
- Aetherling ($2) – The previous favorite as a finisher in control is now nowhere to be seen. It dropped from it’s previous vale of $3, even though I had said it should go up in value. This just goes to show you how oppressive mono black and other devotion decks were during BNG’s standard. Lots of demand for control deck cards dried up.
- Dissolve ($0.75) – in one of my rare uncommon suggestions, I said to pick this card up at 75 cents because I thought it would double due to the amount of new control decks. Well, nobody played UWR or GWU control so there weren’t a lot of new control decks to use these in. I was wrong again. 1 out of 4.
- Prime Speaker Zegana ($4) – she hasn’t really changed in value since last time, and I didn’t really say she’d go up unless she found a home in standard. Nobody is showing love for Simic midrange. I’ll chalk this up as N/A.
- Ral Zarek ($9.25) – I said he should hold his value until JOU came out, and he did. There really weren’t many reasons for him to drop in value just yet. Yay for me, 2/5. I’m still surprised nobody has built a Inspire deck around him yet though.
The lack of innovation in Born of the Gods standard and lack of people moving into different archetypes such as the various control colors (Grixis, Bant, UWR, etc) really hurt the values of a lot of these cards over the past few months. Now that the UR land is out things might change, but I’m fairly sure many of these cards have hit rock bottom as far as their prices are concerned. Let’s take a look at how Journey into Nyx will affect things now.
My first bet for JOU standard is that mono blue devotion will make a comeback. With cards like Dakra Mystic, Hypnotic Siren, Hall of Triumph, and Hour of Need giving the deck a little more power, I think the deck will one again make it back to the top tier or at least Tier 1.5. Bident is $0.50 now, but I could see it doubling in price or hitting $1.50 before M15 comes out.
As for Jace, Architect of Thought, it’s really going to depend on players wanting to get back into standard, as well as trying out control decks WITHOUT black. As I said in the previous article, Saito Tomoharu’s Bant control deck has been putting up good numbers, and with the new UR God Keranos, I think some players will be tempted to play UWR as well. Jace might see a slight spike to $12 again, but I wouldn’t put too much belief in that.
Master of Waves is definitely a MUST BUY at $7 now. I’ve been doing a lot block constructed testing for the Pro Tour and this card is simply amazing. Blue decks are sure to be strong post rotation, and cards like Hall of Triumph should make people feel better about playing him since it can keep your elemental tokens alive even if he’s killed. I think mono blue devotion will be back, but I also think UB control will use him too. He also sees some play in modern merfolk. This is a good price to buy him at.
I would say that Thassa is a good buy at $11.50 too, but I don’t think she’ll go up in value much if at all at this point. Most of the other gods have found their prices for the rest of standard, and blue devotion will have to become THE number one deck again in order to push her price up. The same can be said of Tidebinder Mage.
I think for Simic we should start out by talking about Kiora, The Crashing Wave. She’s been rather lucky to have kept her value from BNG at around $18.50. How she’s maintained that value is beyond me though. Aside from Bant Superfriends control (the deck with Kiora, Jace, and Elspeth), I can’t think of any other deck that uses her prominently. There were some players that used her in BUG control for a while, some that used her in RUG . . . with that being said, I don’t really see her keeping her value at $18.50. If perhaps we see a UG/x deck featuring her prominently that value might stay high, but I think she’ll drop to about $15 now that the new set is out and her “new planeswalker” smell is gone. Maybe, just maybe somebody will build around her and Kruphix, and make a super tempo deck that’s all about overloading spells like Cylonic Rift until she ultimates, but that seems unlikely.
I’m also taking a look at Master Biomancer ($5.50) and how he might work with Sage of Hours, but that sounds like crazy fringe talk. Prime Speaker Zegana ($3.75) is another ‘prime’ candidate for a deck with Kruphix in it, because he allows you to have no maximum hand size and Zegana loves to draw cards. Yes, it’s possible to build a simic deck around Kruphix with these cards, but I think it’s highly unlikely. Just in case it does gain popularity though, look at Vorel of the Hull Clade ($0.50) to see some play along with Biomancer and Sage of Hours, Prophet of Kruphix ($3) to create bonkers amount of mana with Kruphix in play, and maybe even Progenitor Mimic ($3.75). If I had to recommend any cards to invest in, I’d say to pick up some Prophet of Kruphix if you can find them cheap. It seems to be doing well in other formats outside of standard such as EDH.
Just as with Supreme Verdict, I think the RTR cycle of uncounterable cards is going to see an increase in value in the future. This is another long term bet, but I think picking up foils of these now for cheap might be good for down the road in case it ever becomes big in modern or EDH. It’s a little under $1 right now, so I don’t think it would be too much out of your wallet to pick on up.
I think Izzet Charm ($.75) is good uncommon to pick up as well while it’s cheap. It sees play in some Modern decks like Tin Fists that want to throw cards away quickly as well as have the other options available to them if need be. Keep an eye on how Keranos does in standard. I think people will definitely want to take advantage of his card draw + damage, so cards like Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius ($1.50) might seen an increase as well since he’s a great card for devotion. I personally think the format is too fast for him, and removal is too rampant. I personally like Ral Zarek ($9.25) with Keranos since they work well in conjunction with one another. Keranos can bolt somebody or creature for 3 damage, and Ral Zarek can finish them off. With enough counter spells and tempo, you could make quick work of an opponent’s life total. Six damage a turn is a lot. I feel like an Izzet deck is a lot more probable one than Simic, so keep your eyes on how Keranos performs.
Next time on Bang for your Buck
I felt burned on how blue did during Born of the Gods, so this time I’m being more bearish on my outlook for Journey into Nyx. Blue should see some fringe play, but I’m not putting my money where my mouth is this time. If you disagree or have some other insight on these colors, I’d like to hear what you think down below. Black, Orzhov, and Dimir will be the next group of cards I go over this weekend. Black should continue to flex its muscle in standard, and Orzhov seems to have gained a lot from Journey into Nyx as well thanks to the new BW god. Be sure to check back here in a few days for the next installment. Until then, good luck at FNM tomorrow and let me know your thoughts on the new JOU cards you encounter in standard!