Bang for your Buck: Investing in cards for Journey into Nyx – Green, Golgari, and Selesnya
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.
I’ve been really busy with preparing for Pro Tour Journey into Nyx but I can say that I’m feeling good about my choices for the block constructed portion and that I’ve greatly improved my drafting skills (but I still need more practice). I haven’t really had a chance to play that much standard recently, but there has been a huge switch in the Nagoya metgame to Golgari and Junk (GBW), which means it’s a good time to invest in these cards. Cards like Temple of Malady have infused the metagame with some fresh air, and hopefully we’ll see more BG based strategies over the next few months on top of the previous top tier ones. Before we get started with today’s suggestions, lets take a look at how my previous picks did.
Previous Golgari, Selesnya, and Green cards
- Boon Satyr ($1.50) – Boon Satyr was really big in pre-BNG GR decks, especially GR devotion, but Hero of Iroas and Temple of Plenty didn’t have the effect on its price like I thought it would. White weenie and black aggro did really well, but GW was hampered by mana costs. Getting a green and white mana consistently was very difficult, and nobody played the deck.
- Garruk, Caller of Beasts ($13.50) – Gah, another big drop in value thanks to everybody forgetting GR devotion and other green strategies. Who would have thought the decks popularity would hit close to zero. That makes me 0 for 2 so far.
- Kalonian Hydra ($11.50) – This is another card I thought would be really good in a GR deck, especially with the Xenagos God card (and it did see some play early in BNG standard). However, blacks removal was just too good and stopped players from playing this archetype. Yay, 0 for 3.
- Nylea, God of the Hunt ($4.75), Mistcutter Hydra ($3) – I thought both cards would keep their value around $6 going into BNG standard, but as with the last few cards I’ve talked about, green decks were all but forgotten, especially Colossal Gruul/aka GR devotion. 0/5
- Polukranos, World Eater ($7) – This card actually has been holding it’s value rather well in Japan. It sells for about $12 on average, but in the USA it’s playability has been pushed down thanks to mono black. It’s not a huge drop, but it’s a loss nonetheless. 0 for 6.
- Scavenging Ooze ($7) – people are starting to pick this card up in large numbers since Deathrite Shaman was banned in modern, but the lack of play in standard is keeping it’s price low. I really thought I’d get a win here, but alas it’s not to be. 0 for 7.
- Sylvan Carytid ($5.75) – Finally a WIN! Sylvan Carytid has seen play in every 3 color green deck out there such as GBW, GRW, and even some BUG control decks which means its value was bound to go up. That makes me 1 for 8 now.
- Witchstalker ($3) – I thought it would see some more play in standard, but not as many people picked up GW, Naya, or Bant hexproof as I thought they would. The price didn’t change, and I didn’t say it would, so I won’t count this toward my W/L.
- Advent of the Wurm ($1.75) – I just can’t win with green cards from the previous metagame. Advent saw little play as midrange decks in general never gained that much popularity. I blame it on mono black. 1 for 9.
- Fleecemane Lion ($2) – Same old same old. Nobody played GW so its value dipped. Another loss, 1/10.
- Voice of Resurgence ($25) – I thought seeing play in Modern and other formats would help Voice’s value, but just as with Scavenging Ooze, the lack of people playing Selesnya in standard has really hurt it. 1/11.
- Deathrite Shaman ($10.50) – I said that the modern banning would lower the price a bit, but that play in other formats should keep his value about $10. Yay, I was right. 2/12.
*slaps my face to psyche myself up* Get it together Ryan. Yeah these were bad picks last time, but it isn’t the end of the world. Nobody can control the metagame at will. Sometimes players will ZIG when you think they’re going to ZAG. That’s just life. 😦 It does hurt to have only been right 2 times out of 12 though. Let’s hope that I do much better this time.
One of these days, Green devotion/GR monsters will be back, and that’s why I’m going to recommend some staples from that deck now while they’re cheap. The first card I’d like to recommend is Arbor Colossus ($.70). It is a staple in my Naya block constructed deck, and it was big in GR devotion as well. I don’t know if he’ll see too much movement in this metagame, but the move towards GB and GBW means he might see a little more play in some decks. Maybe he’ll hit $1 this summer, but I feel pretty confident about buying him now for rotation. I think Boon Satyr for $1.50 is also a good buy. I don’t think we’ll see him too much in Journey into Nyx standard, but he’ll be a good cards post rotation. Pick him up now while he’s cheap.
Courser of Kruphix is about $8.75 in the USA now, but he’s hit $16 in Japan. It’s in almost every green midrange deck you can find, and it’s even seeing play in modern as well. I don’t expect the Japanese price to stay high, but I don’t think the USA one will stay low either. I think we’ll see this card in the $10 range by summer.
As for Garruk, Caller of Beasts, I expect him to dip below $10 in the next few months, even if he does see play in some standard decks. You should be trading him away now if you can. It sounds like there will be a NEW Garruk in M15, which means he won’t be seeing a reprint. You also have to factor in that the new GW Ajani does his +1 ability (somewhat) and is also a mana cheaper. Taking all this into account, I don’t think his $13.50 price tag is going to stay that high for long. It’s probably a good time to trade away your Kalonian Hydra’s ($11.50) as well.
While I was wrong and the card lost value last time, I’m pretty confident it will see a price increase in a few weeks. Modern season is about to start in June, and since Deathrite Shaman was banned he’s been picking up a lot of graveyard duty. I’d expect to see him in Naya zoo, GW hatebears, BG rock, and Jund decks to name a few. He’s holding his value at about $12 in Japan right now, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him hit $10 before M15.
I’d like to believe we’ll see some new GW aggro decks such as GW hexproof in the new metagame, especially now that we have Mana Confluence to smooth out the mana and ensure we’re able to play our powerful 2 drop creature on time. While this could just be wishful thinking, there are still some deals to be had. If the prices don’t go up by summer, I’m sure they’ll go up after rotation. I think Fleecemane Lion ($1.75) is a very solid card and worth picking up at his current price if you can afford it. He might hit $1.50 in the next few weeks, but he’ll definitely be back above $3 sometime in the future.
My big gamble this time is Loxodon Smiter. Well, he’s not that good in standard at the moment thanks to Hero’s Downfall, but I think he has a place in modern decks such as GW hatebears and Naya Zoo, so I think his current price of $1.75 will go up after rotation. I’ve actually picked up a few at $1 and I don’t feel bad about that at all. This is more a long term investment, but he’ll definitely go up in value in a few months as modern gets more popular.
Voice of Resurgence’s ‘resurgence’ hinges on the metagame a lot. I could see being played in standard, but not in the numbers needed to keep it’s value above $20. Yes, it was a $40 card before (when Selesnya was a great archetype), but I don’t think it will go up that high again in the immediate future. It does see some play in modern, but after rotation I don’t now how much demand there will be for it. I think $20-$25 is a sweet spot. If you find it for cheaper, definitely pick it up, but otherwise I wouldn’t expect it to go above $30 again if you’re waiting for it to do so (at least in the near future).
I’ve recommended Abrupt Decay before when it was much lower ($7 or so), but now I think it’s worth mentioning again. Mono black devotion with green is putting up good results in JOU standard at the moment, but more importantly this card is seeing a lot of play in both Legacy and Modern (Jund, BG rock, and BUG control to name a few). With rotation coming in a few months, this card is going to become increasingly hard to find and it’s price of $10.50 is only going to go up in the future. If the foil price of $85 is any indication, I think you’ll be fine paying $10 for it. You’ll double your investment by next year. Trade for it if you can’t buy them!
Varolz, the Scar-Striped is another card that could see more play in modern so I would keep an eye out for it. It’s seen some play in decks like Melira Pod as another sacrifice outlet to activate Murderous Redcap or Kitchen Finks, so I’d expect it would still have some value after rotation. It’s only $1.25 right now, so it might not be bad to pick up a few now while they are cheap. I also expect Vraska the Unseen ($5) to see more play and maybe even go up in value, but her inclusion in the event deck should keep that from happening before rotation.
Next time on Bang for your Buck
We’re not done yet. We actually have a decent amount of artifacts and lands to cover, so we’ll be wrapping up this series either Sunday or Monday night. With the modern season less than a month away, I expect many of the shocklands from the Return to Ravnica block to go up in price. Which ones though? We’ll, you’ll have to read the article to find out! Thanks for reading as always, and let’s cross our fingers and hope I do better this time than last time. If you have any other suggestions, I’d like to hear them!