Bang for your Buck: Investing in Cards for Journey into Nyx – 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.
We’ve finally reached the end of the Bang for your Buck series, and not a moment too soon. I’m heading off to Pro Tour Journey into Nyx on Thursday morning from Nagoya, Japan, and it will be very difficult to post anything until after the weekend. Even then it will be difficult to put up anything substantial. I’d like to beg for your patience over the next week as I enjoy my honeymoon and the Pro Tour in the southern United States. It’s also good that we cover land before the Modern PTQ season starts, because shocklands are already starting to creep up. Let’s take a quick look at what I talked about last time, then jump right into it.
Previous Land and Artifact suggestions
- Pithing Needle ($1.80) – I said the artifact would stick around the $2 range, and it has. It still sees a decent amount of sideboard play and still has a large number of targets in standard.
- Ratchet Bomb ($1) – I thought it would be used as a cheap sweeper against decks that didn’t have ways to get rid of small creatures quickly, but it wasn’t used as widely in sideboards as I thought. That makes me 1 for 2.
- Hallowed Fountain ($9.25), Steam Vents ($10), Stomping Ground ($9.75) – These cards were at $8, $7.75, and $8.50 respectively last time when I said they were great deals and to pick them up. Indeed they have already started to creep up, and they will only go up further. I said to pick up all the shocks you could, and if you did you’ve made quite a lot of money on them! Since there are 10 shocklands, I’m going to count this as 10 wins. Woohoo! 11 for 12!
- Maze’s End ($2) – This was my big gamble last time when it was at $1.75, and while it didn’t go up as much as I thought it would, it still went up which means I wasn’t really wrong. Another win to make it 12/13.
- Mutavault ($29.50) – I’m surprised it dropped in price so early before rotation, but I guess lots of people are trying to get a profit off it while they can. My first real loss, 12 for 14.
- Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx ($7) – I said it would go down in price as people moved away from devotion based strategies, and it has. If you followed my advice and sold it last time, you probably got a nice profit. 13 out of 15.
Well, if you knew anything about Magic’s other formats, then you knew the shocklands were going to go up so it wasn’t too hard for me to get the majority of suggestions right. After the pitiful results from every other color this time, I’m happy to take a win wherever I can. Today’s list shouldn’t be too long, so let’s take a look at what the future holds for the current lands and artifacts in standard.
Foil versions of Chromatic Lantern are currently going for $27, and I’m guessing it’s because of EDH. The current price of a regular one is $4, but I could see it going up in price as more players get into Commander due to how versatile the card is. I’d expect regular ones to hit about $5-$6 by October, so it might be a good idea to get some now if you’re planning on getting into that format in the future.
Like I said before, pretty much all of the shocklands are worth picking up at this point, but some more than others. I’ll cover each of them real quick and tell you what the odds of them going up in value quickly are. There are certain ones you should pick up now before modern season makes them jump another $1-$3 in price. You also want to buy them cheaper now so you can sell them for a few dollars profit in a few months. Here are my top picks.
- Steam Vents ($10) – this is your best bet for the modern season. UWR control, RUG and UR Splinter Twin, and Storm are very popular decks. I’d expect this to hit $12-$13 by the time M15 is released and the modern PTQ season starts to heat up.
- Overgrown Tomb ($10.50) – Jund just made top 8 of GP Minneapolis, plus there is also BUG control and GB to consider (Makito Mihara won the Super Sunday series at GP Nagoya with it). Other decks like Junk midrange and Melira Pod use it too, so I’d expect this card to have a lot of demand over the next few weeks. To make matters worse, Junk midrange and GB aggro are shaping up to be two of the best decks in standard as well. This could easily hit $14 in the next 2 months.
- Hallowed Fountain ($9.25) – UW control and UWR control will be out in large numbers this modern season, especially since cards like Supreme Verdict and Sphinx’s Revelation are so easy to come by in standard. I don’t expect it to get as high as the other lands, but it’s the cheapest right now and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it hit $11 this summer.
- Blood Crypt ($9.75) – Another rather cheap shockland, it is used mainly in Jund decks, but there are a large enough number of those decks doing well in tournament play that it should keep demand for Bloody Crypt rather high. Just as with Hallowed Fountain, I think it could go up to about $11 in June.
- Breeding Pool ($10.50) – BUG control and RUG Twin (thanks to Tarmogoyf) are the main supporters of this land, and with many people abandoning the UR Splinter Twin deck for access to Goyf, lots of people are going to need this land. Not a large increase from its current price, but expect $12 this summer.
- Sacred Foundry ($14) – RW burn, Naya Zoo, and even UWR contorol this this card so I expect it’s value to inch up a little more this summer. It’s the most expensive of all of them, but there is still room to go up more. It will be at least $15.
- Temple Garden ($10.25) – GW hatebears and Naya Zoo use this card the most, but in standard we’ll definitely see more reanimator and Junk midrange over the next few weeks and that will cause the price to go up higher. I’d expect the top on this to be about $13 before M15 comes out.
- Stomping Ground ($9.70) – It’s used in RUG Twin, Jund, and Naya, but is less important than the other shocklands which is why it’s valued less. It also sees less play in standard, which means it won’t go up in value too much. Maybe $11.
- Godless Shrine ($11) – BW tokens is the only real modern deck that uses this card exclusively, but Junk midrange, BW aggro, and Esper control in standard should push the prices higher in a few weeks.
- Watery Grave ($11) – Ok, so it’s in UB Faeries, BUG control, and a few other decks, but I don’t really see the card going up too much this season unless a deck like Faeries puts up good numbers. It should still go up in price a little though, but maybe only a dollar.
Out of all of the temples seeing play right now, my money is on Temple of Silence ($5) to go up. This is mostly due to GWB decks getting played more, as well as the continued popularity of Esper control decks. As for Mutavault, which once had a $40 price tag but is now down to about $30, it sounds like the card will continue to drop. Mutavault held a premium before M14 was printed, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it stays at around $25 after rotation. It’s good to have a playset of these cards, so if you can find them for less than $20, I’d recommend picking them up.
The Wrap Up
And that, my readers, is it. After 2 weeks, we’ve finally finished going over what to invest in from the current standard metagame. The new metagame is feeling fresh and should do more to move the prices of cards than Born of the Gods did. If you take anything from this last article, remember to buy Shocklands. Modern PTQ season will definitely push the prices higher, and as more people get into other older formats, less of these cards will be on the market. The original Ravnica shocklands were anywhere from $15-$20 before Return to Ravnica reprinted them, and as supply runs out I think they’ll hit those prices again in the future.
I also want to remind you that I’ll be taking part in Pro Tour Journey into Nyx this weekend in Atlanta, Georgia. My flight leaves tomorrow morning, which doesn’t give me much time to do last minute preparation for the event. Being a full time employee, I definitely won’t have enough booster drafts or play testing under my belt before the pro tour. The Magic pros, those people who draft all day long and test all day long, will definitely have an advantage over me. Be that as it may, I still have faith in my ability. I have become one of the best players in Nagoya, and I’ve beaten pro-level players before. I don’t expect to do incredibly well at the Pro Tour, but I think I can make day 2 by getting 12 points or more on Friday.
Thanks again for your continued viewership and I look forward to sharing a lot of pictures and information after the Pro Tour this weekend! You can follow me on Twitter (@yoschwenky) if you want, but keep in mind I won’t have phone service in Atlanta so posting will be sporadic. I hope I can share some pics and a short post next Monday or Tuesday though. Until then, good luck gaming!