Bang for your Buck: Investing in Cards for M15 – Blue & Black

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. Prices I used are based on the iMTG IOS app, using TCG player.com’s mid-level price range.

 

White doesn’t seem like it will be too interesting in the next few weeks, especially since black and green got some fun cards in M15. Blue will be in a similar situation, with decks like mono blue devotion losing a lot of its power after rotation, but there are some great deals you can take advantage of now. Due to the low number of cards we have to look at, I’m going to start putting two colors together for these articles. Before we start, let’s look at the cards I suggested last time and see how they performed.

 

Previous Blue & Black Suggestions

 

  • Bident of Thassa – Mono blue devotion still puts up good numbers from time to time at events, but it’s not longer the dominant powerhouse that it was during Theros standard. I thought Bident would go up, but instead it stayed the same price at $.50.
  • Jace, Architect of Thought – I said if Blue devotion got big again he’d might see a spike, but I wasn’t really counting on it. He’s continued to drop in value and has pretty much bottomed out at this point. I’d say I was correct and I’m 1/2.
  • Master of Waves – I said he was a must buy at $7, but he’s actually gone down even further to $4.50. Again, this is because MUD hasn’t seen much play at all. I’m still in shock at how low it’s gone. 1/3.
  • Thassa, God of the Sea – Blue devotion let me down again, and Thassa dropped even further in value. She’s still one of the better gods to have, but now she’s only $7.50.
  • Agent of Fates – Mono black aggro was a thing at one point, but not anymore. I thought it would take off but it didn’t and instead Agent’s value kept steady at $.50.
  • Desecration Demon – I thought it would hold its value more since people are still playing a lot of mono black, but nothing can stop his downward spiral at this point.
  • Pack Rat – Same as with Demon, nothing can stop the downward spiral in price.
  • Hero’s Downfall – It’s gone up slightly to $5.25 and is still seeing heavy play. Surprised it  hasn’t gone up more though.
  • Pain Seer – Another victim of mono black aggro’s downfall.
  • Thoughtseize – I’m really surprised that this hasn’t gone up more. It’s sitting at $17 in the USA, but in Japan you can actually sell it for $15 and up depending on the place.
  • Xathrid Necromancer – Athreos never took off with BW humans, so neither did Necromancer.

It’s my belief that the popularity of standard has waned these last few weeks and the prices of cards reflect that change. The PTQ season is modern and will be going until the end of August. The World Cup qualifiers also don’t begin until the end of August as well, so there are going to be very few pushes on standard cards to perform well outside of local events in your area like standard Grand Prix, Opens, or invitationals. As we look at which cards to invest in for the Khans of Tarkir environment, keep in mind that most of these cards probably won’t really go up in value until sometime in September or October. I will be focusing mostly on cards that have powerful effects that are undervalued and might possibly see play.

Blue

 

Cyclonic Rift

Cyclonic Rift

Cyclonic Rift is a popular EDH card, which is largely the reason that it has a $3 price tag right now. With the set due to rotate in a few months and the Overload keyword making it difficult to reprint outside of a special limited edition set, I think investing in a few of these might not be a bad idea. Wait on it until mid-August or early September and if you see it for around $2 snap a few up. As commander gets more popular, the card should see an increase in value. It might be a few months though, so think of this as a long term investment. While we’re on the topic of EDH, Enter the Infinite ($1) might be worth speculating on. Not a high profit prospect, but if you can buy a few at bulk prices, why not? Even better if you can cheap foils.

Another card that might see some more fringe play now that Convoke is standard viable is Daring Thief ($0.25). There was a fun King of Malacar and Daring Thief deck at the pro tour, and I think the deck has strong casual appeal, especially if you can activate the Inspired mechanic much more easily. You can pick up a playset of the thief for $1 if not cheaper, so why not? Again, not something I expect to see in competitive standard, but I believe it has casual appeal.

A short note on Mono Blue devotion

 

We saw how strong mono blue devotion was in Theros standard, and I don’t think that the deck will be totally erased from standard after rotation. I tested an interesting mono blue build for the Pro Tour block constructed portion and it actually did pretty well. It wasn’t the strongest choice for the meta, but it could still win games and get a lot of card advantage just as the current build does. Here are some cards I’d like to recommend speculating on in case this deck ever takes off:

  • Hour of Need ($0.20) – great way to win a game by turning all your 1/1’s into 4/4 sphinxes.
  • Hypnotic Siren ($0.70) – I don’t think it will see play outside of a MUD build, but if the deck gets big this will be a premier 1 drop.
  • Dakra Mystic ($0.30) – Another good choice for a one drop in a mono blue build.
  • Battlefield Thaumaturge ($0.60) – If you want to cast that Hour of Need early, this guy will make incredibly cheap to do so.
  • Mindreaver ($0.25) – not a great card, but helps with devotion in mono blue.

If we include Bident of Thassa, Thassa, God of the sea, Hall of Triumph, and Master of Waves into the mix, we have the potential for a tier 2 or tier 1.5 blue devotion deck. Encrust and Invisibility from M15 might help this deck out in October, but I think there will have to be some solid blue cards in Khans of Tarkir to help these cards take off in value. If you see some quality blue cards being printed that might be playable in mono blue, consider picking up cards from the list above while they are at bulk prices. Sadly, I don’t see Thassa, God of the Sea ($7.50) or Bident of Thassa ($0.50) going up in value much over the next few weeks, but if Thassa drops to the $5-6 range, I WOULD recommend picking them up.

Master of Waves

Master of Waves

Even though he’s a blue creature, Mater of Waves burned me last time. I really thought he’d go up in value, but since blue devotion has dropped off the face of the earth (in standard), his value has nose-dived to $4.50. I still like him and think he’s going to see play in the fall, so wait another few weeks and if his price doesn’t change I’d pick him up at this price. Blue/Black control might be a thing in M15 standard thanks to cards like In Garruk’s Wake, Liliana Vess, Aethersprouts and Polymorhpist’s Jest. If you’re playing Jace, Architect of Thought and a few other blue permaments, he might see some play in that deck as an alternate win condition.

 

Black

 

Although black will lose a lot of cheap removal to rotation in October such as Doom Blade, Devour Flesh, and Ultimate Price, the mono black decks are still going to be strong. With Underworld Connections leaving the format, we could see more players relying on Erebos, God of the Dead ($5.75) to draw cards with. If that happens, he might go up a little in value. In all likeliness though, we’ll probably just see players turning to Sign in Blood or Read the Bones. In Garruk’s Wake will probably shift the deck back towards its devotion roots and look to play Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx to activate that spell quickly.

Master of the Feast

Master of the Feast

Master of the Feast is a good candidate to take over Desecration Demon’s spot. He’s already going for $3.75, but as we get closer to rotation I think his price will hit $5 or more. Too many players like playing mono black and don’t want to give up a flying 5/5 fatty.

Hero's Downfall

Hero’s Downfall

Just as I did last time, I’d like to recommend Hero’s Downfall ($5.25) again. As we gt farther and farther away from Theros, less packs will be opened and it’s value will increase. I expect UB control to be a thing in M15, but that is on top of BW, mono black, GB, Jund, and Junk decks. Black is going to be popular no matter what happens, so getting a play set of these cards cheap is going to be a good deal. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it hit $7 in the fall. Silence the Believers ($1.25) is another card that I think will see play in black devotion decks in the future so consider getting your playset at $1 apiece right now. 

Going back to what I said about Daring Thief earlier and its casual appeal, I think King Macar, the Gold-Cursed ($0.50) will also be big in casual environments. We’ve yet to see how Convoke will effect the metagame, but I think it just might help the popularity of Inspire cards. I’d see how Pain Seer ($1.50) can exploit it as well.

Nighthowler

Nighthowler

This card sells for $1 in the USA, but you can actually sell it to stores in Nagoya for for than that. I bought a whole bunch at $1 the other day and sold them for $1.80 afterwards. This card can be very powerful in GB dredge decks along with Strength of the Fallen, and if Delve is indeed returning as a mechanic in the Khans block as its been rumored, we could see a lot more effects that efficiently dump cards in the graveyard and make this strategy even more viable. I think Now’s a good time to pick up a playset of these. It will save you a few bucks come October.

Thoughtseize

Thoughtseize

This card is only going to go up. The Lorwyn version is still $33, even though it was reprinted in Theros. It’s still a deal at $17, so pick them up now. Stores in Japan are buying them for $15 and up, and I don’t see them ever getting cheaper. They see heavy play in other formats as well, so don’t be the last to the party.

 

Next Time on Bang for your Buck

 

I think it’s much more efficient to do 2 colors at one time since I’m pulling from such a limited card pool, so next time I’ll be covering Green and Red. Both colors treated me pretty badly this time, but I guess that’s to be expected when one color dominates standard. Another reason for being off could be that my metagame over here in Japan tends to be different from the one overseas. There should still be a lot of bargains to be had, so keep an eye out and your wallets open. If you have any other tips or suggestions on these colors, please feel free to comment down below. Look for the next article later this week!

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