Bang for your Buck: Investing in Cards for M15 – Red & Green
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.
Today I’ll be covering the next two colors in the cycle, red and green. I thought that the last article turned out well with two colors, so I’ll be continuing that format for remainder of the articles. Again, this is due to the low amount of cards we have to work from because of rotation happening in a few months. There are very few Return to Ravnica block cards that will keep their value, so we can leave out a few hundred cards from the discussion. Lets take a look at my last picks from Journey into Nyx standard. I’m guessing that they will be following the trend that other other cards have been following, and that overall I would have lost money if I invested in them. Well, it only hurts if you pull of the bandaid slowly . . .
Previous Red and Green suggestions
- Chandra, Pyromaster – I told you to get rid of her while she was at $14 because she was either going to be reprinted or rotate out, and both were good suggestions at the time. She was reprinted in M15 and is currently going for about $8 online.
- Flame-Wreathed Phoenix – I thought the Phoenix would be a good investment at $2, but it’s dropped another 50 cents to $1.50. The card is finally starting to see play in some aggressive red decks, but I think we’re still a few months away from seeing any increase in value from it.
- Anger of the Gods – $2 seemed like a good price to invest at, but just like the Phoenix, it too is only $1.50 now. This is strange since it sees play in Modern, but I guess the lack of fast aggro decks and red players in standard really decreased demand in that format for it.
- Skullcrack – Yay! I said it would probably go up closer to rotation because of it’s play in modern burn decks, and it’s hit $1, up from $.60 last time.
- Stormbreath Dragon – Another disappointment. Cheap black removal has kept him out of standard, so we definitely won’t see him gain any ground until fall. He dropped about $3.75 in price since my last article.
- Young Pyromancer – I said to sell him at $2.25, and if you did you made some cash. he’s now at $1.75 and will probably go down a little more when he appears in a future event deck.
- Boon Satyr and Arbor Colossus – both cards’ prices haven’t moved that much since last time, so it wasn’t a bad move if you invested in them for standard this fall at May’s prices.
- Courser of Kruphix – The last time we left our friend Mr. Courser, he was sitting at $8.75 in the USA. I mentioned that he was already seeing prices of $16 in Japan and that you should pick him up NOW. If you did, you saved quite a bit of cash because he’s now at $14.50. Even with the event deck reprinting him, you still got quite a deal if you bought him last time.
- Garruk, Caller of Beasts and Kalonian Hydra – I said to sell both away last time and if you did you saved yourself $3 in losses on each.
- Scavenging Ooze – Another card that saw movement in Japan first and has been playing catch up in the USA. It’s still rather low overseas, but I don’t expect it will stay that way much longer.
I did pretty well on telling you which cards to sell, I just wish I had done that type of speculation more 6 months ago instead of when Journey into Nyx came out. I could have earned us all a little bit more cash. What a difference a set makes. Innistrad and Return to Ravnica were both incredibly popular blocks and it drew a lot of people to standard, which in turn kept prices up. With Theros, I think Wizards dropped the ball. Without the numbers to support the prices, I’m going to guess that prices will continue to stay low until the next block. However, just as I said about the last few colors though, there is no better time than now to get your staple rare cards for standard in the fall.
Four was the key number for toughness in the Return to Ravnica and Theros block. Cards like Ghor-Clan Rampager and Courser of Kruphix are two good examples of this. This is why Mizzium Mortars was the go to red removal spell, and also why Fated Conflagration deals 5 damage. After one look at M15, I can guess that Wizards is reigning in the power levels again. There are quite a lot of creatures in that set with 3 or less toughness, which means Anger of the Gods might see more play this fall. It’s still too early to tell, but $1.50 is still a good price so get your play set now.
Eidolon of the Great Revel has finally proven itself and found a spot in Legacy and Modern. There was a good article a while back at MTGPrice.com about how later expansions in a block are opened a lot less, which means that Revel’s price will probably benefit from this. It’s current at $5.50, but with modern season in full swing now and SCG hosting more modern events in the future, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this hit $7 by fall.
I’m going to continue recommending Flame-Wreathed Phoenix ($1.50) as well. It’s a decent Mythic rare that will eventually find a spot in standard, just not in this one. Get it cheap and put it in your binder until it sees play again. Not like you’re going to lose too much by doing so.
I really don’t know how much lower this can go. Stormbreath Dragon will probably dip another dollar or two as black continues its dominance in M15 standard, but red looks like it’s going to be pretty powerful in the Khans of Tarkir block. I have a feeling that Dragons are going to play a big role in the next block, so don’t wait too long to pick these up. Trade for them if you have to, but get them now while their price is low ($13.25). You’ll thank me in fall when it’s back up near $20 this winter.
Eidolon of Blossoms has shown itself to be a great casual card. Lots of players enjoyed the Enchantress deck that Saito made at the beginning of Journey into Nyx standard, and since then players have also picked up both Junk and GB constellation decks. The card is currently $3.50, but I think strong casual demand will push its value up between $4-5 this fall. Most stores in Japan currently BUY it at $3, and that price has only climbed since the card came out. This is probably one of my riskier suggestions this time around, but I think it will continue to see some play throughout its standard life.
Hail Hydra! – a note on casual demand
Hydra’s have always been casual favorites. Players love to play giant creatures and attack for insane amounts of damage. This is the reason why cards like Primordial Hydra still have $6+ price tags even though they see almost ZERO play in standard. With M15, we have cards like Genesis Hydra and Nissa, Worldwaker and I think these cards will really push Hydras in the format, at least for casual players. I think cards like Hydra Broodmaster ($1), Mistcutter Hydra ($2) Heroes’ Bane ($0.25), and maybe even Kalonian Hydra ($8) will see some play at FNMs this summer. If you add Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx into the mix, I think it’s quite possible that we’ll see some of these cards being played. If I was going to invest in any up them though, I’d probably go with Hydra Broodmaster and Mistcutter Hydra. If Hydras becomes a casual favorite, I’d also expect Nylea, God of the Hunt ($4.50) to see a bit more play. Green devotion decks just might be making a comeback!
Speaking of Hydras, I think Polukranos, World Eater could see more play by the end of M15 standard. Chord of Calling is going to give green a lot of new tricks, and nothing is better than playing a 5/5 at instant speed on your opponent’s turn. It’s $5.50 now, but I could see it reaching $7.50 in a month or two due to both casual demand and play in standard. I’m going to continue recommending Scavenging Ooze ($6) as well. You won’t really appreciate it until it’s gone. It will only go up after October.
My gamble this time around is going to be Setessan Tactics. I’ve seen this card in action against me in a GW deck, and it gives colors without board wipes some very real teeth. It’s incredibly cheap to cast, and if you’re playing a GR deck where your creatures have 4-5 power on average, this card is going to win you a game. I don’t know how many times I lost to opponents because I didn’t expect it. It’s only $0.50, so get your playset for $2 while you can.
Three color decks could possibly make a comeback in Khans thanks to talk of having shard mana (3 color) returning. If we see a lot of 3 color decks, I expect that Sylvan Carytid ($6.50) will go up in price. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it hit $8 by September.
Next Time on Bang for your Buck
In my next article, I’ll be finishing up the rest of the cards which includes multicolor, artifacts, and lands. It might seem like a lot, but I will do my best to make it compact and easy to understand. Some people say we are currently in a “bear” market for Magic cards right now. Will prices remain low for the foreseeable future? Is it because of too much supply or is it because of too much speculation and not enough people actually buying the cards to play with them? Magic is definitely growing and the player base will continue to swell in the next few years. What we have to look for when investing is where will there be the most growth. There was a huge influx of modern players this year which caused lots of cards to shoot up in value. The number of competitive players in standard should remain stable too, so where are we to make any money? In my opinion, casual markets and EDH hold the key. EDH is still growing in popularity over here in Japan. It hasn’t reached the numbers it has over in the USA, but when it does I think we could see prices go up around the world in response since Japan is one of the largest markets for MTG outside of North America. At least that’s what I believe.
If you have any comments or suggestions about the colors I covered today, I’d like to know what you think. I’m not really that good with formats other than standard and modern, so I would appreciate any insight on cards that could have an effect on legacy or EDH in conjunction with any new cards that came out in the latest expansion. Well, I’ll be working on the last article as much as I can over the next few days, so be sure to check back with me before the weekend. Hopefully it will be out by Friday. See you then!