Bang for your Buck: Investing in Cards for M15 – Multicolor, Artifacts, & 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. Prices I used are based on the iMTG IOS app, using TCG player.com’s mid-level price range.
The large majority of multicolors cards currently in standard are on their last legs. Once they are out of standard, they’ll drop in price quite a bit. In my last article I’d like to point out which ones I think will continue to see play in other formats, while notifying you of which ones to sell. I’ll also be talking about artifacts and lands afterwards, so there are quite a few to get through. Before we go over this month’s picks, let’s see how my choices performed from last time.
Previous Multicolor, Artifact, and Land Suggestions
- Detention Sphere – Aside from UW control this card didn’t see any play in Nyx standard so it lost about a dollar, dropping to $1.50.
- Sphinx’s Revelation – This card sees play in modern, and is the go to card in UW control in standard, but without UWR, Bant, or other Azorius based control deck in standard, this card took a huge hit and dropped to $9.50.
- Supreme Verdict – Really, I just give up at this point. The card dropped to $3.50, half the price I thought it would be at this summer. It makes me sick to realize how stale and uninspiring standard has become. Basically if you’re not playing black don’t play at all. That’s how I feel.
- Boros Reckoner – I said it wouldn’t be able to hold it’s value above $10, and it’s dipped to $4 at this point due to being so close to rotation. I was right, but I think this one was pretty obvious.
- Aurelia, the Warleader – She hasn’t dropped as severely as the other cards, but she still lost about $1 since last time. I thought RW midrange might be a thing with Iroas, but RW aggro took off instead.
- Boros Charm – I said it would hold it’s value, and I’d actually gone up $.25 to $2.75 since last time. That still only makes me 2/6 though.
- Kiora, the Crashing Wave – She was at $18 last time and I said that price wouldn’t last much longer, and sure enough she’s dropped to $13.50. It seems like I’m getting better at guessing which cards won’t hold their price than which ones will go up. That’s just the market I guess – 3 for 7 now.
- Prophet of Kruphix – I thought somebody might put together a Master Biomancer/Sage of the Hours deck with the Prophet in it, but nothing has happened with her lately. She’s down to $2 now, which is a dollar loss since last time. That puts me at 3 out of 8.
- Ral Zarek – I said to keep an eye on how Keranos performed and if Izzet seemed like a viable choice, but that never happened to Ral went down even further to $7.
- Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver – I said it was worth picking up at $7.50, and luckily it’s held it’s value since last time. Not gonna say that’s a win though.
- Notion Thief – This guy is fun to play with, and people are starting to realize that in the casual community. It wasn’t much, but he went up to $0.60 from $.50 last time, so I’ll consider that a win. Still only puts me at 4/10, but I’ll take what I can get.
- Ashen Rider – I thought more people would play reanimator, but I haven’t seen much happening with that archetype. It was $2 last time we checked, but he’s only $1.50 now. Ouch again, but I knew I wouldn’t get a lot right this month.
- Obzedat, Ghost Council & Blood Baron of Vizkopa – I didn’t think their prices would change much from $9 and $14 respectively last time, but both cards have dropped to less than half of that value. I thought decks like Junk and BW midrange would keep their values up, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Luckily I sold my Blood Barons 2 weeks ago for $9 each and got an Elspeth and cash for the money.
- Rakdos’s Return – I said it would see more play in decks like Jund, but wouldn’t hold its value much longer at $4. I was correct. It now sits at $2.
- Burning Tree Emissary – There were a few UR and RW devotion decks during Journey into Nyx standard, but not enough to keep BTE’s price above $2. She’s dropped to $1.50.
- Domri Rade – I knew he’d drop a little bit more in price from $20, but I didn’t think he’d go as low as $12. Still I was correct in that he’d drop in value before rotation.
- Fleecemane Lion – It’s a solid card that has inched up a few cents, but otherwise has held its value. I said to invest in them at $1.75 and I wasn’t wrong since the price is still about the same.
- Voice of Resurgence – I expected it to hold its value around $20, and I was somewhat correct. It’s at $19 right now, and that’s with zero play in standard. I lucked out on this one I think.
- Abrupt Decay – It was $10.50 at the time of the last Bang for your Buck, now it’s at $12.50. Next to Courser of Kruphix, this was probably my biggest win in my last articles.
- SHOCKLANDS – Steam Vents: $10 to $10. No change (0/1), Overgrown Tomb: $10.50 to $10 (0/2), Hallowed Fountain $9.25 to $8.50 (0/3), Blood Crypt: $9.75 to $9 (0/4), Breeding Pool: $10.50 to $10 (0/5), Sacred Foundry: $14 to $13 (0/6), Temple Garden: $10.25 to $9.75 (0/7), Stomping Ground $9.70 to $9 (0/8), Godless Shrine: $11 to $10.25 (0/9), Watery Grave: $11 to $10 (0/10). Still good as long term investments, but it looks like the demand wasn’t really there for modern this season. I would like to point out that most shocks performed very well in Japan and some actually went up. The USA’s supply is more saturated I guess.
If we look at which cards did well and which ones didn’t, I think we can see a correlation between decks that won pro-level events such as GPs and Opens, and those that didn’t. In the past, a strong metagame has kept the values of various cards high, but as the Theros metagame shifted the metagame towards largely black, we saw a huge loss of value across the board. Coupled with rotation happening in 2 months, we have some of the lowest prices of cards you’re going to see for a long time. Well, that’s the whole reason I’m doing these articles. Let’s see if we can find some bargains.
At $9, this is the lowest I’ve seen the card in a LONG time. I expect that it will lose another few dollars before rotation, so if you see it around $6-7, pick up a playset. It’s still legal in Legacy, but in the future I’m sure it will be back in Modern as well. When that happens, the price could easily double, if not more. Wait another month or so, and pick them up when they bottom out. Good long term investment I think. Another GB card that sees play in Modern and could go up in value after rotation is Golgari Charm ($.60). I wouldn’t expect it to appreciate quickly, but over time I think this could be a $2-3 card. Maybe even as soon as next year.
Judge’s Familiar ($1) is a good card to have after rotation. One mana creatures with evasion and a built in counterspell will find a place somewhere in the future. Legacy seems like a good contender, but modern might find a use for it as well. Foils are only $2, so that also might be a good investment for the future. While we’re talking about Azorious cards, I’d like to recommend Sphinx’s Revelation as well, but just as I said with the Shaman, I think it will still drop a little bit more before rotation. It’s currently at $9.50, but I think $7 is a possibility for it. If you can get a playset for $20, go for it.
Domri Rade has continued to drop in value, and with only GR and Jund to prop him up at this point, I don’t think he’ll be able to stay above $10 until it rotates. As soon as he drops below $10, get him. I would sit on a playset of him for the future, especially if Naya Zoo becomes big in modern again. Three mana planeswalkers have a way of taking over a game, so it’s only a matter of time before Domri rises in triumph again along with his price.
I expect Boros Charm to become one of the most popular Charms for the RTR block. It’s a 4 of in RW burn in modern, sees play in Naya Zoo decks as well, and you can even find it in EDH too. I think this card will easily hit $5 sometime next year. Get them now while they are only $2.75 or less. From Dragon’s Maze, I kind of like Progenitor Mimic ($3). I think it has applications in Commander, especially alongside cards such as Prophet of Kruphix. You probably don’t need a play set, but having 2 might be alright.
The most popular fuse card of them all (well, in standard) is Turn/Burn. It’s pretty cheap right now ($.30), but I think it will see more play in modern in the future. There are lots of decks that could use it, such as UWR control, UR/RUG Twin, and UR tempo. I don’t think it would be a 4 of, but I do think it has future applications and is worth getting a play set now for $1 instead of waiting until later. This is more of along term investment though. Wear/Tear and Far/Away are also probably in the same boat. Get them cheap now, and be happy down the road that you held onto them.
Another 3 mana planeswalker, this one for $7.50 and another year of play. I wouldn’t expect it to go much lower than $7.50, and you can be sure it will go back above $10 sometime in the next year. This is pretty much a sure thing, so get some now and wait for them to hit a peak after RTR rotates. I bought my Jace, Architect of Thoughts for $6 after Innistrad rotated, and they ended up going back up to $28. Talk about value! I’m sure Ashiok will make you back your money, though not as much as I did on Jace.
For $2.50, Ephara seems like a good value right now. She did well in U/w devotion a few months back, and I think she’ll find her way into a few other UW aggro decks after rotation. I wouldn’t feel bad about getting 4 of these for $10 if I could. She has one of the best chances out of the multicolor gods of seeing standard play in the next few months due to the quality cards in her colors after rotation (such as Brimaz, Banishing Light, etc). Keranos, God of Storms is also a fun card to play with, and I think he can fit in both midrange and control decks well. I think he’ll hold is value at $6.75 over the next few months. Pharika, God of Affliction ($4.25) also has a chance of seeing standard play, but it’s a lot more narrow than Ephara and Keranos I think.
Before Nissa was printed, I would have been sure that Xenagos would go up in value from his current $7 price tag. He’s still going to be good, and I do think he’ll reach prices over $10 again after rotation, but he won’t go as high with Nissa in the same standard environment. He can protect himself well, and he can make a lot of mana, so I think he’ll find a spot in a GR midrange deck in the future. Naya superfriends with Ajani, Elspeth, Xenagos, and Nissa doesn’t seem like a bad strategy at all. I don’t think his price will go up right away, but I think he’ll inch up there this fall/winter
Here are a few more thoughts I have on multicolor Theros cards going into rotation in October:
- GW has been getting stronger since Journey into Nyx, and Fleecmane Lion ($1.80) should see play next season. It’s a strong buy if you can find them at $1.50 or so.
- Reaper of the Wilds is a solid card for 4 mana with two good abilities. It’s only $.60 now, but I think it will see more play, especially in a slower environment that M15 seems to be hinting at.
- Xenagos, god of Revels ($4.25) should be a strong card after rotation. Giving creatures haste and doubling their power will be great, especially if the metagame is more midrange based. Works pretty good with Nissa, Worldwaker I think.
There aren’t really that many artifacts that I would put money in at this point. I think Hall of Triumph ($.75) might see some play in aggro decks in the fall and maybe even during M15 standard, but I don’t think it will go higher than $1 or so.
I still recommend picking up shocklands as a long term investment, but at this point I’d wait until modern season finishes and try to pick them up as people flood the market with them (especially card companies like SCG). I’d expect them to drop a little bit more from what I posted above, and then inch up slowly over the next year.
Most of the Temples are going for $2.50-$3 now, especially those from Theros. The only ones still holding their value are the ones from Journey into Nyx. Malady is going for $10, and Englightenment is at $6.50 now. I think the scry lands in control colors will maintain their value or go up because that’s what control wants. UWR, BWU, and to a lesser extent UGW will see their scry lands do well. The other cards, such as Temple of Malady will go down in value now that Pain Lands are out. I’d much rather be playing a Caves of Koilos and Llanowar Wastes than the Temples in a Junk deck. When speed is involved you’ll want less scry lands to make your deck play smoother. Once shocklands rotate I think the scry lands will be more important, but there is also the rumor going around that we’ll get Wedge lands (such as RUG, BUG, etc) in the next set, as well as a reprint of fetch lands so I wouldn’t spend too much on Scrys unless you really need them. I’d trade away any extra ones you get unless they are in control colors.
Mana Confluence is being bought at around $10-13 around Nagoya at the moment, and I think this card will go up in value if the next block is about 3 color wedges instead of 2 like we’re used to. It’s at $11, but we could see it at $13-$14 after cards from Khans of Tarkir are spoiled. Keep your eyes peeled! Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx was suggested over at MTGPrice.com as a card to invest in before rotation since it’s only at $5, and I want to second that suggestion. Cards like Nissa, Worldwaker and other mana intensive creatures like the Souls are screaming for some devotion shenanigans. I think devotion decks will see a renaissance in fall/winter and Nykthos will see a slight increase to about $7 or $8. Let’s just hope that devotion decks can put up good numbers again.
Well, that will do it for M15 standard’s Bang for your Buck. I’m being a lot more bearish than usual, but after losing so much on the bear market currently affecting MTG prices, I’ve learned my lesson. I’m going to be more in a sell mentality from now on when rotation approaches, and in a bargain hunting mentality when new blocks are announced. As it always is with Core sets, we only have about 1.5 months until spoilers start popping up for the new Khans set. I’ll be focusing on modern for GP Kobe in August, as well as putting together a strong standard deck for the World Cup Qualifiers before and after the Grand Prix as well. I’ll be back next week with a new article with deck ideas and information about the Modern PTQ I am doing on Monday here in Nagoya. I feel good about my deck, but I feel like I still need more practice in modern before I can claim I know what I’m doing. I do feel confident about my friends in Nagoya that are participating though and will be cheering them on. Good luck to you and if you get any type of insider information about card prices going up/down, let us know! Thanks for reading.