Bang for your Buck: Investing in Cards for Khans of Tarkir – Black and Red
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.
Black had the most to lose in the last set as its legacy was being torn apart (black devotion), but red wasn’t going to escape unscathed either. Both colors would lose some key cards that made their previous strategies so potent, but luckily they both have something to offer to Mardu, and also can contribute things to Temur and Abzan decks as well. Let’s take a look and see how the cards I recommended last time did.
Previous Black and Red suggestions
- Master of the Feast – The master hasn’t seen too much movement since rotation and is still sitting at about $3.50 and the reason is mostly because of mono black aggro’s lackluster performance in the opening weeks of KTK standard. There are other decks he could possibly fit in, but we’ll have to wait a few weeks before he picks up any speed.
- Hero’s Downfall – we all knew this was going to become the premier removal spell after rotation, so it’s no surprise that it went from $5.25 to its current price of $11.25. That’s quite a huge leap. If you got them earlier, you could have bought a playset for what 2 would cost now. Big win for me.
- Silence the Believers – still not sure this has found a place yet, so it hasn’t moved at all from it’s previous price of $1.25. I thought it would go up a little bit, but maybe I was wrong. Still, not a loss if you bought the before.
- Nighthowler – I lost $.25 on this from its previous price tag of $1. It will go up, but perhaps I was too early in calling it.
- Thoughtseize – My advice was to pick them up at $17, and already they’re closing in on $20. This card is only going to go up.
- Anger of the Gods – Sweet, another card I was correct about. Anger has doubled in price since last time, going from $1.50 to its current price of $3.50. They were a steal at $1 not too long ago.
- Eidolon of the Great Revel – Little did I know that this guy was going to take down GP Kobe and push his price from $5.50 to $8.25. Really good call on my part, and hopefully some of you picked up a few copies before he went up as well.
- Flame-Wreathed Phoenix – I knew this wasn’t going to go up, but recommended it anyways. Therefore I won’t count it towards my suggestions for KTK standard.
- Stormbreath Dragon – Another big winner on my part. I said to get them at $13.25, and he’s now hit $18.25 for a $5 gain. He does have to compete with Sarkhan now, but this price definitely seems sustainable.
While some of my smaller speculations didn’t pan out, the big ones definitely did. You could have saved more than $100 if you had gotten your playsets of the big money cards during M15 standard instead of waiting until rotation. Hopefully, I can do the same with KTK standard.
When I was playing GBW constellation after the Journey into Nyx Pro Tour, I really liked the deck. The problem was that it didn’t have a lot of good finishers. However, I think that will change now that Khans of Tarkir has reduced the power level somewhat as well as given GBW better mana fixing and fetches to smooth out the deck alongside Courser of Kruphix. I say this because I’d like to recommend some of the pieces of this deck. My first recommendation is Doomwake Giant ($.70). It’s great against tokens and aggro decks using Goblin Rabblemaster, and outside of constellation I’ve also seen him as a 2 of in some GBW midrange decks along side Courser of Kruphix and Genesis Hydra. Herald of Torment($1.50) is another card that I think will see more play, not only in constellation but also in Black aggro decks such as mono black, BW, and BG.
I’m telling you, this card is going to break out. Sultai cards like Taigam’s Scheming and the Delve mechanic have just given dredge and reanimator decks A LOT of new toys. I think we’ll see quite a few of those type of decks abusing the graveyard at Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir, and I think this card could possibly be a 4 of. GBW reanimator, GB dredge, and Sultai dredge all use it to some degree. I think it will go up to $3 or more this fall. If I’m wrong, you only lose $4, but if I’m right you could triple your money. Just a thought. I want to say that Whip of Erebos ($1.75) also might go up due to all of these graveyard antics, but I think its time will be in January.
This card isn’t done going up yet. Theros isn’t going to be opened much anymore, which means what’s on the market is what’s on the market now. Yes, a lot of those mono black devotion players had a bunch of these in M15 standard, but nobody is going to get rid of them easily. I expect them only to go up more and more over time. They are already for sale in Japan for $25+, and most stores are BUYING them for $20 or more. If you can get your hands on some in trade or can buy them for under $20, do it. You’ll most likely make your money back in a few months. Despise may have been reprinted, but it’s not gonna replace Thoughtseize. It’s currently at $19.75, but I expect it to be $22 come next year.
Anger of the Gods ($3.50) and Chandra Pyromaster ($7.75) have made some nice gains since rotation, but I don’t think they’ll move that much more until until the metagame settles down. They both seem like good cards for red decks, but only if you’re playing GR midrange or some kind of Mardu control where your creatures can survive.
Most of us have also missed the boat in Goblin Rabblemaster ($19.50). I think the card is good, but I don’t think this price will be sustainable for long. It should hold a lot of its value and put up good results during the Pro Tour next week, but once it hits its peak, I would sell. I sold mine for $12 each a little early 2 weeks ago (they can now be sold for $15 in town), but since I bought them for $1 originally I didn’t feel too bad about it. I also got my hands on a promo playset before doing so, and still have a foil that I picked up for $3 during the M15 release. The Rabblemaster will be a great card for the remainder of its time in standard, but I think his price will settle around $13-$15 this winter after people start hating him out. So yeah, wait for the Pro Tour, let him hit his peak, then trade him away for something like fetchlands or Thoughtseizes that will hold their value easier. If you’re using him, then by all means hold onto him, but otherwise you should able able to buy them back cheaper after his price drops.
Prophetic Flamespeaker ($5.25) also seems to have come down to a more affordable level recently. $5 is still quite high for a card that sees little standard play, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes down a little more in the coming months. However, I think you definitely want to keep your eyes on him. I think he’s a good fit with Jeskai Ascendancy to pump him up easily, and he just might see some play in a Temur deck as well. There are a few other cards that I think you should watch, but I don’t think their prices will move much in the next few months. Firedrinker Satyr ($1) could see more play if red aggro makes a return, Eidolon of the Great Revel ($8.25) will probably see some swings in price during Modern and Legacy tournament seasons, and Satyr Firedancer ($1.50) could see more play if burn gets a few more spells in Fates Reforged.
Other than the cards I mentioned, red doesn’t seem to have too many rares making any moves. Uncommons on the other hand though . . .
Black and Red uncommons that will see more play
- Bile Blight – With most of black’s cheap removal gone, Bile Blight will see a lot more play both in main and sideboards. It won’t go up in value too much, but you can get your playset now while it’s $0.50 and save some cash.
- Magma Jet ($.60), Searing Blood ($.90), Lightning Strike ($.30) – With black losing so much removal, red burn spells should see a lot more play. Mardu burn is already seeing quite a lot of play, along with Jeskai aggro, so I think these cards are bound to go up. We could see their prices double in the next few months until Fate Reforged is released, though I don’t think Lightning Strike will have a problem since it was just reprinted again in M15.
Next Time on Bang for your Buck
It seems like all the money to be made in black and red were right before rotation, but keep your eyes peeled as new decks come out. Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir is going to be showcasing some new tech and some new strategies people haven’t thought of yet, so be sure to keep your fingers on your wallet next weekend so you can run out and buy some cards before they go up in price the following day (or if you want to sell cards before they tank). If you have any other suggestions on cards to look out for, I’d like to hear them. Wednesday is looking like the next time I will be able to post my next article, but if I have the time I’ll do it before then. Look for Green and Artifacts next time, and hopefully before the Pro Tour I will have the final article about Multicolor and Land.