Bang for Your Buck: Investing in Cards for Dragons of Tarkir – Green 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.
Red and Green have sprinted out of the gates in Dragons of Tarkir standard and don’t show any signs of being slowed down. The mix of powerful creatures and enough burn spells to melt steel has always been a potent mix, but adding cards such as Dragonlord Atarka and Surrak, the Hunt Caller has push the colors even further. I have no doubt that both colors will remain popular until the next standard set is released this summer, but before we go into what cards are good picks ups lets take a look at what I talked about last time.
Previous Green and Red Suggestions
- Anger of the Gods – I didn’t push it too hard but said to keep an eye on it. It saw a lot of sideboard play, but not enough to push its price up.
- Crater’s Claws – It was my spec at $1.25 last time and it hasn’t changed one bit since then. Temur and GR Monster decks didn’t take off as much as I thought last season, but you also have to take into account how many of these cards were in circulation as well.
- Sarkhan, The Dragonspeaker – I still think he’s one of the best planeswalkers in the current standard format, but he didn’t see enough play during Fate Reforged standard to keep his $12.75 price afloat. He’s down to $10 which is strange to me. He’s still 1500 yen in Japan.
- Ashcloud Phoenix, Eidolon of the Great Revel, Stormbreath Dragon – these cards were on my watch list as cards that could possibly move given the right metagame. Ashcloud Phoenix lost a little value to settle at $3.50, but Eidolon has gone up to $7.50 from $5.25 thanks in no small part to other formats like Legacy. Stormbreath Dragon ($16.25) has also seen a resurgence in the metagame and is up more than $2 from last time. Hopefully you were able to act on those quickly!
- Chord of Calling – I wasn’t sure it would see more play in standard but it really hasn’t. Other formats are causing it’s price to move up slowly. I said it was a good investment at $3.25 and I was right. It’s already at $4 and doesn’t show any signs of dropping again before rotation.
- Courser of Kruphix – I said I believe the card will have another spike before rotation at the end of summer, as well as saying that the card won’t be able to stay above $10 after rotation. It’s currently about $8.50 so it looks like I was on the right track. I still believe the price can jump again though.
- Eidolon of Blossoms, Polukranos, World Eater, Genesis Hydra – These cards were on my watch list. Eidolon of Blossoms hasn’t moved from $1 yet, and Polukranos is still waiting for that final spike I think. Genesis Hydra on the other hand has seen new life in the green devotion/Temur Ascendancy combo decks out there. It’s up almost $1.25 to close to $3 from $1.75 last time.
- Hornet Queen – I said to sell at $5.50 and I was right. It’s only fallen to $5 so far, but I don’t expect there to much demand for it later this summer.
- Rattleclaw Mystic – I advised people to pick this up at $1.50 but it hasn’t moved since the last time I wrote. I still think I’m right though, especially with all this ramp we’re seeing in the early part of DTK standard.
Overall I think I did alright with my guesses. While I did choose some powerful cards, I think that the current supply of Khans of Tarkir made it difficult for the prices to go up significantly. The market is simply flooded with KTK cards still. So what does DTK standard have in store for us this time? Let’s take a look.
While it’s not a hard sell, I like Alesha, Who Smiles at Death at $1 right now. I think she’ll see a lot of casual play in formats like Tiny Leaders and Commander, and might possibly see some play in some aggro decks of sorts like RW or BR as a 2 of. Just a thought. She just seems a little under priced to me at the moment. Crater’s Claw also seems under priced at $1.25, and I think it could finally see some movement this standard season now that Khans of Tarkir won’t be opened as much in drafts. I don’t expect it to go up a lot, but with how many GR decks there are around, I could see it hit $2-2.50 by summer.
In a set that wasn’t opened that much, I wouldn’t expect Eidolon to drop below $7 again for a while. It has proven itself in both modern and legacy and I think the supply is going to dry up the closer we get to September. GP Kyoto is in a few weeks and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it hit 1000 yen ($9) by then over here. It will happen a bit slower overseas, but I think by summer it could be hitting around $9-10 as well. The best times to buy them was 2 months ago, but it wouldn’t hurt to get 1-2 in trade if you can.
I expect it to hit about $1.50 over the next few months, but that’s when I would buy into this card. There are a lot of ways to activate this card’s ability and there are a few more choices in DTK standard to help it see more play. Red Devotion is one such deck, and it works great alongside the new Descent of Dragons spell as well. If you’re playing a UR or Red devotion deck and kill all your creatures to make 4/4’s, it would be easy to pay a few red mana to return this to the battlefield and attack alongside the dragons. By Origins, I think this could be a $3-4 card.
Prophetic Flamespeaker ($2.50) could also possibly see play in red devotion as well, but where I’ve seen him show up already was in a Naya Assault Formation deck. I don’t know if you should buy into the spike in casual play, but if you want then by all means go ahead. You just might be able to make some money on it by mid summer by selling them off a little higher than what you bought them at.
Now that KTK won’t be opened any more, I think it’s high time that Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker goes up in price again. He’s only $10, sees play in a variety of side and mainboards, and in Dragons of Tarkir he fits into even more decks. Get a playset now because he’ll never be this cheap again. I think he’s looking at a $3-5 rise by mid summer, but could go even higher than that if he puts up some good numbers in standard. There might also be some demand for him in EDH as well.
I believe Shaman ($7.25) will see more play in DTK standard thanks to cards like Den Protector and Ire Shaman. Both cards give you incredible card advantage and are hard to block. He still sells for about 1200 yen over here in Japan, and I expect him to go up to 1500 yen or more here over the next month or two. GR monsters will definitely be a thing, the question is when will it happen. I’m going to complete a play set of him while I can. Thanks to Puca Trade, I can do this will very little risk involved.
Although it’s a FNM promo this month, Hordeling Outburst ($1.25) is still pretty popular in standard and will most likely go up in value as KTK packs are opened less. Red decks are incredibly popular and this card is usually a 4 of in decks like Jeskai Tokens and RW aggro. Dragon Fodder will probably cut into how high it will get, but I think it will raise in value slightly this summer, maybe to $2. You probably already have a playset of Humble Defector ($0.25) but if you don’t get a playset for $1. It will be worth having in the long run I think.
With demand coming from Modern, Legacy, and Standard I think Taylor Swiftspear ($2.25) still has room to go up, and less KTK packs being opened will definitely exacerbate the supply. This could possibly become a $3-4 card while it’s in standard, especially the further away we get from Khans of Tarkir. Trade for them or pick up a playset now. Most likely she’ll see Stoke the Flames pricing levels.
Chandra is seeing play here and there in burn decks and RW sideboards, and while her abilities work well in this format the closer she gets to rotation the lower she’ll get. I don’t think she’ll hold her $7.50 price tag that much longer. With cards like Outpost Siege seeing more play, and not many EDH decks or other formats using her, I think she could hit $5-6 by the time Origins is released. I’m going to hold onto 2, but I’m selling the rest.
Stombreath is currently at $16 and I think it’s in the middle of another spike. He could possibly hit $20 again by the summer time, but I think $18 is more likely. I would watch his price closely and sell/trade into the hype if he gets over $20. Thunderbreak Regent and the other dragons make him a great card to play with, and that’s going to greatly effect his value. I don’t think he’ll hold onto the price tag after Origins in released, so if you have been wanting to get rid of your play set the best time to do it will probably be next month or in May. I personally am holding onto my playset for my modern red devotion deck because he gets around Path to Exile, Abrupt Decay, can’t be blocked by Spirit tokens, and can’t be discarded by Inquisition of Kozilek.
Stoke the Flames ($4.50) is so good in standard right now that it’s hard to call this a sell. I expect it to go up even higher during DTK standard, but one of these days the card’s value will suddenly drop. I don’t see it transitioning to other formats well. If you’re using them then by all means hold onto them, but if you aren’t I’d get rid of what you have over the next few months. Watch for a spike and then sell.
Birthing Pod is no longer a thing in modern, but Collected Company from DTK gives the same combination of cards a chance of going infinite (although it is much more difficult to do so). While I don’t think Collected Company and Chord of Calling will be as effective as Birthing Pod was, I think the card will see some play in Modern after M15 rotates out. It went up about a dollar since last time overseas, and in Japan it’s already back up to 600 yen in most places. I think it will continue to go up in value until it rotates, but it will settle way below what the original one was prior to reprinting. Good long term investment at $4, especially if Birthing Pod is ever unbanned.
Genesis Hydra is another card I consider to do well as we get closer to rotation. I think it will hold a lot of casual appeal for a long time, and I wouldn’t be out of place in an EDH or Tiny Leaders deck either. It’s about $3, but I could see it inching up to $4-5 over the next 3 months.
In my belief, Nissa, Worldwaker will be reprinted in a future set, possibly even Return to Zendikar this fall. I think $19.25 is still a little high, but if she dips below $14 I plan on finally finishing my play set. If she does see play in standard again, I think she could easily double in price from a low of $15. Keep an eye on her.
I talked about her a little last time as well, but Rattleclaw Mystic has a lot to gain from GR ramp and Temur doing well this season. I don’t expect the Mystic to hit Sylvan Caryatid prices of $10+, but she could easily double from $1.50 to $3 this summer. Another card I’d pay attention to is Yasova Dragonclaw ($0.75). In a fast GR aggro deck, she could be pretty good. I like her paired up with cards like Den Protector and Ire Shaman. She’d probably only be a 2-3 of though, which means if she does see any play her price will only go up to $1-2.
Not much here. Heir of the Wilds ($.20) could see more play if both GR aggro and Abzan aggro put up good results in standard, and Reclamation Sage ($0.25) could also inch up slowly as a good sideboard card. Temur Sabertooth ($.25) also seems like it could also see some play. Their prices will go up a little if they see play, but not enough to rush out and buy them right now. If you plan on making a green deck, pick them up, but otherwise no worries.
Hornet Nest is still going for $2.25, but I don’t think it will stay above $1 too much longer. It will see more sideboard play with all these GR decks going around, so wait for another spike and sell what you have then. I don’t plan on holding onto any of these in the fall. Polukranos, World Eater ($5.50) is another card I expect to see one more spike before he rotates out. Green devotion, as well as Temur Ascendancy Combo are still real decks in this metagame, so I could see him hitting $7 in the near future. Keep your eyes on him and sell into the spike. I might hold onto 1-2, but that’s just for other formats like EDH. The best way to get rid of him is probably going to be on Pucatrade unless you can sell him to somebody that wants him for straight cash.
Next Time on Bang for Your Buck
Red seems like it has the most to gain from this standard season as cards that originally saw little to no play might finally have a deck to be played in. Overall I think GR is ripe for deals at the moment, and if you plan on playing standard with some of these cards you might want to get them soon. I definitely want to try out the GR aggro deck with Den Protector and Ire Shaman and have already finished my playset of Shaman of the Great Hunt on Puca Trade for 785 points each.
Next time I plan on finishing up the last part of the series with Artifacts, lands, and multicolor cards, so be sure to check back in a few days. We still have quite a few cards left to go over, and I’m sure there might even be some I missed. If you have any other suggestions that I didn’t cover in today’s article, please feel free to comment below. See you next time!