Bang for Your Buck: Investing in Cards for Magic Origins – Green and Artifacts
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.
It seems like some of my suggestions have already panned out thanks to the Pro Tour. I’m excited to see a lot of the cards I picked see play, and can’t wait to see where the cards are at after the dust has settled. I’ll be going over Green and Artifacts today, and since the Origins Pro Tour has already shaped what standard prices are going to be like for the next few weeks (at least), I’ll again be focusing on cards that I think are still underrated and that could become staples in a future deck. Before that, lets take a look at what I guessed would net you some profit back in Spring.
Previous Green and Artifact Suggestions
- Chord of Calling – I recommended that you pick up a few for $4 back in Spring based on the possibility of Collected Company decks becoming popular as well as an unbanning of Birthing Pod in the future. Good call since it has already doubled in price.
- Genesis Hydra – I thought this card would see more play in GR devotion decks, but instead of going up to $4, it dropped to about $1.50 from $3. Guess the demand from GR decks just wasn’t there.
- Nissa, Worldwaker – I said to pick them up once they got south of $15. It’s down to $11 right now which is still a good buy, but you should watch the possibility of a reprint.
- Rattleclaw Mystic – I said the card could easily double to $3 this summer, and it’s already hit $2 up from $1.50. It’s seeing more and more play as rotation gets closer so I called this correctly.
- Heir of Wilds and Reclamation Sage – Green aggro decks didn’t see as much play as they did before, and other cards have since replaced Heir making it just another card. The Sage hasn’t seen much sideboard play either.
- Hornet Nest – Hornet Nest has been strangely resilient in this standard cycle and actually went up from $2.25 to $3.25. I think the main reason is due to the popularity of aggro decks in standard now. I thought it would be crashing by now but instead it’s going up.
- Springleaf Drum – Hasn’t gone up yet, but I still think it was a good buy at $1 last time.
- Ornithopter – This card is all over the place, and has been reprinted all to hell, but it’s already seen a small bump from 10 cents to 25, and I expect it to keep going up thanks to Thopter decks as well as Affinity.
- Darksteel Citadel – I said this was a good pick up at $.75 before it got reprinted in MM2. In my defense I wouldn’t have known that was going to happen.
- Obelisk of Urd – boy was I wrong on this one. I thought it would be a $1 card by the end of the summer and to sell it at $3.50, but decks like Goblins total re-energized the tech. It’s now pushing $8.
My first suggestion for green today is Assault Formation ($.50). It’s a unique card with some cool “build around me” abilities, and I think this will lead to a lot of casual players picking this up, as well as players who like those fringe decks. It won’t go up soon, but I think it’s a good long term spec that could go up to a few dollars in the future. Get a playset for $2 and sit on them. Another card that I think MIGHT break out in the future is Avatar of the Resolute ($1.25). I’m a little bit biased though because I use it in my GW Company deck alongside the white Anafenza (and because it deals with dragons very well). Regardless, it has the potential to be a 4 of in a future deck which could lead to a lot of profit. Pick up a few if you can.
If you’re okay paying $9 for Chord, then go ahead and be my guest. It has doubled from its previous price, and as Collected Company decks become more and more popular in modern this card should rise in conjunction to it. The Ravnica version hit $40-$50 when it was at its peak during Birthing Pods hey day. I don’t think it will reach that again, but I feel safe saying that Chord will double up in a year to about $20, and possibly hit $25 somewhere down the road. You should make money if you buy in at this price now.
The Clash Pack printing did NOTHING to quell the thirst for Coco in Japan. While the card is only $11 in the USA, it’s still selling for over 2000 yen ($16) in most places here, and the Clash Packs are going for $40+. I’d pick them up at $11 and not look back. This could easily be a $20 card outside of Japan again in a matter of months. Tribal is looking big in standard right now, which leads me to believe this card will be a strong seller throughout its standard life.
I’d also like to speculate on Hooded Hydra ($1.25) at this point. It never really saw that much play, but I think it might finally find some decks to play in. I’m looking at Token decks with Hangarback Walker, and cards like Evolutionary Leap, Nantuko Husk, and other sacrificial themed decks. It also might be a good card in the battle against Eldrazi in the fall. It’s another card that could become a 4 of, though I don’t think it will become a staple. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it at $3-4 this fall.
Wizards pretty much said that they won’t be printing mana creatures at 1 mana anymore (at least not at common), or at least for the foreseeable future, so that means we’ll see a lot more playable two mana creatures. Sylvan Caryatid is rotating out, and Rattleclaw will undoubtedly pick up the slack in standard becoming the go to mana dork. It’s $2 now, but there is a strong chance it will hit $5 by the time Battle for Zendikar comes out. If you have ANY inkling to play green ramp strategies, get your playset now.
Not meaning to sound like a broken record, but I’m going to mimic what most of the other MTG Finance guys have been saying about See the Unwritten and tell you to go out and get your playset now while it’s $4. It’s going to inch up in anticipation for Eldrazi, and once it becomes broken you forget about getting this mythic rare for single digits. I also kind of like Shaman of the Forgotten Ways if ramp starts slower but builds into bigger and better game ending creatures. If you’re playing green might be a good idea to get these at $2.50 now.
Hey, want to play that giant Eldrazi with haste? Well, pick up a few of these $1 Surraks while you can. His legendary typing makes him hard to be a 4 of in a deck, but he’ll see play as 2 or 3 ofs which means that $1 price tag won’t last for long. He’s being held down by Theros block cards now, but I expect him to break out in fall’s standard. Another $3-5 card by the next Pro Tour.
If Abzan Aggro continues to put up good numbers, I think we can expect another spike from Warden in the coming weeks. Being a $3.75 mythic rare that is a 4 of in a specific deck means there will be a shortage of the card down the road. With cards like Fleecemane Lion rotating, this card will be right there to pick up the slack. I really like it in my GW Company deck now. I also had no idea you could activate his 6 mana ability more than once. MIND. BLOWN. (and game lost when it happened to me). I think we’re looking at this being a $7 plus card in a few months.
Did everybody forgot how powerful this card was in green and gree/red devotion/ramp decks over the past few months? There was a reason it was $20 before. It’s a steal at $6.25 right now, and I’d complete my playset if I were you. This card could easily spike and double in price next season.
The Sage was reprinted in a commander supplement, but that shouldn’t slow it down too much post rotation. It’s a great sideboard card for Abzan company strategies in modern, as well as in both Legacy/Modern Elves. It’s going to be a long term gainer, but This could be one of those $1-2 uncommons by next year. At only 25 cents now, it’s not bad to sit on an extra playset or two.
Deathmist Raptor will probably see another spike down the road, but for now I think it’s going on a downward spiral. As mono red decks and UR Thopter decks just totally disregard this guy’s stopping abilitiy, I think you’ll be able to find Raptor for about $15-18 by the time BFZ comes out. Sell at $23 now, then buy cheap if you can. Its price went from a high of 4500 yen here to 3000 in a matter of weeks. I don’t think $25 is sustainable anymore.
Artifact (and Colorless) Suggestions
Ghostfire Blade is a 4 of in UR Thopters, which is an incredibly budget friendly, competitive deck in standard. It’s already seen a spike, but I think the more casual, budget conscious players will be picking these up enmasse in the coming weeks. UR Thopters is losing some cards, but I think it will largely be intact after rotation or find acceptable alternatives. Khans of Tarkir was opened a lot which means there are a lot of Blades out there, but they’ll get sucked up soon enough and start pushing the price up. By the time BFZ comes out in the fall I believe it will be a $3 card.
While it might see a little bit more play in standard, I think this card is just about done. It’s $4 now, but might drop a little bit more before rotation. It seems like a rather strong ability that could show up in a modern deck or in EDH later. Wait for the bottom to hit and pick up a few. Might be a sideboard for GR Tron decks in the future when destroying isn’t good enough.
We dodged one Duel Deck printing for BFZ that shows Ugin won’t be reprinted in a supplemental product, but we’re not out of the woods yet. However, I don’t think he’s a bad pick up at $27. This is the lowest I’ve seen him so far, and if you’ve needed him in your deck for a while, now might be the time to trade for him. I don’t think you need 4, but 2 might not be bad. We are probably months away from any other Ugin duel deck printing, which means there could still be a spike with him. Not gonna push him hard, but if you need him get him.
Another card appearing in the UR Thopter deck that is also a 4 of in most Affinity decks in modern is Springleaf Drum. The UR budget deck will easily push this card up to $1.50 before rotation, and given another 3-4 months it could double or triple in price to $3 depending on how popular Affinity becomes in modern and Legacy.
If you didn’t listen to me and held on to your Obelisks from last time, now might be a good time to sell into the spike. These are great in Goblin Aggro decks, but that’s about the only other place we’ll see it outside of a RW Soldier or BW Warrior build. It has potential in modern (though hasn’t shown up yet), but I don’t think it will be a $7 after rotation. There is some room for it to go up a little bit more, but if you want to get rid of it for a profit now do it. You should be able to pick them up for $2-3 in September I would think.
Next Time on Bang For Your Buck
Just like with red, I see a lot of potential with green going forward. There are lots of underplayed cards that can suddenly break out and lead to big profits. I think I covered them all, but if you have any other suggestions for break out cards please let me down in the comment section. I’ll be finishing this series in the next few days with the final article about land and Multicolor cards (if you haven’t already guessed, buy fetch lands, ^_^). Thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing you here again in a few days.