Bang for Your Buck: Investing in Cards for Oath of the Gatewatch – White, Blue, and Black
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 Pro Tour has come and gone and this last weekend quite a few players played in their Oath of the Gatewatch Game Days. I played in 3, and actually managed to win one (will be writing a metagame update later). There have been very few tournaments since the new set has been released and the rotation of both Khans of Tarkir and Fate Reforged are right around the corner. This will weigh heavily on the prices of the standard cards NOT ROTATING and if there was ever a time to buy those cards it’s probably now.
Now I’ve been doing these articles for quite some time now. When I first started them a few years ago, I had only been a standard player. After a few years I started to play Modern, and now I can say I dabble in just about everything. I play Pauper, Modern, some Legacy, EDH, and even some Cubes. Why is this important? Well, I finally can expand my range of advice to not only the world of standard and modern, but also how popular these cards will be in other formats. I’m by no means a pro, but with 5 years of competitive Magic under my belt, I have a bit of experience.
Before we start with today’s suggestions though, lets look at how my previous picks did.
Previous White, Black, and Blue suggestions
- Hidden Dragonslayer – MISS. I thought this card would see more play as megamorph decks were a thing during DTK and Origins standard, but they’ve all but fallen to the side. Card has dropped slightly to about $1 from $1.50.
- Kytheon, Hero of Akros – MISS. It’s really too bad. I thought Lil Gideon would have have seen some play in standard by now, but his big bro has completely overshadowed him and the other Origin planeswalkers just completely over power him. Down to $5 from $6.
- Monastery Mentor – HIT. I suggested to get in at $16.50 and that seemed to be the bottom for Mentor. He still sees fringe play in standard in Esper Token decks, but most players are using him in Modern or Legacy now which is keeping pushing his price up to $22+.
- Rally the Ancestors – HIT. This card actually did hit the $3-4 range at one point, but since then has gone back down to around $1.50. Still better than the $1 it was at before.
- Wingmate Roc – MISS. When decks like Mardu and Abzan midrange do well so does this card’s price, but those decks have all but been hated out by Abzan Aggro and Dark Jeskai. Wingmate Roc still sees play in a few decks, but not enough to keep it from losing half it’s value to $2.50.
- Harbinger of the Tides – UNCLEAR. This card is still about the same price it was before, but since it’s started to see more play in Modern this card is just waiting for one good tournament to really shoot up in price.
- Languish – MISS. Thanks to a glut of 5 toughness creatures in standard (Rhino, Tasigur, Eldrazi), there hasn’t been much play from Languish. It saw some play in 5 Color Bring to Light decks, but now it’s down to $2.50 from $4.
- Liliana, Heretical Healer – HIT. Not so much a hit as I was correct. I said she had some room to go down a little bit but should stabilize around $15 and she did.
- Tasigur, the Golden Fang – HIT. I said he’d go down more thanks to the event decks, and he did. Seeing a decent amount of play, but not enough to push him up in value.
- Infinite Obliteration – HIT. Out of all of my penny stock suggestions, Infinite Obliteration did the best. It was $.75 the last time I did my article and is currently sitting at $3.50 thanks to Eldrazi ramp decks.
I think I did alright, I got about half of my picks correct for the last standard season, and the ones I didn’t correctly choose weren’t huge losses. Standard continues to be a turbulent format with players changing from one deck to another week to week depending on which one rules the format at the time. This Rock/Paper/Scissors format keeps people on their toes and has also had a secondary effect of keeping the price of a lot of cards down. Without a clear best deck, very few cards have become staples such as Thoughtseize did in the past. There are a few (Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy), but for the most part they are easy to get. Let’s take a look at how the white, blue, and black cards will fare during OGW standard.
With cards such as Murderous Cut, Abzan Charm, and Crackling Doom rotating out soon, aggro decks are going to be hard pressed to get past Archangel of Tithes ($5.75) in the spring. She could definitely see some more play, especially with cards like Siege Rhino, Tasigur, and Ugin, The Spirit Dragon leaving standard too. Aggressive creatures will be smaller, and the spells slightly less efficient which will allow the angel to do her job of stonewalling an opponent. I could see her in a WB control deck alongside cards such as Quarantine Field and Gideon. I wouldn’t expect her price to go up that much by April, but look for her to bottom out around $4-5 and consider getting a few if you want to use her.
Gideon was pretty impressive during BFZ standard and I believe he’ll continue to be during OGW and future standard seasons as well. At $20, he has a lot of room to go up and not much more to go down. He sees play either as a 3 or 4 of in most decks that play him, which is going to put a lot of upward pressure on his price come spring when people shift away from 3-4 color decks and into 2 color ones where he’ll be easier to cast. I can see him back to $30-$35 by summer. Grab a playset now if you can.
I’m not too big on the Knight at the moment ($1.75) but I think this is another one of those cards that could see play in a few W/x decks after rotation and be played as a 4 of which could push it’s price to $4 or so if the deck it’s in is good. I would grab a playset at this price if you don’t have yours yet. It’s a solid card and will be both a good offensive and defensive card. Like the Archangel, without Ugin in standard I think we’ll see a marked increase in quite a few previous unplayble cards that were deemed too slow.
I really don’t see Monastery Mentor ($22.50) going lower any time soon. He might dip a little bit after rotation, but this kind of card can be bonkers in eternal formats and should eventually see play. I mean, who doesn’t wish they had bought their Voice of Resurgence’s when they were $20? I think he’s a solid investment at his current value, but don’t expect to see him go up significantly for a few months.
Great control card, and would be pretty awesome in a GW Starfield of Nyx/Sigil of the Open Throne deck but as I stated earlier, Ugin totally wrecks these type of decks. With him gone I expect this card to see more play, but not a lot. It’s only $1.50 now though, which is a good buy in. Grab a play set and sit on them until they are playable.
I’m confident that Planar Outburst ($.75) will see more play when the metagame slows down a little bit and allows decks like Mardu or Esper control back into it. There are quite a few strong Awaken spells, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this back as a 4 of in those decks. If you want to build a control deck get yours now. I could see this reach $2-3 by summer.
There aren’t many cheap playables this time around, but I could see a few seeing some fringe play. Felidar Sovereign ($.50) shows up from time to time at FNM in BW life gain decks, but I don’t think it will be as easy to play with Sorin, Solemn Visitor rotating out. Sigil of the Empty Throne ($.50) and Starfield of Nyx ($2.25) both saw some play back during Magic Origins standard, and could possibly see play again after Ugin’s rotation. I don’t see it becoming a tier 1 deck, but it could possibly become tier 2. If you’ve been wanting to brew an “enchantress” deck in standard grab both of these cheap and get to brewing!
Drowner of Hope showed up in the UG Eldrazi ramp decks during BFZ standard and I think it’s a strong contender as a finisher in more of a control-ish Eldrazi deck in future Eldrazi builds. Drowner, along with cards like From Beyond. It even showed up in some of the Modern Pro Tour Eldrazi decks, but with Eye of Ugin getting a possible ban in 2 months, it’s probably not going to see lots of play in that format. In standard though, this $1.50 card could possibly show up as a 4 of in the UG Eldrazi or UB Eldrazi deck. I don’t think it’s enough to push the card’s price high, but my guess is that it will be a $3-4 card by summer. Since it’s effect is an ETB (enter the battlefield), I wouldn’t count out the new Eldrazi Displacer being played alongside it too.
Merfolk, aka FISH in Modern, has always been a competitive deck on the cusp of tier 1. It’s made some top 8s and can be consistent on a regular basis. The deck is metagame dependent however, but that won’t stop it from being played. Harbinger of the Tides has recently showed up as a 4 of in the deck, and as the supply starts to run out, I think the price will start inching up. The card still has a chance to see some standard play this summer, but I think this is a card that will slowly go up in price on Modern’s demand alone. $1.75 is a good buy-in price and I don’t think you will lose much by getting 4 of right now. Even if you don’t end up playing Merfolk in modern, a year down the road you can make a nice little profit.
There aren’t really a lot of movers in blue at the moment, but there is some potential. Part the Waterveil ($2.25) was a big piece of the UG Eldrazi deck and might see more play in the summer but I’m not entirely convinced. It could also show up in a Awaken control deck, but that seems unlikely. Shorecrasher Elemental ($1) never saw any standard play, but you never know what the new standard environment will bring. Perhaps this Aetherling-like effect will become more effective. It’s a long shot but at $4 for 4 you can’t go wrong. I also still like Status Dancer ($1). It seems like a great sideboard card for a large number of decks, but it will depend on the metagame as always.
Currently seeing play in standard in Mardu and Esper decks, Painful Truths ($2.25) has proven to be a strong card in constructed. I’ve even seen it show up in some modern decks as well. The only problems with its prospects are the loss of fetchlands and the uncommon tri-lands from Khans of Tarkir. Not being able to consistently cast it with 3 colors will lead people to play something like Read the Bones instead, which is both cheaper and more effective (due to scrying). If a playable 3-4 color deck does show up though, you can be sure people will play this instead. I grabbed myself 4 of them at the last GP just in case.
I’m going to continue to push Tasigur at $3.50 because regardless of how many of him are in circulation now, there will always be a spot for him in modern or legacy decks in the future as a 3-4 of. It will take a while, but this is a card that will suddenly jump and you’ll wish you got some at this low a price.
Standard is losing both Crux of Fate and End Hostilities, and while the later won’t cause much of a wave (because of Planar Outburst), the loss of a board wipe from black will have a lot of people choosing to play the next best thing. Languish is currently $2.50 but I think it will see a lot more play in the summer unless another black board wipe is printed. $2.50 isn’t a bad buy in price if you think you’ll play them this year.
My longshot bet for Shadow’s of Innistrad standard is Sidisi, Undead Vizier. I really think there will be a good graveyard mechanic like FRITES/Reanimator was during Innistrad standard. Even though Sidisi will only be legal until September when the next rotation occurs, I think the $1.75 card could double or triple in value if it sees some play. It’s not something you need to buy right away, but keep an eye on it just in case. Wouldn’t hurt to get a playset if she drops to $1.
Call it a hunch, but I think Dark Petition ($1) has the potential to see standard play after rotation. I’ve had it used against me a few times over the last few months to do things like grab a Kolaghan and swing for lethal, and I think there will be a lot more good targets for it in a black midrange or control list. Think of it as a Demonic Tutor effect that gives you an incentive to cast the card as soon as you find it. If you’re looking for a creature to turn the game around or a board wipe to force everybody to start back from scratch, Dark Petition can do it. Erebos’s Titan ($1) is another card that seems like it will shine during Shadows of Innistrad. Innistrad is all about graveyard manipulation, so I would guess that his 2nd ability will come in handy if there is something like Gravecrawler that continues to crawl out of the graveyard. I would grab a playset for $4 now. He hasn’t shown up in standard yet, but I think his time will come soon.
Coming up Next Time
3 down, 6 more categories to go. I’ll be showcasing Red, Green, and artifacts in my next article, so be sure not to miss it! Other than that, how do all of you feel about these colors over the next few months? Are there any cards that you think will finally break out with KTK and FRF gone? So far I would say that white has the most to gain from rotation, but I could be wrong. Please drop any comments about my picks down below.