Bang for Your Buck: Investing in Cards for Shadows Over Innistrad – Red, 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.
This is going to be a pretty busy week in Magic. The Pro Tour is this upcoming weekend, and not only that but there has also been a lot of action on the PPTQ front along with 2 big tournaments from Star City that have set up a precursor to the Pro Tour. I stand by my previous opinion that the PT won’t change the metagame too much, but rather optimize it. While it may seem like everybody is playing Bant Company or Humans in Tokyo or at events in the USA, the metagame is actually a lot more splintered than that and as people become more proficient in various decks we’re going to see a balance. Today I’ll be looking into cards in red, green, and artifacts that might have been missed by players during the last two weeks, or cards that are undervalued. Before we do that though, lets take a look at how I did with last sets investments.
Previous Red, Green, and Artifact suggestions
- Thunderbreak Regent – MISS. While this card still sees play in a variety of red decks like BR dragons, Temur Midrange, and Jeskai Dragons, the decks didn’t seem to come out as tier 1 after rotation so the card’s value has stagnated. Still only $4.
- Woodland Bellower – MISS. While green cards are seeing a lot of play in standard right now, most of them are 3 mana or less to work with Collected Company. Green based midrange simply isn’t a thing because if you go big, you go Eldrazi. Still not a bad card though.
- Hangarback Walker – Hit. I said it would be a safe investment at $8-9 and it has held its price so I would say I was correct.
There weren’t a whole lot of good cards in these three colors last time. Most of my picks were longshots in the penny stock portion. This is mainly because the powerful cards like Den Protector, Collected Company, and Nissa, Vastwood Seer already hit their peak before my previous article and didn’t really change over the course of the standard metagame. However, this is a new metagame post rotation so I might fare better with my picks this time. Let’s take a look at what we have to work with for SOI standard.
We’re not starting off too strongly with red this time around as most of the cards that have seen play are already fairly priced, but there are some cards with potential. The first is Eldrazi Obligator. This has seen some play in sideboards, but where it can really break out this standard is in Mono Red Eldrazi. It’s played along side Thought Knot Seer and Reality Smasher and is a pretty powerful effect. If the deck reaches Tier 1.5 I could see the card going up to $3-4 from it’s current price of $1. Keep an eye on it.
You probably think this belongs in the Penny Stocks portion of red, but believe me when I say this is the real deal. Having played against UR Goggles/Control I can say that this is an extremely powerful effect. The Goggles deck has a lot of card draw, lots of instant speed effects, and has no problem casting this as its second spell of a turn. Coupled with Goggles, it can wipe out your entire board presence if you’re not careful. It’s usually only a 2 or 3 of in the UR deck, but if it becomes the deck of choice for control player Fall of the Titans ($.50) could see some brisk demand. I’m looking for it to hit $2-3 by the end of the summer. It might also be playable in a burn deck if one becomes viable again. If you see UR control putting up good numbers, grab some before they go up.
Atarka Red/mono red aggro seems just about dead in this current environment, but I think that’s going to open the way up for big red. Cards like Goblin Dark-Dwellers ($2.75) don’t have a lot of targets at the moment but that can change quickly. I kind of like it with Exquisite Firecraft, but it’s going to need more than that if it wants to be in a deck again. That being said, it has potential and I believe it will see play again in the near future. The current price seems to be its bottom, so I would grab a playset at this price. It could easily hit $5-6 again by summer time if it sees play as a 3-4 of in a deck.
I’m still a solid believer of Radiant Flames ($.50). It sees a lot of sideboard play in red decks, but the problem right now is that there aren’t a lot of red decks in standard. They are all green, white, or black. It’s still good to have 3 of these for your sideboard just in case though. If you don’t have yours yet, it’s a good price. It won’t jump a lot in the future, but I could see it creeping upwards.
World Breaker seems like it’s in a good spot right now. It’s usually a 4 of in GR Eldrazi, but as people play with it more and more I think they are going to notice you don’t have to play it in Eldrazi decks only. It has a powerful effect when you cast it which is really good against a number of decks, Reach is relevant when you consider all of the 4/5 Mindwrack Demons and Avacyn flying about, and his return from the graveyard ability works great with the Gitrog Monster. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it show up in GB midrange, as well as various Eldrazi builds that don’t use red such as GW or GB. It also showed up in a Modern Tron deck that did rather well, so I think $6.50 is a good price for it right now. If you’ve been waiting to get your playset, do it now. With more Eldrazi (possibly) on their way in Eldritch Moon this summer, you can be sure that Eldrazi ramp decks will become more playable. As a mythic rare, it can easily hit $10 again in another few months.
This card has already hit 1000 yen here in Nagoya, and I believe that’s the price you’re going to be seeing it at this summer. This is a staple of almost every green deck out there as a 4-of, and come this summer you’ll be paying $40 for a playset at $10 each instead of the current price of $26, or $6.50 each. It’s a bit pricey now, but it’s a great investment for the summer. Bite the bullet and get 4 if you haven’t already. It’s trending upwards.
Woodland Wanderer ($.50) is best in 3 color decks, and I’ve seen a decent number of players have success with Temur and Jund so far in this new metagame. Deathcap Cultivator makes it much easier to get a nice body from the Wanderer, but I’m not sure if we’ll see him in a tier 1 deck this summer. It’s a strong card that’s undervalued at the moment though, so I’d invest in 4 of them. Nissa’s Renewal ($.50) is another card that could see more play in Ramp decks going forward, if only to counteract decks such as human aggro and bant company that can hit hard and quick. Might see a slight increase if it gets more play. It currently showed up as a 4 of in an Eldrazi ramp deck that did well at a SCG Open.
At $10.50 this is already out of most people’s price range, but if you’re sitting on a few of them and not planning on using them, I’d sell them now. The UR Goggles deck should continue to put up solid numbers and keep its value up, but you won’t be able to sell it for long with it rotating at the end of summer. It will probably peak over the next month or so and then start to drop. Look around for good buy prices. Come July, I think it will be back down to $7-8, if not lower.
Coming Up Next
There were a lot more cards I wanted to recommend cause I thought they’d see more play, but a lot of them were from either Magic Origins or Dragons of Tarkir and at this point I don’t think it’s a good idea to invest in them. Cards like Deathmist Raptor ($11.75) and Den Protector ($7.25) will keep their prices steady over the next month or two as they will definitely see play in green decks, but I think the benefit of buying in at them at their current prices is negligible. Sure they might see a slight raise in value, but finding a buyer after that last spike is going to be hard and the window is going to be very narrow for doing so. If you need any of the cards I didn’t talk about from ORI or DTK by all means get them, but don’t expect any kind of return on them if you plan on selling them later.
With the Magic Pro Tour starting this Friday, the timeliness of this article is running out. I plan on putting out my final article about Colorless, Multicolor, and lands over the next few days before the weekend, so be sure to check back soon for an update. If you have any other picks that you think might go up in value during the Shadows Over Innistrad season be sure to post them down below with your reasoning as to why you think it will be a good investment. I look forward to seeing you back soon. Thanks for reading.