Bang for Your Buck: Investing in Cards for Kaladesh – Red, Green, and Artifact
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.
With only 2 more days before the Pro Tour, I think you’ll start seeing more and more cards start to pick up steam as new decks are leaked and cards are revealed. While most of these decks probably won’t turn out to be tier 1 level in power, the fact that people use them at the PT means we’ll probably see some casual players pick the decks up. That will push the prices of quite a few cards, but most of the big gains will be left to the heavy hitters this weekend that make the top 16.
Previous Red, Green, and Artifact Suggestions
- Chandra, Flamecaller – Miss. Yikes. I thought she was a good deal at $12 but she’s dropped even further to $8.25. This card was $40 at one point here in Japan, but now it’s being tossed aside for the new model.
- Goblin Dark-Dwellers – Miss. I didn’t think it could go down any further, but at $1.50 its very close to bulk status. Maybe cards like Metallurgic Summonings and BR burn will help it make a comeback?
- Kozilek’s Return – HIT. Thanks to various Emerge decks continuing to show promise, and the onslaught of 2 toughness creatures in RW Aggro decks, Kozilek’s Return has made a comeback. Up to $11.50 now from $5.75 and might go higher.
- Traverse the Ulvenwald – HIT. GB Really took off at the last Pro Tour and during EMN standard which pushed the cards value up to $4+ at one point, but now it’s closer to $3.75. Still twice as much as it was last time I talked about it.
- Sylvan Advocate – Miss. I thought it would hold it’s value at about $5.75, but it’s gone down to $4.50. Good card just seeing less play at the moment.
- Brain in a Jar – Miss. It was a good fun card for a while, but people stopped messing around with it and it’s back to bulk from $1+.
With all of the RW decks seeing play at the moment and the possibility of a GR one on the horizon, I think Hanweir Garrison is a safe investment for this standard season or next. At $1.75 it has a lot of room to go up. All it will take is one deck to do well with it and it will easily double in price. I use it in my RW Token deck and love it, and think we’ll see a lot more of it in the near future. Could easily be a $4 by Aether Revolt.
Have people been reading this wrong or something? If an opponent targets it, the dragon targets ALL OF AN OPPONENT’S creatures with the same spell. It’s really hard to get rid of, and it’s a great card for stopping both Angels and Copters. I think we’ll see more Mirrorwing Dragon in a red midrange deck or two this season. Look for it to double up to $3.50 from it’s current price of $1.75.
Sadly Goblin Dark-Dwellers ($1.50) is so close to bulk that I have to talk about it from here now, but its time will come eventually. I still feel it will see play before spring rotation when BFZ block rotates out. Another card I like and that could see more play if control gets better is Oath of Chandra ($.50). Naya and Jeskai control decks both have enough playable planeswalkers to make this card worth playing. I also wouldn’t shy away from a Grixis or Jund build playing Oath of Liliana as well.
Oath of Nissa ($2.50) not only sees play in decks built around planeswalkers, but it also works well in delirium based decks as a card to help turn it on more quickly. I’ve seen it used in fringe modern decks too. If we see a resurgence of triple color decks during Kaladesh standard this card will easily hit $4. Now seems like a good time to invest in a playset if you don’t have any yet. The card has been selling rather well here in Nagoya, Japan, so I expect it to continue to be in demand.
I kind of like World Breaker ($4) in this current metagame. If there are going to be any ramp decks, World Breaker should be in there. It blocks Angels and exiles both Cruisers and Copters, so what’s not to like about it? Sure you have Ulamog in Aetherwork Marvel decks which do pretty much the same thing, but if you’re just playing a regular ramp deck it seems like a solid card. I don’t think it will see a lot of play, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up in the meta. Keep an eye on it.
I’ve been messing around with Ulvenwald Hydra both in the main and in sideboards and I kind of like it. Besides being an awesome defender against any blocker, it’s also a good finisher. It’s a mythic rare and only $1.50, so I think it’s a good investment for future ramp decks in green.
Brain in a Jar ($.50) still holds some casual appeal in standard and could show up in the future alongside Metallurgic Summonings. The Summonings decks already seem strong, and having Brain in a Jar seems to make the deck a little faster while also adding power to the end game of Rise from the Tides (Saffron Olive talked about this in his recent Budget magic update article as well). Maybe it will show up in 10-20% of the mostly spell based decks, and I think that’s enough to push the card back up to $2 again. Just a feeling.
If the RW Artificer deck does well in the lower tiers as an affordable aggro deck, Stoneforge Masterwork ($.75) could see a small bump. It’s not one of the main artifacts in the deck, but it’s easy to cast and gives the deck a lot more power. A longshot, but possible.
Coming Up Next
There are a few cards that I think are already kind of expensive that could go up a little higher, but I don’t think it’s worth the risk to buy into them at this point. Cards like Kozilek’s Return or Kalitas could possibly go up some more during Kaladesh standard, but with them rotating out next spring, I’m worried the window on getting rid of them at their high will be short.
As the Pro Tour gets underway this Friday, I should be well on my way to finishing my last Bang for Your Buck article on Colorless, Multicolor, and land cards, don’t expect it until the weekend most likely. I’m looking forward to playing some Frontier format this month and talking about it in a future blog entry as well. I’m currently leaning towards a ramp deck with Ugin, but I’m considering another one. It seems like a novel idea and is a good way to put those recent favorites to use since there is nowhere else they belong. If you have any thoughts about the format, be sure to comment after I post the article.