Bang For Your Buck: Investing in Cards for Aether Revolt – White, Blue, 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.
Today’s article is going to be quite different than past ones. For starters, this is the first time I’ve done one of these after a standard banning has occurred. With Reflector Mage, Emrakul, and Smuggler’s Copter out of standard, it creates a power vacuum that could be filled by any number of decks that were being held down by those cards in the past. Some cards could see quite a bump over the next few weeks if they show up in the Pro Tour. We also can’t forget that we’re back on the regular rotation schedule as well, so cards that might not have kept their value because they would soon rotate are now holding onto their value longer.
Another reason why this article, and those that follow after it, will be different is because of the Frontier format. The Frontier format uses a lot of cards from standard and is heavily influenced when new sets are released. This creates a higher demand for standard cards that before were too weak to show up in legacy, EDH, or modern. While the format is still in its beginning stages, you can’t overlook another source of demand when looking at possible investment opportunities. As more powerful decks are created in standard that can be ported over well to Frontier, the more demand for the cards we’ll see.
Previous White, Blue, and Black Suggestions
- Declaration in Stone – HIT. While it hasn’t surged yet, it’s already up to $4.75 from $4.50. It’s a great card in Frontier, and will be great against standards new GW Tokens deck.
- Gideon, Ally of Zendikar – HIT. I was right that it would see more play in KLD. It went from $20 to $26, which is actually down from $30+ a few weeks ago.
- Gisela, the Broken Blade – HIT. She was good against Copter decks last standard, and should match up well against Heart of Kiran as well this format. Up to $11 from $9.25 like I said.
- Thalia, Heretic Cathar – Miss. Down to $3 from $3.35. Might have been too early on this. Seems good against the Saheeli combo deck.
- Crush of Tentacles – Miss. Down a dollar from $3.25. Thought UB tempo would see more play, but didn’t pan out.
- Mindwrack Demon – Miss. While this card did hit about $4-5 when GB Delirium was at its peak, it hasn’t been able to hold on to the value. Still a good card.
- Ruinous Path – HIT. Up to $1.50 from $1.25, which isn’t much but it did see some play and is a good SB card.
There was a time when Archangel Avacyn was close to $50 because she was in one of the most popular standard decks at the time, GW tokens. GW Tokens is now a major contender again thanks to cards like Sram’s Expertise, and I don’t think her current $19.75 price tag will last for long. If she goes back to being a 3 of in GW Tokens, expect her to hit $30 again easily. UW Flyers might be back as well this standard, which would further push the price upward.
If GW tokens is back, Declaration in Stone suddenly gets a lot better. It was a solid sideboard choice before, but now I think we could see these main deck. It’s still a good deal at $4.75 and it’s one of the best white removal cards in Frontier which will create more demand as the format grows. I could see it at $6 by spring.
From first glance, it seems like the AER metagame is going to be rather midrangey, which means aggressive decks like RW humans or GW humans could see a comeback along with Always Watching. Kari Zev is just one human that would work in that type of deck. Thalia’s Lieutenant ($2) is also seeing a lot of play in Bant Human Collected Company decks in Frontier, so the demand will be there for months to come. I wouldn’t be surprise to see this double up to $4 sometime in late spring.
I’m a little bit more cautious about Thalia, Heretic Cathar ($3) this time, but I think it will show up as a 2-3 of in a decent number of decks this season. It works in RW humans, GW midrange, stops the Saheeli combo deck for one turn, and also really slows down those 3-4 color artifact decks. It depends on how bad the Saheeli situation gets, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it hit $4 in another 2-3 months.
Fumigate ($1.25) seems like the best 5 mana board wipe in the format right now, and will get better against token decks or other aggressive strategies. Oath of Gideon ($.50) might also finally see some play thanks to Heart of Kiran and Oath of Ajani making planeswalker strategies more competitive. If you don’t have any, good time to get a few if you plan on making some planeswalker decks. Toolcraft Exemplar ($1.25) is also a good deal right now, and while Mardu vehicles isn’t as good as it was before without Smuggler’s Copter, Heart of Kiran, Aethersphere Harvester, and Fleetwheel Cruiser still make it a decent deck. The card also sees play in Frontier’s vehicle/ensoul decks as well.
UB Summonings did alright for itself back in KLD standard, and now that you have both Yaheeni’s Expertise as a board wiper and Fatal Push, I think people will look into this archetype again. If it proves that it can hold itself, Metallurgic Summonings could see a little bump from $3 to $5. Not a high chance of this happening, but it is at a low price right now and a good time to pick up.
I think Mausoleum Wanderer/Rattlechains ($1) are still worth having in case UW spirits has again, but you might be waiting until summer before seeing any movement. Paradoxical Outcome ($.75) could actually see some play in Whir of Invention/Aetherflux Reservoir combo decks, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see some movement to the $2 range on it if casual players embrace the deck as a cheap combo deck that doesn’t focus on Saheeli Rai.
I think Demon of Dark Schemes could see some play in this format. At first glance it seems strong against GW tokens or any other token build, but it could also work against the Saheeli/Panharmonicon combo by hitting Cloudblazers and Rogue Refiners. It’s incredibly cheap at $1.25 and worth getting a playset if you don’t already have one. Black has some new removal like Yaheeni’s Expertise which could make it viable. Very high upside, little downside. Might also be good with Eldrazi Displacer/Panharmonicon to get a double trigger.
The winning deck of the SCG Open had 4 of these in his GB Delirium deck, and although it doesn’t have the synergy with Winding Constrictor in the GB aggro deck, it’s still a powerful card. I’d be surprised to see it not show up in standard over the next few months. Delirium decks could become more aggressive now that Emrakul is gone, and it would fit well between Liliana and Ishkanah on the curve. If you skipped buying them at $2 last time, you have another chance now. I think it will be better than Gisela in this format against Heart of Kiran and Aethersphere Harvester.
Besides being a good sideboard card in Frontier, Lost Legacy ($.50) might see more play in this standard format to combat the Saheeli combo deck. Both GB aggro and UB are possible users of this card. Another card that could be interesting against the Saheeli match up is To the Slaughter ($.75). If you’re playing delirium it can make your opponent sacrifice their Saheeli, as well as their Felidar Guardian if you’re lucky. Good sideboard card that could show up in a few decks.
Coming Up Next
It seems like black took a big hit from the banning of Smuggler’s Copter. Decks like Dredge are going to become harder to play without that extra damage and discard outlet, and the same can be said about BR Vampires/Aggro as well. Both of these decks could have improved thanks to Fatal Push, but instead they are probably pushed to tier 2 status. Blue had some playable cards, but not at rare. Aether Revolt brought better counterspells and tempo spells, which will overshadow those from BFZ and SOI blocks.
We are still 2 weeks out from the Pro Tour, so there is plenty of time to grab what you need. There is still 8 months left for the Battle for Zendikar and Shadows Over Innistrad block, so anything can happen. I’ll be back later this week with my next article on green, red, and artifact cards, so be sure to check back then. If you think a few other cards should be on this list, feel free to comment down below with your reasoning. I’m always up for saving money!