Bang for your Buck: Investing in Cards for Hour of Devastation – Red, Green, and Artifact
Disclaimer: I can not be held responsible for any poor decisions I make in regards to cards you 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.
Because of the Aetherworks Marvel banning, somethings tells me my picks from last time in artifacts won’t be that good. Well, let’s see how the remaning colors did first.
Previous Red, Green, and Artifact suggestions
- Bedlam Reveler – N/A. Can’t really say much about this at the moment cause I said this was a long term investment and that it would go down a little more before rotation (which it did).
- Chandra, Torch of Defiance – HIT. Wow. I had no idea Chandra would get as high as she has become. I knew she would go up from $22, but $33? Higher than I ever imagined.
- Nissa, Vital Force – Miss. Hasn’t found a home yet, so still in limbo and down to $3.50 from $4.
- Rishkar, Peema Renegade – Miss. GB has seen a comeback, but Rishkar is no longer as popular as he once was. Price is down to $1.75 from $2.50.
- Verdurous Gearhulk – Miss. This card has remained popular and above $10 in Japan, but has dropped to $7 in the states. Guess GB hasn’t picked up much yet.
- Tireless Tracker – HIT. Said to sell at $7.75, now it’s $6, so I was right in my last article. Holding up its value rather well though.
- Bristling Hydra – HIT. Was one of my penny stock picks last time, and thanks to Temur energy decks it’s seeing a lot more play. Up to $1.75 from $1.
- Aetherworks Marvel – N/A. Said it would go up and boy did it, but the banning stopped it from getting too crazy. Not really fair to count it.
- Dynavolt Tower – Miss. Thought it would show up more in sideboards and the like, but thanks to cards like Abrade this strategy is done.
- Scrapheap Scrounger – Miss. Another one of those cards with discrepancies between the USA and Japan price. It’s buylisting for 200 yen here in Japan, but is selling for $1.75 in the USA. Surprised it’s still so cheap.
Not as good as my white and black suggestions, but boy was that Chandra spike huge. We still aren’t sure if mono red decks are here to stay or not, but if they are we can bet on being able to sell the components for a nice chunk over the next few weeks. Let’s see what red still has to offer after the pro tour.
Midrange decks are on their way back, especially red ones which means that Glorybringer ($4.75) is about to pop. Between RB control, Temur Energy, and the sideboard of some mono red decks, Glorybringer has a lot of potential. It’s not a mythic rare like Stormbreath Dragon was so it won’t hit $40, but I could see this card easily hit $10 by rotation. I’m pretty sure that it’s current price is close to the bottom, so grab your playset now!
If you’re not using her, now’s the time to sell. At almost $35, her buylist is knocking on close to $30 in some places due to her scarcity. Mono red is by no means a dud, but not as hard to beat as most people thought after looking at the results from GP Minneapolis. The spike from the Pro Tour is already subsiding, and while midrange decks like BR or GR ramp could use her, I think we’ll see her fall back down to the $28-30 range by rotation. I don’t see her going up any more, and I don’t see the price holding on that much either.
I’m not sure where it will fit, but Harsh Mentor ($1.25) should find a home eventually. If not a hate card for a future deck that mono red can take advantage of, it will show up sometime soon as a 4 of. Look for it to drop to around $1, but don’t wait too long.
Kari Zev, Skyship Raider ($.75) is another card that I think will find a home in the future. Besides showing up in some mono red decks in the current standard metagame, her pirate typing has me thinking it will come into play at some points during Ixalan. I also think Lathnu Hellion will benefit from rotation at the end of September, and they can be picked up for the dirt cheap price of $.50 each. Could see some play in a more aggressive mono red strategy, GR beatdown, or Temur energy. Quite a few spaces for it when we lost BFZ to EMN.
Bristling Hydra came out of nowhere during Temur Energy’s reign and secured its place as a must have in those decks, even if some of them use it in the sideboard. It’s also shown up in GB energy decks, and of course GR uses it as well. Some people have stated that energy is overpowered and after rotation it should continue to be so. I foresee Hydra at least doubling up from $1.75 to the $3.50 range.
While I was wrong about her in the past, I think Nissa, Vital Force’s time to shine is coming soon. The main selling point is that she starts with 5 loyalty and can instantly tick up to protect herself from one of the best sweepers in standard: hour of Devastation. It’s a great card in green sideboards against control decks, and also a great source of card advantage by getting you back a key card from your graveyard or using her emblem to help you keep up against decks that draw a lot. It won’t be a huge gain at first, but I could see her hit $5 from her current level of $3.50.
Dear god, I’m jealous of you players in the USA. I’ve never seen this card go below 1200 yen in Japan, but it’s currently only $7 on TCG player. Wow, that’s super cheap. GB Snake is flexing its muscle again in standard, so we’re looking at another spike soon from Mr. Greenhulk. It will probably settle around $10-12, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it go even higher. This will definitely be one of the winners of rotation.
Traverse the Ulvenwald ($4.25) should drop a little bit more before rotation, but that’s when you should jump on it. When the card starts to lose value (I’m guessing a drop of $1-2), snap them up. It’s a powerful card that could see play in a number of formats eventually. I like it in Frontier, EDH, and possibly even in Modern or Legacy. I believe it’s already shown up in some other formats, so this would be a great long term investment if you can get them for about $2-3.
Greenbelt Rampager ($1.25) is at the lowest it’s ever been, and if I’m right about how big energy will be post rotation, then you can be sure this will fit into either GR or GB as a 4 of. Finish up your playset now! Should start going up over the next few weeks.
We might never see Aetherworks Marvel in standard again, but if we do you can be sure to see it sky rocket in price. At $2.25, it’s a very low risk investment that has a big potential return. It’s definitely a card that could see play in Frontier in the future, and there are some people that are even brewing with it in Modern. If you don’t have your play set yet, grab them at this low. I don’t think they’d unban it while Ulamog is still in standard, but I could see both Smuggler’s Copter ($2.25) and Marvel become unbanned in two more Banned and Restricted announcements. Sometime during Ixalan standard, they could be back. It also helps that Abrade is all over the meta to keep it in check. Still a good long term investment for both.
There’s tons of artifact hate in standard now, so I’m not advocating buying Heart of Kiran ($10.50) right now, but I am telling you to keep an eye out for it. If we see an unbanning of Copter, RW Vehicles could make a comeback and put some upward pressure on Heart of Kiran. I personally will be waiting until it hits $7-8 (which is a real possibility this standard season). It won’t hit $40 again like it did the first few weeks it was out, but reaching $20 in Ixalan standard is a possibility.
Scrapheap Scrounger ($1.75) has seen its ups and downs, and currently it’s pretty down. It was one of the premier beaters in a variety of decks a few standard cycles ago (Mardu Vehicles, Grixis Emerge, etc), but now it sees little play. I think it will see a bit more play after rotation, so grab your set now before they double or triple again in price. The next spike will send the card higher than usual because of how far we are getting away from Kaladesh block and no packs are being opened.
Coming Up Next
With only multicolor, land, and colorless cards left, there isn’t much to talk about. Next time I’ll focus mainly on which Eldrazi will see play in other formats, as well as the fate of our good friends the Battle and Shadow lands after standard. Thanks for reading and being patient with me as I wind down my job for summer vacation. Hopefully the next finance article will be out by the weekend, but before that I might just surprise you with a Japan metagame update. We’ll see what time permits! Feel free to leave any comments down below.