Bang For Your Buck: Investing in Cards for M19 – Artifact, Lands, and Multicolor
Disclaimer: I can not be held responsible for any poor decisions I might make that lead you to buy cards 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.
We’re getting pretty close to rotation and the spoilers for Guilds of Ravnica have already started to come out. Shocks are back, and this could have profound effects on the price of cards that are left in standard. In the past the Pro Tour would have a pretty big effect on card prices, but as we’ve seen over the last few seasons decks tend to come out of nowhere towards the end as the metagame as settled, and unexpected spikes in price do occur. Will this happen with any of our remaining cards? Let’s take a look, but first how I did last time.
Previous Artifact, Land, and Multicolor Suggestions
- Metallic Mimic – HIT. Said to sell at $8.50, not at about $6.75. Still going to hold on to a lot of its value at rotation I think, but not going to hit those peaks like it did in standard.
- Walking Ballista – HIT. Still good in eternal formats, but like I said that demand wasn’t enough to keep its $18 price tag from last season. Currently around $12.25.
- Hostage Taker – Miss. I thought it would see more play but people simply stopped playing Grixis Energy, Sultai Counters, and any other deck with Hostage Taker. Close to its previous price but down to $2.75.
- Regisaur Alpha – Miss. Another slight miss. I knew it would be a long shot because the format is just too strong for it right now. Only down a quarter to $1.75 though.
- Angrath, the Flame Chained – HIT. Up almost a dollar to $6 at the moment. Good sideboard card for RB decks, as well as Grixis.
- Journey to Eternity – Hit. One of my penny stock picks. It’s seeing a slight uptick in value now due to speculation I bet. Up a quarter to $2.25.
- Dragonskull Summit/Drowned Catacombs – Hit. Both went up slightly due to increased play in RB aggro and UB/x control decks.
- Fetid Pools – HIT. Said to sell at $5.50, now down to about $4.25. Still has room to fall, so you can still get some value from it.
- Scavenger Grounds – HIT. The supply was so low it was only realistic that the price shot up to $4.50 last season. Things are more under control now and down to $2.50 like I said it would be closer to rotation.
- Blooming Marsh/Spirebluff Canal – HIT. Said to sell during last season, and both have dropped about $2 from their previous highs. Still have some value in them so you can trade them away if you don’t plan on using them in another eternal format.
I did pretty good in my last article, though some of those “sell” prices were rather easy to spot. Now’s the hard part though. Which cards get better after rotation in a multicolor format?
I don’t usually call out uncommon cards, but with Dominara being a limited print run and less packs being opened now I think Damping Sphere ($1.50) to go up. It sees a lot of play in eternal formats and the further we get away from the set the smaller the supply will get. I could see it hitting $2 next season, but in reality this is probably a good price to buy in at before it starts to inch up and become a $5 card next summer.
Casual players are loving the mono blue “storm” deck in standard right now which has pushed Aetherflux Resevoir’s price to $3, but I don’t think that will hold after rotation because there isn’t really a home for it in any of the formats. Bulk rare in October most likely. Trade it away if you can or sell extra copies you don’t need or care for.
Traxos, Scourge of Kroog seems like a super fun card to play with, but it hasn’t seen any play yet. Abrade has been a big reason why, but with that rotating I think people will have to take a second look at Traxos decks. Good to buy in at $0.75 now.
I also like Weatherlight at $1. It’s a mythic rare for ONE DOLLAR. It’s not entirely unplayable either. If this card sees some play after rotation It could easily hit $5-6. Not sure it will be a 4 of in decks, but I could see it showing up as a 2 or 3 of. Lots of new legends coming in Ravnica that could work well with the Dominara ones.
I’m pointing Silent Gravestone again at $.75 just because we’re getting Golgari in the first Ravnica set and they rely heavily on the graveyard. Who knows what kind of shenanigans could show up. Gravestone could become a great sideboard card, so keep an eye on the meta.
A more long term spec I have for artifacts is God-Pharoah’s Gift ($1). I don’t think it will see play soon, but we could see some Reanimator decks using it in the future. Frontier could also pick up and create some demand for it in a year or two as well. Heart of Kiran ($1.25) also seems to be in the same position. It’s a great card in Frontier decks like Mardu, Jeskai, or Esper Vehicles, and the card could really take off the format gets more support. If you never bought yours, grab them at bulk and reap the profits in the future when they become playable again.
From the Dominara check lands, Clifftop Retreat ($1.75) stands to gain the most from the Shocklands reprint as it will be joined by Sacred Foundry in Ravnica. The others checks that have matching shocks should also see a small bump, but the RW land is probably the cheapest right now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Isolated Chapel ($3), Woodland Cemetary ($3.75), and Sulfur Falls ($4.50) to go up at least a dollar after rotation. Bite the bullet and finish out your playset now.
As for the Ixalan lands, Sunpetal Grove ($3.75) and Drowned Catacomb ($5) will also probably see a bump. Catacomb’s price has the potential to get out of control along with Sulfur falls if Grixis becomes a good deck after rotation. The deck will have both Watery Grave and Steam Vents. Just as I said about the Dominara cards, get your playset now if you haven’t or you’ll have to pay an arm and a leg for them in October.
Inspiring Vantage is probably close to the bottom for a fast land at $2.25. Conceal Courtyard and the others have a little bit farther to go, but I wouldn’t sit on any of these long. If Arena Modern/Frontier becomes a thing next year these will be great to have. Look for them to drop to about $2-4 and grab your playsets if you never did. Will be good to have Fastlands in this new format. If the Scars of Mirrodin lands are any guide, they could easily reach double digits in a new format. Best time to buy is at rotation.
I don’t know if you can get any money for them anymore, but Canyon Slough ($3.75) and Fetid Pool ($4.25) still have some value to them because they’re being played right up to the end of standard. I doubt anybody is giving good buylist prices for them, but if you can trade them away or get rid of them on a website like puca trade you’re better off than waiting for rotation. Not many places for them to see play outside of standard.
Spire of Industry ($1) has seen some play in modern, but again its biggest demand is going to be coming from the format that eventually starts between standard and Modern. Artifact beatdown decks like Mardu or RW Vehicles will be strong, and those types of decks will play 4 of these most likely. Good buy in price.
There are 2 reasons why I like Saheeli Rai at $4.75. She has shown up in modern decks and the Cat Combo isn’t as bad as people thought it would be in that format, and she will be a decent card in Arena’s Frontier type format when it gets announced. If the format truly is going to start from Kaladesh block then she’ll be a good fit in an artifact heavy format, even if Marvel and Felidar are banned from the get go. I expect she’ll drop a little more at rotation, but she won’t be kept down for long.
Control and aggro really took over the metagame and outside of a UB midrange deck, Hostage Taker didn’t really have a place. I think it will be able to gain a foothold in Ravnica standard though, especially since Watery Grave is being reprinted. This assures people will be playing UB in some respect, be it control or some kind of midrange deck. I don’t think it will go much lower than $2.75
It’s a long shot but I feel like Journey to Eternity ($2.25) has the potential to become a 3-4 in the next reanimator deck. Golgari will have a strong graveyard presence in the next set, and we already have cards like Stitcher’s Supplier to act as a great enabler, so if the deck gets a few more pieces and no graveyard hate is printed then Journey could take off. On speculation alone I think people will push the price to $3 by rotation. Could go higher but needs a lot of things to go right.
Driven//Despair ($.50) has basically become a 4 of in most GB Elf decks in Frontier, and I wouldn’t be surprised if an Arena version used it in the future. The card is incredibly powerful in go wide strategies like elves, and it could spread to other GB decks in the future, especially now that we get cards like Overgrown Tomb which make splashing colors that much easier.
I also can’t believe that Regisaur Alpha is almost bulk at less than $1.75. We might not be getting the RG Gruul cards until the winter set, but how can you pass up a powerful midrange card like this? Could easily become a 4 of in a deck and and triple its prices. Very good buy in price now.
The Wrap Up
So what do you think? Was it better to do these articles towards the end of standard and guess what will happen in the next set, or is it better to do it at the start of a standard season so you can buy stuff before things go up? I wanted to try something new this time around, but I’m not sure if I’ll do this for next season or not. More spoilers will be coming out in the next few weeks, so there might be a few surprises and cards that we’d never expect to be good actually end up being good.
I haven’t really written that many articles this season about standard or pretty much anything else, and that’s because I haven’t been playing Magic that much lately. Some of it is my work schedule, but a lot of it is the lack of motivation to play standard when it’s not relevant, and playing modern when I don’t really enjoy it (especially the cost of having to keep up with the metagame). I’m looking to change some things up next season though, and I’ll most likely be retiring my Japan Metagame Diaries in favor of a new series that chronicles whatever I’m doing Magic-wise that season instead of just sticking with a certain format like standard. I hope you enjoy it when I release it!
Thanks for reading. I hope to get another article about Japan Nationals out sometime next week if I can, and I’d also like to post something about Frontier as well before the Guild of Ravnica limited reviews start. Stop back in when you can!