Category Archives: The Gilded Goblin

Standard No More – Innistrad Block Cards That Add Future Value to Your Binder, Part 1 of 2

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This article series is for anyone that missed the boat on maximizing value from previous Standard staples.

If you’re the average player, to stay competitive in Standard you have had to keep certain cards from Standard up until the last second – even in those final months before a block’s rotation. You know that the cards will go down, but you are forced to hold onto them in order to stay competitive. It is common that players will lose a good chunk of value on cards they’ve held up until rotation.

In this case, the block in question would be Innistrad. What many Standard players may not realize is that even though a card has rotated and they’re left holding the bag, it can still have a life beyond Standard – Modern, Legacy, Commander, and even just general Casual play can still allow a card to maintain or develop a surprising price six months or a year later.

Don’t get me wrong – $30 Huntmaster of the Fells are never going to happen again. Looking beyond that though, there are opportunities for many other cards you may still own.

Huntmaster


 

Let’s review my top cards from the Innistrad block that have left Standard recently and see what you can do with those leftovers.

I will identify what format the card will be desired in (Modern, Legacy, Vintage, Commander, Casual) and why I believe the card will retain value due to this demand.

Today I’ll start with Innistrad, and next week I’ll cover Dark Ascension and Avacyn Restored.

 

Army of the Damned

Army of the Damned

FORMAT – Commander

Army of the Damned was a terrible, terrible card in Standard. This is why it still sits in your binder – there was simply no place for it in the Standard metagame.

On the other hand, if someone is playing Black in Commander, you can bet that they either have this card in their deck or will want to include it in the future. I expect this card to increase in value over time as Commander players recognize its raw power and add it in decks accordingly. The combination of its evocative flavor and its power in a slow format like Commander make this card a good long term hold.

 

Balefire Dragon

Balefire Dragon

FORMAT – Commander, Casual

Dragons are a fan favorite and players that have a fascination with the creature type like to collect them.

Mythic rare dragons always deserve careful consideration due to this casual appeal. I believe that Balefire Dragon has a powerful ability that fits in with a Kaalia of the Vast Commander deck, a popular general due to her synergy with two all-star tribes.

Balefire Dragon was also a Standard dud but has the potential to retain its value and increase over time due to casual and commander demand.

 

Garruk RelentlessGarruk, the Veil-Cursed

Garruk Relentless

FORMAT – Modern, Casual

Garruk is the first Standard powerhouse in this list. Commanding an initial price of $30+ when first spoiled, this incarnation of Garruk got to work quickly making his presence known to the Standard metagame.

Eventually, this version of Garruk was joined by the Primal Hunter, and both took turns being the best Garruk that Garruk could be over the next several months.

In Modern, I believe that Garruk Relentless has potential. He is a solid planeswalker that can fit into multiple strategies especially because of how easy he is to splash.

He is additionally a good Casual target because he is the first transforming planewalker, which makes him unique.

If you’re still holding onto a few Garruk Relentless you very well may see these slowly creep back up over time.

 

Geist of Saint Traft

Geist of Saint Traft

FORMAT – Modern, Legacy, Commander

Geist not only was a Standard powerhouse that was the key role player in Bant Hexproof decks, but was adopted early on in Modern and Legacy strategies as an uninteractive powerhouse attacker.

Geist of Saint Traft may have dropped down in price on its way out of Standard, but do not expect him to stay below $15 for very long.

Geist has an efficient body and a powerful ability. I expect to see a lot of this card in the future as he is played in tournament tables and casual tables alike.

In fact, I would recommend picking up extra copies of this card if you can while he is down from the Standard rotation lows. If any card on this list is expected to go up, Geist of St Traft is definitely in the top five. This is a great spec target moving forward.

 

Grimgrin, Corpse-Born

Grimgrin, Corpse-Born

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FORMAT – Commander, Casual

Grimgrin was never good in Standard but I knew plenty of people that built Commander decks around this Zombie Warrior legend. I don’t really expect this card to ever break $5, but I doubt it will ever be bulk either. I see it slowly creeping up over time and I expect foils to retain good value.

 

Liliana of the Veil

Liliana of the Veil

FORMAT – Modern, Legacy, Commander

Liliana is right up there with Geist of Saint Traft in my top five from Innistrad block. Not only did this incarnation of Liliana see a $70 price at its highest in Standard, even now after rotation it has not dropped below $40.

dark confidant

 

Besides Tarmogoyf and Dark Confidant, I expect Liliana to be a running staple in Modern for years to come. Though not played quite as often in Legacy, it can still be seen in plenty of archetypes to keep the price from ever going much lower.

Holding onto Liliana will keep you very happy even just a year from now. I expect players to slowly acquire Liliana over time for Eternal format play. The price will go up with this demand.

 

Olivia Voldaren

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Olivia Voldaren

FORMAT – Modern, Commander

Olivia sees marginal play in a few Modern Jund builds, but otherwise has not done too much else outside of Standard.

I believe that most of the reason that this card will rise over time is that she is a mythic rare vampire that is an amazing Commander card. These two factors, in addition to her potential tournament playability, increases her collectability and makes her a pretty safe investment.

 

Past in Flames

Past in Flames

FORMAT – Modern

Past in Flames is a tricky target. Currently at bulk mythic prices ($2), I do not believe that the card can go any lower. Despite some players attempting to make the Past in Flames deck viable in Standard, it never made it mainstream. Pure spell-based combo in Standard was something that Wizards wished to avoid as a popular archetype.

Even as a weaker Yawgmoth’s Will, Past in Flames is still powerful. That potential power is why I  think that it will be good to hold onto moving forward. All it takes is one player, or even one new card to break this in Modern and make it more desirable. Because it is a mythic rare, the price shock could be quite surprising if this happens, potentially making the card $10+ overnight.

I don’t know what the future holds in store for Past in Flames, but to me the pros of stashing my copies away outweigh the cons of bulking out.

 

Hinterland Harbor

Innistrad Checklands (Clifftop Retreat, Isolated Chapel, Hinterland Harbor, Sulfur Falls, Woodland Cemetery)

FORMAT – Modern, Commander

Though the checklands have fallen out of Standard and seen their price plunge because of this, moving forward it will be a good idea to hold onto them (or perhaps even start collecting them) in anticipation of Modern usage.

The Innistrad checklands are unusual because they will follow a different path from the core set checklands. They only had one printing, as opposed to the multiple printings of the core set checklands, resulting in less severe devaluing than their core set counterparts.

Each of them can be currently had for about $2-$3 a piece, which for now is still pretty good. They should slowly creep back up over time until they are reprinted again. I don’t expect them to be reprinted for a while, so until they do they will marginally increase over time.

 

Parallel Lives

Parallel Lives

FORMAT – Commander, Casual

Even though this card is not Doubling Season, it is the closest we are going to get for a while. For years Doubling Season was worth no more than a few dollars, right up until Commander became a format. Casuals then snapped them up pretty quick for decks.

Parallel Lives will follow a similar path and will increase in value as time goes on. I do not think it will see Doubling Season prices of $20 or more (foils probably will) but it will certainly gain value due to its casual demand.

 

Rooftop Storm

Rooftop Storm

FORMAT – Commander, Casual

Another very flavorful card that I believe will retain casual appeal for a long time.

This card allows for infinite combos in U/B Zombie decks and other shenanigans. It will only get better over time as more Zombies are printed.

This card is definitely a sleeper. I don’t expect it to raise much over time until a powerful Zombie is printed that really pushes Rooftop Storm to the edge.

 

Snapcaster Mage

Snapcaster Mage

FORMAT – Modern, Legacy, Vintage, Commander, Casual

You can feel very comfortable holding Snapcaster Mage after his Standard rotation. This is my number-one card for long term gains. He will see play in every format that he is legal in moving forward. Any deck that plays blue at some point considers if they want to run Sanpcaster.

The best comparison I can make to Snapcaster is Dark Confidant. He will stay around $15-$20 for a while, maybe even a few years, but expect him to slowly creep up over time until he hits $40-$50+.

 

Invisible Stalker

Invisible Stalker

FORMAT – Casual

The first uncommon that I am marking for long term gains. This is the most powerful uncommon from the Innistrad set, so I expect him to keep his current price of $1.50 and slowly creep up over time until he sees a reprinting. Casuals love this card because it is an efficient unblockable creature that they can Voltron while not worrying about whether their opponent will blow him up.

He will not see Path to Exile or Spell Snare levels of increase, but will always trade well over time to casual players.

Tune in next week for part 2 when we finish by looking at Dark Ascension and Avacyn Restored.

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Theros Event Deck Financial Review & Hot Standard Picks

The newly spoiled Theros event deck has been revealed, and for some strange reason it has gotten me excited. Not that the deck is any good, unlikely to even do well at an FNM, but this event deck has ten rares included. The event deck list is as follows with rares in bold for your convenience:

4 Azorius Guildgate
1 Hallowed Fountain
5 Island
14 Plains
2 Ascended Lawmage
2 Banisher Priest
3 Battlewise Hoplite
3 Dryad Militant
1 Fabled Hero
1 Frontline Medic
3 Hopeful Eidolon
2 Imposing Sovereign
1 Lavinia of the Tenth
3 Lyev Skyknight
1 New Prahv Guildmage
1 Precinct Captain
1 Skymark Roc
1 Soldier of the Pantheon
2 Dauntless Onslaught
2 Detention Sphere
2 Gods Willing
1 Ordeal of Heliod
2 Ordeal of Thassa
2 Pacifism

*There are no relevant cards in the sideboard

Wow! Some of those cards are ones that I believe will take off in the near future. Not only are there a lot of rares in the deck, but instead of most being bulk, they are solid and will probably see Standard play at some point in the future.

Let’s go over the value of the rares in the deck. All values are TCGPlayer average prices as of a few days ago:

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Hallowed Fountain – $13.35
Fabled Hero – $2.07
Frontline Medic – $2.08
2x Imposing Sovereign  – $5.50 (good speculation target)
Lavinia of the Tenth – $0.36
Precinct Captain – $0.89 (good speculation target)
Soldier of the Pantheon – $3.98 (good speculation target)
2x Detention Sphere  – $6.42 (good speculation)
Total Value = $34.65

Not only do the rares of the deck add up in value to make it worth more than the MSRP of $25, but there are several cards in the deck that I believe are great speculation targets that will increase in price in the coming months as they are adopted into the new Standard environment. If any of these cards see an increase in price over time this event deck will be a great deal.

To make things even better these are just the rare values! Cards like Banisher Priest or Dryad Militant are included as well, which is additional icing on the cake and incentive for picking up this event deck.

Other Theros Spec Targets for Standard

In addition to the event deck, I wanted to talk about a few other cards from Theros that have grabbed my attention since the previous week:

 Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver

Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver – Todd Anderson was talking about Ashiok and how underrated the card seems to be in Theros Standard. While I don’t necessarily agree with his analysis, it is hard to disregard the comments of a professional player that has more top 8’s and wins than I can count on two hands. I myself am certainly not a pro at magic, so when it comes to speculating on cards, I believe that listening to professional players is a great way to understand a card’s potential impact in Standard. Listening to experienced players also can confirm a gut feel that you initially have about a card.

I admit, my initial reaction to this card was “total garbage”. While I still don’t think that Ashiok can command a price that is over $10 for very long, when Ashiok dips down into the price range where I feel comfortable buying in I won’t hesitate to do so. At the very least, this card will have an immense casual appeal that will keep the price from dipping too low. If it does take off in Standard, I can at least say that I did my due diligence and listened to people that are actually good at the game. When you’re humble enough to listen to sage advice from the pros there is often profit to be made.

 

Firedrinker Satyr

Firedrinker Satyr – My opinions of this card teeter back and forth constantly. On the one hand, you will be completely blown out by this card if you are facing down a Boros Reckoner or a burn mirror. Jackal Pup replacements seem to have been outclassed by all of the creature power creep that has hit Standard over the past few years.

Yet, at the price that Satyr currently stands, I feel comfortable picking up at least a playset to see what happens. Any deck that would play this card would play it as four of in the main deck. If the hype around the card by players such as Craig Wescoe and Taylor Gunn ends up being real, the risk of $1.50 would have definitely been worth it. The price ceiling on Firedrinker Satyr could turn out to be exactly like Stromkirk Noble’s, which saw prices upwards of $8 when it was popular in Standard. There is a ton of potential profit there!

Stromkirk Noble Price Graph

 

 

Steam Augury

Steam Augury – Again, like Firedrinker Satyr, my initial opinions of this card placed it as better than Divination but worse than all other rare or mythic card draw in Standard. A Fact or Fiction where you make the piles is not as powerful as when your opponent is forced to make the piles for you. Basically, any card that involves a choice where your opponent gets the last option seems worse for you than you may initially anticipate.

After doing some research I found that Craig Wescoe, Gerry Thompson, and Melissa DeTora had some good things to say about Steam Augury, both in the control shell and aggro/control. It turns that out even when a Fact or Fiction is reversed, there is still a fair amount of skill involved with choosing the piles. Based on your deck build, you can still create the piles in a manner that will be advantageous to you when you resolve Steam Augury.

Given the hype on Steam Augury, $3 could make it a target worth considering. Again, I recommend you pick up your playset and then see what happens when the card is actually put to the test. I’m not sure what the ceiling on this card could be, and I don’t want to be the guy that compares it to Sphinx’s Revelation or Gifts Ungiven, because it certainly is not as powerful as those cards. Fact or Fiction is the closest comparison, and that card was a Standard powerhouse back in the day, but like I said prior I would not call it an even comparison because your opponent has the final say. Tread with caution as speculation target.

 

Spellheart Chimera

Spellheart Chimera – I think that in the long run this uncommon has a lot of potential to be a casual hit. In terms of Standard, the card is definitely a build-around-me card that will require its own deck to shine. I see people playing this card in conjunction with Young Pyromancer and tons of burn spells to create an aggro/control deck similar to past Delver lists. I recommend picking up a playset, as well as trying to grab them as trade throw-ins because they will hold casual appeal for a long time.

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Theros Review Through the Lens of Standard

This week I delve deeply into Theros and identify all target cards in the set that Standard players should look out for in the coming months. I have researched the entire set and have provided my commentary on what cards I believe will see Standard play or become more valuable in the future.

I have divided my analysis of each card into four categories. These categories indicate what I think are the best strategies to pursue when determining if you want to speculate on a card in Theros. They are:

  • ACTIVE PICKUP – About two weeks after the set’s release, the crazy preorder and release prices will die down. At that point, try to acquire more than just a playset. These cards have a lot of room to grow.

  • PASSIVE PICKUP – Pick these up if you feel you will need it for your Standard deck in the short term, but otherwise wait for event results to start rolling in before you invest in more than a playset.

  • HOLD OFF – Wait one-and-a-half to two months and then buy in at the target price. These cards may eventually see heavy play in Standard, but the price is too high to take the risk right now.

  • BULK BUY – These are the Sanguine Bonds and Darksteel Plates of Theros. If you are interested in more formats than Standard or are comfortable with long-term investments, these have strong potential. If you are only a Standard player however, I do not recommend Bulk Buy cards because it may take months or even years for the card to produce returns.

My analysis for each card I’ve identified in Theros is listed by color, lands, and artifacts. I have provided my reasoning for each pick to justify why I believe the target price to buy is a good opportunity versus buying in at the current price.

 

White

Chained to the Rocks

Because this is a cheap Swords to Plowshares that better resembles Journey to Nowhere, it can certainly be Standard playable. However, right now there are many other removal options that do not have a potentially devastating drawback (not having a Mountain as a mana source). Pass on this card for now. If it reaches bulk status, pick them up cheap in case it gets played later in it’s Standard life.

Current Price: $2
Target Price to Buy-In: $1
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Elspeth, Sun’s Champion

Elspeth is a popular Planeswalker, but this six mana incarnation is going to be a tough sell at $35. It might see Standard play in a control shell but never more than as a two of. Once she drops to $10 or less, then would be a good time to get in because Planeswalkers always have casual appeal. If you are a Standard only player though, avoid Elspeth for the time being unless you absolutely need it for a deck.

Current Price: $35
Target Price to Buy-In: $8-$10
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Fabled Hero

The new incarnation of Silverblade Paladin leaves a lot to be desired. Playing it in an aggro deck is wrong, because you will have to play less creatures in order to fit spells to target this guy… at which point you leave yourself wide open for a two-for-one. Pass on this card; it will reach bulk status. Then you can pickup a playset in case the day comes in which he is better.

Current Price: $1
Target Price to Buy-In: BULK to $1
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Heliod, God of the Sun

I could see Heliod being the centerpiece of a deck due to many good white weenie cards that can turn on devotion easily. Though I do not think he will maintain the release price of $10, once he drops to half or less it will be a good time to pick up a playset for future brews.

Current Price: $10
Target Price to Buy-In: $3-$4
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Soldier of the Pantheon

Soldier of the Pantheon

This is a great card that will see play in Standard, most likely alongside Heliod or even in other W/X aggro builds. Picking him up for $3.50 does not seem right to me, but once he goes down to $2 or even $1 I would definitely pick him up because he will see play at some point in Standard.

Current Price: $3.50
Target Price to Buy-In: $1-$2
Final Verdict: PASSIVE PICKUP

 

Spear of Heliod

A Glorious Anthem with an upside seems good at first glance, but realize that it takes a lot of mana to get going with this thing. For $2 I won’t be buying in, but for bulk status you cannot go wrong because the effect is powerful and just needs a synergistic deck to get working.

Current Price: $2
Target Price to Buy-In: BULK
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Blue

Bident of Thassa

Since this card is starting in bulk, it can really only go up from here if it sees even a smidgen of Standard play. I would not pick this up actively, maybe as a trade throw in, but grab at least a play set at bulk since you can’t really go wrong.

Current Price: BULK
Target Price to Buy-In: BULK
Final Verdict: BULK BUY

 

Curse of the Swine

Curse of the Swine

Because of the flavor of this card, I never see it going below a dollar. Many people are trying to get the card just for its casual appeal, so buying at $1 you will not lose any money. However, it probably won’t see Standard play so do not buy for that purpose if you thinking of this card as a speculation target.

Current Price: $1
Target Price to Buy-In: $1
Final Verdict: PASSIVE PICKUP

 

Master of the Waves

Terrible in Standard, however this card will hold casual appeal once it rotates out. If you are a Standard player, stay far away, but if you play Standard as well as casual, buying in at $2 (which is bulk for mythic rares) seems like the right call for Master of Waves.

Current Price: $6
Target Price to Buy-In: $2
Final Verdict: BULK BUY

 

Swan Song

May be played in Standard, but I doubt it. Giving your opponent a Wind Drake seems bad in a format that is not combo based. Wait to buy in on this one because while Swan Song will likely be played in more combo-heavy formats (Modern, Legacy,) there is plenty of time for the price to drop first.

Current Price: $3.50
Target Price to Buy-In: $1-$2
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Thassa, God of the Sea

Thassa seems very overpriced to me at this point. Scrying for one every upkeep is useful, but not $16 useful. I recommend waiting until she submerges to a more reasonable $7-$8, because while she’s too expensive now, there’s certainly a chance she could find a home in Standard control decks.

Current Price: $16
Target Price to Buy-In: $7-$8
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Black

Agent of the Fates

Agent can be very effective if played in the right deck, but for now the support does not exist to make him strong enough. Don’t be afraid to buy in at bulk prices, but avoid picking up at retail.

Current Price:$2
Target Price to Buy-In: BULK
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Erebos, God of the Dead

Erebos is a great card that will have a deck built around him. However, like most cards in Theros, as more packs are opened the price of Erebos will decrease because he only fits into one or two archetypes. Wait to pickup.

Current Price: $11.50
Target Price to Buy-In: $5-$6
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Hero's Downfall

Hero’s Downfall

If I had to, I would still feel comfortable buying in at $4. This will be the premium removal at Rare moving forward. It is even better than Dreadbore and complements Doomblade nicely. It might see a price reduction to $2-$3 if black does not see a resurgence in play, though I doubt it since Thoughtseize is also coming back. Wait to see if it drops, but if there’s upward movement grab your play set before it gets expensive.

Current Price: $4
Target Price to Buy-In: $3-$4
Final Verdict: PASSIVE PICKUP

 

Thoughtseize

Thoughtseize is a definite staple in the new Standard, we can all agree on that. However, when is the correct time to buy? I usually find that waiting 1.5 to 2 months after a set’s release to be the optimum time to buy the more expensive format staples. They will be reasonably priced at this point and are guaranteed to go up in price as they get older in Standard. I predict Thoughtseize will go no lower than $15, so this is the sweet spot to pick this up. If you have to bite the bullet and buy now, go ahead but I highly recommend waiting if you can.

Current Price: $23
Target Price to Buy-In: $15-$17
Final Verdict: PASSIVE PICKUP

 

Red

Anger of the Gods

Anger of the Gods

I like this sweeper as a complement to Mizzium Mortars. What I don’t like is the RR casting cost, which unfortunately does not count toward Devotion. I also don’t see this taking the same path as Slagstorm, which was a staple in the Mono Red Standard deck when Mirrodin Besieged was Standard legal and commanded a price to match that (being $8-$10 at its peak). It also does not hit players and get that extra damage in like Slagstorm when you most need it. However, despite all its faults, there is potential which is why I recommend picking up a play set. At the very worst, this will see Modern play and still retain its $3 price tag. If it goes deeper, then profits can certainly be made.

Current Price: $3
Target Price to Buy-In: $2
Final Verdict: ACTIVE PICKUP

 

Hammer of the Purphoros

I like the Hammer because it makes your deck faster and your Devotion better. Unfortunately, 3 mana is one mana too much for this card. I foresee it hitting bulk pretty soon, which will be a good time to pick them up. Even though it will hit bulk, it could definitely go up a lot if it is one the key synergies in a future Standard deck.

Current Price: $1.30
Target Price to Buy-In: BULK
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Magma Jet

This is a great uncommon that will see play in Standard throughout its entire life in the format. Pick these up now and trade for them at every opportunity; they will always hold value.

Current Price: $.95
Target Price to Buy-In: $.95
Final Verdict: ACTIVE PICKUP

 

Purphoros, God of the Forge

Purphoros is in my opinion the strongest god in the set. His mini-Pandemonium ability is fantastic and gives value to all of your one and two drops after turn four, making your draws that much better later in the game. However, I see him as a wax-and-wane type card that will fall in and out of favor as aggro and control battle for the top spot in Standard. In the lulls, when Purphoros goes down pick them up for $14-$16 and you will not be disappointed. He will go up again because his impact is that strong.

Current Price: $22
Target Price to Buy-In: $14-$16
Final Verdict: PASSIVE PICKUP

 

Stormbreath Dragon

See Thundermaw Hellkite. This card will drop to about half of it’s preorder price, and then afterwards the sky is the limit. Well, not really – there is one big difference between the two, and that is the Hellkite was in a core set. Core sets aren’t opened nearly as much as the fall set, so $20 is probably the max for this card if it sees any significant amount of Standard play. Try to get in at the low point two months from now and then see gains as it goes up throughout his Standard life unless you have to buy them to complete your Standard deck.

Current Price: $25
Target Price to Buy-In: $8-$10
Final Verdict: PASSIVE PICKUP

 

Green

Arbor Colossus

Did you know this card is only 5 mana for a 6/6 with reach, and then an UPSIDE? Hard to believe that a card like this can be outclassed in Standard, but there you have it. The power of creatures has certainly risen significantly over the years. I do see how this might see Standard play since you can play him as a 6/6 by turn four with acceleration, and then make him a 9/9 by turn five that may also bring down an opposing flier. There are a lot of small upsides to this card that in the big picture could add up to great value. I wouldn’t actively pick these up, but I could see them increasing down the road if someone plays the card as “tech”. Even if it doesn’t hit, just out them for bulk and get your money back.

Current Price: BULK
Target Price to Buy-In: BULK
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Boon Satyr

Boon Satyr

Boon Satyr is an interesting card. It reminds me of Wolfir Avenger, which saw Standard play. However this guy is a rare, so has the chance of reaching much higher prices than Wolfir Avenger did. I can see him being played and if the deck puts up results you can expect Boon Satyr to increase in price accordingly.

Current Price: $2
Target Price to Buy-In: $1-$2
Final Verdict: ACTIVE PICKUP

 

Bow of Nylea

Similar to Arbor Colossus, this card has an insane amount of abilities for a decent mana cost. I think that this card could definitely see Standard play, but paying more than $2 for the bow at this point seems a bit much. Pick them up for $2 or less in a month or so. Remember the bow is in a preconstructed deck.

Current Price: $2.50
Target Price to Buy-In: $1-$2
Final Verdict: BULK BUY

 

Mistcutter Hydra

Green really is getting all the crazy cards with multiple abilities this set. Here is another card with all sorts of things going on that has the potential to see play. Without trample, I like Mistcutter Hydra a little less than Arbor Colossus or Bow of Nylea. Hydras are a popular casual card, so if you pick up this up at bulk it could be a good investment some ways down the road. If you are only a Standard player though, I would avoid this card as a speculation target.

Current Price: $3
Target Price to Buy-In: BULK to $2
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Nemesis of Mortals

This uncommon is very powerful. It is a mini-Ghoultree that takes two turns to make big, but comes out initially at a decent mana cost. It could see Standard play at some point, so I would actively try to get a play set. After that point pick them up in trades whenever you can.

Current Price: $.10
Target Price to Buy-In: $.10
Final Verdict: ACTIVE PICKUP

 

Nylea, God of the Hunt

The green god feels like it will have the least impact on Standard, since her abilities are somewhat tame compared to the other gods. However, it will be a big hit with the casual crowd, so picking them up at $4 in a few months is a solid play.

Current Price: $9
Target Price to Buy-In: $4-$5
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Polukranos, World Eater

Polukranos, World Eater

This is the mythic hydra of the set, and it does a good job of filling that role. It is already being brewed into the next version of Jund for standard, so I would actively try to pick them up if you are looking to build midrange Jund. At the least, it will be popular casual card that will keep from being a dollar bin mythic. Paying $4 for these is completely acceptable if you need them for Standard.

Current Price: $4
Target Price to Buy-In: $2-$3
Final Verdict: ACTIVE PICKUP

 

Sylvan Caryatid:

After Elvish Mystic, this is the next best mana ramp. Expect to see a ton of this card in Standard over the next several months as every three color green deck needs to play four of these in order to maintain mana base consistency. If you are planning on playing three colors in the new Standard, get your play set ASAP.

Current Price: $5
Target Price to Buy-In: $2-$3
Final Verdict: ACTIVE PICKUP

 

Multicolor

Anax and Cymede

Anax and Cymede could be good in an aggro build that supports the ability, but unfortunately not as more than two or three copies. Because they are legendary, EDH fans will like the card, so it will never be exactly bulk. The duel deck will also keep the price down, so I wouldn’t be actively trying to pick these up even though it will probably see Standard play.

Current Price: $1
Target Price to Buy-In: BULK to $1
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Chronicler of Heroes:

Another really great uncommon from the set. Whoever heard of G/W creatures drawing cards when they come into play? Unfortunately, it needs a specific strategy built around it in order to be good, so it could turn out to be a dud. Getting them at bulk uncommon prices though ($0.05) seems good because the potential is there.

Current Price: $.2
Target Price to Buy-In: BULK
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Daxos of Meletis

Might see play in Standard; the ability is really great in control mirror matches. However, he is not very useful against most decks and will probably end up as bulk. Try and pick up foils of this card, though, as he will be an amazing commander in EDH. Avoid as a spec target if you are only a Standard player.

Current Price: $2
Target Price to Buy-In: BULK to $1
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Fleecemane Lion

This card is deceptive. Yes, I remember how good Watchwolf was back in the day, but these days Watchwolf is simply outclassed. The monstrous upgrade is simply too much mana at five to come online at any important stage of the game. I foresee these quickly dropping as people realize the cat isn’t as good as it seems at first glance. That said, Fleemane Lion will definitely be a casual crowd favorite for years to come, so wait for the opportunity to buy in at low prices.

Current Price: $8
Target Price to Buy-In: $2-$3
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Polis Crusher

I could see Polis Crusher as a good sideboard card against certain archetypes, but honestly he is a worse Ghor-Clan Rampager. Pick up at bulk in case it comes online as good tech against certain match-ups but otherwise avoid.

Current Price: $.75
Target Price to Buy-In: BULK
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Reaper of the Wilds

Another card that seems really great at first glance but I believe will ultimately turn out to be underwhelming. Sure, being able to Scry 1 for every creature that dies can be pretty powerful, but doesn’t actually get you there. Deathtouch isn’t important on a 4/5, but on-demand hexproof makes this gal unexpectedly resilient. Definitely pick them up at bulk in a few months because Reaper could see Standard play eventually.

Current Price: $2
Target Price to Buy-In: BULK to $1
Final Verdict: HOLD OFF

 

Underworld Cerberus

Underworld Cerberus

This card is interesting. I want to believe Cerberus will follow the same trajectory as Master of Cruelties, but this guy is a 6/6 that will probably be unblockable most of the game in B/R, which are colors that do not see that ability very often. It also will be quite good in midrange Jund because it is pretty much unkillable outside of sweepers like Supreme Verdict. No wrath effects in Theros have everyone scratching their heads but it only makes cards like this even more insane. My strategy is to see how this plays out in the first few months in Standard. If you plan on playing it, pick up your play set now for $20 because it will most likely be a good deal in the long run. If you want to speculate on this card, wait for the results to come in before you decide. If it doesn’t put up amazing results, wait until it hits $2-$3 and then pick them up.

Current Price: $5
Target Price to Buy-In: $2-$3
Final Verdict: PASSIVE PICKUP

 

Xenagos, the Reveler

I anticipate Xenagos being played in Standard, but I see him taking the same path as Garruk Relentless. Starting out high at $20, slowly dropping to the mid teens and then eventually petering out at $7-$8. Wait until more Theros packs are opened if you want to play him in Standard; $15 will be comfortable to buy in at if you want to play Xenagos in Standard. If you are purely speculating, wait until January and then Xenagos will be much more affordable.

Current Price: $25
Target Price to Buy-In: $8-$10
Final Verdict: PASSIVE PICKUP

 

Lands/Artifacts

Temple of Triumph

The Scrylands

My prediction for all of the Scrylands is that people will be underwhelmed with them (as they should, really the lands should be uncommons,) but as time goes on in Standard all premium real estate will go up in value. Rare or higher lands (real estate as I refer to them) for the most part are the safest investment in Standard (and also other formats) because Standard players know that eventually they will have to play them, if not this year than certainly the year after that. They may go down to a measly $1-$2 in the beginning, but remember when Seachrome Coast was $20? Darkslick Shores $25? I certainly do, and it is a good lesson to learn – get your rare, dual colored lands early or pay the price later. Or in this case, make profits later. If you need any of these lands, picking them up for $4 now and getting your play set will still be fine in the long run. If you can wait, or if you want extras to trade later, pick up the scry lands when they bottom out around $1-$2 and hold onto them until they ultimately rise.

Current Price: $4
Target Price to Buy-In: $1-$2
Final Verdict: ACTIVE PICKUP

 

Colossus of Akros

The Colossus is the last card I want to mention. Even though this card seems like a complete dud, and most likely won’t see Standard play, don’t be so quick to get rid of yours. Huge fat fatties seem to have a thing for increasing exponentially in price over time. Remember It That Betrays? I didn’t either, until I saw that it is $7.50 at most stores online… and that card never saw a lick of Standard play. It That Betrays’ price completely hinges on casual players, and I think Colossus of Akros will follow the same path, as it is a very Timmy card that appeals to casuals and EDH players. Don’t actively pick these up, but rather get them as trade throw-ins or at bulk prices because eventually (maybe years down the road) I see these guys rising to an absurd price for a generally bad card.

Current Price: $.50
Target Price to Buy-In: BULK
Final Verdict: BULK BUY

 

Conclusion

As you can see, most of the cards will drop in price and I recommend waiting to pick them up at their lower prices unless you absolutely need them for a Standard deck. If you feel that any of the cards I have evaluated should be reassessed I encourage you to leave a comment and explain your reasoning. In addition, if you feel that I have missed any important cards for the upcoming Standard environment you should likewise feel free to comment and let me know.

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