Conjured Currency #29: Oops.

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Good morning! It very well may not be morning at the time that you’re reading this, but I get tired of the generic “Welcome back!” every week, and I figure I have a 50/50 shot of being right if I assume that it’s the a.m. wherever you may be while reading this article. This time, we’ll skip through my shameless advertisement/recap/update on my previous week’s article, and cut straight into the juicy article material that WOTC has generously provided so that I don’t have to stare at a blank piece of digital paper for a number of hours attempting to conjure up a subject matter.

Surprise! We’re Back

Pax Prime 2014 happened over this past weekend. I’m sure you’ve already figured out what I’m going to be talking about based on that statement. For those who live in the Wooded Foothills and haven’t heard the annoucement yet, the original five Onslaught fetch lands will return to Standard and be introduced into Modern via Khans of Tarkir. Ninety-dollar Polluted Deltas are no more, and people are free to preorder playsets for less than a single copy used to cost. Needless to say, people were slightly pleased.

If you remember nearly 15 articles ago, I wrote about how I was adamant that Onslaught fetchlands would not ever make it to Standard or Modern. Oops. I made that statement because I felt that Wizards wouldn’t want to put fetches in Standard again (adding five minutes of shuffling to every game isn’t the most fun thing in the world), and that adding Onslaught fetches wouldn’t make much difference in Modern when we already have rainbow mana in any number of different methods. Oops. Feel free to say, “I told you so,” in the comments section, even if you didn’t in fact “tell me so” and you want to pretend you did. I was wrong. It happens.

Belief Perseverance

Human brain in x-ray view

I wrote that article back in May. M15 spoilers were in full effect, the enemy cycle of pain lands was revealed, which heavily alluded to the probability of an allied cycle of lands in Khans of Tarkir. That, along with a decent number of logically sound comments on my 15th article, probably should have been enough to change my mind. Even something like Ob Nixilis, Unshackled is a throwback from Zendikar, and he interacts with fetch lands.

Still, I didn’t change my mind. I felt that a reprint in a supplemental product such as Commander, Archenemy, or Planechase was more likely, and that Khans would have an all-new land cycle in the fall. I’m beating the fact that I was wrong into the ground, because changing your mind when presented with new information is hard. Has anyone ever come up to you with a deck and asked your opinion on what to change? You might be a much more experienced player than that person, provide logical and rational reasoning for all of your theorized changes, only to have that player say something along the lines of, “Well, I think I’m just going to keep it the way it is.” Being able to change your opinion in the face of new evidence is difficult, but it’s something that we should all practice, recognizing in the moment of when it happens.

I Don’t Care, Just Tell Me What to Do with my Fetches

Fine, fine. Are you still holding onto Onslaught copies? If so, I feel like you have a couple of options ahead of you. One of the best historical examples to look at for guidance would be Thoughtseize, a Modern and Legacy staple that hung out at around $70 and got chopped in half by its reprint. Expect the original Polluted Delta to fall to around $40 soon after the reprint hits the shelves, sustained by a bit of price memory, and respect for the old border and art. As of September 2, ABUGames is still buying original Deltas for almost $35. If you don’t care about the art or border and just want to play your fetches, you might as well ship them off to a reliable buylist and then buy into the newer, cheaper copies once they start flooding the market.

tsizzletsizzle2

Speaking of new copies Flooded Stranding the market, what will the settled price of the new fetch lands be? Well, SCG is setting the bar high with preorders at $29.99, and they’re sold out. However, you can certainly find better deals than that with a little bit of Google-fu, if you absolutely need the cards in your hands the week of release. No matter how high the demand for fetches is, a booster box can only hold so much value before supply is raised by people cracking boxes for said value. After a few weeks of product being opened and drafted, I think the dust will settle around $15 (lower for the non-blue ones). Again, I think we can look at Thoughtseize for an excellent example.

A Misty Future

And Zendikar fetches? If little Bobby can use $13 Wooded Foothills and Bloodstained Mires, he certainly doesn’t need to drop $70 on a copy of Scalding Tarn for his Burn deck. We survived on five fetch lands for several years in Modern, and players without the cash for Modern’s “original” fetches will be diving headfirst for the Khans counterparts. This relieves a little bit of pressure on the Zendikar fetches and prevents WOTC from having rocks thrown through their windows. Does this mean we won’t be getting more Mesas? I doubt it. As I stated a couple of weeks ago, I think Modern Masters 2 is on its way to blow us away, and I’m still confident that it contains Zendikar fetches at rare, with a much larger print run to prevent $57 Cryptic Commands. Yes, I did just finish a section of this article talking about the negative aspects of belief perseverance and being willing to change your mind, but I think you’d be hard pressed to find enough evidence to rule out MM2 with fetches.

With these factors in mind, I’ve been looking at unloading any extra Zendikar fetches I had. If you’re not using them to play with, trade them off into safer commodities, or sell them to friends who need them right now. There is very little to be gained by holding onto them for financial gains.

In Related News

If you blinked at any point between this past Sunday and Monday, you might have noticed that Courser of Kruphix went up to $17 once again. If you bought in a while ago expecting this, then congratulations, I recommend selling out now. Even if it does slowly creep up to $20 and hang out there for a while, I’m always a fan of taking profits and running onto the next thing.

Courser of Kruphix

In Unrelated News

If you’re looking for the next big thing, I’m going to be the eleventy billlionth person on the internet to endorse Mana Confluence and Soldier of the Pantheon. As of today, Mana Confluence has crept up to $15 average, so I’m not sure how much more time you have before it reaches $20. If you can still find a place to buy in for $11 or $12 and need them to play with, I recommend it. The ceiling on Soldier is probably only $5, but he seems like an excellent target as a cheap throw-in when it looks like there will be so many multi-color decks running around. These decks will play Mana Confluence and fetch lands, which start to hurt after repeated uses. Soldier gets to ignore their golden threats, and also holds the ground well.

Wrapping Up

I’m sure that almost every other Magic financier in the world has written approximately the same article (or better) about fetch land reprints this week, but I genuinely appreciate the time you took to read my thoughts. If you’re interested in continuing the discussion, I’m glad to help! Just leave a comment in the section below, on Reddit, or hit me up on Twitter with any questions/constructive criticism. Until next week!

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Douglas Johnson

@Rose0fthorns     -     Email     -     Articles
Douglas Johnson is a 20-year-old MTG player who goes to college courtesy of a scholarship from Gamers Helping Gamers. He is currently found writing a weekly finance column at MTGprice.com, and you can always feel free to contact him on Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit.
Douglas Johnson

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    • Amanda on September 4, 2014 at 7:22 am
    • Reply

    Wasn’t the Courser of Kruphix spike because of a hyped up reddit thread and someone buying it out, or do you think it will actually keep up with the short term spike?

      • Hover on September 4, 2014 at 7:37 am
      • Reply

      ^Courser has great synergy with Fetchlands, it will likely be in almost any green deck in standard

      1. It’s great with fetches, but I’m always a fan of selling after a spike. Even if it creeps up a few more dollars, I’m happy with grabbing what profits I can and jumping at the post-spike price. We still haven’t seen all of Khans yet, it could be possible (not saying its likely, but possible) that Courser is bad in the new meta. I’m going to sell Coursers/Legion Loyalists/Rabblemasters at their high points now.

      • BlackWaterOp on September 4, 2014 at 2:21 pm
      • Reply

      You’re thinking of Sylvan Caryatid that was talked about as an artificially induced spike.

        • Amanda on September 4, 2014 at 2:38 pm
        • Reply

        Right! That was it! Thanks!

  1. […] time to pick up foil copies of Survival of the Fittest and Wasteland. Even though my record with predicting fetch land reprints is not exactly stellar, I’m more than willing to vomit my opinions and thoughts onto the […]

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