Paul’s Pre-GP Rundown

You have less than a month to sell your [card]Mutavault[/card]s or trade them away for something insane five minutes before a PTQ starts. This card should be in an event deck soon, and even if it’s not, demand can’t get much higher. There’s no upside left in the card, and it’s time to turn your copies into something else if you haven’t already.

Jan van der Vegt is apparently on the [card]Goryo’s Vengeance[/card]/[card]Through the Breach[/card] deck for GP Prague, but with a five-color manabase to support [card]Fist of Suns[/card] as a third way to cheat in [card]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/card] and [card]Griselbrand[/card]. I have no idea if this version of the deck is good, but you can get Fist for under $2 and its casual appeal will help mitigate the risk (it has a 27% spread, though some of this is likely due to potential hype about the deck). I think this is close to a free roll if you’re paying attention this weekend and can cash out before stores update their buy prices should the deck flop.

[card]Primeval Titan[/card] has a 15% spread and is 20 tickets on MTGO. These are both giant signs pointing towards the card going up fairly dramatically in the near future. It’s in some versions of [card]Scapeshift[/card] as well as the fringe [card]Amulet of Vigor[/card] deck. It’s also in the Green Devotion deck everyone has been secretly brewing at 3:00 a.m. I’ll admit I bought in pretty hard on these last week and I still like the price they’re at—between GP Prague and Pro Tour Born of the Gods in the short term, as well as Modern PTQ season coming in a few months, this bet feels hard to lose.

[card]Gemstone Mine[/card] is another interesting pickup. It’s in the [card]Fist of Suns[/card] – [card]Griselbrand[/card] deck I mentioned earlier as well as the [card]Amulet of Vigor[/card] – [card]Primeval Titan[/card] deck. Normally being in two fringe strategies wouldn’t be very interesting, but it also has a 30% spread and lots of demand outside of Modern. I don’t think Mine is an outright buy so much as a trade target, but it’s something to keep an eye out for during the next few weeks when you’re at events.

I cannot keep copies of [card]Cabal Therapy[/card] for more than a day or two. There are 32 total listings on TCGplayer right now and the internet is slowly drying up (Star City Games is completely sold out, for instance). I think this card could hit $20 or more over the course of a day and is a fantastic pick up.

Avacyn Restored is in the middle of a price adjustment. [card]Avacyn, Angel of Hope[/card], [card]Craterhoof Behemoth[/card], and [card]Griselbrand[/card] have seen significant increases over the past few months and I don’t think the set is done experiencing these kind of jumps. I love [card]Cavern of Souls[/card] as a pickup right now—this has real long-term potential to hit $20 or more in a few years with no competitive results, a la [card]Vampire Nocturnus[/card] before the reprint. However, the card also has real legs in Modern and Legacy Merfolk decks, which makes it even more appealing. Cavern isn’t a cash buy right now, but it’s a very solid trade target that I don’t think you can lose on in the long term.

Andrew Shrout continues to show us that green-white is not completely dead in Standard. His results combined with the upcoming G/W temple in Born of the Gods would normally lead me to believe that buying into Standard G/W staples this month is an easy way to turn a profit, but I’m not sold in this case. Take a look at his list:

[deck title= GW Shrout]

[Creatures]

*4 Experiment One

*4 Soldier of the Pantheon

*4 Fleecemane Lion

*2 Skylasher

*4 Voice of Resurgence

*4 Banisher Priest

*4 Boon Satyr

*3 Mistcutter Hydra

[/Creatures]

[Spells]

*4 Advent of the Wurm

*4 Selesnya Charm

[/Spells]

[Land]

*8 Forest

*8 Plains

*3 Selesnya Guildgate

*4 Temple Garden

[/Land]

[Sideboard]

*1 Mistcutter Hydra

*2 Skylasher

*3 Unflinching Courage
*2 Last Breath

*2 Rootborn Defenses

*2 Polukranos, World Eater

*3 Glare of Heresy

[/Sideboard]

[/deck]

That’s 34 rares and mythics. Granted, eight of them are [card]Mistcutter Hydra[/card]s and [card]Skylasher[/card]s, but they could just as easily be [card]Ajani, Caller of the Pride[/card], [card]Loxodon Smiter[/card], or [card]Witchstalker[/card].

With around half the deck being made up of rares and mythics, I think any type of price increase will be spread out among too many cards for anyone to make any money. The lone exception is [card]Advent of the Wurm[/card] because everyone hated Dragon’s Maze, so the relative supply will be much lower. It’s also entirely possible that [card]Lifebane Zombie[/card] is actually the best pickup if we think G/W is going to be good, but it’s almost three times as expensive as Advent, so it has less upside. We can probably wait a bit longer before picking it up.

I invested in [card]Scavenging Ooze[/card] instead of [card]Mutavault[/card] this September. Oops. I like Ooze as a trade acquisition this month, if not an outright buy, while it’s price is so significantly depressed. I don’t think there’s much more time than that to get in because the temples coming in Born of the Gods should help make midrange strategies relevant in Standard again, which is where Ooze is at its best. Don’t get me wrong, [card]Sylvan Caryatid[/card] is the main reason to play Green in midrange strategies and Ooze will probably be riding its coattails, but I don’t think that matters. The promo hurts the ceiling somewhat, but I still think Ooze can hit $12 with broad demand once the format evens out a little.

It’s very interesting that Standard prices haven’t really moved much despite PTQs starting a month ago. At the same time, various older cards have doubled. We all have to learn the pricing patterns of the new PTQ schedule and how the different block structures fit within it. For instance, I’m staying away from all Theros cards until June (right before M15 and during Modern season). We haven’t had a big-small-small block since Scars of Mirrodin, when the playerbase was significantly smaller, and while I don’t know what drafting a set for nine months is going to do with this large a player base, I have a hunch.

Have comments? Please share below.

About the Author
@plfeudo     -     Email     -     Articles Paul Feudo has been playing magic since Urza's Destiny. After gloriously scrubbing out of GP Anaheim in 2012, he changed his focus from competitive play to the financial aspects of the game.

11 comments on Paul’s Pre-GP Rundown

  1. Jason Alt says:

    Everyone make sure and welcome Paul to the Brainstorm Brewery team.

  2. Vale Tech Industries says:

    Great to see your column again!

  3. Aregand says:

    Hi Paul , Good advise on these cards. I would like to add that the Gemstone Mine reprint was Timeshifted so it still has the original frame. The Judge Promo is the only Modern frame version and seeing prices on the other Judge Promos from that time are higher they could disappear quickly.

    1. Paul Feudo says:

      That’s a good point. As Modern pimping becomes more accepted the Judge Gemstone Mines may be an interesting pick up, however, I’m not sure where they will be in the hierarchy of ‘pimpness’ compared to foreign foil Time Spiral ones.

      1. Aregand says:

        Well that is the case for most cards – I’m sure a foil Japanese Polluted Delta is more desired than the Judge Promo version but that didn’t keep the Judge Promo from going up.

        1. Paul Feudo says:

          That’s much more true of higher end legacy cards. We don’t know how the market will end up for modern or whether non-English cards hold as significant a premium as they do in legacy.

  4. Aaron says:

    Advent of the Wurm was in an event deck; the supply is pretty high.

    1. Jason Alt says:

      Stoneforge mystic, verdant catacombs and birthing pod are in event decks.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good article. Cabal Therapy has moved to 17 USD today and is still available for around 8 USD in Europe.

  6. Andrew says:

    Welcome to the team! I’ve been following you on twitter for some time now. It’s nice to see some stretched out thoughts!

    Thanks much

    Andrew

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