Quiet Speculation: In the Wake of Worldwake

Worldwake’s just been released on Magic: Online! There is much rejoicing. As with any new set release, there are always prime opportunities for speculation and moneymaking. Today we’re going to have a look at some of the high-profile cards in the set and see how they stack up against their paper counterparts. MTGO is often called a leading indicator of the market due to its ability to react more quickly than the paper market. As such, if you are a player of both online and paper cards, keeping MTGO trends in mind can be profitable when trading on paper.

One of the most hyped, and to the point, over-hyped pieces of cardboard in Worldwake, was a certain 6/6 flier that never let you win the game. Abyssal Persecutor is $25 if you want a copy you can touch and feel, but he’s only around $6 online. There was no pre-order hype to screw up the pricing of this currently unplayed Mythic, hence, he’s about as expensive as he ought to be. If, and only if, a deck comes out that runs a 4-pack of Persecutors, he’ll shoot up, but until then, he’s priced correctly.

Basilisk Collar is also selling at a discount to its paper price, albeit a small one. In the $3-$4 range, the Collar might still be a touch underpriced. It’s seeing use in an awful lot of decks, and being compared to a less powerful Umezawas Jitte in the way that it absolutely changes Aggro vs Aggro matches. Gerry Thompson’s new Boros deck makes use of the Stoneforge Mystic/Basilisk Collar package very handily, and despite only placing in the Quarterfinals at the most recent Midwest Masters tournament, it is sure to be popular.

Last week, in the wake of the Pro Tour, I’d have said that Celestial Colonnade should be worth more. Unfortunately, most players are realizing that Blue-White Control is not the Jund killer it was advertised to be. This is no shortcoming of the deck, but of its pilots. Having played a number of matches with the deck myself, I can say without a doubt that it’s the most difficult deck in the format when it comes to technical play. The cards are sub-par compared to Jund’s, and you really have to grind out every single win. In the hands of a master like Pat Chapin, there’s no problem, but mere mortals should stay away. The man-land is extremely powerful, but is likely priced correctly, as it closely matches its paper counterpart.

Creeping Tar-Pit is an all-star without a home. He’s selling under $2 right now and simply just doesn’t have a deck he can fit in. A Grixis Control deck would love 4 copies of the Tar Pit, but simply lacks the support in the format at the moment. These are at a discount for certain, so put them on your short-list to buy. When, not if, but when a deck finds room for 4 of these, you’ll be so glad they do. This is a Blue-Black dual land, in the same pedegree as Underground Sea, Drowned Catacombs, and Sunken Ruins. What do all of those have in common? They are, or were, all double-digit cards.

Eye of Ugin is an over-hyped pile of garbage. There’s no reason you should own more than 2-3 of them. If you speculated on them because of the spoiled Eldrazi guy, get your money back and keep a couple for yourself. There’s no reason this should be worth anywhere above $4 unless Rise of the Eldrazi REALLY surprises us with some bombs.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor is just as expensive as his real-life counterpart. No matter what happens, people will be trying to put him in decks until the end of Zendikar-based Standard. He’s insanely powerful, has huge Casual appeal, can utterly dominate games, and he’s a Planeswalker. That means he’ll always command a high price tag. These are not the sort of cards you want to speculate on, since margins will be low and risk will be high. If you need them for a deck, try to borrow them!

Joraga Warcaller selling for under $1 is a shame. The Elf Deck may not be Tier 1 at this very moment, but once Shards block rotates out, we may see it become a contender. If Elvish Archdruid sees a reprint in M11, then we’ll certainly see a contender. The Nissa package, combined with the two Elf Lords, can generate an insurmountable advantage very quickly. I’d be buying these aggressively at the approximate .50 mark they’re at right now.

Raging Ravine and its counterpart Stirring Wildwood are both priced appropriately. Raging Ravine could even be higher due to its automatic inclusion in Jund, but $6 seems fine for the time being. During a Standard PTQ season, which is right around the corner, these man-lands will surely jump in price at least a bit. The Wildwood is not played in Jund, obviously, so it’s priced in the $3-$4 range. There’s more room for growth, since some G/W decks have been rearing their heads thanks to Knight of the Reliquary and Noble Hierarch.

Sadly for speculators, the Pro Tour happened before MTGO released Worldwake. That means that we didn’t have a chance to buy up Stoneforge Mystics. Why this card was ever priced below $5, I have no idea, but it’s clearly insane. Paper speculators had this chance, and I know many who took the gamble and got paid off. Unfortunately it’s one of the most expensive non-Mythics in Worldwake, residing in the $6 range with Raging Ravine. This is one of those cards that will see play across formats in the future, just like Ranger of Eos. Every new equipment printed will have the “fetched by Stoneforge Mystic” ability, just like every one-drop printed in the future has the “Ranger-able” tag stuck on them. It’s not really a good buy right now, but if they somehow decide to dip in price, you should be “all up on that”, like they say in the hip-hop music.

Talus Paladin selling for $2-$3 is pretty funny. Just goes to show you that Casual players LOVE their linear, tribal, “handed to me on a silver platter” decks. Makes you wonder why they all hate Jund so much. After all, we were practically given Jund as a pre-made deck with all the good G/R/B cards in Alara Block. In spite of this, and in spite of the fact that the Ally deck won’t be good until RoE, if ever, the rare allies are still selling pretty well. Remember, children! Hype sells, not quality!

That should give you a good starting point when evaluating Worldwake from a financial standpoint. There aren’t a lot of bargains right now, with the exception of the stuff for a Mono-Green deck. I strongly feel that deck could be a contender post-rotation. It will depend on the next few sets, but it’s an inexpensive, low-risk, and potentially high reward gamble that could pay off big-time in a few months. Bear in mind that the paper PTQ season in Standard starts in about 6 weeks, and the MTGO PTQ season can’t be far behind. We all remember what happened to Extended cards when the PTQ season hit. Don’t be left lagging behind.

See you soon,

Kelly

 
  1. Talus Paladin is in a Block Constructed deck that seems to be performing well (tribal WW).

    Everyone should remember that triple WWK drafting comes to an end soon (March 12); surely prices will start their slow creep up after then. :(

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