The PTQ season for Pro Tour: Amsterdam was scheduled differently than one might expect this year. Rise of the Eldrazi’s online release split the season into two pieces; one before the release and one beginning well after Rise had come out. Having just begun the second leg of the Standard PTQ season, we have to start considering how PTQ demand will effect the price of Standard cards.
Taking a look at some of the biggest movers of the week, it’s no surprise that most of the cards on the (+) side of the equation are from Standard-legal sets.
Elspeth shot from the low 30′s to the mid 40′s in the last seven days, and its no surprise. The paper PTQ season has her at $45+ for the cardboard version, and the new PTQs are driving demand heavily. She’s as good as a Planeswalker can get, fitting nicely in both Aggro and Control. To expect her to go past 50 tickets would be unreasonable but she should stay around the 40s for the rest of the summer.
I love that I called this card way back before anyone was playing it. I suggested it was a powerhouse and soon to be a format-definer when paper copies were $3 each, and I really hope people listened to me then, because its too late now! Its ascent to $15 online is probably a result of the Beastmaster Ascension decks in Block right now, some of which cracked the Pro Tour Top 8 (which was Draft, but their Standard record had to be top notch). I love this card and see it as a major factor in post-Shards Standard. I think it could hit $20 since it’s a Mythic Rare, but we’ll have to see. I would be picking these up in Paper now, but at $15, dont buy them online unless you need them right away.
Card’s sick, people. Its jump of almost 50%, to damn near 10 bucks, is warranted, because the card’s sick. Remember when I said it was probably the worst Man-Land? Awkward. In case you wondered, yes, the taste of crow is delicious and I will eat it all day long. I don’t think more than $10 is feasable yet (maybe in a few years!) but it’s still too widely available. All the Man-Lands were criminally underpriced, and Raging Ravine sees the most play. Until Bloodbraid Elf stops being a factor, I cannot fathom wanting to run an Aggro deck without Red and Green cards. Thus, Raging Ravine is a necessity.
That should be the name of a Blue card. Anyway, just because some cards spiked doesn’t mean that your chance for fame and fortune are gone forever! Fret not! There are a few cards that could get some love in the future.
Obviously. It’s still cheap, under $2, but I was honestly expecting it to be less. I blame Jake van Lunen’s decklist on the Mothership for that. Still, Block decks can often showcase unexplored design space in a format and bring emergent new archetypes to the forefront. I’m not saying Beastmaster Ascension is going to break the format. I just know that I’m going to see how it feels to Cascade into it. It’s a massive Buy in paper right now, by the way, since you can most likely get ‘em at bulk rate.
Why these are still cheap, I will never know. Seriously. They’re so damned good. Two bucks? Come on, people. Paper is the same way. They’re $3 at best. I don’t know when a 3/4 man-land with REACH, that only costs 3 to switch on, became a $3 rare. When I was your age, we’d pay $3 for an uncommon version of a card like this. While Noble Hierarch and Knight of the Reliquary are in Standard, I can’t imagine running an Aggro deck without Red, Green, and White (sorry Jund, KotR and his pals are just great). Thus, Stirring Wildwood should be on the Raging Ravine plan of “dominate the Red Zone”. I own 20+ paper copies and I’m not slowing down. I should probably do the same with MTGO copies, and so should you. For what it’s worth, Creeping Tar Pit will be on this bandwagon at some point in the next 12 months. We just haven’t seen the deck yet.
Yeah that’s right I’m suggesting you buy a $20 Mythic Rare. That’s because Lotus Cobra is totally broken. He’s not $50 broken, as Vengevine appears to be, but he’s at least $25-$30 broken. My recent developments in Standard show just how abusive he can get. Sometimes he’s just another guy who eats a Bolt, but when he’s good, he’s real, real good. I’ve been toying with some Naya-colored Aggro decks a lot lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that when each card in your deck effects combat/the board significantly, puts you a turn ahead, and can help you rebuy a Vengevine, you can generate absolutely absurd turns with the drop of a hat. Lotus Cobra is the fuel behind some of these legendary kill-turns. He’ll be a fixture of Post-Bloodbraid Standard for the duration.
It’s a $2 Mythic Rare that’s seeing Constructed play at the highest level. Do I really need to sell you on the friggin’ thing? This card is one of the nastiest beatings I’ve ever seen. Decks that cannot run Bloodbraid Elf (you know, like every Standard deck come October) love to cast this spell with gusto. Once an X cost becomes an asset again, this guy is gonna dominate so hard. While it takes 6 mana to make it a Searing Blaze – a terrible deal – you get your money’s worth when it comes to versatility. It fits EVERYWHERE on your curve and does it all. This is a powerhouse card that is just waiting for Bloodbraid Elf to depart. I’m literally going to buy every copy I can find. Paper, Digital, hell, I’ll buy the oversized promos they mailed out…
I’ve always had a love affair with this card. I would give my right arm for it to be a 3/2 or something slightly bigger than an overpriced bear, but a Magus of the Future in Green is nothing to weep about. Considering some of the cards in this block that reward you for having an assload of mana, I can see this getting out of hand quickly. Reshuffling with Fetches, using Halimar Depths to set up insane turns, Lotus Cobra powering the whole thing? I can get into that. Another card that is most likely being pushed out of Standard by Bloodbraid Elf, the Oracle will have her day. And you’ll be glad you bought them for less than a buck each.
That’ll do it for this week! While the Block Pro Tour didn’t shake up the Metagame, it definitely gave speculators some, ahem, future sight. Many things will change between now and October, but we have a great idea what the topography of the metagame will resemble. Jund was a dominant Block deck at last summer’s Pro Tour. Faeries was a dominant Block deck in its time. While the cards may change a bit, the concepts will remain the same. Pay more attention to the top cards in the format rather than the archetypes and you will feel like a damned prophet come rotation. See ya!