Before I delve into the coming world of Extended and how to best profit from it, I know you’re all dying to hear about my first-ever Scars of Mirrodin draft last Friday. Well, I first picked… oh, you want financial advice instead of my tale of Wurmcoils and Poison counters? I guess we can do that instead.
Extended season will be on us before we know it, and it’s time to get moving on soon-to-be staples in the format. I assume you’ve all been picking up Reflecting Pools and Cryptic Commands, but if not, I have a primer for you as we near the season. And if you have taken my previous advice and are snapping up all the Commands you can, I have some tips for you as well.
Quiet Speculation’s Editor-in-Chief Kelly Reid wrote a nice piece over on ManaNation about the format and the potential hits, but I think there’s a few he missed that I’ll cover here.
First of all, let’s start with the easy ones. Everyone who’s following the format knows these cards are good, but they have room to grow despite that. I’m using BlackLotusProject for prices, since they track completed Ebay sells.
Your Baidu stock circa 2009 (criminally unknown, but a potential gold mine)
Forgive the stock references. After Quiet Speculation and DailyMTG.com, my first stop every morning is CNNMoney.com. If you don't know what Baidu is, you're likely where everyone else was two years ago. After the Google/China hacking incident, Baidu, the country's largest search engine, was trading at $12 a share in January 2009. Today? $100 a share.
So what's your Baidu stock for Extended? My money is on these cards from the Elemental deck Gavin Verhey posted last week.
Why this deck? The upside. If there's a White Stag to be found in the format, it's in these cards.
This is how you break the format trading-wise.There is next to no risk on these two cards, and the potential upside is massive. If this deck has any kind of performance at Worlds, you're looking at easily tripling your value on these cards. In addition, the deck is a ton of fun to play and has game against all of the field. And it runs a little combo we've seen before in Fauna Shaman/Vengevine, which, if you haven't noticed (and I didn't think about off the top of my head) is an Elemental. So is Mulldrifter. And Reveillark. And Fulminator Mage. And Cloudthresher. All tutored up by Flamekin Harbinger or Fauna Shaman while discarding Vengevines.
Okay, that's my best Mike Flores Top Decks impression (More drama than TNT). But seriously, this deck is fun to play, and good. The best bets are the Horde and the Primal Beyond. You will make money on these cards if you buy now.
There is potential here for these cards to skyrocket if the deck performs next weekend. I suggest being very ready come Worlds, because if this deck performs, you are going to be able to go nuts with these dollar-bin cards, if you're quick enough.
(Note: The preceding section was omitted from the original article because the deck was completely off my radar at the time of writing this)
Your basic CDs (extremely safe investments)
This card has been a monster ever since it was printed, and it’s going to be nuts in the new Extended format. It’s been creeping up over the last few months and is currently sitting just a hair under $10, as opposed to the $6 they were in July. You don’t have long left if you want to make profit on these. It’s going to hit at least $15 by the end of the season.
If you don’t remember, this was a $20 card back in the spring of 2009. It’s unlikely that 5-Color Control will be dominant again, but Grixis Control is a real deck, and just about every deck with three or more colors is running this. It’s currently sitting at about $7, so I expect an increase of at least $4-5 dollars in this.
Some deck in the format is going to end up using this card, and it’s price is going to tick up a few dollars when that happens. This hasn’t dropped off as much since it rotated out of Standard, where it was a $15 card. As such, it’s not going to eclipse that mark, but you should be able to flip these easily from players who don’t play Extended to players who do.
The toast of Amsterdam, Doran has fallen off very slightly since then, but it’s a very safe investment. The bottom line is that Doran decks have the best manabase in the format outside of mono-colored decks, and playing both White and Black give it a ton of flexibility to adapt in the metagame. At under $4, Doran will be easy to flip at $6-7, especially in trade value.
White Weenie won Amsterdam, and loses very little. Is that enough to sell? Of course, there’s context behind this, and that is that the White Weenie deck was very resilient to the Punishing Fire / Grove of the Burnwillows combo that completely warped that format.
But White Weenie is still a very good deck, and sometimes chase uncommons like this are actually easier to make a profit on, especially in trading. I suggest digging yours up and keeping them on hand, because not many people will. Use that to your advantage, and you can get rid of these at a very nice premium.
A solid mutual fund (low risk-medium reward)
The cards on this group might not see a ton of movement, but it’s unlikely you’re going to lose much value on these through the course of the season if you invest now.
This guy has quite the toolbox to search up, not to mention being huge in the Extended Elf deck. A lot to like here at $2.50 a pop.
THE chase uncommon of the last few years, Path is holding steady at $3 apiece and still has room to grow since it’s down from it’s peak of $4 last year. Pick these up in trades at $1-2 from people who don’t value uncommons highly, and you’re going to do very well for yourself. From a non-trading standpoint, these are a solid investment with a ton of appeal, so you’re safe in these either way.
This card is pretty great in Standard. And it turns out it’s pretty great in Extended too, being a 4-of in the combo Elves deck. It’s a relatively quiet $1.30 uncommon and has room to grow to $2 or more with some solid showings in Extended.
A viable alternate win condition in Titan ramp decks. Scapeshift is currently going for $2.50 apiece on Ebay. I don’t see this card growing much more than $3, but they will be easily tradable, so be on the lookout.
The train has largely passed on this one, with the card sitting above $4. It still the only fetchable multi-colored land in the format, though, so it could easily eclipse $6. This is a card I’m looking to pick up in every trade I make, because it’s got a lot of trade demand going for it right now.
The ‘Folk have been performing pretty strongly in recent tournaments, so there’s a lot to go look at with this deck. It runs Grand Architect into Molten-Tail Masticore, Sygg, River Guide, Merrow Reejery, and Wanderwine Hubs.
That’s a lot of cards right now that are underestimated by a lot of traders. Pick them up as you can, as everything but the Architect has a lot of potential. The Architect is being heavily drafted right now, and unplayed in Standard, so there’s plenty of supply of this guy to meet the demand.
This isn’t a great investment cost-wise because Pulse is still $9-10 at the moment. But it is going to have a ton of targets in Extended, such as Bitterblossom and Pyromancer Ascension, and can be played in Doran and Jund, so it’s not unlikely that it creeps up a few dollars. It also does a pretty good job of taking care of Honor of the Pure.
Your Ford Motors stock circa 2008 (weak investment because of a toxic environment)
The deck is just a huge dog to Volcanic Fallout, and this little mechanic called Cascade gets through some of the Faerie countermagic wall. The deck can still do broken things, but it’s just not going to be as dominant as it was.
More importantly, this deck is perceived as being the front-runner entering the season. This means that status is already being priced into the cards, making them a very poor investment, because it’s pretty difficult to overachieve when you’re expected to achieve everything. Get rid of these in trades before it becomes clear that the deck just isn’t the solution to the format.
As a note, the only “Faerie” card that you should continue to demand a high premium for is Bitterblossom. It has uses in multiple archetypes, so it’s not 100 percent tied into the fortunes of Faeries.
Vivid Creek and friends
It’s my opinion that there are just better options for lands, and making your control deck actually be five colors is probably unnecessary when you don’t need all five. With Scars lands, Worldwake lands, Filter lands, M10 lands, and Reflecting Pool you start to wonder how much in demand these lands are actually going to be.
That’s all the room I have for this week. This is not a comprehensive list, but it’s a very good place to work from as we prepare for the format. Any hot cards I missed or over/undervalued? Let me know in the comments!
@Chosler88 on Twitter