Extended is a complex competitive format and that most importantly can be extremely profitable. There are some important things you need to know about Extended in order for it to be profitable to you.
What do all these cards have in common? They are all at least semi-competitive cards that have seen some amount of play in Standard but more importantly, they are all from Magic 2010. Why is that so important? It is important because most players are not aware that they are rotating out of Extended. Well apparently, in this new mini-Extended format there will only be two core sets legal at one time (except for that brief time before the fall set where 2010, 2011, and 2012 will all be legal). No one has really mentioned this fact, but I think it is an extremely important one that needs highlighted not overlooked.
From a competitive standpoint, this could create quite a different feel to Extended. Rather than Extended being a compilation of two Standard formats, Extended will be a little different this time due to the rotation of M10. Now if you skim that list of cards, I don’t think that this will have a huge impact on the format but it’s possible that it could. Some of those cards have been key pieces for different decks. Let’s take Open the Vaults and Polymorph as examples. Both of those cards had decks built around them that were played in Standard while they were legal. If you were hoping to work on those decks for next Extended season that just isn’t going to happen. Not that either of those decks dominated the format or anything, but the knowledge that they are not possible anymore is important.
The real reason to pay attention to changes like this is to protect your financial investment. From a financial perspective, Time Warp is the most important card on the list because it is the most expensive. I doubt this card will loose much value in the long run, its original version held a steady price for years, but if you want to get a little value out of it, now is the time to unload them. Most of those cards still fetch a couple bucks and I doubt any of them are going to see play after they leave extended with the exception of Ponder and Pithing Needle. So, if you are holding these cards for extended, I would look to move them while there is some small amount of demand left.
What about all the rest of the Extended cards in your collection? Well their time is drawing near as well. If you still own any Lorwyn block cards, I would start moving them unless you need them for an Extended PTQ. Those Bitterblossoms, Prismatic Omens, and Filter Lands have dropped a bit already and are going to drop quite a bit more when Extended season is over and done. Protect your investment! Sell all those cards that are rotating before it’s too late to get anything out of them.
Extended is not just about getting out clean with no loss, there is a lot of room for profit in this format also. In the off season, Extended cards often drop quite low because no one needs them. This has been true in Extended no matter how many sets were legal for the format and it will also be true for this off season as well. Because these cards drop so low, there is room to make a hefty profit if you are in the market for Extended. Let’s take this past Extended season as an example. Try to remember how much Prismatic Omen cost before the season started. It had the large price tag of $2.00. Now you might say that Omen is a bad example because it was really the breakout deck. Okay, what about staples like Bitterblossom? I bought mine for 8 and $9 a piece but during most of the season, they were selling for around 15 to 20. Demigod of Revenge, Mutavault, any filter land, Cryptic Command, I could keep going but you get the point. All of these cards were much cheaper before the season was in full swing.
How does that help you now? In the coming months leading up to the next Extended season is the time to pick up the staples of the new format. They will be at an all time low and ripe for the trading. Which cards should you be keeping your eye out for?
Ranger of Eos: You might be a little confused why this card is even on the list of cards I advocate picking up in the off season but I assure you, he belongs here. Ranger of Eos has made an impact in two different Standard formats and is being played now in Extended. My friend played in a PTQ recently and two out of the seven rounds he had to play against Boros featuring the all star Ranger of Eos. Sure there is no Figure of Destiny to fetch but you will still have awesome one drops like Goblin Guide, Bushwhacker, and Steppe Lynx just to name a few. Sitting at 3 to $4 right now is not even that unreasonable of a price tag but I assure you he will drop lower. Once Extended is put on the shelves I imagine you will be able to trade for these at around $2.
Knight of the Reliquary: Many financial advisors have mentioned Reliquary as a card to invest in and I agree. If you see the promo that will soon be out, trade for those as well. Legacy players love their foils, and promo foils are even better. Reliquary should be more important to Extended next season as well so we could see a significant price increase once it comes around again. Even during this past Extended season I traded for these under ten dollars and I expect that to be the norm for the rest of the year.
Noble Hierarch: Much like Reliquary, Hierarch sees play in Legacy. Its value will be similar to that of Reliquary and even the prices should be similar. I expect Hierarch and Reliquary to be staples in the next Extended format.
Ajani Vengeant: This version of Ajani has seen quite a bit of play. I don’t really exptect him to see a huge price increase but that depends on what the format looks like. If there is a control deck that can consistently beat jund, then I think this card could do quite well in the format. One of his best qualities is disrupting a control decks manabase. I would imagine you could trade for them under five dollars and it would be a good card to have on hand.
Elspeth Knight Errant: Elspeth is a very good card. She is just good all around. I know this sounds a little crazy but honestly I could even see her breaking into Legacy to win the creature matches. With the promo being printed in the last year her price is capped quite a bit lower than it was previously but that does not mean she cannot see a significant price increase. Definitely worth keeping your eyes open for.
Hell's Thunder/Hellspark Elemental: Red is playable in almost every format. These two cards will be the staples of new Extended red. They are not expensive, nor do I expect them to be but I think they will trade insanely well. Trade for them at a dollar or two and trade them away at four or five come Extended season.
Maelstrom Pulse: Pulse is one of those cards that is a solid investment long term. We can compare it to Vindicate which is steadily creeping up in price thanks to Legacy. Maelstrom Pulse deals with any problem cards, can kill multiple creatures, and was heavily played in Jund which is sure to be a popular tier 1 deck for the next Extended season. Pulse is criminally priced around eight dollars right now so pick them up as soon as possible.
What does this all mean? Extended is all about planning. If you are prepared for the format in advance, you stand to make a hefty profit. So start trading for your Extended staples now in preparation for next season. It also means that if you are in possession of these cards, don’t trade them away easily. M10 and Lorwyn block cards are dropping quickly so trade, trade trade!
Or just post in the comments and I’ll get back to you.
See you next time