Insider: What’s the Ceiling?

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We’ve seen some big movement in Standard cards in the last few weeks, and luckily we’ve been ahead of most of them here. So hopefully you’re in to a few of these movers. Now, of course, comes the next question. When to sell?

The answer to that question depends on a few things, which I covered extensively here. The usual considerations of rotation, reprints and the like apply, but there’s another important thing to think about, and that is what the price ceiling on a particular card is and how close that card is to that ceiling.

As far as selling is concerned, a lot of times it doesn’t matter if something like Snapcaster Mage is going to be in demand for a while to come. Since the card is in Standard and can’t really cost more than it is now, it means the price won’t be significantly higher until farther down the road when demand could actually outpace supply. That means that, while you may not necessarily need to be in a hurry to sell them, it’s also hard to argue with the decision to do so.

Of course, to know how close a card is to its ceiling, we need to know what similar cards have done in the past. For instance, something like Stoneforge Mystic or Snapcaster have shown us that Rares in the post-Mythic era can’t really consistently top $25. Mythics on the other hand are different. We’ve seen them range all over the place, from the $90-100 Jace to the bulk Mythic price of $1-2.

And there’s a ton of other factors that affect a card’s price, such as event decks, promos, reprints, etc.

With all of that in mind, let’s look at some of the more recent movers and see if we can determine what the sustainable ceiling for some of these cards are, and where they sit in relation to that. We’ll be using Star City Games prices, as usual. For instance, Avacyn Restored still has plenty of drafting time left, so more and more cards will be put into circulation. The rest of Innistrad, though, won’t be flooding the market much.

Restoration Angel

After a few good weekends, the Angel is up to $10 and sold out on SCG. That raises the question of whether or not they’re going to relist it higher when more come in. I’ve been a big fan of this card since it was spoiled, and I called it out specifically when Jon Medina, Ryan Bushard, Marcel and I talked about it on our set review episode of Brainstorm Brewery, which you can find here.

The biggest problem with the Angel is that it was a promo during release weekend. That hurts its ceiling quite a bit. Wurmcoil Engine topped out around $20-22, as did Hero of Bladehold, though those were Mythics.

With that factor in mind, along with the fact that Angel is only seeing play in one format (Standard), I have to say the ceiling for this card likely isn’t above $12. That means if you have some now, it’s probably time to move out of them, preferably for more stable cards, since the price on Angel probably has nothing to do but go down as more of the set is opened.

Entreat the Angels

As much as it pains me to say this, this card (and Miracles in general) are shaping up to be Legacy-playable. As far as Entreat, it’s sitting at $25 in stock on SCG. Does that mean it’s hit its ceiling?

I don’t think so, though it’s not far off. The other playable Mythics around that price point are Liliana and at some point or another, Thrun, Hero and Wurmcoil. Outside of Liliana, the others haven’t sustained that price, though Thrun is the only one in a comparable position to Entreat due to a lack of promos available.

We’ve seen in Block the power of Entreat, although it hasn’t quite translated into Standard yet. Entreat is still high from its post Pro Tour bump, and I think it will fall to $20 in a few weeks. That said, after the set stops being opened and we move into next year’s Standard, I can see $30-35 becoming a reality if some form of a Miracle deck crops back up and runs four Entreats; however, I think $20-25 is going to be more accurate.

Bonfire of the Damned

So what’s the difference between this and Entreat? For starters, Bonfire has gone crazy in the last few weeks and is sold out at $25.

More importantly, though, is that Bonfire fits into a lot of different decks. Whereas Entreat pretty much only goes into the Control deck or the Miracles deck, Bonfire slots into a bunch of different builds, and is pretty crazy in those. Unlike Entreat, though, it doesn’t see as much cross-format play yet and isn’t necessarily a 4-of.

But while those things count against Bonfire, the fact it goes into so many more decks means $35 isn’t out of the question, especially considering it was trading at $40ish on the floor last weekend. I think you should get in on these if you can still find them at around $20 in trade.

Zealous Conscripts

I’m glad to be talking about this card on here, since I called it when it was 50 cents. It’s not up to $5, and I’m not sure it can really go much higher. The biggest thing holding it back was that it was printed in the “Fiery Dawn” intro deck, otherwise this would’ve been a solid move from a buck to eight or 10. As it stands, it’s netted us some nice profits already, but probably can’t top $7-8 at its absolute peak.

Wolfir Avenger

I bring up this card because there’s a lot to like here, and it allows us to evaluate Uncommons.

We know Uncommons from older sets can go crazy. Not even mentioning stuff like Wastelands, we can look at Sensei's Divining Tops at $15 or Kitchen Finks at $8 to see that. But looking at just Standard-legal sets, the bar seems to be $5, reached by both Inquisition of Kozilek last year and briefly Dismember.

That gives us a solid ceiling, and both those cards are more ubiquitous than I expect the Avenger to be. That said, even if Avenger can’t cross a $4 mark, that’s still looking good since it’s sitting at 50 cents, with two in stock on SCG.

The Wolf has already started to see play, and is a card with a high enough power level to definitely make an impact after rotation. That means getting these thrown into trades right now will likely yield big profits down the road.

The other big Uncommon is Lingering Souls, which sits at $3 with infinite copies in stock at SCG. I’m still getting these at a dollar in trade, and that’s not going to last long. Lingering Souls could potentially be the definition of a power uncommon in the next format, and it’s one that got no love at the last Pro Tour due to being banned in Block. I don’t think you can go in too hard on Souls right now if you get them at $2 or less in trade. This card is going to move ridiculously well a year from now.

That’s it for this week. Next week I’ll be writing to you from the sandy shores of Jamaica, where I’ll be honeymooning after my wedding on Saturday!


Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

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