So Thundermaw Hellkite happened.
Juza's tweet naturally had everyone scrambling and by weekend's end the 'Red Baneslayer' had jumped to $32 TCG Mid while ebay auctions varied from the high 20s on single copies to as much as $30/per for playsets. Of course it also won a Modern GP (along side Lotus Cobra which could be a spicy pick up for Modern season) while having 37 copies in the top 16 of GP Nagoya and 28 copies in the top 16 of SCG LV.
This of course begs the question, what now?
I'm inclined to agree, there isn't enough money left in Thundermaw Hellkite to justify any real play beyond trade stock.
Crazy is certainly one word for it. I think there is money to be made making a play on Angel of Glory's Rise at <$.50, if the deck has real success at the SCG Invitational it should be $3 by this time next week.
Its worth noting the Humans combo list from Nagoya runs a playset of Huntmaster of the Fells // Ravager of the Fells which was also everywhere in SCG LV as a mainstay of the various 3 and 4 color midrange lists with 27 copies in the top 16. We could see a price spike in the near future, well before official Gatecrash spoilers come out. If you were looking to pick copies up to sell into Gruul hype during spoiler season in January its best to pick them up sooner rather than later.
I love the smell of napalm in the morning.
The lesson learned over the summer has been remembered; there were 22 Bonfire of the Damned in the top 16 of GP Nagoya and 28 in the top 16 of SCG LV spread across various midrange and Rakdos decks. I've been very high on this card for a few weeks now and I think there is still an opportunity to make a play if you can get in at $20 or so. People remember the summer of $50 Bonfires, and if the card starts to get hyped the spike should come hard and fast.
B/R was everywhere this weekend, and while most of the SCG LV versions played it by the book, there was a lot of variation in the B/R aggro decks at GP Nagoya as players looked for edges in the 'mirror', and it appears not all Rakdos aggro staples are created equal. The most notable variation being a red based aggressive deck that eschewed most of the black entirely including all of the zombies and sometimes Hellrider in favor of Ash Zealots, and Stromkirk Nobles. Both of these aggressive red staples were already reasonable anticipatory pick ups for Gatecrash but as with Huntmaster the time table for acquiring them may have changed going forward. On the flip side, both Geralf's Messenger and Gravecrawler have been stagnant as of late despite all of their recent constructed success and a possible shift away from them should only continue to hurt their prices.
Hellrider is a different story as even some of the otherwise 'stock' Rakdos lists battled without the double red costing devil. If its popularity wanes over the next few weeks keep an eye out for a temporary price dip or just people looking to unload the copies they might not need anymore. The card has a lot of potential with Boros and Gruul coming in Gatecrash and should rebound quite easily.
The table below is from mtgstocks.com which tracks the pricing history of cards based on TCG Player Mid.
Now that RTR is beginning to bottom out (I don't think its done yet) there isn't any reason to get cute when making long term calls, stick with real cards like Angel of Serenity, Jace, and the shock lands. I don't have a problem picking up cheap Loxodon Smiters or the like, but it shouldn't be your focus as the real money is usually in the mana fixing, planeswalkers, and splashy mythics and I doubt RTR will be any different.