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Insider: High End Spec picks, Theros Thoughts, and Torpor Orb for life!

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Welcome back everyone! It looks like my last article was very well received, so they have let me write another one! Last week I discussed a few picks from Modern and Standard that I like a lot as potential for giving a nice return on your investment. This week I want to cover a few obscure pick-ups you can make as well as do some reflections on Theros spoilers.

Specs to make you think

1) Hermit Druid, Black Vise, and Mind Twist: I lumped these 3 together because I think they all represent the same concept. These are cheap, banned Legacy cards that I think all have the potential to come off of the banned list. I don't think you will ever lose on these cards, and if you do, the amount invested to get a significant number of the cards is minimal.

2) Jace, the Mind Sculptor (WWK, Foil): This one will probably get the most comments. Currently, these are sub-$500 on ebay and that just doesn't seem right. I understand that there was a big influx of FTV foil Jaces into the market, but I feel like those have more in common with non-foil Jaces, than with the set foil Jaces. This is still a mythic foil from a set that wasn't opened for long. People who want to pimp their decks are more often than not going to want the original version. Also, the foiling on the FTV is different than the foiling on the set foil and I am hearing a lot of people complain that a lot of the cards are curling a lot faster in this From the Vault set than other ones. This card should make it back to $700 and that will be a near 40% return of value which is significant when going in on a card of this value.

3) San Diego Comic Con Foil Sets: These debuted at $250 a set and since they were released, have nearly doubled in price, and I don't think they are done growing. I can see this hitting $800 by the end of the year. They are super limited with no more coming, think along the lines of promo Mutavault. Super limited, started around $100 and then spiked to $500+, only with these Comic Con sets, instead of 1 playable card, you get 4 (Seriously, who thinks Liliana of the Dark Realms is playable?). This is another high-end item with the chance to go sky high!

Theros Time!

I wanted to keep that previous section short and sweet so we can get to the good stuff. I am not going to hit on all of the new stuff, but just a few cards that have caught my eye as being cards of value in this new set.

1) God Cards: The last time there was a card type as new as these, it was the Lorwyn Planeswalkers. I see the "bad" God cards holding some value between $8-$15 depending on how playable they are in Standard and Commander. I think the only 2 that have constructed potential is Heliod, God of the Sun and Thassa, God of the Sea. Thassa is obvious with her power level, being able to scry every turn is pretty good. I do think turning her into a 5/5 unblokable creature will be easier than now expected with double blue costs in the Jaces and Aetherling and Detention Sphere getting the chance to be heavily played going forward.

I am also high on Heliod because of Boros Reckoner. A one/two drop (Voice of Resurgence or Precinct Captain maybe?), plus Reckoner plus Heliod means a turn four 5/6 with all of your creatures pulling double duty attacking and blocking. This card is also pretty good against the control decks with being able to just continually make threats so it helps limit flooding in the aggro decks. I think these 2 cards have the potential to be $20+.

I want to make a brief note on Purphoros, God of the Forge. Preselling for $20-$25, I just don't see him staying this high. He has potential to be amazing, but I think it takes a lot of work plus he does nothing the turn he comes into play. You have to over-commit to the board to turn him on and I think there are too many good red creatures leaving that right now he will struggle to find a place in standard. Of course, this is all based on the assumption of what has been spoiled so far, things could change.

2) Elspeth, Sun's Champion: Well, to put it bluntly, Elspeth doesn't seem very good. Three soldiers for +1 loyalty is big game, but at 6 mana, is running out Aetherling in a control deck just better? I get she makes a ton of tokens for a +1, which is awesome, but the rest of the card's abilities seem very average. She might appear as a 1-2 of as an additional finisher or SB card, but I think that is it. She is starting at $20-$25 right now, but she is by far the weakest of all of the Elspeth's, so I see her coming down to earth around $10-12 unless something drastically changes. I do see a rebound because she is probably a Commander All-Star.

3) Thoughtseize: The elephant in the room. It currently is starting at $20-$25 on the presales, and I think it stays in this range while in Standard. Yes, I understand there are already Thoughtseizes out there and yes it is only a rare, however, it was printed in 2007, when the game was not as big as it is now and I am sure plenty are off the market now through various different means.* I think a highly comparable card price wise will be Snapcaster Mage. It was around $20 for the majority of time it was in Standard and is used just as much in the other formats as Thoughtseize is and the general consensus is that it has nowhere to go but up after it leaves Standard. However, it is after Thoughtseize rotates from Standard is when this card gets exciting. Assuming no other reprintings for awhile, I see this card rising back up to $40+. Supply will dry up, demand will continue to grow with the game, hence a rise in price, so I see this as more of a long term pick up.

*I just wanted to note, last week I made the same assumption based on the initial rumor that Thoughtseize would be a mythic in the middle set of the block, but I still feel like this card stays at it's price and has nowhere to go but up.

An Aside on Torpor Orb

So, anyone that follows me on Twitter will know that I got on board with Torpor Orb this past week based on the numbers of it showing in sideboards across Modern. A lot of people made the argument that it is only a Sideboard card but I am here to say "who cares?" It is still played as a 2 or 3-of in the 75, regardless of if you start it or not. It is very good against the Twin and Pod decks that are going to be heavily played in the format and every deck can run this as effective hate. This card should see buylists at $1-$2 come Modern season and there is no reason for it to be under $1 right now. I understand New Phyrexia was "recent" but it was still a 3rd set rare and has room to grow.

Once the new set comes out I am going to start covering the SCG and GP events more closely and give my reactions to the tournaments, hopefully to make my articles more current than just random spec pick thoughts and ideas. Hope you all enjoy the rest of your week!

-Stu

23 thoughts on “Insider: High End Spec picks, Theros Thoughts, and Torpor Orb for life!

  1. I agree with 2 of your 3 legacy unbannable cards…I think Hermit Druid would be going too far as it’s a 1 card combo in some decks, but I really could see Mind Twist or Black Vise (hence why I have a few black vises in my speculation binder) coming off the list. I like your Thero’s picks as well…except I think Thoughtseize may slide a bit lower (I see it following the Scavenging Ooze Trajectory).

    1. Hermit druid I think is so low, and the potential is so high, it has been the same price forever so I don’t think you can ever lose and winning would be insane.

      You might be right on Thoughtseize, but I am like 60-40 it will stay higher than Ooze.

  2. I like your call on potentially unbannable cards in Legacy. Every time a new set comes out I think “I should buy a few of these cards before the B&R Announcement goes out” and every time I end up forgetting to do just that. So far I’ve gotten luckily, but you just never know when Wizards will try to switch things up in Legacy. Maybe this time…

    I saw your Tweet on Torpor Orb and jumped on board. I bought 25 copies from a single vendor for $0.50 each + shipping. I agree with a $1 buy list target, meaning a near-100% return. Feels like buying these at $0.50 is a can’t-lose. Thinking of acquiring more still if I can find them in this price range. How do you think this compares with Graftdigger’s Cage in terms of sideboard playability and price trajectory?

    1. I don’t think Grafdigger is going to be as played. Yeah, it turns off Ooze and Deathrite and Snapcaster, but I think the decks those are in right now are either A)Too hard to meta correctly and may occasionally spike a tourney but not be consistent or B) there are better decks.

      Torpor Orb hits 2 of the most important decks in the format in Pod and Twin and can still hit Snapcaster Mage.

  3. Is Earthcraft not a card with a higher potential for unbanning than Vise or Hermit Druid?

    I guess EC is much more expensive to start, but black vise just… come on, that card’s not getting unbanned. Mind twist, in my estimation, is the only one of those cards with high potential to come off the list, and earthcraft is at least equal in that likelihood. the limited number of earthcrafts (by comparison to MT) make it a much better speculation candidate, in my mind.

  4. The SDCC sets are going to be given out at some grand prix side events later this year. They will still probably go up, but not as quick as other limited promos.

    1. From what I have learned, these sets are all of the extra sets Hasbro was going to sell on their website, but canceled people’s orders who tried to order too many, so instead of a relisting, they choose this option

  5. I just wanted to point out that Grafdigger’s Cage shuts off Snapcaster Mage, but not Scavenging Ooze or Deathrite Shaman; you might have been confusing it with Ground Seal.

  6. I completely agree with your analysis on Elspeth. Where she shines in control is getting you back on a board state where you might have been behind, where aetherling does not. She controls the board which lets you get into a position to get deeper into aetherling or even over run with 1/1 tokens. Overall I think she makes me sense at a price between $10-15, definitely not $25+. Thanks for the content.

  7. Given the potential risk/reward, it’s hard to disagree with the three Legacy B/R picks, but I dunno, I don’t think something like Mind Twist is banned because of power level.

    Nothing specific to do with you, Stu, but in general I’d like to see more context in mtg finance calls. Like, are these B/R picks in your top 50 specs, top 100, etc? Is Torpor Orb a top 10? top20 spec? (By the way, Phyrexian Revoker seems like another one to target.)

    Also I have a 5c glass cannon Hermit Druid deck ready that involves Unburial Rites, Demigod of Revenge, Dread, Dark Ritual, Rite of Flame, Past in Flames and Memory’s Journey.. very fragile but it’s a nice Hermit Druid build.

    1. I dont really have a top X spec target list, I have like 10 cards/items that are on my radar and just focus on like 4-5 of them. That does 2 things for me: 1) It helps manage money a bit and 2) I don’t just like randomly tossing spec ideas out there that I don’t have faith in because it makes me look bad when they are wrong and I want people to make money based off of what I tell them, not lose.

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