Unlocked Insider: Money Where My Mouth Is, Part 2

Are you a Quiet Speculation member?

If not, now is a perfect time to join up! Our powerful tools, breaking-news analysis, and exclusive Discord channel will make sure you stay up to date and ahead of the curve.

Welcome back speculators. Hopefully you enjoyed my previous article covering the first half of my current speculation targets. Just like before I am going to list the quantity of each card to help emphasize how confident I am of the spec.

12x Ancestral Vision

I bought these when the BUG Cascade deck first showed up (I got 24 copies at the time). I have since sold eight of them at 8.50 each...I bought them between $2.50-$3.25 each. This card has seen a couple printings (mainly Time Spiral and Jace vs. Chandra). It is currently banned in Modern, though if that were to change, expect this card to double in price as all the control players pick up their four copies.

It is an incredible source of card advantage (especially off of cascade), giving Legacy BUG players an Ancestral Recall at times. While the price has already more than doubled from its low, it's not a terrible pickup currently. The fact that it has suspend means its likelihood of being reprinted in a non-specialty set is highly unlikely. I will still trade for these if I can get a good price on them as I don't see it going anywhere but up.

1x Garruk Relentless // Garruk, the Veil-Cursed

This guy has already seen some play in Modern/Legacy decks and has the ability to remove a utility threat like Stoneforge Mystic or Dark Confidant and stick around to make deathtouch wolves. It's a flip card, so the likelihood of reprint is very low (as that would require WoTC to print checklist cards again).

Currently these guys are sitting close to $5.50 which I think is close to the floor and when I start seeing these filling up binders of Standard-only players, I will be picking them up. The fact that he's a planeswalker means that there will always be demand from the planeswalker collectors too.

9x Lotus Cobra

This Standard all-star was the most hyped card from Zendikar (even more so than the fetchlands). He allows decks like Mythic Conscription to decimate opponents very quickly. The beauty is that he can add more than one mana on a given turn (using a fetchland or some other way to hit landfall repeatedly), doesn't tap to do so, and can add mana of any color. His two power also proves relevant as it means he can add mana and attack in the same turn. I feel like he may find a home in Modern, given the plethora of fetchlands used.

1x Geist of Saint Traft

I actually own five of these, but four are my personal playset. I feel like Geist is an excellent target as he's already shown up in Legacy and Modern decks. He is difficult to kill and the decks that play him make him even more so. Hexproof has proven itself one of the more lopsided mechanics WoTC has released recently.

I am planning on picking more up as they continue their downward trend with upcoming rotation, but I believe that, like Liliana of the Veil and Snapcaster Mage, the floor isn't that far from the current price. He is also a solid EDH general for very competitive one-vs.-one decks. I would be comfortable buying them in the $10-$12 range and trading for them at their current price seems like a fine mid-to-long-term decision.

11x Lotleth Troll

Many players expected Lotleth Troll to create a whole new Standard archetype. Unfortunately the deck didn't really pan out as the synergy between Lotleth Troll and Gravecrawler was good, but the deck lacked any sort of real endgame and the green was almost exclusively for Lotleth Troll. Eventually the tides shifted to a U/B Zombies deck which left Lotleth homeless.

That being said, he's still a very powerful creature and his mana cost is low enough that he may eventually find a home in Modern (or even Legacy). He plays quite well with the scavenge mechanic and I can see him fitting in the new G/B decks looking to become tier 1 after rotation.

5x Crypt Ghast

This card has proven a casual favorite in Standard and fits quite well in EDH. Its biggest detractor is the fact that the extort cost is W/B thus preventing him from fitting into Mono-Black EDH decks. I still feel that any Junk-colored decks would be happy to play him as long as they are heavy in black...or play Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. I feel this could be one of those casual sleeper cards that stays cheap it's entire life in Standard (like Vorinclex) and then jumps dramatically when people two years from now realize it exists.

16x Detention Sphere

This has already shown up in Legacy Miracles builds as an Oblivion Ring that can be pitched to Force of Will. With M14 lacking Oblivion Ring it will likely take over as the removal of choice for U/W/x Standard decks as well. I can see this as a $4-5 utility card in the upcoming Standard metagame, so get them while you can.

The fact that Theros is an enchantment block is both a boon and a bane for this card. It means that it will fit well with any cards that are based on number of enchantments (Sphere of Safety) but also means that WoTC will likely make sure there is plenty of enchantment removal available in the format.

18x Prime Speaker Zegana

If you hadn't noticed yet, I tend to look for cards that had a lot of hype at release and plummeted since then. The reason for this is quite simple; the logic behind why these cards were awesome in the first place is usually pretty sound.

Many times they don't pan out because other ideas come along that trump them, but when the format rotates, people will jump back to whatever looks like it might work and there's a lot of potential for strong profits in mythics like this one. I would heavily recommend foil copies as they are still pretty cheap and will be highly desired by EDH players in the next few years (I currently have one).

7x Blood Baron of Vizkopa

I believe (along with many others) that this guy hasn't had his time to shine due principally to Thragtusk. His protection colors keep him safe from a vast majority of the removal in the new format (with the big exception of Mizzium Mortars). His lifelink ability proves useful, though I have yet to get him into range of his second ability. I expect him to be one of the finishers of choice in the new Standard.

5x Deathrite Shaman

I would have more, but I was able to trade out several playsets when they hit $15-16 each way back when. I am still a firm believer in this card, though his current price has kept me from going much deeper. These five were all parts of larger trades.

9x Abrupt Decay

This is still one of the premier removal spells of choice in Legacy and I expect it will be in Modern as well. The only thing holding it back is its regular rarity in a set that was (and still is) heavily opened. I got most of these in the $4-5 range and while it may take awhile, I expect them to reach the $10 range within 1-2 years.

16x Jace, Architect of Thought

These guys proved to be powerful during Block and I expect they'll get even better as Standard slows down with the rotation of Innistrad block and M13. He serves as a solid source of card advantage and can semi-fog token or small creature aggro decks with his plus ability. I got these all in the $10 range so I will feel pretty good if they break $14.

Zendikar Fetchlands

I lumped all the Zendikar fetchlands together. I had an amazing opportunity with a group of friends who don't have time for MTG anymore and purchased all of their Zendikar fetchlands at around 60-75% of the TCG low price.

I am only planning on holding them until this upcoming Modern season as I feel they are safe from any mass reprint until after RTR block rotates out. I'm expecting another 20-25% growth (conservatively) and feel I can make quite a solid amount of money. The foils I got at $110 per and I expect $180-200 per for a very solid ROI.


I lumped all of the new shocklands together as well. With the spoilers from Theros showing bad duals for Standard, the demand for certain shocks should go up. I expected the demand to increase due to Modern season as well, but after looking over a lot of Modern decklists, most tri-color-plus decks only run 2-3 of any given shock but the full complement of fetches.


Taken from QS's Kyle Lopez's speculation targets I will mark up my thoughts (in italics) as to why I believe he targeted them, but I will include my own opinions as well. I have deleted spec targets that we share.

Return to Ravnica Block

4x Boros Reckoner -- I assume you believe Reckoner will become even more brutal in the new Standard as many solid removal spells leave us. I agree that he shows a lot of promise as the new Standard begins, especially since a lot of people expect Mono-Red aggro to start off as top dog and he brick-walls that deck quite well--and can even be played by it. I don't disagree with your logic, however my concern is that I don't see him rising much more in price. He's not a multi-format all-star (like Snapcaster Mage). He can currently be picked up around $10, and I don't see his ceiling much higher than $13-15.

2x Slaughter Games -- I believe this effect is often overvalued because while it can cripple some decks (usually when you name Sphinx's Revelation against Standard control decks), it doesn't affect the board state. It's a great mid-range "trump" card against control decks, but it and its main target (the aforementioned Sphinx's Revelation) have been legal for over a year now and Slaughter Games has been dropped from many sideboards as it doesn't do enough.

That being said, the risk is quite minimal as the buy in price is probably around 25-50 cents. This is hard to argue with, as even if it shows up in a few sideboards it could jump back to the $1-$1.50 range. I haven't purchased extras of these, but that's because my money is tied up in other specs, but I don't blame you for picking these up (especially if they were throw-ins).

3x Rakdos's Return -- I like this as a spec myself, but haven't picked up any extras. The effect is quite powerful and can be devastating, but is best in a control or mid-range deck. The new Standard will likely be a lot of mono- or dual-colored aggro decks at first and this card won't have a home for a while. The death of Jund with rotation will also drop its price in the near term. This style is also not super popular among casual players, so you won't get assistance from that crowd.

14x Burning-Tree Emissary -- In an aggro-centric Standard, I do think this card will prove to be an all-star. My biggest issue is that Standard-only uncommons tend to peak in price around $1.50-$2.00 which if you got them really cheap is a solid profit margin, but selling them outside of a buylist or to players who desperately need them before an FNM will be difficult.

Innistrad Block

4x Sorin, Lord of Innistrad -- Planeswalkers will always be popular with the casual players, and while I don't think Sorin will find a home in Modern/Legacy, he is near his lowest price and post-rotation I will pick up a few for the long term. He could have a trajectory similar to Sarkhan Vol (though likely less as impressive given his printing in the duel decks).

6x Champion of the Parish (this ones gonna hurt) -- Welcome to the club. I picked up four foil ones at $6 because someone had previously told me he wanted them. He got them before I reached him and they've been rotting in my binder. Sadly, this guy had quite a good time in Standard, but will likely not make it in Modern (and has really no chance in Legacy) and isn't powerful enough for most EDH players.

2x Bonfire of the Damned -- I have heard of Bonfire making a showing in a few Modern sideboards, but honestly, the effect just isn't powerful enough for older formats. When the creature of choice for Legacy/Modern is often a 3/4 or 4/5 for two mana, getting enough mana to actually boardwipe with Bonfire is difficult enough when miracled, let alone if it's already in your hand.

4x Falkenrath Aristocrat -- I unloaded these a while back when they were $15 each (I sadly missed my shot at unloading at $20).

13 thoughts on “Unlocked Insider: Money Where My Mouth Is, Part 2

  1. Nice article. When do you envision the optimum selling point for Shocklands will be?

    I feel the market will be flooded with them, come rotation, given how drafted RTR was. So I figure late spring/early summer?

    Then rebuy in mid October ’14 for much much less, especially foils.

    1. I agree with the spring/early summer time frame as the best to sell and rebuying when they rotate out, however, I don’t honestly expect them to drop that much post rotation (basically everyone knows they are needed for modern, so people are far less willing to unload them…which will likely keep the price higher than usual for rotating cards). However, I do feel that there will likely be a surge in demand when modern season starts to come around and the PTQ players begin to pick up whatever they need for their decks…this will be helped by the fact that with Theros having 5 scry duals, Born of the Gods will complete the set so the only room for more mana fixing in standard is Journey into Nyx (which will be another large set and officially releases in May). This means that until Journey spoilers come out, players will really be leaning hard on shocks to fix their standard mana base.

  2. Thanks for the article. The hybrid mana symbol in the reminder text of extort does not affect the color identity of the card it is on, so Crypt Ghast is playable in any Commander deck that runs black, regardless of white. I think he is a solid EDH spec.

  3. Thanks for the article. The hybrid mana symbol in the reminder text of extort does not affect the color identity of the card it is on, so Crypt Ghast is playable in any Commander deck that runs black, regardless of white. I think he is a solid spec for that format.

    1. You are correct (I had to look it up) but that’s really awesome and actually means Crypt Ghast is a very solid long term (2+ year) spec target. I will increase my portfolio of these guys.

    1. You are mostly correct on that one…U/B Zombies was better pre-Ravnica because of Phantasmal Image, but I still knew a few players locally who did well with it post Ravnica, they tried G/B Zombies, but ultimate the Diregraf Captain proved more useful in the build than Lotleth Troll. Either way, Lotleth never panned out and I’m still holding the bag on this one….

  4. Well, I’ll say it was quite the surprise to see my name in the daily QS Premium article 🙂

    Since we have mostly the same picks other than the ones you listed, I thought I’d list my thoughts on those specific picks to go along with yours.

    1.) Boros Reckoner – You are correct in thinking I picked this guy for his resilience, but the main reason was devotion. The guy is a monster with Porphoros, and even though I didn’t know the specifics of the Red God when I listed this spec, the devotion mechanic was intriguing and this guy is pretty low compared to his ceiling.

    2.) Slaughter Games – This one was because it looks like the format is going to be a hell of a lot slower this time around which will lead to more midrange and control than aggro, which ill set up this dirt cheap rare to be set up for a break out. And worst case scenario, since its bulk prices right now you can’t really lose.

    3.) Rakdos Return – See Slaughter Games for the most part.

    4.) BTE – I picked up most of these in a case of GTC when I was getting back into the game after a long hiatus. The others i traded for as throw-ins. The reason I think he has potential is he is so far the fastest creature in this new, what seems to be much slower format, and he fuels devotion.

    INN Block: Most of these picks are just cards I didn’t have a chance to dump before I left for work (I work overseas as a defense contractor, 90/90 rotations) and I think they have potential to come back up at least some from their post-rotation collapse.

    1.) Sorin – Maybe its a little bit of bias, but I played this guy in OG Aristocrats and he was just a house. In the right deck he is incredibly synergistic. That, combined with the “hes a planeswalker effect” and his incredibly low price right now adds up to some upside potential I think.

    2.) Champion of the Parish – Yeah, this is pretty much wishful thinking, considering I have about 8 from running Aristocrats and Blitz. Not really expecting much from him but if he has a “dead cat bounce” I’ll jump on that opportunity to sell.

    3.) Bonfire – I’m really on the fence with this one. Miracles have such power when you can control when you draw them and bonfire is just mean. This was a $50 card just a few months ago and its sitting at $10 right now. The effect is so powerful it may just find a home. Hell I hope so since I bought in around $25 haha.

    4.) Falkenrath Aristocrat – Another holdover from OG aristocrats I didn’t have a chance to dump, this card is sitting at $6. The reason I see a slight upside is its a popular vampire mythic with a fantastic ability from a small, rarely opened set. But as with champion, if this guy shows a dead cat bounce I’m dumping them.

    So there you go, those were my thoughts on the picks in the article. Thanks for including them, was a really cool moment 🙂

    1. Too many people playing this game for Falkenrath to die… (nyuk nyuk nyuk)

      She’s just one of those cards I could see showing up in the right environment – hard hitting and tough to deal with, but at $4-5 for a mythic, there isn’t much risk in holding a couple.

      Bonfire I just accept I got my value out of playing – I can only hope it will see casual demand on the back of the Miracle mechanic.

  5. Blood Baron, Jace, Deathrite Shaman, Abrupt Decay, fetchlands and shocklands are big parts of my bets, so I agree with most of the article. Where you have Zegana I have Aetherling though. I bought most of them at a lower price. If I were to buy some more today, I would probably go with more Deathrite Shaman ($13.5), Abrupt Decay ($6.25) or something other than these. (but I’m holding on all these for now)

    1. Aetherling was a solid call. The main reason I got Zegana was because I feel she’s a solid EDH card in the decks that can play her and the fact that she’s a mythic from a less opened set (as opposed to a normal rare). It also helps that a LOT of people throw her in with trades when I pick her out of their binder because she’s done nothing but drop really.

  6. HaplessMagician on Reddit pointed out that you can play Crypt Ghast in monoblack EDH. There was a ruling that said the hyrbid symbol in reminder text does not preclude its inclusion in EDH. So… spec away. Nice save, hap.

Join the conversation

Want Prices?

Browse thousands of prices with the first and most comprehensive MTG Finance tool around.

Trader Tools lists both buylist and retail prices for every MTG card, going back a decade.

Quiet Speculation