Insider: The Revenue Review – The Next Evolution

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Just a week ago it looked like Standard was “solved” for the time being. The opportunities from Theros had passed and the ones from Return to Ravnica block had already made us money. It was time for a holding pattern until the next set hit the scene.

How much can change in a week.

Some new decks broke out last weekend, and possible financial opportunities along with them. As of this writing not many of these have shown much movement, which means we can still get in on the ground floor.

At this point we’re probably not going to find another Tidebinder Mage that goes from bulk to $6, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t targets to be found. Most of the stuff on this list is cheap right now and probably doesn’t have a super-high ceiling. But we make our money on the margins, and if you’re looking to do any speculating on top of the typical Standard flips, this is where I’m starting.

Let’s dig in.

Standard Cards

Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch

I want to talk about this one first because it’s the most representative of the new R/B Aggro deck that took down the Grand Prix last weekend. I’ve talked about this card plenty before, since it fills the Hellrider hole nicely. But it hadn’t caught on yet, though last week could be the start of the change.

The deck won the Grand Prix but hasn’t showed up anywhere else, though Exava has already seen some movement on MTGO. I know it’s in an Intro Deck so it’s not going to go crazy, but since it’s practically bulk right now a spike to $4-5 still makes us money.

Xathrid Necromancer

Another four-of in the deck that works surprisingly well. A lot of the creatures in the deck are humans, so this certainly makes you a little more resilient to Wrath. We’ve seen how good this card can be in the past, so it may be time to start re-acquiring them in trades. M14 just keeps turning out unexpectedly good cards.

Underworld Cerberus

If anything here is the next Master of Waves, it’s this. I’m personally not of the opinion the card is insane, but it’s been picking up a ton of hype recently, and it’s pretty huge for us that it’s a mythic. That means if it does hit, it’s going to hit hard. At $2 right now, there’s very little not to like.

Assemble the Legion

I mention this one, which had several strong finishes last week, simply because it’s so cheap. I don’t think there’s a ton of money to be made here, but it’s a nice card to have in your binder for sure. I’ll also include Flesh // Blood here, since it was a two-of in a top deck last week and seems like an easy throw-in target that could trade out well to the right person.

White Weenie

Several apply here, since a hardcore Boros Aggro deck won the SCG event last week. Soldier of the Pantheon we’ve talked about before, and it’s likely the best one-drop in the deck.

But if we go a little deeper we can find solid targets in Frontline Medic and Precinct Captain. Fiendslayer Paladin out of the sideboard is also a card we shouldn’t ignore. We know Magic 2014 wasn’t opened a ton, which means the playable cards out of the set have gone higher and higher recently.

On that note, I expect Mutavault to reach $25-30, at which point I’m absolutely getting rid of the ones I have left. It’s a card I liked picking up a lot when I wrote about it a few weeks ago, but the time is coming to sell. It will dip hard closer to rotation, at which point we’ll get back in preparation for the long-term gains.

Speaking of Boros, don’t forget that Boros Charms are undervalued a lot but are worth a solid $2.

True Speculation Aside

There’s another card I’ve had my eye on for a year that hasn’t made a splash yet: Lyev Skyknight.

You’ll notice that the Boros deck in question ran few Red cards, basically just the Charm and a couple of sideboard cards. Right now I don’t think the Azorius version would be great, simply because we have the red-white scry land but the blue-white one. Three months from now when that changes, it’s not hard to imagine that a deck running Azorius Arrester would want a three-power flier that does the same on the next turn.

Unfortunately, as an uncommon there’s not going to be much money made on Skyknights, but it’s the kind of thing you should probably pull out of boxes and stock in your binder, because they will at least trade out well down the road if such a deck comes to pass.

Modern Cards

I’m looking pretty far into the future here, but remember that this is the absolute best time to get into Modern cards. While Modern is certainly more year-round than old Extended was, people still basically don’t care about Modern cards right now. That translates to some absolute steals on the market.

Restoration Angel

This is way too cheap right now. A formerly $20 card played all over Modern now available for $4. There’s nothing not to like here, and I think this has to be one of the easiest Modern calls there is right now, even if the ceiling (this season) isn’t that high.


No card was more ubiquitous in the Top 8 of the last Modern GP than Spellskite, and yet the card has barely moved at all and is still available at $6 in many places. This is from freaking New Phyrexia, people. Third-set, opened for just a few months, followed by massive growth in Magic’s player base.

This will at the least creep up toward $10 this season, and is a great buyout target, which could mean a spike to $15 wouldn’t be at all surprising.

Scavenging Ooze

I include this in the Modern section because it will be Modern season before we see movement here. It’s not proven to be insane in Standard (which makes sense), but it’s as awesome as ever in Modern. Depending on where the price is a few months from now, this will either be an awesome target entering Modern season or simply a mediocre one. Either way, it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Those are my views on speculations right now. Not everything on this list is a slam dunk, but it’s a safe bet the Standard metagame will continue to evolve, and this is my current spec list to stay ahead of that speculation.

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter

11 thoughts on “Insider: The Revenue Review – The Next Evolution

  1. The most important cycle that dictates what multicolored cards get played is the scryland cycle. This is why we don’t see a lot of Voice of Resurgence (compared to RTR block where it’s everywhere), Rakdos’s Return, Exava or Lyev Skyknight. This is why we see Esper, RBW and even Naya control (all three have access to 2 scrylands) but not American or Grixis (only 1 scryland). Without Temple of Triumph, people would probably have opted for mono-white instead of Boros aggro.

    What this means is that the Selesnya, Golgari, Azorius, Rakdos and Izzet cards will become better when their respective scryland come out. There will definitely be new viable decks using these color combinations.

  2. Stop callinging it “american.”

    I think you have a point with three color decks, but the you don’t necessarily need 8 dual lands to make two colors work, especially when they come in tapped and we’re talking about fast decks. We also still have gates

    1. It\’s a losing battle. People are still going to call it \”American\” and I\’m still going to imagine them barefoot with a straw hat and a piece of wheat stuck in their teeth and that\’s pretty much all there is to it.

      1. I thought UWR was called Patriot (to avoid the confusion with the old BUG Team America Legacy deck). Although I have been trying to convince my locals to call it British just to be stubborn.

  3. Hard to tell if Underworld Cerberus is a sleeper, or just another Niv Mizzet – powerful on paper, but outclassed by other cards and lacking a home. On the upside, it does suggest his floor is around $2, so there isn’t much of a downside aside from lost opportunity.

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