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Insider: As Seasons Change

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As season's change and new tournament reports come in, we tend to focus on the things that matter now. New things that create changes in the market place, new mentalities, or even changes in process are usually very hard to digest without a firm understanding of where things are going in the future. 2014 is no different to this as things will change and some kind of progression will be made. However, over the last few weeks, I've delved specifically into the mentality of who, as a trader or financier, we are. For understanding where we come from, do we understand the complexities of where we are going.

Do you want to become better? I would think so. Becoming better though is a misnomer in a lot of ways. Taking a new direction or even beating the path less known can play a huge part in what it takes to become better. Most just look at becoming more than what you are as an exercise in becoming sharper. Crafting your portfolio until it is bullet proof to the changes of weather in the market place.

This is a mistake.

What happens if we missed a key part of information on the way to where we are now? What if a key cog in the understanding of how things work never revealed itself?  Unlike banking, we individuals are never "Too Big to Fail." So, in order to learn, I've bucked the trend. I've delved deeper into the knowledge of what makes me capable of living off the earnings of buying and selling Magic: The Gathering to pass on to you the mentality it takes to truly improve.

Knowledge is power, but wisdom is how to use that knowledge, and without wisdom there is a lock on how far your potential will take you. Sometimes in order to become better, we must throw out everything we know.

 

Learn. Trade. Profit.

 

My fellow writer, Corbin Hosler, made a wonderful example of why wisdom is incredibly important in this field. His reasoning and logic behind why we will not see a reprint on ANY fetchlands gives a detailed point of view from Wizards of the Coast and how they go about their business.

He points out that:

  • They don’t love fetches in Standard because of the amount of shuffling they create.
  • They design sets one year in advance.
  • They wanted to determine how successful Modern Masters was before going forward with anything else similar.
  • They want to actively reprint Modern cards.

The knowledge of how Wizards operates leads to the wisdom that the time to invest has not yet passed. By now though, I'm sure your asking yourself - where does this all fit in with me? What knowledge can be gained now?

Finding Your Wisdom:

Temple of DecietWatery GraveSulfur Falls

Wizards loves cycles. They love a formulaic approach. They plan new formats months ahead and this trend reveals many things to us. Standard has taken its first foray's into the new format it will become. What knowledge has shown is that prices for Theros block should be exactly where we want it to be. Previous October sets have revealed that 1-2 months after their release is the prime market for amassing large amounts of target cards. Focusing on preparing yourself for future formats is the first step in leveraging your investment into long term growth and maximizing potential swings of future cards. As the saying goes: "Buy low. Sell high."

All of the Temples should already be on your radar. If you've looked at past trends, you'll notice that multi-application lands, like the Temples, enjoy a brief period of time of depressed value before they skyrocket over night. This trend has happened relatively consistently over every Block base set in recent memory. I still believe that there will be the same routine explosion in price for Ravnica Shocklands, for instance. $20-$24 per land is not unheard of for Shocks.

Although now we have a new plot twist. This trend could come sooner than expected. Modern will begin in May/June this time around, and with that, a surge in the demand. By having two formats with not much overlap in what lands are used, you get an increase in what lands players need. Take a look at the examples, though. Looking at the price trends - paying careful attention to what has taken place in both Rotation periods. October is very friendly to the previous years dual lands. So either periods of time could see a large increase in both Temples & Shocks.

Daxos of Meletis

Daxos of Meletis is a card very similar to Geist of Saint Traft. In a number of ways though - it is not. The power level is what's consistent though. Although this will more than likely not be a multi-format all-star like Geist, the ability to cast opponents cards is what is important. This is nothing new, however, they have never let you cast an opponents card with the caveat of using any colored mana to do so. This is new territory and has honestly upped the ante for what this type of card can do. While this could easily have nothing happen, as removal is still the crux of creatures, I would not be surprised to see Daxos jump into the $4.00-$5.00 range. As this card is at bargain basement levels right now, it's hard to go wrong if he does become the next Nightveil Specter.

Anger of the Gods

More than likely Anger of the Gods has already been on your radar. Red removal spells of this nature are usually put into a set as a catch all to help keep aggressive decks from taking over. At the same time, being a non U/W based control strategy puts this into a different territory. Some U/W/x decks will emerge after rotation in the fall, but as Anger approaches $2.00 "throw in" territory, continue to pick these up as often and as cheaply as possible. The price ceiling of $5.00-$6.00 is not unheard of, as it's already been there once before. This card is also seeing multi-format play and is an upgrade for many older renditions of this effect. Keep it on your radar moving forward.

Applying Your Knowledge

2014 is now upon us, and I am already planning for the October rotation. Theros block is prime real estate sitting in an unused part of town. Most of the prices have deflated to floor-like levels and the opportunity to set yourself up for Autumn & Winter 2014 is now upon us. Historically, most sets do not feel their full impact until the metagame Wizards of the Coast's Future Future League envisioned is fully upon us. They rarely invest much time in focusing on the short periods of time during releases that won't change things very much, but focus on the overall picture of a fully fleshed out format. This time between Born of the Gods and Journey is such a time.

Theros/Born/Journey/M15 Standard will soon be upon us, and the preparation that you do now will pay massive dividends come this Summer & Fall. ALL of that can be undone by not applying the knowledge of how formats change. How they evolve, and of course the times when supply outstrips demand.

Apply your knowledge. Gain your wisdom. Trade & profit.

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Dylan Beckham

Dylan has been involved in Magic: The Gathering since the heyday of The Dark. Continually invested in the community, he's been a Pro Tour Player, Trader, Judge, Tournament Organizer, Volunteer, and Vendor. Currently involved with the day to day operations of selling online, Dylan has brought his experience to Quiet Speculation to make you a better investor. Hailing from the Atlanta area, and now part of the Dallas scene - he's often at big events sourcing cards or discussing Life, the Universe, and Everything. Have a question? Feel free to comment, message, or email anytime.

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