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Insider: Consuming the Casuals

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Consuming Aberration is a $3 card today. That alone was surprising news to me when I found out. Phenax has started to push its price up, but it was going there all along. In fact, I suspect Aberration will be $5 a year from now, and probably $7-8 the year after that.

Casual cards.

They’re so easy to forget and yet so vital to Magic finance. The big Modern cards or hot new Standard specs get all the headlines, but the bread and butter for people like me is always these casual cards. They sell well in the store, they’re bought well from dealers and they’re usually easy to come by.

It’s no secret I love these cards, and with good reason. That’s why I like to update from time to time which ones I feel are the best current specs. Stuff like Avacyn was really easy to see coming due to the casual appeal, so with a new set out it’s time to look at our casual risers.

For starters, Consuming Aberration is the huge one. You can still get them for under $2.50, and it’s going to continue rising until it gets reprinted. Stuff like Lord of Extinction is really expensive for a reason, and while this isn’t likely to reach those levels soon it’s on the way.

Born of the Gods

Before I look back at some of my previous picks, let’s look at the new set and see what looks exciting. We’re not looking for something like the next Hellrider here, or even the next Courser of Kruphix (which I underestimated in my set review but had warmed up to by the time the podcast came out, and extolled its virtues on the cast the following week).

Instead, we want to find the next Consuming Aberration, Mind Funeral or the like. Getting in on Aberrations now is going to pay off handsomely in a year or two, and that’s what we’re looking for more of here.

Chromanticore

Jason’s favorite card from the new set, which may have some fringe Standard applications (it top-eighted a 92-person tournament in Japan last week). More importantly, it’s a cool five-color card, and most of all a mythic.

I don’t think we’re looking at Akroma levels of casual appeal here, but certainly enough to be worth grabbing when it bottoms out.

Fate Unraveler

This thing is still super cheap right now, and I’m pretty sure he will hit bulk-rare status. But I don’t think it’s a bulk rare long-term. It has lots of Commander applications, notably in Nekusaar, and I expect that to drive its price up slowly over the long haul.

Fated Retribution

Another card that’s going to drop super low but remain a Commander staple for years. Foils are an especially good play here.

Perplexing Chimera

Another bulk rare, another card with lots of Commander play. Same as above applies.

Gods

I’ve talked before about how I see these getting the “Eldrazi treatment,” and while they’re not on that level they will certainly follow the same trends. Some, like Phenax, are surefire bets that I can’t wait to stock up on when they bottom out, while the odd ones like Karametra are less so.

Past Casual Calls

Not really a ton in Born of the Gods, though what's there is pretty solid for the long-term. Let’s look back on some of the cards I noted in this series in the past and see where they've settled and what the remaining upside is.

Chromatic Lantern

I’ve been, and still am, huge on this card. It’s already come off its lows of $2.50 and is now closer to $3. It’s going to be $5 by the time it rotates out of Standard, and will continue rising until it’s reprinted. While Modern and Standard specs can be fun and rewarding, they’re often more risky than something like the Lantern, which is as close to a “blue chip” stock as you can get.

Gilded Lotus

Same logic as above. Sure, there are more printings than Lantern, but it’s also arguably more ubiquitous. It’s been on a real upswing already this year from $2-3, and it’ll be $5-6 before too long.

Darksteel Forge/Akroma's Memorial/Door of Destinies

These have filled the “casual artifact all-star” spot that has become routine in recent core sets. Forge and Memorial have the advantage of being mythics, and there’s tremendous upside on these still.

I originally talked about these back on Jan. 2, and Memorial has gone to $10 from $6 since then (these were $4 when I first wrote about them last year), while Forge has mostly bottomed out and is ever so slowly starting to rebound. You need to snag all of these while they’re still in binders.

Primeval Bounty

Still flat at $4-5, but it’s at a clear bottom. This is a little less attractive than the specs above, but I still like it as a solid gainer.

Sanguine Bond

I really wanted to like this card, since it was $10 before the core set reprinting, but the additional inclusion in Commander 2013 makes it less appealing.

Instead, let’s assume everyone getting one of these will also want Exquisite Blood, and move in on those while they can still be had for $5. These are on the fast track to $10+, and while the greatest profit was to be made when we talked about them last year, there’s still some upside.

Baneslayer Angel

When I initially talked about this card last year as a rising casual staple, it was $12-13. It’s come up a few dollars since then, and I’m confident it will be $20 by the end of the year.

Not only does it have the whole “mythic angel” thing going for it, it also occasionally has Modern applications, especially now that Zoo could be coming back. That would make it less of a gradual rise to $20 and more like a hard spike to $25, so keep that in mind.

Terminus

I’m not sure calling this a “casual” card is correct, but it’s certainly a powerful Commander card with applications in other formats. We’ve watched Entreat the Angels spike in the past week, and it’s not a stretch to see Terminus and Temporal Mastery do the same this year.

Mind Grind

Another card you would assume is bulk but is actually $2 and showing signs of picking up. These aren’t getting any cheaper, and the upside is real even if it’s not the next Glimpse the Unthinkable (and it’s not). Still, lots to like here.

 

So there we go. That’s my working list of casual targets for the next few months. Anything I missed that you like as a target in this category? Remember, we may not know what Standard will look like six months or a year from now, but the kitchen table won't change much.

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter

One thought on “Insider: Consuming the Casuals

  1. I would say that Baneslayer while an angel has it’s demand primarily driven by modern players as she has seen play in U/W/R decks before. The fact that she trumps Thundermaw is another interesting thing to note.

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