For the subscribers in the US, I would like to wish you a Happy Presidents’ Day (or I suppose if you are from Botswana, you have a Presidents’ Day as well but not until July). For those unfamiliar with the holiday, Wikipedia describes it as,
“…a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States…also often called Presdients’ Day. Both Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays are in February.”
For decades this holiday marked a time to think back and reflect upon all that our forefathers have done for us. But mostly we just appreciate the day off from school and work. Priorities, right?
While I am off from my 9-5 job, I could not possibly fathom taking a day off from writing for this website. There is simply too much going on in the world of MTG finance.
To recognize the holiday however, I have come up with a cheesy way of mentioning some good bets I feel will pay off in the next twelve months. These recommendations will be made in the spirit of our honored Presidents by citing which currency can be anticipated for financial gains from a given investment.
For those international readers, worry not. Images of each currency unit will be provided so that everyone can consider my calls and decide if they agree (or not).
These days, making a buck is not all that exciting. In fact with shipping and fees involved, it’s nearly atrocious--unless, of course, your initial investment was even smaller than one dollar per card. Even a dollar gain on a dollar card is something to get excited about given investment in sufficient quantities to fully capitalize.
For those monitoring GP Paris coverage and Twitter you may have noticed some buzz around Sylvan Safekeeper. Although it was only a one-of in a sideboard, the fact that it appeared in a Legacy GP as part of a successful rogue deck means the card may exit bulk rare status once and for all.
No one is going to retire off of this investment, but I can definitely see this card doubling up from $1 to $2 in the coming weeks. Speculation and hype alone will see to this.
If you’d prefer to avoid such speculative buying, consider a solid Modern sideboard card instead. You won’t break the bank by buying into something like Torpor Orb and Stony Silence. But with such a low cost basis, even a George Washington increase could be enough to make it worth your while. Just remember to buy deeply enough so that the one dollar increase in price actually matters.
Before I get any snarky posts, yes I acknowledge I am skipping over Thomas Jefferson and the two-dollar bill. I only have so many investing ideas and so many characters in an article. Let’s move on and focus on what matters, here: making money.
Identifying cards likely to go up five bucks (but not more or less) is trickier than you’d think. One call that I really like, which has been the center of some recent Twitter debate, is Geist of Saint Traft.
This card has recently jumped off its lows. Being a Modern staple in at least some capacity, this mythic rare will certainly continue its incline. I can readily see Geist hitting $25 this summer when demand is at a local maximum.
But I hesitate to predict an even higher rise without seeing more successful decklists jamming the spirit cleric. Innistrad was printed a bit too recently for us to see ridiculous jumps so soon--this is more reason I put Geist in the five dollar camp for now.
Want a riskier bet, where five dollars is more meaningful? How about the inexpensive Sorin, Lord of Innistrad?
This planeswalker is also at a bottom, and any buzz of a B/W tokens deck in Modern will generate interest and drive the price higher. A five dollar increase feels very possible given that Sorin is sitting at just $5 now.
The recent reprint is a little troublesome, but Dark Ascension was opened in relatively low quantities compared to other recent sets. Also, promotional print runs didn’t stop the likes of Ajani Vengeant from rising an Abraham Lincoln note.
Hamilton was never a president. I get a bye on this one. Maybe he’ll get his own article if there’s ever a “Old School Got Milk Commercials” Day.
Now we’re talking real money. I get excited when I find a five-dollar bill on the ground. But I can distinctly remember the one time I ever found a twenty lying around for the taking. This much profit can mean a free steak dinner, or even an improvement to a constructed deck!
What’s likely to increase $20 in the year to come? It would most likely be something with a higher starting price, such as Rishadan Port. It’s fairly easy to say that a card that has recently jumped to $120 is likely to see $140 in the coming year--especially with the Reserved List preventing reprints.
But this type of gain may not be meaningful when selling cards online. Fees and shipping will eat into the majority of these gains.
If you really want to take a gamble, check out Exploration.
This card has been on quite the run in the past couple months. The recent 20% gain looks nice, but if Kasper Euser’s GP Paris deck gets any more attention throughout the weekend we could easily see a double-up.
Forget Sylvan Safekeeper. This is where the real money could be made on this rogue deck. Urza’s Saga was printed a million years ago, and with Gaea's Cradle being in the set there’s no telling what the ceiling on this card could be.
Just be careful--Exploration is not on the Reserved List. Still, I can’t picture this card getting reprinted any time soon. But invest accordingly.
Ulysses S. Grant
Now we’re getting into the big bucks. Besides stuff like Black Lotus, predicting a $50 price increase for a one-year time frame is quite difficult. With volumes on Power being so low, it’s even difficult to identify what type of price change occurred over one year.
These price movements take place over multiple years simply because so few sell. And again, with fees getting cumbersome (not to mention counterfeit risk) I can’t advocate tying up so much money in Power as a one-year investment. These are bets for the long haul.
One practical idea I have: foil Liliana of the Veil. Her demand may ebb and flow in Modern and Legacy, but the fact remains--this is a very powerful planeswalker. As Innistrad begins to age, foil copies of Liliana will become more and more scarce.
Last year Star City Games placed foil Liliana of the Veil on sale for about $150. Now there are only two copies in stock at $190. I can easily picture a scenario where NM copies are sold out at $250 one year from now.
While a reprint is always a risk, this is one bet that may net you a $50 profit this year should she dodge the reprint bullet.
Benjamin Franklin – Bonus
While Franklin was a major player in our country’s early days, he was never actually President. Guess what--I still have an idea for this category.
Modern Masters booster boxes.
Parking $300 in these may be unwise due to opportunity cost, but that doesn’t preclude me from at least predicting that they will go up $100 in twelve months. They’ve already gone up $50 on eBay, and the days of finding $250 boxes on eBay and retail websites are long gone. But I still see these breaking $400 by year’s end at retail stores.
Advocating a buy here is not my intent because fees and shipping are a beast on something of this magnitude. But if you want a couple more boxes to enjoy with some friends, the window of acquiring them affordably is rapidly closing.
Until Next Presidents’ Day
Remind me, and I’ll revisit my predictions next year to see how close I came. This would be a fun exercise to undertake. In the meantime, make sure you continue to watch the MTG market closely.
Just because you may be off from school or work doesn’t imply MTG finance is taking a breather. Every day brings new targets and new information to consider.
Modern B&R Announcement Version!
- Think the banning of Deathrite Shaman will make Vengevine decks playable in Modern? Then consider looking at Fauna Shaman as a low-cost investment target. SCG is sold out of this card at $6.99.
- Some Scars of Mirrodin fastlands are finally getting traction. Darkslick Shores is nearing $5 thanks to the unbanning of Bitterblossom. SCG is down to 19 copies of Razorverge Thicket at $3.99. These will head to $4.99 shortly, and potentially higher come the summer.
- Wild Nacatl is back! Know what works well with this creature? Arid Mesa. Just don’t look to SCG to buy your copies--they’re already sold out at $39.99.