Welcome back speculators!
No matter what the price of a card is according to any particular site, you haven't made an actual profit until you've converted the card back into cash.
This week's article is primarily a response to all the crazy price spikes happening in Modern right now. People are getting super excited that their $5 card suddenly jumped to $15 dollars but then they try to unload it and nobody wants it.
I constantly have people try to unload cards that recently spiked for my stable high-dollar cards (dual lands and other Legacy staples) and I just say no thanks. Part of the problem here is that price memory works both ways. When a $2 card suddenly jumps to $10 a lot of people will pass because they remember it at $2 just a short time ago.
Now, if you're in the boat of "has a bunch of cards that just spiked," right after (or during) the spike is often the best time to unload. Price spiking often creates false demand, which just means that demand is artificially increased due to people rushing to pick up a card and not wanting to "miss out", but this false demand dies quickly when the price peaks.
This is one of the main reasons our authors constantly re-iterate the concept of "leave the last 10% for the next guy"--it's always best to lock in solid profits as quickly as possible.
It's also important to understand whether a card's price jump is a price correction or a spike. Spikes occur very quickly and are usually caused by a buyout, a tournament breakout, or a new spoiler.
Price corrections occur when a card is underpriced given the amount of play it sees. These are typically more gradual price increases (though they may have a sudden jump) because the demand is sustainable as players are buying the cards to play.
Hold 'Em's (Recent Price Corrections)
This card has gone from $2 to $4.75 within the past two months. It's been a known Modern staple, but many believed as an uncommon its ceiling was relatively low.
However it hasn't seen any additional printings (outside of Worldwake and FNM promo) and demand has finally outpaced supply. The fact that RWU control decks running four Celestial Colonnades have started to dominate the Modern scene just makes it that much more critical to run a way to deal with them--and they happen to fall right outside of Bolt/Helix range.
This card is a pillar of the Modern format, finding play in both Melira and Kiki-Pod decks. Until less than two months ago it was sitting around $5 for the longest time. The many fellow QSers who have been bullish on this card were clearly correct as it's now $10.
A two-mana clone is nothing to sneeze at. It was dominant in Standard and remains excellent in Modern. The mana cost fits perfectly in Pod chains to allow for quick combo kills. The fact that almost every card in Modern that can target a creature is a kill spell already heavily mitigates its drawback.
In the past two months it has steadily increased from $4.75 to $7.5, slightly over a 50% increase.
While not a Modern price correction, the sheer amount of X-Blade decks seeing in play in Legacy courtesy of True-Name Nemesis meant that this card was far more in demand than its previous $10 price tag suggested and was bound to jump. It has managed to hold its existing price of $27-28 for almost two months so it's safe to assume that price is here to stay.
This card was already on the rise before the Faeries deck become viable again (see the "Fold Em" section for my thoughts on the rest of that deck). This card is heavily played in the UWR control decks and now that Deathrite is banned, Snapcaster becomes better--snapcastering Cryptics is obviously brutal in the mirror.
A month ago this card was sitting at $25 before it began its ascent to $43-46. While it has been printed three times (including the Player Rewards card) its return to dominance along with blue in general means this price will likely stick until the next reprint.
While this card hasn't actually jumped yet, most UWR control decks are running 2-3 of them (as are those damn Faeries players). With the return of Snapcaster/Helix decks, Tarmogoyf and Dark Confidant's reprinting, and the rise of Merfolk, the number of two-drops in Modern has steadily increased.
Last year (pre-Modern Masters) this card was sitting in the $8-9 range mostly courtesy of Legacy play. It only has two printings, Dissension and Modern Masters. I believe it can easily jump to $4.5-$5.5 come Modern season and is a relatively safe buy. Given this is only a 50-60% price increase this seems better as a trade target though.
Fold 'Em's (Recent Spikes on Their Way Down)
Determining when to sell is one of the more challenging aspects of MTG finance. Some are obvious--you got the chase mythic from the new set worth a ton of money right now as supply is severely limited, you should get rid of it. Others are not obvious--this card just got banned in one of the main formats that played it, should I hold onto them or unload them before everyone else?
This card showed up as a one-of in the sideboard of the "Blue Moon" deck which broke out at PT Valencia. The basis of the deck was to lock your opponent out via Blood Moon and Spreading Seas and then win with Snapcaster Mages, burn, and Batterskulls. Teferi creates a "must counter" threat you can cast at the end of your opponent's turn.
The card quickly jumped to $30 and within a few days has already dropped down to less than $20. While the spike was artificial I feel that this card has a lot of potential in other decks--I only advocate selling now because the price is continuing to drop and you can rebuy them back later when it starts to plateau again.
This card showed up at the PT as the key card in a Summer Bloom deck with Hive Mind and Primeval Titan. The problem with the deck is that without the Amulet it is much slower (it plays a lot of ETB tapped lands and bounce lands) which lets any control deck just focus on countering the key cards.
Unfortunately Amulet lives and dies by this deck. While it does look fun to play, it lacks consistency and relies on a unique card with no suitable #4-8 replacements.
This card showed up in a few sideboards in the Top 8. It acts as a repeating removal spell (on the play) against creature-heavy decks. It's pretty "techy" and I imagine a lot of the creature-heavy decks were not prepared for it.
One of the real beauties is the downside of killing the "weakest" creature can actually be a huge boon they tend to be mana dorks which increase the aggro deck's velocity. By playing it turn one against an opposing Noble Hierarch they either have to pass the turn without doing anything, or lose both the Hierarch and their next threat.
This card was a bulk rare for the longest time until this breakout. The ability is powerful and it's not tied to any specific deck (it's good in any control deck which features white--a majority of them). However, as a one- to two-of in the sideboard, its current price is not likely to stick.
It appears WoTC was correct in unbanning Bitterblossom. The fear of Faerie's dominance was clearly unfounded as people playing it at PT Valencia came away with nothing.
While I don't think Bitterblossom will drop back to the pre-jump price (as it was steady at $15 before the unbanning) I do think its decline will likely continue until it hits that $35-$40 mark. It will likely stay there until a reprint (which many believe will be in the Modern Event Deck coming out this spring).
The Mistbinds and Secluded Glens are far more likely to drop back to near their old prices (with maybe a 25-30% increase from those pre-spike prices).