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Unlocked Insider: Finding Value in Born of the Gods

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Born of the Gods (BNG) release events have wrapped up this past week. The new set has shaken up the Theros (THS) Block Constructed format and made a few ripples in Standard as well. Even in Modern, Courser of Kruphix and its four toughness has pushed Modern Jund in a different direction. Cards that reveal information about the top card of the library seem to find a home in that fetchland powered format.

When considering the new set for speculating, the impacts on the various constructed formats are good to keep in mind. But, from a supply perspective, BNG still has a number of months of drafting left in it. The prime time to explore opportunities in this set will be in June and July, after the release of Journey Into Nyx, but before the release of Magic 2015. Nevertheless, prices have settled down enough to start an early appraisal on the new mythic rares.

The Rating System

I use this rating system to think about the value of mythic rares. I feel the system has utility and is a good way to assess whether or not cards are worth buying. Each mythic is followed by the current price and a rating, either Good Value, Fully Priced or Borderline.

  • Good Value -- At current prices or in the given price range, this card is a buy and I expect it to see higher prices in the medium- to long-term. These cards are the best speculative targets from a value perspective. Some of these cards might never make a splash in competitive constructed formats, but the risk of loss, if bought at the suggested prices, is low.
  • Fully Priced -- This is the other end of the spectrum, where downside risks are high. Fully Priced cards might maintain a high price, but further gains are doubtful. Do not buy these at current prices to speculate on.
  • Borderline -- This is somewhere in the middle of the other two, with some possibility of moving up or down in price. For cards with this rating, further scrutiny is required beyond just the price. If you have a large amount of capital, buy some amount of these cards and scoop up more if the price falls.

All prices are taken from mtgotraders and are current as of March 5th, 2014.

Fully Priced

Ephara, God of the Polis: This card has made an impact on Standard, but is not played as much as two of the gods from THS, Erebos or Thassa, both of which are below 8 tix. Look for this card to drift down in price over the coming months. At the moment, this card is 11.63 tix and Fully Priced.

Brimaz, King of Oreskos: The most expensive card of the set, it looks like this cat will be a factor in Standard, but it doesn't look like it's made a big impact out of the gate. I'd be prepared to load up on this card in June, but for the moment it's better to be patient and let the price fall until it finds its footing. Right now it's 18.27 tix and it's Fully Priced.

Phenax, God of Deception: I can't see this one making any competitive waves. It's too conditional and too expensive at its current price. If it got down into the 1.0 to 1.5 tix range, I'd buy more interested in buying these but for the moment it's 2.95 tix and Fully Priced.

Chromanticore: This card looks like a ton of fun, which is keeping its price above junk levels. It will probably get into the 0.5 to 0.8 tix range eventually, so I would refrain from buying at the current price. Once THS block is no longer the current draft format, this probably creeps up to be a 2 tix card. But for the moment it's 1.54 tix and thus Fully Priced.

Champion of Stray Souls: This card is pure junk. It used to be that I'd advocate purchasing any mythic rare for 0.35 tix or less. With the new redemption fee of $25, it seems that the floor on junk mythic rares has dropped somewhat. Buy this if it hits 0.25 tix, but currently it's priced at 0.43 tix and so it's Fully Priced.

Kiora, the Crashing Wave: I've only played with this card a little, but the abilities are powerful. It can protect itself, it can draw cards and it can develop your board. It doesn't look like it has a home currently, but that's bound to change at some point. I'd be somewhat interested in buying this card in the 10 to 12 tix range, but I am also happy to wait and see. The best case scenario for a value speculator like me is that this card sees little Standard and Block play, and gets down into the 4-5 tix range. Right now though, it's still quite shiny so it's priced quite high at 14.39 tix and that means it's Fully Priced.

Borderline

Xenagos, God of Revels: This looks like it will be used as long as the R/G Monsters deck is playable in Standard or Block. However, as a five-drop that needs another creature in play to have an immediate effect, it's not a 4-of. Whatever price this gets down to in June, it will probably be safe to buy a bunch with an eye to seeing modest profits in the Fall, but for the moment it's priced at 6.46 tix and thus it's Borderline.

Karametra, God of Harvests: The cheapest of all the gods so far, this looks like it will be on it's way to junk. Gods have some sort of appeal as pseudo planeswalkers, but I would be hesitant to load up on this card at the current price. Look for it to get down into the 0.5 to 0.8 tix range. Currently, it's priced at 1.09 tix and so it's Borderline.

Mogis, God of Slaughter: I probably liked this card too much at first, but it's starting to show up as a two-of in some of the new THS Block Constructed lists. 2 tix seemed to be the floor for THS gods, so I'd be more inclined to wait for this card to hit that price level before buying. Right now, it's 3.14 tix and thus it's Borderline.

Good Value

Flame-Wreathed Phoenix: Stormbreath Dragon sees a lot of play and is priced to match. The budget conscious just might want to try this card out instead, particularly in an aggressive red deck where the mana curve tops out at the 4cc spot. This card is a snap-buy in the 1.0 to 1.5 tix range, but I still think it's current price of 1.85 tix represents Good Value.

Wrapping Up

Keep your eyes out for how Mogis, Flame-Wreathed Phoenix and Kiora perform in Standard and Block over the coming months. These are the cards which I think could see some play at some point and could be good value.

Some of the mythic rares will be good value if bought at the right price, but if they are junk or near junk, they will only be in demand from redeemers so be exceptionally price-conscious on cards like Karametra and Champion of Stray Souls.

13 thoughts on “Unlocked Insider: Finding Value in Born of the Gods

  1. I agree with your analysis. BotG seems very expensive right now. I personally found Kiora horrible. She makes Jace AoT look like Jace the Mind Sculptor. Even in the context of Theros block, I think she either draws you a card and dies to the lightest of scratches, or stops a creature only to die to another and you don’t get anything back.

    1. THS block seems very aggressive, and without a 4cc wrath effect so it might be that Kiora never finds a niche in an environment like that. And U/W in standard doesn’t need a card like this as Sphinx’s Revelation is still legal. I think we’ll have to wait till the Fall before this card might see any play. TBD!

      1. Does Whelming Wave count?

        I think post rotation she could be fine in a RUG or BUG shell. Sylvan Caryatid and Course of Kruphix to protect her, Anger of the Gods or Drown in Sorrow to clear out low power dudes.

        1. The Kiora deck I posted a few weeks ago has a lot of promise. Whelming Wave is definitely a 4CMC wrath in some senses, especially when re-casting things like Omenspeaker makes the bounce effect valuable to the caster of Wave.

  2. Dunno about Flame Wreathed Phoenix. Just seems to me like it dies to too many removal spells in ths. I personally like the crid a lot, but I’m not too jazzed on it…

    1. When speculating, I think that price is the most important factor. Playability matters, but it should inform your decision, not dominate it. I think that the Phoenix is cheap relative to other mythic rare, red fliers, and that’s why I think it’s good value.

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