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Insider: The Revenue Review – Casual Hits of Theros Block

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I like to do this series from time to time, something that is both fun and which helps formulate the best cheap trade targets in the coming months.

What I do is highlight the cards that are cheap now that I believe will be popular in casual circles. The goal here is not necessarily to find tournament-worthy cards, but the hits like Chromatic Lantern (a pick here last year) that will net you money over the long run.

I know cards like this don’t sound sexy, but they’re a valuable part of a good grinder’s binder. And sometimes they come up big for you. For instance, for Avacyn Restored, I suggested stocking up on Exquisite Blood, a card that spiked with Gatecrash previews. I suggested stocking up on these because it completes the combo with Sanguine Bond, another popular casual card, and at the time they were available for a quarter or as a free throw-in in trades.

That one paid off really, really well, and so has stuff like Mimic Vat and Lantern last year.

Stocking up on those made some serious money, and that’s what I look for in this series. Sometimes you get lucky with spikes like that, but even if you don’t these popular casual cards are worth a few bucks each down the road, making getting them as throw-ins now well worth your time.

This time around I’m going to look over all of Theros block, and try to pull out only the best picks. Let’s dig in.

Theros

Gods

Before I go any further, let’s talk about all 15 gods. I dubbed these “Eldrazi” when the set premiered, and I expect them to follow basically the same trajectory. They’ll all bottom out at some point, and at that time I’ll begin stocking up.

I especially like the ones from Born of the Gods or Journey Into Nyx because they were opened so much less. Of course, foils will be even better since they’re so good in Commander. Something like Kruphix is just going to be a sure money-maker.

Ashen Rider

I would have liked this much more if it wasn’t in the first set, but I think it’s still a good pick. Importantly, it is a mythic, and one available for under a buck. With the Block play this is already seeing, the spike could come sooner rather than later. But rest assured this will be a $3-4 card in a few years.

Prophet of Kruphix

Our Simic god is all about the long-term gains here. If you played against this absurd card in Commander you know just how broken it is, and that’s not changing anytime soon. If anything, I’d be worried about this being banned. But that’s not going to stop me from getting in at $2-2.50 and starting at a $10 cards in a few years.

Medomai the Ageless

Extra turns. Really all you need to know. This gets some play in my Commander group, and I doubt I’m alone. Definitely not an insane spec, but not a bad one, either.

Bow of Nylea

This has a lot working against it since there are simply so many copies out there, but I still don’t dislike it. After all, it sees no Standard play and is holding $1.50. Slow but steady gains incoming here.

Born of the Gods

Kiora, the Crashing Wave

A little bit of a cheat since Kiora actually sees Standard play and is already expensive, but she won’t be forever. When she does bottom out around rotation, I want in. Two Explores isn’t always a bad thing, you know.

Eidolon of Countless Battles

Too pricey at $2.50 for me to want to buy in now, but this is another card with no Standard play that nevertheless is worth a few bucks. That’s a good sign for its long-term future, and I want to pick these up cheaply when I can.

Chromanticore

Yeah, this just does everything. $2 buy-in? Not yet. I’ll let it continue trending down, and then I’ll take it.

Fate Unraveler

Still not sure why this is bulk, since it plays well with the new rage in Commander, Nekusaar, and in general plays well in multiplayer circles. Underworld Dreams has been printed five times and is $2. This won’t be bulk forever.

Fated Retribution

This is a sweet Commander card, though a little niche, so I really think foils are the play here.

Journey into Nyx

Ajani, Mentor of Heroes

Gaining 100 life. All that needs to be said. Take the Kiora approach and find the bottom near rotation (or possibly sooner) and move in then.

Sage of Hours

More extra turns, more mythic and now more third set. We’re going to draft Journey into Nyx for like a month before we forget it in favor of Conspiracy. All the cards in this set have really high ceilings because of that, and this card is super breakable in casual Constructed.

It will be cheaper than $5 before long, and then I’m getting in. Unlike some of the others cards on this list where I want to wait for rotation, this is one with very little chance of seeing Standard play, so I actually want in on it about the time we’re done drafting Journey.

Dictates

These are (mostly) insane in Commander, especially the black, blue and green ones. Move in hard on them.

Worst Fears

It’s a Mindslaver. I don’t care that it’s way, way worse. It’s from a third set and a mythic. Let it hit a buck and then stock up.

Silence the Believers

This will be bulk before too long. Like Fate Unraveler, it won’t belong there. Unlike Fate Unraveler, it actually has a higher ceiling. Exile effects in Black, especially at instant speed, aren’t all that easy to come by, and this will find its way into some casual decks because of that. Throw in the ability to hit more than one creature and we have a nice long-term spec.

So there you have it. That’s my short(ish) list of casual cards from the block to target. What do you think? Did I overestimate anything here or forget anything vital? Let me know!

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler
@Chosler88 on Twitter

15 thoughts on “Insider: The Revenue Review – Casual Hits of Theros Block

  1. I like when you do these articles, Corbin. They are really helpful for determining what neglected Standard cards I should be paying attention to.

    Here’s a challenge for you though: You mentioned a few successful calls from sets past, and for those you do deserve much props. When I read through this article, I see a long list of suggestions. This begs the question: are a large portion of your past calls correct, or are you mainly focusing on the most successful picks in this article? As someone who isn’t as in-touch with the casual crowd these days, if I go out and spend $50 on each of the cards you listed above, would I make money overall? Or would you recommend I stick to one or two picks – if this is the case, which ones would you suggest?

    Thanks for the elaboration! Not trying to be critical, just encouraging the next level here 🙂

    1. Thanks for the feedback! I tried to qualitatively state which ones I like more than others rather than list, but I’ll probably make a more Definitive list when I revisit these in a few months to see where they have settled at

  2. No love for Hall of Triumph? Adaptive Automaton comes to mind here. Also, Hall has many Standard applications.

    Great article though. Very well thought out.

    1. You know, I thought a lot about Hall of triumph here. Unlike automaton, it can’t be played as a four of, and I think that these effects are better felt in tribal than colors. I don’t hate it at all, but I’m really not sure how much the legendary clause will hurt

      1. Some people are talking about cutting Jace for this in mono-U. Makes it so your elementals don’t die to a removal spell on Master.

  3. You mentioned several times you’d go in when they get cheaper, however what prices are you looking for to be cheap enough for you to buy in on those?

    1. It’s hard to predict on stuff like the gods, or something like sage of hours which will probably fall to a few bucks. Wherever they go, I’m looking for the graph to stabilize rather than drop, and that’s the point I’m looking to move in rather than just targeting a price.

    1. It’s in either the event or intro deck, so that hurts it for sure, but it could be a slow gainer long-term. Not a card I hate trading into for cheap, but not at the top of my list, either.

      1. It’s in the event deck but the deck itself isn’t all that great. That makes me think they won’t be opened as much as the previous event decks. I like the Thaumaturge as a spec.

  4. It sounds to me like you’re advocating picking up Gods and sort of stashing them away. Obviously foil is better, but it seems like regular are good too. I’ve been picking up Karametra in trades because it’s so cheap and seems like casual gold. With that philosophy in mind, they all could be casual gold, right?

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