Insider: SCG Invi and Finance Updates

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Star City Games Invitational

One of the biggest events you can qualify for is almost upon us once again. Both Star City and TCG Player hold invitation-only tournaments and they are well worth your efforts to qualify for. Think of them as Grand Prix level events with larger payouts. One of the major skill-testing aspects of these types of events is that they require multi-format skills. Star City uses Standard and Legacy while TCG Player uses Standard and Modern.

There are many ways to qualify for both events but one of the best ways is to attend local qualifiers. This past weekend, my store hosted a SCG IQ and I was one round away from a last minute trip to Columbus for the Invitational.

The deck I’ve been playing at competitive level events for a while now is Mono-Blue Devotion. It always has game against every deck and since it has fallen out of favor lately, many players are not prepared for it. After it won the last Star City event, more players will pay attention to it again but it’s always a solid choice.

Here’s my slightly different version. You cannot change the deck much but there are a couple slots that you can use for some wiggle room and change depending on which decks you think will be the most popular.

These are the 75 cards that I like the most in Standard right now. I’ve changed the spell slots in the main deck many times but the 75 has not changed much as a whole.

There are some interesting choices in my version of the deck. They are chosen based on the way I find success playing the deck. Overall though, most games play out like every other blue devotion deck. If you have questions, feel free to bring them up in the comments.

One of the biggest reasons to play this deck is its positive win percentage against the format's most popular and successful deck, GRx Monsters. Any green midrange deck should be a good matchup for this deck because they cannot keep up with your consistent curve of creatures. The fact that many of your creatures fly gives this deck a giant advantage as well.

If I were going to the Invitational, I would be channeling my inner Ross Merriam. I’m sure you’ve heard by now, but he’s the guy who won the SCG Open with Mono-Blue Devotion and then lost in the finals of the Legacy Open with Elves. Coincidentally, those are the two decks that I would be playing in the Invitational if I had won my bid. Both decks are great choices for their respective formats and should not be underestimated.

Finance Updates

Enough about the same mono-blue deck that has been doing well for six months and onto some finance.

The recent release of Conspiracy has brought to light some important finance topics that need to be talked about. Let’s start with the set itself. There are a number of high-profile, Legacy-playable rares that were reprinted in this set. Even printing some of these as mythics in the set has not stopped their prices from dropping drastically. Here are some specific cards that I’m referring to.

Most of these cards can now be bought for half or less of their previous printed versions. Conspiracy seems to be a hit among most of the Magic population which means a lot of packs will be opened. Most of the set will be opened to draft but without much demand for these specific cards, their prices will most likely stay low at least for a while. With M15 being released in about a month (7-18-14), players will have a number of weeks to draft this fun set.

Despite these cards dropping in value, their foil versions have not dipped as much as I predicted. We still have time to increase the supply, but initial price trends lead me to believe that the foils won't be as cheap as I believed. There are more than just a couple foils worth over $40 in the set so keep your eyes peeled for them in trade binders.

I am aggressively buying into Council's Judgment because it seems poised to drastically impact Legacy. As an non-targeting way to deal with problematic Legacy permanents, the current $10 price tag seems low to me. Get these now while you can.

Conspiracy and M15 being released this summer will impact Magic finance in another way as well. Both of these sets are disrupting the supply of Journey Into Nyx. Why draft boring old Theros block when you can draft a fun interesting new set like Conspiracy? I've heard this a number of times at my store and I'm sure players all around are leaning the same way.

Sure some stores will still draft Theros block, but not nearly as many players will be drafting this set as they typically would be. What will the implications of this underdrafting be? It seems likely that fewer drafts will increase the cost of in-demand cards in the set. This will create opportunities for prepared financiers like yourselves to profit.

Cards to Watch

[cardimage cardname='Temple of Malady'][cardimage cardname='Temple of Epiphany']

It may seem obvious but I think all of the temples are great investments right now. They are likely at their lowest point and worth stocking up on. Start now if you have not already and get as many temples as you can. Specifically these two temples seem like great investments because of their short supply.

Prophetic Flamespeaker seems like the perfect card to spike once Standard rotates. Not only is it a very powerful card, but it lacks the support cards necessary to make it in Standard. With Modern implications as well, this is a great card to start trading into.

[cardimage cardname='Kruphix, God of Horizons'][cardimage cardname='Pharika, God of Affliction']

The gods from this set have had little to no impact on Standard. Nobody knows which ones will impact the new Standard format in the fall, but it's likely at least one of them will. I'm stocking up on copies of each of these. Worst case, they will hold casual appeal, but best case, one of them spikes when a new deck emerges.

Are there any other Nyx cards that you predict will increase in value in the coming months? Post your thoughts in the comments.

Until Next Time,

Unleash the Force!

Mike Lanigan
MtgJedi on Twitter

2 thoughts on “Insider: SCG Invi and Finance Updates

  1. Your Standard calls are all solid, though Temples will always be my favorite because they are real estate. 🙂 I didn’t go super deep into them this time around (although it’s not too late) because I’ve been putting my resouroces elsewhere (picked up 3 Moxen). But my Standard portfolio is like 80% Temples!

    1. Power is always a solid pick up for long term. Running a shop helps on my end because I can just put the buy prices on temples to be awesome and everyone trades them in. I need more nyx temples though.

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