Insider: PTM15 Standard and Finance

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PTM15 Standard has come and gone, and while the typical juggernauts of the format dominated, there were a number of new and interesting underdogs that emerged.

There were tons of deck lists from the Pro Tour hidden on Wizards' new web site. Not everyone has time to sift through pages and pages of decks to find the hidden gems, and that’s where I come in. Let’s get started.

By now, most of you have heard about this deck but the exact list eluded many players looking to see it written out.

The strength of this deck is its speed. With a whopping 23 one-drop creatures and only Raise the Alarm as the other creature producer, it’s easy to see how fast this deck can be. Most aggressive decks that came before this loved it when they curved a one-drop into two one-drops. With this deck, that is an average draw you should get most of the time.

It might seem obvious, but the metagame can easily adjust to this strategy by playing more Anger of the Gods and Drown in Sorrow. Obelisk of Urd can prevent your opponent from wiping your board, but if you don’t get it in play on turn three, you might be in a lot of trouble.

Another problem is that because Obelisk of Urd is so important to this strategy, Thoughtseize is still good against this deck. Playing an aggressive deck, one of your goals should be to make Thoughtseize as bad as possible. There are many good targets for the discard spell in this deck.

This deck is consistently fast and forces your opponent to have answers right away or lose the game. No Limit Soldiers reminds me of decks like Metal Red and Tempered Steel. These aggressive decks are all in on their game plan and if they don’t win quickly, it’s extremely hard for them to win in the mid to late game.

As one of the most successful decks from the Pro Tour, you should start playing against this deck regularly at any Standard tournament you attend. This deck is the evolution of Jund Monsters but has moved past the ‘monsters’ part and onto hard-to-deal-with planeswalkers.

Just like Jund in any format, the archetype is customizable to any metagame and can be built to beat any type of deck. The one absent card I couldn’t exclude is Garruk, Apex Predator. This deck seems tailor made for one or two copies of the planeswalker killer and his absence is baffling. You may not want to mess with a proven deck, but if I sleeve this up, Garruk will certainly make an appearance. I have been extremely impressed with him every time I’ve seen him in play.

There’s an innocent little card in the sideboard that I wanted to mention briefly: Magma Spray.

I’ve cast many Magma Sprays in my day and recently it’s starting to show up in more peoples’ sideboards. Decks like this struggle against Voice of Resurgence so using one spell to deal with it swings the tide of the game in your favor. This cheap removal spell also helps against the fast red aggro decks as well.

Other changes to consider would be fitting in Nissa, Worldwaker and/or Polukranos, World Eater to have some additional threats. Both of those cards are powerful tools that are hard to deal with. I like my controlling decks to have lots of win conditions though so it may not be necessary, but it would still be strong.

When a whole pro team plays a deck, I pay attention. In this case, Rabble Red lived up to the hype, putting Melissa into the top 32 at this event.

Having played Goblin Rabblemaster, the centerpiece of the deck, in multiple Limited events, I know how powerful he is firsthand. My impression of his transition to Standard was that he needed lots of goblins to be playable. Clearly I underestimated this Goblin Assault with legs.

As an aside, every time I see this card I think of Goblin Piledriver and how influential he was back when I started playing Magic. While Rabblemaster isn’t quite as good as Piledriver in terms of how big his power can get, making a 1/1 every turn is extremely good. Additionally, you can save your 1/1’s by convoking Stoke the Flames.

If you want to try and improve the deck, adding green may be one way to go about it. Ghor-Clan Rampager may be the only green card you play, but that seems like the perfect card for this deck.

Either way, this deck is strong, consistent, and fast. It has answers for most of the format's problematic permanents and is well set up in the current metagame. If I wanted to be playing an aggressive deck right now, this is the first deck I would work on.

Both Michael Majors and Dan Jordan did very well with this wacky deck at the Pro Tour and I love it. Naya Tokens may be the craziest deck on this list, but it definitely has game against Mono-Black and U/W Control which not many decks can claim.

I love the Chord of Callings in this deck also and wouldn’t mind seeing a third one maindeck along with some other spicy targets. Chord is one of my favorite cards to play and this is yet another deck that can take advantage of it.

How you could build this deck without Elspeth, Sun's Champion is beyond me and I would not leave home without a couple copies. On top of being one of the best planeswalkers, she pairs so well with Purphoros, God of the Forge. This deck does look tight on space, but at the very least, the fourth Scion of Vitu-Ghazi has to be worse than the first Elspeth.

I would also be tempted to replace Polukranos, World Eater with Advent of the Wurm because I love casting Advent before Scion to create a sick board state out of thin air. Sure Polukranos is amazing but populating wurm tokens is a game winning sequence.

The sideboard for this deck looks extremely well crafted as well. It takes advantage of two different versions of Ajani which is awesome because they are helpful in completely different situations. It’s no surprise to me that this deck did well and it looks like tons of fun to play.

If you have the time, take a look at the rest of the successful decks from the most competitive Standard tournament this season. The pros know how to tweak their decks to get the most out of them and studying these changes is a great way to improve as a deck builder. Here’s the link. Click on the decks tab right under Ivan Floch’s trophy shot for the decks.

Standard Finance

Before I head out this week, I wanted to mention some movers in Standard. There are some surprising climbers from M15 that you should be aware of and some rotating staples that are worth noting their dip in price.

Let’s start with some cards that are worth more than they used to be.

Being the centerpiece of a Pro Tour deck is a great way to double your price overnight. I think Rabblemaster could retain his new price or even continue to increase a bit more, especially if he makes the transition to the next Standard format. You may be able to get some good deals on this guy still but even if not, I’d be looking to pick up at least a playset to hold on to.

Not many planeswalkers increase in price this soon after they are printed, especially ones which have been printed many times before. Apparently, the original Liliana is quite popular among many different types of players. Casual players love her for their commander decks and competitive players get their copies to jam right into Mono-Black Devotion. I’m not sure how much more room she has to grow; if you have extra copies, I would look to unload them soon.

Wizards threw us a curve ball this year by printing these reprints in the free starter decks but not in M15. Because of that, their value actually increased.

While I’m not surprised that the M15 versions are worth some money, I was shocked that the older version bumped up to match the new price. To top it off, it looks like the new price is sticking. Crazy as it sounds, you should probably be sorting through your old bulk rares or your local shops to find some copies of these cards before someone else does.

They are legal for Standard play and some players will actually want to try them out. I know I had to scour for copies of both of these cards to put in my case, so I assume other dealers will too.

Slivers may not be the most competitive deck out there but it is a popular one. Galerider Sliver gained some traction with the release of M15. Take advantage of the situation and pick up some underpriced ones. Make sure to move them quickly though because your window is probably short.

It’s no surprise that this card bounced back up a bit after declining for a while. When multiple versions of red decks start playing a card, its price tends to go up like this. The window on this guy is probably short as well but maybe not because these red decks will be good until rotation.

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Now we are getting to some cards that continue their downward trend. Every time I think Revelation can’t go any lower, it’s price drops more. This is a solid Modern card and worth getting a set if you don’t already have one. It may go lower yet, but I’m not sure how much lower it can go.

One of the most hated cards in Standard started as a bulk rare, peaked, and is now nearly back where it started. In case you haven’t heard yet, making Pack Rats is a viable Modern strategy. There are not a lot of decks that can answer your rat army if it gets going. Don’t move your set and when everyone else is unloading theirs, get more. I like this guy long-term quite a bit.

Oh Domri, you are dropping in price too? After nearly falling half of his value, Domri is showing no signs of halting his descent. This is another card I really like long-term because he is playable in Modern.

His playability is dependent on what the format looks like, but I’ve played him a lot in Kiki Pod to good success and seen him be quite potent in Green-Red Aggro. I say hold onto this guy.

Finally, we’ll round out our long-term specs with a powerhouse in the format. Once copies of this card dry up, his price will start increasing again quickly. He is a staple in the format and that’s not going to change anytime soon. Get as many copies of this guy as you can. The promo is especially undervalued so try to get some of those as well.

That’s all for this week. There’s been a lot happening in the Magic community lately and these are just some of the interesting changes. If you want to chat about these or any other Magic topics, I'm always available on Twitter.

Unleash the Force!

Mike Lanigan
MtgJedi on Twitter

9 thoughts on “Insider: PTM15 Standard and Finance

  1. Prices on magiccardmarket (or the story why EU speculators need to be careful!)

    I focus on English cards.

    * Goblin rabblemasters:

    Before the PT, they sold for around 1€. Now 1,5-2€.

    If you bought them, you can get shipping costs back, that’s all.

    * Liliana Vess:

    2€ before, now 3€.

    * Galerider Sliver:

    1,5€ before, 2,5€ after. Now easy to buy for less than 2€

    * Pack rat:

    1€ before, go up to 1,5€. Now again easy to buy for 1€

    * Legion Loyalist

    Sold for less than 2€ before, now around 2-3€.

    This weekend is GP Utrecht, Standard format. Utrecht is in the Netherlands, next to Germany, which is the base market for this site.

    You could see that influence on the site this week (pack rat was popular buy this week). There is also WMCQ this month, so demand is really visible.

    But as you see, you can’t speculate that easy on EU market.

    The site is protected against buyouts (you can’t go put all cards in basket, there is a max). You can pay and fill basket again. Also plenty of non english card stops cascade effect, because buy outs are not really visible.

    I like a stable market. This shows that the US market on mtg is very unstable and fragile.

    If a price jump is real, than you’ll see it on MCM. Best indicator.

    1. This is extremely interesting. Thanks for posting it. Maybe the answer is to trade into these cards and then move them once they spike. I know a lot of guys in the US do that a lot and it works out for them.

  2. No big deal, just thought I would mention that launch the fleet is also a creature producer, along with raise the the alarm. Launch the fleet is a bomb in this deck has won me a ton of games.

    Great article and thanks for the insightful information!

    1. No problem. I love writing articles that people get a lot out of. Yeah launch the fleet is a big part of this deck too. I feel like id always get blown out when I tried to cast it though. It is a very strong card though.

  3. What do you think about Stormbreath Dragon in the Jund Walkers deck as an additional threat? Also, Liliana Vess is another walker that could be decent for the control matchup.

    1. I dont think Stormbreath is what jund walkers is looking for. Polukranos might work because he is a creature and a removal spell all in one. Stormbreath is a great threat but doesn’t help control the game so it doesn’t seem like it would fit here. I think Liliana Vess would make a great addition main or board but only one or two copies total.

    1. I think all three of those cards are great long term holds. Ooze is more accepted as a staple but there are likely as many copies of all three of those cards at any tournament. They’re all good in modern. Thanks for mentioning voice though. It was supposed to be in the article and I forgot about it. I like voice maybe the most of the three because it’s played in one of the best decks, melira pod, as well as in other decks too.

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