Alright, so if I don't jam this in here, I may never get to it. Let's start with the Fate Reforged booster box cracking!
I bought two boxes at a local store for $100 each, with 7% sales tax
Total = $214
BUT! They offer a points program, so I get 10% off a future purchase.
Total = $194
My main comparison in doing this is against the alternative of just buying the singles I would want out of this set, so I'll subtract the "keep cards" from my total cost at the price they were selling day one.
- Torrent Elemental - $4
- Flamewake Phoenix x2 - $8
- Mardu Strike Leader x2 - $4
- Soulflayer - $3Bloodstained Mire - $11
- Polluted Delta - $16
- Wooded Foothills - $12
- Windswept Heath - $14
Subtotal = $78
Total = $ 116
My favorite outlet for new cards is Pucatrade, but this time around I was not hitting as heavy as I usually do. Since release, I've shipped the following cards:
- Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 3243
- Alesha, Who Smiles at Death 244
- Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury 179
- Dromoka, the Eternal 155
- Atarka, World Render 150
- Yasova Dragonclaw 157
- Silumgar, the Drifting Death 172
- Ghastly Conscription 164
- Daghatar the Adamant 68
- Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 3108
- Frontier Siege 137
- Yasova Dragonclaw 157
- Yasova Dragonclaw 157
- Tasigur, the Golden Fang 466
- Monastery Siege 248
Subtotal = 8805pts ($88)
Total = $28
Beyond that, we're into binder grinding.
- Temporal Trespass for 3x Frontier Siege ($3) - $9
- Crux of Fate x2 ($5) - $10
- Warden of the First Tree - $5
- Brutal Hordechief - $6
- Soulfire Grandmaster x2 ($15) - $30
- Shaman of the Great Hunt x2 - $12
Total = +$44
Things to factor into the equation: I still have a number of rares left, some of them are even playable, though many are not. Plus I have a playset of commons and uncommons.
What you can also see is some uncertainty--like shipping a Tasigur under $5, then shipping Frontier Siege before reacquiring.
I thought Tasigur was pretty sweet, but Legendary creatures at rare have a long history of being unable to hold any value. Going forward, I think Tasigur might break this mold as he is an absolute lightning rod. Having more than one copy is rarely going to be a bad thing.
Frontier Siege was card that I thought had potential, but I followed the crowd and shipped it while it was still worth more than postage. Then I saw it in action and had to give it a shot. In the same deck as Tasigur.
Overall, I'm happy that I got my money back out of my boxes, but this set overall didn't produce the results I am used to. Part of this is the lack of a Standard Pro Tour accompanying release, as well as the trend towards people just buying more sealed product.
Factoring in inflation, Magic sealed product gets cheaper and cheaper every year as the retail holds onto that $3.99 pack price that we've seen for more than a decade. $100 for a booster box just is not as substantial a cost as it used to be.
If you somehow haven't heard, there was a Pro Tour this weekend in Washington, DC and the format was Modern.
This is about the time in Thragtusk's lifespan that it started climbing from perpetually $6 to the highs of $20 we saw towards the end of its reign. The key difference here is that Siege Rhino is seeing serious play in Modern and even fringe play in Legacy.
Yes, I lost to Siege Rhino in Legacy, and yes I muttered profanity under my breathe.
This weekend at the SCG Regionals in Columbus, we could not keep Siege Rhino in stock and our neighbor bumped their buy price to $5, signalling an incoming price hike on this multi-format staple. If you don't own your playset, now's the time. If you like hording cards that are likely to have a strong demand for a long time to come, now's also the time.
While there are multiple flavors of Abzan, they all share the inclusion of Gavony Township, a card that is probably still underpriced at $3. It's only a matter of time for people to figure out that this card is going to be a force in Modern until creatures are no longer legal.
Township isn't "exciting" because it's just a land that doesn't even make colored mana, but it's been a solid role player for a long time and it's price doesn't reflect that.
What about cards that are not as obvious but still could see some movement based on Abzan's success?
[cardimage cardname="Lifebane Zombie"][cardimage cardname="Maelstrom Pulse"]
Abzan was piloted by roughly 25% of the field at the Pro Tour, so if things get incestuous in Modern, I expect to see the metagame getting fairly inbred as this deck grows in popularity. There really just isn't a great way for these decks to interact with Siege Rhino.
Enter Lifebane Zombie.
LBZ also shores up the Wilt-Leaf Liege shenanigans we've seen come out of Jacob Wilson's version of this deck. Other benefits? Lifebane Zombie is shockingly cheap right now.
Maelstrom Pulse is already one of the most flexible removal spells ever printed, resting solely on it's ability to destroy virtually anything. But the proliferation of tokens makes this card even more important in a field where one for one removal spells simply can't function.
Voice of Resurgence is another piece of tech coming out of Jacob Wilson's deck that we can expect to see some movement. Voice has been tragically underplayed in Modern, despite the field being ripe for crapping out elementals like a rabbit craps out Cocoa Puffs. While I expect Voice's price to move upwards at a glacial rate, I do expect it to rise over time.
[cardimage cardname="Amulet of Vigor"] [cardimage cardname="Primeval Titan"]
It's likely that by the time you're reading this, we've already seen Amulet of Vigor being bought up and the prices raised. This one-time bulk rare has been on the cusp of a breakout performance for years and has finally made it to the big stage.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the Amulet of Vigor deck is still pretty terrible. Amulet decks are the Goblin Charbelcher of Modern. Given enough time, the deck will eventually and periodically put up a good performance, but it is by no means a Tier 1 deck.
I would sell into any price spikes related to this deck.
Snapcaster Mage is likely the only strong speculative target in the Twin decks. Tiago's invitational card has been riding the bench for a few months now as Treasure Cruise usurped the blue Mage's role as the go-to card advantage engine in blue decks.
Snapcaster has been called back from layoffs and is back on the job. I tweeted out Saturday night about rumors that a buyout was underway.
While I don't see any real evidence of that as I'm writing this, I do expect Snapcaster to quickly regain his $35 price tag and start climbing from there, though I would be sure to get off this train before Modern Masters III gets announced.
This last weekend I worked for Two Headed Games at the SCG Regionals in Columbus.
As you're working larger events and talking with the other vendors, you see some micro trends occurring in real time. There were two cards we were asked about time and time again over the weekend (aside from Siege Rhino).
The first is Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, especially in foil.
We could not keep this card in stock and saw very few available for purchase throughout the day, and there were a number of people looking for these in foil. With the prerelease promo cresting $200, it's obvious this card has struck an emotional core in the player base.
The second card we were selling hand over fist is Shaman of the Great Hunt.
We sold every copy we brought with us and every card we bought, with many more asking for this card.
With SotGH being a mythic rare, its price is going to be less elastic. So if this card becomes popular, expect it to quickly reach $20. As the results roll in from the various SCG Regional tournaments, keep an eye out for this card to have a breakout weekend or fall flat on its face. Act accordingly.