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Insider: Cashing in on the Summer Lull – Key Targets for the Coming Months

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We are finally settling into the Standard Summer Lull, which is actually the bread and butter for savvy MTG Finance individuals such as ourselves. Today I will discuss the singles that I think are “Grade A Prime Summer Lull” pick ups.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Summer Lull or refer to it by some other name, it is a consistent phenomenon where the prices of Standard singles reach their low-water mark. Obviously, we would expect to see a dip in the prices of the block about to rotate of Standard (in this case, Theros block and M2015), but the cards from the remaining block (in this case Khans) also tend to dip real low.

The reason is that people just aren't as amped up to play Standard in the summer months as they are in the fall and winter. Maybe it is because people are simply bored with the same old decks, maybe it’s because people want to go to the beach, or maybe it’s because people don’t know which cards will be good post rotation. But the trend is that Standard cards tend to dip in value during July and August on the advent of the new fall block release and then creep back up in value through the fall and winter.

Last summer, $8 Thoughtseizes, $2 Hero’s Downfalls, and $3 Sylvan Caryatids could all be had before these cards shot way back up in value after the release of Khans of Tarkir. There has been plenty written on the subject of the Summer Lull, so I’m not going to get too much more in depth about the why.

Instead, I’m going to focus on which cards I’d recommend specifically targeting in the here and now.

I’m always looking to gamble on the cards that I think are simply low and have nowhere to go but up. So, today I’m going to look at the cards that I believe have lulled to the point where I want to target them.

KHANS OF TARKIR

Khans of Tarkir is an awesome set full or really powerful cards. No matter what the up coming Zendikar block has to offer, it is pretty clear that many of the Standard mainstay cards will not be going anywhere.

MYTHIC RARES


$1.5 SCG 7-26

Phoenix is a Mythic Rare that has already seen considerable Standard play. I think that if there is a red deck, there is a good chance it plays this creature. It is competing with Thunderbreak Regent at the four drop spot, but remember that that type of deck is losing Stormbreath Dragon which may open up more spots for big red fliers.

It’s hard to miss at a buck and a half.


$1.5 SCG 7-26

Another Mythic Rare that is holding steady in the dollar range. The good thing about this card is that it is a Hydra (and a good Hydra at that), which makes it a good long term hold card anyway.

A lot of the go-to green fatties will be rotating out--making up the base of the Green Devotion decks--which will make room for new Green creatures to step up and fill the void. Hydra is a Morph which means it plays really well with Deathmist Raptor, Den Protector and Whisperwood Elemental, all of which will likely see a ton of play post rotation.


$4 SCG 7-26

Are there Eldrazis on Zendikar and would you like to put them into play for cheap?


$1.5 SCG 7-26

Sidisi is a fantastic Magic card and I think that she will certainly find a home if there is any kind of a graveyard deck post rotation.

The Delve spells are already the most powerful spells in the format, and this is a great card to go with them. I’d bet on graveyard synergies and therefore I would bet on Sidisi to be better than a $1.5 Mythic. Also of note, a bunch of two cost removal spells rotate out of the format, which could also make here more difficult to kill, thus better positioned.


$2.5 SCG 7-26

Elspeth, Sun's Champion is rotating out of the format. I predict that Siege Rhino will be good post rotation. Midrange decks need five drops and there is a very good chance this one will be quite good.

RARES


$0.50 SCG 7-26

In a smaller format, there is a lot more room for this card to be good. It is very powerful and it’s hard to miss at fifty cents.


$0.75 SCG 7-26

If Butcher has a deck, this card will also be in it. Awesome against Dragonlord Ojutai decks, which seem to lose very little.


$7 SCG 7-26

I get that this card is high compared to where it was in the spring, but I think it is the best card in the set and will steadily continue to rise in value. Finance people should probably just be stocking up on them. It is great in Legacy and Vintage and will be good for years to come.

There is also no chance this card isn’t insane in Standard post rotation. Every blue deck will play four as long as it is legal.


$0.50 SCG 7-26

I like betting on anything with “Morph” post rotation. Raptors and Den Protectors seem like they will be good almost no matter what. Haruspex could also go into a wide array of other decks, aggressive creature decks in particular.

I see a lot of potential in this card.


$0.75 SCG 7-26

Rider is one of the best cards in Khans block and practically any Jeskai deck will play this card. In fact, I think it is “THE REASON” to play that color combination.

Once again, at the low price there is no reason not to be picking these up and setting them aside for five months down the line.


$0.75 SCG 7-26

Two drops are always good and many of the best ones--Fleecemane Lion and Sylvan Caryatid--are rotating out of the format. The Abzan decks may been in dire need of a two drop and this could very well be the staple.


$2.00 SCG 7-26

Sylvan Caryatid and Elvish Mystic are out and this is the Mana Dork. He’ll be more than two in no time.


$ 0 .50 SCG 7-26

RUG can’t be bad forever, can it? Theros really didn’t have many cards that helped this color combination out, and now Rattleclaw currently remains as the best mana dork.

It also helps that “Knucks” is great with Collected Company


$3.50 SCG 7-26

It’s the best card in Standard and $3.50 is a joke price tag on this card. I know it is a promo, but the promos look terrible. There will be a ton of demand with or without the deck versions. I’m buying on this card at this price.


$1.00 SCG 7-26

Utter End gets a lot better because Hero's Downfall is rotating out of the format. Removal that can kill creatures or planeswalkers is awesome and this may be one of the last ways to do it post rotation. Once again, it plays on the same team as Rhino, which is also a bonus, since we can predict there will be a deck to play it.

FATE REFORGED

Let's look at more cards from Khans Block. Reforged is not as good of a set as Khans, which means the cards that are good are likely to command a high tag later on next season.

MYTHIC RARES


$2.5 SCG 7-26

Hordechief is a powerful Mythic that could go into a couple of different decks. He packs a punch in a token deck by virtue of doing the Hellrider dance and he is sweet in a Black or BW Warriors deck. He's too good of a card to have that low tag forever.


$1.5 SCG 7-26

It isn't that I think the card is amazing or anything, but that the price tag is so low. I'll almost always bet on cheap Mythic rares. I've seen this card played to success in Standard already, and I have to believe that a smaller format will open up more space for this card to be good.


$6 SCG 7-26

I've already made it quite clear that I like cards that play nicely with creatures that protect the den and creatures that live in Jurrassic Park, so it shouldn't be too surprising that I'm in on this card. $6 is not a lot for an awesome Mythic Rare.

RARES


$0.50 SCG 7-26

Most people don't even know this card exists, but it is quite good. It also brings back the new Jace, which is pretty sweet. At $0.50, I'll take a chance on a card that I think is powerful before a new set comes out.


$0.50 SCG 7-26

The Phoenix is a great card that has struggled to find a home in many of the aggressive decks. It is competing with Goblin Rabblemaster, which is one of the best cards in the format. It get's better when paired with Temur fatties, and Rattleclaw opens up a lot of space for new decks to be viable in those colors.

Flamewake could also be great fighting alongside cards like Thunderbreak Regent and Ashcloud Phoenix. When Chandra's Phoenix was good in Standard, it was a $3-$4 card and I see no reason why this creature couldn't have the same price tag under the right circumstances.


$0.50 SCG 7-26

A legendary Dragon that is constructed playble already? Yeah, better than $0.50. The problem with this card isn't that it isn't good, but that it is in the worst color combination possible in this Standard.

If BR or Mardu gets better, this card could see a lot of play.

DRAGONS OF TARKIR

MYTHIC RARE

ALL OF THE DRAGONLORDS

All of these cards are amazing Magic cards and will have sustainable long term value because they are giant, powerful Legendary Dragons.

The key is that they will likely all be fantastic in Standard post rotation. There are plenty of "helper" spells that reward you for playing with Dragons (such as Silumgur's Scorn, Foul Tongue Invocation and Draconic Roar) which makes these Mythics, which are already pushed in terms of power level, even better.

I've been trading for every copy of a Dragonlord I can get my hands on. For what it's worth, I think that Atarka might be the most over valued one right now because of how good it is in Devotion--all the others I think are currently a great value.


$1 SCG 7-26

Morph. Kills Rhinos and Dragonlords. Plays nice with Deathmist Raptor or in a Siege Rhino deck.


$1.5 SCG 7-26

Bile Blight and Lightning Strike both rotate out of the format at the same time. Both of those cards are huge issues that make playing Regent pretty unappealing. Icefall has the "Dragon Bonus", meaning it plays nice with Dragon themed cards and is quite powerful all on it's own.

~

Well, that is a ton of cards. It's hard to go wrong when most of the cards are reaching their bottom barrel prices simply because demand is currently at a low point. I'm taking this opportunity to really refuel and restock my trade binder with staples from Khans of Tarkir.

I guess it also goes without saying that fetch lands are good to be picking up as well, even though they are currently reaching peak prices despite the Summer Lull. I've been advocating picking up fetches basically since Khans of Tarkir came out. Ultimately, I'm always in the hunt for shocks and fetches.

However, the best value right now is likely to be many of these gems.

Happy hunting!

6 thoughts on “Insider: Cashing in on the Summer Lull – Key Targets for the Coming Months

  1. I like the Hooded Hydra best, it’s the one I think would be most likely to be at the lowest it’ll ever be. The others feel like their prices are mostly Standard based (though an argument could be made for the Dragonlords).

  2. I like hooded hydra best because it teams so well with Whisperwood elemental. However, buying into Grim Haruspex, Alesha, and Flamewake Phoenix wouldn’t be a bad choice because they are so low.

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