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Insider: MTG Stock Watch for 8-23-15

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Welcome back, readers! It's been a while since I did one of these articles so I felt I was due for another one. Given the shakeup in the actual stock market recently this seems even more apropos than usual.

Winners

#1 Cloudstone Curio (+193.9%) - This is our biggest gainer the past week, almost all of it thanks to SCG Charlotte and Mr. VanMeter's deck tech. This card allows an Elves player to repeatedly cast one-drop elves and untap their Nettle Sentinels each time. With three Sentinels, a Heritage Druid, and any other one-drop elf, you can make infinite mana with the Curio in play.

The problem is that without Ezuri, Emrakul, Craterhoof, or Genesis Wave in hand you weren't really left with anything to do with said mana. Chris has solved this problem by including the full "tutor package" of Summoner's Pact, Weird Harvest, Evolutionary Leap, and even sideboard Chord of Callings.

curio

#2 Shatterstorm (+26.6%) - With the recent success of the Grixis decks in Modern, it's not surprising that they would look to pick up another answer to Affinity (though they already have Kolaghan's Command for targeted removal with upside). Shatterstorm provides a nice wrath effect against Affinity in red (though I did not see this one show up in either of the SCG Open top 32 Grixis Control decks).

This price bump is specifically related to the Sixth Edition printings and further investigation shows a very limited number available on TCG Player. The card has too many printings (including some at uncommon) to indicate a likely buyout, but this could be a good example of a more obscure card that just doesn't end up for sale that often, so when a few cheap copies are purchased the average price goes up dramatically.

shatterstorm

#3 Darkness (+17.3%) - This was a relatively obscure card for a long time. It was highlighted on camera a while back with the Mono-Black 8-Rack decks, which since then have fallen into relative obscurity. Reviewing this past weekend's SCG Open lists I did not see any reference to this card in either the Grixis Control decks or the Lantern Control (piloted by Ali Antrazzi).

darkness

#4 Anger of the Gods (+14.9%) - This three-mana wrath has been showing up more and more in Modern as a way to combat Voice of Resurgence, Hangarback Walker, and ideally turn off one of Kolaghan's Command's modes (the Raise Dead one). This one isn't really showing up in the Grixis decks (as it wipes and exiles all their creatures), but it is showing up in Jund sideboards--so its demand is heavily tied to Jund's success on the circuit.

anger

#5 Birds of Paradise (+13.7%) - This is our second 6th Edition card to show bigger positive gains this week (the first being Shatterstorm). Birds has always been a relatively popular casual card. It hasn't been Standard-legal since M12 was in rotation, and looking over the SCG site we see they are sold out of most of their Birds of Paradise.

This one may continue to trend upward over the coming weeks as fewer and fewer become available or it is yet another example of a small number of cards (specifically 6th Edition versions) available on TCG Player where a few cheap copies can cause an overall average price raise significant enough to be caught by MTG Stocks.

birds of paradise

#6 Ghostfire Blade (+13.6%) - When this card was first announced I know quite a few Affinity players who got really excited for it. Unfortunately, that never really panned out.

The addition of Hangarback Walker and Thopter Spy Network into Standard has brought new life into this spec target, by creating cheap colorless flyers. With the spoiling of cheaper Eldrazi, players also seem to be betting that Ghostfire Blade could be part of some Eldrazi-type deck when BFZ releases, so they are stocking up on their personal playsets.

ghostfire

#7 Evolutionary Leap (+11.1%) - When this card was first spoiled it was preselling near $10. Sadly, it hasn't really found a big home in Standard yet (though using it to sacrifice Deathmist Raptors when you're about to unmorph something does give green a pretty solid card advantage engine). It's also decent against spot removal and plays exceptionally well with Hangarback Walker.

However, the spike in demand is far more likely linked to Chris VanMeter's "Evolutionary Elves" list, which utilized this and Cloudstone Curio to eliminate the fizzling out problem some of the modern Elf decks are prone to, by making sure that you can keep playing elves and building up your mana before you drop something big/nasty (usually Emrakul).

leap

#8 Elvish Champion (+9%) - Though this is an elf, it was not featured in Chris's list. Interest may be due to the fact that it can serve as a trump card in the mirror, by making all your elves unblockable or simply because elves are a popular tribe and this elf lord hasn't been printed in a while.

Champion

#9 Goblin King (+9%) - Right below Elvish Champion we have a different tribal lord without a recent printing. I know a lot of people are trying to make a Goblins deck in Modern and it does seem to have a lot of potential, but I think the biggest thing holding it back currently is its limited ability to interact with the opponent. Unlike in Legacy, the deck lacks the land disruption (Rishadan Port/Wasteland) package that allowed the Legacy version to remain so powerful.

It is important to keep in mind that with the rise of Grixis Control and Jund decks in Modern, the overall percentage of decks with mountains is relatively high, so making your goblins unblockable can easily turn a stalemate into a win.

king

#10 Hunted Horror (+6.8%) - This is an interesting one, an incredibly undercosted creature with trample. The downside of giving your opponent two 3/3 green creatures with protection from black can easily be mitigated thanks to the recent token hosers printed (Illness in the Ranks and now Virulent Plague).

If you look at the graph you'll see it did go a bit haywire after Fate Reforged (when Dragons of Tarkir spoilers started hitting), so it's likely that brewers are working on something with this and Virulent Plague. The fact that Plague/Illness also happen to hose the Splinter Twin combo (even if they go for Deceiver Exarch it still has no power) gives the deck additional legs to stand on.

horror

Losers

#1 Tezzeret the Seeker (-34.9%) - While a good casual favorite, the recent reprinting in MM2015 (even at mythic) has clearly satisfied what little demand there was for this card. Though looking at the graph it does imply there may have been a glitch with the data collection software used by MTG stocks (hence the odd flatlines and immediate drops).

tezz#2 Temple of Epiphany (-34.1%) - When it first came out, this temple was expected to be the most valuable in the long run (just as Steam Vents is the most valuable shockland) due to the dominance of URx decks in Modern. However, it has yet to be adopted by any archetype, given there are so many other options. Any land that comes into play tapped in a format with a lot of turn four kills better come with strong upside--apparently scrying 1 just isn't enough.

I expect we'll see this one continue to trend downward as we near rotation until it floors (likely around the $3 mark). Reviewing the graph it appears there was a buyout of sorts on 8/18, but clearly it wasn't sustainable as the card is almost back to its pre-buyout price.

temple

#3 Null Rod (-27.9%) - If you ever wanted to see how Eternal Weekend can affect a card's price, we have the perfect example here. Null Rod is the most efficient way to turn off your opponent's Moxes/Lotus and it can be played in any deck. It saw a pretty big price hike leading into Eternal Weekend, but now that the weekend is over, it appears the buyers want to sell back out.

null rod

5 thoughts on “Insider: MTG Stock Watch for 8-23-15

    1. You are right…I looked it up and it’s showing up on a lot of MTGO Ad Nasuem decklists. Not all of them, but quite a few play 1-3 copies in the board.

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