Welcome back, readers! It's been a while since I've done a Stock Watch article, but with the Pro Tour this past weekend, there were certainly some financial changes, though nothing as spectacular as we've seen before.
1. Ensoul Artifact (+330.4%) - With two U/R Ensoul Artifact decks making it into the Top 8 of PT Origins, it's no surprise that this card saw a big spike. The fact that M15 had only one chase mythic (Nissa, Worldwaker) means that many players weren't cracking M15 packs. Thus, this uncommon is rarer than usual. It plays really well with our #3 card too.
It is important to keep in mind that M15 rotates October 2nd, so this spike will likely start to rescind in the near term. If you have extra copies, I'd out them now and consider reacquiring after rotation (though this is the type of card that if it's reprinted will crash, like Smash to Smithereens).
2. Abbot of Keral Keep (+179.9%) - One of the other big winners from PT Origins, Abbot provides red decks with something they desperately need: card advantage. He's a pretty big upgrade from Ire Shaman, since it costs a full two mana less to get your extra card. While red burn decks proved to be a solid choice for this Pro Tour, they tend to get overshadowed quickly as the metagame shifts to beat them.
3. Hangarback Walker (+137%) - This guy is on a tear lately with three recent spikes (jumping from $2 to around $5 after the first SCG Open, then from $5 to $10 after the second, and now he's nearly $20). As good as this card is (and it is very good) it's not likely to sustain this price since Origins has plenty of chase mythics (including most of the new flip planeswalkers), and packs will continue to get cracked as players search for these treasures.
As a regular rare, I can see his price rescinding back to the $10 range within a few months. I hope that you picked up your personal playset back when they first came out (especially since sadly I passed on them).
4. Demonic Pact (+121.8%) - This was another PT Origins breakout card. It was featured prominently in a G/B Demonic Pact deck, which used Woodland Bellower to go fetch for Invasive Species to bounce Demonic Pact before it cost its owner the game. Several of our members jumped on this ship early and it proved to be a big gainer. The buylist has already jumped up above what you could buy them for on Friday/Saturday (it's at $6.50 as I type this), so you could out your copies for a decent 30% profit without any difficulty.
Personally, I love the idea of the deck, but it honestly seems rather gimicky, and as cool as the Pact is...paying four mana and not immediately affecting the board at all (or providing you with any actual advantage until your next upkeep) isn't where I want to be.
5. Null Rod (+66.8%) - This jump seems to be from a buyout. While the card itself is very good (namely it is brutal in Vintage against most decks and good in Legacy against artifact heavy decks), its lack of playability in Modern makes this an odd spike. Looking over various websites it appears that it has just been bought out completely. It is on the reserved list though, so it's likely this price will stick over the long term.
6. Riddlekeeper (+60.6%) - This card actually popped up on the QS forums late last week, as it appeared the internet was simply drying out of them. The spread on this guy is nearly 50% which means that either the stores haven't seen a strong increase in demand or they are just slow to react. This card is very much an EDH card and I've never seen it played in any other format, but it is extremely good against any weenie/token deck in that format.
7. See the Unwritten (+42.1%) - With Battle for Zendikar looming on the horizon it's not surprising to see a card that cheats in huge fatties (which are expected thanks to the latest BFZ spoilers) get a bump. This card was less than $2 at the beginning of the year and it has always had potential. Unfortunately, coming from Khans (which was heavily opened) means that there are still a lot of them out there, so the ceiling is quite a bit lower than a third set mythic.
8. Life from the Loam (Modern Masters) (+25.8%) - Lands variants have been on a tear on the SCG Legacy circuit recently (in Richmond they took two of the Top 8 spots), so it's not surprising that one of the cheaper cards (and the engine of the deck) is finally starting to see some movement. It's one of the few decks that can play the long game against Miracles (and do it well) and it helps that its card advantage engine keeps coming back, which makes counterspells less effective.
9. Thopter Spy Network (+23.5%) - Another big gainer prior to PT Origins, this is one of the key ingredients in the new Standard control decks (which love a hard-to-remove recursive threat that provides card advantage). We first saw it on camera at the first SCG Open in a U/W control shell and more recently it found a home in U/R on the Pro Tour.
10. Life from the Loam (Ravnica) (+21.7%) - As mentioned above, this card is the key engine piece in a strong Legacy deck. As this version started out more expensive than its Modern Masters counterpart, it's not surprising that the rise was slightly smaller.
11. Nissa, Vastwood Seer (+18.8%) - G/R Devotion decks are still a heavy amount of the current Standard metagame and this latest addition courtesy of Origins gives them both card advantage (by replacing herself with a land when you cast her) and is arguably the most powerful of the new flip walkers when you flip her.
12. Ojutai's Command (+18.1%) - This card's recent jump is primarily due to how well it plays with Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. When it was first spoiled it pre-sold for over $10 as many thought it was the second coming of Cryptic Command. They were wrong, but it's taken until now for everyone else to accept that it is better than many of us (myself included) originally thought.
13. Pia and Kiran Nalaar (+14.8%) - This is the card on my list that I honestly feel has the most room for continual growth. Even with its 14.8% increase in the past week it's still under $2.50 almost everywhere. It provides three bodies totaling four power for four mana (not ridiculous in this day in age, but in years past that would have been almost unthinkable). More importantly, two of those bodies have flying and Pia and Kiran even come with the ability to Siege Gang the tokens.
14. Jace, Vryn's Prodigy (+12.8%) - The most expensive card from Origins, this was originally one of the cheaper (and undervalued) planeswalkers from the set. QS's own Brian DeMars mentions in his article this week just how difficult it is to find these guys in trade binders, so it's not surprising that his value continues to go up.
However, it is important to note that zero copies made the Top 8 of PT Origins, so some of the demand may begin to wane. More packs will continue to get opened and $40 is typically the ceiling on most Standard mythics this day in age, so if you have any you aren't using, now would be a good time to unload them.
15. Obelisk of Urd (+10.9%) - This one is probably the most surprising...while it's jump the past week was relatively modest (10.9%), it sat around $1.25 for months and months. It saw a big jump after SCG Richmond when people realized how good it could be when your creature type was thopter (let alone that it could also turn on a Thopter Spy Network).
I'm sure some of you guys have noticed, I'm currently playing around with the formatting of this series--for example, this time I focused on the top 15 movers/shakers of the previous week, with a detailed breakdown of the reason for the movement (when known). I also didn't include the price graphs, which I have done previously (as I'm not sure exactly how much they add to the article, other than as a nice break from words). Please feel free to comment on what you like/dislike below so I can take your thoughts into account for any future formatting changes.
Thanks for reading!