Pro Tour Origins was my second PT, and while I didn't go 11-5 to round up another PT invite, it was still a great experience. Vancouver is a beautiful city, and Magic Origins is a set that I enjoy very much. While I was playing, most of you were probably keeping an eye on the value of Standard cards. Unsurprisingly, stock in Origins has gone up. Let's talk about where those numbers are heading.
Hangarback Walker has dropped off a bit after a big price jump due to PT hype, but appears to be back on an upswing. I've said before that I like this card, and expect it to be worth money for as long as it's Standard legal. Even with a $15 price tag, the spread on this card is a scant 21%. At the time of this writing, Card Kingdom is buying up to 346 copies of Hangarback from $13 each. This is the Goblin Rabblemaster of Origins.
I played the Thopters deck at the Pro Tour, and Hangarback was the only card that was great regardless of drawing anything to synergize with it. As an artifact, it's a card that anybody can play, and I've become convinced that more decks should run it. Expect to play with and against this card for as long as it's Standard-legal.
I was expecting Abbot to jump, I was not expecting it to jump this much. Abbots could have been preordered for $2-3, which left me identifying them as a trade target rather than a buy. Card Kingdom is now buying over 400 of them at $6 a piece.
Red is going to lose some tools with rotation, but it will still be a force. That said, I don't like Abbot as a long-term hold. I'd keep a set for Standard play, but Abbot doesn't fit into a wide range of decks, and Standard-only burn deck rares don't usually command very high price tags. If you're sitting on these, I'd try to ship them quickly.
Here's another great red card with a high buylist price. Once again, we're looking at a Standard-only card. The fact that Exquisite Firecraft has the ability to not be countered means that it has some casual appeal, but for the most part this is just another Standard rare that will tick down after everybody gets their copies. This is another sell.
The verdict is in, and this card is good in Abzan, with a couple copies showing up in some of the G/r Devotion lists. This card will likely see Standard play as a two- to three-of in a couple decks for as long as it's in Standard. Nissa could see a bump if green decks become completely dominant, but for the most part I see her holding steady in the $20 range.
Jace saw his breakout performance in Matt Tickal's Abzan Rally deck, and could be seen in a number of U/B Control decks at the PT. Jace's price really took off a couple weeks ago, but has cooled down to about $25. Searing Blood is a big barrier to Jace's success currently, but we now know that Jace is great, and should expect to see him show up as a four-of throughout his time in Standard.
I could see Jace dropping a couple more bucks as we build up to Battle for Zendikar, at which point I start to like him as a buy. There are very small diminishing returns on this two-mana walker due to his looting ability, and a Jace/Dig Through Time deck could pretty easily become dominant and launch Jace back into the $30 range. I'd watch this guy.
This week I saw a Modern player cast a mana dork into Liliana into Fulminator Mage. That was sweet. At the end of the day, Liliana looks more like a Modern card than a Standard card, but there's a chance that Liliana could show up in more Standard decks, likely in conjunction with Collected Company.
Liliana is on a heavy downswing, and I don't expect it to level off just yet. I could easily see her dropping to around $10, at which point I'd look at picking up some copies. She's very powerful, but what she needs is a solid home. I'm not convinced that we fully understand this card yet.
Speaking of cards that we haven't figured out, Demonic Pact is a card that my team desperately wanted to break, but which we didn't feel we had the time to. In the decks we played it in, it performed very well whenever it was drawn. It just so happened that the decks themselves were pretty lacking. There were a number of different builds with a number of different reasons for this, but at the end of the day I'm not ready to dismiss the card.
Pact is dipping back down, which isn't surprising without great PT results, but I recommend picking up copies while it's around $5. Somebody will break this given enough time.
It's hard not to talk about Origins without talking about Languish. That said, it's not a very interesting card to talk about. I imagine its price will float between $5-10 for the next year, and it will generally be a great card to have in your trade binder. Considering that there are already great X/5s in Standard, it's tough to imagine Languish being just completely dominant, which is a good thing for Magic.
Tragic Arrogance was in the Abzan build that most of my team played at the PT, and it was great against decks like U/R Thopters and G/r Devotion. The common thread there was that these decks play some great cards and some garbage cards. Arrogance is pretty tragic against things like Mono-Red and Abzan mirrors, but it definitely has applications. I see this card as being a player, if only a minor one, during its time in Standard. There's no way that it should be a bulk rare.
I've been hyping this card for a while, and recently it picked up from $2 closer to $3. I've only come to like this card more over time, and Hangarback Walker is yet another reason. It both makes your Walker bigger, and stops theirs from triggering. You also need to be doing something on three when Courser rotates, so there's some food for thought. She'll minimally triple during her time in Standard.
This last one isn't a Standard card, but it's worth talking about. There's not really anything going on for this one as a Standard card, but it's starting to see small amounts of play in Legacy and players who have been testing it in Affinity have reported that it's insane. This card is approaching its floor one way or the other with such a low price point, and will inevitably catch somewhere and spike.
Magic Origins has delivered as Magic's final core set. There are a lot of tournament-playable cards with many of them having non-obvious applications. Hopefully you've already picked up your Hangarbacks, but there are plenty of other routes to make money.
Thanks for reading.
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