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Insider: MTG Stock Watch for September 8, 2015

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Welcome back, readers, to another installment of MTG Stockwatch. I'll continue with the formatting change I implemented last time as I think it's simpler and cleaner then the previous ones.

Winners

1. Jwari Shapeshifter (+262.4%) - Ryan Overturf wrote a quick blurb about this buyout last week. It seems that the hype train regarding allies has left the station and this was the best option near bulk prices.

The allies spoiled so far don't really make the Allies archetype viable in Modern, but Shapeshifter does have several appealing factors going for it. It's a blue two-drop clone (we've seen how powerful Phantasmal Image was) and a rare from Worldwake, which outside of Jace, the Mind Sculptor, didn't really draw people to cracking a whole lot of packs at the time.

If Allies does become Modern-viable it's highly likely that this and Haribaz Druid (the other ally that got bought out) will find a home in the deck. I think that with the past weekend's success of Modern Slivers, there are brewers trying to do the same thing with allies.

2. Shaman of Forgotten Ways (+97.2%) - Last week we had See the Unwritten and this week we get Shaman of Forgotten Ways as our "BFZ Standard" hype gainer of the week. The main draw for this so far is that we haven't see any mana dorks in BFZ yet, and with Sylvan Caryatid and Elvish Mystic rotating out there will be very limited options in that department. The two best ones right now are Rattleclaw Mystic and Shaman of Forgotten Ways, with Honored Hierarch way behind in third place.

3. Animist's Awakening (+60.3%) - Here it seems another plant card for BFZ is gaining some traction. Animist's Awakening can be a powerful ramp spell as well as a source of multiple landfall triggers. The spell mastery aspect will be more difficult to muster unless you're playing a deck that gets most of its mana ramp from green sorceries (Nissa's Expedition, Explosive Vegetation, Nissa's Pilgrimage).

I like this card in the long run even as a much worse Genesis Wave in the casual EDH decks as it's less "must counter" and in big mana decks can thin your deck a good bit, making sure you draw spells more often.

4. Sedge Sliver (+56%) - I previously alluded to a Modern Slivers deck doing really well at SCG Cincinnati and this appears to be the biggest gainer so far (not that it's the only one or will be the only one). Sedge Sliver, and I think the archetype as a whole, actually has a lot going for it. We've seen powerful tribal decks are possible in Modern (Merfolk being the best example) and Slivers have even more synergy, at the cost of a more difficult mana base.

Sedge provides two things that weenie/tribal creature decks want--an anthem effect and protection from sweepers. Unfortunately, Sedge Sliver, Syphon Sliver, and Galerider Sliver were the only rares and of those Sedge is the only one not printed within the past two years.

The sideboard of the deck had a few more rare/mythic slivers, but none from sets before M14. As mentioned in our QS Insider email, Sliver Hive is one of the better options from the deck as it hasn't spiked yet, was a four-of and provides both mana fixing and an endless stream of 1/1 slivers.

5. Dragon Whisperer (+12.4%) - With rotation nearing, we know that mono-red aggro is often the first deck out of the gates in a new format. Dragon Whisperer seems to be a pretty safe bet to find a home in this style of deck as we'll lose Goblin Rabblemaster and Eidolon of the Great Revel. These formed the backbone of various incarnations of the deck over the last year and the void left by their rotation needs to be filled by something strong. The fact that this is a mythic from the third set means it has a lot of potential upside and limited downside.

6. Kor Spiritdancer (+12.4%) - With Seth Manfield taking down the Magic World Championship, it's not that surprising that one of the key cards of his Modern deck of choice (Bogles) would see a slight bump in price. With only eight nonland rares in the maindeck, the deck isn't that expensive for a strong Tier 1 Modern deck so it's more likely to draw newer players. The Spiritdancer acts as a key part of the deck's engine as it tends to sputter out if the first voltroned-up threat gets dispatched. The Spiritdancer allows it to reload and keep firing on all cylinders.

7. Zo-Zu the Punisher (+11.1%) - I'm honestly not 100% sure on this price movement. It's on the higher end of Mono-Red's converted mana cost spectrum in Modern, but it does have a powerful static ability that can serve as a good follow up to Eidolon of the Great Revel, and it punishes heavy fetchland decks greatly. It's also a Goblin which may be relevant for those trying to push the Modern goblins deck.

8. Evolutionary Leap (+10.4%) - This card originally was preordering for around $10 before it plummeted down to the $2 range. Many people call it the fixed Survival of the Fittest, though I personally don't believe it's even that; the card is a powerful form of card advantage in Standard (especially when used as an outlet for creatures that are going to die anyways). It does partner well with Deathmist Raptor as well.

9. Emeria, the Sky Ruin (+10.4%) - As mentioned in the MTGO section of our forums here, a Modern U/W Control brew has surfaced utilizing the power of Emeria, the Sky Ruin and Sun Titan to reach inevitability through indefinite recursion of threats. I haven't seen the deck in action, but the power level is there and the land itself has a deceptively powerful ability that is only mitigated by the steep cost of getting it online. If you can build an archetype that wants to get 7+ plains in play anyways, then it's just a powerful, uncounterable, manaless engine.

10. Jace, Vryn's Prodigy (+10.3%) - Jace has been tearing up Standard lately. It's amusing that the Origins planeswalker so many people wrote off (myself included) has proven to be the most powerful. With MTGO set redemption recently beginning we can expect to see all the Origins cards dropping slowly--however, I don't expect this one to see too significant a drop anytime soon.

Losers

1. It That Betrays (-15.1%) - The announcement of this card showing up in the Battle for Zendikar duel deck (Zendikar vs. Eldrazi) quickly erased the promise this card was showing. I expect further drops as more copies become available (especially since before the announcement this card was worth almost 70% of the duel deck MSRP).

2. Goblin Piledriver (-14%) - Goblins has yet to prove itself as an archetype in either Standard or Modern, so the preorder price of this Legacy Goblins all star started very high and has kept falling. Note that it's very low right now (near $3) which I feel is close to the floor. I may begin trying to pick these up in trade now.

3. Battlefield Forge (-12.9%) - This price drop is specifically related to the 10th Edition version which is finally starting to drop to be closer to the ORI/M15 versions. It still amazes me that the 9th/10th are still sitting on TCG Mid around $5 (on par with the original Apocalypse printing) when the ORI/M15 versions are closer to $1.25.

4. Day's Undoing (-12.2%) - This Origins mythic had tons of hype going for it when it was spoiled and preselling. People were trying to slot it into all sorts of aggressive "drop your hand" decks in Modern, but so far none have really panned out. The price is starting to catch up to the reality.

5. Demonic Pact (-12%) - This card is still falling after a brief spike following the Pro Tour caused it to almost double in price. This card's playability is entirely dependent on how many ways there are to get rid of it in Standard. The fact that it doesn't affect the board when it comes into play is another strike against it. I'm not a fan of this one and I imagine it will continue to drop.

6. Languish (-11%) - This card, on the other hand, I feel is the polar opposite of Demonic Pact. Come rotation, Standard loses two of its best three-drop mass removal spells (Anger of the Gods and Drown in Sorrow) leaving us with Seismic Rupture, which is a worse Pyroclasm. Languish kills a good portion of the current field, though I imagine if we see an Eldrazi-heavy environment its stock will continue to fall. This card is best in a deck that doesn't play a lot of X/4s (similar to how Crux of Fate is really good in a dragon deck).

7. See the Unwritten (-10.6%) - This is the price correction after last week's spike. The old price was likely an overshoot (as it actually became the most expensive non-fetchland in Khans) and here's it has fallen back down a bit as the hype has slowly drifted back. I still love the card moving forward and can't wait to play it in Standard, but this card was once $2 and has always been pretty amazing in many EDH decks.

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