Kelly Reid and I (Doug Linn) are here in Madrid, covering the Pro Tour for our Insiders! We're going to send you the financial news that you need as it's unfolding on the floor of the PT. This is Standard, so we're expecting big breakout decks and card price swings over the weekend. We will be periodically sending out updates. You'll have them emailed to you; we'll tweet about updates; and we'll post them here. No matter how you get your updates, you'll be able to find them.
We are here to help you. That means that we will research the stories that you want to know about. You can ask us questions on Twitter or on the forum thread (or at the bottom of this page) and we'll answer them for you!
Useful links for the weekend:
Our Twitter feed (no financial stuff posted there since it's public)
The QS chatroom (usually gets started up as Constructed starts)
Our Twitch commentary with Chaz and Ryan
All the drafts are done and it's Standard from here on out. There are definitely some new faces at the top tables. Some people 0-3'd their drafts and packed it up, while others shot up to the top after strong performances this morning. Here are the notes from Kelly and me:
- GB Aristocrats is almost certainly going to be in the T8. Cryptolith Rites is at $5.50 right now and I hate to say this, but that's probably underpriced. We watched LSV beat Jund in three games. In game 2, he was at 1 life, dead to rights, then got Westvale Abbey flipped and knifed out a win. Game 3, he used Rites and Duskwatch Recruiter to gob up his board. Without Rites, he would not have been able to chain Recruiters turn after turn. If you want to buy into this deck, I suggest getting Rites, with Abbey and Liliana if you want to be more flashy. Rites currently buylists for $4.50, so the spread is super slim.
- Hissing Quagmire is the card of the tournament as far as I'm concerned. It's $3 and it's everywhere. Jund, Abzan, Aristocrats, Petition. It's a 4-of in all of those and it has brutalized the battlefield. Not as flashy of a card, but this is poised to double in price soon.
- We saw a FASCINATING Esper control deck at table 5 that went on to win the match. We will be watching this as well. The crux was Narset Transcendent ($10) combined with cards like flip-Jace, Ob Nixilis and Sorin, Grim Nemesis ($20). It was utterly dominant in the game against R/W Eldrazi that we watched. The real test is whether it can contain Aristocrats. I really like Narset as a pickup IF the player is on the track to the T8. We will let you know about this when we know more. The deck also ran Anguished Unmaking ($5).
- Ruinous Path ($1.25) is everywhere. This is too cheap.
- At Table 3, we saw an Abzan Company deck triumphant over monowhite Humans. It was running Avacyn, Matter Reshaper, Catacomb Sifter, Eldrazi Displacer and Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim ($2). Ayli, in particular, is a great pickup. This is another deck we're keeping an eye on.
- Whether it's Abzan Company or the Esper deck, if they are on video coverage next round, be sure to pick up the cards we highlighted. Video coverage causes immediate spikes.
- Goblin Dark-Dwellers has made a respectable showing ($3.50) in RW Eldrazi, Jund, Mardu and R/B Control. It's a great card to get right now since the spread is so low, and good to stash away for later if you're into that as well.
More updates to come!
We have had the opportunity to watch a good deal of games with the G/R Goggle Ramp deck. It looks very good. There were three or four copies of it at the top dozen tables. Notably, the deck runs Draconic Roar and Dragonlord Atarka on the high end. Here's our rundown of the value cards in the deck and where we think they'll end up.
Traverse the Ulvenwald: a key card at the moment. $4, which seems to be the upper limit on it.
Dragonlord Atarka: This has seen prices as high as $30 before. At $10 now, it's probably at its peak price unless it gets into T8 contention.
Drownyard Temple: At $2, this is priced at about where new playable rares end up. I think it could go up to $5, though. It's a good roleplayer card in the deck.
Pyromancer's Goggles: What may have looked cute last week has proven its power now. They sit at $8, but I predict these will hit $25-30 with a T8 showing. Sounds crazy, but Chandra is sitting at $28 now. People like to turn Magmatic Insights into Ancestral Recalls.
Fall of the Titans: I love this card at $0.50 right now. I got to see a fireball for 16 wrap up a game. It's respectable in the ramp deck even without surge. This is a good "penny stock" play if you want one.
Kozilek's Return: I have seen a ton of these in the Ramp decks. I'm a little less confident on it going forward because there are a lot fewer Humans decks. On the other hand, it sweeps up the Nantuko Husk decks nicely. It's $5.50 right now. It preordered for $25, but I don't believe anyone actually paid that price. Still, a good card. It should be $10 soon enough.
World Breaker: Also at $6 right now. This has seen a dramatic price increase so far and shows no signs of stopping, due to being the cornerstone of the ramp deck. The Breaker is a mythic, so I also think this should see $10 soon enough.
After Round 1 of Standard, we sat down with Matthew "Ogre" Stevens of Troll & Toad, who is one of the two vendors on site here at PT:SOI.
Ogre took the time to talk us through the cards that sold well last night and this morning. Here are a few of the highlights:
Nahiri, the Harbinger ($11) was unexpectedly popular at the dealers, and as our previous email stated, she's showing up in force. Her price hasn't moved yet.
The new Avacyn was flying out of the case, even priced at €50 (about $55 US). TNT sold every copy they brought. It's being called the best card in Standard, and at that crazy price tag, it had better be! Can't say there's any financial upside here, but it's good to be aware of what's moving.
Secure the Wastes ($10) was among the Big White cards that were popular. This card is a known quantity and already fairly expensive for a DTK rare.
Westvale Abbey ($11) was also hot on the floor, which is no major surprise. The card's as good as advertised!
Tireless Tracker ($6.50), a personal favorite from the QS Cast, sold out as well. This was one of our early picks from SOI, and it's great to see it panning out.
Despite its crazy high price tag, Declaration in Stone ($13) was selling like mad. "Swords to Clueshares" is shaping up to be a defining removal spell of the format and is positively everywhere.
Due to its usage in the Bant and GW decks that have been enjoying unusual success, Fortified Village ($4) outsold all the other SOI Duals combined.
A tremendous number of the commons and uncommons from the White aggro decks were selling in great quantity as well. Cards like Consul's Lieutenant, Gryff's Boon and Town Gossipmonger were among the array of non-rares that saw unusually high demand in the hours leading up to the PT.
For a more exhaustive list of important cards at this PT, check out this list in Trader Tools I put together.
Round 2 notes!
A CFB player was playing against a VERY interesting looking UW Eldrazi deck at Table 2. I didn't see who won but it went to three games. The player used Eldrazi Displacer to super-power a Whirler Rogue and adroitly contain a Nantuko Husk. They are about $3.50. I am going to keep following that player throughout the day to see his record.
Thought-Knot Seer is another fine target if the deck heats up.
Sphinx of the Final Word is this set's dumb blue finisher. It's at about $1.25 in paper right now and I think it's a good pickup later in the day if Esper Control continues to do well.
If you missed out on Dark Petition and Seasons Past from our previous email, we still think Nissa's Renewal is a great pickup. It's less than $0.50 right now and it's an engine that powers up both G/R Ramp and the Dark Petition deck.
Ruinous Path is another great card to get right now. It is not Hero's Downfall, but it doubles as a kill condition in a ton of these slower decks. Jon attacked with an Awakened land to finish the match in the last round. It can be had for $1.25 right now, and I advocate getting a set or two. It won't see as fast a price hike as Dark Petition, but it's still a fundamental rare-level card.
The CFB Husk deck also runs Liliana, Heretical Healer. She is already $20 though. If you want to get some, get them because you need to complete a set and want them before they go up in price.
No Thing in the Ice anywhere.
Only a few Humans at the top tables.
Round three is starting, back later!
2:24pm Local time, still in Round One
BIG news, big decks. The people who said that Standard was just Humans were woefully mistaken.
- A significant group of players are on a Dark Petition deck. It's G/B with Hissing Quagmire, tons of removal and Kalitas. The Petition lets them find and cast big spells. It's $1.25 right now. I suggest buying a ton. The other sick thing the deck does is play Seasons Past ($2). I saw one HOFer get back six cards with it. Yikes. Kelly reports that they are also playing some quantity of Nissa's Renewal. It's 50 cents, which is also a great price to buy in on. We're just unsure of how many copies they run.
- Dark Petition loops with Seasons Past to infinitely regrow cards, by the way.
- Kelly also saw Read the Bones, Infinite Obliteration, Duress, Transgress the Mind from the Petition deck, too.
- GB Aristocrats is still around.
- Nahiri is surprisingly common. $11 is a kind of high price on it, but we've seen that Chandra has a ceiling of $27 - so Nahiri can rise. RW Eldrazi is playing it.
- A good number of Eldrazi Displacers.
- No Hangarback Walkers.
- Lots of Plains, obviously. Many people are still using Humans.
- Very few Goggles decks.
- We've spotted a few Demonic Pact decks. The players were using Crush of Tentacles to reset the board and the Pacts. They were at lower tables, but still worth knowing about.
- Narset and Sorin are in the Esper decks. Not that many actual Dragons in play, though.
- One of the Euro pros is running G/R aggro with Fall of the Titans in it.