It should be no surprise to anybody that there is a lot of hype going on right now surrounding Eternal Masters, Legacy GP Columbus, and eternal Magic in general. It seems unlikely that demand and interest in eternal cards will get any higher this year (with the lone exception being maybe Eternal Weekend) than it is going to be right now.
Assuming my assertion is indeed true what do we do with this information? As investors, collectors, and financiers how do we make a few bucks?
The majority of the action is going to surround fluctuations in Legacy prices that arise as a result of metagame changes from Grand Prix Columbus. So, I'd say the best way to make money on Legacy cards is to predict what will be hot at the Grand Prix.
I've been testing Legacy for the past two weeks and I'm just going to assume that the decks I think are good are, in fact, good.
The other criterion that I'm going to use to predict Legacy winners is more out there but I think it may be useful. I have affiliations with RIW Hobbies and I'm also known to have a rather large eternal collection. As a result of both of these factors a lot of people have been asking me to borrow Legacy cards to play in the Grand Prix. It seems fairly accurate that if a lot of people want to play with cards they don't have, those cards are in demand.
I guess the question is, "Are these cards that people want to play but don't bother to own?" Or, are these cards that people are going to borrow, enjoy playing with, and eventually invest in? Maybe a little from column A, a little from column B.
Far and away the cards that I'm getting asked for the most are Eldrazi cards. I've already written that I think the Standard-legal Eldrazi are underpriced at the moment because the demand is suppressed and the supply is kind of infinite. Reality Smashers and Thought-Knot Seers won't litter the trade binders of the random FNM kids forever. You can take that little ditty to the bank.
5. Ancient Tomb
Ancient Tomb is a busted Magic card. After Mishra's Workshop, Ancient Tomb is the heir to the throne. It is one of the most powerful land cards legal in Legacy. The other thing is that Ancient Tomb will never get worse and can only get better. They will never make another one like Ancient Tomb, but they will continue to make cards that go into Ancient Tomb decks!
For example, we didn't even know that we wanted to make Eldrazi-based Tomb decks six months ago but here we are two sets later being bombarded for requests to borrow Tomb. The joke is that the card is absurd in a way that Wizards knows is unacceptable for new cards.
Kai Budde won a World Championship with Ancient Tomb. Just saying. He knew...
Anyways, I think Ancient Tomb is the kind of card that I'd like to have some extra copies of laying around in the future. If only so that I can loan them to more of my friends so that they can enjoy a Legacy Grand Prix or Eternal Weekend! All joking aside, I think that Tomb is a really hot card right now.
I also think that the Expedition Ancient Tomb is one of the most underpriced Expeditions. It is the most impressive premium version of a card that doesn't have many foil versions. I think we'll see increasing demand for this card in the months and years to come.
4. Eternal Masters Foils
Star City Games isn't even offering these cards for preorder...? I'll take that as a sign that these cards are preordained to be $$$. In particular, eternal staples that don't have prior foil printings are going to be absolute madness!
I mean, even I want to pick up one of these for my personal collection and I typically don't care about this kind of stuff. The Danger Room needs one... However, that should show you the kind of demand that these types of cards are going to have. We already know the print run for Eternal Masters is on the low side. I don't think the supply is going to meet the demand on these cards.
The price on unique Conspiracy foils are an indicator that this low-print, eternal foil stuff can reach great heights.
It also helps that the release will coincide with a Legacy Grand Prix, which means that lots of people are going to be converging on a very small supply of these cards at the same time before a tournament. The initial price is going to be outrageous! In fact, I believe the foils are the biggest reason to be buying and opening the set.
3. Miracles Staples
Miracles is the best deck in Legacy going into Columbus. It may not be coming out (in part due to people metagaming against the known top dog) but as of right now that's the consensus opinion.
Eldrazi is a great deck as well. It may be the case that Eldrazi is broken in Legacy and there is nothing Brainstorm and company can do about it. Personally, I never bet against Brainstorm and Sensei's Divining Top.
I will be playing Miracles and not Eldrazi.
I also think that Sensei's Divining Top being reprinted in Eternal Masters is a show of good faith that Top won't be getting banned in Legacy. It probably should be banned... But it is starting to feel like it won't be.
With that being said I think that buying in on some of the lower-priced Miracle roleplayers could be a smart move. Counterbalance is only $15 which seems low considering it has only been printed in bizarro-world expansion Coldsnap. Sometimes I wonder how any card in Coldsnap that sees constructed play isn't like ten times more expensive...
The other card I really like is one of the miracles themselves:
Terminus is a very impressive Magic card for a sub-$4 price tag. I get that it got a random reprinting in FTV: Irrelevant but the card is still gas. It is also reasonable to assume that at some point a library manipulation card will be allowed in Modern that will open the door for Terminus to a whole new generation of control mages.
The card is too good. I choose to be on it. IMO.
2. City of Traitors
Every card-slinger I know and all of their friends and their random uncle want to borrow City of Traitors for GP Columbus.
The reason is pretty simple: the card is great in Eldrazi-style decks and is really hard to find! Not to mention, it is on the Reserved List. Bonus.
Personally, I think the Eldrazi deck will be the new Mishra's Workshop deck of Legacy. It is up for grabs whether Eldrazi is the new Mishra's Workshop deck of Vintage at this point! I'm going to take the smart money and say Workshop is still the jam, but the Eldrazi are getting some serious work done in Vintage.
Nonetheless, Eldrazi are a big game in eternal and everything that falls in line with their plan for planar conquest is subject to gain some value in the short and long term. Based on the requests to borrow City of Traitors alone I think we are going to see some gains on this single in the next week. The Reserved List aspect makes it all but a done deal.
1. Dual Lands
Give me land, lots of land, lots of land.
Magic collecting starts and ends with dual lands. If you want to play eternal; If you want to play Commander; If you want to collect Magic, you need dual lands to play the game.
Dual lands are and always will be on the Reserved List, and so what is out there is all there is.
I don't know how much room there is to expand on $300+ Underground Sea and Volcanic Island but I think the lesser duals are great investments. If you think about it, most of the powerful new cards that see print don't fit into the mold of "Legacy blue cards." Meaning it's likely the best new cards will create or fit into archetypes outside the established norms of the format. Look at Eldrazi! The archetype has nothing to do with Brainstorm and Ponder.
I wouldn't be surprised to see new Legacy printings in an upcoming Conspiracy or Commander product that make non-blue strategies better in the future. Thus the random duals with their significantly lower price tags could be very nice investments.
Speculating is always fun. What's more fun is actually getting to play some eternal MTG!
I'll be in Columbus this weekend jamming my Miracles against the field and enjoying every second of it. Be sure to say "hello" if you see me around. In any event, Legacy looks like a great place to be investing capital right now---especially with all of the interest that the GP and Eternal Masters look to bring in the coming weeks!
See you in Columbus!