Pro Tour Eldritch Moon will begin in a week, and pros converging to solve the metagame means big things for the financial markets. Their decks will be widely imitated, the winners bought and the losers sold. There’s always a ton of activity surrounding Pro Tours, and there’s little time left to prepare.
It would be great to know what the pros will play in advance, but we can make some reasonable assumptions. Here are the cards I feel are undervalued as we head into the Pro Tour.
The metagame before the last Pro Tour was also dominated by Bant Company, but the metagame adapted with ways to defeat it. G/W Tokens won the event on the back of a strong Bant Company matchup, but Spell Queller is troubling. It seems as if the best way to beat Bant Company and its Reflector Mages, and now Spell Quellers, is to go over the top, way over the top.
Brad Nelson did it with his Goggles Ramp deck. Pyromancer's Goggles is hard for Bant Company to deal with, and World Breaker gives them fits, especially with reach being better than ever now that they play Selfless Spirit and Spell Queller.
It’s no surprise the deck made Top 8 of the SCG Columbus Open, and I expect it to do very well at the Pro Tour. I like picking up its pieces, especially cards that won’t rotate this fall, like World Breaker. It has potential in other decks too, like as a Traverse the Ulvenwald bullet in a Sultai deck like Ali Aintrazi’s.
Planeswalkers have always given Bant Company issues, and now planeswalkers that cost five or more will be especially valuable. Using Chandra, Flamecaller to -3 to sweep their board of everything, including Spell Queller, while leaving a planeswalker behind is an extremely potent play.
Chandra, Flamecaller has applications in a lot of different decks, and I expect it to have a big showing at the Pro Tour.
Traverse the Ulvenwald
Traverse the Ulvenwald didn’t see much play when initially printed, but it was slowly figured out and began to appear in more and more decklists. Now Eldritch Moon puts it in the spotlight by providing more great delirium cards and the tools to support them.
Creatures define Standard, and Traverse the Ulvenwald provides access to them, including powerful situational cards that decks wouldn’t want to play many of (of which the new set has many). It finds both halves of the combo of Bruna, the Fading Light and Gisela, the Broken Blade for example, or Distended Mindbender or Ishkanah, Grafwidow, or old favorites like Dragonlord Silumgar or Dragonlord Atarka.
Traverse is already making a big mark in the new format, including two copies in Ali Aintrazi’s deck he took to second place in the Open. It’s also included in Goggles Ramp, so if that deck is played at the Pro Tour it will also drive demand upwards.
Thalia's Lancers is deceptively one of the most powerful cards in the new set. Searching the library is powerful, and the fact that it finds any legendary card, not just creatures, opens up more possibilities. An automatic inclusion in any deck with Thalia’s Lancers, for example, is Geier Reach Sanitarium, which allows it to find a land à la Trinket Mage for Darksteel Citadel.
A natural combination with Thalia's Lancers is the combo of Bruna, the Fading Light and Gisela, the Broken Blade---Ronald Ritner used this concept in his W/B Control deck to top-eight the SCG Open last weekend.
It’s reasonable to assume Diregraf Colossus's $2 price tag is entirely because of its casual appeal, a necessity in any zombie-themed deck. It’s a four-of in any Standard Zombie deck, so any serious competitive play would send this price upward.
I’ve scoured for decklists using the new set, and hidden among some results from Japan was a Zombies decklist by Yuuta Takahashi, a successful Japanese deckbuilder and well-connected pro. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him or his friends playing Diregraf Colossus at the Pro Tour.
Eldritch Moon has provided even more tools for graveyard decks in Standard, so if there is any time for Prized Amalgam to make a mark in the format it’s now. It’s certainly a staple in Zombies, so if that deck has a breakout at the Pro Tour the price is sure to rise.
I’ve also seen the card used in various non-zombie graveyard decks, even those without the mana to cast it---so I have high hopes for the card's competitive prospects once players figure out how to use the new tools available.
This card also has a ton of playability in eternal formats like Modern, Legacy, and even Vintage. It’s awesome in any format where Narcomoeba and dredge cards are legal, and will only get better with age. I like the fact that the floor on this card is high and will keep rising.
The value of creatures with converted mana cost three or less is obvious when the best card in Standard is Collected Company. The consensus best deck is Bant Company, and Bygone Bishop is a possible addition that is sure to see some play this summer as players test different iterations of the deck.
It’s also a potential staple for the Spirits deck, which will persist beyond rotation and breathe new life into the card, especially as the mana of the format shifts and three-color decks become more difficult to play.
I’m a big fan of investing in Magic real estate, especially Standard lands as seasonal holds. Once lands in a format rotate out, in this case the Battle for Zendikar lands next year, the remaining lands immediately become sought after as replacements.
All of these Shadows over Innistrad lands will become more played and more demanded, and the prices will rise. Now they are incredibly cheap and have room to double or triple, so they are great to get in any trade or with store credit, and safe buys even above buylist price. I’m especially fond of Port Town which is used in Bant Company and Spirits, and will always have casual promise as a blue nonbasic.