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Insider: MTG Stocks – Evaluating Recent Gains

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Welcome back, readers! I used to do a semi-regular series reviewing the cards that had gone up on MTG Stocks. Then I had a bit of an epiphany that telling everyone what had already gone up is akin to telling you what stocks were great pickups a week ago. Sure, it might be informative, but it isn't all that useful.

So this time we're going to try a new idea. Not only will we review the cards that have seen the most growth recently, but we will look at cards that likely belong in the same type of deck. When one card spikes, it often creates demand for another card that goes in the same deck (especially if they are combo pieces).

This also means that the information is a bit more time-sensitive, so I will be mentioning the date of review for each pick. All are from the last week or so.


Date: 5/24/17

Here we have a solid Commander card that also sees some Legacy play. Looking at EDHREC, it appears the card has jumped considerably as of recently. Two of the top commanders that play this card are from the 2016 Commander decks: Atraxa, Praetors' Voice and Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis, though it looks like the main driving force is Karametra, God of Harvests.

This is a single-printing rare from Onslaught and there are only 19 nonfoil copies listed on TCGplayer as I type this up. This card sat at $5 for a long time and I rarely found people willing to trade it, so I picked up a few extra copies from the heavily-played section at a GP last year. What I like most about this card is that it's part of an engine based off Verduran Enchantress (which has been printed into oblivion, so she's not the best target).

Instead, I like Argothian Enchantress which ends up in about 75% of the decks that play Enchantress's Presence. It's original printing is even older (Urza's Saga) and its only major reprint is from Eternal Masters at mythic. The Eternal Masters foils are particularly interesting as you can buy them for less than two times the regular version, and again it's a foil mythic (I picked up two myself for under $9 each).

The other card I could see moving is foil Starfield of Nyx, which is a gorgeous foil and a mythic from Origins.


Date: 5/24/17

The movement on this card is a lot less than that of Enchantress's Presence, but it is up almost 7% (6.72% to be exact). Corbin Hosler highlighted a Modern deck using Grand Architect and some other cheap blue creatures to quickly power out artifacts and dump your hand. While this deck hasn't proven itself on any big stages, there are a lot of cheap cards in it that would likely see significant increases should the deck actually break out.

If you want to bet on that happening, my top choices are Chief Engineer and Lodestone Golem, both of which are played as four-ofs in the Grand Architect deck.

Engineer is a bulk rare with only the M15 and Commander 2016 printings (though personally if I was going to spec on this one, I'd aim for the Game Day promos which are sitting under $2 and look really cool). Lodestone Golem was printed in Worldwake, Modern Masters 2015, and Archenemy and despite being strong enough for Vintage Shops decks, is basically a bulk rare currently.


Date: 5/24/17

Here we have another older rare (from Mercadian Masques) yet to be reprinted that provides a very powerful static ability. One thing I really like about this card is that I haven't seen many players use it despite the power level. To me that hints that a lot of players aren't aware of it.

One of the commanders mentioned on EDHREC with this card was Sram, Senior Edificer, which sounds like an interesting build-around-me commander.

However, the most popular general for this card is Daxos the Returned (which unsurprisingly got a bump with the printing of Anointed Procession). For Daxos decks I like foil Extinguish All Hope. The card is currently played in 57% of the decks, has strong synergy, and is from a third set (Journey into Nyx).


Date: 5/28/17

This is clearly a spec based on expected demand for Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons and it is a Reserved List rare. We've seen quite a few -1/-1 counter cards spike recently, and this is just the next in line. While this card sees play in some of the Hapatra decks, it's currently sitting at only 30% of decks submitted so it doesn't seem to be an auto-include.

The ability is powerful and I think the fact that it's on the Reserved List helps a lot. However, it does kill Hapatra after two turns (barring some way to remove the counters from her). Having built this deck myself, I can say you really want to keep her on the field.

I actually like Midnight Banshee as a spec a lot more. Thanks to its recent reprinting in Modern Masters 2015, you can pick up foils for under $1 (especially when the Shadowmoor foils are four times as much).


Date: 5/28/17

This spike occurred because of the unconfirmed spoiling of cards people think are in the new Commander 2017 decks, specifically all the Dragon-themed cards. As of writing these spoilers are still not confirmed, but that didn't stop people from speculating on them being real. If they are, then we are likely to see a resurgence in demand for Dragon-themed cards as players look to build around the new cards.

Zirilan of the Claw is on the Reserved List and has a powerful ability in Commander (tutoring is always powerful; repeated tutoring is even better). However, note that we've had a good five-color Dragon commander (Scion of the Ur-Dragon) for quite some time now, and Zirilan of the Claw often does not make the cut in the 99.

Because of this I believe this is a hype-driver buyout. I expect the price to drop back down as players realize they don't really want it in their decks (barring some ridiculous Dragon being spoiled that changes the value of Zirilan).

There are two challenges associated with speculating around these leaks from Commander 2017. First, we don't know for sure if the cards are legitimate.

Second, assuming they are, the Twitter account that leaked them also included photos of a lot of other Dragons (though photographs with the new set symbol were not included). This implies a large number of Dragons could get reprinted, making speculation on other good Dragon cards risky. Should your target(s) be reprinted, you may be stuck with a bunch of cards worth less than they were when you bought them.

The one silver lining is that so far the Commander decks have not been printed in all foil, so foils do seem to be a safe way to go. One of the top cards in the existing Scion decks, which has a cheap foil and fits well into Dragon-themed Commander decks, is Crucible of Fire. The Shards of Alara foil is under $3 and the Magic 2015 foil can be had for around $2.

If you want a slightly more expensive spec (with a good bit of upside), how about foil Dragonlord Kolaghan? For a mythic from Dragons of Tarkir that gives all your creatures haste (which is huge in a Dragon deck), the 3x foil multiplier feels low. Though it is important to note that Dragons of Tarkir as a set had a lot of good eternal cards (thanks to the Commands). So it's likely that a lot of foil sets were redeemed off of MTGO, which might play a role in the price ceiling.

Conclusion

Hopefully you enjoyed this newer version of the MTG stocks review article. I feel like this style might provide more value to readers and give them ideas for decent speculation opportunities. As always, I appreciate all feedback (both positive and negative) as long as it's constructive. Thanks for reading.

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