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Insider: Standard Rotation Means Opportunity

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Hello, everyone!

We are about one month away from the next Standard rotation. A rotation means everybody will be selling their Standard cards to prepare for the next set. This is the time where the MTGO market will be flooded with rotating Standard cards, which means in the coming weeks, many of these cards will be at their lowest prices ever.

This week, I'm going to share some of my findings on:

  • Rotating cards that have the potential to grow in price due to Modern demand.
  • Standard cards that are not rotating and are currently under-rated.

Rotating Cards

Card Tutors

Eldritch Evolution did not see play in any top-tier Standard decks, but it is quite popular in Modern, mainly in creature based combo or value decks. If you still remember Birthing Pod decks from about two years ago, Eldritch Evolution is actually a nerfed version of Pod. Here's some Modern decks that play the sorcery spell:

Currently these decks play two to three copies of Evolution in their 75 to tutor for their combo pieces. Although these decks aren't the best decks in Modern right now, I think Eldritch Evolution is worth investing in at its current price of 0.4 ticket. Modern is such a huge format, and powerful creatures are being printed every set, so there's a chance that even more busted creature combos will appear in the future.

  • Eldritch Evolution: Current Buy Price: 0.4; Target Sell Price: 5; Profit Per Copy: 4.6

Traverse the Ulvenwald is no doubt one of the best card in Standard and Modern. Ever since its release, many decks playing it emerged at the top of the Standard and Modern metagames. It's relatively easy to hit delirium in Modern, so I wouldn't be surprised to see more Traverse the Ulvenwald in the future.

  • Traverse the Ulvenwald: Current Buy Price: 0.45; Target Sell Price: 3; Profit Per Copy: 2.55

Creatures

Most of the powerful creatures that are rotating are currently dropping in price steadily. Now is the time to set some targets for these creatures – if they somehow hit certain low points, it's probably worth buying in for some for mid- to long-term tern specs. Here are some creature cards that you might want to add to your watchlists:

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet is a very unique creature card, as it's a maindeckable hate card against Burn and Dredge. Kalitas sometimes acts as "mirror-breaker" card between midrange attrition mirror matchups where the player who has Kalitas in play will be able to take over the game quickly. In the past week, the Traitor of Ghet has been falling in value as you can see in the graph shown above. The current price at 8 tickets might not be the exact bottom yet, so we can probably wait for another week or two to observe how the price trends.

  • Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet: Target Buy Price: 4; Target Sell Price: 10; Profit Per Copy: 6

This three-mana flashy spirit has been played in many decks in Standard for as long as it's been legal, and it's even being played in Modern nowadays. Spell Queller is very good in tempo decks. Sometimes blue-white control decks have these in the sideboard as a way to transition their game plan in games two and three. Spell Queller has a special keyword in its oracle text – "exile," instead of "counter," target spell, so it's relevant in some scenarios in Modern where the opponent has cards that "can't be countered" like Abrupt Decay and creatures cast using Cavern of Souls. And remember, Queller's text is written in two separate clauses, similar to Tidehollow Sculler and Fiend Hunter, and if used correctly, the targeted spell can be exiled permanently. For all these reasons, I think Queller will remain active in the Modern format for a very long time.

  • Spell Queller: Target Buy Price: 2; Target Sell Price: 8; Profit Per Copy: 6

Everyone who plays Magic surely knows this card, as it's played in every Constructed format where it's legal, so I guess I don't need to explain its ability. I'm not sure what is going to happen with the price in the coming weeks, but it's worth to keep track. If Thought-Knot Seer hits 4 tickets or below at some point, I think it's safe to stock up on some copies.

  • Thought-Knot Seer:  Target Buy Price: below 4; Target Sell Price: 10; Profit Per Copy: 6

Here's a couple other Eldrazi creatures that I think are worth another look. Both Eldrazi Displacer and Matter Reshaper are played in Modern. Displacer is slightly less popular, while Reshaper is seen in almost all versions of Eldrazi decks. If you decide to get some copies of either of these, I suggest waiting until they drop below the 0.5-ticket mark.

  • Eldrazi Displacer and Matter Reshaper: Target Buy Price: below 0.5; Target Sell Price: 3; Profit Per Copy: 2.5

Underrated Standard Cards

As I'm writing this, not much information has been revealed for Ixalan yet except for an uncut foiled sheet leaked two months ago. First of all, I'm not sure whether these cards are even confirmed as real, but I'm going to do some speculations on Standard post-rotation based on the following information:

  • Allied-colored check lands reprint
  • High casting cost Dinosaurs in Naya colors (green, red, white)
  • Pirates in Grixis colors (black, red, blue)
  • Some good black creature and planeswalker removal spells

Once again, let's talk about the cycling duals. Two weeks back, I wrote a land-themed article which includes some of these lands. Since then, Fetid Pools has increased by about 0.6 tix while the rest did not change much. These lands are under 2 tickets (besides Sheltered Thicket), and I think they will become more popular when the other dual lands rotate out of Standard. Not only can they make the check lands enter the battlefield untapped, they can also be cycled for a card to prevent flooding.

Liliana, Death's Majesty is actually a powerful card but she's overshadowed by Ob Nixilis Reignited in the current Standard. With some good black removal in Ixalan and Ob Nixilis's departure from the format, I think Liliana will become one of the best planeswalkers in Standard. If there's still any reanimator-type deck post-rotation, I think Liliana will become even more popular. As of now, Liliana is dropping in price, probably because MTGO players are selling off Liliana together with their delirium cards. If she drops to somewhere 3 tickets or below, its probably a good time to pick up some copies.

  • Liliana, Death's Majesty: Target Buy Price: 3 or below; Target Sell Price: 6; Profit Per Copy: 3

With the printing of Naya-color Dinosaurs, I imagine players will start by experimenting with some kind of Naya or green-red ramp/monster decks. Neheb, the Eternal is a card that supports that kind of strategy. There's a chance this card will go up a bit during the "testing period".

  • Neheb, the Eternal: Target Buy Price: 1 or below; Target Sell Price: 3; Profit Per Copy: 2

This card went up to 3 tickets twice before this because of a Black-Green Aristocrats deck, but currently its back at about 1 ticket. If Naya Monsters is a thing in Ixalan Standard, there's a chance that this card will be good. It's true that Bristling Hydra can easily be a better card for a deck full of big creatures, but Vizier of the Menagerie is a way to gain card advantage.

  • Vizier of the Menagerie: Target Buy Price: 1.2 or below; Target Sell Price: 3; Profit Per Copy: 1.8

Alright, that's all for this week, thanks for reading and I'll see you all next week.

Adrian, signing out.

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