There has been plenty of movement in the Magic market this week, and today I’ll explain some of the trends behind the massive price increases. The way I see it, most of the recent spikes fall into four main categories.
Much demand this week has been driven by the release of Commander 2017 decks, which have increased demand for tribal cards to match their Dragon, Wizard, Vampire, and Cat themes. The start of official Ixalan spoilers – which brings tribal themes of its own, including the beginning of Pirates as a tribe and the return of Merfolk – has only accelerated the demand for tribal cards.
Pirate tribal is now a casual and Commander thing, and Rishadan Brigand is the most flashy and powerful of any of the existing pirates. Its foil had been moving upwards for weeks, but its non-foil paper price has seen a massive spike from under $2 to $20, and now sits around $17.
Another pirate on the move is Ghost of Ramirez DePietro, which makes up with flavor and nostalgia what it lacks in abilities. It has crossover appeal as an old school
Reserved List (edit – not on the Reserved List) card, so its spike from $2 to $7 is likely to go even higher.
These movements have led me to believe other Pirates could be good targets. Further examination shows that last week, Coastal Wizard started to see an increase in price.
Talas Warrior, another unspectacular Pirate from Portal Second Age, has seen modest gains over the past month from $3 to $4 and is trending upwards.
I have high hopes for Talas Researcher, a Portal Second Age rare Wizard with a very useful ability and a bargain price point under $1 that has yet to move upwards.
The Pirate tribe means good things for Kari Zev, Skyship Raider, so I’d be keen to target foil and foreign foil copies in anticipation of the price rising after pirates gain a foothold.
Wizard and Merfolk is the perfect crossover between the Wizard Commander deck and Ixalan’s Merfolk, and that has led to a big spike on Wanderwine Prophets this week from around a $1 to nearly $10.
Riptide Director is a powerful card in a Wizard deck but had been almost completely off the radar up to this point. Wizards being brought to the forefront of tribal play has brought the tribe under the microscope, so this obscure gem from an old set was bound to increase in price, moving under $1 to where it now sits around $6.
Belbe's Portal is great for helping tribes with more expensive cards get creatures into play, and that’s great for the Dinosaur tribe with a huge top end, so I imagine some of this movement is related. It nearly doubled from $5 to $9.
Harsh Mercy is a fantastic sweeper for tribal decks against non-tribal decks, and its former $5 price tag has moved closer to $7.
Shared Triumph is an effective anthem for any white tribal deck, and foil copies saw their price nearly double to $6 this week.
Planeswalker Uniqueness Rule Change Spikes
Wizards finally announced they were changing the planeswalker uniqueness rule to making planeswalkers legendary, a change which was unofficially spoiled during the Ixalan cardsheet leak in June, where we saw the Legendary planeswalker type. This has radically changed the playability of many cards, and the market has reacted.
Untaidake, the Cloud Keeper is a lot more appealing when it can accelerate into planeswalkers, so it has grown from a mere $0.50 to over $10.
Empress Galina can gain control of legendary permanents, and that now includes planeswalkers, so this increase in utility has led to an increase in price from $10 to $25.
Captain Sisay can now search the library for a planeswalker, and that has led its price to double from $20 to $40.
Reki, the History of Kamigawa was among the first cards to spike on the rules change leak, but official confirmation has driven the price even higher. Sitting at $1.50 before the leaks, it spiked to a stable price around $5 and has since spiked again to $13.
Another early mover to see further increases is Mirror Gallery, which now allows for multiple copies of the same planeswalker to remain in play. It was around $7 before the leak, and grew to $12 afterwards, and now has now nearly doubled again, to its current price of $23.
Honor-Worn Shaku allows planeswalker to produce mana, so it has become an appealing Commander card. The foil price spiked from $1.50 to $7, and again to over $25, which is likely to settle lower.
Reserved List Spikes
The Reserved List buyout continues, with seemingly no card being left untouched. Now even more recent reserved list cards from Tempest and Urza’s Saga block are moving.
Corpse Dance is a very playable Reserved List card with Commander and even Legacy appeal, so the price has seen a large spike from $5 to $20.
Shauku, Endbringer is another target of the Reserved List buyouts digging deeper into the pool of possible cards. Its previous price of 60 cents was a bargain, but now it has been driven up to $5.
Of particular appeal is foil reserved list cards from Urza’s Legacy and Urza’s Destiny, and thus foil Argentum Masticore has tripled to $60.
Banned and Restricted List Update Spikes
Yawgmoth's Bargain was announced as being unrestricted in Vintage, so along with Reserved List attention, demand has driven the price from under $5 to $20. The foils have seen similarly impressive gains, from around $90 to $350.