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The official Ixalan release was immediately followed by a weekend of high-profile SCG events providing a clear window to the post-rotation metagame. The market has reacted swiftly and severely, and the top performers have seen some massive price increases. Today, I’ll go over the biggest gainers and glean some insight into what is driving their movement. There are some metagame and market trends occurring on Magic Online that could be harbingers of things to come, so I’ll also explore these cards with the goal of identifying the next cards due to spike.
The most notable winner from the week and now clearly one of the very finest cards in Ixalan is Hostage Taker, which saw its price approximately triple from around $6 to $18. This price seems too high to be sustained, but as a four-of in multiple top decks, it’s going to maintain a very strong price going forward. Last weekend, Hostage Taker was splashed into Black-Green Energy to create a Sultai Energy deck that is the current deck to beat, it was added to Temur decks already splashing black, and it drove God Pharaoh's Gift decks into black. It’s going to be a major part of the metagame going forward and will be added to any deck that can support it.
Another big winner is The Scarab God, which can sit alongside Hostage Taker and be used in the same decks splashing it. It’s a part of Temur Black, Sultai, Esper Gift, Blue-Black Control, and will be included in any Blue-Black-X deck that emerges. Now at $40, its price is geting quite high, especially for a card that is often just a one or two-of, so I expect this to begin a slow decline back to its former $30 price point as the hype subsides.
Deathscorge Scavenger has taken the lead as the most successful Dinosaur of Ixalan so far, but not as expected. It is being used in some Dinosaur tribal decks, but it has truly excelled as a sideboard option that can be used for its lifegain against Mono-Red and other aggressive decks. It was included as a four-of in the sideboard of SCG Open winning Sultai deck, and I expect it to become a staple in Temur and all other variety of green midrange decks, including any competitive Dinosaur decks.
Gifted Aetherborn doubled from $1.50 to over $3, making it the most expensive uncommon in Kaladesh. It’s interesting, because the increase isn’t tied to any SCG results, seeing as it was not included in any of the top decks last weekend, but it is being used in various black aggro decks that are seeing success online. I expect that if the card does catch on in top decks, the price could increase further.
White-Blue control decks with Approach of the Second Sun exceeded expectation by putting two copies into the SCG top eight and proving it is very much a top-tier deck after rotation. The price of its namesake spiked from around $0.75 to over $3, and many of its other staples have followed suit.
Settle the Wreckage appears to be very playable, and the price has grown accordingly, from $2.50 to around $5.
Fumigate has doubled in price from $2 to $4 due to use in White-Blue Control. It’s being used heavily online in token decks, so if these catch on then the price could go even higher.
Authority of Consuls is essential for the White-Blue control decks, so its price has moved from $2 to $4
Tezzeret the Schemer has continued its growth, moving up from $5 to $8 this week. Grixis Improvise proved itself as a top contender with its victory in the SCG Classic by Zac Elsik, and the price of the planeswalker will see even more growth if the deck catches on with a wider audience.
One of the more startling price increases in the last week has been the doubling of Fetid Pools from $4 to $8. The card is used in nearly every deck with black and blue mana, which includes the top performers Sultai, Temur Black, and Esper Gift, along with Grixis Improvise and all variety of Black-Blue Control. Its price increase is correlated with the massive rise of Hostage Taker and the dominance of The Scarab God, so its price should maintain strongly as long as these cards remain on top of the metagame.
Vraska, Relic Seeker is being used as a three-of in an Abzan Token deck that is on the rise online with multiple 5-0 finishes. A copy in the sideboard of the SCG Open winning Sultai deck, along with applications in Temur Black and Sultai Control decks, means that its price is likely due for a paper increase. It has grown from 8 tix to 12 online over the past week, so its $14 point could be headed towards $20 as the other planeswalkers in Ixalan begin to trend downwards.
Legion's Landing // Adanto, the First Fort has found a great home in the Abzan Tokens deck, which has brought its price up to over 4 tix from 2.5. It looks like a bargain at under $3, especially compared to the other enchantments in the cycle that are significantly less expensive but will see less competitive play.
A possible spec for the token deck is Anointed Procession, which is a key four-of build-around in that deck with a lot of long-term casual appeal. Its online price has grown from around 0.25 tix to 1.2 tix since the Ixalan release. Its paper price is already approaching $7, so if Abzan Tokens becomes a top-tier deck its price would be in position to break $10.
With Fetid Pools up to $8, the other lands in the cycle are beginning to look like bargains that are due for a price increase. I have harped on these lands being among the best buys going into rotation, and we likely still haven’t seen their price peak.
What Standard cards are you speculating on?