Hi, folks. This article will conclude my series on Ixalan speculation. I hope that you have found the first three parts helpful. The Pro Tour halted the growth of Ixalan prices, and as of this writing the set value of Ixalan is only $4 higher than it was at its lowest point one month ago. Undoubtedly, you will have through Christmas and New Years to make great investments in Ixalan, so buy only at price points you're happy with, and ones that you feel represent the floor of the card in question.
(1) Ruin Raider
Ruin Raider is one of my favorite sleeper picks in Ixalan. It is an intrinsically powerful flagship card for a hyper-aggressive black deck. One main reason why I like this card as a speculation target is that it will benefit the most from future sets being added – with every set printed, we are likely to find cheap black ones and twos that can help make black aggro a top-tier archetype. The other main reason I like it is that we already have some powerful pieces for that sort of deck – it works well with Heart of Kiran, and Glint-Sleeve Siphoner and Scrapheap Scrounger are excellent aggressive cards. This is definitely a card that could fall to near-bulk if it never sees play, but my money is that the card will attain a value between 1.75 and 2.50 tix in the future.
I'm buying Ruin Raider at: 0.20-0.25 tix
(2) Rare Tribal Payoffs
I would caution against investing in any purely tribal card. Even at rare, these cards are too narrow in their applicability to see meaningful time at spiked prices. Two Dinosaurs that many people are curious about – Ripjaw Raptor and Regisaur Alpha – are broader in application, so those have more merit as potential speculation targets. I'm still not optimistic about either of them because of Glorybringer and Bristling Hydra. It's also just so easy for Wizards to print a big dumb green creature in future sets that render these obsolete. During spoiler season, I anticipated Raptor seeing more play than it currently does, because I thought it was a good counter to Hour of Devastation, but in a world in which white wraths are the dominant board wipes of the day, Raptor loses its one potential purpose in Constructed. I'd stay away unless any of these cards fell below 0.05 tix.
(3) Captain Lannery Storm
Captain Lannery Storm, I think, is a card worth speculating on. I have not yet pulled the trigger, but soon I will probably start buying copies below 0.07 tix. I've heard pros say that they like the card, but it has yet to find a competitive home. She probably sings Seething Songs on her ship. Like Ruin Raider, I think an expanded card pool will do wonders for her viability going forward. There's also less risk involved in investing in her because you're buying her at near-bulk.
I'm buying Captain Lannery Storm at: 0.05-0.10 tix
(4) Sunbird's Invocation
Many MTGO users are curious about Sunbird's Invocation because of its intrinsic power and because it has already been a key player in some competitive strategies lurking beneath the top tier of Standard. Might the Invocation be a good speculation target? I believe so; I think it could be a sideboard staple in certain ramp strategies that could potentially emerge in the future, and of course it could anchor a competitive deck of some kind in the future. I don't think that's likely, but I definitely think it's possible. As a large-set rare, though, my main fear is that, should the card spike, that spike will be very brief, so it might be hard to realize a profit, especially if you want to unload a lot of copies. My recommendation is to buy it at bulk prices for a rare – between 0.01 and 0.02 tix, and no more than 25 copies. I think you can get it at that price, and that way you won't be incurring any significant risk.
I'm buying Sunbird's Invocation at: 0.01-0.02 tix
(5) Treasure Map
Treasure Map // Treasure Cove is a difficult card to evaluate because of its unique text box. My concern with Map is that it is backward looking, not forward looking – it synergizes well with old mechanics like improvise and revolt and individual cards from Kaladesh block like Tezzeret the Schemer, and yet no Treasure Map // Treasure Cove deck is tier-one. I suppose there are just better ways to gain card advantage, yet I really like the fact that it is an artifact and so can fit into any deck.
The speculations that pay off the most are often the ones around which the darkest clouds of uncertainty overhang. It would not surprise me if, one year from now, Treasure Map // Treasure Cove were a 6.00 tix card; nor would it surprise me if it were mired between 0.50 and 0.75 tix. If you invest in Map, know that you are taking quite a serious risk. I won't be investing in it unless its price dips below 1.25 tix, but I think that any investment up to 1.50 tix is defensible.
Treasure Map // Treasure Cove offers us a good lesson – one variable that we should take into account when conducting a risk/reward calculus is looking at the card's potential ceiling. The higher the potential reward, the more risk we should be willing to incur, all else being equal.
I'm buying Treasure Map at: 0.90-1.15 tix
Thanks for reading this week. As always, leave your questions and comments below and I will get back to you! A copy of my portfolio can be found here. I've had a busy past couple of weeks of buying and selling. What Ixalan cards are you most excited about investing in? Did I miss an uncovered gem?