I'm excited to share with you my picks for Rivals of Ixalan uncommons to invest in.
Uncommons as a category are not doing as well as they have in the past. I've made mention of this before, and it's disappointing, because they used to be a surefire way to make insane margins. However, with the redemption window curtailed and treasure chests continuously pumping new supply of uncommons into the marketplace, uncommons are just not showing the same price resiliency that they had in the past. This is especially true for large sets — only Blossoming Defense and Field of Ruin have been able to ascend from bulk to a price point that would give you good profit margins. Cast Out and Censor still are mired at near-bulk and bulk prices respectively.
With that said, small-set uncommons do seem to be doing better. Supreme Will recovered quickly, and Doomfall has also now recovered. The best deserts have even reached a price of 1.00 tix. Thus, even though my confidence in large-set uncommons has been shaken, I remain confident that investing in small-set uncommons is smart and offers an easy way to pay for a few drafts or several Constructed league entries.
Rivals of Ixalan is a small set, and so I expect us to be able to make some good money here. Investing in uncommons is a great way to begin investing, so for those of you who have been reading my articles but haven't yet done any speculating or investing on MTGO, now is a decent chance to do so relatively risk-free. I've got some great picks down below, so let's dig in!
(I) Baffling End Is the New Silkwrap, Which Means....
Yea, which means you should invest heavily into it. When I initially wrote this article I predicted that this card would eventually spike up to at least 1.00 tix. Now that Seal Away has been spoiled from Dominaria, I think I need to temper my expectations of this card. I still believe that this card will rise above bulk, but I no longer expect such a high ceiling. I'll be buying a lot of this at bulk and believe I will be able to sell them for between 0.25 and 0.50 tix. Silkwrap coexisted alongside Immolating Glare, after all.
My recommended buy price: 0.02-0.03 tix
(II) Ravenous Chupacabra
I suspect that many readers would have thought that Ravenous Chupacabra would make for the best uncommon speculation opportunity in Rivals for Ixalan, but I think we need to temper our expectations here. The famous Patrick Sullivan rant, while apt and insightful, is more about the type of card that Ravenous Chupacabra is and less about the card itself. Ravenous Chupacabra definitely will have demand over the long haul, especially if rotation makes exile effects less necessary, and especially if other cards like God-Pharaoh's Gift are printed that work well with creatures whose power and toughness are afterthoughts to the spell that is attached to them. I like investing in Chupacabra at bulk, and believe you are likely going to be able to sell it back to bots for 0.15 to 0.35 tix at various points during the next year.
My recommended buy price: 0.01-0.03 tix
(III) Just How Golden is Golden Demise?
Golden Demise is the latest in a long tradition of small-set uncommons that give -2/-2 to all creatures for 1BB. You would have made a lot of money on Drown in Sorrow...and nothing at all on Flaying Tendrils (which became a promo, to be fair). This one has the upside of being a potential hoser in Token mirrors. If you can get these for below a penny, I think you could do worse. Let's say you invest $1 into Golden Demise — your range of return is basically minus-$1 to plus-$50.
My recommended buy price: <0.01 tix
(IV) The Sky's the Limit for Skymarcher Aspirant
Of the last three editions of Savannah Lions in Standard, only Dragon Hunter rose above bulk. But boy did it rise above bulk in a major way due to the rise of human shells featuring Always Watching and Thalia's Lieutenant from Shadows Over Innistrad. Skymarcher Aspirant has the same sort of potential, as it is a vampire, has a significant upside in becoming a flyer, exists in a format alongside some tribal and token payoffs like Radiant Destiny, and is from a small set. I suspect I'll invest some into these, but only because the risk is so minimal.
My recommended buy price: <0.01 tix
(V) Tribal Lords and Tribal Roleplayers
I'll be avoiding these cards. Yes, they are powerful, but their narrowness worries me. Uncommons need to be more versatile and desired by a wider range of decks to exhibit price spikes and extended price increases needed to recoup your invested capital. I'm not sure how these will ever rise above 0.20 tix or so, and my hunch is that they will stay below 0.10 tix. If I were to choose one to invest in, it would be Legion Lieutenant simply for the reason that the vampire tribal deck is already tier two and will become even better once Isolated Chapel becomes Standard legal.
(VI) Other Cards I'm Avoiding
I think these are the only other cards that are tempting, and I'll be avoiding them. The ceiling on Thrashing Brontodon is probably about 0.10 tix, which means it's a waste of your time. Curious Obsession, like the lords mentioned earlier, is too narrow to ever rise above bulk.
(VII) Signing Off
As you can see, there are many good opportunities here. I will likely be investing in Baffling End, Golden Demise, and Skymarcher Aspirant. Please leave your questions and comments down below, and I'll be sure to get back to you! A copy of my portfolio can be found here.