The key to speculating on Rivals of Ixalan rares will be to look beyond the ones already seeing a lot of play. Instead consider a more long-term view – which cards are the most likely to go up in demand over the coming months and Standard seasons? That is the question you want to ask yourself, and that is the question that, if answered correctly, will allow you to obtain the most significant gains. We want to find the Arguel's Blood Fast // Temple of Aclazotz and Deadeye Trackers of this set. This is especially true in RIX's case, since there are so few valuable rares in this set — only two are worth more than 1.00 tix right now.
I learned a lot from my failed Earthshaker Khenra speculation — already a featured playset in a top-tier deck, how could Earthshaker Khenra's demand significantly increase? The answer is that it couldn't, and thus never saw meaningful gains in value. With Ixalan rares I cast a wider net, looking for cards that I felt were not seeing as much play as they could, investing more in potential than in tried and true results. So far, that strategy has paid off. I've been tripling up on Ruin Raider, tripling up on Vraska's Contempt, and quadrupling up on Deadeye Tracker. And I'm excited to say that I see some great opportunities in Rivals of Ixalan rares! Let's dig in!
(I) Can Jadelight light the way?
Although the recent changes to the way Wizards publishes data make it more difficult to discern the shape of the Standard metagame, I've followed closely enough to know that base-green midrange decks have yet to take a large metagame share. With Grixis and various token strategies dominating the midrange game, green decks that would use a playset of Jadelight Ranger are not as common as they could be in future Standard seasons. The only top-tier deck using Ranger right now is a RG Monster Aggro deck, with a few lesser strategies like GB Constrictor also using the card.
I thus believe that Jadelight Ranger is more likely than not to go up in price at some point in the future. She may never reach 7.50 tix, but I do think she'll see time north of 5.00 tix. The key will be to exercise patience and wait for the Standard metagame to crystallize — I have faith that she won't be a key card in one of the top few decks in Standard come late March and early April, and that will be the time to pounce.
My recommended buy price: 2.00 tix
(II) Dire Fleet Daredevil
Thus far, Dire Fleet Daredevil has yet to find a home in Standard, seeing a sprinkling of play here and there. That means the card is ripe for skyrocketing in price should it become a mainstay in a top-tier deck. In my mind, Daredevil is the Hostage Taker of spells, and slightly better because it can be cast effectively with only six mana available instead of the eight or nine needed for Hostage Taker to shine. And you can't get blown out.
I think investing at the present price of 1.07 tix is fine, but I expect the card to dip lower in the coming months (it should unless it becomes a sideboard staple of Grixis or Rakdos decks to help fight against other midrange decks). I'd wait, but I think we are looking at a future 2.00 or 3.00 tix card.
My recommended buy price: 0.40-0.75 tix
(III) Arch of Orazca
Arch of Orazca is just plain good, works well with Hour of Promise, and fits into any non-aggressive two-color deck. Its value is constrained because of various desert lands like Scavenging Grounds, but it speaks to the card's future potential that it is already being used in a wide variety of Standard decks. After rotation its prospects will improve even more.
My recommended buy price: 0.15-0.25 tix
(IV) Radiant Destiny likely has a radiant destiny.
I believe Radiant Destiny might go under the radar as a speculation opportunity because Always Watching did not have a wonderful financial trajectory. There are two things going for Radiant Destiny though that make it more versatile and thus more likely to slot into a greater variety of deck. First, the card costs 2W instead of 1WW. Second, it does work with tokens and non-tokens alike. I expect this to reach bulk, and I'll be a buyer at that time. Definitely not a surefire thing, but it's a risk worth taking.
My recommended buy price: 0.02-0.10 tix
(V) What buried treasure can we find buried in the bulk bin?
I'll start by saying that I don't like any of these as much as the Ixalan bulk rares I invested in – Captain Lannery Storm, Arguel's Blood Fast // Temple of Aclazotz and Deadeye Tracker. Nevertheless, there are cards with potential here, and maybe I'll end up investing in some of them.
One of favorites of the bunch is Slaughter the Strong. I can see metagames where this card is a good sideboard tool, and I think it could fit in just enough different styles of deck to make it rise above bulk. Wrath effects at three mana can be powerful, and the more the format shifts toward green or ramp, the more fertile the ground becomes for this card.
I'm a fan of these three as well. All three will stand to benefit from the printing of enemy duals in Dominaria, and all three can be key pieces in certain decks. Their ceilings are fairly low because they are all fairly narrow in both effect and color combination, but at bulk prices, these all make for reasonable speculations.
Once Lifecrafter Bestiary rotates, Path of Discovery might have enough utility to rise above bulk. It is a good tool for creature decks to have access to in the sideboard, and it is also potentially very powerful if graveyard synergies and mechanics present themselves in future sets.
My recommended buy price for Path of Mettle: 0.02- 0.03 tix
My recommended buy price for Slaughter the Strong and Journey to Eternity: 0.01-0.02 tix
My recommended buy price for Hadana's Climb: 0.01 tix
My recommended buy price for Path of Discovery: <0.01 tix
(V) Signing Off
Which cards are you most excited about speculating on in the coming weeks? Let me know! Thank you for reading, and I'll be back with y'all next week! A copy of my portfolio can be found here. Please leave your questions and comments down below, and I'll be sure to respond.