Hold ‘Em & Fold ‘Em #3

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Okay, this article might seem a bit counterintuitive at first...similar to my previous article. But the reason is because it depends on your situation as you’re reading this. I’ve received a lot of positive constructive feedback on my first two articles, and I really appreciate it. But the only way I’m going to really appreciate it is by putting the feedback to work for us.

One of the most common misunderstandings that I’ve had discussions around is that this series is focused on cards that tournament players should consider picking up for play before they spike. The focus of this series was detailed here. I think this is an important factor to keep in mind as you read these articles.

Each article will focus on two types of cards: 1) cards that you should hold on to or pick up for tournaments if you need them before they rise in price. These cards are either seeing increased play in one or more formats, the supply is drying up, or they are pretty far from the next reprint, and 2) cards that you should consider selling or trading away. Their prices are pretty much at the ceiling owing to inflation from speculation, reprint inevitability in the near future, a lull in tournament play, or some combination of these.

Some others have also asked if I actually follow my own advice – and the answer is yes.

Another suggestion that came up was to take more suggestions. I’ll be doing that towards the end of this article, so be sure to look out for that below.

Hold ‘Em

Supreme Phantom - M19 (Foil)

I bought a playset of foil Supreme Phantom on July 17 shortly after Zan Syed and his teammates placed 4th at SCG Worcester on July 15. Results from team tournaments are usually a bit risky to go off of because they’re more skewed than individual results. I didn’t buy these as I watched Zan play or suggest them in my second article for this reason. But since more data has come in, I’m suggesting this card as a pickup.

Not only does this see play as a four-of in Zan’s list. But a friend of mine just lost in the semifinals of a PPTQ this past Sunday with Esper Spirits, which I think could potentially be a contender against Bant Spirits as the best Spirits deck to play in Modern. You can find his list below. And you can read his in-depth tournament report here.

Bant Spirits is also starting to pick up online as well. BAYESTA_93 placed third in July 22’s Modern Challenge on Magic Online. BAYESTA_93’s list differed from Zan’s list by one card. BAYESTA_93 played one Settle the Wreckage over the second Worship in the sideboard.

Another reason to try picking this card up on the cheap now is that this could show up as a four-of in Legacy Spirits since it’s blue. Take a look at the following list submitted to MTG Goldfish by Rayyn. This is a bit of a stretch, but it’s still something to consider, and I’d rather have at least my playset now over later to play with in Modern and Legacy.

There are just a few on Card Kingdom. And they went up from $8.99 to $10.99 since I bought them on July 17. And the supply is starting to dry up on TCGplayer for both pack foils and prerelease foils.

If you want to play with them, you’d better get them soon, since core sets like M19 tend not to get opened as much as other sets. And if foils are too rich for your blood, you might want to consider just getting regular copies, even if the upside is likely not as high.

Thunderbreak Regent - Game Day & Store Championship Promos

Alright, let’s get to the "counterintuitive" part. Skred Dragons just won the SCG Philadelphia Classic. But I have no idea how, because I have no idea how this deck consistently beats UW(x) Control decks. But if you want to play this deck, I would pick up the Game Day promo of Thunderbreak Regent, because it will never be printed again and the deck runs four. Casual players love dragons as well, and this could also be easily reprinted in Standard.

Glorybringer - Game Day & Store Championship Promos

Pretty much the same arguments used for Thunderbreak Regent go for this card as well. Yes, this will be rotating out of Standard in the fall. But the promo version will hold value over time. As mentioned in my first article, promos are the next buyout targets according to MTG finance guru Chas Andres.

Fold ‘Em

Thunderbreak Regent - Game Day & Store Championship Promos

Okay, this is where things take a slight twist. If you have these promos and don’t plan on playing with them in Modern or in Standard again, I would sell into any additional hype on Skred Dragons if any happens to develop. If this deck continues to do well, I don’t see it lasting for a very long time; so you might as well lock in the value now.

Glorybringer - Game Day & Store Championship Promos

Again, the same goes for Glorybringer.

Hold or Fold?

As I mentioned above, a friend suggested that I take a question or two from the community to increase readership engagement, which is a great idea. If you've been wondering about a particular card, drop it in the comments and we can discuss the card as a community.

For example, I have a foil M11 Leyline of Sanctity. Is this a hold or fold?

Surely most of us have at least one card like this that we’re contemplating. And all of us would love to hear about it and discuss possible actions. So share your cards in the comments below and let’s get to work on dissecting them.


Hold ‘Em

-Supreme Phantom - M19 (Foil)
-Thunderbreak Regent - Game Day & Store Championship Promos
-Glorybringer - Game Day & Store Championship Promos

Fold ‘Em

-Thunderbreak Regent - Game Day & Store Championship Promos
-Glorybringer - Game Day & Store Championship Promos

Hold or Fold?

-Leyline of Sanctity - M11 (Foil)

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Agree? Disagree? Why? You can also connect with me on Twitter at @edwardeng. I’m also open to suggestions on how to make this series more valuable. Hit me up.

Have fun,

22 thoughts on “Hold ‘Em & Fold ‘Em #3

  1. Since we’re talking about promo’s, I got a challenging one: How do you feel about the SDCC 2018 Promo’s as a pick-up come August 13th?

    At first I was studying past prices, but I’m beginning to think that doesn’t matter because these are drawn by Terese Nielsen, and they are astronomically better drawn than past SDCC promo cards. It’s not even close, so I think precedent gets thrown out the window.

    I’m particularly interested in the two cards that won’t be rotating out: Jace Cunning and Liliana Untouched. Is Jace seeing any spirit action? As for Liliana, I guess the verdict is still out on zombies, but if they really take off I could see her also being great.

      1. Thanks for the comment, David! I would only pick up Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Gideon of the Trials if you need them. They’re both played in Eternal formats with Chandra seeing more play than Gideon because she pops up in Legacy.

  2. Thanks for the articles! What’s your opinion on Sarkhan, Fireblood? He’s been seeing a lot of play in paper and on modo, where his price has been on an upward trajectory for the last week or so. He seems to fit the classic traits of a 3 mana planeswalker.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Rajib Ali. Sarkhan, Fireblood is a tough one. My inclination is to sell into the hype right now, but I’m not 100% sure. If you can get foils around $20-25, I would probably pick those up.

  3. Perhaps I’m too financially tuned, but I think the Thunderbreak Regent and Glorybringer promos would both be sells.

    The hype behind these is strongest (I think) because the deck is brand new, these are (arguably) the best editions, and most standard players who have these lying around probably haven’t realized that their value is going up and are likely to lag behind in listing theirs for sale.

    If you wait until this flavor of the month is past (or it even if this strategy remains viable) the market will correct and you can easily buy back in and make a few bucks on the difference. Holding any card through a hype train doesn’t feel right to me.

  4. My instinct on Foil Leyline is to hold ’em. It’s value dropped after is was printed in Modern Master 2015 but has only gone to it’s highest price. It doesn’t strike me as a card due for reprint either as it’s not a Modern card. It’s a staple in certain sideboards against burn, but that’s about it. Scarcity is the probably the best reason it’s been trending up, but I think that it will always keep a high price.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Joshua. Leyline of Sanctity sees play in Modern the most out of all competitive formats.

      It only has two printings (M11 and MM2015). But I think foil M11 ones are a hold though because it’s a little bit tougher to reprint these owing to the uniqueness of Leylines.

    1. Thanks for the comment and kind words, Zandy! Look out for my next article later this week.

      Could I ask what your reasoning is for folding extra foil copies of Leyline of Sanctity?


      1. I think my primary reason is to lock in the value after the card has already increased in value. Leylines especially the white and black leyline have a high chance of reprint, you can stock up again or get your foil playset if it gets reprinted in the future.

        1. I agree with keeping your playset of foil Leylines if you have them and selling your extras now to lock in value.

          I’m not sure how ‘high’ of a reprint chance there is, but it’s certainly possible.

    2. I would hold any copies of Foil M11 Leyline of Sanctity and if I could find any under $60 would be buying. I would also be holding non-foil M11 and MM15 while picking them up under $25.

      The reasons are that we know they won’t be in any C18 product which would leave about a year before we would need to worry about a cycle of leylines being in C19 next. Even then they wouldn’t be foil. The fact that they are rarely a 1 of in the 75 of a deck depletes the supply faster and it is a good enchantment for EDH where there is a new pre-con Commander deck this year.

      I could see a possibility of leylines being reprinted in one of the Guilds of Ravnica (GRN) sets if the story comes down to using leylines to defeat Bolas but would lean towards WotC developing new ones. However, I do feel that the GRN block will have an impact on Modern Burn so it could increase the archetype in the meta which Leyline of Sanctity is a good foil for.

      Based on these reasons I think the card could increase in price to $80-90 for M11 foils and $40-50 for M11 and MM15 non-foils by the end of next April. I am not including MM15 foils in the prices due to the foiling process being disliked by many players.

      1. In the second paragraph of my above reply I am meaning that there is a Enchantment themed Commander for C18. EDH players may have a copy of Leyline of Sanctity already but there are those that will just buy another copy so they don’t have to switch them between decks.

    1. Hi Sebastian,

      If you want to play the dragons, you should’ve gotten them as this article came out or held them if you had them. Otherwise, I suggested to sell into the hype.

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