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Hold ‘Em & Fold ‘Em #5

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Editor's note: Edward talks about a lot of promo cards in this article, for which we have limited price data. Graphs of the corresponding non-promos appear in their place.

As usual, today I'll be making recommendations for speculation targets based on two categories:

  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’re pretty far from the next reprint.
  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.

Pro Tour 25th Anniversary has made its mark in history, and as with any Pro Tour, breakout cards have jumped in price. Some of these price jumps were cards I mentioned in past articles, but some of them I missed. In light of this, I’ll be adding a new section to the article series, "Missed Targets," to try to cover the key cards I might have neglected to mention in past articles.

Missed Targets

There was an error retrieving a chart for Nexus of Fate

I totally missed the boat on this one. As you might have noticed by now, I’m pretty big on picking up playable promos and have been for years. And as I’ve mentioned a couple times already, Chas Andres has marked them as the next buyout specs.

I even read Rob’s article before the spike and just kept on sleeping. Ugh. It really stings, and the reason I know is because this has happened to me several times before. I had a chance to buy three judge promo Noble Hierarchs for $100 when they were about $35 each. I had the judge promo Wheel of Fortune on my wishlist on Star City Games when it was under $50. And I slept through the spikes of the Elvish Visionary, Eternal Witness, and Kitchen Finks FNM promos.

This time was even more special because I thought you could get Nexus of Fate in packs, which is what will make it a great story to tell for years to come.

There are a few other cards I missed recently, and they all stem from one deck: Bridgevine. I mentioned Hangarback Walker in the previous article, but I forgot to mention Bridge from Below, Leyline of the Void, and Vengevine.


I forgot to mention these because I already have my playsets of Leylines and Vengevines. Moving forward, I’ll do a better job at pointing out other key cards from the decks that are causing waves.

Hold ‘Em

Vengevine - WMCQ Promos


With that said, I do think promo Vengevines are a hold if you have them. Why? The keyword is "promo." Plus, they are usually played as a four-of in more than just Bridgevine in Modern. It also shows up in Hollowvine and Dredgevine. And as time goes on, people will find more ways to break Vengevine—along with, in many cases, the next card too.

Stitcher’s Supplier - M19 (Non-Foil)


I think the time has passed on foil ones, but you can still get non-foils copies for about $.50 on TCGplayer. The card is starting to pop up everywhere: Legacy’s Walking Dead, Modern’s Bridgevine, and Standard’s God-Pharaoh's Gift.

[deck title=Legacy: Walking Dead by RENERANDRUP]
[Creatures]
4 Bloodghast
4 Carrion Feeder
2 Dark Confidant
4 Gravecrawler
1 Grim Lavamancer
4 Stitcher's Supplier
[/Creatures]
[Non-Creature Spells]
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Faithless Looting
1 Inquisition of Kozilek
3 Thoughtseize
4 Entomb
1 Phyrexian Altar
2 Bridge from Below
2 Goblin Bombardment
[/Non-Creature Spells]
[Lands]
3 Badlands
2 Bayou
3 Bloodstained Mire
1 Dakmor Salvage
2 Marsh Flats
2 Phyrexian Tower
3 Polluted Delta
3 Swamp
1 Undiscovered Paradise
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Abrupt Decay
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Chains of Mephistopheles
1 Darkblast
1 Golgari Charm
2 Magus of the Moon
1 Nature's Claim
1 Null Rod
1 Pithing Needle
1 Pyroblast
3 Surgical Extraction
1 Urborg Justice
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

[deck title=Standard: GPG by Vincent Reiter]
[Creatures]
1 Hostage Taker
4 Jadelight Ranger
4 Llanowar Elves
1 Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar
1 Noxious Gearhulk
1 Pelakka Wurm
2 Ravenous Chupacabra
1 Reclamation Sage
2 Seekers' Squire
2 Servant of the Conduit
4 Stitcher's Supplier
2 The Scarab God
1 Torgaar, Famine Incarnate
3 Walking Ballista
[/Creatures]
[Non-Creature Spells]
4 Gate to the Afterlife
2 God-Pharaoh's Gift
2 Liliana, Death's Majesty
[/Non-Creature Spells]
[Lands]
4 Aether Hub
4 Blooming Marsh
4 Botanical Sanctum
1 Drowned Catacomb
3 Forest
6 Swamp
1 Woodland Cemetery
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Arborback Stomper
1 Deadeye Tracker
1 Deathgorge Scavenger
1 Gonti, Lord of Luxury
1 Nissa, Vital Force
2 Reclamation Sage
2 Vine Mare
1 Vivien Reid
3 Vraska's Contempt
1 Vraska, Relic Seeker
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up as an FNM promo later. But if you want to play any of those decks, I’d pick up at least twelve copies now. I already bought a playset from a local game store for $.50 each.

Stoneforge Mystic - Grand Prix Promos


I try to stay away from cards that don’t see play in multiples in different decks and across formats. But this one is a little more unique. For starters, as I mentioned in my first article, Death and Taxes has gotten a lot stronger. And now we have Allen Wu’s winning Pro Tour 25th Anniversary deck as data to further solidify this stance.

[deck title=Legacy: Death and Taxes by Allen Wu]
[Creatures]
4 Flickerwisp
1 Mirran Crusader
4 Mother of Runes
1 Palace Jailer
4 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Recruiter of the Guard
1 Sanctum Prelate
4 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
[/Creatures]
[Non-Creature Spells]
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Aether Vial
1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Umezawa's Jitte
[/Non-Creature Spells]
[Lands]
1 Horizon Canopy
3 Karakas
1 Mishra's Factory
5 Plains
4 Rishadan Port
6 Snow-Covered Plains
4 Wasteland
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Containment Priest
2 Council's Judgment
1 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Faerie Macabre
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Leonin Relic-Warder
2 Path to Exile
1 Pithing Needle
3 Rest in Peace
1 Walking Ballista
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

I should’ve mentioned Stoneforge alongside Thalia, Guardian of Thraben in that article but I forgot to. Again, probably because I already have a regular Worldwake set...yet another reminder to myself to make sure I do a better job of pointing out these cards for you.

If you need these, I would pick up the Grand Prix promos now even though they’ve already spiked a little bit. The "promo" keyword comes into play again here. And if it gets unbanned in Modern, these are going to skyrocket.

Before we get into the Fold ‘Em section this time, I’d like to introduce yet another new section: Recent Buys.

Recent Buys

Greater Gargadon - Modern Masters (Foil)


This is another suggestion from a friend that I’m trying out. In past articles, I highlighted some cards that I picked up, where I bought them from, and how much I bought them for. Not only am I trying to stay ahead of the curve and help people with MTG finance by providing market insight, but I want to build confidence in you by putting money where my mouth is.

I bought a playset of Gargadons for $5.20 each from TCGplayer. And there aren’t too many left. You can also find just a few left on Card Kingdom.

Serrated Arrows - FNM Promos


This is a pretty popular card in Pauper if you’re into that scene. Take a look at the following list.

I don’t expect this to really shoot up in price anytime soon. But once again...it’s a promo, so it probably won’t decrease in value from where it is now. And it could easily see a reprint in Standard down the road. I bought four from TCG Player at $2.25 each.

Flame Javelin - Magic Player Rewards


Here’s another cheap promo. It doesn’t see play in eternal formats but could easily be reprinted in Standard. And Wizards has vowed to never print these again because textless cards create a poor game play experience at local game stores, making these decently scarce.

David Schumann published a nice piece here which tipped me towards Flame Javelin. I think this is one of the more useful cards of the cheaper Magic Player Rewards promos. The other one that I think is a bit undervalued is Volcanic Fallout. I already have a playset; but if you don’t, you might want to pick one up since it’s occasionally played in Legacy’s Burn and Dragon Stompy.

[deck title=Legacy: Burn by Nikola Ayala]
[Creatures]
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
4 Goblin Guide
4 Monastery Swiftspear
[/Creatures]
[Non-Creature Spells]
4 Chain Lightning
4 Fireblast
4 Flame Rift
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Price of Progress
4 Rift Bolt
2 Searing Blood
[/Non-Creature Spells]
[Lands]
18 Mountain
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
4 Pyrostatic Pillar
4 Smash to Smithereens
3 Sulfuric Vortex
2 Tormod's Crypt
2 Volcanic Fallout
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

[deck title=Legacy: Dragon Stompy by Luca La Loggia]
[Creatures]
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
4 Magus of the Moon
2 Pia and Kiran Nalaar
4 Simian Spirit Guide
[/Creatures]
[Non-Creature Spells]
3 Fiery Confluence
4 Blood Moon
4 Chalice of the Void
4 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
4 Chrome Mox
4 Ensnaring Bridge
2 Karn, Scion of Urza
2 Trinisphere
[/Non-Creature Spells]
[Lands]
4 Ancient Tomb
4 City of Traitors
11 Mountain
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Abrade
2 Kozilek's Return
3 Scab-Clan Berserker
2 Sorcerous Spyglass
2 Sulfur Elemental
3 Tormod's Crypt
1 Volcanic Fallout
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

Fold ‘Em

Vengevine - Rise of the Eldrazi (Non-Foil & Foil)


If you don’t need or want these, I would sell into the hype. These will mostly likely see a reprint in a Masters set. A friend at a PPTQ last weekend asked me what I thought about the spike. I said to sell non-foil and foil Worldwake versions, and to hold WMCQ promos if you have them. And this is what I’m reiterating here.

The reason I only include Vengevine from Bridgevine in the Fold ‘Em section is because it’s a payoff card that's not as universal as Bridge from Below, or a multi-deck, multi-format sideboard all-star like Leyline of the Void.

Reader Feedback

Verix Bladewing - Dominaria (Non-Foil & Foil) [Hold]


David Scott asked me about this in my fourth article. And funny enough, Ty Thomason from my third article messaged me and asked what I should do about foils. I told him to hold because they’re so cheap right now and the buylist price is not worth it.

This could easily see play in a Dragons deck after rotation this fall. This is where keeping those foil Sarkhan, Firebloods I highlighted before would pay off. And if they don’t see play in Standard, no biggie. Also, don’t forget that even though red is supposed to be a weaker color in Commander, casual players still love dragons.

Non-foils are about $2 and foils are about $5 on TCGplayer.

Updates

Engineered Explosives - Masterpiece Series: Kaladesh Inventions [Hold]


The Invention version is starting to rise ever so slightly as predicted, and will continue to trend towards the sky with no end in sight.

Thunderbreak Regent - Game Day Promos [Hold]


There are some listed on Card Kingdom for $7.

Engineered Explosives - Fifth Dawn & Modern Masters [Fold]


The price is starting to come down just a little bit from the spike after I prematurely said to fold. With that said, I still think you should be folding these if you don’t need them for play.

Nimble Obstructionist - Hour of Devastation (Non-Foil & Foil) [Fold]


It looks like this is still slightly trending upwards, but I would still fold these. You can pick them back up again later after rotation in the fall.

Thunderbreak Regent - Game Day Promos [Fold]


You can sell them for $4.50 cash or $5.85 credit on Card Kingdom.

Summary

Missed Targets

Hold ‘Em

Recent Buys

Fold ‘Em

Reader Feedback

Updates

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 my articles more valuable. Hit me up.

Have fun,
Eddie

4 thoughts on “Hold ‘Em & Fold ‘Em #5

  1. Articles are great. I like how you review your missed specs too, this will make your articles stand out because admitting mistakes is apparently harder than taking credit for making a correct spec. Also, I like how you specifically target tournament goers as suppose to pure speculators and investors.

    1. Thanks, Zandy! I figured pointing out missed specs helps keep me honest and motivates me to be sharper. It also provides an opportunity to talk about what to do with the cards that have spiked.

      There’s nothing wrong with speculators/investors. I totally get it and don’t mind them. I thought I could also help tournament players or people looking to play in tournaments save some money. After all, I don’t think Magic would still be around if it weren’t for tournaments. I often reference NPR’s The Curse of the Black Lotus episode.

      NPR Episode 609: The Curse of the Black Lotus
      https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/03/11/392381112/episode-609-the-curse-of-the-black-lotus

  2. Can’t believe you slept through the Nexus of Fate spike. How could you! 😛

    Overall, this was a great read. I really like the promos and would love to get a hold of them whenever I could. I’m even using WMCQ Vengevines for my deck and ditched the normal copies because I like its upside going long term. Keep up the awesome work!

    1. Hey Rob,

      Always good to hear from you! Yeah, I really thought Nexus of Fate was in the regular set. I guess that shows you how ‘bad’ Wizards messed up.

      Great job on the WMCQ Vengevines. Regular ones will definitely tank once a reprint spoiler happens, especially because the card is only played in certain types of decks. But yeah, the promos will just keep continuing to climb.

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