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Hold ‘Em & Fold ‘Em #7

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Standard is at its tail end before rotation in October, so we didn’t see too much new stuff at either Grand Prix Los Angeles or Grand Prix Providence this past weekend. However, there were a few nice things to take away from the SCG Team Constructed tourney in Dallas featuring Modern and Legacy. And never forget to dig around Magic Online results to find some nuggets.

In my last article I pointed out a couple of Pauper cards, and Kyle Rusciano asked me if Pauper is still growing in paper. I can’t quite say for sure whether or not it is, but I still see a lot of results posted on Magic Online. So while Pauper may be played casually, my approach to the format will be through the lens of competitive tournament demand and playability.

As always, my goal for this series is to cover the following two categories 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’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.

Hold ‘Em

Delver of Secrets - Innistrad (Foil)

There was an error retrieving a chart for Delver of Secrets

This is one of the most played cards in Pauper as it shows up in UR Aggro and Mono-Blue.

Look at the total numbers for UR Aggro and Mono-Blue decks; that’s a lot! And these consistently put up good results. Take a look at Raptor56’s UR Aggro deck.

And here’s Mezzel’s 1st place Mono-Blue deck from August 19.

But the most interesting thing about Delver of Secrets is that it hasn’t faded into oblivion in Legacy since the banning of Deathrite Shaman and Gitaxian Probe. Surprisingly, Grixis Delver is still pretty good. But more importantly, UB Shadow has proven to be more than just a flash in the pan, as we saw David Thomas win the SCG Team Constructed tournament in Dallas with the deck.

Foil Delvers use to be $15-20 and now they’re about $7-8 on TCGplayer. If you want to play with them, this is a good time to pick them up as they will probably start a slow upward climb again.

Prophetic Prism - Masters 25 (Foil)


This is even more heavily played in Pauper than Delver of Secrets. Take a look at this list.

And that’s because it’s played in all of these decks:

Prism used to see play in earlier iterations of Ironworks Combo decks, which Eric Froelich wrote about a while back on Channel Fireball. The card definitely still has potential, even though you don’t see any Modern decks listed.

You can still get foil copies on TCGplayer for about $.50 each.

Gaddock Teeg - Judge Promos


David Schumann recently talked about utilizing the market prices on MTG Stocks. This is a wise piece of advice. If you look at some of my past articles, you’ll see that I often selected the market price and market foil price options before I took the screenshots.

If you take a close look at the Judge Promo version of Gaddock Teeg, you’ll see that the market foil price has been steadily rising. Again, this just another promo that will continue to rise in value over the years.

This sees the most play in Modern via Bogles and Humans. Humans is currently the most-played deck in the format, and also one of the best. Teeg also sees play as a one- or two-of in Maverick and Aggro Loam in Legacy. So even if you pick these up now, you probably won’t have a tough time getting rid of them if you decide you don’t want them anymore in the future.

These start at around $55 on TCGplayer and there aren’t too many left. And they’re sold out on Card Kingdom, SCG, and Channel Fireball.

Fold ‘Em

Hardened Scales - Khans of Tarkir (Non-Foil & Foil)


Modular Affinity has been gaining some steam in Modern lately. But I would definitely sell into the hype. A friend of mine asked me about Hardened Scales, and I almost immediately said it was a "fold." It doesn’t go in any other decks right now since it’s a pretty narrow card. Plus, a metric ton of Khans was opened owning to the reprinting of fetchlands.

Card Kingdom has pretty good cash and credit buylist prices right now. If you have these and you don’t want or need them, dump them now.

Recent Buys

Opt - FNM Promos


I listed Opt as a "hold" in the last article. And I ended up buying a playset for $3.25 each on August 15. But I hesitated and paid a couple dollars more for the set. This is a good lesson...if you see a good deal, jump on it.

FEJK just placed 1st with UW Control and four Opts in August 18’s Modern Challenge.

Wispmare - Lorwyn (Foil)


This is going to be a key sideboard card in Bridgevine moving forward, as it deals with troublesome cards like Rest in Peace and Leyline of the Void. Plus, it helps trigger Vengevine. Take a look at Joe Stempo’s list from the SCG Dallas Team Constructed.

I got a playset from Card Kingdom at $3 each on August 19—I couldn’t easily order the set on TCGplayer since there weren’t too many left.

Fourth Bridge Prowler - Aether Revolt (Foil)


This has been popping up a little bit more in Modern Humans. In case you didn’t notice, HP_ lost to FEJK in the finals of the Modern Challenge on August 18 with two copies of Fourth Bridge Prowler in the sideboard.

I bought twelve of these at $.50 each on TCGplayer on August 20. This card is pretty good against aggressive strategies like Affinity and opposing Phantasmal Images, especially because it only costs one mana to cast.

Summary

Hold ‘Em

Fold ‘Em

Recent Buys

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,
Eddie

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