Hello, Insiders, and welcome to the August 2018 Edition of the QS Cast Tracker Infographics! Every month we take a look at how Chaz’s and Tarkan’s picks have fared since they mentioned them on a podcast episode. For convenience, we only keep track of six months worth of picks and check the price changes after 30, 60 and 90 days. Today’s column will look at all cards selected between March 14th, 2018 and July 12th, 2018.
Without further ado, here are the Infographics, as always courtesy of our very own Diego Fumagalli (Visualizing Magic):
As a reminder, the dollar amounts mentioned in these graphics are calculated based on the total amount gained or lost when purchasing a playset of a card picked by either caster at the time it was mentioned on cast, then “cashing in” on that playset after 30/60/90 days. With that said, let’s analyze the numbers shown above in further details.
Our casters did very well again since we last checked on their numbers. Their usual strategy are still prominently showing: Chaz is in it for the quick turnaround, with a massive return of $270 over 32 playsets for a total buy-in of just shy of $790 (+34% gains) in the first 30 days; Tarkan, on the other hand, goes for the long game, earning slightly more than $310 over 27 playsets for a buy-in of $813 and change (+38% gains) after 90 days. Talk about your Aggro vs. Midrange matchup!
Even if one was to nitpick and look into the losing specs with more details, here are the tallies:
The total value lost by the picks (counting them as playsets) is not that horrible, especially when you consider how many cards Chaz and Tarkan mention during a cast. One thing to consider too, is that a large fraction of these losses come from Standard picks (Steel Leaf Champion, Mox Amber, History of Benalia...). All in all, the QS casters have not needed to hit a homerun with every card: with a consistent 25-30% of their picks gaining 50% or more in value, there is enough room for them to take a chance on a couple of cards here and there.
Speaking of hitting homeruns and metagame changes, boy did Tarkan hit it out of the park with Krark-Clan Ironworks:
Tarkan called it on March 23, 2018, when it retailed for $7.99 (non-foil)/$21.80 (foil) and has since skyrocketed to $20.00 (non-foil)/$55.60 (foil) at the time of this writing. The deck it is featured in is clearly top tier in Modern now, and the card has avoided both a reprint and the banhammer from this past Monday (August 20th) announcement. With the Modern PPTQ season upon us, don't be surprised if it shoots up again, even for lesser conditions (MP-HP). By itself, the card is responsible for over 60% of Tarkan's 90-day gains: combining foil and non-foil playset, it makes $192.4 out of the $308.16 earned. Other big winners for Tarkan are the Theros God Erebos, God of the Dead and the EDH rising star Mizzix of the Izmagnus.
Recent bannings in Legacy have pushed the Death & Taxes archetype to the forefront of the format, so it is not that surprising to see the prices of two of its most recent additions spike. Brightling alone more than quadrupled in price, from $4.99 at the time Chaz picked it (June 28th) to a retail price of over $23 a month later. Two weeks later, he mentioned Council's Judgment which has since doubled up from $11.5 to $22.5 30 days later.
All in all, it has yet again been a solid couple of months for the QS Cast, and the coming weeks should only reinforce what the data has shown so far: more and more sets are being designed with EDH and Eternal formats in mind (and even Brawl as of Dominaria), so these are the trends you should be following. Keeping an eye on the MTGO lists shared on the Mothership can help to zero in on new, format altering strategies like Throne of Geth did in Modern and Legacy. Alternatively, doing some research on what is rising in popularity on EDHrec allows you to find hidden gems, for example like Lim-Dûl's Vault which benefits from new printings like Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow in Commander 18.