Hold ‘Em & Fold ‘Em #11

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Wow! It sure seems like there’s a lot of cool stuff going on with Magic at the moment. Bant Spirits took down Grand Prix Stockholm this weekend even though it was flooded with UWx Control. And Living End stood tall through a massive field of Burn decks at the SCG Syracuse Open.

Meanwhile, people are getting excited as Guilds of Ravnica spoilers start to pour in. Plus, there seems to be a little bit of movement on the relatively new Premodern format. There was a twenty-person tournament at Grand Prix Stockholm. You can check out some photos from that here.

But with all this excitement, never forget the focus of this series...

  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

Damnation - Amonkhet Invocation & Magic Players Rewards

Target Buy Prices
Invocations: Under $100
Magic Players Rewards: Under $50

In the previous article, we talked about the Assassin's Trophy effect on multiple formats. Today we’re back again to talk about some more cards that are affected, which shows you how powerful the card is.

Choice of Damnations has shown up in BGx decks for many years. And now that Assassin's Trophy is about to enter into the card pool, we’ll probably see a small resurgence of Choice of Damnations. One thing to note is that Assassin's Trophy provides Sultai decks with a new answer to many problemsome cards. However, Thrun, the Last Troll isn’t one of those cards. But Choice of Damnations is a nice answer to a pesky threat.

There aren’t very many of either version on TCGplayer or Star City Games. So if you need them, now is probably a good time to get them as these two versions will never be printed again.

Wrath of God - Amonkhet Invocation & Magic Players Rewards

Target Buy Prices
Invocations: Under $50
Magic Players Rewards: Under $25

Well, I guess it’s a sweeper kind of week. And we’re used to seeing this sweeper in UWx Control decks like Branco Neirynck’s Jeskai Control deck that top-eighted Grand Prix Stockholm. But one of the most interesting things about Wrath of God this weekend was its appearance in the recent Magic Online phenomenon, Mono-White Martyr. Take a look at Elias Klocker’s deck that also made Top 8.

The other interesting thing about Wrath of God is its appearance in Premodern. It shows up in 4-Color Control, Lands, and UW Standstill.

Just look at those decks! That’s some sweet Magic nostalgia. There aren’t even any sideboards listed! Anyhow, check out Joel Larson’s article on Channel Fireball for a more in-depth look at the burgeoning Premodern format.


Fulminator Mage - Modern Masters 2015 (Non-Foil & Foil)

Target Sell Price
Non-Foil: $20
Foil: $40

This is almost counterintuitive to the rise of BGx decks because of Assassin's Trophy. However, Fulminator Mage requires three mana versus two for Assassin's Trophy. Plus, it’s also a sorcery. I imagine red-based decks that splash black would still want this.

But for the most part, Assassin's Trophy will start to take a decent amount of market share away from Fulminator Mage. Just take a look the top three decks that it’s played in, and you’ll see that Assassin's Trophy can easily take its place.

Manamorphose - Modern Masters (Non-Foil & Foil)

Target Sell Price
Non-Foil: $9
Foil: $15

I could easily see this getting reprinted in the next Masters set. There’s also been a slight downturn in Storm recently owing to the rise in popularity of UWx Control and Bant Spirits. Take a look at the Modern metagame on MTG Stocks. If you’re not using these right now, I would dump them and buy back in when they get reprinted.

Recent Buys

Pendelhaven - Judge Promos

Purchased Price

In the previous article, I talked about holds from Infect and Hardened Scales Affinity. Here’s another card that shows up in both of those decks. Granted, this is usually only played as a one- or two-of max in any one deck; however, this is the only version with this artwork. And again, these promos will probably never get printed again.

Plus, on Tuesday Pelt Collector got spoiled, which could see play in BG Elves alongside Assassin's Trophy.

Pelt Collector- Guilds of Ravnica (Non-Foil)

Purchased Price
Non-Foil: $1.40 (includes shipping)

Target Buy Price
Foil: $5

I bought eight of these from Card Kingdom as soon as I saw the spoiler on Facebook. If you follow my column, I recommend bookmarking the Public MTG Finance Spreadsheet to stay up to date on what’s going on. Sometimes it’s too slow to wait to get information from articles, especially during spoiler season and when tournaments are happening on the weekends.

Originally, I wanted to get foils at around $5 if possible. But they aren’t available yet. I’d keep an eye on Card Kingdom and Star City Games for them.

Web of Inertia - Judgement (Foil)

Purchased Price

Speaking of the spreadsheet and quick market movements, I bought twelve copies of Web of Inertia as soon as I saw a message in a private Slack channel about Jody Keith’s Twitter post.

(Click to expand.)

Force Spike - FNM Promos

Purchased Price

I had this listed in the "Watchlist" tab of the spreadsheet since August 28. I decided to buy them when I placed my order for the Web of Inertias to save on shipping.

I don’t see this as a great pickup because it doesn’t really seen play outside of Pauper, and it doesn’t even see much play there. But it’s a promo of a card that probably won’t get printed again.

Supply is also very low or non-existent on Card Kingdom, Star City Games, and Channel Fireball.

Disdainful Stroke - FNM Promos

Purchased Price

Here’s another FNM promo with unique artwork. This one sees a lot more play, and it just got reprinted in Guilds of Ravnica so it will probably pop up in Standard.

We even saw this in three of the Top 8 decks at Grand Prix Stockholm: Luis Salvatto’s UW Control, Ondrej Strasky’s Bant Spirits, Branco Neirynck’s Jeskai Control, and Rasmus Energren’s UW Control.

Ball Lightning - Judge Promos

Purchased Price

Circling back to the other highlight of Grand Prix Stockholm—Premodern—Sligh won the tournament. This isn’t the winning deck, but it’s a sample.

Sligh is one of the most popular and powerful decks in the format. However, Ball Lightning doesn’t see any play outside of Premodern. Yet, I decided to pick these up because it’s the only foil version of the famous Quinton Hoover artwork which will probably never be printed again. With that said, I think the real interest should be directed towards Cursed Scroll since it’s on the Reserved List and can be played in many different decks. And it shows up in the more unusual Legacy Largepox deck.

Check out Travis Parsley’s Trial-winning deck from Grand Prix Richmond.


Ionize - Guilds of Ravnica (Foil)

Target Buy Price

I doubt that this will start off at $5; but if it does, I'd pick up at least a playset. It gives red decks like Burn in Modern and Legacy a new tool to surprise people with all while staying on plan. I mostly see it as a sideboard card, but it’s definitely a card to keep on your radar both tournament-wise and financially moving forward.

Office Hours

Don’t forget to sign up to the Discord channel and mark the date on your calendars. This is happening next week!

We can chat about things like…

  • Tournament MTG Finance
  • Old School Magic
  • Premodern
  • Guilds of Ravnica Spoilers
  • Upcoming Banned and Restricted Announcement
  • Whatever Else

When: Thursday, September 27 at 9pm Eastern
Where: Quiet Speculation Discord Channel
Who: Sigmund Ausfresser & Edward Eng
Why: To increase community engagement
What: Anything goes


Hold ‘Em

  • Choice of Damnations - Masterpiece Series: Amonkhet Invocations & Magic Players Rewards
  • Wrath of God - Masterpiece Series: Amonkhet Invocations & Magic Players Rewards

Fold ‘Em

Recent Buys


  • Ionize - Guilds of Ravnica (Foil)
  • Pelt Collector - Guilds of Ravnica (Foil)
  • Curse Scroll - Tempest

Office Hours

Thursday, September 27 at 9pm Eastern in the Quiet Speculation Discord Channel

Public Spreadsheet

Hold ‘Em & Fold ‘Em - Public MTG Finance Spreadsheet

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,

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