Hold ‘Em & Fold ‘Em #12

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The 2018 World Championship happened this past weekend, along with Star City Games's Baltimore Legacy Open. Overall nothing was too exciting, except for Gerry Thompson’s choice not to play in Worlds as a way to protest the poor pro support over the years.

We won’t see changes happen overnight regarding that. But we’ll start to see changes to the metagames shortly after Guilds of Ravnica is released next month. Assassin's Trophy has been talked about to death so hold on to your seats.

The release of a new set is always an exciting time. It provides new things to talk about as formats change, which is a big part of what this article series is about.

  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

Choke - Masterpiece Series: Amonkhet Invocations

Target Buy Price
Under $40

Matthew Vook’s 4-Color Loam list that won the SCG Baltimore Open didn’t contain any copies of Choke. But you still see it pop up in the sideboard of other lists, like Brandon Chang’s.

Okay, so one copy in two decks. That’s not really a good showing of the card. But if you take a look at this list, you’ll see that Choke is actually played in quite a few popular decks.

Take a look at Nicolas Bergerot’s Jund list from Grand Prix Stockholm.

And you know what slots well into that deck? Assassin's Trophy. Now let’s take a look at Daniel Barkon’s Lands list from SCG Baltimore.

And how about some more Assassin's Trophy action if you aren’t sick of it already? Check out Charles Azuelos’s Elves deck from SCG’s Syrcause Legacy Classic.

Not only are there two Chokes in the sideboard, but those three Abrupt Decays can be easily swapped out for Assassin's Trophys. And don’t forget about that Pendelhaven, which I mentioned in the previous article. There’s also Pelt Collector, but I doubt that’ll make its way into Elves in Eternal formats. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s highly unlikely.

Shefet Dunes - Hour of Devastation (Foil)

Target Buy Price
Under $2

This is a nice little pick-up during rotation. It’s an affordable and useful utility land that sees play mainly in Modern Death & Taxes variants like Nick D’Ambrose’s Eldrazi Taxes from Grand Prix Detroit, or Dorian Rohner’s RW Death & Taxes from Grand Prix Prague.

Runaway Steam-Kin - Guilds of Ravnica (Non-Foil & Foil)

Target Buy Price
Non-Foil: $3
Foil: $6-8

I’ve already posted on social media that I think this will be the one of the chase cards from Guilds of Ravnica. Frank Karsten already did some of the math on this card on Channel Fireball. While he concludes the math doesn't indicate many turn-one wins in Modern, it’s just the tip of the iceberg as to what this card will enable.

Star City Games and Card Kingdom are both sold out of foil copies at $3.99. I’ve submitted restock alerts on both sites hoping to get at least at playest from $6-8 each. However, I have a feeling they’ll be restocked with a price of $9.99 or more.

Recent Buys

Worship - Masterpiece Series: Amonkhet Invocations

Purchased Price

In article #10, I talked about Faithless Looting. A few weeks ago I sold eight foil Eternal Masters copies to Star City Games for $6 store credit each, which I had bought from them at $2.99 in 2016. I used most of the $48 I got in store credit to buy one of these Aerie Worshipperss that I talked about in the same article.

I just checked Star City Games and they’re sold out at $49.99! I didn’t think they’d sell out of these that fast, let alone raise the price by $10.

And now that I look again at those lists above regarding Shefet Dunes, both of those decks have Aerie Worshippers in the sideboards. Crazy!

Goblin Cratermaker - Guilds of Ravnica (Foil)

Purchased Price

I put the rest of the store credit towards buying a playset of these. Originally, I was going to buy twenty of these but didn’t pull the trigger. Then I started to quickly see the stock deplete, and placed a separate order from the Aerie Worshippers.

I could’ve saved on shipping by ordering them together, but I still wasn’t sure about Goblin Cratermaker at the time. As it turns out, I was fumbling around with their site and the store credit, and accidentally ordered the Aerie Worshippers by itself because the site automatically placed the order as I was testing the use of the store credit.

Anyways, this card has a lot of utility attached to a 2/2 body for only 1R, making it very flexible.

Snow-Covered Island - Coldsnap (Foil)

Purchased Price

I bought a Lightly Played copy from TCG Player. I talked about Snow-Covered lands in article #9, so I’m putting some more money where my mouth is. You’ll see there aren’t very many left. And they’re sold on out on Star City Games and Card Kingdom, so the supply is definitely drying up.

Watch List

Pact of the Titan - Future Sight (Foil)

Observed Price

This is one of the key pieces to the Modern Turn-One Boom deck, featuring Runaway Steam-Kin listed above. There’s only one printing and there aren’t many foil copies out there. If you want to try this with Runaway Steam-Kin, I would get these under $8 if you can now.

Flamekin Harbinger - Lorwyn (Foil)

Observed Price

Although the Turn-One Boom deck only runs two copies of this card, I could see it easily moving up to four copies to make sure you consistently draw Runaway Steam-Kin.

Also, this is the only foil version. While there are a few more copies on the market compared to Pact of the Titan, because it’s an uncommon versus a rare, the supply of this card could dry up just as easily.


Manamorphose - Modern Masters (Non-Foil & Foil)

I marked this card as a Fold in article #11. However, I think this is actually a Hold now owing to the printing of Runaway Steam-Kin. One- and two-mana spells that draw cards, especially ones like Manamorphose that also produce mana, have become very powerful as a way to chain things together and win the game. Another one of these cards to watch out for is Burning-Tree Emissary, which I highlighted in article #9.

Office Hours

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We can chat about things like…

When: Thursday, September 27 at 9p Eastern
Where: Quiet Speculation Discord Channel


Hold ‘Em

Recent Buys



Public Spreadsheet

Hold ‘Em & Fold ‘Em 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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