The prerelease for Guilds of Ravnica has finally made its mark in the history books. I also made history by missing it, making it the first prerelease I’ve missed in the last few years owing to the recent birth of my first child—a fair trade off.
But that’s not what we’re here to discuss, as it’s back to business as usual. As always, the focus is on...
- 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.
- 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.
Mutavault - Grand Prix Promos
Target Buy Price
2018 is quickly coming to an end, and that means we’ll probably be getting a new promo for next year’s Grand Prix. I was recently talking to my good friend and consistent Quiet Speculation commenter, Zandy, about how we haven’t reached peak supply yet, which will happen in December. However, if we look at previous Grand Prix promos like Griselbrand and Stoneforge Mystic, you’ll notice that the price rebound has gotten continuously shorter over the years.
You can see that it’s taken Griselbrand about three years to rebound and start its inevitable gradual climb upwards till pretty much the end of time, since it’s a promo that Wizards will probably never print again. And this is why I highlighted it in Article #2 back on July 17, 2018.
But wow, three years is a long time. Okay, so let’s continue forward and look at Stoneforge Mystic.
Now let’s take a look at Mutavault’s graphs.
You can see that it’s taken less than a year compared to Stongeforge’s two, and Griselbrand’s three, to start its rise. Given these charts, I think it’s pretty safe to say that now is a good time to start picking up the promo Mutavaults if you need or want them.
Yes there are a lot out there, but that’s when you should be looking to pick them up before they start disappearing into people’s collections and decks. Not to mention, the artwork is done by the beloved John Avon.
Chalice of the Void - Modern Masters (Non-Foil)
Target Buy Price
The Masters 25 reprinting almost a year ago has really tanked the price of this card, especially the Modern Masters version. Thus, now is a great time to pick this up if you need it to play something like Eldrazi in Legacy or Tron in Modern. This will bounce back again if Wizards chooses not to print it in the next Masters set.
Mutavault - M14 (Non-Foil)
Target Sell Price
$10 is pretty close to the target buy price of Mutavault's Grand Prix promo counterpart. Now is a good time to get rid of these as these are easy to reprint and could easily show up in the next Masters set. If you have these and want the promo version, you can sell them to a vendor like Star City Games and use store credit to also pick up the promos from them. That’s what I plan to do.
Barbarian Ring - Premium Deck Series: Fire and Lightning
I mainly got these for Premodern, and I bought two playsets from Card Kingdom since they were so cheap. While I don’t target cards that only see play in Premodern, the funny thing is, I just noticed that this sees play in Lands in Legacy. Even Daniel Barkon’s list from Article #12 runs one copy.
Hatchery Spider - Guilds of Ravnica (Foil)
Just like Premodern, I don’t advise picking up cards that will probably only see play in Standard. However, $1.49 for foil versions of this card is super cheap. This card is essentially a two-for-one since it has a cast trigger. Mono-Green Stompy, which will probably be one of the front-runners for the new Standard this month, will most likely play at least one copy.
One other thing to mention: green is very powerful in EDH/Commander; so I could see there being some demand for this there. I bought the only six copies that were available on Card Kingdom on September 27. They’ve restocked since then if you want to pick some up too.
Nightveil Sprite - Guilds of Ravnica (Foil)
Here’s another card that’s probably only Standard-worthy but was also super cheap to pick up. I got a playset of these on September 27 from Card Kingdom as well. Since then, they’ve bumped their price up to $0.79, and are still sold out of them.
The surveil mechanic is quite powerful since it’s pretty much scry on steroids. While Todd Anderson has been playing around with some surveil Standard lists. I still don’t think this card will make waves in eternal formats in something like UB Faeries or some other deck that tries to abuse the graveyard. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s highly unlikely.
However, $0.49 was just too good to pass up for at least a playset for Standard at the very least. And $0.79 still isn’t too bad if they restock them at that price and you’re able to get them.
A couple of things to point out here:
- You have to be flexible and bend the guidelines sometimes when it comes to cards like Hatchery Spider or Nightveil Sprite with regard to small tangible potential and price points.
- I advise bookmarking the Hold ‘Em & Fold ‘Em - Public MTG Finance Spreadsheet to really stay up to date on market movements, especially during times like this when new sets are getting released since the market shifts quickly and is quite volatile.
Pelt Collector - Guilds of Ravnica (Non-Foil & Foil)
Non-Foil: $1.40 (shipping included)
Speaking of quick market shifts and volatility, Pelt Collector has skyrocketed in price since I bought it on September 18 and mentioned it in Article #11. This is yet another example of why bookmarking the spreadsheet is crucial.
Runaway Steam-Kin - Guilds of Ravnica (Non-Foil & Foil)
You want another reason? Here you go. This is another card that has been making waves prior to and throughout the Prerelease weekend. I bought multiple playsets of and featured it in Article #12 on September 27.
Here’s a buylist order I placed with Star City Games on September 29.
I bought the Flameblade Adepts from TCGplayer on January 11, 2018 for $1.79 each, and they're been rotting in my trade binder since then. So I decided to get rid of them. As you can see, I’m putting my words into action regarding Mutavault, as well as Fulminator Mage, which I mentioned in Article #11.
All for all the other cards, I either opened them in packs during some tournament or traded for them. The only exception is Rekindling Phoenix, which I bought from Card Kingdom in February for $27.99 to play in two Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifiers that I both cashed and pseudo-qualified for a Regional Pro Tour Qualifier.
So they’ve been well worth the money spent. Although Phoenix will probably see play throughout the rest of its time in Standard, it’ll probably never see Eternal play. So I’m happy to lock in the value now and spend it on other cards I’ve mentioned and need.
Last week, Sigmund Ausfresser and I hosted Quiet Speculation’s inaugural Office Hours in the Discord channel...an ask-us-anything session that lasted an hour. It was quite successful as there was a good group of people who were asking questions and listening the whole time.
Throughout the session we discussed Guilds of Ravnica, Old School, and general MTG finance questions like strategies for buylisting and how to afford Magic with a limited bankroll.
We’re working on getting the audio together to see if we can feature this as additional value-add to our QS Insiders that they can listen to and refer back to anytime. We plan to continue doing this, so if you want to partake in the next session don’t forget to sign up to the Discord channel.
- Mutavault - M14 (Non-Foil)
- Barbarian Ring - Premium Deck Series: Fire and Lightning
- Hatchery Spider - Guilds of Ravnica (Foil)
- Nightveil Sprite - Guilds of Ravnica (Foil)
- Pelt Collector - Guilds of Ravnica (Non-Foil & Foil)
- Runaway Steam-Kin - Guilds of Ravnica (Non-Foil & Foil)
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.