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The Pro Tour starts today, and it has huge implications for the Standard market. It’s going to bring clarity to the chaotic metagame, and set its course over the next couple of months until Ravnica Allegiance shakes things up at the end of January. There’s also the exciting possibility of cards breaking out, rising from obscurity to staple, and that has the potential to bring a large growth in price.
There’s no way to know how things are going to play out at the Pro Tour, but we can make some pretty good guesses. This week I’ve been following the price of Standard cards on Magic Online, and there have been some very interesting movements that might serve as a preview of what’s to come this weekend.
An exciting card that spiked on MTGO this week is Muldrotha, the Gravetide. In fact its spike came on Wednesday, the day that decklists for the Pro Tour had to be submitted, so there could very well be a correlation.
It’s a very eye-catching card packed with power, but it hasn’t been able to make a name for itself in Standard yet. Guilds of Ravnica brought two shocklands for Sultai, so now the mana is no issue, and Golgari and Dimir have also brought a ton of new graveyard enablers and payoffs that play well with the card.
It was dirt cheap on MTGO, around 0.2 tix, but has spiked all the way to 0.6. Its paper price did grow from $3 to nearly $5 at GRN’s release, but is falling back down towards $4. If it becomes played in multiples in a deck that becomes top-tier, then the price will surely grow significantly.
Seemingly hand-in-hand with the Muldrotha, the Gravetide spike is Bone Dragon. It plays very well from the graveyard and is very much a Golgari card, so I could see it playing part in a graveyard deck as an extra source of value. It’s grown 20% or so over the week, now over 1 ticket, while the paper has been under $2 since soon after printing. I can’t see the card being played in high numbers, but there’s some room to grow and little to fall.
Thursday brought a massive spike on Wayward Swordtooth, nearly doubling from 0.6 tix to over 1. The card put up some solid results in early online events, especially with Experimental Frenzy. This spike leads me to believe it’s been picked up by some pros and will put on a show at the Pro Tour.
At nearly $6, the rare doesn’t look like a bargain. But that's an impressive price considering it doesn’t see mainstream top-tier play, so it likely has a lot of casual and Commander demand as well. It if it does become a top-tier staple, then this price may very well look like a bargain after all. Because of said casual appeal, this card has a high floor and some great long-term prospects.
Putting some more weight behind the Wayward Swordtooth spike is Regisaur Alpha, which also started on the move upwards Thursday. Some of the best performing Wayward Swordtooth-Experimental Frenzy decks embraced its dinosaur theme by adding other dinosaurs and Thunderherd Migration, and so there’s a chance that version is what breaks out at the Pro Tour.
Regisaur Alpha’s price has been slowly stagnating downwards since release, now at $1.50, so this could be the catalyst it needs to start appreciating.
Another staple of the strategy is Treasure Map, which works well with Experimental Frenzy and adds card advantage to the ramp-style deck.
Its online price has actually fallen significantly over the week—losing nearly half its value from 3.6 to 2 tix—but I just see that as leaving some more room for profits online if it does break out. The paper price has been steady just above $4, but if it becomes more of a staple the price would have to increase.
My purely speculative pick for the weekend is Rowdy Crew. Its price saw a rather significant spike on Thursday, from around 0.1 tix to over 0.2. That doesn’t say much, but there’s definitely some interest by somebody. There’s a possibility that a pro team figured out how to make great use of the creature and the card advantage it brings.
With a paper price under $1 its basically bulk status at this point, but I can’t imagine the spike, however short-lived, it would cause if the card broke out in a high-profile Pro Tour deck.
As far as the losers this week, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria took a big hit, and so did all of the Golgari cards. I attribute those movements mostly to them being overpriced from their dominance of the early weeks of the metagame, and finally settling down as the metagame becomes more diverse. I expect both of these strategies to have finishes at the Pro Tour, but with their paper prices also relatively inflated I’m not sure I’d buy in expecting more gains.
Perhaps the biggest loser in the metagame is the Mono-Blue Aggro deck, which has been completely supplanted by White Aggro. Its staples have tanked online, and I just don’t see it having a great Pro Tour. So if anything I’d be selling out of these cards now if you hold them.