If you’re a professional and already got all of your holiday shopping done, you may be wondering what you can get for yourself. The end of the year is the best time to get new singles as the sales can’t be beat! A lot of people sell off their cards as they visit family for the holidays and cards will hit their historic lows before rebounding quickly with the next set release, Rivals of Ixalan. Let’s examine what you should be looking for depending on what format you play.
With the restocks of Commander 2017 product likely to be arriving soon, you should be able to find that missing precon for MSRP. This should also lower the price of some of the more expensive singles from C17 like Teferi's Protection, Kess, Dissident Mage, and Kindred Discovery. Some stores may be opening more of the product, so you can probably also try to save a few dollars on Path of Ancestry and Herald's Horn if you get lucky. Not really into tribal? No problem! Now is the best time to be looking at stuff that rotated out of Standard recently. Been holding out for an Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger? Next month is probably going to be the best time to get it. I’d recommend grabbing some Tireless Trackers if you’ve never tried them in Commander, it fits in every Green deck! Need to make some land upgrades? Make sure to stock up on all the dual lands from Battle for Zendikar, Oath of the Gatewatch, and Shadows over Innistrad. They make for exceptionally cheap alternatives to a shockland/fetchland mana base. The last product I’d be sure to look at is Explorers of Ixalan. It contains some great reprints for Commander like Time Warp and Shared Animosity. While I don’t think it’s worth buying at MSRP, it is definitely worth grabbing any single you might need. There is even some new art on the reprinted cards like Crumbled Necropolis and Jungle Shrine. You can see all of the decklists and new art here. The last thing I want to mention is that if you need some pricier reprints from Iconic Masters, I would recommend grabbing those too if they’re also competitive cards. You may be able to wait a little if you need a Kokusho, the Evening Star but I don’t think Grove of the Burnwillows has much more room to drop.
Coming up will be the best time to get Ixalan cards if you haven’t got your playsets already. The Pro Tour is over and interest in Standard will slowly fade as the holidays come and marquee tournaments go into a brief hibernation. Keep an eye on the powerful cards that aren’t seeing play right now because they are the easiest to forget about. Hostage Taker, Carnage Tyrant, Ripjaw Raptor, and Regisaur Alpha could be due for a big price increase as we get more pirates and dinosaurs in Rivals of Ixalan. The trick is to pick the cards up before they get more support and get more expensive. Due to the fact that Ixalan is a tribal block without much support from the previous sets, it’s hard to accurately pick anything from Kaladesh or Amonkhet that might rise with the new set coming. Generically good cards like Glorybringer are likely to still be good and are a solid investment if you find yourself with the chance to buy them cheaply.
Modern cards don’t really “go down”, per se, at the end of the year. The fact that Iconic Masters includes a lot of staples and the fact that Rivals of Ixalan is a Modern Pro Tour leads me to believe we will see some prices go up. I would recommend finishing any deck you’re looking to have next year in December. If you missed my last article about Iconic Masters, I’d suggest reading it as well. Once the set is released I would be purchasing any cards I know I will need because they’re unlikely to be cheaper than release weekend. Players will be drafting and busting boxes to sell the singles they don’t need online and the race to the bottom will always work in your favor. It might be hard to swallow the money needed to buy the cards, but trust me it won’t get cheaper for a long time. Coolstuffinc has some cards available for pre-order here, but there are a lot of the most sought after ones that are already sold out! If that’s not an indication that this set will be in demand then I don’t know what is!
Saving You the Most Money
The end of the year is always the time where your money is worth the most and I personally have been saving for a few months waiting for it. I know it will be hard to avoid spending some money on Unstable but make sure you remember that those cards aren’t legal in most Constructed formats! I know I will probably be trying to get some no-border basic lands and basically avoiding the rest of it. If you really want one of the silver border cards (like Sword of Dungeons & Dragons) then wait for them to go up for sale online and buy the single. You’ll save a ton of money because, like Conspiracy draft-only cards, they’re not worth much.