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Pro Tour Prep


Welcome back to the living financial experiment that is this series. Last week, I asked for your input on how to guide this series in terms of Magic Online and the current metagame. It seems most people do not follow Magic Online or use it as a resource for playing, which is a shame, as it has made me much better at Magic over the years. I will be using the program less than I anticipated given the results, but I will still be using it for my primary method of playing Magic, and in turn, I will be taking price trends into account while writing this series—more on that in weeks to come. This week, I bring some more questions to further help me tailor to what you, the readership, is seeking in my article.

Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
It is always an interesting time financially leading up to the Pro Tour, as people have learned not to wait until the actual event to order cards due to potential cancelations. Over the past few events, we have seen a few trends out of the ordinary, and this week, I will be concentrating on that rather than on particular decklists. I will still be talking about one tier-one player I missed last week, but given how tight most of the Pro Tour players have been with their information, trying to hammer down lists for this weekend is nearly pointless. I will still be talking about some of the heavy movers as of the last week and where they fit into the metagame, but piecing together decklists from only a few weeks of results would only be guesswork.

Before I dive right into Standard, I would like to ask a follow-up question to last week. This series is going to concentrate primarily on Standard for the reasons I discussed last week, mostly for accessibility and how quickly the market can move. With that in mind, there will be down weeks during which Standard is not the primary focus, such as when we’re approaching rotation or leading up to events such as the Modern Pro Tour. I would like insight into what you would like to read about during these times, keeping in mind the following:

  • Since the banning of every combo piece ever in Modern, I have had very little non-finance-related interest in the format.
  • I do not play Commander anymore, though I did extensive research when the price spikes began a number of years ago, and feel I have a hold on what cards have long-term potential.
  • Legacy just does not have enough to write about; yes, there is a cool new deck every once in a while, such as Jeskai Ascendancy, but rarely does this have significant impact on enough cards to look for short-term movement.
  • I am attempting to stay away from what my series was previously about—you all know the basics of Magic finance.

So with all of that in mind, I could see a few clear options as to where I could place my focus on those weeks, and I want to see what you feel would be a good fit.

[poll id="460"]

This is not something I will be devoting time to on a regular basis, but these topics all seem simple enough that I feel only concentrating on them for a week at a time would be plenty. If you have anything else you may want to add to this list, I am always open to new ideas.

So, of course, that brings us to the pre–Pro Tour week in Standard, a week I detest, as each new list that comes out is usually something a few weeks old in actual testing for the event. One list I did not get to cover last week—but that I wanted to talk about—is Temur Monsters.

Though I feel this shell needs a lot of work, it does seem that all of the tools are there to beat most of the other midrange decks. Polukranos, World Eater has been among the biggest Standard players over the past few weeks, silently slipping into many decks next to Sylvan Caryatid and Courser of Kruphix. This list highlights a green deck without the two assumed starting cards and instead focuses on gaining value with some of the hardest-hitting cards in the format.

Boon Satyr
Though the deck is chockfull of threats, there are only a few here that may have financial relevance, as most provide very little surprise, such as Polukranos and Goblin Rabblemaster. On this short list, the first card I want to touch on is Boon Satyr, a card that had a ton of hype upon release that has slowly drifted into the shadows ever since. I have seen a few lists over the past year including this guy, but few have been sporting four, and even fewer have the ability to treat him like a Stoke the Flames; this deck has both.

Boon Satyr next to Goblin Rabblemaster can easily swing games, whether it be your opponent blocking a token and you suddenly having a 5/3 or just playing him next to Rabblemaster on your opponent’s end step to suddenly have a substantial army. This card seems to pair much better with these type of heavy-hitters than it did in the more aggressive decks we have seen it played in the past. The downside is very low right now, and you have plenty of time for this card to see more play, making them very safe pickups this week. It would not take much Pro Tour play to see this card double in value.

Rattleclaw Mystic is one of the only other cards I can see from this list that may have upward movement. I know this seems insane given how much they are already and the fact that it has three prints, but given that we have at least three different lists that have been regularly sporting a four-of, it would not surprise me to see this card over $10 in the short term. I would not go out buying these in any capacity, but if you have them already or can trade for a few, hold them through the weekend, and see where they go. Most cards start to plummet about this time since supply finally begins to catch up to the demand, but I expect this card to stay right where it is—or go up rather than drop.

Anger of the Gods
Part of the reason for skipping that deck last week was for how few financial ramifications it has given that almost every card in the deck is just general good stuff and is already seeing an abundance of play. This is not the only deck that is seeing a good deal of play but has limited financial repercussions, but I feel it is best to wait until after the Pro Tour to scour any more lists for cards we may have missed—and we can instead just focus on particular cards that have been seeing play but have gone relatively unnoticed financially.

With our Wrath effect being moved to 5 mana, it is no wonder people are looking elsewhere for their board sweepers, and Anger of the Gods fits the bill quite well in some decks. Though limited in application and certainly not a catch-all, the card has been stagnant until recently at $2. Since rotation, the card has risen to just above $3, but that is certainly not the ceiling, and if you do not at least have your set, now would be the time to acquire them.

Nylea, God of the Hunt is another card that has been seeing increased play since rotation, and though it is rarely a four-of, it has seen play across a multitude of decks, and at $5 to $7, that is when I usually look to start getting in on mythics. This one is a bit safer than some of the other mythics given that she has a few decks that may sport her, but I would not expect any major hike, as people are already aware that she is playable now.

There are so many more cards that may see play this weekend, but given our lack of information, being on the outside looking in it is sometimes best in order to just let the format figure itself out and move on from there. If you have any cards you are looking at picking up before the Pro Tour, remember to order them before the middle of the event to avoid cancelation. I had Rabblemaster last Pro Tour, and that guy beat even my expectations, so what do you think will be the major player this time around? Next week, we can finally hit the ground running, as we will have results and coverage from this weekend to finally work with—the secrets of this format are about to be unlocked. Check in next week as I begin to take your opinions and ideas to form what I hope will be a step in the right direction for Magic finance.

Ryan Bushard


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