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The Pro Tour That Was


I had a few ideas for what to write about this week, but as I watched more and more coverage this past weekend, I couldn’t stop thinking about the market shifts we saw. I have always been someone who would casually watch coverage when I had free time on weekends; however, this week, I had nowhere to be and was mostly locked in my armchair watching Ray “Future Pro” Perez drive his way to an eleventh-place finish. Not only was I far more focused on coverage, I also was watching the market and making financial plays all weekend. This week, I am going to go over some of the cards that spiked and some that may be slow to the party.

Master of Waves
Let’s start with what probably had the largest bump from the Pro Tour: Master of Waves. Master went into the Pro Tour with what you might call a skeptical crowd watching, and by the end, not only had the card made a believer of most, it also tripled in price.

As with anything that takes this large of a leap, it is usually best to leave the last ten percent for the next guy, and so I instantly listed the copies I had. If you still have these, now would be the time to move them along with the majority of the mono-blue deck. Thassa, God of the Sea may have a little more room to grow, but even if she does, it will be far too little to capitalize on now. Everything from Nightveil Specter to Tidebinder Mage have probably now seen their days in the sun. After talking to Ray and reading coverage and follow-up articles, it seems the consensus is that mono-blue has a ton of holes that can be easily exploited once you understand how to play against the deck. I am looking to move almost everything from the deck with one exception: Bident of Thassa.

I understand Bident has now seen multiple printings and was just a rare in the most recent set, but it seems Bident is what ties that deck together if the deck does have any further showings, and it will probably see play no matter how good it actually turns out to be. Currently, it seems most people have Bidents if they need them, but if we see another strong finish or another deck running the card, I can certainly see the card spiking to $3 or so. Coastal Piracy never seemed so good, and this card is here to stay, so even if you don’t want to move in on a ton, you should at least pick up your play set, as they will never be cheaper.

On the topic of mono-colored decks, it seems devotion had a strong following at the Pro Tour. With only one color not represented in Top 8, it is likely the Gods will continue to see play. I believe the decks played a safe role staying mono-colored, with the exception of the deck running Nylea, God of the Hunt, which also ran red. This will probably change, as I believe the Gods will still be forces to be reckoned with, but as time passes and the format is unlocked, we will be seeing more control variants and a number of two-colored devotion decks pop up.

Heliod, God of the Sun
As far as financial relevance, I would be using this as a marker for understanding how good the Gods are and how their prices will fluctuate. This weekend was proof that they are all good enough in the right shells to be played, which means I would be looking at them on a rotation. What I mean by this is: Trade Gods for other Gods as much as you can, always on the down trade. Trading a Thassa into three copies of Heliod, God of the Sun seems perfectly fine today, as Heliod will probably have a place on the pedestal over the course of the next few months, perhaps only weeks. With all of the coverage we see now, prices fluctuate much quicker than they used to, and the metagame shifts much more rapidly, allowing you to ride the market much easier. The key is keeping up with results and selling into deck hype, not holding out hoping the deck pans out to be a top-tier contender. Sell early; you may lose incrementally small amounts, but it feels much better to watch it go up ten percent than down fifty.

Xenagos the Reveler surprised me this past weekend when he did not spike due to the play he was seeing. This may partially be due to how hard he tanked during release, as some people still were stuck with them, but now that he has stabilized, I can see him holding $15 to $20 for a while. He has proven to be a contender even with Domri Rade in the deck.

Elspeth, Sun's Champion also did not disappoint this past weekend, though I do not believe her price will hold above $30 for much longer. She is certainly a powerful card that has found a home in more than one deck, but her expensive cost means she will probably be a two-of at most in lists. I expect her to stabilize where Xenagos is slightly above due to her initial price point.

Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of Thought has shown that he can take a place in aggro as well when mono-blue jammed him to three of four top finishes this past weekend. I have always loved this guy, and with the newfound home, it seems that, even at $35, he may have room to move a little more. I suggest moving them if you do not have a quick out, as they should hold for at least a few weeks, but if you are a riskier investor, you can hold them another week and see what this week’s StarCityGames Series event shows. If the Top 8 list this weekend looks anything like last week’s, Jace could spike above $40 with all the love he has been seeing. At that point, I expect him to cool off, so either move them now or else quickly after these next few events.

Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver has over performed for most it seems, and those who have had the chance to play her have loved what she can do against the field. I feel if this card can be supported in multiple decks going forward, we will probably see the next Liliana of the Veil as far as prices go. I don’t expect her to hit $60 or anything like that, but she is very solid across formats, and she has proven to be something every deck has to be able to play against. She can still be found in the low $20s, but that will probably change in the next few weeks. If you don’t at least have your set, get them now, as it will be a long time before she has this low a price again.

So, from what I have seen, most of the mythics have been the cards to see the least action, whereas rares such as Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx have spiked through the roof. This will subside as the set becomes more available, so I would sell out now even if the card does currently seem insane. For a card to hold that type of value, it almost has to be Eternal-playable, and though this may show up as a one-of in some Eternal, lists it will be unlikely to have a showing as Deathrite Shaman and Snapcaster Mage do. Most of the rares I mentioned from mono-blue are good to move now, as are cards that were fringe-playable or that only saw a few copies in any list. Boon Satyr is an interesting one that I liked from the beginning, though I am not sure how I feel about him now. He does have a relatively high price, but from what I am seeing, he is worth every penny, thus putting him on my watch list. If he sees more play this weekend, I may be willing to move in on anything under $10 in trade. On the other side of the coin, if he doesn’t have a strong showing, I expect a quick cool-off down back to $5 or so as people begin to dismiss the Pro Tour results over the next few weeks.

Advent of the Wurm
Before I go, there are a few rares I want to share that I would be keeping an eye on over the next few weeks. Advent of the Wurm seems right where you want to be right now, and it is still relatively cheap at under $5 some places. This card fills roles in everything from aggro to control and will probably be a format staple as time goes on. As I mentioned before, Bident of Thassa is one of the silent sleepers of the Pro Tour, putting in a lot of work and seeing very little growth. I also like Reverent Hunter a lot, as he is still sitting just above bulk. This guy had a strong showing, and though he is pigeonholed into a particular archetype, he is a four-of in those lists and will probably continue to see play—even only if out of Pro Tour hype for now.

As always, thank you for joining me, and let me know what you did to prepare financially for the Pro Tour and how you were rewarded. Were there any cards you were hot on that may have missed? Were there cards you moved in on but lost out on? I am curious how everyone else did on the weekend, and I always love a good read, so get the comments rollin’.

Ryan Bushard


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