Top 5: Cards to Buy, Summer Harvest
- Rodrigo Martin
The sweet summer lull offers a welcome reprieve from the frantic flurry of Magic releases. But the calmest time of the Magic year also makes for the perfect moment to invest in cards at a low price. The secondary market never sleeps, and if you're on the hunt for bargains, neither should you!
5. Commander's Sudden Spikes
Tower of the Magistrate is a utility land from Mercadian Masques that hasn't been reprinted in 23 years, not even in the recent Double Masters 2022. It is going up in the European market, currently trending at €14. Meanwhile in the American market, it fetches a price almost three times as high, an average of $39. Gladly, it is not on the Reserved List, so we could see the Tower in a supplemental product at any point. But until then, it will continue to increase in value.
Regarding its playability, it can be found in the sideboard of some Legacy decks like Dark Depths and Lands as a unique tool to make opposing Equipment drop off. This becomes especially relevant when facing living weapons like Batterskull and the new Kaldra Compleat. Aside from Legacy, the primary format where you can find it is clearly Commander. Not long ago, Tower stood below the €10 threshold, but then a Command Zone video about underrated cards mentioned it.
Maddening Hex is our next guest. A newly printed card that showed up a year ago in the Draconic Rage Commander deck from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, its main application is Legacy sideboards, more specifically, the Blue-Red Delver ones. While the random clause of Maddening Hex can become awkward in multiplayer games, in a one-on-one match, it will stay attached to the same opponent, becoming an improved Pyrostatic Pillar or Eidolon of the Great Revel that doesn't affect you.
Due to the scarce supply and being unavailable on Magic Online, the Hex has been a sleeper for a while. However, now it's going really high. From a 30-day average price of €5, the latest copies are selling for about €10, almost twice its original price.
Mind Grind is a Dimir sorcery card from Gatecrash I honestly didn't know existed before assembling today's ranking. Once again, this card's spike comes from its Commander impact, and it started in the American market where it has already hit an $8 average price. Meanwhile, here in Europe, it's still a bulk rare with a current price trend of €3, but single copies start from less than €1.
The main reason this card is getting attention right now is the recent release of the Mind Flayarrrs Commander deck from Battle for Baldur's Gate, since it synergizes well not only with Captain N'ghathrod but also Tasha, the Witch Queen. Hitting multiple opponents in the late game can become a game-winning move, so if you are looking to play any sort of milling strategy in Commander, grab this card now while it is still a cheap addition!
4. One-Hit Wonders
Let's change the topic and move on to Pioneer. Reckless Rage being able to deal 4 damage to a creature at instant speed (as long as you have a creature of your own) is quite good, and the main reason it has been upgraded to a format staple. Currently, Reckless Rage is the primary removal in Boros Aggro, a strategy that has been on the rise due to its great matchup against Monogreen Devotion. But Rage is a great partner in crime with Ledger Shredder in the Izzet Pyromancer build too, where you can also sacrifice Young Pyromancer's Elemental tokens if the Bird is not in the house.
When looking at its price, sure, there are single copies for less than €1. However, when you try to find a whole playset, that's an entirely different story, and you're looking at up to €2.50 per copy. The fact that Rage comes from a not very popular set like Rivals of Ixalan combined with Pioneer's current success can start the so-called Wild Slash effect: a common or uncommon card with a price out of control until it gets reprinted. I got my copies a month or so ago from three different sellers since the big local game stores in my country didn't have any. My strong recommendation would be to get the card as soon as you can if you're already playing Pioneer or looking forward to it.
Traverse the Ulvenwald is a personal recommendation that I also purchased recently, even if it doesn't seem likely to spike in price anytime soon. This sorcery from Shadows over Innistrad saw a huge amount of play a while ago in Pioneer, right before the pandemic, when Sultai Delirium became a big deal while Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath was still legal.
After that, we haven't seen much of this tutor effect in the format, although some buils of Abzan Greasefang put it in to find the Rat Pilot. The ultimate reason I am suggesting to buy the card is its recent appearance in Modern's Four-Color Omnath piles, as an alternate creature tutor (over Eladamri's Call) that can also search for lands.
Obviously, you need to set up delirium first for the card to function fully. However, this new build packs cards like Mishra's Bauble and Dress Down to achieve this effectively. Moneywise, a full Traverse playset can cost you about €5, but I think it is a great card with a ton of potential both in Modern and Legacy at this point.
|Four-Color Omnath by ssnelson, 5-0 in Modern League, July 22|
Failure // Comply ends up on our list of one hit wonders as a recent surprise I found when watching some Modern games. A split card from Amonkhet that I had never seen before, it was played in a Crashing Footfalls build with four colors and Yorion, Sky Nomad. When evaluating the card, it's clearly way worse than Remand, a soft answer that has vanished from Modern ever since Counterspell became legal. But it's main appeal here is the fact that you can include a two-mana counterspell in a cascade strategy. Returning a spell isn't half bad either, for example when you hit a delve spell such as Murktide Regent, one with flashback just like how Remand did, or suspend spells, mainly Living End, Glimpse of Tomorrow, or Footfalls itself.
Honestly, I don't expect this €0.10 rare to spike at all, but it's always nice to find new technology added to a pre-existing decks out of nowhere. So I am grabbing a playset as my next Cardmarket purchase just in case!
|Crashing Footfalls by D00mwake, 5-0 in Modern League, July 22|
3. Double Masters 2022 Reprints
Don't worry, I didn't forget about the most anticipated set of the summer. Double Masters 2022 is already up for purchase, which means a ton of discount prices in expensive cards for Modern, Legacy, and Commander.
Honestly, after watching a ton of box openings, I have to say this set is really high in variance. There are boosters that can go really crazy when you hit a specific borderless mythic or rare, while others can have less value than a regular Standard booster. My strategy for this Double Masters run has been to buy only the cards I was missing, especially the Modern Masters reprints like Wrenn and Six or Force of Negation that thankfully have gone down significantly in price.
Moreover, I decided to treat myself just a bit with some cheap extended art versions: bounce lands for my Amulet Titan deck, and then Modern and Pioneer playables like Unearth, Spell Pierce, Young Pyromancer, and Terminate, which all look gorgeous.
If you have been following me long enough, you already know my rule of thumb for buying newly printed (or reprinted) cards: Get them as soon as possible, especially the soughtafter ones, because they are already going back up! Take Dockside Extortionist as an example. When a expensive card gets reprinted, some Magic players who couldn't afford to purchase it before suddenly decide to buy because it's the best moment to do so. As a result, prices increase and in a short period of time, Dockside will be at the same original price, if not more expensive.
2. Harvesting Lands
As I mentioned earlier, we are at a lull in Magic's calendar, meaning it's the best window to grab staples and cards that somehow have a cheap or affordable price. What's the most basic essential when assembling any strategy? You guessed right, the mana base. These are my three picks to grab for the summer season:
Looking at the price trend, Modern Horizons 2 fetch lands are currently at an all-time low. Check out Arid Mesa for example, an actual price trend of €15, Marsh Flats at €13, and Verdant Catacombs at €17, while the blue ones (Scalding Tarn and Misty Rainforest) sit at around €22. If you haven't got your playset, this is the right time to go for it, and if you can trade some extras, do it. At this point, no one cares about enemy fetch lands since they were just reprinted a year ago. But give them another year or two, and they will be back to their original price.
Talking about land cycles, the most recent one we just got a couple of months ago, is also at a discount price. Demand for Streets of New Capenna's tricycles is low since most Magic players have already gotten the ones they need. However, we have the example of the original Triomes from Ikora: Lair of Behemoths, specifically the ones adding blue like Raugrin Triome and Ketria Triome, at an average price point of €12. So if you are playing Pioneer, Modern, or Commander, get your copies now before they start going up in price.
Pathways, the two land cycles from Kaldheim and Zendikar Rising, have proven to be staples in both Standard and Pioneer. It may seem early since we are heading toward rotation, but it's unclear how much they'll fall, especially Riverglide Pathway // Lavaglide Pathway and Clearwater Pathway // Murkwater Pathway, which are the most expensive ones.
1. Indomitable Creativity
July's top card to buy is none other than Indomitable Creativity, a mythic rare from Aether Revolt that slowly but patiently has been increasing its presence in the Modern metagame. If you check its all-time price history, it remained constant until January 2020 when it first spiked. It went up again when Modern Horizons 2 gave us Hard Evidence, the best one-mana sorcery to create game objects to destroy creatively.
Lately, the deck has shifted from the five-color version with white for Prismatic Ending and Teferi, Time Raveler to a four-color design, adding Explore to speed up the combo. Fable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-Jiki from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty is another recent addition that generates multiple game objects to target with the red sorcery.
Last but not least, the win condition has changed from the Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Serra's Emissary duo to Archon of Cruelty, which has proven to be a much better threat than spaghetti monster, especially with all those Solitude running around. Archon's multiple enter-the-battlefield offerings help us set up the next Creativity, and if we manage to deploy three Archons, it is game over 99% of the time.
This strategy's recent rise in popularity must have some financial ramifications, and Creativity is going up again, although not by much. It currently comes at a €7 average price, but it's merely a matter of time until this mythic from an old set with no reprints in sight skyrockets.
|Four-Color Creativity by Phill_Hellmuth, 1st at Modern Challenge, July 10|
What are your plans for buying cards this summer? Leave a comment below; we appreciate your feedback.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, not of Cardmarket.