Looking in the right place at the right time

Which cards should you monitor closely at the moment, and which cards can be ignored for a while?

I wasn't suggesting to buy a lot of Battle for Zendikar singles during pre-sale, or since release. The main problem I saw with the set was that the hunt for Expedition lands would cause an overabundance of the regular rares and mythics, which in turn would depress their value. Once the entire spoiler was released, it was clear that we would have the best mana bases ever in the new Standard. These new mana bases were optimal for decks that were splashing everything, while avoiding cards with double or triple commitments to a single colour. At the same time they are ideal for casting the overpowered Khans cards, which were created to shake up the format after Theros had pushed Standard towards mono-coloured decks. Battle for Zendikar doesn't have many similarly powerful cards, and the few it has are featuring double casting costs in a single colour. The new mechanics in Battle for Zendikar don't mix that well with the mechanics in the other four Standard sets either.

For all those reasons it is not surprising that Battle for Zendikar spells have not had a large influence on Standard. It is quite fitting though that Zendikar (the plane famous for its land theme) revolutionized all the mana bases instead, which caused the massive price increase of the Khans fetchlands.

Fetching Profits

Speaking of fetchlands, what should you do with your additional copies?

The recent and still ongoing price increases were caused by Standard, as the battle lands transformed the average Standard mana base from using 4 fetchlands to using between 8 and 15 fetchlands. Some players just stuck with a single deck last season and did not own playsets of all five Khans fetchlands. Now they had (or still have) to catch up and complete their playsets.

Clearly you were smarter than that and did not only have your playsets already, but are sitting on lots of additional copies as well. Now the question is, whether you should cash in to double your investment now or wait for them to rise even further. I suggest watching the price graph very closely in the upcoming weeks. At some point the new demand will slow down and the prices will start to stabilize. That is the perfect timing to sell, as it is impossible for anything in Oath of the Gatewatch to increase the need for fetchlands even further. That way you secured your gains at a local maximum and you can invest into fetchlands once again at a local minimum when they rotate out of Standard next spring.

Supply and Demand

Coming back to Battle for Zendikar though, let's examine whether it will indeed be plagued by the “curse of the Khans” just like last year's autumn set. Battle for Zendikar was expected to beat the record for best selling set ever, so how are supply and demand shaping up on MKM so far?

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar Available items: 1081

Drana, Liberator of Malakir Available items: 1899

Ob Nixilis Reignited Available items: 2180

There are approximately 4000 copies available of playable and strong rares, like Bring to Light, Ruinous Path or Lumbering Falls.

Compare these numbers to the ones of Khans of Tarkir, the previously best selling set:

Wingmate Roc Available items: 1345

Anafenza, the Foremost Available items: 662

Sorin, Solemn Visitor Available items: 1102

There are approximately 2000 copies available of playable and strong rares, like Crackling Doom Dig Through Time or Mantis Rider .

As you can see the sheer amount of Battle for Zendikar product offered is already beating Khans of Tarkir by a large margin four weeks after release, when demand should still be high. Keep in mind that players will still be drafting this set for months and the redemption wave hasn't even hit the market yet either. The result is that prices are on the downgrade for almost every card - even Gideon. There will be investment opportunities shortly before the next rotation, but for the next few months I would look everywhere else but in Battle for Zendikar.


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Magictrade-Online(29.10.2015 16:19)

On the one hand the low prices of BFZ-Cards are like a curse now. Huge investments have been done and even selling the Expeditions could not save it entirely. If you sold all your money-cards some weeks ago just feel happy. But on the other hand this is a huge chance. We are now aware of the playability of many cards and how they performed in practice and we have plenty of time until they rotate out of standard. They just need a home.

We can get most of the BFZ-Rares for a very cheap price or even bulk, just a few of them have to break out to make large profits and compensate the flops among the rest with ease.

Cards like Exert Influence or Ruinous Path could be very strong and valuable after Rotation, so i keep my eyes open if i can buy them for bulk value - low risk, high prospects. If we see some strong Ally-support during the next spoiler this would be a blessing too for the BFZ-set. I will also keep cards like Drana, Liberator of Malakir because i believe in them and can't stand to sell them for a very low value.

I guess Anafenza won't go up too high due to the approaching rotation and it saw some play on the PT without spiking a lot afterwards. Due to its demand for recent decks it's a good idea for sellers to have some Anafenzas in stock to activate cross selling or keep the portfolio in shape.

MKM-Insight(29.10.2015 11:38)

Anafenza has seen a lot of Standard play already and is definitely on the rise for being well positioned. The problem is that it hasn't transitioned into Modern vey well yet (mostly as a 1-of in sideboards, rarely seen in Abzan main decks), which means it will drop on rotation. If you can move Standard cards fast, there is some value to be gained in the next three months, but after that the impending rotation will stop the current trend. I still like trading for Anafenzas now, but would not bother if you have to pay a lot for shipping and fees to flip them.

malz77(28.10.2015 21:54)

Anafenza could be an opportunity for an investment. Only 662 left and could fit to the actual manabase...