The Sky is the Limit
The SCG Indianapolis Coverage broke up the day two field into 31 (!) different archetypes. Which cards will be the financial winners?
The SCG Indianapolis Coverage broke up the day two field into 31 (!) different archetypes. While they probably should have grouped some of those decks together instead, it shows the large amount of experimentation that was going on. In such a diverse field you want your deck to have a precise plan that can be executed similarly against every opposing deck. Therefore it is no big surprise to see Atarka Red win the first event. But if you paid close attention to the coverage, you know that the end result could easily have been different. I have really liked Brian DeMars' analytical skills as a financial content writer for a while now, and he displayed those skills just as much as a player with the Aggro deck based on pump spells. As a veteran player he remembered that combining Blood Lust with Berserk was one of the better things to do twenty years ago (at least when you grew tired of your Mana Drain deck). While some turns with Red decks play themselves, he made some very good decisions in complicated board states and racing situations, extracting multiple extra wins in games that lesser players would have lost. Despite getting some free wins from opponents with suboptimal sideboards and players misjudging the matchup, he only snuck into the top8 in 8th place, so other decks could be more reliable moving forward. There aren't many expensive non-land cards in the deck. You could sell your additional Atarka's Command into the current hype, but you should keep your play-set for Modern, even if you aren't a fan of aggressive strategies. Keep your copies of Abbot of Keral Keep (and trade for additional copies whenever possible) as this card will always be relevant for Standard and has started to infiltrate Modern as well.
Good cards win games
Michael Majors' deck is another solid week one choice. Using basically every established money rare available to G/W and throwing 4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar (and a total of 3 non-rares) into the mix is apparently good enough most of the time, unless you horribly misjudge your strategic role in a matchup (like he did in the finals). Most cards in the deck are already known to be good and priced accordingly. Wingmate Roc got better due to Gideon, but is held back by the “Khans-effect”, and Warden of the First Tree improved due to much better access to untapped lands on turn one, but has just been reprinted in the Event Deck. Den Protector is the only card on that deck list spiking right now, and with only 188 copies remaining on the market at the moment it should continue to rise for a while.
Reigning the sky
Esper Dragons put seven players into day two and two of them into the top8, which is a great conversion rate. Dragonlord Ojutai still is an awesome card and saw play in most Jeskai and 5-colour decks as well. With Dig Through Time tanking due to the Legacy ban, the rest of the deck is quite cheap. Ojutai has been rising again for more than a month now and with only 248 copies on the market and obvious tournament success it is unlikely to stop soon.
Bring to light the new tech
Gerry Thompson finished the Swiss portion in first place with his 5-colour Bring to Light deck. Even though I don't agree with some of his choices, I applaud him for doing very well with a brand new archetype in week one. From a financial point of view such decks are never going to be a gold mine, as they are using lots of singletons. Of course the deck also includes 4 Jace, Vryn's Prodigy / Jace, Telepath Unbound, which was heading towards 60 € on the weekend, before a lot of people decided it was time to sell their copies - bringing the price back down towards 50 €. Bring to Light itself has been selling really well, and I expect it to become an important part of Standard, but it is already getting close to the price ceiling of any Battle for Zendikar rare.
When in doubt...
As you can see, you should generally prefer targeting cards from Dragons of Tarkir and Magic Origins. Those sets have been opened less than Khans of Tarkir has and Battle for Zendikar will be. They will also stay Standard legal at the next rotation, unlike cards from Fate Reforged.
Let us know in the comments what you like best in the new Standard!