Top 5 Cards to Buy in January
- Rodrigo Martin
The year just started and Theros Beyond Death is available to purchase. However, there is so much more out there to invest in. Rone has compiled his personal list of the Top 5 cards you should consider buying this month, with highlights from almost all Constructed formats.
Welcome everyone! Today I want to focus on the financial aspect of Magic: The Gathering and share with you the hottest cards for almost every format — discounting Vintage and Commander on which I am no expert at all. There are many reasons why the cards are worth investing in at the moment, either because they play a role in more than one format or because of a recent tournament performance.
#5 – Null Rod
Don't get me wrong; I am not reinventing the wheel when I say this card is absolutely fantastic against any artifact strategy. Null Rod has been hosing fellow "brown" cards since the Weatherlight era back in 1997. Recently, while reviewing Blue-Red Delver in Legacy, I mentioned it in the sideboard section, and the more I was playing the deck, the more I realized how fantastic the card was in so many matchups.
Any Legacy strategy not negatively impacted itself, and especially all of the decks heavy on blue library manipulation, should have one Null Rod in their sideboard, and not just to fight the true artifact-based decks that show up from time to time. Rather, let me fill in some top played cards it nullifies:
- Storm combo: artifact mana such as Lion's Eye Diamond, Lotus Petal, or even Moxen
- Death and Taxes: Aether Vial and any Equipment, Batterskull, Umezawa's Jitte, Swords
- Oko decks: prevents Food tokens from gaining life and shuts down Arcum's Astrolabe
- Additionally, Null Rod won me a game recently against Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis by shutting off Altar of Dementia, so my opponent couldn't go through with the Zombie army plan.
Having one copy in your Delver deck means you won't draw redundant multiples while all of the cantrips still give you a good shot to find it. The best thing is that this plan is really hard to disrupt since most opposing strategies can't afford to bring artifact removal against a singleton Null Rod.
Aside for functional variants such as Stony Silence and Collector Ouphe, this card has never been reprinted, and it's stabilized between €11 and €15. If you are playing Legacy or planning to do so, grab a copy of this beauty and start crashing opposing artifacts for good.
#4 – Brazen Borrower
Moving on to a card recently printed in Throne of Eldraine: Brazen Borrower // Petty Theft didn't catch my eye at the very beginning, but ultimately it has proven itself to be a true multiformat all-star. Sadly, I am afraid to report that the time to buy it at a cheap price has passed a while ago.
When it was previewed, some people compared this annoying Faerie to Vendilion Clique, another blue 3-mana 3/1 flier that somehow messes with the opponent. In fact, Brazen Borrower is even more flexible than the Clique as it acts as a bounce effect plus a flashy threat, giving you tempo advantage early on and a finisher later in the game. The card is playable in every format, hence its price; here are a few examples:
- Standard: Simic Flash, Izzet Flash, Temur Adventures, Jeskai Fires, and soon Blue Devotion
- Pioneer: White-Blue Control, Izzet Phoenix
- Legacy: Grixis Delver, Blue-Red Delver
Specifically in Legacy, Borrower earned its slot in several Delver decks because it finally gave the proactive strategy a main-deckable answer to problematic permanents: think Chalice of the Void or scary creatures cheated onto the battlefield, for example the 20/20 Marit Lage token.
Looking at the price chart, its value has been increasing steadily since the set released and right now has stabilized at around €20. So it may not be the best investment. But if you want to play it, it will take quite some time until the price drops, if ever. My advice is, if you're looking forward to play a card, the sooner you purchase it the better, since the amount of time you enjoy it is worth the money. Let's be honest, after six months or even a year, you completely forgot how much you paid for your cards.
#3 – Leyline of the Void
The bronze-medal position features a sideboard card that useful in almost every format. Not long ago, during Hogaak Summer, it was the bread and butter of Modern to have some even in main decks. Playable Leylines like this one or Leyline of Sanctity were pretty expensive before their reprint in Core Set 2020, while right now they have a reasonable price. Why is this a good time to buy Leyline of the Void?
There are several reasons: Leylines have become even more powerful with the London Mulligan rule, allowing you to aggressively look for them and have one in your opening hand way more often. Also, this card is now available in every format, from Standard to Vintage, so no matter what you play, this could be your weapon of choice to fight graveyard-based strategies in almost any sideboard. Here are some examples:
- Standard: Cauldron Familiar decks and all incoming escape cards
- Pioneer: Izzet Phoenix, Soulflayer, Dredgeless Dredge, Kethis
- Modern: Dredge, Crab-Vengevine, Storm, Living End, the new Yawgmoth deck
- Legacy: Hogaak, Reanimator, Dredge, Loam decks
There is no excuse not to purchase this card. Single copies start from €6 and cheap playsets are around €30. It will stay in Standard until next September, so it could even be an asset in a Monoblack Devotion deck depending on where Theros Beyond Death Standard settles.
You also have three versions with different artwork to choose from, so sooner or later you will find a seller who has the copies you like the most. Personally, I will stick with the original Guildpact and its gorgeous black frame.
#2 – Glorybringer
Silver medal for hottest card in January goes to Glorybringer. One of my favorite Dragons of all time had had a good run in Standard while Amonkhet was legal and now gets a second chance to shine in Pioneer. After all the bannings since the format's inception last year, the metagame seems to have stabilized with "Chonky Red" one of the most solid strategies moving into 2020. The deck basically packs the best possible threats available in its color, from Soul-Scar Mage via Bonecrusher Giant // Stomp and Goblin Chainwhirler to the top end of Glorybringer.
The good news: while our Dragon friend is spiking in price as I write this, it's really hard for the card to become prohibitively expensive due to the sheer amount of copies floating around and the fact that there's a Game Day promo too. Singles can be purchased from one Euro and a full playset sells for around ten.
The only downside is Glorybringer doesn't seem exportable to other formats, although it saw some fringe play in Modern a while ago. This is a Pioneer investment only, but I am quite confident it's one of the format-defining cards. Currently it sits on the list of the Top 10 most played creatures, and it will see a ton of play in every red-based strategy and various others.
#1 – Yawgmoth, Thran Physician
Finally, my top one card of the month is a legendary mythic rare from Modern Horizons. After Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis dominating Modern, then Wrenn and Six terrorizing Legacy, and most recently Urza, Lord High Artificer forcing Wizards to ban Mox Opal, it's now Yawgmoth's turn to claim some attention.
|Golgari Yawgmoth, by Aaron Barich, 1st at SCG Open Knoxville|
This list from Aaron Barich took first place at a recent SCG tournament, and her shell reminds a lot of the Devoted Druid/Vizier of Remedies archetype. But instead of the two-card combo that requires a third to win, this one relies on the legendary Human Cleric and features so many undying creatures that Yawgmoth essentially acts as a one-card combo.
Long misunderstood, the Thran Physician can finally heal patients: you sacrifice one undying creature to put a −1/−1 counter on another, removing the +1/+1 counter and resetting both over and over. If one of them is Geralf's Messenger and you have more life than your opponent, or if two are Messengers, or if Blood Artist is involved, you win on the spot. Now that Modern is resting again after the bannings, you might want to give this deck a try.
Speaking about the price, not long ago you could grab singles for around €6 or €7, whereas after the deck's success, the price has rocketed up to €12. However, if you want to jump aboard the Golgari Yaghmoth train, you're still on time. The rest of the creatures are quite affordable, while the tutor effects and the mana base are Modern staples.
Before You Go …
I didn't mention any Theros Beyond Death card on purpose, as I am not particularly good at evaluating the financial aspect of new cards before I play them. After a couple of weeks, it will be more clear which ones are worth investing in.
If you get to this point, thank you so much for reading. Please let me know in the comment section what you think of this kind of article, and whether or not I should write more in the future. As usual, feel free to leave all your comments or questions below, or hit me up on my shared Twitter account.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.