Financial Time: Theros

September 17, 2014

Alexandre Darras

32, from Brussels, Belgium.
Started playing Magic in 1995
Won GP Manchester 2012
17th GP Praha 2009
2 times Nationals top 4

More Posts (9)

Hello everyone! Today I’d like to point out which Theros cards are sought after and which aren’t.

The first tournaments with Theros happened last week-end and will set up the trends for the near future.

A few decks emerged this week-end: Mono-red, U-W and Esper Control, as well as Naya and Gruul aggro.

Which Theros cards made an impact in these decks?

In the mono-red builds, we saw a bunch of Hammer of Purphoros, mostly in sideboards, as well as some Firedrinker Satyrs. Both of these cards are rare and have a pretty low price right now, the Satyr at 2$ and the Hammer at 3$ have some growing margin, even though they seem to be niche cards which won’t be played outside of very specific decks.

Elspeth, Sun’s Champion seems to have found a home in U-W control and in some Esper builds. The effects provided by this planeswalker are really powerful but the 6-mana price tag will always make her a 2 or 3 of at best. Still she’s right now out of stock on this very site, which means the demand is really high as planeswalkers have value amongst all kind of players, from kitchen tables to Commander circles. Her price tag seems to be around 40$, which is probably her ceiling point as she is still really narrowed down by her casting cost.

The Esper decks also played another planeswalker. Sometimes seen main deck, mostly in sideboards, Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver seems to capitalize on its 3 mana tag to dominate the board early. Going directly from 3 to 5 loyalty on the turn where it’s cast seems to make the card really though to deal with. This card seems to appeal to a broad range of players, being much like Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, a planeswalker already out of stock. Its price seems to range from 20 to 30$, and mostly the popularity of Esper control will affect it.

Let’s talk about the lands. They are still on the cheap side right now, around 6$, but history told us that the rare dual land cycle usually get more expensive the year after they have been drafted. We can already see this trend right now with the Ravlands, which will probably get even more expensive after Pro Tour Theros, as soon as the standard metagame will be more established, especially for the ones which will be heavily played. So you should probably pick up your playsets of Temples soon. Their price might drop a little bit as they are going to be drafted a lot in the following weeks but it’s a safe investment for next year.

Another card that was played last week-end was, to no one’s surprise, Thoughtseize. Get your playset! This is a modern staple! This is a legacy staple! And this will be a standard staple for the following 2 years. The price of the original Thoughtseize have somehow dropped a little bit but I expect the card to go back to its former price tag sooner or later. The new version will probably always stay a tad bit cheaper, though. This is currently around 30$ will be around 40$ in a couple of years.

Hero’s Downfall was played in most Esper control builds. Three mana is a lot if Mono-red starts to be a major contender in the future standard. However, the ability to deal with opposing Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver and Jace, Architect of Thought will make the card great in the control matchup. This is a card which price is totally metagame dependent. If midrange and control decks dominate, this could go higher than its current 5$ tag. If it’s not the case, it probably won’t fall and stay around 4-5$.
Another card that was played in some control sideboards is Swan Song. The price of this card will probably always stay cheap (right now it is around 5$) as this is only a sideboard card. But you shouldn’t pass on a foiled version of the card. This is clearly a much better card in formats where the bird you are giving to your opponent is negligible, which means modern and mostly legacy. And legacy players have a tendency to pimp their decks, which will drive the price of Swan Song if it is foil.

Both Naya and Gruul decks played a playset of the successor of Thundermaw Hellkite, Stormbreath Dragon. This dragon packs a punch. The combination of flying, haste, protection from white and a damage-dealing trigger when he’s getting monstruous makes up for the loss of 1 point of both power and toughness. The card is right now out of stock and could be seen around 30$ and will stay at a hefty price tag as it will probably be played a lot in midrange decks for a couple of years and has a huge casual appeal, being a mythic dragon.

Another mythic shared in both the red-green build and its 3 colors counterpart is Polukranos, World Eater. A 5/5 for 4 mana which has the ability to grow monstrous while eating your opponent’s team seems really good and its price tag of 6$ is only hampered down by the fact that you can get it easily on the cheap if you buy the duel deck “Heroes vs Monsters” and that it is a Legendary creature. Still, this card could easily go to 10$ and I would grab a couple right now.

The based-green aggro decks also both played a playset of Farseek‘s successor, Sylvan Caryatid. This card is obviously really different from the M13 sorcery, as you will probably never play it in the same deck as Supreme Verdict, but does a good job of accelerating early and being more useful than a land in late game, while being a pretty good blocker to most of the small creatures as long as no Ghor-clan Rampager is around. This card’s price is still getting higher, being now around 8$. The fact that it’s the Buy-a-box promo card shouldn’t affect the price too much as it is no mythic rare, and this promo is only available for a limited amount of boxes.

The Gruul decks also played a couple Ember Swallower. The card seems nice but might not be the best choice at four mana, having to compete with cards such as the former Polukranos, World Eater or Chandra, Pyromaster. This was the pre-release card for the one of you who chose the Path of Battle so I don’t expect the card to go much higher than its current 1$ price tag. I could see it going to 2-3 dollars but that’s all.

The last card that was played in the first iteration of standard decks was in the sideboard of the Gruul deck and will probably be played a lot in modern sideboard for the years to come, as long as Birthing Pod‘s decks will be part of the metagame. This is obviously Anger of the Gods. This card is really efficient at what it does. Firespout was a big game while it was legal in standard, and exiling Voice of Resurgence makes up for the fact that you can’t choose if you want to cast Earthquake or Hurricane. Right now the card is worth about 6$. It could go up a little bit, but won’t cross the 10$ threshold as it is mostly a sideboard card.

These were the cards that were played in standard last weekend. I hope it helped you know which cards you should be hunting for. See you in a couple of weeks!

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