I’m reporting to you live from Gen Con. I’ve fought through thousands of sweaty dudes, sixteen hot chicks dressed up as anime characters, and a big troll just to get to my hotel room so that I can bring you the hot financial tech from the Trade Floor. I hope you appreciate it. I’ve been trading nonstop since Thursday morning, and I’m running on five hours of sleep for the weekend, so if this article degenerates into incoherent ramblings, just ignore me. Okay, time is money, so are you ready? Let’s jump in!
Torpor Orb $1.99
I’ve had several requests for this card, and looking at the National’s Top 8, it seems that this may become a standard sideboard card for Caw-Blade decks. It deals with Splinter Twin combo and hinders opposing Squadron Hawks. This has also been in some Tezzeret lists, and it showed up in a Legacy Top 16 with Phyrexian Dreadnaught.
Verdict — It’s good to have these in stock, and you can’t lose at $1-2. Pick these up.
Consecrated Sphinx $9.99 (Sold Out)
This card’s price has been steadily rising. It went from being the solid Commander card to being a staple in Standard. Every decklist in the Top 8 of Nationals at least ran one of these in their seventy-five. I had eight of these in my binder, and the dealer offered me $5 apiece. I told him “no,” and he asked, “What do you want for them?” I responded. “It would have to be $8 each for me to consider it.” He pulled them all out and gave me $8 apiece. I said, “Humm, I should have gone higher.” To which he responded, “Well, I am out of stock, and I need em.” PRO TIP: Always go higher and don’t be afraid to tell a dealer no.
This card will most certainly be a $15 card (maybe by the time that you read this article). I traded a couple at $15 on the floor, so the public opinion is already at $15, and beyond being a Standard staple it’s a solid Commander card.
Verdict — With dealer buying these at $8, I think the window to make some money on these guys is still open but closing fast. Pick these up in trade at up to $12; you won’t regret it.
Ichorid $5.99 (Sold Out) — Bridge from Below $11.99 (Out of Stock) — Cabal Therapy $5.99 (Sold Out)
These cards were very popular over the weekend. Dredge is considered the “budget” deck for the Eternal formats, so the cards to build it are in demand. Dredge is starting to rise in popularity and respectability for serious players. The deck has been putting up solid results at the SCG Opens, and it now has a Vintage championship under its belt.
Intuition $24.99 (Sold Out)
Just as I said last week, this card is due for a spike. People were asking for these all weekend, and dealers were selling these at $35 on sites. This has a lot to do with the popularity of Hive Mind and the fact that the card is in other Legacy decks as well. I was asking for $40 in trade for these all weekend, and I was getting it.
Verdict — Dealers were offering $20 on these. There is still a window to pick these up at around that price, and I think it’s good to get in at $20.
Grim Monolith $24.99
This card has been finding its way into a lot of competitive decks. Hive Mind is an example, but there is also the Kuldotha Forgemaster deck in Legacy. In Vintage it’s used as an accelerant in the “Turbo Tezz” deck and in decks with Mishra’s Workshops and Metalworker.
Verdict — I expect this to stay at the current price or dip a little bit. See the “Modern Is the Second Coming” section of this article for more details. If you are a supplier then you should have these in stock, but if you are a grinder, don’t go out of your way to get them.
Modern Is the Second Coming
I wanted to talk quickly about a shift in the market that I’ve recently noticed. For a while now we have seen Legacy prices surge. Let’s face it; for the past six months Standard kinda sucked, and no one was playing Extended. The state of the other formats combined with the SCG Open Series and the GP in Providence spawned a lot of new Legacy players. This new stress on the supply of out-of-print cards drove the prices to new highs. Now, let’s fast forward to today.
There’s no Legacy GP coming up, and excitement in Standard has been revitalized with the banning of Jace and Stoneforge. We also have a rotation coming up with Innistrad and the talk about Modern being an official format. All of these factors are making players think about where they want to put their money.
The interesting thing about the Magic community is that it moves as a group. If Modern is the current rage, then everyone gets into Modern. If Commander is the format, then everyone builds Commander decks. I believe what is happening now is that Modern and Standard are taking the spotlight, and that’s where players are putting their money. This means that there is less money for Legacy cards and hence less demand. With less demand comes lower prices, and that’s what I see happening with Legacy staples.
Legacy cards are starting to cool off while Modern cards are taking off in price and demand. There are also people who are hedging their bets by getting cards that are good in Legacy and Modernâ€”cards like Tarmogoyf, Dark Confidant (which is up to $50, you’re welcome!), and even Knight of the Reliquary.
It was pretty shocking how badly people wanted these (that was for you, LSV). There were people ready to kill for these, and I was happy to move them all weekend.
The way that I see it is that shocklands have never been as high as they are now, and that doesn’t make any sense. Shocks were at one point legal in Standard and Extended, and both of those formats are PTQ formats. Modern isn’t even a format yet, and at the moment, Extended is dead. This means that the only logical drivers for the price of shocklands are Commander and the anticipation of Modern. I think that this anticipation is a little wild in nature because there is no real way to measure the demand.
I have a full set of shocklands that I plan on selling in the next few weeks. You might be asking, why wouldn’t I wait and try to get more out of them? The reason is that the future is too unpredictable to take the risk. We don’t know how many dealers and speculators are holding these cards. One day when the card gets high enough, the market is going to get flooded by jokers trying to double up. Then once the market floods, the price will drop.
Verdict — I would treat this card like any other card. If you see it, trade for it because it’s in high demand, but don’t hoard these. After you acquire them, make your margin and get out. The possibility of a reprint would also make me nervous about holding onto these.
I get the feeling that this card is due for another spike. I’ve had dealers offer $55 on these this weekend. This means that they are aggressively buying these. I am sure that it will see $75 in the coming months, maybe more.
Verdict — These are still so easy to buy for $55. If dealers are paying $55, you can lose by trying to pick these up at the same price. I’ve trade for six Tarmogoyfs over the weekend, and not one person valued them at over $60.
Dark Confidant $49.99
This guy is still in heavy demand. Dealers are buying him at $30-$35. The card sees play in every format that it’s legal in; for example there are four Dark Confidants in at least three of the decks that Top 8ed Vintage Championships. I expect Dark Confidant to hit Tarmogoyf’s current price range soon.
Verdict — If you need these to play with, pick them up now, and if you have these, hold on shipping them until they hit $60. If you don’t have any and you want some for trade stock, try to get them at $40. If you can’t, pass. There is no need to tie up resources to make $10.
Those were the really hot cards, but the two cards that were getting an unusual amount of press at the tables were these two:
Flusterstorm $11.99 — This card was trading well at $12, and it was a card that people have been suddenly interested in. I have seen pros stick one or two in the sideboard of different Legacy decks, but it has also been making it into the sideboard of some Vintage decks. Keep an eye on this guy.
All right, guys and gals, back to the grind for me and happy Monday to you.