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October 13, 2016

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Next Level Analysis – Speculating Prices

Hello and welcome to this week’s version of Next Level Analysis. Each week we take a deeper look into the latest decks and the cards performing best in them. Each week the goal is to pick up a new strategy or idea that can help you take your game to the next level either at your local card shop or at a large tournament. This week we will be taking a different approach to analyzing the cards here at Next Level Analysis.

As many of you know this past weekend many players and vendors crewed there vehicles on the way to Grand Prix Atlanta, with myself being one of them. However, I found myself behind the vendor tables instead of playing an interresting sealed deck to write about this week. Still this got me thinking; a reader can go to any website to find an article telling about a deck that performed well in testing. As a writer I wouldn’t write about a failure in my brewing. Still this leaves me wondering what would the reader most benefit from in an article. Then it hit me like a lightning bolt, everyone loves making money. From the vendors aspect we ge to see what cards are being moved the most and this movement can affect card pricing. Especially with Pro-Tour being right around the corner, most players are trying to predict what cards will rise in price and what others will not Rise From the Tides. I will grade cards in this article on a scale of 1 to 10. With one being sell now and 10 being the cards you should hold on to and wait for a future rise in price.

This past weekend at GP Atlanta I spoke with many of the other vendors and we all came to the same conclusion. There was a severe lack of standard cards exchanging hands. The card I personally saw the least being traded in was Grim Flayer

This guy has found a home in modern right off the bat with his amazing synergy with both Tarmogoyf and Dark Confidant. Still if he makes his way into a Green/Black Delirium deck this weekend we could see a rise in price with this card. With this in mind I would give this card a grade of 10. His price has consistency been on the rise and I do not see a decline happening any time soon.

Another card that has been on the rise of late is Smuggler’s Copter. There is no doubt that this card is good, however, the question that remains is just how high can the price go. The card is seeing play in one standard deck that has been putting up results. At the Grand Prix many players were dumping this card for the quick cash. Still, if Red/White Vehicles puts up the same consistent results it has been we can see this card holding a reasonable price tag for it’s duration in Standard. With all facts being considered I would give Smuggler’s Copter a grade of 7.

While this card is an all-star in control and mid-range blue decks, many players were willing to sell Celestial Colonnade this past weekend. Yes the card is very good, but is it $40 good? With the modern format currently being so fast paced, many players have been steering away from blue control decks, and currently this is the only place where this card is seeing play. Lands will always hold value, a lesson that most collectors learn early on, but I could see this card dropping down in price if it does not put up results in the near future. Due to the lack of play I would give this card a grade of 4.

Sticking to the modern format, each Grand Prix we see less and less of the Shock Lands from the Return to Ravnica block. However, the ones we do see in binders usually end up staying there do to the playability of them leading to players not wanting to sell them. Hallowed Fountain, Overgrown Tomb, Temple Garden, Steam Vents, and Blood Crypt seem to be in more supply do the the value that could be made from opening a box of Return to Ravnica so I would give these five a grade of 8. Compared to Sacred Foundry, Godless Shrine, Breeding Pool, Watery Grave, Stomping Ground which I would give a grade of 9 to.

This past weekend I did not see a single Noble Hierarch in a trade binder. With the price of this card on the rise I would definitely pick these up now if you have been thinking about playing a deck with this green all-star. With the price of this guy shooting up dollars it seems every couple days, there is no doubt in my mind this card deserves a grade of 10 at this time. However with the modern format always changing this card could see a drop in price if control decks or combo decks take over as king of modern again. So after all has been considered this card can be classified with a grade of 8.

Yes, it may seem that I write about this card a lot but there is a reason, this card is GOOD. I have seen several deck-lists from pro players that have been including Chandra, Torch of Defiance for possible ideas for the Pro Tour. With the price of this card currently on the decline I think now is the time to buy into this card. All it will take is one deck to break this card and drive the price back up the large amount it was pre-ordering at. It could just be me, but I would give this card a grade of 11. Every time I have landed this card in a game she has been worth every cent I spent on picking her up. Once again, I have granted Chandra, Torch of Defiance the breakout star for my article.

I hope you enjoyed this special edition of Next Level Analysis and I would like to hear any feedback you might have. I want to do more than write an article each week; I want to look into the issues and decks you want to read about. Together we can continue to make MTG Canada a great place. Please email your suggestions for future articles to crosear@gmail.com. Until next time best of luck in taking your game to the next level.


Thanks,
Andrew Crossett