hopeful initiate
11, Aug, 22

MTG Cards are Doubling in Price But Not for the Best Reasons

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We’ve said it before, but the MTG market has been somewhat dormant lately. Sure, some overlying patterns have occurred over the past year (which are arguably influencing some of these price changes). Still, the marketplace has continued its revival over the past few weeks. More people are playing in-person, giving constructed formats a more substantial influence on price fluctuations. This week is about those formats (which is good!) and some older cards suffering from targeted buyouts (not so good).

Indomitable Creativity Soars

indomitable creativity

Perhaps the most noteworthy price increase is Indomitable Creativity. This deck has established a strong foothold in the Modern format and is now considered a more common strategy to see. It’s no Murktide or Hammertime deck, but it does have a considerable meta share. This deck tries to win by using Indomitable Creativity to cheat in multiple Archon of Cruelties. That being said, Indomitable Creativity also tends to play some Emrakul, the Aeons Torn in the sideboard as both an alternate target for Creativity and as a way to defend against Mill. Indomitable Creativity is nearing $20. This means that its price has doubled over the past week! Indomitable Creativity was only worth $5 at the beginning of June, making it one of the steepest price spikes of the week in the MTG market.

Fable of the Mirror-Breaker Continues to Creep Up

fable of the mirror-breaker

Anyone who’s been playing constructed MTG lately knows how insane this card is. Fable of the Mirror-Breaker sees varying levels of play in every constructed format it’s legal in (except for Pauper, including digital formats). The card even unexpectedly performs in Vintage, MTG’s most powerful format. As a result, Fable of the Mirror-Breaker continues its slow creep up this week to $16. As long as this card sees continued play across formats, the price jump isn’t going to stop. Once this card rotates out of print, expect Fable of the Mirror-Breaker to have an explosive increase in the MTG market.

goblin shaman token

While we’re talking about Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, the real story is about the token it creates. After running into one at my LGS going for $8 CAD (which is actually a fantastic deal), I looked into how expensive this card is getting. It rivals the price of the actual MTG card! Goblin Shaman Tokens are selling for about $10 now. This token saw a massive price spike over June to about $8. It has been slowly increasing since then. These guys are tough to find, and LGSs are in dire need of copies. If you have a few of these and aren’t using them, think of your neighborhood competitive MTG player in need and offer to make a quick buck off them. They will appreciate it.

Hopeful Initiate Got Its Wish

hopeful initiate double feature

Here’s another competitively-driven price increase that isn’t shocking to the players who know about it. Hopeful Initiate’s rarer Double Feature version sees a huge price increase from about $3 to $10 this week! Its standard version also saw its price spike to $5. We talked earlier about the scarcity of these cards, and while this price spike isn’t shocking at all to us, it may be to those who didn’t take the potential value of Double Feature seriously. If you want to read more about our thoughts on that set, you can do so here.

Otherwise, Hopeful Initiate is making waves in Standard and Pioneer. This card sees play as a four-of in meta decks from both formats. This card also sees a slight uptick in Commander as a popular choice for the Master’s Chef Background Commander decks.

Commander Videos May be Taking Charge of Market Change Again

crescendo of war

Crescendo of War saw its price double this week to about $15. The price spike here matches the criteria outlined in some earlier price spike articles we’ve done in the past few weeks. Multiple Commander personalities highlighted this card as an underrepresented card in Commander, with only one printing.

In terms of what Crescendo of War actually does, it favors creature decks but can also allow your opponents to knock each other out quicker. Crescendo of war gets a Strife counter on each upkeep. Whenever a creature attacks, Crescendo of War gives it a power for each Strife counter on Crescendo of War until the next end step. While the power boost is for all creatures, Crescendo of war also grants your creatures an extra toughness when blocking for each Strife counter on it. This allows you to break parity and gives you an advantage. Creature anthem abilities like this one are really easy to overlook in Commander, so it’s not a huge surprise that this card went without a spike until it got the spotlight from various MTG personalities.

The Largest Price Increase May be a Targeted Buyout

phyrexian tribute

Of all the price increases recorded this week, this one is the largest. All other sources that have mentioned this spike, like Heroes and Legends, believe this is a targeted buyout. This is not an isolated incident either. With the marketplace slowly coming back to life, there has been a lot of speculation on Reserved List cards. As we discussed in a recent article, many old MTG products may be starting to disappear from the marketplace entirely. This may be a symptom of investors hopping on the FOMO train before all of the Reserved List cards cease to exist.

Either way, don’t let these enormous price increases fool you into picking one of these up yet. There’s a good chance that if these cards stagnate for a while and people start introducing more copies into the market, the targeted buyout will fail, and a massive position of these cards may reappear overnight. That said, Phyrexian Tribute saw an increase from $3 to $17.71 this week, which is the most significant price increase in the MTG market.

Secret Lair Manipulation?

sliver queen

Our last card for the day has been featured by various market watches over the past few weeks, seeing slight price increases. This is most likely due to the influx of premium full-art Sliver cards we’re seeing in Secret Lair Bonus slots. Anyone with a more prominent position on these cards may want to play with them, and Commander is the most accessible place to do so. The First Sliver is probably a better Commander than Sliver Queen is, but this is also a Reserved List card.

What is Our Speculation?

grief

Besides our constant praise of the Double Feature set financially, this week demonstrated two things: competitive formats are beginning to impact the marketplace more, and Reserved List cards are seeing volatile prices that may be unreliable. Personally, I would stay away from Reserved List cards that have seen spikes from the time being unless they see a lot of play somewhere. In terms of constructed powerhouses to watch out for, I would now start keeping an eye on Modern cards that have not spiked yet.

Rakdos, in particular, is beginning to see an uptick in play, so cards that don’t see a ton of play that are appearing in that archetype would be cards I would watch. Ragavan already saw a ton of play, so this new archetype isn’t going to change that a lot. Grief, however, does not see much play (outside of Living End) and is underpriced compared to the other Modern Horizons Two Evoke Elementals. Grief is already showing early signs of a price hike. It may, therefore, see a slight price increase as long as Rakdos is playable? Dauthi Voidwalker may be the card with the most significant chance of seeing a price increase in the MTG market due to this newer archetype.

Read More: Is MTG Getting a Mascot?

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