The release of M19 is having effect on the markets. All three weekly winners are either printed in M19 or directly connected with a card printed in the set.
Last week I wrote about Llanowar Elves, a spike that was not a glitch. This week, Sun Sentinel followed in the Elves' footsteps and spiked to over $4 and fell a little to its current price of $3.74. Which is a completely insane pricing for a 2/2 Vigilance, printed as a common.
The point is however, that Sun Sentinel is less common than you might think. Just as with Llanowar Elves, the card is not available in boosters and is printed in a much lower rate than a 'normal' common from the set. This does not automatically lead to a much higher value. But when speculators jump on cards like these and buy them out to make a profit the price will skyrocket.
This buyout does not really pay of yet. The AVG price might be $3.74, its market price is only $0.73. To make any real profit to be worth the time in buying copies, shipping and sending them, the margin has to be much, much higher. On the other hand, Llanowar Elves now has a market price of $5.87, which is $0.87 above the AVG price. It may seem like crazy buyouts, but apparently, people are still willing to pay $20+ for a playset of core set Llanowar Elves.
Some crazy things have already happened this year in Magic, but I really never expected that Wall Tribal could ever be a viable strategy in any format. But that was before the printing of Arcades, the Strategist. With that commander your walls can attack and deal damage equal to their toughness rather than its power.
Wall of Junk fits nicely in this strategy. Because of its blocking drawback you can get a 0/7 for just . Or should I say a 7/7 for only ? As long as you use Wall of Junk on the offensive, you omit its drawback. And you can even use it to your advantage: whenever your opponent chooses to enchant your Wall of Junk with something nasty, you can simply block one of their creatures, bounce it to your hand, putting the enchant-creature in the graveyard and play your wall again for . And, maybe more importantly, bouncing the wall back and re-playing it triggers the 'draw a card' ability on Arcades, the Strategist, giving you some nice card advantage.
Since Wall of Junk is from Urza's Saga and older set with a limited print run compared to today's sets, a run on such a card quickly leads to a spike. Up until now, Wall of Junk was random trash. But now its treasure. Good thing that I haven't thrown away that box of random trash from older sets that is sitting in my basement. Those 12 Wall of Junks will be taken out of there and I will use them to trade into something nice. It does not help with my card hoarding problem though. You can really never know what trash will be turned into treasure.
#3 Meekstone $11.99 (+395.45%)
Arcades, the Strategist drives up the price of Meekstone as well. It happens to be one of my favorite artifacts to use in multiplayer, to defend myself against pesky, beefy creatures of my opponents. In my playgroup there are quite some decks that use +1/+1 counters to beef up creatures, so Meekstone comes in really handy.
In a Arcades, the Strategist Wall Tribal deck Meekstone has an asymetric effect. Since your walls have no to little power, but assign damage equal to their toughness, you can happily attack and untap next turn. Your opponents' creatures bigger than power 2 won't untap, enticing them to postpone their attack until they can outright kill you, or get rid of Arcades, the Strategist and/or Meekstone.
And since Meekstone has not been reprinted since 2001, the card is a tad harder to come by. But since it has been reprinted quite a few times in smaller print run sets its price won't soon reach crazy levels. A price tag of around $8- $10 seems reasonable for a card that is suddenly in higher demand because of Commander and sees causal play. Also note it sees fringe play in Legacy Elves decks.