Weekly Winners 2020 - 16

17 Apr
by Peter

This week we see less influence from Ikoria spoilers and more from brewing and EDH. Also, the effects of the pandemic seem on the magic market don't seem big (yet).

Like every week, just in time for (digital) FNM, I'll now tell you about the cards that will be the talk of the (digital) town tonight!

 

#1 Cephalid Constable $19.37 (+1645.05%)

Cephalid Constable

 

Wow! A huge spike this week, as Cephalid Constable nets a whopping 1600% jump in price. And that during a Pandemic! In days that many things are strange and different, some things are still the same and that's a gush of fresh air if you ask me!

As you probably know, EDH is the biggest constructed format in Magic. At least, if you believe Mark Rosewater on this. When a format is popular, so are articles, podcasts and vlogs about the format. And one of the big ones for EDH is the Command Zone. The videos they post have been known to have effects on card prices, especially when they talk about cards that do not see much play yet.

And that's also the reason that Cephalid Constable spiked this week. In the Command Zone video (see below; 36:30), the hosts point out that when you use the Mutate mechanic and put Cephalid Constable under a creature (with trample) you can bounce many cards back to your opponent's hand, including lands. If you manage to do this on turns 3 or 4, the effect could be devastating. They might be right, when you deal 6 damage and return everything they have to their opponents' hand. Command Zone suggested mutating it under Otrimi, the Ever-Playful.

That suggestion seems to have skyrocketed the price of Cephalid Constable. Some people have already called it the Command Zone effect.

I do agree that the Command Zone video triggered the spike, I wonder if it is all because of popular demand. And I see three reasons for that.

First, mutating Cephalid Constable onto a creature looks sweet, but it would only work if your opponent does not have an answer. On turn 3 or 4 people are building their board presence and the odds are that they are tapped out. Far better odds than on turns past 6. That also makes this combo with Otrimi, the Ever-Playful a bit conditional. Lets say that you don't have Cephalid Constable in the early game, or your opponent has good removal in hand. Playing this later on in the game might prove tough even then, but far less damaging than in the early game. I think that these two cards work great together, but I'm a tad less impressed than my Command Zone colleagues. They know more about the format, so keep that in mind, when forming your opinion.

Second, the video was posted last Monday, April 13th. The spike happened just yesterday. The graph does not show any movement, up until today and it spiked from $1.73 to $19.37 overnight. That's not what happens when a card gets organic demand. You'd expect that players see the video, buy Cephalid Constable and the price goes up. More people view the video, more people buy the card, the price goes up some more. Eventually the price increase itself gets noticed and more people jump on the bandwagon and the card spikes. That's not what happened.

Third, on April 14th, all foils were bought out, the day after the video was posted. Only three days later the price for regular cards jumped. When there is a speculative buyout, speculators first buy the foils, since they are more scarce, easier to buy out and have a bigger return on investment. The regular printings follow after.

Considering these things, my view is that Cephalid Constable was a speculative buyout, not an organic spike, caused by a 'Command Zone Effect'. But keep in mind: Command Zone videos have proven to have an effect on card prices recently, so keep that in mind!

 

#2 Magus of the Moon $22.97 (+135.11%)

Magus of the Moon

 

Magus of the Moon is on its way to break the $25 mark again. Between 2015 and 2018 the card was around that mark, with peaks around $32.

The big reason for this is the printing of Klothys, God of Destiny in Theros: Beyond Death. With that indestructible God in play, you can add to your mana pool, even when Magus of the Moon turns all your lands into Mountains. For those of you not familiar with the rulings: when a non-basic land gets turned into a mountain, it will produce , not the types of mana it had before. With that, you can render your opponents' non-basic useless. Unless they play a red deck of course.

Play both cards in a deck that features land destruction and you've got yourself a game plan. While slowing down your opponent by cutting them off from useable mana sources, you can continue building. But even without destroying your opponents' lands, these decks are aggressive enough to race them. Check out a sample decklist below.

Land Destruction by Dafne17

Planeswalker(4)
2
$18.76
Enchantment(4)
Sorcery(3)
3
$0.01
Instant(4)
Land(20)
6
$0.04
1
$0.03
Sideboard(15)
1
$0.22
2
$0.49
1
$0.04
1
$0.01

Magus of the Moon CardKingdom $14.99 TCGPlayer $22.97
Klothys, God of Destiny CardKingdom $4.49 TCGPlayer $6.00

 

#3 Force of Will $105.28 (+5.29%)

Force of Will

 

Look who's back at $100+, good old Force of Will. A month ago, I posted an article about the effect the Corona Crisis could have on the prices of cards. It feels like half a year ago, to be honest. In that article, I answered questions we were getting and stated that I did not expect much effect on the prices of cards.

The article led to some discussion on Reddit, as I posted it there. Not everyone agreed with me, and some people were absolutely sure that the market would crash. It made me think: am I too optimistic about it?

A month later and I'm still not able to answer that question. Seeing the record numbers of unemployment in the United States, I do start to worry about people's ability to pay their bills. Magic cards might turn into an expensive luxury for people quickly. (I hope that it does not happen for you!) The situation might prompt people selling their cards to make rent, causing card prices to fall.

On the other hand, we don't see that happening. LGSs see less volume in trade and therefore less cash flow, but up until today, not much has happened yet in the world of MTG Finance. Up until now, my prediction in the article still stands. But will that last? I'm not as sure as I was last month.

It also brings me to Force of Will. That card is one of the pieces of cardboard that one could turn into a car payment if you sell your complete playset (and you have an older car). The card is always in demand and when you choose to switch from Legacy to Modern (or even casual), you can keep playing all the games of Magic you want and pay the bills.

But as likely as a candidate it is, Force of Will is going up, not down. Same counts for other highly played and valuable Magic cards. The market is not crashing, but it is not going up a lot either.

All we can really do is stay at home and watch what happens. Maybe things will change as stay-at-home orders continue into May and even June. Especially concerning the money LGSs and tournament organizers lose.

 

Cheap Pickups

Please note: for our 'record low' we consider the price of the card over the past 7 years. Many cards have been even cheaper (a) decade(s) ago. Also note: some cards are still going down, and might be even cheaper pickups next week.

 

Leyline of the Void $9.59 - Record low and going up
Leyline of the Void

 

Thran Dynamo $5.43 - Record low and going down
Thran Dynamo

 

Ancestral Vision $5.18 - Record low and going down
Ancestral Vision

 

Thran Dynamo CardKingdom $5.99 TCGPlayer $5.43
Ancestral Vision CardKingdom $2.99 TCGPlayer $5.18
Leyline of the Void CardKingdom $7.49 TCGPlayer $9.59

More from Peter:

Weekly Winners 2021 - 36

Just like last week, the Commander: Innistrad: Midnight Hunt spoilers are the main factor of influence on the markets this week. There are enough cards spoiled for the brewing to commence and we expect a lot more movement in the coming weeks!

Like every week, just in time for (digital) FNM, I'll now tell you about the cards that will be the talk of the (digital) town tonight!

Catalyst Stone Daybreak Ranger Oboro, Palace in the Clouds

Weekly Winners 2021 - 13

This week we saw a lot of interesting movement. Most of it caused by Strixhaven spoilers, but the old frame fetchlands spiked as well.

Like every week, just in time for (digital) FNM, I'll now tell you about the cards that will be the talk of the (digital) town tonight!

Deserted Temple Mox Tantalite Windswept Heath

Weekly Winners 2021 - 12

For the first time since the COVID pandemic hit, our interest page looks like normal for a change! Many (huge) spikes from different sets and eras. I choose to see this as an omen of better times ahead!

Like every week, just in time for (digital) FNM, I'll now tell you about the cards that will be the talk of the (digital) town tonight!

Chain of Smog Illumination Magma Sliver

Weekly Winners 2021 - 10

Somewhat of an odd week. Not really any spikes that has one really obvious or notable reason and of course still a lot of older cards moving up.

Like every week, just in time for (digital) FNM, I'll now tell you about the cards that will be the talk of the (digital) town tonight!

Selective Memory Pearl Medallion Zombie Master

Weekly Winners 2021 - 08

The most interesting week in a long, long time! Maybe I'm a but biased due to my love for Legacy, but this week that format is the biggest driving factor behind the three weekly winners.

Like every week, just in time for (digital) FNM, I'll now tell you about the cards that will be the talk of the (digital) town tonight!

Ethereal Forager Stifle Allosaurus Shepherd

Weekly Winners 2021 - 07

An interesting week, again driven by old card speculation and EDH. But we also have a special edition of Cheap Pickups, with a new way to look at cards that are (still) cheap pickups, but might go up later.

Like every week, just in time for (digital) FNM, I'll now tell you about the cards that will be the talk of the (digital) town tonight!

Shivan Dragon Sapphire Medallion Elvish Champion

Weekly Winners 2021 - 05

A strange and eventful week in the world of finance. Where you'd expect tons of cards to spike due to new brews, we mainly see a new hausse of reserved list cards being bought out. And also non-reserved list cards that happen to be MTG classics.

Like every week, just in time for (digital) FNM, I'll now tell you about the cards that will be the talk of the (digital) town tonight!

Bad Moon Death Cloud Elvish Champion

Weekly Winners 2021 - 04

Kaldheim is ready for release! The coming weeks will be filled with new brews, gameplay and strategy. This week marks the end of this spoiler season, with some interesting movers to report on.

Like every week, just in time for (digital) FNM, I'll now tell you about the cards that will be the talk of the (digital) town tonight!

Desolation Tergrid, God of Fright Coordinated Assault

Weekly Winners 2021 - 02

Kaldheim spoilers are full speed upon us! There has been no shortage of products or spoilers over the past months, but some good old Magic distraction is very welcome!

Like every week, just in time for (digital) FNM, I'll now tell you about the cards that will be the talk of the (digital) town tonight!

Rhys the Exiled Pox Ashnod\'s Altar

Weekly Winners 2021 - 01

After the Kaldheim leaks, the official spoilers have now begun! And one spoiler in particular makes its mark on the Weekly Winners.

Like every week, just in time for (digital) FNM, I'll now tell you about the cards that will be the talk of the (digital) town tonight!

Magus of the Vineyard Into the North Kaervek the Merciless