Where Are They Now? - June 2023

26 Jun
by Ryan Cole

Welcome back, readers! Penny Pincher here to review a set of three cards that made it into our Weekly Winners articles in 2022. Let’s take a look to see which of these has gained or lost the most out of the cards from June of last year. 

The Big Gains

Out of our three-card pick, two of them, Rending Volley and Desecration Elemental, saw major gains — if they’re in your decks, you could be looking at a substantial ROI.

Rending Volley: $2.29 to $3.50 (52% Gain)

When we called out Rending Volley last year it was only at the beginning of its climb to the top. Rakdos midrange was dominating the Pioneer format, and Rending Volley was an excellent sideboard card against an archetype that was beginning to rise toward the top of the metagame, Mono White Humans. Humans showed its stuff, being the build with the lowest fail rate of all decks played at Dreamhack Atlanta, and was hedging in on the top tier where Rakdos Midrange was dominating. 

The price of Rending Volley began its rise right around when Humans started to gain traction thanks to being scooped up as a sideboard card for those Rakdos decks. As Humans began snowballing, the price for Rending Volley went up from last year's Weekly Winner price to just over $6 on October 31st — that’s four months of nearly constant gain. 

And today, its current price of just over $3, showing that it's still in demand.

I hope that you already have your playsets. But if you don’t, and they’re a little out of your price range, Lithomantic Barrage might be a good pickup for you. At only $0.25, it has great versatility in the same situations as Rending Volley and is much easier on the wallet.

Rending Volley

Desecration Elemental: $2.96 to $3.23 (9% Gain)

When Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate came out and people saw Jon Irenicus, Shattered One, Desecration Elemental caught immediate attention. With Jon as your commander, you can give one of your creatures to any opponent on your end step, Goad it, and make it unable to be sacrificed. Desecration Elemental requires its controller to sac a creature to Jon's ability when anyone plays a spell. 

The fact that there has only been one printing of this card positively impacted its price, on top of its strong gameplay. All through June of 2022, Desecration Elemental flourished. At the time of last year's Weekly Winners posting, the card sat at just a few cents under $3, but just over two weeks later it reached its true peak at $4.99.

Though the hype for the card has settled down, it still holds a higher value than it had at the beginning of last June. That makes it a net gain for anyone who purchased it before that. 

Desecration Elemental

The Dreaded Losses

Not every card can be a winner, and that’s the case for Rashida Scalebane, which saw significant losses over the last year. 

Rashida Scalebane: $8.99 to $1.80 (79% Loss)

On June 17, 2022, this card peaked at $8.99 after a little over a month of growth; a month that happens to line right up with the Battle for Baldur’s Gate preview season and set release. 

Given the easy access to Dragons and Dragon support cards, players who wanted to defend against this sort of deck wanted to pick up as much Dragon suppression as possible, but the surge in popularity lasted only a short time. Once the hype of Baldur’s Gate wore down and the truly good Dragons were established, this one lost favor. Its niche performance minimizes its usefulness and leads to its use in only a handful of match ups. 

The price drop that followed this realization gives Rashida Scalebane the worst loss percentage in this set of three. That being said, Scalebane is an excellent, cheap pickup at the moment. While the hype from Baldur’s Gate has died down, Dragons will always be around in magic. In fact, The Ur-Dragon was the 4th most popular amongst all commanders in the past month according to EDHREC, and Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm isn't far behind. If you want to ensure your white deck has an answer for cards like these, Scalebane is great.

Rashida Scalebane

That’s all for now, but make sure to check back with us for more to come. If you enjoyed this article, join us as a member and get access to even more through our Premium Membership. We're looking forward to you joining our MTG family.

Check out these other articles:

New Horizons - Lord of the Rings by Matt Grzechnik

Dodgy Little Hobbitses: The Two Towers by Jason Alt

Over and Underhill - Tales of Middle-earth by Harvey McGuinness

Ryan Cole
Ryan Cole

Ryan Cole lives in Canton, Ohio with his new wife Julia. He began playing magic in 1995 with cards he bought with money he found odd jobs for, just to play the game. At 35 he is happy at home and living as full a life as is possible. He is starting a career in freelance writing and works as a cook while he pursues that dream.

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