Feature Article from Craig Wescoe

Financial Predictions for Theros

Craig Wescoe

9/26/2013 10:01:00 AM

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The time has come! If you're looking for advice on which cards to invest in from Theros, you're in luck! If you don't care about money (after all, who cares about money?), that's fine too because I also talk about which of the mythics and rares I expect to be the biggest tournament players. It may take a bit of reading between the lines, but whatever your interest, I'm divulging all my Theros secrets today! Shhh, don't tell anyone!


The Mythics

Mid
Low
 Elspeth, Sun's Champion
$12.25
$8.61
Store QTY Price  
Ulrich and Helvas 1 $9.00
Guild Mage 1 $9.00
EdwinFelspar 1 $9.00
Trade Routes MTG 1 $9.39
HouseofCards Winston 1 $9.49
AllFunAndGamesPA 1 $9.70
East Coast Gaming 1 $9.75
Moose Loot 2 $9.97
Nemo Card Shop 1 $9.98
Old Man Adventures 1 $9.99
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Elspeth, Sun's Champion Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Elspeth, Sun's Champion

I think Sun Titan here. She is outstanding in control decks, too expensive for aggro decks, but will draw also from the casual crowds. $30 seems a bit much, but she is good. If you are a Blue/White Control player, you will want at least a couple of these.

Mid
Low
 Xenagos, the Reveler
$5.99
$2.78
Store QTY Price  
Lilianas playground 1 $3.00
MerrillMerrill 2 $3.00
Lilianas playground 1 $3.25
Green Mat Cards 1 $3.75
GuardianBeast Gaming 1 $3.75
Silvery jem 2 $3.75
OldManFuryGames 1 $4.00
Labyrinth Game Shop 1 $4.17
Plaid Magic 2 $4.35
OldSchoolGaming 1 $4.46
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Xenagos, the Reveler Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Xenagos, the Reveler

I'm going to be honest here, I have no idea. It's not very good in aggro, nor is it in control. The question is whether there will be a ramp deck and whether it will want Xenagos. It certainly feels powerful in conjunction with Garruk, Caller of Beasts. Not sure if mana dorks, Planeswalkers, and monsters is a deck, but if so, Xenagos could increase in demand. My thinking is that the conditions necessary for it to take off are too narrow and that what is more likely to happen is that it drops steadily.

Mid
Low
 Stormbreath Dragon
$3.10
$1.34
Store QTY Price  
GhostGamingTCG 2 $1.75
Mountain View Magic 4 $1.75
Big Tom TCG 1 $1.75
Land In Front 2 $1.91
Zulus Games 1 $1.93
Plaid Magic 1 $1.95
Epic Works Games 2 $1.96
SynkUP 1 $1.99
Ulrich and Helvas 3 $2.00
The DeeP 1 $2.00
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Stormbreath Dragon Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Stormbreath Dragon

I predicted Thundermaw Hellkite would rise and see tons of play. People did not believe me. People ended up wrong. I believe Stormbreath Dragon will be the most expensive mythic in the set by this time next month. I don't know whether that will be $25, $35, or even $50. At its current $24 I believe it is the best investment among the three currently highest-dollar mythics. The one thing we can all be certain of about this card is that it will be good against me for the next two years. Pro white? Really??

Mid
Low
 Purphoros, God of the Forge
$19.38
$13.78
Store QTY Price  
NeverendingGameStore 1 $14.50
Gamers Link 1 $14.95
Galactic Gregs 1 $14.98
Mtg Card Place 1 $14.99
Puggles 1 $15.00
Big Hat MtG 1 $15.00
Tophat Cards 1 $15.00
Rosellini Cards 1 $15.60
J.R.Cards 1 $15.93
Magical Vixens 1 $15.94
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Purphoros, God of the Forge Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Purphoros, God of the Forge

I'm not surprised this one is the highest of the five gods. He is strong and will see play. I'm hesitant to Fork out $20 for him though. He is not ten times as good as his hammer, so if you feel big things about this guy, I'd recommend investing in 40 of his hammers instead of a play set of him, unless of course you just want to play with him. Then go crazy.

Mid
Low
 Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
$6.79
$3.50
Store QTY Price  
Silvery jem 1 $3.68
Monterey Bay Cards 1 $3.68
NeverendingGameStore 1 $3.75
Green Mat Cards 1 $3.75
Six Feet Under Games 1 $3.97
Kingslayer Games 1 $3.99
Mr Fahrenheit 1 $4.00
Smittys Cards 1 $4.00
Thor Cards 1 $4.00
Six Feet Under Games 1 $4.05
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver

I'm not sold at $16, but three mana Planeswalkers are usually pretty good. This one's only way to immediately defend itself is via its high loyalty count. This is good enough on turn three though. Then if you hit a creature you can use the minus ability and that creature can then defend the loyalty-light walker. The problem I see is that against control decks you aren't going to hit creatures, and against creature decks it's basically just going to be a lightning rod for attacking creatures. So it never really seems to shine against anything. It's new and interesting, so it's possible someone more creative than myself figures out how to break it. I have yet to hear about how, so until I do, I can't recommend investing in this walker.

Mid
Low
 Thassa, God of the Sea
$13.49
$7.71
Store QTY Price  
Pack Players 1 $7.71
Strategy First Cards 1 $7.85
OffTheWallGames 1 $8.42
Mr Fahrenheit 1 $8.60
Paper Dragon 1 $8.70
DanTCG 1 $8.72
Raiden Games 1 $8.79
Goblin Games MHK 2 $8.89
DZ Gaming 2 $8.89
PlusOneMetairie 4 $8.89
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Thassa, God of the Sea Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Thassa, God of the Sea

Thassa is pretty sweet alongside Jace, Architect of Thought in monoblue. The problem is that you have to play a bunch of situational and underpowered cards to up the loyalty high enough to turn Thassa into a creature. I expect her to drop in price until enough good early blue permanents enter into Standard. So keep an eye on her as new sets get released. The same is true for all the gods, but especially for Thassa as I expect her to drop pretty low before spiking in six months or whenever.

Mid
Low
 Erebos, God of the Dead
$10.48
$7.00
Store QTY Price  
EdwinFelspar 1 $7.00
timewarp cards 1 $8.25
Triple A Treasures 1 $8.37
Brush Sales 1 $8.80
Antioch Games 1 $8.96
All That Games & Acc 1 $9.00
timewarp cards 1 $9.15
MrBs Magic Emporium 1 $9.17
Cardsologie 1 $9.31
The Guild House 1 $9.41
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Erebos, God of the Dead Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Erebos, God of the Dead

The whip certainly fits well with Erebos, but the awkwardness of the mana costs leads me to believe this is not the one that will take off. If either the whip or the god cost three mana instead of four, I would be on board with both. The fact that there are so few lifelink creatures in black means you pretty much have to play the whip if you want to play Erebos. And since they both cost four, your deck is going to have some awkward high end. It's not impossible that you want, say, two copies of each. However, I would not invest in either right now.

Mid
Low
 Heliod, God of the Sun
$4.74
$2.97
Store QTY Price  
Gongaii Games 1 $2.97
The Lotus Lookout 1 $2.97
KJ American Gaming 1 $2.99
Ulrich and Helvas 1 $3.00
McGeeAndMe MTG 1 $3.00
Guild Mage 1 $3.00
Cimino Yugioh 1 $3.25
Land In Front 3 $3.27
Common Ground Games 1 $3.27
Phreakus 1 $3.36
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Heliod, God of the Sun Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Heliod, God of the Sun

My initial thoughts are that Heliod is better than Gideon and any other four-drop for white. It's not as aggressive as Hero of Bladehold, but it's more resilient. So if I'm able to figure out the best build for him (and yes, I realize that is my job and my job alone), then $10 will prove to be a good deal. If I fail, then he will likely decrease to $5 or so. I apologize in advance if I cost you money, but I'm buying my own play set now, so I'm at least in it with you. I'll do my best.

Mid
Low
 Nylea, God of the Hunt
$9.00
$5.75
Store QTY Price  
ThatGUYs Stuff 1 $6.00
New World Manga 2 $6.49
Lilianas playground 2 $6.63
MTG Crusade 1 $6.69
The Magic Touch 1 $6.70
The Game Cave 1 $6.90
MrBs Magic Emporium 1 $6.91
Die Card 1 $6.97
Epic Works Games 1 $6.99
HelivanahMTG 1 $7.00
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Nylea, God of the Hunt Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Nylea, God of the Hunt

The biggest problem with Nylea is that she will be competing with a certain four-mana mythic hydra from the same set. Hence I Foresee the Shadowmage Infiltrator effect occurring here where a card that would otherwise be very good gets completely overshadowed by Psychatog. Flametongue Kavu did the same thing to Tahngarth, Talruum Hero. Polukranos, World Eater is not quite at the level of these other two cards, but I expect the same overshadowing effect to take place here.

Mid
Low
 Polukranos, World Eater
$2.07
$0.74
Store QTY Price  
The DeeP 4 $0.84
Karns Cards 1 $1.10
Blue Ninja Hut 1 $1.12
Lilianas playground 1 $1.15
Leos Artifacts 2 $1.16
Strange Magic Games 2 $1.19
BringToLight 1 $1.20
Mountain View Magic 3 $1.20
Tower Gaming 1 $1.25
Zulus Games 1 $1.27
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Polukranos, World Eater Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Polukranos, World Eater

Speaking of which, this is the mythic to invest in. Five dollars is quite low and I predict this to double and maybe triple in value. It's my sleeper mythic pick. It attacks, blocks, kills, and is aggressively costed. Hydras are really coming into their own these days, between this and Kalonian Hydra.

Mid
Low
 Master of Waves
$3.99
$1.22
Store QTY Price  
Epic Works Games 1 $1.22
enderak 1 $1.22
East Coast Gaming 3 $1.25
actionmtg 1 $1.25
SynkUP 1 $1.30
Zulus Games 3 $1.34
Zulus Games 11 $1.37
Buy Sell PLAY 1 $1.40
Scorched Apple MTG 1 $1.50
Stone Cold Sales 1 $1.50
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Master of Waves Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Master of Waves

This could be solid in a Thassa deck, but Jace seems better and I'm not sure how many four-drops the deck would want. And this assumes the blue deck is even good, which at the moment I'm inclined to think it is not. Keep an eye on this one as new sets get printed because I expect it to drop to $2 before potentially rising.

Mid
Low
 Underworld Cerberus
$0.75
$0.12
Store QTY Price  
Bayside Thrift 1 $0.12
DarkConfidant 1 $0.18
Cabal Coffee 1 $0.19
VivienZMtG 4 $0.20
GalacticTCG 3 $0.22
BaT Comics Games 3 $0.24
Tier Zero Gaming 1 $0.24
XtremeGames 3 $0.24
Basin Gaming 3 $0.24
Zero Infiniti 3 $0.25
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Underworld Cerberus Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Underworld Cerberus

It has three well-crafted abilities, a strong power/toughness-to-cost ratio, and a three-headed dog in the artwork. This was meant for tournament play. I expect it to rise in value by some amount. Five dollars is low on this one.

Mid
Low
 Ashen Rider
$1.96
$0.90
Store QTY Price  
Bayside Thrift 1 $0.90
BreakPoint TCG 1 $1.00
paladins games 1 $1.00
Duress TCG 1 $1.00
JBs Shop 1 $1.00
Panther Den 1 $1.00
BaT Comics Games 2 $1.08
Zulus Games 1 $1.10
Auggie's Games 2 $1.16
Mountain View Magic 1 $1.19
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Ashen Rider Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Ashen Rider

It is certainly powerful, but without Unburial Rites, I can't think of a deck that would want it.

Mid
Low
 Medomai the Ageless
$1.54
$0.75
Store QTY Price  
Cosmic sales 1 $0.75
CloudySkies 1 $0.80
The Wizards Duel 1 $0.85
Panther Den 1 $0.89
The coliseum 1 $0.89
The War Zone 3 $0.90
Six Feet Under Games 30 $0.92
Six Feet Under Games 30 $0.93
Mox Dealer 1 $0.95
Swovy 1 $0.96
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Medomai the Ageless Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Medomai the Ageless

Six mana win conditions need to protect themselves better or offer more immediate or incidental benefit. This one is too easy to kill, doesn't leave residual value, and will get overshadowed by Elspeth. The Sphinxes got nothing on the Hydras anymore.

Mid
Low
 Hythonia the Cruel
$0.76
$0.15
Store QTY Price  
actionmtg 4 $0.25
BaT Comics Games 5 $0.28
Auggie's Games 2 $0.29
JMJ Games 1 $0.30
Elementalgames 4 $0.31
Good Games USA 1 $0.31
GalacticTCG 8 $0.32
Bayside Thrift 1 $0.32
East Coast Gaming 7 $0.35
Golden Phoenix Games 1 $0.37
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Hythonia the Cruel Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Hythonia the Cruel

Unplayable in Constructed. I'm fully aware Ali Antrazi will prove me wrong here, so if you think Hythonia the Cruel is the next Door to Nothingness, by all means, buy them all at $2… Wait, what?? Nevermind. Even Ali can't make this card worth $2.


Noteworthy Rares

Mid
Low
 Thoughtseize
$22.00
$14.00
Store QTY Price  
Adventure Games Osh 15 $13.81
crushingface cards 3 $14.00
CardsEternal 2 $14.40
Monterey Bay Cards 1 $14.96
actionmtg 2 $14.99
G Probed Gaming 1 $14.99
APowerMTG 1 $15.00
EdwinFelspar 3 $15.00
Cards From B 4 $15.01
mtgomg 1 $15.01
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Thoughtseize Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Thoughtseize is the big one. It has a high demand for Modern and will also have a high demand for Standard. $23 is a lot, but not compared to the $75 it was prior to getting reprinted. This is a solid long term investment, especially if you play Modern. In the short term they may dip down to $17, but they will likely go back up to $25 or more at some point in their Standard life. Relatively safe investment with long term promise.

Mid
Low
 Fleecemane Lion
$1.49
$0.49
Store QTY Price  
Chicagoland Games 1 $0.51
oOOoOphidianMagic 1 $0.51
Heroes Ink Comics 1 $0.62
Card Haven Games 1 $0.80
Monterey Bay Cards 4 $0.84
Stone Cold Sales 1 $0.85
Yawgmoths Bargain 1 $0.91
Labyrinth Game Shop 2 $0.95
Dork Den Mankato 8 $0.98
GarthOneEyeMagic 1 $0.99
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Fleecemane Lion Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Fleecemane Lion is a card dear to my heart. I expect this to be a solid player in Standard for the foreseeable future. Naya wants it; Selesnya wants it, and pretty much any deck that wants Voice of Resurgence will want the Lion alongside it. With that said, $9 is a lot. Not much room for growth, but a card you will likely want a playset of if you play aggro decks at all.

Mid
Low
 Temple of Triumph
$1.45
$0.22
Store QTY Price  
River City Trade 1 $0.22
Terrys Tiny Emporium 1 $0.40
BlackLotusGo Games 10 $0.44
Weird Flex 1 $0.45
Epic Works Games 1 $0.45
KhloeKomixus 1 $0.47
Garruk Games 3 $0.47
Six Feet Under Games 5 $0.49
Six Feet Under Games 5 $0.49
Land In Front 1 $0.49
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Temple of Triumph Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

The five temples will see a strong amount of Standard play and $4-5 is about where I would expect them to remain. Lands are lands.

Mid
Low
 Soldier of the Pantheon
$0.49
$0.10
Store QTY Price  
Sorrows Path 2 $0.10
The Mithril Core 1 $0.11
AE Games 1 $0.14
Phyrexian Avenue 1 $0.15
BaT Comics Games 4 $0.16
CardsForLess 1 $0.20
Galactic Gregs 3 $0.20
CollectiblesbyChance 1 $0.20
Krypta Knight Magic 1 $0.20
Draft House Games 1 $0.20
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Soldier of the Pantheon Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Soldier of the Pantheon at $4 seems like a good deal, but it's likely I'm biased. I made this same claim about Fiendslayer Paladin and it doubled in price. This likely had something to do with him being a 4x in my Worlds deck. I plan to wear this card out in the coming years, so if you want to put stock in me, this is a good place to invest.

Mid
Low
 Spear of Heliod
$1.44
$0.49
Store QTY Price  
Monterey Bay Cards 1 $0.49
Dork Den Mankato 4 $0.56
Kuma Cards 2 $0.75
RedmondGaming 1 $0.80
Ninety Five 18 $0.87
Comic Lair 4 $0.93
A Curious Museum 1 $0.94
mtgomg 1 $0.94
Sparkling City LGS 1 $0.95
CardsfromTheLand 1 $0.95
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Spear of Heliod Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Spear of Heliod is approximately $2-2.50 right now. See Soldier of the Pantheon.

Mid
Low
 Swan Song
$8.25
$5.25
Store QTY Price  
Ninety Five 14 $3.81
New World Manga 9 $4.99
The DeeP 4 $5.00
Adventure Games Osh 2 $5.10
Yargle Bargle Bin 1 $6.00
SpaceGoblinMTG 7 $6.25
Mr Fahrenheit 1 $6.40
Universal Comics 1 $6.41
GhaltaGames 1 $6.50
Store of Steve 3 $6.50
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Swan Song Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Swan Song is just over $3. Non-foil might not rise much in the short term, but if you can get a deal on a foil I would recommend it. Vintage and Legacy players love their foils. Some part of me keeps thinking Stifle and that this is going to be a sleeper pick. I'm hesitant to pull the trigger on it, but if you believe this is the card to invest in, I say go for it. I don't see it losing much value if you're wrong and it's one of the few cards I could see skyrocketing in some possible world.

Mid
Low
 Hammer of Purphoros
$1.59
$0.59
Store QTY Price  
All About Games 2 $0.37
BaT Comics Games 2 $0.45
Brew City Games 1 $0.59
Titan Games PR 1 $0.62
OldSchoolGaming 1 $0.86
Chicagoland Games 1 $0.87
mtgmintcard 1 $0.89
Gam3 no 1 $0.90
BringToLight 2 $0.90
War Torn Front 4 $0.91
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Hammer of Purphoros Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Hammer of Purphoros at $2 might also be a card to consider. Initial impressions of this card are positive. It feels like Slayers' Stronghold, Fires of Yavimaya, and Goblin Trenches. None of these cards were worth much, but they were each tournament staples. I think picking up your play set of Hammers is closer to a good idea than a bad idea, but you probably won't get rewarded or punished much either way.


Predictions Recap

1. Stormbreath Dragon will be the most expensive mythic in the set in a month.

2. The five gods will mostly decline in value in the short term before rising again when more sets get printed with cards to trigger their devotion requirement. So wait now and invest when they hit a low point.

3. In terms of percentage, Polukranos, World Eater will rise more than any other mythic. I expect it to double or triple in price from its current $5.

4. Underworld Cerberus will go up.

5. The success of Heliod, God of the Sun, Soldier of the Pantheon, and Spear of Heliod entirely hinges on my success as a professional magic player this year.

6. Thoughtseize will show up in at least one deck list in the next two years.

7. Fleecemane Lion will mate with Steppe Lynx and make the cutest stuffed animal-looking cat babies imaginable.

8. Swan Song has the most room for skyrocketing. I could easily see it being one of the top five most expensive cards in the set by the time Theros block rotates out of Standard. That is saying quite a lot for a non-mythic rare that currently sits at less than the price of a booster pack. I'm not saying it is definitely the next Birthing Pod, but if you are a roulette junky or you like nothing better than the rush of scratching off a lottery ticket, Swan Song is your card to invest in.

9. Seriously, Fleecemane Lion and Steppe Lynx should roll around in some catnip together and see where it goes. I'm sure the entire jungle would sing Hakuna Matata and hold up their baby a la Simba upon its birth. And I would play the card, in the dark, no matter what it does.

10. There are only five temples in Theros. Please stop asking in the forum why a deck doesn't play one of the temples that does not exist.

That is all. Happy investing and enjoy your local Theros Release Weekend!

Craig Wescoe

@Nacatls4Life on twitter