Ixalan’s Winners and Losers

Ah the fresh smell of rotation. Isn’t it great? Birds are singing, dinosaurs are growling, Ally’s of Zendikar are nowhere to be seen. This weekend there was a SCG Open in Dallas and a lot of card prices have changed since last week. Let’s take a look at this weekend’s winners and losers.

Winners

The Scarab God

The Scarab God is definitely one of the highlights of this weekend. Every match that it was played in it was immediately impactful and threatened to take over the game in very short order. Its synergy with God-Pharaoh’s Gift and its power against the card make it an important sideboard and maindeck card. If you don’t play competitive Standard, I think your best chance to turn a profit on this is right now. It almost broke $40 and buylists should catch up this week. If you play Commander exclusively or just had it collecting dust in your binder then I would recommend selling it before it has time to fall. It’s a great card but there will be times down the road where it is cheaper to buy.

Approach of the Second Sun

This alternate win condition card is the perfect kind of card for a slow controlling deck. A lot of players were not prepared for Jim Davis and his ability to Approach the Second Sun. As Standard continues to evolve, I think this card will be less good. It was a near bulk rare before this weekend and now retails for $3. If you had a few extra sitting around from drafts, now would be a good time to cash in.

Tezzeret the Schemer

Tezzeret also saw some modest gains this weekend as Zac Elsik won the SCG Classic with a Grixis Improvise deck featuring three Tezzeret the Schemer. A lot of people bought in on its relative obscurity but I’m not sure many people can replicate his results. If you’re not big on the deck, then now is a fine time to dump your Planeswalkers while they’re in demand.

Hostage Taker

Turns out Hostage Taker is a pretty good Magic card. It’s even better when you eternalize it and do it again. Oblivion Ring was a reasonable card but this just outright steals your opponent’s stuff if they’re not careful. Hostage Taker is now a $15 card and I wouldn’t blame you for selling them if you don’t use them. It’s a new card and the price will come down even if it continues to see play, but I wouldn’t try to cash out if you intend to play them. $15 for 2 years of play is a pretty reasonable investment.

Glorybringer

All weekend, all we heard about was the great ground battles waged by the Scarab God. Glorybringer is the next natural evolution with its ability to quickly and easily kill Hostage Takers and other eternalized creatures. Right now, the buy price and the sell price on Glorybringer almost don’t make any sense. The current best buy price is $5 and you can find copies on aggregate sites for as low as $4.75. This card will get more expensive in the coming weeks so it won’t be cheaper than today to buy in.

Fetid Pools
Fumigate

These two also saw some modest gains on the back of finishes in the top 8.

Biggest Losers

Carnage Tyrant
Regisaur Alpha
Ripjaw Raptor

If you were expecting a dino-might weekend, I have some bad news for you. Only one dedicated dinosaur deck was in the top 64 of the open and it looked to have a rough time competing. Right now, I don’t think there are quite the right number of dinosaurs to make the deck function (or the dinos people are playing aren’t the right ones) and we will likely see all of these cards fall in the meantime. If you opened any at your pre-release that you didn’t get rid of, I can’t imagine a reason to hang onto them. We really haven’t even seen a big decrease in their price yet, so you can trade them for almost their pre-release value still. If you’re playing them at your LGS, I wouldn’t worry too much. The base deck looks reasonably well rounded to perform at your local FNM and Standard Showdown.

Sleepers

Hour of Glory
Vraska's Contempt

As people look forward to improving their Standard game, it will likely come down to beating The Scarab God. These are two pretty underpriced and non-White ways to deal with an otherwise very troublesome permanent. I expect Hour of Glory is likely to be the better choice since not a lot of Planeswalkers made an appearance this weekend and a lot of the Black decks were 3 or more colors. These two are much less obvious than the White answers like Ixalan’s Binding and Cast Out.

Final Thoughts

I wouldn’t give up just yet on any deck you’ve been brewing. We’re still some time away from the Pro Tour and it will put the finishing touches on this format. It looks like a lot of teams played it safe with week 1 decks mostly comprised of cards from the previous Standard. I am certain we’ll see more new cards in the coming weeks and in a few months when Rivals of Ixalan is released.


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