“What are the best cards to invest into?” This is one of the frequently asked questions I receive. People are fascinated with not only playing the game, but allowing them to do so while getting financially rewarded. There is a belief that older cards will simply increase in price, and while that is true for some, it is not for all. In the last two years, we have seen Legacy, Commander, and Modern boom, this while encouraging, is the reason for this belief. If we look beyond those booms, you can see the overall trends and patterns that continually repeat themselves. While this article won’t get your rich and ahead of these price runs, it will give you an idea of what are good and safe investments going forward in 2013.
Everyone that is heavily into trading or been around the game a while, knows that Legacy cards are in general the safest investment. They don’t really devalue and don’t have the big price fluctuations associated with standard However standard is the most popular format, so to help limit risk, you can can focus your standard collection of cards that are featured across multiple formats. Snapcaster Mage, Deathrite Shaman, Abrupt Decay, and Liliana of the Veil all fit this description very well. They will always see the post rotation price fall, but are great long term investments. Cards like this can be acquired cheaply now, and will be often worth more down the road.
Another group of cards to look into are Zendikar full art lands. They have been going up like slowly over the last two years You used to be able to get for around .25 a card, now they are solidly at $1 each. Looking at the other full art lands from Unglued/Unhinged the ceiling appears to be around $4-$5 where they will go closer and closer to if there is no major full art reprint in the next year. I expect to be at $1.5, $2 for Island by the end of 2013.
A good start for modern would be look to what will not be printed in Modern Masters The printing should lower some of the prices in modern, and make it easier than ever to enter the modern format. However that set does not include some of the most important lands:
Fetch Lands, (Misty Rainforest, Scalding Tarn, Marsh Flats, Arid Mesa, Verdant Catacombs) Even the older Onslaught fetch lands have jumped in prices, but all are very playable, in every single format, and very crucial pieces in Commander, Legacy, and modern deck construction. I expect a reprint, but not until 2014 or 2015. They are always great to trade for, and very easy to trade away.
Shock Lands. Once Innistrad block rotates, I expect a big price jump for these lands. When the Zendikar block rotated Scars duals went from around $3-$5 to all the way to $10-$20. With the rotation of scars, Innistrad duals went from $3-$6 to $10-$12. Shock lands will have a similar jump, and should move to around $15-$20 each.
The previous investment tips above were basically looking at trends, and feel they are all very safe investments. My last investment which I am planning to invest in is pure speculation, but should provide some of the biggest payouts. I believe the mill strategy will see a massive jump in play and playability with the new Dimir mechanics. Cards like Hedron Crab, Mind Funeral, and Archive Trap could all see massive price jumps if this archetype is at all playable. Mill is traditionally played very heavily in casual, and if its any good, will really push the value of these cards.
Anyways, when looking for which cards you should be trading for or buying in terms of a financial standpoint, remember these 3 Ls.
Legacy-playability, Lands, and Last-to-rotate.
Hope this helps.