I didn't want to end today's blogging with a lame locals report, so I figured I'd do a Market Analysis on Fabled Raven as well.
For the longest time this card used to hover around the $20 mark. Once the anticipation for Dark World started up, it increased to around $25. Many predicted that it would end up in the Wave 2 tins, so it was clear that until the final promos were revealed, nothing much was going to happen to Raven. Some let it go just for the "just in case it is" factor, others kept it for the opposite reason/the "just in case it's not" factor. I'm a little surprised it's not seeing as how DW is literally just around the corner, but realistically there were so many things it "could've been" that it was anyone's guess. Konami can't go all-out and give us the cream of the crop all at once; they'll simply save Scrap Dragon, Glow-Up, Shining, Raven, and Lyla for some other product to push. Sucks we get crap like Neptune, but I am still very happy about Dyna and Darksoul. The tins are gonna sell well regardless, so it's natural for Konami to just keep Raven to help sell something else. I wanted to pick one up for myself, but figured I'd wait it out, and if it didn't show up in the tins just order it. I didn't want to risk the investment only for it to be announced in the tin.
That being said, all of the upcoming product details have been revealed, and PHSW more than likely won't be getting a SE, if the pattern of every-other-set holds. So that leaves Fabled Raven, as well as the previously mentioned cards, to be relatively safe in terms of value/investment. This is noticeable in that Troll & Toad is buying Ravens for 32 (1st) and 30 (Unl), and Scrap Drags for 29 (1st), 28 (Unl), and 30 (Ulti 1st). Their value for Raven was at 24 before the final promos were revealed, and Scrap Drag was about 21.
Realistically this is about the best time to be buying cards in anticipation not only for Columbus, but for PHSW as well. Pick up cards that are good both in and against Darkworld, and stuff that goes in Rabbit.dek, even though it's probably too late to pick up a mass amount of cheap Sabersaurus, Kabauzuls, Dragged Downs, etc. Pick them up for cheap at locals though from the oblivious ones. It is also the best time to sell cards based upon the predictions for how the meta will shape up. Sell stuff that's not going to be good against those decks and are expensive now. Personally I am getting rid of all extraneous Effect Veilers I have; I'll keep my set of rare ones, but any Ultras and Ultis I have are going to be sold since their value has re-stabilized, at least on Troll&Toad and ARG. Veiler is not that great in the DW match anyway (hits Tour Guide, Raven, and Leviair, is that it?), and with Dragged Down into the Grave coupled with Mind Crush expected to see play, most "hand-trap" cards are going to be less viable, at least in that match-up. I don't want to say that one should base all their investment decisions on DW, but with it having so much hype, I think it's just the "right play" right now. I am selling off all my Tragoedias except my beat-up one, since there's the possibility/likelihood that it'll be in the structure deck. I personally have no problem playing with common versions of cards; I actually prefer it.
The nice thing about Raven is that it's not a must-have 3-of card like Tour Guide, therefore it's not going to reach values anywhere near it. Darkworld will run anywhere from 0-2, and I believe Raven's value is going to directly correlate with how well it does at Columbus. Actually, I just realized that it's pretty meaningless for me to point this out; obviously if it does well at the YCS, it's value goes up! It is surely the most-hyped deck going into the tournament, and therefore will have the most amount of side/main hate towards it. I think Agents was the most-hyped deck of Toronto but it still yielded the most # of spots in top 32, so it may simply be a non-issue.
My advice is to pick up a few but don't go overboard on it. It's a great discard outlet, searchable by Sangan, and a tuner, so it's got good things going for it. It's currently anywhere from $35-50 on eBay. I will most likely try to pick up 2, one for strictly myself, and the other to be my "gamble" one. If 2 is the popular number, then hey I have my 2 before the inevitable price hike. If 1 is the popular number, then there will still be people that want it since it's an old hard-to-get Secret and therefore it's value should go up anyways. This seems like the best-case scenario in terms of risk vs reward. The worst-case scenario is that builds end up not running any, and/or DW's don't take any tops at Columbus or only 17-32nd place. Seems kinda unlikely, but you never know. In that case, yes it would suck, but it's a gamble that seems to be unlikely to happen and thus work in my favor. Keep your eyes on Pojo (both Large-Scale Tournament section and Vet's section) and DGZs YCS Columbus coverage sections as well as Konami's coverage just to get an idea of how much play Raven is seeing at the top tables.