The release of Innistrad sees the rotation from Standard of the entire Zendikar block, along with the 2011 Core Set. In the coming weeks, I'd like to look at how this affects the prices of the cards in each of the four sets, and what may now be falling into the budget brackets of kitchen table warriors everywhere.
First cab off the rank: Zendikar.
What's Not Dropping
Firstly, let's look at the stuff you can keep dreaming of getting cheaply. Those fetch lands are not going to be coming down in price any time soon. They belong in every multicoloured deck that can take one, and probably in every Cube that can afford it. They're simply too useful in too many places to drop.
Iona, Shield of Emeria is also showing a stable price. She's too good a sideboard card in too many non-Standard tourney decks, and remains a half-decent Show and Tell target against the right decks in Legacy (well, when you haven't drawn Emrakul, anyway).
Pyromancer Ascension and Punishing Fire (whilst both not being outlandishly expensive in the first place) are both holding their prices due to being useful in Modern. This is particularly true of Punishing Fire, which combos too well with Grove of the Burnwillows in the Modern format.
What You Should Be Looking To Pick Up
The stuff that is going through the floor post-rotation is intriguing stuff, though. First mention is Eldrazi Monument , which has basically thirded its price since the start of the year. It's now down to $4.50-5 a copy, and still freefalling. It's beginning to get to the point where it can be a build-a-budget-deck-around-me piece. Hopefully down to $15 a playset soon, a few creature generators... a casual guy could have a good time!
Another card in freefall is Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle - it's halved its price since February. With Valakut itself rotating, the entire archetype it spawned in Standard is going with it, and it's questionable as to whether the Valakut decks will float in Extended or Modern. The casual player is suddenly able to get a set of Valakut for $5-6, and can start going to town in mono-red.
The three uncommon vampires that have made a home in so many decks over the last two years ( Gatekeeper , Hexmage and Nighthawk ) are also starting to show signs of becoming easier to find again, as well. All three have been reprinted in multiples in a Magic 2012 Event Deck, and the Nighthawk has even been reprinted in a Commander deck. Yet the demand has at least kept their prices somewhat stable for now. The Hexmage is dropping the fastest, with the Nighthawk proving the most stubborn (and only just starting to show the effects of rotation upon its price).
There are mythics we've no doubt been dreaming of for the last couple of years that aren't quite in the realms of casual affordability yet, but are at least sliding towards it thanks to rotation. Lotus Cobra , Bloodghast and Nissa Revane are all on their way to levels someone at a kitchen table would be willing to pay. Sorin Markov may get there too, even though he's been reprinted in M12 - Liliana of the Veil is looking to take his throne as the best mono-black planeswalker in Standard anyway.
Finally, Zendikar still has plenty of casual bombs that are only going to be more affordable thanks to rotation. Emeria, the Sky Ruin , Bloodchief Ascension , Luminarch Ascension , Rampaging Baloths , Rite of Replication , Emeria Angel and even the forgotten planeswalker, Chandra Ablaze , are all exceptional value at the casual table, and give you excellent bang for the buck. Start hunting!