All posts by Jason Alt

Jason is the hardest working MTG Finance writer in the business. With a column appearing on Gathering Magic in addition to MTG Price, he is also a member of the Brainstorm Brewery finance podcast and a writer and administrator for Brainstorm Brewery's content website. Follow him on twitter @JasonEAlt

Commander 2015 Decklists – What Does It All Mean?

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The full decklists for Commander 2015 have been published, so the slow trickle of spoilers is over, and now we have the weekend to make moves. It’s a little late to do anything rash, but it doesn’t hurt to be forewarned going into the next few weeks. Let’s talk about what matters and what could happen.

First of all, here are the decks.

“Call the Spirits” AKA Daxos, the Returned

Relevant new cards – Daxos, the Returned ($3), Karlov of the Ghost Council ($3) , Grasp of Fate ($4), Righteous Confluence ($4)

Relevant reprints – Lightning Greaves ($7),  Karmic Justice ($7),  Phyrexian Arena ($10),  Black Market ($12)

Relevant exclusions – Grave Pact ($8), Dictate of Erebos ($2), Phyrexian Altar ($20)

If you were paying attention to my articles, you may or may not be impressed. You may be impressed that I identified Phyrexian Arena and Black Market as likely reprint targets, or you may be not impressed because I identified other cards that weren’t reprinted. Either way, it’s too late to sell off now, and  I have to imagine these cards, especially Black Market, can shake off the reprints.

Star City Games is only charging $6 for Black Market right now and that price is going to go down before it goes up. I’d watch what the price of Black Market does closely. Since a lot of the value of this deck is in reprints and not in new cards, I don’t see speculators targeting this product heavily, which means the price isn’t likely to plummet to much. Black Market was a card I identified as a potential corollary to Wurmcoil Engine, which rebounded nicely after the Commander 2014 reprinting.

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I think if we see Black Market dip below $5, especially the old border copies, you should trade aggressively for them. The card is insane in EDH and the reprint might help it in the long term because, like it or not, this may be the first time some players see this card and it may alert them to something they need in their deck and didn’t know was real. I’m stocking up around $5, because I want a lot of these for my decks and I was holding off, hoping for a reprint.  I see opportunity here.

Similarly, Star City Games only wants $4 for Karmic Justice right now and that number is also going to go down. While the supply is greatly increased, Karmic Justice’s price wasn’t entirely predicated on scarcity but rather mostly on playability, and more copies won’t entirely mitigate the price. I bet we see Karmic Justice rebound to a price nearly perfectly midway between its future $3 and its pre-reprint price of $7. There isn’t a ton to be made, here, but if you trade for these at $2 to $3 and buylist them for $3.50 in a year, I don’t think you’ll be that upset, especially if you trade away Standard cards that are going to lose their value. I love trading Standard cards away and picking up EDH cards, it’s like getting 100 percent of retail for your cards by shipping to a buylist in a little while.

“Seize Control” AKA Mizzix of the Izmagus

Relevant new cards – Mystic Confluence ($7)

Relevant reprints – Blatant Thievery ($4),

Relevant exclusions – An expensive card

I predicted a Legacy-playable card would be printed to make up a lot of the value of this deck and while they sort of tried with Mizzix’s Mastery, no one is confident that card will go anywhere.

Players seem to be bullish on Mystic Confluence, given that a lot of people consider Jace’s Ingenuity playable and this is that but better. The card simply isn’t good enough to maintain all of the value of the deck. This is going to keep prices mostly from collapsing, but Mystic Confluence might be prohibitively expensive because there isn’t much financial impetus to buy the deck. EDH players wanted something that interacted with artifacts and didn’t get it, and they’re similarly upset at all the $3 cards that are going to be $0.50 from now on.

I think there is opportunity, here. I think Aethersnatch will get a little cheaper before people realize how good it is, but I think it could go up from its current $3 fairly easily. It’s a better Desertion and Desertion flirted with $10 for a while before its second reprinting in Commander’s Arsenal. If Aethersnatch goes below $2.50, I’m going to target it in trades.

Mizzix’s Mastery is very cheap, also. If anyone tries to play this in some sort of Storm deck, it’s going to go way up from its current $2 and people will want them a playset at a time. Luckily for EDH players, no one is going to want Mystic Confluence for Legacy anytime soon, so EDH demand is going to dictate what prices in this deck do.

I wish they hadn’t jammed a Thought Vessel (thoughtlessly) in every deck, because not every deck needs it and a little scarcity could have helped the price do something. Reliquary effects are lazy from a design standpoint and make the game annoying, but no one wants to be the first guy to eschew them, so they’re here to stay.

“Plunder the Graves” AKA Meren of Clan Nel Toth

Relevant new cards – Wretched Confluence ($4), Meren of Clan Nel Toth ($4), Skullwinder ($2)

Relevant reprints – Eldrazi Monument ($10), Eternal Witness ($6), Mycoloth ($4), Lightning Greaves ($5), High Market ($4)

Relevant exclusions – Pernicious Deed ($3), Abrupt Decay ($15), Grave Pact ($8), Dictate of Erebos ($2), Asceticism ($10), Lord of Extinction ($13), Yavimaya Hollow ($10) (unreprintable)

First off, I want to say I bring up Yavimaya Hollow, because it is worth a second look given the new Simic and Golgari decks. It’s on the Reserved List, as I was reminded when I wrote my Golgari article because I never remember to check that. With the card getting more looks as more people build more decks and no more copies coming, that seems like a safe place to park a few Hamiltons.

Speaking of that Golgari article, I do think it’s funny that reading the comments I see Eddie Sárraga say, “Lotleth Troll and not Spiritmonger?” It’s not funny because I was right about both of those things, but because it was a guess, and when I read that comment, I remember thinking, “Crap, they could totally reprint Spiritmonger and then this guy will laugh at me,” which didn’t happen. Spiritmonger wouldn’t have been a terrible reprint, but didn’t really fit the theme of the deck. I picked Lotleth Troll based on it doing color-pie-appropriate stuff since I figured they would build the deck around a Golgari key strength. Spiritmonger is a good “standalone” card, but doesn’t place nice with graveyard shenanigans the way Lotleth Troll does. It wasn’t an actual total guess on my part and was heavily influenced by the logic that the article was predicated upon. Not a bad guess, Eddie, but no Spiritmonger this time.

This deck is heavily valued based on reprints. I don’t see any of the new cards going super nuts and becoming a ton of money, so the reprints are going to be the key draw for buying the decks and will accordingly have a tough time holding value.

We dodged a bullet as Butcher of Malakir got yet another reprinting instead of Grave Pact or Dictate of Erebos, two cards I expect to hold their value and increase dramatically in the case of Dictate. A reprint on Dictate before I can realize any profit from the heavily invested position I am in is a risk, and I took it gladly, but I would just as soon not have it happen. Reprint Butcher all you want. That card costs too much mana and is easier to kill than an enchantment. I mean, sometimes.

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‘Wade into Battle” AKA Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas

Relevant new cards – Blade of Selves ($1), Anya, Merciless Angel ($4), Fiery Confluence ($4)

Relevant reprints –  Gisela, Blade of Goldnight ($4), Urza’s Incubator ($6), Lightning Greaves ($5), Taurean Mauler ($3), Sun Titan ($3)

Relevant exclusions – Aggravated Assault ($9), Scourge of the Throne ($9)

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I did pretty well with my predictions on this one, nailing giant tribal enabler Urza’s Incubator while I urged people not to hold onto Gisela, Blade of Goldnight and to wait until the spoilers to buy in if they were inclined. I had a few people message me telling me they saved some money by waiting and avoided losing some by shipping these cards, so I feel pretty good. I expected way more spells in this deck. Only nine total cards that aren’t artifacts or creatures? That’s so few. Every deck I see built with this precon in mind is predicated on a Sunforger package, so maybe that’s where we should look for opportunities.

There just isn’t a lot of value in this deck. It could be the worst one, and I think people predicted that would happen when they saw Kalemne spoiled. Ironically, grousing and talking about how the Boros deck would be the worst was people being optimistic. That optimism paid off—Boros is bad. Oh well. The blue and black decks were both pretty bad last time, and they both have pretty staunch defenders.

Besides, if we don’t care, a bad deck could help us. Here’s why. People who like some of the cards or just don’t care about prices will buy the deck because they want to build Boros. If the deck is bad, the stores won’t mark it up above MSRP, making it attractive to buy for people. Then they will jam other good stuff in. More dragons, equipment, and auras to make it more profitable to attack with Kalmne. They may even build with Gisela as the Commander, and that will sell all kinds of singles.

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Foil Sunforger is returning to reality after Tiny Leaders proved that it wasn’t a real format played by anyone. I’m not going to waste my word count saying, “I told you so,” but you all know I absolutely did that. Sunforger on a Kalemne is pretty brutal, and having a Gisela out when you hit them with a Fiery Confluence could be fun. Tutoring for a 12-damage spell is very EDH. The reprinting in Modern Masters 2015 hurt the foil and non-foil prices of Sunforger, but I still think there is upside. The card is too good with Kalemne and the rest of the precon.

The only other opportunity I really see is that I think Blade of Selves is way, way too cheap. Then again, I’ve misjudged EDH equipment as a good buy at $1 before.

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I still don’t get why this hasn’t caught on.

Still, Blade of Selves is much, much better than Masterwork of Ingenuity and can make some ridiculous board states. I think $1 is a pretty low-risk buy-in point, and if Blade of Selves is still $1 next week, I might look into investing $50 or so.

I don’t see a ton of opportunity here. This deck mostly just smashed $10 cards into $5 cards and they will take a long time to recover from it and that’s too bad.

Look, we’ve come to the one I want to write about.

“Swell the Host” AKA Ezuri, Claw of Progress

Relevant new cards – Ezuri, Claw of Progress ($4),  Skullwinder ($2)

Relevant reprints – Eternal Witness ($6), Forgotten Ancient ($4), Solemn Simulacrum ($4), Bane of Progress ($2), High Market ($4)

Relevant exclusions – Voidslime ($7), Doubling Season ($25)

This deck won’t have a ton of value after the reprints tank, and the new cards seem to be underrated price-wise. I think this deck is going to be purchased for utility and that could create some scarcity and give Ezuri a little upside. I don’t know if anyone wants to build snake tribal, but building around Ezuri seems nutty. The problem is that most of the cards that work in the deck are cheap already. Hydras could see the biggest boost, and I am all-in on cards that double counters.

Contagion Engine survived a reprinting and now that everyone is no longer holding their breath, we’ll either see the non-foil go up or the foil come down or both. Contagion Engine is a card I identified as being great with Simic a long time ago, and it’s still true.

This deck is the best to build around and with a new, mono-green Master Biomancer called Bloodspore Thrinax printed in the Golgari deck, we could see people play with both of those cards. After you get some experience counters on Ezuri, you can dump counters on Biomancer and Thrinax, and all of a sudden your Coiling Oracles and Mystic Snakes come into play as 12/12 creatures. So what if you can’t get more experience counters? Why not proliferate, plebe? Do I have to tell you how to do everything?

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This could easily hit $5 as a result of this new deck if it’s as popular as Twitter seems to think it will be.

I called Orochi Hatchery as my Brainstorm Brewery pick of the week if memory serves. I got blown out by the reprint. I sure hope I said “foil,” but I have a feeling I didn’t. Still, the card will get upside, especially the foil, as the reprint introduces new people to the card and gives them a snake tribal commander that isn’t mono-green for once. I feel like this deck will have the biggest effect on the prices of cards that aren’t in the deck, and I made suggestions about that here in this article and also in this older piece, so check those out for targets.

That’s all I have for you this week. Next week I will brew a bit with the actual cards we got and talk about cards likely to be directly affected rather than speculating on what will be in the decks. This should be fun. We’ll be looking at a ton of decklists, so get ready for that. It will be fun, I promise. Would I lie to you?

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Brainstorm Brewery #169 – Second Place Best Place

Personally, I thought Josh Lee Kwai (@JoshLeeKwai) from the Command Zone podcast was a great idea for a guest. He sent us an e-mail asking a great question about finance and we invited him on the cast to talk about it. Simple. Then GP Indianapolis happened and Ray Perez Jr got second place. Second. Not first, but second. Even Josh e-mailed us to say “You should absolutely bump me to talk to Ray” but that’s not how we roll. Am I the only one who doesn’t think you bounce a great finance guest to talk to a guy who got second place at a GP? We could have gotten Brent Clawson (@brentpk) the winner of the event if we wanted to talk about the GP.

 

Don’t get me wrong, we’ll likely talk to Ray very soon and it’s cool that the second place finish gets him back on the Pro Tour. Esper tokens looks like a sweet deck and Ray’s our boy. We don’t bump guests on Brainstorm Brewery. We had a great conversation with Josh about all kinds of topics. This is a good episode. Ray’s not on it but it’s still a good episode. Would we have bumped Josh if Ray had won the GP? I think it’s more fun if I don’t answer that.

 

  • Josh Lee Kwai (@JoshLeeKwai) from The Command Zone joins us
  • Shadows over Innistrad?
  • GP Indianapolis is discussed at length, but not how you think
  • Josh had a question and we answer
  • Commander 2015 spoilers!
  • Pick of the Week is back!
  • Support our Patreon! DO IT. You know this cast makes you more than $1 a week
  • Need to contact us? Hit up BrainstormBrew@gmail.com

 

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The Rising Tide’s First Wave

Readers,

You knew I was going to address the Commander 2015 spoilers. With a lot of spoilers condensed into a few weeks, I’m going to have to basically address every card I can each week, since there is a lot to go over in a short time.

I’m potentially going to mention cards I’ve mentioned before in previous articles, but unlike previous articles, which highlighted archetypes that could emerge, these predictions are predicated on actual spoiled cards and there’s likely to be a lot more pressure on the cards due to the impending printing of new stuff.

I am going to talk exclusively about the five legendary creatures spoiled today, because all of them have the potential to launch new archetypes or replace older cards within their particular archetypes, and I think they will have the most profound effect on prices. This will be less in-depth  than the other articles about these color combinations, but while those were speculative based on the abilities typically given to cards in those combinations, this is predicated on the actual, spoiled cards. There’s a lot to go over, so let’s get down to it.

Daxos the Returned

daxosthereturned

Potentially the best card spoiled so far with experience counters, this guy can get out of control very quickly. I have talked about enchantment-based decks before, with creatures like Heliod at the helm, but this guy is perfect. Are there cards we’re going to want to jam in a deck with Daxos as the commander?

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This seems like a shoo-in. Before, I discussed how good this was with a commander like Heliod, and while that meant this was likely to experience some growth eventually, I think Daxos as a commander is going to put pressure on this card right away. Every time you make another enchantment creature with Daxos’s ability, this taps for more mana. That alone is stupid. Using a ton of mana to pump out more tokens means you get out of control quickly. Black and white are great colors for enchantments as it is, and Theros block gave us a ton of exciting permanents that are enchantments in addition to their other types. Spear of Heliod is a great way to give yourself an experience counter then buff the creatures you throw out with Daxos.

Serra’s Sanctum itself is just dumb. While it doesn’t get the love in Legacy that Gaea’s Cradle does, this is just as good in some EDH decks and everything that made Cradle seem like a solid investment applies here. This card is on the Reserved List, and unlike Gaea’s Cradle which had extra copies due to the premium printing, all we have are regular Sanctums. This is a $30 card that could easily hit $50 and is never going to be bad in EDH or get reprinted. This seems like a no-brainer to me. The odds of this being in the Commander 2015 precon are zero percent.

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This is just going to shrug off reprints for days. With five printings and a nearly $10 price tag, this is an EDH staple. This s a very, very good card and it is very good in a deck like Daxos. Drawing cards is never bad, losing a life isn’t too arduous in a 40-life format, and playing this to give yourself an experience counter feels great to me. I don’t think this will go down a ton for very long if it is in the Daxos deck because it’s so ubiquitous in EDH, the price is trending upward, and we could see the Wurmcoil effect we saw with the mono-red deck from last time repeated here. I would call the odds this is in the precon less than 25 percent, and I don’t even think the reprinting would be that bad. If it is reprinted and the price tanks, buy these at its price floor. It absolutely will recover.

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This is very expensive and is only getting expensiver. If you’re not inclined to shell out $15 for a card with growth this flat, just remember this is going to get a boost from people building around Daxos. If this isn’t in the deck, and I don’t think it will be, the price has upward pressure. A reprinting would be brutal, but I think it’s a less than 35-percent chance. I would buy any copies I want for personal use now before the price goes up with  65-percent confidence. There is no pressure to reprint this for Modern, and it’s pretty expensive to jam in the precon. A card that soaks up that much of the value should really make the deck win, and this doesn’t help the precon beat other precons. If you buy one for your deck, buy two and put one in a box.

Also watch: Debtors’ Knell, Necropotence, Painful Quandary, Humility, Black Market, Land Tax.

Mizzix of the Izmagnus

mizzixoftheizmagnus

This card is basically what I imagined it would be, although it has an interesting caveat that I hadn’t anticipated. I knew just straight, “When you cast an instant or sorcery, get an experience counter,” would be too good and they got around that nicely by forcing you to play bigger and bigger spells to keep getting the cost reduction. Luckily, there are some great spells for that in Izzet.

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At $1.50 in foil, this is great in the deck but not super relevant financially. Still, I like how this plays with the new commander. You won’t lose money if it’s reprinted in the deck, and if you buy the foils you won’t gain a ton of money necessarily, either. Dealers aren’t super jazzed about this card—yet.

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At $9.50, this foil has upside from new decks and no downside from a potential reprinting. I don’t like the non-foils at $1.50 due to reprint risk and limited upside.

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This foil is pretty saucy under $3 also. There is real upside here and it won’t be reprinted in foil.

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This guy is to Storm as Animar is to morph decks and Mind’s Desire is going to get bugnutty. At $12.50, the foils are a bit pricey and the non-foils at $1 suffer from a lack of upside and a somewhat decent reprint risk, but this card is going to go in a lot of the new Mizzix decks. Is Mizzix better than Melek is for storm? Hard to say. But X spells in general are going to be insane.

Also watch: Inexorable Tide, Blue Sun’s Zenith, Flash of Insight, Omniscience, Contagion Engine, Prosperity.

Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest

mazirekkrauldeathpriest

It seems unlikely that the Golgari card that gives you experience counters will be better than this, but you never know. What I do know is that this card is stupid, especially with creatures that have persist plus sacrifice outlets. Two persist creatures and a sac outlet gets dumb, quickly. This card is dumb.

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You might want to build a Ghave deck just so you can put Mazirek in it and start cheating at Magic.

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Modern Masters made this card stop being $15. Mazirek could make it $15 again, but not this year. Still, this isn’t a $4 card anymore.

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Prossh and the printing of Dictate of Erebos brought this staple down from its all-time high of $14, but it could get up there again.

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This personal Fecundity is pretty good, but I don’t think it is at its bottom yet, nor do I think the non-foil can be pushed much.

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This personal Fecundity is a $6 foil and I think this deck gives it upside, and the fact that it’s uncommon means the non-foil is irrelevant.

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Skullbriar could get some upside as a deck as well as Ghave. Mazirek will be a fine commander but it can also bolster some older decks people may have forgotten about.

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Greater Good is unlikely to be in the deck, but a sacrifice outlet is essential, and this is one of the best ones you can buy. This price has been flat for a while, but it has demonstrated the ability to be more than it is now. Renewed interest in sacrificing things will shine a new light on this.

Watch also: Prossh, Skyraider of Kher, Dictate of Erebos, Miren, the Moaning Well.

Kaseto, Orochi Archmage

kasetoorochiarchmage

I’m not super jazzed about this, as Ezuri is much better, but since this is in the deck, we’re likely to see snakes happen, so let’s look at any snakes that get better with this guy at the helm since EDH players love to build tribal.

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The Duel Deck printing pulled this card’s pants down. I’m not sure I think the upside from the potential snake tribal deck makes me want to pay $12.50 for the foil, but the risk of reprint there is lower. This is a snake I want to make unblockable or leave on defense with the ability to pump up at will.

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This is under $3 in foil and is absolutely going places. The non-foil could be in the deck but I like the foils.

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This card was going places already. You’re not buying in at the floor, but with a combination of new landfall cards and this card’s inherent unfairness with fetch lands, a new crop of which is in the hands of players and a new cycle of which is legal in Modern, this particular snake is gas.

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At under $3 in foil and close to bulk for a mythic, I don’t leave a single one of these in a binder if I can avoid it. This is a snake that makes smaller snakes. Seems fine.

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This gets a lot better when your commander can make it unblockable, and it’s cheap even in foil. If snake tribal is a thing, this is in the deck.

Also watch: Nature’s Will, Sasaya, Orochi Ascendant, Coat of Arms.

Ezuri, Claw of Progress

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Wow. I was hoping the Simic experience counter guy wouldn’t suck and this doesn’t. At all. It’s irresponsibly good. This makes too many cards good to even list.

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Can you get to five experience counters on Ezuri? What if you’re proliferating? I’d guess $5 for a foil Sage of Hours is going to seem very reasonable in a week.

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Hnnnnnnng. This is a bit of a nonbo if you’re trying to put more counters on your commander, but just be good at Magic and don’t sequence your cards terribly, and all of a sudden you can start dumping counters on Biomancer every turn and every creature you play is nuts.

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How good is this with Ezuri? Ugh. So good, that’s how.

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Yo, dawg, I hear you like triggers, so I made your triggers trigger your triggers. Imagine all the experience counters you will get playing this then something like Coiling Oracle. This is stupid. It’s stupid how much better Ezuri is than every other card they’ve spoiled.

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This is cheating. This is just absolute cheating. Mycoloth shrugged off a reprint and is headed for the stratosphere as it is and I can’t imagine a ridiculous commander like Ezuri doesn’t put a ton of upward pressure on this already decent price. This card is insane with Ezuri. I’m brewing a deck just by making a list of insane cards.

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I don’t know how much money you make buying this promo at $1, I just wanted to point out how insane this card is in an Ezuri deck. Jesus.

Also watch: Every hydra, Gilder Bairn, Doubling Season, Hardened Scales, Primal Vigor, Intruder AlarmCloudstone Curio, Inexorable Tide, Contagion Engine, Thrummingbird, basically every Simic card.

Why doesn’t this card say “non-token” so you can’t get 100 experience counters with a single Avenger of Zendikar? Why?

We’re seeing some pretty good cards and there are a lot of older cards identified here that I’m very confident about the upside on. A lot of decks are about to be built, and the cards in those decks that didn’t get reprinted have a lot of upside in their futures. Look what Nekusar did to wheel effects to see what kind of upside we’re talking about for the best cards in these decks. EDH is a serious price driver, and we’re about to see a lot of building going on.

I’m not super happy about getting EDH sealed product every year since it feels like too much to keep up with, but as long as I write for MTGPrice, I’m going to be on top of it and do the analysis so you don’t have to.

We’re going to get some new spoilers as the days go on, so check out MTGPrice for coverage and my weekly article series. Until next week!

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Commander 2015 Spoiler Coverage

Welcome back, readers!

Spoilers for Commander 2015 are already upon us and you know that that means! Not as many new cards as were in Battle for Zendikar, but while it won’t mean much to predict the prices of cards that will be in Sealed product, it will be useful to predict which deck could be above MSRP in value and which older cards will be boosted by the new printings. Yes, this is very similar to my weekly column, which you should also read. Let’s get into it!

Daxos the Returned

This card is very, very good. I wrote in-depth about the cards I think could be boosted by this in my weekly article this week which will be published for everyone to read tomorrow, but, briefly, I think Serra’s Sanctum is a slam dunk. It scales very well with this card and is one the Reserved List. Heliod scales with it nicely as well, and with the option to play both, BW tokens/pillow fort could be very nasty. Daxos is very, very good, easy to trigger and cheap to play and activate. I have more picks in my article, but take a look at Serra’s Sanctum. It has a high buy-in but Gaea’s Cradle shows us how high it could theoretically get (not that a card that is multiples in Legacy is comparable in demand to an EDH card, though there are fewer Sanctums than Cradles). This card is nuts and I hope the rest of the deck has slick new enchantments.

Mizzix of the Izmagnus

I think a lot of the obvious cards bolstered by this are inexpensive right now. Again, I covered this in depth in my article, but I will say that we could see renewed interest in Storm since this lets you play bigger spells than a Melek deck and theoretically makes Mind’s Desire a big player without you having to run mana-generating spells. This is harder to scale than the other experience counter generals but it’s worth it. Playing a very cheap Enter the Infinite or 11 point Blue Sun’s Zenith or Epic Experiment is going to feel very good, though there aren’t a ton of expensive rares that this grants upside.

Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest

I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be much better than the experience counter commander in Golgari. This is savage and gives a lot of cards already popular in Prossh deck some upside. This will likely get jammed in Prossh, Ghave and Skullbriar decks as well as being a good commander in its own right. Greater Good and Grave Pact are cards I’m watching, but the list of potential upside targets is a long one.

Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas

Angels are going to get quite a boost from this guy as well as cheap cards like Boros Battleshaper. This is going to make Sunforger a card as well, if you ask me. Big, durdly creatures are key here and I think that’s the way you build around this guy which is good since Boros is traditionally about tokens and small creatures. Sun and Inferno Titan are printed into powder but will get a second look, and Sunforger, down from a reprinting and Tiny Leaders turning out to be a total bust could get some upside, especially in foil. You kill them very quickly with a Sunforger on this double striking creature, after all, and grabbing a Ghostway or Master Warcraft as a combat trick wins games.

Kaseto, Orochi Archmage

This isn’t the most exciting Simic Legendary creature, but that’s OK with me. People will absolutely build snake tribal and there are a lot of cool snakes, especially legendary ones from Kamigawa block. A lot of the snakes do stuff when they deal damage and with the ability to make the creatures unblockable is underrated, currently. Nature’s Will isn’t a snake but it’s snake-flavored and it has real upside as well as Lotus Cobra and a few Legendary snakes, Time of Need and cards like Ohran Viper. Even Mystic Snake is great in a deck with this. Tribal staples will get another bump as people with tribal decks build yet another one.

Ezuri, Claw of Progress

This card is insane. I have written about a lot of the cards that get upside here and I don’t want to rehash too much of the article I wrote this week here, but the list of cards that get upside from this guy are almost too many to name. This doesn’t say “non-token” or “cast” and I think it’s actually irresponsibly good. Dumping the counters on a Master Biomancer to make everything huge, or taking infinite turns with Sage of Hours or going to Hydra town – this guy does it all. I plan to brew a deck with this in my Gathering Magic column this week and the cards in that deck are all likely getting upside. This card is insane.

Command Beacon

Depending on how many of the decks this is in, this has very limited upside, but what it does do is make people take a second look at Phage, the Untouchable as a Commander which I think is worth doing.

Untitled

At $15 in foil and $2 in non-foil, though this has had a few printings, I bet this gets a second look. If this goes up, it likely brings Torpor Orb along with it, and Torpor Orb is a card that’s going up eventually anyway. I’m surprised it’s still so cheap. Torpor Orb is literally my only “want” card on PucaTrade, that’s how many of them I want.

 Dread Summons

This is very good in Sidisi decks and milling out your opponents is non-trivial. Getting a ton of tokens for hurting their strategy is saucy, and Doubling Season, Primal Vigor and even Parallel Lives could be impacted. This card is likely not going to see much play, ultimately, but I like it in a few decks.

Blade of Selves

Ultimately, the list of cards affected by this is too long to name. Any creature with an ETB trigger is savage with this. I would focus on equipment tutors if we’re trying to home in on cards with upside granted by this card. This could ultimately be a bust, but it just seems so, so good primae facie and I think ultimately having a bunch of extra copies of utility creatures come into play when you attack is going to win games. Imagine you put this on a Woodfall Primus or Frost Titan.  This card is a player.

Scytheclaw

Who wants to pay 2 extra mana for a worse Quietus Spike?

Meren of Clan Nel Toth

Remember I said a few places I figured Mazirek was so good it would be better than the Golgari experience counter card? My first thought looking at this card was complete incredulity. This card would be ridiculous without the whole “otherwise put it in your hand” caveat. This card is stupid good. It’s likely to grant upside to all of the same cards that Mazirek does as well as financially-irrelevant cards like Fleshbag Marauder. Sac outlets are especially juicy with this card. I’d watch Black Market, High Market, Greater Good, Miren, the Moaning Well and foil Perilous Forays.

Anya, Merciless Angel

It’s too bad this has no black in it. Imagine this in a deck with Sorin Markov, Sorin’s Vengeance and Magister Sphinx. Still, this dirty angel does some work. I don’t think you want this as your commander, but I’d say jamming this in a Gisela deck would be sweet. I don’t think this is good enough to make Kaalia of the Vast move on its own, but between FTV angels and the Gisela reprint in C15, I think we will see Kaalia move organically. Angels are popular and while this isn’t an impetus, it’s weight on the scale and that matters, too.

Mizzik’s Mastery

I predicted that we would get a card that was a new card that could get played in Legacy and that would be responsible for a lot of the value in the Izzet deck. I think this is it. If you play enough mana-generating spells and cantrips, this card lets you replay all of them and storm out. This is better than Ill-Gotten Gains and Past in Flames combined. This is Legacy Storm ready and it’s very good. How much money this ends up being worth, I can’t say, but this is going to help sell Izzet decks.

Magus of the Wheel

Nekusar decks gets a boost from this but that’s about all.  I don’t see this pushing anything up a ton since all of the Nekusar cards already spiked. This is just a less reliable Wheel of Fortune. Could it be part of a cycle of awesome Magi imbued with sweet spell power? Maybe!

Grasp of Fate

This is a good rate for Oblivion Ring universe. This will be an EDH staple and I bet it’s going in the Black-White deck which means it’s a reason to buy that deck. This seems like a $5 card in the short term.

Synthetic Destiny

The same CMC as Mass Polymorph but playable at instant speed? Count me in! This card is absurd. Will it be financially relevant? Look at Mass Polymorph for the answer to that question.

Aethersnatch

Instant
Gain control of target spell. You may choose new targets for that spell. If that spell is a permanent, that permanent enters the battlefield under your control.

This card is stupid good. It’s a better Commandeer if you’re OK paying the mana cost, a better Desertion, a better Spelljack. This card is what EDH players have always wanted. I imagine if people are overly excited about Mizzik’s Mastery, it could push the cost of this spell to about $1. If it does, I’m all in.

Gigantoplasm

Clone is playable in EDH and this is better. Unfortunately, cards like this are role players. They’re not going to push anything up but they will be worth money and any time there is an impetus for speculators to buy these sets because a card in them is selling for more than the MSRP of the deck, the other cards in them get pushed to nothing and that’s a good time to buy. This will be worth more than bulk and that’s the price I want to buy these at. This will never be Phyrexian Metamorph money, however, so don’t go too deep on these. It’s just a better clone.

Karlov of the Ghost Council

This is pretty balanced, unfortunately. If this is your commander, the only way to cheat counters onto him is to proliferate with artifacts. Of course you could always do things the hard way and play a lot of lifegain. Making tokens with Soul Wardens out is one way to do it. Still, I’m not impressed with this creature. I imagine the fact that we’re getting cards like Black Market in the Daxos deck is going to crush mediocre cards into powder and I expect Karlov to be among the casualties. He’s good, but fair. Too fair.

Righteous Confluence

This is garbage.

Verdant Confluence

This is better than the white one, but not great. This is a bulk rare most likely.  I love 6 mana ramp spells to really help me get over the hump.

Mystic Confluence

Even though you can use this to draw three cards, I’m not sure the lack of a “tap all of your opponent’s creatures” mode won’t keep this from seeing play in a Universe where we have access to Cryptic Command. People anticipated this card would be legacy-playable and they are likely pretty disappointed. This card is fine, but Cryptic Command is much better and I don’t see playing both. Are you already playing Jace’s Ingenuity? Congrats,  they printed a rare version that’s a little better.

Bloodspore Thrinax

This card is legitimately very exciting. Master Biomancer that doesn’t require you to play blue? This is going to be a card that people want multiple copies of for multiple decks right out of the gate and I could see it being worth a few bucks. This card is stupid and though it won’t replace Master Biomancer in my Vorel deck, it will supplement it.

Bastion Protector

This card is very exciting to people with vulnerable, low-toughness Commanders like Gaddock Teeg, Rubinia Soulsinger and Geist of St. Traft. I imagine this becomes somewhat of a staple initially, but I don’t know that it will play as well as everyone hopes. Still, expect this to be money for a minute.

Arachnogenesis

Not every Fog gives you a ton of creatures and a ton of experience counters on Ezuri. This is powerful and narrow, a perfect recipe for not much money now and some money potentially later. Let this hit bulk.

Ezuri’s Predation

If EDH decks could have sideboards, this would be a sideboard card. This is a green wrath of God or a way to spend 8 mana and watch a bunch of 4/4 creatures die. If you can benefit from that situation with a Fecundity or something, go for it, but this seems like it’s hard to benefit from and 8 mana spells better win the game almost on their own.

Deadly Tempest

This is so much better against some decks than others, this also feels like a sideboard card. I don’t see a reason to play this over Decree of Pain.

Awaken the Sky Tyrant

This could easily have been uncommon.

Dream Pillager

Creature – Dragon
Flying

Whenever Dream Pillager deals combat damage to a player, exile that many cards from the top of your library. Until end of turn, you may play nonland cards exiled this way.

Meh. I’m not super stoked about this since you have to pay the mana costs and it’s tougher to serve than you might think starting around turn 7. There aren’t a ton of dragon slots in most decks and I’d much rather steal all of their artifacts if I hit them with a dragon.

Centaur Vinecrasher

I’m not sure this was made for EDH. This seems like a card that players are going to try out in Legacy, either in a New Horizons variant or dredge or some new kind of deck. This could potentially be a lot of money if people want it for Legacy, but with its place in the meta being unclear and SCG withdrawing support for Legacy as a format, its future is pretty murky. Ultimately, in a Titania deck this could thrive but it’s narrow although powerful. I like the idea of playing it and saccing it to Greater Good only to make it larger and larger as you discard cards.

Ajrun, the Shifting Flame

I am not so sure I want my flames shifting this often. Teferi’s Puzzle Box is cool because it screws up your oppponents’ plans and forces them to draw a ton of cards and take a ton of damage from Nekusar. This messes with you alone and also sometimes helps you take a ton of damage from their Nekusar or fuels their Consecrated Sphinx. Someone explain to me how this isn’t all downside.

Daxos’ Torment

Constellation – Whenever Daxos’ Torment or another enchantment enters the battlefield under your control, Daxos’ Torment becomes a 5/5 demon with flying and haste until end of turn in addition to it’s other types.

Eh. I’m not thrilled by this at all. I feel  Daxos’ pain every time I find this in my hand instead of a card that affects the board. 4 mana is not a good rate for a sometimes 5/5 flier. It’s better than Awaken the Sky Tyrant, but that’s damnation by faint praise considering so are some of the commons in this set.

Scourge of Nel Toth

I could see looping this with something like Tooth and Claw and Parallel Lives but you also need a way to benefit. Getting back a generic 6/6 for 2 tokens can be OK but I think this feels a little to balanced for you to trifle with. This is a good card if you’re playing the precon against another precon, but this seems like trash to me and a bulk rare unless I’m missing something huge.

Seal of the Guildpact

I think the best thing about this card is the art, even though the wrong guild is illuminated. EDH players love cost reduction, and the chance to reduce their gold spells by 2 colorless will appeal to people a ton. I could see this climbing to a few bucks over the long term but getting crushed to powder in the short term. There may be opportunity here.

 

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