Category Archives: Spoiler Coverage

Commander 2016 Reprint Guide

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There are a LOT of reprints in Commander 2016 and I’m not going to cover them all. However, there are quite a few that I think are worth discussing either because their value will decline more than you might think or because the value is likely to recover. This is a pile of weird Conspiracy exclusions and busted specs. Let’s do this by color because that’s how the WotC visual spoiler is organized and you’re not my supervisor.

Blind Obedience

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This was experiencing some pretty modest growth and I liked it long-term. Not anymore, though. I think I may have underestimated the reprint risk a bit by even mentioning this in the past. They have printed so many cards that do what this does, minus the extort so I thought they forgot about it. This won’t recover.

Cathar’s Crusade

They are just going to reprint this forever. Since it was never old in the first place, there are infinity copies of this card. Stay away.

Ghostly Prison

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This was doomed from the moment they banned Splinter Twin. It was a $5 EDH card that became a $20 Modern card. Now that this just an EDH card again, it will be hard-pressed to be $5 in the near future with this new reprint. I think long-term this is a loser, despite being very good. It may grow, but not enough to bother. This is a trap.

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Reveillark

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This shrugged off a Modern Masters reprinting. I think we’re going to see that there is a big difference between a Modern Masters reprinting and a Commander one. I think this will either not recover, will recover more anemically or will take longer. I wouldn’t bank on this being $9 anytime soon no matter what happens.

Master of Etherium

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This HAS shrugged off Commander-sized reprints, though. Planechase was as big as the first Commander set, which, admittedly, wasn’t on the same scale as C16 is. It also saw a duel deck printing in the interim, though. This will dip but I bet Modern demand drives it right back up. If this his $4 or something absurd, and it might, buy in. Since this is in a deck with Solemn Simulacrum, Daretti (Man….) Hellkite Tyrant and Baleful Strix as well as a bunch of new cards, there isn’t much pressure on Master to be worth more than $4 or $5 and that means opportunity. Modern just eats copies of this card and EDH demand doesn’t help. I think there is opportunity here.

Army of the Damned

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The only question here is whether dumb-dumb speculation about Innistrad returning is the only reason this recovered from the Commander 2013 reprinting. I don’t think so given the shape of the graph. This may be able to shake off this printing, too. Worst case scenario, you have a card that won’t stay in a binder long.

Beacon of Unrest

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None of these fluctuations are due to reprints, this is all the card just being a card. I think this probably normalizes a buck lower than it is now at minimum. I know this appears like it’s shrugged off reprints before, but I think if this were just a fifth dawn card, it would be $15 by now but the reality is that there are a lot of copies out there and this doesn’t help.

Breath of Fury

There are like a dozen Relentless Assault effects that spiked because of Narset so they reprint the only one that is a bulk rare.

Kalonian Hydra

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I was asked to address this in the comments section. I initially obviously looked at this card because it is a hydra and it doubles stuff and what’s more EDH than that? However, I think the growth on this card has been kind of anemic. True it has doubled since it rotated out of standard and that is pretty substantial, I also think that we’re going to get a ton of copies dumped on us. I’m sure this card will recover, but I think it’s going to go to $3 or $4 from its current $12 and it will never be $12 again. So where will it end up? I could see this being $6-$8 in a year or two, so if that’s acceptable, I guess you could buy in, but I mostly think there are better finance targets. I’ll admit I should have mentioned this card before, but I was pretty dismissive once I saw the slope of its graph and for whatever reason I didn’t think this needed to be mentioned. That said, at the end of this article I sort of conclude “Everything else I mentioned probably won’t recover” which isn’t true of this card at all. There is decent reprint risk in commander 2017 or 2018 but if this isn’t reprinted it could be decent. Get these for trade, not cash is my suggestion.

Lurking Predators

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M10 cards are pretty old. If they were kids, they would have started first grade last month. When I see an M10 card go from $2 to $5 over the course of 6 years, no matter how good it is, I am not enthusiastic about it growing at that rate again with a bunch of new copies being dumped. It will probably be half that growth rate, or 3/4 of it. If you’re happy paying $2 for Lurking Predators and waiting until 2024 for it to be $5, go for it, but I think the rate is too slow for me. I’m glad this will be cheap so it can go in more decks but I’m not excited to buy in.

Oath of Druids

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People are really surprised by this, mostly because a lot of people thought this was banned in EDH, on the Reserved List, or both. It’s neither. Also, it’s not played enough in EDH for its price to be sheltered at all and it’s about to be a $2 card forever because basically Vintage plays this. Also, Oath of Ghouls is on the Reserved List and this isn’t. K.

Scavenging Ooze

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This is nothing if not an indication that they will print this card as many times as necessary. I like the idea of these being $2 for a minute, but I don’t know if this can recover as vigorously as in the past. I think this would have to get lower than it’s likely to for me to want to buy in.

Chromatic Lantern

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This is only in one deck. which attenuates the impact of the reprint somewhat. I think if this gets down to like $3, you buy in. This will go back up, and with a 4 or 5 color deck being unlikely next year, it should be relatively safe from reprint for a while and should recover a lot of value. Also, the omission of Coalition Relic gives that card some real upside.

Venser’s Journal

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This needed it. I used to buy these for like $0.50 from competitive players who just wanted bulk out of their binders and I’m excited to have a second crack at making money off of these. These might never be $6 again, but they’ll normalize above where they’re about to go.

Homeward Path

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I was surprised how little this dipped and how fast it recovered last time it was reprinted. I don’t think it getting reprinted every two years can lead to a situation where it can sustainably recover. I think this may be done.

I think the rest of the reprints in the set are going to be obvious. The prices will go down because there is more supply and the cards that were artifically being propped up like Ghostly Prison will tank more and won’t recover. I will re-evaluate these cards in the months to come but for the most part, everything I didn’t think was obvious to everyone is in here. Is there a card you’d like me to discuss? Leave it in the comments section and I can update the article. Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend.

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Commander 2016 Spoiler Coverage

Commander 2016 is being spoiled and this is going to be a very tough one to assess.

For reference, here is everything from Commander 2015 that ended up being worth more than $3 a year later. This can help us at least see which classes of cards are bound to go up, but this set is way trickier and I’ll get to why in a minute.

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The value is fairly well spread out over all of the decks to such an extent that the most valuable card in the set is only $9. There was no obvious deck to buy, really. I mean, Meren’s deck had a lot of good cards but the value didn’t end up concentrated in that deck so while Meren is easily the most popular commander to play with, the value is spread out nicely, with the Mizzix deck getting Mystic Confluence, the Kalemne deck getting Blade of Selves and Urza’s Incubator, the Ezuri deck getting Command Beacon and the Daxos deck getting Black Market and Karlov. Perfect; just how we want it.

Once we start spoiling cards you will see how weak the commanders are but how in combination with the others we can build good decks. Good decks means even weak commanders can see Meren’s $6 price tag, but with 45 combinations to choose from, it will take a while before the best combinations are discovered. Hopefully the value ends up other places. Let’s look at cards, shall we?

10/28/16 Spoilers

Treacherous Terrain

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I predict in a year or two, this will be worth more than some of the rares in the set. You’re going to dome everyone for like 10 with this a lot of the time.

I waited a few hours for SCG to update their prices and they still haven’t, so I guess we’re stuck with eBay. eBay’s not a bad metric to look at, anyway. Not that it matters, but eBay wants $2 for a playset of these. Don’t pay that.

Curtains’ Call

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This is pretty good. If you’re playing this for 4 mana, it’s a beating. It doesn’t exile itself, either, meaning you can loop this and really pull pants down. But what do I know? I advocate playing Hex in EDH. This, unlike Hex, won’t get stranded in your hand for lack of targets and you’re never paying its full mana cost. I like this card a lot. This can target any targetable creature, also, unlike spells like Go For The Throat which I see played a lot in EDH. 2 mana kill spells are less good in a format where you have 40 life and everyone spends the first few turns playing ramp spells and tutors. This is like $1 and I think that may wind up being too cheap in a year, but again, that all depends on the makeup of the deck it’s in.

Duelist’s Heritage

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This seems strong. It’s a better Battle Mastery because you don’t get blown out by removal, you can play it whenever and pick the target later, and this is good in decks other than just Voltron decks. Is this going to be worth more than the $2 this is on eBay right now? That’s hard to predict. I like this card but I think it may be a bit narrow. The bar for being worth $3 or more is pretty high on these sets as evidenced by our C15 data.

Benefactor’s Draught

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Will Benefactor’s Draught ever be Money Draught? Green has plenty of cards that draw you a ton of cards and this feels clunkier than they are. You’re relying on being ahead enough to force them to do a lot of blocking or on your opponents to attack the bejesus out of each other. Thing is, at least one of those things is bound to happen. Even if you only attack with two creatures and they get blocked, you played a Green Ancestral. Anything that can draw you this many cards is suspicious, untapping all of your creatures and drawing a card even in non-combat scenarios makes this even more suspicious. This is pre-selling for $1 and I am the kind of lunatic who would buy some at that price. This is a card with potential, something you can’t say about better cards in the set that are obviously better and are therefore pre-selling for higher.

Entrapment Maneuver

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This is a pretty bad Neck Snap. White doesn’t always get the best removal, except when it does, I guess. I mean, it doesn’t always get the best removal but they can’t take Path to Exile away from us. We don’t, however, have to play non-targeted removal that is pretty terrible if they have creatures of varying size. You get some dorks out of it and can leverage this into killing 2 attacks, but you can also trade a 1/1 token of theirs for one of your own with this, also. It’s too inconsistent and is likely a bulk rare.

10/27/16 Spoilers

Manifold Insights

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I don’t trust cards like this. Sure, you’re going to draw a lot of cards, but never what you want to draw. I suspect that even the worst x cards in your top ten may be better than we’re anticipating on paper, especially if your deck is land-rich. I don’t know if this will ever be worth more than $1.

Sidenote: When I checked this price, I noticed Deepglow Skate is $3 today. I liked it at $2 yesterday and I don’t like it that much less at $3 today because that at least indicates some people are off the fence. Are you off the fence, now?

Goblin Spymaster

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I like this card, a lot. That said, this is probably priced correctly at $1. Take a second look at the list of cards in Commander 2015 that are over $3. If you buy in at $1, you want it to hit at least 3, and this card is outclassed by everything that’s $3 in C15. That said, it’s a low-risk buy-in. Just know there are only a few opportunities per set and this is not among them.

Boompile

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Do EDH players want cards like this? I kind of hate this card. I think some decks that want to watch the world burn, need a reset and can’t afford Oblivion Stone and antisocial people will want this. $2 may be too high.

Thrasios, Triton Hero

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Legendary Creature – Merfolk
4: Scry 1, then reveal the top card of your library. If it’s a land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped. Otherwise, draw a card.

Partner

I saw people online calling this a bad, expensive Coiling Oracle, which is profoundly missing two points. The first is that if Coiling Oracle could be your general, that would be pretty amazing. The second is that repeatable abilities are very good. Throw in Scry on top and this is going to come down early and help the strategy of whichever commander this is paired with execute its strategy. SCG doesn’t have a price up, but I imagine it’s a buck or two. I’m not a buyer at that price, but this is a better card than people think.

Armory Automaton

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Artifact Creature – Construct
Whenever Armory Automaton enters the battlefield or attacks, attach to it any number of target equipments. (Control of Equipment doesn’t change.)

This is pretty saucy. You’re going to deprive a lot of people of a lot of equipment. Lightning Greaves are stripped off, suddenly leaving commanders with their pants down. They still get their triggers but if they have a lot of swords, just don’t attack with the automaton. People are chattering about this in Legacy to break open some of the equipment mirrors. That’s not the craziest thing I have ever heard, actually. Not that anyone has an opportunity to play Legacy these days. This is currently a $3 playset on eBay and I’m not personally buying in, but that’s a good price if you like this.

Seeds of Renewal

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If you’re playing with the right number of players, this is better than Restock, which isn’t saying much because no one plays Restock. This is likely a bulk rare.

Divergent Transformations

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Remember when Blue was the Polymorph color? Technically this is also the riskiest removal spell in the history of Magic, also, so it’s got some flexibility to it. I think this is a bulk rare, also, but I think it may play out more interesting than I initially think. Still not a good buy at $1 IMO.

Runehorn Hellkite

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So Nekusar gets another wheel, this time a wheel that you can discard and still use? Good grief. The rich keep getting richer, don’t they? At least this can’t go in Leovold decks, too. I don’t know if this is worth $3, but being able to be whammed in Nekusar and its dragon status make that a pretty safe bet of where it will end up.

Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder

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At least they gave him trample, I guess. Otherwise this card would make the least sense of all of the 4-color cards, and that group includes a creature with a passive ability for proliferate decks stapled to a 4/4 angel with 10 combat abilities. This seems goofy – having to deal them damage to be able to use his ability. Why make a worse Maelstrom Wanderer that’s arguably harder to cast? I don’t know, I am pretty disappointed, but this likely turns out an OK commander and with the addition of black, you’ll be cascading into better removal. At $6, SCG is pretty confident this will be the most popular card so far. I don’t see much money to be made at this price, especially with how much more popular Atraxa seems to be. Let’s hope I am not letting how stupid the design of this card is blind me to the power level.

Magus of the Will

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Would you believe Yawgmoth’s Will is legal in EDH? Now we have a clunkier version of it. This will probably see less play than Yawgmoth’s Will, a card played a fair amount in a fair number of decks, surprisingly. $10? I don’t know, man. It’s a $30 card’s effect stapled to a creature, but if that were a fair way to assess a card, Magus of the Tabernacle would be $300. I just don’t know if you will ever be happy you paid $10 for this.

Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper

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I hate this card. I might play it in a Doran deck or something, but I don’t want this as my commander no matter what it’s partnered with. I’m sure I’m being unfair to this card, but it’s clunky, dealing combat damage is harder than R&D seems to think, and I think this card is pretty disappointing. I’m certainly not a fan of paying $4. Disagree in the comments if you want, but be sure and tell me how many copies you’re buying at $4.

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Curse of Vengeance

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This is probably in the Atraxa deck, which hurts its upside. Even if this effect does surprise a lot of people, being in that deck likely puts a lower-than-normal cap on its price. I think this card is cool, but depending on someone else losing could lead to the table not finishing them off just so you don’t draw a ton of cards. This is an interesting design and that doesn’t always mean good.

10/26/16 Spoilers

Conquerer’s Flail

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So this is pretty good, huh? Granting a scaling bonus of up to +5/+5 for 2 to cast and 2 to equip is solid, but not great by EDH standards. However, its second clause of turning the equipped creature into a walking City of Solitude is the money-maker. SCG hasn’t really listed anything for presale over $4 and this is no exception, but I think this may be pretty highly sought. Lots of decks want this effect, though I’m not sure how many can make room. If this were $1 like Blade of Selves were, I might be inclined to buy, but $4 may be just about right so I’m reluctant to invest. $4 is a pretty inconvenient price point because if it’s too low, there isn’t much money to be made even if you recognize that. That’s OK – this should trade well and it could have even more ubiquity than I am anticipating, so watch this card closely.

Stonehoof Chieftain

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This looks like a bulk rare to me.

Deepglow Skate

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This card is a mistake. That said, it is probably narrow enough that its power level won’t become a problem and the fact that it needs other cards to make it truly broken should make it just a solid EDH card rather than a real issue. This is pre-selling for $2 and that seems low to me, actually. I don’t hate this as a spec at $2. This is ridiculous with Planeswalkers, hydras, Goblin Bomb, Darksteel Reactor – this card is stupid. You can flicker this with Deadeye Navigator and double all of the counters on all of your perms. WHAT? $2 can’t be correct.

Akiri, Rope Thrower

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Legendary Creature – Kor Soldier Ally
First strike, vigilance

Akiri, Rope Thrower has +1/+0 for each artifact you control.

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This is weird. I guess some sort of Kor equipment deck would work for this and this gives you access to red the way the Nahiri Planeswalker doesn’t, but if you want this over Jor Kadeen as your commander in that deck, it’s probably because you’re playing Tiny Leaders and why are you doing that? Stop doing that. SCG doesn’t have a price for this, but I bet it’s $1.

Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist

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This card is really dumb with pingers, but pingers are usually pretty bad in EDH unless you throw a deathtouch equipment on them (at which point Goblin Sharpshooter becomes Goblin Mass Shooter). Honestly, there are dozens of ways to make them take damage every turn and if you’re keeping your hand full doing it, you’re going to have a good time. This doesn’t even NEED partner, but pairing this with black cards will be fun. Honestly, this pairs well with anything. UR players didn’t get their artifact commander, but this is so good they shouldn’t complain (but will). $2 is the price SCG wants, and I’m starting to wonder where they think the value will come from. If every new card is $2, the decks will be way above MSRP so they’re trying to hedge a bit. I don’t think this will be $8 in the future, either, so it’s hard to know what to do on this. Basically there is one card, maybe two every set worth preordering and I think it’s Deepglow Skate this time. Still, this card is very good.

Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis

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If I’m not mistaken, these are the first gay Magic characters. They were depicted in Guardians of Meletis and now they’re getting their own card, which is bound to make nice people happy and terrible people unhappy, so that’s good all around. It really doesn’t hurt that the card is actually pretty decent. Guardians of Meletis’ flavor text also described these two as “peaceful” so it’s no surprise that their ability is not very aggressive. Drawing extra cards, dumping extra lands and making your opponents like you fits that nicely. This card is fine and I think it might be pretty fun to build around. I imagine this ends up in the $4-$5 range eventually, so paying the $3 SCG wants is risky. This could end up $8. Do you think it will? $3 isn’t the worst entry point, then. I’m pretty skeptical, though.

Ravos, Soultender

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Another commander that is probably good enough to play even if he didn’t have partner. This card is pretty damn good, and being able to pair this with other colors is even better. Green for Doubling Season for our weenies and counters on said weenies? There are a lot of possibilities. I like this card a lot and SCG does, too because they’re preselling it for $4. I don’t know if this hits $8 ever but I do know it’s spicy. I just wish I knew which cards were in which decks so I could start to get a feel for how the value is spread out and which decks have more room to grow than others.

Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker

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Hey, look! It’s my card! I was fortunate (good at my job) enough to preview this card for Gathering Magic and I hate having to review cards I preview. I used to see so many people super hyped about their preview card that they lost touch with reality. My desire to avoid that led to us on Brainstorm Brewery hedging a little and refusing to say that we actually thought Fevered Visions was Standard playable. I’m going to try and be objective and say that I think this will grow very quickly and if you can keep it alive, it will KO people quickly. Anyone who has ever grown a Taurean Mauler to 21/21 knows that. Is this great? Nah. But I like it, and if you have another commander, this is a fine card to give you access to Azorius stuff. SCG wants $2 and this might end up a $2 card so I’m not buying in. I was happy to preview this and I am OK with it if no one preorders it.

Faerie Artisans

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I can’t wait to pair this card with enchantments that double my tokens. Getting a copy of their triggers is pretty cool and getting two copies is even better. Having a sac outlet for the tokens before they can be killed is great, too. This is actually a really strong card. No price for this, yet, but I imagine this will be a buck or two. I think this could end up worth more than that. This is a very cool card. That said, Mycoloth is better and c15 reprints made that like $2.75. It’s hard to know what to make of this, but I like it.

10/25/16 Spoilers

Saskia the Unyielding

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Well, this is a thing, I guess. Punishing someone at the table, possibly someone you can’t attack profitably through a pillowfort or doubling damage on someone you can easily swang at is pretty powerful. The logic here, I guess, is that 4 colors is tough to pull off so you should be rewarded with a brutal commander if you go that route and rewarded more if you do the BALLSIEST THING EVER and don’t play any blue in an EDH deck. AT $4 I don’t know if this has any upside. All of the 4-color commanders seem very strong so far and since the blueless deck isn’t likely to have no other value in it, it’s difficult to imagine a world where this hits $10 because nothing else in the deck is worth a damn. I don’t see profit or danger in pre-ordering this, but, buying singles to play with seems silly when the decks are worth MSRP and you can trade off what you don’t want.

Breya, Etherium Shaper

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The non-green commander is pretty spicy, although I’m not all that excited to play a token engine in a deck with no access to Doubling Season and Parallel Lives. This is the same $4 as the other commanders and I don’t think that’s out of order. I’m a little unsure of how this one will play without the token abuse green gives us and I imagine people are going to be disappointed at how fair this card is.

Tymna the Weaver

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This is very, very good. It’s a shoo-in for decks like Oloro and Ayli and Karlov, all of which happen to be insanely popular EDH generals right now. I think this might actually end up being a bargain at $2, depending on what else is in the deck along with it. This is very powerful, especially if you pair Tymna with a commander that is focused on dealing them damage. This is the first card that strikes me as being potentially underpriced.

Tana, the Bloodsower

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This CAN be paired with Doubling Season and Parallel Lives and Primal Vigor and that’s good. This is in colors that are known for boosting the power and toughness of attackers, which is also good. This is a very Gruul card and that’s just fine. At $2 for a mythic (although there is one copy of every new mythic for every copy of a new common, so the rarity is more of an indication of power level than an indication of its relative scarcity like in booster pack sets) this seems like a card people aren’t thrilled with right now and unless this is as popular as something like Meren as a commander or can go in as many decks as Tymna, I don’t know if $2 is incorrect. This can push some other cards up, though.

Reyhan, Last of the Abzan

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There are plenty of Golgari cards that pair very, very nicely with this card and if you throw this in a deck with Sidar Kondo or something, you could have a pretty decent deck going. Golgari is getting all of the best cards lately and with this pre-selling for $3, more than some mythics, there is a bit of confidence in this card. It’s really tough to know how each of the billion partner creatures will pan out, but with a likely ceiling on them around $6, I don’t see money to be made buying at $3.

Vial Smasher the Fierce

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I clearly have a blindspot when it comes to Rakdos. The only Rakdos deck I have is Olivia Voldaren and it’s nothing like the rest of them. When I see a card like Pia Nalaar spoiled and think “Wow, this is underwhelming” and see Grenzo and Alesha players lose their collective $#%^ I start to wonder if I shouldn’t give more Rakdos cards the benefit of the doubt. This seems durdly to me, but apparently a durdly Kaervek has a lot of people excited. At $4, this could gain a buck or two but the post office will see most of those gains if you try to flip.

Coastal Breach

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This was probably a mistake. Making a Wrath easier to cast is a good idea, making an annoying boardwipe easier to cast is not. At least it’s a Sorcery, I guess. This will make the game take longer, and that’s really annoying. That said, this likely doesn’t end up the exact same price as the Wrath, but I don’t know which card is going which way.

Assault Cinder Horn

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Haste

At the beginning of the end step of each player, if no creature attacked this turn, put a fury counter on “Assault Cinder Horn.” Then “Assault Cinder Horn” deals damage to that player equal the number of fury counters on it.

Attack people, people. This is an aggressive card, but that doesn’t make this more than $1, I don’t think.

Primeval Protector

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We talked about this card at length on Brainstorm Brewery this week. Pay attention to cards casuals like. This probably hits bulk, but this is a card that will always trade out very well, especially to the “I’ll trade a rare for a rare” crowd. Don’t buy this now, but don’t be surprised when this is a couple of bucks in a year or two or you get a lot of requests for it.

Crystalline Crawler

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Converge – Crystalline Crawler enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each color of mana spent to cast it.

Remove a +1/+1 counter from Crystalline Crawler: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

T: Put a +1/+1 counter on Crystalline Crawler.

This seems like Mindless Automaton, Etched Oracle and Chronomaton all contributed genetic material to a bulk rare.

Selfless Squire

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This is a pretty good card but I feel like white has a lot of effects like this. Still, this may be the best fog creature we’ve seen and with +1/+1 counters mattering to some of the commanders, this could be a solid card. I don’t know if I want to pay more than $1, though, especially with all of the value I am seeing so far in terms of reprints.

Cruel Entertainment

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This is a great way to piss two people off and have them come to a “You use my turn to attack the guy who played this with my creatures and I’ll use your turn to attack the guy who played this with your creatures” truce. I don’t think this does what you want it to do, which is too bad because this card is HILARIOUS. Choose the player doing the best and the player doing the worst and hope they don’t beat you too badly. There are plenty of effects like this that are still around $1, so I don’t see profit to be made here, but this is pretty great EDH design.

10/24/16 Spoilers

Arraxa, Praetor’s Voice

atraxapraetorsvoice

If we end up with a nice value distribution like last time, the ceiling for this card is $6. Star City is pre-selling this for $5. We’re going to make money if SCG makes a huge mistake like they did with Blade of Selves and Command Beacon. We won’t make money when they nail it like they did with Mystic Confluence. This card is stupid good, but I have to imagine the 4 other 4-color commanders are equally amazing. This power level could relegate the two-color commanders to a lower pricing tier, but it isn’t always the “flashy” one worth money – look at how Karlov is the all-star in Daxos’ deck. With this set giving us new decks instead of the usual 10, we’re going to see a lot of brewing and the hardcore people having to buy the same deck more than once. Still, I think it’s safe to say there isn’t a ton of money to be made on Arraxa even with how different this set promises to be. Arraxa sure makes other cards go up, and we’ll talk about that in the coming weeks.

Silas Renn, Seeker Adept

silasrennseekeradept

This is fun but not ridiculous. His financial impact will be on other cards but the $2 SCG wants for him is just about right. Hopefully there is a commander to pair him with that gives him some sort of evasion. I like him in Esper with Daxos the Meletis and Thada Adel. This is unlikely to be a $6-$9 card in my opinion despite me liking it.

Kraum, Ludevic’s Opus

kraumludevicsopus

This is better than it looks because it does two things. First, it helps Izzet decks keep their hand full, something they struggle with even with the high number of cantrips they play. Second, it allows you to access other colors by partnering Kraum with another commander to give you access to black. Suddenly an Izzet deck can play Ill-Gotten Gains, Yawgmoth’s Will, etc. Does that mean this should be more than a buck? Probably not, especially since the deck it’s in is likely to have a ton of gas.

Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa

sidarkondoofjamuraa

EDH Players: We’d like a UR creature that interacts with artifacts, please.
WOTC: We hear you loud and clear *prints a creature with flanking instead*

This card is going for $2 and I am not prepared to say how wrong or right that is. It’s possible an unspoiled commander partners ridiculously well with this. Generally, kithkinshroud isn’t the way to go wide with tokens or whatever since you usually want Cathar’s Crusade and anthems and stuff to go wide. This makes it easier for Silas Renn to hit them, though. Who knows? I think $2 is probably fine, but that means don’t buy this for finance reasons. If you want this to play with, probably buy the precon and get a dozen new cards. So, it’s hard to see a scenario where you pay cash for this.

Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder

brusetarlboorishherder

He looks like Braum from League of Legends because, like Braum, he’s boring to play, doesn’t do his job better than everyone else in the same niche and literally no one asked for him. Maybe they’ll make Boros interesting some day, but that day is not today. $2 seems like it’s not a mistake.

Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix

kydelechosenofkruphix

Printing this card was a mistake. I can’t say whether I want to pay $4 cash for these without knowing what else is in the deck because I don’t know whether this can double to $8-$9, but I do know that this card is messed up and they shouldn’t have printed it. None of the other commanders with partner are this good, so far.

Prismatic Geoscope

prismaticgeoscope

How much money would you pay for a Gilded Lotus that sometimes taps for 0 mana and can tap for up to 5? I think the answer is more than $3 long-term, but I also think this can get cheaper before it gets more expensive, provided the deck it’s in isn’t relying on it to be like $6 in the short term for the deck to be worth MSRP. I don’t know if this is in one deck or five, so until we know more, this is a “wait and see” card. I am calling this a hold and the only scenario where that changes is if it’s only in one deck and that deck is garbage. I don’t know that this is the case. If this is in every deck, you’ll lose a lot of money if you preordered today. Hold.

Sublime Exhalation

sublimeexhalation

If this card is ever better than Day of Judgment it’s not going to make up for the fact that you’re playing in an annoying game with way too many players. This does get around cards that counter spells with a convereted mana cost of a certain amount, I guess. Still, I’m not excited and neither is SCG who is pre-selling this for $1. That’s cheaper than Day of Judgment and this is functionally a Day if you have 3 opponents, but I’d rather play 5 and Fumigate or pay 8 and Decree of Pain.

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Masterpiece Series and Kaladesh Inventions

Just when we thought we were at peak excitement regarding Kaladesh, Wizards unveiled Kaladesh Inventions, an entry in the new Masterpiece Series!

In Battle for Zendikar and Oath of the Gatewatch, ultra-rare cards appeared occasionally in booster packs. These cards were reprints of some of the best lands Magic: The Gathering has ever seen, printed with brand-new frames and custom art. In the year since their release, they’ve been spotted all over coverage tables, and are an exclusive collector’s item for those with deep pockets.

After taking the Shadows Over Innistrad block off, Wizards is bringing back these special promo cards in a big way, starting with Kaladesh Inventions. Kaladesh Inventions is similar to Zendikar Expeditions in that they’ll show up very rarely; roughly 1 in every 140 booster packs. There are 30 that will appear in Kaladesh, and another 24 will come with Aether Revolt. Each of the 54 in these two sets will be an artifact. What’s especially amazing is the border — these cards are beautiful! Players across the continuum have been raving about how excellent they look.

Perhaps the bigger news is that Kaladesh Inventions is only part of a larger feature which is the Masterpiece Series. When Zendikar Expeditions was revealed we all wondered whether it would become permanent. Well, now we have our answer! Going forward, each new block will come with its own special run of cards tied thematically to the world of the set. Battle for Zendikar’s entry was all lands. Kaladesh’s are all artifacts. If we ever return to Theros, that will likely be all enchantments. Next year’s Amonkhet will almost definitely feature some Nicol Bolas-inspired entries.

For more information, check out Mark Rosewater’s article here. You can view all of the revealed cards in Kaladesh Inventions here. And check back on Wednesday when Travis goes in-depth on what impact Kaladesh Inventions will have on the secondary market!

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Kaladesh Spoiler Coverage

Can you believe it? It’s been like a week since they fully spoiled Conspiracy and already they’re inundating us with Kaladesh spoilers. Well, no rest for the weary. It’s time to see if we can’t figure out if some of these cards won’t be going for more money than they are pre-selling for if there is otherwise some money to be made, or at least not lost, for my readers.

9/16/16

The set is fully spoiled! Expect Commander 2016 spoiler season to start tomorrow. Either that or they’ll keep outsourcing their printing jobs to total scumbags and someone will post grainy cellphone pics of all 5 decks. Either way, keep your eyes glued to MTG Price for a financial review!

Deadlock Trap

deadlocktrap

Anyone who remembers Tumble Magnet is excited for this card. Unlike Tumble Magnet, you can find ways to add more energy and use this every turn, which will get annoying for sure. This costs 3 and comes down tapped which is probably necessary since you could use this to shut down their best creature or ‘walker indefinitely and that’s very strong. I expect this to see some play if a control deck materializes, which would make this a buck or two, though the ceiling is low because this won’t be a 4-of regardless.

Fateful Showdown

fatefulshowdown

Red decks often struggle with the question of what to do with excess land drawn late. This solves the problem quite nicely, doming the opponent and filling your hand up with gas. I don’t know that this is playable in Standard and it’s likely going to end up not seeing play. EDH doesn’t usually want a wheel effect that doesn’t force your opponents to draw and thus is good in Nekusar. This isn’t good enough for Legacy or Modern. Who wants this card? Likely nobody.

Sequestered Stash

sequesteredstash

I imagine this gets play in a lot of different formats. I don’t know if this is good enough for dredge, but this and Life from the Loam together seem potent. This will do work in a lot of graveyard-based EDH decks. This could potentially help you cut quickly to an important artifact. In short, this land is destined to be a few bucks, foils even more. This seems like a candidate for FNM foil if this is as impactful as it seems like it could be. I’m snagging all of these out of draft chaff and I’m gunning for cheap foils. This is a card.

Confiscation Coup

confiscationcoup

“Should we print Confiscate in this set?”

“It’s probably too slow for Standard.”

“What if we made it 5 mana?”

“Then you’d have to make it like, way worse.”

“What if we made it way, way worse?”

“Then you’d have to also make it a rare”

9/15/16

Restoration Gearsmith

restorationgearsmith

No, this is not a rare but this is bugnutty and if you like making money from EDH cards the way I do, snag a pile of these. You can probably get these for free out of draft chaff or trade a bulk rare for a playset. Foils will be initially cheap and expensive later. This is a card to watch.

“Master of Marionettes” 

masterofmarionettes

Fabricate 3

Whenever an artifact you control is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, target opponent loses life equal to Master of Marionettes power.

This seems silly. I don’t know if it’s too slow to impact Standard or not, but this will for sure murder people in EDH. Shattergang Brothers, Glissa, Sharuum – This will murder people. I don’t think it’s going to be worth above bulk for a while, though. I hate telling people not to bother buying cards I like, but that’s reality.

Insidious Will

insidiouswill

Wow. Again, I don’t know if Standard wants this (It very well might because there aren’t really many good counters right now, as clunky as it is to hold up 4 mana) but I know for sure EDH wants this. It’s 3 spells in one and the sheer flexibility makes it a shoo-in for a lot of decks. I don’t know if the price will be above bulk initially, but I expect this to impact EDH long-term. It takes a minute for those cards to go up, but that’s good since we want time to pick up a lot of them.

Spikey players are as unenthusiastic about this for Standard as I am.

Syndicate Trafficker

syndicatetrafficker

This is a pretty straightforward durdly card that I expect will be a bulk rare, but Spikey players are pretty excited about this, though their enthusiasm borders on the kind of “Magic Christmas land” scenarios that are the hallmark of /r/magictcg. This pairs well with Tireless Tracker, I guess. I think non-mythic rares will have to be pretty exceptional to stand out in this block and I don’t think this gets there.

Fumigate

fumigate

The lifegain clause may make this card comparable to Wrath of God because the lifegain could offset the extra turn you get beat in the dome by red creatures while you wait for 5 mana. This is certainly a contender for the coveted “5 mana wrath” EDH spot and could vie for inclusion with the 5 mana wrath they put in every block.

Then again, a 4-mana wrath wouldn’t necessarily be that good right now. It would get countered by Spell Queller, not affect vehicles, get Stymied by Mausoleum Wanderer or just get countered. Supreme Verdict was very fair. I don’t think we need a 5 mana wrath with upside, we need a 4 mana Wrath, maybe. I’m not sure this is what Standard players are clamoring for and it seems like there are more ways than ever to deal with this spell. Still, the lifegain makes this pretty saucy so as long as you have an alternate plan for spirits, this is likely a $3 or $4 Standard wrath.

9/14/16

Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter 

oviyapashirisagelifecrafter

It’s hard to imagine you want this to be your commander in a universe where Rhys, the Redeemed exists. Having access to white in a token deck is sort of a big deal. You probably jam this in the 99 of a lot of decks, though. I don’t think this can impact Standard or Modern but EDH is likely interested in some small capacity and a non-zero number of people will brew with this. I think the sheer number of cards that deal with tokens and counters means you take a look at Parallel Lives, Hardened Scales, Doubling Season and Primal Vigor. This is likely a bulk rare, likely with a high foil multiplier, and this likely moves a lot of cards, but not its own price. Cathar’s Crusade just got reprinted and is ready to rebound, also and this may remind some people to build Rhys.

Captured by the Consulate

capturedbytheconsulate

This is not a good card. The creature can still block and use its activated abilities making this pale in comparison to cards like Arrest. Also, them having to aim their removal at this creature is good unless that removal says “Target creature an opponent controls” or they just block with this and the creature dies. I don’t want to pay 4 mana for an Arrest. Standard might use this because better options don’t exist, but Standard doesn’t need removal like this, especially at 4 mana. I think this is a bulk rare.

Padeem, Consul of Innovation

padeemconsulofinnovation

This is ready to slot into a lot of EDH decks right now and start drawing you all of the cards. I don’t know if you want this as your Commander, but you probably want this in quite a few decks. That said, this would have to be exceptionally good to be worth money as a non-mythic in a set with masterpieces, so I’m inclined to call this a bulk rare which will have a high foil multiplier and maybe get there eventually.

Aethersquall Ancient

aethersquallancient

This is a Limited bomb that is probably too slow for Standard. I think EDH could use it but probably not and even if they did it would be in quantities too small to matter. It takes a lot for a rare not to be bulk, and being a maybe, sometimes 1-of won’t get there. Good card, though.

Metalwork Colossus 

metalworkcolossus

I have a feeling this can be a buck or two and I also think that this has a value beyond money. Casual players love cards like this. I’m talking extreme casuals. I used to go around to all of the cafeterias at local community colleges and trade with those players and they love cards like this. I never sit on big, durdly monsters long since they trade out so well. If this does end up bulk, grab a big old pile of them and go binder grinding. Other than that, if a dedicated build based on this card doesn’t emerge in some format, I think this is likely not that interesting to non-casual players.

9/13/16 Spoilers

Eliminate the Competition 

eliminatethecompetition

It’s cool, I don’t want to eliminate the competition THAT badly. Bulk.

Verdant Crescendo

verdantcrescendo

This card is only as good as Nissa, and then even if she is good, kind of a weird and clunky card to play. I really can’t see this being worth more than a buck or two unless Nissa is in every green deck and they all want to play a mana ramp spell at 4 mana. I wish this got any planeswalker named Nissa so it would be relevant outside of Standard. I can’t imagine I want to preorder this.

Liberating Combustion

liberatingcombustion

This is even worse. Dealing 5 to a creature is cool when you want that, but you rarely care about that as a red deck. Oh, and you can’t tutor for your Chandra unless there is a creature to target? Get out of here with this bulk rare.

“Consul’s Power”

consulspower

Enchantment
Creatures your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped.

Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under an opponents control, you gain 1 life.

This is pretty solid. It’s a punisher for a deck that doesn’t exist anymore, which feels bad, but it’s also a good way to slow them down and make sure your creatures are more likely to connect. I don’t think this will be worth much money for a while, but this does two things white wants to do and that makes it a pretty likely candidate for future sideboard consideration.

Bomat Courier

bomatcourier

This card is really bad. It’s a 1/1 with no evasion, you could just as easily strand your gas as you could cut to it faster and you have no idea if you even want the cards stranded outside the game. When is this good? When you’re a fast red deck who depletes its hand quickly and want to refill it with a card for each time you swung with a 1/1 that you hope stays alive. This card seems really bad to me. I’m calling this a bulk rare.

Scrapheap Scrounger

scrapheapscrounger

This is very good. Dredge has always been a good deck and this does the kind of thing you want to do in those decks – mill yourself with abandon and then get creatures out of your yard for free or cheap and attack with them. This is also a great card to recursively sacrifice to various effects and bring back. People are going to brew with this for sure. I think this will likely follow the price trajectory of Prized Amalgam, though – a good card that no one is quite sure what to do with outside of maybe one deck.

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Dovin Baan

dovinbaan

This card is very good. In fact, there is so much good in the set that I feel like any borderline playable bulk rare is getting smashed down to the level of true bulk just by virtue of box prices and redemption enforcing a total cost of the set that this set might exceed on merit. I think this is almost certainly not worth preordering for this reason. The total cost of a preordered set will exceed the cost of a full set at redemption which means a lot of cards will go down. Since a card or two will emerge as much better than we thought and the set value will go down, a lot of value has to get trimmed elsewhere, and bloated presale cards like planeswalkers tend to pay the price. Ray Perez is going to poop when he sees another sick Esper Planeswalker, especially one that shuts down the few creatures they manage to play through your wall of permission and removal.

9/10-9/12/16 Spoilers

Not much action over the weekend, but I like a few of these cards.

“Toolshaper Paradigm”

toolshaperparadigm

At the begining of your combat step, if you control an artifact “Toolshaper Paradigm” gains +2/+1 until end of turn. If you control at least 3 artifacts, it also gains first strike until end of turn.

This is pretty good at crewing stuff. Clearly you’re expected to serve with him or crew with him because leaving him untapped does little good – he’s a 1/1 on their turn. I think this can be aggressive and it kind of reminds me of Court Homonculus, but this is obviously better. I don’t think this is good in affinity or anything like that, but this could get above bulk and that’s nothing to sneeze at if you look at the small number of rares from Innistrad block which are above bulk.

Electrostatic Pummeler

electrostaticpummeler

When people heard there was going to be an artifact block, a lot of people on twitter touted Sigarda’s Aid, a card I called a long-term pickup. I said Kaladesh was unlikely to move the needle on Sigarda’s Aid at all. As the set gets spoiled, I was feeling good about the lack of equipment, at least until I saw this guy. 3 mana for a 1/1 that takes a lot of work to even make a 2/2 is absurd. Energy is harder to come by than mana (though you can bank it, unlike mana, I guess) so it’s weird that this isn’t more pushed than creatures with similar effects that were printed at common in the past. This feels like a common.

Combustible Gearhulk

combustiblegearhulk

I see a lot of people dumping on this card and a lot of people dumping on the people dumping on this card. I am in the “this card will underperform” camp, but if you pair this with Eldrazi Displacer, this may be the most brutal of all of the cards in the cycle. There is even a blink card in the set to give you the hint. 6 mana is maybe a little late to do anything in Standard, is my worry. Drawing cards or doming them when you’re on death’s door may not be good enough. I only avoid giving the same criticism to the green one because you are probably playing it before turn 6. The white and black ones keep you alive very well – 6 mana Elspeth was thought to be too slow for Standard until it proved how it wasn’t and the black and white one solve problems like she did. The blue one is played in blue and you can get back removal or just bask in the knowledge that you’re a blue deck and probably have the board clamped down. This one feels the least like it does what you need at the moment, and that’s not just because it’s a punisher card. If the decision is tough for them, you’re already in great shape. If it’s easy for them to decide, this won’t get you back in the game, I fear. This is a good effect but I feel like this card may not get there all the same.

9/9/16 Spoilers

“Dynavolt Tower”

dynavolttower

Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, get EE (two energy counters).

T, Pay EEEEE: Dynavolt Tower deals 3 damage to target creature or player.

This seems pretty good, though maybe not for its intended purpose. I just see this as something that can bank you energy to use for other spells. I’m not thrilled with its second ability, forcing you to spend 5 energy to do 3 damage. That seems inefficient, although it is a way for burn decks to get extra reach and deal with crap like Forge-Tender and Firewalker. This seems like a bulk rare to me but we’ll see where SCG puts it.

“Night Owl”

nightowl

Enchantment
“Night Owl” enters the battlefield with 7 time counters.

At the beginning of your draw step, you draw additional one card, remove two time counters from “Night Owl.”

Your maximum hand size is equal to the number of time counters on “Night Owl.”

Whenever you discard a card, you lose 1 life.

Hey guys, we made a terrible Phyrexian Arena that hurts you, a lot.

This is a weird card and I am not sure what to make of it. Someone is probably going to make some weird combo deck with it, or just donate it to opponents once it’s got 4 or 5 counters missing. This can get you to hellbent, I guess. I don’t know what to make of this, exactly, but a lot of people online seem to be OK with the downside, which says a lot for how Standard is going right now. Don’t people already have like 4 different Sign in Blood variants they’re not playing?

Dubious Challenge

dubiouschallenge

People on reddit are calling this a “cheaper Tooth and Nail in a Roon deck” which makes me question whether they read the card. Sure, if you have Roon or Mistmeadow Witch or Eldrazi Displacer or Homeward Path, you get the creature back. You know, after your opponent gets whatever ETB effects are on the creature. You’re playing Roon, right? Then you have ETB effects. Oh, and you’re blind flipping and don’t get to pick the creatures like you do with Tooth and Nail. Oh, and you get the worse of the two creatures. Play Summoning Trap or something, this card is not what you want to be doing, and $1 is not what I want to be paying.

Smuggler’s Copter

smugglerscopter

A plane for smugglers even though it looks more like Slave One than it does the Millennium Falcon. Sometimes the best car is a plane, am I right, guys?

Real talk, this is actually a pretty good card. I might even see my way clear to playing this in Constructed Magic. A 3/3 looter for 2 mana seems like a mistake, even if you have to crew it. There are plenty of creatures you don’t always want to serve with and crewing this should be easy, especially with Servo creatures running around. I could see this seeing play. Could you? At $1.50 this is a relatively low-risk buy-in, but the upside is a bit limited given its non-Mythic status. I could see this hitting $4-$5.

Unlicensed Disintegration 

unlicenseddisintegration

This will see play and it will be worth a buck or two. Grab these out of chaff while you can.

9/8/16 Spoilers

Key to the City

keytothecity

The chatter I saw about this card on the EDH subreddit confused me. A lot of people were saying “If you want to loot, run Jace or Merfolk Looter and if you want to make a creature unblockable, run Rogue’s Passage.” Well, yeah. But now you can either run both or have both of those effects in one card. This is stupid in so many EDH decks. I love this effect a ton and I expect to see this see play, though not enough to make the non-foil creep up initially. As with a lot of obvious EDH picks, first we’ll see the foil price diverge and in a year or two the non-foil will catch up. Wait for these to hit bulk and then get them as throw-ins on trades. Get foils while they’re cheap if you can do it in trade, but I am not sure about cash for them as they may go down before they go up.

Angel of Invention

angelofinvention

Wowzers. This is either a nice imitation of a Baneslayer or it’s 6 power worth of beatface and a good commander of your army to boot. I don’t know why this is pre-selling for $5. Am I the worst evaluator of card prices in history? Does this not seem really amazing to anyone else? It’s mythic, it has lifelink, it’s an angel, it buffs everything else, it can make servos so it’s worth blinking to save it from death/get advantage… Someone tell me why this is $5. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

“Cultivator’s Caravan”

cultivatorscaravan

Artifact – Vehicle
T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

Crew 3

This seems good in EDH. It’s a Manalith with upside and that makes it non-useless when drawn late. A lot of decks run 3 mana rocks with upside and this has the kind of upside some decks want, especially ones that don’t attack with their commander or some other utility creature that could crew this beast. I haven’t seen a price on this, but it’s too high unless it’s $0.99, so wait on these. I think I like this more as a player than financier, so it’s possible modest EDH demand won’t even put a dent in the supply.

“Wild Dreams”

wilddreams

Which decks want this? At X=1 it’s a bad Eternal Witness and at X=2 it’s Restock. This is worth playing over those cards when X=3 or more. Which decks want that? Isn’t being able to loop Eternal Witness better than getting one extra card for every two mana you spend and never using the card again? I don’t know that this will find a home which is a shame since it’s a powerful effect.

Kambal, Consul of Allocation

kambalconsulofallocation

This card is a trap. How good it is in EDH both as a commander and inclusion in the 99 makes it an obvious pick, right? Well, not exactly.

untitled

Ayli is also a mere $3.50 in foil despite being one of the more popular EDH commanders. This card is stupid but it is going to go down before it goes up and you have the luxury of waiting on it unless you want it to play with right away, something I can’t fault you for.

Lost Legacy

lostlegacy

The comments on this card on Mythic Spoiler are really funny because no one read the card carefully enough to see that you only draw cards to replace the ones you were forced to discard, not the ones taken out of the library. No, this does not break Magic if you play it in Ripple Rats. Reading is tech.

Bulk rare.

Aether Hub

aetherhub

Suck it, Tendo Ice Bridge. You’re Tendo Ass Bridge, now.

Don’t buy these, get them for free laying on the table after people draft.

9/7/16 Spoilers

Paradoxical Outcome

paradoxicaloutcome

I have seen some chatter about this card being playable in decks like Vintage storm, which is probably true but not that relevant to its price. I can’t think of a format other than Vintage where you have enough permanents that you can bounce and replay profitably. This is certainly nuts in any deck that’s playing Retract since it refills your hand, so maybe Modern? Some sort of eggs deck where you don’t sac the eggs? I don’t know. I don’t predict enough adoption to get the price up on the non-foil, so we may see a crazy like 12x multiplier because pimp formats want this but no one else does. I am not excited.

Aetherflux Reservoir

aetherfluxreservoir

As if you needed another reason to hate Oloro players. There isn’t much to say about this card other than that it’s stupid, there are a dozen EDH decks it’s ready to slot into and we can guess its price trajectory fairly easily.

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Bristling Hydra

bristlinghydra

Does this seem really bad to anyone else? I realize a 5/4 for 4 that can get hexproof as a combat trick is probably fine for Standard and being able to use those 3 energy elsewhere is useful. I think my mind has warped too much toward EDH and wanting a Hydra to double every counter on every permanent otherwise I think it sucks. This is probably fine. I don’t know if it’s good enough to see play, but I think its stats are pretty good. I just wish you didn’t have to consume all of the energy it gives you in one shot.

Noxious Gearhulk

noxiousgearhulk1

This is likely too expensive for the formats where it’s going to have the biggest impact. If Standard slows enough, this could make it miserable to try and win with creatures, especially since I know everyone is going to say “pairing this with Eldrazi Displacer is too cute” and then Todd Andersen will do it on camera at the PT. I will say if this ends up a 2-of in a deck or two, this could be $15-$20, so we’re gambling. EDH demand won’t affect its price until it drops below its presale price, so the real question is whether to pre-order this and that’s only a yes if this will impact Standard. You may need to sleeve up a proxy deck, and try to race a deck with a bunch of burn spells and Lathnu Hellions. This is obviously stupid in EDH, but that’s a format where your first play of the game is a 6-drop, not a format where you’re at 4 life facing down 3 creatures on turn 5. At $6 pre-sale, I think you have as many chances to lose money as make it.

9/6/16 Spoilers

Lathnu Hellion

lathnuhellion

This is pretty good, actually. It seems a little durdly on first viewing, but this is a 4/4 haste for 3 mana. If you can manage to generate some energy, you can keep it around indefinitely, which makes this quite a bit better than your typical card people will want to compare to Ball Lightning. This is very aggressive and with all of the crap in this set costing 5 or 6 mana, this could be quite a clock. This is pre-selling for $1 and I’m over here remembering Hellrider. This is pre-selling for bulk which makes it low risk. I am going to trust the people I know who love red and say this could be underpriced.

Madcap Experiment

madcapexperiment

I only know two things. One is that this card sucks. The other is that someone is going to make me regret saying that. Seriously, though, this is a bad Shape Anew and Shape Anew is a bulk rare.

Animation Module

animationmodule

This is better than anyone thinks. Not only does this combo nicely with the other modules at uncommon, meaning there is a non-zero chance of assembling the combo or part of it in Limited (remember the throne, crown, scepter nonsense?) this is also bonkers in EDH. This gives you chumps when you place counters AND this can give a player or permanent ANY KIND OF COUNTER? You can proliferate poison, kill them with Goblin Bomb, add counters to Luminarch Ascension, Azor’s Elecutors or a Planeswalker? This card is stupid. $3 is probably too much since it won’t likely impact Standard, but $6 foils are a snap buy IMO. Then again, why not wait a bit? EDH demand is slow to kick in and maybe the price tanks and you scoop cheap foils later. People will sleep on this and I’m just waiting for it.

Torrential Gearhulk

torrentialgearhulk

At $6, SCG doesn’t have much faith in this card. It’s hard to judge whether only being able to play Instants is worth it. It’s hard to know if we’ll mostly be casting spells under 4 mana where this is worse than Snapcaster. It’s hard to know if the body will be relevant. So many unknowns here. I personally think this could be quite good but I also can’t name an Instant I particularly care about copying with this. $6 is right if this is in one deck as a 2-of. Do you think it will see more play than that? Buy. Less? Pass. That’s how I see it.

Nissa, Vital Force

nissavitalforce

This is even harder to evaluate than Chandra. I imagine this won’t sell out at $30, $35, $40, $40, $40 and finally go for $50 the way Chandra did, but I also think it’s quite good. You can ultimate it two turns after you play it and draw hella cards. You can also beat face with it. Getting back dead creatures is potent. It’s hard to say what Standard’s needs will be. This feels like an $18 Planeswalker to me. I have no idea how to back that up with numbers and if the rest of the set is good, it will be tough to maitain that, especially as nutty as Chandra is. Worse planeswalkers have been $20+ though, so I guess buy this if you want it to play with and you probably won’t lose a ton of money. I hope. I also don’t know what SCG is going to presell this for, yet, so I will come back and edit this when I do know.

9/5/16 Spoilers

Harnessed Lightning

This is pretty sweet. You can bank 3 energy from this, channel extra energy to deal extra damage meaning this can kill big creatures for 1R or you can just Lightning Strike something. That something has to be a creature, though. Lightning Strike hit faces and that mattered. I think this may be a bit overrated, but being able to kill a  or 2 toughness dude and bank energy could be a really clutch play soon, we don’t know. This could be one of those uncommons you pull out of chaff and end up making money off of.

Metallurgic Summons

Which deck wants this? Is it the Sharuum deck that is desperate to get back all of its instants? The Mizzix deck with its many artifacts? The Legacy storm deck replacing Past in Flames and playing eggs now? I don’t know who or what can play this. I can think of EDH decks that would be happy with either mode but I can’t think of a deck that can really benefit from both modes without being built around it. I can’t see a deck for this and that makes it hard to tell people they should buy it.

Chandra, Torch of Defiance

I am literally the worst at evaluating Planeswalkers. I never know how to do it. I am wrong an awful lot when it comes to Planeswalkers. That said, this looks an awful lot like a red Jace the Mind Sculptor. It’s a 4 drop with 4 abilities. The emblem is pretty stupid (though nowhere near as stupid as JTMS). It has a card advantage first ability. It has built-in removal (though at quite a steep cost). I don’t think this will get the play outside of Standard JTMS does, but I think this is very powerful and they let it get that way. This will likely presell for way too much and unless the rest of the set is trash, this probably can’t maintain its hype value and will sink. I am saying wait on this. I am also saying I’m trash at evaluating Planeswalkers. I don’t know man. This set has boats and cars and shit, I don’t know how anyone expects me to be in the right frame of mind to evaluate cards.

Aerial Responder

We’re about to learn a painful lesson titled “No, Vigilance really isn’t as good as Deathtouch”

Ceremonious Rejection

People are really excited for this because I guess they forgot Steel Sabotage was both a card and also unplayed. There is a decent-sized list of spells that this counters and Steel Sabotage does not (specifically in Modern which is basically the only place where this card might matter) and maybe that’s enough to have this see some play, but I’m doubtful. I like this and it’s good in Vintage potentially, but I don’t think it’s as splashy as people think. This stops Karn, Ugin, hard-cast Eldrazi (who’s doing that?) and a few other things and isn’t useless against Affinity but I think this is overrated.

“Cataclysmic Gearhulk”

Vigilance

When Cataclysmic Gearhulk enters the battlefield, each player chooses from among the non-land permanents he or she controls an artifact, a creature, an enchantment, and a planeswalker, then sacrifices the rest.

This isn’t Cataclysm. Cataclysm destroys lands, that’s why it’s broken. That said, there’s no reason this can’t terrorize people in EDH, especially paired with blink effects to keep them from accumulating anything but land. I think it’s too cute for Modern, not repeatable in Standard and too slow for Legacy. This is probably going to underperform. People sure do want to Displacer this in Standard, though.

Multiform Wonder

This seems like a build-a-budget-Baneslayer. If you can keep him fed, he’s a 5/1 flying lifelink and that’s pretty boss. Can you keep him fed? I think there are various ways to get energy counters, some of them harder than others and that’s a problem. It’s hard to evaluate this before we know whether energy counters are a big part of the set or a little one. This has potential, but it’s a lot of work for a Baneslayer.

See what reddit spikes are saying, which isn’t much.

Pia Nalaar

Ready to be sad? Look in her hand.

In fact, while we’re comparing this card to Pia and Kiran in terms of the art to see where those goggles came from, let’s compare the two cards to each other and be sad again. This is less than half as good as Pia and Kiran.

“Trinket Mastercraft”

Creature – Dwarf Artificer
Servo and thopter creatures you control get +1/+1.

3W: Create a 1/1 colorless Servo artifact creature token.

This is really slow, but maybe the rest of the block will be, too? I don’t know, I’m inclined to file this under “more cute than good” and leave it at that. This is certainly going to get out of hand if they don’t deal with it and you have a decent amount of mana, so it really remains to be seen whether the new Standard will be slow enough for you to overwhelm them with 2/2 servo creatures. Also, this is good in multiples which means you can load up on copies which may help its price. That said, a non-mythic rare needs to get quite a bit of play to get above a buck or two and I don’t think this has the goods. I sure like it, though. As a side note, it buffs all thopters which is relevant in EDH for sets going all the way back to Alara block.

9/3/16 Spoilers

There’s gold in them thar spoilers!

Fleetwheel Cruiser

I think that how stupid and ridiculous I think having cars in the set is going to make it tough for me to objectively review these. This is a 5/3 haste trample for 4 mana and can go in any deck. That seems good, although continuing to swing with it means you have to keep some stuff back to watch. This would have been good if Pain Seer were still around. I am not sure if this is going up based on a presale price of $3 (SCG left for the weekend so we’re stuck with eBay which is $12 for a playset of these across the board) but it could.

Skyship Stalker

This is pre-ordering for $2 just like the Roc. This feels less exciting to me despite having more abilities. Everyone is turning their nose up at Roc for being a 4 mana X/3 so I can’t imagine this won’t attract equal disdain. This is awkward to give haste to since that makes it a 5 mana 3/3. First Strike and Firebreathing could be relevant if they have big fliers later, but all in all this seems too slow for what red wants to do.

Cultivator of Blades

Fabricate means he can either come into play as a 3/3 or as a 1/1 with 2 1/1 servo tokens. The article announcing the mechanic wasn’t clear on whether you could make this a 2/2 with 1 servo token so I don’t know. I looked for a while then gave up. This feels clumsy and we have seen creatures like this in the past go nowhere price-wise. I am not excited for this, especially pre-selling at $2.50. If we get some ways to buff his power easily and we get some token producers, though, this could deal Craterhoof amounts of damage, albeit not out of nowhere like with Craterhoof.

Verdurous Gearhulk

This is good. This can make itself an 8/8 Trample for 5. This can buff a ton of tokens. This can permanently Wolfir Silverheart something else. If you get something for having +1/+1 counters on a creature this can grant that up to 4 times. All in all I am pretty excited for how simple but pushed this is. This is a $12 preorder and that feels about right. It could get a bit above that if it really catches on, and a LOT about that if it REALLY catches on. This has the capacity to his $25 if there isn’t much help from the rest of the set. I can’t call it yet since I’d need to see the rest of the set, but I feel like there are more scenarios where you lose money or break even than when you double up on this card. I’m hesitant.

Filigree Familiar

 

When Filigree Familiar enters the battlefield, you gain 2 life.

When Filigree Familiar dies, draw a card.

This is very good and I think this may be underappreciated at first. Foils of this are a buy if they are below a 5X multiplier, which seems iffy. Pull these out of draft chaff and stick them in a box. If these aren’t a $4 Standard uncommon they will get near that high in time unless they’re reprinted aggressively.

“Territorial Devourer”

Trample

Whenever you gain one or more E (one energy counter), Territorial Devourer gets +2/+2 until end of turn.

I have no idea how good this is going to be, but I am inclined to say this could be better than prowess in some decks. I have to imagine red is going to have a creature that gives you an energy counter whenever you play an instant or sorcery, there is one that triggers off of landfall, there is one that triggers off a creature dying, etc. If we get a card that gives you an energy counter when a creature attacks, this could be potent. If not, this is clunky and overcosted. I think this will probably be bad, but how can I really evaluate it before we see all of the energy counter stuff we’re getting?

“Demon of Shady Schemes”

Flying

When Demon of Shady Schemes enters the battlefield, all other creatures get -2/-2 until the end of turn.

Whenever another creature dies, gain E (one energy counter).

2B, pay EEEE: Put target creature card from a graveyard onto the battlefiend tapped under your control.

So Massacre Wurm is back, it flies and it gives you energy counters. The reanimator ability is going to be ridiculous late in the game and you will not lose wars of attrition with this out. This is a finisher that brings back dead finishers, ruins combat for them or wipes their board and beats for 5. This is a $10 preorder and I think if it’s played as a 2-of in a deck or two that’s right on the money. I love this card but I don’t know there are scenarios where you wish you’d bought several playsets at $40 a set. This does have juice longterm, though.

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Ghirapur Orrery

NEKUSAR!

I think this card is a little too symmetrical to be able to take advantage of how good it is for Standard. Forcing them to draw if you made them discard their hand, though? There are a few EDH decks where you can take advantage of this. Also, you can jam this in Leovold and draw 3 while they draw 1.  Being able to ramp your land out faster is a nice bonus. All in all this is to suspiciously good to ignore and I feel like EDH will unlock its full potential, meaning it will be cheap while Standard players discard it as a bulk rare and let the rest of us sock these away in a box. I thought that about Pyromancer’s Goggles, though, didn’t I? Sometimes a card is so powerful even Standard can’t ignore it. This is preordering for $6 and I have to imagine it drops.

Panharmonicon

This is even better in EDH than Orrery but I feel like it’s so good that Standard has to take notice. This can go in any EDH deck. This has Standard implications. This is preordering for $3. If foils are $6 buy all of them. This is Doubling Season good.

 

Concealed Courtyard

We’re getting enemy “fastlands” or whatever people called these. Tango lands? Checkity check lands? These got expensive in Standard, some of them. Everyone remembers how much. $5 each seems pretty reasonable on these and some dude on eBay is enforcing that price pretty hard for the time being and also tracking them all down for you. These could get above $5 long-term but I don’t know if they’ll all get much cheaper so I think if you pay $100 for the set and don’t have to worry about it you have a chance to make money later if any of them take off in Modern like I think the UR one will. All in all, there isn’t much money to be made here for a while and these are just the lands we get and we’ll use them because we used worse lands.

9/2/16 Spoilers

Saheeli’s Artistry

They spoiled this bad boy a week or so ago but I was still trying to digest Conspiracy at that time and one card wasn’t worth speculating about anything over. We know that artifacts matter based on this card but we knew that before. We’re no longer “Putting into play” our tokens but rather we are “Creating” them. That caused a lot of people to speculate that this image was fake. What a clunky card to fake! This is EDH gold, obviously, but it remains to be seen whether Standard will be slow enough for this to matter. 6 mana wants to go a long way toward winning the game in Standard and this doesn’t. This seems like a bulk rare to me, and SCG agrees.

Innovator’s Fair

This card I can get behind. I think Lantern Control has discussed wanting this in Modern and possibly Affinity, but I doubt the second one slightly. A dozen EDH decks want this right off the bat and that could give the foils upside. Here’s a price trajectory of a card with more EDH and Modern demand than this card. Even though $2 pre-order price seems risky.

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Bear that in mind when you consider investing. Investor’s Fair would have to over-perform in Standard to buck these trends. Do you anticipate that?

Aetherworks Marvel

I am not jazzed about this in EDH. Lots of cards do this better and you can’t use any enchantments to double the number of energy counters you get to cheat with this, making it very, very slow. If you can make a lot of permanents go away, though, this could tutor for you turn after turn and with no way yet for your opponents to drain your energy counters, this could get there. I just think this is a very slow way to do things spells already did in Theros block to moderate success. This is OK but I don’t think it will ever break $5. I don’t know if I want to pre-order this for $4.

Architect of the Untamed

All of the cards that grant you energy counters and spend them need a lot of energy counters to work and this is much slower than Marvel in Standard but faster in EDH where you’re generally playing more land. The 6/6 beast isn’t great, though. I could see this being part of a deck that created lots of energy counters for its first ability but maybe not its second. I don’t know enough about how many energy counter cards there will be to say this is trash, but I’m not excited for now. This is preselling for bulk.

Ovalchase Dragster

Cars? Really?

Gonti, Lord of Luxury

I am pretty jazzed about using this outside of Standard. If there are more Aetherborn, this could impact Standard but I’m not ready to say it will, yet. For EDH, though, this is solid. It could be its own commander or just go in a deck like Sen Triplets. Erin Campbell saw this art and speculated that Ashiok could pop up in this block. There’s so much to look at here, but this also feels a bit like a bulk rare. However,  casuals like casting their spells so this could be a player in FNM-tier decks and let’s not pretend that can’t make this $5-$8 in the short term and maybe the longer term again, also. I like this card, but me liking a card doesn’t always mean it won’t be a bulk rare. SCG has this at bulk and that could end up being a mistake on their part.

Skysovereign, Consul Flagship

This is probably a bulk mythic but I can see people wanting to try and make this work in Standard. It’s certainly big and scary and deals with their creatures. I don’t think coughing up 3 power worth of creatures to crew this will be that tough, especially with all of the tokens we’ll see floating around. If this does see play in midrange type decks, this could be $10. Scg is pre-selling this for $4 and it’s not selling out, but this could end up being $20 if it’s the next Dragonlord finisher in a control deck. This isn’t as good as the Dragonlords, though, and $4 may even be too high for this.

Aetherstorm Roc

This is a little more oppressive than it looks at first glance. If we get any cards that synergize with this and give us energy counters, this creature is going to ruin their life. Growing while tapping their blockers is exactly what white creatures that impact Standard end up doing. If you’re getting energy counters for doing other things like playing lands, you may end up able to activate this every time you attack and that is a lot of advantage in combat. I think the $1 the is pre-selling for is too cheap.

Saheeli Rai

I like this card less every time I look at it. 3 mana Planeswalkers have to be good and this doesn’t protect itself well at all. This ultimate is obviously good, but you shouldn’t evaluate a Planeswalker based on that, especially on that needs 4 turns to get there and can’t protect itself. Scry is silly and pinging them is non-trivial but the -2 making a temporary copy and the starting loyalty being so low makes me think this will be played less than people hope. It’s only pre-selling for $20 which is a bad sign for a Planeswalker.

Rashmi, Eternities Crafter

I am in love. This seems like a card that is a little slow, a little hard to build around and hard to benefit from with a small card pool to impact Standard, which relegates this to EDH where a lot of demand will be needed to move the needle on its price. This is Momir Vig good. This is “They literally couldn’t print this without ruining EDH forever if Prophet of Kruphix were legal” good. I’m writing my article this week about how many prices of how many cards this is going to spike this month. Ugh. This card is killer. It’s $6 which may be just about right. But why speculate on this and whether the foil will be $50 when you can just buy all the other cards that will go in this deck? Seriously, this and Leovold in the same month? I live for cards like this.

 

 

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