Category Archives: Spoiler Coverage

Kaladesh Spoiler Coverage

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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.

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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

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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.

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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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Eternal Masters Spoiler Coverage

Eternal Masters 

Release Date: June 17, 2016

eternalmasters-1-825x460

This promises to be another small print-run set that makes cards a little more available for a little while if not more affordable in the long run. With boosters costing an awful lot and the draftability of the set unclear, this may end up doing little more than offering foils of cards that haven’t been foil before. That’s not that much of a problem, frankly, if it means people can get $100+ cards for the price of a booster and have copies of cards they want for legacy and EDH without wrecking prices. Modern Masters and Modern Masters 2 impacted prices, but they weren’t enough to keep them down forever. Here’s everything in those sets that ended up more than the projected $10-$15 per booster pack.

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People who are worried about Force of Will should have some perspective. Tarmogoyf is lower than it would have been without intervention but that doesn’t mean it’s a lot lower than it ever was. Printed in both Modern Masters sets, Tarmogoyf is a 4-of in a lot of decks and that means demand will never really be soaked up.

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It isn’t the big money cards we need to worry about losing our investments in, so don’t sell those Force of Wills, unless you like the new art better because you’re wrong.

We had most of the cards anyone is going to care about spoiled in one shot, so let’s talk about it.

Force of Will

Jason Alt – This is currently $80 and it’s predominantly played in Legacy and Vintage, formats no one seems to want to play these days. This was the first Mythic spoiled but it isn’t the most expensive mythic in the set. I imagine this set will have a small, marginal impact on price. I don’t think the art is that great, but it’s better than the judge foils, which are the real losers here. If you have Forces, probably save them because they’ll recover, especially since the old art is better.  This is this set’s Dark Confidant or V. Clique.

Mana Crypt

Jason Alt –  The book promo is $200 and the judge foil is $225. That’s a difference of $25, $25 being the amount I sold my Mana Crypt for in 2004. Daggers.

This is this set’s Tarmogoyf for sure. So many EDH and Vintage players want these that I can’t imagine demand won’t soak up supply. However, the media promo and judge reward foil are the only way to get these currently. Will the set foil be $200 or will the set non-foil? Star City is betting the non-foil will be $80. Having an inexpensive basic set version should help shelter the value of the media promo and judge foil. The judge foil should also enforce somewhat of a ceiling on the set foil since there are so few judge foils. It’s going to be weird to see what happens, here. Will the flood of cheaper non-foils pull down the price of the media promo, or will the more “pimp,” rarer version maintain value?. I personally think there won’t be enough Eternal Masters copies to crater the price of the older promos. Still, with more people jamming Mana Crypt, the rules committee is going to take a second look at this card, now, and an EDH ban would hurt the price a ton. It’s already restricted in EDH, after all.

Sneak Attack 

Jason Alt – Pre-selling for $30 on SCG, Sneak Attack likely loses some value even at mythic. It will probably recover from where it ends up, especially given that copies disappear 4-at-a-time for Legacy and EDH players want this card and will now be able to get it more affordably. The older copies should be able to maintain $45 in the face of the reprinting. A comparable card from Modern Masters is Sword of Fire and Ice in my opinion. That had a set printing, a judge foil and a Modern Masters printing and its growth stopped but it mostly maintained its price. Sword appeals more broadly but I think the price trajectories are a good corollary if not the prices themselves. Let’s look at just the Modern Masters printing.

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Supply never ends up enough to satisfy demand on Masters-set mythics.

Necropotence 

Jason Alt – This is mythic because it would ruin Limited otherwise. It’s powerful enough, sure, but it’s not expensive enough to be mythic. This probably will drive the already-reasonable price of Necropotence down, which is fine, but the price was never a barrier to begin with seeing as how there were plenty of Ice age and 5th Edition copies easily accessible. This “feels” mythic but doesn’t do much to sell $15 booster packs. SCG wants $10 for these despite Ice Age copies which look cooler being that price. This was already on a downward trajectory before the reprinting, Legacy can’t play this and not all EDH decks want this. I bet this loses money.

Balance

Jason Alt – Who is playing Balance? This is a $4 mythic at pre-order and I don’t even know if it will maintain that. This needs to be mythic for its power level, but this certainly wasn’t reprinted for availability purposes. The set needs cheap mythics and it’s getting them.

Dack Fayden

Jason Alt – This is a great reprint. This all but rules it out of Conspiracy 2, which is fine. Vintage and EDH players alike love this card and this is a chance for more foils to hit the market, lowering the barrier to jamming a foil one in your cube. The non-foils are $25 and that seems about right. They are $35 now but are on a downward trajectory. I think this is the kind of card you want in this set.

Karakas

Jason Alt – Craig Wescoe spoiled this card because of course he did. This is a reprint everyone saw coming. Legacy demand for a while saw this sit at $30-$50 until everyone realized you didn’t autolose to Emrakul if you had this. Knight of the Reliquary decks used this to great effect, putting Knight in with Show and Tell and then using Knight to get Karakas before they could untap and swing with Emrakul. Currently almost $200, Legends Karakas should take a bit of a hit. Demand is 100% Legacy and Vintage (mostly Legacy) due to how banned this is in EDH. The judge foils should take a bit of a hit due to competition from set foils, but not too much of a hit. This is pre-selling for $80, which is less than half of its current retail. I expect that to be a bit too low, but not enough that I’m a buyer at $80. I think even at mythic, this should do a decent job of satisfying current demand, especially since it isn’t run much as a multiple the way Goyf is. This is good news for people who want to run Mangara D&T I guess.

 

Chrome Mox 

Jason Alt – The Modern banning really hurt the price of this card. Despite being very solid and having the word “mox” in the title, this is a mere $20 due to its unavailability for use in Modern. This isn’t used much in EDH. Legacy combo uses this but Mox Diamond probably gets roughly the same amount of Legacy use and this also has to compete with Mox Opal. Mythic rarity will help the price sliding too much but this is pretty inexpensive for a reason.

Worldgorger Dragon

Jason Alt – Every set needs a Comet Storm, I guess. Not sure why it’s always red that gets it. Prepare to lose a portion of the $2.50 you have invested in this card.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Jason Alt – Star City wants $80 for this and that seems reasonable. I imagine this follows the price trajectory of Vendillion Clique or Dark Confidant. If this is ever unbanned in Modern, I expect this to follow the price trajectory of Dark Confidant when they announced Modern and go nuts. I’m not buying an $80 lottery ticket and betting on an unban, but this is Jace and more printings slow his growth but that’s mostly all. This is OK in EDH, it’s in a few Legacy decks and it’s banned in Modern. The price is still nuts because this is one of the most iconic Magic cards of the modern era and the price is always going to be higher than we can justify with mere data. I am not worried about this tanking the current value.

Vampiric Tutor 

Jason Alt – Vampiric Tutor is sicko in EDH but being printed at mythic means we won’t get as many copies as we need. Currently a little under $40 for the Visions version, the real loser here is the $100 judge foil. Either the set foil ends up way higher than the judge foil, or this gets pushed to around $20-$25 in the short term. Either way, I’m hoping this gets cheap enough to actually help EDH out.

Enlightened Tutor

Jason Alt – Currently at $16 as a Mirage uncommon and pre-selling for that much on SCG, I think this is due to fall more than SCG predicts, or they’re hoping they can pre-sell a bunch before the price drops. However, I think this could recover. Kira, Great Glass Spinner was about $15 before Modern Masters reprinted it and after spending some time around $9, it’s $15 again.  It’s hard to guess if there are more copies of Kira as a rare in Betrayers of Kamigawa or of Tutor as an uncommon in Mirage and 6th Edition. What I do know is that I expect the price of this to come back to where it is now, or close to it. This will only help availability without hurting price. I like it.

Sylvan Library 

Jason Alt – I think this should bring down 4th and 5th Edition versions and maybe impact the Commander’s Arsenal foils a small amount in the short term. ’93/’94 is what’s propping up the Legends version and this won’t affect that at all. This is a good reprint and putting it a rare means it will make it widely available for EDH to snatch up all of these copies and Legacy to take the rest. SCG wants basically current retail for pre-orders and I expect that it can get back to that price soon.

Control Magic

Jason Alt – This art is great, which won’t take the sting out of opening a card that should be an uncommon in the booster your LGS charged you $20 for. The set needs bulk rares and this is a P1P1 in Limited, so I guess we all understand why this is in here. I’ll be replacing my current versions with this because of the art.

Entomb

Jason Alt – SCG wants $16 for this and they’ll probably get it. Entomb has shrugged off quite a few reprintings but this may be the one that does it in. Odyssey versions are twice what SCG wants for this version. I half expect it to go up from $16, but the Graveborn foil hurts the upside for set foils, and I don’t know if this can climb to $30+ or if the Odyssey versions can maintain that price. You certainly don’t have to worry about counterfeiting with the new versions, and the art is better. We’ll see what happens. If this goes down in the short term, I may look at it because the pre-order price is half of current retail and that’s not the case for the rest of these cards.

Toxic Deluge

Jason Alt – There is no question this brings the price down even more and SCG agrees, pre-selling for a mere $6. The only real question is what will the foil settle at? I have some Deluges so I’m eating it on this reprint, but I guess I don’t hate to see it. Commander 2014 had some real gas in it.

Diminishing Returns

Jason Alt – An example of diminishing returns is paying over $10 for a booster pack and getting a bulk rare.

Maze of Ith 

Jason Alt – This likely won’t stay at the $20 SCG is asking for it. This card is too good in both EDH and Legacy to be $20, though the downtick in popularity of Knight of the Reliquary decks in Legacy has caused the card to lose value over time even before this reprinting. Foils will compete with the judge foils, but honestly this is a card that could go up a tad, but will need a change in the Legacy paradigm to do so.

Gamble

Jason Alt – I expect this card to go down in price significantly. This isn’t bought as a 4-of the way Sneak Attack is and it’s not at mythic in this set. This should satisfy a lot of the demand for this wacky card, although the old art is probably going to be more popular. Pre-order is down to $10, and that just might hold.

Deathrite Shaman

Jason Alt – I have a big box of these and I was waiting for Legacy and EDH demand to help the price recover after the Modern banning. The SCG pre-order price of $5 makes me sad, but it’s probably accurate. There is little demand for this card compared to a few years ago. Legacy elves loves it and EDH probably uses it less than it should. I hate to see this reprinted before I could recoup my investment. Luckily, when Shaman first spiked, I sold enough copies to break even so all the copies I’m sitting on were free, but I’d rather get $10 for them than $3. Them’s the breaks.

Sensei’s Divining Top

Jason Alt – If being uncommon in a fairly recent set and being in a $12 precon weren’t enough to keep this card under $25, hopefully the few extra copies this adds to the market can bring it down a smidge. Still, despite EDH wanting these one at a time, Legacy wants these 2-4 at a time and that’s going to mean that we need to cough up 2-4 copies or every one new deck built. This shouldn’t hurt the price too much, but the old art is way better. This needed to be rare.

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Wasteland

Jason Alt – One of the first cards spoiled, we’ve had a lot of time to debate the effect of the reprinting on the price of Wasteland. Pretty good in EDH, a staple in Legacy and Vintage and printed originally at uncommon, Wasteland is pre-selling for $60 on SCG. That seems a tab high, but with boxes at $250, maybe not. Every new Legacy deck will eat multiple copies meaning demand is likely poised to soak a ton of the supply up. $60 is higher than the current retail for the Tempest version, though, so I’m not sure what SCG is banking on. With judge foils, expeditions and other ways to get this foil, the set foils will likely be just another version, and probably the least popular of all of them. I think there’s downside at $60.

Goblin Charbelcher

Jason Alt – Not all of them have to be gems. This won’t be that good in Limited, and price wasn’t the reason to reprint this nor was availability. This gives us more foils, I guess, but all this did was stop the older version from inching up in price the way a card you invested in does, ideally. This is fine but I’m not a buyer, even at $3.

5/25/16

They haven’t let up on revealing cards since yesterday and there are a ton of them. I sort of hate them making us twiddle our thumbs for the months since they spoiled Force and Wasteland and then vomiting everything on us in 72 hours, but what do I know?

Maelstrom Wanderer

Jason Alt – I think this actually will affect prices and here’s why. The Commander’s Arsenal foils are trash. It’s a different foiling process and it sucks. I hated my foil Commander’s Arsenal Maelstrom Wanderer so much that I switched to non-foil Japanese and the rest of the deck is foil, that’s how much screw that foiling process. This gives us a shot at nicer-looking foils. If this doesn’t drag the price of Commander’s Arsenal foils down, what will happen is we’ll see a big divergence in price as people want these overwhelmingly. The art’s even way better. I feel like these are factors that people busting foils of this won’t take into account and I like these foils if they end up being priced beneath the price of Commander’s Arsenal foils initially.

Baleful Strix

Jason Alt – Foils of this are likely to exceed $50 which is pretty crazy. This didn’t need another reprint, per se, but I’m fine with it getting one and getting copies into the hands of players. The dip from WotC having to overprint Mind Seize decks has mostly ironed out and we could use some more supply. This is good in some EDH decks as well as quite a few Legacy decks and it’s a card we want in players’ hands. Having a chance to get these in foil is all upside.

Shardless Agent

Jason Alt – Well, this burns. I have been socking away Japanese copies because those were the best you could get and now you can get Japanese foils. I’m likely to lose  bit of value, but I think the price will recover mostly. This is a very good card in Legacy. It’s not as great in EDH but I still jam it in my Maelstrom Wanderer deck for some reason. I always end up hitting a mana rock, but every once in a while I’ll Maelstrom into Etherium-Horn Sorcerer into Bloodbraid into Shardless Agent into Coiling Oracle. I call it the Temur Ultimatum. Foils of this are likely to be pretty close to what they are for Baleful Strix and that price is likely to climb over time, so maybe trade for those foils if you can.

Nevinyrral’s Disk

Jason Alt – This gets a non-zero amount of use in EDH, but this won’t bring prices down. Alpha, Beta and Unlimited copies are still run in ’93/’94 and are still old so this will just crater the 4th edition copies and such, which is fine since now people can have a good-looking foil copy because that FTV copy is trash, and only $7.

Ichorid

Jason Alt – They really want reanimator and possibly dredge (it looks like the black/green archetype will be elves, though) to work in Limited. Ichorid is a sweet card and this is a chance to get more foils of it, so that’s cool. Ichorid is currently about $12, down from its historical high of $30+ and I can see this slipping down a bit more. This is exactly the price Divinity of Pride was and that’s now $3, though a second reprinting may be what’s kept it down. Still, now it’s Divinity of the Fall and Modern Masters was all it took to drive its price into the dirt. Will Ichorid fall as far as fast? Doubtful because every new deck needs 2-4 copies vs. every new EDH deck only needing one Divinity of Pride. Demand will soak up copies much faster. We’ll see what happens, but I think he $5 SCG wants right now is pretty close.

Hymn to Tourach

Jason Alt – Foil Hymn is going to be a very sexy prospect. This shouldn’t hurt the already dirt-cheap Fallen Empires copies but the prospect of getting foil copies is exciting. This is the same art as FTV:20 but better foiling process. I expect these to potentially stay close to the $7 the FTV copies are.

Regal Force

Jason Alt – This is a sicko card-drawing machine and EDH and Elf decks have made this a $15 card, a price SCG expects to be cut in half by this set. I could see this slowly climbing, but it’s not a 4-of in Legacy like Ichorid which means I expect it to end up below where Ichorid ends up despite having EDH applicability that Ichorid doesn’t have.

Unexpectedly Absent

Jason Alt – SCG only wants $1 for this guy, which is all the old copy went for. This is a good card but it’s also played in about 600 of the 21,000 white decks on EDHREC. This seems too powerful to be a bulk rare, but them’s the times we live in.

Dualcaster Mage

Jason Alt – This card is fetch. As in, I wish they’d stop trying to make it happen. They decide which cards become judge foils long before players start playing with the cards so they made Dualcaster Mage hoping people would play it in Legacy and EDH and pair it with cards like Heat Shimmer and there were no takers. This seems to be in a cycle of Commander set reprints and Toxic Deluge is basically the only one we’ve seen so far (unless you count Baleful Strix, which I don’t) which isn’t a bulk rare. Oh well.

Chain Lightning

Jason Alt – This is a great example of a reprint that will enfranchise players. The Reserved List isn’t going away. You can whine about how you can’t afford Volcanic Island or you can build burn and play Legacy until you can trade into the deck you want. This was basically the only thing in a serviceable burn list that cost anything unless you’re playing with Goblin Guides. This also gives us better-looking foils which should stay around the $15 people want for the ugly Premium deck version.

Cabal Therapy

Jason Alt – Basically everything that was true of Chain Lightning is also true of this, except Cabal Therapy doesn’t really slot into any reasonable Legacy decks. Nic Fit and Sam Black’s Zombardment are both decks I’ve run in Legacy and gotten away with cheaply(ish) but that was because I had dual lands from 2004. This isn’t going to enfranchise people to the same extent that a cheap Chain Lightning is, and Cabal Therapy has a lot more printings and yet is almost the same price, meaning there is a lot more demand which should help stabilize the price. I think this will diverge in price from Chain Lightning a bit, but there’s no real need to go that in depth on an uncommon that has foil printings already, including a sexy set foil.

Rorix Bladewing

Jason Alt – And you worried they wouldn’t have anything to pair with Sneak Attack in Limited. Bulk rare.

Vindicate

Jason Alt – I went over what would happen to the price if this ended up in Commander 2015 and I think what I said then applies now. Vindicate has been seeing a decline in demand of late and EDH hasn’t fully picked up the slack. SCG wants $10 here and I have an odd feeling that $10 is too much for Vindicate. It used to be much better than it is.

Bloodbraid Elf

Jason Alt – Something is keeping this at $3 despite being banned in Modern. Will that same thing keep this above $3 going forward? I expect it to dip in the short term and I’m not touching them at the bottom, but you can if you think these can hit $3 again. Don’t pre-order them from SCG or you’ll only save a cent.

Mystical Tutor

Jason Alt – This is currently $8 and a big reason why is a Legacy ban. This is a chance to get foil copies that aren’t the ugly FTV foiling, but those are only $20ish so there isn’t even a ton of upside on the foils. This is just going to get more copies into the hands of EDH players, which is fine with me.

5/26/16

Void

Jason Alt- Sets need bulk rares. This bulk rare happens to win games in Limited. I actually wonder why I have never tried to play this in EDH… It doesn’t matter, this is so cheap already that the reprint is almost an insult. It sure will be fun to draft, though. Ideally you take a $75 foil rare and someone passes this to you.

Wrath of God

Jason Alt – Half of the people think this means Damnation is definitely in the set, the other half think this means Damnation is definitely not in the set. Seriously, if they don’t print Damnation here, where even can they do it? They have to know that EDH needs Damnation to be affordable. If you have Damnations, I’d say to sell them, but I don’t think we’re ever going to get that reprint.

I almost forgot to talk about Wrath. Um, it’s been printed a lot. Now it will be cheaper.

Call the Skybreaker

Jason Alt – I remember that Standard RW splashing GBU deck called “Spanish Inquisition” that ran this as a finisher. Good times. That wasn’t enough to make its price high enough that a Commander 2015 reprinting didn’t make it bulk. This doesn’t help, but I want to play this in Limited.

Giant Solifuge

Jason Alt – This card is better than you think it is. It’s a bulk rare, though.

Natural Order

Jason Alt – This is the kind of reprint I was waiting for Green to get. Very cool. Mythic rarity means it likely recovers from its price dip, but lower demand than we used to see could mean that this will shatter the illusion cast by price memory and price this card more “fairly” which wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest. I could see this getting cheaper, but at a certain point, that activates new demand from people who had previously considered this unreasonably expensive which likely buoys the price a bit. We’ll see where it equilibrates.

Green Sun’s Zenith

Jason Alt – Weird to see both Natural Order and Green Sun’s Zenith in a set where there are no real good targets, yet. Emperor Crocodile, I guess. Regal Force? Craterhoof reprint incoming? Who knows. What I do know is that it was silly for this card to be $9 last week and it will be even sillier next week. Expect a drop.

Sinkhole

Jason Alt- Normally I hate rarity changes, but good on them for not making this common. These will get soaked up four-at-a-time by Legacy which should help its price from sliding down too much, but this can’t soak up such a high percentage of the value in the set so we could see this get pushed way down, at least initially. Someone wants me to make Deadguy Ale, it would seem. I don’t expect this card to hold $30+ and we could see the price, well, sink.

Isochron Scepter

Jason Alt – This is a good card and more players should play it if they want to, but it wasn’t exactly super scarce, having been printed at uncommon and not exactly being a staple the way Sensei’s Top is. Still, $6 for an uncommon that was in a duel deck shows how popular this is. I love this card in EDH and I even toyed with trying to make this work in Modern. Research//Development, yo! Ultimately, this could be fun in Limited but it requires them to print really good cards at uncommon and common, which they might do. I could see this shedding a few bucks off of its price, but price reductions for this card tend not to stick. Maybe trade for these when you’re convinced they’re done losing.

Karmic Guide

Jason Alt – This is a fine reprint. It’s a card that used to be ridiculously expensive due to the set it was in and that has been controlled by reprinting. This could bring the foil price down a bit since there aren’t many foils from Urza’s Legacy and judge foils don’t add many copies, either. I expect the non-foil price to be mostly fine and I expect foils to take a pretty sizeable hit, although Legacy foils are still way hotter. The first reprinting of a card always hurts more than subsequent ones and we’re used to seeing this get reprinted and it’s like $3 right now so who even cares?

Price of Progress

Jason Alt – I expect the price of Price of Progress to take a hit. This will give us better foils, so the Premium series printings should take a hit in price since these are better foiling (although worse art, mostly) and being uncommon should squash prices for at least a year, if not forever. Good reprint – Legacy burn should be dirt cheap so people stop whining about the Reserved List and just sleeve up a deck to go jam with.

Goblin Trenches

Jason Alt – I can dig bulk rares that absolutely turn Limited into a 1-sided bloodbath. I used to play this in Extended and it’s a beating. It’s also a bulk rare, so that’s a thing.

Argothian Enchantress

Jason Alt- Shroud means this is the gold standard for enchantresses. Scarcity means it’s worth its weight in gold. This has been $15-$20 basically forever. New foils means the judge foils lose value. New non-foil copies at Mythic might not be the beating to the price that we may think. It all depends, though. I think people are ready to soak up every Force of Will. I’m not so convinced about people being poised for every copy of this card. Legacy Enchantress wants multiple copies, but I think most of this will be EDH decks taking 1 copy at a time and that will be slow. I think the price sinks and may never recover.

Sulfuric Vortex

Jason Alt – Pulling pants down with this in Extended a few short years ago (Like 6 or whatever, but, give me a break, I’ve been playing since 1996) makes me wish we could use this in Modern. Not sure this can even go down much from $1.50, but it’s going to try.

Winter Orb

Jason Alt – So they re-added the “if it’s untapped” clause. This isn’t just card face errata, this is functionality errata. They are changing how the card works back. That’s amazing. This is also like a $5 card before the reprinting. However, this is the first opportunity (unless I missed something) for this to be foil, which means the market could dictate something crazy for the foil. I think if this dips to like $3.50 and someone wants a 2x multiplier, I’m a buyer.

5/27/16 – This is the end

Mother of Runes

Jason Alt – This is a chance to get these foil and the fact that this was switched to rare means it won’t mess up the price too much. This is a staple and I like the new art (albeit less than last time) so foils of this are welcome. The FNM foil with the old art is $30 and this should drag that down a bit, although not a ton necessarily.  This is welcome and with the non-foil around $5, printing this at rare means it should hold or at least rebound. Good news all around.

Swords to Plowshares

Jason Alt – I expect this to basically follow the same trajectory as Hymn to Tourach with respect to foils. I think these foils will be desired above the weird FTV foils so there is upside here since the FTV price will inform the market but preference will diverge the prices.

Brago, King Eternal

Jason Alt – An EDH staple, foils are a mere $15 on this guy and that would be gone up over time, but this should make the price plateau for a while if not go down. This is a bulk rare with a $15 foil but this signals that Brago is truly dead by the time Conspiracy 2 rolls around. If we do get Brago in Conspiracy 2, it will be a new Brago with new abilities, which would be sweet. This is a popular commander and foils will start at $15 but they had upside before at that price and will again, unless he gets reprinted with regularity, which would keep his price down. I am all about enfranchising EDH players, but foils should be expensive and a $1 card with a $15 foil is everything and EDH-playing financier like me could ever ask for.

Heritage Druid

Jason Alt – At $40, this foil is more expensive than a lot of the rares in the set. Opting not to put this in Commander 2014 in the elf deck made this hit $10. Reprinting this at not rare is going to make this very reasonable, both in foil and non-foil. This reprint is going to do what reprints should, and not putting it in a commander precon means the foil price won’t diverge out of control. All in all, this is what this set should do.

Eight-and-a-half Tails

Jason Alt – Quick, without looking, how much is this card? Now check. Surprised? I wasn’t, but I play EDH. Champions of Kamigawa was widely regarded as one of the worst sets ever, but that whole block gave EDH and casual so many staples it isn’t funny. This guy hit $7 with a $24 foil and those prices are going to be impacted for sure. Good reprint for enfranchising EDH, I guess.

Jareth, Leonine Titan

Jason Alt – The commander reprint made this a bulk rare but left the Onslaught version around $2. All this will do is pull the $12 foil down, but only by a bit. This is fine.

Wall of Omens

Jason Alt – Some cards shrug off reprint after reprint and then, one day, a reprint pulls the card’s pants down and it never recovers. This may not be what does Wall of Omens in, but we have to be getting close. This should drag the $20 foils down less than it drags down the $7 non-foils, despite a commander and duel deck printing. This is just good all around.

Arcanis the Omnipotent

Jason Alt – This guy is like $4 despite multiple reprintings and with good reason. He’s bonkers. This likely won’t destroy his price but it’s the third time this was printed in foil and it likely can’t hold $20 after this.

Future Sight 

Jason Alt – Bummer. This means we get this art in foil and the duel deck printing meant my Onslaught foils maintained their value. I didn’t see this coming and it feels bad, but if you wanted this in your EDH deck and wanted it in foil, this should be a bit more affordable, now. The non-foil price was like $1 so this is just getting more foils in people’s hands.

Inkwell Leviathan

This is a $1 card with a $2 premium deck series foil and a $5 set foil because this block did those all-foil packs for less than a booster of EMA costs. No financial relevance here

Phyrexian Ingester

Jason Alt – Underrated EDH card I had in foil because a Commander reprinting wouldn’t touch it gets crushed by a rarity shift. Why, cruel fate? Why?

Serendib Efreet

Jason Alt – This is a good card in Legacy Sea Stompy, which could be a good way to get into Legacy for cheap since the most expensive card would be a sword or jitte if you build it mono-blue with no Force of Will. Sea Drake is down, Illusory Angel is bulk, etc. This won’t affect prices because this is a bulk rare in Revised despite being misprinted and it’s a $4 FTV foil already. Still, this has no real financial impact except it gives us non-terrible foils.

Braids, Cabal Minion

Jason Alt – Banned in EDH, this is still a $35 foil. That will most likely change.

Blood Artist

Jason Alt – This was pulling away from Zulaport Cutthroat, but this should tamp the price back down. A commander precon printing would have preserved the foil multiplier, but I’m not unhappy with this.

Malicious Affliction

Jason Alt – Good news! Now we have a foil version of a bulk rare from C14 I’ve never seen anyone cast. This is better in EDH than it gets credit for, but I still don’t see foils going above $5.

Visara the Dreadful

Jason Alt- This has been printed 3 times and in foil twice already. The $6 FTV foil cut the $20 set foil in half already so this card was already tanking. This is whatever at this point.

Beetleback Chief

Jason Alt – Remember when the reddit crew bought all of these and it hit $15 and now it’s like $0.50? Good times. This is the first chance to get these in foil, but I don’t know that anyone cares. This is fun in Limited, though.

Crater Hellion

Jason Alt – A bulk rare seeing its first foil printing, but a bulk rare all the same.

Siege-Gang Commander

Jason Alt – Bulk rare with a $6 foil likely becomes a bulk rare with a $5 foil.

Tooth and Claw

Jason Alt – Basically just played in Prossh, I still think foils have upside here, but very long-term. I’m just saying don’t bulk out the foils if you get them.

Imperious Perfect

Jason Alt – I don’t know if this will bring down the $3 non-foil price more than other reprints, but like I said about Wall of Omens, this could be the one that does it. The $9 Lorwyn foil could be impacted but the $12 full-art Champs versions are likely safe. This is fine and should be rare because Limited shouldn’t make you said.

Silvos, Rogue Elemental

Jason Alt – $2 rare with a $7 foil becomes a bulk rare with a $4 foil

Xantid Swarm

Jason Alt – This is a $4 card with a $24 foil despite losing a lot of ground due to its falling out of favor in Legacy. This basically stopped seeing play when they banned Mystical Tutor. This is still good in VIntage, but low demand means the price is in danger.

Duplicant

Jason Alt – This is a card that has seen less and less play in EDH lately, but which is still solid and this should bring the price down a bit. Cards under $10 usually take big hits because there wasn’t pressure on them to take up any of the value of the set in the first place, that falls on the cards over $50. With boxes of Modern Masters 1 still only like $350, there isn’t much pressure on $6 cards like Duplicant to do any work for a while and this could end up very cheap, especially if demand continues to wane. This is the first decent foil printing of this art, if that matters.

Relic of Progenitus

Jason Alt – Daggers

Worn Powerstone

Jason Alt – Double Daggers. I was holding onto Saga versions since it seemed unlikely it would be in a set where it could be foil. Now it’s going to be foil, and it could be a $7-$10 foil at that.

Sphinx of the Steel Wind

Jason Alt – Somehow the set foil is $9 despite those foil packs and the Premium series foils being like $2. This should bring that down quite a bit. This is a bulk mythic otherwise.

Glare of Subdual

Jason Alt – Bulk rare with a $5 foil becomes a bulk rare with a $3 foil

There were some very notable exclusions including Worldly Tutor, Damnation, Flusterstorm and Show and Tell. Where will those cards go? It’s hard to say, but those exclusions here could bode very well for Conspiracy 2 later on. Stay tuned when those cards start to come in!

 

 

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Shadows Over Innistrad Spoiler Coverage

Jason Alt – Wizards don’t likes it when you calls ’em spoilers no more. They’s “previews” now.

I don’t care, I’m still calling it “Spoiler” coverage and I’m still going to be mostly a bummer about a lot of the cards. Was I wrong to be a bummer last time? Let’s look at the cards from the last set that were over $2. The first column is the retail price calculated using our fair trade price algorithm and the second column is highest buylist price.

Untitled

Hissing Quagmire, Sea Gate Wreckage, Sphinx of the Final Word and Inverter of Truth are all, glaringly, under $2.

Will Shadows sell better than Oath? So far we haven’t seen a land cycle spoiled to make us think so, I haven’t heard they’re doing Expeditions or anything like it and the set is still largely shrouded in mystery. However, the mythics we’ve seen are pretty strong and we saw a preorder non-mythic rare hit $15. Anything is possible and Innistrad is a popular place to revisit. Let’s get busy, shall we?

Geier Reach Bandit/Vildin-Pack Alpha

Untitled

Jason Alt – This is very good. Skip the boring front side of your werewolves if you want. However, being good but narrow doesn’t always translate into being playable. I don’t think this is playable. And absent a Legendart RG werewolf, I don’t see this getting above bulk in the near-term.

DJ Johnson – I think this settles at slightly higher than bulk, similarly to how Mayor of Avabruck settled at slightly higher than bulk for like 5 years before blowing me out of the water and making me regret not buying those 50 copies that I had in my TCG cart at $1.50. Salt Marshes aside, I think this hangs out in the $1 box.

Open the Armory

openthearmory

Jason Alt – If you’re looking at this card and thinking “This might be really good in EDH” I feel like you’re underestimating it a bit. I think you pay cash on foils of this. Really.

Ulrich’s Kindred

ulrichskindred

Jason Alt – This card itself doesn’t matter, but it is a decent signal that there will be a Legendary RG werewolf in Eldrich Moon. Maybe it will be called Skeet Ulrich. People were holding off on Werewolf stuff, but if Endless Ranks of the Dead can go up because of its art, Werewolf cards could have upside not because of good logic but because of bad logic. Hey, money’s money, right?

Cryptolith Rite
cryptolithrite

Jason Alt –  People are calling this a bad Earthcraft. Well who cares? Earthcraft is banned in Legacy. If we have an affordable version of a card that’s banned in Legacy that can be a second or a budget version of Earthcraft, don’t we jump on it? This is a $4 preorder, but I bet this approaches bulk before rebounding since Standard is unlikely to break this before supply outstrips demand initially.

DJ Johnson – This is a bulk rare in a month, but people would rather buy this over a $30 Earthcraft. While you can’t tap the creatures for mana the turn they come into play (the best part about earthcraft), people still buy Parallel Lives when they can’t afford Doubling Season. Easy $5 in a couple years, in my opinion.

Fork in the Road

forkintheroad

Jason Alt – All hail the Gitrog Monster’s preferred Farseek. Get foils and get them fast.

Weirding Wood

weirdingwood

Jason Alt – This seems like some format will find it useful. Foils will likely be dirt cheap and it doesn’t cost much to stock up in case of a hit. If you whiff, you whiff small and if you hit, you hit big. I like those bets.

Slayer’s Plate

slayersplate

Jason Alt – I’m probably wrong, but I really like this card. I don’t think it will impact any formats and that’s unfortunate. This is going to be absolutely miserable to play against in Limited because it makes your smallest creature a threat, your biggest creature a monster and makes their removal spells give you a 5/3 to menace them with next turn. Probably a bulk rare.

DJ Johnson – Bulk rare that will rip your face off in Limited. Seriously, this thing seems almost impossible to race unless you’re already ahead or have a Shatter effect.

Wild-Field Scarecrow

wildfieldscarecrow

Jason Alt – I like this in foil. This is a Burnished Hart effect that also happens to be a Scarecrow which is good for Reaper King decks. There’s a lot to like here and I bet foils start out hella cheap.

DJ Johnson – This is a Burnished Hart that is actually nothing like Burnished Hart because it doesn’t put the lands into play. Foils will start out hella cheap and they’ll stay hella cheap.

Ever After

everafter

Jason Alt – I can’t decide if this is a good Victimize or a bad Rise of the Dark Realms. Certainly people are excited about this but I bet this ends up approaching bulk before it rebounds, if it rebounds.

DJ Johnson – It’s a bad Rise of the Dark Realms.

Ulvenwald Hydra

ulvenwaldhydra

Jason Alt – A while back on Brainstorm Brewery we said hydras were always a good target because they go up in price eventually. Then WotC started putting a bunch of hydras in every block. This doesn’t even play like a hydra. This plays like a bad, too-fair Primeval Titan. I don’t care if Prime Time is banned in EDH, this isn’t the replacement you’re looking for. I don’t even like this at $4.

DJ Johnson – Are you guys excited for bulk hydra number 45? I’m glad Wotc listened to our calls about how we really needed a  hydra in this set, because we needed something to fill the hole in our hearts that appeared from not having a bulk rare dragon in the set, or any dragon at all.

From Under the Floorboards

fromunderthefloorboards

Jason Alt – This is a pretty sweet card. It’s a great mana sink and push comes to shove, if you can discard it, it ends up another drain life with serious upside. I’m not sure I want this at its presale price since I think it has room to go down, but it’s a fun card.

DJ Johnson – Bulk rare, but cute bulk rare. Sell these for quarters and don’t look back,

Silverfur Partisan – Again

silverfurpartisan

Jason Alt – I changed my mind – this card is the real deal. Brewing with it has been very productive. We’re going to lose a lot of good spells to target your creature with to rotation, but there is still plenty to target this with to punish them. This gets out of hand fast, and protecting it is worth it. Anything that boosts wolves ends the game quickly.

Howlpack Resurgence

howlpackresurgence

Jason Alt –EDH players will likely snap up the foils once Eldritch Moon gives us a Legendary Werewolf like I think it will and casuals will eat this up. This might be snaggable for free from draft chaff.

DJ Johnson – This is cute because it lets you pass the turn with your puppies and flip them while holding up a combat trick spell. It’s nothing special, but I think you pull them out of bulk anyway to sell them for quarters.

Stensia Masquerade

stensiamasquerade

Jason Alt – The extent to which Olivia Voldaren players are excited about this makes me pay attention. I still think it’s too narrow, though but I thought I’d mention it in case you see a foil or a free copy in draft chaff. Put both aside, I think. I will.

DJ Johnson – I tend to avoid paying three mana for aggressive enchantments that don’t give me an immediate damage output increase, but oh well. I think you’d rather just play more vampires.

The Gitrog Monster

thegitrogmonster

Jason Alt – Wow, they actually saved a super good spoiler for late. This card is so, so good. An EDH deck assembled itself in my mind as I read this, but that doesn’t mean this doesn’t get jammed in a ton of other decks like Meren. This draws cards, ramps, kills stuff and lets you sac lands so you can trigger Titania, Protector of Argoth. This makes Life from the Loam go up in price, potentially. This makes cycling lands draw you two cards. This is also a $32 playset pre-order and unless this can impact Standard, that’s too expensive. Good card but potentially disastrous spec.

DJ Johnson – Oh. My. God. You already know the Commander deck I’m excited about with this big, dumb, crazily powerful frog. Child of Alara needs this, but I can wait a couple of months to pick up my foil for cheap. This is my favorite card in the set by far, but that doesn’t mean you buy it. Wait until its’ $2-3 and then think about picking up copies, because I do think it could actually see Standard play.

Seasons Past
seasonspast

Jason Alt – As good as this is, Green Mythics like Praetor’s Counsel took years to hit $4 before a reprint neutered the growth, and The Great Aurora is on its way to being almost $1 if it grows some more.  I like the card but I’m not about to run out and buy any. This seems to be a card you wait on.

DJ Johnson – Nooooope. I don’t even think you want to wait on this card. Bulk mythic will be a bulk mythic forever.

Scourge Wolf

scourgewolf1

Jason Alt – This card is very, very strong. I worry that it doesn’t have a deck and that it’s going to run into 2/3 creatures that stuff it. Delirium is a lot of work to have to get to if you want to make your 2/2 trade with a 2/3. If you can keep the ground clear by burning their dudes with instants and sorceries, you have a good recipe for this doing some serious work, especially with cards that boost power and toughness. This likely gets tried out and with it preselling for $3, you could potentially make some money if this hits. Monastery Swiftspear was $3 and if this is that ubiquitous, this is Siege Rhino money. The low price says not a lot of people are betting on that. These same people spent all day buying Pain Seer until it sold out over and over. Maybe $15 Thing in the Ice and $3 Scourge Wolf are both super wrong.

Reddit Spikes are pretty bearish for the same reasons I listed.

DJ Johnson – Delirium seems like it would be a giant pain to secure early on, especially in the mono red shell this card asks for. Instant, Sorcery, and Creature are the obviously easy ones to hit but with no fetchlands the last card type becomes a lot harder. Planeswalker? Artifact? I’m not too hyped. Remember Ash Zealot had haste and also punished them for playing Unburial Rites. I’m not excited to buy in at $3.

Prized Amalgam

prizedamalgam

Jason Alt – This is a great card no one seems to want. Dredge decks barely have room for 3 Ichorid and Ichorid doesn’t come into play tapped. Standard doesn’t have enough ways to trigger this and bring it back. EDH zombie decks don’t love having to have blue in them although there are a ton of ways to get this back potentially triggering Warstorm Surge and getting sacced to Goblin Bombardment or something. This could be a combo card, but no one is excited.

Spikes don’t care.

Neither do the EDH players.

DJ Johnson – Man, I really want this to be good in Modern with Bloodgast. I know that I’m that guy who calls 90% of the set garbage and bulk, but is this really too slow to combo with stuff like Fatestitcher, Gravecrawler, Bloodghast, and Vengevine? Probably, considering it comes in tapped at the end of the turn, but still. It does have the ability to block, which most of these cards don’t have the luxury of doing. I’m just saying out of all the bulk rares in the set, this is the one that I want to own 100 copies of just in case.

Inexorable Mass

inexorablemass

Creature – Ooze
Delirium – Whenever Inexorable Mass attacks and there are at least four card types among cards in your graveyard, put a 3/3 green Ooze creature token onto the battlefield tapped and attacking.

Jason Alt – There are ooze creatures that trigger on attack that made your opponents feel very bad to have to deal with. This is not that card. Being forced to both have delirium and swing it into potentially unsafe situations for it to do anything means the card is pretty decent but not good enough for Standard and too cute to be worth money. If it did something when it split or when it died, maybe.

Spikes call it “Standard unplayable”

DJ Johnson – I miss the days of Predator Ooze with Ulvenwald Tracker. Those were some good days to be an Ooze, considering it was indestructible and could swing into anything. The most useful part about this card is getting a bunch of karma on Reddit for being the guy to find out that there’s a portrait of Ancestral Recall in the background picture frame. Go ahead, find it. I’ll wait.

forgottencreation

Creature – Zombie Horror
Skulk (This creature can’t be blocked by creatures with greater power.)

At the beginning of your upkeep, you may discard your hand. If you do, draw that many cards.

Jason Alt – I literally don’t know what to make of this card. It has skulk but doesn’t have to hit them. I want to say this is completely unplayable but it’s pre-selling for $4.50. Standard doesn’t like this at all.

This is a lot better in EDH. You want this in Grimgrin, The Mimeoplasm, Dralnu – the list is kind of a long one. I don’t think EDH will make $5 stick, but this isn’t totally worthless. I like the effect a lot and I’ll be trading for copies of this when the price is reasonable in a few months.

DJ Johnson – Regardless of the numerous appendages, I don’t think this has the legs for Standard play. You can wait until they’re like $1 or so and then buy in if you really think this Zombie Horror is going anywhere. It goes in a ton of different Zombie Commander lists, but we all know that doesn’t earn it a price tag. Remember how Prophet of Kruphix was $5 for being bannably good? Me either.

“Unplayable”

“Replacing Call to the Kindred”

Altered Ego

alteredego

Jason Alt – This is clunky for Standard although it can just be a 4 mana clone if you want. I’m more worried about this lacking a deck than I am about its power level but in Standard, both or either can be a death sentence. This may be relegate to EDH which won’t help its price much. I imagine every Standard deck running Clever Impersonator and also green will run this.

DJ Johnson – I don’t see this coming into Standard whatsoever. “Can’t be countered” is kind of irrelevant when all the counterspells are garbage, and paying sixteen mana for a clone is for the cool Commander kids like me (I won’t play this card, but Jason probably will). The last time we had a good clone was the dynamic duo of Phyrexian Metamorph and Phantasmal Image, neither of which costed four mana. Pass.

Fevered Visions

feveredvisions

Jason Alt – This was Brainstorm Brewery’s preview card so it’s obviously the best card in the set. I immediately saw this as a sweet Nekusar inclusion – not all Howling Mines let you draw first and Lightning Bolt your opponent with Nekusar out. Other applications seem to be less forthcoming. I love this card and love that we got to preview and love how the art is going to look foil but I don’t think you preorder this unless someone breaks it.

DJ Johnson – Since Nekusar literally builds itself and you have room for about four personal choices throughout the entire list, I’m not sure this makes the cut. No salt at all, nope. None here. I’m pretty sure this is avoids bulk rare status, but just barely. Howling Mine variants do a pretty good job of hanging by a thread at the $1-2 bin.

Invocation of St. Traft

invocationofsainttraft

Jason Alt – I don’t like this card nearly as much as everyone else. Standard players are begging to eat a fat Reflector Mage in their dome. Modern players aren’t going to want to load up their Geist decks with these since Geist is already a great Geist. EDH players are excited, but I’m not entirely sure why. Bruna is basically a Traumatize Combo deck, Zur is basically a control deck and Narset is a Time Warp deck. I don’t think the four damage matters in any of those decks, frankly. It’s cool to slap this on a hexproof dude, but I just don’t think it’s going to be as good in EDH as people think. They could have been playing Moonsilver Spear this whole time and most of them weren’t. Spear is more expensive, true, but the angel token stays in play with Spear, the equipment stays out of the creature dies and the spear can go in any color deck.

Reddit spikes seems as bearish as I am.

DJ Johnson – Geist of Saint Traft was insane because he came with a 2/2 body and was difficult to remove from the board. You could suit him up with Spectral Flight and put your opponent on a three turn clock, and punish anyone paying life for Phyrexian mana. You have to already find a hexproof guy to put this on if you don’t want to be blown out of the water, so I’m staying away. It’s a cool design, but that doesn’t bring in the cash dollars.

Triskaidekaphobia

triskaidekaphobia

Jason Alt – See if you can find all 13 instances of 13 in the art. Or talk to girls. Generally those two groups don’t overlap much.

Flavor-wise this card is amazing, but I don’t think it will be very effective. It’s a really bad Siege card. I do love cards that say “win the game” but it seems like they print these life total cards only when there are painlands in the format which sucks. I hated not being able to Hidetsugu’s Second Rite people at 10 because they had a Battlefield Forge. With painlands in the format for now, it sucks that we don’t get to use this to its best effect. Don’t build around this, but definitely laugh at how awesome and flavorful this card is. If it were any cooler, it would have been in M15 and would have been designed by the guys from Penny Arcade.

DJ Johnson – Three cheers for flavor! Then ten more cheers, while wearing garlic and avoiding stepping on sidewalk cracks. I can’t wait to find that guy who’s goal is to collect every copy of these, so I can tell him what an idiot he is. You’re supposed to collect thirteen non-foils, thirteen foils, thirteen Russian ones, thirteen Japanese ones… thirteen sets of thirteen different languages and foilings. You get the point. On the plus side, it’ll probably be a bulk rare.

Hanweir Militia Captain/Westvale Cult Leader

Untitled

Jason Alt – So we have a militia captain with literally no leadership skills? No granting of combat bonuses to other soldiers? No gifting of first strike or vigilance? No casting cost reduction? An actual Grizzly Bear would do the exact same job leading this militia. This is just a jackass carrying an AR-15 in a Walmart because “Muh Freedom” and doesn’t get anything done until you have a LOT of creatures at which point it turns into a cult leader and starts getting things accomplished. Being a 4/4 that farts out dudes that grow the cult leader is a pretty solid way to wrap the game up, especially if the tokens all get some sort of bonus (no thanks to their militia captain who is holed up inside a National Park begging for snacks) and EDH players like this, but I am not sure if this can impact Standard and therefore be worth it financially.

DJ Johnson – Her other side makes 1/1 BW Clerics, but I don’t think the Cleric deck wants a card this slow. Maybe it does. Do I look like the guy playing BW Clerics? No, I’m the guy playing Child of Alara Lands. Pay attention. I don’t think Standard wants Grizzly Bears that flip into Scion of the Wild. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I highly doubt you cast this in Standard.

Avacyn’s Judgment

avacynsjudgment

Jason Alt – Given the choice between making this distribute 3 damage and be too good and distribute 2 damage and probably not be great, they chose to go with the weaker version. A slower Twin Bolt, this can potentially be a great card if you can easily discard it, which may not actually be that easy. Spikey players are pretty excited, though, and the card is pre-selling for $5 which is the price it would cap out at unless it’s much better than anyone thinks. I’m not jazzed about $20 playsets of this. I seem to remember people thinking Aurelia’s Fury was going to be a $40 card and it ended up worth 40 cents, so I’m staying far away.

DJ Johnson– Wizards does remember making Forked Bolt at uncommon, right? You have to cast this for madness if you don’t want to feel terrible. Don’t think this is Bonfire, because it’s not anything close. At least the art is sweet, so you can trade it off to that Angel person who is going to go crazy this set trying to collect all of the angels and angel accessories.

The spikes weigh in.

Goldnight Castigator

goldnightcastigator

Jason Alt – A fun thing to do with this is use Zedruu or Bazaar Trader to donate this. An unfun thing to do is open a booster pack with this as your mythic.

I take that back, this is probably good enough to wreck people in Limited before they can get you on the swingback, but I wouldn’t risk it. Being at 10 life is scary when this is a 5 turn clock. This is interesting design but I don’t think it’s powerful enough in your favor to mitigate the drawbacks and this shouldn’t be mythic.

Spikey players call this a bad Thunderbreak Regent

These are like $6 on eBay. I’m not paying $6 for a bad Thunderbreak Regent.

DJ Johnson – Maybe this sees play out of the sideboard of the Red deck versus control where you don’t expect to get cracked in the side of the head by the opposing army. This seems really bad in multiples, which is certainly an odd characteristic for a four mana mythic red angel. I’m not paying $6 for this card, and neither should you. Seems like a $2-3 card, and that’s being generous. Standard has a lot of creatures, and this is bad against creatures.

Sin Prodder

sinprodder

DJ Johnson Welp. Pack it up boys and girls, we had a good run. Magic is officially over. Anytime a young child runs up to their parents and says that they want to learn the game, THIS is the art that the parent will reference as to why this game should be illegal in the good ol’ Christian ‘nation of ‘MURICA. Time to fire sell everything, it’s the end of the game as we know it.

Anyway, this actually seems strong in the mono-red shell that will probably pop up in the early weeks of Standard. That aggressive shell will compete with Vampires, and this was obviously too strong to smack with the Vampire creature type. I don’t like it at a $5 pre-order, but you do what you want. Seems like a $2-3 card to me a month from now…. is there an echo in here?

Jason Alt – No one knows what this card does. I’m serious. There is so much confusion so many places and I’m so sleep-deprived because of my infant Planeswalker that I have no idea what this card does. I keep staring at it. I think this is a hard-to-block creature that reveals a card on your upkeep. If it’s a land, they can make you bin it and if it’s a Fiery Temper they can either take 3 to make you bin it or let you draw it and take 3. Am I reading this card right? It seems pretty good. It’s not Dark Confidant, but in a red deck where you’re burning their face it can put them between a rock and a hard place. I’m calling this Browbeat Confidant. Vexing Devil 2.0. I don’t know what to make of it, honestly.

Reddit spikes are split on this card which means half of them are wrong. When people can’t agree, two things happen. One, they will all pretend they always thought whatever the general concensus ends up being. Nobody ever though Tasigur wouldn’t be a good card to hear them tell it. Everyone knew Goblin Rabblemaster and Abbot of Keral Keep were insane from the second they were spoiled. To hear them tell it. The other thing is that sometimes the card is underpriced. Either I don’t understand how this card works, or this is  going to sometimes draw you extra cards your opponent can’t afford to stop you from drawing and in a red deck, you can take advantage of that. With my luck, they’ll deny me burn topdecks and I’ll draw nothing but land for the turn. Still, I think at $7 it has very little upside even if it’s better than I think it is.

Tireless Tracker

tirelesstracker

DJ Johnson – I got excited when I saw landfall, and I’m actually considering finding a spot for this in my Child of Alara Commander deck. I make a lot of mana, so this could very easily end up replacing Seer’s Sundial considering I can Green Sun for it. Oh, right. I have to talk about Standard, or something like that. Bulk rare. If you’re sacrificing Clues in Standard, something went horribly wrong and you’re probably not a good enough investigator to find out why.

Jason Alt – I like this in a deck like Shattergang Brothers where you can sac the clue token to its ability to make everyone sac an artifact and then you grow this guy. But then I’d have to take a card out of the deck. I don’t want to do that. Bulk.

Port Town and the other 4 allied lands

porttown

DJ Johnson – So we finally got our rare cycle, and it appears that we get allied colors this time around. You have to show another basic (or BFZ) land for these to hang around untapped, which means getting a two-land hand of Port Towns is absolutely garbage unless you rip a basic off the top. Whatever these are pre-ordering at, they’re almost certainly going to drop a bit. However, that cost is mitigated slightly by the fact they’re dual lands. Buying lands for use over the next year and a half is very rarely a bad move…

Jason Alt – I bet their pre-order price is too high, but barely. Buy these to play with if you need them, don’t if you don’t. That’s boring, but so are these lands.

Corrupted Tombstone

corruptedtombstone

Corrupted Tombstone enters the battlefield tapped.

T: Choose a card in your graveyard. Add one mana of that card’s color to your mana pool.

Jason Alt – This is worse than Fellwar Stone early in the game although it’s almost always better later. Graveyard wipe does shut this off, though, and that sucks. The real puzzle here is why this is Rare. I guess this would be too good for Limited at Uncommon? This isn’t a card I’m excited about and I’m and EDH player. If an EDH player isn’t excited about a mana rock, who will be? This reminds me of Vessel of Endless Rest. Not a lot to love, here.

DJ Johnson – Ugh. I really do not want to open this at rare. I mean, I don’t want to open packs at all unless I’m drafting, but even then this seems like a kick in the nuts. Bulkiest of bulk rares, read no more.

Burn From Within

burnfromwithin

Sorcery
Burn from Within deals X damage to target creature or player. If a creature is dealt damage this way, it loses indestructible until end of turn. If that creature would die this turn, exile it instead.

Jason Alt – This is a really expensive way to get rid of a creature. This is solid in Limited, and fireballs with upside are cool historically. This is also a way to kill gods in EDH so this has that going for it as well. Interesting card, but probably pretty bulky. I don’t like this at $4.

DJ Johnson – We’re at the point in spoiler season where most of the remaining cards will be bulk rares. That’s okay. The cycle of bulk and non-bulk continues. I find it kind of funny that this doesn’t prevent regeneration due to them phasing out that mechanic, so while it can take down a Darksteel Colossus it folds to a Krosan Warchief. This is way too expensive.

Engulf the Shore

engulftheshore

Jason Alt – Standard probably doesn’t want this since it forces you to go very deep on one color. EDH doesn’t want this because other cards do this so much better and you don’t play attenuated versions of good cards when you have a huge card pool. This is good in Limited, but that’s about it. Check the price graph for Whelming Wave, which, for the record, I think is much better than this card. Pass.

DJ Johnson – Another day, another dime. You want to play stuff like Cyclonic Rift over this in Commander, and spells like this haven’t seen Standard play since, well, Cyclonic Rift.

Thalia’s Lieutenant

thaliaslieutenant

Jason Alt – Is this Champion of the Parish 2.0? No, I don’t think so. While this interacts favorably with Eldrazi Displacer in a way that is super good if you have a ton of humans (and being mono-white means your splash color is colorless to get those Displacer triggers going. I realize this isn’t a real deck), lacking the “Turn 1 champion, turn 2 Gather the Townsfolk” start that made Champion of the Parish nutty hurts this card. I am not super sure what it will do, but tokens buff this and this buffs tokens right back. That could be good. I don’t know about this as  $10 playset preordered, though. This has potential and I want to like it more. I just feel like there is as much downside as upside at $2.50. If this “hits” it’s a $5 card. If it “misses” it’s bulk. Hard to know. If you like this card and are brewing sauce with it, you could double up, based on the price of Champion of the Parish.

Reddit spikes want to play this in CoCo humans.

DJ Johnson  – People smarter than me like this card, but other people smarter than me hate it and think it’s a bulk rare. While I’m going to hold off on my giant “BULK” stamp for now, I don’t think you want to buy in at $10 a playset, unless you have your Modern Humans brew ready and waiting. This one could go either way folks, but you know that my money is staying in my wallet and being saved for collections.

Welcome to the Fold

welcometothefold

Jason Alt – I am evaluating this in terms of “I don’t want to cast this not for madness” rather than “madness gives this upside” and that may be wrong, but I am basing how I see Standard developing on that premise. I don’t like this as a really weak Domestication, Domestication being a card that never really saw play. This is a bulk rare to me, and it gets even worse in formats like EDH where so many excellent alternatives outshine it.

DJ Johnson- I feel like this falls into the same camp as the previous bad Evacuation, where it’s not going to cut in in either Standard or Commander. Bulk rare life it is, but I don’t think I want to completely eliminate the possibility of this seeing play as a sideboard card in Standard during its’ tenure. I don’t hate trading for these at dimes, but then again I don’t hate anyone who trades for bulk rares at dimes because those people are smart.

Asylum Visitor

asylumvisitor

Jason Alt – This is only pre-ordering for $5, otherwise known as “40% of Pain Seer” which means this is at last looked at through the lens of past regret. I think this is much better than Pain Seer in a lot of ways, and if you’re going hard at making them pitch their mitt, this could draw you a lot of cards. You’re also a Grafted Skullcap deck with hellbent strategies, but you need a constant pitch outlet in case you draw two lands. This having madness is perfect with that strategy because you can pitch your cards with abandon and not have to worry about playing this on curve.

The 3/1 instead of the 2/1 on Dark Confidant is pure gravy. This is a tricky card to play and tricky means narrow and narrow means it’s hard for this to get above $5, but at least the card draw on creatures is this “tough to get but worth it” rather than “what if you draw and extra card but your opponent draws two cards and gains 5 life a turn?” trend we’ve seen lately. You can’t make money pre-ordering this at $5 unless it’s the next Siege Rhino. Is it? I doubt that.

DJ Johnson – I don’t like pre-ordering this at $5. That said, I do think it sees play in Standard at some point over the next 18 months and you could just lock in your playset right now without losing too much money. Maybe it hits $10 release weekend if Vampires is the nuts, but Wotc knows how to tempter their tribal since Lorwyn. I think this settles at the $2-3 spot a month from now.

Second Harvest

secondharvest

This is probably a bulk rare. That said, how cool is this card? Every EDH player wants to do a million amazing things with this. In standard, maybe you get some extra wolf or zombie tokens and maybe you make a mess of clue tokens. In EDH this is nutter butters. Imagine casting this in a Riku deck and using Riku to copy it. Sweet Jesus. Imagine this with Doubling Season, Parallel Lives, Seance, Trostani, Progenitor Mimic… the list is a long one. This card is stupid good. Is it enough to make this a buck or two? I don’t think it is in the short term. Any time you wonder how an EDH card will fare out of the gate, remember that Dictate of Erebos hit bulk and I had a year to scoop them for nothing and fill a big box up. Don’t pre-order.

Congratulations to Josh Lee Kwai and Jimmy Wong from the Command Zone on getting this as their preview card. I promise I wasn’t extra kind to this card because I like those guys.

DJ Johnson – While this is sweet, it does seem kinda win-more. I’ll be the voice of reason to temper Jason’s enthusiasm, and remind you that the Token Commander deck only has 99 slots, and I’m not sure this goes in every single list. Does it go in Rhys? Probably, but I don’t think it gets jam packed as often as Doubling Season and Parallel Lives. Either way, you have plenty of time to pick these up at bulk rares before it starts its’ climb to $3.

Confirmed Suspicions

confirmedsuspicions

Counter target spell.

Investigate three times. (Put a colorless Clue artifact token onto the battlefield with “2, Sacrifice this artifact: Draw a card.”)

Jason Alt – Investigate all you want, I’m not paying 5 mana for a damn counterspell, especially if I have to pay a bunch of mana later to draw. Bulk rare.

DJ Johnson- In three weeks, my suspicions of this being a bulk rare will be confirmed. AM I LSV YET???

Eternal Vigil

eternalvigil

Non-token creatures you control gain +1/+1 and vigilance.

Jason Alt – Adding vigilance is cool, but this won’t interact with this set nearly as much as Intangible Virtue interacted with Lingering Souls to ruin block. This is an odd card in EDH since most of the decks that run Glorious Anthem run tokens. I think the non-token restriction makes this worse than Glorious Anthem and not close enough to it than we want to run both. I bet this is worth money. I bet it’s not worth pre-ordering, though.

DJ Johnson – I’m going to disagree with Jason here and call this a bulk rare. There are a billion options for anthems out there, and I don’t think you want one that doesn’t help out tokens. Don’t preorder this, and don’t throw them in a box expecting them to be worth anything either. Buuuuuuuuuuuuulk.

Behold the Beyond

beholdthebeyond

Jason Alt – How badly do you want to discard your hand? You’re enabling Delirium, I guess maybe, but you’re not enabling madness unless they reprint Basking Rootwalla. This is a really bad Diabolic Revelation otherwise. This didn’t need to be mythic and it didn’t need to cost 7 mana if you have to pitch your hand. Ugh. This might have been cool if it had madness for like 3B or something, but it doesn’t. This is a fart. I bet it’s a bulk mythic and it didn’t need to be.

DJ Johnson – I feel like this card got neutered in development. It might have cost 6 at one point, then they realized that it was insane. Maybe it sees play as a one-of if you can cast it for free, followed by some rituals? I dunno. Either way, it’s a bulk mythic. Foils could definitely be worth looking out for if they hit bulk mythic status as well.

Silverfur Partisan

silverfurpartisan

Jason Alt – This would be an amazing ability to put on a Legendary RG wolf, but multiple copies can stack so I guess there is upside to this not being Legendary. Could WotC possibly miss printing a RG werewolf Legend for EDH? Are they that bad at this?

This card is pretty cool and worst case scenario it replaces itself. Well, worst case scenario, a meteor smashes into our planet killing 90% of the world’s population in giant tidal waves and leaving the rest to fend for themselves in the frozen wasteland that used to be our planet when the ash cloud kicked up by the impact blocks out the sun and shrouds the earth in darkness for 100 years, ushering in a new ice age. This set could be as bad as Ice Age is what I’m saying.

This is a $4 preorder and if this ends up as a 4-of in a deck that can’t lose to burn decks or other spot removal, I could see that being a decent buy-in point. Siege Rhino went up from $4 and this could. How likely is that? The spikes aren’t sure and neither am I. There could be opportunity here, but this needs to really be a card.

DJ Johnson – This seems awkward. Wolves and werewolves need one-drops to compete, not more three-drops that avoid targeted burn. I’m not a fan of preordering this card either, considering it has to see a pretty strong showing to double up. I don’t really know what to make of it, so I’d rather play safe instead of be sorry.

Diregraf Colossus
diregrafcolossus

Diregraf Colossus enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter for each Zombie card in your graveyard.

Whenever you cast a Zombie spell, put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token onto the battlefield tapped.

Jason Alt – Very much in the same vein as Silverfur Partisan, this is the zombie equivalent and it plays differently and maybe better, maybe worse. This doesn’t rely on your opponent doin’ thangs, but it does require you to play zombies and there are like 2 good ones so far, including this one. This is great outside of Standard, but that won’t affect prices right off the bat so Standard is all we care about at first. Look how long it took people to buy into Risen Executioner. I don’t care what this pre-sells for it will drop. That is unless they reveal a ton of sicko 1-drop and 2-drop zombies in the next week, that is. I’ll take a second look at this card if they do. They won’t. But they could. But they won’t.

DJ Johnson – I like how they’re making lords more interesting instead of just +1/+1 effects across the  board. Jason’s correct in that the only thing that matters off the bat is Standard, and we’re not going to get Zombie tribal there. I think this goes down to near-bulk, but not quite true bulk. Trade for some at near-bulk if you like long-term stuff, but I’m not a huge fan. Zombies are jam-packed with three drops as it is, even in casual. There’s only so much room you can have in 60-card land, and it’s hard to compete with Messenger, Death Baron, and Cemetery Reaper.

Westvale Abbbey/Ormendahl, Profane Prince

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Westvale Abbey
Land
T: Add ◊ to your mana pool.

5, T, pay one life: Put a 1/1 white and black human cleric token onto the battlefield.

5, T, sacrifice five creatures: transform and untap Ormendahl, Profane Prince.

Legendary Creature – Demon
Flying, lifelink, indestructible, haste

Jason Alt – This seems pretty saucy. It’s a little slowish but so are control decks and this is really grindy. Historically, lands that fart out chump blockers and potential board swarmers are very playable and have been since Kjeldoran Outpost. This is currently $6 and if this ends up getting jammed in control decks as a win-con, that’s about right, I think. What I’m saying is this looks like a $5-$8 card on a good day and there is a lot more money to lose than there is to gain buying in at $6. If you want these to play with, pre-order, otherwise I don’t think this is mis-priced.

DJ Johnson – Did they forget to make this mythic? I feel like a land that transforms into a 9/7 flying, lifelink, indestructible, and haste should definitely be mythic. Having your win condition take up a land slot in your control list is absolutely insane, if you can’t remember Standard the last time lands that make creatures were around. I don’t think you buy in looking for profit, but $5-6 seems fine if you want one or two for your Standard lists.

Traverse the Ulvenwald

traversetheulvenwald

Jason Alt – This is pretty good in EDH and there is some flexibility here you don’t get with Worldy Tutor. You can play the creature the same turn you tutor for it which you can’t do with Worldly Tutor although you could just play Worldly EOT and pretend you drew the card right away, though that replaces your draw. This has some flexibility WT doesn’t once you get Delirium allowing you to still get a land if you want. I don’t know whether every deck is taking out Worldly Tutor for something that only gets a land some of the time but this card is interesting. At $7 pre-order per copy I am a little skeptical. I don’t think this is as good in Standard as you want a $7 card to be.

DJ Johnson – $7? I’m not  buying it and you shouldn’t either. I really think people are overestimating the ease of acquiring delirium in Standard. It’s easier in EDH, but you don’t pay $7 for a green sorcery tutor unless it’s Eladamri’s Call. Meh, I think this is a $2-3 in the medium term, considering its’ not really worth casting without delirium.

Drownyard Temple

drownyardtemple

Jason Alt – What does this card even do? Sea Gate Ruins is bulk so I don’t have high hopes for this card that seems to have less upside. Speaking of which, Madness seems to make Sea Gate Ruins way better.

DJ Johnson – I really like the design of this card, but I don’t think it actually does anything relevant. I want to break it,  but Wotc probably tested the absolute hell out of this type of effect to make sure that it wasn’t going to break formats into oblivion. It’s kind of sad, but you should still be aware of the foil price for Commander.

Deathcap Cultivator

deathcapcultivator

Jason Alt – General Zod has fallen on hard times since Superman banished him.

Untitled

I think this tells the tale pretty well. People want $7.50 for Deathcap Cultivator right now, so unless you think Rattleclaw is a bad corollary (it makes black, which is kind of relevant currently) I think you can basically only lose money at this price. If Deathcap Cultivator is much better than Rattleclaw, I think you lose your money much slower but still lose it.

DJ Johnson – Listen to Jason. Deathtouch isn’t the most relevant ability to scale into late game with, so I’m perfectly fine staying away because I’m confident this will be a dollar rare in a month or so.

Sorin, Grim Nemesis

soringrimnemesis

Jason Alt – This is a serious planeswalker. This just tunes people up. I think 6 mana is a lot, but this also just hits play and makes your opponent start to sweat bullets. It’s not the pseudo-wrath that Elspeth was, but I still expect this to see play. It’s also just sort of boring. Another BW Sorin and another Blue Jace is sort of “meh” but I’m glad they gave us two new ‘walkers in the set. We’ll see how this pans out, but like all planeswalkers, the jace tax makes pre-ordering a losing proposition 95% of the time. At $25, I’m staying away.

DJ Johnson – Jeez. Six mana walkers are supposed to apply a ton of pressure right out of the gates, and Sorin’s no different the fourth time around. The ult is mostly irrelevant I think, but who cares when you have a minus X to be versatile with? If you know what it feels like to be at three life with a Dark Confidant in play, I’m sure it’ll be fun to share that with every opponent across the table. Don’t pay $25 for this though, wait until its’ like $10 if you want to roll some dice and gamble money.

Markov Dreadknight

markovdreadknightpromo

DJ Johnson- Can you say bulk rare? Bulk. Rare. Don’t worry, the next card is freaking insane. At least, I think so. It’s a scalab…. You know what? I’m not gonna waste more space on this garbage. Keep scrolling, and you’ll see what I mean.

Jason Alt – This is decent as a card but I feel like with only limited casual appeal and nothing compelling making it a good Standard pick, this will languish in bulk bins. This site will get bought up and that bodes poorly for marginal rares like this.

epiphanyatthedrownyard

DJ Johnson – If you were a fast and dedicated reader, you got to see the paragraph on this card that I’m currently typing over. I thought it was a scaling Fact or Fiction, but I was corrected on Twitter and reminded that it was a lot more reminiscent of Steam Augury. There is a very big difference between those two cards. Your opponent will give you the bad cards if they’re a good player. This card is a lot worse after reading it correctly, so don’t buy $18 playsets.

Jason Alt – This is much closer to Steam Augury than it is to Fact or Fiction. You’re going to get bad cards with this. I realize control decks tend to have mana open at the end of the turn, but I think there are better ways to spend it. I don’t like this card very much and I certainly don’t like it at $5 a copy. I’m passing.

Harness the Storm

harnessthestorm

DJ Johnson – This card is sweet, right up until the moment you realize that you have to pay for the card you want to cast from your graveyard. Yeah, not so great anymore. It’s cute with Ritual effects, but we don’t want to play enchantments in our Storm deck that aren’t Pyromancer Ascension. Bulk rare.

Jason Alt – The only deck I could see wanting this is some sort of burn deck, maybe. For 4 mana you can Madness Fiery Temper? I don’t know. This is just a worse, more expensive Pyromancer’s Ascension in that case. It’s not good enough for Modern and the rest of the deck isn’t there for you to build it in Standard. This is cute but way expensive.

Olivia, Mobilized for War

oliviamobilizedforwar

DJ Johnson – 

Can we talk about how awkward this card’s name is for a minute? I don’t know, but it just doesn’t roll off the tongue very well. Also, that sword is horribly designed. Having holes in your sword is a really poor strategy that allows the opponent to parry and control your movements very easily, and makes it structurally…. you know what? Forget it. Card seems pretty strong on the curve, although we said that about Drana too. She’s certainly got a lot of synergy with the one-drop in the set where you can discard extra copies of the 2/1 for R and just play out a huge army, allowing you to give all of them haste.

Olivia is preselling for $14 right now, which still seems high to me for something unproven. On the plus side, you can toss extra copies to the first one when you play other creatures, so that’s something to think about. Wait, why is she a knight? Did she go to knight-school for the past six years, and get trained in how to use anime swords? Ugh.

Jason Alt – How long until someone alters this card to look like emo Cloud from Advent Children? I feel like she found this sword in a chest in Nibelheim. One more? Looks like Vincent and Cloud had a daughter and she prefers her dad’s clothes. She looks like a Final Fantasy 7 character, you guys.

She also looks pretty efficient at melting faces off. You can turn extra lands into upgrades for your creatures, so that’s pretty cool. She is a very aggressive creature and she isn’t as bad when drawn in multiples as other legends. $14? She is harder to put in decks than Kalitas and Drana and those cards only flirted with that price. I’m skeptical. I like this card, but not that much.

Jace, Unraveler of Secrets

Jace

DJ Johnson – Ehhhh…? I’m not too impressed, but maybe that changes after Vryn’s Prodigy leaves us. He’s preselling for $20 just like the other walkers, so we’re continuing to see a leveling off in walkers that don’t look insane right off the bat. Either way, you know the drill by now. Don’t. Preorder. Walkers. (unless you for some reason need them for a PPTQ the weekend of release)

Jason Alt – This does the most Jacey stuff ever. How Jacey is this Jace? It’s like the Jaceiest. People always underestimate Jace and he always proves them wrong. 5 mana seems like a lot for this guy, especially since he ratchets up to his ult so slowly, but he has a thick skin with his initial 5 loyalty, he can protect him self with his bounce, though it puts him in Temper range right away, his Ultimate is brutal and wins you the late game and Scry 1, draw is one of the best draw abilities we have seen on a Jace. He’s good, but is 5 mana too much? I think you are OK paying the $20 to preorder because I don’t know if he goes down a ton, at least in the short term. Don’t underestimate Jace, guys.

Edit – A lot of people seem to think I think this card is better than it is and that it’s just a worse, blue Ob Nixilis. Maybe. But people always underestimate Jace. Being blue matters. He’s likely too much to preorder for, but if you want more opinions, check out what the spikes think.

sigardaheronsgrace

DJ Johnson – I’m pretty sure this is a bulk mythic. Angelic Overseer was bulk. I’d much rather my large Angel have hexproof than all her puny humans, and so she’s definitely a step down from her former self. I can’t tell if she’s crazy from the art yet, or if she’s one of the last “good” angels left. Someone fill me in here, while I fill you in that you shouldn’t buy this card.

Jason Alt – Historically, angels that gives humans hexproof aren’t great. This isn’t as good as the other Sigarda and can’t even go in decks like Mayael like the other one does. I don’t think you want this as an EDH general, which hurts its upside. People will want to build around this, but I don’t like this much.

Sage of Ancient Lore/Werewolf of Ancient Hunger

sageofancientlore werewolfofancienthunger

DJ Johnson – Get ready for another disagreement between Jason and I. I can’t ever imagine myself casting this in Commander, even in a Simic list where you draw a bunch of cards. I feel like everyone else at the table will easily be able to keep this on the front face without much effort, and that’s not very exciting. This is extremely win-more because if nobody is casting a spell in EDH past turn 4 when you play this, they’ve probably already lost the game due to either boredom or someone else killing them with a more effective card. Bulk. Rare.

Were you playing Maro in your Simic deck? How about Multani, Maro-Sorcerer? No? Then I don’t think you’ll be taking either of those out to replace them for something that is one of those cards less than half the time, and doesn’t have shroud to prevent it from being killed instantly. Are you really going to choose not to play two spells just so you can attack with your X/X? I didn’t think so.

Jason Alt – I spent like 45 minutes trolling Doug about this card today. This card is trash.

To the Slaughter

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DJ Johnson – This is going to compete with the super-Unmake of the set, and I still don’t think it’s going to be an extremely powerful chase rare. Fetches rotating makes Delirium very hard to achieve early on in the game (at least based on what we’ve seen so far) without sacrificing significant resources, and this is a card you want to play in a control deck to stall the game out. I’m not a fan of buying in early (you’ll see a pattern of that throughout the set review), and the delirium ability won’t even always be relevant because they have to have a creature and a walker to get value. Add in the fact that most walkers make tokens of their own, and you’re losing a lot of money here.

Jason Alt – The last time a card reminded me of Browbeat, Doug really liked it. I see people really flipping out over this card and I guess I can see why, but I think it’s being mis-evaluated a bit. If you have delirium AND they have a planeswalker, this is better than Cruel Edict. If they don’t, it’s worse than Hero’s Downfall by a lot. I don’t like paying $5 here, but if you think this is as good as Hero’s Downfall, we’ve seen cards like that (well, that card specifically) hit $10 so buy accordingly.

Arlinn Kord/Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon

arlinnkordarlinnembracedbythemoon

DJ Johnson – And here we have our first flip-walker that has the ability to flip back to the front face. While there are no eBay listings up yet (she’s only been spoiled for about an hour as of 12:00pm EST 3/15/16), I’m going to guess that she’ll pre-sell for about $20, similar to Nahiri. My financial verdict is similar to that of the angry lithomancer, so I would hold off on pre-ordering unless you’re itching to cast her on the first week.

That emblem is extremely powerful, but it is a bit deceptive in how long it takes to pull off uncontested. You have to use that 0 ability at least once to transform before you ultimate, and the removal ability on night mode is pretty valuable for killing off other walkers. I think it will just be better to keep making wolves and then Bolting things instead of chasing up to the -6.

Jason Alt – This does a lot of things you want a zoo walker to do. Elspeth, Knight Errant this isn’t, but she has a lot of abilities and can get herself and you out of jams. The problem is that you could find yourself wanting an ability that is on the opposite side and it’s very slow to correct that. I still think this card is pretty good and I imagine she’ll get jammed at least early on. Planeswalkers are tough to evaluate, but it’s also tough for them to get over $20 if the rest of the set is good and I imagine that’s where this will presell. I think there are more scenarios where you lose or break even pre-ordering this.

Odric, Lunarch Marshal

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Jason Alt – Dafuq is “skulk?”

Concerted Effort is now almost $3, so this card has a lot of upside in 10 years. You don’t want this as a Commander, but it can do some work in the 99. I still say this is a bulk rare with upside on the foil copies. Can you really see this getting played in Standard?

DJ Johnson – Something something Banding joke, something something Flanking joke. Alright now that that’s out of the way, this is some bulk. It’s bulk that casual players will freaking love, but still bulk. Maybe you can sell these at a dollar, but they’re definitely solid pickups at dimes. Those are a lot of words, and my customers love a solid helping of word salad on their cards.

Falkenrath Gorger

falkenrathgorger

Each vampire creature card you own that isn’t on the battlefield has Madness. Its Madness cost is equal to its mana cost. (If you discard a card with Madness, you may play it for its madness cost instead of putting it into your graveyard.)

Jason Alt – So this card is very good. Aggressive 1-drops are traditionally expensive, even the unexciting ones. This can pair with madness enablers to make all of your vampires cast the exact same way, so that’s cool. This is a weird sort of pseudo-flash that also makes their discard worse, I guess. Still, we have a 2-power creature for 1 that has upside rather than a drawback. I like. This is likely a $5ish card if Zurgo is any indication. Lots of cards in Innistrad are very slow. I think that makes the fast ones deceptively better. I like this.

DJ Johnson – This card is sweet. We have our first Jackal Pup in red without a downside, and it actually has a reasonable upside. I’m pulling Stromkirk Noble out of my bulk rares just in case, but I don’t see this having an impact past Standard. $3-4 seems reasonable during the first weeks, but just remember to not play bad madness cards to enable this guy. You’re not exactly cheating creatures into play for a lower cost, you’re just removing a “cost” from your discard spells.

Tainted Chains

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Flash, flying

When Tainted Chains enters the battlefield, target spirit gains hexproof until end of turn.

You can cast spirit spells as though they had flash.

Jason Alt – I have no idea. I am inclined to say this is a weird casual tribal card. So far I haven’t seen anything that indicates we’re going to see worthwhile spirits and enough to build a deck around. This could be a narrower Plaxmanta if we don’t have a real spirits deck since this can only grant any upside to spirits and is a Vampire Interloper otherwise. I don’t like this, but I could like it later. There are plenty more cards to spoil.

DJ Johnson – Something bulky this way comes. I don’t think Spirits will get a whole ton of love this set, so this is just a bone thrown to the six people in the world who want to build a ghost deck and then spend $500 at an alterist to get all their cards to look like some variation of Casper the Friendly Ghost. Those people won’t want to pay more than a dime on this card because they already wasted all their money on the alters.

3/14/16 Update
Foul Orchard Cycle

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Jason Alt – Golgari Guildgate broke limited and had to have its power level attenuated. Good on them for completing the Elfhame Palace cycle after everyone begged them not to for years. This isn’t as much for finance as it is to show that there are 15 cards after Woodland Stream, so probably 3 of each basic, which means there could be a lot of non-basics to go between Forsaken Sanctuary and Woodland Stream. These giveth hope and they taketh hope away.

DJ Johnson – You should probably buy out TCGplayer of all these, then list them for $4.50 a piece. It’s literally impossible to lose.

Pious Evangel/Wayward Disciple

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Jason Alt –The perfect cleric. This has so much EDH utility that I can’t imagine foils stay sane for too long. This does everything you want a card to do in an Ayli deck and it occupies one card slot to do two jobs. Foils, folks. Snap ’em.

DJ Johnson – Man, the flavor on this thing is sweet. While Jason is correct that this goes in Ayli without fail, that’s one deck. You have to find that person who is building Ayli and then find the one who’s foiling it out in order to sell these. Don’t let it join your bulk foils, but be realistic about how easily it is to move this crazy cultist.

Drogskol Cavalry

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Jason Alt – Sometimes you like a card a lot and it’s still bulk. This is one of those cards. This is stupid in EDH, which won’t be enough to bring its price up and it’s too slow for Standard which would be. I love this, especially with Doubling Season or Boon Reflection, but that doesn’t make this not a bulk rare.

DJ Johnson – Sometimes, you don’t even need to read the rest of the words on a card to know that it’s a bulk rare. Buuuuuuulk rare. One of my biggest pet peeves about cards like this is that they could have done almost anything else to “buff” the card, keep it at a garbage level for competitive play, and make it slightly less garbage for casual. Really? You think this would have broken the Limited format if had been a 5/5, or cost 6 mana instead? I just hate seeing cards that were designed to be extremely bad out of fear of being overpowered in Limtied.

Startled Awake/Persistent Nightmare

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Jason Alt – Remember that time you heard your cat throwing up and you snapped awake only to permanently forget 25% of everything you ever knew? Me neither.

Jokes about the stupid flavor aside, this is a stupid card that’s slow and bad and clunky and casuals are losing their collective minds over this card. It will never be truly bulk and I think Mind Funeral shows the surprising amount of money this could fetch, irrespective of how good it looks on paper (or doesn’t). This card could surprise people.

For the record, when I said something about a flip sorcery last week in my Gathering Magic article, I was joking.

DJ Johnson – On one hand, Mind Funeral and Glimpse the Unthinkable exist. On the other hand, Breaking // Entering is a card that I own 50+ of, and have been sorely disappointed by nonexistent returns. Just because it mills people for a good chunk of cards does not prevent it from being bulk status. This will hit bulk mythic status and while it won’t be an insane pickup, you could do worse. Remember that you’re paying 5 mana, waiting a turn, and then hoping they don’t trade it for their 1/1 if you want to get it back. It costs twice as much as Breaking // Entering, and mills less than half the cards.

Nephalia Moondrakes

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Jason Alt – I can’t think of a format other than EDH that wants this, which is to bad because Archetype of Imagination is a card and so is Wonder. This very expensively and non-permanently does a small effect. This wins you some Limited Games, but so would a 5/5 flying for 5UU. Bulk.

DJ Johnson – I’ll be honest; I looked at the mana cost, the artwork, then the little words at the bottom that said”Intro Pack”, and I don’t need to read anything else. Bulk.

Sinister Concoction

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Jason Alt – This card is sweet. If you can, get foils because that’s the only way to make money and because the green ghosts on the foil are going to look amazing.

DJ Johnson – This is a cute way to enable delirium and madness in Limited, although I don’t think that’s the main reason you play this card. This is condition-less (well, for the target at least) removal, but I don’t think that transitions well into Constructed, Commander or Standard. Stay away.

Angel of Deliverance

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Jason Alt – This card is very tricky to judge. I think it’s likely too slow for Standard, at least for the time being which means its price upside is Limited. EDH wants this in quite a few decks and it’s actually good enough to build around a little bit, but ultimately that won’t move the needle on non-mythic rares much more than keeping it above bulk. This is dumb with cards like Chandra’s Ignition, though. This won’t be bulk but I can’t see it pre-selling for a price I want to pay, either.

DJ Johnson – I really enjoy when Jason and I disagree, because that makes the set review more interesting for us to write. It sucks to constantly parrot each other on some of the more obvious stuff, and it’s better for you as a reader to get multiple dissenting opinions so that you can make your own choice. I’m personally going to call this bulk and refuse to buy any of these for more than a nickel. 8 mana more than Angel of Serenity, equal to old-Avacyn, and more than Angel of Despair. I really don’t expect any deck other than Kaalia to even consider this, and being a Launch Party crushes this even further.

Descend Upon the Sinful

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Jason Alt – So is this Martial Coup or is it Crush of Tentacles? That’s the real question.

The Spikes on reddit seem to think this is a mite too slow to save you and if this doesn’t see Standard play, it’s in trouble. EDH can prop this up a bit, but it is going to take Standard adoption to move this price and it’s not looking too good. This is no Terminus because while it’s sometimes better than its base effect, it’s never cheaper. That’s a problem. This is a $7 preorder and I think it’s quite possible to lose money buying at that price, even with how high we saw cards like Crux of Fate get in the short term. I’m bearish.

DJ Johnson – I think Delirium is going to be a lot harder to set up in Standard than people expect. This doesn’t help you put anything into the graveyard to get the angel afterward, and I do not want to buy in at $7. I expect it to drop pretty close to bulk, at which point you buy in if you expect to need them in the future for Standard.

Anguished Unmaking

anguishedunmakingpromo

Jason Alt – Wowzers. This card does quite a bit and it does it at Instant speed. With EDH player currently happy with cards like Unmake, this could make a real splash. This is also going to be played in Standard quite a bit. I would compare this to Hero’s Downfall and buy accordingly. I don’t like the art on the gameday promo too much, which makes me sad, but I bet enough people like it that it doesn’t hurt the upside of the promo, which is significant, too much. This card is $8-$10 on eBay and that seems relatively likely to be the price moving forward, although it’s more likely to end up lower than that than it is to end up higher in my view.

DJ Johnson – Does anyone else get a “Cutscene from a PS2 JRPG” feel from the Game Day promo, or is that just me? I don’t think this will stay at the $8ish pre-sale price, but this is obviously not going to be bulk. Very powerful card, but 3 life is a lot. I think we can expect this to hang around from $4-5 for at least a few months.

Wolf of Devil’s Breach

wolfofdevilsbreach

Jason Alt – I was going to be a little more dismissive of this card at first but then I remembered another similar curve-topper named Arc Slogger and how perfect that card was at finishing the game. Is this another Arc Slogger? It’s slower, more mana-intensive, harder to activate multiple times, harder to fuel with an empty hand and doesn’t have the benefit of turn 2 LD like the Ponza deck did.

This is a $9 preorder and that doesn’t seem quite right to me. This has to attack to do anything, is card disadvantage and is only playable if the rest of Standard is slow enough to run this. 5/5 for 5 is good, though, maybe the stats are enough for it to skate by on because 1 activation could deal enough damage to end the game, especially if you draw muitiples of these. I’m not convinced I want to pay the $38 for a playset eBay is commanding currently.

DJ Johnson – You know what else is true about Arc Slogger? It came out thirteen years ago, it could activate multiple times per turn, didn’t require you to have other cards in your hand, and didn’t need to attack to trigger. This seems very slow to me, and I would not be surprised to see this hit bulk mythic. Is a 5/5 for 5 really good anymore? We live in a world where Polukranos existed, and was unplayable at certain points throughout its’ life. I refuse to buy this at anything more than bulk; I’ll wait for some pro to prove me wrong.

Nahiri, the Harbinger

nahiritheharbinger

Jason Alt – So apparently EDH characters will be introduced into the main storyline where apropriate. Nahiri is from Zendikar, I think, based on all the hedrons in her original art so I guess she is part of the story of how eldrazi invade Innistrad- because those feudal serfs armed with pitchforks don’t have enough problems.

This card is the real deal and its limited Standard appeal initially has this at a $20 preorder. That’s about where most Standard planeswalkers end up. Jace tax is a bitch, after all. I don’t know how much money we can make here. Narset seemed like a sweet Planeswalker, too, after all and people lost money on that one. You can maybe get something in the short term if you preorder now, but I don’t know if this is as good in Standard as it is in EDH, a format that won’t help its price get over $20 in the near term. I am staying away but I do love this card. I think we’re not done getting amazing planeswalkers. Could we get another Sorin? Because that would be borin.

DJ Johnson – Welcome to the first non-Core set with more than three walkers. While Nahiri certainly seems powerful enough for Standard at first glance, I’m not sure you want to pay $20 unless you’re itching to play with them out of the gate. I’m staying away until someone buylists these to me a month after the pre-release for $12 so I can resell them for $20. Cool lithomancers don’t look at vampire mansion explosions.

Archangel Avacyn/Avacyn the Purifier

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Jason Alt – Sweet sassy molassy. What a card to start with! Preordering for $100 a playset, this could stick around that price if people play it in Standard, but it would be tough. You almost assuredly lose money paying $25 for this, but how much you lose is debatable and having these in hand right away may be worth it to you. We have exactly one card from the last set over $20 so bear that in mind. I think this is going to lose some money and I think this isn’t quite as good as an EDH Commander as some people think it will be, but it will get jammed in plenty of decks. I am staying away at $25.

DJ Johnson – @RevisedAngel is beside herself. This is a spicy number that will almost certainly see play in Standard, but you didn’t need me to tell you that. If you need me for whatever reason, it’s to provide slightly less witty banter than Jason and to remind you that this is not a card that you want to pre-order at $25, at least if you have plans of selling at $50 or something ridiculous. If you’re that guy who already has his/her Standard list ready and raring requiring three copies of this, then go ahead and take the loss to rent the card for the more expensive pre-order.

Geralf’s Masterpiece

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Jason Alt – This seems pretty good to me and it could be the finisher a blue deck wants absent some dragons, but this is underwhelming in control and clunky anywhere else. This enables madness and delirium pretty well and if you’re helbent, it’s a 3-turn clock. I haven’t seen much that exiles so this could be a nightmare to deal with for some of their decks and if you can keep your hand free of excess lands this could be a 4/4 beater that lets you keep up a few utility spells. This is like a $4 presale which means if this performs like other $4 presale cards, you’ll lose like $3 pre-ordering. If you think it’s got upside, it has to grow a lot before it even buylists for $4. It’s clunky and I’m not confident in it. Pass.

DJ Johnson- Can this thing really fly on those wings? Let’s be real here, those do not look structurally sound with all those holes. Swords for arms? Real original Geralf, real original. This thing is an absolute monster in Limited, but I really don’t like it in Constructed. You’re putting a lot of faith into this guy when you bring him back expecting him to carry you through the rest of the game, so I think this is the Skaab Ruinator of the set. Don’t pre-order, you’ll get them for a dollar as a reward for patience.

Relentless Dead

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Jason Alt – This is a flavor home run, depicting the aftermath of Endless Ranks of the Dead, which people like. This also plays like a total monster, making it a combo enabler, efficient beater and all-around great card. I think the 30 people who preordered this for $75 a playset will feel silly when they see someone just listed a playset for $50. Maybe they won’t – Pain Seer sold out for $12 each on Star City Games and those people didn’t feel silly. This is better than Pain Seer so for $12.50, you have less to lose. So far this is the set’s de facto “WOW” mythic but it is mana-intensive and needs a full suite of zombies around it to make it truly effective. Modern hasn’t been able to crack the Gravecrawler deck code, Standard might not have enough zombies and the current combo infrastructure doesn’t wow me. I’m not excited to pay more than $10 a copy and even then, I’m not buying any myself. Cool card, though.

DJ Johnson – This set is reminding me how much I enjoyed the flavor of Innistrad, which I suppose would be the primary goal of a set called Shadows Over Innistrad. There’s a lot of words on this card, but it does eat up a significant amount of your mana. We’ll have to see if we get more Zombies to make this thing worth casting in Standard, but I don’t see it considering they have to split up the tribal support over like 89 different tribes for this block. Maybe in the second set of the block, but I’d put this in the same camp as Avacyn. Speculators beware, but bite the bullet if you have big plans on release weekend.

Devil’s Playground

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Put four 1/1 red Devil creature tokens onto the battlefield. They have “When this creature dies, it deals 1 damage to target creature or player.”

Jason Alt – This seems like a great example of a bulk rare that absolutely runs roughshod over people in Limited. I think this is too expensive for Constructed formats but this is brutal in Limited. Bulk Ware.

DJ Johnson – Bulk rare, but this will rip your face off at the prerelease. Does this mean Tibalt is in cahoots with Emrakul? WE NEED MORE CLUES.

Soul Swallower

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Jason Alt – Hill Giant or Scute Mob? This is situationally harder to trigger than Scute Mob and grows slower but starts out bigger albeit more expensive. I don’t know, this doesn’t seem to have a deck nor do enough in the deck it would have. Remember Splinterfright? This reminds me of Splinterfright. Ask Corbin about that one.

DJ Johnson – You know what I like about bulk rares? Most of the rares in the set are guaranteed to be bulk, and this is one of them. I can’t wait to sell this card to someone at the shop who spends 18 minutes talking to me about their Delirium deck.

Declaration in Stone

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Jason Alt – This seems pretty sweet. Potentially clears the board quite a bit but if it does, you’re giving them big card advantage. Sorcery speed means you can’t use this to get some value out of a doomed creature. I think this plays worse than it looks – I don’t like giving my opponents cards. I’d rather give them life or lands – anything but more cards. This is no Path to Exile and its $4 preorder price makes me think there is a lot of money to be lost here. We’re losing some good white removal to rotation, though, so this may be necessary.

Here is what the Spikes subreddit has to say

DJ Johnson – There are a lot of opposing opinions on this card, but all of them are focused on whether this will see play in Standard. It’s pretty obvious that this doesn’t maket the cut in Eternal formats, and I don’t play Standard enough (at all) to know whether its’ good in that format. Regardless, I don’t want to preorder it at $4.

Thing in the Ice/Awoken Horror

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Jason Alt – Sweet flavor but this is a $15 preorder. I’m not so sure about that, bruh.

Spikes weighing in

The voice of reason

DJ Johnson – This thing caused a lot of hype, but I can’t see it breaking into any format other than Standard. It seems extremely powerful in a format where Ojutai’s Command and flip Jace are both legal, but I don’t think it makes the cut in a world where Monastery Mentor and Young Pyromancer are legal.  Preordering at 15 dollars seems absolutely insane to me; this is a large set rare in the mythic era, people. Stop the madness. I think this is a $3-4 card a month or two from now.

Mindwrack Demon

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Jason Alt – This is the kind of Faustain bargain you make with black cards. I love it. I am not sure this needs to be mythic, but this is certainly efficient, helps you never take damage from it, helps you trigger delirium for other cards and has solid stats. This is a $1 preorder and probably doesn’t go down from there meaning there is potential upside though that upside is mitigated a lot by the Duel Deck printing even though the Duel Deck art is pretty asstastic compared to the set art. I’m staying away but I’m keeping an eye on this card.

DJ Johnson – Ehh…? It’s hard to lose bets when you buy into bulk mythics at .50 or $1, but It’s equally hard to win them when the cards you’re betting on are Duel Deck material. This competes with Kalitas, Drana, Tasigur, etc. I don’t bet on this, but I’m happy picking them up at quarters then throwing them into my dollar box for that earlier guy who wants to build the Delirium deck.

Flameblade Angel

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Whenever a source an opponent controls deals damage to you or a permanent you control, you may have Flameblade Angel deal 1 damage to that source’s controller.

Jason Alt – This is pretty decent. I don’t think it is going to get a ton of Standard play and largely feels like filler in EDH. Only 1 seller on eBay and he wants $20 for a playset. Sure thing, champ. This seems bulky to me, absent and entire archetype springing up around it.

DJ Johnson- Buuuuuuuuuuulk. Bulk bulk, bulk bulk bulk. Bulk, bulk bulk bulk bulk bulk. Bulk? Bulk bulk.

Bygone Bishop

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Jason Alt – Mentor of the Meek 2.0. You know who hated Mentor of the Meek? Standard players. You know who loved it? EDH Players. Whatever this price does, it won’t do it quickly. The good thing about this card is you can pay the mana to draw the card whenever making it less mana-intensive since you can empty your hand and refill it later. This is preselling at bulk and that seems fair. Remember, Hissing Quagmire is under $2 and that seemed like a reasonable presale at $6.

DJ Johnson- Seems fine as a bulk rare, and it gives you a couple of options. You can pick these up at dimes and then either throw them in a box and wait four years, or sell them at quarters to local players who think the card is insane. I’m inclined towards the latter, but do what you want. You control your own destiny.

Elusive Tormetor/Insidious Mist

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Jason Alt – I give this card a 10. Total. Spread over 2 categories.

Flavor – 9/10

Playability – 1/10

Bulk. Cool bulk, but bulk. Too mana-intensive and prone to blowouts.

DJ Johnson – Another card that non-competitive players will lose their goddamn minds over. The only question is whether they’re willing to jam this in their Vampire decks over their already established Captivating Vampire  and Bloodline Keeper. Even if they do, there won’t be enough people wanting it to keep it above the quarter bin.

Eerie Interlude

eerieinterlude

Jason Alt – In some situations this is better than Ghostway. In some situations it’s worse. EDH players don’t like to debate merits when they can just run both. The Duel Deck printing robs this card of a ton of potential upside so there isn’t much to discuss other than how high this could get in a few years. Don’t pre-order.

DJ Johnson – Wait, this is in the duel deck? Welp, there goes any value this card might have had in the next three years. Dimes to quarters, people; dimes to quarters. At least this might remove some of the pressure from Ghostway from being a billion dollars. Seriously, don’t buy this. I don’t even want to pay a dollar on it.

 

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Five Oath of the Gatewatch Cards to get Excited For

It’s that time again, and it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long since Battle for Zendikar, does it? Just yesterday, we were gushing about the new Eldrazi cards and going wild over Expeditions lands that were going to make us all rich.

Or maybe that was yesterday, and we were recording the Brainstorm Brewery set review (which you can find here) and getting excited about Oath of the Gatewatch. Either way.

The point is, this set looks poised to deliver in a way that Battle for Zendikar did not. While the BFZ draft format was fun (certainly better than Magic Origins), the set itself didn’t blow everyone away, thanks to a lack of objectively powerful cards and any new ground tread. Whatever the reasons for that—not wanting to upset Modern, creating a good Standard environment, late changes made to the set—there’s no doubt that Battle for Zendikar left plenty of people wanting.

And Oath of the Gatewatch delivered. The introduction of the “sixth color,” or in reality colorless mana, is a touchstone moment in Magic’s history, and we’re going to see the repercussions of it for years to come. Whether it’s with a return of Eldrazi or something else, or maybe just making colorless evergreen, Oath looks like it will forever change the future of Magic thanks to that step.

Oh, one more thing. The cards aren’t half bad, either. Let’s talk about a few of the most impactful.

Thought-Knot Seer

Thought-Knot Seer

This guy is actually nuts. It’s a mix of Brain Maggot meets Vendilion Clique, and this guy’s ability may just be better than them both. The reason Vendilion Clique is good is obviously tied to the 3/1 flying body, but there’s also the fact that unlike something like Brain Maggot—where what you take is something good and you’re guaranteeing them a good card back when it dies—Clique provides them with a random card from their deck, which the odds are is worse than the card you bottomed.

Thought-Knot Seer mixes both abilities to an even stronger configuration. Now you get to exile the card of your choice (relevant at times), but they actually have to do work to get a random card back! With V-Clique, when you take their removal spell, they have to find an answer to the faerie, but at least you’re “helping” them dig to it. With Thought-Knot Seer, they get no such help.

Pro players are excited about this card, and for good reason. I expect this to be a huge player in Standard, and while it’s certainly powerful enough to make it in Modern, the colorless requirement may hold it back some. At the very least, look for Tron to find a way to fit these into the sideboard for combo matchups.

Is $7 the right price? It’s hard to say. If the Pro Tour were Standard, I’d be happy to trade for them at that price. But it’s not, so its upside is limited in the short term. Let this get a little cheaper, then move in hard before rotation.

Linvala, the Preserver

Linvala

My castmates on Brainstorm Brewery and I disagreed heavily about this card. Frankly, I think they’re crazy to not see this as a bomb.

Linvala does something very few cards in Magic—and especially Standard—do well: help when you’re behind. Ugin is the shining example of this right now: no matter how far behind you are, he will always catch you up.

Linvala obviously isn’t as powerful as an eight-mana planeswalker, but she makes a huge impact. Imagine the following scenario, one I’m sure will occur before Linvala finishes her run in Standard: your red opponent has a few guys out and has wittled your life total down against your midrange or control deck. You’re starting to battle back, but you’re still in burn or burst range.

What answers everything possible? Linvala does. The life gain puts you out of burn range, the two bodies block, and the fact that you do get two bodies helps to guard against removal. It may not be the second coming of Thragtusk, but let’s remember that Thragtusk was pretty oppressive in Standard, so anything even approaching that is pretty darn good. And the great thing about Linvala is that if you’re ahead and she’s at her worst, then you’re already ahead! I see control decks making heavy use of Linvala before she’s done in Standard.

Financially, I think this will go lower before it goes higher. Standard right now is actually not a bad place for Linvala, but she still has a lot of competition. Again, I can’t stress how important the Modern Pro Tour is here, because it’s going to draw attention away from Standard. Let this angel hit $3 or $4, then move in hard.

Eldrazi Displacer

Eldrazi Displacer

I know everyone is psyched about this card, and for good reason. Not only is it just plain dumb with Siege Rhino, Jason Alt says it will reshape Commander as we know it. Obviously that’s a strong statement, but holy Heliod, this card does it all.

Still, it’s a rare in a set with Expeditions lands looming overhead, so I think this guy will be coming down from the $5 preorder tag, if only by a few dollars. If you want yours immediately, don’t feel bad paying this, but also don’t expect it to shoot up immediately. I love this as a long-term spec if it can avoid a reprint during its Standard run, but in that sense, you’ll have a few months before you want to pick them up.

Zendikar Resurgent

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You won’t find a better Commander long-term foil bet than this, assuming the foils land in a reasonable place. Sure, it’s no Mana Reflection, but Mana Reflection is a completely absurd card, and very expensive at that. Resurgent slots perfectly into Maelstrom Wanderer decks (a card that is on the precipice of exploding in price itself), and there are a ton of other decks besides that will want this thing.

I don’t see this thing making any waves in Standard, but that doesn’t matter with such a surefire Commander hit as this. I’ll have more guidance where we see where foils land, but for now I’d be interested in picking those up this weekend.

Bonus casual card callout: Call the Gatewatch. People love planeswalkers, and a few years from now you’re going to be happy you grabbed them for bulk.

World Breaker

World Breaker

I know the Eldrazi decks can only run so many ramp targets—and I haven’t even mentioned Kozilek—but World Breaker has that baby-Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger thing going for him, and the random reach ability is actually super relevant in the current Standard format.

Just like Oblivion Sower is a key card in the ramp mirrors I expect will become more and more of a thing now and after rotation, so too is World Breaker. Hitting their lands can be very key, and there’s actually a ton of relevant enchantments running around Standard right now thanks to Silkwrap and the new Oaths that are being printed. World Breaker isn’t going to set Standard on fire, but he is going to see play, and at $3 on a mythic from a set that will only be here a few short months—and not even get a Pro Tour to show it off—I like picking this guy up this weekend.


I know I’ve only touched on a few cards here, and there are plenty more I’m excited about (Matter Reshaper, get in my Karador deck already), but I wanted to touch on the ones I find most intriguing, and in some cases worthy of picking up, heading into the prerelease.

Until next week, may your teammates always support you!

 

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter/Twitch/YouTube

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