Category Archives: Watchtower

UNLOCKED: The Watchtower 5/29/17

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By: Travis Allen
@wizardbumpin


Don’t miss this week’s installment of the MTG Fast Finance podcast, an on-topic, no-nonsense tour through the week’s most important changes in the Magic economy. And if you enjoy playing Magic, make sure to visit https://scry.land to find PPTQs, SCG Opens, and more events on an interactive map with worldwide coverage. Find Magic near you today.


Most people are out today, soaking in the sun, drinking at parades, celebrating their newfound permission to wear white, and generally enjoying Memorial Day. Meanwhile I’m slaving away to bring you only the hottest #mtgfinance insight. It’s a tough road I walk, I tell you.

Since we last spoke, the big news was the leak of several of the cards from this year’s Commander product. We already knew it was tribal in nature, and that there were four decks, rather than five, but we didn’t know who was invited to the party. With the leaks, we know that at least we’re getting a dump of new dragons. They run the gamut in sauciness, from the less-impressive but no less appealing Wasitora, a cat dragon (???), to O-Kagachi, the oft referenced but never carded spirit dragon from Kamigawa, to the Ur-Dragon, whose scion has been a staple commander of tribal dragon decks to this point. At least two are five-color, and we’re also seeing a wedge, an ally, and an artifact, so Wizards is certainly trying to include several options to accommodate whatever direction you’d like to head.

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What we don’t know yet is the other tribes. If Wizards isn’t trying we’ll get zombies, goblins, and elves. If they’re looking to give us something a little more distinct, we’ll get lesser known tribes. There’s no shortage of choices of course: cats, birds, homarids, clerics, soldiers, hounds, hydra, uncle istvans, etc. And unless more leaks hit Twitter soon, it will be awhile before we know. Speculation abound!

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I’m going to cover a couple of cards in anticipation of this news. Of course, the key thing to remember is that unless it’s on the reserved list, basically every single card is a possible reprint. If you’ve been listening to MTG Fast Finance you’d know that James and I are considerably more interested in foils in the face of this, since so far, Commander product hasn’t included foils beyond the generals themselves. So long as that stays true, tribal foils are safer pickups ahead of full lists being revealed. Once the full lists are released and we know what is, and more importantly isn’t, in the product, then all bets are off.

Belbe’s Portal

Price Today: $3.50
Possible Price: $15

We’ll start off with my favorite this week; Belbe’s Portal. Needing to choose a specific creature type for it to work, the obvious downside, is completely mitigated when playing it in a tribal deck. It turns into three mana, put a dude into play. What’s not to love? It’s especially potent in non-green decks, as it’s a way to cheat on mana costs, something other colors frequently struggle to accomplish.

Our biggest concern here is, as referenced earlier, reprint concerns. It’s only got a single printing in Nemesis, and would make an excellent include in the Dragon deck, which is likely the tribe with the highest average converted mana cost. Of course, even if it is reprinted, I wonder how much that will truly matter. Let’s say it’s only in one of the decks; the dragon deck. How many players are going to remove it from their dragon precon? If 98% of people that buy the dragon deck leave it in there, as they should, then only a sliver of new copies make it into the wild. Consider that three other tribal precons are hitting shelves at the same time, if only one of them really wants the Portal, then supply likely won’t keep up with demand. Meanwhile, the appearance in a single precon serves as a reminder to a great many players that don’t know it exists in the first place.

Copies are available in the $3 to $4 range at the moment, and there aren’t many out there. Less than 25 NM copies on TCGPlayer, by my count. Without a reprint this is almost guaranteed to see a pleasant surge, especially considering global supply levels, and even with one, it probably sees a bump.

(Foils would be a great play if they weren’t A. already $25 and B. sold out almost everywhere. If you can find NM copies for less than $20, go for it.)


Zendikar Resurgent

Price Today: $3.50
Possible Price: $12

Every set, Wizards slips a few cards in that may as well be banned in Standard, and nobody would ever notice, because they’re so obviously not for that format. Zendikar Resurgent is one of those cards.

Resurgent does everything EDH players want to do. It makes a bunch of mana every turn, and it draws you a bunch of cards. Seriously, green is such a stupid color in this format. Legacy and Vintage belong to blue. Commander belongs to green. Modern belongs to…is it black? You get Thoughtseize and Liliana of the Veil. I guess maybe white? I suppose my point here is red is just a garbage color all around.

As an Oath of the Gatewatch rare, supply on Resurgent is quite high at the moment. There are pages and pages of the non-foil copies, with a total volume of probably several hundred on TCGPlayer right this moment alone. One day this may turn out to be another Parallel Lives, and those that invested at $.75 would make a killing when it finally climbed to $6 or $7, but that is a loooot of bullets to dodge before it gets there. Someone could possibly make money speccing on this guy, but for each person that does, ten other people specced on a recent rare and then saw it reprinted three times in a single year.

Scanning the tribal pages on EDHREC, you’ll find Resurgent as a top enchantment in basically any deck that makes green mana. Tribal decks play lots of creatures, so they’re well able to make use of the second half of this card. Of course, it’s good in non-tribal decks too, so while this fall’s release will bump demand, there’s already plenty as is.

For Zendikar Resurgent foils are where it’s at. Copies are around or near $4 on TCG, and most major retailers are either sold out or listed noticeably higher. Every single dragon deck will love to have this available, and really, any deck looking to, uh, play Magic really would like copies. We could easily see foils in the $10+ range by the end of this year.


Duskwatch Recruiter

Price Today: $5
Possible Price: $20

Our first two cards to keep an eye on this week were related to the new Commander 2017 product coming later this year. Our last card for the week is a Modern pickup for a combo deck that, while it was hardly needed, has gotten some new life.

Duskwatch Recruiter has been useful in the Abzan Company decks for awhile now in sparse numbers. With the recent printing of Vizier of Remedies though, the utility of the little werewolf that could has skyrocketed. Vizier of Remedies and Devoted Druid has rapidly become a mainstay of the Abzan Company deck, essentially remaking it in their image, and the two work in tandem to generate infinite mana. The difference between infinite mana and four mana when it comes to Collected Company is zero, so it doesn’t really help all that much there, aside from maybe casting it early. It’s better applied to Chord of Calling, but that still only gets you a single creature, and you don’t get the cast trigger either, so getting Emrakul, the Aeons Torn doesn’t do you much good. But – BUT – combine that infinite mana with Duskwatch Recruiter and you can now draw every single creature in your deck. So long as there’s a Walking Ballista in there, your opponent is dead on the spot. And of course, even when you don’t have infinite mana, he’s still a useful guy to have around when your deck has lots of small guys, many of which generate mana.

Roughly an infinity of non-foil Duskwatch Recruiters available. Foils, however, are in surprisingly short supply. TCG has maybe 30 copies at most, SCG is sold out, and most other vendors have zero to few available. Foil uncommon Modern staples have a way of sneaking up in price, and with Recruiter a solid component of the Druid/Vizier combo, I imagine he’ll follow the trend.


Travis Allen has  been playing Magic: The Gathering since 1994, mostly in upstate New York. Ever since his first FNM he’s been trying to make playing Magic cheaper, and he first brought his perspective to MTGPrice in 2012. You can find his articles there weekly, as well as on the podcast MTG Fast Finance.


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UNLOCKED: The Watchtower 5/22/17

By: Travis Allen
@wizardbumpin


Don’t miss this week’s installment of the MTG Fast Finance podcast, an on-topic, no-nonsense tour through the week’s most important changes in the Magic economy. And if you enjoy playing Magic, make sure to visit https://scry.land to find PPTQs, SCG Opens, and more events on an interactive map with worldwide coverage. Find Magic near you today.


This weekend featured two Standard Grand Prix and a team constructed event over in SCG land. Standard is reasonably healthy I suppose, all things considered, although it personally doesn’t feel like that when you consider what it feels like to play with or against Aetherworks Marvel. I’m inclined to say that Wizards is considering banning it, as it’s likely more represented than they’d prefer, and it’s an especially unpleasant play experience, but it’s hard to imagine them pulling that particular trigger again already.

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger and Aetherworks Marvel are two of the biggest cards in the format, and they’re about $5 and $10 less than they should cost, respectively, for a couple of reasons, the primary two I’d expect that players don’t particularly enjoy this format and we’re headed into summer, a perennial lull for Magic.

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Given all of that, I’m inclined to stay away from Standard for a little while longer. With even the best prospects trending downward, there’s better places to turn your attention. I’m looking over at EDH mostly today, especially with some cool new decklists floating around to discuss. Remember, people only have to think it’s good for it to spike!

Grand Architect


Price Today: $3
Possible Price: $20

Within the last two weeks or so, a Grand Architect Aggro strategy has popped up. Corbin recently did some streaming over here with it over here. So far it’s only been appearing online, but it could make the jump to the meatspace any day. This isn’t the first time we’ve been down this road with Grand Architect. Of course, last time they didn’t have Walking Ballista. Is that enough to put the deck into contention? Time will tell.

At the heart of the deck is the mana reduction granted by four Chief Engineer and four Grand Architect. Each turns all your dudes into Birds of Paradise for artifacts. There are 24 artifact creatures in the deck, so the idea is to resolve one or two Engineers or Architects and then vomit your artifact creatures onto the table all at once. It’s Affinity-esque, and makes me wonder if there shouldn’t be Cranial Platings somewhere in there. Meanwhile you’ve also got a set of Lodestone Golems in the main, which let you play a little of the Thalia game. Since both Chief Engineer and Grand Architect apply their reduction to artifacts, not just artifact creatures, it leads me to wonder if Chalice of the Void is supposed to be in here as well.

In any case, this is a fun little package that people have been trying to make work for a long time, and new pieces keep getting added each set. Of the list, Architect is the best positioned to jump in price. He’s the namesake of the deck, and probably the most important cog. Perhaps most importantly, he’s the card with the lowest supply. Chief Engineer, Etched Champion, Lodestone Golem, Blinkmoth Nexus, Cavern of Souls – all have been reprinted. Mausoleum Wanderer, Walking Ballista, and Smuggler’s Copter are all new. Supply really does position Architect well here.

Copies are available in the $3 range on TCG right now with fairly low supply. Copies are available elsewhere in reasonable numbers, both cost and quantity. There’s more out there than “$100 buys every liquid copy,” but not “bulk Kaladesh rare” quantity. If this deck picks up steam – if a few others record videos and post them, for instance – I’d watch Architect for a bump. Make sure you sell immediately into any spike though, since I don’t love the competitive outlook on this strategy.


Chord of Calling

Price Today: $8.50
Possible Price: $25

Amonkhet had all sorts of fun cards for Modern, none moreso than As Foretold. (It was hard not to stick Restore Balance in as something to watch out for this week.) More quietly, Vizier of Remedies slotted directly into the existing strategy of Abzan Company. Vizier is the reason Devoted Druid is like $15 now, because Vizier lets Druid make infinite mana while still doing the Viscera Seer/Murderous Redcap thing. Big get for the deck, Vizier is.

Abzan Company’s creature base isn’t terribly exciting for us, since so many pieces are so important. Viziers and Druids, obviously. Birds of Paradise. Kitchen Finks. Viscera Seer. Once you get all the combo pieces in, there’s not a lot of room to goof around. Two other slots are hard locks as well: Chord of Calling and the eponymous Collected Company.

Chord is getting close to that time frame of ‘spikable,’ and perhaps most compelling is the fact that the new combo with Vizier and Druid generates infinite mana. You can go grab Emrakul. Or Griselbrand. Or Duskwatch Recruiter and activate until you find Walking Ballista. Or Rhonas, and make something giant and smash into their stupid face. Or Spawnsire of Ulamog, which you then use to cast the fifteen Eldrazi in your sideboard. Whatever. They all work. The important thing is that your tutor piece, which can find one half of your infinite mana combo, also works very, very well with just flat out killing them on the spot. This is in contrast to Collected Company, which while extremely efficient and getting guys into play, doesn’t just kill your opponent on the spot.

Copies of Company start at $12 right now, and it wasn’t too long ago they were in Standard. Chord of Calling, on the other hand, is available for around $8, and the last time that guy showed up was just about three years ago in Magic 2015. Between those copies, and Return to Ravnica, there’s a fair supply for sure. Prices have rollercoasted quite a bit since then, with a spike to nearly $15 back when Shadows Over Innistrad released. It dipped through the release of Kaladesh, and is now up $1 since then. It’s not unthinkable that Chord keeps ticking for months to come, and could be strong double digits later this year.


Geralf’s Messenger

Price Today: $5
Possible Price: $15

Amonkhet brought us zombies, and Pro Tour Amonkhet brought us Zombies. The well-worn tribe was out in force, and is currently a pillar of the Standard. But what about…Modern??? New additions in Dread Wanderer and Lord of the Accursed gave the deck even more options for a mono-black build, and perhaps most spicy is Wayward Servant, a powerful two drop that would push the deck into white black.

There’s no shortage of options for a Modern Zombie build for sure. Chapin covered one such possibility this week. If I had to pick a single card to match tribal Zombies with Wayward Servant, it would be Geralf’s Messenger. A turn two Servant followed by a turn three Messenger (that then dies) is six damage on CITP effects alone. That’s one hell of a beating. Perhaps the largest barrier for Zombies to overcome is that it simply wouldn’t be able to race the unfair decks. A healthy mix of discard and maybe some Thought-Knot Seers could feasibly overcome that though…

Messenger is in the $5 range right now, but keep in mind that there’s zero competitive demand driving that. He’s gotten to that price point on casual demand alone. Without a reprint he’s bound for $10 as is, and if even ten people out there decide to build Modern Zombies, we could see the price double easily. A 5-0 performance would absolutely put Messenger on people’s radar long enough for a healthy upwards swing.


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PROTRADER: The Watchtower 5/15/17

By: Travis Allen
@wizardbumpin


Don’t miss this week’s installment of the MTG Fast Finance podcast, an on-topic, no-nonsense tour through the week’s most important changes in the Magic economy. And if you enjoy playing Magic, make sure to visit https://scry.land to find PPTQs, SCG Opens, and more events on an interactive map with worldwide coverage. Find Magic near you today.


One more Pro Tour is in the books, and this time it was taken down by a long deserving grinder, Gerry Thompson. I’ve met Gerry a few times and he’s always been amicable and receptive, including in social media interactions, where I would frequently pester him about updating his Modern brews. There are few other players that I personally would root for. Congratulations Gerry!

Two major storylines developed from the event; that Aetherworks Marvel is back in force, and Zombies are the real deal. Gerry took down the entire event with a Mono-Black zombie build, and there were two other Zombies lists in the top eight as well. Meanwhile a full half of Sunday was Temur Marvelworks. Looking at the best performing decks, rather than the top 8, provides a similar set of data. Zombies and Marvelworks were a huge part of the 24+ point Standard decks. Only 4 of the 14 best decks, less than 30%, were not one of those two archetypes.

It’s unlikely Standard will resolve into a two-deck format over the coming weeks, but make no mistake, both Marvelworks and Zombies will be tier one lists for awhile. Expect Mardu Vehicles to still show up on the local circuit alongside these two for a few weeks. Vehicles may not have had an excellent conversion rate, but it’s still a strong deck, and many players at your store will be too invested to audible to a new strategy. We may also see Zombies behave the same way Spirits did at Pro Tour Dark Ascension several years ago. It was a dominant tribal strategy at the Pro Tour, but once it was out in the world, it folded too hard to dedicate hate, and fell off the map. Zombies is likely better positioned than Spirits was, but a Swelting Suns and one or two pointed pieces of exile goes a long ways towards completely defanging the strategy.

Bontu the Glorified

Price Today: $4
Possible Price: $12

While Rhonas has been the most discussed Amon…khetian? god, and Hazoret the Pervert the second most, it’s Bontu that I’m looking at today. Bontu the Glorified is the black god, and while he isn’t as obviously powerful as the Gruul pair, he’s certainly capable, and possibly quite underrated.

This weekend saw Bontu in the Cryptolith Rites decks as a way to filter away chaff and keep pressure up with a strong attacker. I expect Rites decks to continue to hang out in Standard at the fringes until October when Shadows Over Innistrad rotates, but Bontu’s price shouldn’t be driven hard by this.

I see his presence in the Cryptolith decks as a proving grounds; a message that yes, there’s definitely ways to make this guy work. Come October he won’t be in Cryptolith decks, but that doesn’t mean he won’t find a home elsewhere. My first thought is in the freshly baked Zombies deck that did so well this weekend. In order to transition from a Pro Tour deck to a tier one Standard deck, Zombies is going to need the ability to go a little larger, increase resiliency, and find a way to finish a game after a late sweeper.

Bontu sets up all of these. As a menacing indestructible 4/6, he’s capable of putting real pressure on the opponent with impunity, and will occasionally be stone unblockable. Zombies is a natural home for his sacrifice ability, both with the mass of tokens it generates and Dread Wanderer’s reanimation. There’s upside to that as well; with the ability to set up larger Diregraf Colossus’, or trigger Relentless Deads as a means of reanimating other bodies or simply putting a zombie back into your hand to cast for more Colossus triggers.

More generally, Bontu provide two other functions that aggressive decks are going to be happy with. Sacrificing dudes provides both card selection via the scry, helping to avoid excess land drops later in the game, and reach, as a way to close out the last couple of points after an opponent has clogged up the board.

Bontu’s price is hovering just north of $4, and is likely to depreciate over coming months as Standard, and Magic in general, take a back seat to pleasant weather activities and college gaming groups on recess. The next few months will be a great time to pick up Bontu, and anything else you’ve had your eye on, ahead of the fall surge.


Crystalline Crawler


Price Today: $3
Possible Price: $15

Probably two months ago I discussed this over on MTG Fast Finance, and it’s still a great card to keep your eye on today. In fact this has become even more true with all of the Commander 2016 buyouts that have been occurring lately. Within the last two weeks we’ve seen Breya, Conquerer’s Flail, Bruse Tarl (ongoing), and Duelist’s Heritage, to name a few. There are less than 30 NM copies of Crystalline Crawler on TCG Player right now, and at least two sets of those are around $8 each.

I don’t feel like I need to spend much energy explaining the card, so I’ll hit the highlights. It’s fantastic in Atraxa, the most-built EDH deck on edhrec.com. It’s excellent in Breya, the second-most built deck. It loves counter manipulation strategies, and as such has a high synergy with Doubling Season, perhaps the most visible EDH card period. It’s simply a dang good card in EDH.

There are still copies floating around in the $3 range, but those don’t have long for this world. A solid double up towards $7 to $8 is basically a foregone conclusion, and I’d say that prices between $10 and $15 are completely plausible within the year, if not the next month or two.


Necroskitter


Price Today: $1
Possible Price: $6

Blowfly Infestation. Dusk Urchins. Flourishing Defenses. Crumbling Ashes. Seshiro the Anointed. Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons has made a surprising number of cards spike in value recently. Necroskitter is the next poised to fall.

Hapatra is a deck all about -1/-1 counters, and as such, Shadowmoor and Eventide have been rich veins both for deck builders and speculators alike. The former appreciate the number of synergy cards from the mini block, and the latter appreciate how few copies there are of said synergy cards. I’d wager at this point that the only reason Necroskitter isn’t $10 is because it was (semi) recently reprinted in Modern Masters 2015, giving it a bump in supply that most of the block hasn’t seen. Supply is low across both sets though, and Necroskitter is perhaps about as good a payoff as one can get in a deck that specialises in A. putting -1/-1 counters on creatures and B. destroying creatures with -1/-1 counters.

We’re well past the point of “it’s too early for MM2 cards to spike,” so I don’t expect that to prevent a shift upward on Necroskitter, rather, it will simply delay it by a few weeks. As a must-of in all Hapatra decks from here out, I’d expect Necroskitter to land comfortably in the $5 to $8 range, depending on how much additional traction it gets as players discover it for other decks.


Travis Allen has  been playing Magic: The Gathering since 1994, mostly in upstate New York. Ever since his first FNM he’s been trying to make playing Magic cheaper, and he first brought his perspective to MTGPrice in 2012. You can find his articles there weekly, as well as on the podcast MTG Fast Finance.


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UNLOCKED: The Watchtower 5/8/17

By: Travis Allen
@wizardbumpin


Don’t miss this week’s installment of the MTG Fast Finance podcast, an on-topic, no-nonsense tour through the week’s most important changes in the Magic economy. And if you enjoy playing Magic, make sure to visit https://scry.land to find PPTQs, SCG Opens, and more events on an interactive map with worldwide coverage. Find Magic near you today.


With only a single weekend’s worth of New Standard events in the books, and those having been impacted by a late-stage ban, we got a triple limited GP weekend. This is a tad irksome, as I’m sure many of us would have liked to see a more fleshed out format get a chance to stretch its legs. Now we’re heading into the stretch before the Pro Tour with only one good Open to look back on. I suppose that at least this PT will be a bit more exciting, since it’s so much more unexplored than it normally is, especially at this time of the year.

Our best bet will be to watch MTGO dailies to see what floats to the top. Don’t expect the online meta to match the Pro Tour at all of course. Instead, we want to see if any especially powerful or interesting interactions appear. Does a UB control deck pop up that finds a tremendous amount of synergy between Pull from Tomorrow and Liliana, Death’s Majesty, for instance? The deck it lands in may suck, but the cards themselves would be worth considering.

Keep in mind that I’ve also already talked about some cards in previous weeks that are still appealing, especially Aetherworks Marvel. There’s also stuff like zombies, which is looking good, but that I can’t really write about because Cryptbreaker and Relentless Dead already jumped and there isn’t enough meat left on the bones to be worth serious consideration.

Commit//Memory

Price Today: $1.50
Possible Price: $8

In Magic, there are a few truths. Wizards could put $100 bills in the packs and players would complain about how they are folded. Always Bolt the Bird. And, despite an infinite amount of practice and an infinite amount of chances, as a whole we’re bad at figuring out what cards are good. Aftermath, the latest edition of split cards, is yet another example of that.

Basically, any effect or mechanic that acts as though it’s an additional card in your hand is good, even if they’re overcosted. It was true of Flashback, and it’s true of Aftermath. Six mana to Wheel of Fortune is way too much, as is four mana to Commit something, but being able to cast the former several turns after the latter is going to warrant the slot. We’re beginning to see that manifest in a few places.

Commit//Memory is most immediately being put to use in a UG Turbofog deck, an archetype that pops up roughly once every two years. It involves drawing a lot of cards, putting a lot of lands into play, probably taking some extra turns, and yes, casting whatever variant of Fog is currently legal. In this case, Commit stops (or puts back) a problematic permanent from coming down, such as Aetherworks Marvel or an Ishkanah, Grafwidow, and then it shuffle-up-and-deals everything, probably drawing its caster three to seven cards while frustrating your opponent. It appears to be a locked four-of in the strategy so far.

We’re also seeing it pop up in various control strategies; mostly UR Control. Those shells are running four Torrential Gearhulk basically by default, and thanks to Gearhulk’s wording and Commit’s status as an instant, we get one of those powerful synergies I mentioned earlier. In this case, you can flash down Gearhulk on the end of your opponent’s turn and Wheel of Fortune, giving yourself seven brand new cards to work with immediately, while your opponent has to wait through your entire turn before they get access to theirs.

It’s a little tough to say that a card with a combined mana cost of ten is going to be a major component of Standard, but if Turbofog establishes itself as a tier two (or even tier one???) deck and the control lists find they like being able to Torrential Gearhulk a Wheel of Fate, it could easily end up one of the most valuable rares in the set. That may sound expensive, but really, probably means it would sit in the $5 to $9 range. Still, that’s a good bit higher than the $1.50 you can score copies for today.


Hazoret the Fervent

Price Today: $7.50
Possible Price: $13

Admittedly, Hazoret isn’t yet positioned as a purchase. Even though I think he may take a stronger position in the format, I’m still hoping we see his price slip closer to $4 or $5 before he’s seriously worth considering. With the Pro Tour this weekend though, there may not be enough time for that to happen. Depending on how things break, it may be tough to flip copies for a profit if you’re buying and selling on TCG, but there could certainly be profit if you’re the type of player that carries a trade binder.

As for the card itself, “The Pervert,” he’s a heap of damage in exactly the way red decks want it. He’s a hasty four-drop, which is sort of the standard for aggressive red cards, you turn him on by doing exactly what you want to anyways, which is dump all your cards, and finally, he provides reach, which is desperately important when you’re trying to close the game out.

We didn’t see too much of him at Atlanta last weekend, but he was a 4-of in two 5-0 constructed leagues, alongside Scrapheap Scrounger, Key to the City, and a bunch of madness cards. That’s enough to at least draw our attention.

Were he to take the position as the top end of multiple aggressive strategies, Hazoret’s price would push into the low teens. Most of the decks are commons and uncommons, and so far it looks like Hazoret could be the only mythic in several lists. Given that there’s almost always at least one aggressive deck that does reasonable at a Pro Tour, I’d encourage you to look for these in trade this week at your store, and if it’s the type of card you’d like to play with, at least consider purchasing a set for yourself.

Silvergill Adept

Price Today: $3
Possible Price: $10

Loathe as I am to admit it, lest Corbin hear me, Merfolk isn’t the worst deck in Modern. In fact, it’s one of the best fair decks you can find. There’s nothing too clever or fancy, just a slew of threats that will get your opponent dead real fast if you don’t execute your game plan perfectly. It also gets to play with Aether Vial, a card who makes the “fair” description of Merfolk questionable at best.

Merfolk popped up on MTGO recently, and really, it doesn’t actually leave. It’s always there, casting Spreading Seas and then attacking with four unblockable 5/5s. The list is fairly consistent too, and therein lies our target: Silvergill Adept has been a permanent part of Merfolk since Modern was introduced. With the need to maintain such a high creature density, Merfolk can’t make room for very many spells. Silvergill plays much-needed double duty here, attacking and drawing cards both. There’s room for Merfolk to move around some of the numbers it plays based on meta, but I don’t think I’ve seen a successful list a single time that didn’t have all the Silvergills it could manage.

As a Lorwyn uncommon, overall supply is comically low compared to many other Modern staples. There’s a fair bit on TCG right now, but it’s been a real card for years, so there aren’t a lot of copies left hiding in the woodwork. It jumped to $6 about three years ago, and $4.50 one year ago after Harbinger of the Tides was printed. One of these days it’s likely to be a highly in-demand card again, and if that comes before it’s reprinted, $10 will be on the low end of the range of potential prices.


Travis Allen has  been playing Magic: The Gathering since 1994, mostly in upstate New York. Ever since his first FNM he’s been trying to make playing Magic cheaper, and he first brought his perspective to MTGPrice in 2012. You can find his articles there weekly, as well as on the podcast MTG Fast Finance.


 

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