The Floor on DTK

By: Cliff Daigle

I have a confession to make: I’m trading for Dragonlord Ojutai.

Not only am I trading for those, I’m giving up fetch lands and other long-term staples for them.

Why? I think that when Battle for Zendikar is out, demand is going to be even higher for Ojutai, Atarka, and likely Silumgar as well.

As for why I’m trading for in-print mythics that go for about $40, $19, and $16, well, hear me out.

I’ve said before that DTK cards have a unique situation, being two packs of a draft format when it’s a big set. I have written that Modern Masters 2015 is going to impact the supply of DTK opened. Magic Origins is going to eclipse it soon too.

We are going into a perfect storm of low supply and awesomely good cards.

To be clear, I don’t think every cards in Dragons has potential. I am especially leery of Dromoka’s Command, because I think that will get a ton worse without making someone sacrifice enchantment creatures like Courser of Kruphix. Hunt the Weak at instant speed for two mana is good, but it’s not $10 good.

What will be good in Standard when Theros is gone? Some form of blue-white control shell with three Ojutai. Perhaps Esper dragons stays on top with some Silumgar as well. Seems like a safe card to want, what with a new generation of Eldrazi on the horizon, begging to be stolen.

What’s impressed me is how good Atarka, Silumgar, and the why-the-heck-is-this-five-mana Ojutai are at, well, everything. Ojutai especially has been impressive, and it’s worth considering that even near $40, there’s room to grow…but with 20% of its growth having been in the past two weeks, I’m not sure how high it can or will go.

I think that players are always going to want to play a control deck with just a few creatures. I don’t know if losing Dissolve and all the extra Scry will decimate the deck or what.

I am convinced, though, that you should get your three copies now if you want to play with Ojutai.

What else from Dragons am I looking for?


Dragonlords Atarka and Silumgar

These are not four-of Dragons, mainly due to their cost. These are accessory Dragons, finishers, and their price reflects their less-used nature. They are better than Ojutai at affecting the board, but are more vulnerable to being killed immediately. I believe that removal which can deal with these is going to be at a premium. Valorous Stance does it, as do a couple of Charms, Hidden Dragonslayer, but with Hero’s Downfall leaving soon there’s not a lot of cheap ways to kill these Dragonlords.


Sidisi, Undead Vizier

I really like Sidisi as a spec target for the coming year. It’s a cheap cost, though no playable creature is as expendable as Satyr Wayfinder. The body you get, though, is tough to dance with even if the creature is vulnerable to Ultimate Price.


Thunderbreak Regent

As Guo pointed out earlier this week, the Game Day promo version is a hot commodity right now. It’s a 4/4 for 4, flying, that bolts the opponent killing it. This is a powerful and cheap creature, and any deck in Standard has to have a plan for seeing it on turn four or even three.

This IS a four-of, because it is disgusting in multiples. The price should remain stable while it’s in Standard, and has a good chance to go up in the coming months.


Foil Rending Volley

I said it a while ago: this is the Legacy and Modern sideboard card. The original is fifty cents and the foils are over $6. It’s so good at so many things, and it might even be a Standard sideboard answer for Ojutai. Get them while you can!


Deathmist Raptor

The way this combos with Den Protector is just filthy-rich in value. The endless looping of two Den Protector and the relative lack of graveyard hate make Raptor tough to deal with long-term. Both of these cards are growing in value as they fit together like peanut butter and jelly. Every Standard deck for the next 12 months has to have a plan for these cards, and playing the mirror can be the grindiest.

I think both of these cards will be even more expensive come the end of Magic Origins.


Monastery Mentor

While not in Dragons of Tarkir, this mythic has slid down to $16 as it’s been opened in one pack of drafts for the past six months or so. This is an easy pickup for gaining value, because it fits so nicely with Delver decks. I’m listening if you want to make the case of this vs. Young Pyromancer, but look at the Pyro’s foil price if you want to see its Legacy impact.

I like Mentor to break $25 before all is said and done.


11 thoughts on “The Floor on DTK”

  1. This is honestly just a list advertising the most expensive cards in trend now.With bold claims of buying cards that are high as they are now, there needa to be bold, well substantiated evidence and reason which I dont think this provides. You’re advocating high risk specs with low to moderate gains when there are lots of good low risk higher rewards specs. I like how an article on here earlier presented the rtr format as comparison. sure ojutai is good but was he as much of a powerhouse as the omnipresent thundermaw, bonfire, or geist? Those were all more flexible and powerful cards which even saw some modern play but never pushed a ceiling much higher then what you’re suggesting. Esper dragons and bant dragons are conpetitive, but not nearly as dominant as the price reflects. And we have very limited foresight to even speculate that these cards and colors will be the most relevant in the next sets.

    1. You’re right that these are some of the more expensive cards in Standard right now. They are at a nexus of low supply and high demand.

      My point is that I think the demand will actually grow this coming year, especially for Ojutai, while the supply is not going to get any bigger.

      Bonfire is actually an excellent example. It wasn’t a big deal while it was in print, as I recall. It didn’t come out swinging as Ojutai has. But when it got big, the draft season had moved on, so the price skyrocketed.

      1. I mean while i disagree with ojutai, I think silumgar might be a good spec here. more likely than not, the format will gravitate towards more ramp decks and creature steal is good, but even better in that format. im sitting on mentor too but i think he’s 50 50 for me

  2. I think Mentor gets to 25. With Ugin at 30+ (and going up steadily imo) I would like to point out that sets of FRF are 45 tickets on MTGO. It’s about 73 after redemption (if you’re in the US). 73$ for the set seems pretty low. You talk about Dragons not being heavily opened, but isn’t that more true for FRF (even though it’s a smaller set)?

    Tasigur looks like another great spec to me also, since it sees play in various formats (great in commander too!)

    1. Going by the draft models I’ve used before, FRF is opened as one pack out of three for six months.

      DTK is two of three for three months, but it’s got more rares and mythics, meaning less of any particular card.

      Tasigur has to be the commander, or go into a three- or five- color deck. Exiling your graveyard in EDH is tricky, and there’s lots of tricks and recursion that are comparable. He’s good, but not overpowering.

      $73 for a set does sound about right, but most of the value is in three cards. If that’s a true number, you’ll get your value but that’s a pricey way to go.

  3. I think you are biased towards control because you like it and are not really taking Selesnya Aggro Decks seriously. (Ya, I said Selesnya, who needs Abzan?) While you may be right about Dragonlords and some Dragons being good and not dropping much in price I think you are really overlooking Deathmist Raptor and Den Protector… not to mention the THIRD part of that shell which is Dromoka’s Command! ( its not mainboarded for killing enchantments by the way.)

    You almost always use the last two options for Dromoka’s Command, taking the counter and fighting another creature. Do you not see how well that combos with Den Pro + Raptor? You only use the first two options when you absolutely have to.

    Honestly I think A LOT more players want to play decks with Den Protector + Deathmist Raptor + Dromoka’s Commmand and go the aggro/midrange route over the control route. It has been said many times that while Control decks Top 8 well, they are hard to pilot unless you know what you are doing. Casuals HATE control and therefore I think there well be a ton more demand for the proven Selesnya Aggro Shell.

    Then again… I’m admittedly biased towards G/W… lol.

    1. Knowing your own biases is important. I don’t think I would enjoy playing the Deathmist/Protector mirror at all.

      This combo is perhaps the best reason to play Anafenza, to get the exile ability.

      I think I have given those cards due credit, but Dromoka’s Command I am a little lower on. I suspect that when Heroic decks rotate out, there will be a larger supply of these and I don’t see price growth on them up from their current $10.

  4. The article is titled “The Floor on DTK.” Just thought I’d point that out.

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