Financial Five: Magic Origins

By: Houston Whitehead

I might say it in every Financial Five article, but they just keep getting better and better at pricing cards.  Though I applaud them, I think I still found some potential gems in Magic Origins worth speculating on.

Graveblade Marauder (TCG Mid $1)

graveblade MI understand at first glance his stats are underwhelming. What justified his inclusion in this weeks FF can be wrapped up with one word. Deathtouch!  Almost any creature in the format would laugh at a 1/4, but deathtouch puts the fear in both Dragonlord Ojutai and Silumgar, the Drifting Death. Though his ability begs to be built around, it’s really not that hard in Standard to put creatures in the graveyard.  He even works well with Fleshbag Marauder and Satyr Wayfinder.  The only roadblock I can forsee in his future is Deathmist Raptor. The dino’s synergy with Den Protector would be the only leash holding back Standard play. If you couldn’t already tell, this is my favorite card in the set. He’s currently at $1 but is begging to gain value if Deathmist decreases in play.

Funny sidenote: Did you know Graveblade is a font? Here’s proof.

Herald of the Pantheon (TCG Mid $3)

We are familiar with constellation decks from Theros block.  G/B constellation was a tier one deck for a while and I think this will at least encourage some great minds to test this cards potential with that theme.

heraldofthepantheonPlayable discounted creatures in Golgari: Boon Satyr, Courser of Kruphix, Herald of Torment, Master of the Feast, Nyx Weaver, Spiteful Returned

All of the gods, but more so, the following; Athreos, God of Passage, Pharika, God of Affliction, Erebos, God of the Dead, Nylea, God of the Hunt

Currently at $3, it’s already pulling a small amount of hype in its direction.  Gaining life ‘enchantmentfall’ shoudn’t be overlooked.  The obvious combination with Courser is sweet, but the 2/2 body is its clearest drawback.  Assuming you’re starting with the old G/B shell, Eidolon of Blossoms is a four of, but more importantly, another playset of 2/2’s.  Blocking profitably is not going to happen often so finding a way to win without taking dragons to your face is the first puzzle you have to solve.   On the surface, it seems too slow for Heroic decks. Plus, Hero of Iroas lines up better with the decks goals.   With the Pro Tour Origins kicking off on July 31st, I’d say all it takes is a deck tech to double it’s price.

Priest of the Blood Rite (TCG Mid $1)

priest of the blood riteIf Satyr Wayfinder isn’t enough fodder for you Sidisi, Undead Vizier or Fleshbag Marauder? I present to you, fodder and a Dragon-destroying Demon token (except Atarka, of course). Unless you’re playing FNM, Encase in Ice is the only ‘Pacifism’ effect in the current competitive Standard meta.

Since you’re already playing Wayfinder, what else goes well with self-mill strategies? Whip of Erebos! Whip takes away the drawback, adds lifelink to your 2/2, and leaves behind a 5/5 flying demon.  Together, they block Whisperwood Elemental and it’s first manifest creature well.  My only concern is the number of copies worth playing in a list. It clearly works best in the self-mill decks (Golgari or Sultai) but at a non-mythic rarity, it’s hard to expect a large jump even after heavy play.  Current price is $1 so a $4-5 price could come true if a whip deck finishes well in the next 2 months.

Hallowed Moonlight (TCG Mid $3.5)

hallowed moonlightThis was actually the hardest card for me to add to the list.  When it was first spoiled, It seemed way to narrow for my tastes and would end up being a meta call sideboard choice.  It’s grown on me the more and more I think about it’s potential.  It’s easy to think about when cards are good but will it be good more times than the times it’s bad.  The fact that it’s a cantrip takes most of the sting out, but did keeping two mana up on your opponents turn put you behind?  Probably not.

So what are the good times? It prevents reanimation, tokens, manifest, blinking, unearth, and Splinter Twin combo. Modern and Legacy benefit the most but Standard could justify a few sideboard slots.  I feel U/W/R modern decks benefit the most.  With Preordain and Ponder banned, these decks rely on cantrips to keep their hands full.   Most of these strategies also play most of there spells at the end of the opponents turn.  Problem is, rarity and lack of main deck potential turns this card into a long term spec.  Think of it to take a similar financial path as Shadow of Doubt.  $3.50 is the current price but I’d say you can pick them up off standard players for less during the Prerelease and release weekends.

Despoiler of Souls (TCG Mid $1)

despoiler of soulsI can’t help but look at devotion potential when I see this little guy.  Grey Merchant of Asphodel (Gary) is one of my favorite cards from Theros block.  Bloodsoaked Champion and D-Souls will obviously have great aggressive potential for Mono-Black Aggro, but the ability to bring back creatures to keep devotion high could lead to some explosive turns.

On top of those, Erebos’s Titan might not come from graveyard to battlefield but with devotion high, recasting him should be easy.  D-souls easily fits in two known archtypes, encourages you to play with a playset, and is currently prices at $1.  This price baffles me just as much as Graveblade Marauder. Yet another card that can only go up from here.

Wrap Up

If you can’t tell, black is my Magic Origins sleeper color.  If I though other cards in other color had more potential, my article would be a bit more colorful.  Alas, black is receiving additions in a variety of strategies and deck styles.  Cards that support these strategies could also see a rise but I wouldn’t underestimate what Liliana’s newly tainted necromancy will bring to the next two months of Standard.

As always thanks for reading


5 thoughts on “Financial Five: Magic Origins

  1. Good call on those! But what most people seem to forget (or hide, I don’t know) is how Origins cards work AGAINST each other. You have two of them right in this list: D-Souls and Hallowed Moonlight. HM stops Reanimator and other “cheat into play” stuff, but it’s worth will be determined by a Meta-Game shift. Does it work against CoCo? Yes, if you leave the two mana up, but it just slows them down Does it stop Deathmist Raptor? Hell yes and for good! Abzan is not faced at all. Same goes for control and Atarka-Red. So it IS a sideboard card right now.

    This was only an example, though, as more cards are “related” in a similar way. Not only are there a hell of possibilities until M15 and Theros rotate, but even more so afterwards. That’s what makes it so hard to evaluate the cards right now. But since everybody puts their minds out there, here is my opinion on the hot topics:

    (1) I love mono-w and mono-b in Standard with what origins gives us.

    (2) I think the most asked question at brewing Standard will be “does it survive Languish or is the deck able to race it?” yes, I believe it to be that good.

    (3) I do not think Day’s Undoing will see much Standard play and I doubt it’ll be broken in Modern either. Yes, you can empty your hand with Affinity or Burn and draw 7 new cards, but it costs you a turn and a lot of decks right now don’t really care a all (Splinter Twin, Amulett Bloom, Elves), as they will either rarely let you see turn 3 (Bloom) or have an advanced board or are only missing one combo piece.

    (4) The Flip-Walkers are awesome and my favs are Lili and Nissa. You know what makes them less good? Hallowed Moonlight 😀 (apart from their + abilities)

    Sorry for the Wall of text!

  2. Does Gilt-Leaf Winnower have any chance of being a sleeper spec? People are rating the card a lot based on the fact that the ETB destroy creature effect must be a creature with power/toughness that aren’t equal. What happens if most of the big creatures released in the future have different power/toughness? Of course the card has Menace but it doesn’t really give good value unless you get the ETB destroy creature too.

    Any chance this isn’t a bulk rare and sees some play? I noticed its an Elf Warrior as well so maybe a G/B elf deck? What happens if we see new Eldrazi with different power/toughness somewhere on Zendikar?

    1. I think Gilt-Leaf Winnower is a decent spec as long as you are getting them really cheap.
      It’s my pick of the bulk cards to end up not bulk.

  3. WURBG some of the creatures it hits: TARMOGOYF 😀 Ok some realistic creatures it hits: Tasigur, Siege Rhino, Courser, Brimaz, Ashcloud (not the best value tho), DL Ojutai (when tapped obviously), DL Silumgar, DL Dromoka, Kolaghan Storms Fury, Kytheon, Liliana, Jace, Graveblade Marauder (see above), Despoiler of Souls (see above), Goblin Piledriver, Monastery Swiftspear, Master of Waves. I don’t think it’s the best spec but if it’s a bulk rare I could see it going up to $3-5…but it seems to be a Standard only card and only a 2 of if played, maybe only sideboard. I believe that’s why there isn’t a lot of hype for him. Oh, Den Protector too

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