Grinder Finance – The Moon’s the Limit

As with every set, I like to make a list of cards that I would consider “non-bulk” that are likely to be useful over the lifetime of a set in Standard.  Some of them are pretty obvious (like Duskwatch Recruiter) but some are not so obvious (Angelic Purge).  If you missed my last article, here, I outlined the cards I pick from Shadows over Innistrad commons and uncommons.

Eldritch Moon Commons:

  • Bloodbriar
  • Displace
  • Drag Under
  • Exultant Cultist
  • Fogwalker
  • Galvanic Bombardment
  • Ironclad Slayer
  • Ironwright’s Cleansing
  • Olivia’s Dragoon
  • Prey Upon
  • Primal Druid
  • Spontaneous Mutation
  • Stensia Banquet
  • Succumb to Temptation
  • Take Inventory
  • Terrarion
  • Thermo-Alchemist
  • Thraben Standard Bearer
  • Turn Aside
  • Ulvenwald Captive
  • Waxing Moon
  • Wretched Gryff

Eldritch Moon Uncommons:

  • Blessed Alliance
  • Campaign of Vengeance
  • Chilling Grasp
  • Conduit of Storms
  • Courageous Outrider
  • Crop Sigil
  • Cryptolith Fragment
  • Curious Homunculus
  • Drogskol Shieldmate
  • Emrakul’s Influence
  • Faith Unbroken
  • Foul Emissary
  • Furyblade Vampire
  • Geist of the Lonely Vigil
  • Gnarlwood Dryad
  • Graf Harvest
  • Grizzled Angler
  • Hamlet Captain
  • Incendiary Flow
  • Kessig Prowler
  • Lashweed Lurker
  • Lone Rider
  • Mockery of Nature
  • Mournwillow
  • Murder
  • Nebelgast Herald
  • Nephalia Academy
  • Noose Constrictor
  • Repel the Abominable
  • Ride Down
  • Rise from the Grave
  • Scour the Laboratory
  • Shreds of Sanity
  • Unsubstantiate
  • Vampire Cutthroat
  • Whispers of Emrakul

As usual, I’d pick every double-faced card due to their rarity.  You never know when another Lambholt Pacifist will turn up.  Another thing I would like to note is the general power level of the draft cards is pretty high.  A lot of them could see Standard play which bodes well for the set as a whole.   I think Wizards of the Coast has finally developed a good small set plan because this set looks similar in power level to Oath of the Gatewatch which brings us such hits as Reflector Mage.

The Under Appreciated:

I did some testing today with Eldritch Moon and these are the cards that stood out most to me


It’s a little unassuming but it fits in great with the “Go wide” plan that a lot of white decks have right now.  It’s often a 3 mana sorcery that can kill Avacyn or worse and has the kicker of tap a creature to pump your team.  It will likely be important in G/W Mirrors as it doesn’t really allow you go get blown out like Dromoka’s Command.  The ability to kill an Always Watching or Evolutionary Leap instead of accidentally hitting a less useful Gryff’s Boon or Oath of Nissa means it will also have a lot more utility like Dromoka’s Command.

mausoleumwanderer selflessspirit

Mausoleum Wanderer and Selfless Spirit are the real glue that will make Spirits a thing in Standard.  Mausoleum Wanderer gets an upgrade from the $10 uncommon from Shadowmoor, Cursecatcher.  Flying and the ability to get pumped by playing other Spirits means it’s a real clock.  With a Rattlechains in play, both of these creatures’ activated abilities get a lot better.  No longer can people play around “on board tricks” when all of your Spirits have flash.


If zombies are even remotely on the cusp of being good, this card will be very very good.  It reads oddly because it’s a removal spell that also makes creatures.  It’s the best kind of 2 for 1 because it lets you scale it based on the state of the game.  It will be great to draw this on turn 1 and turn 20.  It’s probably not going to be the Declaration in Stone in this set but it is definitely going to be a solid role player for Zombie decks.


You know all the decks that play Kozilek’s Return because they have big fatty Eldrazi to trigger the other side with?  Well theoretically you don’t even need that anymore.  Nahiri’s Wrath is really good at blowing up your opponent’s board if you’re just interested in survival and it does it at a nominal price.  If you have some extra lands and a World Breaker you can blow up all of your opponent’s planeswalkers (which are generally hard to kill for ramp) and ensure you survive long enough to rebuy the World Breaker and keep going.  If World Breakers are not really your thing, Nahiri’s Wrath also combos pretty well with Emrakul.   It can fill your graveyard with card types or discard Emrakul herself to kill any planeswalker.  It also sets up any kind of reanimator strategy up pretty well by putting creatures in your graveyard and killing threats.


One of the new mechanics in Eldritch Moon is emerge.  You know what’s really good to emerge?  A creature with a death trigger.  Matter Reshaper lets you curve nicely into an Elder Deep Fiend or other 7 cost emerge beast without giving up cards.  You get to basically make a down payment on your emerge guy and it threatens to block.  I’m a pretty big believer it’s hard to go wrong with a creature that hits so many important notes in Standard.  The fact that you can also hit Reshaper off of Collected Company is just icing on the cake.


A lot of people caught on to Rattlechains on Friday.  With the full spoiler some players decided they were willing to play it and it saw a modest jump from $1 to about $3 on TCGPlayer.  I played some games today and this is easily the best card in the Spirits deck.  It was very powerful before but with all these new Spirits it will be a top tier creature.  I’m not sure $3 will be the ceiling for this creature for the next month.


Did you remember this was a spirit?  Since the Spirit deck will likely be playing much of it’s game on it’s opponent’s turn, being able to hold up a counter spell or crack a clue will be invaluable.  This guy hasn’t quite caught everyone’s eye yet but since all of the best spirits cost 2-3 mana it is unlikely to not make the cut.  I think this is more likely a $3-4 role player in a few weeks than the bulk rare it currently is.

Final Thoughts

  • This might be one the best sets in a long time.  Plan accordingly for the fall when everything is stupid expensive because it’s the small Summer set.
  • Conspiracy 2 Spoilers will start in a few weeks.  This is getting tiring
  • Next year’s schedule for Grands Prix will be revealed at Pro Tour Eldritch Moon.  Make sure you tune into to coverage to see if your city will get a GP next year!

9 thoughts on “Grinder Finance – The Moon’s the Limit”

  1. “I’m not sure $3 will be the ceiling for this creature [Rattlechains] for the next month.”

    I’m unsure of this also. I’m sitting on 30 copies at the moment. I outted a handful on PucaTrade to cover what I paid for them, and part of me thinks it’s correct to just out them all right now and secure profits, but another part of me thinks Spirits might be legit, and this could be $5. I’m torn…

  2. I’d personally sell into the hype (right on launch day) for the rattlechains. Two scenarios could happen:

    1. Spirits ends up being a proven deck. With the accompanying price spike, a LOT less people will want them at the new price.
    2. Spirits doesn’t pan out. The price will drop FAST, since we are still opening a pack of SOI each draft.

    Either way, the last day I would want to hold any is right before EMN launches. Just my thoughts.

      1. It’s also in one of the intro decks, so there’s additional supply out there. Hard to see this going past $5.

      2. This underscores my point-If you have any of those that you don’t intend to play with, they become much harder to out profitably after EMN is released and the first tournaments are finished.

  3. Hey Jim, while I appreciate your enthusiasm for Eldritch Moon I have to disagree that “this might be one of the best sets in a long time”. I don’t want to say you are wrong, and I LOVE the flavor in this set especially for limited, but I’ve been a little underwhelmed with the Standard applications of many cards thus far. That could definitely change, but Oath had/has some oppressively powerful cards that have warped Standard, and Modern, and Legacy , and even Vintage with the various Eldrazi, let alone Reflector Mage and Sylvan Advocate in Standard. SOI has also been very solid and provided a ton of powerful Standard cards; how many uncommon and common humans are winning Standard events for players?!?! Eldritch Moon has actually underwhelmed me regarding Standard but I’m sure you have done more play testing than me. To be fair, I keep holding on to decks that run Languish and I’m more interested in BW control cause of the simple reprinting of Murder. Circling back, I think a lot of the newer sets have been good and powerful, I don’t see Eldritch Moon surpassing them but that is early opinion.

    I think Wizards has done a very nice job with their last couple of set releases, and going to 2 sets per block I believe will continue to help and keep the draft chaff to a minimum. I hope we continue to get good and exciting sets that are as flavorful as SOI and Eldritch Moon, but I’m not particularly impressed with the power level of Eldritch Moon. It does remind me of DTK where morph was severely undervalued…I feel like emerge is being overlooked. I have a friend I’m helping to build a Sulti Emerge deck…I think it’s too clunky but it sure is interesting and powerful when it works. Mater Reshaper, Catacomb Sifter, and Eldrazi Skyspawner are great 3 drops for that archetype. I just don’t have as much faith as my friend that casting one or two emerge creatures wins you the match. Regardless, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Emerge be the undervalued mechanic of this set.

    Thank you for your set analysis, I believe Wizards has done an excellent job with this block and hope they can match it in the future without going overboard like I feel they did in Oath.

    One question, any idea why we lost the “devoid” mechanic? I suggested to my friend to run Corrupted Crossroads and he told me the new eldrazi aren’t devoid!! I clearly overlooked that, but any idea why we lost the Devoid name/mechanic?

      1. But can Corrupted Crossroads be used to add a colored mana for the emerge cost? I don’t think it can and that just seems a bit weird to me. Otherwise yes I guess none of them do have a color identity and just colored mana in the emerge cost.

        Is Spirits THAT good? My friends are talking about it like it’s mono black from season’s past

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