I figure I’m not the only one to make that joke, about this being FtV: Bore, but it’s so darn accurate that I’m not going to flinch.
This FtV is super disappointing, there’s no way around it. The marquee cards aren’t that expensive and they are about to get a damn sight cheaper. Uncool foiling, a tendency to warp, and unexciting cards just aren’t going to peg the needle very far.
Also, this set doesn’t have much of a connecting theme. I get that Magic has a lot of cool stories to tell, and cards that want to tell those stories, but this set is disjointed at best. FTV: 20 at least got to pick the best/iconic cards to represent twenty years of Magic, but this set didn’t hit a lot of the high points for me.
Financially, this set follows the previous From the Vaults, in having a couple of high-value cards, mostly $5ish cards, and a couple of super-bulk cards. I’m seeing presales vary, sets are going for $50-$70 right now and that seems high. You’re far better off getting your singles in a week or two when people are desperate to unload their extras.
Beseech the Queen – This is a $4 uncommon! Sneaky-great for picking out of bulk boxes, but these were two relatively small printings in Planechase and Shadowmoor. I expect this to end up in the $2 range.
Cabal Ritual – It’s a $2 common, and played in exactly one deck. It’s going to be a dollar or less, an easy pickup if you really need one or a set.
Conflux – There’s a Legacy deck which uses this and Dream Halls to really go off. It’s not good enough in Cube, it only goes in five-color Commander decks. I would expect this foil to settle out in the range of five to seven dollars.
Dark Depths & Marit Lage – This is one of the two money cards in the set. Dark Depths is quite the combo with Thespian’s Stage, and that’s why Stage has had a significant spike recently. A huge part of this card’s price is that it’s from Coldsnap, which was never in huge demand and 60 regular or 200 foil is about right for the play it gets. No one has ever done this card fairly, Vampire Hexmage caused a spike in Depths back in 2009.
This version will slice the price in half and then some, and I expect it to end up about $25.
Glissa, the Traitor – Nigh-impossible to beat in combat without help, she also has artifact recursion synergies. Don’t overlook that she was the prerelease foil, and so she’s going to be $1 at most thanks to FTV.
Helvault – Bulk before, bulk now.
Memnarch – This is one of the most terrifying sets of abilities ever. For seven mana, you can steal target land, permanently. Combines really well with other cards that make the ability easier and cheaper, which will absolutely, and rightfully, get you taken out quickly in Commander games. I would expect this to be about $10.
Mind’s Desire – If your Cube has a Storm deck, then it is up to you if you’ll run this as well as the other finishers (Tendrils of Agony, Brain Freeze, etc.) that cost less and are more certain to work. It’s barely a dollar card, and there is a Judge foil giving a top end, so I’d expect this to be around $3.
Momir Vig, Simic Visionary – I have to admit, I didn’t know this had gotten all the way to $10, and a $30 foil. It’s undoubtedly an amazing card in Simic decks, turning every G/U creature into a creature in your hand. Chaining Coiling Oracle into Prime Speaker Zegana and so on and so forth is certainly powerful. I think this will be lower than $10 and more than $5.
Near-Death Experience – So many things from Rise of the Eldrazi, and they picked this. Blah and bulk.
Phyrexian Processor – Yes, this is the first foil printing, and that is always awesome, but not every deck needs this card or this effect. The more life you pump into it, the more worried you’ll be. Waiting till you have mana to both cast and activate it is much safer. Price-wise, this will probably be less than $5.
Tolaria West – Another one of those ‘Holy crap, it’s a $5 uncommon!’ cards but a lot of that was the way this card was used in Summer Bloom decks. It’s not bad in Commander, where you can use it to find any land you want, or Pacts or other shenanigans, but there’s not much of a demand and I would be very surprised if this kept the $5 price.
Umezawa’s Jitte – This is tricky. On the one hand, it’s the best Equipment ever. On the other, it’s banned in Modern. It’s climbed to $45 based on a tiny original print run, and being the GP foil for the 2009 season. No one needs a playset of this, it’s always a one-of in Legacy thanks to Stoneforge Mystic. Generally speaking, Legacy players don’t like FTV foiling, so I don’t see much of a market there, and that leaves Commander and Cube. I think this remains in the $30 range, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it fell all the way to $20, simply based on few how many people need another copy.
Unmask – Oh, I love this card. I had a black deck once that wanted to go Swamp-Dark Ritual–Hypnotic Specter. A blue deck could beat that only with Force of Will, and that’s what Unmask is for. It requires an answer, or it strips the answer away. It’s only $6/$33 now, and I would expect the FTV version to be sub-$5, maybe as low as $1.