We guessed last week that with the printing of the Secret Lair sets, we’d see an uptick in the popularity of some tribal cards and decks on the basis of people who didn’t have the decks built building them and people who had them built updating them. This week, we expect to see some of that conjecture borne out by data. Behold!
Ur-Dragon got 59 new decks last week and Arahbo got 47, vaulting both of the decks into the top 20 of the week. While it was cool to look at cards in common between the two decks, drilling down into the decks individually couldn’t hurt, either. Let’s do that, then.
The new cards in this deck aren’t that surprising, and with the exception of the Henge and the Dragon, they’re “you’re playing 5 colors, you need this.”
Henge is basically a card you should really be trading for now. I don’t think a lot needs to be said about it other than that it’s quite good and there may never be a good time to buy it so you’re better off trading away cards that are very good in Standard and won’t quite impact anything beyond Standard. Trading $10 worth of Standard-only cards for $9 worth of Henges is worth it to me and the trade will look super lopsided in a half a year.
The Dragon makes even less sense. Look at the Instants and Sorceries in a typical Dargon deck using EDHREC’s Average Deck feature.
1 Crux of Fate
1 Explosive Vegetation
1 Kodama’s Reach
1 Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth
1 Rampant Growth
1 Anguished Unmaking
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Sarkhan’s Triumph
1 Swords to Plowshares
Is there anything worth rebuying here that makes you want to play a really basic dragon? I don’t think I’m cutting gas out of my list to make room for this. So far we’re striking out on interesting stuff, but people who didn’t have a deck and are now building one are going to move the needle more than people updating the decks to maybe put in a durdle dargon, so let’s move into the meat of the deck.
I really didn’t expect a card with multiple printings like this one to basically double in the years since it was last reprinted, but that’s a thing. It’s rebounded a lot better than some rares in the deck and while it’s too late to do anything, it’s worth noting.
Here’s another interesting thing to note.
This was touted in 2017 when the rest of the cycle seemed very strong in light of tribal decks being announced and it seemed like it would hit $10. It did, though it didn’t stay there. However, with this card being good in Dragons and Kittycats and Reaper King decks and any subsequent tribal sets, I think Steely Resolve is a pretty safe bet. While this was spiking off, I said in my 2017 article that I thought Cover of Darkness could get there. Was I right?
This turned out to be a MUCH better bet and it feels good to have called it. So you all know for later, how did I know? Well, that’s a secret.
OK, fine, I’ll tell you. Teach a man to fish an all that. EDHREC doesn’t just give you raw, context-less numbers, it gives you context if you know where to look, and I know where to look, and now so do you.
The bar at the top of EDHREC has dropdown menus and one of them says “sets” which takes you to a menu with every set. Find Onslaught.
Cover of Darkness is the 55th-most-played card from Onslaught and Steely Resolve is 63rd. It’s a very good set. Still, Cover gets played more despite there being seemingly more opportunities for Green cards and Steely Resolve granting Shroud seeming better. You can look at what players will do based on what you think or you can go by what the numbers are telling you and the numbers told me Cover was the way to go, but they also tell me Steely Resolve isn’t done. I rather like it at its current price.
Not much to say here other than that I like its growth plot and while it has plateaued a bit, that’s not accounting for any additional copies being needed for new Arahbo decks. Those new decks can get most of the stuff they need outside of the precon, but need this. This is tough to reprint and it’s associated with the cat deck because that’s the deck it came in, but it’s good in all of them.
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That does it for me. Thanks for reading, everyone. Until next time!