Specs in the Forgotten Realms

Magic’s new D&D set, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, isn’t out in paper for another 10 days, but it’s already released on Arena and MTGO and people have been building decks with the new cards. Preorders are up and so today I want to take a look at some of the cards I think might be good to either pick up early or keep an eye on for when prices hit their lows.

Treasure Vault

Price today: $8 in US/$4 in EU
Price I want to buy at: $2
Possible future price: $10

In general, preorder prices in the US are always too high because not enough vendors put copies up (especially on TCGPlayer), whereas over in Europe, MKM tends to have a lot more preorders up early. As such, Europe has Treasure Vault (along with most other things) priced quite a bit lower than the US, with plenty of copies available around $4.

Treasure Vault is a kind that looks fairly unassuming at first, but the fact that it’s an artifact land changes things up quite a bit. I’m looking at this from both a competitive and EDH perspective, as I think it’s going to have legs in a lot of formats. The original artifact lands are famously banned in Modern, which just left us with Darksteel Citadel (and Inkmoth Nexus I guess?) for a long time until we got the artifact duals in Modern Horizons 2. These enter play tapped though, and as such haven’t seen much play in Modern – but I feel like Treasure Vault is going to do a lot more than that. As well as it just being an artifact land to boost your artifact count for free, you can pump mana into it for a surge of new artifacts when you need them as well.

On top of its competitive potential, Treasure Vault has already been picked out as a popular EDH card. Any deck that has anything to do with artifacts is going to want this, as well as any strategies just doing things with Treasure tokens (or even just tokens in general). Albeit very early days, it’s already the number one card from the set going by raw numbers played on EDHREC, and I think that bodes well for its outlook. Yes, it’s only a rare and so there will be a lot around, but I want to look for the low point on this ($1-2 would be nice but we’ll have to wait and see), pick up a bunch and sit on them for a bit. If it pops off in Modern then you might be looking at $10+ quickly, but otherwise this is a prime target to out to a buylist in a year or two.

Circle of Dreams Druid

Price today: $5
Price I want to buy at: $3
Possible future price: $10

Now onto what I think is purely an EDH card, Circle of Dreams Druid is the Magus of the Cradle we never knew we needed until now. Okay well, some people have probably wanted it for a while but that’s beside the point – we’ve got one now and a lot of folks are going to be wanting it for their green EDH decks. It’s a tad more fragile than a real Gaea’s Cradle and costs 3 mana more, but apart from that it’s all upside…right?

Jokes aside, Gaea’s Cradle is an $800+ card now and this is approximately $800 less than that for the same effect, just a bit slower. It’s also an Elf so you have synergies there, and it’s definitely going to be a big hit with the casual players. The triple green cost does make it slightly restrictive even in EDH, but it’ll still be viable in 2-colour decks and any mono-green deck would likely be foolish not to run it.

We’ll have to keep an eye on the prices for FEA copies, but I think that if we can get a good price on them then they’ll be a great spec as well as the regular non-foils. Sub-$10 is likely good for the FEAs and we could well see them push lower than that, but it depends how quickly the EDH and casual market is to react to the card and grab their copies. Europe is well stocked on regular versions around $5 at the moment and I expect to see that mirrored in the US before long, with them probably dipping down to around $3 where I want to pick them up.

Tasha’s Hideous Laughter

Price today: $5
Price I want to buy at: $1
Possible future price: $8

Back onto a cross-format card for today’s last pick, I’m looking at Tasha’s Hideous Laughter. In terms of any competitive play this is purely a mill card, and although it could have some other uses in EDH and casual it’s likely to just be milling people out there as well. Modern Mill has always been a bit of a fringe deck, sometimes spiking tournaments here and there but never being consistently at the top of the metagame. Now I’m not saying that Tasha’s Hideous Laughter is going to completely change that, but it is a card that mill decks have started playing four copies of almost immediately.

The majority of decks in Modern play low cost spells to try and maximise efficiency, which makes this card all the better for trying to mill out as many cards as possible – if you’re playing against an aggressive deck like Blitz or Hammer Time, then it’s entirely possible that you’re going to be able to hit 15 or so cards off this for just three mana. That gets things going pretty speedily, and so I think that mill could be a more real contender in the format.

Aside from that, mill has always been a popular casual deck, and the templating that Wizards are using on cards like this nowadays (“each opponent” rather than “target opponent/player”) makes cards like this a lot more viable in EDH. When you’re using one card that hits all three or more of your opponents at the EDH table, you’re getting way more out of your cards than you used to, as well as the added benefit of a single player not feeling targeted and so perhaps not coming after you in retaliation.

All of that means that I think Tasha’s Hideous Laughter is a great pickup when it starts to hit bulk-ish prices below $1 (which I think it will). FEAs could easily go under $5 as well which could be good too, so keep an eye on those and grab them at their lows. Buylists for regular copies should look great a year or two out – maybe less if the Modern deck picks up a bit more.

David Sharman (@accidentprune on Twitter) has been playing Magic since 2013, dabbling in almost all formats but with a main focus on Modern, EDH and Pioneer. Based in the UK, he’s an active MTG finance speculator specialising in cross-border arbitrage.