How Cheap Can These Cards Get?

Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is officially released today, so we’re able to buy those cards from vendors. As always, I’m expecting most cards to take a tumble as they become widely available, especially because they seem underpowered compared to other sets currently in Standard.

Underpowered usually means cheap, and AFR has one of the lowest aggregate values I’ve seen at release. As a result, people are expecting less of this set to be opened, and that makes sense, especially with Modern Horizons 2 right there, pouring value into your wallet if you’re buying as a distributor. 

So if a set is under-opened…that means it’s likely under-valued! Time to look at AFR from a long-term perspective, looking for cards that will likely have some casual appeal. What can we get cheaply now, and if stores are reopening and events are happening in paper, what might be good in a few months when Standard rotates?

Tasha’s Hideous Laughter ($10) – Modern Mill is a real thing, and this is a four-of in that deck. It’s not a great card for Commander, as that’s a land where lots of big-mana spells are at, but mill cards have always had their fans. It’s both severely irritating and glorious fun! This is a card that I’m hoping will fall to the $1-2 range, but that’s likely too much hope. Casual and Modern demand will likely keep this close to $5, and that’s more than I want to pay. In three months, when the set is at maximum supply and we’re all drooling over the first of two Innistrad sets, perhaps it’ll be $3, and that’s when I’d like to acquire a lot of this card. I’m going for the basic versions, mind you; a card bought four at a time asks for the regular nonfoils.

Old Gnawbone ($21) – I get why people think this card is awesome. When you hit someone for some damage, you get a bunch of Treasures! What’s not to love? The problem is, if you are hitting someone for a bunch, you’re already winning, you’re already ahead. I don’t need more mana when I’m already getting in for damage! This is very much a win-more card, and Commander is a format that loves to win more. The price on this will drop by at least half, and likely farther for the basic editions. It’s a big green flyer, and there aren’t a lot of those, but the ability is not as good as it seems. I’m expecting this to really fall over the long term, probably to $5 or less.

Circle of Dreams Druid ($9) – This is already great, though the mana cost is a big deal. It’s a fixed Gaea’s Cradle, and the last fixed version of that, Growing Rites of Itlimoc, has a curve that we would do well to anticipate: 

I’m not saying this is a $20 card right now, especially in the basic nonfoil, but it is a card that when it’s cheap (Not if, when!) we want to stock up on. I’m hoping it drops to under $2, but casual demand might keep it higher than that. There’s a chance it shows up in Modern and Legacy Elves, but those decks already have access to Elvish Archdruid, a strictly better card in 100% Elves decks. Not sure how many more they’d want to run, but the kitchen table crowd will keep this from being bulk.

Tiamat ($19) – This is a fantastic card, and one I can’t wait to play with. However, it’s a very specific tribal card (albeit one of the best tribes) and works best as a Commander, or as a member of the 99. The most important detail though is that the basic version has fallen in price, and Thursday night a copy was sold on TCG for $17.50. The fall is real, and ongoing. The borderless foil copies are going to fall some too, there was a copy that sold on Facebook during the prerelease for $150 but there’s copies on TCG right now for $50 or less. That’s the trajectory it’s on, and it will bottom out like every other card, probably at $7-$10 for the basic and $30 for the borderless foil.

Demilich ($18) – The good news is that this is going to be in some of the most popular decks around, the assorted UR spells/blitz/burn lists that are lighting it up in Legacy and Modern. There have been some lists that use this as a four-of, which is the kick a card like this needs, but at least it isn’t legendary. Please keep in mind that its attack trigger isn’t a free cast, you still need to pay the mana. I think there will be enough builders to keep this near $10, but it’s already sliding and it might well end up closer to $5. Arclight Phoenix took a long while to claw back up to $10, and this is nicely analogous.

Teleportation Circle ($1) – This will be a bulk rare, but it’s one that I’m going to go in on once it’s officially bulk. Conjurer’s Closet was $7 before the Double Masters reprint:

Yes, this is not an artifact but it costs one less. Flickering things is already a big thing in white decks, and there will be a time where this card buylists for decent money. I’m not too proud to buy at a dime and sell for a dollar.

Treasure Vault ($8) – I’ve got my eye on this as an untapped artifact land. There’s only two legal in Modern right now, this and Darksteel Citadel. It’s not making waves in decks with Arcbound Ravager yet, but if this gets cheap and then a real affinity deck takes off, this will have a chance to shine very very brightly. 

Granted, I don’t think that happens anytime soon, but I think the Vault will be down to a couple of bucks and at that point, I want to have some copies in reserve.

Cliff (@WordOfCommander) has been writing for MTGPrice since 2013, and is an eager Commander player, Draft enthusiast, and Cube fanatic. A high school science teacher by day, he’s also the official substitute teacher of the MTG Fast Finance podcast. If you’re ever at a GP and you see a giant flashing ‘CUBE DRAFT’ sign, go over, say hi, and be ready to draft.