Today, Phyrexia: All Will Be One becomes legal on TCGPlayer, and I’m expecting quite a frenzy around a few very specific cards.
This past week, we had that nebulous zone between prerelease and Opening Day, where the only cards that can be sold are the ones individuals opened in the prerelease events. Store-level vendors weren’t allowed to sell yet, everything is pre-ordered and cannot be shipped yet.
As a result, cards have stayed very expensive and some cards have gotten a frenzy of attention. Let’s go over some of the bigger movers, and a pickup or two, as well as where I’m expecting them to go from here.
A generalized caveat: I always tell people to sell/trade everything they open at the prerelease level. There is a lot of money to be made doing that, and almost everything is going to lose a lot of value. We don’t have to go very far for examples of this, but let’s take a card with a lot of hype:
Ajani, Sleeper Agent in regular nonfoil has dropped by more than half even after we started tracking in September, but some of the pre-order prices in August were north of $30! So get rid of things while you can.
Now, as for the new set, let’s take a peek at what’s gone up this week as hype cycles have happened.
Mercurial Spelldancer has gotten Legacy attention as a great way to get ridiculous value over and over again. It’s already decent as a two-mana, two-power unblockable creature, but in a format overloaded with cheap noncreature spells (and this includes Modern) it’s just about casting Ponder and Bolt, it’s about using Mishra’s Bauble and other such broken cards to set up a copied huge spell, and I’m here for that.
This card went from about $3 to $11+, and as a rare, it’s about to have a lot of copies opened. If you get $7 this weekend I’ll be impressed, but I’m willing to bet that this is back under $4 within two weeks. Sell like mad!
Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting was under $10 at one point recently but is now going for $25 because it’s an instant-win with Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider. If Vorinclex is on your field, and you play Vraska, she comes in with twelve counters and can instantly ultimate. If a player has anything less than nine poison, they are going to be poisoned out. Eight counters means they get one more, which Vorinclex doubles to two, giving them ten and that’s GG.
Two-card combos are usually not a problem in Commander, or even Modern. Splinter Twin remains illegal in Modern, mainly because both Pestermite and Exarch flash in and tap the land you could use for interaction.The Copy Cat combo is legal in Modern, and that’s three mana into four. This is five mana into six, and the five mana part can be attacked to death before the combo happens.
Vraska is a mythic, but there’s still going to be a lot opened and her price will tumble back to $15, and eventually be under $10 again.
Venerated Rotpriest is clearly a combo card, and one that works with a lot of different cards to combo an opponent out. Ground Rift is a current favorite, as the Storm mechanic lets you build up a critical mass very quickly. There won’t be a shortage of busted things to do here, especially when Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief is a card too.
I expect this to keep riding a rollercoaster. It’s already been up to $20, down to $12, and is now $15. It’ll drop down to $5 or so, but the good news for this card’s value is that people who play it want four copies. Every new combo with the card will result in it popping up, then retracing downward. Be prepared to sell into spikes.
The Mycosynth Gardens has gotten a lot of attention for being an easy way to copy Lion’s Eye Diamond, for decks able to take advantage of that. If you can recur the land, it keeps working, because it’s zero to activate the ability and the LED can still be used even if it’s tapped.
While a neat interaction, it’s remarkably narrow. LED is restricted in paper Vintage, though it is Legacy and Commander legal. Given how many decks are running Urza’s Saga in Modern, I won’t be shocked if this sees a little play there too, just to get more and more value from lands. Unfortunately, these corner cases are not enough to prop up the price, which started at $15, fell to $6, and is now about $10. A very steep decline is coming for this card, and you should prepared accordingly.
One precognitive note, though: When this gets cheap (I mean like a buck in six months) I’m going to pick up a brick of these. The Dark Depths/Thespian’s Stage combo is an example of how open-ended synergies can work out, and some artifact that comes into play with counters and needs those counters removed…combo kill! Can’t wait to see what it does. It’s already very good in Commander if you run Mana Crypt and Sol Ring. Please note that it stops being a land when you activate it, unless you copy an artifact land.
Jace, the Perfected Mind is my pick for a card that has the best chance to go up right away. Control decks crave exactly this interaction, an early way to nullify one of their creatures and force the opponent to build up a wider board, setting up for the Supreme Verdict next turn.
JaceTPM has trickled downward from $15 to $8, and if enough control decks adopt him for the midgame, he’s got a good chance to rise up. I don’t think he’ll be the next Ledger Shredder or anything, but this is a very very good blue Planeswalker in control shells.
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.