I Can See Your Halo (Foil)

It’s been out for a week, and this just in: Halo foils from MOM: Aftermath are good and rare and you should consider buying some before they get more expensive. These cards, in addition to being at least decent in Commander, are also Standard legal for the next two and a half years. If you’re thinking about Standard (or Modern/Pioneer) legality, you may want to consider some nonfoils instead, but Halo foils are my focus today.

I’ve got some examples of cards that have already skyrocketed, and some which are strong candidates to do the same. Let’s start off with a little math first: Halo foils are only in Collector Boosters and as I detailed two weeks ago, there’s specific odds for cards based on their rarity. Uncommons have a slot, but a particular Halo foil is 1 in 90 boosters. Rares are 180 packs to nab a specific card, and Mythics are twice as rare, needing 360 Collector Booster packs to get just one Halo Foil Sarkhan, Soul Aflame.

Also note that the planar frames get the Halo Foil treatment, but retro frame cards do not. Specifically, we need to keep this in mind for Karn, Legacy Reforged and Nissa, Resurgent Animist. Their rarest versions are the traditional foil retro frame, or the extended art foil, there’s no Halo to chase. 

So let’s get into an example, and some cards to watch.

Sarkhan, Soul Aflame was preselling under $20, and I knew I needed one. I thought I would wait, and get one cheaper. A week later, I’ve purchased a copy from a Protrader and paid a lot more:

TCG’s own graphs can’t keep up with a price tripling in a week. Right now, there’s nothing listed under $65 for this card, and if you bought your one copy early, I cannot recommend selling in hopes of buying back in. There doesn’t appear to be any huge inventory on the way, for all that vendors report sluggish sales there aren’t enough copies coming on the market and I don’t think you’ll have a chance to buy back in under $50.

Let’s keep in mind too that Halo foils appear instead of a traditional foil in 1 out of 6 packs. So the regular foil should be five times cheaper. If that ratio is off, we know that the casual fans, the Commander fans, the people like me who love shiny things, especially swirling and rare shiny things, we’re buying up these premium copies at a faster rate and driving the price up.

Other Halo Foils to watch:

Kiora, Sovereign of the Deep ($40) – I maintain that this is an amazing commander for the KLOS tribe, but as yet, she’s overshadowed. Even with this as a less popular card, and not being built on EDHREC, the NM Halo foils are almost exactly 5x the traditional planar foil price, meaning that there’s enough people out there, and the supply so small, that copies haven’t gotten surprisingly cheap.

We’ll see if there’s a rise in other KLOS cards to go along with her price over time.

Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin ($45) – Another card out of line with regular pricing, the traditional planar frame foil is $18, which is about a third the Halo price. So either the cheaper ones are overpriced, or the Halo is underpriced. I think it’s the latter, and not just because this is ‘I win’ with All Will Be One. 

This version of Ob Nixilis has a lot of cool interactions, and I’m looking forward to seeing what sorts of wild things happen with a deck built around those interactions. Yes, he’s competing with Prosper, Tome-Bound, one of the most popular commanders of all time, but Prosper is a value engine. Ob Nixilis wants to do a lot of little things quickly.

Training Grounds ($24) – This was an odd inclusion in the set, but as a rare in this under-opened set, it’s managed to have Halo foil versions available for roughly $4 more than original Rise of the Eldrazi nonfoils, and just over half the price of the Judge foils! This is undervalued, and those of you who get copies cheap can thank me later. It’s only in 28k decks in EDHREC’s database, but I suspect that’s due to low supply for so long. 

Arni Metalbrow ($6) – What I love about this card is that it works with tokens. There’s no shortage of abilities that create token copies of a creature, often ones that get exiled at the end of turn. For just two more mana, though, you get to put something into play that’s tapped, attacking, and stays in play!

Again, the interactions are in your favor, as is the open-ended nature of the card. Everything that makes a token copy is a wonderful addition with Arni around.

Nahiri’s Resolve ($8) – We like flickering! Teleportation Circle has made it to $7 as one of the most popular cards from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. Resolve is two colors, which is clearly a drawback in Commander, but still it’s something you can work with. We want our haste enablers to be cheaper, allowing for ‘play giant baddie and attack right away’ themes, but the sneaky thing here is that you can use tap abilities twice with this enchantment. Here’s a freebie for you: combine with Furystoke Giant and have a good time.

Spark Rupture ($5) – Not as good as Elderspell, for the most part, but a powerful answer to a problematic card type. Planeswalkers are inherently value engines, designed to be valuable and worth protecting. This is an enchantment, which is hard to deal with but not impossible. Remember that you can’t use a planeswalker’s ability to deal with this enchantment, but most superfriends decks will have tools for this and The Immortal Sun types of cards. 

Jirina, Dauntless General ($8) – Humans are a powerful tribe, and for two mana, you get a graveyard nuke and an insurance policy. I flagged this one because the traditional foil is $2 and this Halo is $8, meaning that the Halo is a bit too cheap. Rectify that error and have copies in stock for when this goes up.

Coppercoat Vanguard ($6) – Cool art and a Human lord-style effect, I would be on board if you wanted to stock up on nonfoils as an attempt to load up on tournament-viable cards. The really good news is that while Human tribal decks want one for Commander and will make it Halo, the tournament players will want four matching nonfoils of this sweet frame-breaking art. Purchase accordingly. 

Markov Baron ($5) – Vampire lords are cards worth having for when the tribe gets attention again, and if you think we’re going to get an Edgar Markov reprint soon, this is a wonderful card to stock up on. Lords are good, cheap lords are better, and this one looks pretty cool to boot. I will not be surprised when this ends up a $10 card in a year.

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.