Category Archives: Spoiler Coverage

Unlocked Pro Trader: The Amonkhet Stuff EDH Cares About – Part 1

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The set isn’t fully spoiled and I imagine there will be stuff spoiled between this article and the end of spoilers that will be relevant. Instead of waiting for that, I’m just going to get started and we’ll wrap up later. First, though, let’s take a look at how Aether Revolt is doing financially.

17 cards over $2. This is what we’re hoping the Invocation Masterpieces will do to prices in Amonkhet but it’s hard to say. Also, I was surprised to find that the 4th most expensive card is not even in regular boosters – it’s a durdly Planeswalker from the Planeswalker packs. Its high price is only surprising because I didn’t think it was that good – being in the Planeswalker deck means Masterpieces had no effect on its price.

 

So what I’m seeing is that basically 25% of the people who preordered Walking Ballista and hardly anyone else made money pre-ordering. Prices go down on just about everything 3 months later due to more boxes than ever being opened. Does it make sense to have a $7 uncommon in that context? Maybe, maybe not. What is EDH going to do?

Looking at Aether Revolt prices, we see Paradox Engine, Planar Bridge, Baral and Mechanized Production which seem to be expensive solely because of EDH. In the case of Paradox Engine, we have a card that’s one of the most expensive in the set solely because it’s bannably good in EDH and is basically warping that format. Could it be banned? Maybe. But until it is, it’s going to continue to be one of the most valuable cards in the set. Everything else got smashed down to like a buck and while that is good long-term, you’re looking to see what to pre-order (if anything ) and/or how much of a bath you’re going to take on the stuff you buy early. Do you need cards to play with right away? Then suck it, up; you’re going to lose some money, it happens. Are you willing to wait a minute? I think I can help you, there. Let’s look at what we should care about and what it will be worth in a few months.

Annointed Procession

This card is pre-selling for $3 on SCG and I think that may be too little and too much. Long-term, I think this has chops and can really get there because it’s a carbon copy of a card that is already expensive. I also think this goes down before it goes up.

Parallel Lives was under $3 for a minute and that was a while after it was printed. Parallel Lives is also in more appropriate colors for this effect. That said, lots of white token-based decks that never had access to green have been waiting for this. I think Parallel Lives’ price helped establish the preliminary price for this card but it can’t maintain it. At peak supply for this card, it will be very hard-pressed to maintain even $1 unless it’s directly impacting Standard, which I doubt. This is this set’s Dictate of Erebos, which means we’ll have time to get these for cheap and we’ll be getting $3-$5 for these in a year or two. This is a great opportunity, just don’t buy in too early.

Cast Out

I don’t see this being quite as expensive as Fatal Push (or as secretly rare – I have seen boxes of Aether Revolt with 2 copies of multiple rares and only one Fatal Push) so I think a good target for this is “free in draft chaff” if you can get them. EDH plays effects like this and tacking cycling onto it makes this pretty attractive. Get foils while the base price and multiplier are both low.

Regal Caracal

Cat lord. Maybe EDH doesn’t want this (a non-zero number of people absolutely will) but 60-card casual overlaps with EDH sometimes and obscures where the demand is coming from. The advantage of appealing to 60-card casual is that they can snap four of these up at a time. I think once this is bulk, you set it aside when you process bulk rares and that’s all you need to do. Forget these in a box and find them in two years when you can buylist these for like $1.50 each and use the proceeds to buy your family’s freedom from the marauding gangs of paramilitary thugs or Spam or air filters or whatever we’ll need money for in two years.

It’s going to look like I’m omitting “As Foretold” but since that’s not EDH-exclusive, the price won’t be affected by anything we do so it’s not really worth discussing. $25 is probably too much, but I don’t know if it will ever get so cheap that we’ll be glad later we paid that price. This card is just going to straight ruin prices on a lot of cards for a minute.

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Kefnet the Mindful

This card is better than anyone thinks, probably. Still, it’s going to have a tougher time finding a home than most Sea Drake variants. I don’t want to pay $6 for this for sure. In general, these gods are way worse than the Theros ones and those prices are still low on some of them. I don’t expect this to ever be worth enough that we’re glad we bought in before these rotate out of Standard.

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New Perspectives

This is just another bulk rare which likely languishes at bulk for a minute, but currently Lifecrafter’s Bestiary is a bulk rare and we know that can’t stay cheap forever. This card is good, albeit narrow. I feel like EDH will use its first ability as often as its second, especially in decks like Roon and Brago. Pull this out of bulk and box it up and wait.

Pull from Tomorrow

The marginal upside of being “allowed” to discard a card for certain decks isn’t enough to pay $3 for this right now. This will be bulk eventually but it will also be worth getting because it’s got more utility than some other cards that do this (though you can’t make them draw out like you can with Stroke of Genius, etc). In a world with a ton of cards that do this exact thing, this differentiates itself slightly by letting decks like The Mimeoplasm discard and that gives it longterm upside that Standard players won’t understand. Get these at bulk.

Liliana’s Mastery

How long do we expect casual gold like this to be a bulk rare? I sound like a broken record, but get these in bulk and hold onto them. It’s fine to sound like a broken record during preview season considering there are only one or two cards that won’t go down in price, and usually one of those cards only reveals itself after pro players have done significant testing.

Lord of the Accursed

“Why is an uncommon worth $4?” – Someone on reddit in two years

Champion of Rhonas

No, I didn’t forget red, I just don’t have any red cards to talk about because, like always, there are no good red EDH cards in sets other than Commander

This is better than Elvish Piper in some situations. It’s also not worth $6. I think this will probably get very cheap. Will this be one of the 17 cards worth more than $2 in a few months? I tend to doubt it. Here’s what I do – I ask myself “Am I more excited about this card than I was Aethersphere Harvester” and when the answer is inevitably “No” I decide that I don’t want to pay more than $2 for it.

Channeler Initiate

At $3, this may actually be underpriced, I don’t know yet. What I do know is that this can put -1/-1 counters on creatures other than itself which is not always a bad thing and this can grow itself while it helps your mana. ¬†This card is really stupid. Then I remember that Somberwald Sage is stupid in EDH and that’s like $1.50. Who knows? If this goes up before like 3 years, it’s probably because Standard wanted it, which I can see. This is a better Werebear.

Shefet Monitor

This is not a 6 mana creature. This is a 4 mana spell that says “Search your library for a basic land or, I guess, a Desert, put it into play untapped, shuffle up then draw a card. Put a dead lizard in your graveyard that you may end up putting back in your hand or accidentally reanimating.” and that’s a pretty decent spell.

Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons 

This could be a sweet general, but I expect it to get played less than Baral. What’s Baral going for? Scroll up and check, then buy accordingly.

Neheb the Worthy

Whether you try to buy this guy or buy other Minotaur cards that might go up, I think you’re screwed no matter what you didgeridoo.

I may or may not write the second part to this before next week if they wrap up the spoilers, soon. To review, I think there is probably one slam-dunk opportunity in the set so far and that’s Annointed Procession. The good thing about there only being one sicko target is that we can all focus on it and ruin the price for everyone like the dirty finance mafiosos that we are. Got a card you’d like me to discuss that I omitted? Leave it in the comments section. Until next (week?) time!

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Commander 2016 Reprint Guide

There are a LOT of reprints in Commander 2016 and I’m not going to cover them all. However, there are quite a few that I think are worth discussing either because their value will decline more than you might think or because the value is likely to recover. This is a pile of weird Conspiracy exclusions and busted specs. Let’s do this by color because that’s how the WotC visual spoiler is organized and you’re not my supervisor.

Blind Obedience

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This was experiencing some pretty modest growth and I liked it long-term. Not anymore, though. I think I may have underestimated the reprint risk a bit by even mentioning this in the past. They have printed so many cards that do what this does, minus the extort so I thought they forgot about it. This won’t recover.

Cathar’s Crusade

They are just going to reprint this forever. Since it was never old in the first place, there are infinity copies of this card. Stay away.

Ghostly Prison

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This was doomed from the moment they banned Splinter Twin. It was a $5 EDH card that became a $20 Modern card. Now that this just an EDH card again, it will be hard-pressed to be $5 in the near future with this new reprint. I think long-term this is a loser, despite being very good. It may grow, but not enough to bother. This is a trap.

Reveillark

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This shrugged off a Modern Masters reprinting. I think we’re going to see that there is a big difference between a Modern Masters reprinting and a Commander one. I think this will either not recover, will recover more anemically or will take longer. I wouldn’t bank on this being $9 anytime soon no matter what happens.

Master of Etherium

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This HAS shrugged off Commander-sized reprints, though. Planechase was as big as the first Commander set, which, admittedly, wasn’t on the same scale as C16 is. It also saw a duel deck printing in the interim, though. This will dip but I bet Modern demand drives it right back up. If this his $4 or something absurd, and it might, buy in. Since this is in a deck with Solemn Simulacrum, Daretti (Man….) Hellkite Tyrant and Baleful Strix as well as a bunch of new cards, there isn’t much pressure on Master to be worth more than $4 or $5 and that means opportunity. Modern just eats copies of this card and EDH demand doesn’t help. I think there is opportunity here.

Army of the Damned

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The only question here is whether dumb-dumb speculation about Innistrad returning is the only reason this recovered from the Commander 2013 reprinting. I don’t think so given the shape of the graph. This may be able to shake off this printing, too. Worst case scenario, you have a card that won’t stay in a binder long.

Beacon of Unrest

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None of these fluctuations are due to reprints, this is all the card just being a card. I think this probably normalizes a buck lower than it is now at minimum. I know this appears like it’s shrugged off reprints before, but I think if this were just a fifth dawn card, it would be $15 by now but the reality is that there are a lot of copies out there and this doesn’t help.

Breath of Fury

There are like a dozen Relentless Assault effects that spiked because of Narset so they reprint the only one that is a bulk rare.

Kalonian Hydra

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I was asked to address this in the comments section. I initially obviously looked at this card because it is a hydra and it doubles stuff and what’s more EDH than that? However, I think the growth on this card has been kind of anemic. True it has doubled since it rotated out of standard and that is pretty substantial, I also think that we’re going to get a ton of copies dumped on us. I’m sure this card will recover, but I think it’s going to go to $3 or $4 from its current $12 and it will never be $12 again. So where will it end up? I could see this being $6-$8 in a year or two, so if that’s acceptable, I guess you could buy in, but I mostly think there are better finance targets. I’ll admit I should have mentioned this card before, but I was pretty dismissive once I saw the slope of its graph and for whatever reason I didn’t think this needed to be mentioned. That said, at the end of this article I sort of conclude “Everything else I mentioned probably won’t recover” which isn’t true of this card at all. There is decent reprint risk in commander 2017 or 2018 but if this isn’t reprinted it could be decent. Get these for trade, not cash is my suggestion.

Lurking Predators

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M10 cards are pretty old. If they were kids, they would have started first grade last month. When I see an M10 card go from $2 to $5 over the course of 6 years, no matter how good it is, I am not enthusiastic about it growing at that rate again with a bunch of new copies being dumped. It will probably be half that growth rate, or 3/4 of it. If you’re happy paying $2 for Lurking Predators and waiting until 2024 for it to be $5, go for it, but I think the rate is too slow for me. I’m glad this will be cheap so it can go in more decks but I’m not excited to buy in.

Oath of Druids

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People are really surprised by this, mostly because a lot of people thought this was banned in EDH, on the Reserved List, or both. It’s neither. Also, it’s not played enough in EDH for its price to be sheltered at all and it’s about to be a $2 card forever because basically Vintage plays this. Also, Oath of Ghouls is on the Reserved List and this isn’t. K.

Scavenging Ooze

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This is nothing if not an indication that they will print this card as many times as necessary. I like the idea of these being $2 for a minute, but I don’t know if this can recover as vigorously as in the past. I think this would have to get lower than it’s likely to for me to want to buy in.

Chromatic Lantern

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This is only in one deck. which attenuates the impact of the reprint somewhat. I think if this gets down to like $3, you buy in. This will go back up, and with a 4 or 5 color deck being unlikely next year, it should be relatively safe from reprint for a while and should recover a lot of value. Also, the omission of Coalition Relic gives that card some real upside.

Venser’s Journal

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This needed it. I used to buy these for like $0.50 from competitive players who just wanted bulk out of their binders and I’m excited to have a second crack at making money off of these. These might never be $6 again, but they’ll normalize above where they’re about to go.

Homeward Path

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I was surprised how little this dipped and how fast it recovered last time it was reprinted. I don’t think it getting reprinted every two years can lead to a situation where it can sustainably recover. I think this may be done.

I think the rest of the reprints in the set are going to be obvious. The prices will go down because there is more supply and the cards that were artifically being propped up like Ghostly Prison will tank more and won’t recover. I will re-evaluate these cards in the months to come but for the most part, everything I didn’t think was obvious to everyone is in here. Is there a card you’d like me to discuss? Leave it in the comments section and I can update the article. Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend.

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Commander 2016 Spoiler Coverage

Commander 2016 is being spoiled and this is going to be a very tough one to assess.

For reference, here is everything from Commander 2015 that ended up being worth more than $3 a year later. This can help us at least see which classes of cards are bound to go up, but this set is way trickier and I’ll get to why in a minute.

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The value is fairly well spread out over all of the decks to such an extent that the most valuable card in the set is only $9. There was no obvious deck to buy, really. I mean, Meren’s deck had a lot of good cards but the value didn’t end up concentrated in that deck so while Meren is easily the most popular commander to play with, the value is spread out nicely, with the Mizzix deck getting Mystic Confluence, the Kalemne deck getting Blade of Selves and Urza’s Incubator, the Ezuri deck getting Command Beacon and the Daxos deck getting Black Market and Karlov. Perfect; just how we want it.

Once we start spoiling cards you will see how weak the commanders are but how in combination with the others we can build good decks. Good decks means even weak commanders can see Meren’s $6 price tag, but with 45 combinations to choose from, it will take a while before the best combinations are discovered. Hopefully the value ends up other places. Let’s look at cards, shall we?

10/28/16 Spoilers

Treacherous Terrain

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I predict in a year or two, this will be worth more than some of the rares in the set. You’re going to dome everyone for like 10 with this a lot of the time.

I waited a few hours for SCG to update their prices and they still haven’t, so I guess we’re stuck with eBay. eBay’s not a bad metric to look at, anyway. Not that it matters, but eBay wants $2 for a playset of these. Don’t pay that.

Curtains’ Call

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This is pretty good. If you’re playing this for 4 mana, it’s a beating. It doesn’t exile itself, either, meaning you can loop this and really pull pants down. But what do I know? I advocate playing Hex in EDH. This, unlike Hex, won’t get stranded in your hand for lack of targets and you’re never paying its full mana cost. I like this card a lot. This can target any targetable creature, also, unlike spells like Go For The Throat which I see played a lot in EDH. 2 mana kill spells are less good in a format where you have 40 life and everyone spends the first few turns playing ramp spells and tutors. This is like $1 and I think that may wind up being too cheap in a year, but again, that all depends on the makeup of the deck it’s in.

Duelist’s Heritage

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This seems strong. It’s a better Battle Mastery because you don’t get blown out by removal, you can play it whenever and pick the target later, and this is good in decks other than just Voltron decks. Is this going to be worth more than the $2 this is on eBay right now? That’s hard to predict. I like this card but I think it may be a bit narrow. The bar for being worth $3 or more is pretty high on these sets as evidenced by our C15 data.

Benefactor’s Draught

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Will Benefactor’s Draught ever be Money Draught? Green has plenty of cards that draw you a ton of cards and this feels clunkier than they are. You’re relying on being ahead enough to force them to do a lot of blocking or on your opponents to attack the bejesus out of each other. Thing is, at least one of those things is bound to happen. Even if you only attack with two creatures and they get blocked, you played a Green Ancestral. Anything that can draw you this many cards is suspicious, untapping all of your creatures and drawing a card even in non-combat scenarios makes this even more suspicious. This is pre-selling for $1 and I am the kind of lunatic who would buy some at that price. This is a card with potential, something you can’t say about better cards in the set that are obviously better and are therefore pre-selling for higher.

Entrapment Maneuver

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This is a pretty bad Neck Snap. White doesn’t always get the best removal, except when it does, I guess. I mean, it doesn’t always get the best removal but they can’t take Path to Exile away from us. We don’t, however, have to play non-targeted removal that is pretty terrible if they have creatures of varying size. You get some dorks out of it and can leverage this into killing 2 attacks, but you can also trade a 1/1 token of theirs for one of your own with this, also. It’s too inconsistent and is likely a bulk rare.

10/27/16 Spoilers

Manifold Insights

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I don’t trust cards like this. Sure, you’re going to draw a lot of cards, but never what you want to draw. I suspect that even the worst x cards in your top ten may be better than we’re anticipating on paper, especially if your deck is land-rich. I don’t know if this will ever be worth more than $1.

Sidenote: When I checked this price, I noticed Deepglow Skate is $3 today. I liked it at $2 yesterday and I don’t like it that much less at $3 today because that at least indicates some people are off the fence. Are you off the fence, now?

Goblin Spymaster

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I like this card, a lot. That said, this is probably priced correctly at $1. Take a second look at the list of cards in Commander 2015 that are over $3. If you buy in at $1, you want it to hit at least 3, and this card is outclassed by everything that’s $3 in C15. That said, it’s a low-risk buy-in. Just know there are only a few opportunities per set and this is not among them.

Boompile

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Do EDH players want cards like this? I kind of hate this card. I think some decks that want to watch the world burn, need a reset and can’t afford Oblivion Stone and antisocial people will want this. $2 may be too high.

Thrasios, Triton Hero

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Legendary Creature – Merfolk
4: Scry 1, then reveal the top card of your library. If it’s a land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped. Otherwise, draw a card.

Partner

I saw people online calling this a bad, expensive Coiling Oracle, which is profoundly missing two points. The first is that if Coiling Oracle could be your general, that would be pretty amazing. The second is that repeatable abilities are very good. Throw in Scry on top and this is going to come down early and help the strategy of whichever commander this is paired with execute its strategy. SCG doesn’t have a price up, but I imagine it’s a buck or two. I’m not a buyer at that price, but this is a better card than people think.

Armory Automaton

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Artifact Creature – Construct
Whenever Armory Automaton enters the battlefield or attacks, attach to it any number of target equipments. (Control of Equipment doesn’t change.)

This is pretty saucy. You’re going to deprive a lot of people of a lot of equipment. Lightning Greaves are stripped off, suddenly leaving commanders with their pants down. They still get their triggers but if they have a lot of swords, just don’t attack with the automaton. People are chattering about this in Legacy to break open some of the equipment mirrors. That’s not the craziest thing I have ever heard, actually. Not that anyone has an opportunity to play Legacy these days. This is currently a $3 playset on eBay and I’m not personally buying in, but that’s a good price if you like this.

Seeds of Renewal

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If you’re playing with the right number of players, this is better than Restock, which isn’t saying much because no one plays Restock. This is likely a bulk rare.

Divergent Transformations

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Remember when Blue was the Polymorph color? Technically this is also the riskiest removal spell in the history of Magic, also, so it’s got some flexibility to it. I think this is a bulk rare, also, but I think it may play out more interesting than I initially think. Still not a good buy at $1 IMO.

Runehorn Hellkite

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So Nekusar gets another wheel, this time a wheel that you can discard and still use? Good grief. The rich keep getting richer, don’t they? At least this can’t go in Leovold decks, too. I don’t know if this is worth $3, but being able to be whammed in Nekusar and its dragon status make that a pretty safe bet of where it will end up.

Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder

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At least they gave him trample, I guess. Otherwise this card would make the least sense of all of the 4-color cards, and that group includes a creature with a passive ability for proliferate decks stapled to a 4/4 angel with 10 combat abilities. This seems goofy – having to deal them damage to be able to use his ability. Why make a worse Maelstrom Wanderer that’s arguably harder to cast? I don’t know, I am pretty disappointed, but this likely turns out an OK commander and with the addition of black, you’ll be cascading into better removal. At $6, SCG is pretty confident this will be the most popular card so far. I don’t see much money to be made at this price, especially with how much more popular Atraxa seems to be. Let’s hope I am not letting how stupid the design of this card is blind me to the power level.

Magus of the Will

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Would you believe Yawgmoth’s Will is legal in EDH? Now we have a clunkier version of it. This will probably see less play than Yawgmoth’s Will, a card played a fair amount in a fair number of decks, surprisingly. $10? I don’t know, man. It’s a $30 card’s effect stapled to a creature, but if that were a fair way to assess a card, Magus of the Tabernacle would be $300. I just don’t know if you will ever be happy you paid $10 for this.

Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper

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I hate this card. I might play it in a Doran deck or something, but I don’t want this as my commander no matter what it’s partnered with. I’m sure I’m being unfair to this card, but it’s clunky, dealing combat damage is harder than R&D seems to think, and I think this card is pretty disappointing. I’m certainly not a fan of paying $4. Disagree in the comments if you want, but be sure and tell me how many copies you’re buying at $4.

Curse of Vengeance

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This is probably in the Atraxa deck, which hurts its upside. Even if this effect does surprise a lot of people, being in that deck likely puts a lower-than-normal cap on its price. I think this card is cool, but depending on someone else losing could lead to the table not finishing them off just so you don’t draw a ton of cards. This is an interesting design and that doesn’t always mean good.

10/26/16 Spoilers

Conquerer’s Flail

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So this is pretty good, huh? Granting a scaling bonus of up to +5/+5 for 2 to cast and 2 to equip is solid, but not great by EDH standards. However, its second clause of turning the equipped creature into a walking City of Solitude is the money-maker. SCG hasn’t really listed anything for presale over $4 and this is no exception, but I think this may be pretty highly sought. Lots of decks want this effect, though I’m not sure how many can make room. If this were $1 like Blade of Selves were, I might be inclined to buy, but $4 may be just about right so I’m reluctant to invest. $4 is a pretty inconvenient price point because if it’s too low, there isn’t much money to be made even if you recognize that. That’s OK – this should trade well and it could have even more ubiquity than I am anticipating, so watch this card closely.

Stonehoof Chieftain

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This looks like a bulk rare to me.

Deepglow Skate

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This card is a mistake. That said, it is probably narrow enough that its power level won’t become a problem and the fact that it needs other cards to make it truly broken should make it just a solid EDH card rather than a real issue. This is pre-selling for $2 and that seems low to me, actually. I don’t hate this as a spec at $2. This is ridiculous with Planeswalkers, hydras, Goblin Bomb, Darksteel Reactor – this card is stupid. You can flicker this with Deadeye Navigator and double all of the counters on all of your perms. WHAT? $2 can’t be correct.

Akiri, Rope Thrower

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Legendary Creature – Kor Soldier Ally
First strike, vigilance

Akiri, Rope Thrower has +1/+0 for each artifact you control.

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This is weird. I guess some sort of Kor equipment deck would work for this and this gives you access to red the way the Nahiri Planeswalker doesn’t, but if you want this over Jor Kadeen as your commander in that deck, it’s probably because you’re playing Tiny Leaders and why are you doing that? Stop doing that. SCG doesn’t have a price for this, but I bet it’s $1.

Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist

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This card is really dumb with pingers, but pingers are usually pretty bad in EDH unless you throw a deathtouch equipment on them (at which point Goblin Sharpshooter becomes Goblin Mass Shooter). Honestly, there are dozens of ways to make them take damage every turn and if you’re keeping your hand full doing it, you’re going to have a good time. This doesn’t even NEED partner, but pairing this with black cards will be fun. Honestly, this pairs well with anything. UR players didn’t get their artifact commander, but this is so good they shouldn’t complain (but will). $2 is the price SCG wants, and I’m starting to wonder where they think the value will come from. If every new card is $2, the decks will be way above MSRP so they’re trying to hedge a bit. I don’t think this will be $8 in the future, either, so it’s hard to know what to do on this. Basically there is one card, maybe two every set worth preordering and I think it’s Deepglow Skate this time. Still, this card is very good.

Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis

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If I’m not mistaken, these are the first gay Magic characters. They were depicted in Guardians of Meletis and now they’re getting their own card, which is bound to make nice people happy and terrible people unhappy, so that’s good all around. It really doesn’t hurt that the card is actually pretty decent. Guardians of Meletis’ flavor text also described these two as “peaceful” so it’s no surprise that their ability is not very aggressive. Drawing extra cards, dumping extra lands and making your opponents like you fits that nicely. This card is fine and I think it might be pretty fun to build around. I imagine this ends up in the $4-$5 range eventually, so paying the $3 SCG wants is risky. This could end up $8. Do you think it will? $3 isn’t the worst entry point, then. I’m pretty skeptical, though.

Ravos, Soultender

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Another commander that is probably good enough to play even if he didn’t have partner. This card is pretty damn good, and being able to pair this with other colors is even better. Green for Doubling Season for our weenies and counters on said weenies? There are a lot of possibilities. I like this card a lot and SCG does, too because they’re preselling it for $4. I don’t know if this hits $8 ever but I do know it’s spicy. I just wish I knew which cards were in which decks so I could start to get a feel for how the value is spread out and which decks have more room to grow than others.

Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker

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Hey, look! It’s my card! I was fortunate (good at my job) enough to preview this card for Gathering Magic and I hate having to review cards I preview. I used to see so many people super hyped about their preview card that they lost touch with reality. My desire to avoid that led to us on Brainstorm Brewery hedging a little and refusing to say that we actually thought Fevered Visions was Standard playable. I’m going to try and be objective and say that I think this will grow very quickly and if you can keep it alive, it will KO people quickly. Anyone who has ever grown a Taurean Mauler to 21/21 knows that. Is this great? Nah. But I like it, and if you have another commander, this is a fine card to give you access to Azorius stuff. SCG wants $2 and this might end up a $2 card so I’m not buying in. I was happy to preview this and I am OK with it if no one preorders it.

Faerie Artisans

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I can’t wait to pair this card with enchantments that double my tokens. Getting a copy of their triggers is pretty cool and getting two copies is even better. Having a sac outlet for the tokens before they can be killed is great, too. This is actually a really strong card. No price for this, yet, but I imagine this will be a buck or two. I think this could end up worth more than that. This is a very cool card. That said, Mycoloth is better and c15 reprints made that like $2.75. It’s hard to know what to make of this, but I like it.

10/25/16 Spoilers

Saskia the Unyielding

saskiatheunyielding

Well, this is a thing, I guess. Punishing someone at the table, possibly someone you can’t attack profitably through a pillowfort or doubling damage on someone you can easily swang at is pretty powerful. The logic here, I guess, is that 4 colors is tough to pull off so you should be rewarded with a brutal commander if you go that route and rewarded more if you do the BALLSIEST THING EVER and don’t play any blue in an EDH deck. AT $4 I don’t know if this has any upside. All of the 4-color commanders seem very strong so far and since the blueless deck isn’t likely to have no other value in it, it’s difficult to imagine a world where this hits $10 because nothing else in the deck is worth a damn. I don’t see profit or danger in pre-ordering this, but, buying singles to play with seems silly when the decks are worth MSRP and you can trade off what you don’t want.

Breya, Etherium Shaper

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The non-green commander is pretty spicy, although I’m not all that excited to play a token engine in a deck with no access to Doubling Season and Parallel Lives. This is the same $4 as the other commanders and I don’t think that’s out of order. I’m a little unsure of how this one will play without the token abuse green gives us and I imagine people are going to be disappointed at how fair this card is.

Tymna the Weaver

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This is very, very good. It’s a shoo-in for decks like Oloro and Ayli and Karlov, all of which happen to be insanely popular EDH generals right now. I think this might actually end up being a bargain at $2, depending on what else is in the deck along with it. This is very powerful, especially if you pair Tymna with a commander that is focused on dealing them damage. This is the first card that strikes me as being potentially underpriced.

Tana, the Bloodsower

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This CAN be paired with Doubling Season and Parallel Lives and Primal Vigor and that’s good. This is in colors that are known for boosting the power and toughness of attackers, which is also good. This is a very Gruul card and that’s just fine. At $2 for a mythic (although there is one copy of every new mythic for every copy of a new common, so the rarity is more of an indication of power level than an indication of its relative scarcity like in booster pack sets) this seems like a card people aren’t thrilled with right now and unless this is as popular as something like Meren as a commander or can go in as many decks as Tymna, I don’t know if $2 is incorrect. This can push some other cards up, though.

Reyhan, Last of the Abzan

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There are plenty of Golgari cards that pair very, very nicely with this card and if you throw this in a deck with Sidar Kondo or something, you could have a pretty decent deck going. Golgari is getting all of the best cards lately and with this pre-selling for $3, more than some mythics, there is a bit of confidence in this card. It’s really tough to know how each of the billion partner creatures will pan out, but with a likely ceiling on them around $6, I don’t see money to be made buying at $3.

Vial Smasher the Fierce

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I clearly have a blindspot when it comes to Rakdos. The only Rakdos deck I have is Olivia Voldaren and it’s nothing like the rest of them. When I see a card like Pia Nalaar spoiled and think “Wow, this is underwhelming” and see Grenzo and Alesha players lose their collective $#%^ I start to wonder if I shouldn’t give more Rakdos cards the benefit of the doubt. This seems durdly to me, but apparently a durdly Kaervek has a lot of people excited. At $4, this could gain a buck or two but the post office will see most of those gains if you try to flip.

Coastal Breach

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This was probably a mistake. Making a Wrath easier to cast is a good idea, making an annoying boardwipe easier to cast is not. At least it’s a Sorcery, I guess. This will make the game take longer, and that’s really annoying. That said, this likely doesn’t end up the exact same price as the Wrath, but I don’t know which card is going which way.

Assault Cinder Horn

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Haste

At the beginning of the end step of each player, if no creature attacked this turn, put a fury counter on “Assault Cinder Horn.” Then “Assault Cinder Horn” deals damage to that player equal the number of fury counters on it.

Attack people, people. This is an aggressive card, but that doesn’t make this more than $1, I don’t think.

Primeval Protector

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We talked about this card at length on Brainstorm Brewery this week. Pay attention to cards casuals like. This probably hits bulk, but this is a card that will always trade out very well, especially to the “I’ll trade a rare for a rare” crowd. Don’t buy this now, but don’t be surprised when this is a couple of bucks in a year or two or you get a lot of requests for it.

Crystalline Crawler

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Converge – Crystalline Crawler enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each color of mana spent to cast it.

Remove a +1/+1 counter from Crystalline Crawler: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

T: Put a +1/+1 counter on Crystalline Crawler.

This seems like Mindless Automaton, Etched Oracle and Chronomaton all contributed genetic material to a bulk rare.

Selfless Squire

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This is a pretty good card but I feel like white has a lot of effects like this. Still, this may be the best fog creature we’ve seen and with +1/+1 counters mattering to some of the commanders, this could be a solid card. I don’t know if I want to pay more than $1, though, especially with all of the value I am seeing so far in terms of reprints.

Cruel Entertainment

cruelentertainment

This is a great way to piss two people off and have them come to a “You use my turn to attack the guy who played this with my creatures and I’ll use your turn to attack the guy who played this with your creatures” truce. I don’t think this does what you want it to do, which is too bad because this card is HILARIOUS. Choose the player doing the best and the player doing the worst and hope they don’t beat you too badly. There are plenty of effects like this that are still around $1, so I don’t see profit to be made here, but this is pretty great EDH design.

10/24/16 Spoilers

Arraxa, Praetor’s Voice

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If we end up with a nice value distribution like last time, the ceiling for this card is $6. Star City is pre-selling this for $5. We’re going to make money if SCG makes a huge mistake like they did with Blade of Selves and Command Beacon. We won’t make money when they nail it like they did with Mystic Confluence. This card is stupid good, but I have to imagine the 4 other 4-color commanders are equally amazing. This power level could relegate the two-color commanders to a lower pricing tier, but it isn’t always the “flashy” one worth money – look at how Karlov is the all-star in Daxos’ deck. With this set giving us new decks instead of the usual 10, we’re going to see a lot of brewing and the hardcore people having to buy the same deck more than once. Still, I think it’s safe to say there isn’t a ton of money to be made on Arraxa even with how different this set promises to be. Arraxa sure makes other cards go up, and we’ll talk about that in the coming weeks.

Silas Renn, Seeker Adept

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This is fun but not ridiculous. His financial impact will be on other cards but the $2 SCG wants for him is just about right. Hopefully there is a commander to pair him with that gives him some sort of evasion. I like him in Esper with Daxos the Meletis and Thada Adel. This is unlikely to be a $6-$9 card in my opinion despite me liking it.

Kraum, Ludevic’s Opus

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This is better than it looks because it does two things. First, it helps Izzet decks keep their hand full, something they struggle with even with the high number of cantrips they play. Second, it allows you to access other colors by partnering Kraum with another commander to give you access to black. Suddenly an Izzet deck can play Ill-Gotten Gains, Yawgmoth’s Will, etc. Does that mean this should be more than a buck? Probably not, especially since the deck it’s in is likely to have a ton of gas.

Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa

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EDH Players: We’d like a UR creature that interacts with artifacts, please.
WOTC: We hear you loud and clear *prints a creature with flanking instead*

This card is going for $2 and I am not prepared to say how wrong or right that is. It’s possible an unspoiled commander partners ridiculously well with this. Generally, kithkinshroud isn’t the way to go wide with tokens or whatever since you usually want Cathar’s Crusade and anthems and stuff to go wide. This makes it easier for Silas Renn to hit them, though. Who knows? I think $2 is probably fine, but that means don’t buy this for finance reasons. If you want this to play with, probably buy the precon and get a dozen new cards. So, it’s hard to see a scenario where you pay cash for this.

Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder

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He looks like Braum from League of Legends because, like Braum, he’s boring to play, doesn’t do his job better than everyone else in the same niche and literally no one asked for him. Maybe they’ll make Boros interesting some day, but that day is not today. $2 seems like it’s not a mistake.

Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix

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Printing this card was a mistake. I can’t say whether I want to pay $4 cash for these without knowing what else is in the deck because I don’t know whether this can double to $8-$9, but I do know that this card is messed up and they shouldn’t have printed it. None of the other commanders with partner are this good, so far.

Prismatic Geoscope

prismaticgeoscope

How much money would you pay for a Gilded Lotus that sometimes taps for 0 mana and can tap for up to 5? I think the answer is more than $3 long-term, but I also think this can get cheaper before it gets more expensive, provided the deck it’s in isn’t relying on it to be like $6 in the short term for the deck to be worth MSRP. I don’t know if this is in one deck or five, so until we know more, this is a “wait and see” card. I am calling this a hold and the only scenario where that changes is if it’s only in one deck and that deck is garbage. I don’t know that this is the case. If this is in every deck, you’ll lose a lot of money if you preordered today. Hold.

Sublime Exhalation

sublimeexhalation

If this card is ever better than Day of Judgment it’s not going to make up for the fact that you’re playing in an annoying game with way too many players. This does get around cards that counter spells with a convereted mana cost of a certain amount, I guess. Still, I’m not excited and neither is SCG who is pre-selling this for $1. That’s cheaper than Day of Judgment and this is functionally a Day if you have 3 opponents, but I’d rather play 5 and Fumigate or pay 8 and Decree of Pain.

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Masterpiece Series and Kaladesh Inventions

Just when we thought we were at peak excitement regarding Kaladesh, Wizards unveiled Kaladesh Inventions, an entry in the new Masterpiece Series!

In Battle for Zendikar and Oath of the Gatewatch, ultra-rare cards appeared occasionally in booster packs. These cards were reprints of some of the best lands Magic: The Gathering has ever seen, printed with brand-new frames and custom art. In the year since their release, they’ve been spotted all over coverage tables, and are an exclusive collector’s item for those with deep pockets.

After taking the Shadows Over Innistrad block off, Wizards is bringing back these special promo cards in a big way, starting with Kaladesh Inventions. Kaladesh Inventions is similar to Zendikar Expeditions in that they’ll show up very rarely; roughly 1 in every 140 booster packs. There are 30 that will appear in Kaladesh, and another 24 will come with Aether Revolt. Each of the 54 in these two sets will be an artifact. What’s especially amazing is the border — these cards are beautiful! Players across the continuum have been raving about how excellent they look.

Perhaps the bigger news is that Kaladesh Inventions is only part of a larger feature which is the Masterpiece Series. When Zendikar Expeditions was revealed we all wondered whether it would become permanent. Well, now we have our answer! Going forward, each new block will come with its own special run of cards tied thematically to the world of the set. Battle for Zendikar’s entry was all lands. Kaladesh’s are all artifacts. If we ever return to Theros, that will likely be all enchantments. Next year’s Amonkhet will almost definitely feature some Nicol Bolas-inspired entries.

For more information, check out Mark Rosewater’s article here. You can view all of the revealed cards in Kaladesh Inventions here. And check back on Wednesday when Travis goes in-depth on what impact Kaladesh Inventions will have on the secondary market!

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