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MOM’s Basket of Rares

The set is officially released next Friday, and there’s a lot of amazing things going on. A Multiverse Legends sheets playing merry hell with the draft/sealed format, previews for the doesn’t-have-commons Aftermath set, and serialized cards setting all sorts of records. Wild times!

One other wild thing going on is that rares in this set are vastly overpriced for cards who are about to flood the market. Traditionally, preordering is only for those who must have the newest thing now, either for Commander or Constructed play. About once every other set, a rare climbs from its low price to be a multi-format staple, destined to be expensive until its inevitable reprint. Examples include Ledger Shredder and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker.

So let’s get into March of the Machine’s rares, looking at current prices, where I think those prices will go, and if there’s anything worth buying right now.

All prices are for the regular nonfoil, and are accurate as of Friday morning, 4/14, but prices are about to be very volatile.

City on Fire ($8.50 preorder) – We’ve seen that a very similar card at mythic can do some amazing growth. Behold, Fiery Emancipation: 

Big caveat, though, is the rare vs mythic and the idea that MOM is going to sell a lot more booster packs than M21 did. The serialized chase is going to crater the prices of a lot of cards, and while I am looking forward to buying a big stack of City on Fire, I’m going to be patient about it. Hopefully this gets down to the $2-$3 range, a much safer starting point for the journey.

Faerie Mastermind ($6) – I know that Invitational cards are rarely bad, and this one especially hits hard. In Commander, it’s not hard to make this do a lot of work for you, and it’s going to be adopted very quickly into a wide range of decks. It’s got applications in lots and lots of deck types, and is aggressively costed for Standard appeal. I like the long-term potential of this card, I’m just unwilling to get in this early when there’s so many copies left to open.

Invasion of Ikoria ($6) – Finale of Devastation and Green Sun’s Zenith are similar cards, and this is now a card that can be played alongside the Finale. The main issue is that Invasion can’t go get Vizier of Remedies in Devoted Druid combo decks, as that’s a deck which would likely play a copy or two of the tutor. Rare in MOM is a whole different animal than mythic in WAR, and this is not going to give you $40 pricing ever. It’ll be lucky to be a $10 card in one year’s time, and in the short term, it going to fall to a dollar or less.

Tribute to the World Tree ($3) – Again, we have similar cards out there that haven’t taken off financially, and none of them had the hardcore mana cost that makes this mostly an option for decks that are mono-green or heavy in that color. It’s a fantastic card in Devotion decks, but in almost all ways, The Great Henge is better. I’m always a fan of adding the peanut butter and jelly together, though!

Chrome Host Seedshark ($2) – Of all the cards on this list, this is the one I’m most favorable towards. This effect is quite amazing, but we have a warning card in Metallic Summonings, which was mythic, it is an enchantment that is a lot harder to get rid of, and nonfoils are just over a buck. The Shark triggers on all noncreature spells, which is good, but it’s a creature and easy to kill. There’s tradeoffs, certainly.

Summonings dropped in price when it was in the Commander 2021 decks, but foils haven’t budged at all. I’m going to be waiting on buying the Shark for a bit, but if you asked me which rare from MOM might get there, this would be the one. If it gets to a nicely low price, especially FEA versions, I’m very likely to buy a brick.

Etali, Primal Conqueror ($4.50) – I love that we get the top of the deck effect right away, but then that’s it. Getting this effect as an attack trigger would be ideal, but honestly, the giant 7/7 trampler will be pretty good along with the four free spells you just cast. Shouldn’t be a huge problem.

Plus, you can flip it into a Blightsteel Colossus for just a little more mana and life! There’s no way Etali holds its price, not even a little bit. This will end up as close to bulk, even as it kicks butt all over Commander tables.

Invasion of Alara ($1) – I adore WUBRG cards. I’m pretty close to making a Commander deck with that as the theme. I only have one 5-color deck right now, and it’s the Ur-Dragon. I tried The Kami War in there, and found it mediocre, but I think this Invasion is one of the best even if you don’t flip it. You’re getting your five mana back, statistically speaking, and then there’s an enormous payoff for dealing the 7 damage. Given that this is already so cheap, I’m hesitant to say it’ll go up, especially when looking at the graphs for things like The Kami War. It’ll be bulk, and it’ll likely stay there.

Rampaging Raptor ($0.75) – Questing Beast was a mythic, and just couldn’t be blocked by small things. This is clearly worst than the Beast, but not by much. The problem is, what deck does this go into? There’s barely a market for it in Standard, unless a deck takes off that is hyper-focused on battles. Still, if this is the top end for a super-aggressive red deck, it has great potential to climb out of its trench. If it starts moving, be prepared to move with it.

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.

Pro Trader: The Best Bad Color


Welcome to another installment of the series “Jason writes an article.” Sometimes it is on here, sometimes on other sites, but always article. This is the 541st article I have written on MTG Price, and if that sounds bonkers to you, it is to me, also. Today I am not going to do my normal article from my perspective, fearing it might seem exactly the same from your perspective and that I have been overthinking it for 540 articles, and that’s just this site. What I think I am doing differently is that I’m going to talk about a color then the cards in that color. I don’t always do exactly that. It’s different. Shut up.

What’s the worst color in Commander? That’s right, Red, and it isn’t close. But a few years ago, people would still have said Red. But a few years before that, probably still Red. The point is, White has almost always been the second worst color, some argued the worst, because it didn’t mana ramp as hard. We have seen every possible variation on Knight of the White Orchid and by now there are two or three Archaeomancer’s Map-tier cards in White that make it keep up nicely with the Green-based ramp decks. I have seen a Demonic Tutor used as a Farseek more than once, but, sure, White is the worst at it. Black has Cabal Coffers, Green has mana dorks and Cultivate, Blue has mana dorks and Cultivate if you built correctly and added Green, and Red has Seething Song. What does White have? Well, lately, it’s had everything.

I wasn’t even going to write this specific article until I decided to look at the most-played cards in the, well the set that has most recently been fully-spoiled, I guess. We have 8 cards revealed from March of the Machine, the perfect amount of cards to have revealed before you reveal a million-dollar one-of-a-kind collectible card and a White Remand. And let’s be clear about something else – I just found out about the White Remand because I was procrastinating on twitter between paragraphs – I had no idea White got a Remand, a card that’s basically good everywhere except for EDH, until after I had started my “White gets everything these days, huh?” article. White IS getting a lot, if not everything, and one trip to EDHREC will bear that out.

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ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

Pro Trader: Dominaria United Breaks into Modern, Pioneer

Dominaria United (DMU) had an immediate impact on Pioneer and Modern tournaments over the weekend, which was a much-needed change after four months of lingering without new cards. Liliana of the Veil lived up to the hype, seeing significant play across Pioneer. This was generally expected, and I discussed this topic last week. But there were many other breakout stars from DMU that slid into existing shells along with a few that helps push old archetypes back into the spotlight. These early results will be studied further, tested, and refined in the coming weeks. The result will be that some of these cards will stick around while others will slowly fade away as quickly as they came. Let’s check out the new hot tech, shall we?

Leyline Binding was the most talked about Modern relevant card leading into last weekend and it did not disappoint. In the end, it was included in a combined 9 decks across two Top 32s from both Modern challenges over the weekend. This included two second-place finishes in different archetypes focused on Glimpse of Tomorrow and Indomitable Creativity. Both featured five-color mana bases, making Leyline Binding effectively cost one mana, which obviously is very good. Leyline Binding also did well in a Crashing Footfalls and a more generic good stuff build too. I will be curious to see if there is a backlash to decks leaning even harder than they have been into 4-5 color mana base in the next week or two via Blood Moon type strategies, but for now, Leyline Binding is having a fairly very large impact on Modern.

Over in Pioneer, Leyline Binding was only played in one Bring to Light/Niv-Mizzet Reborn deck, which is not that shocking considering the format lacks fetch lands that make Triomes so easily accessible.

Goblins won the September 3rd Modern Challenge, the first MTGO Modern Tournament that took place after the release of DMU. The deck was fueled by the addition of its new powerful two mana lord Rondel Hordemaster. This card is pretty crazy. A two-mana lord is pretty good in its own right, but in addition, this card provides card advantage to goblin decks every time a goblin dies, which is a regular occurrence already via combat or though Skirk Prospector, Mogg Fanatic, and Mogg War Marshal’s echo cost. Goblins will do goblin things – I expect this deck to pop in and out of the meta going forward based on the power of Rondel Hordemaster.

Streamer Aspiringspike was playing around with an Oswald Fiddlebender brew a while ago, but we haven’t seen much of the deck since then. But this week featured a new iteration of this deck that ended up in 3rd place. This new version is different than the old version but still leans heavily into Oswald Fiddlebender’s unique ability. It helps find the combo of Thopter Foundry/Sword of the Meek, which makes as many 1/1 flying thopters as you have mana. It will also set up Crackdown Construct/Lightning Greaves combo, which makes Crackdown Construct as large as you’d like (by equipping and re-equipping lightning greaves for free) and then attacking for the win.

I would love to see film of the pilot running this deck, which provides so many options it would take a significant amount of time to learn and optimize. I mention this deck here because Serra Paragon – a clearly powerful card – is featured with a full four copies. Interesting indeed. No doubt Serra gives the deck more reach and inevitability if it isn’t dealt with – similar to Lurrus prior to its ban – but at four mana making it a little slower, especially if it’s played on curve. And of course, it’s not a free companion. I’m hoping and looking forward to seeing more of this unique and interesting deck.

Although Sheoldred didn’t break into the Pioneer top 8 this weekend, the deck below did well and has potential moving forward. It also notably includes four copies of Liliana of the Veil – no surprise there. This deck’s curve is about as strong as it comes – with solid options in each key stop – plus additional ways to play a long game with Tenacious Underdog’s Blitz cost and drawing card via Castle Locthwain. This strategy is a great counterbalance to the other things going on in the Pioneer format right now – I hope it continues to do well.

Turning to Legacy for a brief moment, Shivan Devastator surprisingly snuck into the Top 8, in a mono-red list, while Vodalian Hexcatcher barely missed out, ending up in 12th place this weekend. While one-off Legacy finishes aren’t going to move paper cardboard, anything that does well in Legacy typically has potential in other formats. I’m going to keep an eye on these two going forward to see if they are one-hit wonders or perhaps something more.

Oko (@OkoAssassin) has been writing for MTGPrice since 2020 with a focus on competitive play and Magic Online. In his personal life Oko is a lawyer, father, ice-hockey player, runner, and PC gamer.

Unlocked Pro Trader: I Forgot the Precons


I considered, as a bit, saying “I forgot the precons” a bunch of times in this article like they said “We bought a zoo!” in the movie “We Bought a Zoo.” I say “they” because I honestly don’t remember if it was Matt Damon or Brad Pitt. It was one of those two. Or Greg Kinnear. One of the three out of Matt Damon, Brad Pitt or Greg Kinnear. The point is, one of them, or Liev Schreiber maybe, I literally have no idea, but it’s one of those four, said “We bought a zoo!” every time something zooey happened. I think. I only saw the trailer. The point is, I forgot the precons.

I didn’t mean to, it’s just that last week we didn’t have data and this week we do, so I was all set to write the “We have data now!” article for the main set and I remembered I haven’t even TOUCHED the precon commanders. It’s cool, I remembered in time. While the precons are less ripe for giving us good specs, I think the top ones will have had enough cards removed and replaced that a consensus can start to form. Let’s see what we see, shall we? I forgot the precons.

This is the top 8 so far, but there are literally 30 Legendary creatures in this set of 5 decks and that’s… just so many. I like that Tor Wauki is currently winning, a lot, and I think it’s as good a place to start as any.

This is a pretty standard variation on the “Torbran turns a ping into a BANG” formula, and access to Black is very good. You wouldn’t know it from the High Synergy cards, but there are some high inclusions that deserve a look.

Perhaps then the foil?

This is a good card, a gorgeous if curly foil and a card that has flirted with $3 when it was getting played not at all. Obossh made people remember this card existed, Tor Wauki makes sure they never forget again.

Man, that was a sick sentence. I should write flavor text.

This is far from the best time to buy Sedgemoor Witch but it’s very far from the worse. I like this card a ton as I am beginning to like all Extended Art cards. This was basically the price of the regular frame for a while and a year on, this is how it looks. Just sayin.

If anything with Suspend on it ever gets cheap, buy a lot. Of all of the mechanics that seem to get broken and turn into free spells accidentally, Suspend seems to do it 5 times as often as anything else.

There will be a time when people stop caring that their copy of a Magic card is butt ugly because it’s a $16 copy of a $24 card. This isn’t there yet, but it’s rebounding already because this card is unfair. Both versions are under $5 right now and both are a buy.

Ditto. This version is more polarizing than ugly which should help the price of both, and both versions are too cheap, currently.

If someone is willing to sell you this powerful foil card for $1, you should take them up on it.

Here is Exhibit A, I could find an Exhibit B if you needed it, but I kind of feel like anyone who needed that would have acquitted OJ.

Fine, here is a card I told people to pick up at $1. Not bragging, just saying sometimes it’s so obvious even I catch it. This goes in the Hazezon deck but the nonfoil is trash, so consider foils when a new commander makes an old uncommon relevant.

Now THIS is a wild pile of cards, good gravy.

OK, kidding. I mean… kind of? Legends cards coming in Dominaria packs are going to be somewhat likely to spark some interest in the old set and with legendary status mattering to this absolute bat$*@# commander, some of the older stuff could move again. This card is old enough to have gray hair, there is something to be said for it not being actually unplayable since you can draw it with the middle ability on your Planeswalker commander that has a built in Insurrection you should probably be building to? I don’t know, what I do know is that the cards in this deck are all in the precon and people aren’t adding much and I wanted to finish with a whimper to give some other writers a crack at the title of “best article of the week” for a change.

I will go over more of the 70 Legendary creatures in this set next week because I am Magic’s Sisyphus. Thanks for reading, nerds. Until next time!