The Watchtower 4/15/19 for ProTraders – Plan Your Specs

ADVERTISEMENT:


By: Travis Allen
@wizardbumpin


Don’t miss this week’s installment of the MTG Fast Finance podcast, an on-topic, no-nonsense tour through the week’s most important changes in the Magic economy.


War of the Spark spoilers keep rolling on, and we’re all having a grand ol’ time with them. Flavorwise it’s exciting, as we’ve seen the Amonkhet gods die and suffer (?) zombification, Domri Rade got de-sparked, and it’s looking like several more aren’t going to make it out of the fray unharmed. Mechanically, planeswalkers are sending everyone into a tizzy. EDH channels are thrilled about all the new toys, and Fethers specifically has gotten people’s attention as a general that just looks, well, fun. Modern is joining in on the fun too, though that’s complicated, as Modern Horizons spoilers are going to start shortly after WAR is on shelves, and that’s going to upend the entire format anyways.  

Fell the Mighty

Price Today: $5
Possible Price: $10

If there’s one commander that’s caught everyone’s attention in the WAR spoilers, it’s without a doubt Feather. As of today, April 15th, it is the most popular commander this week. And she’s not even available yet! Fethers lets players do something fun and cool, which the format is glad to have in a Boros commander. (Secretly Mono-Red and Boros might have the highest average ‘fun’ rating across all legendary creatures, but they’re lower on the ‘power’ level, which makes them less popular colors. Shame.)

ADVERTISEMENT:


Anyone who has ever played Sidar Kondo knows the value of Fell the Mighty. Casting this on a two power creature is awfully close to a Plague Wind in most situations. Sure you won’t wipe their tokens, but you will hit all those creatures they sunk a ton of mana into. Then you go ahead and chip with all your small boys while they’re left with nothing. Nothing. The fools.

In Feather this is even funnier, since you get back the card the following turn, which means you can fire it off every turn. Go ahead and play your Sun Titan after I wipe the board. I’m going to fell some mighty creatures every turn until you’re all dead.

Despite having been printed in two separate Commander decks, supply on Fell is surprisingly sparse. You’ll find about 30 NM English copies of the original 2014 printing, and roughly that number of the follow-up 2017 printing. For a card that’s been printed in two Commander product and only has a reported 4,200 copies on EDHREC, that’s sort of surprising. One wonders.

In any case, barring a reprint in this year’s Commander product, things are looking rosy for Fell the Mighty. Every Feather player is going to be after a copy, and I see no reason this would be in Horizons. At $5 today, before Feathers players start grabbing theirs, I think $10 is certainly within reason before the summer is over.

Aurelia, the Warleader (Guild Kit)

Price Today: $7
Possible Price: $20

ADVERTISEMENT:


Checking Aurelia’s EDHREC page, you’ll see she’s not necessarily the most popular commander, with about 1,000 decks attributed to her. Flip over to her stats as a card in the 99 though, and things change. She’s in nearly 10,000 decks as a supporting member. That’s some potatoes. There’s no doubt she’s going to end up in the bulk of Feather lists, as she does an excellent job of letting you double dip on all those damage-improving spells you’ve played. She can get even sillier if you’ve got a Cloudshift in your hand, as you can attack with the team, trigger the second combat phase, blink Aurelia, and on the second attack phase, Aurelia will trigger AGAIN, giving you a third swing. I’m sure you can figure out a way to keep it going as well.

It’s hard to imagine Aurelia won’t make it into nearly every Feather list. My suspicion is that the play here is the new Guilds of Ravnica Guild Kits that came out in September of last year, of which the new art, new border Aurelia headlined the Boros boxes. The art is great, the border is cool, and the supply is low. There are fewer than 25 copies on TCG right now, with zero at SCG. It’s only going to take a handful of Feather players to snag a copy to push this limited edition copy into the high teens.

Tithe

Price Today: $18
Possible Price: $35

Our last stop on the Feather train this week is Tithe, and I’m not talking about the smothering variety. No, the original Tithe all the way back from Visions. This has been a staple of white EDH lists — for those aware of its existence — since basically the format’s inception. Each color that isn’t green has to do work to keep up with the mana production offered by that strategy. Tithe is a simple, powerful solution that fits just about everywhere. So long as you aren’t taking the first turn, Tithe lets you tutor up two plains — not basic plains, but plains — on turn two. Even though you don’t get to put them into play, putting two additional lands into your hand helps ensure you’ll keep making land drops as the game goes on. Tithe isn’t dead in the mid game either. Casting this when you’re on six or seven is great, as that’s when making a drop every turn slows down. Tithe gets you two more guaranteed plays, getting you into the eight and nine land territory in which you can play two spells a turn. It will also help color fix on whatever you’re shy on, since now you know whether to fetch your Sacred Foundry or your Scrubland or whatever. It’s a useful card at most stages of the game.

Tithe also happens to be on the Reserve List, which is no doubt an appealing aspect. Not having to worry about Commander reprints means we can comfortably hang onto these bad boys and if they don’t spike in a month, hey, that’s ok. We’re not in danger of getting hit by an ill-timed rerelease. They’re safe to mature at their own rate, without constant babysitting.

You’ll pay about $18 a copy right now on TCGPlayer, and there’s roughly 35. Fethers is going to draw more people to it for sure, but they aren’t deeply synergetic, so it won’t be dramatic. That’s ok though, because just 10 or 20 people picking a copy up is going to push the price, and with supply dwindling, it won’t take many to sell before this is a $30+ EDH “legacy” card.


Travis Allen has  been playing Magic: The Gathering since 1994, mostly in upstate New York. Ever since his first FNM he’s been trying to make playing Magic cheaper, and he first brought his perspective to MTGPrice in 2012. You can find his articles there weekly, as well as on the podcast MTG Fast Finance.


Track your collection's value over time, see which cards moved the most, track wishlists, tradelists and more. Sign up at MTGPrice.com - it's free!

ADVERTISEMENT:


Brainstorm Brewery #333 Award Winning Podcast

http://traffic.libsyn.com/brainstormbrewery/Brainstorm_Brewery_334_Award_Winning_Podcast.mp3

DJ (@Rose0fThorns), Jason (@jasonEalt), and Corbin (@CHosler88) have unlocked another award for the podcast trophy case and are ready to celebrate and patron Ben is here to do just that. They also discuss Legacy GPs, Giveaways, and the impact of London Mulligan.

Make sure to check us out on Youtube because everything is better with video. https://www.youtube.com/user/BrainstormBrewery

TeeSpring:https://teespring.com/shop/bsbTshirt18?aid=marketplace&tsmac=marketplace&tsmic=search#pid=2&cid=2397&sid=front

ADVERTISEMENT:


00:18 Award Winning

05:31 Inked Gaming Giveaway

09:08 Breaking Bulk

19:54 MSU losing

25:02 Emails

37:52 Legacy GP

48:00 Pick of the Week

Support our Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/brainstormbrewery

Need to contact us? Hit up BrainstormBrew@gmail.com

To Preorder or Not to Preorder?

Holy biscuits, but War of the Spark looks like it’s going to be a total blast to play with. I’m looking forward to an environment loaded with value uncommons, excellent removal, and ridiculous numbers of planeswalkers.

We’re in week 2 of previews, and the story is great. I almost don’t care how it ends, I’m going to buy the novel.

What I really care about, though, is the trajectory of prices for these cards. We know from experience that you don’t want to be buying cards right now…except for the one or two we want to. Search for Azcanta at $5. Hydroid Krasis at $12. Mmmmm…how nice that would be now.

So let’s dive into War of the Spark, and pick up a perfect speculative card along the way.

First of all, at this writing Thursday night, we only know six of the booster pack mythics (there’s going to be fifteen) and two more mythics that are the buy-a-box promo and one of the planeswalker decks. You can always identify those extra cards by having an improper fraction for the collector number. Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge, is 275/264, for instance.

Tezzeret is the promo and the biggest preorder at about $23 per copy, but not available on TCG yet. That’s the eBay price. He drops into play and immediately domes all of your opponents, gains you some life, but only if you’ve got artifacts in play already. As befits the half-metal man, playing him without lots of artifacts is just pointless, so his usefulness is currently questionable in Standard.

His preorder price is a little high for my taste, frankly. Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas is at nearly $20, though there’s a Mythic Edition keeping that price low. I’m not a buyer at this price, but I’ll be thinking about it if he falls to half that, but most versions of this card are still pretty cheap. I will not be surprised if there’s a brief window to sell him at $30 when first released and Commander players lose their good sense, but that window is going to be relatively narrow.

Ilharg, the Raze-Boar (available for $15)

The first presales were all above $20 on this, and the slide isn’t done. It’s clearly a powerful card, at even the base stats of a 6/6 trample for five mana. The attack trigger and the ‘third from the top’ clause really elevate this card to being amazing for Commander, but I’m not sure where else it’ll get played. The current mono-red decks don’t want a five-drop. There’s some Gruul decks running around that will likely add this, play Impervious Greatwurm, and pull off the combo three times while going 2-3 in a league.

I’m not buying this ahead of time.

Teferi, Time Raveler (at $19, up from $15)

Teferi’s clause about your opponent only playing at sorcery speed is incredibly relevant in this Standard format. Turns off most of the Wilderness Reclamation decks, defangs a big part of Esper Control, and lowers the reactive nature of the Red decks. For three mana!

I can believe that decks which want Baby Teferi will play a lot of copies, maybe even the full four. Your opponent spending burn spells or attackers on him is quite a blessing, and with his bounce, can even out any card disadvantage.

What I’m not sure about is this high price of a Standard rare. RNA’s most expensive are shocks from $7-$11 and then Smothering Tithe at $12. The only rares from Guilds of Ravnica above $5 are the other five shocklands. I don’t think $20 can hold right now.

At the end of WAR’s season, or about July, I’ll be interested in picking up Teferi int he $10 range, but he’s a stay away for now.

Liliana, Dreadhorde General (at $16, down from $23)

She’s very good and her static ability is top-notch when combined with her minus ability. Delightful and elegant design, but she’s kind of underpowered for six mana. At her mana cost, planeswalkers should be a lot more commanding, and there’s a lot of decks which won’t flinch at the -2 ability.

She’s outstanding in Commander decks which can take advantage of what she offers, so while I think she will slide another couple of dollars, I’m not buying yet.

Tomik, Distinguished Advokist ($3, down from $6)

If aggro white decks are top tier, then how is this not one of the hottest preorders? It’s a two-mana 2/3 flyer! Even with no other text that’s very good, and he’s got the upside of messing with some fringe strategies AND this is exactly the card and deck to make you want to have Mox Amber.

Tomik is going to go back up. I know he got a lot of hype early and has suffered since, but don’t fixate on the text box. Just as a creature, he’s quite above the curve.

Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion ($1.50, down from $4)

This is exactly the top end that mono-red wants, oversized for its mana cost and if it hits, you get to cycle away everything you don’t want in your hand. I also love picking up cheap specs, and the lack of attention the card is getting just means that the week one results will be that much more impressive. This is at least a $5-$7 card.

Bonus card: Master Biomancer foils at $8ish (likely $20+)

There’s a lot of nonfoils out there, from Gatecrash and Commander 2016 and then the Anthology, but the foils are a lot scarcer and with the proliferate goodies we’re getting, all the counters matter cards, this is one of the best cards for those decks. It’s in 7000 decks on EDHREC, less than 50 foils on TCG, with just a handful of those being NM condition.

The Simic mythic has a double proliferate on death trigger, so that’s harder to abuse in Commander, but I believe it’s got legs. Or fins. Tentacles? Who knows in the Combine.

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.

Unlocked Pro Trader: Deeper Analysis Needed

Readers!

We used to talk a lot about how things tended to meander a bit in EDH land. Prices were going to move based on authentic buying patterns and not on speculation. Things are moving a little more swiftly these days with more people having at least one EDH deck and a little bit of knowledge about the format, decks being more exciting to build (and sometimes more obvious like in the cases of Xndrsplt and Okaun, for example, who were exciting AND obvious and whose cards all spiked immediately) and because of, well, me. Me and people like me, writing about how the speculation community was ignoring EDH because they didn’t play it and how foolish that was. Some decks and their cards are going to take a lot longer to move – we saw this with Vannifar cards moving immediately and Teysa cards taking a week or so and Nikya cards taking several weeks and then some Vannifar stuff like Craterhoof going up much later. 

What we’re seeing now is Feather cards bounding upward within 24 hours of Feather being previewed, which is kind of alarming because not only is the deck a little less obvious if you don’t think about how you’d actually build it, some of the cards I expected to take longer have popped in the last day, also. Let’s look at Feather, first up.

This card is obviously ridiculous with good stats, high recastability given its low CMC, relevant creature type and most importantly, actual card advantage in a Boros deck which, what? I don’t even know how to respond to that.

I expected people to scoop some low-hanging fruit here early. Sure, the cantrips themselves are pretty much immaterial since I think it’s real low reward to speculate on something like foil Temur Battle Rage, but the mechanism for finding the right cantrips is material, I think, and it’s a card I’ve made money on twice already. We thought a reprint nerfed it, but it’s BACK, BABY!

What a precipitous climb from $0.50 to $10. It’s likely to settle lower and if you didn’t snag these or already have them, you likely aren’t benefitting much from a 96 hour hype price. It was basically too late to warn you as soon as I noticed, which happens. What I did NOT expect was for cards that people really would have needed to think a little harder about to go up. Maybe it was people posting every rules interaction I could think of and the high volume of cards that form soft locks with cards in War of the Spark (Mycosynth Lattice popped within minutes when people thought about using it as a lock with New Karn, which is, whatever. You don’t see the Lavinia decks people theorycrafted on Twitter and Knowledge Pool was about to tank until it was rediscovered as part of a new combo with WAR card. This is a long-ass paranthetical, sorry.) because people see “lock” and it makes cards pop.

It takes a lot of mana to do it, x(x-1) mana where x is the number of people in the pod, but you can keep everyone from being able to play non-creatures on their turns indefinitely. x(x-1) mana is usually either 12 or 20, so it’s a real investment. However, even if you only do it on your own turn for x mana, it’s going to Xantid Swarm everyone so you can do your shenanigans, and you can keep getting fury back as long as you target one of your own creatures with it while Feather is in play. And hey, if you want to do it on your turn and theirs, we’re now talking x squared mana which is almost always at least 16.

People latched onto Fury as quickly as they did Sunforger – so quickly in fact that people who whine about this sort of thing are whining about Sunforger and don’t seem to have noticed Fury selling out. This means the speculators are a day or two ahead of the theoretical theorycrafters who typically are the ones who build the decks weeks later and buy the cards from me. We need to dig a little deeper if we want any hope of finding some cards that are likely to go up. Luckily for us, I know that this exact deck already exists, basically 90% in the form it’s going to end up when people build it around Feather. I know this because you pay me to know about EDH. Behold, Feather from 5 years ago.

In what way is this Feather? Well, in every way that counts. It has this weird, team Prowess that people have been pairing with cheap cantrips for years and this is already a Sunforger / Zada Hedron Grinder / Monastery Mentor / whatever else deck. We can go deep on Anax’s EDHREC page and find the stuff Feather players have no idea they need yet. They are going to buy $12 sunforgers from some guy who doesn’t even know anything about EDH, why not buy some expensive cards from us because we leveraged our knowledge or paid some dude named Jason for his? Either way, let’s look at what I see as potential overlap between the decks.

I think the best builds are going to go wide because you get the most out of Anax and Cymede and Zada being in the deck. True, you can make Feather a kind of Voltron deck and just Temur Battle Rage her and win via commander damage, but if you’re casting Temur Battle Rage at Feather, why not cast it at Zada and swing with an army of 1/1 soldiers from Assemble the Legion? Going wide makes the most sense and has the most synergy with the cards already in the deck. Of the Voltron stuff in Boros, most of it is Enchantments and Equipment and you’re not even playing to Feather’s strengths. I truly think the deck will be a go-wide build most of the time. That said, here’s the Anax and Cymede stuff I like. I linked their page, so take a look yourself.

I have believed in this card a lot longer than a lot of people so I bought in dirt cheap. It has decent reprint risk but it’s also gone from 25 pennies to 25 dimes so what do you expect from it on top of the 1,000% gain I’ve already realized with a lot of my copies? (I bought in at $0.50 and when it went lower, I bought even more. It was reckless and dumb and I should have eaten a reprint by now). I expect this to hit $5 fairly easily if it’s not reprinted in Commander 2019. The card is too good and with Boros being less boring, it’s a card you just jam in there.

Foils are growing at the same rate if you like that kind of thing. I think if it goes from “fringe EDH playable” to “multideck staple” or “Card in deck of the year” then it could go beyond a 2x multiplier and your gains go up exponentially. $6 is a high buy-in but it’s also a solid card.

Mentor is actually trending down and Feather decks could just be the shot in the ass this card needs. With Sai, Master Thopterist and the new Saheeli, not to mention Genesis Chamber, my personal favorite, Mentor decks in Vintage need Mentor itself less and less. It’s not stellar in Modern where Young Pyromancer is the reigning champ, either. The time to buy Mentor has never been better if you think it has upside and anything under $10 seems fine to me.

A flying Zada with pseudo-protection against removal spells if they have creatures they care about? This has bumped a bit but it’s not done, and it’s a mythic from a few years back. Yank these out of bulk binders.

The foil has basically doubled overnight but if you find these mispriced, go to town.

This is steadily shrugging off a reprinting in a commander deck that was the least popular initially and the most valuable later. No one wanted to jam Iroas, but Douglas Johnson from Brainstorm Brewery made a mint buying the decks for half their singles cost and shipping Iroas, Urza’s Incubator, Blade of Selves, Magus of the Wheel and Fiery Confluence. The Kalemne deck was a treasure trove of goodies and Iroas tanked hard because there was literally 0 pressure on the card to be worth anything. Now it’s worth something – it’s worth playing, so expect it to also be worth more money presently. Look at that growth for Heliod’s sake.

Don’t play a Sunforger deck that doesn’t have this in it. This was printed a lot and it’s having a hard time recovering, but this impetus may be the impetus that does it.

Or buy the one foil printing out of 5 total printings. It’s on an up-shot already.

Finally, here are a few cards you won’t find on Anax’s page that I know about because that’s my job.

Ship has sailed on the foils, imo. $0.50 would have been where you buy these.

This price is actually on a bit of a downswing, having peaked at about $4.50 earlier. I don’t hate this buy-in price at all given its two printings, one of which is shook off. This goes in Feather decks for sure, especially if you’re going wide, which you should.

So the obvious stuff like Sunforger and Aurelia’s Fury got snatched up. Don’t complain, dig deeper. Intruder Alarm spiked early and was practically in price freefall by the time anyone remembered the deck would play Craterhoof. I made a lot of money ignoring what they focused on and focusing on what they ignored. Thinking differently usually means thinking ahead, so let’s stay positive. There’s a lot of treasure left when the first wave of strip miners goes through. Until next time!

Oh, one last thing – I was looking for HD pics from the set and I found one of Dovin Baan that they had to release because so many nerds tweeted “Durr he’s supposed to have 6 fingers, not 5” and they had to show an HD pic so you could clearly see all 6 fingers. Magic players are the worst, that’s all I wanted to say. Good day.

MAGIC: THE GATHERING BLOG, ARTICLES, AND COMMUNITY

RSS
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
https://blog.mtgprice.com/page/2">