So here we are, getting leaked cards from the new set, and more leaked cards from another new set, just when I had thought we were in the boring part of the Magic calendar. Does Wizards really think they will get to Iconic Masters without some sort of idea what’s in there? Seems pretty unlikely, right?
I’m not here to run rampant with what could be, in terms of the upcoming Standard. I’d much rather take a look at what’s cheap right now due to impending rotation and what I want to have going forward.
Some of these will be picks based on long-term casual appeal, others will be due to their level of play in non-Standard formats.
Battle for Zendikar
Part the Waterveil ($2.16 nonfoil/$6.23 foil): This falls under a category of cards that are always going to have an appeal to the casual market, and the Turns deck keeps popping up as a Tier 2 strategy in Modern. I would prefer to be picking up the foils, but I like any version going forward.
Greenwarden of Murasa ($1.24/$2.99): It’s not seeing any play in formats outside of Commander, but it’s a mythic at a very low price. This is exactly the kind of card I want to have in long-term storage.
Foil Endless One ($3.36): I’m going to mention a couple more of the Eldrazi today, and the recurring theme is ‘seeing play in Modern and Legacy.’ I look for decks that want lots of copies, and that do degenerate things. I think it’s only a matter of time before a list using this wins a Legacy Open, and that’s going to jack this foil up over $10. Endless One and Eldrazi Mimic aren’t seeing as much play in Modern with Eye of Ugin, so this is Legacy territory.
Foil From Beyond ($2.32): I’m looking right at you, Awakening Zone. Yeah, that’s right. You’re worth more in nonfoil than this is in foil. I’ll give you that the combined printings of Zone likely don’t add up to the number of Beyond, but the long-term potential is there.
Foil Bring to Light ($3): I love this card. I love seeing toolbox decks. I love seeing casual four-and-five-color decks running this. I love the dedicated souls who’ve tried to make this happen in Modern over and over again. I also love that everything five-color is spiking, and a five-color tutor won’t be far behind.
Oath of the Gatewatch
Matter Reshaper ($2/$7), Reality Smasher ($4/$9), Thought-Knot Seer ($7/$19): I love all of these and I especially love them in foil. There is a non-zero chance that we get a special Eldrazi deck at some point, but having these in foil going forward is where I really want to be. Thought-Knot is already one of the strongest plays in Modern, being disruption and beater all in one.
Eldrazi Displacer ($3/$12): This is better than Mistmeadow Witch in flicker decks. Colorless mana is not a tricky thing in Commander, and this card is just shy of being Deadeye Navigator-level broken in that format. Luckily, it can’t protect itself, but it’s already a $12 foil based off its casual play. This is one of my favorite specs going forward, because so much of the available supply has already been soaked up by Commander players.
World Breaker ($3.50/$9): I like the foils here more, but the effect is exactly what Cubes and Commander decks want. Exiling instead of destroying is super relevant, but having to cast this instead of blink it is a drawback as compared to Acidic Slime.
Oath of Nissa ($2.50/$5): I love, love, LOVE this card as a casual pick. This is one of the best cards in the mostly-planeswalker Commander decks, and I want to have foils even more, as they are only a 2x multiplier at this point. It’s possible that this is the bottom, price-wise, now that four-color Saheeli decks are no longer in Standard, but even if it drops a little I like this in the long term.
Zendikar Resurgent ($0.85/$4): And here we are, Mana Flare and Glimpse of Nature all in one at a super-reasonable price. I really want foils more than nonfoils, as the reprint will happen in a Commander deck or other supplementary set. Foils on the long-term are going to creep upward in price slowly but surely.
Cliff is a Cube enthusiast who endlessly tinkers, tweaks, and changes lists, though only his Busted Uncommon cube gets drafted these days. His piece de resistance will be the Reject Rare Cube, though that will only get drafted once a year or so. He’s used deckbox, pucatrade, and now cardsphere to acquire and trade away picks, all with the goal of gaining value and spending as little cash as possible.