By: Houston Whitehead
I might say it in every Financial Five article, but they just keep getting better and better at pricing cards. Though I applaud them, I think I still found some potential gems in Magic Origins worth speculating on.
I understand at first glance his stats are underwhelming. What justified his inclusion in this weeks FF can be wrapped up with one word. Deathtouch! Almost any creature in the format would laugh at a 1/4, but deathtouch puts the fear in both Dragonlord Ojutai and Silumgar, the Drifting Death. Though his ability begs to be built around, it’s really not that hard in Standard to put creatures in the graveyard. He even works well with Fleshbag Marauder and Satyr Wayfinder. The only roadblock I can forsee in his future is Deathmist Raptor. The dino’s synergy with Den Protector would be the only leash holding back Standard play. If you couldn’t already tell, this is my favorite card in the set. He’s currently at $1 but is begging to gain value if Deathmist decreases in play.
Funny sidenote: Did you know Graveblade is a font? Here’s proof.
We are familiar with constellation decks from Theros block. G/B constellation was a tier one deck for a while and I think this will at least encourage some great minds to test this cards potential with that theme.
Playable discounted creatures in Golgari: Boon Satyr, Courser of Kruphix, Herald of Torment, Master of the Feast, Nyx Weaver, Spiteful Returned
All of the gods, but more so, the following; Athreos, God of Passage, Pharika, God of Affliction, Erebos, God of the Dead, Nylea, God of the Hunt
Currently at $3, it’s already pulling a small amount of hype in its direction. Gaining life ‘enchantmentfall’ shoudn’t be overlooked. The obvious combination with Courser is sweet, but the 2/2 body is its clearest drawback. Assuming you’re starting with the old G/B shell, Eidolon of Blossoms is a four of, but more importantly, another playset of 2/2’s. Blocking profitably is not going to happen often so finding a way to win without taking dragons to your face is the first puzzle you have to solve. On the surface, it seems too slow for Heroic decks. Plus, Hero of Iroas lines up better with the decks goals. With the Pro Tour Origins kicking off on July 31st, I’d say all it takes is a deck tech to double it’s price.
Priest of the Blood Rite (TCG Mid $1)
If Satyr Wayfinder isn’t enough fodder for you Sidisi, Undead Vizier or Fleshbag Marauder? I present to you, fodder and a Dragon-destroying Demon token (except Atarka, of course). Unless you’re playing FNM, Encase in Ice is the only ‘Pacifism’ effect in the current competitive Standard meta.
Since you’re already playing Wayfinder, what else goes well with self-mill strategies? Whip of Erebos! Whip takes away the drawback, adds lifelink to your 2/2, and leaves behind a 5/5 flying demon. Together, they block Whisperwood Elemental and it’s first manifest creature well. My only concern is the number of copies worth playing in a list. It clearly works best in the self-mill decks (Golgari or Sultai) but at a non-mythic rarity, it’s hard to expect a large jump even after heavy play. Current price is $1 so a $4-5 price could come true if a whip deck finishes well in the next 2 months.
This was actually the hardest card for me to add to the list. When it was first spoiled, It seemed way to narrow for my tastes and would end up being a meta call sideboard choice. It’s grown on me the more and more I think about it’s potential. It’s easy to think about when cards are good but will it be good more times than the times it’s bad. The fact that it’s a cantrip takes most of the sting out, but did keeping two mana up on your opponents turn put you behind? Probably not.
So what are the good times? It prevents reanimation, tokens, manifest, blinking, unearth, and Splinter Twin combo. Modern and Legacy benefit the most but Standard could justify a few sideboard slots. I feel U/W/R modern decks benefit the most. With Preordain and Ponder banned, these decks rely on cantrips to keep their hands full. Most of these strategies also play most of there spells at the end of the opponents turn. Problem is, rarity and lack of main deck potential turns this card into a long term spec. Think of it to take a similar financial path as Shadow of Doubt. $3.50 is the current price but I’d say you can pick them up off standard players for less during the Prerelease and release weekends.
I can’t help but look at devotion potential when I see this little guy. Grey Merchant of Asphodel (Gary) is one of my favorite cards from Theros block. Bloodsoaked Champion and D-Souls will obviously have great aggressive potential for Mono-Black Aggro, but the ability to bring back creatures to keep devotion high could lead to some explosive turns.
On top of those, Erebos’s Titan might not come from graveyard to battlefield but with devotion high, recasting him should be easy. D-souls easily fits in two known archtypes, encourages you to play with a playset, and is currently prices at $1. This price baffles me just as much as Graveblade Marauder. Yet another card that can only go up from here.
If you can’t tell, black is my Magic Origins sleeper color. If I though other cards in other color had more potential, my article would be a bit more colorful. Alas, black is receiving additions in a variety of strategies and deck styles. Cards that support these strategies could also see a rise but I wouldn’t underestimate what Liliana’s newly tainted necromancy will bring to the next two months of Standard.
As always thanks for reading