Tag Archives: OGW


I’ll admit, I’m terrified to write about what looks good and bad to get in the tribal decks that are coming out on the 25th, and lots of people are writing about what looks good to pick up. I’m very likely to get the Dragon deck, and possibly the Vampire one too, and I’m relatively certain that they will be stuffed full of value. I am not getting anything related to the decks until I see some decklists, though.

Today, though, I want to look ahead about six weeks: September 28, 2017 is when Ixalan is released and at that time, Shadows over Innistrad block and Battle for Zendikar block will rotate out of Standard. These cards are mostly at their lowest point, aside from the ones already seeing a lot of Modern and Legacy play.

Hard to believe, but the two years that Gideon, Ally of Zendikar has spent looming over Standard is over. So let’s see what’s worth picking up.

Battle for Zendikar


Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger ($13/$37 foil): This is a touch higher than I want to pay for this card right now. I would much prefer to be picking up nonfoils at $10 or less, because the appeal is there. Tron is popular in several flavors, but almost all of them have at least one of this monster lurking. The cast trigger is incredibly powerful in Commander too, and the only caveat is that we likely aren’t far from FTV: Eldrazi.

Foils for this card were as high as $80 when this was first adopted into Tron decks, but it’s now down to the $40 range and I think that’s a very good price. A reprint in foil is very unlikely, and even something like an FTV wouldn’t ding the original much. Seeing this double, and getting back to the $80 range in 12-18 months seems like a safe bet.

Shambling Vent ($3/$8): Yes, it’s unexciting, but it’s seeing a surprisingly significant amount of play in Modern. There are a lot of different black/white decks, and in this case, I am aiming for $2 pickups. I don’t think there is the same long-term appeal for foils, but creaturelands have been shown to be some of the more consistent players in the format. Foils are a good target too, but I think it will take a lot of time for these to go up. If you’re patient, it’s a good play.

Part the Waterveil ($2/$7): I’ve sung the virtues of this card before, but even the publicity over the Taking Turns deck this year wasn’t enough to keep this price up. This is the best of the newer extra turns cards (new ones all exile themselves) because the Awaken ability is a game plan all its own. I don’t think these will go much lower, and the growth potential is there.

Sanctum of Ugin ($0.75/$5): I love foils here for long-term growth. This is one of those cards that will just keep getting better with each colorless creature that’s printed. Having some foils put away for the inevitable spike will make you feel good.


Oath of the Gatewatch

Wastes, Full-Art, foil ($8-$10): There’s two full-art Wastes that you can pick up, and I think foils for this are rock-solid to go up. I know other writers have mentioned this card, even as far back as the release of this set, but getting these at $10 or under will pay off handsomely. I doubt that even if they decide to add colorless to Modern Masters 2023 or whatever, they will recycle the art. There’s a lot of casual demand for basic lands that are colorless, and Tron decks often run one or two, for something to find when Path to Exile lands.

Sea Gate Wreckage, foil ($3): The casual market is slowly sapping the supply on this card, and it shows up as a spicy one-of in a lot of different Modern lists. If you’ve ever seen someone use this on camera, you know how helpless the other player feels. When this hits, it’ll break $10 or more. Thank me later.

Stormchaser Mage, foil ($4): If you’ve seen blue-red Delver decks on a stream, you’ve seen these in play as a flying Swiftspear. It all depends on your level of comfort picking up niche Legacy cards. This was a three-of in the 9th place Legacy deck at the SCG team event three weeks ago, and I feel like it’s one good event away from hitting it big.

Chandra, Flamecaller ($5/$12): She is rarely a bad card to have on your side, and what’s really appealing is the range of possibilities. I don’t think she will fall much farther, so getting her now and being patient is the plan. Remember that this set got opened less than the sets around it, due to the Eldrazi menace and the effect on packs. For that same reason, I like picking up the Expedition filter lands–the supply on these is a lot lower than you think it is.

Eldrazi Displacer ($4/$12): If you didn’t want to listen to us when it came to Reality Smasher or Thought-Knot Seer foils, well, please take those lessons to heart: The Displacer will spike too. There’s less Modern play for this, but a lot more casual demand. At this writing, there’s about 110 available on TCGPlayer, and that’s for the pack foil and the prerelease foil combined. (for reference, Sylvan Advocate, a card which was ever-present in Standard for quite a while, has 175 pack foils and 140 prerelease foils) I know it’ll go to $20. I wouldn’t be shocked if it got to $30 considering the appeal in Commander.


Cliff has been a mostly-casual player since his first Revised packs in 1995, and has sold out/rebuilt his collection several times. His favorite format has shifted from Commander to Cube in recent years, and the range of ways to play are always amazing to him. You can read his weekly Friday pieces here on MTGPrice or follow him on Twitter @Wordofcommander.


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 Hedron Archive ($2.88): This card is at the sweet spot, it’s a bigger jump than Mind Stone and it’s pretty safe from reprints going forward. It’s not going to take long for this to be a $5 foil.

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.

PROTRADER: Cube Watch, Oath of the Gatewatch Edition

Greetings! We’ve got a sweet new set in Oath of the Gatewatch, and lots of potential cube cards to cover today, so let’s get right into it.

A couple quick notes: First, I’m saving everything with the new colorless mana symbol for the end, because that’s going to require some extra words. We’ll start with the traditional stuff. Second, while I might mention foils for commons and uncommons, my goal with my Cube articles is to keep costs down as much as possible, so the object here is not to find the cards that are going to go up the most, but to find the best time to buy the cards that we actually want to play with in our cubes. Got it? Let’s go.


Linvala, the Preserver

This is a powerful card, but I’m not sure it beats out cards like Sun Titan or Elesh Norn at the top of white’s curve in Cube. It’s definitely one to test, but I’m not convinced it will make anything but the most expansive lists.

As for its financial future, Standard could bring its price up in the short term, but there’s no way it sees play in any eternal competitive formats. It’s probably fine in Commander, but it doesn’t seem insane. While it could surprise us in the short term, this should be way less than its preorder price in the long term.

(Note: All TCGplayer mid prices cited in this article were pulled on the day of writing, January 15, 2016. They may have definitely changed since that date.)

TCGplayer mid: $7.49
Likelihood to get a cube slot: Medium-low
Verdict: Wait to buy

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First Looks at Oath of the Gatewatch

We’ve slowly been seeing more and more pieces of OGW flow in and they have been very interesting, especially from a financial perspective. Let’s take a look at the spoilers that have been revealed so far and see what possibilities lie in store for us as January approaches.

New Basic Land

First and most importantly, we are now receiving a new basic land (not type, just land – your Tribal Flames are still going to be burning people for only five damage max) – the Wastes.

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This land means a whole, whole lot from a financial perspective. Since this is a basic land, nearly ever Magic player out there is going to want to have some of these, and the only way for them to get them is going to be be in Oath packs, Fat Packs, and other products. Looks like we could be seeing a fat packs fiasco all over again. At least initially.

I’m not trying to be the bringer of doom and gloom here of Wastes’ future price, but what if Wizards starts printing these lands in land packs that are distributed at tournaments along with the rest of the other basic lands? Right now I think that many of us are under the impression that we will only be able to get these through OGW products, but since this is basically the “purple” color that everyone has theorized that Wizards was ultimately going release I think that they are going to heavily support it moving forward so that players aren’t shelling out multiple dollars per copy of basic land that they need for a deck. This could just be wishful thinking on my part, but I’m not sure if I’m going to go out of my way to pick up massive amounts of Wastes for $0.25 or more a piece.

Foils on the other hand are a totally different story. For all the people that want to make fully colorless Commander decks a thing (which they have been in the past, however you couldn’t play any basic lands in the deck which makes it significantly harder to build especially for newer players) foils are going to have a decent premium going forward, and with the different arts for the Wastes I think that the more popular arts will easily maintain their value through the years. I’m not going to be looking to pick up the foils immediately after the set comes out but as soon as I sense that a lull has been reached I’ll be sure to pick up my own copies of foil wastes for the Karn, Silver Golem Commander deck that I run.

Early Expedition Information

Expedition information has slowly been trickling in and we have pictures of Mystic Gate, Forbidden Orchard, and Ancient Tomb as revealed cards.

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What this tells us is that we’re going to have the filter land cycle, but also that Wizards is throwing in one-off’s of lands that they wanted to include as part of the elusive expedition collectables. I mean, no-one was really clamoring for Forbidden Orchard (even though the art is really, really sweet in the expedition!) but Ancient Tomb is a welcome sight and means that we might get a few more Vintage and Legacy playable expeditions… could we even see a Wasteland spoiler eventually?*(12/14 Edit – Yes, we do have Wasteland! And Strip Mine! see the full reveal here) Is asking for a Rishadan Port, Dark Depths, or Grove of the Burnwillows too much? Probably, though to to keep selling more and more packs I wouldn’t be surprised to see popular Legacy/Commander lands being included as expedition in this set.

In terms of price and collectability, I think we’ll see the same trend in the new expeditions as we did with the Battle for Zendikar ones. BFZ expeditions hit their lows in November and October, a few months after the set was released, but now that Oath is approaching shortly the supply for BFZ is going to dry up and the prices of expeditions will also go up since they won’t be getting cracked in packs as often anymore. I also expect Oath lands to follow this trend, and maybe even accelerate it a little bit since Shadows Over Innistrad is also closely approaching on the horizon.

All in all, expeditions will be collectable for years to come, as they were included specifically in Battle for Zendikar block as a way for Wizards to sell more packs while also providing players with awesome Cube and Commander collectables that the player base has always gravitated towards. First in the form of judge foils, but now that judge foils are getting rarer it seems that special foils like expeditions are going to replace them. Yes, this reminds us of the Secret Rarity of Yu-gi-oh!, but at least here it is only reprints and the cards are not required for Standard or other tournament play.

Continuing Spoilers

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Kozilek, the Great Distortion is the premier card that Wizards gave us showcasing the new Wastes mana. I think they’re just calling it colorless? It will be produced by all spells moving forward and any other ability that taps for colorless mana will produce the diamond symboled mana that is displayed on Wastes. For example, the first ability of Shivan Reef will be able to be tapped for diamond mana.

All in all, it could be an interesting card for Standard since it rewards you for ramping and dumping your hand since when you cast him you can refill back up to seven cards. Having Menace and free counterspells available is also a huge bonus, so at the very least he will be hugely popular in the casual crowds for years to come.

Like Ulamog, initial prices will be high (especially in light of the Wastes release) so wait a bit for prices to die down to pick up your copies.

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While this card is somewhat underwhelming by itself, the Surge mechanic is going to either be extremely dull or entirely broken, similar to Delve. As long as they don’t go crazy with Surge in the set I think it will border on boring rather than format defining. Still, keep an eye out for any interesting Surge cards since they might have a ton of casual appeal for players like to play a ton of 2HG.

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This card has great applications for Standard. There is already a sacrifice deck that exists, and this card will slot very nicely into that shell since it already is a cheap 2/3 with deathtouch for only two mana. I’ll be watching the price, especially foils, since I believe this will be very popular in Commander too since the cmc is sooooooo low for the stats and it is a legend.

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This land… is gonna wreck people in Commander, and nowhere else. I mean, sure it could see Standard play, but I think it is really slow and would take too long to get online. Looks for foils, and wait for the price to drop a bit before picking them up. I think that since this land isn’t legendary, it could fare nicely in Modern and other eternal formats as well since being able to copy instants, sorceries, or creatures is versatile. However, I believe that versatility is better suited to casual formats since the time and mana investment it takes to get this land online is quite steep.

That’s all this week. Let me know what you all are looking out for as OGW approaches.