Jason Alt – Wizards don’t likes it when you calls ’em spoilers no more. They’s “previews” now.
I don’t care, I’m still calling it “Spoiler” coverage and I’m still going to be mostly a bummer about a lot of the cards. Was I wrong to be a bummer last time? Let’s look at the cards from the last set that were over $2. The first column is the retail price calculated using our fair trade price algorithm and the second column is highest buylist price.
Hissing Quagmire, Sea Gate Wreckage, Sphinx of the Final Word and Inverter of Truth are all, glaringly, under $2.
Will Shadows sell better than Oath? So far we haven’t seen a land cycle spoiled to make us think so, I haven’t heard they’re doing Expeditions or anything like it and the set is still largely shrouded in mystery. However, the mythics we’ve seen are pretty strong and we saw a preorder non-mythic rare hit $15. Anything is possible and Innistrad is a popular place to revisit. Let’s get busy, shall we?
Geier Reach Bandit/Vildin-Pack Alpha
Jason Alt – This is very good. Skip the boring front side of your werewolves if you want. However, being good but narrow doesn’t always translate into being playable. I don’t think this is playable. And absent a Legendart RG werewolf, I don’t see this getting above bulk in the near-term.
DJ Johnson – I think this settles at slightly higher than bulk, similarly to how Mayor of Avabruck settled at slightly higher than bulk for like 5 years before blowing me out of the water and making me regret not buying those 50 copies that I had in my TCG cart at $1.50. Salt Marshes aside, I think this hangs out in the $1 box.
Open the Armory
Jason Alt – If you’re looking at this card and thinking “This might be really good in EDH” I feel like you’re underestimating it a bit. I think you pay cash on foils of this. Really.
Jason Alt – This card itself doesn’t matter, but it is a decent signal that there will be a Legendary RG werewolf in Eldrich Moon. Maybe it will be called Skeet Ulrich. People were holding off on Werewolf stuff, but if Endless Ranks of the Dead can go up because of its art, Werewolf cards could have upside not because of good logic but because of bad logic. Hey, money’s money, right?
Jason Alt – People are calling this a bad Earthcraft. Well who cares? Earthcraft is banned in Legacy. If we have an affordable version of a card that’s banned in Legacy that can be a second or a budget version of Earthcraft, don’t we jump on it? This is a $4 preorder, but I bet this approaches bulk before rebounding since Standard is unlikely to break this before supply outstrips demand initially.
DJ Johnson – This is a bulk rare in a month, but people would rather buy this over a $30 Earthcraft. While you can’t tap the creatures for mana the turn they come into play (the best part about earthcraft), people still buy Parallel Lives when they can’t afford Doubling Season. Easy $5 in a couple years, in my opinion.
Fork in the Road
Jason Alt – All hail the Gitrog Monster’s preferred Farseek. Get foils and get them fast.
Jason Alt – This seems like some format will find it useful. Foils will likely be dirt cheap and it doesn’t cost much to stock up in case of a hit. If you whiff, you whiff small and if you hit, you hit big. I like those bets.
Jason Alt – I’m probably wrong, but I really like this card. I don’t think it will impact any formats and that’s unfortunate. This is going to be absolutely miserable to play against in Limited because it makes your smallest creature a threat, your biggest creature a monster and makes their removal spells give you a 5/3 to menace them with next turn. Probably a bulk rare.
DJ Johnson – Bulk rare that will rip your face off in Limited. Seriously, this thing seems almost impossible to race unless you’re already ahead or have a Shatter effect.
Jason Alt – I like this in foil. This is a Burnished Hart effect that also happens to be a Scarecrow which is good for Reaper King decks. There’s a lot to like here and I bet foils start out hella cheap.
DJ Johnson – This is a Burnished Hart that is actually nothing like Burnished Hart because it doesn’t put the lands into play. Foils will start out hella cheap and they’ll stay hella cheap.
Jason Alt – I can’t decide if this is a good Victimize or a bad Rise of the Dark Realms. Certainly people are excited about this but I bet this ends up approaching bulk before it rebounds, if it rebounds.
DJ Johnson – It’s a bad Rise of the Dark Realms.
Jason Alt – A while back on Brainstorm Brewery we said hydras were always a good target because they go up in price eventually. Then WotC started putting a bunch of hydras in every block. This doesn’t even play like a hydra. This plays like a bad, too-fair Primeval Titan. I don’t care if Prime Time is banned in EDH, this isn’t the replacement you’re looking for. I don’t even like this at $4.
DJ Johnson – Are you guys excited for bulk hydra number 45? I’m glad Wotc listened to our calls about how we really needed a hydra in this set, because we needed something to fill the hole in our hearts that appeared from not having a bulk rare dragon in the set, or any dragon at all.
From Under the Floorboards
Jason Alt – This is a pretty sweet card. It’s a great mana sink and push comes to shove, if you can discard it, it ends up another drain life with serious upside. I’m not sure I want this at its presale price since I think it has room to go down, but it’s a fun card.
DJ Johnson – Bulk rare, but cute bulk rare. Sell these for quarters and don’t look back,
Silverfur Partisan – Again
Jason Alt – I changed my mind – this card is the real deal. Brewing with it has been very productive. We’re going to lose a lot of good spells to target your creature with to rotation, but there is still plenty to target this with to punish them. This gets out of hand fast, and protecting it is worth it. Anything that boosts wolves ends the game quickly.
Jason Alt –EDH players will likely snap up the foils once Eldritch Moon gives us a Legendary Werewolf like I think it will and casuals will eat this up. This might be snaggable for free from draft chaff.
DJ Johnson – This is cute because it lets you pass the turn with your puppies and flip them while holding up a combat trick spell. It’s nothing special, but I think you pull them out of bulk anyway to sell them for quarters.
Jason Alt – The extent to which Olivia Voldaren players are excited about this makes me pay attention. I still think it’s too narrow, though but I thought I’d mention it in case you see a foil or a free copy in draft chaff. Put both aside, I think. I will.
DJ Johnson – I tend to avoid paying three mana for aggressive enchantments that don’t give me an immediate damage output increase, but oh well. I think you’d rather just play more vampires.
The Gitrog Monster
Jason Alt – Wow, they actually saved a super good spoiler for late. This card is so, so good. An EDH deck assembled itself in my mind as I read this, but that doesn’t mean this doesn’t get jammed in a ton of other decks like Meren. This draws cards, ramps, kills stuff and lets you sac lands so you can trigger Titania, Protector of Argoth. This makes Life from the Loam go up in price, potentially. This makes cycling lands draw you two cards. This is also a $32 playset pre-order and unless this can impact Standard, that’s too expensive. Good card but potentially disastrous spec.
DJ Johnson – Oh. My. God. You already know the Commander deck I’m excited about with this big, dumb, crazily powerful frog. Child of Alara needs this, but I can wait a couple of months to pick up my foil for cheap. This is my favorite card in the set by far, but that doesn’t mean you buy it. Wait until its’ $2-3 and then think about picking up copies, because I do think it could actually see Standard play.
Jason Alt – As good as this is, Green Mythics like Praetor’s Counsel took years to hit $4 before a reprint neutered the growth, and The Great Aurora is on its way to being almost $1 if it grows some more. I like the card but I’m not about to run out and buy any. This seems to be a card you wait on.
DJ Johnson – Nooooope. I don’t even think you want to wait on this card. Bulk mythic will be a bulk mythic forever.
Jason Alt – This card is very, very strong. I worry that it doesn’t have a deck and that it’s going to run into 2/3 creatures that stuff it. Delirium is a lot of work to have to get to if you want to make your 2/2 trade with a 2/3. If you can keep the ground clear by burning their dudes with instants and sorceries, you have a good recipe for this doing some serious work, especially with cards that boost power and toughness. This likely gets tried out and with it preselling for $3, you could potentially make some money if this hits. Monastery Swiftspear was $3 and if this is that ubiquitous, this is Siege Rhino money. The low price says not a lot of people are betting on that. These same people spent all day buying Pain Seer until it sold out over and over. Maybe $15 Thing in the Ice and $3 Scourge Wolf are both super wrong.
Reddit Spikes are pretty bearish for the same reasons I listed.
DJ Johnson – Delirium seems like it would be a giant pain to secure early on, especially in the mono red shell this card asks for. Instant, Sorcery, and Creature are the obviously easy ones to hit but with no fetchlands the last card type becomes a lot harder. Planeswalker? Artifact? I’m not too hyped. Remember Ash Zealot had haste and also punished them for playing Unburial Rites. I’m not excited to buy in at $3.
Jason Alt – This is a great card no one seems to want. Dredge decks barely have room for 3 Ichorid and Ichorid doesn’t come into play tapped. Standard doesn’t have enough ways to trigger this and bring it back. EDH zombie decks don’t love having to have blue in them although there are a ton of ways to get this back potentially triggering Warstorm Surge and getting sacced to Goblin Bombardment or something. This could be a combo card, but no one is excited.
Spikes don’t care.
Neither do the EDH players.
DJ Johnson – Man, I really want this to be good in Modern with Bloodgast. I know that I’m that guy who calls 90% of the set garbage and bulk, but is this really too slow to combo with stuff like Fatestitcher, Gravecrawler, Bloodghast, and Vengevine? Probably, considering it comes in tapped at the end of the turn, but still. It does have the ability to block, which most of these cards don’t have the luxury of doing. I’m just saying out of all the bulk rares in the set, this is the one that I want to own 100 copies of just in case.
Creature – Ooze
Delirium – Whenever Inexorable Mass attacks and there are at least four card types among cards in your graveyard, put a 3/3 green Ooze creature token onto the battlefield tapped and attacking.
Jason Alt – There are ooze creatures that trigger on attack that made your opponents feel very bad to have to deal with. This is not that card. Being forced to both have delirium and swing it into potentially unsafe situations for it to do anything means the card is pretty decent but not good enough for Standard and too cute to be worth money. If it did something when it split or when it died, maybe.
Spikes call it “Standard unplayable”
DJ Johnson – I miss the days of Predator Ooze with Ulvenwald Tracker. Those were some good days to be an Ooze, considering it was indestructible and could swing into anything. The most useful part about this card is getting a bunch of karma on Reddit for being the guy to find out that there’s a portrait of Ancestral Recall in the background picture frame. Go ahead, find it. I’ll wait.
Creature – Zombie Horror
Skulk (This creature can’t be blocked by creatures with greater power.)
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may discard your hand. If you do, draw that many cards.
Jason Alt – I literally don’t know what to make of this card. It has skulk but doesn’t have to hit them. I want to say this is completely unplayable but it’s pre-selling for $4.50. Standard doesn’t like this at all.
This is a lot better in EDH. You want this in Grimgrin, The Mimeoplasm, Dralnu – the list is kind of a long one. I don’t think EDH will make $5 stick, but this isn’t totally worthless. I like the effect a lot and I’ll be trading for copies of this when the price is reasonable in a few months.
DJ Johnson – Regardless of the numerous appendages, I don’t think this has the legs for Standard play. You can wait until they’re like $1 or so and then buy in if you really think this Zombie Horror is going anywhere. It goes in a ton of different Zombie Commander lists, but we all know that doesn’t earn it a price tag. Remember how Prophet of Kruphix was $5 for being bannably good? Me either.
“Replacing Call to the Kindred”
Jason Alt – This is clunky for Standard although it can just be a 4 mana clone if you want. I’m more worried about this lacking a deck than I am about its power level but in Standard, both or either can be a death sentence. This may be relegate to EDH which won’t help its price much. I imagine every Standard deck running Clever Impersonator and also green will run this.
DJ Johnson – I don’t see this coming into Standard whatsoever. “Can’t be countered” is kind of irrelevant when all the counterspells are garbage, and paying sixteen mana for a clone is for the cool Commander kids like me (I won’t play this card, but Jason probably will). The last time we had a good clone was the dynamic duo of Phyrexian Metamorph and Phantasmal Image, neither of which costed four mana. Pass.
Jason Alt – This was Brainstorm Brewery’s preview card so it’s obviously the best card in the set. I immediately saw this as a sweet Nekusar inclusion – not all Howling Mines let you draw first and Lightning Bolt your opponent with Nekusar out. Other applications seem to be less forthcoming. I love this card and love that we got to preview and love how the art is going to look foil but I don’t think you preorder this unless someone breaks it.
DJ Johnson – Since Nekusar literally builds itself and you have room for about four personal choices throughout the entire list, I’m not sure this makes the cut. No salt at all, nope. None here. I’m pretty sure this is avoids bulk rare status, but just barely. Howling Mine variants do a pretty good job of hanging by a thread at the $1-2 bin.
Invocation of St. Traft
Jason Alt – I don’t like this card nearly as much as everyone else. Standard players are begging to eat a fat Reflector Mage in their dome. Modern players aren’t going to want to load up their Geist decks with these since Geist is already a great Geist. EDH players are excited, but I’m not entirely sure why. Bruna is basically a Traumatize Combo deck, Zur is basically a control deck and Narset is a Time Warp deck. I don’t think the four damage matters in any of those decks, frankly. It’s cool to slap this on a hexproof dude, but I just don’t think it’s going to be as good in EDH as people think. They could have been playing Moonsilver Spear this whole time and most of them weren’t. Spear is more expensive, true, but the angel token stays in play with Spear, the equipment stays out of the creature dies and the spear can go in any color deck.
Reddit spikes seems as bearish as I am.
DJ Johnson – Geist of Saint Traft was insane because he came with a 2/2 body and was difficult to remove from the board. You could suit him up with Spectral Flight and put your opponent on a three turn clock, and punish anyone paying life for Phyrexian mana. You have to already find a hexproof guy to put this on if you don’t want to be blown out of the water, so I’m staying away. It’s a cool design, but that doesn’t bring in the cash dollars.
Jason Alt – See if you can find all 13 instances of 13 in the art. Or talk to girls. Generally those two groups don’t overlap much.
Flavor-wise this card is amazing, but I don’t think it will be very effective. It’s a really bad Siege card. I do love cards that say “win the game” but it seems like they print these life total cards only when there are painlands in the format which sucks. I hated not being able to Hidetsugu’s Second Rite people at 10 because they had a Battlefield Forge. With painlands in the format for now, it sucks that we don’t get to use this to its best effect. Don’t build around this, but definitely laugh at how awesome and flavorful this card is. If it were any cooler, it would have been in M15 and would have been designed by the guys from Penny Arcade.
DJ Johnson – Three cheers for flavor! Then ten more cheers, while wearing garlic and avoiding stepping on sidewalk cracks. I can’t wait to find that guy who’s goal is to collect every copy of these, so I can tell him what an idiot he is. You’re supposed to collect thirteen non-foils, thirteen foils, thirteen Russian ones, thirteen Japanese ones… thirteen sets of thirteen different languages and foilings. You get the point. On the plus side, it’ll probably be a bulk rare.
Hanweir Militia Captain/Westvale Cult Leader
Jason Alt – So we have a militia captain with literally no leadership skills? No granting of combat bonuses to other soldiers? No gifting of first strike or vigilance? No casting cost reduction? An actual Grizzly Bear would do the exact same job leading this militia. This is just a jackass carrying an AR-15 in a Walmart because “Muh Freedom” and doesn’t get anything done until you have a LOT of creatures at which point it turns into a cult leader and starts getting things accomplished. Being a 4/4 that farts out dudes that grow the cult leader is a pretty solid way to wrap the game up, especially if the tokens all get some sort of bonus (no thanks to their militia captain who is holed up inside a National Park begging for snacks) and EDH players like this, but I am not sure if this can impact Standard and therefore be worth it financially.
DJ Johnson – Her other side makes 1/1 BW Clerics, but I don’t think the Cleric deck wants a card this slow. Maybe it does. Do I look like the guy playing BW Clerics? No, I’m the guy playing Child of Alara Lands. Pay attention. I don’t think Standard wants Grizzly Bears that flip into Scion of the Wild. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I highly doubt you cast this in Standard.
Jason Alt – Given the choice between making this distribute 3 damage and be too good and distribute 2 damage and probably not be great, they chose to go with the weaker version. A slower Twin Bolt, this can potentially be a great card if you can easily discard it, which may not actually be that easy. Spikey players are pretty excited, though, and the card is pre-selling for $5 which is the price it would cap out at unless it’s much better than anyone thinks. I’m not jazzed about $20 playsets of this. I seem to remember people thinking Aurelia’s Fury was going to be a $40 card and it ended up worth 40 cents, so I’m staying far away.
DJ Johnson– Wizards does remember making Forked Bolt at uncommon, right? You have to cast this for madness if you don’t want to feel terrible. Don’t think this is Bonfire, because it’s not anything close. At least the art is sweet, so you can trade it off to that Angel person who is going to go crazy this set trying to collect all of the angels and angel accessories.
The spikes weigh in.
Jason Alt – A fun thing to do with this is use Zedruu or Bazaar Trader to donate this. An unfun thing to do is open a booster pack with this as your mythic.
I take that back, this is probably good enough to wreck people in Limited before they can get you on the swingback, but I wouldn’t risk it. Being at 10 life is scary when this is a 5 turn clock. This is interesting design but I don’t think it’s powerful enough in your favor to mitigate the drawbacks and this shouldn’t be mythic.
Spikey players call this a bad Thunderbreak Regent
These are like $6 on eBay. I’m not paying $6 for a bad Thunderbreak Regent.
DJ Johnson – Maybe this sees play out of the sideboard of the Red deck versus control where you don’t expect to get cracked in the side of the head by the opposing army. This seems really bad in multiples, which is certainly an odd characteristic for a four mana mythic red angel. I’m not paying $6 for this card, and neither should you. Seems like a $2-3 card, and that’s being generous. Standard has a lot of creatures, and this is bad against creatures.
DJ Johnson Welp. Pack it up boys and girls, we had a good run. Magic is officially over. Anytime a young child runs up to their parents and says that they want to learn the game, THIS is the art that the parent will reference as to why this game should be illegal in the good ol’ Christian ‘nation of ‘MURICA. Time to fire sell everything, it’s the end of the game as we know it.
Anyway, this actually seems strong in the mono-red shell that will probably pop up in the early weeks of Standard. That aggressive shell will compete with Vampires, and this was obviously too strong to smack with the Vampire creature type. I don’t like it at a $5 pre-order, but you do what you want. Seems like a $2-3 card to me a month from now…. is there an echo in here?
Jason Alt – No one knows what this card does. I’m serious. There is so much confusion so many places and I’m so sleep-deprived because of my infant Planeswalker that I have no idea what this card does. I keep staring at it. I think this is a hard-to-block creature that reveals a card on your upkeep. If it’s a land, they can make you bin it and if it’s a Fiery Temper they can either take 3 to make you bin it or let you draw it and take 3. Am I reading this card right? It seems pretty good. It’s not Dark Confidant, but in a red deck where you’re burning their face it can put them between a rock and a hard place. I’m calling this Browbeat Confidant. Vexing Devil 2.0. I don’t know what to make of it, honestly.
Reddit spikes are split on this card which means half of them are wrong. When people can’t agree, two things happen. One, they will all pretend they always thought whatever the general concensus ends up being. Nobody ever though Tasigur wouldn’t be a good card to hear them tell it. Everyone knew Goblin Rabblemaster and Abbot of Keral Keep were insane from the second they were spoiled. To hear them tell it. The other thing is that sometimes the card is underpriced. Either I don’t understand how this card works, or this is going to sometimes draw you extra cards your opponent can’t afford to stop you from drawing and in a red deck, you can take advantage of that. With my luck, they’ll deny me burn topdecks and I’ll draw nothing but land for the turn. Still, I think at $7 it has very little upside even if it’s better than I think it is.
DJ Johnson – I got excited when I saw landfall, and I’m actually considering finding a spot for this in my Child of Alara Commander deck. I make a lot of mana, so this could very easily end up replacing Seer’s Sundial considering I can Green Sun for it. Oh, right. I have to talk about Standard, or something like that. Bulk rare. If you’re sacrificing Clues in Standard, something went horribly wrong and you’re probably not a good enough investigator to find out why.
Jason Alt – I like this in a deck like Shattergang Brothers where you can sac the clue token to its ability to make everyone sac an artifact and then you grow this guy. But then I’d have to take a card out of the deck. I don’t want to do that. Bulk.
Port Town and the other 4 allied lands
DJ Johnson – So we finally got our rare cycle, and it appears that we get allied colors this time around. You have to show another basic (or BFZ) land for these to hang around untapped, which means getting a two-land hand of Port Towns is absolutely garbage unless you rip a basic off the top. Whatever these are pre-ordering at, they’re almost certainly going to drop a bit. However, that cost is mitigated slightly by the fact they’re dual lands. Buying lands for use over the next year and a half is very rarely a bad move…
Jason Alt – I bet their pre-order price is too high, but barely. Buy these to play with if you need them, don’t if you don’t. That’s boring, but so are these lands.
Corrupted Tombstone enters the battlefield tapped.
T: Choose a card in your graveyard. Add one mana of that card’s color to your mana pool.
Jason Alt – This is worse than Fellwar Stone early in the game although it’s almost always better later. Graveyard wipe does shut this off, though, and that sucks. The real puzzle here is why this is Rare. I guess this would be too good for Limited at Uncommon? This isn’t a card I’m excited about and I’m and EDH player. If an EDH player isn’t excited about a mana rock, who will be? This reminds me of Vessel of Endless Rest. Not a lot to love, here.
DJ Johnson – Ugh. I really do not want to open this at rare. I mean, I don’t want to open packs at all unless I’m drafting, but even then this seems like a kick in the nuts. Bulkiest of bulk rares, read no more.
Burn From Within
Burn from Within deals X damage to target creature or player. If a creature is dealt damage this way, it loses indestructible until end of turn. If that creature would die this turn, exile it instead.
Jason Alt – This is a really expensive way to get rid of a creature. This is solid in Limited, and fireballs with upside are cool historically. This is also a way to kill gods in EDH so this has that going for it as well. Interesting card, but probably pretty bulky. I don’t like this at $4.
DJ Johnson – We’re at the point in spoiler season where most of the remaining cards will be bulk rares. That’s okay. The cycle of bulk and non-bulk continues. I find it kind of funny that this doesn’t prevent regeneration due to them phasing out that mechanic, so while it can take down a Darksteel Colossus it folds to a Krosan Warchief. This is way too expensive.
Engulf the Shore
Jason Alt – Standard probably doesn’t want this since it forces you to go very deep on one color. EDH doesn’t want this because other cards do this so much better and you don’t play attenuated versions of good cards when you have a huge card pool. This is good in Limited, but that’s about it. Check the price graph for Whelming Wave, which, for the record, I think is much better than this card. Pass.
DJ Johnson – Another day, another dime. You want to play stuff like Cyclonic Rift over this in Commander, and spells like this haven’t seen Standard play since, well, Cyclonic Rift.
Jason Alt – Is this Champion of the Parish 2.0? No, I don’t think so. While this interacts favorably with Eldrazi Displacer in a way that is super good if you have a ton of humans (and being mono-white means your splash color is colorless to get those Displacer triggers going. I realize this isn’t a real deck), lacking the “Turn 1 champion, turn 2 Gather the Townsfolk” start that made Champion of the Parish nutty hurts this card. I am not super sure what it will do, but tokens buff this and this buffs tokens right back. That could be good. I don’t know about this as $10 playset preordered, though. This has potential and I want to like it more. I just feel like there is as much downside as upside at $2.50. If this “hits” it’s a $5 card. If it “misses” it’s bulk. Hard to know. If you like this card and are brewing sauce with it, you could double up, based on the price of Champion of the Parish.
Reddit spikes want to play this in CoCo humans.
DJ Johnson – People smarter than me like this card, but other people smarter than me hate it and think it’s a bulk rare. While I’m going to hold off on my giant “BULK” stamp for now, I don’t think you want to buy in at $10 a playset, unless you have your Modern Humans brew ready and waiting. This one could go either way folks, but you know that my money is staying in my wallet and being saved for collections.
Welcome to the Fold
Jason Alt – I am evaluating this in terms of “I don’t want to cast this not for madness” rather than “madness gives this upside” and that may be wrong, but I am basing how I see Standard developing on that premise. I don’t like this as a really weak Domestication, Domestication being a card that never really saw play. This is a bulk rare to me, and it gets even worse in formats like EDH where so many excellent alternatives outshine it.
DJ Johnson- I feel like this falls into the same camp as the previous bad Evacuation, where it’s not going to cut in in either Standard or Commander. Bulk rare life it is, but I don’t think I want to completely eliminate the possibility of this seeing play as a sideboard card in Standard during its’ tenure. I don’t hate trading for these at dimes, but then again I don’t hate anyone who trades for bulk rares at dimes because those people are smart.
Jason Alt – This is only pre-ordering for $5, otherwise known as “40% of Pain Seer” which means this is at last looked at through the lens of past regret. I think this is much better than Pain Seer in a lot of ways, and if you’re going hard at making them pitch their mitt, this could draw you a lot of cards. You’re also a Grafted Skullcap deck with hellbent strategies, but you need a constant pitch outlet in case you draw two lands. This having madness is perfect with that strategy because you can pitch your cards with abandon and not have to worry about playing this on curve.
The 3/1 instead of the 2/1 on Dark Confidant is pure gravy. This is a tricky card to play and tricky means narrow and narrow means it’s hard for this to get above $5, but at least the card draw on creatures is this “tough to get but worth it” rather than “what if you draw and extra card but your opponent draws two cards and gains 5 life a turn?” trend we’ve seen lately. You can’t make money pre-ordering this at $5 unless it’s the next Siege Rhino. Is it? I doubt that.
DJ Johnson – I don’t like pre-ordering this at $5. That said, I do think it sees play in Standard at some point over the next 18 months and you could just lock in your playset right now without losing too much money. Maybe it hits $10 release weekend if Vampires is the nuts, but Wotc knows how to tempter their tribal since Lorwyn. I think this settles at the $2-3 spot a month from now.
This is probably a bulk rare. That said, how cool is this card? Every EDH player wants to do a million amazing things with this. In standard, maybe you get some extra wolf or zombie tokens and maybe you make a mess of clue tokens. In EDH this is nutter butters. Imagine casting this in a Riku deck and using Riku to copy it. Sweet Jesus. Imagine this with Doubling Season, Parallel Lives, Seance, Trostani, Progenitor Mimic… the list is a long one. This card is stupid good. Is it enough to make this a buck or two? I don’t think it is in the short term. Any time you wonder how an EDH card will fare out of the gate, remember that Dictate of Erebos hit bulk and I had a year to scoop them for nothing and fill a big box up. Don’t pre-order.
Congratulations to Josh Lee Kwai and Jimmy Wong from the Command Zone on getting this as their preview card. I promise I wasn’t extra kind to this card because I like those guys.
DJ Johnson – While this is sweet, it does seem kinda win-more. I’ll be the voice of reason to temper Jason’s enthusiasm, and remind you that the Token Commander deck only has 99 slots, and I’m not sure this goes in every single list. Does it go in Rhys? Probably, but I don’t think it gets jam packed as often as Doubling Season and Parallel Lives. Either way, you have plenty of time to pick these up at bulk rares before it starts its’ climb to $3.
Counter target spell.
Investigate three times. (Put a colorless Clue artifact token onto the battlefield with “2, Sacrifice this artifact: Draw a card.”)
Jason Alt – Investigate all you want, I’m not paying 5 mana for a damn counterspell, especially if I have to pay a bunch of mana later to draw. Bulk rare.
DJ Johnson- In three weeks, my suspicions of this being a bulk rare will be confirmed. AM I LSV YET???
Non-token creatures you control gain +1/+1 and vigilance.
Jason Alt – Adding vigilance is cool, but this won’t interact with this set nearly as much as Intangible Virtue interacted with Lingering Souls to ruin block. This is an odd card in EDH since most of the decks that run Glorious Anthem run tokens. I think the non-token restriction makes this worse than Glorious Anthem and not close enough to it than we want to run both. I bet this is worth money. I bet it’s not worth pre-ordering, though.
DJ Johnson – I’m going to disagree with Jason here and call this a bulk rare. There are a billion options for anthems out there, and I don’t think you want one that doesn’t help out tokens. Don’t preorder this, and don’t throw them in a box expecting them to be worth anything either. Buuuuuuuuuuuuulk.
Behold the Beyond
Jason Alt – How badly do you want to discard your hand? You’re enabling Delirium, I guess maybe, but you’re not enabling madness unless they reprint Basking Rootwalla. This is a really bad Diabolic Revelation otherwise. This didn’t need to be mythic and it didn’t need to cost 7 mana if you have to pitch your hand. Ugh. This might have been cool if it had madness for like 3B or something, but it doesn’t. This is a fart. I bet it’s a bulk mythic and it didn’t need to be.
DJ Johnson – I feel like this card got neutered in development. It might have cost 6 at one point, then they realized that it was insane. Maybe it sees play as a one-of if you can cast it for free, followed by some rituals? I dunno. Either way, it’s a bulk mythic. Foils could definitely be worth looking out for if they hit bulk mythic status as well.
Jason Alt – This would be an amazing ability to put on a Legendary RG wolf, but multiple copies can stack so I guess there is upside to this not being Legendary. Could WotC possibly miss printing a RG werewolf Legend for EDH? Are they that bad at this?
This card is pretty cool and worst case scenario it replaces itself. Well, worst case scenario, a meteor smashes into our planet killing 90% of the world’s population in giant tidal waves and leaving the rest to fend for themselves in the frozen wasteland that used to be our planet when the ash cloud kicked up by the impact blocks out the sun and shrouds the earth in darkness for 100 years, ushering in a new ice age. This set could be as bad as Ice Age is what I’m saying.
This is a $4 preorder and if this ends up as a 4-of in a deck that can’t lose to burn decks or other spot removal, I could see that being a decent buy-in point. Siege Rhino went up from $4 and this could. How likely is that? The spikes aren’t sure and neither am I. There could be opportunity here, but this needs to really be a card.
DJ Johnson – This seems awkward. Wolves and werewolves need one-drops to compete, not more three-drops that avoid targeted burn. I’m not a fan of preordering this card either, considering it has to see a pretty strong showing to double up. I don’t really know what to make of it, so I’d rather play safe instead of be sorry.
Diregraf Colossus enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter for each Zombie card in your graveyard.
Whenever you cast a Zombie spell, put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token onto the battlefield tapped.
Jason Alt – Very much in the same vein as Silverfur Partisan, this is the zombie equivalent and it plays differently and maybe better, maybe worse. This doesn’t rely on your opponent doin’ thangs, but it does require you to play zombies and there are like 2 good ones so far, including this one. This is great outside of Standard, but that won’t affect prices right off the bat so Standard is all we care about at first. Look how long it took people to buy into Risen Executioner. I don’t care what this pre-sells for it will drop. That is unless they reveal a ton of sicko 1-drop and 2-drop zombies in the next week, that is. I’ll take a second look at this card if they do. They won’t. But they could. But they won’t.
DJ Johnson – I like how they’re making lords more interesting instead of just +1/+1 effects across the board. Jason’s correct in that the only thing that matters off the bat is Standard, and we’re not going to get Zombie tribal there. I think this goes down to near-bulk, but not quite true bulk. Trade for some at near-bulk if you like long-term stuff, but I’m not a huge fan. Zombies are jam-packed with three drops as it is, even in casual. There’s only so much room you can have in 60-card land, and it’s hard to compete with Messenger, Death Baron, and Cemetery Reaper.
Westvale Abbbey/Ormendahl, Profane Prince
T: Add ◊ to your mana pool.
5, T, pay one life: Put a 1/1 white and black human cleric token onto the battlefield.
5, T, sacrifice five creatures: transform and untap Ormendahl, Profane Prince.
Legendary Creature – Demon
Flying, lifelink, indestructible, haste
Jason Alt – This seems pretty saucy. It’s a little slowish but so are control decks and this is really grindy. Historically, lands that fart out chump blockers and potential board swarmers are very playable and have been since Kjeldoran Outpost. This is currently $6 and if this ends up getting jammed in control decks as a win-con, that’s about right, I think. What I’m saying is this looks like a $5-$8 card on a good day and there is a lot more money to lose than there is to gain buying in at $6. If you want these to play with, pre-order, otherwise I don’t think this is mis-priced.
DJ Johnson – Did they forget to make this mythic? I feel like a land that transforms into a 9/7 flying, lifelink, indestructible, and haste should definitely be mythic. Having your win condition take up a land slot in your control list is absolutely insane, if you can’t remember Standard the last time lands that make creatures were around. I don’t think you buy in looking for profit, but $5-6 seems fine if you want one or two for your Standard lists.
Traverse the Ulvenwald
Jason Alt – This is pretty good in EDH and there is some flexibility here you don’t get with Worldy Tutor. You can play the creature the same turn you tutor for it which you can’t do with Worldly Tutor although you could just play Worldly EOT and pretend you drew the card right away, though that replaces your draw. This has some flexibility WT doesn’t once you get Delirium allowing you to still get a land if you want. I don’t know whether every deck is taking out Worldly Tutor for something that only gets a land some of the time but this card is interesting. At $7 pre-order per copy I am a little skeptical. I don’t think this is as good in Standard as you want a $7 card to be.
DJ Johnson – $7? I’m not buying it and you shouldn’t either. I really think people are overestimating the ease of acquiring delirium in Standard. It’s easier in EDH, but you don’t pay $7 for a green sorcery tutor unless it’s Eladamri’s Call. Meh, I think this is a $2-3 in the medium term, considering its’ not really worth casting without delirium.
Jason Alt – What does this card even do? Sea Gate Ruins is bulk so I don’t have high hopes for this card that seems to have less upside. Speaking of which, Madness seems to make Sea Gate Ruins way better.
DJ Johnson – I really like the design of this card, but I don’t think it actually does anything relevant. I want to break it, but Wotc probably tested the absolute hell out of this type of effect to make sure that it wasn’t going to break formats into oblivion. It’s kind of sad, but you should still be aware of the foil price for Commander.
Jason Alt – General Zod has fallen on hard times since Superman banished him.
I think this tells the tale pretty well. People want $7.50 for Deathcap Cultivator right now, so unless you think Rattleclaw is a bad corollary (it makes black, which is kind of relevant currently) I think you can basically only lose money at this price. If Deathcap Cultivator is much better than Rattleclaw, I think you lose your money much slower but still lose it.
DJ Johnson – Listen to Jason. Deathtouch isn’t the most relevant ability to scale into late game with, so I’m perfectly fine staying away because I’m confident this will be a dollar rare in a month or so.
Sorin, Grim Nemesis
Jason Alt – This is a serious planeswalker. This just tunes people up. I think 6 mana is a lot, but this also just hits play and makes your opponent start to sweat bullets. It’s not the pseudo-wrath that Elspeth was, but I still expect this to see play. It’s also just sort of boring. Another BW Sorin and another Blue Jace is sort of “meh” but I’m glad they gave us two new ‘walkers in the set. We’ll see how this pans out, but like all planeswalkers, the jace tax makes pre-ordering a losing proposition 95% of the time. At $25, I’m staying away.
DJ Johnson – Jeez. Six mana walkers are supposed to apply a ton of pressure right out of the gates, and Sorin’s no different the fourth time around. The ult is mostly irrelevant I think, but who cares when you have a minus X to be versatile with? If you know what it feels like to be at three life with a Dark Confidant in play, I’m sure it’ll be fun to share that with every opponent across the table. Don’t pay $25 for this though, wait until its’ like $10 if you want to roll some dice and gamble money.
DJ Johnson- Can you say bulk rare? Bulk. Rare. Don’t worry, the next card is freaking insane. At least, I think so. It’s a scalab…. You know what? I’m not gonna waste more space on this garbage. Keep scrolling, and you’ll see what I mean.
Jason Alt – This is decent as a card but I feel like with only limited casual appeal and nothing compelling making it a good Standard pick, this will languish in bulk bins. This site will get bought up and that bodes poorly for marginal rares like this.
DJ Johnson – If you were a fast and dedicated reader, you got to see the paragraph on this card that I’m currently typing over. I thought it was a scaling Fact or Fiction, but I was corrected on Twitter and reminded that it was a lot more reminiscent of Steam Augury. There is a very big difference between those two cards. Your opponent will give you the bad cards if they’re a good player. This card is a lot worse after reading it correctly, so don’t buy $18 playsets.
Jason Alt – This is much closer to Steam Augury than it is to Fact or Fiction. You’re going to get bad cards with this. I realize control decks tend to have mana open at the end of the turn, but I think there are better ways to spend it. I don’t like this card very much and I certainly don’t like it at $5 a copy. I’m passing.
Harness the Storm
DJ Johnson – This card is sweet, right up until the moment you realize that you have to pay for the card you want to cast from your graveyard. Yeah, not so great anymore. It’s cute with Ritual effects, but we don’t want to play enchantments in our Storm deck that aren’t Pyromancer Ascension. Bulk rare.
Jason Alt – The only deck I could see wanting this is some sort of burn deck, maybe. For 4 mana you can Madness Fiery Temper? I don’t know. This is just a worse, more expensive Pyromancer’s Ascension in that case. It’s not good enough for Modern and the rest of the deck isn’t there for you to build it in Standard. This is cute but way expensive.
Olivia, Mobilized for War
DJ Johnson –
Can we talk about how awkward this card’s name is for a minute? I don’t know, but it just doesn’t roll off the tongue very well. Also, that sword is horribly designed. Having holes in your sword is a really poor strategy that allows the opponent to parry and control your movements very easily, and makes it structurally…. you know what? Forget it. Card seems pretty strong on the curve, although we said that about Drana too. She’s certainly got a lot of synergy with the one-drop in the set where you can discard extra copies of the 2/1 for R and just play out a huge army, allowing you to give all of them haste.
Olivia is preselling for $14 right now, which still seems high to me for something unproven. On the plus side, you can toss extra copies to the first one when you play other creatures, so that’s something to think about. Wait, why is she a knight? Did she go to knight-school for the past six years, and get trained in how to use anime swords? Ugh.
Jason Alt – How long until someone alters this card to look like emo Cloud from Advent Children? I feel like she found this sword in a chest in Nibelheim. One more? Looks like Vincent and Cloud had a daughter and she prefers her dad’s clothes. She looks like a Final Fantasy 7 character, you guys.
She also looks pretty efficient at melting faces off. You can turn extra lands into upgrades for your creatures, so that’s pretty cool. She is a very aggressive creature and she isn’t as bad when drawn in multiples as other legends. $14? She is harder to put in decks than Kalitas and Drana and those cards only flirted with that price. I’m skeptical. I like this card, but not that much.
Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
DJ Johnson – Ehhhh…? I’m not too impressed, but maybe that changes after Vryn’s Prodigy leaves us. He’s preselling for $20 just like the other walkers, so we’re continuing to see a leveling off in walkers that don’t look insane right off the bat. Either way, you know the drill by now. Don’t. Preorder. Walkers. (unless you for some reason need them for a PPTQ the weekend of release)
Jason Alt – This does the most Jacey stuff ever. How Jacey is this Jace? It’s like the Jaceiest. People always underestimate Jace and he always proves them wrong. 5 mana seems like a lot for this guy, especially since he ratchets up to his ult so slowly, but he has a thick skin with his initial 5 loyalty, he can protect him self with his bounce, though it puts him in Temper range right away, his Ultimate is brutal and wins you the late game and Scry 1, draw is one of the best draw abilities we have seen on a Jace. He’s good, but is 5 mana too much? I think you are OK paying the $20 to preorder because I don’t know if he goes down a ton, at least in the short term. Don’t underestimate Jace, guys.
Edit – A lot of people seem to think I think this card is better than it is and that it’s just a worse, blue Ob Nixilis. Maybe. But people always underestimate Jace. Being blue matters. He’s likely too much to preorder for, but if you want more opinions, check out what the spikes think.
DJ Johnson – I’m pretty sure this is a bulk mythic. Angelic Overseer was bulk. I’d much rather my large Angel have hexproof than all her puny humans, and so she’s definitely a step down from her former self. I can’t tell if she’s crazy from the art yet, or if she’s one of the last “good” angels left. Someone fill me in here, while I fill you in that you shouldn’t buy this card.
Jason Alt – Historically, angels that gives humans hexproof aren’t great. This isn’t as good as the other Sigarda and can’t even go in decks like Mayael like the other one does. I don’t think you want this as an EDH general, which hurts its upside. People will want to build around this, but I don’t like this much.
Sage of Ancient Lore/Werewolf of Ancient Hunger
DJ Johnson – Get ready for another disagreement between Jason and I. I can’t ever imagine myself casting this in Commander, even in a Simic list where you draw a bunch of cards. I feel like everyone else at the table will easily be able to keep this on the front face without much effort, and that’s not very exciting. This is extremely win-more because if nobody is casting a spell in EDH past turn 4 when you play this, they’ve probably already lost the game due to either boredom or someone else killing them with a more effective card. Bulk. Rare.
Were you playing Maro in your Simic deck? How about Multani, Maro-Sorcerer? No? Then I don’t think you’ll be taking either of those out to replace them for something that is one of those cards less than half the time, and doesn’t have shroud to prevent it from being killed instantly. Are you really going to choose not to play two spells just so you can attack with your X/X? I didn’t think so.
Jason Alt – I spent like 45 minutes trolling Doug about this card today. This card is trash.
To the Slaughter
DJ Johnson – This is going to compete with the super-Unmake of the set, and I still don’t think it’s going to be an extremely powerful chase rare. Fetches rotating makes Delirium very hard to achieve early on in the game (at least based on what we’ve seen so far) without sacrificing significant resources, and this is a card you want to play in a control deck to stall the game out. I’m not a fan of buying in early (you’ll see a pattern of that throughout the set review), and the delirium ability won’t even always be relevant because they have to have a creature and a walker to get value. Add in the fact that most walkers make tokens of their own, and you’re losing a lot of money here.
Jason Alt – The last time a card reminded me of Browbeat, Doug really liked it. I see people really flipping out over this card and I guess I can see why, but I think it’s being mis-evaluated a bit. If you have delirium AND they have a planeswalker, this is better than Cruel Edict. If they don’t, it’s worse than Hero’s Downfall by a lot. I don’t like paying $5 here, but if you think this is as good as Hero’s Downfall, we’ve seen cards like that (well, that card specifically) hit $10 so buy accordingly.
Arlinn Kord/Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon
DJ Johnson – And here we have our first flip-walker that has the ability to flip back to the front face. While there are no eBay listings up yet (she’s only been spoiled for about an hour as of 12:00pm EST 3/15/16), I’m going to guess that she’ll pre-sell for about $20, similar to Nahiri. My financial verdict is similar to that of the angry lithomancer, so I would hold off on pre-ordering unless you’re itching to cast her on the first week.
That emblem is extremely powerful, but it is a bit deceptive in how long it takes to pull off uncontested. You have to use that 0 ability at least once to transform before you ultimate, and the removal ability on night mode is pretty valuable for killing off other walkers. I think it will just be better to keep making wolves and then Bolting things instead of chasing up to the -6.
Jason Alt – This does a lot of things you want a zoo walker to do. Elspeth, Knight Errant this isn’t, but she has a lot of abilities and can get herself and you out of jams. The problem is that you could find yourself wanting an ability that is on the opposite side and it’s very slow to correct that. I still think this card is pretty good and I imagine she’ll get jammed at least early on. Planeswalkers are tough to evaluate, but it’s also tough for them to get over $20 if the rest of the set is good and I imagine that’s where this will presell. I think there are more scenarios where you lose or break even pre-ordering this.
Odric, Lunarch Marshal
Jason Alt – Dafuq is “skulk?”
Concerted Effort is now almost $3, so this card has a lot of upside in 10 years. You don’t want this as a Commander, but it can do some work in the 99. I still say this is a bulk rare with upside on the foil copies. Can you really see this getting played in Standard?
DJ Johnson – Something something Banding joke, something something Flanking joke. Alright now that that’s out of the way, this is some bulk. It’s bulk that casual players will freaking love, but still bulk. Maybe you can sell these at a dollar, but they’re definitely solid pickups at dimes. Those are a lot of words, and my customers love a solid helping of word salad on their cards.
Each vampire creature card you own that isn’t on the battlefield has Madness. Its Madness cost is equal to its mana cost. (If you discard a card with Madness, you may play it for its madness cost instead of putting it into your graveyard.)
Jason Alt – So this card is very good. Aggressive 1-drops are traditionally expensive, even the unexciting ones. This can pair with madness enablers to make all of your vampires cast the exact same way, so that’s cool. This is a weird sort of pseudo-flash that also makes their discard worse, I guess. Still, we have a 2-power creature for 1 that has upside rather than a drawback. I like. This is likely a $5ish card if Zurgo is any indication. Lots of cards in Innistrad are very slow. I think that makes the fast ones deceptively better. I like this.
DJ Johnson – This card is sweet. We have our first Jackal Pup in red without a downside, and it actually has a reasonable upside. I’m pulling Stromkirk Noble out of my bulk rares just in case, but I don’t see this having an impact past Standard. $3-4 seems reasonable during the first weeks, but just remember to not play bad madness cards to enable this guy. You’re not exactly cheating creatures into play for a lower cost, you’re just removing a “cost” from your discard spells.
When Tainted Chains enters the battlefield, target spirit gains hexproof until end of turn.
You can cast spirit spells as though they had flash.
Jason Alt – I have no idea. I am inclined to say this is a weird casual tribal card. So far I haven’t seen anything that indicates we’re going to see worthwhile spirits and enough to build a deck around. This could be a narrower Plaxmanta if we don’t have a real spirits deck since this can only grant any upside to spirits and is a Vampire Interloper otherwise. I don’t like this, but I could like it later. There are plenty more cards to spoil.
DJ Johnson – Something bulky this way comes. I don’t think Spirits will get a whole ton of love this set, so this is just a bone thrown to the six people in the world who want to build a ghost deck and then spend $500 at an alterist to get all their cards to look like some variation of Casper the Friendly Ghost. Those people won’t want to pay more than a dime on this card because they already wasted all their money on the alters.
Foul Orchard Cycle
Jason Alt – Golgari Guildgate broke limited and had to have its power level attenuated. Good on them for completing the Elfhame Palace cycle after everyone begged them not to for years. This isn’t as much for finance as it is to show that there are 15 cards after Woodland Stream, so probably 3 of each basic, which means there could be a lot of non-basics to go between Forsaken Sanctuary and Woodland Stream. These giveth hope and they taketh hope away.
DJ Johnson – You should probably buy out TCGplayer of all these, then list them for $4.50 a piece. It’s literally impossible to lose.
Pious Evangel/Wayward Disciple
Jason Alt –The perfect cleric. This has so much EDH utility that I can’t imagine foils stay sane for too long. This does everything you want a card to do in an Ayli deck and it occupies one card slot to do two jobs. Foils, folks. Snap ’em.
DJ Johnson – Man, the flavor on this thing is sweet. While Jason is correct that this goes in Ayli without fail, that’s one deck. You have to find that person who is building Ayli and then find the one who’s foiling it out in order to sell these. Don’t let it join your bulk foils, but be realistic about how easily it is to move this crazy cultist.
Jason Alt – Sometimes you like a card a lot and it’s still bulk. This is one of those cards. This is stupid in EDH, which won’t be enough to bring its price up and it’s too slow for Standard which would be. I love this, especially with Doubling Season or Boon Reflection, but that doesn’t make this not a bulk rare.
DJ Johnson – Sometimes, you don’t even need to read the rest of the words on a card to know that it’s a bulk rare. Buuuuuuulk rare. One of my biggest pet peeves about cards like this is that they could have done almost anything else to “buff” the card, keep it at a garbage level for competitive play, and make it slightly less garbage for casual. Really? You think this would have broken the Limited format if had been a 5/5, or cost 6 mana instead? I just hate seeing cards that were designed to be extremely bad out of fear of being overpowered in Limtied.
Startled Awake/Persistent Nightmare
Jason Alt – Remember that time you heard your cat throwing up and you snapped awake only to permanently forget 25% of everything you ever knew? Me neither.
Jokes about the stupid flavor aside, this is a stupid card that’s slow and bad and clunky and casuals are losing their collective minds over this card. It will never be truly bulk and I think Mind Funeral shows the surprising amount of money this could fetch, irrespective of how good it looks on paper (or doesn’t). This card could surprise people.
For the record, when I said something about a flip sorcery last week in my Gathering Magic article, I was joking.
DJ Johnson – On one hand, Mind Funeral and Glimpse the Unthinkable exist. On the other hand, Breaking // Entering is a card that I own 50+ of, and have been sorely disappointed by nonexistent returns. Just because it mills people for a good chunk of cards does not prevent it from being bulk status. This will hit bulk mythic status and while it won’t be an insane pickup, you could do worse. Remember that you’re paying 5 mana, waiting a turn, and then hoping they don’t trade it for their 1/1 if you want to get it back. It costs twice as much as Breaking // Entering, and mills less than half the cards.
Jason Alt – I can’t think of a format other than EDH that wants this, which is to bad because Archetype of Imagination is a card and so is Wonder. This very expensively and non-permanently does a small effect. This wins you some Limited Games, but so would a 5/5 flying for 5UU. Bulk.
DJ Johnson – I’ll be honest; I looked at the mana cost, the artwork, then the little words at the bottom that said”Intro Pack”, and I don’t need to read anything else. Bulk.
Jason Alt – This card is sweet. If you can, get foils because that’s the only way to make money and because the green ghosts on the foil are going to look amazing.
DJ Johnson – This is a cute way to enable delirium and madness in Limited, although I don’t think that’s the main reason you play this card. This is condition-less (well, for the target at least) removal, but I don’t think that transitions well into Constructed, Commander or Standard. Stay away.
Angel of Deliverance
Jason Alt – This card is very tricky to judge. I think it’s likely too slow for Standard, at least for the time being which means its price upside is Limited. EDH wants this in quite a few decks and it’s actually good enough to build around a little bit, but ultimately that won’t move the needle on non-mythic rares much more than keeping it above bulk. This is dumb with cards like Chandra’s Ignition, though. This won’t be bulk but I can’t see it pre-selling for a price I want to pay, either.
DJ Johnson – I really enjoy when Jason and I disagree, because that makes the set review more interesting for us to write. It sucks to constantly parrot each other on some of the more obvious stuff, and it’s better for you as a reader to get multiple dissenting opinions so that you can make your own choice. I’m personally going to call this bulk and refuse to buy any of these for more than a nickel. 8 mana more than Angel of Serenity, equal to old-Avacyn, and more than Angel of Despair. I really don’t expect any deck other than Kaalia to even consider this, and being a Launch Party crushes this even further.
Descend Upon the Sinful
Jason Alt – So is this Martial Coup or is it Crush of Tentacles? That’s the real question.
The Spikes on reddit seem to think this is a mite too slow to save you and if this doesn’t see Standard play, it’s in trouble. EDH can prop this up a bit, but it is going to take Standard adoption to move this price and it’s not looking too good. This is no Terminus because while it’s sometimes better than its base effect, it’s never cheaper. That’s a problem. This is a $7 preorder and I think it’s quite possible to lose money buying at that price, even with how high we saw cards like Crux of Fate get in the short term. I’m bearish.
DJ Johnson – I think Delirium is going to be a lot harder to set up in Standard than people expect. This doesn’t help you put anything into the graveyard to get the angel afterward, and I do not want to buy in at $7. I expect it to drop pretty close to bulk, at which point you buy in if you expect to need them in the future for Standard.
Jason Alt – Wowzers. This card does quite a bit and it does it at Instant speed. With EDH player currently happy with cards like Unmake, this could make a real splash. This is also going to be played in Standard quite a bit. I would compare this to Hero’s Downfall and buy accordingly. I don’t like the art on the gameday promo too much, which makes me sad, but I bet enough people like it that it doesn’t hurt the upside of the promo, which is significant, too much. This card is $8-$10 on eBay and that seems relatively likely to be the price moving forward, although it’s more likely to end up lower than that than it is to end up higher in my view.
DJ Johnson – Does anyone else get a “Cutscene from a PS2 JRPG” feel from the Game Day promo, or is that just me? I don’t think this will stay at the $8ish pre-sale price, but this is obviously not going to be bulk. Very powerful card, but 3 life is a lot. I think we can expect this to hang around from $4-5 for at least a few months.
Wolf of Devil’s Breach
Jason Alt – I was going to be a little more dismissive of this card at first but then I remembered another similar curve-topper named Arc Slogger and how perfect that card was at finishing the game. Is this another Arc Slogger? It’s slower, more mana-intensive, harder to activate multiple times, harder to fuel with an empty hand and doesn’t have the benefit of turn 2 LD like the Ponza deck did.
This is a $9 preorder and that doesn’t seem quite right to me. This has to attack to do anything, is card disadvantage and is only playable if the rest of Standard is slow enough to run this. 5/5 for 5 is good, though, maybe the stats are enough for it to skate by on because 1 activation could deal enough damage to end the game, especially if you draw muitiples of these. I’m not convinced I want to pay the $38 for a playset eBay is commanding currently.
DJ Johnson – You know what else is true about Arc Slogger? It came out thirteen years ago, it could activate multiple times per turn, didn’t require you to have other cards in your hand, and didn’t need to attack to trigger. This seems very slow to me, and I would not be surprised to see this hit bulk mythic. Is a 5/5 for 5 really good anymore? We live in a world where Polukranos existed, and was unplayable at certain points throughout its’ life. I refuse to buy this at anything more than bulk; I’ll wait for some pro to prove me wrong.
Nahiri, the Harbinger
Jason Alt – So apparently EDH characters will be introduced into the main storyline where apropriate. Nahiri is from Zendikar, I think, based on all the hedrons in her original art so I guess she is part of the story of how eldrazi invade Innistrad- because those feudal serfs armed with pitchforks don’t have enough problems.
This card is the real deal and its limited Standard appeal initially has this at a $20 preorder. That’s about where most Standard planeswalkers end up. Jace tax is a bitch, after all. I don’t know how much money we can make here. Narset seemed like a sweet Planeswalker, too, after all and people lost money on that one. You can maybe get something in the short term if you preorder now, but I don’t know if this is as good in Standard as it is in EDH, a format that won’t help its price get over $20 in the near term. I am staying away but I do love this card. I think we’re not done getting amazing planeswalkers. Could we get another Sorin? Because that would be borin.
DJ Johnson – Welcome to the first non-Core set with more than three walkers. While Nahiri certainly seems powerful enough for Standard at first glance, I’m not sure you want to pay $20 unless you’re itching to play with them out of the gate. I’m staying away until someone buylists these to me a month after the pre-release for $12 so I can resell them for $20. Cool lithomancers don’t look at vampire mansion explosions.
Archangel Avacyn/Avacyn the Purifier
Jason Alt – Sweet sassy molassy. What a card to start with! Preordering for $100 a playset, this could stick around that price if people play it in Standard, but it would be tough. You almost assuredly lose money paying $25 for this, but how much you lose is debatable and having these in hand right away may be worth it to you. We have exactly one card from the last set over $20 so bear that in mind. I think this is going to lose some money and I think this isn’t quite as good as an EDH Commander as some people think it will be, but it will get jammed in plenty of decks. I am staying away at $25.
DJ Johnson – @RevisedAngel is beside herself. This is a spicy number that will almost certainly see play in Standard, but you didn’t need me to tell you that. If you need me for whatever reason, it’s to provide slightly less witty banter than Jason and to remind you that this is not a card that you want to pre-order at $25, at least if you have plans of selling at $50 or something ridiculous. If you’re that guy who already has his/her Standard list ready and raring requiring three copies of this, then go ahead and take the loss to rent the card for the more expensive pre-order.
Jason Alt – This seems pretty good to me and it could be the finisher a blue deck wants absent some dragons, but this is underwhelming in control and clunky anywhere else. This enables madness and delirium pretty well and if you’re helbent, it’s a 3-turn clock. I haven’t seen much that exiles so this could be a nightmare to deal with for some of their decks and if you can keep your hand free of excess lands this could be a 4/4 beater that lets you keep up a few utility spells. This is like a $4 presale which means if this performs like other $4 presale cards, you’ll lose like $3 pre-ordering. If you think it’s got upside, it has to grow a lot before it even buylists for $4. It’s clunky and I’m not confident in it. Pass.
DJ Johnson- Can this thing really fly on those wings? Let’s be real here, those do not look structurally sound with all those holes. Swords for arms? Real original Geralf, real original. This thing is an absolute monster in Limited, but I really don’t like it in Constructed. You’re putting a lot of faith into this guy when you bring him back expecting him to carry you through the rest of the game, so I think this is the Skaab Ruinator of the set. Don’t pre-order, you’ll get them for a dollar as a reward for patience.
Jason Alt – This is a flavor home run, depicting the aftermath of Endless Ranks of the Dead, which people like. This also plays like a total monster, making it a combo enabler, efficient beater and all-around great card. I think the 30 people who preordered this for $75 a playset will feel silly when they see someone just listed a playset for $50. Maybe they won’t – Pain Seer sold out for $12 each on Star City Games and those people didn’t feel silly. This is better than Pain Seer so for $12.50, you have less to lose. So far this is the set’s de facto “WOW” mythic but it is mana-intensive and needs a full suite of zombies around it to make it truly effective. Modern hasn’t been able to crack the Gravecrawler deck code, Standard might not have enough zombies and the current combo infrastructure doesn’t wow me. I’m not excited to pay more than $10 a copy and even then, I’m not buying any myself. Cool card, though.
DJ Johnson – This set is reminding me how much I enjoyed the flavor of Innistrad, which I suppose would be the primary goal of a set called Shadows Over Innistrad. There’s a lot of words on this card, but it does eat up a significant amount of your mana. We’ll have to see if we get more Zombies to make this thing worth casting in Standard, but I don’t see it considering they have to split up the tribal support over like 89 different tribes for this block. Maybe in the second set of the block, but I’d put this in the same camp as Avacyn. Speculators beware, but bite the bullet if you have big plans on release weekend.
Put four 1/1 red Devil creature tokens onto the battlefield. They have “When this creature dies, it deals 1 damage to target creature or player.”
Jason Alt – This seems like a great example of a bulk rare that absolutely runs roughshod over people in Limited. I think this is too expensive for Constructed formats but this is brutal in Limited. Bulk Ware.
DJ Johnson – Bulk rare, but this will rip your face off at the prerelease. Does this mean Tibalt is in cahoots with Emrakul? WE NEED MORE CLUES.
Jason Alt – Hill Giant or Scute Mob? This is situationally harder to trigger than Scute Mob and grows slower but starts out bigger albeit more expensive. I don’t know, this doesn’t seem to have a deck nor do enough in the deck it would have. Remember Splinterfright? This reminds me of Splinterfright. Ask Corbin about that one.
DJ Johnson – You know what I like about bulk rares? Most of the rares in the set are guaranteed to be bulk, and this is one of them. I can’t wait to sell this card to someone at the shop who spends 18 minutes talking to me about their Delirium deck.
Declaration in Stone
Jason Alt – This seems pretty sweet. Potentially clears the board quite a bit but if it does, you’re giving them big card advantage. Sorcery speed means you can’t use this to get some value out of a doomed creature. I think this plays worse than it looks – I don’t like giving my opponents cards. I’d rather give them life or lands – anything but more cards. This is no Path to Exile and its $4 preorder price makes me think there is a lot of money to be lost here. We’re losing some good white removal to rotation, though, so this may be necessary.
Here is what the Spikes subreddit has to say
DJ Johnson – There are a lot of opposing opinions on this card, but all of them are focused on whether this will see play in Standard. It’s pretty obvious that this doesn’t maket the cut in Eternal formats, and I don’t play Standard enough (at all) to know whether its’ good in that format. Regardless, I don’t want to preorder it at $4.
Thing in the Ice/Awoken Horror
Jason Alt – Sweet flavor but this is a $15 preorder. I’m not so sure about that, bruh.
Spikes weighing in
The voice of reason
DJ Johnson – This thing caused a lot of hype, but I can’t see it breaking into any format other than Standard. It seems extremely powerful in a format where Ojutai’s Command and flip Jace are both legal, but I don’t think it makes the cut in a world where Monastery Mentor and Young Pyromancer are legal. Preordering at 15 dollars seems absolutely insane to me; this is a large set rare in the mythic era, people. Stop the madness. I think this is a $3-4 card a month or two from now.
Jason Alt – This is the kind of Faustain bargain you make with black cards. I love it. I am not sure this needs to be mythic, but this is certainly efficient, helps you never take damage from it, helps you trigger delirium for other cards and has solid stats. This is a $1 preorder and probably doesn’t go down from there meaning there is potential upside though that upside is mitigated a lot by the Duel Deck printing even though the Duel Deck art is pretty asstastic compared to the set art. I’m staying away but I’m keeping an eye on this card.
DJ Johnson – Ehh…? It’s hard to lose bets when you buy into bulk mythics at .50 or $1, but It’s equally hard to win them when the cards you’re betting on are Duel Deck material. This competes with Kalitas, Drana, Tasigur, etc. I don’t bet on this, but I’m happy picking them up at quarters then throwing them into my dollar box for that earlier guy who wants to build the Delirium deck.
Whenever a source an opponent controls deals damage to you or a permanent you control, you may have Flameblade Angel deal 1 damage to that source’s controller.
Jason Alt – This is pretty decent. I don’t think it is going to get a ton of Standard play and largely feels like filler in EDH. Only 1 seller on eBay and he wants $20 for a playset. Sure thing, champ. This seems bulky to me, absent and entire archetype springing up around it.
DJ Johnson- Buuuuuuuuuuulk. Bulk bulk, bulk bulk bulk. Bulk, bulk bulk bulk bulk bulk. Bulk? Bulk bulk.
Jason Alt – Mentor of the Meek 2.0. You know who hated Mentor of the Meek? Standard players. You know who loved it? EDH Players. Whatever this price does, it won’t do it quickly. The good thing about this card is you can pay the mana to draw the card whenever making it less mana-intensive since you can empty your hand and refill it later. This is preselling at bulk and that seems fair. Remember, Hissing Quagmire is under $2 and that seemed like a reasonable presale at $6.
DJ Johnson- Seems fine as a bulk rare, and it gives you a couple of options. You can pick these up at dimes and then either throw them in a box and wait four years, or sell them at quarters to local players who think the card is insane. I’m inclined towards the latter, but do what you want. You control your own destiny.
Elusive Tormetor/Insidious Mist
Jason Alt – I give this card a 10. Total. Spread over 2 categories.
Flavor – 9/10
Playability – 1/10
Bulk. Cool bulk, but bulk. Too mana-intensive and prone to blowouts.
DJ Johnson – Another card that non-competitive players will lose their goddamn minds over. The only question is whether they’re willing to jam this in their Vampire decks over their already established Captivating Vampire and Bloodline Keeper. Even if they do, there won’t be enough people wanting it to keep it above the quarter bin.
Jason Alt – In some situations this is better than Ghostway. In some situations it’s worse. EDH players don’t like to debate merits when they can just run both. The Duel Deck printing robs this card of a ton of potential upside so there isn’t much to discuss other than how high this could get in a few years. Don’t pre-order.
DJ Johnson – Wait, this is in the duel deck? Welp, there goes any value this card might have had in the next three years. Dimes to quarters, people; dimes to quarters. At least this might remove some of the pressure from Ghostway from being a billion dollars. Seriously, don’t buy this. I don’t even want to pay a dollar on it.