After my article on ManaNation a few weeks back about Standard's "It Girl", there have been a few questions about what could happen to Baneslayer Angel next year when Magic 2011 is released. We have no way to know the future of Standard's queen bee, but we can try to cover all of our bases and hopefully lay to rest the question of "What Now?"
There are a few potential scenarios that can occur. Remember, Standard is not the be-all and end-all of a card's value. Tarmogoyf's value took a dip when it rotated out of Standard, but it's breaking new highs these days. Don't make the mistake of relegating the queen of the skies to the bargain bin when she rotates from Standard. Why all the talk of rotation? No, there's no inside information you're being kept unaware of! The truth is, we have no idea if Baneslayer Angel is going to be in M11. Most people think that if she does rotate, she'll take a big hit in price.
Well, let's assume for a moment that Wizards isn't totally heartless and they realize, despite the fact that they cannot address the secondary market, just how pissed off we'd be if she disappeared. That means around August 2010, we'll see a whole new crop of booster packs with the white menace inside. If you recall, the short supply of M10 was a big part of Baneslayer Angel's ridiculous price. Reprinting in M11 will solve this problem, but to what extent? It's safe to assume that WotC will fix the product availability concerns by that time. After all, M11 hasn't even been finalized as a set yet. That gives them ample time to print ample product. Barring any major world-changing shifts in the game, the card will still be a powerhouse in Standard and Extended, but the influx of cards will help to drive down the price to a more managable level. There's still the psychological factor to consider - people are used to Baneslayer Angel being $50+ so there will be initial resistance in the card's downward price trends.
Let's look at it from the other side now. What if WotC decides to flip Standard players the royal bird and axe our beautiful queen from the core set? Most people think that she'll tank in value, but it's more likely the opposite will be true. Remember how availability was a major factor in Baneslayer Angel's price? Well, what happens when she's never printed again? As time goes on, she'll just get more rare. M10 was criminally under-printed, so trying to acquire a mythic rare from a set drafted briefly during the late summer of 2009 could become quite an onerous task. She'll still be played until M10 rotates with "Lights" in late 2010, so we still have almost a full year with our secret girlfriend. After that, it all depends on what post-rotation Extended looks like. We're losing a lot of powerful cards from Mirrodin block, which could mean an even more favorable environment for the Angel. It's entirely too early to conjecture what the game will look like at that point - there are 600+ brand new cards we haven't seen yet that'll be releaesd, but it's safe to assume that Baneslayer Angel will be a factor.
If she does leave the Core set and isn't reprinted in an expansion, her price will probably take a similar path as Tarmogoyf's did. Dipping to 30 or even 20 dollars might be possible as the market over-reacts to a temporary lapse in demand. This is all speculation (imagine that!) for the moment, but it's important to realize that Baneslayer Angel is not untouchable on her 50 dollar pedestal. When she dips down in price, that's the time to buy. No matter whether she gets reprinted or not, she'll probably take a price hit towards the end of 2010. It may seem counter-intuitive at first, but Baneslayer Angel's value will eventually rise if she gets pulled from Standard.