by Kelly Reid
It's time. We have the documents. We have the information. We have the resources. Now let's talk money. The whole spoiler is out, just days before the pre-release, and there's a lot of work to do. This won't be an exhaustive list of everything a card can do, just a short discussion about potential values. Starting with the mythics, using the ManaNation spoiler this time. A quick note about the prices used. These are approximate prices and are more indicitive of a tier-based system. $1 cards are "crap rares". $2 cards are fringe cards that would be junk but there's some casual appeal or narrow tournament usage. $5 cards are Howling Mine type cards, that are tournament-viable or have heavy casual appeal. $10 cards are playable mythics or elite rares, and $20 are staple mythics. Above that are high-dollar cards that don't fall into tiers and follow their own rules.
Ajani Goldmane is a double reprint, which will keep its value low for a Mythic. It's currently $5, but has an outside chance to be hot again if Eldrazi Monument decks keep getting more popular. Rating: Hold
Baneslayer Angel is another reprint, and is currently a high-dollar card, around $35. Baneslayer's price dropped as soon as it was reprinted, and may never see $50 again. It's bad business to speculate on high-dollar cards, so this also gets a Hold rating, despite the outside chance at a recovery.
Sun Titan would be extraordinarily expensive, but for the fact that it's a pre-release promo. This will keep it from being a $20 card. It will more likely be $10. The pre-release version will cost about $2 less than the regular version. On the chance it sees tournament play successfully, Hold unless you get a good offer. His buddy Frost Titan is getting mocked openly, mainly because it's not the best thing you can do for 6 mana in Blue. He'll be a $5 card to start, but can easily drop to bulk $1 status when he sees no Tier 1 play. Rating: Sell
Jace Beleren is nothing new, and has been printed so many times that he's hardly a $5 card. It doesn't help that his big brother a touch better. Sell.
Time Reversal is an over-hyped example of mass hysteria. Let's talk about what matters: the Draw 7. The reshuffle is nice, but hardly necessary in Standard. It's not hard to pitch an Eldrazi in any deck that cares about its graveyard. Thus, you're paying 3UU to reload your hand. If Tidings was good, this is better. There are a few caveats. First, you must discard your current hand. Control decks often carefully sculpt their hand over many turns, so discarding it is a slight, but relevant drawback. Second, your opponent gets to do the same. Considering the plethora of decks that are able to empty their hand by the time a blue mage can cast a 5 mana spell, it might not behoove a control deck to give aggro a free reload. In the mirror, it's probably just too slow and dangerous. It's not worth $30, nor is it worth $20. Sell, and sell hard.
Demon of Death's Gate is not the hottest mythic on the block, but might have niche value. $5 seems correct here, since niche mythics don't tend to go too far. The effect is very powerful, so there's an outside shot at big money. Sell, but only because it will trade well to the casual players at the pre-release.
Grave Titan is one of the high-hype cards of the set. Chapin's analysis, comparing it to Broodmate Dragon, seems apt. This is the kind of card that could help make mono black decks viable again. That's an awful lot of value. It's $20 if it sees tier 1 play, and $10 if it does not. Rated Hold, unless you can get a lot of money via hype-mongering your local pre-release!
Liliana Vess's presence in the set is pretty irrelevant at the moment, since she's in much the same boat as Jace Beleren. Not that she won't get used, especially if mono black makes a comeback, but she will remain $5 simply due to constant reprinting. Chandra Nalaar is back, and remains completely unplayed. Sell on both, since causal players will sometimes trade up for these cards.
Inferno Titan is a powerful card, but will have trouble finding a home in tier 1 play. Casual appeal will keep it at $5, but lack of tier 1 play will keep its price modest. Sell.
Platinum Angel is another former all-star that is seeing zero play. She has been $5 since she appeared in M10, and should continue to remain so. She'll be popular at the pre-release, so Sell her there.
Gaea's Revenge is utter garbage for tier 1 play. The lack of evasion combined with the mana cost make it prohibitive to force through. It will be great in EDH as an "enforcer" type card. EDH mythics can usually be found at $5, but as with almost all of the mythics in this set, casual players want them much more than tournament players. Rating: Sell, as you would expect.
Garruk Wildspeaker is a tier 1 quality card,but has been reprinted into oblivion. He's $10 when he's seeing tournament play, and dips a few dollars when he's not. Rating: Hold, since he holds value well.
Primeval Titan seems to be one of the flagship cards of the set, and for good reason. Alongside the black titan, it provides a huge amount of value in one card. A lot of people are brewing with this card, but it will have to see tier 1 play to sustain its value. That is entirely possible, given its power level. Rating this card is difficult, but it's rarely the correct choice to hold on to high dollar pre-sale cards. There's more room for decline than growth, so Sell if you're risk averse.
Kelly Reid has been playing Magic since Revised Edition, when his first purchase was a starter deck and a Scrye magazine. He threw away the magazine and kept the price guide. Years later, he founded Quiet Speculation, the first website dedicated to the financial side of Magic: The Gathering. Preferring to leave strategy to the professionals, Kelly writes about potential sleepers, undervalued cards, and trends as well as covering a wide breadth of theory articles.
Kelly's work has been published across the Internet, including Star City Games,The Starkington Post, ManaNation, MTGO Academy and soon, Blackborder.com. He has appeared on the Top 8 Magic podcast, the Yo! MTG Taps podcast, and Evan Erwin's Magic Show in addition to having his decks featured on MagicTheGathering.com. As editor and content manager of Doubling Season, Kelly will be covering a wide variety of topics. His main competitive format is Standard, and he prefers to leave the Eternal formats to Doug and Jonathan.