By this point, everyone and their dog has put out an article about Scars of Mirrodin cards. Rather than tell you for the tenth time that Wurmcoil Engine is good (it really, really is), I’m going to try and take my look at the new set in a different direction, and we have our first “Rate My Trade” of the column!
If you don’t know, Rate My Trade is a section in our premium forums (which I’m told will be live for subscription very soon). It’s a place for traders to discuss and evaluate trades, much like I do in this column most weeks. If you’re trying to avoid Scars of Mirrodin spoilers, you should skip down to the bottom of the column now.
Okay, on to the promised Scars speculation. By now you’ve seen plenty of prices and speculation on cards, and I’m sure Kelly Reid will likely do a full set review. Instead of focus on prices this week, we’re going to look at the new cards that are best classified as “trade fodder.”
As much as some Magic players pretend otherwise, not everyone is a “spike.” A large number of players are less interested in dollar signs than they are in sentimental value or filling a collection. When Scars drops this weekend, the trading game will be hectic, to say the least. While you’re looking to pick up Eldrazi Monuments and Elspeth 2.0, I’ve got some suggestions for some less-marquee cards that I believe will serve you will to have in your binder.
To see all the cards I'm discussing, the visual spoiler is here.
I really like the Arbiters as a good pick-up for a few reasons. First, it has a ton of potential against the ramp decks running rampant right now. It also can frustrate any fetchland-using opponent in white weenie decks such as the won that won Pro Tour Amsterdam.
Outside of the competitive scene, this card has even more appeal. Its effect is one that will excite many kitchen-table players who are sick of losing to their friend’s Sphinx Summoner deck. It’s also a card that figures to be important to many budget players who may not have their own fetchlands or Primeval Titans. Pick up as many as you reasonably can, because it’s a card that wants to be played as a four-of.
This card screams “casual player,” and there’s no reason to ignore that voice in your head. It’s not going to be difficult to pick them up off of competitive players for bulk rare prices and trade them off at a higher rate to casual and EDH players.
I’m pretty pumped about this card for a few reasons. It has infinite-combo potential with its mana-producing ability, and it’s a blue lord to boot. I think this has competitive potential down the road, and it’s just a “fun” card on top of it, which means these will drive a high price with players looking for it, and they won’t be hard to find. I don’t know if Myr.dec is going to be good or not, but I know there will be a number of rogue deckbuilders who try to make it work, and they will be looking for your Architects.
There’s never been a lack of players willing to cast Polymorph, so an artifact version will likely have some appeal. I’m not sure how to break it outside of Dread Statuary, but chances are someone will, or at least try. This shouldn’t be difficult to pick up as a throw-in, and if such a deck ever comes to fruition, you will be able to move these fast.
Just about every Magic player in the world is going to try and make poison happen (myself included). Again, I have no idea if poison.dec is going to be real, but this card will be in every version sleeved up, whether that’s in the hands of LSV or Milton from IT. I compare this card with the many Elf lords, in that they have both will have a solid market with casual players and are of occasional use to competitive players.
Basically the same story as the poisonous Hand. Think about any game shop you’ve ever been to. Chances are there’s at least (and probably more than one) player there who you already know wants this card from you.
I was on the fence about whether or not to include this card, because it’s not going to be in the $1-3 area that I’m aiming for. That said, pick up this card now. Like I mentioned above, this slots into every kitchen-table Elf deck ever, and Elves have a lot of tools to make a showing in competitive Standard and Extended. You will be able to find your Ezuri’s a home somewhere, I promise.
Unlikely to see play in Standard, this Kuldotha will be forging some artifacts in many a casual game. One neat thing about prereleases is that they bring out a ton of players who don’t usually show up, whether that’s the crowd coming back to the game after 10 years or the group playing in their first tournament. Both of these camps have a subset of players who play wacky combo decks at home, and the Forgemaster is perfect for these guys. If you can pick these up, I suggest moving them quickly because the market for a card like this is limited. Players who want them are going to be able to get them from plenty of other traders, so make the most out of these if you end up with a few.
- Tunnel Ignis / Spikeshot Elder
I lump these two cards together because your local Red mage wants both of them, and in multiples. They are going to find homes in red decks for the next year to come, and there seems to be a never-ending line of RDW players. I don’t think I’ve had any card move faster in the last year than Ball Lightning, and I expect those same traders to want to pick up these cards.
Fun times in EDH. Need I say more?
I haven’t heard a lot of buzz about this card yet, which is just criminal. This is a beating, and fetchable with Trinket Mage. It will fill any spot on your curve and plays pretty nicely with Proliferate. I imagine it will find its way into a number of decks in the next two years, and if you can pick these up before they realize their full potential, you’re going to be glad you did.
I know it’s hard to keep up when we have 249 new cards entering circulation on a single day, but doing your homework early will pay off in the end. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating – there is NO better time to be a competitive trader than set rotation. Knowing which cards are worth picking up as throw-ins in trades is almost as important as picking up big-ticket items like Koth of the Hammer. Luckily for you, there’s a whole team of writers here at Quiet Speculation to help you do just that. I encourage you to share in the comments if there’s any other gems you think I’ve missed.
Reader Trade of the Week:
Our first reader-submitted trade comes from Luke Sonnier, a CPA from Louisiana. He’s been a reader of Quiet Speculation since the days when it was Kelly’s personal blog. [He also stopped by my store once! Heya Luke!] Here’s the trade in his words:
Primeval Titan (Foil) $79.99
Sun Titan (Foil Promo) $7.99
4 Verdant Catacombs $47.96
Birds of Paradise (M11)$3.99
2 Hoarding Dragon 1.98
4 Ancient Hellkite (Foil Promo) 5.96
Glacial Fortress (M11) 4.99
2 Mass Polymorph 2.98
Eldrazi Temple 3.99
Pretty much break even. I'm guessing the Primeval Titan won't maintain the status he has recently so I figure I'll trade him away at his peak.
This trade could have been better but it's tough when trading with close friends who are aware of value and check everything on the phone while trading.”
I love this trade because it’s a picture-perfect example of what you can gain by trading down. Noah Whinston wrote a great piece of when to trade down here, and Luke executed that plan perfectly.
The Primeval Titan isn’t going to go any higher than it already is, so now is pretty much the best time for Luke to cash out. In return for a high-dollar card rotting in his binder, Luke’s picked up a ton of trade goodies that he’ll be able to trade up in the weeks to come. Fetchlands aren’t getting any cheaper, and the Eldrazi Temple is probably going to appreciate moving forward. While these are the cards that really stuck out to me, the rest are all solid additions to his binder that will open a number of doors with other traders.
While some quick math shows that Luke came out pretty much even, I think it’s safe to say he is on the much better end of the deal here. The Primeval Titan will basically be a nobody once it rotates from Standard, but the fetchlands are going to retain a ton of their value. Add in the opportunities Luke will have to trade the other cards up and it works out a very nice trade for Mr. Sonnier.
For those of you interested in submitting your own trades, I’m told our premium subscription will be open to everyone by the end of the month, and part of that is access to our forums, where we are able to provide real-time updates and communicate directly with our readers.
Until next week, may you avoid a slow death to Poison!
@Chosler88 on Twitter