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EDH Speculation

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Last Thursday WotC announced that they would be getting a bit more involved in EDH. If you haven't already read about it the main article can be found here. I'm very excited about a number of these changes but especially the printing of new generals. When I first started playing EDH my first decks were mono-colored because they had easier mana bases to acquire. My first serious deck was a Teysa deck and at that point I had a mono-black deck as well. I figured the next step would be to build a three color deck and I wanted to start picking up some of the staples from the other three colors so I figured a URG deck would be the best way to go.

I was pretty upset when I found out that the only legend in those colors was Intet. I'm not a fan of using a general that doesn't have a ton of synergy with the rest of my deck and there didn't seem to be many exciting ways to build Teneb so I moved on to a Momir Vig deck instead.

Fortunately WotC is going to be filling in some of these holes. As a player this is what has me most excited but there is some opportunity here for trading as well. I'm sure I wasn't the only person who held off on building a URG deck until a better general was released. The same is true for other color combinations. Right now it is hard to speculate exactly what will be good since we don't know the generals but I would try to pick up some bulk cards in those wedges as throw-ins and just hold them until the decklists are released.

Kelly Reid recently wrote an article http://www.mananation.com/edh-future/ where he talked about why he thought EDH was more than just a fad. When I first read it I thought that the article was written a bit late since every big event I've attended for awhile has been filled with people playing EDH. On the larger scale this is true but then I thought about the times I've gone to smaller stores and no one had an EDH deck.

At my school there was no one, to the best of my knowledge, who had an EDH deck until the beginning of the last spring semester. I started bringing some around and slowly other people saw how much fun the format was and began to build their own decks. Of course this created an entirely new market for me since I was able to move EDH staples much easier than I had in the past.

Some of these new players just weren't aware of the format or only had a vague understanding of it but for the majority they knew what it was but didn't want to invest the time and money into a deck they may not even get to use that often. This is understandable and the new premade decks are going to make this format explode in popularity. There will be new EDH communities sprouting up all over the place as new players experience the fun that can occur in EDH.

Once players have the opportunity to actually play with others the only thing holding them back will be the perception that you need to spend a lot of money to have a good EDH deck. This is far from being true for a number of reasons. Sure you can spend a ton of money building a five-color EDH deck with all the duals, Mana Drain, etc. but most decks don't really need the expensive cards to function. EDH decks are filled with bulk rares.

In multi-player games having the most powerful deck isn't a guarantee that you will win and may actually make it more difficult since other players may gang up on you. If the premade decks are decent, as I expect them to be, there is no telling how popular these products will be. Some of the biggest problems that hurt other premade decks just aren't existent in EDH. The consistency that is lost by not including multiples of the better cards, for example, really hurt the playability of the usual premades but obviously that isn't a problem here. Many of the most powerful cards in EDH are off the reserved list and relatively cheap since they see no play in competitive formats. I don't really see a reason why they can't make these decks great starting points.

Of course they won't be as finely tuned as they can be and the cards Wizards leaves off are the cards you will want to have in your binder. These decks won't be coming out until the summer so it may be some time before we get decklists but as soon as they are out we need to pour over them and figure out what they are missing so we can make some gains off of them.

The biggest area that I'm currently considering is the mana-fixing. What options are they going to give us. Obviously the Revised duals won't be in them but will the Ravnica shock lands? I doubt it but it isn't impossible. Still, with the recent printing of the Zendikar fetch lands the shocks become essential in multi-color EDH decks. If they aren't included, and my gut feeling is that they won't be, then the demand for them will rise so I feel that picking them up now might be a good choice.

On the other hand I have a good feeling that cards like Solemn Simulacrum will be included. I would trade those away. Coalition Relic is another EDH mana-fixer that I bet will be included but they have already reprinted that in other multiplayer releases so that shouldn't affect it much. While they don't fix your mana, both Mana Vault and Mana Crypt are great in EDH decks and possible candidates for inclusion. Mana Vault is already pretty cheap but the Crypt is another story. To be honest I wouldn't be surprised if it was included but I also wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't. The best way to handle this type of a situation would probably be to hold off on picking any of them up unless the deal was good enough to mititgate the risk. If they aren't reprinted the price will probably go up a bit because there should be a little more demand for it but I don't think it would be significant enough to want to invest in them. On the other hand if does get reprinted...

Next week I plan on talking about Extended since we will have some results from Worlds. I'm also going to start using my Twitter account to actually tweet instead of just reading the tweets of others. There have been a number of occasions I thought about something during the week that doesn't make it into my article and I think may be worth tweeting about. Follow me @mattsedlak. Also I want to give a random shoutout to my friend Derek who made his first PTQ top 8 this weekend. What does everyone think about the EDH announcement from last week? Its nice to see Wizards make good decisions from time to time!

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16 thoughts on “EDH Speculation

  1. Speculating on staples like Simulacrum is fine, you just need to diversify your portfolio. Getting 25 Solemns is asking for disaster, but a sample portfolio of 5 Solemns, 5 Sol Rings, 5 Coalition Relic, 5 Mana Vault, and 5 should leave you in the clear. They can't reprint them ALL, and the ones that rise should rise enough to cover the one that falls.

    1. Yes but I don't want to just cover the ones that fall. I want to avoid those cards as much as I can. In the case of Solemn Simulacrum I would be surprised if they didn't reprint it so I wouldn't pick those up. Sol Ring is a different story. I would pick up a bunch of those now if I could. I would also pick up some of the judge foils but I would actually pick up the regular ones first. Even though EDH is known for pimped out decks the people I expect to be trading to when the new products are released are going to be more interested in just tightening up their decks rather than pimping them out. Eventually they may want to but I doubt it will be their first priority.

      I do agree though that you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket but I wouldn't want to diversify to the point where my gains end up being minimal.

      1. I don't really think Solemns will fall with a reprint. New demand created by the product will be sated by the hypothetical new printing on almost exactly a 1-for-1 basis*, leaving the same demand for Mirrodin Solemns there was before the reprint.

        *(Also, if Solemn is included but only in some of the five decks, then demand will actually rise slightly despite being reprinted! [because the people who bought one of the Solemn-less decks will suddenly need a Solemn and their buddy who bought the other deck won't exactly have spares due to the nature of the product])

        **Further, if someone who buys one Commander precon gets hooked, they easily could build more than one deck, or get a friend into the format also, and that would increase demand because of a reprint.

        1. You definitely make a good point. In the case of mana-fixers like these I wonder if they might not just include them in all 5 decks though. Obviously they don't want too much overlap but we are talking about 100 cards so if the same 5-6 cards are in each I doubt many people would complain (Disclaimer: Tons of people will complain come to think about it but it shouldn't affect sales too much).

          Just because the demand increases doesn't always mean the price will as well. Right now it is hard to speculate because we have no decklists or really any information about the decks. I would still pick up EDH staples if I got a good enough deal on them but I would generally hold off on ones I think will be reprinted and focus on those that won't.

  2. Great Article Matt! I was however, looking for more actual card "picks" that you think will heat up now that EDH is a "real" format… any suggestions up to now?

    Some I can name and categorize include:

    Mass Removal – Akromas Vengeance / Wog / Damnation / Mutilate / Plague Wind

    Mana Fix – Coalition Relic / Solemn Sim / Sol Ring / Mana Vault / Mana Crypt

    Utility Creatures – Thada Adel / Protein Hulk / Rootwater Thief

    Awesome Spells – Tooth and Nail

    Cool EDH Stuff – Grinning Totem

    There are billions more, I'm sure… any chance of getting all our heads together to think of some more? 😉

      1. I used to play a mono-black EDH deck so I was always on the look out for one of these. I just never wanted to pay for it though! Any serious trader though should take a look at a P3K price list at some point though so they know about cards like this and Rolling Earthquake.

    1. I've been wanting to give actual "picks" for awhile but we just haven't had the opportunity. It has been Sealed season, Standard is pretty well established and the newer decks tend to either be fairly cheap to build, or fairly cheap to answer (i.e. play Pyroclasm!) or use cards that we are already trading heavily. I will admit I missed on predicting Inferno Titan which is a shame since I've been playing URG since States and have had Inf Titan in a couple of those builds.

      Anyway in this case I don't want to just throw out cards because we have no clue what will be in these decks. Some cards I'm pretty sure will be included (Coalition Relic, Solemn Simulacrum) but for most of the deck it would be pure guesswork since we don't even know what the generals do (except for one so I guess maybe we could brainstorm on that one!). Once we get decklists though I will definitely be providing a list of cards I think you should pick up or get rid of. I also plan on doing this next week once we have a Pro Tour level Extended 'event' to look at.

      By the way, "Cool EDH Stuff" is pretty much always a safe pick. They are generally very cheap and can be gotten as a throw in then moved through salesmanship. Jon Medina caught some flack over a recent article where he sold someone on his Fulminator Mages before a tournament even though they weren't really playable. In EDH though that is pretty much never the case. "Oh you use him as your general? Take a look at this card…that would be nuts with him." They can look at it and judge for themselves whether or not they like what it does so you can almost never be in the wrong here. Unless you lie to them about what a card does I don't really see how you can run into that murky ethical situation that people were upset about with Jonathan.

  3. I honestly think the demand for these is going to be WAY higher than either Archenemy or Planeschase. I think there will be plenty of money in buying and splitting considering it only takes 1-2 decent cards to make something happen. I assume they are going to be cases of 4 like Archenemy.

    Mirrodin Talisma, Odyssey Eggs, TSP storage Lands are all great uncommon plays.

    (I play RUG Intet too, so I'm excited about the new generals).

    1. I can't wait to see the decklists for these. $30 is a great price for this amount of cards but they definitely need to include some goodies. I figure that for a three color deck you will have anywhere from 8-10 of each basic then 10-16 non-basics so we will be getting around 70-76 actual cards per deck and so there is definitely a chance these may be worth more when separated but at this point who knows.

  4. One thing I'm really interested in as this thing goes forward is if there will be a circumstance similar to the FTV incident where you can sell them off for double their MSRP.

    Unfortunately, I told some people at my local store about this and the store owner started taking preorders before the date he specified, and I was left out because of others buying them. Lesson learned.

    But this is a huge monetary concern if the issue comes up again, and I'd love to see an article about that as we go forward.

    1. If this is their big summer release then that means Walmart and Target and them will be getting copies as well. I know some stores still try to sell Elspeth Vs Tezzeret for 25-35 a piece but I can still find them at the Target by my house for 19.99.

      Still, a sealed JvC is worth quite a bit more than it originally cost and maybe PDS: Fire & Lightning will be the same. These decks will almost certainly be more popular than Archenemy and Planechase. The one thing driving me crazy about these is that we don't know anything about them other than the bare bones and without knowing the generals or the decklists it is hard to predict on which end of the spectrum they will land. I would bet good money that these will be a hit rather than a miss but if anyone knows how to mess up a good thing it is Wizards.

      GIVE ME DECKLISTS!!!! plz 🙂

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