Extended Outliers

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Extended season is well on its way, with the first Nagoya PTQ taking place online on January 1st. in anticipation of these, prices for Extended cards on MTGO have reached unprecedented proportions (really? 20 tix for a Twilight Mire?). over the past week, many of the format staples have more than doubled in price, and now most of them sit at a point where the market will not let them go any higher. So today I want to cover the few outliers, those Extended cards which still hold potential, but haven’t experienced the rapid price increases that their counterparts on MTGO have.

#1: Leaf Crowned Elder

Since I got my playset at .5 tix each, a friend reported to me that these went up to around 2 tix each with the popularity of Gavin Verhey's Shaman Extended deck. I've been tinkering with the deck since it was posted and can attest to its viability in the current metagame, mainly because of its dominance in the 5 CC and Jund matchups. While personally I'm not a huge fan of the Elder, it is a critical part to the deck, acting as a bet-hedging 4 drop that is good against anything, in contrast to Master of the Wild Hunt, Goblin Ruinblaster, and Masked Admirers, which all shine and fail depending on who you play against. In any Shaman deck, Elder will be an automatic 4 of in the maindeck, so if the deck sees significant PTQ and PE success over the course of the season, we could definitely see more of a price increase in the Elder

#2: Fauna Shaman

The Fauna machine also is linked to the Shaman deck, as it plays an integral role there to tutor up continued land destruction. but it also features heavily in Elf aggro/combo as well as in the BG or BUG Necrotic Ooze decks, designed by Conley Woods. Fauna serves a critical role for midrange decks, as it allows them some amount of card selection capability that normally base Green decks would lack, especially without the card advantage of other midrange decks such as Faeries or Elementals. For some reason, despite it's popularity in multiple formats all the way through Eternal, Fauna Shaman has never really gone above $10, yet it has legs in this Extended format, and has potential to become even more played in Standard. Not something I would run out and buy, but a card I would keep my eye on.

#3: Demigod of Revenge

Last Extended season, Demigod made a slight splash in the All-In Red deck popularized by Rashad Miller at PT Berlin. While that deck is no more, Demigod is still making waves as a finisher for slower builds of Jund. It is yet one more spell that generates card advantage for the former Standard powerhouse, and is ridiculously good against the rampant 5 CC and Faeries decks in the metagame. That said, its play is somewhat restricted, being a 4 of in some builds of one deck, but like Fauna Shaman, if Jund continues to see play, Demigod could  be a safe bet for a 15% price increase over the course of the season.

#4: Sygg, River Cutthroat

A card that is only played in Jund, it still serves a critical purpose against Fae and 5 CC. Coming down under Mana Leak on the play, Sygg is a card advantage machine. he turns every Bolt and Blight into a cantrip, and the second a Boggart Ram-Gang resolves, he threatens to draw even more cards. Against Fae, he almost demands a Rug of Smothering, while 5 CC has fewer cheap ways to deal with him, but more countermagic and board sweepers to control the number of men with 3 power on the board. Like Demigod, a safe 10-15% increase on the season if Jund starts putting up the numbers.

#5: Summoning Trap

Despite seeing heavy maindeck and sideboard play in Standard Eldrazi Ramp and Valakut decks, Summoning Trap never saw very high prices, mainly because of the amount of Zendikar product that was opened. Extended has offered yet another frontier for the card, both in Mythic, which isn't played much but is still a powerful aggressive option, as well as the GW Trap deck, which gets consistent Emrakuls off hideaway lands, powered by Baneslayer Angel and Primeval Titan. Eventually this card will be played enough to increase in price, but we have yet to see if we have reached that point.

#5: Baneslayer Angel

Baneslayer saw a massive reduction in price with its reprinting in M11, as well as it being dropped from most U/W Control lists in Standard. This once $40 card has dropped down to barely $15 in some places. It sees play in most of the same decks as Summoning Trap, and acts as a less resilient but faster Wurmcoil Engine. Much like during its tenure in Type 2, there are some decks that just cannot beat a Baneslayer Angel, so she should be stealing some wins from day 1. Again, much like Summoning Trap, we will need to see how well White based midrange decks perform before evaluating a potential price rise for the "new girl".

#6: Wurmcoil Engine

The attack of the fatties continues! Wurmcoil is the creature based finisher of choice for almost all builds of 5 Color Control, though some versions have gone for Grave Titan, as its better in the mirror. Wurmcoil is resilient to removal, has massive board presence, and helps 5 CC generate more card advantage, because it DEFINITELY needed more. As an aggressive deck, Wurmcoil is the last thing you want to see coming down on the other side of the table, and like Baneslayer, there are some decks that cannot beat it. Even Cruel Ultimatum is less devastating. Like Baneslayer, Wurmcoil was a card that was heavily hyped as a finisher for Standard Control decks, usually Blue-Black, but ended up being surpassed by Grave and Frost Titan. Its former $20 price tag is long gone, but Wurmcoil is far from defeated. 5 Color Control is one of the most powerful and popular deck archetypes in Extended and is being heavily hyped by many pros to be the best deck in the format. With so many pilots needing 2 Wurmcoil Engines for 5CC, it wouldn't be impossible to see him hit $15 again for the remainder of the season.

#7: Fulminator Mage

For those of you still on the fence about the LD plan for Black and Red based midrange decks, I have a message for you: it's the real deal. The Ld plan backed by Fauna Shaman in Verhey's Shaman list and BG Ooze singlehandedly  gives these decks a game plan against 5 CC that more often than not will take the game. While Fulminator Mage is well past the point of speculation on MODO, up to around 8 tix, in paper he still remains low and ripe for the picking. He is an integral part to the strategy of multicolor Fauna Shaman decks, and so out of all of these choices, I rate him the most likely to succeed, regardless of archetype performance.

That's all I've got for now. I'll reserve my thoughts on the Time Spiral debacle for a later date when I have more time to formulate a coherent and rational response to the issue, which is one I'm taking very seriously. Until then, enjoy your holiday vacations, and check back here at Quiet Speculation for even more awesome Magic content.

--Noah Whinston

nwhinston on Twitter

Arcadefire on MTGO

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