It’s no surprise by now that the full set of New Phyrexia has been leaked. While I feel sadness for the people who would have had sweet preview cards and exclusive spoilers on their sites, it’s time to start planning our trades based on all the information available. Hopefully, some of you are using the tools we discussed last time to breakdown what you expect certain cards to sell for a couple months after the release, and on through their Standard lifespan. The card we’re looking at today, is Mental Misstep, using the tools from last time, I’m estimateing around $3, do you agree? The value of Mental Misstep is not what I want to look at though. I want to look at Mental Mistep, and how its going to shake up the Legacy pricing across the board.
Legacy, as we all know, has been shooting prices through the roof as a result of a huge demand increase, likely tied to the Star City Games Open Series. Availability of staples is low, while other decks simply need rares from sets that have extremely low print runs. Making a prediction of what cards will climb in value is usually how we grade our financial information suppliers, but knowing when a card is about to drop severely is also crucial. If you own these cards, you should be selling them, and picking them back up again once the price goes down. As a result, you’ve got the same collection at the end, but some extra dollars in your pocket. In either case, these are the safest plays to make, because these cards certainly won’t be going up any more than they already have. So let’s get to it, and identify the cards that are going to see a decline due to one simple card.
In this format, threats hit the board early and often, and a counterspell that hits early combo pieces and cheap threats is crucial, especially when any deck can play it. For reference, let’s look at the card in question. (Note: These cards are unofficially leaked, and we’re working with cards we presume to be accurate)
Mental Misstep - (P/U)
(P can be paid with either U or 2 life.)
Counter target spell with converted mana cost 1.
Now that’s a counterspell! It’s castable in any deck, for no mana, and hits a lot of relevant spells. Let’s look through some recent top 16 decklists from Star City Games open, and see what lists and cards are going to take a hit. One thing to keep in mind, is a Misstep can counter another Misstep, so while it may hose many cards, it can also be used to protect yourself from your opponents Missteps.
First and foremost, High Tide decks. Every combo deck has its day in the sun, but the sun always sets due to answers being discovered or printed. High Tide made up three of the top 16 slots in the most recent Star City Games open, two of which were in the top 8 and of course one of those was the tournament winner. While Misstep counters the actual namesake card, High Tide, it isn’t an expensive piece of that combo deck; however, Candelabra of Tawnos, also costs 1 and is a very expensive puzzle piece. Time Spiral is also in this deck, and while it can’t be countered by Misstep, it will take a hit in value as this deck’s playability is certainly put into question.
Candelabra itself is the most notable card to look at in this deck. It currently sits around $200, but had been comfortably sitting around $50-60 for years. This gives an idea of the potential range of the card. It’s collectability due to being an Antiquities rare, will keep it at the 50-60 mark regardless of what happens as an absolute low. High Tide is taking the biggest hit of all the decks because two of the key cards are squashed by this new counterspell. As a result, I really see the playability of this deck dwindling back to the fringe areas, and the value of Tawnos falling down close to where we once saw it only a few months ago. It may maintain some value as some people will simply be too stubborn to put the deck down after investing so much. It may take some time, but this card will come back down to earth, and dumping yours now, to replace them in six months to a year is a really wise move. That is of course, if you even still want them. Hopefully those of you who jumped on the opportunity when Doug emailed all the insiders about Candelabra, can cash in at the peak. The other card of note here, is Time Spiral. Retailers are selling this card for more than $30, and have tons in stock. I’d expect this card to come down to at least $20, if not more.
Next deck(s) I want to look at is all the “tribal decks”, I mean Elves, Goblins, and Merfolk (Oh, my!) Both Goblins and Merfolk run Aether Vial, which Misstep would love to counter (and likely will). Vial is currently a $15 uncommon, and most vendors have their fair share of stock. It’s likely people are going to move away from Aether Vial decks to some degree, and this price is likely to come down. Star City Games currently has over 300 copies in stock for sale between $15-17. I’d expect this card to come down to the $10 range. Other 1 drops that are key to these decks are: Goblin Lackey, Glimpse of Nature, Nettle Sentinel, Cursecatcher among others. As a result, these decks should become slightly cheaper overall to build, as people move away from strategies that are being hammered by the Misstep. There may not be a big enough price change to sell them off, and pick them back up at a notable profit later, but if you’re considering building it, I’d wait to see how prices settle after a few months.
Zoo fits in to this category too. The deck runs tons of one drops, like Kird Ape, Loam Lion, Grim Lavamancer and Wild Nacatl. Not to mention 1CMC utility spells like Path/Plow, Bolt, Chain Lightning and more. While countering a single one of these spells isn’t devastating to the deck, the fact that any deck can run Misstep and counter a good portion of the deck with it, is certainly notable. The G/W and Bant aggro decks are going to be a bit more resilient due to the fact that most of the creatures are 2 and 3 drops, and offer card advantage or disruption to coincide with the higher casting cost.
Then there are some decks that are totally unphased. One such deck is CounterTop, while Misstep can counter the Sensei's Divining Top, the deck has a suite of spells to help protect it. Outside of the top, it only really has tutors as a target, which can serve as Misstep bait. If nothing else, I’d see a rise in this deck, which could see some of its main pieces climb a bit, but probably not too much.
The other deck in this category I want to touch on is Dredge. Dredge is known as the cheapest viable deck in the format. It’s also nearly unaffected by the new “hottest” counterspell in the format. It does have some targets in it (Cabal Therapy and Breakthrough), but in reality not many cards in the deck sell for much more than $5, and that’s unlikely to change.
If you’re already a proud owner of the pieces for High Tide, get out now. At worst, you’ll be buying back into it at little to no change in price. At best, you can get back into it after Candelabra comes down $100+. Tribal decks are a hold at the moment, but those that want to buy into one should probably wait for some price changes to occur, while Dredge and Countertop are probably a good place to be buying right now, if you needed a deck today.
In closing, I do want to mention, that some of the high dollar staples are not affected by this printing. Especially the Dual Lands, they are in such low availability that their current pricing should be fairly stable, and the same can be said for Force of Will. While these may have shot slightly past their equilibrium price, I wouldn’t expect them to come back down too much. Another in this category is Wasteland. If you're trying to get into Legacy, these cards are hard to find, and will hold their value for years to come.
Also, big thanks to my twitter followers who all had great suggestions for a title. This one came from @rwildernessr.
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Check back in two weeks, where I return to my model of evaluating cards to break down some of the new Mythics and Rares in New Phyrexia!