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Sleeper Cell NPH Part 2

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Welcome back to the conclusion of last week's article. This week we will be covering Red, Green, and Artifacts, combing the rares for any sleepers and straying away from the flops. We have seen the first major event with these cards and as expected it seems the Splinter Twin combo is legit and I would expect it to have some staying power thanks to some cards we will discuss today..

~Red

Bludgeon Brawl: This card has a flavorful nature to it which I really find interesting and if it was a single sided effect I could see this potentially seeing some EDH or casual play but as is paying four mana to successfully help your opponent in some cases seems like bad value all around.

Verdict: Bulk

Chancellor of the Forge: This, like the blue Chancellor, is likely to be a hit among the casual crowds. Goblins have always been one of the most popular tribes among kitchen table players and getting one for free plus more when you actually drop this fatty may be enough incentive for some to adopt it. I don’t expect much from the card but it may stay out of the bulk bin.

Verdict: 2-3

Invader Parasite: This card doesn’t seem constructed playable and since Wizards announced the death of land destruction for the most part as a viable deck archetype it is unlikely it will see much, if any, support. Casual players often frown upon land destruction as well and in some cases won’t allow it in games at all so I don’t see this guy taking off there either.

Verdict: Bulk

Moltensteel Dragon: This seems like a powerful card, possibly playable in standard, but I fear it may suffer the same fate as it’s molten friend Masticore. The format is just not set up to play these cards on any viable level; however, that could possibly change down the line. As for casual players I expect a decent amount of play as the effect is flashy (and scary). Some red mages will happily add this to their decks.

Verdict: 2-3

Slag Fiend: This is my long shot call for the set. What I mean is I don’t expect to see this card in a top 8 anytime soon but given the right tools and the power of this card in the right deck I feel like it will have its time to shine. I have already heard rumbles of Legacy Affinity wanting this as a possible answer to some of the board hate but I expect more than that in this guy's future. As for now he's just a cute concept, keeping him slightly above bulk.

Verdict 3-5 (Again we are talking a possible year away here)

Urabrask , The Hidden: This guy seems extremely rough in EDH as an aggro general and may possibly even see some Standard play somewhere down the line. With all the eyes on the other mythics in this set expect this guy's price to go down slightly and, given the right deck, make an extreme comeback.

Verdict: 7-10

~Green

Birthing Pod: I have already seen some brews with this card and even if it doesn’t hit this season expect it to make some waves down the road. Beyond Standard this card will see a lot of EDH play and casual player are sure to love this. The current price tag seems extremely cheap and although the rise may not be immediate I would be picking them up as soon as possible.

Verdict: 5-7

Chancellor of the Tangle: This card out of all the Chancellors seems most likely to see any real play. Though it seems like a long shot, playing Fauna Shaman turn one and having fodder feels like it deserves a look. Casual players may like this card in swarm decks with the added fact that it can be a huge beater. I expect it to stay out of the bulk.

Verdict: 2-4

Fresh Meat: Elves should be looking at this card as a potential Board option versus board clearing effects that typically would have left them reeling before. That Day of Judgment or Pyroclasm no longer forces you to play conservatively once you have the mana to spare. Casual and EDH players will use this as another Caller of the Claw variant giving it the added boost of both those markets.

Verdict: 3-4

Melira, Sylvok Outcast: While this card is very strong, the price depends solely on the playability of Infect in Standard. As of now the card is pretty well worthless but if the format shifts toward infect aggro after rotation expect a small spike. Sadly she is very fragile leaving infect with a multitude of answers and therefore keeping her price from jumping anything significant.

Verdict: 1-5 (depending on the format)

Phyrexian Swarmlord: While this card is very flashy it will not see any Standard play due solely to the availability of better options. If Infect is to become a deck this will just be too far above the curve with too little of an effect to really matter. I would expect some fringe casual play from the infector’s out there but otherwise this card is likely to remain in bulk.

Verdict: Bulk-2

Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger: This card seems amazing in the right EDH deck. The Azami decks will gladly add this beater to their arsenal of mana producers. I don’t foresee any competitive play in this guys future but kitchen tables and EDH games alike will keep his price comfortably above bulk.

Verdict: 4-6

~Multi and Colorless

Karn Liberated: This card seems like a solid finisher in control and has even broken into Legacy this past weekend which will surely help its price. Unlike Nicol Bolas I expect Karn to see more than the kitchen table and rightfully so. The current price tag has settled between 25-35 and I don’t see that dropping any time soon. If he finds a solid tier one home he could even reach as high as fifty.

Verdict: 30-50

Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer: This card, like most in this set, is looking to be too slow for constructed playability. Casual players are likely to love the ability and solid body for such an efficient cost. The fact that it can be a solid General to build around doesn't hurt the price either.

Verdict: 2-4

~Artifacts

Batterskull: This is probably the card that you want to get rid of the most in the coming months. As rotation approaches it is unlikely the price will hold. Once Mystic is gone this card becomes significantly worse and if Baneslayer is reprinted most control decks will opt back to that if needed. For now, and until rotation, I expect the 20-25 to hold. Once we lose Zendikar block it seems like it may drop as low as ten.

Verdict: 25-40 for now, 10-15 post rotation

Caged Sun: This effect is one of the most popular among the EDH and Casual crowds and I don’t expect this card to change. With a steady increase in EDH players the price on staples also increases and I feel this may be a solid addition to the other Mana Flare abilities in existence.

Verdict: 7-8

Etched Monstrosity: This is the flop mythic of the set and as I don’t foresee five color making waves I would imagine that opinion will remain. I expect this to hold slight value just based on the Casual decks but otherwise a very low appeal.

Verdict: 1-2

Hex Parasite: This is one of my favorite cards from the set and not just because it kills Benjamin, the Wallet sculptor while gaining extra value. I can only see this card in standard as the ability seems to awkward for any EDH or causal appeal. The versatility to be useful in any deck leaves this guy's potential wide open. Expect him to pop up in a multitude of lists over the next year.

Verdict: 4-6

Lashwrithe: This card is one of the backbones of mono black currently and seems to have a lot of potential. The current tier 2 deck has a lot of potential and I assume after rotation if not before the meta may allow for mono black to shine. Beyond the competitive aspect this card will see A LOT of EDH and casual play. As an improved nightmare lash this card fixes all the problems that lash seemed to have. Not only do you not have to pay life you also get a guy right away as a potential blocker if needed. I expect the price tag on this card to double from its current value over the course of the next few months.

Verdict: 5-6

Myr Superion: Out of all the sleepers in the set this one excites me the most. This card looks to be Tarmogoyf for standard if he can find a suitable home. Currently it seems Joraga Treespeaker and Grand Architect are the best ways to cheat this guy into play but if anything else pops up I could certainly see this guy getting a price boost. As with any competitively costed fattie expect this to see heavy casual play and some sporadic EDH play keeping the price out of bulk for now with a potential to go up if the format finds this guy a home.

Verdict: 2-3 for now potentially 5-6

Omen Machine: The Knowledge Pool of this set will be unlikely to see the competitive tables but expect this to be a hit in EDH and Casual formats. Unfortunately the effect is to narrow to fit in most decks effectively meaning what little play it does see won’t keep it out of the bulk binder.

Verdict: Bulk

Soul Conduit: Like Omen Machine I expect this card to see a lot of EDH and Casual play however the effect may be more useful than Omen Machine's as it suddenly makes you the diplomat. I don’t see this card being complete bulk but I don’t expect it to be worth much of anything either. I would keep one in my binder just for the casual crowd but don’t expect much in the way of value.

Verdict: Bulk-1

Spellskite: This guy has hit it big in the current standard format and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. Currently this guy has a whopping ten dollar price tag surpassing Surgical Extraction as the most expensive rare currently. I don’t foresee this dropping any time soon and may even have the potential to go up if it sees any Legacy play in the coming months. As time goes on and more packs are opened the value may decline slightly but I would expect that to take a bit given the demand for the card currently.

Verdict: 8-12

Sword of War and Peace: With some Caw Blade decks desiring the lifegain in the mirror it seems Batterskull is getting the nod over this currently. I don’t expect the Sword to stop seeing play as it is still very efficient in the mirror. I do expect a decrease in the current price tag as time passes before rotation. After rotation, I would expect another rise as Swords stop being one of’s due to everyone's favorite Mystic leaving the format and start becoming 2-4 of’s in decks.

Verdict: 12-18 Pre Rotation 15-25 Post Rotation

Torpor Orb: This card appropriately seems to be labeled as a trap by most Pro’s in the current format. I would like to see a Legacy deck pop up with this and Dreadnaught in it which would also help the price tag but as people come around to realizing the card just doesn’t do enough I expect the price to tank. As for casual and EDH play I expect Fringe play in certain groups to keep Generals and other bothersome cards from activating but certainly will not be a staple.

Verdict: 1-3

Unwinding Clock: What an appropriate card to unwind on, though unplayable in nearly every aspect. We may see some Karn EDH decks adopting the idea but beyond that this card is a total waste of time.

Verdict: Bulk

Well that concludes the set review for me. I hope the insight into the casual market has allowed me to shed some light for some of you on what to profit off of for this set. As always thank you for reading and join me next week as I explore deeper into the deep expanses of the trade universe. If anyone has any article suggestions or ideas post them in the comments or message me on twitter as always.

Until Next week, keep the margins up and the losses down!

Ryan Bushard

@CryppleCommand on Twitter

2 thoughts on “Sleeper Cell NPH Part 2

  1. Just wondering if you play EDH. If so, would you actually put Omen Machine in your deck? Just because it's crappy in Standard doesn't automatically mean it's an EDH-worthy card 😛

    But why do you think that Hex Parasite is too awkward for EDH? I haven't played with the Hex Parasite yet but it's one that I think has a lot of potential, especially as it is tutorable in so many ways (including Trinket Mage!).

    1. I do delve into EDH occasionally but it gets far to political for my liking most of the time. Omen Machine is similar to knowledge pool in that it has a game changing flashy effect which is very popular in EDH so I will stand by my analysis, however as I stated it wontt fit into many EDH decks and is unlikely to get above bulk pricing.

      As for EDH and Hex Parasite he is just very fragile and typically won't do what you want him to do, he does kill planeswalkers but so do a multitude of other cards in EDH, he could see some play in Mono U or other decks without many answers to walkers but overall he just gets outclassed I feel and he is very fragile.

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