A Long Time Ago, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away...
After a long week in the great area of Orange Beach, Alabama, I am happy to be home. I had a great vacation filled with sun and great sleep and some great relaxation time. Now that I'm home I'm back on the Magic grind.
While I was gone, my good friend Forrest "Wisest Wizard" Ryan wrote a great article for QS. That article can be seen here. Forrest is a great friend and his word is as good as gold when it comes to speculation.
A New Hope
While I was gone not a whole lot happened in Legacy. NO RUG continues to dominate SCG events, with four copies in the Top 8 at SCG Boston.
The one interesting thing I saw was in Bobby Sulivan's NO RUG list. It was secretly sitting in his sideboard. It honestly caught me a little off guard.
Let me explain why this card is so good in this deck.
A few months back I was playing AJ Sacher's NO Show list that a friend of both mine and AJ's (Josh Rayden) had updated. The sideboard was packing 4 Tarmogoyfs in the sideboard to deal with Merfolk, Goblins, and Zoo a little bit easier.
Playing a Blue-centric deck with a not-so-favorable Merfolk, Zoo, and Goblins matchup can be tough. Another pretty bad matchup for the deck was Burn, where even sometimes Keeper of Progenitus wasn't fast enough. I had plenty of turn two Natural Orders for the big 10/10 and still couldn't kill them before they put in the lethal 20 on me.
Empyrial Archangel solves this problem. Against Merfolk, Zoo and Burn it comes in. If it resolves it buys you a ton of time. It allows you to bash for 5 and still take a big hit from the Fishies. It takes Burn almost 3 spells to kill it, which allows you to get enough time to set up and can help in racing them.
The Empire Strikes Back
Innistrad spoilers are starting to flow nicely now. I really like when new spoilers come out for any set, as it gives me a great opportunity to speculate on new cards and consider which cards may make an impact in the format.
Today, while I shoving my face full of wonderful deep fried food at the Minnesota State Fair, I saw a tweet from Maro with a picture of Ghost Quarter.
Ghost Quarter is a great card in the "Prison" decks in Legacy. Lands and Stax love it and it has held a decent price tag due to its play in Extended, not to mention the casual/EDH appeal.
With a reprint coming soon, if you can still manage to get off of these, then do.
I think Ghost Quarter could see some Standard play, but I think the value of it as a whole will go down.
I have recently been acquiring some Legacy Dredge staples in hope of receiving some new Dread Return targets, or even some new enablers being printed. I haven't seen anything yet, but picking up some staples isn't a terrible decision.
Here are some of the cards I have been buying.
Cephalid Coliseum -$4.99 on SCG
Golgari Grave-Troll -$3.49 on SCG
Dread Return -$1.99 on SCG
Return of the Jedi
Shock lands are due for a reprint. With the next block being staged in Ravnica, I confidently believe we will have a reprint of these highly inflated Shock lands. I know a lot of people will be keeping these to play at the Pro Tour, or with hope that the next Extended season will shift to Modern. That is fine if you want them to use and play with them.
The people that are hoarding these lands in order to simply make more profit are just being greedy and would be best off getting off of them ASAP.
Wizards doesn't like it when a card climbs in value too much. Price tags scare away new players. I know that when I started playing, I would walk into my local shop and look through their "singles" racks. I would see cards that were a whopping $20 and think of how I would never spend that much on a piece of cardboard.
40 dual lands and a set of power later...
I realize I was taking for granted the (actually) low price of this (amazing) game I play. I still have empty card sleeves that say "Dual Land $8.00".
The times have changed and Magic has proven that some pieces of cardboard can be worth a small fortune.
If Modern is nothing more than a PTQ and PT format, the value on Shock lands will drop. The demand is lower than the supply.
If Modern tries to replace Legacy, Wizards will reprint the lands to try and give everyone a fair shot at playing it.
I guess the general message I'm trying to convey is...
SELL YOUR SHOCK LANDS!
The Phantom Menace
I've been playing Legacy consistently for quite some time now. The biggest and, personally, the worst change I have seen in a long time happened only recently.
I think that Mental Misstep's printing was a either a huge mistake by Wizards, or a diabolical plan to kill off Legacy.
I've heard arguments for Mental Misstep being a great card for the format because it promotes growth and makes the format more diverse.
I completely disagree.
Since the printing of Mental Misstep, the format has started to become truly stale. The same 5 or so decks are consistently crowding the Top 8's at nearly every big ticket Legacy event.
Decks like Add Nauseam Tendrils and Goblins are being shoved aside because they have trouble competing against 4x Mental Misstep.
I've heard arguments such as "to defend against Mental Misstep you should just be playing your own". I don't think that is healthy at all. Players need to be able to play both combo decks and super aggressive decks in order to keep any format in check.
Goblins cant afford to be playing four main deck Mental Misstep because they need all their creatures to play their roles.
Life has proven to be a resource that is completely abused in Legacy. Cards like Swords to Plowshares are prime examples of how people would rather have an opponent gain life than have a useful creature on the field.
My problem with Mental Misstep is that instead of being a "Blue" card, it is a colorless-0-casting-cost-lose-2-life counter spell. Non-Blue-centric decks are playing it, and that's why it is such a problem.
Attack of the Clones
From the Vault: Legends is a joke.
I cannot believe sites like Channel Fireball were buying these as high as they were. The cards in this Premium release are either cheap or nearly unplayable.
The only card I've seen that in the collection that is worth anything over $10 is Keeper of Progenitus, even though the artwork doesn’t match up against the original.
I can't imagine these being worth as much as any of the previous From the Vaults releases.
I don't think these are worth even buying unless you know for sure you can get rid of yours right away.
Revenge of the Sith
As you can tell by now, I watched Star Wars recently.
When I got home from Alabama we had a Wisest Wizard party planned with a ton of local Magic players.
Sadly, I did not take the title of Wisest Wizard. After flying all day and having little to no sleep, I simply didn't have it in me to drink heavily.
Instead I drank a few beers, relaxed, played NFL Blitz 64, and shot my friends with Airsoft guns. Overall, it was a great time.
As I continually say in my articles, building great friendships and strong play groups is the best part about this game.
A great way to maximize value on your cards is to talk about them and the game with your friends.
In Minnesota we have a lot of local grinders as well as some players that are on their way to being the next big thing. As a buyer, I always ask them what decks they have been brewing for the next PT or which cards they have been considering putting some testing into.
When buying and selling, knowledge is power. Pay attention to what trends are coming up in your local area and buy accordingly. At the very least you’ll earn some good trade material.
Check 1, 2, What Is This...
This week on the checklist I want to focus on some cards that will go up in value if/when Mental Misstep gets the banhammer.
Aether Vial -$13.99 on SCG
Mystical Tutor -$3.99 on SCG
Brainstorm -$1.99 on SCG
Untill Next Time...
There’re a lot of Modern cards to sell before the PT. Keep up on the prices and make sure you don't get burned.
If you’re not having fun, you’re not risking anything.
Please feel free to post question in the comments or email me.
May the force be with you.