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Insider: the Financials of Future Sight

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Future Sight was the third set in Time Spiral Block and it was full of all the busted elements you could imagine. The Development team decided to look at how Magic would appear at some point in the future, perhaps in an alternate universe. We saw keywords like Delve that haven't appeared since, along with cards like the Pacts that revisited ideas on just what you'd pay for a "free" spell.

Future Sight is also full of money. Since it was in print, it usually made sense to open boosters and sell the contents, because they would typically be worth more than the sealed booster. That rarely happens in Magic - we sort of saw it with Worldwake, but Future Sight was the best example. Future Sight is so deep, in fact, that I've split it into two articles. I've never done this with a small set before; when I do it, it's so readers like you do not get overloaded with a big wave of cards to remember at once.  Let's take a look at all these valuable cards!

$13.00

Awhile back, The Magic Lampoon released a spoof set spoiler in which nearly every card was named Akroma. We had Akromat, Akromium, and my favorite, "Akroma! Hans, Run!" Fans will buy anything Akroma-branded and this was a cunning skewer on how R&D was pumping up their favorite angel. Speaking of pumping up, the Memorial is like Eldrazi Monument - all your meaningless mana dorks and tokens become pretty hearty monsters in combat with this artifact down. Memorial is strongly traded for and I've seen them go on Ebay for as little as $9. If you're patient and thorough (and use a bidding scheduler), you can pick some of these up on the cheap to trade away for as much as $15. People don't really consider the option of using Ebay as a "buylist" to recruit underpriced cards, and with the variance on pricing that I've seen on the site, you can stand to make a bit of cash if you're dedicated.

$16.00

Bridge was probably conceived as a Johnny card that would reward people who could discard it. It's The Goggles when you have it in play, and Black has so few ways to get rid of their own enchantments... certainly, this wouldn't matter much. I think if R&D had paid more attention to the Dredge deck that had existed since Ravnica, this card would have never seen print.

Bridge is what powers up modern Dredge decks in Vintage and Legacy. It makes warm bodies with Cabal Therapy and then sends those corpses into a Dread Return. It can often result in over a dozen 2/2s on the second or third turn. Bridge has no "fair" uses; it's just a combo piece. Bridge is also the cornerstone of the Dredge deck, making it an expensive card to pick up. I had thought that these were around $8; they've obviously gone up since then. You can take advantage of being current on this card's price!

$2.50

I tend to think that people are getting Cloud Key for a bit of wishful Modern thinking. It's a bit of a combo enabler, but there really isn't anything you can do with Key that isn't completely cumbersome. I have a feeling that I'd get a set of these out of a junk box and they'd just sit in my binder forever...

$1.50

Relic is a perennial Commander favorite. It fixes all sorts of mana and it's usually just below Sol Ring on the "always include" mana artifact list. Foils of this are $20. The price has dropped from $3 because the Phyrexia vs. the Coalition decks have put a bunch of these into circulation. Sets are a hard sell and the card doesn't get much binder love on its own. I have hopes for this in Modern, since it's an absurd card, but time will tell.

$2.50

Dryad Arbor went up, thanks to Modern and Green Sun's Zenith. Now that the sorcery is gone, I wish these would come down to a buck. You'll occasionally see them in Dredge decks and as a 1-of for Natural Order decks in Legacy. They are a curiosity and I don't think we'll see them reprinted; Get one or two if you play older formats and be glad that you won't have to scrounge for them when you need them. They are also phenomenal junk collection booty; two or three of these and you'll be happy you bought all those commons!

$13.00

Grove was unloved and unplayed until people figured out that it combined with Punishing Fire to make a beast of an aggro destroyer. It's the reason that you don't see Zoo decks with Steppe Lynx in Modern. That kind of all-in deck can be smashed apart by recurring Fires. Grove was the most hyped card in the leadup to the Modern debut and it fell short because people planned around it. Elves can win before it becomes recursive and Zoo has loaded up on Loam Lions instead. Grove still has a place, but it's more marginal than previously predicted. They're at $13 now, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them dip a bit more before the Modern Grand Prix and PTQ season picks up.

$7.50

Chalk this up as another card that slowly creeps up in value. Canopy sees obvious Commander play and also makes slight appearances in Legacy. People are tossing it into Modern Zoo decks, but I'm not sure that's the right home for them. They certainly aren't getting enough play to justify this price tag, so I'm not sure what else is driving the market for Canopies.

$2.75

Jhoira's price is strictly driven by her insane power as a general in Commander. The typical Jhoira deck will play her and then immediately suspend some terrible and strong spell, like Jokulhaups or Mindslaver. Even if you kill her, that spell still comes out to wreck people. Later in the game, she'll stack up a few spells, so that Apocalypse is followed by an Eldrazi to put the game away. If you see someone playing Jhoira, kill them as soon as you can. It's a really satisfying team effort to kill that person before their suspended monsters come off the stack. Note that foils of this card are stupidly expensive.

$4.50

Korlash was the prerelease foil, but you can't tell that by his price! This Zombie warlord has been a fan favorite since it was printed. We saw decks that used him with loads of removal and just planned to smash in with this giant regenerator. I think people like the idea of using him with recursion in casual games - you can get obsessed with value and run stuff like Phyrexian Reclamation for super ultra card advantage. It has a surprisingly-brisk casual fan market, so pick these up when you can and trade them off to people who love thematic decks.

That's the first part of our Future Sight look. Like I said before, I've never had to split a small set up before, which should tell you about how deep Future Sight is for the collector and trader. Join me next week when we talk about Pacts, Magi and Lhurgoyfs!

Until then,

Doug Linn

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