Dark Ascension Commander and PTDKA Analysis

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Sadly I was not able to get my full DKA review out on time for it to really be relevant, so instead I am going to focus on the information that's come from PT:DKA.

Hopefully you all kept a close eye on the coverage and all the excellent emails Doug and Kelly sent out. If you don’t have Insider, this weekend proved its worth once again. If you followed their advice you could have easily doubled your money. A few of the calls were also discussed in the forums, which is also a benefit of an Insider account. There will be plenty of coverage for this upcoming weekend's Modern GP in Lincoln, so stay tuned.

The biggest cards of the weekend were obviously Huntmaster of the Fells and Drogskol Captain. Both put multiple players into the Top 8 and showed that they definitely can make an impact on our metagame going forward.

Huntmaster is currently $30 on SCG and should stay at least above $20 for at least a week or two, basically until Delver decks can adapt, if they can. If you are looking to sell, this is the perfect time to dump Huntmasters. I doubt he can go higher than $30 because at that point we are getting into Primeval Titan price levels and he is may simply not be as good as good old Prime Time.

Drogskol Captain is a solid $3 card but has the posisbility to reach $5 during its Standard peak.

That is the question I am asking myself at the moment. Is it ok to sell at $3? Yes, but is it okay to wait it out and see if can reach a little higher? The answer is yes as well. $3 is probably where they will sit a year from now because of its Standard playablity coupled with its casual allure, so selling now is fine.

But it isn’t that risky to wait it out a little, possibly even after Avycn Restored. At that point Dark Ascension will stop being drafted and, even though it is a lowly Uncommon, supplies will eventually dry up, especially if a new Spirit based deck or a rejuvenated Spirit deck comes out of Avycn Restored.

It could go up to $5 at that time, perhaps even more. I doubt it will reach Inquisition of Kozilek levels because it isn’t in a vast number of decks and will not see play in other formats, but it should see a steady amount of play and will be the center piece of any deck it is in.

Dungeon Geists is another card that broke out this weekend and from the deck tech, the great Jon Finkel stated that the deck should probably run more than 2 main as he was boarding the extras in almost every match up. This is good for its future value and as long as Spirits stays a deck, Dungeon Geists should hover around $5 for the weeks to come. If it ever shows up in a Control deck watch out for its price.

Another card that I would invest in is Lingering Souls. It is the real deal and should end up becoming a power Uncommon while in Standard, possibly more than Drogskol Captain because it fits in more decks. If it is strong enough to see play in Modern it will easily eclipse Drogskol, but that won’t likely happen. Pick them up at a buck all day long for as long as you can.

The final card I wanted to talk about is Faithless Looting. It did make a huge impact, just as I hoped it would. It only really showed its face in Raphael Levy’s 5 Color Reanimator deck. Levy’s deck could possibly be a player down the line if the meta twists the right way. Make sure you are prepared for it at FNM as it looks like a blast to play and every store will probably have at least one person trying it out. Even though it had a limited showing, I still have faith in the card. It still seems insane in RDW or any Red based aggro decks, at least in theory.

It has also shown its strength in Legacy as Adam Prosak won this weekend’s SCG Open with a Faithless Looting Dredge deck. This should at least keep the foil price from dropping for a few weeks.

Also watch out for the IDW comic promo version of Faithless Looting. This is the only place you will find that particular version and if it lives up to the hype, this version could end up being a higher end pimp version. There is nothing really to compare the price of this promo but $5 doesn’t seem unreasonable. It will be fun rummaging through 50 cent comic bins at comic conventions in the years to come hunting down possible $5 bills.

Dark Ascension & Commander

The following is salvaged from my unpublished review. They are some quick tips on the pricing of some important cards that most reviews will not focus on because they are mainly for Commander.

Archangel's Light
Price: $3+ foil
Analysis: Commander Hit but you will find people willing to trade these away to you just so they don’t feel bad for opening them.

Increasing Devotion
Price: $5 foil
Analysis: This card will show up in Cubes as well as Commander. The only format missing to help its foil campaign is Legacy. I think we can all agree it won’t show up there, but that doesn’t mean the other formats won’t create a demand for this card in foil.

Beguiler of Wills
Price: $1-$2 Mythic, $5 foil
Analysis: This should see play in Commander but it is viewed as a bulk Mythic by most. It is a great investment for down the line. Should be worth more than bulk for years to come.

Increasing Confusion
Price: $2, $5 foil
Analysis: It isn’t a big secret that there is a decent percentage of the player base that loves mill. There is usually at least one in every play group. Increasing Confusion is a dream card for these players. Pound for pound, it is not the best mill card around, that honor belongs to Glimpse the Unthinkable, however it is no slouch either. If Mind Funeral can be a $4 card Increasing Confusion, at the Rare slot should at least be worth that one day. For now though, it will stay around the $2 range until it stops being drafted and the casuals start to demand the card.

Mystic Retrieval
Price: $2 foil but could be more down the line
Analysis: This is an all-star card in Commander. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being a $5 foil down the line.

Black Cat
Price: $2-$3 foil
Analysis: This is a very special card mainly because it is a black kitty with nice art. There will absolutely be people collecting as many kitties as they can, foil, foreign and misprints will all be great finds. As long as it doesn’t get reprinted it can also turn into a great common down the road. My advice, get foils if they are lower than $2 and pick up regular commons off draft tables and as throw ins. Bring your stack of cats to a big event and probably sooner than later you will find a cat crazed person willing to take them off your hands.

Increasing Ambition
Price: $5 foil
Analysis: Tutors are the name of the game in Commander. Increasing Ambition is a little over the casting cost curve, but it provides so much tutoring out of one card that it pretty much a lock on being a Commander staple.

Mikaeus, the Unhallowed
Price: $5, $15-$20 foil
Analysis: Mikaeus will see a lot of play in the commander slot for most mono black decks. He is chock full of relevant abilities that should help you win at least a few games. If you ever find him for below $10 at foil that is a solid double up your money opportunity.

Zombie Apocalypse
Price: $5 foil
Analysis: This is purely a casual card, but it is dripping with so much flavour that casual junkies will be clamouring to get this card. In the right casual deck it is actually very good so it should be a Zombie staple for years to come.

Increasing Vengeance
Price: $3 foil
Analysis: the sole purpose for this card in Commander will be to copy Time Stretch. Infinite turns is nice, but 6 turns is usually more than enough to win a game or at least take it over. This will be regarded as jank otherwise so it should be easy to get it at undervalued prices.

Crushing Vines
Price: $1-$2 foil
Analysis: At common this card does not have much room to grow but it is a perfect card for Commander. Artifacts are the best card type in Commander and there is always an artifact on the battlefield worth destroying. Add on the ability to destroy fliers, a weakness that most Commander decks share and you have the perfect unsuspecting card for Commander. You will easily get this as a throw in. Use it yourself or trade it to a Commander junkie.

Grim Flowering
Price: $1-$2 foil
Analysis: This is just another Green conditional draw spell, but is very effective in Commander. This should draw you 5+ cards, and I feel the average is probably even higher than that. I am very excited to try this out in my Commander deck.

Diregraf Captain
Drogskol Captain
Stromkirk Captain
Price: Drogskol, $2-$3, $5-$10 foil. The other 3, $1-$2, $5 foil
Analysis: For Drogskol Captain I initially had him at $2-$3, but he could go higher with the success of the Spirit deck. I admit, I forgot about the interaction with Phantasmal Image when I first assessed the card and that is a big factor in its playability in Standard. He should be $8-$10 as a foil going forward.

For the 3 others they will be $1-$2 initially, foils will hover around $5 until they find a competitive deck. Down the line though, all of these cards could go to $3-$5 easily for the non foil versions. They are casual hits as well as multi colored spells. They are basically the uncommon versions of the Shadowmoor/Eventide Liege cycle and those cards are all solid casual hits and I expect these Captains to follow in their footsteps.

Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
Price: $30-$40
Analysis: Sorin hasn’t entirely lived up to the hype, at least in Standard. There is lots of time for him to make his mark in Standard but he probably will just be riding on the coat tails of Lingering Souls. That doesn’t mean Sorin will drop, at least for the near future. Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas was a $30 for a while and I believe Sorin will stay in that range longer. Sorin has a few things going for him that Tezz never did. Vampires is number one, but BW for some reason is a favoured color combination for the casual crowd. He is also much better than Tezzeret is in Cubes and Commander which will definitely help his price.

Elbrus, the Binding Blade // Withengar Unbound
Price: $5+ foil
Analysis: Without Stoneforge Mystic to help this guy come into play he has no chance of showing up in constructed Magic. Commander gets around this because there are several creatures that allow you to put this directly into play that are fully legal and very much playable in Commander. I don’t think this card is good in any way, but it will see play in Commander due to its coolness factor alone.

Price: $3 foil
Analysis: This card could actually end up being a Commander favourite, but I am not totally sold on it. It seems solid, but very reactive which could be its downfall.

Grim Backwoods
Price: $5+ foil
Analysis: This card is a perfect “spell land” for Commander. Every GB Commander deck will be playing this card. The fact that Green and Black are the best colors at manipulating the graveyard only makes this card better. Because it most likely won’t show up in constructed, I know it will be undervalued for a while.

Vault of the Archangel
Price: $10+ foil
Analysis: This is an extremely powerful card in slow creature based battles that are the norm for Commander. It is also part of that beloved color combination of Black and White. Having Archangel in its name, as silly as it may seem, also helps its value. This is a staple in BW Commander decks for years to come. It also has Cube and possible Standard applications as well.

Until Next Time

Thanks a lot for reading. As always shoot me some comments or suggestions. I will soon be writing another Commander article going back and looking at my original picks for Commander hits way back in December last year as well as some new cards that have jumped in recent months.

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