Insider: Movers and Shakers in AVR

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The pre-release is over. What a whirlwind! After a multitude of sealed flights, the Helvault itself, and some drafts with prize packs. I really enjoyed getting my hands on these new cards. More importantly, I’m working on Block Constructed in preparation for the Grand Prix here in Southern California only a few weeks away. This is giving me a unique insight on what cards have potential, and which simply don’t.

Bark at the Moon

Block usually gives us some great insight as to what are going to be some of the archetypes in Standard just after rotation. While rotation is months away, stashing commons and uncommons that we expect to be played in standard down the road is an extremely profitable proposition. As Avacyn Restored is a large set, but also at the end of the block, it will be the shortest drafted format of the year. Even though we get 3 packs per draft, uncommons aren’t very easy to find in such a large set.

Cards like Wolfir Avenger pre-order for $0.50, and it is nearly guaranteed to see play. This is one of the strongest 3-drops Green has seen in a long time, and it isn’t narrow. It pairs well with a Werewolf team, because it has flash and allows you to pass your turn to flip your Mayor of Avabruck, and cast your creature on your opponents turn. Outside of that synergy, its power level is definitely constructed playable, and I expect this to be a $2 uncommon on more than one occasion.

Thunder from Down Under

Thunderous Wrath is another card I’m stashing up on. While these aren’t cheap to buy, they are uncommons that are easily traded for. After a long weekend and tons of sealed flights, people have their hands on some of these, and are more willing to part with them than you’d expect. I could see this being a card that people will pay a pretty penny for on the day of a PTQ. I’m not suggesting a buy at $2, but selling these for $3 later down the road is just a matter of time.

Human Resurgence

Kessig Malcontents is another card on my Radar. It’s currently $0.25 on Star City Games, which is as low as the Uncommons go at this point. It’s a pretty sick card in R/W humans, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the W/U humans deck in standard didn’t switch over to this archetype just to take advantage of this card.

The amount of damage it can generate is pretty unreal, and in the limited testing I’ve done there’s quite a few ways to abuse it (Like Cloudshift or Restoration Angel). I plan to nab up at least a few sets, and just see where it goes. The risk on this guy is minimal.

Hungry for Cerebrum

Another card I want to at least mention, is Appetite for Brains. This is the anti-Inquisition of Kozilek, and I expect its trade value to reflect that. IoK was the premier uncommon from Rise of the Eldrazi, and while this set parallels a lot of characteristics of RoE, this card just isn’t one of them.

I do think there is a possibility that a meta appears where this card is a necessity, but its just too narrow, and doesn’t do /anything/ in the early game. This pre-selling for so high it is baffling to me. The only thing I can guess that is causing this is poor speculations and fans of the flavor. This will be material for future proxies before long.

Angelic Mirrors

One of the rares I’ve decided to buy into is Divine Deflection. This is a powerful X spell that can really swing all sorts of games, and has uses in many types of decks. A control deck can use it to fog an attack and throw a counter punch or kill a creature, and an aggro deck can save a key attacker and get extra damage through.

I expect this card to be a huge player in the Block Constructed PT around the corner, and in turn, will appear in Standard. $3-4 is not unreasonable for a card of this power level, but I don’t expect it to be a 4x in any deck that plays it, which means it will likely sit around $2-3.

Are there other sleeper Rares that have become apparent in the last week? Are there any cards you want included on a detailed breakdown for next week? Just let me know in the comments.

Enjoy the release!

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