Finally, after two weeks of Avacyn Restored being out, we finally have some impact on Standard, and Legacy as well. I’m not sure how it’s affected your local metagame, but I think we can track the results from a few recent events well enough to form some conclusions.
The first, and most obvious, is what I first touched on last week. Bonfire of the Damned is very, very good. It was $15 just a week ago when I suggested picking them up, and it’s already up to $25 in that time. You may be able to find a few copies still undervalued, but I wouldn’t count on it. The reason Bonfire is so insane is because even when you do draw it, casting it at three mana is surprisingly relevant, taking out Spirit tokens and mana dorks. Casting it at 5 also gets rids of Huntmasters and the like. And obviously it’s insane if you Miracle it at any point, and can win you games you otherwise wouldn’t have a shot at.
Price-wise, I think it could hit $30 or even a little higher before settling down into a $20 pricetag long-term. As such, you should hold onto your copies now, but don’t be afraid to trade them away if you get a really good deal.
Interestingly, Bonfire wasn’t even the card of the GP weekend. UR Delver won the whole thing, and Brad Nelson’s return to prominence with Grand Architect also made some waves.
Looking at those two decks, we can see that the Delver deck has one really actionable card, and that is Sulfur Falls. There are a few reasons for this. The first is that Calcano actually wanted four for the deck, and just couldn’t get a fourth one (somehow) in time for registration. It sounds odd, but that is what Christian told Ryan Bushard at the event, and Ryan and I broke it down in the latest podcast of Brainstorm Brewery (#11, which you can find at BrainstormBrewery.com).
There are a lot of reason to like the Falls going forward. The first is that all the Innistrad lands (outside of maybe Isolated Chapel) have plenty of room to grow. I’ve been accumulating Falls myself for the last month or so, and I think they’ll easily be $10 at some point. They’re $6-7 right now, but many people will still trade them off at five dollars or so, which you should move on.
Another reason why I like it is that after rotation, when Ponder is assumed to be gone (as Wizards has hinted at) then UR probably becomes the best Delver deck. The problem I have with UW post-rotation is that without Vapor Snag you’re better off Snapcastering burn spells over anything else, and that means Red. Red also gives you Loothouse, which can slot in if we get any more mana-fixing in Ravnica. The other big problem I have with UW is that you probably play both Champion of the Parish and Delver in those decks, and with Seachrome gone it becomes much more difficult to have the consistency you need. If you’re in Red, you aren’t under as much pressure for the super-aggressive start because you have more reach in the form of Burn, and therefore don’t always have to have a 1-drop.
And that’s just Delver decks. If Miracles become more of a thing, I expect plenty of Bonfire and Loothouse to help that happen, both of which point to UR.
Now let’s look at Architect. That deck looks sweet, but honestly I don’t expect it to make any waves financially, outside of maybe making Buried Ruin worth a few more quarters. The problem is that the deck has very few Innistrad block cards., so it’s just dead in a few months. That will keep people from moving into it en masse, and there are a lot of Architects on the market.
The best comparison for something like Architect price-wise is Lord of the Unreal. Even at the height of Illusions, it never went higher than a few dollars, and that makes the upside on what is so far a one-weekend deck in Architect unattractive.
Another development from the weekend is that Pillar of Flame is a real card, and with that on top of the Event deck it’s hard to like Gravecrawler and Geralf's Messenger right now. I expect those two cards will always trade well, but the price will continue to come down.
This is the format where the most has changed in the last week, even though you might not know it yet. Take a look at this UW Miracles deck from the Top 8 of the Open, and now look at an updated build over here.
This is very real. There are some big names getting behind this deck, the deck is powerful, and it is way more consistent than you might expect for a “Miracles deck.”
Of course the big mover here is a card that isn’t even in either list but has literally disappeared from the Internet in the last few days, and that is Scroll Rack. I received the tip and almost immediately alerted Twitter to it. It’s kind of a late discovery for the deck, but it’s absurd with a deck packed full of Miracles. And Temporal Masteries are not a joke in this build.
I didn’t buy in myself. By the time I had a chance (after I posted to Twitter), there weren’t many left at a price I liked. There’s a healthy discussion about it going in the forums, and if you can get in on any trade you should 100% do it. These have climbed over $30 on Ebay, but they’re out of stock at $12 still on CFB and $20 on SCG.
Terminus says bad things about Maverick moving forward. I’m told this deck crushes Maverick, and that’s not a good thing for one of the better and more consistent decks in the format. Even Thalia isn’t quite as hateful when their Wrath+ still only costs two mana.
I’ll reiterate that the Miracles deck is as of yet unproven, but there were only a handful of people at most playing it at the last Open and it put up a Top 4 finish without being a refined list. Be prepared. Scroll Rack is from Tempest, a set that has given us $50 Wastelands and the like.
That’s where I see the market this week, and it’s actually an exciting time financially in both Standard and Legacy, which doesn’t happen often!
Thanks for reading,
@Chosler88 on Twitter