Here we go again. Today we’re breaking down M13 and making my financial predictions for the set.
I’m going to assume everyone here is familiar with my set reviews and how I do them. If not, here’s the cliff notes. I take these very seriously, and in the past I’ve done very, very well at making people money with these. To me, that’s not bragging, that’s accepting responsibility. I act on my own predictions and make money doing so; I expect other people to do the same. That means I won’t be giving you a half-assed review. This is my trading strategy for the Prerelease, and I hope you can make money from my calls as well.
I assume you know that a bulk rare, is in fact, a bulk rare. Or close enough to it to not be worth mentioning. Unless you hit on a sleeper (like I did by calling Zealous Conscripts at 50 cents for Avacyn Restored), you can safely ignore most of the rares you’ll see at the prerelease.
AVR was pretty good for us. I correctly called the spikes in Restoration Angel and Zealous Conscripts, pinpointed Cavern of Souls and Temporal Mastery with my only incorrect call being Disciple of Griselbrand, a move that caused me to trade mine away at $5 under its current retail value. I also missed the spike in Bonfire, which was unfortunate, though I did later correct my call on it before it moved past $15.
All in all, I’ll take it. Let’s hope I can do as well here.
Core sets are a little different animal to call. The biggest problem is that, more than any other set, you have to be able to see both how it fits into the current metagame as well as a post-rotation metagame. With so little time in between the core set release and the Standard rotation, this isn’t always easy.
Let’s get started.
This cat is going for $40 on SCG, and that’s definitely high. I see him in a Liliana-type role. He’s very good, but doesn’t slot into every deck that shares his color. That said, there will be plenty of games where you lose the dice roll and have one land in play, facing down a 5-loyalty Planeswalker. Normally you don’t evaluate the ultimate to determine power level of Planeswalkers, but as early as this guy comes down it’s relevant enough that his ultimate is something to be scared of.
I see him setting around $25, give or take five bucks either way, unlike the next Walker on this list.
Preselling at $30, which as you would expect, is too high. It’s possible Liliana finds a home in Standard, but I can’t imagine it’s going to be a nice one. She basically just doesn’t do anything. Hitting your land drops is nice, and I understand it can “fix” your mana with Shocklands, but in the end she’s just not that threatening.
Still, there’s EDH demand along with whatever playability she has, so I see a $10-15 price tag holding up down the road. It may take a little while to fall that low, but a year from now she’s going to be all but forgotten.
It’s worth noting that this won’t ever be bulk. Casual players like Lifegain, and as far as “worthless” rares go, this isn’t the worst to nab as a throw-in. I expect it to crop up on buylists for a dollar down the road, and it’s selling for $2.50 on SCG. Obviously there’s nothing huge here, but it’s worth mentioning.
I think it’s incredibly awesome they’re reprinting this card. I also don’t love it in Standard, as crazy as that might sound. Since you can’t play it until turn 4, it’s a virtual four-drop, where it will compete with Restoration Angel and the new (gives) Exalted Angel. That’s some stiff competition, not to mention it loses in a fight with Resto. All of that means the $3 pricetag is about right.
This is a really difficult card to pin down for me. A lot of times attacking with one creature is worse than swinging with the team, but there’s still a lot to like here. For starters, it trades straight-up with Restoration Angel, which is a good test to pass. Secondly, it has pseudo-haste since it will provide a huge pump the turn it comes into play, much the way Rafiq of the Many did. And there are a ton of Hexproof guys running around right now, meaning you’re even less likely to get blown out in combat.
It’s out of stock at $20 on SCG, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some upward movement from there. I don’t think it can go much higher than $25 for very long (if at all), but it also will have a difficult time going below $12-15. I’m looking at Geist of Saint Traft levels here, between $20-25, especially since the pair will go in many of the same decks. Geist is played more in older formats, but the Angel is well, an Angel, and won’t be opened as long as Geist was, so it should mostly balance out.
Grab foils. I have no idea if this will see any play, but it’s a pretty damn good answer to an early Delver and curves perfectly into Thalia.
You better believe this will trade well early in the set’s release, even though it’s a meager 50 cents on SCG.
This guy is playable. He’s not going to be a super expensive Uncommon, since only a few decks want him, but I do expect him to see play. Means you should be on the lookout for these in draft leftovers or foil versions.
Merfolk! Merfolk! Merfolk! (Listen to the latest cast of Brainstorm Brewery for more context). Presells at $5 is probably a few bucks too high, but I do think this will help to revitalize Fish in Legacy, where they were already on the upswing, as well as possibly pushing the deck into Modern. Look for gains in the peripheral Merfolk cards from older sets.
This is my pick for sleeper card of the set. At $3 pre-sales, I’m not sure how much upside there is, and I don’t like a cash buy. But I do like aggressively trading for it at two bucks on Prerelease day. This guy doesn’t fit into a possible Vampires deck since the 4-spot is full, but if Zombies is looking to complement Falkenrath Aristocrats at the 4-drop spot, this guy is great. He eats a Messenger for infinite value, and even chomping on a Gravecrawler isn’t exactly bad.
Interestingly, the foil version of this guy is sold out at $10 on SCG.
This guy is rightly expensive, sitting at $13 on SCG. Thanks to this reprint, his days as a $20 card are over, but we could see a spike to that level if the big guy busts back into Standard. The Vampires deck is about two cards away (another 1 and 2-drop) from being really good. I expect this guy to trade extremely well during his second run through Standard.
They wanted a Baneslayer Angel in Dragon form, and they found it here. He’s out of stock at $20 on SCG, and there are only 2 copies of foils at $50! This Dragon is the real deal. Even if Vapor Snagged he’s going to do some work, and the only problem is how many competing options RG has at the five-drop spot now with him, Thragtusk and Silverheart. Hellkite is a definite beating, though, so I expect him to stay over $10 without a doubt, and probably settle in the $13-15 range, with even higher numbers possible if he becomes the go-to five-drop.
This is the best Constructed-playable piece of the cycle. Nab them from draft tables and scoop up foils.
A respectable Green answer to Snapcaster. These should move around pretty well in your trade binder for being basically free right now.
Now this beast is truly, well, a beast. Says no to Vapor Snag and helps stabilize immediately. I don’t like how splashable he is, but that’s just my design complaint, not a dismissal of his power. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few Cavern of Souls name Beast just to make sure this bad boy hits play.
As just a rare, and another five-drop, $10 is probably high. I see him on the Silverheart level of $7-8 instead, but you can’t really go wrong trading into this guy at the prerelease.
There are a ton of casual favorites in this set, from Gilded Lotus to Akroma's Memorial to Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker. This is going to drop the price of these cards across the board, but they’ll still be good throw-in targets since all are EDH or casual staples.
That’s it! Let me know what you all think of my calls. Too far out there? Am I missing anything?
Thanks for reading,
@Chosler88 on Twitter