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Insider: Where Will All the Fatties Go?

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Standard PTQ season is winding down as we anticipate Return to Ravnica spoilers and From the Vault: Realms. Many of the cards we considered Standard staples, in addition to some that rarely made an appearance, will continue to experience demand in other formats after leaving Type 2.

I have had some discussions with the EDH crowd at my local store and tried to form some opinions about the soon-to-rotate mythic rares. Commander was an instant hit among casual play groups, especially those that had already played the previous incarnation of EDH. Many of the competitive types were resistant to play a casual format, but in my experience, more and more competitive players are delving into the “fun zone”.

Primeval Titan

This guy has ranged as high as $40 and as low as $8, which is about where he sits today. He has obviously defined big green decks in Standard for the last two years. He’s also been a Commander staple since the moment he was printed and will forever be included in every green deck hereafter.

Of the group I polled, a majority said they were hoping to pick up another Primeval Titan after rotation to fill out a second deck or replace a proxy. I expect we’ll see the Titan continue to dip from now through rotation, but then after just a few months rebound back to $8 or higher. If it falls to $6 or lower, I’m going to pick them up as aggressively as possible.

While it’s unlikely, he could see some applications in Modern, but for now the ramp deck (Tron) doesn’t need to play green. I see moving in on him around $6 as a very safe play due to his huge demand in Commander, with massive possible upside if he makes a real deck in Modern.

Consecrated Sphinx

Consecrated Sphinx saw his day in Standard as part of the grindiest control deck to see play in quite some time (U/B Drownyard). Since the printing of Cavern of Souls, control decks have all but disappeared, and cards like Consecrated Sphinx don’t hold up well against Vapor Snag. Now found at some retail stores for $4, I think it’s a good buy.

As another card that will see consistent play in Commander (unless it gets banned), this dude will eventually climb back up to the $6-8 range. I expect that to take some time, as people will be unloading Standard stock for a while, but once he's no longer sitting in every trade binder in your LGS, his price will start to climb. If you didn’t sell yours earlier in the year, I’d hang on to them now.

Wurmcoil Engine

Of all the options for speculators, this one will see the most play outside of Commander. Wurmcoil Engine is a key piece in a Legacy Goblin Welder deck, providing fuel to continue ‘welding’ him in and out of play. Due to his colorlessness and unique combination of abilities, a variety of strategies might want this guy for Modern in the future.

However, his applications in Commander aren’t as exciting. While he does see Commander play, he doesn’t have an “Enters the Battlefield” effect, and the death trigger just doesn’t matter enough in multiplayer games. That being said, he’s aggressively costed and the lifelink/deathtouch combination is certainly powerful.

Some of the people I’ve talked to said they thought he would maintain his current price, but I see him falling at least a little. Wurmcoil dropped as low as $6 on eBay during his lifetime in Standard, and I really don’t see his long-term price rising any higher than that. Especially since there is a promo copy available, these aren’t going to be very difficult to find.

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

This seven-drop has been on a steady decline from $20 to $10 since March when it was a four-of in Unburial Rites decks. Now it sees play in some Birthing Pod lists, but most have moved away from it; however, this card does see play as a one-of in Reanimator in Legacy and as a win condition in U/W Tron in Modern. You’ll see it at EDH tables, but it’s by no means a format staple.

This card should drop as low as $7, maybe lower, by the time rotation hits, and I expect it to climb back to $10 for Modern season next year. We’ll have to reevaluate this card near November to decide if we should pick it up in anticipation of Modern season.

The “Sleeper” Praetors

While Elesh Norn isn’t a complete powerhouse in EDH, Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur and Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger are. Both of these cards can be found under $3 at various retailers.

Many of mono-blue combo decks in EDH play the Core Augur to refill their hand or strip hate from the hands of their opponent. In a format where ten mana isn’t necessarily prohibitive, he has a huge effect. Likewise, in Legacy Reanimator he often saw play, but now that Griselbrand is an option we may see less of him there. Drawing cards without paying life is nice, especially since the life loss from Reanimate is often significant, but Jin-Gitaxias is much more vulnerable to removal.

Still, I think in the distant future this card will have disappeared from trade binders, and people who want it for EDH will be forced to pay $5. I don’t suggest a buy-and-hold now, but if the price falls further, I’d jump in.

[card Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger]Vorinclex[/card] is a nasty beast to play against in EDH because his effect can literally lock people out of the game. The green decks that are focused on ramping (See: Most Green Decks in Commander) can power him out early enough to cripple opponents and progress the ramp plan. Since he's green, you can easily tutor for him in a variety of ways, and I’ve seen many Commander games end nearly instantly when a player slams their Vorinclex.

At under $2 I like him as a buy. I’m going to pick up eight copies to start with, and if he continues to fall I may pick up eight more. This card could easily stabilize at $4-5 half a year from now.

Notable Omissions

I get all of my charts from BlackLotusProject.com, if you're looking to do any peeking around yourself. While rotation isn't generally a great time to be buying, the targets I like are cards that gain value long-term as they disappear from trade binders. Some other cards I considered but ultimately didn't find promising were Karn Liberated, [card Sheoldred, Whispering One]Sheoldred[/card], Myr Battlesphere, Blightsteel Colossus, and the remaining Core Set titans.

What other casual cards that are likely to see higher value down the line am I missing? Let me know in the comments or the QS forums.

2 thoughts on “Insider: Where Will All the Fatties Go?

  1. I've started looking at the New Phyrexia Praetors on MTGO, mostly from a rotation/redemption perspective, but hearing that are used in EDH is confirmation I am on the right track. Thanks Chad!

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