After what seems like an eternity of previews, here we are again! It’s time for my Prerelease Primer (or set review, if you will) that I do for every new set.
For those of you not familiar with how I do set reviews, I start by giving you all a little credit. I don’t go card-by-card through the entire set and waste thousands of words telling you that obviously bulk rares are, in fact, bulk rares. Instead, I try to hit on the cards drawing the most hype as well as those I feel like you need to have on your radar for one reason or another, whether they be sleepers or casual hits and so forth.
Magic 2013 turned out to be pretty accurate for me. I misevaluated Thragtusk a little bit, not in terms of playability but of long-term price. I pegged it as 7-10 because I didn’t apply the rule of Core Set, which is that due to it being opened in fewer numbers cards can go 20-30% higher than they would in an expansion.
But enough of the past. Let’s get to the future.
And the future is a Return to Ravnica. The large Fall set is the hardest to predict in terms of price because it brings a completely new metagame with it. In addition, Ravnica looks to be probably the most popular set of all time judging from pre-orders, and right now most all of the cards are overpriced.
But we’ll see what we can do. I’ll be taking a look at some of the higher-hyped cards, as well as those I think actually have upside.
Let’s dig in.
I talked about the Shocks in this article, so check it out if you’re curious as to how I see the lands from the last couple years going forward.
Surely you got in on this at $6 when Quiet Speculation sent you an Insider blast, right? Well, if not, it’s up to $15 on SCG, and I think it’s going to stick between $10 and $20 for the next year or so, depending on playability. It’s not a Commander card, but it’s a very good Angel, so it’s going to be hard to send it below $10. That said, even if it is played, it’s probably not as a 4-of, so I think we can expect $10-15 to be the range we’ll see in a few months.
I don’t think this is bulk, which is what SCG has it priced at ($.50 for them). It’s not going to be huge, but it’s probably okay in the right midrange matchups, so it’s probably going to push $1 or so. Either way, something to keep an eye on but not something I’m really excited about.
I do think this will see play, as it’s one of the better graveyard hate cards we’ve seen in a while, and it’s powerful in older formats. At a $4 pre-sell price, I don’t see much of an upside though. This looks like a $3-5 card all the way unless the Energy Field/Rest in Peace deck is a real thing in Legacy (which I doubt).
Still, it will see Eternal play, so the $10 price for foils is probably where the play is this weekend since people will probably trade it to you around half that.
I’m blown away that a bunch of the Magic community (at least in the Twitterverse) don’t think that Jace is good. The +1 ability is much better than people are giving it credit for, especially when it’s almost always going to curve into a Tamiyo, the Moon Sage.
But maybe people are catching on. Jace started at $25 on SCG and is not out of stock at $30. I think it’s likely this card is going to fluctuate somewhere between $20-30 for its lifetime in Standard, so I’d say getting in now is probably not the right call long-term.
A powerful card, to be sure, but one that is going to be very metagame-dependent. It’s very bad against Lingering Souls, for instance, but can also top out an aggressive deck or fill a control role.
As it looks right now, though, I’m just not seeing it. Zombies has other options in the four-drop spot, and Gravecrawler itself means this card isn’t good against the deck. As for the control decks, I think they’re looking for a higher-costed but higher-impact finisher.
A powerful card, and one not to forget, but I imagine it’s going to hover around its current $4 price of drop a little because it just doesn’t seem to have a home yet.
Casual players love Rats, and though there will be a ton of copies of this out there, it’s a good long-term call at $1.
I’m surprised this card hasn’t gotten more hype. It’s $3 on SCG right now, and I think people are honestly just used to Red not being a thing. But remember, last year Stromkirk Noble bounced up to $10 around the time of States.
With a lot of the Red hate cards gone, RDW could be a thing again as players start to Shock themselves with their lands. Zealot can easily double in price if that’s the case, and could even see some player in older formats.
Very good card. Not $20 good, long-term. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it hold $20 for a while, but there’s just no way it sits there forever. It’s very, very good, but it’s not on the same level as Snapcaster Mage, in my opinion.
That said, it’s a powerhouse in Modern. Don’t be surprised to see $15 hold for a long time. There’s just no reason to get in at $20 right now.
I guess I have to talk about this because it’s $15 on SCG. I don’t love it. It’s fine, it’s a big beater, it’s Broodmate Dragon, etc… Here’s the thing, though, its mana requirements mean it can’t go into a million decks, and since when was GW lacking in big beaters? Honestly? I’d rather pay 6 mana for Collective Blessing and turn all my mana dorks into Armada Wurms.
I don’t like it at $15 at all. I see something more like half that being correct going forward.
Speaking of Collective Blessing, it’s a card I like at a buck. It’s going to trade very well to casual players and tops out a Township Tokens-esque deck very well.
Another very cool, and very good, card, but another card not worth $10. It doesn’t go into every deck, and the color restrictions actually cut out a fair amount of the decks that would run Oblivion Ring. $5-7 card.
Of all the Charms (and they’re all very good), this is the best for Legacy play. That means foil copies are the place to be, and are sold out at $8 on SCG. I know we’ll see these trade for less than that in the first week or two.
This dude is absurd, and I don’t think the $10 preorder is too out of order. Gravecrawler and Messenger are pushing that despite multiple printings, so don’t be surprised to see their next best friend stick around there as well, or come down a little bit if the deck doesn't pan out.
Here we have my pick for the most-underpriced card in the set. This guy is the new Olivia, and we all remember her big spike in price at the Pro Tour.
Niv is only $10 on SCG. He’s Legendary, so there’s Commander appeal; He’s a Dragon, so there’s casual appeal; and he’s only $10? This means the competitive world is taking a pass on him so far, but this will change. Untapping with Niv completely takes over a game, especially if you’ve done so after curving Jace into Tamiyo into this guy.
I’m calling a spike to $20+ and then settling back around $15-20 long-term.
Not a strong play at $15. It’s good, but there’s a debate as to whether it’s even better than Blightning. For the record, I think it is, and it will blow out a ton of matches, but I still think the card is going to lose 30-50% of its value in a few months.
Vraska, the Unseen
This is a good Planeswalker, and pretty sweet in some Jund builds I’m sure we’ll see. But it’s not $40. It’s a $10-20 dollar ‘Walker at best.
Should’ve been a Merfolk… 🙁
Awesome card. Awesome flavor, Awesome effect. Slots into Commander decks and Control decks everywhere. I expect this to be a big factor in the Control decks of the format, and a $4-6 pricetag seems correct.
That's it. I can't wait for the new set and to look back on these predictions in a few months!
Thanks for reading,
@Chosler88 on Twitter