This week as we all prepare for the Pre-release I took some time to evaluate each of the Mythics in the set and put forth my thoughts on their financial viability both now and in the future. As I do more and more testing over the next week, I will write a similar review for stand-out Rares next week, so any feedback from the readers about what they like or don't like will only help next week's article be more enjoyable for you! Without further ado...
Tied for highest at pre-order pricing at $30, it’s hard for me to want to invest in this card this early. There’s always fear of missing the next Jace, the Mind Sculptor, but he was the exception with $30 pre-orders, not the rule. This card is certainly powerful, and I do suspect it will see play in a variety of Standard decks as well as other formats to some degree. Its an answer to cards like Epic Experiment (should that card somehow end up broken) or even entire mechanics like Suspend and Rebound, not to mention the card has insane utility without shutting down entire deck strategies. Previous to Bonfire of the Damned, I’d be hard pressed to see an X-Burn Spell be so valuable, but I do think the multi-color nature makes it hard for a card like this to have the same type of demand that Bonfire had. At $15 I’d be confident in moving in pretty deep on this card as I think $20 is a conservative estimate on it’s value over it’s Standard lifetime, and I’m not willing to make any assumptions beyond that time frame.
As compared to her Fury, Aurelia herself isn't drawing the same price tag. Pre-order pricing at $15 is a bit more palatable, and her long term value is much more clear as a Commander general. I’m not excited enough about her to invest at that price, but I do think it’s a reasonable target. I could see her being a highly volatile card over her Standard lifetime, causing spikes in her value, and I do think those spikes will see heights above $15. Commander demand will keep the floor on her reasonably high in the long-term, so the move is fairly safe, but I’m not willing to lay out that much investment without a more definite expectation.
In the pre-order pricing on SCG, there appears to be 4 distinct tiers of cards, and this one falls in the 2nd lowest tier at $6. This, of all the mythics in the set, is one that I’m actually liking at it’s current price. The effects that he generates are actually quite desirable, and highly synergistic with each other and its color-combinations. As compared to the Boros cards above, I’ll have a slight preference to Allied color cards rather than Enemy colored cards, because constructed more often supports Allied color manabases, even though post-Gatecrash Standard will likely support 4 and 5 color decks.
While his mana cost is extremely prohibitive, I think he is actually fairly close in power level to everyone’s favorite demon, Griselbrand. That being said, he’s a solid Unburial Rites target, and he’s most certainly going to be gracing many a Commander game. With these two elements alone, I feel safe we’ll see a point where he hits $9, but it may be after we stop drafting this block that he realizes his potential. I am going to pick up a couple of these, but I’m not personally going to put too much into it.
I can envision this card doing some pretty cool things, but I don’t know that any of them are viable in any sort of Constructed format. I expect her to be somewhat desirable in the casual circles, because she’s an Angel of course, but also because her gameplay seems fun, and there are a lot of neat ways to interact with her. That being said, I think $6 is a bit too high for her. I don’t expect her to fall to bulk status, but $3-4 sounds right to me.
Well, he’s a Planeswalker, so at a minimum we need to investigate this guy. Pre-order price is $25 on this guy, and I wouldn’t be a buy at $10, but let me tell you why. While he’s got some powerful effects, none of them are something I personally want to be doing in a game of Magic, and he’s not so inherently powerful that people will flock to that strategy just to play him. That being said, there may be others who can see his value better than I can, but I simply don’t see how any R/G creature deck would actually want this card over another creature, and he simply doesn’t function properly in any other deck. In this way he reminds me of Nissa Revane, and I’m willing to miss out on this one at any price, if the risk is that he’s a $6-8 card in 6 months.
It pains me to see people compare this to Dark Confidant, but I suppose I can’t blame them. While this guy’s effect is equal on both sides, unlike Bob, it’s a very different card. Firstly, Bob is a strong card because you’re only paying a life or two on average each turn to get your card. This is a function of deck design containing mostly cards with lower converted mana cost. Ultimately the fact that this guy himself costs 4 mana, means you’re likely to experience a bit more damage than you’d like.
Separately from this, his body is extremely efficient. A 4/4 flier for 4 mana is no joke. The last two 4 power fliers for 4 mana (with upside) that were printed in Standard I expected to do much better than they did. Both Conundrum Sphinx and Argent Sphinx were cards I expected to grace Standard matches solely on their base stats alone, but they didn't. This card has a place in an aggro deck where the dual-sided portion of his ability will be an advantage, rather than a cost, in that he may be able to simply win on the next attack before your opponent actually gets that card advantage. However, U/B is not historically a good aggro combination, so I don’t know that he’ll really find a home in Standard. Pre-order pricing at $20 ia simply too much for me, but I could envision a deck where he’d be an important piece. That being said he’s got a wide range in my eyes as low as $6 to as high as $20 where he is now.
This is the first card on our list in the lowest tier of pricing at $3. I think this card is actually a victim of being spoiled early on the internet. People talked about it a lot when it was first printed, but then once real spoiler season came it sort of drifted out of the limelight. I’m actively interested in moving in on this card. It’s effect is undeniably powerful, and it’s about as close to printing “You Win the Game.” on a card as I’ve ever seen. For 8UUUU, I expect nothing less, but let’s be honest, we can find ways to cast this for less, and it’s an effect worth trying to obtain on the cheap. Not to mention, a High Tide deck could generate this type of mana fairly easily, a guaranteed interaction at the Commander tables, if not in Legacy too. I’m picking up 2 sets of these, and I’m feeling confident in this call more than any of the others.
Another card in the $3 camp, which means another card that could potentially be worth buying. The problem I have with this guy isn’t his power level, but more his competition. Even Borborygmos at one more mana is much more exciting to me, but also Aurelia at 6 mana and Lord of the Void at 7 mana are much more enticing to build my deck around casting. Especially given that you need to build your deck in a way to make casting him reasonable, I’d rather go through more work and get something better, or less work and do so more efficiently. He’s just placed in a weird spot, and I don’t expect him to see much play at any competetive level.
I talked about Gideon recently, and I still feel similarly. I think the general consensus on him is superficially low, and will only take time for people to turn around. Despite his inability to protect himself, he can simply win the game on his own, which many 4-mana planeswalkers simply can’t do. The one who can is well above $75 to this day, and is only legal in Eternal formats. While I feel more strongly about this card, as compared to Aurelia's Fury, the same logic applies and pushes me away from investing in him at this point. I think he’ll see a very natural dip within the first month after release, at which point I’ll have time to see how he operates in the format. He is a card I will be watching closely, but I simply am unwilling to pre-order any card at $30 without an actionable plan for it.
At $2.49, this card is the absolute cheapest Mythic on StarCityGames.com. That being said, when I first saw this card I immediately envisioned it appearing all over Commander. While I’m confident this Dragon will hold enough casual value to keep it well above its current price, I don’t have a good grasp on the timeline, and I don’t know that it has too much upside. If someone had a different feeling about this guy, I wouldn't say it's a bad target, just not one I'm confident in.
This guy is an extremely fun card. I expect him to be a “build around me” Commander and also inspire many casual decks in Standard. With that in mind, can he break into competetive decks? Hexproof is a mechanic that has proven to be strong enough to make otherwise marginal cards constructed playable, and combined with his ability to shut down Reanimator strategies, I think he can atleast make appearances as a Sideboard card. At $10 however, I think he’s just a bit too high, and I’d expect to see him closer to $7 after the dust settles.
A 7/7 for 7 that also jacks opponents creaturtes out of their deck (and exiles a chunk of their library) is a pretty powerful creature. His gameplay seems like a fun interaction, and that Johnny’s everywhere will be looking for ways to abuse him. I don’t, however see much room for growth, despite its low $3 pricetag, as it’s not a card that could single handedly dominate a format, but rather a card that will devastate certain strategies, but be extremely ineffective against others.
This card is pretty cool, but I’m not sure I understand the justification behind his $10 price tag. He’s too slow to be effective in Standard, at 4cmc, I expect that creature to either help stabilize a control deck or finish the game with an aggro deck, and he just can’t do either. A mid-range deck could use this to improve later game plays, but a more effective creature (or Planeswalker) likely fills this role much better. I do expect people to want to play him, but not nearly in enough volume where he should much higher than the other $3 Mythics we saw.
This is most definitely a card. Currently a $25 one at that. Others have argued that this is one of the premier cards to target in the set, but I feel differently. Again as an enemy-colored card, it lacks long term value to me in non-Commander formats, and it’s certainly too slow to be exciting in Modern, so the only factor driving its potential for gain (beyond Commander popularity) is its ability to see play in multiple Standard builds. At that cost, however, only very specific decks could even make that card reasonably castable on curve, and not only that, those same decks could likely find other options at that slot. It doesn’t surprise me that it has so much hype now, its a card that can win the game on its own if people don’t have answers. While he’s not easy to kill, he’s easy to answer, if you build your deck in a way to do so. What I mean is that if he does become a Standard staple, it would be fairly easy to construct your deck to beat him.
Pre-orders at $15, which is a bit high to me, but not surprising. This card has insane applications in Commander, both as the actual Commander itself, but also very strong in Momir Vig, Simic Visionary decks. Most green decks ramp out huge dudes and can take advantage of this guys effect. However, in a non-Primeval Titan world, i don’t exactly see this guy making huge waves. I think half its current price is much more realistic in the short term, and likely even lower after that.
This is the first time in a while I’ve had Mythics I wanted to buy into early, so I’m excited about this set to say the least. While my favorite guild is most certainly Izzet, Dimir is a close second, and I like the direction the set is going. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on these new cards and the changes that they’ll bring to Standard.