Insider: A Few New Spec Targets

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There’s a lot happening as we roll around in spoilers from Dragon’s Maze. I had originally planned to do something this week other than diving into spoilers, but a few targets worth talking about recently cropped up.

Without further ado, I’m diving in. Come along.

Reforge the Soul

Like for several cards here, Notion Thief is what’s steering our course on this target. Now would be a good time to open a handy spoiler, by the way, like this one.

Here’s the scenario. Flash in Notion Thief at the end of your opponent’s turn. Untap and cast Reforge the Soul. You now have fourteen cards to their zero.

This is an incredibly powerful interaction, and one I can’t overstate enough. Reforge the Soul and Faithless Looting even have the bonus of digging through your deck to find Notion Thief.

Whispering Madness

Another card to combo with Notion Thief, and another solid spec target.

I’ll say it now, I have no idea if this will be viable, but Whispering Madness and Thief will both be legal at the same time a year from now, so it may be the better target.

The best part about these specs, and I say this a lot, is both are near-bulk right now. Think Blasphemous Act. It doesn’t have to go up much for you to make money, and it can’t go much farther down. There’s a lot to like here, and I feel like there’s plenty of room to explore in this archetype, even if it doesn’t come to fruition until next year. That’s why I’ll be grabbing Whispering Madness whenever I can as a trade throw-in.

Forbidden Orchard

One important aspect of Admiral Beckett Brass that differentiates it from Glimpse of Nature is that it triggers upon creatures entering the battlefield (anyone's, not just yours) rather than being cast. That makes Forbidden Orchard actually insane, both giving you mana to combo out and providing a free draw.

I’ve been testing the Elves deck, and it has the potential to go off on turn three, although depending on the amount of interaction turn four to five is more common. The point, though, is that it seems real. And if the deck breaks out at a tournament in the near future it could easily contain some amount of Orchards. If that happens we’d see the $6 card hit $15-20 without a problem, considering how little Kamigawa is available.

Yes, it’s been reprinted once, but it was a specialty product (From the Vault: Realms) and as such wouldn’t be a significant hindrance. I may be entirely wrong about Elves' viability, but I know getting in on these now is pretty safe considering the price hasn’t changed much in two years.

Gilded Lotus

It’s been slowly climbing since its release in M13, and I expect the trend to continue or accelerate in the next year or so. We’ve seen the huge increases in EDH and casual cards in the last six months, and eventually that will catch up to the Lotus enough to overcome the reprint.

At $3 now, this seems like a very cheap spec target that could reach $6 in a year if we see another year of growth. Safe and easy double-up target.

Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker

Another M13 card that I feel has bottomed out. Planeswalkers are always solid longer-term investments, and a big flashy one like this is no exception. I don’t see how you can go wrong getting in at $4.

Vampire Nocturnus

The last of the M13 trio, I think Nocturnus at $4 is a can’t-miss, considering it once sat comfortably at $20. The next vampire-themed set that comes out, if this guy isn’t included, is going to accelerate its rise back to $10.

I wanted to include these three cards because the time to find M13 in binders is quickly disappearing. These are the kinds of cards that are much better to trade into than buy, but you can only do that while you have an opportunity to find them in binders. And that time is growing slim.

Death's Shadow

Everyone is all about this card in Modern, but I’m certain that selling into the hype is the correct play here. I’m not saying it’s not a viable combo in Modern, but I do think it requires a lot of work to set up when the payoff is just to have a guy who can still be [card Lightning Helix]helixed[/card] or sent on a Path to Exile.

I could be wrong, but obviously it doesn’t matter anyway in regards to price. The card has moved up, and I think the best course of action is to get rid of these now, the same way I said last week moving Cloudstone Curio into the hype was the right play. Since then Curio has come down to $6-7, and I expect Death’s Shadow to take a similar tract.

Preparing for the Prerelease

With a little more than a third of the set spoiled, this is what my prerelease list of targets looks like. I’m sure that will change more in the next week, and I’ll be sure to keep you updated, as well as bring you both my Dragon’s Maze set review and a retrospective on my Gatecrash review.

It’s a busy time for Magic. Enjoy it!

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter

8 thoughts on “Insider: A Few New Spec Targets

  1. notion thief: If an opponent would draw a card except the first one he or she draws in each of his or her DRAW STEPS, instead that player skips that draw and you draw a card.

    6cmc for reforge. i love reforge as it’s normal cost is fair imo, but idk how well this card or whispering madness is gonna work with the thief.

  2. @Mathieu: I can see where you are going with the emphasis on the “DRAW STEPS,” but a player only gets one Draw Step and it is at the beginning of turn. Unless they make a new step every time a player has to draw (right now a normal turn only has 5 phases and the draw is only in the beginning phase), what Corbin has described will work very well, and probably will be seen in a lot of decks considering how powerful it will be to take away everything your opponent has to work with.

  3. You forgot Otherworld Atlas, Teferi’s Puzzle Box, and Anvil of Bogardan, although I don’t think any of these cards is going to move much based on the Notion Thief spoiling.

  4. Thanks for the insight, Corbin! I look forward to your set review and retrospective.

    The interaction between Beck and Forbidden Orchard is something I hadn’t thought of, but isn’t it kind of a nonbo, since the creature would come in before the spell you cast with its mana (presumably Beck)?

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