It’s that time of the year again. The loved (or hated) set financial review!
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.
If you want to hear some financial thoughts besides mine on the new set, make sure to check out the latest episode of Brainstorm Brewery when it comes out on Friday at GatheringMagic.com.
You can also look for my retrospective on Gatecrash picks in a few weeks, but in the meantime we have a lot of stuff to get through in Dragon’s Maze, so let’s get on it!
Blood Baron of Vizkopa
At a $12 preorder on Star City Games, there’s not much to like here. I think the card is powerful, of course, and it will likely compete with [card Obzedat, Ghost Council]Obzedat[/card] for that 5-drop spot once Thragtusk rotates. I have no idea right now which of those will win out, so there may be an opportunity down the line, but it’s certainly coming down from $12.
If this does reach near-bulk status I like picking it up because it’s a legendary vampire at the mythic rarity. That’s good for its long-term prices.
This is, by far, the card I most like at its $4 preorder price, for a few reasons.
Firstly, Standard. This card provides so much value I can see it immediately becoming a two-of in Jund decks. That may not do much to its price, but it doesn’t exactly have far to drop either. Secondly, Block and/or Standard decks that start with four Abrupt Decay, four Putrefy and some number of Vraska the Unseen/Chant are probably a thing.
And on top of that, it’s a very solid Commander card for any reanimator deck or simply a one that likes value. With all of that in mind, I highly suggest picking this up at your prerelease this weekend.
No way this stays $12. Even if its played I don’t think it will be played a ton, so something like $3-4 seems more right in a few months.
I’m sure this surprises no one, but this card is insanely overpriced at $35. It’s hard to imagine common scenarios where the first ability is something you actively look for, and while the second ability is really good and people obviously want to take extra turns, I’m just not sure that translates into a lot of Standard play.
The guy obviously does have a following though, so I expect Ral to end up at something like $8-12 four to six months down the line. And I expect Jace, Architect of Thought to be the 4-drop Planeswalker of choice and rise in price accordingly from the $10 it’s at right now.
When I first saw this card, I got excited about it's casual potential down the line, a lá Primordial Hydra. Then I saw it’s $8, which I think is absurd because the card is unlikely to see any real competitive play, at least before next year.
Let this drop down to near-bulk and scoop them up then.
Voice of Resurgence
This is one of the cards people are really divided over. Some think it’s the best thing ever while others are pretty “meh” about it and its $20 preorder price.
I’m somewhere in between. I think the card is solid but don’t see it going nuts any time soon, and leaving behind a 1/1 isn’t exactly the best Wrath defense we’ve ever seen.
In summation, then, $6-9 card.
I’m addressing this one (preselling at $6) because I’ve heard a few people say it’s going to be the next big control finisher. Personally, I don’t see that at all. In order to protect it you have to play it at seven mana, and then attack with it at least five turns in a row to win.
That’s too much for my tastes when the alternatives have a larger impact on the board. As such, I don’t really see much hope for this card, and I think it’s $2-4 down the line.
Rumor has it there’s another half to this card, but it’s pretty much irrelevant. I also think $4 on the preorder for this Modern combo-enabler is probably not terribly incorrect. It’ll likely settle to $2-3 and then go back to $4 if it’s played next Modern season.
Another split card with a meaningless second half. This isn’t Glimpse the Unthinkable, but it’s not that far off either. I’m not sure many casual players like split cards, but I have to imagine this won’t go too much lower than $2, so I really like trading for them at that price and hoarding.
This is the Dragon's Maze card most akin to Boros Reckoner in my opinion.
What I mean by that is it could see a large spike the first week or two it’s out because I’m pretty sure this will be big against the Sphinx's Revelation decks. Obviously we all know this, but people jamming this in the first week could easily spike it to $10+ from its current $6. I wouldn’t expect it to stay there though; chances are it comes back down to $5 or so.
Sire of Insanity
This is already up to $3 from a buck, but I don’t even hate trading for it at that $2-3 price point this weekend. A solid showing next weekend spikes this to $5+, and you’ll have no problem outing them at that time for a nice double-up.
I don’t see it ever being a 4-of, though, so it will likely settle to $3-5 even if it does see play, and more like $1-2 if it doesn’t.
It’s impossible not to like this thing because it’s 50 cents, or actual bulk, on SCG right now. It’s a freaking Mana Flare!
I get that it’ll never see Standard play, but EDH players are likely to want these, and people don’t mind global effects like this as much in that format because of politics. That means this will easily trade at more than 50 cents, and since it can’t really get any cheaper it's a good pickup this weekend.
That’s pretty much it. This set has a lot of “meh” cards in it, which honestly is fine with me. Not every set needs to push the power level so much that it obsoletes something else. It does make for a smaller-than-usual set review though. Anyway, the lower prices across the board mean that the good targets will stay good as less overall product may be opened, and it helps the prices on shocklands hold.
And by the way, I’ll still be trading for every Return to Ravnica shockland I can this weekend, and will do the same when the Gatecrash ones get to that price point as well.
Thanks for reading,
@Chosler88 on Twitter