Insider: Casual Hits from Dragon’s Maze

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This is one of my favorite pieces to write every time a new set comes out because casual cards are something like my forte when trading. I love targeting these cards for a few reasons, which I’ve detailed in the past. In a nutshell, they buylist for more than their Standard counterparts and you’re more likely to get them undervalued in a deal.

Anyway, that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy the “Casual Hits” series, because it helps me formulate the longer-term casual targets I’m angling for. For Gatecrash it was all about Mind Grind, a card that hasn’t even dropped as far as I would have expected, which says good things about its future.

Anyway, we’re not looking for the Boros Reckoners here, but rather the Parallel Lives or Asceticisms. And remember, because this is a third set, which is traditionally under-opened, combined with the fact that Modern Masters will cut its draft time even shorter, the supply side will be limited and we could see higher prices down the road than you might otherwise expect.

So let’s dig in.

[card Breaking&Entering]Breaking // Entering[/card]

This is far and away the breakout casual card of the set. It doesn’t matter that there’s a promo version out, you can’t have enough of these because casual players love mill strategies like no one’s business. Look at Glimpse the Unthinkable and get back to me. I’m picking up all these I can find, and it’s going to be cheap enough over the next month to be worth it.

Deadbridge Chant

I’ve talked about this enough in competitive play, and it jumped as I predicted it would.

That said, the real benefit of this thing is in casual play, where it will be a big EDH card. At the current $6-8 there’s not much opportunity yet, but chances are it will be cheap at some point again during its Standard run, and at that point I’ll be going in hard. Foils of this should hold especially well once we hit that point.

Debt to the Deathless

X mana and “each opponent” are good things to read when it comes to casual cards. Things like this are always popular in Commander, kitchen tables and even some cubes. As an uncommon, I suspect that means we pretty much only want to look at foils.

Emmara Tandris

I know people have pooh-poohed this card since it came out and we learned its art and rarity switched with Voice of Resurgence at the last moment.

But under a dollar? It’s a legendary elf with a unique effect. I’m not saying this will light the world on fire, but I am pretty certain it’s not bulk 18 months from now.

Master of Cruelties

This just has such a unique effect that I can see it gathering a following. Not to mention that as a mythic the ceiling is higher. Even stuff like Apocalypse Hydra becomes worth money down the line, and this shouldn’t be an exception.

Obzedat's Aid

This seems like a fairly innocuous card design, but one that I’m sure will find a home in plenty of casual decks. B/W has always been a popular casual color combination, and this will probably continue the line.

Progenitor Mimic

Another card that’s a good target because it’s a mythic. This seems like the kind of card that will sneakily be $5 in a few years after falling to near-bulk status while in Standard. It’s got a good EDH effect and it has a powerful repeated effect. I’m sure this will find its way into many kitchen table decks.

Vorel of the Hull Clade

See Gilder Bairn. This type of effect is always popular casually, and as a legendary creature capable of doing this, I see no reason why it won’t do well over time. Of course, excluding planeswalkers does hurt it quite a bit, though exactly how much remains to be seen.

Zhur-Taa Ancient

I’m certain this will see EDH play. Believe it or not, those who play the game less seriously don’t mind giving their opponents some extra mana, because the goodwill allows them to keep it for themselves. Definitely a solid pickup.

Picking Up Throw-Ins

That’s about it. Remember, I’m not telling you to go out and buy every one of these you can. What I am telling you is that picking them up as the throw-in to complete a trade will for the most part be easy, and your ROI over the next few years will be very good. Even if a couple don’t pan out, the number of Asceticisms, Gilded Lotuses and Parallel Lives will make you much more than you “lose.” I don’t expect Dragon’s Maze to be any different.

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter

5 thoughts on “Insider: Casual Hits from Dragon’s Maze

  1. Good article and I think you hit all my casual specs with your list (even the foil Debt to the Debtless), though I think one you may have missed is foil Tesya (only because it’s gorgeous…I got lucky to get one in one of my boxes)…but I honestly believe all the maze runners of this set will be good to pick up (in foil only) as they seemed to have been designed with EDH in mind. I also think the mythic hydra is a casual pickup card (you even alluded to Apocalypse hydra) as a lot of our local FNM only players LOVE primordial hydra and any other hydra.

  2. You forgot Gaze of Granite.

    Regarding what you covered, I see Vorel going the way of Experiment Kraj, so I’m lukewarm at best on him, especially since he doesn’t hit planeswalkers. Also, Emmara Tandis is absolutely awful, even EDH players hate her. Agree with you on all the others though.

    1. I thought about Gaze, but I wasn’t sure if it would get there or not. And maybe it’s a Cube card, but is it really that sought after besides that? I’m not sure. I also think Vorel’s drawback may be too much, but we’ll see.

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