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Insider: Getting Over Gatecrash

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This may be a bit belated, but it’s time for the set review (review).

Now, to get this out of the way up front. Chad and I had developed a system for grading each other’s predictions intending to remove some bias, but with him on a short break I’m going to try and grade myself here. But don’t worry, I can be a harsh jerk to myself just fine.

Also, the usual disclaimer for anyone who’s new. I do these review pieces for a few reasons. First off, they’re fun, but more importantly it’s a question of accountability. When I started writing years back the internet was rampant with “experts” who would make one accurate call and then talk about it for months on end as an example of just how amazing they were at this MTG Finance Thing, and why you should always listen to them and elevate their opinion.

Of course, these same “experts,” (most of whom are no longer recognized in the community, go figure) would never talk about the cards they missed hard on. Telling someone to buy in [card Venser, the Sojourner]Vensers[/card] or [card Koth of the Hammer]Koths[/card] at high prices and then acting like that never happened when the card falls to bulk planeswalker status is not a good way to build credibility. But because no one was tracking these things, it was very easy for people to overstate their accuracy. This in turn can lead people to make poor financial decisions based off the advice of someone who isn’t forthcoming.

Building Accountability

That’s why I started these reviews, as a way to hold myself accountable. It’s also why I don’t shy away from my missed calls, from Splinterfright to Master of the Pearl Trident. I’ve made plenty of really good calls, and I know my speculation advice makes me money personally, so I’m comfortable with where I’m at. But I don’t want to give the impression that I’m never wrong, because I am.

That’s why we do these. So let’s start.

Aurelias Fury

Then:

The community seems to be split on this card. This strikes me as one of those situations where in a year people will be like “oh yeah, I knew it would be XX,” forgetting that there was once a big debate about the card.

For what it’s worth, I think this card is pretty solid as something like a 2-of in certain decks. It’s sometimes just a Silence with upside, but it’s also sometimes a one-sided board sweep or a Fireball that ends the game. That’s a lot of versatility.

That said, it seems like it can’t really be worth more than Sphinx's Revelation. Even if it spikes, I see this settling somewhere between $10 and $15.

Now:

All the way down to $5 on SCG. It’s quite the drop for a card that people were once predicting to be the big hit from the set. I thought it would be worth a little more because I envisioned it as a 2-of in Flash decks, which didn’t quite pan out. I did, at least, correctly call it moving down from the absurd presale price it was holding at the time.

Aurelia, the Warleader

Then:

There seems to be some renewed hope about this card, and the power level is certainly very, very high. I don’t think it goes in the aggressive Boros deck but I do think the UWR decks could make use of it, since curving [card Thundermaw Hellkite]Thundermaw[/card] into this ends the game. Pre-ordering at $15, and I could see it spiking higher than that, but I do think $10-15 is where this will settle as well.

Now:

$10 on SCG. The two-of spot I saw going to Aurelia’s Fury actually just went to the big angel herself, and this settled accordingly. I don’t think this is a terrible pickup right now, by the way, since we could see $15-20 post-rotation. And it’s a big dumb mythic angel, so there’s that.

Domri Rade

Then:

I’m not as big on this card as Ryan Bushard is on our podcast (www.BrainstormBrewery.com), but I do think it’s solid. That said, so is something like [card Ajani, Caller of the Pride]Ajani[/card], and that sees basically no play. Unless I’m way wrong on the power level here, I imagine this will be a $8-12 ‘walker that sees some fringe play, certainly not the $25 retail it is now.

This is something to keep an eye on down the road, since after rotation it’s still going to be a powerful turn two play.

Now:

SCG still has these at $18, while the TCGPlayer average is a bit under $13. When I make these predictions I usually do so with SCG(ish) in mind, so by that metric I undershot this a little, while being more in line with TCG. The card has steadily trended downward since the Pro Tour spike we covered on QS, but it has shown signs of stabilizing. That means it’s likely to maintain its current price at least until rotation, when metagame shifts could push it down to $5 or up to $20.

Duskmantle Seer

Then:

This is actually a pretty sweet card, and he’s a good beater in an aggressive deck. That said, aggro is hard to do in these colors and there are many better four-drops out there. And since I only think this guy is good as the top-end of an aggro deck, I expect it to come down to $5 or so and maybe even a little lower, though having the Dark Confidant ability will help buoy it some.

Now:

$6 on SCG. Nailed this one, and I don’t see it changing too much going forward. The ability is just so hard to find a home for and I’m not sure it will ever break through. That said, the upside here is obvious if we do start to see something come along with the Seer as a mainstay.

Gideon, Champion of Justice

Then:

Speaking of overhyped cards, I have a hard time seeing Gideon do a ton. I think he’s got enough versatility to work in either a control or midrange deck, but I don’t see him being so insane as to impact the format right away. Retailing at $30 right now, I expect this to come down to $10-15.

Now:

$6 on SCG. It’s come down even further than I expected, and it’s a long way from the $30 it presold for. I hope you took my advice and unloaded any of these you may have gotten at the prerelease.

Obzedat, Ghost Council

Then:

This guy is good. He’s Thragtusk after Thragtusk rotates. Which means, even if he sees some play now, he’s going to come down to $15 or maybe even a little lower in the meantime.

But the power level is definitely there on this card, and he dodges pretty much everything in Standard right now. He’s going to be good, even if it isn’t for a while, although the tough casting cost could be an issue.

Now:

$15 on SCG. With [card Turn]Turn//Burn[/card] printed, I doubt this guy reaches Thragrusk levels of playability, but I do think he’s still the finisher of choice for control decks post-rotation. I don’t hate trading for it at $15, and if it dips any lower I’ll be going very deep into it.

Prime Speaker Zegana

Then:

We’ve seen with Revelation how good card draw can be, and Zegana certainly does that (and she’s a merfolk!) That said, she’s certainly good with a Restoration Angel or ‘Tusk out, but so would anything you’re paying six mana for. Bant decks could use her, perhaps even some midrange deck in the grindy mirrors, but I don’t think it’ll be in great numbers.

Preselling at $15, but probably more like $8-10 down the road.

Now:

Well, I certainly nailed her playability since the grindy Bant Zegana deck did become a thing and spike her price. She’s $7 right now on SCG after falling, spiking, and then falling again. I don’t think she’s going to move much from there, to be honest, as playing Zegana without Thragtusk becomes a lot more risky after rotation.

Assemble the Legion

Then:

Here’s the thing about this card. It’s retailing at $1.50 right now, which is practically bulk. I don’t hate it as a throw-in target because this thing gets out of control pretty quickly, although it doesn’t seem to have a good home yet.

But the power level on this card is high. It could find a place either in a board-control deck, winning on its own if left unchecked without requiring additional mana, or in a midrange deck as a recurring source of creatures against said control decks. Not necessarily expecting big things from this, but the power level is there, so there are worse cards to target on the cheap.

Now:

$2 on SCG, and it spiked higher when it began seeing play as I predicted. That means if you got in for the near-bulk price they were the first few weeks you did very well once it hit. It’s pretty much a known quantity now, so we’re back to picking them up cheaply in case rotation boosts it again. Either way, we’ve already made our money on this card.

Blind Obedience

Then:

People have been slowly catching onto this (after us in the forums, I believe). It slows down the haste decks, provides incremental advantage in extort, isn’t dead in multiples and also stops some of the combo decks in Modern.

That’s a lot of good things, but $5 is still too high. $3 seems more likely.

Now:

$4 on SCG. Not much to see here, this card did as expected, and played a role in knocking off the BR Aggro decks as we predicted.

Boros Reckoner

Then:

I’m not sure Standard play alone will keep this at $4, but the card is solid. It will probably see play even if it’s only in the sideboard, and will be pretty dang good in Boros mirrors or against any non-Wrath deck. I can see this moving up in price when people realize this, even if it doesn’t stay that high forever.

Also, Spitemare buylists for a quarter. Random fact, sure, but the Reckoner is the only card with the same ability we’ve seen since, so it’s something to keep in mind. I like this as a trade target at $2-3 or lower.

Now:

$15 SCG, $12ish TCGPlayer.

Well, targeting this at $2 was certainly correct. Of course, so was targeting it at $12, so I can’t say I called the meteoric rise this card experienced. That said, I did at least identify it as a pickup, and I did so at my prerelease events. I made money from this prediction, and I hope you did too. It’s not often we see the confluence of factors that led to this hitting $25, so I wouldn’t expect that to become the norm moving forward.

Also, I hope you moved yours at $20+ when myself and others suggested it, since it’s halved since then. It does seem fairly stable at its current price.

Shocklands

Finally, we have the Gatecrash shocklands. These haven’t quite hit RTR shock levels, so I’m not going really hard into them when in comparison to something like Steam Vents and Hallowed Fountain. That said, I don’t mind picking them up right now since supply is fairly stable at this point. And, as I pointed out in the original article, Breeding Pool is still the best target from a pure supply perspective, considering it’s the only shock that was in Dissension (the third set of original Ravnica) as well as Gatecrash, which was opened less than RTR.

Well, there we go! Looking forward to grading my Dragon’s Maze picks in a few months.

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter

5 thoughts on “Insider: Getting Over Gatecrash

  1. I have a lot of respect for people who retroactively call themselves out on bad calls.

    How do you feel about Voice of Resurgence now? This is what you said about the card:

    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.

    1. Well to be fair..it hasn’t been out long, so the price is still heavily inflated by lack of supply (as opposed to exorbitant demand). I’m still with Corbin on this one…the card is overhyped, though I can see it being closer to $12-15 because people want to play it in older formats too (though I still think they will be sadly mistaken)

      1. I always base my calls 3-4 months down the road, and it does remain to be seen. The card is better than I gave it credit for initially, so I’m moving closer to the $15 mark, but it remains to be seen.

    1. Lots and lots of experience is probably the best way to put it. Another is listening to those better than to me on how good a card is, and comparing it to similar cards from past sets to find an appropriate marker in terms of price.

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