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Insider: Revelations from Ravnica

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It feels good to be back writing again. If you didn’t know, I spent most of last week on-site in Moore, Oklahoma, where a monster tornado ripped through the town and killed dozens of people, including children.

As a journalist, it was my job to be there, so I was. With my usual sports-related work not going away either, needless to say last week was a very crazy week for me, and getting to my Magic writing just wasn’t going to happen. I hate to miss weeks, so I really appreciate everyone’s understanding.

Predictions from Block

Now let’s talk some Magic. The Block Pro Tour just went down, and we’ve got a ton of new information to work with.

If you don’t know, the Block Pro Tour is a great way to prepare for next year’s Standard. In the past, we’ve seen the future on stuff like Faeries, Hero of Bladehold, Tempered Steel and plenty of others.

But there are some caveats, and this strategy is not 100 percent foolproof. For instance, Wolfir Silverheart and [card Gisela, Blade of Goldnight]Gisela[/card] saw lots of play last year, and while Silverheart paid off in the short-term after I broke the news from tips I received on-site, it didn’t pan out in the long-term.

I’ve managed to draw a few conclusions from all of this, the most important of which is that the “big finisher” slot is the one most easily replaced. That means something like Blood Baron of Vizkopa, which saw a fair amount of play last weekend, could be replaced easily when the finishers and/or mana improve, but the backbone of a deck like Sphinx's Revelation can not.

Here's the full list of winning decks from the Pro Tour, and you should peruse that list for anything I may have missed.

With that in mind, let’s look at some of my candidates for breakout post-rotation. Now (or very soon) is the time to get in on these, not in two months.

Jace, Architect of Thought

With 20 copies in the top eight, this is obviously the most important, and yet the market has hardly reacted. The card has gone from $10 or $12 or so, but that’s a tiny jump for a card that just a few months ago hit $50.

I’ve staked a lot of resources into Jace. As far as “core” cards go, Jace doesn't disappoint. It was a four-of in nearly every deck that ran it and it also just happened to dominate the top eight.

I see no reason this can’t easily hit $20 right after rotation, as Jace plus Revelation plus Verdict is going to be an easily-assembled and powerful deck right from the start that buries unfocused builds in card advantage.

If we see the same summer player growth of the last few years, Jace is going to start rising rapidly. I don’t think the ceiling is much higher than $30 simply due to how much RtR was opened, but even a more modest $18-20 makes us a lot of money.

Ætherling

I’m not sure if this card is better than I initially gave it credit for or if it just fit well into the finisher role at the Pro Tour. It’s probably some combination of both.

The card has held pretty steady under $5, and that’s enough for me not to write it off. Remember, between the usual third-set effect and the fact that Dragon’s Maze will be opened even less than other third sets because of Modern Masters means that we could see higher prices. It’s already pretty clear that my $10 assessment of Voice of Resurgence is woefully wrong.

So with that in mind, I look to pick up the new Morphling under $4 or so as it drops over the next few weeks. It’s a fairly low-risk bet that could see big gains if it does become the finisher of choice.

Sin Collector

I know this is only an uncommon, but it’s proven vital against all range of decks. That leads me to believe this is probably going to be a great uncommon to pull out of draft leftovers and as throw-ins in trade.

Sphinx's Revelation

This was a huge player in Block, and while stuff like Voice of Resurgence certainly keeps it down, it’s just too good not to play a big role in the metagame, especially early in the format.

Again, price moves will be played on by whether or not the player base expands as expected, in addition to metagame concerns. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it hit $30 or fall down to $15, but right now I think the downside is probably greater than the upside. Ultimately I would rather put my money into Jaces if you think blue-based control will still be a force after rotation (I do).

Deadbridge Chant

My thoughts on this card are well-known. I loved it early and hopefully you made some money on that advice, but after it spiked I advocated a sell.

I think the price will continue to settle down, but the card could still fit well into Jund, so as it bottoms out I like picking them back up.

Advent of the Wurm

This is pretty steady at $5-6, and I like picking it up at that price. Not only did it win the Pro Tour, it also appeared in a ton of the decks that did well. The power level here helps green decks compete with Revelation decks, and again, as the price evens out in the next few weeks it becomes a great pickup. I could easily see $10 or even more a few months down the line.

Obzedat, Ghost Council

This has been my pick for control finisher, and while the number of effective answers to it has increased since Gatecrash, it’s still powerful and comes down a lot earlier than Ætherling.

Unlike Ætherling, Ghost Dad can actually see play as the top end of a midrange deck, and could have some upside there. That said, its price is steadily coming down, and I will wait for that to bottom out before moving in.

Mizzium Mortars

It has definitely flown under the radar, but Mortars passed the $3 mark and still seems to be heading up. It was also played a ton at the Pro Tour. I don’t think the upside here is insane, but I do know you can get them cheaply in trade and it has a reasonable chance to hit $5 next year, seeing an increase similar to what Domri Rade might enjoy. Domri wasn’t all over the Pro Tour, but I don’t see these Gruul Aggro decks going away either.

Conclusions

Like I said, you can’t completely trust the results of a Block Pro Tour, but if you’re discerning you can find some nuggets, and that’s what we’re doing here.

Out of the cards that had a big weekend, if I had to pick one likely to become “real” and translate into Standard next year, it’s Jace. I have quite a few of them myself, and expect a $20 at minimum point in the next twelve months.

It’s good to be back writing about Magic. As always,

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter

14 thoughts on “Insider: Revelations from Ravnica

  1. Everyone seems to love Jace as the pickup from Pro Tour Dragon’s Maze, but isn’t it possible a better Jace shows up in M14, and the M14 version sees play instead? Wouldn’t Jace Beleren trump the RtR Jace?

    1. Throughout that Jace section in this article I was wondering about when would be the best time to pick up RtR Jace. Should I wait till we know what the M14 one will be, or will that be too late, even if I’m quick to pick up as soon as it’s spoiled?

      1. Jace AoT is creeping up now and has been for the last two weeks. Why would you wait to get in at a higher price when you could sell these at that higher price if something is spoiled?

        1. It’s possible we get a new, better Jace in M14, but it’s also possible we get Memory Adept back. I’ve obviously moved in on RtR Jace, mostly at the $9-11 mark, so the honest answer is it’s up to you if you want to wait. Unless M14 Jace obsoletes RtR Jace, I still think you can make money at that point.

          1. It’s probably worth noting that another good Jace in M14 doesn’t necessarily invalidate the spec. There might be room to play both, especially with the new rules, maybe not in the same deck, but they might have different roles.

    1. Same as Sin Collector, and I’d add Turn/Burn to the list. All have the potential to hit a few bucks and make them worth the throw-in/draft leftover effort. That said, I think both those cards are less likely to be a four-of than Sin Collector.

    1. I’m kind of torn. I think there will still be good Gruul creatures that would help it see play similar to what it sees now, but I’m not sure how much losing Flinthoof Boar will hurt it or if it will see enough play to move its price. I don’t think it’s a high-risk, but I’m not overly excited either.

  2. Glad your back…. I’m also glad a ways back I randomly went deep and I picked up 40 mizzoum motors at $2 a piece after shiping… still think its one of the best burn cards in rtr

    block. just hope bonfire equivalent doesn’t get re printed in m14

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