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Insider: M14 Prerelease Primer

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Today's article could have been alternatively titled “When AutoRecover doesn’t actually recover documents.”

As my computer ate my first attempt at this article, today you get my thoughts a little more concise and abridged than usual. And that works out, since it’s Prerelease Time!

My prerelease primers, or set reviews, differ a little from some others out there. For starters, while I’ll offer my thoughts on the future of cards, this is also a guide for how I’ll be trading this weekend.

Also, here’s the usual disclaimer:

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, overpriced, or 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.

So let’s dig in.

Mythics

Baneslayer Angel this is not. While the ability is cool and this is a bit of a roadblock for aggressive decks, it’s nowhere near the $25 it’s preselling for unless there’s some cheap, incidental lifegain stuff to break it, which I don’t expect.

I think this is a cool design, and probably does have a place in a few decks, though certainly as a four-of.

The way I see this being used is in a ramp deck full of stuff bigger than six mana. That way, ramping into this with a huge monster in hand is good, and even has the backup plan of ramping into said big guys anyway. In addition, casting this and plussing it helps you find said huge monsters.

That’s pretty much the only shell I see for it, and that seems pretty narrow. With that said, $25 seems way too high, and $10-15 more likely.

This seems like one of the best hydras we’ve ever seen. While it’s certainly not groundbreaking, it does kill in two swings.

More importantly, imagine curving Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch into this. That allows you to swing for 8 immediately on the turn your hydra comes down and also pumps your other unleashed dudes.

I’m not sure if curving a four-mana guy into a five-mana guy is good enough since it slows down your aggro deck, but I do know it isn’t $30 good enough. This thing will likely halve in price by rotation, and we’ll re-evaluate then.

Though this really belongs in a later section, I’ll include it now. I don’t like this at the $8 preorder, but I do like stocking up when it eventually bottoms out. While it’s not exactly an all-star must-include in EDH, it is playable there, and most importantly is a mythic.

A casual card if anything. Grab cheap foils.

Rares

SLIVERS!

I don’t want to address them individually because they’re likely to be an all-or-nothing deal. This many new and powerful slivers could reignite a Modern deck or possibly even a quirky Standard deck.

If that’s true, the played cards will move as a whole. We know the slivers will retain some long-term value due to being slivers, but if that’s all there is, just wait for them to bottom out and then pick them up. On the other hand, if this deck is even close to Standard-playable, FNM players will be all over it, so be prepared to make a move if that happens.

The power level on this is nice but not overwhelming. As such, unless B/R decks become huge in the format it won’t hold its $6 pricetag. But even narrow sideboard cards like Rhox Faithmender can hold $5 if they remain in high demand, which is something to keep in mind if this becomes too cheap.

I don’t hate this card at $3. The risk at that price is pretty low, and it certainly seems like a powerful tool in Naya decks. The control decks have been partial to Blind Obedience, and now you get one that Bears them for two as well. I like grabbing this to prepare for a possible jump, though $5-7 or so seems like the ceiling here.

I would not be surprised if this saw some play, since it’s powerful and usually a two-for-one against the relevant decks. That said, I don’t see much upside at $6.

My pick for the most-overhyped card in the set. We all remember Mutavault fondly, but that was in a time when tribal decks were all the rage and decks weren’t as color-intensive.

How in the world do Naya decks fit many of these in? How do three (or more)-color control decks fit it? We don’t know for sure about post-rotation, but we can assume the mana certainly won’t be much better than it is now, since M14 doesn’t even have a cycle of duals. Unless people move to less color-intensive decks I see Mutavault dropping to under $10 from $15 now, at which point I suggest stocking up on them for sure.

I know people are talking about this, but they’re mostly wrong. This is not a $6 card.

This will surely see a fair amount of play. I think it could drop to $10 or so in the next two months, but as we near Modern season I think this fluctuates between $14 and 20 or so from there. We’ll also see how much this sees play in Modern and how much that affects its price moving forward.

MERFOLK.

I think this will likely be a big part of the Hexproof deck, and actually improves it a bit. I think it could spike above the $6 it is now, but probably won’t stay that high. Post-rotation, I’m not sure if there are enough pieces for the deck to survive, and this could tank pretty hard if not.

Sorry, I was too excited the first time, and had to take a step back.

Let’s try again.

MERF…

In case you didn’t know, I love Merfolk. I’ve won several thousand dollars playing the deck and I’m currently trying to foil mine out.

So about our newest two-drop. I think he’s insane in the Modern builds and significantly less exciting in Legacy. At $3 I actually think there’s a little upside, though perhaps not much if he doesn’t also catch on in Standard.

This will likely never be bulk, though. Even Coralhelm Commander, which has been cut from many Fish builds, is still worth several dollars, and this will fall in the same vein.

Casual Cards

I wanted to talk about all these at once. Some people are decrying the casual reprints Wizards seems to be doing regularly these days, but I’m not quite so gloom-and-doom. Sure it sucks that these formerly-valuable cards are worth less now, but it also means you can find more of them in binders now.

These will tank, but casual players will still want them. Just wait two months or so for them to bottom out, then begin stocking up again, same as you should be doing with Akroma's Memorial and the like from last year.

Until Later

Anyway, that about covers us for this week. Let me know what you think in the comments, and enjoy your prerelease this weekend!

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter

11 thoughts on “Insider: M14 Prerelease Primer

  1. Great Analysis. I actually like how straight to the point you went with it. The only thing I’d point out is this statement “This will surely see a fair amount of play. I think it could drop to $10 or so in the next two months”…you can buy Scavenging Ooze on ebay for around $10 already…so he could very well drop slightly below that (if a lot of M14 is opened)…if not I agree that in the $8-11 range he’s a great pickup…the fact that he hoses Melira pod in modern is pretty solid too.

  2. Bant enchantments also picked up gladecover scout. so while it will hurt a lot losing geist and invisible stalker, it also picked a faster hex proof creature and solid 3 drop. if it still runs blue it also has ascended law mage. It has a decent shot at still being a viable deck, if the speed of gladecover makes up for not having geist.

  3. Enjoyed the article. Suggestion: Before or after the picture of the card, could you type out the name? One of the images is busted and I have no idea what card it is that you’re talking about. Keep up the good work. – DesperateRaving

  4. trying to make a cube taught me that a lot of good aggro cards can be and will be co opted by control strategies. see: imposing sovereign. @3 you just wait or trade. it it affected by prerelease like everything but reprints.

    for Mutavault and Scavaging Ooze the question is what plays these today, what wants to but had been restricted by legality/ availability. Scavaging Ooze will likely end up in an event deck. like thragtusk. 20$ target imo

      1. That’s an interesting thought….look at lingering souls, it was an all star for the entire rotation and wizards jamed it into as many event decks as they could. it certainly seems like they are trying to make the desirable cards as available as possible. If it does see an event deck printing would you still pick them?

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