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Insider: Born of the Gods Prerelease Primer

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It’s that time again! Prerelease is upon us, and I think it’s a safe bet some new readers of this column don’t know how I do these. So before we go any farther, here’s the usual spiel.

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.

Caveats

We’ve got a ton of new readers here on QS lately, and that’s great. It means more opinions in the forums and more collaboration in general. It also means that, as writers, we have to keep our game up because some readers may never have read anything I’ve written before.

In light of this, I feel like I should make a point that I’ve made elsewhere but not necessarily in a while. Here goes.

Do not blindly trust me.

I’ve been doing this for a while. I’ve been a weekly columnist for more than three years and I’m highly active in the community. I’ve been responsible for some of the best called shots on here, from Stoneforge Mystic to Huntmaster of the Fells to Boros Reckoner. I like to think I’m pretty decent at this speculating game.

I take accountability very seriously. When I first began writing, back in the Wild West days of MTG finance, so to speak, no one was accountable to their articles. There’d be a ton of “I hope you took my advice on this card, it went up two dollars!” while never mentioning the $20 card they told you to buy into that dropped to $15.

So I started set reviews, and more importantly, looking back on those set reviews and grading myself, as I will do with Theros next week.

And guess what? I’m wrong, too. Everyone is. No one can bat 1.000, and in baseball you’re a pro if you’re successful one out of three times.

So don’t take my advice just because it’s my advice. Consider my reasoning on cards, take it into account along with what other people are saying--and at the end of the day make your own decision.

The Cards

I’ll be using SCG preorder prices for this, and my predictions about where cards will settle is also SCG-based four or so months down the road.

Astral Cornucopia

$2 now, and that’s probably correct long-term. I know the idea is that this is “kind of” like Chromatic Lantern, but I’m pretty sure it’s just worse. It matches up poorly with all the other effects like this in Commander, so I don’t really see this taking off, even long-term.

Courser of Kruphix

This card’s abilities are actually pretty cool, and certainly powerful. That said, I don’t think it makes the cut right now, so the $4 preorder is too much for a few months down the line. But if it does make some moves early I could see it going up before it comes down.

Keep an eye on this one in Block, though. If it does see some Block play, it feels like the kind of card with just enough upside across the board to appear in Standard next season. That said, while I like the card I’m not suggesting going deep on them right now.

Eidolon of Countless Battles

So here's the deal with this card: It’s an archetype pick, and one that needs a critical mass of similar effects to work. Stuff this in a theoretical deck full of bestow guys, and it’s powerful. But unless you have enough of those you’re just going to end up with a 2/2 or 3/3.

But with another set of bestow cards coming out in a few months, this is one to keep you eye on when it falls from its current $3 to dollar-rare status. If the right (cheap) bestow creatures come along before the end of the block, there could be enough pieces to make such a deck work.

Fate Unraveler

I’m pretty sure $1 is just wrong. This card won’t do anything in Standard, but it has to be a Nekusaar staple in Commander. Love trading for these this weekend.

Even if the card stays at a dollar or whatever for the next few months, I have a feeling this will trade out well to the casual crowd and randomly pop up on buylists for more than you expect.

Fated Intervention

I also like picking this up at a dollar in trade this weekend. The card is certainly not absurd or anything like that, but my interest in it is this: Green has a lot of flash effects right now. Boon Satyr on three, Advent of four, this one on five--that’s a lot of instant-speed creatures.

What goes well with instant-speed creatures? Blue cards. Counterspells and Prophet of Kruphix. I have no idea if something like this is or could be viable, but only one piece of the puzzle rotates out in October, and when it does you can actually cut the white from this theoretical deck.

This is probably kind of a long shot, and I doubt this would be a four-of so its price wouldn’t go crazy anyway, but I think it’s worth keeping an eye on and grabbing some as dollar-rares this weekend.

Fated Retribution

This will likely see some Standard play, but probably very little. It’s going to be a Commander all-star, though, so I really like picking up foils over the next few months when they seem to bottom out. Same for Fated Return.

Herald of Torment

My pick for the most underpriced card of the set at $1.50. This thing destroys Nightveil Specter in combat, and while you don’t get to randomly steal cards like you can with Specter you do randomly get to bestow it on something for the blowout. But I think there’s no way Mono-Black (which is getting even more tools this set) won’t adopt this card.

The most powerful Standard deck gets a new card, and it costs a buck fifty? Sign me up. That said, the Modern Pro Tour is going to steal some of the spotlight, so the upside probably isn’t quite that high. But this will see $5 if I’m right.

Pain Seer

Most overpriced card of the set. It’s not bad, but it’s not Dark Confidant and it’s not $12 good.

Perplexing Chimera

I don’t think this is bulk, which is where SCG has this now. It seems like a sweet Commander card, so look for foils, etc.

Spirit of the Labyrinth

This is the real deal in Legacy, although the $7 pricetag feels a bit high. Once this set has been drafted for a bit, it’s probably like a $3-5 card, much like Thalia.

Temples

$4-5 sounds about right. I like the U/W ones most for the “post-rotation spike” since U/W seems to be much more common in successful Standard decks than R/B or G/W.

Brimaz, King of Oreskos

This guy is super powerful, and I wouldn’t even be surprised to see him in Modern. I know people (Jason in particular) like to bring up Voice of Resurgence and say this will be $30+, but I’m not buying it.

The theory is this. Voice was the only good card in a bad set, so it has to carry more value to make up for the lack elsewhere. It’s a sound theory, I just don’t think it quite applies here, mainly because Dragon’s Maze was opened for less time than Born of the Gods will be, and we were all ready to jump into Modern Masters right after DGM came out, so we didn’t mess around with it for long.

Gods

In short, I think they’re all overpriced right now. Ephara is $10 and needs a lot of work to find a deck she fits in. She’s powerful, but I think she’ll fall before she rises, if she does.

Karametra and Phenax are just casual cards, and will drop hard before rising steadily over time with what I’m terming the “Eldrazi effect.” They’re big, flashy, fun Commander cards that are unique, but I don’t see either of these getting a ton of Standard play.

Mogis and Xenagos are both very good, sitting at $20 and $25 respectively. Considering how much play Thassa sees and where it sits, I have a hard time seeing either of these stay over $20. I imagine Mogis will end up $10-15ish and Xenagos $15-18ish.

Both aren’t the worst trade targets this weekend just to have them for the bustle of the first few weeks, but I don’t think they'll cost more in a few months than they do now.

Kiora, the Crashing Wave

Finally, my merfolk planeswalker!

Unfortunately, she sucks. Fun abilities, good in Legacy Lands or Standard Maze’s End and decent in Commander, but unlikely to make enough of an impact in any of those to make her $25 pricetag sustainable. $10 is in the future for this wavewalker.

Questions/Comments

What do you think? Anything I missed or you think I got totally wrong? Let me know!

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter

11 thoughts on “Insider: Born of the Gods Prerelease Primer

  1. I think you’re analysis is dead on Corbin. The only statement I wanted to bring up was that Astral Cornocopia is NOWHERE near as good as Chromatic Lantern (which turns all your lands into rainbow lands)…Cornocopia is just Everflowing Chalice with multikicker 3 that allows you to tap for colored mana….dumping 3 mana to get 1 of any color puts it on par with darksteel ingot (except it’s not indestructible) dumping 6 mana gets you 2 of any one color…making it worse than gilded lotus…9 mana puts it on par with gilded lotus. The only decks I can see really enjoying/abusing this card…are ones that use a lot of proliferate affects.

    1. Yup, my thoughts as well. It’s just not an all-star in Commander, and the price is going to reflect that. Compare to lantern, which is already moving up from where you’d “expect” it to be.

    1. I agree, in a bant shell, Verdict then this forces means the opponent needs to drop multiple threats (and possibly overextend in another Verdict or D Sphere) or draw into a removal spell or they’ll eventually end up dead to Kraken tokens.

      Also, disagree on Herald seeing play in mono-B. The extra point of power and the ability to kill opposing Specters is not better than the extra point of devotion and potential card advantage that Specter provides and at 5 mana, I would rather just cast Gary instead of bestowing this. You likely won’t be able to run both, as spots in the deck are tight enough as is.

      1. I mean, how is that different from Verdict into anything else that Esper already has, like Jace? I don’t think the Planeswalker is complete jank or Ral Zarek here, but I do think it’s coming down in price when I look back at this set three months from now. Unless Maze’s End is just insane or whatever.

        I’ll say this, if you do think Bant is the way to go, I believe something like Zegana could be poised to benefit.

    1. Yeah, that’s true, but is that actually powerful enough to really do anything in Standard right now? If so, I’m looking at Zegana as a beneficiary, but I have a hard time believing that’s good enough to make it right now.

  2. I agree on the whole with your analysis. However, there are some possible upsides to Cornucopia that might make it better in EDH than you give it credit for:

    (1) It scales. While 6 is a lot for something that taps for 2, it’s still not unreasonable in EDH. I see it having a home in artifact decks that run a lot of mana rocks that tap for multiple colorless.

    (2) CMC = 0. This is the only mana rock that taps for any color and doesn’t have “Mox” in it’s name. This makes it a relevant Trinket Mage/Artificer’s Intuition target.

    (3) It uses charge counters. This means it interacts with Gilder Bairn, proliferate, Vorel, and other counter-manipulation cards.

    1. It’s really up to you, because I think they’re going to be about the same price in three months. If you are someone who does well having these sort of things in your binder, I think you’re safe picking them up. If you don’t want lands, you’re safe trading them away. It’s really up to you, and I doubt there will be much movement on any of them (besides *maybe* up for the UW one).

  3. I’ve been testing on magic league with BIG for about a week now and I have played against so many Courser decks. From jund to bant to G/W or U/G.

    I definitely feel like that card will be seeing an 8-10 dollar mark.

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