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.
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.
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.
$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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most overpriced card of the set. It’s not bad, but it’s not Dark Confidant and it’s not $12 good.
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.
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.
$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.
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.
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.
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.
What do you think? Anything I missed or you think I got totally wrong? Let me know!
Thanks for reading,
@Chosler88 on Twitter