Spoiler season is almost over for Born of the Gods (BNG) as we get the full list on Sunday night. A few spoiled cards already have peaked my interest and are worth talking about.
Hands down the most splashy spoiler yet, Brimaz, King of Oreskos looks set to be included in any white-based deck, either in Block or Standard, for the foreseeable future.
Lately I've been tinkering around with Death and Taxes in Legacy and slotting Brimaz into the deck instead of Mirran Crusader seems worth testing. Mirran Crusader does well against Tarmogoyf, but can't get by True-Name Nemesis. At least with four toughness, Brimaz can swing into the fearsome 3cc merfolk, generating a 1/1 token in the process.
As for Modern, some fringe black-white token builds have had success. Those decks often feature Hero of Bladehold at the top of the curve. Brimaz fits right into the strategy and tightens up the curve considerably. I'll be keen to see this card's impact in the various constructed formats.
Note that PT Valencia will feature Modern Constructed, so if there's a hint that Brimaz is making a splash there, this card will skyrocket in the short term. Another potential target to consider when looking at a token archetype is Windbrisk Heights.
Mogis and Xenagos
The gods of BNG, with a devotion requirement of seven, look like they will rarely get turned on as a creature. Xenagos, God of Revels will at least be tried in Standard, and seems to fit naturally into the Block R/G decks which have already been a force in that format.
However, a 5cc Fires of Yavimaya effect seems costly. The hype on this card might push the price too high for it to be worthwhile to speculate on in the short run.
On the other hand, Mogis, God of Slaughter might see more play, possibly even in Modern. This card is a quasi-hybrid of Magus of the Abyss and Sulfuric Vortex, both of which are powerful in their own right. A 4cc, indestructible Sulfuric Vortex might be playable in Modern, even without the clause that prevents life gain.
Swinging into the red zone with this card might be a fanciful thought, but not out of the question if red-based decks bend towards permanents and away from burn. I'll be keeping my eyes on this one, and doing a little brewing of my own with it.
There's a growing density of spoiled creatures with heroic that could eventually tip over into a deck. At the very least it looks like Theros (THS) Block Constructed should feature a deck built around the heroic mechanic.
With that in mind, cards like Fabled Hero should be kept an eye on. Previously I've liked buying this card for 0.15 tix or less, but I might bump up that threshold.
It might turn out that heroic never makes the cut in Standard, but WoTC has made mistakes in the past with linear mechanics. At the very least it looks like they are pushing these cards to be fringe playable so that someone can have fun at Friday Night Magic.
For the moment, don't get too excited about any of the heroic cards in BNG. It will probably take the full block for a good enough deck to assemble. Do keep tabs on the cards like Hero of Leina Tower. If this card got down to junk rare prices, I wouldn't hesitate to start building a stash of them, just in case heroic turns out to be a decent deck.
I feel like I would be remiss not to mention the current flashback draft format and its effect on the MTGO market.
When I logged onto MTGO last night, the combination of Swiss and 8-4 ZZW queues was the most popular draft format from 6 pm to 9 pm EST. This morning, there was still a healthy amount of queues firing from 4 am to 7 am EST, almost equaling the amount of THS queues fired over that same time period.
This is a popular draft format that's fast and fun, and the effect on the market has been apparent in the lower prices we've seen on fetchlands. The falling price on these cards is a good opportunity for speculators.
It's safe to say that drafting will peak in popularity on the weekend when more people have free time to play MTGO. This should coincide roughly with the price bottom on these cards, so get your tix ready for Saturday and Sunday.
Modern continues to grow in popularity and the PTQ season is on the horizon. PTQs are even set to return to MTGO. Don't miss out on this opportunity--at the very least consider picking up your play set if you haven't already done so.