There was a recent post on /r/mtgfinance in which the poster asked "Is Dismember Worth More than $1.50"? Though the original poster offered rather little in the way of discussion, reddit user and QS reader MultipleMatrix came up with a pretty strong case arguing in favor of Dismember's upside. The post is below, edited and formatted for better readability. Thanks a ton to MultipleMatrix for such a thorough analysis! For reference:
Compare Dismember to two cards.
Both cost 1CMC (with the option of Dismember costing 1-3 at your discretion)
Both cards remove Phyrexian Obliterator and indestructible creatures with no trouble.
Path to Exile requires one to be playing white somewhere in the mana base, while Dismember does not care what mana you use to pay it as long as you have life. That means it's removal for green, red, blue, decks as well as black. It breaks the color pie for any color and gives modern non-black decks effective removal.
Path to Exile gives your opponent a basic. It could help ramp them, but often they may not even have a basic to play so it's a tiny downside. Dismember costs 2 life for each non-black mana you use.
Path to Exile has been reprinted in a variety of sets. Dismember has also been reprinted a couple of times. However, because of the mechanics of Phyrexian mana those reprints all occurred within block and are unlikely to happen again.
No initial cost, can play while tapped out requires the use of black mana, meaning decks need to be part black.
Can auto-lose you the game in sanctioned events if some weird interaction occurs or you simply forget to pay. (It's happened before to professional players)
Only playable on turn 3 or later.
Only hits non-black creatures and modern is filled with black decks.
As the format grows, more colors will start seeing their time in the sun and a strictly colorless removal spell will be necessary.
Given these reasons, I'd say Dismember could plateau somewhere between Slaughter Pact and Path to Exile.
Well, I'm convinced. I'm not sure it's got any a basis for an immediate spike (it really doesn't) but I can see it being one of "those" uncommons that slowly creep up over time. Until you fish one out of a bulk box and ask yourself, "when the hell did Dismember become a $5 card"?
What do you think? Agree? Disagree?