It’s that time again. Time for the set review! If you’re not familiar, this is both a financial review of the set but also my trading plans for the prerelease itself, which doesn’t always align where I expect cards to settle three months down the road.
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 next Friday at GatheringMagic.com. We usually do the set reviews the week before the prerelease, but this week we were lucky enough to have Director of Magic R&D Aaron Forsythe as our guest on the cast, so we pushed off the set review a week.
In League of Legends parlance: Worth.
With that said, I want to take a moment for a brief aside. 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 people reading this have maybe never read a single thing I’ve written before.
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 // Ravager 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 in 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 did with Born of the Gods last 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 think we all know $30 is overpriced, but where will this settle? I think it does actually have some Standard applications, simply because it tops out an aggressive or midrange deck and provides great value with both +1s. The Gain 100 life is more cute than good, but it sure is fun.
Keeping in mind that everything here is a third-set card and won’t be drafted very long, I think $15 is pretty reasonable in a few months.
At $15, this has to be the most overpriced card in the set. It’s cool flavor and cool abilities, but it’s not very good. Basically we’re looking at a souped-up Whispersilk Cloak here, except they can choose to block when they need to. $5 mythic.
All are good, and all are overpriced for now. I expect all the gods to follow an Eldrazi-type route, where they languish a little in Standard pricewise but perform strongly in the following years thanks to casual appeal.
And damn, are these sweet for Commander. (Almost) all of them. Wait for Journey to reach the end of its drafting cycle, then stock up hard on these, particularly foils. The black-white god, Athreos, is especially good in Standard, but it’s not $30 good. I don’t want to predict a floor for each individually right now, but I know that as soon as they start to level out in price I’m moving on these.
It’s a Mindslaver, people. Nowhere near as good as the card it’s modeled on, of course, but good in Commander nonetheless. This will plummet from the already-low $2 and I’ll be picking them up, especially foils.
It seems there’s more cycles to generalize around than usual, but all the Dictates (maybe less so the Anthem) are nuts in Commander. They took staple Commander effects and threw them onto colors. Giving them flash is sweet value, and I particularly like the green, black and blue ones for Commander.
It’s interesting how Commander seems to drive so much these days, but it’s true. These are all awesome in the format, and the foils especially will go high since this is a third set and all. When these bottom out two months after release, that’s your window.
Interesting card here, and one I think maybe most deserving of the prerelease price. We have a land that can go into a variety of decks in a variety of formats, and comes from a third set. The immediate comparison is Cavern of Souls, except Cavern was actually opened more than this will be.
So is $20 right? I think it will probably see time at $12-15 in Standard, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it’s $20 again 18 months from now. Commander. Standard. Modern. Cube. Maybe Legacy. That’s a lot of formats where this can go.
The one thing to worry about is that with a generic name like Mana Confluence it could be reprinted often, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen. So be wary of that.
Yeah, this card is actually pretty good, if only because of context. Of course giving your opponent cards in a vacuum is bad, but the mono-black Aggro decks have been tearing up Magic Online in Block, and I’m sure they’ll be looking at these. At $4 I don’t hate trading for them.
With a Block Pro Tour coming up, we could see big movement on something like this or Herald of Torment or Pain Seer. This is something I’m sure I’ll revisit as we approach the Pro Tour, but worst-case scenario getting into these at $4 you get out at $2 a month from now.
This does a lot to help the G/B Dredge deck, along with Mana Confluence. I’ve been going on the forums about Nighthowler and Shadowborn Demon, and both have shown movement. I’m not sure how long you have left to get in on these, but if the deck breaks out this Temple will have a part in it. That said, $6 is probably about right.
This is the Temple to pick up this weekend at $6. Not only does it help, along with Keranos, to push the UWR Control decks, but this is pretty much an auto-include in the Blue-Red Combo decks in Modern. Huge fan of this one, even more so if it drops low a month or two after it releases.
These two Temples will be opened less than any of the others, and that bodes really well for Epiphany especially in the future.
Despite a ton of printings, Oblivion Ring was a solid quarter on buylists for a long time. Now we have the replacement, and it’s only been printed once (so far). I know it will be printed regularly, but I also know this is a really solid throw-in this weekend.
I’m looking forward to the prerelease, and I hope you are as well!
Thanks for reading,
@Chosler88 on Twitter
P.S. I just wanted to call attention to Coopes, one of our members. He's having a birthday, and celebrating by giving away free stuff to the rest of us! I'm a fan of The Hobbit too, but I will admit I haven't gone as far as he has. +1 if you get the reference 🙂 Anyway, make sure to wish him a happy birthday on the thread here!