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With the new (very) quickly on the way, it’s time to go back and look over my predictions for Fate Reforged!
I’ll be back next week with my prerelease primer for Dragons of Tarkir, but first we have the matter of looking back at Fate. It was a set that did a lot more than people may have originally thought, and Standard has been fresh nearly every week since it was released. The short turnaround between that and Dragons certainly helps in that regard, but either way I think we can say that the set was a success.
The real question, though: was I as successful in my predictions?
“I want to talk about the rare cycle of dragons first. I like them a lot as your typical super long-term dragon gainer. That said, I don’t like any of them for Standard outside of maybe Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury and Silumgar, the Drifting Death. Kolaghan could easily top out some aggressive decks, and Silumgar is actually super relevant given all the tokens in Standard these days.
That said, I don’t see much medium-term upside for either from the $2-3 they’re at now. Maybe we see one do well early and move to $5 or so, but outside of trading for them this weekend there’s not much more to suggest.”
Now: Both of the ones I mentioned are a dollar or lower as we thought, and despite a little play for Silumgar there’s been no money to be made. I don’t see that changing for several months at least.
Crux of Fate
“This is not the cure-all that people have envisioned for U/B Control. It’s not just Wraths that the deck needs, it’s board control in general. And as it stands now Perilous Vault actually does a better, albeit more expensive, job of cleaning up planeswalkers.
So is the $2.50 price correct? I mean, in the past we’ve seen Wrath variants float at $4-5. That said, this isn’t likely a four-of, so $2-3 seems correct.”
Now: There was maybe a little money to be made here. The card “spiked” from $3 to $6, thought I don’t think there was exactly a lot of money to be made there. It sits at $4 today, in the ballpark we expected. Moving forward, I can see this hanging out at the $4-5 mark, but that’s probably it. There’s a lot of wrathing options available in Standard right now at five mana.
“I actually like this quite a bit at $3 this weekend. People are having fun brewing with it sure, but the more important thing to remember is that it’s simply a 4/4 for two mana a lot of the time. Sylvan Caryatid has hexproof and can die easily enough, giving this guy both hexproof and whatever else you have to fill up your graveyard.
Given your typical “dredge” deck, this guy seems like good value. A fine pickup at $3. I expect it to be extremely popular early at least, so even if it doesn’t go wild in price I suspect it will move easily.”
Now: Looks like I was wrong on this one, as it’s fallen to a dollar and hung there. At the time, Sidisi decks were all the rage, and this seemed to fit in very well in those shells. The format has moved on since then, and Soulflayer hasn’t fit in.
I blame Conley Woods for not breaking this.
“I actually like this as a card, a little more than most people seem to. It fits in a lot of builds, from the super aggressive red decks to, as Conley suggested on the podcast, Red Devotion.
That said, at $5 I can’t recommend a buy. Even if it shows up as a four-of in some cool list in the next week, it probably only goes to like $8, again making the buy-in okay but not super attractive.
That said, I don’t mind trading for some of these this weekend. There’s nothing wrong with moving a big mythic from Fate Reforged for a bunch of these smaller cards that actually have some upside.”
Now: It hung around at $5 for awhile, but has fallen to $2. It’s seen a little play but not a ton. Moving forward I think this will probably end up not being good enough. We’re quickly losing the “devotion window” and after that we’ll need to see a strong RDW pop up to make use of this. It may be a good pickup if it falls to a dollar since it could still be $4-5 a year from now if we get a strong RDW, but I’d wait for it to fall lower.
“I find Temporal Mastery to be the closest analogue, and that card hung around $7-10 in Standard. That said, it was from a third set (even though a 3x one), while this isn’t. It seems okay in older formats but nothing truly game-breaking, since I don’t see you casting this before turn 4-5, about when you’re casting all your other Time Warps anyway.
$4-5, where it stands now, seems like the medium-term price, and once it bottoms out it becomes a solid pickup for long-term Commander purposes.”
Now: This has fallen exactly as I thought it would, and we’re nearing that point where it’s a good pickup. It’s sitting under $2 now and seems to be flatlining there. I think this can fall to a dollar, and it’s at that point I want to start hoarding for the long-term.
“Now this I’m truly excited about. The reason I think it’s so good? It’s great on both an empty board and a full one.
On an empty board you can play it and immediately start generating an army. And on a full board you can play and have some built-in sweeper protection. Not to mention that those 2/2s you’re generating actually provide way more value than that.
Of course, the one problem this has is that it doesn’t currently have a deck where it easily slots into. I get that, and that may hold it back for the next six months. That said, I’m confident the power level is high enough that, in addition to trading for these at $5-6 this weekend, I’ll for sure be buying in if this gains no traction and bottoms out in the coming months.”
Now: $14. Really glad I nailed this one. The card hit $5-6 and has done exactly what I thought since then. It’s strong enough that a deck filled in around it, and we saw that coming. I made some money on this one, and I hope you did too.
Monastery Mentor & Soulfire Grand Master
“Grouping these together because both are sweet cards, and Grand Master at least passes the mythic test. That said, at $30 and $20 respectively, there is no upside, and both will end up closer to $12-15 in six months.”
Now: $22 and $13 respectively, performing exactly how I thought. We have another three months for Mentor to join Soulfire on the lower tier, and I still like my six-month call here.
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
“Obviously high at $30, but I’m super interested in this card once the price settles. Karn hit $10 in Standard, and though I suspected it was a great long-term play, I didn’t expect it to be $50 good.
Ugin will follow a similar trajectory to Karn, even though I doubt he’ll reach the same numbers. The play on this is, for now, to wait. This will eventually bottom out, it will be clearly identifiable by graph, and we’ll have our window to move.
For what it’s worth, I could see this guy playing nicely with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, which could see an uptick given that we are again filling out the format with creatures that help devotion. Those strategies are at their best with the most cards in the format, after all, and Ugin is a pretty sweet thing to ramp to.
I also thing it could find a home in some Tron lists. It’s not the turn 3 godplay Karn is, but this wraths the board quite effectively once you have eight mana, and unlike Oblivion Stone it sticks around afterward.”
Now: Guess I was pretty wrong here. The price on this hasn’t budged at all, and even though I judged its playability correctly the price hasn’t cooperated.
I don’t think this can hold $30+, though, almost no planeswalker has. Not to mention I could easily see an “Ugin vs. X planeswalker” in the future. Either way, I think the price is steady around $30 for a few more months at least before it moves.
There you go. I think I did pretty well on this set, and nailing Whisperwood Elemental made some decent money, even if we lost some of the other picks. Not a perfect set review, but not one I’m disappointed with either.
What about you guys? Anything you thought was going to take off that never quite got there?
Thanks for reading,
@Chosler88 on Twitter
5 thoughts on “Insider: Reforging the Fates”
You were wrong about everything.
Like when I suggested to trade into Whisperwood elemental at five dollars? My predictions are generally based around a 3 to 6 month timeframe, and given a normal schedule I wouldn’t be writing about these for another month or so. I didn’t realize the abbreviated time table when I did the set review.
It was far from my strongest set review, but I was certainly not “wrong about everything.”
Some of these card prices are hovering a little higher than I thought they would be, specifically Ugin, Soulfire Grand Master, and Monastery Mentor. They are good but don’t seem as good as their price. We may be seeing a bit of the under-opened set effect here.
Fates had a lot of strikeouts but the real test is how the cards match up with the next blocks.
There is no chance Flamwake Phoenix will be $4-5 in a year from now as it would have just rotated out of standard…..