Insider: Speculating on Dragons of Tarkir

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Apparently someone screwed up. Allegedly.

"Leaks" are so common these days that it's hard to really believe that they're actually unintentional, but that doesn't mean we can't take advantage of the news and adjust our investments accordingly.

This week's article was "accidentally" released on the Spanish version of the Wizards site, and there's apparently another new iteration of morph. While this is interesting, I'm not sure there's any real speculating to be done in relation to it. Morph is an extremely clunky mechanic so there is really very little likelihood that the mechanic is relevant outside of draft.

I don't think any of us need to worry about Trail of Mystery being a thing.

There Will be Dragons

The obvious place to start is with the dragons. It's a pretty safe assumption that we'll be seeing a larger than average number of dragons than the average set, and, I imagine, a larger number than we saw in Fate Reforged.

The likelihood that these dragons are all tournament viable is probably on the low end of the spectrum, but there's a good chance we see as many as five dragons on the power level of Stormbreath Dragon or Thundermaw Hellkite. At the very least, we can expect a new dragon in each of the five allied color pairings.

Crux of Fate is likely to become even more relevant than it currently is. Blue/black control decks are already better positioned that the blue/white versions and another playable dragon to go along with Silumgar, the Drifting Death could push "blow up non-dragons" over the top.

As Dragons is released, Fate Reforged is going to be opened less and less, resulting in a reduced supply of Crux.

So how much money can we make? That depends when you decide to buy in. Historically there hasn't been a Standard legal "wrath" effect worth more than $10 in at least seven years.

Crux is already starting to begin it's post release slump, so picking this up when it bottoms out is going to give you the most bang for your buck. But that window is going to be extremely brief with Dragons being just over a month away.


Commander has long been a refuge for the most casual of players, and the desire to play a "dragon deck" is pretty much the reason the format was created in the first place. While there would have to be something fairly amazing for Crucible of the Spirit Dragon to become anything other than bulk, there are a few cards that have historically been associated with dragon shenanigans in Commander.

I think you missed your chance on this one. As soon as Dragons of Tarkir was announced, Scion of the Ur-Dragon's price went through the roof.

Scion Graph

Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund has seen a decent increase since Dragons was announced, but having only gone up $3 (30%) vs Scion's $14 increase (800%), there's still room to grow. Karrthus has long been a great way to punish dragon players while simultaneously creating a powerful dragon-centric Commander for those players that don't necessarily want to go into all five colors.

[cardimage cardname="Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund"] [cardimage cardname="Dragonspeaker Shaman"]

Dragonspeaker Shaman has been pretty stable since around the release of Journey into Nyx. This Scourge card has long been one of the best ways to keep your dragons cheap in Commander and is an obvious inclusion in any dragon deck that includes red. As this card hasn't yet been touched by speculators, there's still time to get in on these.

Crucible of Fire is another card that's probably going to see a lot of... just kidding. This card is still garbage.

Kaalia of the Vast is a card that only gets more and more powerful every time a new dragon, angel, or demon gets printed. Kaalia is already a safe bet due to her immense popularity and low likelihood of reprinting.

The other thing we have on the horizon is Magic Origins featuring Liliana, a planeswalker that sold her soul to a minor pantheon of powerful demons. We've already met Disciple of Griselbrand, but the likelihood of her origin story featuring another legendary demon is pretty good. And if we're lucky, it might even stay legal in Commander.

Digging through Magic's history, there are a few other dragon related cards that soar a bit above the rest:

Any of these have a chance to move a bit as dragons experience a spike in popularity, but I probably wouldn't go too crazy buying these up.

Real Estate

There's been a lot of speculation as to whether or not we'll see the Zendikar fetches reprinted in Dragons of Tarkir. There are a number of factors that impact the likelihood of seeing this happen:

  • Mark Rosewater has stated that R&D doesn't want "incomplete cycles" of mana fixing in Standard going forward because they want to keep all color combinations equal.
  • There's a yet-unexplained reason why the Clans from Khans of Tarkir have two allied colors and one enemy color.
  • Wizards of the Coast is running a business and reprinting Zendikar fetches next year all but ensures that they're able to guarantee annual sales growth with very little effort.
  • The flavor text of the Khans fetches hints at the topography changing to the something more akin to the Zendikar fetches.
  • Finishing out the cycle of two color dragons would coincide with the fetchland colors.
  • There hasn't been any "leaks" that these are being reprinted like there was with the Onslaught fetches.

So there's a lot of things going on that collectively point to no clear answers. The reality of the situation is that if you're still holding on to a pile of Zendikar fetches, you're insane.

It's not an "if" but a "when" at this point, so why would you hold on to a ticking time bomb?

On the reverse side, now is not the time to be buying in to fetchlands hoping for another price spike. If you need these cards for a deck, by all means, acquire them. But there is simply no reason to speculate on them in the foreseeable future.

What about short-selling the fetchlands you have? That's really up to you.

You're almost guaranteed to see a reprint of these cards within the next 18 months and that reprint will all but destroy the value of any Zendikar fetches that you're holding on to. For me, I've carried all of the Zendikar fetches I own since they were Standard legal, so even if they tank, I'm still not "out" anything because these are first and foremost "play" cards for me, not an investment.

If you're still holding on to "investment" fetches from Zendikar, it might be a good time to divest.


Then there's this little pin that will be showing up at the upcoming PAX convention.

Speculation has run rampant as to what exactly this symbolizes, with many saying  it clearly shows Sarkhan as the first five-color planeswalker. While the red, blue, and green are all readily apparent, there's been little in the storyline to hint that Sarkhan would become a member of the Temur. And I wouldn't expect him to go shirtless in their snowy region.

So what would the first five-color planeswalker mean for magic finance? Honestly, probably not a lot, but it would sure be sweet.

2 thoughts on “Insider: Speculating on Dragons of Tarkir

  1. What do you expect to be the floor on Crux of Fate? What do you think the ceiling is? $10? Its good in EDH but I doubt its good enough in Modern.

    1. As a playable wrath I think the floor on Crux is 2 or $3, the absolute ceiling is $10 … no wrath has gone past that price point while in Standard that I’ve ever seen … but there is a lot of room for it to move between $3-7 depending on what we see in Dragons.

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