In the last part of my series, I highlighted a couple of cards of interest and provided my first overall impression of the set. This section will be much more in depth--I took the liberty to break down the entire set into a tiered list, focusing on the mythic rares. Now a few of these cards I may be a little biased on, but still feel that they will end up being the most viable investment opportunities in the set.
The methodology of breaking down the cards into a tiered list makes it easier for me to look at what will hold the majority of the value in the set. I will most likely use this methodology going forward in evaluating future sets. I also wanted to do it this way because I don't feel like attaching a future value to any of these cards. I feel like that method is a little inefficient and doesn't take into account future printings that could potentially make these cards better.
So I wouldn't want to attach a low value to a card that's potentially powerful like I have in the past. The truth is while a card may look terrible right now, we don't know the future and how this card could interact with future cards. So as an avid player of fighting games this method makes most sense to me, since it also allows for cards to move around in the tiered list which undoubtedly will happen as time goes on. Which happens all the time in many of the fighting games in their life cycles.
This is my explanation for each tier in the list:
- Top Tier is reserved for the cards that will most likely hold the majority of the value in the set. Or most commonly known as the “chase cards”.
- Middle Tier is reserved for the cards that aren't necessarily bad but may be overshadowed at this current point. These could easily jump to top tier in the future, or vise versa.
- Low Tier is reserved for the cards that will most likely be near bulk. Like Middle Tier these cards could easily jump up to higher tiers but the road traveled will most likely be harder. Again, I don't think these cards are necessarily bad but my analysis is that these will be the cheapest cards in the set.
Liliana, Heretical Healer
Nissa, Vastwood Seer
**Just Above Mid-Tier** (Added because of the flip-walkers)
Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
Kytheon, Hero of Akros
Harbinger of the Tides
Herald of the Pantheon
Knight of the White Orchid
Despoiler of Souls
Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen
Helm of the Gods
Hixus, Prison Warden
Kothophed, Soul Hoarder
Orbs of Warding
Pia and Kiran Nalaar
Priest of the Blood Rite
Sigil of the Empty Throne
Sword of the Animist
Talent of the Telepath
Thopter Spy Network
So now that you have the entire list I wanted to discuss these cards individually and and why I decided to place them in each individual tier. Let's start with the mythics, shall we?
Top Tier Mythics
Nissa, Vastwood Seer will most likely be the best card in the set. Now, I could well be completely biased in my analysis and have already been transparent about being invested in this card.
As I've mentioned in my previous Origins investment article I feel like this card will have the highest impact on the current metagame. Now having the full set in front of me I feel more confident in my assessment. It seems that pro players are in agreement that this card could be included in multiple archetypes.
Well I don't think this will carry over to different formats, being popular in Standard is more than enough to buoy a high price tag. Not to mention when evaluating this side by side with most of the other cards in the set, it's not hard for me to want to favor Nissa.
Nissa's pre-order prices have fluctuated a fair amount during the pre-order period, and for almost the entire time she's been sold out on the biggest platform, Star City Games. Green-based strategies are just too popular in Standard to ignore the fact that Nissa will bring a lot to the table. At first glance the EV of the set looks rather normal but if this card is extremely popular in the coming months, it’s probable we see an increase from the price tag it’s currently set at, with the other cards undoubtedly losing value.
Pre-order Price: 25$
Liliana, Heretical Healer
Since this card has been spoiled for a long while before the set, there’s not much else I can really say about it. Other than the fact that I think it’s tied for best of the flip-walkers. It also has the best outside shot of being played in Modern, which none of the other flip walkers I think could boast. I found this to be one of the easier cards to evaluate in the set.
Pre-order price: 19$
**Just Above Mid-Tier**
I decided to add this tier only for the purposes of the flip walkers in this set. It occurred to me that I probably shouldn’t lump these in with the rest of the cards, simply because they're novel and never-before-seen card types. Jace, Kytheon, and Chandra should be respected in that regard. Even if I don’t think they’re as good as Liliana and Nissa. Kytheon has the better chance out of these three to have success in a constructed format.
While the others could potentially be good in their own right, I think they will require a lot more work. Maybe that extra deck-building prowess will pay off, but I'm leaning to these just not performing as well. Expected EV is fairly normal in this set, so expect these to drop considerable amounts without a viable inclusion in decklists. I’m not qualified to comment on the Commander/Tiny Leaders/casual demand some time down the line, but that conversation will undoubtedly come up.
Pre-order prices: 14$ (Kytheon) 11.50$ (Jace) 9.50$ (Chandra)
Erebos's Titan is certainly interesting, and I think deserving of the “mythic” tag. It’s efficient, albeit limited in the decks that could include it. There are many rumblings and buzz going around about the possibility of Devotion to Blue, and Devotion to Black could be a factor going into the Summer metagame. I think if Devotion does well, there could be some initial hype to drive up prices of this card.
Sitting at a hefty pre-order price of 8-11$, I’m not super optimistic about it. Even with the hype, it’s still just Summer Magic--Players are looking to offload Theros stuff, not buy into it. Evaluating this card with a financial scope, there’s just too many stipulations to urge myself to get in as a “buy and stash”.
With a restrictive mana cost and weird stipulations on its indestructible and reanimation clauses alike, I think there are better places to invest. After evaluation, I feel this deserves a slot in Middle Tier.
Pre-order price: 9$
I already touched on these cards in Part 1. I’m still inclined to purchase either when prices come down drastically. Which I think will happen. As powerful and flavorful as these cards could be, there really is a restrictive mountain to climb to make either of these four-of staples in an archetype. As it is, I put these in the middle tier because they aren’t bad cards, and certainly better than some of the other mythics as an investment opportunity.
Pre-order price: 12.99$
This is one of those creatures that I think will fly under the radar for a while, until the worthy 3CMC creature is printed for this to fetch. As it is, I don’t know if Woodland Bellower is going to be inserted into a vast majority of decklists, and when evaluating this card--is it better than a Dragonlord?
If this creature can provide enough value fetching a card like Savage Knuckleblade, then maybe there’s a bright future ahead for it. As is I’m not very excited, and outside of Standard this is largely irrelevant.
Pre-order price: 6.50$
Avaricious Dragon is hard to evaluate; I don't actually know if this is any better than Outpost Siege. Right now it's competing with Thunderbreak Regent, and I don't know if it's going to earn any 4CMC slots over it. Even with the card having four power attached to an Outpost Siege, I just don't think waiting an entire turn to draw a card and losing your hand is where red wants to be.
The pre-order prices have already trended down significantly on this card; maybe with a newfound interest it could improve its chances. I’m doubtful though--Thunderbreak Regent is extremely valuable as it is. Perhaps this could be a fringe player, that doesn’t seem outside the realm of possibility.
Wizards has been pushing red card advantage in this form more recently, and I’m not discounting an ability like this. For the reasons stated, I just think there are better places to put one’s money.
Pre-order price: 4.99$
Here's another one of the "build around me" cards that have come out time and again. While many of these cards over the past few sets have come out, few of them end up becoming extremely successful. Just look at Collected Company for comparison.
This card is by no means CoCo, but it is unique and powerful in its own right. I just don't know if that directly translates into financial viability. I really enjoy this card, and I think best case scenario this could create some cool archetypes over the Summer while Theros block is still around. As we know though, Summer Magic really isn't the time people are investing heavily into old blocks, and rarely do the cards drastically increase in price because of it. I think that's where Starfield is at the moment.
Now, if there are extremely potent and viable enchantments in the October block, then all bets are off and this card instantly becomes part of the conversation again. Its long-term viability is vested in Battle for Zendikar and with any luck gets included in Modern "Pillow Fort" decklists that have been floating around out there. While it's a fun card and I do like it, there has to be an extremely compelling argument for this to be a staple 4X in archetypes and command premium prices. I will hold off for now.
Pre-order price: 4.75$
Low Tier Mythics
I don't think I'm qualified to talk about these cards' viability in EDH. Because of that I am just going to put them all in the low tier mythics section, because I don't think these cards have any significant Constructed applications.
There could be an outside shot of either Alhammarret's Archive or Pyromancer's Goggles seeing play in a Standard deck but I wouldn’t hold my breath. As it is, I think these will be the bulk mythics of the set. When looking at potential investment for EDH/casual purposes (mainly foils) I think there’s plenty of time to acquire these. Again, that would even be based on the assumption any of these are good in those formats. From what I’ve gathered The Great Aurora is looking good for EDH in particular, so take from that what you will.
So there you have the breakdown for the mythics of the set, in addition to my tiered list of all the rares and mythics in Magic Origins. I left a few of them out, as I have touched on them in Part 1 and largely my opinions haven’t changed.
Overall there’s nothing glaring to me about this set; the EV is quite normal and in the mythic section there doesn’t seem to be the “Dragons of Tarkir effect." There are going to be some losses across the board as the set gets opened and as I mentioned there will be a select few that hold or increase. Seems many of the vendors were cautious this time around, but there were still some slam dunk purchasing in the pre-order period at the first go around of opening prices (mainly on Star City Games). Such cards have been talked about by writers, and mostly discussed on Insider forums.
Up next, Rares! There are certainly a few I like going forward.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Feel free to comment or message me via social media. Hopefully this list is helpful to determine what's worth trading for or buying at the pre-release and beyond.