Welcome back, readers! Today's article is all about the new Conspiracy set. My fellow writer Mike Lanigan covered this subject last week. But more spoilers are out now, and wow!---what a set. We have some solid Commander additions and both reprints and new cards for Legacy.
Today I'll cover the Legacy cards, and next week I'll move onto Commander. I'll discuss the cards I feel are most relevant, where they see play currently (or might in the future), and which cards become good pickups as a result of their (re)printing.
1. Show and Tell
Back in Legacy's heyday this was easily a $75 card. It's now down to around $40 and with this reprinting I expect it'll drop a bit more.
On the plus side, this helps drop the price of Sneak and Show, one of Legacy's premier decks. Sneak and Show is both powerful and relatively easy to pilot, which makes it a great jumping-off point for new players interested in Legacy.
The last two years have seen a ton of reprints that lowered the cost of the deck's staples. Eternal Masters included Sneak Attack and Force of Will. Griselbrand was the GP Promo throughout all of 2015. Emrakul, the Aeons Torn was included in Modern Masters 2015 and Ancient Tomb was printed as an Expedition. Now we're getting Show and Tell itself in Conspiracy 2.
This does provide you with a good number of the cards necessary for Legacy Sneak and Show. However, there are a few Reserved List cards, namely Volcanic Island and City of Traitors, that have recently spiked in value. That will offset a lot of the price drop this deck would have had. Still, if you really want to play the format this is not a bad starting point.
While I honestly can't argue that Legacy as a format is bound to rebound after Star City Games dropped the regular Legacy Opens, Sneak Attack is also an excellent Commander card. That format loves to play giant powerful creatures (often with enters-the-battlefield abilities) and paying one red to cheat them into play with haste is very powerful.
Thanks to the recent Eternal Masters printing this Legacy staple has continued its descent downward from its once $70 price. Eternal Masters versions can be purchased for around $21 (shipped) and I feel like WoTC will likely not reprint this one again anytime soon.
Unfortunately for his financial future, big daddy Griselbrand is banned in Commander, but he's still one of the two best creatures to cheat into play in Modern (along with Emrakul, the Aeon's Torn). Thanks to his broken card draw ability he's the key creature in Modern Goryo's Vengeance decks, as well as Sneak and Show and Reanimator in Legacy.
The GP promo tanked this card's value (he was sitting above $30 for a while) and now copies can be had for under $10. He's within $1 of his lowest price ever.
Here's a reprint I can really get behind---not just because I need three more to play Legacy Infect, but because it's just a fun card that's also good in Commander. One of the beautiful things about Legacy Infect is that it doesn't actually play a ton of high-dollar cards. It's also powerful, proactive, and runs excellent disruption in the form of counterspells.
Tropical Island spiked earlier this year, so I don't know if there will be significant enough demand from this reprinting to push it any further upward. It will, however, likely stabilize at the new price.
The price on Misty Rainforest has dropped considerably from its high as people seem weary to pick up any of the Zendikar fetchlands for fear of a reprint/spoiling. I still firmly believe WoTC will include them in the next set with an overall weaker power level to help drive sales of sealed product. And you know it will---if they made a set called Fetches or Kitties with people having a 1 in 20 chance of pulling a Zendikar fetch and 19 in 20 of getting a Sanctuary Cat it would still sell well.
The only problem with investing in Infect staples is that for the most part their price is already quite high (have you seen Might of Old Krosa recently?). The only target I like at this time is Inkmoth Nexus.
Inkmoth has managed to dodge reprints all this time and after a spike to $40+ it has steadily dropped back down to its pre-spike price. Currently you can pick up copies in the $20 range, which isn't terrible. If it continues to dodge reprints this price will look like a steal in a few years' time.
Thanks to the infect mechanic being pretty busted, it seems like a hard card to just "throw in" to any specific set or deck, but it could always be a GP promo or a Modern Masters printing.
3. Sanctum Prelate
I know there are some detractors claiming that three mana is just too much for this card to see Legacy play. Yet Legacy Death and Taxes plays several three-drops already: Flickerwisp, Mirran Crusader, Mangara of Corondor and Eldrazi Displacer.
There are some matchups where sticking this can completely turn a game around. If you can stick this card before Storm gets a chance to set up, you can go from hoping Thalia, Guardian of Thraben slows them down enough, to almost completely locking them out of the game.
Death and Taxes saw two of its most expensive cards recently reprinted in Eternal Masters as well: Karakas and Wasteland. Now the big holdout is Rishadan Port, which has dodged reprinting save for the judge promo. This is not on the Reserved List, so WoTC could reprint it if they wanted to (though given its complete dominance in Standard, I doubt they will do so in a Standard-legal set).
For speculation targets the best one I can think of for this deck is Stoneforge Mystic.
Thanks to being the most recent GP promo, Stoneforge's price has tanked. This card was so powerful it was actually banned while in Standard. It's also banned in Modern, though it seems every time we come up on a Banned and Restricted update people speculate on this card and the price rises a bit.
It is also a fantastic Commander card (acting as both tutor and mana generator) and it's even mono-colored so it can fit into a large range of Commander decks.
4. Recruiter of the Guard
This is another brand new card, very similar to Imperial Recruiter, a proven tournament staple. It can't fetch up the key card most Recruiter decks want to get (Painter's Servant), but it does work with the old Aluren combo decks.
Unfortunately, Aluren has already spiked in price and is on it's way back down again. The actual combo pieces themselves are commons (Parasitic Strix, Cavern Harpy), so those are unlikely to be big gainers. This deck is okay, but has never managed to really become Tier 1. However, this new recruiter can fetch either combo piece without costing $800 for the playset---it will also be interesting to see if any deck arises playing both recruiters.
Beyond Aluren combo, the color-shifted Recruiter of the Guard might fit into Death and Taxes and allow it to adopt a more "toolbox" approach. Recruiter also pairs really well with Eldrazi Displacer as it can be blinked to create card advantage in white (which has very limited card advantage to begin with).
Recruiter of the Guard can fetch almost every creature in most D&T builds, as well as some of the good "hate" options they play in their sideboards (like Containment Priest or Ethersworn Canonist). In fact, my pick for good speculation target thanks to this card is actually Containment Priest.
This card has only one printing from an unlimited run set (Commander 2014), but then it was only a one-of in one of the decks so there aren't that many copies. It's principally used as a sideboard card, but a very potent one at that---it stops every way that Legacy decks try to cheat in big creatures.
Copies were originally as high as $25, but prices dropped considerably and it hit a low of $7.75 and is on it's way back up (currently sitting around $10). Legacy Death and Taxes is a Tier 1 deck and one that is on the cheaper side. It also has a pretty die-hard following and any new additions create a lot of excitement for the deck.
5. Burning Wish
Burning Wish used to see a good deal of Legacy play. It found a home in various Storm decks and in some Know and Tell decks (as a way to play seven copies of Show and Tell), as well as old versions of Lands and Aggro Loam. However, these decks have fallen out of favor and Wish has dropped from a high of $20 to around $11.
This reprint will likely tank it even further (the Conspiracy versions are already pre-selling for around $6). I wouldn't start picking up copies until a few months after Conspiracy 2 has been out, when it will be at its lowest right before the next major Standard set release.
This could easily drop to $3-4, in which case I'll be picking up a second or third playset for the long term. The Wish cycle in general is hard to reprint in most products due to its misleading wording. It kind of sounds like it should have been printed in an Unglued set. It's also a pain for judges to have to tell newer players trying to snatch cards from their trade binders, other decks, or the exile zone that the phrase, "you own from outside the game," only applies to sideboards.
Conspiracy: Take the Crown looks to be a fun draft set and it has a good bit more value in it than the original Conspiracy. There are some new cards in it that may very well find homes in Legacy decks (and possibly spawn new ones) which means there is potential for some existing cards to rise in value. As always, I suggest you only ever invest in cards that you yourself believe in.
Join me next week when I'll cover the most interesting Commander cards from Conspiracy 2.