You may not know this, but a very popular casual set is about to be released in a couple weeks. I have spoken about how this set might seem overshadowed this summer due to the high volume of products that have hit the shelves. Well, I think that happened in a big Emrakul, the Promised End kind of way. Despite Wizards' advertising campaign, I’ve noted that many of my patrons had no clue about this upcoming release. Word will spread but my fear of bank accounts spread too thin is still ever-present.
One positive aspect of Conspiracy: Take the Crown is that for the most part it applies to a different audience than most sets that are created. This should draw a different crowd out to the stores for release events.
For example, I have a group of players that don’t make it to FNM very often but have been planning to come out and draft the new Conspiracy for a while now. They’ve made their plans because they expect the set to be super fun, casual, and chalked full of multiplayer mechanics. From what we’ve seen so far, which has been slow coming out, the set has exactly what’s going to drive the casual players wild.
As a prime example, take a look at the first spoiler from the set.
Kaya, Ghost Assassin
This Orzhov planeswalker may not look like much but let’s break it down and see what’s really going on with this card. I’ll be honest, I didn’t read the first ability when I glanced at the card because it was too wordy. So, let’s head onto the second ability and come back to that.
Starting off with "each opponent" immediately gives the feel of Commander or some other casual format. It is fine one-on-one but you will get more value out of the drain effect the more opponents you have. Unlike old-school multiplayer all-star Syphon Soul, you don’t gain the amount you drain for but that's not that big of a deal. You can do this effect four turns in a row assuming you can protect Kaya.
Up next we can -2 twice in a row to make all of your friends happy and have them discard a card and you draw one. Again similar to Syphon Mind but you only get to draw one card. Still, recursive card drawing in any multiplayer format is a great boon to have access to. This card isn’t looking like it will be much fun for the other players in your group, but for you it’s awesome.
What about that first ability though? Basically the shortened version is it blinks a creature or herself. Bringing her back onto the field means that her loyalty resets. This ability only triggers on your next upkeep too so there are many great lines of play that will be set up due to the timing. You have to lose two life every time you use the zero ability but that’s a small price to pay.
One thing to remember about this zero ability is that it can lock down any creature. Is a commander giving you fits? Does another player’s creature have an ability that’s shutting down your strategy? Would another creature be nerfed if it was removed from the game like a huge token creature? All of these scenarios make this zero ability great. Not to mention that you can just remove any creature from possibly attacking you.
Kaya is a great card that will appeal to a variety of casual players. Initial data may be low, but she does have the typical $20+ planeswalker starting price right now. Although the price should come down, I don’t think as many players will be selling this card as with your average planeswalker so that should help its post-release price not drop as far.
There are plenty of other great casual hits that will be released in this set. As of this writing, we don’t know many of them yet. What we do know is that there are a couple of cards that will draw the attention of the competitive players. I know everyone reads my articles for both the financial and competitive information so let’s talk about what else is going on with this set.
Inquisition of Kozilek
One of the biggest Modern staples, Inquisition of Kozilek, is getting a reprint and this time it comes freshly packaged with new artwork. I’m sure there are varying opinions about the new art but from what I’ve heard so far, many buyers are interested in it.
What I’m interested in is the addition of more copies to the card pool. The Modern Event Deck was great and all, but that limited-release product didn’t do much to stem the lack of supply on this Rise of the Eldrazi card. Adding this to a new set release is a much larger boost to the available copies, and more importantly, to access.
Although Inquisition may not have been the most expensive card in Modern by a large margin, it is a card without frequent opportunities for purchase. Many players are still looking to trade their way into Modern, but that’s a hard process when most of your trade partners don’t have access to a staple like this. Additionally, as a dealer, I don’t see many copies of this hand hate spell either. When I do acquire a play set, I set it at a higher price because I know my ability to buy in is quite limited.
The additional copies of Inquisition will be highly in demand from many players. Even as a rare, this card will still be highly sought after. Even if the price of the new version is higher, players in the market will give up more to get their hands on copies to use in their next Modern deck.
Recruiter of the Guard
Both Burning Wish and Hallowed Burial have been spoiled as reprints so far, but I don’t think they are nearly as exciting as the new Imperial Recruiter. Recruiter of the Guard is going to be this set's True-Name Nemesis, Flusterstorm, or Dack Fayden.
Providing an effect similar to a card that costs hundreds of dollars like Imperial Recruiter is obviously going to be a huge deal. There is also the fact that now we can run eight recruiters in a deck if we want to. White mana might change the whole situation as well, but there is one thing I know for certain. Recruiter of the Guard will be valuable, especially the foils.
Imperial Recruiter has been used in the Imperial Painter deck to search out a toolbox of creatures, including Painter's Servant to mill your opponent’s entire deck with Grindstone. This old red card has been a staple of another fringe Legacy deck based on the enchantment, Aluren.
Any tutor that can decrease the randomness of your deck will be at minimum a consideration for constructed formats. A proven ability like this one attached to a new creature in a new color might make the archetype even better or spawn completely new archetypes.
The main aspect to focus on is that this is a much more affordable version of an established card. Switching the wording from power to toughness might be a bigger deal than I’m giving it credit for, but in any case the new Recruiter shows a lot of promise.
We haven’t seen that many cards yet and already we have three that will definitely generate some hype for the set. I look forward to seeing what other gems the set has to offer. Stay tuned next week for more Conspiracy updates.
Until next time,
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