Last week, we started to study cards that might be good post-rotation. This week, I'll continue to look for cards that are worth investing in on MTGO and will be discussing the new planeswalker rule as well.
Speculating Ixalan Standard – Green-Red Monsters
From the spoilers so far, this is my favorite. Ripjaw Raptor is a huge creature that can defend against aggro decks profitably. Ixalan is showing off a good amount of big creatures, and I especially like the Dinosaurs with enrage (an ability that triggers whenever the creature is dealt damage), which look to support a midrange/ramp strategy well. The cards available seem to support an approximation of Green-Red/Jund Monsters during RTR/Theros Standard, which played a couple of mana dorks and some big creatures such as Polukranos, World Eater and Stormbreath Dragon. If a similar deck like that does appear in the new metagame post-Ixalan release, I think the following cards might make it into the 75.
Channeler Initiate is very underplayed in the current metagame because there are too many aggressive decks like Zombies and Ramunap Red running around. A card that comes into play as a 0/1 on turn two is way too weak compared to other two-drop options like Servant of the Conduit and Sylvan Advocate. With a majority of the early drops from Ramunap Red and Zombies rotating out of Standard, I think Channeler Initiate could see play in the new meta.
- Channeler Initiate: Current Buy Price: 0.2; Target Sell Price: 2; Profit Per Copy: 1.8
Verdurous Gearhulk used to be a four-of in Black-Green Aggro in the early days of Kaladesh. After rotation, if there's a deck that aims to defeat the opponent with big, trampling creatures, I imagine the green Gearhulk is an auto-inclusion. Besides, despite having multiple components rotating from the black-green decks, we still have Winding Constrictor and Rishkar, Peema Renegade after rotation, meaning that Black-Green Constrictor might still be a thing in some form after the Ixalan release. This makes it possible that we could see multiple decks in the format that play Verdurous Gearhulk in their 75s, thus increasing the demand for this card. If this card drops below four tickets before rotation, I think it's safe to buy a few copies.
- Verdurous Gearhulk: Target Buy Price: 4; Target Sell Price: 7; Profit Per Copy: 3
Archangel Avacyn will be gone together with SOI block, which means Glorybringer is likely to be the best flyer post-rotation. Its price has been fluctuating between 2 to 4 tickets for quite a long time. I suggest grabbing a couple playsets if the price drops below 2.5 tickets, then selling them when the demand fluctuates up.
- Glorybringer: Target Buy Price: 2.5 and below; Target Sell Price: 4.5; Profit Per Copy: 2
Speculating Ixalan Standard – Pirates
The Pirates deck is likely to replace Zombies in Standard. From what we can see from the spoilers, this new tribe has cards that can generate card advantage like Cryptbreaker in addition to tribal synergy. I think there can be two versions of Pirates tribal deck:
- Black-Red hyper-aggressive Pirates
- Grixis Midrange-Tempo Pirates with Hostage Taker and Admiral Beckett Brass
Again, we are going to target cards that might make it into these new Ixalan-themed brews.
Speaking of tribal synergy, Metallic Mimic is the most obvious choice. However, the current price is already quite high, and I'm not sure whether it will go higher. This is a card that has a high possibility to spike due to tribal decks hype, so I'll put it on my watchlist to see if it goes down in price before rotation happens.
- Metallic Mimic: Target Buy Price: 3; Target Sell Price: 6; Profit Per Copy: 3
Cut // Ribbons was played in Mardu Vehicles before Ramunap Red emerged as the best aggro deck. I think this card might become popular again in Pirates. The "Cut" half can remove a majority of the early game creatures in the format, clearing the way for our attackers, especially since there are not many flash creatures left after rotation. The "Ribbons" half then provides some much-needed reach. At its current price below 0.3 ticket, I think this card has a lot of potential to grow in price.
- Cut // Ribbons: Current Buy Price: 0.25; Target Sell Price: 1.2; Profit Per Copy: 0.95
The New Planeswalker Rule
When Ixalan is released, the new planeswalker rule will apply, quoting text from this page:
Starting with this set, all planeswalkers past, present, and future will have the supertype legendary. They will also be subject to the "legend rule." The "planeswalker uniqueness rule" is going away.
This basically means that as long as your planeswalkers have different card names, they can stay in play at the same time. The problem with most planeswalkers in the current Standard is that they are too slow and weak compared to Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and couldn't protect themselves well against flyers. With Gideon and a majority of the White-Blue Flash components rotating out of Standard, hopefully we can see more planeswalkers being played in Standard again.
In honor of the new rule, let's take a look at some planeswalkers that might become better.
Let's look at the two Nissas in current Standard. Nissa, Steward of Elements is the first X-cost planeswalker ever printed in Magic history, and so far, she has not found her home in Standard. Nissa, Vital Force is usually a one-of when it sees play. If players are to brew around these two planeswalkers, it will most probably be a Simic or Temur value deck with Rogue Refiner and Ripjaw Raptor.
The price of Nissa, Vital Force recently went up a little bit in the past week because a Legacy Elves deck is playing two copies of it, and I've seen it in certain Legacy Stompy decks as well. I'm not very familiar with Legacy, but I think this is a good chance to get some copies of Nissa, Vital Force, because if a card is played in multiple formats, its price will rarely go lower. As for Nissa, Steward of Elements, this card is very unique and flexible with the X in its mana cost, which means there's a chance where the players will come out with some strong combos in the future.
- Nissa, Steward of Elements: Current Buy Price: 2.5; Target Sell Price: 8; Profit Per Copy: 5.5
- Nissa, Vital Force: Current Buy Price: 2.25; Target Sell Price: 5; Profit Per Copy: 2.75
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar was the best card in Standard for quite a long time. With the printing of Gideon of the Trials and the introduction of the new planeswalker legendary rule, "Gideon Tribal" can really be a thing in Modern. Previously, Saffron Olive brewed a deck with all these Gideons that performed pretty well in a video. That was before the planeswalker uniqueness rule applied, so I can't really imagine how insane the deck can become with the new rule. Ever since the new rule was announced, the price of Gideon of the Trials increased by roughly 3 tickets. If you believe the "Gideon Tribal" deck is going to be very good in Modern, you can probably start buying these cards.
Alright, that's all for this week. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you all again soon.
–Adrian, signing out.