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Insider: Speculating Around Dominaria’s Mox Amber

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The massive Dominaria leak last week has put the new set into the spotlight ahead of schedule, and that provides an opportunity to the Magic speculator. The reveal of the set’s release notes and over half of its cards is a ton of information to unpack at once, but there’s money to be made if we can make sense of it and forecast what it means for the future.

The most important thing to know about Dominaria is that it is a legend-focused set, and will have a legendary card in every pack. This focus makes it a boon for a Commander player, and the set certainly seems to be designed for the casual player in general, with plenty of attention-grabbing cards. The multitude of legends and cards that care about legends, like the new Legendary Sorceries that require a legendary creature or planeswalker in play before they can be cast, add value to existing legends, and make more desirable other cards that care about legends.

The most striking example of a card that will impact demand for past cards is Mox Amber, which is viable past Commander and into Modern, where it joins Mox Opal, which some argue is the most powerful card in the entire format. There has been a ton of discussion about Mox Amber and its potential to ramp in legend-oriented decks, and it seems likely we’ll see some of these decks become competitive. I’m taking special interest in the legends that can enable Mox Amber and work well alongside it, because the casual demand for these cards plus the competitive potential could bring about large price increases.


One card that has already made a large move on the back of Dominaria’s legendary focus is Leyline of Singularity, which makes all nonland permanents legendary. The card would instantly turn on Mox Amber and is generally just great with cards that care about legends, like Honor-Worn Shaku. I don’t see the card having real competitive legs, but the casual demand is there. It was previously $1 and spiked to $10, but is now available in the $5 range, which smells of a buyout, and the falling price shows that demand isn’t strong. That said, I don’t see it falling too much lower since it has some long-term potential as an old card with no new supply likely.


Another card that has increased is Reki, the History of Kamigawa, which previously saw a spike last year when the Ixalan leak revealed a legendary planeswalker, indicating a rules change that would make all planeswalkers legendary. This was a relevant change for Commander, and its spike was large, from around $1.50 to $5, and eventually to $10 before it slowly fell back to $5, at which point the Dominaria leak spiked it to its current price around $9. The Dominaria leak seems like even more important news for Reki, the History of Kamigawa, and it even now has the potential to make its way to Modern alongside Mox Amber. If a deck with the two cards does break out, then the card could see another spike.

Staples of Mox Amber decks will be low-cost legends, and the list of playable ones is extensive.

The color that has seen the most discussion about its potential with Mox Amber is white, which includes Isamaru, Hound of Konda and Kytheon, Hero of Akros // Gideon, Battle-Forged as fantastic enablers that form the core of an aggressive legendary creature deck. Taking this further is Rhys the Redeemed, which isn’t as aggressive but generates nice value, and could help the deck reach the critical mass of legends it needs to function consistently.


Kytheon, Hero of Akros // Gideon, Battle-Forged has fallen to an all-time low since rotating out of Standard, but at $4 its price is strong for a card that really only sees casual play with minor Modern demand. The price actually fell a bit below $4 at the turn of February, to $3.80, and has increased over the past month and a half, so that change in trajectory plus the recent news make it look like a very solid buy.


Isamaru, Hound of Konda sat at around $3.80 before the news broke, spiked about half a dollar, and has now fallen back to just above its previous price. There’s not much new demand yet, but the card is from one of Modern’s oldest blocks, so I could see a really significant spike it a deck using it breaks out.


Rhys the Redeemed is already quite expensive, being from the infamous Shadowmoor set that has low supply and demands high prices, and it’s a casual star and Commander general. Its price has been on a steady upwards trajectory for years and years. It accelerated this year and broke $19 and now has already reached $22. With things already looking great for the legendary creature, Dominaria could be the catalyst that brings it to new heights as it becomes an even more useful Commander. Any sort of mainstream adoption into a competitive Modern deck would send the price sky high, so I’ll be paying close attention to online results over the coming months to see if the card performs.

The best place for these aggressive white cards is likely in a classic white weenie-style aggressive deck, so other similar staples would be natural inclusions. One example is Eight-and-a-Half-Tails, the legendary creature that protects itself and others, but its Eternal Masters printing has increased supply to the point that I don’t see it ever spiking, although it’s likely to see modest gains.


A card more likely to see a spike, and that is a shoe-in for inclusion into a white weenie deck with Mox Amber, is Eiganjo Castle. It has seen very slow and steady growth for the last four years or so, from $7 to $9, so this sudden large increase in demand is likely to have a big impact on the price, although it will be tempered by the fact that it’s typically no more than a one-of in decks using it.


I foresee price increases in all of the Champions of Kamigawa legendary lands, as each one would be an obvious inclusion in any Mox Amber deck in its color. In fact, Kamigawa block is where I see the easiest and most obvious gains in response to Dominaria’s legendary focus, so it’s where I’d scour for deals and cards with the potential to spike. Even if it’s slow and steady demand from the casual crowd, the block is full of gems that may finally have their time to shine, like the aforementioned Honor-Worn Shaku.


A great example is Erayo, Soratami Ascendant // Erayo's Essence, which not only turns on Mox Amber, but greatly benefits from it being a zero-mana play. Players have always worked on breaking Erayo, Soratami Ascendant // Erayo's Essence in decks like Affinity, where it does work alongside Mox Opal, and Mox Amber could be the card that finally brings it over the top. Its current price just above $7 is the lowest it has been in over six years, so a price increase seems overdue.

–Adam

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