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Ravnica Allegiance’s Modern and Commander Impact

Ravnica Allegiance has shaped up to be an exciting set full of powerful cards, and that means its impact goes far deeper than just Standard. Magic finance can quickly get crazy when formats like Modern and Commander are involved, and that’s definitely the case for this set already.

Modern

The biggest driver of Modern hype has been Electrodominance, which like As Foretold before it can be used to cast the zero-cost suspend spells from Time Spiral. It has driven a massive spike for Wheel of Fate from $4 to $13, and Restore Balance from $4 to around $10. Even Living End has seen a small increase.

Let me be clear that these spikes have been because of hype, not a new broken Modern deck about to appear. That said, the card could be the real deal, and it could help legitimize these cards. Either way, it’s not a good idea to buy in and spec on these cards at inflated prices. A better route might be to spec on cards that will go hand-in-hand with Electrodominance.


The safest option seems to be As Foretold, which I expect will be used alongside Electrodominance in the majority of places it is found. Electrodominance doesn’t play well with the cascade spells that are typically used to cast the zero-cost spells, but relying on just four Electrodominance to cast them will be inconsistent.

As Foretold serves as a great back-up option for casting them. It has grown six-fold online since the new year, up from 0.2 to 1.2 tix. The paper price had been slowly declining, but after bottoming out at $6 after the new year it is already nearly back at $7.


Another target is Ancestral Vision. It goes hand-in-hand with As Foretold, and now with Electrodominance. Pro Tour Hall of Famer and popular streamer Gabriel Nassif wrote about an Electrodominance-As Foretold Restore Balance deck that also uses Ancestral Vision and Wheel of Fate, and he was streaming it to great results when the set went live on MTGO. It has multiple printings and already demands a solid price, but there would be significant growth it became a top-tier card.


On the day Restore Balance spiked Greater Gargadon also saw an increase, and it’s now in the 0.6-0.8 tix range for its two printings. That’s quite an increase from its price point around 0.1 under two weeks ago. Both of its paper printings are shy of $5, and that leaves plenty of room for growth if Restore Balance catches on.


Another card typically played in past Restore Balance decks is Nahiri, the Harbinger. It has more than doubled online over the past few weeks, up to over 3 tickets. It won’t necessarily be played in new versions of the deck without cascade spells, but there isn’t a ton of downside on this Modern-playable planeswalker that has sagged to an all-time low under $7.


Eldrazi Displacer has seen massive growth since the new year, up to over 1.2 tickets from 0.2. Its demand is driven by Biomancer’s Familiar, which opens up various infinite combos with creatures like Eyeless Watcher. There is clearly a lot of demand for the card online, and I have to imagine paper will follow.

Biomancer’s Familiar is powerful in Modern—and of course in Commander and beyond—and Eldrazi Displacer is already a proven staple, so it might be much more than a new gimmick. Eldrazi Displacer is also seeing play in a White Eldrazi deck that has been slowly growing in popularity in Modern online. With its paper  price now at an all-time low of $2.25, it seems due to finally start appreciating.

Commander

Ravnica Allegiance has brought us a new Relentless Rat and Rat Colony-style card in Persistent Petitioners, and that means Commander players are eager to use it to break the format’s one-of rule. These creatures explain the high price of Thrumming Stone, which can be used to play through an entire deck of them for free.

Persistent Petitioners is the best of these creatures with Thrumming Stone yet, because playing a ton of them means milling the opponent out and not giving them another main phase to kill you or cast Wrath of God. Best of all, Persistent Petitioners is blue, which opens up an entire new color of cards to explore with the Thrumming Stone strategy.

This explains the 20% growth of Thrumming Stone since the new year, up to almost $30. I see this eventually going much higher in the long-term.


Thrumming Stone is an incredibly unique card with a mechanic I don’t see Wizards wanting to revisit, so a reprint beyond a special promo printing seems unlikely. At the same time, I can’t see its demand ever waning. Nearly 0% of its demand is driven by competitive prospects and nearly 100% of it because of how fun and flashy it is, making it immune to things like metagame pressure.

New legendary creatures that can be used as a Commander are a big deal for the format, especially cheap and powerful ones like Lavinia, Azorius Renegade. Its spoiling caused foils of Knowledge Pool to spike from $3 to $12. A look at decklists on EDHREC show a few more cards with potential.


Omen Machine is a staple of Lavinia decks, so at just $3 foils might be a bargain. The other most popular cards in Lavinia decks are those that destroy lands, so Cataclysm would be a very attractive target if not for so many reprints.


A better option might be Catastrophe, another staple but one that has just one minor reprint.

Judith, the Scourge Diva has been even more popular than Lavinia, Azorius Renegade so far. What sticks out to me as a great spec is Phyrexian Altar


Phyrexian Altar’s price peaking at $60 shows just how in-demand the card is, but a reprint in Ultimate Masters has suddenly made it affordable. The original price has flattened out at $35, and the reprint is a mere $20. QS writers have recommended buying in on Ulimate Masters sooner than later because prices are already rebounding across the board. To me Phyrexian Altar looks like a slam-dunk that can still be had cheaply.

-Adam



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Adam Yurchick

Adam Yurchick

Adam started playing Magic in 1999 at age 12, and soon afterwards he was working his trade binder at school, the mall food court, FNM, and the Junior Super Series circuit. He's a long-time Pro Tour gravy-trainer who has competed in 26 Pro Tours, a former US National Team member, Grand Prix champion, and magic.tcgplayer.com columnist. Follow him at: http://twitter.com/adamyurchick

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