Tales from the Buylist #3 – All About Eldritch Moon

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Since its rotation in the latter half of 2017, Eldritch Moon has kind of flown under the radar in terms of value. While many of the cards' values have deflated from their Standard highs, I believe there's still a high potential for growth not only for singles in the set but also the sealed box price. Eldritch Moon was a small set that wasn't opened nearly as much as the previous expansion in Shadows over Innistrad, and it has a lot of strong players in the set list.

In the past few weeks, I've been seeing a lot of these cards go in and out of our inventory, and I've noticed some pretty interesting movement on a few cards in particular. Below is my list of reliable picks for return, as well as a few sleeper picks that could be popping in the very near future.

Known Entities

I'm probably not telling you anything you didn't already know here, but Liliana, the Last Hope is so incredibly powerful. It has all but usurped the powerhouse that is Liliana of the Veil in eternal formats like Legacy, and shows no signs of slowing down in terms of price. Her prevalence is less pronounced in Modern, but she still sees a lot of play in Jund, BG, and Death's Shadow builds that benefit from having a repeated source of removal and recursion. You're likely to find a copy of this card around the $40 mark, but I expect that number to go much higher in the coming weeks with War of the Spark hype putting pressure on planeswalker cards.

Another marquee mythic of the set that has largely retained its value is Emrakul, the Promised End. Not only is this a casual favorite for it's turn-controlling ability, but it's also just an outright game-winning beater that can be cast for as low as five mana in the right deck. Again, this is a mythic in a small set, and most definitely will post growth the farther it goes without a reprint. This card was powerful enough to be banned in Standard, and isn't too far off from being Modern playable.

Collective Brutality is next on my list for proven winners, and I'd like to highlight this card specifically for its current downturn in the Modern and Legacy metagames. Copies of this card are more often being relegated to the sideboard if not cut entirely. With decks like Mardu Pyromancer in Modern and BR Reanimator in Legacy holding smaller shares of the overall metagame, this card is in a slight depression at the moment. I think this is a fantastic time to be picking these up and forgetting about them – until a deck that can abuse it comes back into favor.

Last up in this section is Spell Queller, along with its spirit brethren Mausoleum Wanderer and Selfless Spirit. These cards are all sitting around the same value range of $3 to $5 dollars. Growth in the very short term is possible if the Modern Bant Spirits deck gains more visibility and a larger share of the metagame. While there are many options out there, Bant Spirits has proven itself as the best Collected Company deck in terms of Top 8 results.

Sleeper Hits

Full disclosure, Elder Deep-Fiend is one of my all-time favorite Magic cards, so you may want to take this with a grain of salt.

The emerge mechanic does require you to sacrifice a creature to cast this at a decent cost, which is typically not something you want to be doing. However, if you are sacrificing cards with death triggers that can get you a positional advantage, this card can prove incredibly useful.

There is currently no home for this card in eternal formats just yet, but I don't see it as an unreasonable inclusion in an Eldrazi pile of some sort. This card can easily close out a game with the tempo it creates from tapping four permanents at instant speed, as it did in many games of Standard. I advise foils here for future investment, as this card is not much better than a bulk rare at present.

This one doesn't really count, as Grim Flayer was previously a large player in Modern when it first debuted. It pairs well with Tarmogoyf and Liliana of the Veil decks, but has fallen out of favor in recent months in the Jund and BG Rock decks in favor of cards like Tireless Tracker and more mainboard Scavenging Ooze. This card will also always have to compete for space with Dark Confidant, which is just now coming back into these lists as a playset. People will eventually remember this card's power, and it would be smart to have a few for sale when that time comes.

Sigarda's Aid is most definitely a Commander card at this point, and has already seen a bit of growth in the past few years since its release. A staple for equipment based decks, this card is another solid foil pickup. While you can expect to only move one at a time, EDH foils are never bad to have in reserve. With the confirmation last week of Commander 2019, a new commander with an equipment theme is highly possible to come around again.

While it's only a rare, the fact that Bedlam Reveler is still under $10 is astounding to me. Sure, it's got a very unique casting cost that requires a certain style of deck to take full advantage of, but Ancestral Recall on a 3/4 Prowess creature is absolutely nuts. Like I've mentioned previously, Mardu Pyromancer has dwindled in popularity as of late, which opens a short window to be snapping these up to hold in the long term.

With War of the Spark on the horizon, a lot of chatter is happening around this card and the possible planeswalker-matters environment we may be on the cusp of. I have a few of these tucked away in hopes of a spike in the near future.

I've personally seen a ton of these go out the door, and I believe this is one of the biggest slam dunks if you can pick them up now. Foils are the target here, as these will be a hot item for the Commander crowd building planeswalker-themed decks. Normal copies can be found for under a dollar on TCGplayer at time of writing. Many have caught wind of this card already, but there's still a decent supply of these at dirt cheap prices, both foil and non-foil.

The last card I'd like to highlight here is Hanweir Battlements. Prime Speaker Vannifar is currently doing a very good impression of Birthing Pod in Modern leagues. This card is primed to make a debut in premier level play during the Grand Prix at MagicFest LA come the first weekend of March. Many of the decklists I've seen recently are sporting this as a one-of to give haste to a creature at the fantastic rate of two mana.

Foils are the play here in my opinion. While we're on the subject of Vannifar Pod, it bears mentioning that Eldritch Evolution is one of the more important cards in the deck that is currently seeing upward pressure, and could take off should the deck put up results on that weekend.

Sealed Product

Boxes of this set are in a curious position right now, as they are now starting to clear the $100 mark. This set was nestled in-between the Lottery Card blocks of Battle for Zendikar and Kaladesh, leaving it largely unopened. Booster boxes are widely available on avenues like eBay for less than $150, but I'd be looking to pick these up closer to that $100 mark if you can, and hold them.

There is a popular notion that sealed product from the recent era of sets has little room for growth if it doesn't feature a shot at a Lottery Card. I don't think this is necessarily the case. Given the fact that Arena has put Magic in the spotlight on streaming sites like Twitch and YouTube, the ceiling on products like this is only going to get higher. When more of the digital crowd begins to also move into to paper Magic, we'll see sets like this experiencing growth.

Wrapping Up

Eldritch Moon contains a lot of very specifically powerful cards that require the right metagame conditions to be good. The Modern application of these cards is going to be the most important factor in determining their price, but I would keep an eye out for the EDH pieces over the next few years.

Cards I have a good feeling about but not a lot of faith in are Mind's Dilation and Summary Dismissal. Your safest bet is Liliana, the Last Hope if you're looking to park your money in a proven earner. Eldritch Moon has flown under the radar for a while outside of a few key cards. The combination of being opened far less than sets surrounding it, and featuring some key Modern pieces make sealed boxes and fatpacks decent acquisitions if you can get them for the right price. Overall, Eldritch Moon is a great set with many opportunities in the near future.

That does it for this week! You can follow me on Twitter @chroberry or Instagram @chroberrymtg if you want to see extra goodies and spoilers for next week’s article. Feel free to let me know how you feel about my targets here in the comments, or if there’s anything you think I missed!


2 thoughts on “Tales from the Buylist #3 – All About Eldritch Moon

  1. Regarding Emrakul, do you think it’s possible he’s soft-reserved list? I recall a lot of confusion regarding the “take control of target player” being misinterpreted (ex. can target player grab me a drink?), and I’m curious if WotC would rather just not have to deal with that again in a reprint. The fact it got banned in Standard but not Modern is further testament to this, since newer players are going to gravitate towards Standard.

    1. Thanks for taking a look at my article David!

      I don’t think there’s any reason we couldn’t see this Emrakul in a Commander deck or some other supplementary product, but I’d be willing to bet they have no current plans to reprint it in the near future. As well, the card is really bound to the story arc of Eldritch Moon, so it’s a bit difficult to slot into a set like that.

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