Core Set 2021 Speculations

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Spoiler season is upon us once again, and even with the current depressing state of the world I can't help but get excited. Even during the various hiatuses I've taken from the game, I've paid eager attention during spoiler seasons! Spoiler Season is a great time for competitive players to plan out what they will likely be playing during the future seasons of their formats of choice, but it's also a great time for people who play the MTG finance game to speculate on the next cards to potentially spike and shore up their spec boxes.

I haven't been this excited for a core set in a long time! There's a ton of spoilers to look at, and even more speculation targets to think about, but in this article, I'm going to talk about my Top Four spoilers and their potential speculation possibilities.

Grim Tutor

One of the first big spoilers to be announced for Core Set 2021 was Grim Tutor! This was one expensive tutor, only having been printed in Starter 1999 and reaching an almost four hundred dollar price tag in its long career so far. With a new reprint featuring multiple arts coming in Core Set 2021, will the new versions be even close to their predecessor's price tag?

The general feeling I've been getting through my Twitter feed is that there's no way it'll even get close in price and that it was the low availability that was driving the price tag. Saffron Olive says he thinks that going as low as five dollars isn't outside the realm of possibility. Now, if you've been sitting on a bunch of copies of the original printing, I'm not sure if you need to go out and sell them immediately. They'll take a bit of a price hit initially, but they'll likely still hold decent value based purely on their Starter 1999 printing.

If you're looking to pick up copies of the tutor for your own decks, I agree with Saffron Olive's assessment that I wouldn't pay the current preorder prices unless you need one ASAP for some reason. Unless I turn out to be very wrong, I think I'll be comfortably trading into copies of this card at the twenty-dollar and below range once people start opening this new set in earnest.

Rin and Seri, Inseparable, Pack Leader, and Feline Sovereign

I'm lumping three cards together here, which I know technically breaks my "four spoilers" comment a bit, but I'm lumping them together because I think that they help drive towards one common point. At the card shop I used to work at, we used to toss around the phrase "casual is king" all the time. Casual players, especially casual Commander players, drove a huge portion of the shop's singles sales. One thing I noticed that these types of players seemed to really enjoy? Tribal decks.


And why wouldn't they? Tribal decks are fun. I love playing tribal decks! Core Set 2021 is bringing us support for a tribe that hasn't really existed in the past: Dogs! (Plus, we're getting more Cat support!) In anticipation of the set, I would look at targeting pieces that go along with these tribal themes. While trying to speculate on eternal tribal staples such as Cavern of Souls or Aether Vial is probably not a good idea at their price points, I think we can look towards other tribal synergistic cards for potential.

I think cards like Vanquisher's Banner and Coat of Arms have a lot of potential still, especially if tribal strategies in Commander increase in popularity. If dogs continue to get support, I could even imagine an aggressive Modern build centered around Collected Company to dump aggressive dogs onto the battlefield being created (perhaps it could be called CoCo Pups?) and gaining some notoriety as a meme deck (speculating around flash-in-the-pan decks like that is rarely a good idea unless you already have the cards, but the potential is worth keeping an eye out I think.)

I'm also personally keeping an eye on Arahbo, Roar of the World and Marisi, Breaker of the Coil as potential spec targets based on their current popularity as cat tribal commanders and their currently low price points.

Containment Priest 

I'm particularly excited about the Containment Priest reprint bringing the card into the modern format. Containment Priest has long been a staple in Legacy Death and Taxes lists, and its arrival in modern may be what the Modern equivalent lists need to be brought up to true Tier 1 status.

The reprint in Ultimate Masters already brought the price down significantly, and the Core Set 2021 printing looks to be preordering at around $1.50, which is a price I'm definitely comfortable picking copies up at.

I think keeping an eye on online Modern events is a good idea to gauge whether or not a taxes style deck starts to gain prominence, and if it does I'll be focusing on trading into taxes staples like Leonin Arbiter, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Flickerwisp, and Giver of Runes in anticipation of people looking to pick up paper copies again once large tournament play resumes in 2021.

The Legacy version of Death and Taxes has quite the dedicated online following, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Modern version reached a similar level of dedication if it turns out to be more competitively viable with the new inclusion of Containment Priest.

Conspicuous Snoop

This, by far, is the card I'm personally most excited about coming out of Core 2021. As many of you know, I'm a rabid fan of the goblin tribe in Magic, playing them in any format they're even remotely viable in. Legacy goblins players have been fantasizing about new pieces being printed to strengthen the deck archetype for years, recently getting new toys like Goblin Cratermaker, Sling-Gang Lieutenant, Munitions Expert, and Pashalik Mons, which have all helped new iterations of the deck reach 5-0 finishes on Magic Online. But Conspicuous Snoop has the potential to be a more exciting, dramatic shot in the arm for various goblin archetypes than all of those previous cards combined.

Soon after it was revealed by Ondřej Stráský, people realized that Conspicuous Snoop had the potential for a pretty awesome combo kill, potentially happening as early as turn two or three, depending on the format.

With Conspicuous Snoop on the table, a player can tutor up Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker to the top of their deck with something like Boggart Harbinger or the recently spiked Worldly Tutor, make thousands of copies of the Snoop, then copy Harbinger again to get a sac outlet like Mogg Fanatic or Sling-Gang Lieutenant and kill their opponent by sacrificing the thousands of goblin copies.

This combo has me super excited to try new goblins lists in both Legacy and Modern, but we're not here to geek out about competitive play - this is a finance website after all. What potential speculations exist now with this card being spoiled?

Well, one of the obvious choices was Boggart Harbinger.

By the time I'd woken up and seen that Conspicuous Snoop had been spoiled, Boggart Harbinger was starting to sell out at all of the major online retailers. The price spiked dramatically, going from an almost bulk rare to ten plus dollars most places that still had it listed. It seems to have settled back down to the seven dollar range for NM copies on TCGPlayer at the time I'm writing this, which I imagine means everyone suddenly remembered all the copies they had in their bulk boxes and listed them! However, if you have copies of this already I'd recommend holding on to them a bit longer to see if the theorized combo lists running Harbinger start putting up results because if they do and this Lorwyn uncommon is the key piece of the combo, the price could go up even further!

For other cards to watch that will likely be part of this deck besides the combo pieces like Conspicuous Snoop, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, and Mogg Fanatic/Sling-Gang Lieutenant, I'd keep an eye on the established core of legacy goblin staples like Goblin Lackey, Goblin Matron, and Goblin Ringleader. None of these are necessarily primed for insane spikes, but if the deck does well I'd imagine they'll all see increases in price.

Well folks, that's all from me this week! What are you most excited about from the quickly approaching Core Set 2021? Anything special finding its way to your speculation box? I know this is personally the most excited I've been for a core set in a long time! Feel free to hit me up on Twitch or Twitter if you'd like to chat about the new set, and I'll see you next week! Take care of yourselves out there.



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