Wizards’s recent active stance on bannings has created some interesting time periods where a lot of cards have to be re-evaluated in light of a semi-new environment. In particular, the bans of Felidar Guardian and Aetherworks Marvel have (in theory) opened up a lot of possibilities that weren’t viable due to the types of interaction forced by the combo archetypes. Combine this with my inexplicable urge to speculate wildly on the value of magical cardboard and you get a list of a few cards I expect to see increase in value and/or play (but mostly value).
Glorybringer is a card that can dominate midrange games both as a value engine as well as a flying hasty win condition. Midrange has been all but pushed out of the metagame due to Marvel and without the threat of a turn 4 Ulamog looming over them, midrange decks that the dragon is strongest against seem poised to make a strong comeback. It dies to Grasp of Darkness but dodges Fatal Push and still creates a 2-for-1 against sorcery speed removal. While it’s hard for rares to hold their value these days, it’s also currently only a couple bucks and seems unlikely to drop until it rotates out of standard.
Vizier of the Menagerie
The creature Oracle of Muldaya was hyped when it was released but hasn’t seen much play in standard (though it has been popping up occasionally in modern lately). The Vizier excels at grinding out games where board state matters and can quickly take over a game when unchecked even if the body is a bit small for its cost. I’d expect this to find a home (standard or modern) at some point in the near future as it’s extremely powerful. Plus, it’s only in the 4-5$ range.
Grim Flayer / Liliana, the Last Hope / Ishkanah, Grafwidow
I suppose I could have just listed “delirium” instead but I wanted to highlight these three cards in particular. Liliana and Flayer are two of the most powerful cards we’ve seen in a while, with both cards seeing significant modern play since print. I don’t think there’s a ton of financial value to be gained here but both will likely see a significant uptick in standard play and they’re likely to hold their value post-rotation due to their modern playability. Ishkanah is the third wheel in the delirium shell that’s one of the best cards for stabilizing vs aggressive strategies. I expect black/green/X? delirium to see quite a bit more standard play if midrange grind-y decks become the norm.
Angel of Sanctions
Another Amonkhet card, this one might be a little bit premature with Avacyn still in the format. Still, Oblivion Ring on a creature with a decent body is solid and embalm gives it even more value. I don’t expect this to jump in immediately but it’s certainly more valuable than its current 2$ price tag.
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
Good ole’ Gideon. With Marvel gone he’s probably the strongest card left in standard and I’d expect him to see significant play until his rotation. His remaining tenure isn’t long though so don’t bother speculating much on him as his price is unlikely to rise (and will likely drop precipitously once he rotates). It’s also worth noting that it’s unclear whether Mardu will emerge as the top deck in the new metagame in which case it’s entirely possible that Gideon doesn’t move much. That said I expect at least *some* decks at or near the top to play Gideon and he sees play in other formats as well so the downside to snagging a couple isn’t as high as it could be. I honestly don’t quite know what Gideon will do but my head says a small jump followed by a big drop near rotation and my gut says this is a card to watch for the next few months.
Pull From Tomorrow
Anything instant speed that says “draw X” is a card that I’m interested in. Control needs ways to go over the top of midrange decks and Pull is one of the best tools in the format for that. Control decks outside of red blue have been mostly nonexistent in the Amonkhet metagame and I expect to see a couple more pop up as the metagame stabilizes. Expect Pull to be a staple in those decks as either a 1x or a 2x.
Yes, the whole deck. Immediately after the pro tour, Cryptbreaker ballooned from being just over a dollar to over 8$ and Diregraf Colossus went from bulk rare to 6$ basically overnight. Dread Wanderer opened at a few bucks and jumped up to 6$. Zombies as a whole is relatively cheap but the core rares could see another small increase if it starts to perform now that its worst matchup is gone. I wouldn’t buy into the Cryptbreaker/Colossus pair unless I wanted to play the deck but Dread Wanderer is powerful enough that it should keep seeing play in any black aggressive deck going forward. Also, as a relative newcomer to the format, it will be around for a nice long while .
Remember when this card was pushing the 15-20$ range? Well it’s dropped to the 10-12$ range but if we see a resurgence of Winding Constrictor we could see the upgraded Triskelion make a bit of a rebound. I don’t think there’s much profit to be made off this one but now is as good a time as any to pick up a few if you’re looking to play with them in the near future. I also like the Ballista as a strong player now and in the future as it’s fine early, decent in the midgame, and great as a late game mana sink that’s always decent value.
That’s it for now. Think I missed anything or disagree with me? Leave a comment! I love seeing what other think about magic, finance, and meta shifts.
Until next time!