Core Set 2020 Financial Set Review, Part 1

Didn’t we just do preview season for Modern Horizons? Yes, but that’s exactly why Chas Andres thinks Core Set 2020 is full of buying opportunities! Get his takes on the set’s hot cards and sleepers!

Wait, didn’t we just do this two weeks ago with Modern Horizons?

Wizards of the Coast is always trying to out-do itself with exciting set releases, but the lack of breathing room between Modern Horizons and Core Set 2020 feels particularly egregious. It would have been fine if Modern Horizons had been a normal Masters set filled with reprints, but we literally just learned about almost 200 brand-new Magic cards. I don’t blame you if you’re ready to give Core Set 2020 a skip.

Before you do, however, allow me to sell you on the virtues of remaining engaged. The best opportunities in the world of Magic finance come along when the eyes of the community are looking the other way, and that’s what’s happening right now. There’s relatively little hype for Core Set 2020 compared to, say, War of the Spark, which means that prices are lower than they usually are during the pre-order period for a new Standard set. If you can identify the right speculation targets, you might be able to make your most lucrative buy of the year this week.

Core Set 2020 Booster Box

It’s also likely that the twin releases of Modern Horizons and Core Set 2020 will cannibalize the sales figures for both sets. If a decent number of players opt out of buying packs due to release fatigue – a sentiment that I’ve seen expressed a whole lot on my social media feeds – it’s going to lead to higher long-term prices for the best cards in both Modern Horizons and Core Set 2020. In fact, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where a Core Set 2020 card emerges as a key player in Standard six months from now and the price goes through the roof because of how few packs of that set were opened over the summer.

This leads me to the conclusion that Core Set 2020 is a better-than-average set to pre-order. If you think you can identify any of Core Set 2020‘s future staples, you should buy in fairly early.

So yeah, preview fatigue may be real, but let’s power through and give Core Set 2020 its due. There are some really exciting cards in this set, and there’s going to be money to be made if we can figure out which cards are likely to establish themselves at the top of the Standard metagame.

Mythic Rares

Ajani, Strength of the Pride – $15

It’s hard not to look at another four-mana Ajani without comparing it to Core Set 2019‘s Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants. That card pre-sold in the $25-$30 range before settling down between $10-$15 for most of its time in Standard. Even though you probably shouldn’t have pre-ordered Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants at $30, the card did see a reasonable amount of play this year, especially in Mono-White Aggro, Azorius Aggro, and Selesnya Tokens decks. If Ajani, Strength of the Pride was on that Ajani’s level, then pre-ordering it at $15 would be totally fine.

Unfortunately, Ajani, Strength of the Pride is less powerful and a lot more niche. I generally prefer adding counters to gaining life as a +1, and Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants’s -2 is a far more flexible than the one on Ajani, Strength of the Pride. In essence, deckbuilders in 2019 had to consider Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants for any aggressive white deck they built. By contrast, Ajani, Strength of the Pride is built to anchor a single deck: one where Ajani’s Pridemate can shine.

The silver lining here is that the Ajani’s Pridemate deck was actually a fairly good deck in the Standard metagame last fall. The card still shows up from time to time, usually in a Boros Aggro shell like this, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up back in the mix at some point over the next couple of Standard seasons. Ultimately, though, I can’t justify spending $15 on a narrow planeswalker that doesn’t seem to fit into any of the metagame’s existing top archetypes. Successful pre-orders tend to be cards that are either slam-dunk four-ofs in a Tier 1 deck, or staples with broad, multi-deck appeal. Ajani, Strength of the Pride doesn’t seem to be either.

Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord – $15

Even though Sorin appears just as narrow as Ajani at first glance, I’d way rather take a gamble on Sorin and it’s not even close.

First, three-mana planeswalkers tend to be a whole lot better than four-mana planeswalkers. Sorin has a much lower bar to clear simply because you can cast him a turn earlier. Seriously, the reason why Teferi and Narset have been the two most impactful planeswalkers in War of the Spark has as much to do with their mana cost as anything else.

Second, Sorin’s -3 ability is incredible. The fact that you can “ultimate” Sorin the turn you cast him (on Turn 3, no less) and keep him around to fight another day is outstanding. You don’t even have to have the biggest, baddest Vampire in your hand to make that line work, either. Even if you drop Sorin and use his -3 to put a two-drop on the table, you’ve just had a terrific turn. The fact that you can then use either of Sorin’s other two abilities to raise his loyalty next turn along with the Vampire you’ve just deployed for free is what makes this card really sing.

It’s true that Sorin’s inability to function in multiple decks limits his upside significantly. If you don’t have at least a dozen Vampires kicking around, you’re probably not going to even consider running Sorin. That said, this card’s power level seems high enough to keep it in the $10+ range regardless. Casual players love Vampires, too, and there are plenty of solid Vamps in Standard – at least while Ixalan is still legal. Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord isn’t going to end up being the next Teferi, but it can absolutely function as a casual all-star with the potential to end up in the $20-$25 range if everything breaks right for it in competitive play.

Chandra, Awakened Inferno – $15

Six-mana planeswalkers have a very high bar to clear these days. Liliana, Dreadhorde General is an unbelievable card, but it still didn’t make the sort of impact in Standard that I thought it would due to its high mana cost. It does show up in decks like Esper Superheroes, Esper Hero, and Grixis Control, but usually just as a one-of or two-of. That was enough to keep Liliana’s price above $20, but she’s never becoming the next Teferi, Hero of Dominaria.

The best thing about this Chandra is that she’s got game against both aggro and control. That emblem is a solid way to punish decks that want to take a billion turns against you, and her -3 is a powerful sweeper. Cards that can do double-duty tend to be underrated, especially early in preview season, and I expect Chandra, Awakened Inferno to show up in decklists here and there over the next year-and-a-half.

That said, I’m not expecting Chandra, Awakened Inferno to become the next Elspeth, Sun’s Champion – a six-mana planeswalker that changed the face of Standard. There aren’t likely to be many decks that’ll even consider running this particular Chandra, and the ones that do will likely limit themselves to one or two copies. Because of that, I don’t think there’s much of a chance that Chandra ends up being a breakout hit.

$15 is still a reasonable buy-in, though, as cards like this rarely drop below $8-$10. If you want to try Chandra out in your Grixis Control deck or whatever, there’s not much risk buying in at current retail. You have my blessing to buy in – just don’t expect to turn much of a profit here.

Kykar, Wind’s Fury – $10

Kykar, Wind’s Fury looks like a Commander card to me. Feather, the Redeemed decks in Standard are going to have issues casting this on-curve, and it’s likely too expensive for their gameplan regardless. The engine is far too slow for Modern, and I’m not sure what the payoff is if you’re building a brand-new Standard deck around Kykar. I’d like to be wrong because Kykar is incredibly cool, but I doubt Kykar will take flight outside of casual play.

In terms of Commander speculation, you’d want to pair Kykar with cards like Monastery Mentor; Talrand, Sky Summoner; Mentor of the Meek; and The Locust God. Taigam, Ojutai Master and Purphoros, God of the Forge seem great in this build as well. I don’t know if Kykar will end up being the breakout Commander of the set, but if so, you can expect quite a few cards from this list to spike as a result. Taigam is probably my favorite target right now, since the buy-in is incredibly low at just $2 and it’s from a low-supply set in Commander 2017. It won’t take much for that one to end up in the $10+ range.

As for Kykar itself, I expect a price closer to $5 than $10 by the end of the year. That’ll change if it ends up seeing any competitive play, of course, but casual demand should be meager enough to keep Kykar’s price tag nice and low while Core Set 2020 is still in print. It’s a solid long-term target, but I wouldn’t even consider buying in until early August.

Kaalia, Zenith Seeker – $10

Speaking of Commander cards, Kaalia, Zenith Seeker is a terrific one. Kaalia of the Vast is one of the most popular and iconic commanders in the history of the format, and this three-mana Kaalia plays nicely with all the same strategies and synergies. Instead of jump-starting a brand-new type of Commander deck, this card should re-invigorate all the old Kaalia decks while introducing a new generation of Commander players to Angels, Dragons, and Demons.

Kaalia of the Vast herself is likely to spike pretty hard. Everyone is going to want a copy of the old Kaalia to go with your new one, and the available supply is still incredibly low because the card has never had a wide release printing. There are also a lot of other cards that work well with Kaalia that are likely to see gains. Avacyn, Angel of Hope; Aurelia, the Warleader; Rune-Scarred Demon; and Gisela, Blade of Goldnight are all incredibly high on Kaalia of the Vast’s EDHREC page, and they’re all at the right tipping point of being expensive, but not too expensive to avoid a profitable price spike. These Commander spikes are among the most lucrative speculation opportunities in the game right now, and at the very least you should snag whatever Kaalia pieces you think you’ll need if you’re hoping to build the deck in Commander yourself.

As for Kaalia, Zenith Seeker herself, I’d expect the card to end up in the $6-$8 range. There’s a shot that she’ll end up in some sort of Standard deck – Boros Angels was a thing last year, remember – but even if that doesn’t happen, casual demand should be strong enough to keep her above $5. You can snag a copy now if you want since $10 isn’t a bad buy-in for a mythic, but I’d rather pick up the ancillary Commander cards while waiting for Kaalia’s price to drop.

Yarok, the Desecrated – $10

Yarok, the Desecrated is going to be the breakout Commander card of Core Set 2020, and I can’t imagine anything else coming close. Panharmonicon is still an $8 card despite seeing no competitive Constructed play. Teysa Karlov caused some of the biggest secondary spikes in the history of the format. Commander players really, really like this sort of effect.

The key thing to note about Yarok is that all permanents trigger the Panharmonicon effect, not just artifacts and creatures. That puts lands and enchantments into play for the first time, and it’s going to create some pretty absurd secondary spikes as the Commander community scrabbles for their new suite of playables.

First up? Necromancy. This card triggers twice, allowing you to put two creatures onto the battlefield, and it’s already primed to spike. Necromancy was only printed once, back in Visions, and it saw a small spike to $8 back in April of last year. Expect it to end up at $20+ now.

It’s probably time for Treachery to spike past $35, too. It’s a Reserved List card, and one of the most powerful ones that doesn’t really see competitive play. Yarok gives you two creatures and ten lands back, which turns it from the best Control Magic variant into…well, one of the best spells you could ever imagine casting.

Speaking of Reserved List cards, Illusions of Grandeur might be worth considering here. It’s a bit of a spicy pull, and it might be too risky for some Commander players, but it spiked as high at $25 about a year ago before dropping back off toward $10 and it might be due for another bump. Yarok might just be the thing that pushes it over the edge.

Tainted Aether is another card from Urza block that could be primed to jump. It’s not a Reserved List card, but it hasn’t been printed since 7th Edition and it’s a bargain at just $4. There’s $20+ upside here, too, but only if Commander players can find a way to break its symmetry. It’s not going to go into every Yarok deck, that’s for sure.

I’ve also seen some buzz surrounding Carnival of Souls, another Reserved List card that’s always been a hair’s breadth away from being useful. Much like with Tainted Aether, you can’t just jam this card into your Yarok deck and go to town, but if you’ve got a way to win the game or deal with the Carnival once it starts to kill you…well, the ability is quite powerful. At any rate, it’s a $5 Reserved List card. Even the rumor of playability is enough to cause those things to spike.

Path of Discovery is more recent, but it’s still a $4 card despite not being a competitive Constructed playable. This one is already on its way toward the $8-$10 range, but Yarok might push it over the edge. Regardless, you can pick it up for less than retail in trade all the time, and I highly recommend that you do so.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if foil copies of Panharmonicon spike this week, too. Every Yarok deck is going to run a copy of Panharmonicon, and Commander players love their foils. The card is already kind of pricey at $20, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends the year closer to $50.

Lastly, Palinchron is almost certainly going to spike for the second year in a row. Yarok plus Palinchron is a two-card infinite combo, and one of those cards can be your Commander now. Every Yarok player is going to need a Palinchron, and there aren’t that many copies of the Reserved List rare kicking around these days. Grab yours ASAP if you think you’re ever going to want a copy.

As for Yarok itself, I suspect it’ll end up in the $5-$6 range over the short term before starting to increase in value early next spring. This is the path that most casual cards take. You can snag yours at $10 if you want to play with it now since it’ll probably end up back there eventually, but you’ll be able to save some money if you’re patient.

Cavalier of Flame – $8

I remain deeply skeptical of five-drop creatures that contain early- and mid-game abilities. Giving your other creatures haste is great, but it’s far better early in the game, when you’ve got a lot of other creatures in your hand that you haven’t played yet. Turning the lousy cards in your hand into better ones is even better…provided you still have a full grip when you cast your Cavalier of Flame, which may not happen after Turn 5. I can envision too many games where Cavalier of Flame is one of the last cards out of your hand and neither of its first two abilities is relevant at all.

So yeah. I can see Cavalier of Flame seeing play in Lord Windgrace-style commander decks, but this card is likely too slow for Constructed play even though it seems fairly pushed. It’s a future $2-$3 mythic.


Leyline of the Void – $15

It’s nice to see Leyline of the Void return – and just in time for the London Mulligan, too! This card hasn’t been reprinted in almost a decade, and it has become a crucial piece of the Modern metagame in the years since Magic 2011. It’s nice to see a card that was selling for $50+ a few weeks ago suddenly available for just $15.

Let’s take a look at the recent history of core set reprints in order to find the best window for buying into Leyline of the Void. For starters, Chord of Calling dropped from $35 to $4 when it was reprinted in M15, bottoming out in early December. It has since rebounded and is currently a $13 card.

Crucible of Worlds and Scapeshift are more recent reprints. Crucible dropped from $70 to $14 and Scapeshift from $60 to $8, with both cards bottoming out in February and March of this year. Those cards are mythic rares, though – Leyline of the Void is a regular rare, so it might have further to fall.

On the flip side, Leyline of the Void is more relevant in Modern right now than Crucible of Worlds and Scapeshift were last summer. Leyline of the Void is also likely to show up in Standard sideboards this time around since graveyard strategies are a larger part of the format than they were back in 2010.

Ultimately, I wouldn’t be surprised if Leyline of the Void dips below $10 at some point, and you’ll probably be able to snag copies in the $6-$7 range if you’re really patient. That said, you’re probably never going to regret having a set of these, and it’ll eventually end up back in the $20-$30 range again. All of those previous Modern reprints in summer core sets began to rebound after about a year, and Leyline of the Void should do the same. I recommend patience if you have it, but if you need a set of Leylines you can just go ahead and snag them now. Buying good cards at a reasonable price is never a horrible idea, even if you aren’t buying in at the absolute bottom of the market.

Leyline of Sanctity – $10

Most of what I wrote about Leyline of the Void can be copied and pasted into this section, too. Unlike Leyline of the Void, Leyline of Sanctity has actually been reprinted once over the past decade, in Modern Masters 2015, but that only brought the price down for about a year. Leyline of Sanctity has actually been a $40-$50 card twice over the past ten years, and I suspect it’ll break the $30 mark again in the future as well.

Does that mean you should buy in for $10? Yes, but only if you think this card is going to become a player in Standard over the next couple of months. If not, I suspect it’ll end up bottoming out in the $5-$7 range this winter or next spring and you’ll have a better window to buy in. Just like with Leyline of the Void, you can buy in at $10 now if you don’t want to worry about chasing every last dollar. Leyline of Sanctity is likely to drop even further over the short-term, but it’s a solid deal over the long haul.

Leyline of Anticipation – $8

Unlike the other two reprinted Leylines, Leyline of Anticipation really is just a casual card. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a terrific casual card – that’s why it broke $20 earlier this year – but any designs that you might have about casting this in Standard should be put to rest as soon as you remember that Teferi, Time Raveler exists.

To that end, I suspect that Leyline of Anticipation has a lot further to fall. It took more than five years for the card to break the $8 mark last time around, and scarcity has remained the number 1 factor in controlling its price since then. I’ll be looking to buy in once it ends up in the $3-$4 range later this year.

Scheming Symmetry – $5

Scheming Symmetry is one of the biggest home run swings I’ve seen in recent years. This card is either going to end up as the linchpin of a key combo deck or it’ll be completely unplayable. There isn’t a lot of middle ground.

Considering the way that Modern works these days, one-mana rares have just about the highest upside of any spec targets anywhere. Tutoring is also one of the most powerful abilities you can tack onto a Magic card. If a Modern deck or two emerges that can either safely exploit this card’s symmetry or power through it, you’re looking at a potential $30+ card. If not, it could very well end up in the bulk bin.

I’m personally bullish on Scheming Symmetry, and if you’re a gambling sort, you might want to snag your set ASAP. Just be aware that the risk here is very real.

Chandra, Acolyte of Flame – $4

Chandra, Acolyte of Flame seems incredible, and I agree with Ari Lax that it’ll be the best Chandra in Standard once Core Set 2020 hits shelves. As Teferi and Narset have reminded us over the past couple of weeks, three mana is the sweet spot for planeswalkers. Chandra, Acolyte of Flame can come down and either provide you with a couple of hasty attackers as a way to help take down opposing ‘walkers or let you re-cast one of your key early game spells. This is the exact sort of versatility I look for in a planeswalker.

I’m not sure how many decks will want to run Chandra, Acolyte of Flame, but three of the four most popular decks in Standard right now run a decent number of red cards, so there are plenty of opportunities for Chandra to find a home. I can’t imagine this card drops below $3, so $4 is a totally reasonable buy-in for a card that could end up spending a decent amount of time in the $10 range. Snag your set now.

Leyline of Combustion – $3

Leyline of Combustion is the best red Leyline yet – not that that’s a particularly high bar to clear. As a Mono-Red Aggro mage, this is a very solid card to have in your opening hand against control – it’s just a terrible topdeck later in the game, even more than most of the Leylines.

$3 seems about right for this. It’ll be a solid sideboard card in certain matchups, though it’s unlikely to end up being a format-breaking card in either Standard or Modern. It’s a solid long-term spec just like all halfway-decent Leylines and buying in at $3 is fine if you want to play with them. I just don’t expect it to see any short-term price spikes.

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim – $2.50

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim looks like just another in a long line of new five-color commanders, but this one actually allows you to have a land as your commander. That means Maze’s End, Gaea’s Cradle, Cabal Coffers, Dark Depths, Glacial Chasm, or whatever other land you want to build around now has a commander tutor.

Beyond that, I’m running Golos in whatever Commander decks I have that can support it. Getting any land out of your deck is clutch, and this is also one of the best mana sinks in the format now. It’s like the ultimate Solemn Simulacrum, and only color identity will prevent it from becoming a fairly ubiquitous card in that format.

Golos itself is a solid long-term pickup, though it’s unlikely to ever be super-expensive since five-color cards can only be played in a small fraction of Commander decks. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being a $5-$6 card, but that may not happen for a while. In the meantime, Maze’s End might see a small spike, as well as foil gates. Just remember that Maze’s End was handed out as the Prerelease promo for Dragon’s Maze, so it’s not as scarce as most mythic rares.

Legion’s End – $2

Wait, why is Legion’s End pre-selling for just $2? It’s quite possible that this card is going to become a staple piece of removal in Standard over the next year. Not only is it solid against aggro decks and tokens, but it’s got a lot of game against cards like Growth-Chamber Guardian, Hydroid Krasis, Hero of Precinct One, Runaway Steam-Kin, and more. Legion’s End also permanently deals with Gravecrawler and Bloodghast in Modern, which is not irrelevant right now.

It’s possible that Legion’s End never amounts to anything, but this is one of those cards that has the potential to become a $20 staple if it ends up being the best piece of spot removal in the metagame. Don’t forget: Core Set 2020 is likely to end up being an unpopular and under-opened set, which means that its boring multi-deck staples are all oozing with potential. I’m grabbing a set of Legion’s Ends ASAP.

Dread Presence – $2

My initial reaction to Dread Presence was fairly negative, but I don’t think we can dismiss or ignore a card that is so close to Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle without talking about it in detail first. While Dread Presence isn’t nearly as good – the fact that you can fetch Valakut itself with Scapeshift and put it on the battlefield for free is part of what makes the combo so powerful – I still wouldn’t be shocked if Dread Presence ends up seeing some play here and there. After all, Valakut isn’t in Standard right now. Scapeshift and Dread Presence are.

There are downsides here, of course. Scapeshift and Dread Presence won’t be in Standard together for long, and I don’t think this card will see any play just as a value engine. Dread Presence is merely okay in Mono-Black, since it won’t even start triggering until you play your fifth land, and Mono-Black isn’t even close to being a deck right now regardless.

I can certainly see a world where Dread Presence is super-relevant for a couple of months before fading away, which could lead to a spike into the $6-$8 range. That’s a long shot, though, and I’d rather buy Scapeshift if I were to try to speculate on this reality coming to pass. If a Dread Presence deck takes off, Scapeshift will be a part of it and it’ll spike too. If not, well, Scapeshift is amazing in Modern and it’s on its way back up to $20+ regardless. It’s the better buy right now.

Flood of Tears – $2

I’ve seen some people wondering if Flood of Tears might be a powerful enough combo with Omniscience to create a new engine in Standard, but counting on your six-mana sorcery to enable your ten-mana enchantment feels like a Magical Christmas Land scenario to me. Surely there are better ways to end the game in control decks these days, right? And even if this combo comes to pass, Core Set 2019 and Core Set 2020 will only be sharing a Standard environment for a couple of months and neither spike will stick.

It’s far more likely that Flood of Tears will find a home in Commander, where bouncing the entire battlefield is a whole lot better. It’s no Cyclonic Rift, but I still expect it to find a home in that format. Casual play should keep this card above bulk, and it’s likely to become a fairly decent long-term hold. You don’t need to worry about any of that right now, though. Feel free to snag a copy at current retail if you need it, but there’s no need to rush.

Starfield Mystic – $2

Starfield Mystic feels like it might be a plant for whatever set is coming in the fall. Maybe we’re going back to Theros? This card doesn’t seem powerful enough for Modern, but it would quite likely end up being a four-of in some sort of “Auras matter” deck in Standard.

I don’t think I’ll be buying in at $2 since I don’t really know where Starfield Mystic fits into the current metagame, but I’ll try to snap up a few copies if it falls into bulk rare range just in case.

Atemsis, All-Seeing – $1

I don’t really love “dies to Doom Blade” as a catch-all critique of big dumb creatures, but Atemsis, All-Seeing is the exact sort of card that this saying was made to call out. Six mana is far too much to spend on a 4/5 flier with no protection and no enters-the-battlefield effect, and its win-the-game ability is almost never going to matter. Heck, its card draw ability is rarely going to matter either, since paying a bunch of mana to turn your six-mana threat into a bad version of Divination is a great way to let your opponent win the game. Future bulk rare.

Chandra’s Regulator – $1

Chandra’s Regulator seems super-narrow, but I actually wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up seeing play somewhere. There are quite a few good Chandras in Standard right now, and the fact that you can use the card as a Looter when you don’t have a Chandra on the battlefield means that it’s never a totally dead draw. The niche nature of Chandra’s Regulator limits its upside – I can’t see it ever really spiking above the $3-$4 range at the absolute highest – but it’s one of the more powerful $1 cards in Core Set 2020.

Loxodon Lifechanter – $1

I can imagine a world where a Mono-White deck with Ajani’s Pridemate wants to run a couple of these at the top of their curve, but that wouldn’t keep it from being a $1 rare. And that’s the best-case scenario for Loxodon Lifechanter. There’s no real downside in buying any $1 card, but there’s no real upside here either.

Wakeroot Elemental – $1

Core sets need big dumb monsters that are good in Limited and fine in casual decks. Wakeroot Elemental isn’t going to see any play beyond that. Future bulk rare.

Field of the Dead – $1

Field of the Dead is another potential combo with Scapeshift, though it can’t fit into the same deck as Dread Presence. It’s not in the same conversation as Valakut in Modern, and it’s not quite good enough to end up becoming a popular utility card in Commander, either.

Field of the Dead might see some play here and there in casual formats, or perhaps even in some sort of Saffron Olive-style rogue combo brew, but I’m bearish on this thing ever ending up over $2-$3. Feel free to grab a few copies if you want, since rare lands are almost never a horrible long-term spec target, but I’m not going to urgently pick these up and I suspect it’ll end up being a bulk rare before long.

Hanged Executioner – $1

Hanged Executioner is unlikely to make a splash unless there’s a dedicated Spirit deck in Standard. Three mana for a pair of 1/1 fliers isn’t great, nor is spending seven mana in order to get a 1/1 flier and a piece of creature removal. Even when you consider the card’s overall flexibility, its mana costs still seem a little too prohibitive for Hanged Executioner to ever be good.

Planar Cleansing – $0.75

Planar Cleansing shows up in core sets all the time, and it even ends up in Standard decks every now and again. There are a number of better Wrath effects in the format right now, and even if this card shows up in a deck or two, there are plenty of copies to go around. I doubt it’ll end up above $1-$2 at any point, but you can snag a set at $0.75 each if you think you’re going to need them.

Dungeon Geists – $0.75

Another reprint, this time from Dark Ascension, Dungeon Geists actually had a decent run the last time it was in Standard. It wasn’t a staple for the entirety of its format legality, but it peaked in the $7-$8 range after debuting as a bulk rare. That was back in 2012, of course, and the game of Magic has sped up a bit since then. The odds are against Dungeon Geists being relevant this time around, but you could do a lot worse for your $0.75.

This Week’s Trends

The biggest spikes of the week were due to another Core Set 2020 card, the reprinted uncommon Goblin Ringleader. Over in Modern, Auntie’s Hovel and Warren Instigator both more than doubled in price as people rushed to pick up their pieces for Modern Goblins.

As always, selling cards like this into the initial hype tends to be the correct call. We don’t know if Modern Goblins is ever going to be a thing (especially not with Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis running rampant), but people are currently paying Tier 1 deck prices for Auntie’s Hovel and Warren Instigator regardless. Since Goblins only has a small chance of actually becoming a significant part of the metagame right now, you’re better off betting the under on this one and cashing out.

Also up this week: Necroskitter, which jumped from $5 up to about $15. Even though a bunch of people on social media were blaming speculators for this buyout, which isn’t a bad call most of the time, this one feels genuine to me. Necroskitter is amazing in Yawgmoth Commander decks, and as more Modern Horizons hits shelves, more people are picking this one up – in fact, according to EDHREC, it’s approximately as popular as Urza within the community.

If you’re looking for additional Yawgmoth specs, there are a couple of interesting possibilities out there. I’m currently looking at Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder; Crypt Ghast; and Black Market as possible tertiary pick-ups. Of those, Crypt Ghast seems like it has the best combination of price and spike potential, though Endrek Sahr is a decent penny stock option if you’re into bulk rare speculation.

Lastly, Mythic Championship III was held over the weekend, featuring 68 payers duking it out on Magic Arena. I decided not to devote an article to this event since the Standard metagame is about to change again due to Core Set 2020 and I doubt too many people will make their buying and selling decisions based on the results of this tournament.

That said, I think it’s telling that a full 25% of the field decided to run Esper Control. Teferi, Time Raveler; Teferi, Hero of Dominaria; and Narset, Parter of Veils are just that good. No matter what happens with Core Set 2020, I think you can expect these three planeswalkers to continue making their impact felt throughout the rest of the summer.

To that end, it’s worth snapping up a set of The Elderspell at some point soon. The card was in quite a few decks at the Mythic Championship, and it has become an important answer in a format that is likely to remain dominated by planeswalkers for the foreseeable future. The card has only just started to increase in price again, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up in the $8-$9 range at some point.