Welcome back to my Financial Value of Battle for Zendikar article series! There was no update yesterday on account of a grand total of zero English mythics/rares being spoiled the entire day. Thankfully, we have a lot of new cards to discuss today, so let’s take a look at what’s
Hey look, it’s Dragon Valakut! While this will be better if there’s some sort of Scapeshift-like effect in Standard, it’s generally too small (six mana for
a 4/4) with too little an effect (unless you’re dedicated ramp, but even then – we’re looking at four damage a turn?) without having to build-around it too
Technically this can fetch artifact creatures that cost seven+, but mainly it’ll get other Eldrazi. The reduction on mana cost on creatures is universal
(it reduces all “first” creature spell costs by two, not just colorless creatures), so Conduit of Ruin will at worst be popular with casual players. Right
now I’m starting Conduit of Ruin at $1.50, but this will go up if Eldrazi Ramp is a thing, and will go straight to bulk if it’s not.
Felidar Sovereign was $10 as a mythic in Zendikar prior to being spoiled as a returning reprint (and as a rare this time, to boot). Starting it at
$2, which will absolutely make it more affordable to the average player. Super-popular with casual players, but not really a Constructed player.
At first, I was really excited that this was a Ringleader effect (draw X Allies). Then I saw that it’s basically a four-card Ally scry. Four mana for a 3/4
haste creature is pretty middle-of-the-road, and chaining Allies into a Wrath effect on turn 5 can honestly just leave you with dead draws the following
turn. I said this under Conduit of Ruin for the Eldrazi deck, and I’ll say it here for Munda in the Allies deck – if there’s a Standard-legal Ally deck
that’s worth any salt, this’ll go up. I’m betting it’ll be a bulk rare though.
The closest comparison to this is Temple of the False God. Even though Temple of the False God has seen print four times now, three of these were in
Commander sets. The only time Temple was legal (back in Scourge Standard), it did see play as a part of ramp decks. Shrine is worse at ramp than
Temple (it requires six other lands to power it up – it’ll count itself as the seventh land), but it does produce a colorless earlier in the game (which
Temple did not). Unfortunately, this mana can only be used to cast colorless spells, limiting the utility of Shrine in non-Eldrazi ramp decks, or in
control decks in general. Still a worthwhile land, but it’s more tame than Temple of the False God. Starting this one at $2.
One of the two mythics spoiled today. Greenwarden of Murasa is a 5/4 Eternal Witness for six mana, which can Eternal Witness a second time when it dies. It
has no evasion or pseudo-evasion. Den Protector is better in Standard right now than Greenwarden in almost every way: only costs five to Regrowth a card,
can be dropped at two mana, has pseudo-evasion, and combos well with Deathmist Raptor. Long story short – I’m not a big fan of Greenwarden in Standard
right now since there’s a better option already available in this slot, and you probably wouldn’t want eight of this effect. Yes, you can get double value
from Greenwarden, but that’s not really where you want to be at six mana for five power. I’m starting Greenwarden at $5.
Starting this at $5 due to it being an Eldrazi Mythic, but the majority of removal spells in Standard that are worth playing are going to be three or five
mana, and they will still get Void Winnower. Think End Hostilities and Ruinous Path. I also think that the “even converted mana cost creatures can’t block”
clause is generally weak. Yes, it shuts down tokens and creature-lands from blocking – but it should have stopped things from attacking as well. I think
that the initial value of Void Winnower is going to fall because it’s just too unreliable, but it’ll sell well early on due to trading in on the reputation
of the Eldrazi.
A fantastic creature-land. It lets control decks get back into the game, and it’s in a color that traditionally wants to play on-the-board control.
Absolutely playable in Standard and good enough for Esper decks in Modern. Starting all the creature-lands at $5, but this one is more likely to
maintain/go up in value than Lumbering Falls.
Traditionally, I keep up with the value of boxes based on singles from the set during each set release. I’ve done away with this as a daily feature for
this Financial Value series, but I’ll trot it out once a week each Friday to give a snapshot of how the spoiled cards effect set value so far.
Keep in mind: If we value Full-Art lands at $0.50 (which is reasonable), each pack starts with a $0.50 value before we factor in any rares/mythics (or
uncommons of value). Also, several people have speculated that there will be approximately one Zendikar Expedition per case. Let’s assume the following
values on the Zendikar Expedition version of these lands:
–Battle Lands: $50 average each, $250 total
–Shocklands: $125 average each, $1250 total
–Fetchlands (Non-Blue x6): $200 average each, $1200 total
–Fetchlands (Blue x4): $300 average each, $1200 total
Total Value = $3,900
Average Value Per = $156 ($3,900 / 25 total)
216 Packs per case = $0.72 per pack.
So before we even get into a single actual rare/mythic in Battle for Zendikar, we’re looking at an expected pack value of $1.22. This is
significant, and it is also why many are speculating that A) Battle for Zendikar will be the most opened set in Magic’s history, and B)
the value of mythics and rares overall will be suppressed as people are opening packs for the value on Zendikar Expeditions and basic lands.
Tomorrow we’ll delve more into this topic, and I’ll also discuss the last remaining cards spoiled before the weekend!