Welcome to week two of my discussion about the Financial Value of Khans of Tarkir! We have a bunch of rares to discuss, along with one mythic spoiled after the Friday article was completed. Let’s dive right in!
How I review:
Starting Price: The first price we assign to the card as a preorder.
Current Price: The current price of the card by the time this article goes live.
Future Price (Short Term): The price I believe the card will be at before Magic Online redemptions go live for Magic 2015.
Future Price (Medium Term): The price I believe this card will be at by the time the next set (Fate Reforged).
Future Price (Long Term): The price I believe the card will be at a year from now, when M16 is released.
Starting Price: $5
Current Price: $5
Future Price (Short Term): $5
Future Price (Medium Term): $4
Future Price (Long Term): $4
This has been a divisive card. Some view it as unplayable, others think it is going to be the new finisher for control decks in Standard (thanks Urborg!).
Reddit /u/tapptapp kindly tested out his
current deck to see how many Zombies he would get on the fifth turn of each game.
25% of the games, he ended up with four zombies. 35% of the time, he ended up with five or six zombies, and 25% of the time he ended up with seven, eight,
or nine zombies. This means that only 15% of the time did he end up with fewer than eight power of zombies on the board at the end of the fifth turn.
I believe that there will be more delve enablers in this set that have not been spoiled (commons/uncommon slots). I also believe that this card is saved by
being an Instant – as a Sorcery, it would be a hard sell for a control deck (since the Zombies can’t block the first turn they enter the battlefield). I
believe we will end up seeing a whole bunch of decks using Empty the Pits as their finisher in Standard, as it’s hard to argue with “put ten power of
creatures on the board at the end of your turn, attack for ten, and still be untapped with countermagic when your next turn comes around.”
The only reason I don’t see this card shooting up in value is because the quadruple-black makes it very, very color specific. Even if you’re playing
Urborg, you’re not going to be splashing this in your G/W deck. I do think it’ll hold the majority of its value for awhile.
Starting Price: $1
Current Price: $1
Future Price (Short Term): $1.50
Future Price (Medium Term): $1.50
Future Price (Long Term): $2
This card is pushed extremely hard – at only one mana, you’re often going to double the number of +1/+1 counters you’re netting on your creatures (since
most effects that add +1/+1 counters add only one at a time). This is the type of card that casual players love, and it will end up going up in value over
the next couple of years. See also: Parallel Lives (which was also in a widely-opened Event Deck, but is still holding value at $4), Doubling Season, and
The difference on Hardened Scales? It can start your curve, which is huge for a card like this. All of your creatures that enter the battlefield
with +1/+1 counters? They start with one more.
Cards that are already Standard-playable (or fringe playable) that this works well with:
- Ajani, Mentor of Heroes
- Ajani Steadfast
- Ajani’s Pridemate
- Bow of Nylea
- Chasm Skulker
- Cruel Sadist
- Fabled Hero
- Fleecemane Lion
- Genesis Hydra
- Mistcutter Hydra
- Polukranos, World Eater
- Reverent Hunter
There are going to be other cards that combo well with Hardened Scales. I’d pick up a playset now, because this card is good enough to build-around for the
early game push.
Starting Price: $1
Current Price: $0.50
Future Price (Short Term): $0.50
Future Price (Medium Term): $0.50
Future Price (Long Term): $0.50
The flavor on this card is fantastic, and it has pseudo-evasion. Unfortunately, it can only attack every other turn, making it less than ideal for Standard play.
Starting Price: $2
Current Price: $2
Future Price (Short Term): $3
Future Price (Medium Term): $2.50
Future Price (Long Term): $2
These days, two mana for a 2/2 offensively-oriented creature is a little low on the curve (who ever thought we’d see that day?). Rakshasa Deathdealer has two extremely relevant abilities – it can Rootwalla, and it can regenerate. This makes it formidable on both offense and defense, allows it to dodge a good amount of removal, and – wait, you can activate the first ability multiple times a turn? Sold! Should be a fixture in the Standard metagame over the next year. Not flashy, but a solid two-drop beater for that slot.
Starting Price: $2
Current Price: $4
Future Price (Short Term): $6
Future Price (Medium Term): $5
Future Price (Long Term): $5
Boros Reckoner took a few weeks to catch on but quickly became a Standard staple. Savage Knuckleblade is harder to cast, but it is larger, has abilities that are more relevant, and can avoid removal. WOTC is pushing the (seeming) cycle of three-drop, three-color creatures extremely hard (see Mantis Rider), and this is a huge reason to commit to three colors (more so than Ascendancies). The only thing holding the value of Savage Knuckleblade in check is that you need to really commit to the colors to play it – so there will be less demand than on, say, Reckoner, which could be played in Boros, Mono-White, or Mono-Red.
Starting Price: $1.50
Current Price: $1.50
Future Price (Short Term): $1
Future Price (Medium Term): $0.75
Future Price (Long Term): $0.75
As a delve enabler or a pseudo-Thassa, Sultai Ascendancy fits the bill. However, at three mana, it doesn’t immediately affect the board like most of the other Ascendancies. Moreover, it’s not going to be completely easy to get three colors of mana on turn 3, and this gets objectively worse the longer it takes to get on the board (unlike some other Ascendancy cards which keep more relevance late game). Because of this, I see Sultai Ascendancy heading to bulk rare territory. I think that there are probably going to be common/uncommon delve enablers that get cards into your graveyard more quickly than Sultai Ascendancy.
Changes since last article:
Crater’s Claws: From $2 to $1.50. Selling at a slower pace than I’d like, for a playable Standard card.
To determine the value of a booster pack, I’m going to start with the following formula:
(2R + 1M)/121
That isn’t enough of a picture though. In fairness, $0.50 to $1 bulk rares don’t really amount to “real” value if you’re looking to trade with other
players. So I’m omitting the value of any Rare that is below $2 (rounded from $1.99) and any Mythic that is below $4 (rounded from $3.99).
38 out of the 53 Rares have been spoiled. Here are the ones that are $2 and up!
Bloodstained Mire: $20
End Hostilities: $3
Flooded Strand: $25
Ghostfire Blade: $2
Mantis Rider: $3
Mardu Ascendancy: $2
Polluted Delta: $30
Utter End: $6
Windswept Heath: $20
Wooded Foothills: $20
Total Rare Value: $144
11 out of the 15 Mythic Rares have been spoiled! Zurgo Helmsmasher and Ugin’s Nexus have fallen off this list, as they are both now below the $4 threshold
to appear on this list.
Clever Impersonator: $15
Empty the Pits: $5
Narset, Enlightened Master: $6
Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker: $25
Wingmate Roc: $6
Total Mythic Value: $89
So plugging this into the formula, we get the following
(2R ($144) + 1M ($89) = $377
$364/121 = $3.11 value per pack, or $111.96 per box.
I, for one, am loving how hard Wizards is pushing the power level on three-color cards. When they said that this was one of the failings of Shards block
(since getting all three colors on turn 3 should be rewarded), I never thought they’d push so hard in the other direction that we’d end up with cards like
Mantis Rider and Savage Knuckleblade! See you all tomorrow, when hopefully we find out this is a cycle of creatures and the others are just as good!