Guilds Of Ravnica Financial Review: Part 2

Wait no longer! Chas Andres returns to finish up the big Guilds of Ravnica finance look! This is the highest powered Magic set in some time…so what does that mean for its financial future? Chas talks specifics!

Welcome back to my Guilds of Ravnica financial set review!
If you missed the first part, check it out here.
Today’s installment will cover all the cards that were previewed last week,
plus my overall thoughts on the set now that we know the identity of all
259 new singles.

But first, let’s take a look at what has changed since my last article:

Price Shifts From Last Week

There haven’t been too many major shifts in value over the past week, which
speaks to StarCityGames’ solid hit rate on setting their pre-order prices
correctly. Chromatic Lantern and Beast Whisperer pretty clearly needed a
price reduction, though, and it’s nice to see them getting more affordable.
Additionally, Mausoleum Secrets is a powerful card that doesn’t seem to
have a home yet. Its price might continue to drop over the next couple of
months, though I’m still pretty bullish on the card’s long-term future.

On the other end of the spectrum, Aurelia’s upward shift was likely because
a bunch of really good Boros cards were previewed this week, starting with
Tajic, Legion’s Edge. I’m now far more confident that Boros is going to be
good straight out of the gate, which means that Aurelia might end up
peaking in the $20-$25 range at some point over the next few weeks. If you
want to play Boros right away, grab your copies of Aurelia ASAP.

I’d also like to reevaluate Runaway Steam-Kin and Swiftblade Vindicator,
two cards that I’ve changed my tune on since last week. Swiftblade
Vindicator is far better now that Tajic, Legion’s Edge is a thing, and I
wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up as a four-of in the good Boros deck as
well. As for Runaway Steam-Kin, I’ve heard a lot of love from pro players I
respect, like
Jim Davis
Gerry Thompson
. Based on their analysis, I now feel as though the card is underpriced
based on how much play it’s likely to see. Grab your copies if you want

Onto the cards we haven’t discussed yet!

Mythic Rares

Divine Visitation – $12.99

By this point, you probably know just how much I dislike expensive cards
that don’t do anything the turn they enter the battlefield. Anointed
Procession was good enough to see play in Standard, though, and Divine
Visitation is at least reasonably comparable to that previous token
generator. Guilds of Ravnica is full of good enablers, too, so it
seems reasonable to run Divine Visitation as a two or three-of in a
Selesnya deck. That’s enough to get this card into the $5-$6 range, but
let’s not forget just how popular cards like this are with the casual and
Commander crowds. I don’t think Divine Visitation has a ton of upside, but
I could see it kicking around the $6-$10 range for the next year or so
regardless of how much play it sees in Standard. Buying in now if you need
them is fine, but there are far better spec choices for anyone who wants to
go deep on Guilds singles.

Mnemonic Betrayal – $7.99

Mnemonic Betrayal is a cool card. It reminds me of Yawgmoth’s Will, one of
my favorite spells ever printed, and I get why it’s a mythic rare.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that Mnemonic Betrayal will see any play in
Standard. It might show up as a one-of here and there in Legacy or Vintage,
and Commander players are going to want a copy, but that won’t create
enough demand to keep this from being a future bulk mythic.

Thousand-Year Storm – $7.99

Boy, I hope jump-start is good enough that Thousand-Year Storm ends up
seeing competitive play. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Unfortunately, six-mana
enchantments that require you to follow them up with multiple spells in a
single turn before you can even start to accrue value are …well, they’re
for Commander, not Standard or Modern. Future bulk mythic.

Chance for Glory – $5.99

Final Fortune hasn’t been Standard-legal in a very long time, but it wasn’t
very good the last time it was around. Chance for Glory adds an
indestructibility element to the equation, but the fact that this card is
only good when you’re racing full-tilt toward the end of the game means
that it’ll be a sideboard play at best. Boros decks might toss a few of
these into their sideboards for aggro mirror matches or other situations
where you feel like a single extra turn can win you the game, but I’d
rather have another threat or piece of removal most of the time. Future
bulk mythic.


Tajic, Legion’s Edge – $3.99

Tajic, Legion’s Edge is one of the best Standard cards in Guilds of Ravnica. Heck, it might prove good enough for Modern
Humans as well
. Gerry Thompson thinks that it’s the best card in the entire set for
Standard play

, a recommendation that should not be taken lightly. If you want to know
why Aurelia jumped in price this week, look no further than Tajic.

While Tajic might eventually settle in the $4 range due to the overall
power level of Guilds, there’s a real shot that this card ends up
spiking in the $10-$15 range on week one if Boros is the fastest deck out
of the gate. Worst case, $4 is a totally reasonable buy-in for a card
that’s almost assuredly going to see play in some Standard deck
with potential to see play in Modern as well. Grab these at current
retail-you won’t be disappointed.

Thief of Sanity – $3.99

There was a six-month window back in 2014 when Nightveil Specter was a $10
card and a four-of in the format’s best deck. Thief of Sanity has a similar
amount of upside, though I haven’t seen much hype surrounding this one yet.
The format will have to be conducive to slow, flying 2/2s, which probably
won’t happen right away thanks to all the crazy-good Boros cards that were
previewed this week. Don’t be shocked if Thief of Sanity has its day in the
sun at some point during its run in Standard, but don’t run out and buy
these at $4 unless you have a plan for how to use them.

Unmoored Ego – $3.99

I don’t see Unmoored Ego doing much of anything in Standard, where Lost
Legacy could already hit almost every card you’d actually want to hate
away. It has some game in Modern, though, where the fact that it can hit
artifacts and lands(!) gives it game against several decks where Lost
Legacy wasn’t going to do much.

While I feel like Unmoored Ego is going to make an impact in Modern, that
won’t stop it from dropping down to the $1 range or even lower over the
short-term. Supply is going to massively outstrip demand unless Unmoored
Ego finds a home in Standard as well, and I just don’t see that actually
happening. If you can hold off on buying these until November, you should.

Charnel Troll – $2.99

They say not to feed the trolls, but Charnel Troll is the exception to that
rule. A 4/4 with trample for three mana is pretty darn good, but you can’t
actually play your Charnel Troll on turn 3 unless you’ve perfectly set it
up with enough fodder to keep it alive for a while. And that’s not even
taking graveyard hate into consideration.

I can certainly see a world where Charnel Troll ends up headlining an
excellent Standard deck, but the risk of this card busting out entirely is
too great for me to consider buying in. I’d rather target the next card on
this list, which is somehow pre-ordering for the exact same price.

Pelt Collector – $2.99

Pet Collector is outstanding. Good one-drops are so important, and you
don’t have to do much to make this one pay off. Experiment One was a
playable card in its day, and Pelt Collector might actually be better. It’s
the sort of card that could end up as a four-of in multiple tier one decks,
too, which gives it $15 upside. I’m not saying it’ll get there for sure, of
course, but it’s one of the best spec targets in the set at just $3. If
you’re going to buy any of the cards I write about today, make it either
Pelt Collector or Tajic.

Risk Factor – $2.49

Oh boy. Every time a punisher card comes around, there’s a big kerfuffle
between the “punisher cards are always a trap!” folks and the “the mystery
box could be anything. It could even be a boat!” crowd.

I tend to side with the anti-punisher folks about 90% of the time, but Risk
Factor actually seems good to me. Browbeat was a competitive card in its
day and getting it at instant speed is a heck of an upgrade. You obviously
aren’t going to want to play this in any deck where you aren’t trying to
burn your opponent out, but if your opponent can’t just take four to the
face, your consolation prize is getting to draw three cards, one of which
you can pitch to jump-start your Risk Factor for a second time. Yeah, I
think this one’s worth $2.50 if you’re going to play red. This card is
better than people think.

Etrata, the Silencer – $1.99

I keep reading Etrata as “errata,” which seems fitting considering how
complex a card it is. Etrata is a fun flavor win, but I don’t see how it
ends up seeing any competitive play. It’s essentially a very slow removal
spell that can be disrupted at any point, which is not my idea of a great
time. Future bulk rare.

Gruesome Menagerie – $1.99

Gruesome Menagerie is sort of like Collected Company, if it cost five mana
instead of four, was a sorcery instead of an instant, needed you to set up
your graveyard, and had much stricter requirements about what could and
could not be put out. Yeah, I’ll pass on this future bulk rare.

Citywide Bust – $1.49

While it doesn’t appear that Citywide Bust is an effective answer to most
of the best Standard decks in…well, pretty much any iteration of the
format, three-mana sweepers are always worth a couple of extra looks. I
don’t think Citywide Bust is going to end up being a major player in Guilds Standard, but the buy-in is low enough and the upside is
high enough that I might grab a set anyhow.

Experimental Frenzy – $1.49

Are any of these wacky Izzet enabler cards going to pay off in Standard? So
far, I haven’t seen any indication that they will. It’s possible that the
mana reduction for Experimental Frenzy vs. Future Sight will create some
sort of payoff in Modern or Legacy, but that’s a bit of a long shot. This
card is likely a future bulk rare.

Assure – $0.99

I love the flexibility of Assure, but I don’t think that either side is
powerful enough to justify running this card in a competitive deck. It’s a
lot closer to being good than most of these $1 rares, though, so I don’t
blame anyone for wanting to take a flier on it. Personally, I’d rather buy
another 1/4th of a copy of Tajic.

Bounty of Might – $0.99

Back in high school, I killed my fair share of kitchen table opponents with
Might of Oaks on a Thorn Elemental. Bounty of Might is certainly a better
card-you won’t get blown out by a single removal spell-but I can’t imagine
it’s good enough for competitive play regardless. Future bulk rare.

Camaraderie – $0.99

Despite Camaraderie’s similarity to the last card we talked about, I’m not
sure it’s quite as unplayable as Bounty of Might. I’d like it quite a bit
if it were an instant, and I could use it as a Selesnya-based Sphinx’s
Revelation, but even as a sorcery I can imagine a world where it finds a
home as a midrange mirror-breaker. It’s never going to be more than a $2-$3
card even best-case, though, so it’s only worth buying in if you’re really
excited to run it.

Chamber Sentry – $0.99

I want to look at Chamber Sentry and see a slightly worse Walking Ballista,
but instead I see a card that isn’t very good even if you’re running a
three-color deck. It might show up if the format ends up being conducive
to, like, a five-color jank-mo-tron deck, but I doubt that’s going to
happen. Bulk rare.

Dawn of Hope – $0.99

Dawn of Hope seems a bit too slow and fiddly for competitive Standard play,
but lifegain payoff cards are always worth considering. I like Legion’s
Landing quite a bit more, though, and it’s not like that card is setting
the world on fire at the moment. I’ll be keeping an eye on Dawn of Hope,
but the most likely scenario for this one is that it remains a bulk rare.

Drowned Secrets – $0.99

I don’t think we’re anywhere close to a competitive Standard mill deck at
the moment. Solid mill cards rarely end up being true bulk, though, so
Drowned Secrets will probably kick around the $0.75-$1 range for a while
before eventually ending up as a $3-$4 rare. We’re years away from that,
though, so you can safely ignore this one for now.

Hatchery Spider – $0.99

Hatchery Spider might look like a perfect 5/7 to some of you, but seven
mana creatures had to be incredibly powerful to see any sort of competitive
play. Hatchery Spider does not fit that bill.

Light of the Legion – $0.99

Light of the Legion is a pure Limited card. It’ll win you a draft here and
there, but it’s a bulk rare that will not see any Constructed play.

Uncommons to Pre-Order

While most rares and mythic rares are never more expensive than they are
during the pre-order period, most of the best uncommons actually increase
in price as the format shakes out. If you aren’t going to be heavily
drafting Guilds of Ravnica, I recommend you pick up your playsets
of the set’s key uncommons relatively soon.

Chemister’s Insight – $0.75

Chemister’s Insight is the new Glimmer of Genius, and I suspect it’ll see
just as much play. Control decks need instant speed card draw, and this one
is going to be in high demand.

Circuitous Route – $0.50

Explosive Vegetation variants are always going to have Commander demand, so
make sure you snag a couple of foils while they’re still just $3.

Conclave Tribunal – $0.50

50 cents (and just $2 foil!) is a bargain for what is likely to be white’s
premier Oblivion Ring-style effect for the next couple of years. Convoke
makes Conclave Tribunal a lot better than it looks, so get your copies

District Guide – $0.50

I’m not sold on District Guide in Standard, but this is a very solid
Commander card. $2 is a fine deal for foil copies.

Goblin Cratermaker – $1

At a dollar, you’re not getting much of a discount on Goblin Cratermaker.
It’s going to see play, though, and the fact that foils are just $3 is
pretty incredible considering the fact that this card is going to see play
in Legacy Goblins.

Integrity – $0.50

I’m not sure that Integrity ends up over $1 at any point considering you
need a Boros deck to run it, but it’s worth noting that this is going to be
a solid Standard playable that you should at least throw in your trade
binder over the first couple weeks of the set’s legality.

Status – $0.75

You can pretty much copy the Integrity paragraph and paste it here. A cheap
combat trick that turns into a versatile removal spell later in the game?
That’s some pretty solid value for Golgari decks.

Overall Thoughts on Guilds of Ravnica

Like I said last week, Guilds of Ravnica is a very good set.
Because of its high power level, you’re probably going to see a Khans of Tarkir-style evolution of card values over the next
couple of weeks: Prices will increase over the short term as the new
metagame establishes itself, followed by a large price decrease as more and
more boxes are opened and the EV of an opened pack begins to fall in line
with the cost of a sealed pack.

The trick with sets like this? Open packs or speculate on singles early,
but make sure you flip your extra cards ASAP. Focus on getting relevant
Standard pieces from Dominaria, Core Set 2019, and
especially Ixalan block. If Guilds of Ravnica ends up
being as good as most people seem to think it is, there will be a lot fewer
of these older cards floating around simply because fewer people were
playing Standard back when they were being opened.

Key Guilds of Ravnica Cards I Feel Great About

Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice Assassin's Trophy Knight of Autumn Legion Warboss Pelt Collector Swiftblade Vindicator Tajic, Legion's Edge Runaway Steam-Kin

Key Guilds of Ravnica Cards I Like, But Am Iffy About

Doom Whisperer Lazav, the Multifarious Divine Visitation March of the Multitudes Nullhide Ferox Vraska, Golgari Queen Trostani Discordant Mausoleum Secrets Ritual of Soot Emmara, Soul of the Accord

Key Guilds of Ravnica Cards I Am Fading

Dream Eater Mnemonic Betrayal Ral, Izzet Viceroy

Thousand-Year Storm Underrealm Lich Mission Briefing Unmoored Ego

This Week’s Trends

  • There weren’t any major Standard gainers this week, but believe
    me-that’ll start to change, and change soon. I have my eye on
    Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, History of Benalia, Search for Azcanta,
    Carnage Tyrant, Vraska’s Contempt, and Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants,
    all of which stand to gain a lot from Guilds of Ravnica
    and a resurgent Standard market. I’m also seeing some slight upward
    movement from Bone Dragon and some major movement from Core Set 2019 uncommon Stitcher’s Supplier due to their
    potential value in a new Golgari deck.
  • The Modern market has been fairly quiet too. Jace, the Mind
    Sculptor continues to climb, as do Jund staples like Blackcleave
    Cliffs, Tarmogoyf, and Liliana of the Veil thanks to the printing
    of Assassin’s Trophy. We should know soon how legit the Jund
    resurgence actually is, but I’m bullish on these cards over the
    short-term regardless.
  • Remember how we talked about the potential of Phyrexian Dreadnought
    last week due to Lazav? Shock of all shocks, this weird Reserved
    List rare spiked quite a bit this week. While I still don’t think
    this combo is actually good enough, Reserved List cards tend to
    stay fairly high regardless. Don’t expect this one to end up back
    at $20 again.

  • Is Brawl dead? Not quite, but the nascent format is certainly
    circling the drain after WotC pulled all their Brawl events off the
    schedule on Magic Online. While I don’t think that the loss of
    Brawl will impact the finance world at all-it’s not like anyone was
    actually playing it-I’m still kind of miffed that WotC actively
    ignored all of the homebrew “Eternal Brawl” formats that popped up
    over the past year. The Standard card pool was just too small for
    Brawl to work correctly, but an Eternal variant could have been a
    great goofy alternative to the increasingly streamlined Commander
    format. Ah well.
  • Lastly, WotC announced that a small number of Guilds of Ravnica: Mythic Edition sets would be available
    for pre-order and pick-up at upcoming Grand Prix. This seems to be
    WotC’s fix to the fact that the Hasbro Toy Shop will not ship
    internationally, though you’re still out of luck if you’re an
    international buyer without an upcoming GP in your country. I’m not
    sure whether or not these copies were printed on top of the Hasbro
    Toy Shop stash or whether they were simply siphoned off of that
    supply, but it’s starting to look like the supply of Mythic Edition is a little larger than I’d been thinking.
    At this point, I’d suggest only buying a set if you’re okay with
    the knowledge that you may not ever be able to move these foil
    planeswalkers for a profit.