The Financial Value Of New Phyrexia

The most anticipated Set Review is finally here! Ben Bleweiss is our Director of Sales at StarCityGames.com and the Finance Guru of Magic: The Gathering. He gives you his financial breakdown of New Phyrexia.

Welcome to the article about my thoughts on the Financial Value of New Phyrexia! If you’ve read one of my reviews before—welcome back! If
this is your first time here, welcome aboard! In just a few short paragraphs, I’ll be giving my insight into the New Phyrexia set from a
financial perspective. Given that the entire set has been spoiled for nearly two weeks now, the market has settled a lot more than it has for previous
sets, and there’s been a lot more time for the community to explore potential builds with a lot of these cards.

But first, a brief explanation of how this article works!

I’ve separated out the cards by color, for ease of viewing. Each color is subdivided into three sections:

Rares and Mythics
Bulk Rares
Commons and Uncommons

Rares and Mythics:
An in-depth look at cards that I think will be above bulk pricing. Each listing has the following fields:

Starting Price:

Current Price:
Short-Term Price:

Long-Term Price:

Starting Price: The first price we had on the card when it went up for sale on the website.

Current Price: The price as of the posting of this article on Friday, May 6 at midnight.

Short-Term Price: Card prices tend to peak about a month after set release, and then undergo a big fluctuation as the set becomes redeemable on Magic
Online (which causes a large, second wave of singles to flood the market—the first wave is dealers opening the product as the set is initially
released). This is the price I see the card peaking at before the Magic Online redemptions drive the price of (most) singles down overall.

Long-Term Price: This is where I see the card ending up months down the road, after the set generally isn’t being opened/redeemed in great
numbers. Figure this to be the price that I think the card will hit anytime from the release of M12, up until the release of the big fall set in

Bulk Rares:
Rares that I believe will generally fall into the $0.49—$1.49 range and don’t really have a lot of potential for upward mobility past this
point (though they may fluctuate in this $1 range over time).

Commons and Uncommons: Only Commons/Uncommons that I believe will hold a premium value will be listed here. These tend to be the cards that have a significant foil value as

The short and dirty: Of the 35 Rares, I believe 22 of them will end up in the Bulk Rare range—so there are 13 rares (and all 10 Mythics) that I
believe will hold value long-term. Just as a point of reference—I thought 20 of the 35 Rares in Mirrodin Besieged would be bulk, so the two sets
are comparable in that regard.

With that being said—this set is jam-packed with action in the Common and Uncommon slots. The Phyrexian mana mechanic is going to lead to many
highly-played “free” spells, and there are other cards that are sure to be tournament and casual staples all throughout this set. This set sees 21
C/U’s on the “good card” list, as opposed to 18 for Mirrodin Besieged—but of these 21, several are already above the $1 mark, whereas only a
couple (mainly Go for the Throat) are tapping on that plateau from MBS.

White Rares and Mythics

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

Starting Price: $6

Current Price: $6

Short-Term Price: $4
Long-Term Price: $4

Thoughts: This summer is going to be the summer of Commander—From the Vault: Legends and the Commander Box Sets are going to push the (already
popular) format into the stratosphere of popularity. There are a lot of borderline Constructed playable cards (read: Elesh Norn, which is very close in
power level to Crovax, Ascendant Hero, which saw some Constructed play) that are great generals for Commander play. In this case, being a Legendary
creature is a benefit—even though you can only have one in play at a time, Elesh will be desired as a General for countless mono-White

I liken the Mythic Legendary creatures to the ones in Shards of Alara, except the ones in this set are a lot more powerful. In this case, the majority
of Mythics in this set are really pushed to feel “Mythic” and not necessarily be the most powerful tournament cards in the set. Because Commander is so
popular right now, this will enable cards like Elesh Norn to maintain value, whereas two years ago, it probably would have dropped to the $2 range

Puresteel Paladin

Starting Price: $6

Current Price: $6

Short-Term Price: $4
Long-Term Price: $5

Thoughts: Will be very popular with casual players and will have a place alongside Stoneforge Mystic in a White Weenie/metalcraft
build—especially since Puresteel Paladin works fabulously with Argentum Armor, giving you more ways than Kor Outfitter to equip the Armor should
it get off your first creature after a Quest. Leonin Shikari and Auriok Blademaster sat around this value when they were Standard legal, and there’s
always the chance that Puresteel Paladin finds itself in some combo place.

White Bulk Rares

Blade Splicer—Though I’ll note that this guy works great with Shape Anew, giving another playable creature to play in a deck that might want to
cheat Blightsteel Colossus into play.

Chancellor of the Annex

Norn’s Annex

Phyrexian Unlife

White Commons and Uncommons

Dispatch (U): Will there be a playable Metalcraft deck in Standard? Signs point towards no, at least not in White—but maybe there’s enough of a
Tezzeret deck out there to run U/W/B. Also—I’ve read some talk about Affinity running this guy in Legacy, but if Affinity hasn’t really wanted to
run Swords to Plowshares or Path to Exile, then why would it suddenly shift colors to play this card?

Porcelain Legionnaire (C): One of the most underrated cards in the set. Basically any aggro deck can splash this guy and get a 3/1 first striker for
two colorless and two life. Helps Zoo get around anti-R/G hate spells (Mono-Red Aggro as well), as well as helping to fix colors. I could also see this
guy finding a place in Affinity because the body-to-cost ratio is pretty sexy.

Suture Priest (C): For use with Serra Ascendant—Soul Sisters part 2!

Blue Rares and Mythics

Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur

Starting Price: $5

Current Price: $5

Short-Term Price: $3
Long-Term Price: $5

Thoughts: I’ve heard a lot of people talk about Jin-Gitaxias as the ultimate Reanimator target—if he lives, you end the game. Jin-Gitaxias also
only has four toughness and no defense against Swords to Plowshares/Red Elemental Blast/etc. Is this the top-end of a Valakut Ramp deck? Maybe, ten
mana is a lot to ask, even if the abilities on Jin-Gitaxias are undeniably sexy.

Phyrexian Metamorph

Starting Price: $2

Current Price: $4

Short-Term Price: $3
Long-Term Price: $4

Thoughts: See Sculpting Steel, with an upside. Will be super-popular with the casuals, and may have a place in Standard as a three-mana Clone.

Blue Bulk Rares

Chancellor of the Spires
Phyrexian Ingester
Psychic Surgery

Blue Commons and Uncommons

Deceiver Exarch (U): By now, everyone knows how this combos with Splinter Twin. Will there be a lot of games ending with “end of turn three, flash out
Deceiver Exarch, then turn four put Splinter Twin on it and go infinite?” The answer is “when Go for the Throat, Doom Blade, and every other
removal spell in the format rotate out, then this will be a serious combo.” Seems like a tier-three combo deck at best, because a three-mana creature
that stinks on its own, combined with a four-mana creature aura that doesn’t do much on its own outside of one combo creature, isn’t a win to me. I also think Nature’s Claim will see more emergent play, because it works well both against Caw-Go, this combo, and Pyromancer’s Ascension decks.

Gitaxian Probe (C): Will see a ton of play in multiple formats. Almost strictly better than Street Wraith for Dredge decks. Pyromancer Ascension is
primed to make a comeback in this set thanks to playable draw spells, and this will be a part of that deck as well. Great for getting up storm counts
in TPS/other combo decks, because you can see if it’s safe to go off or not. Foil versions of this card should be fetching a solid $4-$5 after the
initial release supply dries up.

Mental Misstep (U): Yes, it’s as good in Legacy as the hype suggests. Format-changing card that is nearly worthless in Standard right now. It’s a
testament to the popularity to Legacy that the most expensive Uncommon since Path to Exile isn’t Standard playable but will probably hold value at
$4-$5. See Torpor Orb, below.

Psychic Barrier (C): Should see Standard play as a needed replacement for Remove Soul.

Tezzeret’s Gambit (U): Currently vastly underrated, as a $0.50 uncommon. This will see a LOT of play in Standard, and non-Blue decks are going to
love to have access to playable card drawing for three mana.

Black Rares and Mythics

Life’s Finale

Starting Price: $2

Current Price: $2

Short-Term Price: $2
Long-Term Price: $3

Thoughts: I think that Mono-Black Control will continue to be pushed by Wizards until it starts winning. Life’s Finale is a fine card for that deck,
especially against decks that are midrange—Life’s Finale seems especially punishing against decks that rely on Titans to win.

Phyrexian Obliterator

Starting Price: $20

Current Price: $25

Short-Term Price: $20
Long-Term Price: $15

Thoughts: See Abyssal Persecutor. Better, but harder to cast/not really splashable. Might as well be 5/5 unblockable for four mana—which is
great, but there’s no Dark Ritual in Standard. Solid, powerful, but not unique in what it does (five power for four mana) and not very proactive in
what it does.

Praetor’s Grasp

Starting Price: $2

Current Price: $4

Short-Term Price: $3
Long-Term Price: $4

Thoughts: One of my votes for an undervalued card in this set. Grim Tutor is currently seeing play in Legacy combo decks and would likely see play in
Mono-Black in Standard. Demonic Tutor your opponent’s deck for three mana seems insane in older formats and seems perfectly respectable in Standard
where you can grab your opponent’s Jace, leaving you with five and them with three. The better your opponent, the better Praetor’s Grasp will be for

Sheoldred, Whispering One

Starting Price: $5

Current Price: $5

Short-Term Price: $4
Long-Term Price: $10+

Thoughts: Both of these effects have been very popular with casual players in the past (see Debtors’ Knell), and I think that the body isn’t too big to
be out of the realm of possibility for Standard. I think there are a lot of reasons, if you’re Black, to want to play this over Grave Titan. If this
happens, I expect Sheoldred will hit $10-$15, just like Grave Titan initially did.

Surgical Extraction

Starting Price: $5

Current Price: $12.50

Short-Term Price: $12.50
Long-Term Price: $15

Thoughts: Cons against Extirpate—doesn’t have split second. Pros against Extirpate—costs zero to cast when you need it to (can cast while
tapped out) and can be splashed in any deck in existence. Extirpate was a solid $15 card for almost the first year it was in Standard, and there’s no
reason to think Surgical Extraction will demand any less of a price in a format where Pyromancer Ascension, Vengevine, and the such can be found.

Black Bulk Rares

Chancellor of the Dross

Glistening Oil

Black Commons and Uncommons

Despise (U): Black gets its third really good one-mana discard spell in Standard (Duress and Inquisition of Kozilek being the other two). Right now,
Despise is probably better than Duress (hits Stoneforge Mystic) but worse than Inquisition.

Dismember (U): People are comparing this to Snuff Out, but it still costs one more mana to cast than Snuff Out in a best-case scenario. Still, gives
off-color decks the ability to really kill a creature dead on turn one, if you want that creature dead. I could see Mono-Green Elves wanting this
ability in Standard, at the least.

Geth’s Verdict (C): An upside Diabolic Edict. I really think that Mono-Black Control has the tools to make it work in the new Standard.

Red Rares and Mythics

Slag Fiend

Starting Price: $4

Current Price: $4

Short-Term Price: $2
Long-Term Price: $5

Thoughts: There’s an almost unanimous agreement amongst the SCG acquisitions people that Slag Fiend will be a part of a deck, and that deck will be
capable of slugging it out in serious Constructed formats. We’re just not sure what that deck looks like, except to say that one mana is a really
dangerous place to put a guy who could draw some comparisons to Magnivore and Tarmogoyf.

Urabrask the Hidden

Starting Price: $4

Current Price: $8

Short-Term Price: $5
Long-Term Price: $3

Thoughts: Madrush Cyclops started at $1.50-$2 and quickly became a bulk rare. Urabrask is easier to cast, costs one more mana, and has a great design
(super-haste!)… but generally falls short of the “will this make an impact in any Constructed format?” test. In addition, while the “your opponent’s
creatures come into play tapped” ability is new on a Red card like this, giving all of your creatures haste is something that red mages have seen over
and over for Commander. Urabrask doesn’t bring enough “new” or “sexy” to the table to stay popular or high dollar.

Red Bulk Rares

Bludgeon Brawl

Chancellor of the Forge

Invader Parasite

Moltensteel Dragon—We’ll talk about Immolating Souleater under artifacts.

Red Commons and Uncommons

Volt Charge (C): Charges up Everflowing Chalice, Koth, and Kargan Dragonlord — which may make it more of a choice than Staggershock for that
sort of midrange Red deck.

Whipflare (U): A very playable alternative to Pyroclasm, in the way that Go for the Throat is a very playable alternative to Doom Blade—both will
see play, and it just depends on the metagame as to which is better.

Green Rares and Mythics

Birthing Pod

Starting Price: $2

Current Price: $4

Short-Term Price: $3
Long-Term Price: $3

Thoughts: Important note for Birthing Pod—have to fetch something that is X+1 mana, and NOT X+1 mana “or less”—and so many people seem to
be implicitly reading “or less” into the card when it’s not there. I’m sure there are a lot of reasons to want this card for casual play, but I don’t
see it having serious Constructed applications as a four-mana investment to start. Overrated.

Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger

Starting Price: $4

Current Price: $4

Short-Term Price: $3
Long-Term Price: $3

Thoughts: In a set that also contains Caged Sun, Caged Sun just seems like the more appealing card for a similar effect. Basically a bulk Mythic rare.

Green Bulk Rares

Chancellor of the Tangle

Fresh Meat—Though if someone finds a way to recur infinite token loops, this may take off.

Melira, Sylvok Outcast—Lots of hype around Melira, but to me, see Tunnel Ignus and Tajuru Preserver for what I think two-mana block-mechanic
hosers get you in this world.

Phyrexian Swarmlord

Green Commons and Uncommons

Beast Within (U): There’s a thread on Salvation asking if Beast Within is Fool’s Gold? The most apt comparison brought up is: Beast Within is to
Vindicate as Pongify is to Swords to Plowshares. To that I say—Beast Within solves everything, works well in older formats with Engineered
Explosives/Powder Keg, and is instant speed to boot. Beast Within may or may not have made Jamie Wakefield openly weep with happiness, so this’ll tell
you the sheer popularity this card will have with Green mages, regardless of whether or not Beast Within makes a splash in Constructed. (Note: It will
make a splash in Constructed).

Glistener Elf (C): Dreams of this + Groundswell + Assault Strobe = second turn kill. Does not seem solid for Standard, but there may be enough
redundancy with Rouse, Invigorate, Berserk, Groundswell, Might of Old Krosa, and Bounty of the Hunt in Legacy to make a go of a turn-two kill poison
deck, and a one-drop is exactly what that deck was missing to go off.

Noxious Revival (U): Combo decks are going to love this card—Reclaim was already borderline playable (and shows up every so often in Future
Sight/Early Harvest style decks), but in a TEPS-style deck where every spell and mana matters, Noxious Revival is going to be a powerhouse. I think
foils of Noxious Revival could end up topping out at around $10 once the initial supply dries up.

Artifact Rares and Mythics


Starting Price: $5

Current Price: $25

Short-Term Price: $20
Long-Term Price: $10

Thoughts: My vote for the most overrated card in the set. Yes, you can combo it out turn three with Stoneforge Mystic. We’re assuming your Mystic
survives after resolving. If it doesn’t, you’ve got a 4/4 vigilance lifelink creature for five mana. Non-evasive Durkwood Boars don’t excite me
terribly, especially when there are so many game-breaking pieces of equipment that help you solve your opponent’s board position (read: 3x Elemental

Caged Sun

Starting Price: $4

Current Price: $4

Short-Term Price: $3
Long-Term Price: $5+

Thoughts: It took the rise of Commander to make Gauntlet of Power into an $8 card. Caged Sun is just as powerful (if not more so) than Gauntlet of
Power and will steadily rise in price over the long term as its supply dries up… if it doesn’t inspire a Mirari’s Wake—style “uber-mana” deck
with all of the Zenith spells in Mirrodin Besieged. White Sun’s Zenith, anyone?

Etched Monstrosity

Starting Price: $3

Current Price: $3

Short-Term Price: $2
Long-Term Price: $2

Thoughts: This plus Vampire Hexmage is like a slow version of Dark Depths combo! But really, this is kind of the throwaway Mythic of the set, and
please don’t tell me how it combos with Melira—I know it does, but doesn’t your Elf deck have better things to do at both two and eight
mana—like dropping a 5/6 creature on the board turn two? (Foreshadowing!)

Hex Parasite

Starting Price: $2.50

Current Price: $6

Short-Term Price: $5
Long-Term Price: $4

Thoughts: Is this the solution to Jace? I don’t think so, but I’m not going to discount it either. The effect of Hex Parasite is powerful and not often
seen (just outright nuking counters on any permanent), so Hex Parasite will have a place in both Standard and in casual play—but it’s not as
powerful as it’s currently being hyped to be, so I don’t see it staying at the $6 it’s at right now.


Starting Price: $1

Current Price: $4

Short-Term Price: $4
Long-Term Price: $2

Thoughts: I equate the hype around Lashwrithe right now to the hype around Bonehoard last set—both are similarly costed, have the ability to hit
the board big, and neither is really going to make a big splash. Big Black has a lot of choices in the four slot for both spells and creatures, and I
see Phyrexian Obliterator and Abyssal Persecutor being better choices than Lashwrithe.

Myr Superion

Starting Price: $2.50

Current Price: $4

Short-Term Price: $4
Long-Term Price: $5+

Thoughts: It’s always tough to evaluate creatures that have a condition to be cast, because they are either very playable (Serra Avenger) or utterly
overhyped garbage (Talara’s Battalion). After much consideration, reading a ton of articles online, and talking to people, I think that Myr Superion
may be the breakout card of the set. Even if you have to wait until later in the game, you’re still getting a 5/6 body for two mana—so if you
have to do sketchy stuff like turn your Everflowing Chalice into a 5/5 creature with Tezzeret in order to cast Myr Superion, you’re still left with a
5/5 and a 5/6 on the board.

However, in many other circumstances, you’re able to play a turn one Joraga Treespeaker into a turn two Myr Superion—or a turn three Grand
Architect into a turn three Myr Superion. Aether Vial works wonders with Myr Superion (as it did with Serra Avenger), as do most Elf builds, Lotus
Cobra, and other cards that are already being played on purpose in Constructed formats. Even Dryad Arbor, which seems to have more and more utility as
every set is released, does its part to try to get Myr Superion into play on turn two.

I’ve heard people compare Myr Superion to Tarmogoyf, except it’s an unconditional 5/6 no matter what. It’s not Tarmogoyf-good because of the casting
restrictions, but it will be as good as Tarmogoyf in a subset of decks that can reliably get that mana from creatures on turn 2/3—or turn one if
you’re playing Tinder Wall :)

Sword of War and Peace

Starting Price: $22.50

Current Price: $25

Short-Term Price: $30
Long-Term Price: $25

Thoughts: The previous two Swords in this block have proven to be both popular and capable of slugging it out in Standard. This one is better than Body
and Mind and slightly worse than Feast and Famine—though protection from red combined with life gain will be backbreaking against certain
strategies. Solid, and should hold value for the duration.

Torpor Orb

Starting Price: $1

Current Price: $4

Short-Term Price: $4
Long-Term Price: $2.50

Thoughts: So many people are reading this card as a solution for comes-into-play creatures your opponent plays and are baffled by how this card shot up
to $4 so quickly. This is another card that has its value driven primarily by the Legacy crowd. Torpor Orb shuts off negative triggers, so it allows
you to play Phyrexian Dreadnought without needing to sacrifice. The same goes for Hunted Horror, and so people have been re-brewing Stiflenought and
new mono-Black Dark Ritual—based Illusionary Mask/Torpor Orb decks, which have a surprising consistency due to a newly discovered redundancy. In
short, I don’t think this deck will be a tier 1 Legacy strategy, but I would not be afraid to say I see a Torpor Orb deck breaking the Top 8 of a
Legacy Open before the Indianapolis Invitational weekend is over.

Artifact Bulk Rares

Omen Machine

Soul Conduit


Unwinding Clock

Artifact Commons and Uncommons

Alloy Myr (U): Darksteel Ingot on a Myr, and casual players love both their Myr and their Darksteel Ingots.

Immolating Souleater (C): One of the most efficient ways to make yourself lose life, if you’re so inclined to want to lose life on purpose (Death’s
Shadow, for instance). In addition, can fuel turn three kills with Fling and its ilk. I’d snap up foil versions of this card early because I think any
creature this cheap with a built-in Hatred Engine has the potential to see a lot of Constructed play.

Mindcrank (U): Combos with Bloodchief Ascension to infinitely kill your opponent, once the Ascension is active. People have already started buying up
our Bloodchief Ascensions the past week, and I’ve heard there’s fire where the smoke is in this case. Pick up foils Mindcranks in case this deck pans

Mycosynth Wellspring (C): Great for casual play and might get some Constructed nods if there’s a deck that can steadily kill their own artifacts (see:
Ichor Wellspring and Phyrexia’s Core).

Colorless Cards

Karn Liberated

Starting Price: $40

Current Price: $50

Short-Term Price: $35
Long-Term Price: $25

Thoughts: Judging from where I’m putting the price trajectory on Karn, you can tell I think he’s more Elspeth Tirel and Venser, and less Tezzeret,
Agent of Bolas. Whereas I think Tezzeret is only going to up in value because it wins games basically on its own, Karn is an improved version (due to a
lower mana cost and color requirement) of Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker. Nicol Bolas has held value due to casual play and occasional one-off syndrome in
Standard. Karn is basically a Nicol Bolas that can be played in any Constructed deck (see: Commander), but the +4 ability doesn’t affect the board
enough to justify a seven-mana investment, and the -3 ability might as well be Spine of Ish Sah.

Gold Card

Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer

Starting Price: $1.50

Current Price: $1.50

Short-Term Price: $1
Long-Term Price: $2.50

Thoughts: If there’s a Metalcraft deck that’s going to work, I think Jor Kadeen (8/5 first strike for five mana that makes all your other guys ridic
huge) is the reason it’ll work. I also think that Jor Kadeen is going to end up being a very popular Commander general, and I would pick up foil
versions now because Jor is a card I can see hitting $10 quickly in foil.

Land Card

Phyrexia’s Core (U): Mycosynth Wellspring for fun and profit! ┢. Pick up foil versions of this card, i.e. see what High Market is going for
these days.


I’ve started an annual tradition of putting up an April Fool’s Day puzzle on our General Discussion forums and challenging the community to come up
with a solution. This year’s puzzle thread
can be found here

—and I also Facebooked about it several times over the past couple of weeks on my Facebook account here.

Last year’s prize was a Baneslayer Angel, and this year’s prize (if anyone had solved the puzzle) was going to be a Jace, the Mind Sculptor. However,
nobody could solve the puzzle this year, so allow me to put the solution out there now!

The clues ended up being as follows:

– Clue #1 The solution could be found in one of the articles I wrote on SCG’s website between April 1st 2010 and March 31st 2011.

          Clue Answer: The article in question was my financial values article for Rise of the Eldrazi,
which can be found here

– Clue #2 The solution is fifteen words long, and the number fifteen has a significance within the article in question.

          Clue Answer: The answer is indeed fifteen words long, and fifteen happens to be the number of Mythic
Rares in Rise of the Eldrazi.

– Clue #3 The puzzle solution was either a hidden message or cryptography.

          Clue Answer: The puzzle solution was a hidden message.

And now, here’s the solution.

Yes, I really did plant that in my article a year in advance, with the plan of putting other hidden messages in other articles throughout the year.
Fatherhood got in the way of that plan (didn’t write nearly as much as I wanted to), but there you have it—the solution to the second annual
General Discussion April Fool’s Day contest!

Ben Bleiweiss
– Director of Sales, StarCityGames.com