Hello everyone, and welcome to my take of the financial value of the Shadowmoor set! My name is Ben Bleiweiss, and I’m the General Manager of Inventory and Acquisitions here at StarCityGames.com. This means that I am responsible for setting the prices for all of the cards you see on this website — including the initial pricing for Shadowmoor cards.
When a set is first released, we have a standard pricing structure for cards — the base price of Commons begins at $0.25, Uncommons at $0.50, and Rares at $1. Foil cards go for twice as much — Commons at $0.50, Uncommons at $1, and Rares at $2. For past editions of my Financial Value articles, I’ve grouped cards by ones I thought you should acquire, ones I thought you should trade away, and ones I thought were sleepers. I am going to continue this, but give a more comprehensive pricing structure: I will give you the actual prices that we will begin preselling cards for this coming Monday (directly after the prerelease) and discuss whether I believe those cards will go up, down or remain steady in price.
I will also note Uncommons and Commons that I believe will go for more than base pricing, either as a foil, or as a non-foil version! Moreso than ever, this article will be a great way to reference the beginning pricing and value of all of the cards in Shadowmoor as seen by StarCityGames.com!
As always, all information from this article was taken from the Shadowmoor Spoiler on Mtgsalvation.com — all credit for the card text for these cards goes to them, as does any blame if the texts are wrong. You don’t want to hear me go on and on about disclaimers, though — let’s get straight to the cards!
(C) Common (but you knew this already, eh?)
(FOIL) I’m only talking about the Foil version of this card!
(+) I believe this card will go up in price
(=) I believe this card will stay around this price for a while
(-) I think this card is being overvalued and will go down in price
Boon Reflection (R): $2 (+) From the Doubling Season cycle, where Wizards hopes to capitalize on one of the most popular casual cards in years. This one combos well with other casual favorites (Beacon of Immortality).
Greater Auramancy (R): $1.50 (+) Half the role of Sterling Grove, but at a higher rarity. Won’t be super-high, but should catch the eye of some casual players.
Mass Calcify (R): $2 (=) The latest Kirtar’s Wrath/Austere Command variant, and these usually end up settling in the $1.50-$2.50 range.
Runed Halo (R): $5 (+) One of the chase cards of the set (not counting the lands), basically making you invulnerable to (usually) four cards out of your opponent’s deck. Costs little enough to matter, mana-wise. Will go higher if W/U control makes a comeback.
Twilight Shepherd (R): $4 (=) Along the lines of Adarkar Valkyrie, with combo deck applications. Also an Angel, which helps large White creatures maintain value (as opposed to stuff like Spirits)
Windbrisk Raptor (R): $1 (=) A bulk rare. Costs too much mana to matter.
Last Breath (U, foil version): $2
Niveous Wisps (C, foil version): $1 (Passes the Shaheen Soorani test of W/U Control)
Prison Term (U, foil version): $2
Spectral Procession (U, foil version): $2
Augury Adept (R): $4 (=) Dimir Cutpurse ended up in this range, because it had no evasion, and required you to play two colors. This is slightly better because you can run it in either mono-Blue or mono-White if you want, but it still has the Cutpurse problem – no evasion in-and-of itself.
Enchanted Evening (R): $1 (=) Kind of nifty with Greater Auramancy, but it’s not like Mycosynth Lattice where you got an additional benefit to making everything a different permanent-type.
Godhead of Awe (R): $4 (+) Comes down and shuts everything else off. Doesn’t this combo fantastically with Serrated Arrows?
Mirrorweave (R): $4 (-) A lot of people are hyping this card as a finisher – make a bunch of tokens and then turn them all into Tarmogoyfs. I just see this as a hyperactive Cytoplasm, which was maybe a $1.50-$2 card at best.
Swans of Bryn Argoll (R): $5 (+) This guy is stupid large for Blue or White, and is hard to kill. In addition, it combos well with Seismic Assault (see Patrick Chapin article) and/or with Sulfurous Blast, Pyroclasm, or Skred (draw X, where X is your number of Snow Lands). I think this is the Reveillark of the set – a moderately priced Rare at first that has combo applications and ends up being a $10 engine of a deck.
Thistledown Liege (R): $1.50 (=) Flash is nifty, but do you want to pay four mana for a 1/3 creature?
Worldpurge (R): $1 (+) It’s not Upheaval, but it’s also not unreasonable to think that this might see play – basically resetting the game and letting you get the first land drop.
Repel Intruders (U): $0.75 (One of the best four-mana Counterspell variants in quite some time)
Counterbore (R): $4 (+) Counterspell plus Lobotomy. Quash was semi-playable, and this can just shut down an entire deck’s worth of key spells in one swoop.
Isleback Spawn (R): $1 (=) Large dumb bulk rare creature.
Knacksaw Clique (R): $1.50 (-) Too small for the faerie deck, and you don’t get to play the spell for free. Nobody played Ornate Kanzashi, and this is Ornate Kanzashi on a creature.
Puca’s Mischief (R): $1 (+) This has the potential to be decent, because at the least you trade Puca’s Mischief for one of their creatures. I think it’s worth picking up four of these, just in case they turn out to be playable.
River Kelpie (R): $1.5 (+) This guy is a little weird, but works great with any sort of flashback card, such as Think Twice and Mystical Teachings. Is this better than Dralnu for a Black/Black control deck? Maybe, maybe not – but it is a lot more interesting, and a lot harder to take off the board for good.
Savor the Moment (R): $4 (+) This will go up in price. Don’t think of it as Time Walk (although if you have upkeep effects, it will double those). Think of it as something Green never got – a cantrip Wild Growth. Is there a reason to not play four of these in any deck with Blue right now? At the worst, you replace your own draw and accelerate a land. Pick these up now.
Thought Reflection (R): $1 (=) A little too expensive, mana-wise, to work out. Another card in the Doubling Season cycle.
Cursecatcher (U, foil version): $2
Spell Syphon (C, foil version): $1
Cemetery Puca (R): $2.50 (=) Basically Dimir Doppelganger, which stayed in the $2-$3 range for an entire two years.
Dire Undercurrents (R): $1.5 (=) Really nifty for slow, casual formats, but too expensive for constructed play.
Ghastlord of Fugue (R): $4 (+) A great finisher for Blue, because once it gets online, it will be difficult for any deck to fight through both a Coercion a turn, plus a wall of countermagic. Also unterrorable. Currently being undervalued – this is a great mono-Blue finisher, much less a great card for Black or Blue/Black.
Glen Elendra Liege (R): $2.50 (-) Another weak card in this cycle. If you’re playing either Blue or Black, would you pay four mana for a 2/3 flyer? Sure, it pumps your other guys…but there are naturally bigger guys (or better utility guys – hi Venser!) worth playing in this slot.
Memory Plunder (R): $2 (+) Chris Woltereck was all excited about this card, because he wanted to do naughty things with his opponent’s graveyard. In a control on control match, this could be, in effect, a Twincast for any spell already cast.
Oona, Queen of the Fae (R): $5 (-) Dragon-sized creatures haven’t been in favor for a while, unless they have a really knock-you-dead ability. A Legendary creature that mills for Faeries is decent for casual play, but I don’t see this being played a ton competitively. Should settle in the $3-$4 range.
Sygg, River Cutthroat (R): $4 (+) Described to me as “Dark Confidant for a Blue/Red burn deck”, and I think that is accurate – play it turn 2, Incinerate on turn 3 (draw a card), Shard Volley on their turn (draw a card) and keep the chain going. Remember – this is not Black/Blue, but it is Mono-Blue, Mono-Black and Black/Blue!
Dream Salvage (U, foil version): $3
Memory Sluice (C, foil version): $1
River’s Grasp (U, foil version): $3
Scarscale Ritual (C, foil version): $2
Dusk Urchins (R): $5 (+) On target for power/toughness for this slot, and it will likely draw you 1-2 cards when it dies. Unopposed, you’re looking at five damage and three cards for three mana.
Hollow Barghest (R): $1 (=) Costs too much mana.
Midnight Banshee (R): $2.50 (+) A great control creature for Black – Chris Woltereck likened it to Thrashing Wumpus, and I don’t think the comparison is that far off.
Plague of Vermin (R): $1 (=) The definition of a bulk rare.
Polluted Bond (R): $1 (+) Potentially a little higher for group games – this can get out of hand quickly when there’s more than two people playing. Too expensive for Constructed, but competitive players aren’t the only ones who drive the value of cards.
Puppeteer Clique (R): $2 (+) I think this is a great finisher for a Black control deck – kill their Goyf, and then slap them around for five (much less a Gargadon or something meatier). Gets a double dose of love, thanks to Persist.
Wound Reflection (R): $1 (=) Seems about as useful as Final Punishment, except more expensive.
Beseech the Queen (U): $1 (A restrictive Diabolic Tutor, but one mana cheaper, for decks that care about Diabolic Tutor)
Corrupt (U, foil version): $2
Rite of Consumption (C, foil version): $2
Ashenmoor Liege (R): $2.50 (-) Another card in this cycle, and one that can easily be blocked by any creature – also very vulnerable to mass removal, including Sulfurous Blast and Pyroclasm.
Demigod of Revenge (R): $7.5 (=) An A+ Red finisher (or Black finisher) for an aggressive deck, and would be over $10 in value if it wasn’t also the prerelease card.
Din of the Fireherd (R): $1 (=) Costs too much mana to be worthwhile. Grave Pact costs half as much, and Boom/Bust is more reliable.
Everlasting Torment (R): $1.50 (=) A good sideboard card, along the lines of Rain of Gore or Forsaken Wastes. They usually end up in the $1.50-$2 price range as well, when Standard legal.
Fulminator Mage (R): $12 (-) Currently eBaying for $12-$12.50 each, but is this really $9 better than Avalanche Riders? It’s an Elemental, and yes, it’s a Wasteland, but you have to lose the creature to kill the land. This is good, but not $12 good.
Spiteful Visions (R): $2 (+) Underworld Dreams (which has consistently been a $4 card) plus Howling Mine (which has been a $4-$5 card for years) is more than a $2 card when put together. Yes, it affects you too – but this is a casual card which screams “I’m worth more than $2” compared to its pedigree.
Tyrannize (R): $1 (=) Why would you play this over Mind Shatter, or any other number of discard spells? Isn’t this what used to be the punisher mechanic, by the way?
Murderous Redcap (U): $0.75
Poison the Well (Common, foil version): $1
Torrent of Souls (Uncommon, foil version): $2.50
Cragganwick Cremator (R): $1.50 (+) Although you can’t completely control how much damage this will do, I can see it being combined with large creatures as a finisher, in lieu of a Disintegrate. Honestly, what’s better: Disintegrate for ten mana, or working it so Greater Gargadon and Cragganwick Cremator are the last two cards in hand, and pitching the Gargadon for nine damage at four mana?
Deep-Slumber Titan (R): $1 (=) Combos with Pyroclasm or Sulfurous Blast, but not reliably enough to be a threat.
Elemental Blessing (R): $1 (=) Is there a combo where you’d want to spend a creature and an enchant creature to make a bunch of 1/1 hasty creatures? Possibly down the road, but you’re honestly just asking to get two-for-oned.
Furystoke Giant (R): $1 (=) A bulk rare – mainly rare because it is ridiculously swingy (in a good way, for you) in Limited.
Knollspine Dragon (R): $2 (+) Am I missing something, or does this work really well in Dragonstorm, as a backup plan with Spinerock Knoll? Wouldn’t you want to do seven to the head, and then draw seven cards and put a 7/5 flyer into play?
Knollspine Invocation (R): $1.50 (+) I think this card is great – a fixed Stormbind and a card that can singlehandedly win the game from any sort of stalemate position. I think this is one of the sleeper cards of the set.
Rage Reflection (R): $1 (=) Another part of the Doubling Season cycle, and once again it costs too much mana to be worth the effort.
Flame Javelin (U): $1 (+) Better than Char if you’re mono-Red. Just about Lightning Blast if you’re not. There is a huge difference in power level if you’re casting this at RRR or RR2 – but thanks to the new dual land cycle, getting RRR is a lot easier than it used to be!
Burn Trail (C, foil version): $1
Intimidator Initiate (C, foil version): $1
Smash to Smithereens (C, foil version): $2.50
Boartusk Liege (R): $3 (=) The 2nd Best Liege, and one that has a lot of on-color creatures to pump. A little small itself (3/4 for four – Green usually gets 4/4’s at this mana cost), but works well with others.
Deus of Calamity (R): $4 (=) A good, efficient Green (or Red) creature, but has to compete with stuff like Cloudthresher. If this connects, it is hard for your opponent to get back into the game.
Impromptu Raid (R): ??? – The only rare in the set not spoiled when I wrote this guide!
Rosheen Meanderer (R): $1.50 (+) Four for a 4/4 is not bad, and I think there are more applications for X than one might realize. Anything that makes you go from five to nine mana in one turn is worth considering, especially when it’s an on-curve beater without its special ability!
Valleymaker (R): $1 (=) Too expensive for what it does.
Vexing Shusher (R): $12.50 (-) A ridiculously good anti-Blue card, and one that will be a staple in both Red and Green (and of course, Red/Green) decks and sideboards for years to come. Will come down in value because it is also the release foil – but only for that reason. Otherwise, this would probably be the most expensive non-Land card in the set.
Wort, the Raidmother (R): $2 (=) Nothing spectacular, but will probably hold $2 value on name recognition alone. Kind of nifty, casually, with Fireblast.
Tattermunge Maniac (U): $1 (+) Jackal Pup, except it’s a goblin! This will see play in many formats, including as another 2 power one-drop for mono-Green Stompy decks.
Boggart Ram-Gang (U, foil version): $2
Firespout (U, foil version): $2
Fossil Find (U, foil version): $2
Manamorphosis (C, foil version): $5 (The most valuable Common foil in the set – will be a staple in storm-based combo decks)
Scuzzback Scrapper (C, foil version): $1
Dramatic Entrance (R): $1.50 (=) Wouldn’t you just be better off reanimating the creature? On the other hand, how well does this combo with Summoner’s Pact? (Get any Green creature, including The Reaper King, at end of turn, and then put it into play for GG3, and then pay GG2 the next turn?)
Mana Reflection (R): $1 (+) The plus is in case there is a reliable Early Harvest effect (one that doesn’t require clash) that pops up in Standard the next year, because then it will be a kind-of replacement (but not a great one) for some engine that needs Heartbeat of Spring.
Mossbridge Troll (R): $1 (=) Big and bulky.
Prismatic Omen (R): $7.50 (-) A great replacement for Joiner Adept, since it is a lot less vulnerable to being killed. It also actually changes your lands to all land types (which is relevant to things like Corrupt) rather than letting them tap for mana. However, it’s a support card and doesn’t do anything in-and-of itself, and Joiner Adept was a $3-$4 card all told. I think this will end up settling in the $4-$5 range, but is starting higher than that for now. Remember – if you’re Black, you get Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth as a free drop, rather than as a two-drop enchantment!
Spawnwrithe (R): $3 (-) If this hits once, you’re likely going to be facing an army of Spawnwrithe… until Wrath of God. On the other hand, is this going to hit? Is anyone scared of a Grey Ogre with trample? Wouldn’t you rather have a 3/3 Haste Wither creature or a 3/4 Vigilant Elf (both of which are in this set)?
Witherscale Wurm (R): $1 (=) Aboroth, but a little less shrinky-dink. Six for a 9/9 isn’t bad, but it’s almost never going to connect as a 9/9.
Woodfall Primus (R): $1.5 (=) A great reanimation or Oath of Druids target, so the foil version will command some sort of premium (see Tidespout Tyrant, Iridescent Angel). The regular version – not so much, but that’s because eight is a lot to ask.
Drove of Elves (U): $0.75
Farhaven Elf (C, foil version): $1.50
Presence of Gond (C, foil version): $1
Raking Canopy (U, foil version): $2
Fracturing Gust (R): $1.50 (+) Purify was worth $1, and was reprinted a couple of times. This is Purify on crack – Instant, lifegain, and playable in both Green or White. A consideration for sideboards, or at any causal table possible.
Heartmender (R): $1.50 (+) Another card that Chris thought had potential, since it dies, and then removes its own counter the next upkeep. Kind of like a reverse Epochrasite, and hard to remove for good.
Oracle of Nectars (R): $1.50 (=) Stream of Life on a creature – will be popular with casual players.
Oversoul of Dusk (R): $5 (=) Along the lines of Mystic Enforcer, except against three colors instead of one, and without the need for threshold. This will just wreck a goodly number of decks.
Rhys the Redeemed (R): $2 (=) Might go slightly higher ($3), but that’s the range for both a marginal token generator, and Parallel Evolution
Sun-and-Moon Wheel (R): $2.50 (=) A fantastic anti-Dredge card that will see play in older formats (Vintage, Legacy), as it’s a great target for Enlightened Tutor, and is great in any sort of White-Solution metagame deck. The foil version of this card will be heavily sought after.
Wilt-Leaf Liege (R): $7 (+) This guy is ridiculously good, and is being undervalued even now at $7. It pumps all the right creatures (White and Green have the best hybrid cards), is ridiculous against Discard (who needs Dodecapod or Quagnoth?), and is a huge beater itself (4/4 for four). Best of all, it’s both an Elf and a Knight!
Dawnglow Infusion (U): $0.75
Kitchen Finks (U): $0.75
Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers (U): $0.75
Elvish Hexhunter (C, foil version): $1
Safehold Elite (C, foil version): $1
Shield of the Oversoul (C, foil version): $1
Cauldron of Souls (R): $2 (+) This is my pick for sleeper hit of the set. Fantastic as a casual card, and it also has the advantage of only having a “tap” ability (no mana cost) to activate. Anti-Wrath, and lets you get a double shot out of any creature you have. I’d pick up a playset of these, because I could see them doubling in value very quickly.
Grim Poppet (R): $1.50 (=) Triskelion for -1/-1 counters. Too bad it can’t deal damage to players!
Painter’s Servant (R): $1 (=) Shifting Skies, but on a creature.
Reaper King (R): $2 (+) Potentially higher, because it’s a 6/6 for five in an environment where it won’t be too terribly hard to have all five colors of mana on turn 5. In addition, works great with Changelings, and there are bound to be more scarecrows in the next set!
Elsewhere Flask (C, foil version): $1.50
Heap Doll (U, foil version): $2
Scuttlemutt (C, foil version): $1
Fire-Lit Thicket (R): $7 (+)
Graven Cairns (R): $5 (+)
Mystic Gate (R): $7 (+)
Sunken Ruins (R): $7.50 (+)
Wooded Bastion (R): $7 (+)
This entire cycle of Dual Lands is being undervalued right now – these are really fantastic, and will allow for all sorts of insane three-to-five color decks in Standard, with all sorts of double/triple/double mana-intensive cards in the same deck. I believe these will all be over $10 before the set hits the street in two weeks.
Reflecting Pool (R): $7.50 (+) This was a $10+ card when Tempest Block was legal years ago, and has every reason to be now – it works amazingly with Gemstone Mine, the above Cairns-type lands, regular Pain lands, Vivid lands, or any other lands you can throw out there – especially when there are going to be insane color-specific costs flying around the next year.
And that’s it for this Financial Value article! I hope you all have a great time at your prerelease, and enjoy your first shot at playing with Shadowmoor! Also, pick up as many Glittering Wishes as you can – thanks to all the Hybrid cards in this set, and thanks to how many of the White/Green ones are good, it is going to hit the $6-$8 range, and quickly!
General Manager, StarCityGames.com