Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week we’re going to go over the financial rumblings of Worldwake’s prerelease and subsequent release as of today, a few new products from Wizards of the Coast coming your way soon, and my adventures on the Magic Cruise both this year and next. Let’s go!
Worldwake Up Call
This past week the prerelease occurred, and thousands upon thousands of Magic players descended on local and regional prereleases. And last Friday one of the most anticipated articles for any set came out, that being Ben Bleiweiss Financial Value article. This is an article series Ben has been writing since 2006, and being the General Manager of Acquisitions of the largest reseller on the planet, when Ben speaks, people listen. And there were some serious bombshells coming out of this article.
The first is that Jace, the Mind Sculptor is going to be huge. And I mean Epic Huge. This Planeswalker has the potential to blow the pricing of chase mythics out of the water. You think Baneslayer Angel is a chase mythic? You think $60 is too much for a card in Standard? Well, Jace is already selling for $60 a pop, and he hasn’t even placed highly in tournaments yet! Look at it this way: When first spoiled, StarCityGames was selling Jace for a mere $22.50 each. Many thought this was too much and snubbed their nose at such a price. Well guess what, StarCityGames is now buying them for $35/ea! If you had bought two hundred of these at $22.50, you would have already made yourself $2,500. But that’s assuming that Jace won’t go any higher. Ben’s already thrown down the gauntlet: If Jace, the Mind Sculptor shows up in two or even three of the top decks at the StarCityGames $5K Standard Open in Richmond on February 27th, or in the Top 8 at Pro Tour: San Diego, you can bet on Jace skyrocketing further. I don’t think it’s out of the question to say that if Jace is solid in Standard and shows up in Extended you’re going to see a potential $100 card grace your Standard environment. This is the crucial moment, of course, for those who have invested in such a Planeswalker. Do you wait and see if his price could potentially double due to its absurdity, or do you sell now before the hype bubble deflates? As for me, I’d say if you can find them, hold on with all your might and give it a month. By the time March rolls around we’ll have a very good idea as to what price Jace is capable of pulling.
The other breakout card from Ben’s article was Basilisk Collar. This card had been dismissed by virtually everyone until Ben noted that it makes all of your creatures very Vampire Nighthawk-ish, and that is a very fine comparison. All of a sudden this thing went from $.50 to $3 virtually overnight. I can easily see how annoying this card is in Limited, and in Constructed I could see it beating through cards like Wall of Denial with ease. I don’t think it’s out of the question to assume we might see a Basilisk Collar show up in the Trinket Mage-powered Thopter Foundry / Sword of the Meek control decks in Extended, gaining you even more life or providing a killer blocker, all while being tutored for by Trinket Mage.
Lastly I want to mention Stoneforge Mystic. Ben noted this as well, but it bears repeating: This guy will be worth money someday. Maybe not right now, as he sits around the two dollar mark. But with all signs pointing to a return to Mirrodin this fall, you can bet there will be some dumb equipment printed once again. And who better to go fetch it? I think the most obvious reason this guy is many times better than Steelshaper’s Gift is simply that not only does Stoneforge Mystic go fetch you the best piece of equipment in your deck, but he also can carry it! Sure, he’s a Squire-tastic 1/2 for two mana, but once you strap on the heavy gear, I don’t think it’s going to matter as much. Add to this the ability to cheat an expensive piece of equipment in play and being a fantastic flip for Bloodbraid Elf, and you’ve got yourself a star… in the making. Give me seven months people, and he’ll be nuts, I assure you.
These past few weeks have been filled with several interesting announcements from Wizards of the Coast. First they announced Duels of the Planeswalkers decks, which I think is a much-needed and welcome idea. There have been thousands upon thousands of new players thanks to the XBox Live game, and capitalizing on that is paramount. They also announced From the Vault: Relics, along with an incredible piece of art that is almost certainly Nevinyrral’s Disk. Yes, that awesome artifact will be joined by others, including an exclusive one from the “Lights” block this fall, furthering the rumors of a return to the artifact-based Mirrodin block, and I for one can’t wait. The previous From The Vault sets, including Dragons and Exiled, were awesome products that gave me quite a bit of joy, particularly Exiled as it added all sorts of goodies to my cube. I expect this one to do the same.
They also recently announced Archenemy, which is a Magic riff on the “Raid” deck product from the World of Warcraft TCG. And while I don’t like the World of Warcraft TCG in general, I sure do love their Raid decks. I think the concept is fascinating, allowing one player to be the ultimate badass while the rest of the group try their best to take them down. In World of Warcraft you have ‘boss levels,’ where one player plays the ‘boss’ and the rest try to take them down. After defeating each ‘stage’ of bosses, the raiding party get bonuses that will allow them to defeat the next ‘stage’ of badassery.
Currently all we know about this product is that it mirrors the “one versus many” gameplay, will have four different decks featuring eight rares per deck and twenty oversized cards that do something, and is coming out on June 18th. We also know from Ken Nagle’s Twitter that this product will be EDH friendly and also compatible to use with Planechase. We were also assured that this product doesn’t kill Planechase either, with Mark Rosewater easing fears that this new product kills an existing popular one. I for one am very excited about what the designers and developers did for Archenemy, seeing as they are well aware of other one versus many game variants and what it will take for this variant to succeed in Magic.
So this next week I’ll be on a boat, a pretty big one in fact: The Carnival Freedom in fact, as I sail away on the second annual Magic Cruise. Now as you can see from last year, it was frickin sweet. The weather was phenomenal, the fun times were almost infinite, you were up close and personal with not only Magic R&D but superstars like Patrick Chapin to boot. Well this year I’m back, Patrick’s back, Ken Nagle the head designer of Worldwake is on board once again, and we’re heading to Key West, Grand Cayman, and finally Jamaica!
Did I mention I love this job? I. LOVE. THIS. JOB. Seriously. Who has two thumbs and is incredibly fortunate? This guy.
So with that said, how can you get in on it next year? Legion Events just announced the Magic Cruise #3, and I’m tentatively scheduled to be sailing right along with you to Cabo San Lucas! Yup, we’re going to be hitting Mexico in style for seven full days of fun in the sun, off and on the boat. This was just announced, and those spots sure do go quickly. Simply get yourself to the Legion Events website and plop down a measly fifty bucks to reserve your seat. If there is anything I try to convey with my videos, it is that this experience is worth it. Rest assured I’ll have some killer footage for next week.
So until next time Magic players, when I’m live from a cruise ship, this is Evan Erwin. Tapping the cards… so you don’t have to!
Evan “misterorange” Erwin
Community Manager, StarCityGames.com
Also, one lucky s.o.b.