The Rares of M15

Chas continues his foray into the wild world of Magic 2015! Now that the mythics are out of the way, it’s time to delve into the world of rares! Looking for juicy speculation targets and sleepers? Look no further!

Once upon a time, there was only Vizzerdrix.

The Starter version of Vizzerdrix was front and center in the ‘Learn to Play Magic’ box, so learning about how terrible he was felt like a rite of passage
for young Magic players. We all gawped at his size and tried in vain to make him work before learning about crucial concepts like ‘cheaper cards are
better’ and ‘your spells need to actually do something.’

That didn’t stop Vizzerdrix from showing up in three straight core sets, though. For nearly six years, you could walk into a game store and crack that
worthless piranha rabbit out of a three dollar booster pack.

These were truly the dark times.

M15 has some bad rares–I doubt that Grindclock is going to turn any heads at the next Pro Tour–but for the most part, each rare in the set is useful in
one way or another. One of the most underrated aspects of card design today is the shift from rares that are bad 100% of the time to rares that are bad 99%
of the time but are totally awesome in very specific circumstances. Every set needs cards like Crucible of Fire or Necromancer’s Stockpile which are never
going to be played enough to be worth much; they can’t all be winners. In the past, though, these slots were filled by cards that were useless outside of
limited play. There is always going to be a better wrath option than Flowstone Slide, but Crucible of Fire is great in a casual deck if you want to pump up
your dragons. Yawgmoth Demon is underpowered even if you build around him, but Necromancer’s Stockpile is great in Commander if you want to dump a lot of
zombies into your graveyard.

The end result of this trend is a welcome lack of Vizzerdrixes (Vizzderdrixen?) in M15. Most of these cards have their uses, however narrow, and I can
envision almost any of them hitting $4-$5 due to casual demand after a couple of years without seeing print.

M15 doesn’t have a single rare that’s half as good as Mutavault, but its depth is staggering. Most of these cards will dip down into bulk territory before
bouncing back up, so the set may feel lackluster for a while, but I am very high on M15’s long term prospects. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Chord of Calling – $15

The high profile rare reprints in M14 were Mutavault and Scavenging Ooze. Both started out at $15 before rising in value, though Scavenging Ooze would
eventually taper off and fall below $10. Considering the fact that Chord of Calling was selling for $40 before the reprint was announced, is there still
room for the card to grow from $15?

I doubt it. Mutavault was one of the best cards in Standard the first time it was printed. The last time Chord of Calling was Standard legal, however, it
was a fringe playable casual card at best. Chord has always been a very narrow card, only showing up in creature-based combo decks like Kiki-Pod and Melira

Chord of Calling is good in Commander, of course, but I’ve only ever seen it used in base-green decks that go heavy on the tutors. (Many Commander
deckbuilders eschew tutors, believing them to be the enemy of fun.) Even if you add Modern demand to the equation, the card can’t stay close to $15. It is
only played in one deck in that format, and that is unlikely to change. Unless Chord of Calling shows up a lot in Standard, this card’s future is the $4-$5

I do expect to see Chord used some in Standard, though it will probably be a role-player in just one deck. M15 has given mono-green a lot of tools, and I
think that there will be some sort of Nissa/Nykthos brew running around where Chord is a solid role player. If that deck ends up being tier one, Chord
could stabilize in the $10-$12 range. If not, the card should end up at $5-$7.

Either way, Chord of Calling is a sell at $15.

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth – $12

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth is the other high profile rare reprint in M15. I don’t think anyone saw this coming so soon after the FTV: Realms printing, but
it’s still nice to have this powerful utility card back in the format.

Even though Urborg is currently cheaper than Chord of Calling, I would gladly trade my Chords for Urborgs all day long. Even though more overall copies of
Chord are played in Modern, they’re limited to just one deck. Urborg is played in both Modern and Legacy, showing up in Loam, B/W Midrange, Mono-Black,
Grixis Control, B/G, Esper Tempo, Pox, Delver, Jund, Tezzeret, Faeries, and more. Add that to the fact that this is an auto-include in every Commander deck
running swamps, and you’ve got yourself a staple that will hold its value very well.

Urborg should be at least a one-of in most Standard decks running swamps, and it benefits hugely from the new Legend rule. Because of that, Urborg is more
powerful now than it was last time it was Standard legal. Even if it drops below $12 over the next month or two, the card’s long term outlook is very rosy.
There’s also the chance that it will be more important than expected in Standard, causing the price to shoot up this winter. Urborg isn’t Mutavault – it’s
neither as good nor as versatile – but it’s the closest thing to it in M15. Don’t trade these away for less than $8-$10, because the price will rebound.

Waste Not – $10

$10 is the ceiling for Waste Not, a powerful casual card that will likely disappoint in both Standard and Modern. You need to play this in a dedicated
discard deck, something that hasn’t existed in a very long time outside of fringe shenanigans like 8-Rack, and what has been keeping those decks down
hasn’t been a lack of ancillary support. There simply aren’t enough tier one discard spells outside of Thoughtseize to make the strategy work.

Even in formats with access to the best discard spells ever printed, it’s important to spend those crucial early turns eating through their hand, not
dropping durdly enchantments. If you spend a turn playing Waste Not, that’s extra time your opponent has to get a threat on the field before you can wipe
away their hand. Waste Not is a poor topdeck too, and while it’s good with discard nukes like Rakdos’s Return, those cards are backbreaking enough on their

People will try their best to make Waste Not work, of course, helping to prop up demand. It will also hold some of its value due to casual interest akin to
Megrim and Liliana’s Caress. It’s possible that Waste Not will never drop below $4-$5 and could rebound to $10 after a year or two, similar to other casual
core set enchantments like Sanguine Bond. In the meantime though, I would avoid holding too many copies of this overhyped enchantment.

Shivan Reef – $6

Why print five enemy-colored lands in M15 unless you’re teasing a high profile allied land reprint in Khans? I am now even more confident that we’ll see
either Onslaught fetchlands or Shadowmoor filterlands in the fall, and my money is on the fetches. At the very least, we won’t have to hear that “they’ll
only print all ten fetches at once because it’s a cycle!” canard anymore thanks to this.

Shivan Reef is $6 instead of $3-$4 because it’s the only painland to see significant play in Modern, where it mostly shows up in budget Twin and Storm
lists thanks to the price of Scalding Tarn. It jumped up to $10 briefly after being spoiled, which was silly, and I expect all of these lands to end up in
the $5 range before long. Even though Shivan Reef is currently the most expensive painland, I expect the lands in the aggressive colors to be worth more in
a couple of months. The shocklands will be gone, after all, and aggro decks will want these instead of the much slower scrylands. If you can trade your
Shivan Reef for two copies of Battlefield Forge at the prerelease, I would do it.

Yavimaya Coast & Llanowar Wastes – $4

Aside from Shivan Reef, all of the painlands are being slightly underrated at the moment. I get that this cycle has no eternal value, and they’ve been
$2-$3 for years, but it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen them. People will want playsets of each in the fall. Remember: the Sunpetal Grove cycle
started out in the $7-$10 range before the market was flooded in core set after core set.

Hushwing Gryff – $4

Hushwing Gryff started at $2 and is already up to $4. I think it has room to grow even further. Every core set has a utility creature or two that always
seems to sit in the $6-$8 range even though it doesn’t see quite as much play as you’d think, usually a result of minor casual, Standard, Modern, and
Legacy demand all adding up. Not only does this card have flash, but its ability – shutting down comes-into-play abilities – is relevant in every form of
limited and constructed Magic. Hushwing Gryff doesn’t have to be in a tier one deck to go up in value, it just has to prove itself as a cog in multiple
formats. I think that will happen easily, and this is a solid buy for me at $4.

Ob Nixilis, Unshackled – $4

Ob Nixilis is hard to evaluate. He’s certainly a bomb in Commander, though the fact that he makes you Public Enemy #1 will make him a more unpopular choice
in that format than you might think. Based on casual play alone, Ob Nixilis is probably a $2 card, so the premium here tells me that some people believe
that Ob might see play in Standard or Modern as well. Is that possible?

Modern is a bridge too far. Remember Mindlock Orb? No? Well, if you want to play Ob Nixilis in Modern, that’s a bulk rare with a better version of the same
ability for two mana less. Granted, it doesn’t come attached to a finisher, but Pod can still kill you through an Ob Nixilis some of the time.

I don’t see Ob Nixilis doing much in Standard, even if fetchlands do come back. He’s a fairly attractive ramp target, but he’s got a lot of competition
there. Otherwise, turn 6 is just too late for a 4/4 that grows a bit and almost but doesn’t really shut off fetches and tutors. If the 10 life thing were
replaced with Mindlock Orb’s ability, this card would be better in constructed, but it would also be less exciting and paradoxically worth less. I’m not
buying in.

Sliver Hive – $4

Could Slivers actually become a competitive tribe in Modern? Between this, Mana Confluence, and Cavern of Souls, that dream might not be as far off as you

$4 is a lot for a card that only works with one non-competitive tribe, but sliver players are both nutty and dedicated. They’re all going to need four of
these, so Sliver Hive makes for a nice long term spec provided we don’t get another sliver-related box set at some point soon. $4-$5 seems about right for
these even if Slivers don’t gain popularity as a budget eternal deck. If they do, expect this card to creep closer to $8. Regardless, I’m holding any of
these that I open at the prerelease. Investing in lands that are the best at what they do – even if that thing is narrow – is almost always correct.

Avacyn, Guardian Angel – $3

What has happened to Avacyn since we saw her last? Did a wizard steal her best powers? Did she give them up to save a dying whale? Avacyn, Guardian Angel
is unlikely to hold even a fraction of the value that Avacyn, Angel of Hope has, and comparing her to the $30 mythic is unfair. Avacyn, Guardian Angel is
still fine in Commander, but she’s far from a must-play. She’ll likely drop down into the $1-$2 range before rebounding slightly if she’s not reprinted in

Battlefield Forge & Caves of Koilos – $3

Did we learn nothing from the shocklands? We’re coming off two years where the RW and BW lands were among the most valuable in Standard, yet these are the
two are currently lagging behind the rest of the painland cycle. I don’t get it. Decks that run white and red are the most likely to want painlands over
temples next season, so shouldn’t these be the priciest ones? Most people are thinking about Modern – where painlands are close to irrelevant – and not
Standard. These are a solid buy at $3 each.

Preeminent Captain – $3

There aren’t a ton of good soldiers in Standard right now, but there are a couple–Brimaz, King of Oreskos is likely the best of them. It is very possible
that some version of the heroic deck will transfer over from block, and Preeminent Captain could be a nice little engine for it. If so, this card will jump
to $6 and stay there quite easily. This is pretty unlikely though, and the realistic floor on this card is probably $1.50 – $2. It’s not worth speculating
on Preeminent Captain, but I’ll be keeping an eye on it.

Chief Engineer – $2.50

Affinity doesn’t want this card – its spells are cheap enough already, and it always wants to be attacking – but the potential is certainly there for some
kind of midrange robots deck in Modern. Worst case, this guy is a 1/3 for 1U that can tap to make an artifact cheaper. That’s not playable on its own, but
maybe there’s some sort of Affinity-pod brew that could go deep with Vedalken Engineer or powering Ornithopters into Wurmcoils. It probably won’t be as
good as either Affinity or Tron, but I’m excited to try it out regardless.

I like this card long term because I expect it will do fun things on the fringes of casual play, but I doubt it will make an impact in constructed. It
could hit $4-$5 at some point, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon. It’s much more likely that this card will drop down to $1 or bulk for the next
year or so.

Aetherspouts – $2

Aetherspouts is very good and is being underrated right now. Sure, Aetherspouts would be better if it let you clog up the top of your opponent’s deck every
time or hit their utility creatures as well, but this is far from another generic bounce spell. Against aggro and midrange decks, this card provides both
tempo and card advantage in one small package. If this card starts seeing maindeck play, the price should double or more without too much trouble. I’m a
buyer at $2.

Chasm Skulker – $2

Chasm Skulker is either Tarmogoyf or unplayable, and there isn’t much room in between.

That’s a bit hyperbolic, but this is still one of the most intriguing cards in the set in terms of eternal possibilities. It’s a Lorescale Coatl with
upside a lot of the time, and it’s absurd with Brainstorm, Jace, Dack Fayden, and the other blue MVPs. If the squids triggered upon leaving the battlefield
instead of at death, I’d say that it might compete with True-Name Nemesis in Legacy. As is, it’s probably too vulnerable to spot removal like Swords to
Plowshares and Path to Exile.

Fewer creatures are exiled in Modern, but there’s no Jace or Brainstorm to combine this with and no Force of Will to pitch this to. Even fewer creatures
are exiled in Standard, but there isn’t a broken card drawing engine in the format right now – if you’re casting Sphinx’s Revelation for seven or eight,
you’re already winning.

I love the upside that Chasm Skulker has, and it rivals any other card in the set in terms of its ability to make an impact in completive play, but the
wall between broken and unplayable is very high for a card like this. I expect Chasm Skulker to end up as a bulk rare, but if it starts to realize even
some of its potential, look out.

Goblin Rabblemaster – $2

For the most part, Goblin Rabblemaster is a better Goblin Assault. Not only does it make you a 1/1 with haste every turn – including the turn you play it –
but at some point you might be able to attack for a bunch with the Rabblemaster himself.

Goblin Assault was never an all-star, but it did see play from time to time. The damage adds up on an empty board, but against any sort of defense this
card just doesn’t do all that much. If Khans doesn’t bring us any Goblins, Rabblemaster will probably be a $1 rare on the fringes of the environment. If it
does, we could be looking at a $4-$5 role-player. I’m staying away until the fall spoilers start to roll in.

Hornet Queen – $2

Hornet Queen is awesome. Six power for seven mana isn’t a great deal, but the fact that it is split up over five flying Deathtouch creatures is
fantastic. Hornet Queen is excellent at providing double duty, allowing you to smash for four or five in the air while also locking down the board. Seven
mana still might preclude this from seeing play, but it’s so good in Commander that $2 is a totally reasonable buy-in to take a flier on Hornet Queen
seeing play in Standard. I could see Hornet Queen hitting $4-$5 easily, which is where the card will end up eventually anyway thanks to casual demand. If
it ever drops below $1, I’m buying a boxful.

Phyrexian Revoker – $2

Phyrexian Revoker is better in Legacy than in Standard, but it’ll show up in enough sideboards to keep it in the $2 range. Anyone who plays Standard
regularly should have a playset of these at hand, and now is a reasonable enough time to buy in.

Return to the Ranks – $2

First of all, the Convoke cost on Return to the Ranks is kind of a trap. You need to have an army in play as well as an army in your graveyard for that
ability to matter much. Return to the Ranks is still chock full of potential, though. Reveillark is a very strong card, and while this isn’t quite on that
level, it still has potential as a combo piece in Standard (unlikely) and Modern (slightly more likely).

Reanimation effects – even limited ones – are always worth monitoring and stocking up on if they hit bulk prices. Return to the Ranks is a long shot to
make immediate impact – decks that use cards like this generally take time to come together and need just the right pieces – but it is worth considering
long term. Of course, I’m the guy who loved Immortal Servitude, so it’s possible that I tend to overrate cards like this. I’m staying away until it drops
below $1.

Scuttling Doom Engine – $2

You can’t beat the name Scuttling Doom Engine. My guess is that this was a playtest name given to the card by the design team and development loved it so
much that they decided to keep it. Kudos to them, because beating people in the face with a Scuttling Doom Engine is going to be fun.

I actually like this card more than most of the souls. It’s a big threat that’s hard to block and it deals a ton of damage when it dies. There’s certainly
some combo/ramp potential here. Six mana is a lot, and most likely this becomes a bulk rare, but there’s real potential here. This is on my short list of
top sleeper cards.

Spirit Bonds – $2

Spirit Bonds is a nice card in the late game, turning every creature into a spirit that can potentially help fight against removal. Even though it only
costs two, you need to have access to a huge amount of white mana for this to be good. I’d imagine that this is too slow for aggro decks, and
midrange/control decks would rather run finishers that are better top decks. Ultimately, I expect this will end up as a $1 casual rare.

Yisan, the Wanderer Bard – $2

Yisan is no Birthing Pod. The activation cost is much steeper, and the loss of the ability to drop a pod and immediately turn your three-drop into a
four-drop hurts too much. This will see a very small amount of play in Commander and will probably be worthless beyond that. Reid Duke likes him though,
and that does make me pause a little. Repeatable tutors are always worth keeping an eye on.

Hornet Nest – $1.50

Hornet Nest is the type of card I always want in play during a game of Commander. It’ll sit around buying me turn after turn until I can get my big guys
online. Oh–and once in a while, an opponent will hit me with a giant monster and allow me to get eleven bees just as long as I promise to use them against
a more powerful opponent. (Spoiler alert: they’re all coming at you once she’s dead.)

The hard part is finding room for Hornet Nest in my decks. Will I want to play this over a mana producing elf or a cantripping wall? Probably not. That
prevents this from becoming a tier one Commander staple, but flavor and uniqueness should still keep this in the $1-$2 range long term.

Kurkesh Onakke, Ancient – $1.50

Is Kurkesh Onakke a plant from Khans? I’ve never heard of the Onakke before, though the idea of Ogre Spirit artificers is pretty neat. I can’t think of a
current interaction that breaks Kurkesh, though unique combo cards like this are among the most enticing spec opportunities because they can be broken at
any point. I’d expect Kurkesh to stay above bulk prices based on potential alone, and this has the profile of a $4-$5 card long term if it isn’t reprinted.
I’m not a buyer at $1.50, but I’m certainly targeting them as trade throw-ins.

Life’s Legacy – $1.50

When Momentous Fall was printed, pre-orders started at $7 and they hype was out of control. Even Linvala started out cheaper. That card ended up being a
bust though, which is probably part of why there is close to zero hype for Life’s Legacy. The card is only two mana, but sorcery speed means that you’re
going to be blown out by removal more often than you’d want.

On the other hand, this is by far the hardest that R&D has pushed this ability. This card is insane against a deck that’s tapped out, and it’s equally
good against one that doesn’t run spot removal. It’s even better when you think of it as a sac outlet that also draws you a bunch of cards.

Cards that look like bad cards from the past can be the biggest sleeper hits, especially if they’ve been aggressively costed. This could end up being
another bust, but I’ll be picking up a set of these as soon as I can. The breakout potential here is quite high.

Obelisk of Urd – $1.50

There sure are a lot of anthems these days, but Obelisk of Urd is a must-have for casual tribal decks. +2/+2 is a nice bump, and the Convoke ability should
let Goblins, Elves, Merfolk, etc. cast it fairly early.

For a price comparison, take a look at last year’s Door of Destinies. That one’s out of stock at $2.50 currently. I’d bet Obelisk will gain about a dollar
in value each year it stays out of print – not great value, but worth picking up a couple in the $1 range before they start to rise.

Aggressive Mining – $1.25

The drawback on this is very real, but holy mackerel can this draw a lot of cards. Don’t forget that you can activate the ability on your opponent’s turn
too, allowing you to go from zero cards to seven (including your draw for the turn) in just one turn cycle. In a burn deck or a storm deck, it’s basically

Of course, I don’t see this working in Storm because you need all that extra mana to go off with. In burn though, this should ensure that you always have
those last two Lightning Strikes you need to finish off your opponent. I like this as a 4-of in a decent aggressive deck, and it could easily end up in the
$3-$4 range if it starts seeing play.

Necromancer’s Stockpile – $1.25

Zombie cards are always going to have some value to a certain crowd, and Necromancer’s Stockpile increases your board while also acting as a way to load up
your graveyard. Getting a 2/2 for 2 and the loss of a card isn’t great though, and it’s much narrower than, say, Zombie Infestation. The decks that want
this card are going to love it, but they won’t be common enough to keep this away from bulk rare status.

Crucible of Fire – $1

Crucible of Fire was a $0.50 bulk rare for years after it was printed last time. It only went up to $3-$4 because the player base increased to the point
where the supply had almost completely dried up. The only way that Crucible of Fire will escape bulk pricing again is if there are a lot of very small,
very good dragons in the next block. I say ‘small’ because the main problem with this card is that most dragons are already powerful enough that buffing
them ends up being sort of silly. At a certain point, I’d rather just have another, more different dragon on the table.

Cruel Sadist – $1

Isn’t Cruel Sadist redundant? Can you be a sadist without being cruel? I guess if you reserve all of your sadism for masochists you could be considered a
compassionate sadist, but that’s a corner case at best.

In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m debating semantics because this card is an unplayable bulk rare.

In Garruk’s Wake – $1

Plague Wind has always been popular with a certain crowd, and In Garruk’s Wake is a strict upgrade. I can’t imagine a nine mana sorcery seeing much
Standard play, though it certainly makes for a spicy reveal off Oracle of Bones. This will have some long term demand, so I’d wait for it to go on sale or
drop to $0.50 and then pick a few up.

Jalira, Master Polymorphist – $1

Polymorph has seen competitive play from time to time, but this is much worse because you have to let it sit around for a turn before you can activate it.
Plus, you have to have at least two or three copies of Jalira in your deck to think about it as anything approaching a reasonable combo, and hitting a
Jalira off your Jalira is terrible.

That said, Jalira is awesome in Commander, where you can turn your incidental value creatures into possible late game monsters. Creatures in that format
tend to have a lot of comes-into-play abilities, too, making this even better. The regular version of this will probably stay at $1-$2, but the foil could
be worth $10-$20 long term.

Kalonian Twingrove – $1

Kalonian Twingrove lacks crucial things like ‘trample’ and ‘hexproof’ that giant trees usually need to be worth considering. That said, there could be room
in the format for a mono-green deck with Nissa and Nykthos. If that deck develops, I’d be shocked if Kalonian Twingrove isn’t somewhere in the list. That
could propel the price toward $3-$4, at least temporarily.

Master of Predicaments – $1

I really want to make a deck with four of these, four copies of Oracle of Bones, and just enough splashy, absurd bombs to inject The Fear into my
opponents. Outside of my emotional terrorism deck though, will this card find a home? I doubt it. It isn’t costed aggressively enough, and it’s not going
to do anything unless you’ve got a couple of threats in your hand and get lucky. Bulk rare, but a fun one.

Phytotitan – $1

This is too slow, expensive, and bad to even be a combo piece. To make matters worse, it’s an intro pack promo. Bulk rare.

Polymorphist’s Jest – $1

Polymorphist’s Jest has some awesome flavor and is powerful enough that it shouldn’t be totally dismissed in Standard. I could see it in a couple of
sideboards for sure. It’s also an okay Commander card, though the fact that it only hits one opponent is kind of rough. The ceiling on this card is $2-$3,
but the more likely scenario involves this dropping to bulk and staying there for a long time.

Resolute Archangel – $1

Constructed players won’t want Resolute Archangel because it’s a seven mana 4/4. Casual players won’t want Resolute Archangel because it doesn’t play well
with other life gain cards at all. It’s an intro pack rare too, so there will be tens of thousands of extras lying around. Bulk rare.

Spectra Ward – $1

Naya Hexproof might want one or two copies of Spectra Ward, but that won’t keep it from being a bulk rare.

Stain the Mind – $1

Pepperidge Farm remembers when Cranial Extraction was a $20 card. If Stain the Mind had been in Ravnica: City of Guilds, pre-ordering might have hit
similar heights. Things certainly have changed, haven’t they?

Stain the Mind isn’t going to see much play in the current iteration of Standard. It’s decent with Thoughtseize and a couple of creatures, perhaps stealing
Verdicts from control out of the sideboard of mono-black decks, but its applications are very narrow. Slaughter Games was harder to cast, but it was a
better spell that saw almost no play. This might hit $2-$3 if it does become an important sideboard card, but that’s its top end. $1 is probably as low as
it will get, though, so if you do play mono-black, feel free to pre-order a set of these if you think you’ll want to use them next season.

Mass Calcify – $0.75

Mass Calcify sees play in some mono-white Commander decks (not something that comes up very often) and nowhere else. It is too expensive to be all that
useful. Bulk rare.

Mercurial Pretender – $0.75

Regular Clone isn’t good enough to see play in Standard, so this underpowered version is certainly not going to make an impact. There are many better
versions of this for Commander, too. Bulk rare.

Siege Dragon – $0.75

Intro pack rare? Check. Stupid casting cost? Check. Silly ability that won’t do anything in Standard? Double check. Bulk rare? You bet.

Avarice Amulet
– $0.50

Avarice Amulet does nothing. It wouldn’t be good enough for Standard even without the drawback and there are far better spells in Commander. Bulk rare.

Burning Anger
– $0.50

As Brion Stoutarm players can tell you, Fling is an underrated ability in Commander. You have to build around it though, and cards like Burning Anger only
ever appeal to a small subsection of Johnnies. I’ll be picking up a foil copy for my Commander binder, but I fully expect it the price to stick around the
bulk rare range for years.

Goblin Kaboomist
– $0.50

Flavor oozes from the Kaboomist, but you’d have to strip every single drawback off this card before he’d be interesting to think about in any constructed
format. Bulk rare.

– $0.50

Grindclock was a bulk rare last time around, and nothing has changed. Bulk rare.

Haunted Plate Mail
– $0.50

I did actually see Haunted Plate Mail do good things during several games of Standard this year, but it’s too slow and underpowered to make an impact most
of the time. Bulk rare.

Hoarding Dragon
– $0.50

Hoarding Dragon had been one of my favorite bulk sleeper picks for Commander speculation, but it’s unlikely to pay off now that it has been reprinted. Feel
free to disregard this card entirely for at least another year or two. Bulk rare.

Indulgent Tormentor – $0.50

Indulgent Tormentor compares very unfavorably to Desecration Demon. The light drawback makes him pretty bad in casual formats, too. Bulk rare.

Shield of the Avatar
– $0.50

Shield of the Avatar is a neat little card that might be slightly underrated right now. It’s a cheaper Darksteel Plate most of the time in aggro and
token-based Commander decks, for example. The fact that it doesn’t protect against spot removal or help end the game/deal damage is a pretty fatal flaw,
though. I doubt it’ll see any competitive play, but it might break $1-$2 at some point due to casual interest.

Stormtide Leviathan
– $0.50

Our last card is Stormtide Leviathan, another well-known bulk rare. He’s fun to play with, but you’d still rather crack any of the top uncommons out of a
pack. Bulk rare.

This Week’s Trends

  • Instead of an event deck, M15 brings us a ‘clash pack.’ This product is more casual than the event decks, and it comes with great looking alt-art foil
    promos for Prophet of Kruphix, Prognostic Sphinx, Temple of Mystery, Font of Fertility, Fated Intervention, and Hydra Broodmaster along with a regular copy
    of (among lesser things) Courser of Kruphix. The new versions of Temple and Prophet look great and are nice long term holds for Commander. This should keep
    the price for the set foil Prophet down over the long haul as well as keep Courser from going too nuts this fall. Instead of potentially jumping to $20 or
    $25, Courser will probably stay in the $12-$15 range even if it sees a lot of play. None of these cards are an immediate panic-sell, though. MSRP on this
    set is $30, and most of that value is tied up in Courser, Temple, Prophet, and a single copy of Nykthos. I doubt any of those cards will drop off too much,
    but it’s still right to sell your copies of everything in this box before they hit the streets provided you can get close to full return for them.
  • Eidolon of the Great Revel is still climbing. At this point, it’s probably only right to buy in if you want a set for yourself. It’s a little too late
    for this to become an effective spec.
  • I would continue to avoid buying Conspiracy, Modern, or rotating RTR-block cards for another month or so. We’re in a declining market, and the bottom is
    still probably a month out.
  • There was a miscommunication over the availability of Vintage Masters online. Originally, the MTGO team said that the set would be available through late
    September. Now, though, they’re planning to end drafts on 7/25. If this holds, the best time to buy power online may be right now. Apparently they’re
    “looking into” lengthening the time that these drafts will be available, so it’s worth checking the latest info before you buy in. If VMA drafts continue
    for another couple of months, I’d hold off on buying power until a week or two after the mandatory client switchover.
  • There has been a lot of talk online about whether or not it’s right to dump your shocklands pre-rotation. While I do expect these to drop a little more
    over the next couple months, I still advocate a long-term hold on these lands. The price won’t drop enough to warrant selling now and re-buying later, and
    I still think these lands will be $20+ again at some point. I expect many Standard players who are dumping their RTR-block rares will hold onto their
    shocks after seeing what happened to the Zendikar fetchlands, so the market glut won’t be as big as it would be otherwise. It’s okay to sell now if you’re
    antsy and have somewhere better to put your money, but I’m holding all of mine.