The Top Dissension Cards to Trade For!

Pre-Order Dissension Today!

The Dissension Prerelease tournaments kick off this weekend… and Ben is here to help! In his traditional “new set” address, he spills the beans on the hottest Dissension cards, giving advice on what to trade for, and what to trade away. His hit rate for Guildpact was phenomenal… His Dissension advice is invaluable! A must-read article for anyone attending a prerelease this weekend!

Welcome back for another edition of the top Cards to trade for, prior to the prerelease. In this column, I’ll let you know which cards will be hot from Dissension, which will not — which will be overrated, and which will be gems in the rough. Before I head onto Dissension, let’s take a look at how I did with Guildpact.

Here are the cards I recommended from Guildpact:

Foil Repeal
Foil Scab-Clan Mauler
Foil Tin Street Hooligan
Foil Wild Cantor

Three of the four of these have become regular tournament cards, and have risen in value — Repeal, Scab-Clan Mauler, and Tin Street Hooligan. Wild Cantor has not. I did miss two cards that have risen in value — Pillory of the Sleepless (although who saw Ghost Dad coming?) and Castigate.

Conjurer’s Ban
Izzet Guildmage
Shattering Spree
Skarrg, the Rage Pits
Souls of the Faultless
Wreak Havoc

Mortify, Electrolyze, Izzet Guildmage, and Shattering Spree are our #1, #2, #3 and #4 selling Uncommon Guildpact cards since release, by a wide margin over the fifth card. Souls of the Faultless is #10, and Skarrg, the Rage Pits has seen a lot of play in Gruul decks. I’m not convinced that Conjurer’s Ban is as bad as it’s been received, but Frazzle and Wreak Havoc are busts. Other than that, Plagued Rusalka (again, Ghost Dad), Dryad Sophisticate, Scorched Rusalka, and Gelectrode were other cards that I missed — Gelectrode is our 5th most popular Guildpact Uncommon, even though it’s for almost strictly casual play.

Abyssal Nocturnus (Predicted $2-$3)
Angel of Despair: (Predicted: $5-$6)
Burning-Tree Shaman (Predicted: $7-$10)
Culling Sun (Predicted: $2-$3)
Debtors’ Knell (Predicted: $2-4)
Giant Solifuge (Predicted: $4-$6)
Ghost Council of Orzhova (Predicted: $5-$10)
Godless Shrine (Predicted: $20)
Hatching Plans (Predicted: $2-$3)
Invoke the Firemind (Predicted: $3-$5)
Leyline of the Void (Predicted: $3-$5)
Mimeofacture (Predicted: $3-$4)
Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind (Predicted: $10-$15)
Orzhov Pontiff (Predicted: $3-$5)
Quicken (Predicted: $2-$3)
Rumbling Slum (Predicted: $6-$10)
Skeletal Vampire (Predicted: $2-$3)
Steam Vents (Predicted: $20)
Stitch in Time (Predicted: $2-$5)
Stomping Ground (Predicted: $20)
Teysa, Orzhov Scion (Predicted: $3-$4)

Here are our top sellers:

Ghost Council of Orzhova (Average $7.44) *Yes*
Ghostway (Average $2.29) *No*
Rumbling Slum (Average $9.65) *Yes*
Giant Solifuge (Average $4.60) *Yes*
Godless Shrine (Average $19.96) *Yes*
Teysa, Orzhov Scion (Average: $2.67) *Yes*
Orzhov Pontiff (Average: $2.97) *Yes*
Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind (Average: $9.46) *Yes*
Burning-Tree Shaman (Average: $11.67) *Yes*
Debtors’ Knell (Average: $3.69) *Yes*
Steam Vents (Average: $19.95) *Yes*
13) Angel of Despair (Average: $6.20) *Yes*
14) Stomping Grounds (Average: $20.51) *Yes*
16) Stitch in Time (Average: $2.63) *Yes*
17) Invoke the Firemind (Average: $2.67) *Yes*
19) Leyline of the Void (Average: $4.00) *Yes*
20) Quicken (Average:$4.74) *Yes*
22) Mimeofacture (Average: $3.61) *Yes*
25) Skeletal Vampire (Average: $2.60) *Yes*
28) Abyssal Nocturnus (Average: $2.00) *No*
38) Culling Sun (Average: $2.30) *No*
46) Hatching Plans (Average: $2.58) *No*

Not only were my predictions extremely accurate, but the price range I put these cards in was nearly spot-on as well. The only top-seller I missed was Ghostway. The only cards I was off on were Culling Sun, Hatching Plans, and Abyssal Nocturnus. That’s a pretty ridiculous hit rate.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at Dissension!

As usual, all spoiler information is courtesy of MTGSalvation.com — all credit and problems for the cards on this list come from their website. As of 10:00pm on Thursday Night, 149 of the 180 cards in Dissension were spoiled — including 51 cards that were confirmed to be rare. The FAQ for Dissension states that the breakdown of Commons/Uncommons/Rares in the set is 60/60/60, this leaves 9 unspoiled rare cards — or 9 cards that are rare that don’t have a rarity listed. I feel comfortable making this list with that many rares already spoiled — although the cards were spoiled noticeably later than usual, mostly thanks to the Rancored_Elf/WotC lawsuit.

One last time — all credit goes to MTGSalvation.com for these cards, and if any cards on this list were spoiled incorrectly, blame them. I’m just going with what they have there! Also note that all cards in each category are listed alphabetically, and are not ranked in a certain order.

As usual, the list of commons are ones I recommend picking up in foil, as they will have a premium price. However, this time around I’m also going to recommend hording non-foil Seal of Fire — we have been unable to keep the Nemesis version in stock at $.75-$1 over the past couple of months, and the Dissension version will probably open and stay at above bulk price. Here is a list of the Dissension common foils that will command a premium:

Azorius First-Wing
WU, Creature — Griffin, 2/2
Flying, Protection from Enchantments.
(Compare to Leonin Skyhunter — this will be a staple on WU aggro)

Azorius Chancery
Azorius Chancery comes into play tapped.
When Azorius Chancery comes into play, return a land you control to its owner’s hand.
Tap: Add WU to your mana pool.
(Orzhov Basilica is the only bounce land that saw significant play from Guildpact. The same will apply to the Chancery, as Azorius can be the most control oriented of the three new guilds in Dissension).

Azorius Signet
2, Artifact
1, Tap; Add WU to your mana pool.
(This will be played as acceleration in WU control.)

Gobhobbler Rats
BR, Creature — Rat, 2/2
Hellbent — Gobhobbler Rats get +1/+0 and has “B: Regenerate Gobhobbler Rats” as long as you have no cards in hand.
(A staple for Rakdos decks)

WUX, Instant
Counter target spell unless its control pays X. You gain X life.
(Blue/White mages rejoice at this counterspell. It’ll see a lot of play)

Seal of Fire
R, Enchantment
Sacrifice Seal of Fire: Deal 2 Damage to target creature or player
(A staple of Red, and one that will be heavy sought after for Rakdos decks)

Utopia Sprawl
G, Enchantment
As Utopia Sprawl comes into play, choose a color.
Whenever enchanted Forest is tapped for mana, its controller adds one mana of the chosen color to his or her mana pool.
(An auto-include in Heartbeat of Spring/Early Harvest decks. This is Quirion Elves meeting the much-missed Wild Growth).

Wrecking Ball
BR2, Instant
Destroy target creature or land.
(Instant-speed land destruction, plus the versatility of creature kill. This is the Mortify/Putrefy of this set, except it is common)

Common Wrap-Up: Even with a lot of commons unspoiled, the crop of quality commons is extremely high in Dissension. This is a really, really good set.


W, Instant
Put target attacking creature on the bottom of its owner’s library. That creature’s controller gains life equal to its toughness.
(I’m not stoked about this card, as it can’t deal with creatures outside of combat. However, trends have shown that this kind of effect is initially popular (Reciprocate, Wing Shards, Chastise), although I would personally trade these while they were high, as they will come down over time.)

Court Hussar (Name incorrect on MTGSalvation.com spoiler, but corrected on the checklist they have listed on their website)
U2, Creature — Vedalken Knight, 1/3.
Vigilance. When Court Hussar comes into play, look at the top 3 cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library.
When Court Hussar comes into play, sacrifice it unless you paid W to play it.
(This is a great card for W/U control — it moves you three cards down in your deck, and blocks well. It’s always going to cost WU1, but that shouldn’t be a problem if the deck packs four shock lands, four pain lands, four signets, and four bounce lands.)

Hellhole Rats
RB2, Creature — Rats. 2/2
When Hellhole Rats comes into play, target player discards a card. Hellhole Rats deals damage to that player equal to that card’s converted mana cost.

(This guy seems very comparable to Blazing Specter to me — it will be popular with a lot of players. In addition, I think the damage when discarding ability will be relevant to Standard, especially because of Delirium Skeins (see the last section of this article)

Indrik Stomphowler
G4, Creature — Beast. 4/4
When Indrik Stomphowler comes into play, destroy target artifact or enchantment.
(Definitely going to be played in place of Viridian Shaman in Chord of Calling decks. Is it Constructed playable? I’m not sure, but I do know that it will be insanely popular with casual players, since it is splashable and has an acceptable mana cost).

Spell Snare
U, Instant
Counter target spell with converted mana cost 2.
(Not as good as Mike Flores says, but definitely going to see tournament play. It lets Blue decks fight against Scab-Clan Mauler, Umezawa’s Jitte, Watchwolf, Remand, and Mana Leak.)

Supply: GWX, Sorcery.
Demand: WU1, Sorcery.
Supply: Put X 1/1 green Saproling creature tokens into play.
Demand: Search your library for a multicolored card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
(Both sides of this card are playable, and so it will appeal to both GW and WU players. Supply reminds me of Ivy Elemental, which was always popular with casual players. Also, it might enable a more tournament-playable Convoke deck.)

Vigean Intuition
GU3, Instant
Choose a card type, then reveal the top four cards of your library. Put all cards of the chosen type revealed this way into your hand and the rest into your graveyard.
(I’m on the fence about Intuition, but as an instant is could be quite good — especially since this color combination will be playing Sensei’s Divining Top. I am not going to recommend picking this card up, but I want to note that it has potential)


The three shock lands (Blood Crypt for B/R, Breeding Pit for U/G, Hallowed Fountain for W/U) should all be valued in the $17.50-$20 range. They will be the most valuable cards in the set, mirroring their predecessors.

AEthermage’s Touch ($3-$5 range)
WU2, Instant
Reveal the top four cards of your library. You may put a creature card from among them into play with “At the end of your turn, return this creature to its owners hand.” Then put the rest of the cards revealed in this way at the bottom of the library in any order.
(Remember, if you cast this during your opponent’s turn, you get to both block and get an attack in, since the creature sticks around until the end of your turn. This might see play in Extended, as Flametongue Kavu and Exalted Angel are great targets to put straight into play.)

Avatar of Discord ($3-$5 range)
(B/R)(B/R)(B/R), Creature — Avatar. 5/3
When Avatar of Discord comes into play, sacrifice it unless you discard two cards.
(A 5/3 flyer for three mana can’t be ignored, especially when it fits into multiple archetypes — Rakdos, Mono-Black, and Mono-Red. The drawback of Avatar of Discord is mitigated in a Hellbent-centric deck. This guy is a four turn clock starting on the second or third turn, and many decks will be ill-equipped to deal with that fast of a threat.)

Crime/Punishment ($4-$5 range)
Crime: WB3, Sorcery
Punishment: BGX, Sorcery
Crime: Put target creature or enchantment card in an opponent’s graveyard into play under your control.
Punishment: Destroy each artifact, creature and enchantment with converted mana cost X.
(Crime isn’t terribly exciting, but Punishment is. It’s a pinpoint Powder Keg, except that it can hit enchantments as well. It will be played in many Black/Green decks, and will be popular with casual players as well)

Demonfire ($3-$5 range)
RX, Sorcery
Demonfire deals X damage to target creature or player. If a creature dealt damage this way would be put into a graveyard this turn, remove it from the game instead.
Hellbent — Demonfire can’t be countered by spells or abilities, and its damage can’t be prevented as long as you have no cards in hand.
(Strictly better than Blaze, and very close to being an improved Disintegrate, except that Demonfire can’t deal with regeneration creatures. This will replace Blaze in every deck that plays Blaze, and will see play in Rakdos).

Dread Slag ($3-$4 range)
RB3, Creature — Horror. 9/9
Dread Slag gets -4/-4 for each card in your hand.
(The Rakdos finisher. Against other aggro decks, this will win the game. I don’t think R/G mages are looking forward to throwing Iwamori/Rumbling Slum into the Slag, and then having to use Char to break through. Weak against bounce, but in charge in creature combat.)

Grand Arbiter Augustin IV ($5-$7 range)
Legendary Creature — Human Advisor. 2/3
White spells you play cost 1 less.
Blue spells you play cost 1 less.
Spells your opponents play cost 1 more.
(Grand Arbiter Augustin is a great creature, and I expect his value to push over $10 by the time the Dissension hits on May 5th. It has serious combo-deck implications, plus he doubles as a one-sided Sphere of Resistance. Blue/White control players will be packing these in threes or fours.)

Hide/Seek ($3-$4 range)
Hide: WR, Sorcery
Seek: WB, Sorcery
Hide: Put target artifact on bottom of its owner’s library
Seek: Search target player’s library for a card and remove that card from the game. Gain life equal to its converted mana cost. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
(Seek is an interesting Extraction variant, and one that will put a serious damper on Heartbeat decks in Standard. Is it playable in Vintage, in place of Extraction? Probably not, because who plays White? On the other hand, Hide is a sorcery-speed Naturalize, for all intents and purposes. Both sides of this card are playable, more-so Hide than Seek — see the end of this column for a discussion about Split cards in general)

Infernal Tutor ($10-$15 range)
B1, Sorcery
Reveal a card in your hand. Search your library for a card with the same name as the revealed card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Shuffle your library.
Hellbent — If you have no cards in your hand, search your library for a card and put it into your hand. Shuffle your library.
(Without Hellbent, Infernal Tutor lets you cheaply double up any card in your hand, including basic lands. Getting a second Last Gasp, Kokusho, Wrath of God, Shining Shoal, whatever — it’s definitely great. With Hellbent, it’s Demonic Tutor, and Demonic Tutor was a ridiculous card. Even more importantly, this card is completely broken in Legacy and close to broken (if not broken) in Vintage. If you are a Legacy player who likes Lion’s Eye Diamond, pick up four of these immediately. This is going to be the most valuable non-shockland card in Dissension.)

Lyzolda, the Blood Witch ($5-$6 range)
RB1, Legendary Creature — Human Cleric. 3/1
2, Sacrifice a creature: Lyzolda, the Blood Witch deals 2 damage to target creature or player if the sacrificed creature was red. Draw a card if the sacrificed creature was black.
(See my preview article here for my thoughts on Lyzolda. She’s good)

Muse Vessel ($2-$3 range)
4, Artifact
3, Tap: Target player removes a card in his or her hand from the game. Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery.
1: Choose a card removed from the game with Muse Vessel. You may play that card this turn.
(Muse Vessel is probably too expensive for Constructed, but it has the potential to be a ridiculous card-advantage engine in a control deck. It swings two spells a turn (your opponent loses one, and you gain one) for little more than the cost of Disrupting Scepter. It might not catch on, but the effect is extremely powerful, and it couldn’t hurt to pick up a playset while it is cheap, in case it goes way up in value.)

Pillar of the Paruns ($4-$6 range)
Tap: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to play multicolored spells.
(If Pillar tapped for a colorless to play mono-colored spells, it’d be a $10-$12 card, easily. Since it can only cast gold spells, its usefulness is somewhat diminished. Still, I see this being played in a wide variety of decks, as it helps smooth the mana base a lot. Zoo would love to pack multiples of this land, allowing them to cast a second turn Scab-Clan Mauler or Watchwolf thanks to a much-improved mana-base. People will want and play with these).

Pride of Clouds ($2-$3 range)
WU, Creature — Elemental Cat. 1/1
Flying. Pride of the Clouds gets +1/+1 for each other creature in play with flying.
Forecast — 2WU, Reveal Pride of the Clouds from your hand: Put a 1/1 white and blue Bird creature token with flying into play. (Play this ability only during your upkeep and only once each turn).
(The forecast ability on Pride of Clouds is marginal. No control player will want to tap out four mana during their upkeep to make a 1/1 flyer, and four mana for a 1/1 flyer isn’t great for aggro decks, either. However, Pride will be part of the W/U aggro deck, and will often be 2/2, 3/3, or 4/4 once it attacks on the third turn. Remember, this deck will run eight one-drop flyers (Suntail Hawk and Lantern Kami) up to sixteen two-drop flyers (Azorius First-Wing, Leonin Skyhunter, Freewind Equenaut, and Pride of Clouds), so chances are he’ll be huge. If W/U aggro is viable in Extended, it works really well with the neglected Battle Screech. People will value Pride of Clouds too high at the prerelease because of the forecast ability — so I’d trade these away now, and pick them up later when they drop in value.)

Protean Hulk ($3-$4 range)
GG5, Creature — Beast. 6/6
When Protean Hulk is put into a graveyard from play, search your library for any number of creature cards with total converted mana cost less than or equal to 6, and put them into play. Then shuffle your library.
(It’s the type of fatty that Timmies will love, but it also has constructed applications. Decks that play board control, such as Mortify or Putrefy, will hate seeing Protean Hulk see play. I view it also as Constructed playable, if only for what it adds to Greater Good decks. It’s an in-color creature for that deck, and one that can tutor a Dragon straight to play. Protean Hulk to Greater Good = draw six, get Kokusho or Yosei. Then sac Kokusho/Yosei to draw another five, plus get the dragon effect. That’s some good for that deck.)

Rakdos Augermage ($3-$5 range)
BBR, Creature — Human Wizard. 3/2
First Strike.
Tap; Reveal your hand and discard a card of target opponent’s choice. Then that player reveals his or her hand and discards a card of your choice. Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery.
(People have been split about whether the “fixed” version of Rakdos Augermage is playable, and I say it is — it’s a skill-testing card that will reward players of higher skill level. This will be played in Rakdos decks, although that’s the only deck it will probably be played in, due to its’ restrictive mana cost.)

Rakdos Pit Dragon ($3-$5 range)
RR2, Creature — Dragon. 3/3
RR: Rakdos Pit Dragon gains flying until end of turn.
R: Rakdos Pit Dragon gets +1/+0 until end of turn.
Hellbent — Rakdos Pit Dragon has double strike as long as you have no cards in hand.
(Comparable to Fledgling Dragon. It’s a dragon, it can fly, it has firebreathing, and it can end the game in a turn once you get Hellbent.)

Research: GU, Instant
Development: RU3, Instant
Research: Shuffle up to four cards you own from outside the game into your library.
Development: Put a red 3/1 elemental creature token into play unless an opponent lets you draw a card. Repeat this process two more times.
(Research is interesting, but not very exciting — it essentially lets you mulligan into four sideboard cards for your deck. Development, on the other hand, is an amazing spell. It is aggressively costed, and is instant-speed card draw/creature generation. You end up with three 3/1’s, two 3/1’s and a card, one 3/1 and two cards, or three cards. Research/Development can also go on Isochron Scepter, letting you play Development every turn. See the end of the column for more thoughts about split cards.)

Swift Silence ($2-3 range)
UUW2, Instant.
Counter all other spells. For each spell countered this way, draw a card.
(People are going to be vastly overvaluing this card, and will probably value it in the $5-$6 range at prereleases. It’s not that good — chances are there will only be one card on the stack in a one-on-one game, so it will function as Dismiss for five mana. It’s really great in group games, but Standard/Extended/Legacy/Vintage drive card prices on rares. Trade these away before people realize it is a marginal counter.)

Tidespout Tyrant ($2-$3 range)
UUU5, Creature — Djinn. 5/5
Flying. Whenever you play a spell, return target permanent to its owner’s hand.
(This is one of the most exciting reanimation/Oath creatures in recent memory, and should find a home in both decks. There is also a chance it could be the finisher in a dedicated Blue control deck, since it dominates the entire game once it hits the board — but eight mana is a lot to ask for without cheating.)

Voidslime ($7-$10 range)
UUG, Instant.
Counter target spell or activated or triggered ability.
(A three-cost hard counter, and one that can affect the board instead of being completely dead in hand. This will be a staple, and will likely see Extended play as well).

Walking Archive ($2-$3 range)
3, Artifact Creature — Golem. 1/1
Walking Archive comes into play with a +1/+1 counter on it.
At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player draws a card for each +1/+1 counter on Walking Archive.
2WU: Put a +1/+1 counter on Walking Archive.
(Just like Howling Mine and Kami of the Crescent Moon, Walking Archive will be a desired card-drawing effect, if only by casual players. It does have Constructed implications, as it can quickly become huge, and let you draw a critical mass of cards to deal with a critical mass of your opponent’s cards. It also gives Owling Mine a third Howling Mine effect.)

Windreaver ($3-$5 range)
WU3, Creature — Elemental. 1/3
W: Windreaver gains vigilance until end of turn.
W: Windreaver gets +0/+1 until end of turn.
U: Switch Windreaver’s power and toughness until end of turn.
U: Return Windreaver to its owner’s hand.
(The most immediate comparisons for Windreaver is Morphling. Most people will look at Windreaver, and see that he is a 1/3 for five, and dismiss him. That’s not fair — Windreaver is the closest creature to Morphling since, well, Morphling. The main difference between Morphling and Windreaver is that Windreaver cannot become untargetable — it must return to your hand instead. In exchange for that, Windreaver can swing in for as much damage as you’ve got White mana — Morphling could only pump to 5/1 at best, while Windreaver can get much, much larger than that on offense. Is Windreaver better than Meloku? Probably not. Is it going to fight alongside Meloku and potentially replace Meloku once Kamigawa block rotates? Very likely.)

APPENDIX #1: Cards of note with no assigned rarity as of 10pmEST on Thursday, April 20th on MTGSalvation.com’s spoiler.

These cards have been spoiled at MTGSalvation.com, but they don’t list their rarity. I’ve taken an educated guess at the rarities of these cards, and have given them values depending on rarity. Regardless of rarity, these will be cards that people will want to get from this set. Place value on them.

Azorius Herald (Most likely Uncommon)
W2, Creature — Spirit, 2/1
Azorius Herald is unblockable.
When Azorius Herald comes into play, you gain 4 life.
When Azorius Herald comes into play, sacrifice it unless U was spent to play it.
(The Herald is most likely an Uncommon, as every other cross-mana card in this set that has a rarity is Uncommon as well — see Court Hussar, Squealing Devil, and Patagia Viper. It is also an amazing creature — think Phantom Warrior that gains you four life. It has incredible synergy with multiple U/W strategies, from control to aggro. Works great with Ninjas. Get four of these, they will be going for a premium.)

Brain Pry (Most likely Uncommon or Rare)
B1, Sorcery
Name a nonland card. Target player reveals his or her hand. That player discards a card with that name. If he or she can’t, you draw a card.
(A great discard spell, and again a skill tester. Unlike many other discard spells that can swing and miss, this one cannot — if you miss, it replaces itself. It doesn’t look flashy, but it is quite efficient for what it does. If this is an uncommon, it’ll probably be at the base Uncommon range to start. If it is a rare, it’ll be in the $2-$3 range)

Delirium Skeins (Most likely Common or Uncommon)
B2, Sorcery.
Each player discard three cards.
(Insane in Rakdos, and if you’re the aggressive deck, it’s an insane discard spell. If this is Uncommon, it’ll start around the $1 range, and go up from there. If it’s common, the foil version is definitely worth grabbing four of. This will be a Constructed staple, possibly in more than one format.)

Ghost Quarter (Most likely Uncommon or Rare)
Tap: Add 1 to your mana pool.
Tap, Sacrifice Ghost Quarter: Destroy target land. Its controller may search his or her library for a basic land card, put it into play, then shuffle his or her library.
(This card is going to see extensive play in Vintage, and I expect every Vintage player worth his salt to immediately grab four of these. There are too many decks in Vintage where this acts as Strip Mines/Wastelands #5-#9. In other formats, it’s pretty marginal, but could be useful if any non-basic lands start dominating a given format. If rare, I see this being in the $2-$4 range, but mostly with use to Vintage players. If it’s uncommon, it’ll probably be in the $.75-$1 range, but with the same caveat).

Ignorant Bliss (Most likely Uncommon or Rare)
R1, Instant
Remove all cards in your hand from the game face down. At end of turn, return those cards to your hand, then draw a card.
(This enable Hellbent at no cost, plus allows you to dodge discard spells. Red dodging discard spells? This card seems really out of flavor for Red, and it’s a cantrip, so I’m reasonably sure it’s a rare. If so, value it at $2-$3 — it won’t likely ever go higher than that, but it’ll have uses in both Rakdos, or as an anti-discard card. If it’s Uncommon, it won’t have as much value since it will be a little too niche versus rarity for people to not be able to find a set of four easily.)

War’s Toll (Most likely Rare)
R3, Enchantment
Whenever an opponent taps a land for mana, tap all lands that player controls.
If a creature an opponent controls attacks, all creatures that opponent controls attack if able.
(Most likely a rare, as both of those abilities have shown up almost solely in the rare slot in previous sets. It is a reprint of Mana Web, except powered up to tap all lands that player controls. Mana Web was a premier anti-control card back in the day, and I expect this one to see a ton of sideboard play in the coming year. Assuming it’s rare, it’ll be in the $2-$3 range, but be useful to have four of early, as most people will view it as a trash rare, and not a ridiculously powerful Blue-control hoser.)

APPENDIX #2: The Problem with Split Cards

Last time around, Split cards were really good because you could easily play both halves in the right deck — R/U would run Fire/Ice, B/U would run Spite/Malice, W/G would run Wax/Wane, and R/G would run Assault/Battery. Outside of Fire/Ice though, none of the cards were really played outside of a dual-colored deck, as each half was strictly inferior to an already existing card.

This time around, there are several split cards that are powerful enough to be desired in their own right. However, since all of the split cards are gold, the chances that both sides are playable in one given deck drops dramatically — this is the opposite of the Invasion/Apocalypse split cards. This will adversely affect the value of split cards.

Why is this? It’s basic psychology — a lot of players will see a card like Crime/Punishment, and think “Man, half this card is completely useless to me,” and then assign a lower value to the card — after all, it’s only half the card that is useful to them, right? This mindset will be a lot more common than the one of “Man, this card is good enough to be play on its own,” which is the proper school of thought.

This will, unfortunately drive down the value of the split cards compared to their true value. This is not to say that the split cards will be worthless — far from it, some will be among the more desired and pricey cards in the set. What I am saying is that if you divorced one half of a given split card from the other, the better half of the split card would sell for more than the split card, even though it is less useful on its own.

There is a second problem — the other half will drag down the value because if a player wants that card, they will not be willing to pay for the more valuable half. I put Crime/Punishment in the $4-$5 range, but that is only because Crime will drag down the price of Punishment. If a player wants the Crime half, they will not be willing to pay more for the card because of Punishment, even though Punishment is what is driving the price up the card up.

I would say Crime would be a $2 card (the range of Beacon of Unrest and Ashen Powder), and Punishment a $7-$8 card, if either were on their own. Together, they will sell for $4-$5, because players who want Crime will not want to pay $8 for a $2 card, and players who want Punishment will view Crime as useless, and won’t want to pay full value for what they view as half a card.

I like the new split cards, and some of the half-effects on them are better than most of the non-split Rares or Uncommons in the set. Unfortunately, I feel that the design of them as gold cards will keep their value down due to the reasons outlined above. Crime/Punishment should be a $7-$8 card due to Punishment alone, but shackled with Crime, it ends up getting Punished a couple of dollars.

APPENDIX #3 — Cards not yet spoiled by MTGsalvation.com by 10PM on 4/20/06:

MTGsalvation.com had a full checklist of all the card names, but didn’t have all of the cards spoiled. These are the cards that I could not find, either on their complete spoiler, or by looking through the forums:

White: Blessing of the Nephilim, Brace for Impact, Paladin of Prahv, Stoic Ephemera
Blue: Plaxmanta, Skyscribing, Vigean Graftmage, Writ of Passage
Black: Drekavac, Enemy of the Guildpact
Red: Flaring Flame-Kin, Sandstorm Eidolon, Weight of Spires
Green: Cytospawn Shambler, Fertile Imagination, Might of the Nephilim, Simic Basilisk, Verdant Eidolon
Non-Basic Land: Prahv, Spires of Order
Artifact: Skullmead Cauldron
Gold: Assault Zeppelid, Coiling Oracle, Jagged Poppet, Pallation Accord, Plaxcaster Frogling, Rain of Gore, Trygon Predator, Twinstrike
Split Cards: Hit/Run

APPENDIX #4 — Set Review, as a whole
Even if every card in Appendix #3 was a horrible, non-playable card, this set would be a tremendous success. There is a density of playable Constructed-worthy cards at every rarity level, from Common through Rare. There are a lot of chase rares in the set (Dual lands, the Tutor, Grand Arbiter, Morphling of the Muse, several split cards), plenty of great cards for casual and group play, and a ton of niche cards that are useful. I would go so far as to say that Dissension is the best set of the block, and that’s without seeing a fifth of the set. Kudos to Wizards for crowning an enjoyable block with one of the best sets in years.

APPENDIX #5 — Corporate Shilling
And before I go, let me get in one last word: You can preorder Dissension sets, boxes, fat packs, and theme decks here. We will also have Dissension singles for sale by Monday (either in the morning or afternoon, depending on when Wizards updates their full Dissension spoiler).

Have fun at the Prerelease!