Welcome to the second part of my financial set review for Theros Beyond Death. If you missed last week’s segment, which included my thoughts on potential format staples like Heliod, Sun-Crowned and Klothys, God of Destiny, check it out here.
Let’s not spend too much time on introductions today since we’ve got so many exciting new cards to talk about and there’s no way to avoid breaking the 5,000-word barrier this week. I’d just like to quickly reiterate that Theros Beyond Death appears to be under-priced relative to other non-Core sets during their respective preorder periods, which makes it ripe for potential profits. This is because of how slow the Standard market was toward the end of 2019 thanks to Oko and friends. So even if you’re not the sort of person who usually pre-orders cards, I’d consider grabbing at least something from Theros Beyond Death before more folks start to realize just how under-priced it is.
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath – $24.99
Oh goodness. Growth Spiral is one of the most powerful spells in Standard right now, so it’s easy to take one look at Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath and immediately see how good it is. You can’t cast Uro at instant speed, and you do have to pay an additional colorless mana the first time you cast it, but the tradeoffs are more than worth it. This card is going to see a lot of play in Standard, Pioneer, and possibly even Modern.
Anyone who has ever built a ramp deck knows that consistency is always the biggest issue. There are some games where you draw too many ramp spells, and others where you draw too many late-game threats, and there’s nothing you can do. Having access to a card that can ramp early in the game and attack for meaningful damage later in the game fixes this issue. You can essentially run Uro as a Growth Spiral with upside. That’s absurd.
Even though Uro is the most expensive card in Theros Beyond Death right now, it is also one of the safest buys in the set. Cards like this are rarely at risk of busting out entirely. Not only are two of the best decks in the format right now Simic, but they’re all but guaranteed to play Uro. I don’t see this card dropping below $20 anytime soon, and it has $30-$40 upside depending on how the format develops.
Nyxbloom Ancient – $19.99
I can’t imagine that Nyxbloom Ancient will see play in competitive Constructed. Decks that already have access to seven mana aren’t all that interested in a 5/5 that’s only really good at generating more mana. They’d rather have any of the War of the Spark Finales, Hydroid Krasis, or the underrated Kiora Bests the Sea God.
So why is Nyxbloom Ancient $20? Because of Commander. This card is most similar to Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger, one of the New Phyrexia Praetors and a $20 card in its own right. Nyxbloom Ancient isn’t quite as punishing as Vorinclex, but it’s one mana cheaper and it ramps you quite a bit further. In fact, I can’t think of too many better cards than Nyxbloom Ancient if you’re trying to generate hundreds or even thousands of mana.
That said, I’m not spending $20 for Nyxbloom Ancient. I don’t actually think it’s as good as Vorinclex in Commander, and that card is still just $20 despite having only been printed in New Phyrexia and Iconic Masters. Nyxbloom Ancient is in a current set, so the available supply will be far greater. Commander demand should be high enough to keep Nyxbloom Ancient above $10, but $20 feels like the card’s ceiling to me. If you can hold off for now, you should.
Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger – $14.99
I’ve seen a lot of people arguing about whether Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger is better or worse than Uro, to which I say: who cares? Both are incredible. I see no reason why the new Throne of Eldraine Standard metagame can’t comfortably support both Titans in top-tier archetypes, and they could end up being the two most expensive and impactful cards in the set.
As with Uro, Kroxa slots right into serval existing archetypes. Three of the top eight most-played Standard archetypes right now are either Rakdos or Jund, and I expect Kroxa to end up in at least one of them if not two. And as with Uro, cheap utility cards that can come back to wreak havoc in the late-game tend to be really, really good.
My worry about Kroxa is that ramp is always good while untargeted discard is a bit more situational. There are plenty of decks that won’t really mind you taking off your second turn to make them discard a land. There may also be Reanimator or escape-centric decks entering the format where the ability to discard a card early in the game is all upside. And we haven’t even talked about Nullhide Ferox, which may become omnipresent if Kroxa is as good as its backers seem to think.
Regardless, $15 seems like a fine buy-in for a card that will almost certainly see a lot of high level play in Standard. I don’t like it quite as much as Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath, but it still looks pushed to me. I expect the upsides to outweigh the downsides, and I can imagine it spending some time in the $20-$30 range. Snag a set now if you play Rakdos.
Calix, Destiny’s Hand – $9.99
It’s rare that planeswalkers end up being a total bust, but I’m not much of a fan of Calix, Destiny’s Hand. You really need to be running a critical mass of enchantments to guarantee a draw off his +1 ability, and his -3 ability doesn’t do anything if you don’t have an enchantment of your own on the battlefield. That’s a lot of hoops to jump through in order to gain access to a suite of good-but-not-great planeswalker abilities.
I suppose Calix might end up in the $10-$15 range if there ends up being enough top-tier enchantments to fuel some sort of Selesnya-based “Enchantments Matter” deck, but that looks like a long shot to me right now. Plus, if that deck doesn’t materialize, you’re looking at a $3-$4 card. Calix is too narrow to provide you much upside, and the downside is very real. I’d pre-order something else unless you really want to brew up Selesnya Enchantments.
Thassa, Deep-Dwelling – $7.99
Thassa, God of the Sea was the most powerful God in the original Theros block, but that was largely due to its cheap mana cost and universally relevant suite of abilities. Thassa, Deep-Dwelling is the exact opposite sort of card — more expensive to cast and only good in a deck with an incredibly specific set of cards to enable.
That doesn’t mean that Thassa, Deep-Dwelling won’t see play, though. There are quite a few cards in both Standard and Pioneer that work well with Thassa, as Bryan Gottlieb wrote about in his article last week. I can easily imagine Thassa causing Temur Elementals to roar back into Standard’s top tier, and Arcanist’s Owl works as both a devotion enabler and a top-tier blink target. If there happens to be a critical mass of good things to target with Thassa’s blink ability at any point over the next two years, we’re looking at a $15-$20 format staple.
The only problem? Thassa has bulk mythic (or close) downside. Cards that require this much additional help tend to be boom-or-bust, and Thassa is no exception. $8 is a solid price if you’re a believer in her ability to break through, but there’s a very real shot that Thassa will be $3 by mid-February.
Kiora Bests the Sea God – $3.99
I’d normally be quick to dismiss an eight-mana spell, but Standard already has a Simic Ramp deck and Theros Beyond Death is full of additional ramp enablers. And once you’re generating eight mana, Kiora Bests the Sea God seems like a fantastic way to spend it. There aren’t that many cards in the format that can deal with an 8/8 hexproof creature, and the second stage of the Saga is going to end the game outright more often than not. It’s possible that Kiora Bests the Sea God will end up being too much of a win-more, especially in a format with more versatile late-game threats like Hydroid Krasis, but I can absolutely see this card making a splash.
Financially, however, Kiora Bests the Sea God is unlikely to ever end up higher than $6 or $7 even if everything breaks right. Most decks aren’t going to want this, and those that do are only going to need a couple of copies. $4 is fair for this card if you’re playing ramp, but you can safely ignore it if you’re not in the market.
Dryad of the Ilysian Grove – $7.99
I’ve seen folks calling Dryad of the Ilysian Grove the best card in Theros Beyond Death, but I’m not ready to anoint it with that title. In fact, I think Dryad of the Ilysian Grove is overrated. It doesn’t draw lands like Courser of Kruphix did, and it’s significantly slower than Azusa, Lost But Seeking. The Prismatic Omen ability is nice, but it’s a lot less powerful on a three-mana creature than it is on a two-mana enchantment. How much different is Dryad of the Ilysian Grove than Joiner Adept, a card that has never really seen any play anywhere?
Neither Prismatic Omen nor Azusa, Lost but Seeking is legal in Pioneer, though, so Dryad of the Ilysian Grove might help enable a new deck there. Standard ramp players will at least consider it too, though I don’t know if it’ll end up making the cut.
I’m most excited about Dryad of the Ilysian Grove in Commander. Chromatic Lantern was a $20+ card for a while simply due to Commander demand, and Dryad of the Ilysian Grove could end up being worth $10-$15 for the same reason. It’s not quite as good as Lantern because it’s in green, a color that has a lot of similar and redundant effects, but top-tier Commander ramp enablers like this rarely drop below $5 regardless. $8 is a pretty solid buy if you think that Dryad of the Ilysian Grove will end up being a Constructed powerhouse, but I do not. I’m going to hold off for now and look to buy in closer to $3 in a couple of months. If you want to speculate on a chase rare for Commander, I’d rather go with the card we’re going to talk about next:
Shadowspear – $5.99
I wouldn’t be shocked if Shadowspear ends up being more of a Commander staple than Dryad of the Ilysian Grove. Not only is Shadowspear one of the cheapest and best ways to give a card trample — a highly relevant ability in Commander — but it can shut down two of your opponents’ most problematic keywords without even being equipped. I’ve noticed this card selling really well so far across a few different platforms, and I have to believe that it’s primarily to eager Commander players who want to slot this into lots of their decks. This is the sort of card that could end up being $15+ a year from now due to casual demand alone. Remember: Commander-relevant artifacts can be wildly expensive because they can go in any deck.
As for competitive Magic, Shadowspear’s efficacy is going to depend a lot on how much play the new Theros Beyond Death Gods end up seeing. If the metagame is full of Heliods and such, we could see Shadowspear as a key sideboard card with some maindeck potential. I’m not sure what you’d remove from the existing aggro decks to play this, but it certainly has a high enough power level to intrigue me. And since you’re backstopped by ravenous casual demand, buying in at $6 seems fine.
Shatter the Sky – $3.99
Four-mana sweepers are great. Wrath of God was great, Day of Judgment was great, and Shatter the Sky will also be great. It won’t be hard to turn Shatter the Sky’s downside into an upside, and it’s still a great card even if your opponent is guaranteed to draw a card and you’re not.
$4 is a fair price to pay for a card that’s almost certainly going to be a Standard staple. It’s got $10 upside if it ends up in multiple decks or in Pioneer, but it shouldn’t drop below $3-$4 regardless. If you play white control decks at all, snag a set now.
Eat to Extinction – $2.99
Vraska’s Contempt was a $15-$20 card for more than a year, and Eat to Extinction is every bit as good. Getting to surveil might actually be better than gaining two life in an environment with escape cards, and moving from 2BB to 3B makes Eat to Extinction splashable. I’m not sure if the current Standard environment is well-positioned for an effect like this, but Eat to Extinction is going to be a Standard staple at some point over the next two years.
I’m not sure that Eat to Extinction will ever hit $20, but that’s primarily because Theros Beyond Death is a more powerful set than Ixalan, which means that the value will be spread around more. Even still, $3 seems like an absurd bargain to me. You’re going to want these at some point, and it has easy $10+ upside. Get your set now.
Gallia of the Endless Dance – $2.49
In a vacuum, Gallia of the Endless Dance is quite the two-drop. I’m a little skeptical of cards like this in the current Standard after I whiffed so hard on Robber of the Rich, but I like how Gallia’s second ability will trigger if you attack with any three creatures — she doesn’t have to be one of them. That gives her a little bit of mid-game power that the Robber doesn’t have.
Financially, demand for Gallia should be pretty narrow. Gallia’s playability is limited to decks that want to attack with lots of creatures and can reliably generate green and red mana on Turn 2, which should prevent her from becoming a multi-deck staple. $2.49 is a fair price to pay for a powerful card like this if you’re a Gruul Aggro player, but I can’t imagine it ever ends up being worth more than $5.
Taranika, Akroan Veteran – $2.49
I’m skeptical that Taranika, Akroan Veteran will find a top-tier home in Standard. It certainly works well with cards like Swiftblade Vindicator, but throwing a mediocre card into your deck just to enable another set of mediocre cards is not a great way to win games. There are better white three-drop creatures in the format right now, and the current crop of White Aggro decks are basically just a bunch of one-drops and Venerated Loxodon anyway. They might make an exception for Heliod, but Taranika looks too slow to me. Future bulk rare.
Kunoros, Hound of Athreos – $2.49
Kunoros, Hound of Athreos is a “safety valve” card like Questing Beast, designed to provide brute-force answers to Theros Beyond Death‘s major mechanics if things get out of control. Coincidentally, it’s also quite good against the Jund Sacrifice engine. And it’s a pretty solid creature in its own right.
My biggest worry with Kunoros is that there aren’t many decks in Standard right now running Orzhov colors. I don’t see this slotting into any existing archetypes, nor is it helpful in establishing a new one. It will see play if an Orzhov or Esper deck develops, and its power level is undeniably high, but I suspect it’ll have a hard time ever breaking the $4-$5 mark unless the escape mechanic gets out of control and everyone is priced into playing answers like this. Kunoros’s power level is high enough to make its retail price of $2.49 seem like a good deal, but you’ll still have to hope it finds a couple of decks if you want that investment to pay off.
Thassa’s Oracle – $2.49
In Standard, I don’t think Thassa’s Oracle will see play unless there’s a Mono-Blue Devotion deck. The fact that Thassa’s Oracle doesn’t actually draw you a card will prevent it from becoming a staple in all the blue-based control decks, but if you’re also using those blue mana symbols to generate devotion? That sounds good enough to me.
In eternal Magic, Thassa’s Oracle is a lot more exciting. Laboratory Maniac is already a win condition in multiple decks, and this card is cheaper to cast. You do have to actually cast it to win the game instead of simply having it on the battlefield, but you also don’t need a totally empty library. That more than makes up for the difference, and I expect they’ll see play side by side in a lot of decks.
Laboratory Maniac hit the $10 mark before its reprint in Ultimate Masters, and Thassa’s Oracle has that sort of upside. Just remember that Laboratory Maniac took a while to get there — it was a bulk rare for years due to Innistrad‘s popularity and high supply. I really like Thassa’s Oracle’s long-term potential, but I wouldn’t expect any major short-term gains unless Mono-Blue Devotion ends up being a Tier 1 deck in Standard. I’m staying away from now, but grab a set of these if you’re also in on Thassa.
Nylea’s Intervention – $1.99
Nylea’s Intervention isn’t a good Standard card, but it seems quite solid in Commander. Drawing loads of lands is always a good thing in multiplayer, and this spell is especially good since the card doesn’t specify basic lands. This is also going to be a one-sided sweeper in a lot of casual games. I’m going to try and scoop up a bunch of these for my long-term spec box once they drop below $1, but I’m going to hold off until then since it doesn’t seem to have much hype around it right now. That will change once people have actually had a chance to play with this card.
Thassa’s Intervention – $1.99
Thassa’s Intervention is the perfect tool for any sort of dedicated blue control deck. This card has less overall raw power than some of the other interventions, but it’s exactly what you want to have in hand when you pass the turn with mana up. If your opponent casts a threat, you can counter it. If not, you can draw a couple of cards. Yes, please!
$2 seems low for a card that might see significant play in Standard with a chance to show up in Pioneer as well. $3-$5 seems likely to me, but there’s potential for more depending on how the metagame evolves. If you’re a control player, you should snag a set of these ASAP.
The First Iroan Games – $1.99
The First Iroan Games will see play if Standard devolves into a battle of midrange grind-fests. This card provides an incredible amount of value if you can reasonably expect to successfully trigger the second and third chapters of this Saga, but it’s too slow for an aggro deck and it’s weak to both mass removal and instant-speed removal.
I wouldn’t be shocked if The First Iroan Games ends up being a player in Standard, but it’s unlikely to be as good a three-drop as Lovestruck Beast, which is still just $1.99 itself. Grab a set if you want them, but the financial upside is pretty limited here.
Tymaret Calls the Dead – $1.99
I’ve seen some folks comparing Tymaret Calls the Dead to History of Benalia, but the cards are actually quite different. The third chapter of that Saga made it a perfect fit for an aggressive deck, while Tymaret Calls the Dead is a lot more of a grindy midrange Reanimator enabler.
I don’t think Tymaret Calls the Dead is powerful enough to work as a value card in decks that don’t care about the graveyard all that much, but it’s definitely a worthy enabler in any sort of dedicated Zombie or black-based escape deck. It will see play in Standard, so it should be worth the $2 you spend on it. I just don’t think it has a ton of financial upside beyond that.
Archon of Sun’s Grace – $1.99
Archon of Sun’s Grace seems like a nice midrange creature for the “Enchantments Matter” deck that may or may not show up once Theros Beyond Death hits shelves. A 3/4 body with flying and lifelink is nothing to sneeze at, nor is a way to generate 2/2 flying tokens. In fact, Archon of Sun’s Grace could help re-enable Selesnya Tokens alongside Divine Visitation, a card that’s still Standard-legal for most of the rest of the year.
That said. my expectation is that Archon of Sun’s Grace will end up as a bulk rare. I’m lower on the Enchantments Matter cards than most people, though (see my review of Calix), so keep that in mind and feel free to take my rating with a big grain of salt. Archon of Sun’s Grace definitely has the power level to compete in Standard — it just needs the right environment and supporting cast, and I’m not sure that will happen.
Enigmatic Incarnation – $1.99
Oh, hey, it’s a brand new Birthing Pod variant! This one wants you to sacrifice enchantments in order to get creatures, making it hard to establish a chain, but you get a free end step trigger instead of having to pay an activation cost.
Also, Enigmatic Incarnation isn’t banned in Modern, so you can actually, y’know, play it.
Sam Black wrote about Enigmatic Incarnation last week, and he likes the card’s chances in both Standard and Pioneer. I tend to agree. I’m definitely worried about what the supporting cast for an Enigmatic Incarnation deck looks like in Standard — you don’t want to end up playing a pile of jank and hope to draw this — but cards like this almost always end up playing better than they look. Getting to tutor things directly onto the battlefield for free once per turn is absurdly powerful and it’s worth jumping through hoops to make it happen. This card has $6-$8 multi-format upside and it’s a solid buy at $2.
Treacherous Blessing – $1.99
Don’t underestimate the power of drawing three cards for three mana. That rate is better than average, and the last time it was available to us was Painful Truths. That card saw a significant amount of Standard play and kicked around in the $2-$3 range despite the fact that Battle for Zendikar prices were depressed due to the Masterpiece series.
Treacherous Blessing is a little riskier to play than Painful Truths, and you can’t really run it unless you’ve got a way to deal with the enchantment when you’re done drawing cards. Enigmatic Incarnation or Doom Foretold, perhaps? I generally dislike hoop-jumping cards, but this is a powerful enough effect to build around. I don’t think there’s a ton of upside here since the application is quite narrow, but $3-$5 seems possible to me. $2 is a fair price to pay if you’re interested in testing it out.
Nightmare Shepherd – $1.99
Nightmare Shepherd is incredibly powerful and I’m surprised that I haven’t seen more chatter about this card yet. A 4/4 flyer for 2BB is a solid baseline, and this thing’s static ability doesn’t just generate tokens — it allows you to re-buy enters-the-battlefield abilities by sacrificing your creatures. If Gray Merchant of Asphodel is going to see play in Theros Beyond Death Standard, Nightmare Shepherd is going to be right alongside it.
I don’t know if Nightmare Shepherd will see play outside Mono-Black Devotion, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see other decks with powerful enters-the-battlefield cards try to stretch for this. It seems like a solid Commander card, too. This is one of my favorite spec targets in the $1-$2 tier, and I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot of Nightmare Shepherd over the next couple of years.
Erebos’s Intervention – $1.99
Erebos’s Intervention might prove too slow for Standard — the X in the first clause doesn’t double like with Purphoros’s Intervention — and black has access to plenty of cheaper and more versatile removal spells already. The efficacy of this card is going to depend a lot on how many indestructible cards are kicking around the format (-X/-X gets around that), as well as how useful graveyard removal ends up being. Basically, the more Theros Beyond Death we see in the metagame, the better Erebos’s Intervention gets.
I’d rather drop an extra $1 on Eat to Extinction, a card that I think has a better shot of breaking out and becoming a pricey staple, but Erebos’s Intervention is still a pretty solid card in its own right. $2 is a fair price if you’re interested, but be aware that it’s more situational than a lot of the other top-tier removal spells.
Phoenix of Ash – $1.99
Arclight Phoenix taught me a thing or two about underestimating cards like this, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Phoenix of Ash slots right into a deck like Gruul Aggro. Haste is what really makes this card work, and the fact that it can come back from the graveyard, pump itself, and swing in for the kill right away makes me feel pretty bullish on Phoenix of Ash. $2 is a fair price to pay for a card that could end up being a $4-$5 format staple.
Bronzehide Lion – $1.49
Fleecemane Lion was one of the best cards in the original Theros Standard, so it’s worth giving Bronzehide Lion its due. This card doesn’t seem quite as powerful, but getting a 3/3 creature for WG is already ahead of the curve, and it’s going to slot into any Selesnya Aggro deck that develops. Bronzehide Lion is also perfect in that theoretical “Auras Matter” deck we talked about earlier, though I still don’t know if that deck is realistic.
Still, I’d rather speculate on this card at $1.49 than most of the other “Enchantments Matter” cards in this set. Bronzehide Lion is more versatile than something like Calix due to its potential in a straightforward aggro deck, and it should end up in the $5-$6 range if it ends up finding multiple homes. I don’t know how realistic that is, but there’s upside here for sure.
Dream Trawler – $1.49
Dream Trawler might have been good in past Standard environments, and it might be good in future Standard environments, but I’m not sure how well it lines up in the current metagame. The color requirements are strict enough that it’s not going to see play outside of Azorius Control, and I’m not sure that deck needs a six-drop creature that dies to its mass removal spells. It’s not a great answer to cards like Korvold, Fae-Cursed King or Hydroid Krasis, either.
That said, there’s a lot of text on Dream Trawler and most of it is very powerful. The lifelink is key here, as this card can do a reasonable Baneslayer Angel impression every now and then. If the metagame shifts toward midrange grind-fests, I can see Dream Trawler making a splash and heading up toward $5. Regardless, $1.49 is cheap enough that all you Azorius Control mages might as well grab a copy or two just in case.
Arasta of the Endless Web – $0.99
Most decks that cast a lot of instant and sorcery spells don’t really care about facing down a couple of Spider tokens. They’re just going to use those spells to win the game. This is a solid creature in multiplayer Commander, but I’d rather have a more proactive sideboard plan in competitive Constructed. Future bulk rare with a little bit of long-term Commander potential.
Atris, Oracle of Half-Truths – $0.99
Atris, Oracle of Half-Truths is one of my favorite cards in the set. I wish it were more powerful. It’s possible that some sort of Dimir Reanimator deck will end up using Atris as a way to try and fill their graveyard with big creatures, but that’s a pretty big “if” for a card that looks like it’s a couple of points of power or toughness away from seeing competitive Constructed play. Future bulk rare.
Eidolon of Obstruction – $0.99
Tithe Taker kicked around in the $2-$4 range for quite some time, and Eidolon of Obstruction seems like it has a similar power level. Its static ability isn’t quite as powerful, but the fact that it has first strike helps a lot. If there’s going to be an aggressive white deck in Theros Beyond Death Standard, it has to at least strongly consider Eidolon of Obstruction. Also, if we end up in another situation where a three-mana planeswalker with powerful activated abilities goes on a tear, Eidolon of Obstruction could end up becoming a format staple. There’s not a ton of upside here, but your $1 card could easily end up being worth $4-$5 if everything breaks right.
Gravebreaker Lamia – $0.99
I can imagine playing Gravebreaker Lamia in Commander, and it’s incredibly good in Limited, but it seems just a tad underpowered for competitive Constructed play. Too bad, because it’s quite cool. Future bulk rare.
Mantle of the Wolf – $0.99
I’m tempted to write off Mantle of the Wolf as Limited chaff like so many Auras before it, but eight power for four mana is quite good. This is another one of the “Enchantments Matter” gambles I actually like, since the buy-in is just $1 and it’ll almost certainly see play in that deck. There’s not a ton of upside here regardless, but grab a set if you’re picking up the other Selesnya staples from Theros Beyond Death.
Purphoros’s Intervention – $0.99
Purphoros’s Intervention is quite good, and people continue to underrate modal cards in general. The Ball Lightning mode on this one isn’t great, but it’s there to give you some reach in games where the battlefield is clear and you just want to kill your opponent before they get a chance to do something else.
The second mode on Purphoros’s Intervention is the real meat and potatoes here, and it gives red decks an ability to kill large creatures and planeswalkers that the color was previously lacking in Standard. The fact that you can kill a six-toughness creature or six-loyalty planeswalker for just four mana doesn’t put this too far behind the curve of cards like Vraska’s Contempt — a rare thing for red decks to gain access to. Purphoros’s Intervention may not be one of the absolute best removal spells in the format, but it should see a decent amount of play regardless. It’s worth buying a set for just $1 per card, and I can imagine it peaking in the $5-$6 range at some point.
Thryx, the Sudden Storm – $0.99
Thryx, the Sudden Storm could end up being a pivotal card in Standard despite looking like a rather generic Commander card on the surface. Big mana spells are all over the place these days, and there are plenty of decks that have major issues with Negate and other counterspells in grindy post-sideboard matchups. Thryx should end up being a solid sideboard card itself, and I can see it kicking around in the $2-$3 range for a while.
Heliod’s Intervention – $0.99
Heliod’s Intervention would be unplayable in most Standard environments, but this card lines up pretty well against the existing metagame as well as the expected post-Theros Beyond Death metagame. The two best decks in Standard rely pretty heavily on artifacts and enchantments, and there are only going to be more enchantments running around later this month. Heliod’s Intervention seems like a solid sideboard card that could end up being worth $2-$3.
This Week’s Trends
There was a bit of a social media brouhaha last week when Thassa’s Oracle was previewed and folks started looking into Modern and Legacy staples that might pair well with our shiny new win condition. One of the first cards that came to everyone’s mind was Hermit Druid, but whoops — it looks like someone (or some group) bought out Hermit Druid about a week before Thassa’s Oracle was announced. Hmm!
I have no idea if there was actually any insider trading here, or if this was simply the result of folks buying out graveyard-adjacent cards in anticipation for the new “Graveyards Matter” set. There’s not really anything we can do about it either way. I am vehemently anti-leak, and I suggest speaking up if you see something shady going on in your local speculation community.
As for Hermit Druid itself, I don’t see the card actually maintaining a price tag above $20 at the absolute most. Legacy is a niche format these days, and we have no idea if the interaction is actually good. Hermit Druid is also not on the Reserved List even though it seems like it probably should be, so Wizards of the Coast (WotC) can reprint it if they want to. Regardless, I’d be selling any copies I had into the spike.
Also up this week: Goblin Rabblemaster and Cavalier of Thorns, two cards that continue to prove their worth in Pioneer’s best decks. Goblin Rabblemaster is a central part of Mono-Red Aggro, the most popular deck in the format right now, and Cavalier of Thorns is doing work in Mono-Green Ramp. Both cards still have room to grow, especially since Cavalier of Thorns is likely to become an integral part of the next Standard environment as well.
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger is also a big part of Mono-Green Ramp in Pioneer, and that card is starting to show signs of imminent breakout as well. It hasn’t really started spiking as of this writing, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s the biggest gainer in Magic next week. Pick up your copies now if you haven’t yet.