Well, we survived the New Year, but we sure have been bombarded by spoilers for Aether Revolt! There have been so many great cards spoiled, it's hard to keep up. How they have impacted prices this week isn't fully clear, but we do have some interesting picks this week. Let's dive in!
Hey, bird brain. Yeah, you. I'm actually talking to a Modern deck called Bird Brain. Beck // Call has topped our list, and it's an absolute joy! The deck is hilarious to watch in action, but essentially you cast one or both halves of Beck // Call for 2 mana. It may be a cute deck, but it has potential and really utilizes cards that wouldn't otherwise see play.
On the same topic of the above noted Bird Brain deck, Pride of the Clouds took a massive leap. I haven't seen it run in the above list yet, but it does actually play well with having a ton of flying tokens. A potential 5/5 flying for 2 mana is not the worst thing in the world. Outside of being speculated for the Bird Brain deck, I don't see Pride of the Clouds seeing play in anything but Commander.
Boy do we have a real winner this week in Master Transmuter! The Conflux version is near $22, and the Archenemy version is $30. Artifacts have been the theme in the last few weeks, and this week is no exception. Outside of Commander, I don't see this being constructed playable. A 4 mana do nothing 1/2 isn't really where you want to be in Modern, but then again, buyouts don't always have to make sense.
I know people are tired of hearing about it, but Frontier claimed its next “victim.” Dig Through Time has had positive market movement for the first time since 2015. It's banned in Modern, Legacy and Vintage. What makes us think that it wouldn't be banned in Frontier, if Frontier ever becomes a real thing? I mean, having a Dig or two for your Commander deck is fine, but I really can't see it being unbanned for any format.
Ravenous Trap went up this week, and I love the fact that this Modern sideboard tech card is seeing play. Well, I love it to the extent that some decks have to play this verses Dredge. It's a cute way to combat Dredge and occasionally other graveyard strategies. With the ban list looming, I expect some weird Modern market movement over the next few weeks.
Soulfire Grand Master also did well, and I would like to think that it's not because of Frontier. Mardu has been making a slow entrance in Modern and they run some number of these alongside Monastery Mentor. Additionally, you can find el Mastergrande in a few Pyromancer Ascension decks. Personally, I'm surprised the card is as cheap as it is. It does a ton for 2 (6) mana, and can enable some really tricky things in older formats like Legacy and Vintage.
I hope you already have your copies of Leyline of the Void, because it went up again. Most likely due to heavier use in Modern to fight the onslaught of Dredge. I've played this in some Commander lists, as it is more reliable to live long enough to hard cast it. If Dredge does get hit with a ban, I wouldn't expect this card to fall too much, as it is still a very powerful card.
Cheap pickups of the week!
Not necessarily this week, specifically, but Modern ban list cards are in the cross hairs, and buying a card before it's unbanning is announced can be huge. Bloodbraid Elf, while perhaps not likely to get unbanned, is in the conversation. At $2.50, it's an extremely cheap pick up. Chrome Mox may not be a “cheap” card, but it is about as cheap as it has ever been. It seems Legacy play, but if they decide to unban it in Modern, POW. There goes the ceiling. Finally, I think all the flip walkers (except Jace) like Kytheon, Hero of Akros and Nissa, Vastwood Seer are as cheap as they have ever been. Magic Origins was a great set, and supposedly the last core set. The flip walkers carry with them a great story, but also provide unique game play. They can go in a Cube, a Commander deck, or even a binder.
Foils of the Week!
Engineered Explosives shot through the roof. It is now a $150 foil mostly, or probably completely due to it seeing constructed sideboard play. Reshape went from $10 to $35, probably due to all the crazy artifact cards that have been spiking the market. Petrified Field, a card that realistically sees no play went from a $78 foil to a $125 foil. It is an Odyssey card, so those foils are hard to come by. Lastly, Leovold, Emissary of Trest proved that he is the king and kept moving up (both foil and non-foil.) The foil is now $245.
Conversation of the Week!
On the theme of spoilers, I want to talk about how people evaluate cards. There seems to be a massive bandwagon when it comes to spoiler season, and everyone jumps on whatever the most immediate popular consensus is. This is the best time to make profit when you speculate on cards. How new cards impact the other formats is not always clear, so sometimes you have to go deep in the think tank to find possible uses. I've read all over the Internet, if you can believe it, that Aether Revolt is super broken. It remains to be seen if the cards are indeed broken, but what I do know is that in the past, most people are wrong about their initial inclinations. Cards get snap evaluated and priced by a few sources, then we wait and see what gets played. In the meantime, review the cards yourself. Don't just take everyone's word for it that a card is either good or bad. Use your imagination!
The best card you're not playing in Commander!
This week, the best card you're not playing also happens to be a cheap pickup. Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh is a multiplayer explosion. Most people don't see her too often, so chances are you'll get to flip her easily. By time your opponents ask what her ultimate does, you'll already be ready to pop it. The best part is, even after you die, your opponents will still burn!