This Week in Magic - Week 33

18 Aug
by Jeremy Lichtenberger

GP Denver is on the horizon this weekend, Commander 2017 has been fully spoiled and some people seemed to have lost their minds with reserved list cards. We had a plethora of RL cards hit the charts this weekend and with Standard/Modern still in limbo, this week and month really have been all about the old school. Let’s review what cards topped the list, this week in Magic!

North Star

First up, a card I had actually forgot existed, North Star. Back in the day when this came out, I remember thinking that the ability was cool, but having to pay 4 mana to get it was a bit meh. I did try this out in a deck with Craw Wurm and Shivan Dragon, but I found that I would often just have the mana to cast it without need a silly star. This buyout is just one of many this week, in what seems to be a cash grab type buyout. People come in and buy out obscure RL cards, then quickly flip them for profit.

Martyr's Cry

Next on the list, Martyr's Cry. This card has always been awkward, as it is a sweeper for white creatures, but costing WW meant you’d be playing a white heavy deck without white creatures. Nowadays, people can pay WW in a deck without white creatures, but the drawback of your opponent getting to draw for each creature they lose is steep. Long term, this card will probably continue to be dirt cheap.

Haunting Wind

Haunting Wind is actually a really cool effect attached to a seriously spooky card. If this cost less mana, like 1B, it would probably see some fringe competitive play. How long these are kept off the market will determine where the price point plateaus at. There are still quite a lot of copies roaming around, and if Lion's Eye Diamond taught us anything, it’s that more copies exist than most people think.

Knowledge Vault

Basically a much slower Bomat Courier, Knowledge Vault actually was pretty good in its day. Games would often run long and being able to refill your hand on turn 20+ would mean you would probably win…or deck yourself first. The art is reminiscent of Stasis in that it seems to be more art than depiction of a card.

Porphyry Nodes

Hey, we’re getting to Modern cards! U/W based decks have been performing fairly well lately, and Porphyry Nodes has been making a strong comeback. By strong, I mean basically a handful of copies. This was bought out once a few years back and its on the way up again. Costing a single W means this card can always be relevant, so if you like playing prison/control, getting a playset of these quickly might not be a bad idea.

Urza's Incubator

One of my favorite cards for tribal decks has been given a breath of life thanks to C17. I played Urza's Incubator in a dragon tribal deck as well as a leviathan, octopus and serpent deck. People finally caught on that this is good and bought out both printings. This card isn’t reserved list, so it’s fully possible it gets a reprint in the near future.

Singing Tree

With so many spikes this week, it’s hard to cover everything that is happening. Singing Tree has much to sing about these days, as it has become quite unusually expensive. Ol’ maze of tree isn’t particularly strong in current Magic, but that hasn’t stopped investors from buying it up. We’ll have to wait a few weeks or months for all these movements to settle and figure out where things stand.

Foils of the Week!

Tribes rule the foil day with big boy delver, Docent of Perfection, spiking hard in foil form. Carnival of Souls is actually pretty rare in foil, and a busted effect in the right deck. Yay, more wizards, but in merfolk form, Wanderwine Prophets doesn’t seem incredibly playable, but it does look fun. Foil Stonybrook Banneret will probably never be cheap again thanks to the resurgence in tribal Commander decks. I had actually mentioned Steely Resolve back in Week 22 because it pairs well with any tribal deck. Lastly, foil Ponder has shot to over $100.

MTGStocks Mystery Chart of the Week!

Last week was a tad easy in Bitterblossom. This week, we’ll ratchet the difficulty up just a bit. MTGStocks mystery chart of the Week!

Conversation of the Week!

I want to talk about MTGO, or Magic’s online client. There are free ways to play Magic, like Untap, Xmage, Cockatrice, etc. but I think those ways are only good for initial testing. I’ve played in Untap and Xmage, and while fun, it doesn’t satisfy my competitive thirst. Sure MTGO can be expensive, but it can also profit you real money. For example, I invested $300 and bought my Modern UB Mill deck a few years back. This year alone I’ve made $600+ with the deck in prizes by winning leagues and events, then selling the prize chests for tickets (mtgo online currency.) Each ticket costs $1 to buy, but you can sell them for $0.95 and profit real money. So if you’re looking to brew decks, theory test, practice, or just have fun, the free ways to play are perfectly fine. If you’re looking to step up your competitive game, qualify for large events and win some serious prizes, MTGO is the way to go.

The best Commander card you’re not playing!

I used to have a tribal treefolk Doran, the Siege Tower deck and my favorite card to cast was Lignify. Not only did it stop pesky creatures, but it made it so my opponents Commander was stuck on the battlefield until they could kill or bounce it.

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