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Keep Rowan, Rowan, Rowan, Rowan. SCION!

29 Aug
by Jason Alt

Get it? Kinda like that Limp Bizkit song Rollin’? What’s that? You don’t know who that is? Your first game console was a Playstation 3? You don’t know what a VCR does? OK, cool.

For those of you who don’t remember “Nu-Metal” or whatever they called that genre, Limp Bizkit was a band that was/is not good. Their music is the worst thing Fred Durst ever did, and he made a sex tape and a movie that has a 15% on Rotten Tomatoes. The worst thing about how aggressively loud-bad songs like “Nookie” and “Break Stuff” were, I'll be damned if they don’t make the stickiest earworms of all time.

I’m writing about Rowan, Scion of War this week, cat’s out of the bag there already with the title, but I am really all done talking about Fred Durst and want to swing back around to Rowan and not the terrible song from the worst decade for music of all time that the name Rowan made me think of. 

OK, before I do that, in fairness to Fred Durst, after he made a song called “Nookie,” I haven’t heard a single person use that word unironically. If you don’t remember life before 1998, that word was everywhere and Fred Durst made it disappear from the vernacular in one tour opening for Slipknot. Don’t get me started on Slipknot, let’s talk specs. 

Rowan is the topic of discussion partially because like three days ago I remembered Limp Bizkit made an album called “Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water” which made me mad for like a half hour and I guess I’m still a little ticked, and also because Rowan is by far the most popular deck of the set. 

Well, Rowan and Eriette of the Charmed Apple are. I’ll be covering Eriette later this week to make up for not doing an Alticle last week. Rowan is going first because cEDH players are showing more interest than they are in Eriette. Let’s take a look at what makes Rowan tick by going to her EDHREC page

Crackle with Power

Crackle is up first because this got a bit of a nudge when Hinata, Dawn-Crowned was printed. Strixhaven: School of Mages was the very beginning of the new era where even Mythics are trash and the interest in the card as a spec for Hinata decks caused the bump last April. Copies of this card will be more concentrated in the hands of dealers than usual, and I think Crackle is likely to get more interest with how unfair it is with Rowan. If it doesn’t go because of this, the deck that is insane with it in 2024 will make them go off, but you can always try and sell out before you have to wait a year and risk a reprint. 

Treasonous Ogre

At the very beginning of Covid, there was a reddit post or tweet or something about Treasonous Ogre. It got a nice big pop, but I don’t think it’s done. This card is basically a must-include in this deck and copies are going to be scarce. I didn’t think this would hit $10 when I bought a ton of them in 2020, but I kind of do now. 

Bond of Agony

We’re a bit late to the party here - as you can see, the foil price skyrocketed as soon as this card was previewed. I think the non-foil has room to grow. You’re not going to see the returns we would have if we’d gotten to the foils in time, but I wouldn’t worry. I hope long-time readers will have learned enough to find these specs on your own. The ship has sailed on a few cards but there is still plenty of value left. I think non-foil Bond is likely to see a lot more play, but rather than wish we had been quicker, let’s try and find something in foil that hasn’t popped yet but could.

Unspeakable Symbol

Unspeakable Symbol is getting a lot of press in this new deck as a reusable source of life loss that also builds up a creature, which seems relevant. The foil hasn’t been cheaper since Strixhaven, and if it flirted with $40 once, it could again, lack of crypto cash notwithstanding. Some of those 2020 stimulus money spikes were dumb, but that doesn’t mean more demand doesn’t send the down-trending foil price back in the other direction. 

Phyrexian Purge

Speaking of dumb 2020 fake spikes, cards that are on the Reserved List went back down if they didn’t have a reason to stay up. This is a good card in the deck, and I’d like this at $2 as a Mirage rare even if it weren’t on the Reserved List, but I won’t pretend it’s not a point in Purge’s favor. This does two things you need to do in the deck and there aren’t a ton of good alternatives to it. 

Plunge into Darkness

Finally, Plunge into Darkness has been a card that gets light jostles to the price, and those light jostles move the needle a lot. Previously, foils of this card flirted with $100. It’s a cube card, occasionally flirts with sideboard play in other formats, does work in EDH, and it’s under like $3 for the only printing of it. If you have foils, sell if it hits $100 again I guess? If you’re like everyone on earth and don’t have foils already, I think buying in on the non-foil under $3 is fine. 

Rowan, Scion of War
Crackle with Power
Treasonous Ogre
Bond of Agony
Unspeakable Symbol
Phyrexian Purge
Plunge into Darkness

There are more cards that I like but a lot are obvious and you’ll find them on your own. This deck is the most popular in a set that some people are saying is a nice refreshing bite of a lime wedge after doing the tequila shot of $300 set booster boxes of the last set. Eriette is interesting, too. Keep your eyes on the site for a potential follow-up later this week. Until next time! 

Check out these other articles:

Modern Times - Rakdos Scam, and the Unbanning of Preordain by Corey Williams

Over and Under - The Ring and the Titan by Harvey McGuinness

History, Restapled - Lands, Ho; Prices, Low by Steve Heisler

Jason Alt
Jason Alt

Jason has been writing about Magic: the Gathering since 2010. He currently writes an EDH-focused column on and is the content manager of EDHREC and Commander's Herald. When he's not writing you can hear him as the cohost of the Brainstorm Brewery MtG Finance podcast weekly on YouTube and all podcasting apps. Follow him on Twitter for more free finance tips - free in the sense that you don't pay with money, but with having to see too many tweets about hockey.

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