This week was a very interesting and exciting week finance wise, with a ban update that will have some serious consequences. So, once again, I present you the cards that will be the talk of the town tonight.
+739.1% seems a crazy increase in price, but please remember this means the card is now around $3.50 up in price. Still, it is a surprisingly hard spike, even when a spike is totally expected when a card is unbanned. In the case of Black Vise, many have wondered why the card was still banned in Legacy. Well, it was banned because of its power against cards like Ancestral Recall and Library of Alexandria, back in the day.
And now, you might ask yourself: "how good is it really?". Well, it is a pretty decent card, but I think that you will need to make a specific brew, just for Black Vise to make it really work in your advantage. To illustrate what Black Vise can and can't do, watch the video below. It is part of a series by Caleb Durward on the power of banned cards in Legacy. He made the videos in 2014, and his videos on Black Vise are very relevant now:
As you watch the video, you will see the early game power of Black Vise. Caleb drops it on turn one, dealing 3 damage to his opponent in his upkeep. He tops of his Black Vise with a Goblin Guide the next turn, dealing another 2 damage and (maybe) forcing his opponent to draw an extra card to feed the Black Vise.
But, you will also see why Black Vise is a unreliable card as well. After turn 5 or so, Caleb's deck stalls, has no threat on the board and is dead in the water. Also note that his opponent chooses to use Abrupt Decay on Caleb's creatures, and not on his Black Vise. It is not a threat in midgame or lategame. Caleb loses the game.
In game two of the match, Caleb does not draw a Black Vise in his starting hand, but ends up brainstorming into one. After that he gets a second Black Vise. A decent board state, but it does not prove to be enough and Caleb concedes the second game as well.
The video shows the good and the bad concerning Black Vise. But, as you probably know, a lot depends on the matchup and the shell you play a particular card in. Black Vise can be a card that is powerful if you drop it early, and against a deck that really needs to sculpt a hand to win (decks like Storm Combo).
But the big downsides are:
It is rubbish when you draw it after turn 3
It is not better than something you can play in that slot instead
It will only give you an advantage against certain decks
To illustrate this, consider playing Black Vise in Mono Red Burn. A fast deck that uses Goblin Guide and a lot of burn spells. Eidolon of the Great Revel might work in your advantage as well, if you play it alongside Black Vise. You will punish your opponent for playing spells and for not playing spells. Black Vise can do a lot of damage for 1 mana.
But even in Burn, Black Vise won't cut it. You will need to have it in your opening hand to get benefit out of it. If you draw it on turn 3 of later, you have a problem. In Burn, you will be outdrawn or outdiscarded in turn 3 or 4 by your opponent. Every card you draw must be a way to maximize the amount of damage you can deal. One land too much can prove deadly. After turn 3 (maybe even in turn 2) you would rather draw that 3-damage spell, instead of a Black Vise, that will maybe deal 1 damage once.
For Black Vise to really work in Legacy you will need to build a deck around it. A deck that has a way of being either very aggressive, or locks out your opponent. It will need cards that let your opponent draw cards he won't be able to cast. Either because he can't cast them or because it is too late. And that will be a hell of a job to pull of in Legacy. A format where Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise are both banned because the card advantage they give is so powerful, that any deck that could play them played them.
We see a lot of 'old' cards popping up in our weekly winners. Because of their limited availability, prices tend to fluctuate a lot when even a few stores raise their prices. Normally I won't bother discussing those cards in the Weekly Winners, but Field of Dreams is a different story. The card was actually bought out. There are almost no copies available on US and European markets.
Some Legacy players have been brewing a deck called Legacy Lantern. The Legacy edition of the Lantern deck in Modern. And since the cardpool is bigger, cards from Legends can be added to make a more powerful deck. The idea is to manipulate the cards you and your opponent draw by seeing the top card of their library and milling them (or not) away with Ghoulcaller's Bell. In Modern you can only use Lantern of Insight, in Legacy you can add Field of Dreams for more stability.
But the Legacy Lantern deck has not netted any results. The spike of Field of Dreams is pure speculation, and a strange one indeed. Two weeks ago the card was $5, now you have to pay $85 for a copy. This new price won't stand, unless Legacy Lantern will become a viable deck.
Drana, Liberator of Malakir is a card that really stands out in BFZ for playability in Standard. It's one of those cards that you need to deal with or lose the game. A kind of threat you don't want to see on the board against you. It beefs up your creatures, and because Drana, Liberator of Malakir distributes +1/+1 counters, those other attacking creatures will be bigger, even when Drana, Liberator of Malakir dies itself.