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Keeping Up With Jace

It feels like every time I sit down to write this article I’m always behind, and this time is no different. So many things happened with the unbanning of two Modern power houses and the announcement of new products for the first half of the year. Let’s dive in quick and get to what you’ve all been waiting for!

<div align="center" style="margin-bottom: 10px;"><table><tr><td><a target="_blank" href="http://www.coolstuffinc.com/p/Magic%3A+The+Gathering/Jace, the Mind Sculptor">

Jace, the Mind Sculptor
</a></td><td><a target="_blank" href="http://www.coolstuffinc.com/p/Magic%3A+The+Gathering/Bloodbraid Elf">
Bloodbraid Elf
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Modern is a diverse format with tons of expensive staples, and adding Jace, The Mind Sculptor and Bloodbraid Elf definitely hasn’t helped. Almost instantly, Jace was over $100 and continues to float above there even on auction websites. At this point, I don’t expect him to drop any until the <em>Masters 25</em> reprint in 3 weeks.Bloodbraid Elf is $6-8 depending on the set and, although it hasn’t been confirmed for <em>Masters 25</em>, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was featured in there as well. While the cards aren’t technically legal yet in paper, they are legal on MTGO. I wouldn’t look too hard at the results for GP Lyon and SCG Indy last weekend because they are not indicative of what the format will look like with the unbannings. Some cards have already started to tick up as people assume they know what they will need to play these new decks. Jund staples Liliana of the Veil($100), Collective Brutality($20), Raging Ravine($13), Blackcleave Cliffs($45), and Kolaghan’s Command($20) have already seen pretty big price increases in the past week. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the supply on Tarmogoyf, Dark Confidant, Thoughtseize, and Inquisition of Kozilek to be far behind. If you already played a bg deck, you are probably set on staples, but the cost of the deck after the Bloodbraid Elf unban has not been kind to you. At this point I think waiting for <em>Masters 25</em> for reprints is your best bet to get in cheaper. Blue staples have also seen a pretty big uptick, especially Snapcaster Mage, which is above its pre-reprint price now. Celestial Colonnade and Cryptic Command are not likely to be far behind at this point. There is also a lot of interest in Blue and White miracle cards as people have been interested in using Jace to put them back on top of their library. I’m not sure if miracle style decks will end up being good, so my position is to sell into this hype. If you’re not sure what to pick up to battle these decks, I’m a big fan of Pithing Needle now because of its flexibility against Lantern and all of the planeswalkers that are likely to dominate the format. They’re pretty cheap, so buying in now would be a good investment.

<a target="_blank" href="http://www.coolstuffinc.com/p/Magic%3A+The+Gathering/Atraxa, Praetors' Voice">

Atraxa, Praetors' Voice
</a>If you missed the big announcement day, you can find the original article <a href = "https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/valentines-day-mini-announcement-day-2018-02-14" target="_blank">here</a>. To touch on a few things, I think the <em>Commander Anthologies II</em> will likely include the Atraxa deck (Breed Lethality). The announcement mentions that there will be 13 foil commanders which is unusual because the decks usually only have 3 each. The 4 color decks from <em>Commander 2016</em> had 4 options due to the 3 partner commanders and the one 4 color commander. My best guess for other decks to be included would be Devour for Power or Counterpunch from <em>Commander 2011</em>, Mind Seize or Eternal Bargain from <em>Commander 2013</em>, and Built from Scratch or Forged in Stone from <em>Commander 2014</em>. If you were looking for any cards from those older sets I would hang on for a bit and wait for these to release. They really helped the price of some of the especially expensive Commander cards like Kaalia of the Vast and Meren of Clan Nel Toth. If you missed the boat on Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice or Deepglow Skate then don’t worry. I’m almost 100% sure you will get a reprint in this set. If you aren’t interested in all of the decks, this is a great product to split with some friends. The <em>Commander 2018</em> release date is also mentioned but no other information about what kind of product other than it will contain 4 decks is listed. It’s likely going forward that there will always be 4 decks as that is the most common number of players in a Commander pod.

<em>Battlebond</em> is likely to be a <em>Conspiracy</em> style booster set that is built to be draftable. This means we will probably have a bunch of powerful multiplayer centric cards that don’t rely on drafting to be relevant. If you’re an avid Commander player or play some kitchen table <strong>Magic</strong> with multiple people at once then this is a product you should keep your eye on. Many of these sets have expensive chase mythics that aren’t immediately obvious but will creep up over time. <em>Conspiracy 2</em> has a few in Expropriate, Selvala, Heart of the Wilds, and even Regal Behemoth is starting to creep up due to becoming a <a href = "https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/rivals-ixalan-oracle-changes-2018-01-11" target="_blank">dinosaur</a> recently.

<em>Signature Spellbook: Jace</em> and<em> Global Series: Jiang Yanggu and Mu Yanling</em> don’t have any information that I can make an educated guess on. There are no previous products like them so I will keep my ear out for new information and tell you my best guess of their contents as the information is relayed to us.

Thanks for reading, and if you want to hear more about these topics from myself and my co-hosts you should check out the Cartel Aristocrats Podcast <a href = "http://www.gatheringmagic.com/category/articles/podcast-articles/cartel-aristocrats/" target="_blank">here</a> on <strong>Gathering Magic</strong>!

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