As always, every three months brings that Christmas-morning feeling we all fiend for; spoiler season is upon us. With the full reveal coming over the weekend from a Magic Online beta mistake, we now have access to do the financial review. As always, I am going to more or less skip the bulk rares, and I will talk more about the long-term casual cards in a later article.
Abhorrent Overlord – Bulk
Agent of the Fates – Even if this card finds a deck and fills the role as a four-of, it is unlikely to top the $4 price tag, so I would be looking to trade these out.
Akroan Horse – Bulk
Anax and Cymede – This is no Boros Reckoner, but if heroic finds a place, you can bet this will be featured. I can see this being a $4 to $5 card, and it is unlikely to drop much, if any, even without much play.
Anger of the Gods – Even with the already-high price tag, I like trading into these. I expect aggro to run rampant in the new format, and this seems like a great catch-all for red, which already has some support, such as Steam Augury, which I will get to later.
Anthousa, Setessan Hero – Bulk
Arbor Colossus – Bulk
Artisan of Forms – I do not know if the format will be kind to this card, but I feel any 2-mana Clone is something to watch for. Even with very little play, this could exceed the presale price at just above bulk.
Bident of Thassa – Any card that can turn all your creatures into Thieving Magpies is worth looking at, and I am happy to trade for these at their current $1.
Boon Satyr – I like this card a lot, and I can see it retaining $3 for a while if it sees play, but I can also see this falling as it competes with cards such as Loxodon Smiter or Reckoner for this spot. $3 is probably fine in the long run, but I expect it to dip down before it goes up.
Bow of Nylea – I preordered a number of these at $2 much to my dismay now that they are announced for precon inclusion. I love this card and feel it will see some play, but given the reprint, it is certainly not correct to buy in.
Celestial Archon – Bulk
Chained to the Rocks – I am not as sold on this card as most, but I can see the relevance. I feel this would have to be better than Abrupt Decay for me to be interested at $4, and although playable, Abrupt Decay it is not. If it sees enough play, it may have a short-term spike just due to initial availability, but don’t hold on to them long, as it won’t fit in a ton of decks.
Colossus of Akros – Bulk
Curse of the Swine – I understand this card has all the flavor in the world and does deal with the Gods, but as a card overall, I am not impressed, and I can’t see them holding $3 long after release.
Daxos of Meletis – I feel this card could easily see play given the right shell, and with all the enchantment buffs we have, he could be very hard to block successfully, making me like him even more . . . But not at $4. I am okay picking these up in trade since you will probably move them due to hype—the price, after all, has doubled since preorder—but I certainly could not see buying in at the current price.
Ember Swallower – Bulk
Fabled Hero – This, again, relies on heroic to be good, and as powerful as double strike is, it all comes down to the cards that target and how good they are. This could stay at $2 or this could spike to $5; I don’t see much of a drop from presale, so I would feel safe trading for them, but don’t be surprised if they don’t go anywhere quickly.
Firedrinker Satyr – I really dislike this card, but a number of people I have talked to believe it is what you have to play in aggro as your replacement for Stromkirk Noble—I, however, am not sold.
Fleecemane Lion – I love this card, but—plain and simple—it is overcosted. Dump them now.
Gift of Immortality – This card is certainly interesting at least. I don’t see it doing a ton in Standard, and although casual appeal is high, it also doesn’t seem to be enough to sustain the price at rare even if it is just over bulk. I hope I am proven wrong, as I love this card, but sadly, I see myself buying these in bulk soon.
Hammer of Purphoros – I am not sold on this card at all, and even if it does see play, it will be a two-of at best, meaning a presale of $3 is still too high—dump them while you can.
Hero's Downfall – This card feels correctly priced. It may ebb and flow between $4 and $7, but if you see them, don’t feel you can’t trade for them, as I expect them to move really well through their life in Standard.
Hundred-Handed One – Bulk
Labyrinth Champion – Bulk
Meletis Charlatan – Bulk
Mistcutter Hydra – This card is really underwhelming when you look at it. Yes, it is uncounterable, but that still doesn’t mean I want a 3/3 for 4 versus control. I am not sure it will ever fall to true bulk, but it will be really close.
Nighthowler – I talked about this card on the ’cast this week, and maybe I am the only one out there who likes it, but this effect is very powerful, and any time something costing 3 mana or less can top a 5/5 fairly easily, it is at least worth looking at. I will be buying as many copies I can this weekend from players and trading for the rest—even with the Game Day promo, this has real potential.
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx – This is way too expensive, not close. Sell now, and pick them up at Thespian's Stage prices.
Polis Crusher – I like this card a lot; it has a lot going for it that is deceptively relevant. I might be okay trading these at $2, but I would hold off on buying any. I expect they will drop in the beginning and find a home down the road as we gain more cards to support a midrange deck.
Prognostic Sphinx – This card could be relevant, but it has to fight through a lot of competition to make it there. I am fine snagging these to finish a trade, but I don’t see the need to stockpile.
Prophet of Kruphix – I know this card is probably overpriced, but this guy will be in high demand until the Commander and Cube crowd have their fill, meaning they will be fairly liquid. Beyond that, if these ever drop, snag as many as you can—this will probably be the Parallel Lives or Darksteel Plate of the set.
Psychic Intrusion – Bulk
Pyxis of Pandemonium – There are players who will be seeking these, so snag them in trades for cheap, and turn them around for small gains; otherwise, just let them slowly gain value in the bulk box.
Rageblood Shaman – Great—now we have something to put into play off Didgeridoo . . . Bulk.
Reaper of the Wilds – This card may see fringe play, but even then, it will probably fall from the $3 preorder.
Reverent Hunter – I like this guy less and less every time I read him, and as I do this article, I feel I may finally be ready to call this guy bulk. Even at best, he is usually a Kalonian Tusker, which is also in Standard.
Shipbreaker Kraken – Bulk
Soldier of the Pantheon – This card will probably see plenty of play, but even at that, he will be hard-pressed to push past $4. I wouldn’t rush to dump them, but trade them out when you can.
Spear of Heliod – An upgraded Glorious Anthem is interesting but probably not good enough to see anything more than the current $3 price tag.
Steam Augury – This card intrigues me a ton, and the more I look at it, the more I want to just test anything that I can jam this into. By and far, it’s one of the most skill-intensive cards in a long while, and for that, I am grateful. I could see this spiking to $5 or higher if multiple decks adopt it, but at $3, I am fairly happy trading for them either way.
Swan Song – Catch-all cards are always dangerous to balance, and though I think they did a great job here, I don’t believe that will keep this card from seeing play in every format. It is just too early to predict a price, but the current $5 seems like a good starting point. I would not be surprised to see this top $10 at some point down the road, but for now, I feel comfortable trading them at $5.
Sylvan Caryatid – This card is a fine replacement for Farseek in a number of decks, but $6 is asking a lot. I don’t doubt the card will see enough play to warrant that with few other options, but I just don’t know if I even want to trade at that price. There is far more downside to this card than up meaning I am staying away.
Temple Land Cycle – These are fine lands, and the more I look at them, the more I like them. The current price tag seems about right, and as the meta shifts, much like any cycle of lands, I also expect these to shift to mimic the playability.
Thoughtseize – Another very liquid card from this set, Thoughtseize has proven to be a contender in every format already. I expect these to hold $30 or close to for the rest of their existence and potentially push upward again if the Standard play demands it. I am not eager to trade these at full retail, but they are still what I believe to be a fairly safe bet.
Titan of Eternal Fire – Bulk
Triad of Fate – This card does so many awesome things that I really want it to be good, but as it stands, it is too slow to do much. At the price, I am fine trading for them, but I am not stoked about paying any cash.
Tymaret, the Murder King – I do not feel that we want an Undead Gladiator in the current environment, but this could find space as a finisher in B/R. I am not stoked about this at $2, but it can’t go much lower, so if you have any faith in the card, feel free to trade away.
Whip of Erebos – When I first saw this card, it was half the presale price it is now, which I was fine trading at—at $4, however, I am not. As cute as the card may be with Obzedat, Ghost Council, that does not make me happy about paying 4 mana for it.
That is all for this week. As you may have noticed, I skipped the mythics since I want to see what their prices actually do when they reach the hands of the players. Rares are widely opened enough that there are very few surprises, but with this set especially, I believe the mythics have a rollercoaster ahead of them. As always, thank you for reading. Check in next week as we finish the set and talk in depth about the future of Theros as a whole and what effect we can expect on the environment.