Magic Monies Shadow over Innistrad Extended Edition – 4/11/16

Over the past week we had a rotation in Standard, bannings/unbannings, and the first major event after new set release. In other words, we have a hell of a lot to get to.


Let’s start by tackling changes caused by bannings/unbannings. I’m mostly ignoring the changes to Vintage; it’s a format very few play, and when they do, everyone uses proxies. No one really cares. I know the format has gotten fairly popular online, but the online market for Vintage cards is totally different from the paper market due to Vintage Masters and overall ease of getting these cards. In Vintage, they put [mtg_card]Lodestone Golem[/mtg_card] on the restricted list. Basically, Shops was an OP deck, but Wizards still wants Shops to be viable. So Lodestone Golem takes a hit. For reasons stated above, this won’t affect the market at all.

In Modern, [mtg_card]Eye of Ugin[/mtg_card] is banned, while [mtg_card]Ancestral Vision[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Sword of the Meek[/mtg_card] are unbanned. We all knew Eye of Ugin or [mtg_card]Eldrazi Temple[/mtg_card] was going to eat a banning. So the Eye of Ugin ban was expected. The card price had been dropping in expectation of the ban; same with Eldrazi Temple. My expectation is that Eldrazi will stick around in Modern as a tier 2 or 3 deck. So most of the cards in the decks I suspect will hold value for now, outside Eye of Ugin and Eldrazi Temple. Most people will be getting out of Eldrazi and look to drop their Eye of Ugin and Eldrazi Temple.

More important is the Ancestral Vision and Sword of the Meek unbanning. Everything here exploded to values far higher than they could possibly hold. [mtg_card]Thopter Foundry[/mtg_card] at $11? Sword of the Meek at $22.50? These prices won’t stand. The Sword of the Meek combo is a fairly easy combo to assemble, and insert-able into most WU based control decks. But it also opens up more control based affinity decks, which have been dormant for quite some time. We’ve seen these style of decks crop up in Legacy every once and awhile. The most appealing part of these decks is to take advantage of the raw power of [mtg_card]Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Tezzeret the Seeker[/mtg_card]. Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas exploded up to $41. Since he’s a planeswalker, so it is hard to tell if he can hold this price. My guess is no, but sure is going to look like it for a while. It really depends on the new Modern meta accepting a control affinity list. So how will this unbanning affect the money markets? Mostly [mtg_card]Stony Silence[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Kataki, War’s Wage[/mtg_card]. Right now Kataki, Wars Wage sits at $1 and Stony Silence sits at $12.50. Both are solid investment to hate out Sword of the Meek combo and your everyday Affinity deck.

More worthy of discussion is the Ancestral Vision unbanning. My understanding of reasoning for the unbanning is that Wizards has for a long time thought blue based control was too weak, and needed a buff. But they were afraid that anything they did would just make [mtg_card]Splinter Twin[/mtg_card] better. Now with Splinter Twin banned, they can open the floodgates on blue.

Most of the discussions I’ve listened to go along the lines that Jund/Abzan based decks to take hold of the meta. This is good if you want to take advantage of the current low price on [mtg_card]Dark Confidant[/mtg_card]. Something I would also totally recommend, regardless of the unbanning due to Dark Confidant’s stupidly low cost right now from the Modern Masters and Modern Master 2015 printing.

I suspect that Ancestral Vision won’t see the overwhelming amount of play everyone expects. It’s almost impossible to cheat it into being cast. Cascade in these decks is not a thing. [mtg_card]Snapcaster Mage[/mtg_card] doesn’t work that way. Nor does [mtg_card]Isochron Scepter[/mtg_card]. If you are resolving Ancestral Vision, you are doing it through suspend which takes 4 turns (Note: [mtg_card]Goblin Dark-Dwellers[/mtg_card] is probably the only almost OK way to go around suspending). As a tempo player, I will sit on my [mtg_card]Remand[/mtg_card]s to blow you out, Eldrazi processors will take you to the woodshed too, Zoo/Affinity laugh at your first turn plays, Storm will kill you before it resolves, and Jund/Abzan will rip it from you hand if you are on the draw. While I don’t deny the power of the card, I think the meta is built to beat it without even putting forth the effort. I look for Dark Confidant, Remand, and black discard like [mtg_card]Thoughtseize[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Inquisition of Kozilek[/mtg_card] to get a bump to counter it. I also suspect [mtg_card]Cryptic Command[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Gifts Ungiven[/mtg_card], and [mtg_card]Iona, Shield of Emeria[/mtg_card] will see bumps up because they are good cards to play in blue-based control. One thing I will say beyond a doubt, DO NOT BUY ANCESTRAL VISION NOW. It looks to be an obvious reprint in Eternal Masters. It get tons of play in Legacy in [mtg_card]Shardless Agent[/mtg_card] where it is easy to cheat into casting. I look for Wizards to depress the obnoxious spike to $45 with a reprinting. Worth mentioning it also was printed in the Duel Decks: Jace vs. Chandra and the Duel Deck Anthology.

TL;DR Edition on Bannings/Unbannings:

  • [mtg_card]Lodestone Golem[/mtg_card] going to restricted in Vintage means nothing from a financial perspective, and very little from a meta perspective.

  • [mtg_card]Sword of the Meek[/mtg_card] unbanning creates a new deck in Modern around affinity, similar to what we have seen in the past with Legacy.

  • Sword of the Meek combo is easy to play inside WU Control deck in Modern as a win condition.

  • Artifact hate will see a great deal of sideboard play to beat out Affinity and Sword of the Meek combo. Buy [mtg_card]Stony Silence[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Kataki, War’s Wage[/mtg_card].

  • [mtg_card]Ancestral Vision[/mtg_card] unbanning opens up blue control, but not overly significantly as it can’t be cheated and how fast Modern can be.

  • [mtg_card]Cryptic Command[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Gifts Ungiven[/mtg_card] play well in late game for blue control decks. Look for them to get a raise. White and esper versions will try to add [mtg_card]Iona, Shield of Emeria[/mtg_card], which is at an all-time low right now.

  • [mtg_card]Dark Confidant[/mtg_card] is a cheap card right now in Jund/Abzan, a deck that most major players suspect will be the premier deck in the format that can prey on Ancestral Vision decks. Discard probably will get a boost from the Jund/Abzan increase in play looking to bet the card when on the play.

  • [mtg_card]Remand[/mtg_card] is another good card against Ancestral Vision, look for it to see a slight bump.

  • Ancestral Vision is a terrible buy right now. Likely a reprint target in Eternal Masters. If you need one, check out the Duel Decks: Jace vs. Chandra and the Duel Deck: Anthology.


The rotation of cards out of standard has yet to make the mark financially. But that is expected. Typically cards go down slowly. But the SCG Open Baltimore did have some revelations. I find that the deck we see most often out of the first major event after a new rotation is various versions of aggro, and this tournament was no different. I’ll get into the results tomorrow, but needless to say white based aggro was the big winner. As result, [mtg_card]Kytheon, Hero of Akros[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Knight of the White Orchid[/mtg_card], and [mtg_card]Thalia’s Lieutenant[/mtg_card] all took a nice jump. Todd Anderson piloted a very rogue UR Control deck that contained 3x [mtg_card]Pyromancer’s Goggles[/mtg_card] to a top 8 finish. This caused Pyromancer’s Goggles to have a huge spike today up to $10. This deck is built in a manner I expect many casually competitive players to try the deck out. [mtg_card]Thing in the Ice[/mtg_card] also was in the deck, but didn’t get the same boost. I suspect this is because most people understand Thing in the Ice is way overpriced right now. Lastly, [mtg_card]Tireless Tracker[/mtg_card] had a huge buff along the lines of Pyromancer’s Goggles. This is something I am happy about as I stockpiled them suspecting it was undervalued. Only two decks playing at total of 6 copies made the Top 8. But everyone who played against it openly came out of the tournament thinking it’s nuts. It’s both an engine and a threat. I’d look to see many more copies at the SCG Invitational next week.

In the long run, I suspect we will see a few more midrange decks into the meta, but most of these decks will have to play white. Only Todd Anderson made it to top 8 without playing [mtg_card]Declaration in Stone[/mtg_card], arguable the best card in Shadows over Innistrad as an unconditional removal. While I look for people to try to get out of aggro and play midrange, they will have to play white. [mtg_card]Archangel Avacyn[/mtg_card] looks to be a format revolving card to lead the charge to white midrange. It meant the hype going into the tournament and maybe even surpassed it.

There was also an undershowing RG, BR, and UB decks in my opinion. The interesting new cards meant to increase play in tribal decks performed poorly. No [mtg_card]Arlinn Kord[/mtg_card], no [mtg_card]Olivia, Mobilized for War[/mtg_card], no [mtg_card]Relentless Dead[/mtg_card]. The power level of these cards is still very high, but they had no home in decks played at the tournament. Now that the set is out, I suspect these cards will all begin to drop until someone finds a deck for them.

TL;DR Edition on New Standard Rotation and First SCG Open:

  • White aggro is very good and pushed [mtg_card]Kytheon, Hero of Akros[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Knight of the White Orchid[/mtg_card], and [mtg_card]Thalia’s Lieutenant[/mtg_card] up.

  • Todd Anderson’s UR Control deck showed that we can be particularly brewtastic this go around. Look for many people to brew up his deck and work to tweak it for the SCG Invitational. It already blew up [mtg_card]Pyromancer’s Goggles[/mtg_card].

  • [mtg_card]Tireless Tracker[/mtg_card] performed very well in numerous decks, despite not making a huge showing in top 8. It impressed numerous pro players who weren’t even playing it. Card exploded as people look to include it into more decks. Probably opens up green a little more for SCG Invitational, seeing as green was in only two top 8 decks at SCG Open Baltimore.

  • White is really good. [mtg_card]Declaration in Stone[/mtg_card] is understandably overpriced right now, but is very good every white deck as unconditional removal. [mtg_card]Archangel Avacyn[/mtg_card] is great card that will forever see play in Standard. Prices for both should hold while people try to get copies, but I suspect at some point it will fall down as neither is good enough for Modern.

  • Non-human tribals performed badly. Very little showing in [mtg_card]Arlinn Kord[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Olivia, Mobilized for War[/mtg_card], and [mtg_card]Relentless Dead[/mtg_card]. I suspect they will drop in price shortly if they don’t get any play at the SCG Invitational.


Few other notes:

  • [mtg_card]Secure the Wastes[/mtg_card] didn’t show up in top 8, but many people like the Secure the Waste with [mtg_card]Westvale Abbey[/mtg_card] combo going into the SCG Open.

  • [mtg_card]Ulvenwald Hydra[/mtg_card] got a pop from a combo nobody had the balls to play. Ulvenwald Hydra can tutor up [mtg_card]Mirrorpool[/mtg_card]. Mirrorpool can put a copy of Ulvenwald Hydra into play. Rinse and repeat. Not very good, but people thought it might be a thing.

  • [mtg_card]Always Watching[/mtg_card] got a bump prior to the SCG Open. Considering how people were playing WU Humans at the tournament, this seems fairly obvious as to why. Order for the card must have been far greater than what dealers expected for a non-token anthem. People are also brewing it with [mtg_card]Dragonlord Ojutai[/mtg_card] for always having hexproof, aka the greatest combo ever.

  • [mtg_card]Muddle the Mixture[/mtg_card] can tutor both [mtg_card]Sword of the Meek[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Thopter Foundry[/mtg_card]. Always been a popular card in decks to tutor finishers.

  • Reserve List risers of last week have fallen down a little. They are still worthless as no one plays them anywhere.

Weekly Risers

[mtg_card]Thopter Foundry[/mtg_card] (Commander 2013)$11$0.50
[mtg_card]Thopter Foundry[/mtg_card] (Alara Reborn)$9.50$0.50
[mtg_card]Pyromancer’s Goggles[/mtg_card]$10$2.25
[mtg_card]Sword of the Meek[/mtg_card]$22.50$5
[mtg_card]Tireless Tracker[/mtg_card]$8$2
[mtg_card]Time Sieve[/mtg_card]$10$3
[mtg_card]Kytheon, Hero of Akros[/mtg_card]$15.50$3
[mtg_card]Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas[/mtg_card]$41.50$15.50
[mtg_card]Ancestral Vision[/mtg_card] (Duel Decks: Anthology)$50$21.50
[mtg_card]Undiscovered Paradise[/mtg_card] (*)$10.50$4.50
[mtg_card]Secure the Wastes[/mtg_card]$11$5
[mtg_card]Ulvenwald Hydra[/mtg_card]$8.50$4
[mtg_card]Ancestral Vision[/mtg_card] (Time Spiral)$45$22.50
[mtg_card]Always Watching[/mtg_card]$3.50$1.75
[mtg_card]Ancestral Vision[/mtg_card] (DD: Jace vs. Chandra)$44$23.50
[mtg_card]Muddle the Mixture[/mtg_card]$2.75$1.75
[mtg_card]Whirling Dervish[/mtg_card] (Legends)$8$5
[mtg_card]Declaration in Stone[/mtg_card]$10.50$7
[mtg_card]Ashnod’s Altar[/mtg_card] (6th)$2.50$1.75
[mtg_card]Mirror Universe[/mtg_card] (*)$77$54
[mtg_card]Mayor of Avabruck[/mtg_card]$4.25$3
[mtg_card]Knight of the White Orchid[/mtg_card] (Origins)$2.50$1.75
[mtg_card]Time Elemental[/mtg_card] (Legends)$20$15
[mtg_card]Shallow Grave[/mtg_card] (*)$7.50$5.50
[mtg_card]Planar Gate[/mtg_card] (*)$13.50$10.50
[mtg_card]Strip Mine[/mtg_card] [Event Horizon]$15.50$12.50
[mtg_card]Tezzeret the Seeker[/mtg_card] (MM2015)$8$6.50
[mtg_card]Thalia’s Lieutenant[/mtg_card]$3.50$2.75


Weekly Fallers

[mtg_card]Squandered Resources[/mtg_card] (*)$4.25$8
[mtg_card]Pendrell Mists[/mtg_card] (*)$7.50$9.50

(*) Reserve List