Hey everyone, Mike here again with this week’s Magic Finance article. This week we will be taking a look at some of the cards from Guilds of Ravnica which are garnering interest as prerelease comes this weekend and we actually get to play with the new cards!
As with any new expansion, speculation is high and bets are being made.
Abrupt Decay 2.0
A bit of an obvious one, so let’s get it out of the way quickly. Assassin’s Trophy is currently the highest valued card in the set at around $25 – and over $100 for a foil version! Not bad for a card that has not even had an opportunity to see play yet. This card will definitely be a good one, but is a bit overhyped in my opinion.
It is frequently compared to Abrupt Decay due to the shared mana cost, casting speed, and similarity of effect. Where Assassin’s Trophy really shines over Abrupt Decay is the fact that it can hit any permanent, with the (usual) downside of allowing the controller to tutor a basic land onto the battlefield untapped. It is important to not forget that it also does not come with Abrupt Decay’s strongest feature, the safety from counterspells. Though the cards are not totally comparable, it might be worth mentioning that Abrupt Decay also started out in the $20 region, but has normally found a resting home in the $3-8 range.
As with any new expansion set, people have also been digging deep for Urzatron answers, and this is apparently one of them. Sure, it definitely has strong targets – Karn Liberated, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, Tron lands, the list goes on. Does 4 Assassin’s Trophies in a deck really answer Tron strong enough to hose it? Not to nearly the same degree that a card like Blood Moon does. Aside from that, there are plenty of top aggro decks which do not care too much about spot removal including Humans, Burn, and Affinity.
This card may very well end up being worth a $20 price tag, but $100+ for foil seems pretty out there right now. Even a foil Karn, Scion of Urza only fetches about $80.
Preconstructed Planeswalkers Might Be Better?
One thing I have noticed is the versions of Vraska and Ral that are included in the planeswalker decks for the set are trending at around the same price as their counterparts that can be opened in the regular set. Sure, it is comparing a foil to a non-foil card, but with the large print run and guaranteed opening with the product it is surprising to see to see the featured cards trending at such a relatively high price of $13-15. That is until you compare the cards.
Ral, Caller of Storms from the Planeswalker Deck has a similar set of abilities as the expansion’s Ral, Izzet Viceroy and is actually better in some situations. Along the same side of that, Vraska, Regal Gorgon also features a similar set of abilities as its counterpart Vraska, Golgari Queen. I happen to like both of these cards and find both of the Planeswalker Decks’ +1 abilities to be more useful in a general sense. It looks like game designers may have considered this given the difference in mana costs. It will be interesting to see if the pre-constructed versions see any real constructed play.
Some Staple Reprints
As with our visit to Ravnica back in 2012, we are receiving another reprint of the always useful shock lands. These shock lands are huge staples in non-rotating formats and will be seeing their lowest prices ever as the set is opened and drafted away. Clearly, players had no problem absorbing the last print run as we started to see certain lands creep back up to the $20 region. I plan to pick up a set of each after the set comes out and they reach their lows if for nothing else than to have sets to build decks with later. I would not think there is incredible investment potential at low volumes since it does tend to take a number of years to appreciate and only by a few dollars.
A reprint that was a little less expected and is quite a bit more exciting is Chromatic Lantern. This card has been an EDH staple since its release in our last visit to Ravnica and has not seen standard since, though it was included in Commander 2016. I think this card definitely has room to rebound and it could be a good idea to pick up a few copies in the $3-6 range for the future.
That’s it for my biggest interests in the new Guilds of Ravnica. What cards do you think are overrated? Underrated? Let us know in the comments. You can also reach out to me on my YouTube channel’s twitter account: @mtg_vc.
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