Mythic price check – Rise of the Eldrazi, part four

So, release weekend has come and is in the process of going (perhaps your store has a nice Sunday evening flight you can attend). As card valuations continue and initial enthusiasm flattens out, let’s check in on mythic prices once more.
Here’s the first installment of this series
Here’s the second installment of this series
Here’s the third installment of this series
As before, these are ChannelFireball prices, listed from most recent to oldest, left to right. Here we go:

  • All is Dust – $13.99 ($12.99) ($13.79) ($14.98)
  • Cast Through Time – $0.99 ($1.99) ($1.32) ($1.98)
  • Emrakul, the Aeons Torn – $9.99 ($9.94) ($11.28) ($14.98)
  • Gideon Jura – $34.99 ($35.99) ($39.98) ($39.98)
  • Hellcarver Demon – $3.59 ($3.98) ($5.29) ($9.99)
  • Kargan Dragonlord – $7.79 ($7.72) ($9.28) ($8.98)
  • Khalni Hydra – $5.49 ($5.99) ($4.99) ($6.98)
  • Kozilek, Butcher of Truth – $18.85 ($19.86) ($23.44) ($28.99)
  • Lighthouse Chronologist – $4.49 ($4.99) ($4.79) ($5.98)
  • Nirkana Revenant – $4.99 ($4.46) ($5.29) ($6.99)
  • Sarkhan the Mad – $13.99 ($14.66) ($16.89) ($18.98)
  • Transcendent Master – $10.99 ($11.99) (sold out) ($5.48)
  • Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre – $7.49 ($7.26) ($8.24) ($9.98)
  • Vengevine – $33.99 ($29.98) ($24.99) ($18.98)

Generally we’re seeing prices hover around fairly stable points. Sarkhan and Kozilek both continue to trend downwards, although I think Sarkhan will steady out soon enough — he’s not a bad card by any means.
The notable upward mover is Vengevine, which is a genuinely good card, albeit one that is probably spending a bit too much time in Magical Christmasland right now. I expect it to become a staple player in a subset of aggro decks, where it will be Giant Solifuge 2.0, forming the top end of the curve and forcing opponents to reconsider how they play removal.
Gideon Jura remains pretty pricey…and I’m not sure he’s worth it. Whereas I looked at Elspeth and thought, “Wow, that’s a good card!” with Gideon I don’t get that kind of response. Obviously, more testing is required, but I think if someone offered me four Gideons or four Vengevines, I’d take the plants.

Mythic price check – Rise of the Eldrazi, part three

Time for another check-in on Rise. I’m going to give up on the clutter and just start listing only the ChannelFireball prices, as I’ve noticed they’re generally being more responsive than SCG appears to be. As before, I’ll list the current price, this time follow by the prior two prices so we can follow the trend.
Here’s the first installment of this series
Here’s the second installment of this series
Now, on to the prices:

  • All is Dust – $12.99 ($13.79) ($14.98)
  • Cast Through Time – $1.99 ($1.32) ($1.98)
  • Emrakul, the Aeons Torn – $9.94 ($11.28) ($14.98)
  • Gideon Jura – $35.99 ($39.98) ($39.98)
  • Hellcarver Demon – $3.98 ($5.29) ($9.99)
  • Kargan Dragonlord – $7.72 ($9.28) ($8.98)
  • Khalni Hydra – $5.99 ($4.99) ($6.98)
  • Kozilek, Butcher of Truth – $19.86 ($23.44) ($28.99)
  • Lighthouse Chronologist – $4.99 ($4.79) ($5.98)
  • Nirkana Revenant – $4.46 ($5.29) ($6.99)
  • Sarkhan the Mad – $14.66 ($16.89) ($18.98)
  • Transcendent Master – $11.99 (sold out) ($5.48)
  • Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre – $7.26 ($8.24) ($9.98)
  • Vengevine – $29.98 ($24.99) ($18.98)

So the general downward trend continues. The Eldrazi are all toning down, with a particular lack of love for Ulamog, the uncomfortable middle child between game-ender Emrakul and potentially castable pal Kozilek. I still don’t see Kozy as a $20 card, but the general valuation of the three Eldrazi relative to each other makes sense.
Big gains go to Transcendent Master and Vengevine. I do think people are overrating the breadth of Vengevine’s applicability. It’s powerful in the kind of aggro deck that runs one drops and Rangers. If, on the other hand, you’re building toward dream cascades off of Bloodbraid Elf, you’re almost certainly making a mistake. I tend to think of it as a slightly less effectiveSolifuge that sometimes (sometimes) comes back. I expect the price will even out for Vengevine in short order, especially given that people will be drafting a lot of Rise-Rise-Rise in the coming months.
There’s nothing I really think should go up in price among the mythics. TM is certainly a powerful card, but it’s not the immediate game shifter that Baneslayer is, and it probably fits in fewer decks in smaller numbers. It’s important to think, when gauging likely card prices, how many of a given card people will run, in addition to how often they will run it.
With that, I’ll go back to writing about non-finance topics, and spectating at mythic prices as they drop.

This week’s In Development – Gifts and Realms!

This week’s In Development sees me waxing poetic about, well, the card you’d peg me to wax poetic about out of Rise of the Eldrazi.
Yup, it’s Realms Uncharted time.
In this week’s piece I explore the major uses of Realms Uncharted in our upcoming Standard environment. Did you know your Knight of the Reliquary was a Psychatog? I bet you didn’t.
Click here to read this week’s article, then hit me up on twitter to let me know what you think.

Mythic price check – Rise of the Eldrazi, part two

When we last checked in on the Rise mythics, we knew fourteen of the fifteen in the set, and prices were pretty robust. Now that the full spoiler is out and we’re in the midst of the prerelease weekend, let’s check back in on those prices, adding in Linvala, keeper of silence. This time around, I’ll list the current price and then the price from last time in parentheses after it.
As before, I’ll look at the CFB and SCG prices. See the last entry on this topic for a discussion of store versus auction prices.

  • All is Dust – $13.79 ($14.98) at CFB, $14.99 ($14.99) at SCG
  • Cast Through Time – $1.32 ($1.98) at CFB, $1.99 ($1.99) at SCG
  • Emrakul, the Aeons Torn – $11.28 ($14.98) at CFB, $14.99 ($14.99) at SCG
  • Gideon Jura – $39.98 ($39.98) at CFB, $39.99 ($39.99 )at SCG
  • Hellcarver Demon – $5.29 ($9.99) at CFB, $5.99 ($14.99) at SCG
  • Kargan Dragonlord – $9.28 ($8.98) at CFB, $12.99 ($12.99) at SCG
  • Khalni Hydra – $4.99 ($6.98) at CFB, $5.99 ($4.99) at SCG
  • Kozilek, Butcher of Truth – $23.44 ($28.99) at CFB, $29.99 ($29.99) at SCG
  • Lighthouse Chronologist – $4.79 ($5.98) at CFB, $5.99 ($5.99) at SCG
  • Nirkana Revenant – $5.29 ($6.99) at CFB, $7.99 ($7.99) at SCG
  • Sarkhan the Mad – $16.89 ($18.98) at CFB, $19.99 ($19.99) at SCG
  • Transcendent Master – Sold out! ($5.48) at CFB, $14.99 ($5.99) at SCG
  • Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre – $8.24 ($9.98) at CFB, $9.99 ($9.99) at SCG
  • Vengevine – $24.99 ($18.98) at CFB, $29.99 ($19.99) at SCG

ChannelFireball has pushed its prices down just a bit in general going into this weekend, but I think that’s more of a sales strategy issue rather than a mass revaluing of mythics. The notable price shifts that may have something to do with general changes in card valuation include:
Emrakul – The CFB price has dropped, which may accord with people pulling back a bit on their own excitement over the biggest of the Eldrazi, or perhaps their realization that it’s the prerelease card. I’m personally not super excited about Emrakul in Standard, even cheating it into play via Polymorph. It’s game ending if it swings, but the opportunity to do that in time is not as readily available as one might hope.
Hellcarver Demon – Yeah, this one seemed high. Although I’ve read the assertion that this is a “Mind’s Desire,” it’s not nearly as resilient as Mind’s Desire was in Extended. The initial price represented a big-time Timmy/Vorthos markup (it’s a 6/6 for six mana, and it’s a demon, which almost has dragon and angel cachet).
Kargan Dragonlord – This one saw a minor adjustment upward at CFB. It’s a hard one to gauge, as the Dragonlord feels like a Figure of Destiny, except that it’s not searchable via Ranger of Eos and has to live in the same environment as Student of Warfare.
Transcendent Master – Cranked to three times its starting price at SCG, the Master was sold out when I checked on it at CFB. Ben Bleiweiss ranked this card pretty high in his “Financial Value of” article this week, and after some testing, it does seem like a potentially powerful finisher in a number of decks. It’s hard to say if it’s intrinsically better than Baneslayer, although it does have the advantage of being more “modular” in the sense that you can always just cast it as a 3/3 for 3 when you need that on your curve.
Vengevine – This one has been rising as more writers declare it the “real deal.” I think it’s a lovely nextgen Solifuge, trading shroud for the conditional ability to recur from time to time. Really, its strength lies in being a 4/3 with haste more than the occasional ability to reload. It’s a solid card, but I suspect it’s “Lotus Cobra solid” rather than “Baneslayer solid,” and should adjust back down accordingly over time.
My expectation is that most of these prices will continue to drop. Possible exceptions include Sarkhan, who ought to stabilize about where he is, and Transcendent Master, which could easily keep its current price for a while.

This week’s In Development – Cthulhu puns and deck lists

I spent the last week testing out new decks for post-Rise Standard, and now it’s time for you to reap the rewards from my efforts. Check out this week’s In Development for five new deck lists, some field-tested card evaluations, and a smattering of H.P. Lovecraft references.
Check it out here, then find me on twitter and let me know what you think.

Mythic price check – Rise of the Eldrazi, part one

This won’t be an article complaining about prices. Rather, after reading some interesting commentary a while back on how mythic prices drop following a set’s release, as well as reading Russ Tassicker’s post about mythic prices, I’ve decided to track the pricing on Rise mythics. I expect the majority of them to go down, of course, but I’m genuinely curious about whether I have any ability to predict, at least over the course of the early Rise Standard, which ones those will be.
I’m going to track prices from ChannelFireball and StarCityGames. Yes, I know they cost more than eBay – such is the nature of a store versus what is, effectively, a highly efficient flea market. That said, the prices scale appropriately, so if all you’re curious about is the change in price over time, it doesn’t matter what baseline you start at.
Here is the preorder pricing on the mythics we’ve already seen in official spoilers:

  • All is Dust – $14.98 at CFB, $14.99 at SCG
  • Cast Through Time – $1.98 at CFB, $1.99 at SCG
  • Emrakul, the Aeons Torn – $14.98 at CFB, $14.99 at SCG
  • Gideon Jura – $39.98 at CFB, $39.99 at SCG
  • Hellcarver Demon – $9.99 at CFB, $14.99 at SCG
  • Kargan Dragonlord – $8.98 at CFB, $12.99 at SCG
  • Khalni Hydra – $6.98 at CFB, $4.99 at SCG
  • Kozilek, Butcher of Truth – $28.99 at CFB, $29.99 at SCG
  • Lighthouse Chronologist – $5.98 at CFB, $5.99 at SCG
  • Nirkana Revenant – $6.99 at CFB, $7.99 at SCG
  • Sarkhan the Mad – $18.98 at CFB, $19.99 at SCG
  • Transcendent Master – $5.48 at CFB, $5.99 at SCG
  • Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre – $9.98 at CFB, $9.99 at SCG
  • Vengevine – $18.98 at CFB, $19.99 at SCG

I wasn’t actually expecting any significant price discrepancies between the two sites, but it looks like ChannelFireball is your place to go for Hellcarver Demon, Kargan Dragonlord, and Nirkana Revenant, and StarCity is your source of choice for Khalni Hydra. Of course, whether you want to pay the prerelease prices for any of those is the actual question, and we’ll have to wait to see how that pans out.
My own inclination is to think that Hellcarver will calm down a bit once the first wave of casual purchasers get theirs, and that Vengevine will also go down as it’s potentially powerful, but definitely narrow. I want to test Gideon a bit to see whether he’s likely to stay stable or drop, but I don’t think he’ll go up. Kozilek is my favorite Eldrazi, so it’s a touch pesky to see it at thirty dollars. I’m a little surprised that Ulamog is as low as ten right now, though.
I just put in my first pre-order, which largely dodges anything on the mythic list above, except for a couple copies of mister Vol. For now, it’s basically just the usual common/uncommon playset and then we’ll go from there, once the Standard environment has developed a little bit more.

All is, indeed, dust

This was previewed at PAX East:
all-is-dust.jpeg.jpg
(Pic made it to me courtesy Mananation, who got it from Drew Halloran.
First, the name is awesome.
Second, the flavor text is hilarious.
Third, the art sort of has this wacked-out, early D&D Erol Otis feel that works for such an end-of-the-world effect.
Fourth, this is a pretty cool global reset, akin in visceral reset joy to Kamigawa’s Final Judgment. In line with that comparison, Rise, like Kamigawa, is an expensive, splashy effects set (so far).
Fifth, did you notice that the two previewed colorless Eldrazi Sorcery spells are also typed as Tribal? We’ve had some laments about the lack of re-use of the Tribal type since the passing of Lorwyn, so it’s nice to see it back again (and, we presume, being used as a lever for interaction with various Eldazi-seeking effects).
Over all, I continue to be pleased with the Rise preview cards. The set should be quite different, and a lot of fun.

A pleasant nostalgia in Rise of the Eldrazi

With the release of more pictures and other teasers for Rise of the Eldrazi, I was suddenly struck this evening by a bit of correlative nostalgia.
The Zendikar to Eldrazi transition reminds me of Earthdawn.
Earthdawn is a fantasy roleplaying game originally published by FASA, the folks who brought you Battletech (which spawned the Mechwarrior games) and Shadowrun. The Earthdawn property is currently licensed by Redbrick Limited, and you can see their Earthdawn product line by clicking here.
The concepts behind Earthdawn and Rise both clearly plug into the Greek titan myth (click here to learn more about those guys), and the general idea of “older, scarier things that are coming back.”
In Rise, the Eldrazi are coming back, and it’s bad news for everyone.
RiselikeEarthdawn1.jpg
An Eldrazi – clearly bad news
In Earthdawn, Magic moves in multi-thousand-year cycles. When it’s surging high, things go terribly wrong, and big, old-time magical creatures known as Horrors come out and wreck the world. The setup for the Earthdawn game is that when times were bad, people bricked themselves into great underground cities, some of which survived…and now that magic is on the downswing again, adventurers are out exploring the world, delving into cities that didn’t make it, and fighting the occasional Horror.
RiselikeEarthdawn2.jpg
An Earthdawn Horror – you will lose some party members on this one
Given that Zendikar is the “adventure gaming” block, it’s not surprising that it would have some overlap with any fantasy adventure RPG. That said, I always loved the Earthdawn setting as one of real action and adventure, and it’s nice that Zendikar, Worldwake, and Rise are pinging that same spot in my mind.