Welcome back to the last full week of Daily Financial Value of Theros reviews! The entire set should (by tradition) be spoiled on Gatherer this coming Monday. This means foils will go up for presale on Monday afternoon! Here's the schedule of the rest of this series:
Monday, 9/16: Reviewing the last three revealed Rares, and going over the cards that changed price over the weekend.
Tuesday, 9/17: Recommending the Foil Commons and Uncommons that will have exception value
Friday, 9/20: The last look at Theros before the prerelease, including the price cheat sheet!
Here's a guide to how I review these crazy cards:
Starting Price: The first price we assign to this card as a preorder.
Current Price: The current price of the card, by the time this article goes live.
Future Price – Short Term: The price I believe this card will be at before Magic Online redemptions go live for Theros.
Future Price – Medium Term: The price I believe this card will be at by the time the next set (Born of the Gods) comes out.
Future Price – Long Term: The price I believe this card will be at a year from now, when the next fall set is released (name unknown).
Starting Price: $3
Current Price: $3
Future Price (Short Term): $2
Future Price (Medium Term): $1
Future Price (Long Term): $1
Ignore for a second the Protection from Blue and can't-be-countered abilities. Let's take a look at Mistcutter Hydra at various mana costs:
G1: 1/1 haste creature (Kyren Legate)
G2: 2/2 haste creature (Goblin Chariot)
G3: 3/3 haste creature (Talruum Minotaur)
G4: 4/4 haste creature (Sort-of Night Revelers)
G6: 6/6 haste creature (Hostility, minus the token generation and Incarnation abilities)
Now let's imagine the following cards:
Would Kyren Legate have seen play if it was uncounterable and had Protection from Blue? Probably not.
Would Goblin Chariot have seen play if it was uncounterable and had Protection from Blue? Probably not.
I could go on and on, but the point is this – at no point in any mana cost that is realistic would I think that Mistcutter Hydra would really see play as a non-X creature. While I understand versatility in an X cost, the X has to be playable at some level – but all levels of Mistcutter Hydra are a sub-par creature at any mana cost.
Long story short – if you really want this effect in Standard, you want to take a look at Loxodon Smiter. For those comparing this to Banefire/Demonfire/Urza's Rage – none of those X spells could be chump blocked by an Elf.
Starting Price: $3
Current Price: $3
Future Price (Short Term): $4
Future Price (Medium Term): $2
Future Price (Long Term): $2
The comparison here is with Fact or Fiction, which was first released in Invasion. By the time I started working for SCG in 2003, we had Fact or Fiction in the $5-$6 range. It was later reprinted in the Jace vs. Chandra Duel Deck, and even later in Commander. FoF was unrestricted in Vintage in September of 2011. Currently it's a $2-$3 card. It's always been considered an Uncommon (even though technically all one-ofs in preconstructed decks are of equal rarity).
So how does Steam Augury differ from Fact or Fiction, from an outside-the-game perspective?
1) Steam Augury is a Rare, where Fact or Fiction is an Uncommon.
- There are 110 Uncommons in Invasion, and are three Uncommons per Invasion booster pack. This means you see an average of one Fact or Fiction per Booster Box (one every 36.66 packs).
- There are 53 Rares and 15 Mythics in Theros, and one Rare per booster pack. Since the Rare sheet is 121 cards (each Rare twice, and each Mythic once), you're going to see two Steam Augury per 121 packs, or one Steam Augury per 60.5 Booster Packs.
- Therefore, by appearance in booster packs, there will be 65% more Fact or Fiction per booster box than Steam Augury.
- If Magic has grown by 35% a year for the past four years, I think it's very likely that by sheer number of cards printed/packs opened, there will be more Steam Augury in circulation (as a Rare) for the first few months after Theros's release than there were Fact or Fiction (as an Uncommon) for the first few months after Invasion's release.
2) Fact or Fiction cost a single blue to cast. Steam Augury costs UR to cast.
- Fact or Fiction could be splashed in pretty much any deck that cared to run it; it saw a lot of play for this reason.
- You really need to be playing Blue/Red to play Steam Augury. Thanks to the great mana base in Standard right now, that means you can probably get away with splashing Red just for Steam Augury in a base-Blue deck, but you're not going to be playing this in a non-base Blue or a non-base Red deck.
- Ben Bleiweiss
- General Manager, StarCityGames.com
So taking both of these into account, and I'd say that the top price range of Steam Augury is around $6 (where Fact or Fiction peaked), but is likely more in the $3-$4 range if it's a successful card, and more around $1-$2 if it's only marginally played in Standard. There is always the chance that Blue/Red becomes the deck to beat in Standard (this combos really well with Demonheart Chimera, which I think is a very powerful creature), but we'll cross that bridge if it happens.
In short, I believe this is a solid pick-up at the current $3 it's at right now; if it falls, it'll probably only fall a dollar. If it goes up, it'll go up a dollar. Either way, you'll probably get what you pay for at $3.
Price Changes Since The Last Article
Anger of the Gods: From $3 to $4 – I anticipated there would be this sort of short-term price gain on Anger of the Gods. I also think it'll be half its current price a month out from set release.
Firedrinker Satyr: From $1.50 to $2 – People love 2/1 creatures for one mana. They will learn not to love them as much as more and more of them are printed.
Previous Daily Financial Value Of Theros Articles
September 2, Monday: Artisan of Forms; Bident of Thassa; Chained to the Rocks; Curse of the Swine; Daxos of Meletis; Elspeth, Sun's Champion; Gift of Immortality; Hammer of Purphoros; Heliod, God of the Sun; Hundred-Handed One; Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx; Nylea, God of the Hunt; Polis Crusher; Rageblood Shaman; Reverent Hunter; Thassa, God of the Sea; Thoughtseize; Titan of Eternal Fire; Underworld Cerberus