Can anything stop the Eldrazi? The answer is going to be no. The colorless (or devoid) cards in this set have been pushed beyond hard. In my wrap-up article Monday, I'm going to summarize my thoughts about the foil cards in this set and how I think this set will affect Modern. I will also talk about other cards that are going to shoot up in value because of the cards printed in this set.
But for today, more nuts Eldrazi cards!
How I Review
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 was written (usually by midnight on the day of publication).
Future Price - Low: The lowest price I believe this card will hit while it is Standard legal, post-release.
Future Price - High: The highest price I believe this card will hit while it is Standard legal, post-release.
Starting Price: $2
Current Price: $2
Future Price - Low: $1
Future Price - High: $2
Thoughts: Blue is not necessarily the best color for Eldrazi creatures at this point (I think it'd be hard to argue you want base black, and both green and white have made strong arguments with this set), but this is a better creature by itself than Bearer of Silence. The "kicker" on Bearer of Silence (and the color) makes it more desirable, but you shouldn't discount a flash creature that can A) enable other Eldrazi through the exile zone, and B) can save itself from removal some of the time.
Still, I think that Fleeting Image (which will always bounce) is pretty far from tournament playable. Add flash and take off a mana and I'm still not sure that Fleeting Image is a tournament-playable Standard card. Again, if this is going to be played, Eldrazi decks are going to want to dip into blue or they are going to want to make a heavy commitment to exiling cards. Given how crazy the midrange Eldrazi creatures in this set are, I don't think the successful Eldrazi decks are going to play the Dimensional Infiltrator/exile route.
Starting Price: $5
Current Price: $4
Future Price - Low: $3
Future Price - High: $4
Thoughts: Firstly, this has the body of Abyssal Persecutor. Not having trample is actually a huge deal, because Abyssal Persecutor can get around small flying chump blockers (Lingering Souls in Modern, for instance), whereas Inverter of Truth cannot.
The things Inverter of Truth has going for it are that it is a huge Eldrazi (so it can power out early with Eldrazi Temple/Eye of Ugin), it's way above the curve as any type of creature on the P/T scale, especially as a flyer, and that the "exile your library and shuffle your graveyard" has the potential to be turned from a drawback to an engine. I've heard people compare this to Doomsday. This is not Doomsday - Doomsday lets you choose the five cards you want and put them in the order you want. No matter what you've already drawn that game or what's in your hand, Doomsday will essentially set up the most important five cards left in your deck, guaranteed. Inverter of Truth needs a lot of help to get going, because you actively have to fill your graveyard to get it going.
I don't think that Inverter of Truth will work, but I acknowledge that there may be a broken deck out there that uses this as an engine card. I can't think of a (good) deck that already exists to take advantage of this, and I'll fight the first person who wants to build a Laboratory Maniac deck. Still, this is an engine card, and I'll never outright dismiss an engine card when there are so many Johnny players in the world.
Starting Price: $5
Current Price: $8
Future Price - Low: $6
Future Price - High: $15
Thoughts: I take back what I said about Eldrazi Displacer; this is the best card in the set (barring some 11th hour spoiler tomorrow). I'm going to state this now - at this point the Eldrazi spoiled in this set are so powerful, that many people are going to adjust to filter lands and painlands in Modern to accommodate 8-20 colorless-matters cards from this set.
Of these, Matter Reshaper is the most objectively powerful. It's 3/2 for three (not a huge deal), but the ability to put something into play for free or draw it is Bloodbraid Elf-level powerful. I know the effects are different, but the net result of this set has been giving Eldrazi (colorless) Vendilion Clique plus Bloodbraid Elf (Thought-Knot Seer and Matter Reshaper) all at once and then throwing in the ability to play City of Traitors and Ancient Tomb (with no drawbacks) in Modern.
Matter Reshaper is insane with Collected Company (Company puts it on the battlefield, and you can draw a Company you reveal if Matter Reshaper dies). Matter Reshaper will never miss (you either accelerate a land, put a creature/planeswalker/whatever for three mana cost or less onto the battlefield, or draw the card outright), and can be wedged into any deck that can play colorless.
In Modern, I think the combination of Temple/Eye plus the insane creatures in this set for that deck is going to eventually end up in a ban of Temple, Eye, or both (much like Cloudpost got the axe). I don't think Modern was meant to support a deck that can run eight lands which produce two mana on turn 1 without real drawbacks, much less adding in Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth to turn Eye of Ugin into Mishra's Workshop for Eldrazi creatures.
I think this is going to have the trajectory of a multi-format all star card (Modern and Standard, at the least), and will follow a slightly-muted (due to higher supply) price path to Hangarback Walker.
I also think that Wizards pushed the colorless-matters cards a little too far (like they did with Phyrexian mana cards), and will end up viewing the power level of some of these cards as a mistake when it comes time to take a look back at Oath of the Gatewatch.
Starting Price: $1
Current Price: $1
Future Price - Low: $0.50
Future Price - High: $1
Thoughts: This is a fantastic Commander card. It costs too much for competitive play unless you're going to cheat it out. Even then, Mana Reflection ( Shadowmoor) costs one less mana and commands a $20 price tag. Granted, this $20 price tag is based on scarcity and time. However, the demand for this effect from casual players is there. The demand for the second ability is also there, so put the two together and I think Zendikar Resurgent is the type of card I would hoard as a long-term investment (think 4-5 years down the road) while it's cheap now.
There are 42 Rares and 12 Mythics in this set. Expeditions add $0.80 per-pack value, so we start at $0.80 and add the following:
2R + 1M (Each Rare is printed twice against each Mythic) / 96 (84 Rares/12 Mythics) * 36 (36 packs/box)
Mythics of Note ($4+)
Chandra, Flamecaller: $15
Inverter of Truth: $4 (NEW)
Kozilek's Return : $15
Mirrorpool: $8 (+$2 since last update)
Rares of Note ($2+)
Dimensional Infiltrator: $2 (NEW)
Eldrazi Mimic: $2 (New to this list, up +$1 since last update)
Hissing Quagmire: $4
Jori En, Ruin Diver: $3 (+$1 since last update)
Matter Reshaper: $8 (NEW)
Needle Spires: $3
Oath of Gideon: $2
Oath of Jace; $2
Oath of Nissa: $5
Reality Smasher: $5
Sylvan Advocate: $4
Thought-Knot Seer: $5 (+$1 since last update)
2R ($142) + 1M ($102) = $244 / 96 = $2.54 value per pack.
So total pack value (3 Rares left to go)
Rares/Mythics: $2.54 per pack
Expeditions: $0.80 per pack
Full-Art Basic Lands: $0.25 per pack
Wastes: $0.13 per pack
Good Uncommons: $0.32 per pack
TOTAL: $4.04 per pack ($145.44 per box), before Foil cards are factored in.
I'm pretty close to declaring this set as a New Phyrexia level of good. New Phyrexia remained above-box value (of $100) as an average-value opened for virtually the entire time it was released. Some of the time it was close enough to $100 to not make the effort of opening/breaking down a box worth the cost, but much of the time, we (and many other vendors) opened a significant amount of New Phyrexia post-release because it had so many valuable cards.
See you Monday to discuss the last three cards, discuss colorless-producing lands in Modern, and talk about the value of foil versions of many of these cards.