Conjured Currency #23: Reviewing M15, Part 2

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Welcome back to part two of my M15 set review! If you weren’t here last week, we went over my predictions of what some of the more expensive cards Magic 2015 would look like price-wise two months from now (in September). This gives everyone enough time to play around with their synergy with all of our current toys, without me having to do any wild guesswork on what Khans of Tarkir will look like to affect the prices of this most recent set. Today, I’ll be checking in on the rest of the rares and mythics of M15, and using the same timestamp for measurement.

Regarding Last Week

If you’re just here for the rest of the review, feel free to skip the next paragraph. I’m going to quickly cover a few things about the social media responses to part one before continuing with part two. Any card that is not mentioned is one that I believe will be a bulk rare throughout its life.

The two cards that people most disagreed with my take in my set review last week were Sliver Hivelord and Waste Not. The opposing concensus was that I underestimated the possibility for strong casual attraction to these two cards, and that their prices would continue to stay afloat at their current levels. While I don’t disagree that these are casual home-runs, I think that these will slowly decline, then creep back up over time—after about a year. If we look at Consuming Aberration, it managed to drop to near bulk rare status before making its slow climb up to $4. I think it was fairly obvious that the card was a winner for all of the homebrew mill players, but there’s not enough up-front demand right now to keep the price high on Hivelord and Waste Not, in my opinion. We’ll see them drop lower, and you’ll have your chance to pick them up then.

Back to the Set Review

Stupid Oversized Garruk

Current TCG average: $4

I’m scrolling down TCGplayer’s list of M15 cards, and this thing actuallly popped up. You know, the thing you get in your prerelease box that you can “fight against”, like the hydra from Theros and the bunch of minotaurs from Born of the Gods? I have no idea why this is worth anything, but if you can find an out for yours, do it. I checked the completed listings on eBay, and it looks like human beings have actually purchased these for at least $3 each. Check all of the good buylists (ABU/Card Kingdom/Adventures On, if you don’t remember), ask the casuals who didn’t go to the prerelease, ask your mom, ask everyone. If you can get value out of this thing, I applaud you. It was free, so you could even throw it on eBay/TCGplayer yourself and buy a drink with the money to celebrate your accomplishment of selling it. Predicted price: $1, I guess?

Soul of Theros

Current TCG average: $3

I really like this card, but I don’t know where it goes in a competitive deck. If Mono-White Devotion exists (and I want it to), its six-drop is obviously Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, not this. Its ability is certainly powerful and auto-wins you the game if you grant your entire team that buff against a mono red deck, but you’re spending 12 mana overall. If it sees overwhelming levels of constructed play, then feel free to rub it in my face, but I’m not holding my breath. You certainly don’t want it over Sun Titan in 99 percent of EDH decks, anyway. Predicted price: $2

Hushwing Gryff

Current TCG average: $3

As a known fan of Birthing Pod, I really cringe when I see this thing hit the board. I can’t Qasali Pridemage it and I can’t Murderous Redcap it, so my only outs in the entire 75 are Izzet Staticaster, Path to Exile (from the board), or hoping they’re dumb enough to swing into a Restoration Angel. That being said, it’s not the end of the world for any other deck out there. Twin wields an arsenal of burn and bounce spells to take care of it, and it can’t fit into any maindeck. We know that some sideboard cards have a history of skyrocketing (Spellskite and Fulminator Mage) in price, but those are also older cards with much higher utility. If anything, you’ll be able to find this for a dollar, maybe $2, in September. However, foils of this will be extremely hot. Those will be safe even at $10 or higher, because, well, foil Modern-playable cards do that nowadays.

Genesis Hydra

Current TCG average: $3

I think our own Jason Alt said it perfectly when discussing the value of a casual hydra: you have to be one of the top 10 hydras ever printed to be of any significant value. This is not one. Yes, you basically get to cascade for X, but your creature will be significantly underpowered in exchange, and you can’t get three-drops if you cast it for four mana. It will still be a casual hit because slapping a mini-Genesis Wave onto a big green thing is fun and exciting and omgwowfreespells, but its price won’t go crazy. In September, I’ll be buying these for a quarter and throwing them in my dollar box, then immediately selling out. Rinse and repeat. Predicted price: $1, maybe $2.

Soul of Shandalar

Current TCG average: $3

I honestly really like this card, but I’m not confident in its price. It fights and wins against four of the other Souls (five if Soul of Phyrexia can’t pony up the mana), and its ability is always relevant. Even if the board is locked up tight, you can always dome them for three. In a different format, I’d like this guy. In fact, I’m more confident about him post-rotation than the other Souls. However, he’ll drop to being a bulk mythic before then, and that’s where I’m scooping them up. Predicted Price: $1-2

Chief Engineer

Current TCG average: $2

This will be a bulk rare eventually. It might not get there by September, but it’s certainly not planting a seed for the next block like Steel Overseerr did. It’s just a flavorful, top-down designed card that they were able to fit into the set. It will probably be thrown into Sharuum the Hegemon and Memnarch EDH decks around the world, but that won’t change its dollar-rare status. The fact that it’s not an artifact itself puts a huge damper on its potential. Maybe it will creep up to $3 or $4 eventually, but we’re talking multiple years in the future now. This is yet another “foils will be better than double” card though, so keep that in mind. Predicted price: $1.

Terra Stomper

Current TCG average: $3

If you weren’t aware, there are five rares in M15 (in addition to a few other commons and uncommons that aren’t really relevant) that cannot be obtained through booster packs, but will be included in those free little starter decks that stores and conventions give out for free to introduce new players to the game. Terra Stomper is the rare of the green deck, and for some reason the lowest available copy on TCGplayer is $3, even when the Zendikar one is about a dollar. This will meet up with that one at $1 before long. Even though there are probably fewer in circulation, the kind of player that enjoys a Terra Stomper usually doesn’t care about the edition of his or her Terra Stomper. These are awesome sells out of a dollar box to casuals, because 8/8 tramples that laugh at counterspells are their kind of card. Predicted price: $1

Soul of Zendikar

Current TCG average: $2

I really don’t like this card. I think I’d honestly rather have Hydra Broodmother or Hornet Queen most of the time. While its ability is always relevant like Shandalar, it’s certainly much less powerful. Bulk mythic, since green obviously has many things more powerful than this in 99-card land. Predicted price: bulk mythic.

Chasm Skulker

Current TCG average: $1.50

On the other hand, I love this little guy. I’m on the hunt for a foil copy to include in my Marchesa, the Black Rose EDH deck. Blue loves drawing cards, and your investment isn’t totally wasted when they end up murdering your 11/11. I’d almost always rather have a bunch of islandwalkers than a fatty without evasion, so they almost have to avoid killing it. It obviously doesn’t have applications in Constructed being a three-mana 1/1 that has to wait a turn before becoming a Grey Ogre, so it should drop to bulk rare status before slowly creeping up as the years go by. Predicted price: bulk rare, but start grabbing them for a quarter when it does, at least if you’re into long-term investments.

Soul of Innistrad
Current TCG average: $2

Does anyone else get irritated at how they keep putting deathtouch on things such as Grave Titan and this guy? It’s almost never relevant. Anyway, my thoughts on this card are very similar to the other Souls. They probably won’t see high-level Constructed play, because Wizards remembered what happened with the Titans. EDH/Commander also already has a ton of stuff better on the curve, so their place is kind of awkward. I predict bulk mythic, maybe continuing to stay at his current $2. Nothing exciting here, folks. Move along.

Ob Nixilis, Unshackled

Current TCG average: $1.50

Another card that I need a foil of for Marchesa, so hit me up in the comments if you happen to own one. I’d be happy to trade for it. I’ll warn you first though, that the foil price of this card won’t be going down anytime soon. People like me hunger for this guy in EDH, because it makes casting Path to Exile that much funnier. Cracking that Verdant Catacombs stings a bit, and the guy with the judge foil Demonic Tutor is less happy overall. I fully expect this to stay at its “not bulk rare, but not going up anytime soon” status, much like a lot of these cards coming up. Prediction: $1-2

Preeminent Captain

Current TCG Average: $1-2

This Lorwyn block guy managed to sneak up to almost $5 before getting hit with the reprint hammer. Is this a foreshadowing of soldier tribal in Khans? Putting Captain of the Watch into play with this card on turn four is pretty fun for casuals, so grab copies of this card at $1 or under to trade off at $2. It will be a while before this creeps back up to its previous price. Prediction: $1-2.

Hornet Nest

Current TCG average: $1

Bulk rare. Awesome, flavorful bulk rare with amazing design, but bulk rare nonetheless. Maybe it would’ve been a $10 chase rare if they had gone full flavor and added reach, but I guess we’ll never know.

Soul of Ravnica

Current TCG average: $1

Bleh. I remember when people used to play Azure Mage because it was a cheap body that could draw cards with extra mana, but this is taking it a bit too far. Mayyyybe it sees play as a finisher in a control deck at some point this year as a one-of? There’s not really financial relevance in that though. Bulk mythic.

Spiritbonds

Current TCG average: $1

Maybe there’s a hidden combo where this is amazingly broken, but I doubt it. If neither the trigger or the activation cost additional mana, then I could get behind this being extremely powerful. Unfortunately, I don’t think a Suntail Hawk machine gets there. Like Hornet Nest, it’s a very flavorful card that just doesn’t get there power-wise. Bulk rare.

Yisan, the Wandering Bard

Current TCG average: $1

If this guy retains his dollar status, it’s because he’s legendary and nothing else. Wizards felt bad about printing Birthing Pod, so this is its replacement. I am not amused. Bulk rare, but might somehow retain a a TCG average of $.89, which would technically land it in my dollar box forever.

Life’s Legacy

Current TCG average: $1

If this were an instant, it might be extremely powerful and I might put it in my Savra deck. It’s not. I won’t. It’s a bulk rare.

Polymorphist’s Jest

Current TCG average: $1

Back when Curse of the Swine was printed, some people suggested that it could have financial legs because of how humorous the concept was. The bacon wave is now a bulk rare, and this will be too.

Indulgent Tormenter

Current TCG average: $1

Bulk. Rare. 

Aetherspouts

Current TCG average: $1
This could see a decent amount of play in EDH, which could hover its price above that of the lowly bulk we just got done blitzing through. If it does, expect $1, maybe $2. It’s not Cyclonic Rift, but it gives them the opportunity to make a lot of mistakes, lose a lot of draw steps, and kill a lot of tokens, at instant speed. Prediction: $1-2

Hornet Queen

Current TCG average: $1

Interestingly enough, the cheapest available Insect token for Hornet Queen is more expensive than the Hornet Queen itself. I find that funny. If you can grab these at $1, I think that’s a fine idea. The card didn’t climb to $5 for no reason—people wanted it for casual decks and 99-card lists. Being in Standard probably won’t do much for its price either way, but trade your Indulgent Tormentors and Polymorphist’s Jests for these and the card below. Also of note is that this is the only foil printing of the card (hint, hint). Predicted price: $1, but slowly creeping up after a year.

Avacyn, Guardian Angel

Current TCG average: $1

Well, this is certainly a weaker version of the $30 8/8 casual all-star we know and love. However, I don’t think that will stop people from jamming both her and her alternate self in Kaalia decks, and the triple-white mana cost might be relevant to devotion in Standard during the next year (fingers crossed). Avacyn will never be a bulk rare though, due to the fact that legendary angels refuse to be pure bulk. Trade for them at a dollar, there’s no downside. But don’t buy in looking to quadruple your investment in a year. Prediction: $1

Goblin Rabblemaster

Current TCG average: $1

I keep getting excited about this guy, then realize he just sends the hasted tokens he makes to their deaths. Kind of sad. Anyway, that’s one of the more prevalent reasons that this will be sitting in my $.25 box in September if I can’t dump off the one I own now. Predicted price: Bulk rare.

Return to the Ranks

Current TCG average: $1

I, much like many of you probably did, immediately thought of Immortal Servitude at first glance. The difference is that Servitude turns nothing into an army, while this requires an army, to bring back an army? Seems like way too much work. Bulk rare.

Aggressive Mining

Current TCG average: Bulk rare

This might stay a bulk rare, but hear me out. I think that if the format is right, this could potentially see play in Standard, in the sideboard of a mono-red or other hyper-aggressive deck. If you burn them down to five or six life and have no cards in your hand, this is an amazing topdeck that can dig you to the final points of burn to finish them off. Obviously it’s a bit of a niche scenario, but if I can grab these for bulk rare prices, I’ll toss a couple of playsets in a box, wait to buylist them for $.50 each, and do a mental fist pump. Prediction: Probably still bulk, but here’s hoping!

Stain the Mind

Current TCG average: $1

Bulk rare. Slaughter Games is the best we’re going to get, and that’s a bulk rare. These aren’t worth money, unless you own a time machine and go back to when Cranial Extraction was first printed.

Necromancer’s Stockpile

Current TCG average: $1

No matter how badly you want this to work with Gravecrawler, it’s not worth it. Faithless Looting and other cards exist. Bulk rare.

Obelisk of Urd
Current TCG average: $1

I’m pretty sure you just want Eldrazi Monument or Coat of Arms over this, because both of those just let you kill your opponent during the turn you cast them, or the very next one. Tapping your creatures to cast this so you can’t attack with them is counterproductive, and that hurts its price. Bulk rare.

[card]Jalira, Master Polymorphist[/card[

Current TCG average: Bulk rare

Grab these as throw-ins, because people love legendary creatures. I’ll happily put these in my dollar box. She might still be bulk in two months, but if you can get copies for dirt cheap, go for it. Prediction: Still bulk!

Kurkesh, Onnakke Ancient

Current TCG average: Bulk rare

For whatever reason, this guy is also a bulk rare. He seems very strong in the red-based artifact EDH decks (obviously), so I don’t think he deserves pure bulk rare status. Stash this guy away in your specs box and wait. Just wait. Than wait some more. Prediction: Still bulk, but great target for throw-ins.

Crucible of Fire

Current TCG average: Bulk rare

Wait, isn’t the Shards version of this almost $4? Yes, it is. The reprint will satisfy all of the casual players who are looking for copies for their dragon decks, but look to trade other bulk rares into stuff like this, because it’ll creep up over time. Not soon, but over time. Predicted price: Bulk rare, but long-term spec

[card]In Garruk’s Wake[/card[

Current TCG average: Bulk rare

I actually doubt that this will go above bulk rare status, because there’s a promo out there. While it’s a strict upgrade to Plague Wind, most players who want this for EDH will want foil copies, and the promo provides an additional foil outlet. There are enough of these in the market for everyone and then some. Prediction: Bulk rare, maybe going above that in 2018.

A Whole Lot of Bulk

Well, that’s it from me.

Every other rare in the set doesn’t look like it’s going to rise up above bulk status at all, in my opinion. I’ve gone far beyond my expected word count, so I’ll wrap this up quick. Thanks to everyone who read the entire set review. Feel free to comment with constructive criticism or add more to the discussion below! You can also leave a comment on the Reddit thread for the article, or hit me up on Facebook/Twitter to talk about M15! There seems to be something for everyone in this set, casual and competitive alike. Until next time!

 

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Douglas Johnson

@Rose0fthorns     -     Email     -     Articles
Douglas Johnson is a 20-year-old MTG player who goes to college courtesy of a scholarship from Gamers Helping Gamers. He is currently found writing a weekly finance column at MTGprice.com, and you can always feel free to contact him on Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit.
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13 comments

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    • Jason Alt on July 24, 2014 at 1:34 am
    • Reply

    Would it kill you to put some pictures in these articles?

    1. Nope. Noted for next time, boss man.

    • Jonathan Richmond on July 24, 2014 at 1:42 am
    • Reply

    Where are you buying rares for $.25 ? Also Obelisk of Urd will definitely go up long term, do you remember Door of Destinies?

      • Jason Alt on July 24, 2014 at 8:15 am
      • Reply

      This new place called “Everywhere”

    1. Finding bulky bulk rares on TCGplayer for a quarter and free shipping is not impossible these days. You have to place an order of at least $1.00, but it’s doable. Door of Destinies is one of the reasons I don’t like Obelisk; Door is limitless in how big your guys can get, like Coat of Arms. Urd stops at +2/+2, so I feel it’s outclassed by the casual crowd by the other available options.

    • Ian on July 24, 2014 at 9:34 am
    • Reply

    So, short story long, I’m at one of the other card shops in my area (Ben Stark’s realm, so there’s like a thousand in a 2 mile radius – that’s only mild embellishment) and their “release” event for M15 is a draft. Ok, cool, I get to draft with randoms. So pick one pack one is a chord, which is pretty sweet, but we end up being R/B evasion. Pack 2, we pull hoarding dragon which is meh but on color and evasive, and it’s fun to drop meteorites on things. I get passed from my left, on the other hand, Scuttling Doom Engine and foil Ob Nixilis. I know that Doom Engine is the better card to not-pass but I figured Ob Nixilis is overall worth more, and on color and it’s super funny if anyone has evolving wilds. I end up 3-0ing the pod (though they screwed up the pairings and I played the guy on my right with the doom engine round 2, thankfully he never saw it as we had exactly zero ways of dealing with it, but might makes right + ob nixilis is good times when your opponent makes some 3/3s on an otherwise stalled board state)

    TL;DR – Hit me up on email, I have a foil Ob Nixilis.

    1. You have no email address listed :( If you’d like to email me at djohnso5@oswego.edu to get the ball rolling and send me a list of your wants, I’d be glad to try and help you out. I’m not looking to buy, just trade though, if that makes any difference.

    • Corey Mundsack on July 24, 2014 at 1:02 pm
    • Reply

    You made a mistake with Genesis Hydra saying if you cast it for 4 you can’t throw down a 3 drop.
    “When you cast Genesis Hydra, reveal the top X cards of your library. You put a nonland permanent card with converted mana card X OR LESS from among them onto the battlefield. Then shuffle the rest into your library.”

      • Corey Mundsack on July 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm
      • Reply

      Unless you meant 2 in the X. In which case you are correct. Lol.

        • Ian on July 24, 2014 at 2:05 pm
        • Reply

        Considering the statement was “if you cast it for four mana.” not “if you cast it for X=4.” (which would be 6 mana)

        I imagine this was to clarify the cascade comment seeing as Bloodbraid Elf (4CMC) could cascade into Maelstrom Pulse (3CMC) for my favorite Alara-Lorwyn era blowout against BW tokens and Fae. But tha’t sjust me.

        1. Yeah, the intention was that you can’t pay 4 mana for the card and receive a free 3 mana card. You have to pay 5 to get a free 3 costing card, which isn’t great. Time will tell whether he’ll be amazing in the next Standard rotation, but I don’t foresee his price spiking before then.

            • Ian Pinsker on July 24, 2014 at 4:17 pm
            • Reply

            I mean Tarkir block might break him if it’s hybrid mana all over the place as a devotion enabler but outside of that it’s super unlikely he’s going to do anything splashy.

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