Grinder Finance: Khans of Tarkir #1

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Now is the time to consider your options and look into preordering cards from the newest fall expansion, Khans of Tarkir. There are many things to consider when preordering cards, but generally I pick out ones that seem underpriced for their effect, or cards from older sets that are likely to become more playable.

Note, these are not necessarily cards I believe you should speculate on or dump tons of money into copies of. Instead, I’m saying these are cards that you should buy your playset of if you ever think you will play them.

Cards I’m Preordering

cracklingdoom

Crackling Doom – This is preordering for $1 on most retail websites, and although it’s expensive and hard to cast, it may become the premier removal spell in the format and could easily jump from $1 to $5 or $6 without too much trouble. I’d rather get in my set at $4 and lose that $4 in value than have to pick up a set for $20. When considering another card on this list, I think this spell could become favorable in short order.

sagumauler

Sagu Mauler – This card could be very hit or miss. It’s a big body with a slightly cheaper CMC if you morph it, and it’s extremely difficult to kill and can be powered out on turn three with cards we have already seen spoiled.  I think it’s safe to get these at $1 because if they become popular even with the casual crowd, they could easily reach $3 or $4. The flexibility that morph grants you allows this to be a real beating if other very powerful morph creatures are printed because it “counters” removal spells. It also seems like it might be the perfect card to ensure ferocious triggers on other Temur cards.

mysticmonastery

Tri-color lands – These are “power” uncommons and will likely be in high demand on release day. They’re slow and cumbersome but will likely be needed for a while before people have developed more cohesive mana bases.

sultaicharm

Charms – If Sultai Charm is the worst of the bunch, we are in for a pretty huge cycle of cards. If it’s the best, you probably aren’t hurting yourself too much by preordering your playsets. Some charms end up being “sleepers” that get better as time goes on and some of their modes become more relevant (see Golgari Charm). I think for under $1, it’s a mistake not to get these now.

Cards I’m Ordering from Older Sets

manaconfluence

Mana Confluence – If you don’t have your set now, then you probably missed the boat on the cheapest copies.  With the introduction of fetch lands, it’s going to be hard to play multiple colors of spells sequentially without Mana Confluence.  That being said, I don’t think these get cheaper going forward.

jace the living guildpact

Jace, the Living Guildpact – His price has probably also bottomed out, and there could be really good delve spells.  It’s too early to tell if this is a good investment, but it’s unlikely you will find him cheaper if you want to play him.

Cards I’m Cautiously Optimistic About

anafenzatheforemost

Anafenza, the Foremost – This card has some serious power, but it’s well hidden.  This card will be especially popular in Pod mirror matches because it can be poded into off of Voice of Resurgence and stops your opponent’s Voices and Kitchen Finks while resetting your own Finks on the attack. It’s a legendary Loxodon Smiter with a lot of upside. I think the sweet spot for powerful legendary creatures that attack is three mana (as we see with Geist of Saint Traft). The fact that this card is likely eternal playable is a big plus to its long-term price.

narsetenlightenedmaster

Narset, Englightened Master – This card also has some serious power.  Depending on the quality of spells that you may end up casting, this may become the defacto Aetherling replacement. It rumbles well with Elspeth and if we get a super value spell (a la Prophetic Bolt) to play for free, this card gets very good, very fast.

utter end

Utter End – This is a powerful card with a powerful effect, but I think at $5 it might be too expensive.  If preorder prices drop to around $3, I would pick this up.  That being said, we are probably not getting another card that kills planeswalkers in this set.

Cards I’m Not Buying

foothills polluted delta strand

Fetch lands – No seriously, don’t buy them now.  The fact that Flooded Strand and Polluted Delta are the most expensive when the serious Standard demand will be on green ones (for Courser of Kruphix) is absurd.  These cards will likely fall to $15 or less a few weeks after release.  I suggest not preordering any until you know more of the set and which deck you want to play. Then only order the set you need and wait for the rest until they drop.

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Jim Casale

@Phrost_     -     Email     -     Articles
Jim is a software developer and an avid blue planeswalker. He spellslings in Jacksonville, Florida, and you can feel free to contact him on Twitter at @phrost_.
Jim Casale

3 comments

    • Grand_Upper on September 11, 2014 at 7:49 pm
    • Reply

    Agree 100%. Jace has gotten a lot of criticism, but even some of the detractors are now reporting that they’ve done some testing with the Sultai cards spoiled, and that he can actually do a lot of work, so he will probably gain a lot of popularity soon.

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