Financial Five: Fate Reforged

With each new set it seems like retailers are getting better at pre-pricing cards to fit card hype and demand. I look past the chase rares/mythics and find the diamonds in the rough. Below are five cards I think are worth investing in.

[card]Alesha, Who Smiles at Death[/card]($2)alesha

The list of “bring-backable” creatures seems be longer than a Transformer movie.  Bringing back a [card]Seeker of the Way[/card] or a [card]Frenzied Goblin[/card] doesn’t seem like bad value.  Aggressive decks want to play her to recur the fallen creatures from previous combat steps. She’s great in the aggressive mirror where her first-striking three-power body stops almost any aggressive creature in its tracks. For only 2R, she can be splashed into any self-mill brew to try out her reanimation abilities (I’m looking at you [card]Hornet Queen[/card]!).

What holds her back is the lack of impact on the board when she’s cast. You have to wait a turn, spend non-red mana, and declare her attacking to gain card advantage. Does that make her a sideboard option for aggro versus aggro mirrors? I’m not sure, but the first strike really wins me over. She’s legendary, so she may not always be a four-of, but could still make for a fun EDH deck. Timmys love her, Spikes see potential, and Johnnys want her to achieve a battlefield of brokenness .  I don’t see her going lower than $2, but I can’t see her exceeding $5.

flamewake[card]Flamewake Phoenix[/card] ($3)

I recently compared [card]Flamewake Phoenix[/card] to [card]Chandra’s Phoenix[/card] (here), but since they won’t be in the same Standard format (so far), we’ll just have to focus in on Flamewake for the time-being.  R/G Monsters has been in and out of top eights for almost a year now, taking many different forms and sometimes splashing to become Temur or Naya.

What seems to stay consistent is its ability to activate ferocious.  In combination with [card]Ashcloud Phoenix[/card], I think these hot-headed squawkers wouldn’t mind crossing feather for some aerial assaults in Standard.   I hope they don’t forget to wave down at an allied [card]Polukranos, World Eater[/card] as they fly by. Add [card]Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker[/card] or [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card] for a crimson air show.  I see price potential at $5 or $6 in future Standard, since you’ll always play four and it fits in [card]Titan’s Strength[/card] aggro decks and even more synergy with aggressive midrange “monster” strategies.


[card]Yasova Dragonclaw[/card] ($1.5)yasova

This was one of the first cards spoiled from Fate Reforged.  I wasn’t much of a fan when I saw the two toughness, but I might be looking at the wrong number. As He-Man would say, “I HAVE THE POWER!”… to activate ferocious.  I remember saying on the show, “If ferocious is relevant, Yasova is relevant.” She works extremely well with [cardFlamewake Phoenix[/card].

Turn 3: Cast Flamewake, opponent destroys Flamewake

Turn4: Cast Yasova, cast Flamewake during combat, opp. destroys Flamewake

Turn 5:  Threaten a creature (Yasova’s ability), cast Flamewake

Rinse, repeat, and cast other spells when needed.

Of course your opponent will likely kill the Yasova as soon as possible, but this works with any four-powered creature and is still better than casting a [card]Boon Satyr[/card]. It’s as close to extort as R/G will ever get. Instead of draining for one, you’ll just attack with a two-powered creature. She is easy to kill because she takes over the game if you don’t kill her. That worth more than a $1.50, right?! I’ll pick these up all day long and might even score her as a throw-in.

silumgarthedriftingdeath[card]Silumgar, the Drifting Death[/card] ($2)

If you took the best qualities of [card]Wall of Denial[/card] and [card]Doomwake Giant[/card], you’d end up with this monstrosity. This 3/7 is always defensive until you don’t need it to be. Its only weakness is needing to attack to get the -1/-1 ability, although I doubt this weakness would encourage the addition of other Dragons in your deck.

U/B Control is its obvious home, but I could see a Sultai Midrange using it to win board stales without having to worry about hornet tokens.  Not sure if it is worth playing four copies, but $2 for a format staple should already be on your list of pick-ups. It’s another rare that can only go up from here.  By the way, $22 foils should convince you card slingers are already playing him.

The legendary cycle of dragons seemed to be common at the prereleases I attended, so I’m sure this will be easy to find for the next couple weeks.

[card]Crux of Fate[/card] ($5)crux of fate

When’s the last time we had a playable black sweeper? [card]Black Sun’s Zenith[/card]? [card]Mutilate[/card] doesn’t count.

When I picked this card for the article, it was sitting at $3, but is already up to $5 after prerelease weekend. So it’s turned into a long-term pick-up instead of a “buy all you can while you can” pick-up.

As far as playability, the obvious deck is U/B Control, since we’re all aware of its existence and strategies. But what about the B/G decks that don’t want to splash for white?  I’m a fan of the one-horned villain myself ([card]Siege Rhino[/card]), but you know how Wizards of the Coast is. They want the Standard environment to constantly change (I’m looking at you Siege Rhino & [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card]). The fact is, B/G Midrange wouldn’t mind sweeping for value to set up a delve or [card]Whip of Erebos[/card] activation.

I expect this card to settle at $5, but it could see some spikes throughout its time in Standard.  You can’t go wrong with picking up a few extra to take advantage of a potential increase in demand. Though, since this is from a small set and we only require one Fate Reforged pack for the next two draft environments, the supply could be lower than expected.


What uncommons could break $1? I’d put my faith in [card]Valorous Stance[/card].  It’s defensive, offensive. currently in a highly played color, easy to cast (1W instead of WW), and plays at instant speed.  If you’re not convinced, pick up a couple sets of [card]Reality Shift[/card]s and see if they’ll find a deck.

As always, thanks for reading




About the Author
@TNSGingerAle     -     Email     -     Articles Houston is the host and creator of Tap N Sac Podcast. He enjoys any format with a healthy community. He usually taps Mountains to have fun and taps Islands to win.

3 comments on Financial Five: Fate Reforged

  1. As always thanks for the relevant article. I am curious about the other “choice” uncommons in addition to Valorous Stance – Ruthless Instincts and Fascination. I think the two instants have some upside, especially in toolbox style decks. Of course I am not sure that there is a standard toolbox build.

    I also think the Kahns are good long term pick-ups. I don’t think that we have seen the full impact to tiny leaders which would favor Yasova (who I like to call Yakisoba) and Alesha. Alesha also appears to have one of the most popular vorthos storyline, but I am not sure that will translate into casual demand. If you have any thoughts I would love to hear them.


    1. Though I think those Uncommons may have some applications, the narrow number of decks that want it won’t give the card a higher than average financial value. Ruthless Instincts could get to that level if CMC was 1G but at 2G, the mana left open could be a solid tell and probably not worth your turn.

      Casual demand can be tricky. It’s easy to pin the label on cards that mill in high numbers, large power and toughness, any over-costed flying tribal addition (Dragons, Angels, Demons), gains a large amount of life, or anything that gives more than one counter. These need to be Mythic, Rare, or an uncommon from an old set with one printing. To many packs are opened of the new sets so the Uncommons don’t stand much of a chance but all other categories apply. Tiny leaders has a chance to impact the market like EDH did when it was on the rise but i’m not sure how safe it is to go all in on General speculation. My best guess to find financial oppotunity is to study the popular TIny Leader decks and the trajectory of the EDH staples before WotC started making precons.

      -Ginger Ale-

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