Urza, Lord High Artificer has historically been quite an expensive card. When it released, it was played a ton alongside Arcum's Astrolabe, Emry, Lurker of the Loch, later even Paradoxical Outcome. When it stopped being a competitive mainstay in Modern, it was swiftly picked up by Commander players, especially for the competitive variant. Urza is a universally powerful card, but it is frequently difficult to find the right shell. Some players may have wanted to try out a Whir of Invention brew with it, but a €50 price tag certainly put them off.
With the release of Dominaria Remastered its price basically halved. Now you can pick up your Artificers for as low as €25. If you have been wondering whether this is the time to take Thopter Foundry for a spin in Modern or bring out Urza in cEDH, yes, it is.
|Monoblue Urza, cEDH|
There is a huge segment of the Magic community that absolutely adores retro frames. I certainly count myself in here as I try to keep all the cards in my deck in their oldest (or oldest-looking) printings. With The Brothers' War, we got a plethora of artifacts printed into the old frame. The accompanying Commander decks even got us some nonartifact beauties such as Expressive Iteration and Emry, Lurker of the Loch.
Mishra's Bauble specifically is an cross-format staple and a four-of in numerous strategies. Its main benefits include being an artifact, triggering Ledger Shredder or Dragon's Rage Channeler for free, or being recurred by Emry. Most recently players have discovered how powerful of a paring Bauble is with Underworld Breach. Because escape does not exile the spell cast, you can turn Breach and Bauble into Treasure Cruise and just refill your hand.
Bauble used to be very expensive, but now the price has gone down considerably. You can pick up retro sketch versions for as low as €3 apiece! The regular retro version can be found for €2. I myself have bought a playset of foil retro Baubles. They go for €4, but in the long term I expect them to increase in price slowly but surely.
Phyrexia: All Will Be One is right around the corner, and we already got a good chunk of cards previewed. While people often want to jump on the mythic rare hype trains, which eventually are hits or misses, I want to look at one totally innocuous card.
Minor Misstep is a new variation on the everywhere-banned Mental Misstep and, like the original, does not care about card type. The older and larger formats get, the more efficient they become. With that rule in mind we can expect Minor Misstep to shine in Vintage, Legacy, and Modern. The number of powerful zero- and one-mana spells in these formats is staggeringly high, and it is growing. A short list of stuff worth countering in Modern alone includes the following:
We could list many more. As the card is an uncommon, the price shouldn't be too high. But so is Expressive Iteration, and at some point one had to shell out upward of €6 euro to get one. Right now Minor Misstep costs around €2 to €3 in preorders, and I would recommend picking up a playset. I can only imagine where the price for foil versions may end up.
Even if it turns out to be just a sideboard option for now, the pool of targets isn't getting any smaller. There's clearly potential for so much more, and that's why I would buy in rather sooner than later.
I know that mana dorks are a vague category so let me expand on the thought. With the upcoming set, we are getting Tyvar, Jubilant Brawler whose static ability allows you to neglect summoning sickness when it comes to activated abilities. This is where the mana-dork angle comes in. Under the aegis of Tyvar, your Noble Hierarch and Birds of Paradise can instantly add mana. If we look at his other abilities, you can also untap a small fry or mill one into play. I am not entirely sure if this card warrants actively buying these creatures, but it certainly makes you think twice before liquidating them. If you intended to sell off your Devoted Druid Modern deck, try to wait things out a bit longer.
Speaking of Devoted Druid, Tyvar gives the shell a nice boost. The deck already ran Postmortem Lunge in the past—see below—and Tyvar is basically Lunge on a stick with all the other upsides of his static and +1 on top. Technically, if your opponent exiles your graveyard in response, Tyvar might even still give you a creature if it is in the milled three cards.
|Devoted Combo by Steven Borakove, Modern SCG CON New Jersey, January 14|
Let us talk about selling cards now. While it is easy to spot upcoming reprints, it is a bit more challenging to identify upgrades that may doom their predecesoors. In this case, the good old Carny boy, officially known as Carnage Tyrant, is about to get outclassed by Tyrranax Rex. While Rex is not strictly better due to the higher mana cost, it is likely to occupy the same slot in decks that already contain Tyrant. It likewise is a big, trampling Dinosaur with protection against counters and targeted removal. However, it also has haste and toxic 4. This basically means it will close the game sooner, likely in three attacks against a single opponent, be it through damage or poison.
Currently the price differential between the two is relatively small, but I do not expect it to hold as is for much longer. As of writing this piece, Tyrant was €8 and Rex was €12.
That's it for the January installment of Buy, Sell, or Hold! Let us know in the comments below whether you want this column more regularly!
And as always, remember to hold my hand and pass the turn together. Cheers!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, not of Cardmarket.