Top 5 – Cards to Buy, Spring Edition
- Rodrigo Martin
Strixhaven gave us a ton of new cards to try out, and we recently enjoyed the reprints of Time Spiral Remastered as well. So now is the perfect time to update your buy list and grab as much as you can at discount prices. If you're interested in our picks to purchase, you've come to the right place!
It's been a while since I last wrote about cards to buy, but now that spring is here—and we're hopefully getting closer to paper tournaments as the global situation improves—I wanted to shine a light again on cards to pick up from the recent sets. Without further ado, here's my Top 5 ranking, spring edition!
#5 - Amulet Titan Material
Picking up cards at a discount as they get new reprints is always a nice deal, but how about getting a whole deck? If there is any archetype in particular that has benefited from Time Spiral Remastered, it's Amulet Titan. Right now is the perfect window to assemble it at a cheap price.
When you look at the Modern tier list, Amulet Titan is one of the cheapest choices, between the new prowess shells and Eldrazi Tron. Key cards like Summoner's Pact or Vesuva have significantly decreased in value. What's more, thanks to the timeshifted cards added to the set, you can even get the deck's namesake, Primeval Titan, in a superb old-border style, cheaper than any other version at the moment! The same is true for Reclamation Sage and Dismember for the sideboard.
Personally, when I did the math, the whole deck came in below the €600 barrier, possibly less if you're willing to run a budget version that makes do without Cavern of Souls, the most expensive card of the entire archetype. Other than that, the mana base is quite cheap. Bounce lands like Simic Growth Chamber have been reprinted in dozens of Commander products, and even Amulet of Vigor itself had a third reprint in a recent Secret Lair drop.
|Amulet Titan by Donald_Trump, 13th at Modern Challenge, April 27|
#4 - Elvish Reclaimer (Modern, Legacy)
Next on the list, we have another land-centric green value creature that sees play across formats. Elvish Reclaimer is already two years old but recently gained a lot of traction in Modern during the Field of the Dead era. It's also a Legacy staple in several archetypes, from some Lands builds via Turbo Dark Depths to Monogreen Cloudpost.
Able to tutor up any land we wish for, it has great synergy with Flagstones of Trokair, ramping when we sacrifice the legendary land. Although Field is no longer legal in Modern, the Elf Warrior has regained a lot of relevance thanks to the latest four-color Scapeshift shell that uses it alongside another powerful green creature: Dryad of the Ilysian Grove. Moreover, some Titan decks splashing white also add Reclaimer to the mix.
|Scapeshift by trunks132, 2nd at Modern Challenge, April 27|
That said, its price is still contained, below the €5 threshold. Right now you can still get the cheapest playset for around €18, but that price won't last long, since Core Set 2020 is getting older and older. If the decks with Reclaimer keep putting up good results, it's just a matter of time until its value goes up and up.
My recommendation here is to grab your copies before that, since the card is likely to see play for the foreseeable future, even more if new powerful land cards get printed. As you can see, I already did my job with some Chinese copies last month.
#3 – Sideboard Hosers
As new strategies emerge, Magic players need to update their suit of answers. We can find specific tools to fight back not only in recent sets but also in old ones. That's exactly the case for Heliod Company, where Heliod, Sun-Crowned forms a deadly combo alongside Spike Feeder and Walking Ballista. Getting rid of an indestructible enchantment is a challenging task for Modern mages, hence people had to get creative. People came up with a diverse cast of sideboard options depending on the colors they play.
Starting with white, Deicide is a mostly forgotten card from Journey into Nyx, not the most impactful set to remember. However, this instant is the perfect answer to exile all Heliods, rendering the combo nonfunctional for good. Additionally, it can be used for other enchantments, like the Dryad in the Amulet Titan matchup.
Other, cheaper options to take care of Heliod are Unravel the Aether or Mystic Repeal in green, usually found in Jund Death's Shadow sideboards. Then there is a new one we will come to later, direct from Strixhaven.
Speaking of Death's Shadow, if you have trouble dealing with it, white mages should always keep in mind Blessed Alliance—an amazing way to deal with the black Avatar by giving them life and also make them sacrifice a creature, often a neat two for one!
Continuing this short list of sideboard cards you should add to your collection, if you are playing any Bring to Light shell, don't forget to buy a copy or two of Shadows' Verdict, which is ideal to combat Lurrus of the Dream-Den archetypes. Despite being an expensive card by Modern standards, a singleton copy to tutor via the Simic sorcery is enough to shut off the recurring threats. Another silver bullet also for Bring to Light is Crumble to Dust, an old devoid card from Battle from Zendikar designed to fight Tron or, more recently, Valakut decks (either Titan or the four-color version) all in one card.
Last but not least, I am excited about a new toy from Strixhaven, ideal for blue sideboards: Test of Talents. At first, it looks like an upgraded version of Invasive Surgery that also hits instants, perfect to deal with combo strategies that depend on one key spell, be it Storm, Living End, or or Scapeshift.
#2 - Magecraft Shenanigans
Our second place goes to the new keyword ability that cares about instant or sorceries: magecraft. This is undoubtedly the best mechanic in the set regarding Constructed play, a sort of downgraded Prowess that also cares about copied spells, which is key when combined with the storm mechanic and other copy effects we will mention shortly.
Luckily for us, all magecraft creatures worth playing (and buying) are at bulk prices since they are neither chased mythics nor expensive rares. White has the fastest threat in Clever Lumimancer, a watered down Monastery Swiftspear that can, however, become far bigger when combined with storm spells like Flusterstorm or Ground Rift. Next we have Leonin Lightscribe, which hasn't seen much play yet but packs a lot of potential and a ridiculous price at the moment.
The other two main magecraft payoffs are black. Witherbloom Apprentice is the easiest way to get a clean kill off Chain of Smog in Legacy: target yourself and copy the Chain over and over to trigger the Apprentice. The combo has already been putting up good results over the last few weeks. Below you can see a Jund build with Sedgemoor Witch, the last magecraft card I wanted to mention. The Witch even made some waves in Vintage, as a stand-in for the restricted Monastery Mentor.
|Smog Magecraft Combo by hcook725, 7th at Legacy Challenge, April 25|
#1 - Strixhaven Multicolor Powerhouses
As you might expect, number one on this list is reserved for the wide variety of multicolored spells from Strixhaven, one of the set's main appeals. I picked one or two cards of each color combination as a must-buy, especially since most of them are under five euros per copy.
Lorehold: Rip Apart, Thrilling Discovery. Two very good cards for Modern. The first one is an upgraded version of Abrade that can also hit planeswalkers and enchantments by adding white to the cost but has the downside of being a sorcery. Thrilling Discovery on its part doesn't look like a powerful card by itself. However, it allows Dredge to run eight copies of Cathartic Reunion, adding more consistency to the deck. Expect to see this card a lot in the coming months.
Prismari: Prismari Command, Expressive Iteration. What used to be called Izzet just received an amazing new draw spell in Expressive Iteration, and it's showing up in different formats. Aside from Standard, Modern Izzet Blitz shells are now running four copies and people have also tested the card in Delver decks in Legacy. Basically it's a two-mana draw two that synergizes really well with other cantrips and Phyrexian mana spells, the perfect addition to those magecraft and prowess archetypes that have been popping up these past few weeks. Meanwhile, Prismari Command is by far the best of its cycle and has already been added to several decks: Niv-Mizzet Reborn strategies in Pioneer and Modern immediately made room for one copy, plus it's been crushing Standard and Historic as well. The versatility of each mode, combined with the ability to ramp, is what makes this card a must-have in your collection.
Quandrix: Eureka Moment, Quandrix Cultivator, Decisive Denial: Quandrix may be the least exciting combination for Constructed purposes. It has some decent ramp/card advantage options, useful for Sultai Ultimatum in Standard, but nothing that instantly grabs my eye. Decisive Denial could be cheap and flexible enough to make the jump to Constructed.
Silverquill: Vanishing Verse. A two-mana value removal that permanently deals with Heliod is what every other deck in Modern was asking for. Jund Shadow can easily splash it, but it has also become an instant staple in Niv to Light decks. Sure it's a blank against Tron and some specific threats like Teferis or colorless Eldrazi, but for the most part it will deal with most opposing threats at a cheap price. It even gets rid of Blood Moon!
Witherbloom: Culling Ritual. I have the same feeling here as with Quandrix. Most of Whiterbloom's multicolor cards are either very expensive or they revolve around sacrificing other stuff. But Culling Ritual looks like amazing removal for early threats with the upside of giving you some mana in the process. It's another nice addition to Bring to Light shells to tutor up in aggressive matchups and Lurrus shells, allowing you to cast this spell plus a second one after the board is clean.
All in all, it seems Strixhaven has added some improved tools to the different formats, boosting the enemy-colored combinations, albeit without any huge shakeup or unbalanced cards. Please let me know which cards from the recent sets you are interested in (or already bought) and what's your favorite answer to Heliod moving forward. Thank you so much for reading, and feel free to leave your comments or questions below!
Until next time,
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.