CMWhatTheTrend: A Pioneer World


October 21, 2019. The day that the average Magic collection gained around 20% in value. When Wizards announced the newest competitive format, it was a big day for everyone in Magic finance. Join Jamin on a tour through this fall's biggest winners.

Nostalgia is a strong feeling. It's what many Magic players felt when they read about the possibility of playing their former Standard favorites in Pioneer. Soon, however, people's minds jumped to the marketplace. Wizards had just created a lot of demand for cards that were previously close to worthless. Like that Smuggler's Copter that was banned in Standard and now almost useless in Modern. Or the Grim Flayer that vanished as Abzan went away. The list of cards that gained is a long one today, so let's jump right in.

Previous Standard Staples

When working on a new format, rather than evaluate every single card starting from zero, it's much easier to look at cards that dominated in the past. When a card was great in Standard, it has a high chance of making it in Pioneer—or that's what many players think at least. If that's actually true remains to be seen.

Either way, this explains some of the following rises in price:

The funniest one of these spikes to me is Siege Rhino, simply because it is such a weak card by itself compared to the others. A 4 mana 4/5 trying to keep up with the likes of Aetherworks Marvel, Saheeli Rai, Collected Company in such a huge card pool. But who knows, maybe a Thoughtseize deck is still looking for this kind of card to deliver the beats.

Cards That Were Previously Too Good

These two cards and Treasure Cruise were previously too good for Modern—and even Legacy—but are now legal in Pioneer. While Deathrite Shaman could be a player here, I'd be careful as the actual fetch lands such as Bloodstained Mire are banned. You'd have to use Fabled Passage, Evolving Wilds or the clunky cycling lands from Amonkhet for the Shaman to act as mana acceleration.

I'm much more optimistic about Dig Through Time, as it does not rely on being powered out quickly. Simply play your game as you like and resolve your 2-mana instant in the late game to refuel.

Cards That Barely Move in Price

I'd like to take the time and explain why certain cards don't move in price as much as one might think they should.

With planeswalkers like Oko, Thief of Crowns having so much loyalty, you would expect Heart of Kiran to be amazing—and even more valuable since it's a mythic. You may be correct on the first count, but during Aether Revolt's stint in Standard, the Heart was a staple and got a slot in a preconstructed Challenger Deck. People opened a lot of those due to the demand for the Vehicle and other cards, so now we end up with too many Hearts for them to be worth much.

Heart of Kiran & Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar: this bad boy was sooo good back in Standard, why isn't he at €30 like Jace, Vryn's Prodigy // Jace, Telepath Unbound?

Well, for one thing, there's very little demand outside of Pioneer. Also, Battle for Zendikar was opened a ton due to the printing of full-art basic lands as well as the Expeditions in that set. Back then, every booster had the chance to contain a highly valuable, alternate-art, foil land like Stomping Ground or Misty Rainforest. This drove sales and once again we end up in a spot where some additional demand does not make for a huge price jump. Though, to be fair, it still rose from around €6 to a respectable €8.

Jamin's Cards to Watch

To end this article, I want to highlight two cards that I have seen surprisingly little talk about: Oath of Nissa and Demonic Pact. The Oath has already risen in price a bit, but not to the extent I would've anticipated, while the black enchantment yet has to see major stock decrease. These oddball cards are always something to be aware of, so don't sleep on the Pact. Both also work extremely well with our favorite Teferi, Time Reveler.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.


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RonePro(05.11.2019 14:52)

Great article, however Oath of Nissa is already out of the picture. Thoughts on Arclight Phoenix's price?

jack(05.11.2019 21:51)

RonePro given that it has already risen in price, I wouldn't invest a whole lot, especially with the agressive ban-approach that Wizard has shown (this article was obviously written pre-bannings)