#CMWhatTheTrend - Giver of Runes

Hello and welcome to WhatTheTrend, the column where we'll examine current trends on Cardmarket, check out why certain cards are popular, and speculate on future price developments. This week, we'll be discussing Giver of Runes. She was often compared to her Legacy Mother and was thus quickly dismissed – but they fill completely different roles!

Price Spikes on the Horizon

Modern Horizons has been one of the most impactful sets in a long time. The hype during spoiler season was unreal and cards jumped in price before the expansion was even released. It officially came out last Friday and the hype has yet to stop.

Giver of Runes CM Price Trend

Giver of Runes is an obvious callback to Mother of Runes, a card that has seen plenty of play in Legacy. This led to a lot of praise, but many players doubted the new 1/2.

Valued at 3,00 € during the presale, Giver of Runes was no frontrunner of the set. Players had decided that the missing ability to protect herself as well as the missing Human creature type made her just another Lightning Bolt target in Modern. So how come it doubled in price and is still rising?

Hogaak's Weakness

As is so often the case, the metagame is at fault. Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis broke Modern wide open. The graveyard-centric deck around Bridge from Below, Altar of Dementia, and Vengevine consistently kills around turns three and four, but has very little means for interaction. This means that decks like Infect and Devoted Druid Combo have an easy time pulling off their combos against Hogaak.

Devoted Druid Glistener Elf Blighted Agent

Decks that rely on creatures to combo are incredibly weak against cheap interaction like Fatal Push, Lightning Bolt, or Path to Exile, which are omnipresent in Modern. Yet, these decks can rarely afford to do anything against those cards since they need to spend their resources on setting up their combo. This is where Giver of Runes comes in. Only costing a single mana gives her the ability to come down on turn one, demanding to be answered by a removal spell. If she doesn't get removed, she can easily protect your Devoted Druid or Blighted Agent to survive.

A Better Comparison

Players were wrong to compare Giver of Runes with the 1/1 Mother. While the Mother is an enabler for midrange creature decks in Legacy, you need to think of our new Kor as a Spellskite that only costs one mana. Devoted Druid combo decks (or Infect) can't afford to spend their second turn setting up a Spellskite they need to play Devoted Druid (or an Infect creature). But they can easily slot in something on turn one. Demanding two removal spells makes these creature-centric combo decks much, much better.

This deck finished well in the recent Modern Challenge on Magic Online and made use of a full playset of Giver of Runes.

The Future of Fast Creature Combo

What does all this mean regarding the price tag on Giver of Runes?

If Hogaak does not get banned on 9 July 2019 and continues to dominate Modern, players will need to adapt. If that's the case, then Giver of Runes could stay in Modern for a while. If for some reason Hogaak does not continue to be in the metagame, then I don't think Giver of Runes will push these decks into tier 1 status. Yes, demanding two removal spells makes it harder to disrupt your combo, but this does not guarantee victory against decks like Jeskai or Jund. As is so often the case in Magic: The Gathering, Giver of Runes is a tool that improves a deck in certain aspects, but it will not single-handedly push these decks into "unbeatable" status.

With all this said, I'd expect Giver of Runes to stay around the price it has currently settled in and potentially rise if it turns out that Devoted Druid is the deck to answer the Modern metagame with. Don't expect to get a bargain on them anytime soon.


Get your own Giver of Runes here before they go even higher!

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