This is a surprising deviation from what appeared to be their intern agenda in recent years.
Conspiracy: Take the Crown has been completely revealed by now, and there were some serious surprises. This was only the second Conspiracy set, and it wasn't exactly clear where Wizards would be heading with it. Given the very recent release of Eternal Masters and the overall increased density of product releases this year I thought that they were just aiming their product at different audiences.
One has to realize that Magic may have started as a single game, but by now it can be seen as multiple related games. The base rules might be the same, but there is a world of difference between “the feeling” of a game of Standard, a game of Vintage, a game of multiplayer Commander, and so on – independent of the specific decks getting used.
After all, it doesn't matter whether your product releases are dated close to each other if their respective audiences don't overlap at all. Given that I expected Conspiracy 2 to be mostly a fun set to draft for fans of multiplayer magic, I was quite surprised to see that some of the new cards and some of the reprints are clearly aimed at Legacy players instead.
Burgeoning is the kind of reprint I expected to see in this set: Old cards that have risen in price a lot over the years due to their great utility in multiplayer games, without seeing any play in Legacy tournaments.
What I absolutely didn't expect were reprints of 40+ € Legacy tournament staples, like Show and Tell and Berserk. Reprinting them in a “regularly priced” booster set will make them available for a much cheaper price, sending down the value of the old versions with them. With the Masters sets so far it seemed like Wizards didn't really want to bring prices down very much, but just to extract some value from the secondary market themselves.
Therefore I was sure that they would “save” these high cost cards as reprints for their next Eternal Masters release, instead of throwing them into a 2 € booster pack set. This is a surprising deviation from what appeared to be their intern agenda in recent years. We should remember this for any other special products they may announce in the future. I apologize if you bought any of these cards since Eternal Masters was released. It was clear that they would be reprinted at some point, but due to their high price I expected them to become the chase cards in EM18 and suggested that they were relatively safe for a while. Too bad Wizards decided they needed to lure more players towards this draft set with these reprints and the new creatures clearly designed for Legacy constructed play – instead of draft purposes.
Recruiter of the Guard Price Trend: 18,04 €
I already talked about the applications for this card. It will see play, but the starting price of 30 € was ridiculous, and has already dropped to 18,50 €. The price is still inflated for an in-print rare and will come further down most likely.
Sanctum Prelate Price Trend: 20,44 €
Death and Taxes variants received another tool in the form of this white mythic. It is one mana too expensive for a classic hate bear, but the effect is quite powerful. Chalice of the Void is a dominant card in various formats, and this may be better in certain scenarios. It only affects noncreature spells, but it costs less mana than Chalice if you want X to be larger than 1. It also doesn't counter those spells but prevents them from getting cast in the first place. This is much better against Abrupt Decay and other uncounterable cards. The Prelate is also much better than Chalice at preventing the Storm count from going up. This card started too high as well, and will drop further for a little while before a Death and Taxes list uses this to great success, spiking the price back up.
Leovold, Emissary of Trest Price Trend: 9,49 €
We are still in the pre-sale phase when cards tend to be overrated, but this card may be the one card which can go up from where it is now. Why? It is interesting for multiple audiences. It is a cheap legendary creature, making it an ideal Sultai Commander (or even Tiny Leader if that is a thing in your area). That alone would not be enough to make me believe in Leovold's value potential though. The point is that the Legacy crowd might want copies as well. There are various BUG Legacy decks which could be interested in playing a creature which
- has decent stats
- will most likely generate card advantage once in play
- messes up all opposing Brainstorms, Gitaxian Probes, Ponders, Ancestral Visions, etc.
- can be pitched to Force of Will
- can be cast on turn two off a turn one Deathrite Shaman
Remember that you get to draw a card when you or your permanents get targeted, which means you can draw (into a counterspell) and still counter the spell that targeted your cards.
Maybe Leovold won't be used as a 4-of due to being Legendary, but it will see play. During the time it took me to write this article the price went up another 80 cents, so I may be onto something there.
What do you think?