Bang for your Buck: Investing before Gatecrash – White
Disclaimer: I can not be held responsible for any poor decisions I make in regards to any cards you might buy in response to my article. I’m going to post my thoughts and plead my case for each card I recommend, and if you agree then by all means head out to your local gaming store or buy cards online and try to snap up some good deals. I’m basing my information off of months of standard gaming experience as well as prices in my area and how they’ve reacted to the ever changing metagame. I can only hope that the decisions I make are good ones and that my gamble pays off after buying the featured cards.
We’re running out of time. By Monday, January 21st, we should have the entire Gatecrash set spoiled yet we’re only on white today! You should still have time to find some good deals though. Gatecrash won’t be on sale until February 2nd, and we REALLY won’t know what cards to snatch up until after the metagame starts to change in the first few weeks. There are going to be a lot of people trying to get good deals on Gatecrash cards so you might be able to get some bargains if you act fast. Without further ado, here’s today’s color: White.
M13 white cards:
The biggest contribution M13 gave to white was Sublime Angel. She was an all star in GW aggro decks, and still sees some play today. Ajani originally started off in the $40 range, but when no deck was able to effectively use him, his price dropped like a bomb to just over $10. I’m still not sure if Ajani is worth the investment, but there is one card from M13 that I think could more play after Gatecrash is released.
Yes, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. This is Odric, Master Tactician. If you take a look at his ability, you may notice that it looks remarkably similar to Boros’ new mechanic, Battalion. Yes, Odric, Master Tactician was our sneak peak into Gatecrash way back when M13 was released. At 4 mana, he fits in perfectly with human decks. If you saw my RW human deck idea a few weeks ago, then you can guess how he could fit into the 4 spot. Turn 1 Champion of the Parish, Turn 2 Lightning Mauler, Turn 3 Silverblade Paladin soulbounded to the Champion of the Parish, and a turn 4 Odric, Master Tactician soulbounded to the Lightning Mauler. Champion hits for 8 damage, Lightning Mauler for 2, Silverblade for 4, and Odric for 3. That’s 17 damage, and if you have a Searing Spear in hand that’s game next turn (unless you did 3 damage prior). Cards like Aurelia’s Fury and Boros Charm are going to see a lot of play, so I wouldn’t count out Odric doubling in price and seeing constructed play in aggressive Boros Battalion decks. He’s only $1 now, maybe cheaper at some places so pick up 2-3 if it doesn’t hurt your wallet too much.
Avacyn Restored White Cards
Entreat the Angels is probably going to see more play again with the return of Esper (WBU) planeswalker control, and you can be sure that Restoration Angel will continue to be heavily played as well. Other cards I think will hold their values are: Terminus, Silverblade Paladin, and Angel of Glory’s Rise (which is still kind of cheap but I don’t see it losing value). I’m going to go out on a limb again and pick another card I think will become more popular in Boros – Riders of Gavony.
GW Humans and UW Humans saw a good amount of play after Return to Ravnica was released, and RW Humans used to be all the rage back when Avacyn Restored was first released. I think this archetype will continue to see a decent amount of play, and the Riders might see some sideboard play or even main deck play if tribal decks such as Zombies, humans, or Spirits see some play again. I don’t think there’s a huge chance of the Riders going up in price, but I think they are worth more than their bulk rare price of .50 cents right now. I picked up 4 for a dollar the other month, and the card is really strong against tribal decks using all of the same creature types. If you see the metagame turning tribal, it might not hurt to pick these up cheap. Otherwise, I don’t think there are a lot of good deals in AVR right now.
Dark Ascension White cards
Dark Ascension doesn’t really have that many strong, white cards. Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is the best white card in the set, and at the moment she’s going for around $6.50 a piece. Gatecrash will bring about more control decks, so Thalia will definitely prove her worth against them. I don’t think she’ll be dropping in price any time soon though, but if you do see her in the $4 range, I’d recommend picking some up.
Innistrad White cards
Innistrad has some decent white cards. Humans have the most to gain from Gatecrash, and I think Champion of Parish will see more play and get an increase in value from it. Another card that has seen a lot of play recently in Bant Hexproof decks is Angelic Overseer. The idea is that if your opponent doesn’t have mass removal like Supreme Verdict or Bonfire of the Damned, you put in the Angelic Overseer for some extra oomph. With a human in play, it can’t be targeted, it’s indestructible, and it’s 5 points of pain coming at your opponent in the air. While both of these cards will see some play, I don’t know if they are deals worth acting on. Keep your eye out for human and bant hexproof decks just in case. If you’re looking to buy a card while it’s cheap, I’d go with Nevermore from this set.
It’s cheap (around .25 cents each), and in a control environment where counterspells are almost worthless, having something like Nevermore in a sideboard could help you to get around those cards that are very difficult to deal with. Slaughter Games has seen play in Grixis control, and I think you could see some of these in control sideboards after Gatecrash to deal with cards they have no answers for.
Return to Ravnica White cards
Most of the cards I’ve recommended today are highly situational. The cards that have already established themselves in the metagame such as Restoration Angel probably won’t see much of a price change. I’m guessing what kind of decks I think will become popular. For example, I think that Azorious’ Detain mechanic will work well with Orzhov’s Extort. It’s the epitome of control. You stop their permanents and creatures from doing anything, and then drain their life away with Extort. However, I think the biggest threat from Gatecrash is going to come from Dimir. Azorious/Dimir decks will be nasty. You detain a creature and clear the way for another creature that was Ciphered. One of the main strategies for Dimir is milling an opponent. Doing so will let Lazav, Dimir Mastermind and Havengul Lich to use your strengths as theirs. In order to counteract this, take graveyards out of the equation.
Rest in Peace is part of almost every white deck sideboard in standard. It’s most effective against Frites/reanimator decks, but also does a lot of damage to Zombies and UWR/UW Flash decks who base their win conditions on Runechanter’s Pike. With even more graveyard manipulation and interaction on the horizon, Rest in Peace will be worth a few spots in your sideboard. It’s going for about $1.50 now, and I think that price will be going up in a few weeks as control decks become popular again. Another card to keep an eye on is Angel of Serenity, which has dropped to $13 since hitting a high of about $30 a month or two ago. I think we could see it go up in price again, so if you see a good deal pick one up before it pulls a Thragtusk on us and doubles in price again.
Next time on Bang for your Buck
I really thought there were going to be more white cards to recommend before Gatecrash comes out, but a lot of the good ones have already hit a peak price and aren’t worth buying right now in my opinion unless you really need them. If anything, I think some of the more expensive cards will drop in price as the metagame becomes more diverse. Next time I’ll be looking at the blue cards, and by then I think the full spoiler will be out. It will be a lot easier to gauge the value of cards when we can see how Gatecrash will affect certain archetypes, but as always it will all come down to the metagame and what people are using that will dictate the prices (which can greatly vary by regions). If you believe I should have mentioned a card that I didn’t talk about in this article, please leave a comment and why you think it’s a good deal right now. Thanks for reading and look for the next article before the pre-release hopefully!