Of all the spoiler seasons, the third set of each block is by far my favorite for a number of reasons. Of course, we are closing a chapter and finally have the opportunity to see what a full block provides for all formats. Within the realm of finance, the end of a block is a unique opportunity to both move cards one last time before they rotate and to pick up cards you believe will become more relevant come September. This week, I am going to concentrate less on the cards within Dragon’s Maze and more on the cards that may see a boost in price given these new tools. Next week, once the full spoiler is announced, I will do my usual article giving my picks and dumps for the prerelease weekend, but preemptively starting that without all of the information seems unnecessary.
So, what other cards from Dragon’s Maze will make a possible impact on the current formats, and what support cards will in turn rise? After poring over the spoiler, I have selected a few I feel strongly about, but I encourage you to continue the search since I will inevitably miss a number of interactions.
Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch is an interesting replacement for the current haste package at 4, including Hellrider and Falkenrath Aristocrat, both of which will be leaving us in September. I am not sure how playable this gal is considering she is mythic in a deck that does not want to have unplayable cards clogging their hands, but if there are enough Grixis or Jund options, we may see a resurgence right after rotation when aggro is usually predominant. Picking up cards that may be supported within this archetype while they are cheap could net you a solid profit come fall. I believe most of the playable rares would have to come from this set or the next, as the current unleash package does not offer us much in the way of speculation. Keep an eye out if she drops too low while the mainstays continue to dominate the 4-drop spot; she may be no Aristocrat, but she isn’t trivial either.
It should be mentioned now that I used to be a huge advocate of dumping all of your Standard goods around this time of year, but given the increase in coverage and demand still present, I believe the rotation is playing far less of an impact on prices this early. This does not mean I want to be holding Thragtusks three months from now, but I will still pick them up if I can get a deal or have locals seeking them.
What spoiler article would be complete without mention of the new, flashy ’walker the Maze has brought us? Ral Zarek has been hinted at for the past year, and we finally have him in all his glory! I am not sure what side of the bandwagon I want to be on as far as his playability goes, but regardless, I expect his hype alone to drive certain cards up whether they see any play at all. Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius is by far the one that stands out to me the most, and given Ral Zarek’s ability to untap lands and artifacts such as Gilded Lotus, we will probably see a spike in the Izzet lord. Casting Niv and untapping with him has to be among my favorite feelings in all of Standard right now, and given the power of Ral, if left unchecked, it is likely an opponent will only be able to deal with one of these massive threats, leaving you free to untap with Niv or push toward Ral’s ultimate. I envision a deck that can use ramp such as Farseek to power out Ral and in turn push toward larger threats before your opponent can gain any edge. At $3, Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius seems like a sure bet to me.
That wraps up my analysis of what we have spoiled thus far. Watch my Twitter over the next week as I give up-to-date opinions on what I think about the new spoilers and what I in turn believe will spike. If you have any cards you believe deserve mention, please leave a comment below and share them. I am always curious to hear other people’s opinion, and I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have. As always, thanks for reading, and check back in next week—same place, same time—as I run through the spoiler in depth and give my opinion on what you should be looking to target next weekend.