It’s official. Friday Return to Ravnica became Legal in Standard and other formats. All eyes were on the SCG Cincinnati event last weekend to see what the new Standard format will look like. While Return to Ravnica is a welcome change to the format, today we take a look at some of our favorite cards that will be leaving us and how they have fared value wise during their time. Let’s start with the Scars Block.
Wurmcoil Engine was great. Quickly dubbed the sixth titan. This card was all the rage for quite some time, making its home in various decks at the time. This was one of the bomb rares to pull during you sealed Scars events, and one could secure victory if it lands on the field. Even as a prerelease card, Wurmcoil engine kept value during it’s overall lifetime in Standard. As you can see below, it fell for a brief period before surging back to an all time high when Innistrad was released. Time went by and the card settled at a healthy $10 during the end of it’s lifetime. It’s hard to say if it will keep value but I’m not sure it’s viability in the non Standard formats.
While Body and Minddid have some value throughout Standard, the other two swords were the most useful. Remember, this was during the Stoneforge Mystic days, meaning they could be searched for easily. Sword of Feast and Faminewas played in a good amount of control decks (caw blade for example). Protecting their guys from black removal and beating through a Primeval titan is always good, making them discard and untapping your lands make the card powerful. This card had a healthy start and really ramped up in value during the Innistrad block, maxing out at $40. The card is still popular in other formats so it’s price should be in the $10 range for a while.
Sword of War and Peacewas a bit of a late bloomer. While the potential was there, people were still excited about Feast and Famine and were playing that instead. Eventually, the protection from white and red became very relevant as the meta changed and the big life swing was determined very useful. The card has a brief spike in price before settling in the $20 range for about 6 months. After a few major tournament appearances, people scrambled to pick up their copies of a card mostly overlooked and drove the price up to $40 range for a few months. It was a great time to flip your extra copies. This should stay in the $10 range post rotation too. Both the swords were popular and saw standard play, with usually a rotation of one or the other, either in main decks or sideboards.
Phyrexian mana everywhere. This mechanic proved to be popular everywhere, as people learned that two life was a small price to pay. Mental Misstep was the big hyped card as it spread into other formats and became banned fairly quickly. It stayed around in Standard throughout it’s whole life cycle though. Dismember was the big card as it was splash able in any deck that needed the removal. Phyrexian mana cards of note include Surgical Extraction, Gut Shot, Phyrexian Metamorph, and the ever popular Birthing Pod (which saw a brief price spike during Innistrad as seen below). While some will find homes in Modern and Legacy, a few of the others will be out of commission now that they are out of Standard.
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite:
My personal favorite, Elesh Norn was a sleeper card for quite some time. In a world of 6 drop Titans, Elesh sat unused for 6 months before seeing a home. Showing up in the new Solar Flare and Esper Control decks, Elesh became a powerhouse card, ending opponents armies while allowing your team to come in for the kill. She was loved by her users and cursed by the opposing player and if she stayed on the field, she locked out a good amount of creature decks. As seen below, she was another great card that jumped in value and stayed high for a few months during standard. While she may not see much play outside of Standard, she should stay around the $10 range for other formats such as EDH and Cube.
The image was another great card whose potential was slowly realized as time went on. It started to shine when it’s interaction with Sun Titan allowed players to build a quick Titan team that could overrun the opponent. This was a key card in most Solar Flare and reanimation type decks. It’s other use, which may have been it’s most important, was to kill Geist of Saint Traft. Since the Giest has hexproof, the image provided a type of spot removal for the card at two mana. Other legendary creatures such as Elesh Norn were prime targets as well. Phantasmal Image saw play in decks such as Delver (for the mirror match) and Birthing Pod, and anywhere else that could splash a bit of blue. Financially, the card had a staircase climb in value before settling in the $10 – $15 range. While is has dropped below that, the card still can find a use in other formats.
Ponder, Birds of Paradise, Day of Judgement:
All these were Standard staples for some time and saw great use in their respective decks. Ponder was a cornerstone of Delver decks. Bird of Paradise made it’s home in ramp decks, and Day of Judgement was a control deck staple. While we have no new form of Ponder or Birds of Paradise in Standard at the moment, a new version of Day was created with a splash of blue.
We already did an article on the Titans earlier that can be found here. As for new Standard, there are a lot of exciting new cards to freshen up the format. Angel of Serenity is my current favorite. If you are looking to pick these up, this would be a good time, as they are at a low. We bid farewell to our old Standard favorites and how they find a new life and home in a different format. “Goodnight, you princes of Mirrodin, you kings of New Phyrexia.”