The Brothers’ War’s official release is coming this Friday, and players are quickly trying to figure out what the standout card from the set is. Every single one of the recent Standard expansions seems to have cards that overperform in competitive play. As a result, these chase cards skyrocket in price on the Secondary Market. In Dominaria United, we had Leyline Binding and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse. Streets of New Capenna brought with it Ledger Shredder and Unlicensed Hearse. Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty featured the Channel lands and The Wandering Emperor. With that in mind, what card will be the standout staple from The Brothers’ War? Well, early financial movements suggest that it will be the Portal to Phyrexia, the absurdly expensive artifact card.
Portal to Phyrexia
We had Portal to Phyrexia as our second pick on the Best Brothers’ War list we drew up, so we won’t be too surprised if these movements pan out. What we have right now is a huge opportunity. Portal to Phyrexia is definitely mid-spike at the moment, and Star City Games already has the full-art foil version of the card going for $60. It’s important to note here that other sites are pricing this card for significantly less, so there is a genuine chance you can find this card for much cheaper, but that may not last.
TCGplayer has some sales history with copies of this full-art foil card selling for as low as $20! A lot of cheaper sales for this card are selling out fast, so if you want to try taking advantage of this price differential, I would try to find a copy immediately. Do note that, at this point, there’s no guarantee that Portal to Phyrexia will climb to the $60 mark, but the forecast, plus current trends, do suggest that Portal to Phyrexia will, at worst, see a significant price spike. As pictured above, eBay sales are now asking for $70 for full-art copies of this card.
Why is this Climbing?
Portal to Phyrexia’s fate likely rests in the hands of how Shape Anew performs in the Modern metagame. This deck has been around for quite a while now, but Portal to Phyrexia finally offers the payoff that the deck needs to be competitive.
To be clear, the goal here is to turn a Treasure Token (or something of the sort) into Portal to Phyrexia with Shape Anew. Indomitable Creativity decks already exist within the format and are widely considered to be among the top decks for Modern. The advantage of Shape Anew over Indomitable Creativity is that the build-around factor is less severe. In order to ensure that Indomitable Creativity always hits Archon of Cruelty, you cannot put any creatures or artifacts into your deck other than the Archons themselves. You can run all the creatures you want for Shape Anew since it only cares about artifacts. Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, and the Evoke elementals like Solitude are some fantastic options that are unlocked by this difference.
Shape Anew is also seeing a financial increase due to this interaction. The card was worth 25 cents a few weeks ago but is now approaching $3. Trends indicate that this card isn’t entirely done increasing in price yet, but whether it keeps going or not will, once again, heavily depend on whether the card ends up being relevant in Modern or not. If Modern does end up taking to Shape Anew, it may be the best speculation of the entire article, as it currently only has one scarce printing.
Standard Extended Foil Cards Rarer Than Expected
As mentioned in our Collector Booster review for The Brothers’ War, Retro Artifacts are completely taking over Collector Booster packs. This, alongside dropping the price of Retro Artifacts, has resulted in actual full art foil cards from the Standard Brothers’ War set being rarer than usual. We may see a scenario where the foil full art version is twice as expensive as any of the other ones. At this point, players who want it for competitive play can buy it at cheaper prices.
Is Commander a Factor?
While I personally bought one of these as a thematic upgrade to Mishra’s Burnished Banner, Portal to Phyrexia is precisely the kind of silly nonsense that Commander players love. Play a gigantic artifact that blows stuff up and revives other stuff. I could easily see this having some Commander interest as a result, but not enough to affect the price in a significant way.
It’s tough to figure out whether this card will climb to its $60 price tag in all marketplace avenues, and I currently would not pay $60 for this card, but it does offer an interesting idea and a sort of silent alarm for any who do want this Brothers’ War chase card.