Herald of Hoofbeats | March of the Machine Commander | Art by Randy Vargas
21, Jun, 24

Obscure MTG Horsemanship Card Jumps Over 500% In Price!

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In a week dominated by the sparkling novelty of Assassin’s Creed spoilers, it’s comforting to know that the MTG world is ticking over as normal elsewhere. Players are brewing new decks, jamming jank in Commander pods, and speculating on long-forgotten cards as usual. Sometimes, this speculation turns out to be well-founded. Herald of Hoofbeats, a niche MTG card from March of the Machine’s Commander decks, has proved that this week.

Alongside Herald of Hoofbeats, this week’s other market movements have been traditionally spikey. Subsequently, if you’re planning to read on, you best be careful. You may just cut yourself on these ultra-sharp price spikes.

Herald Of Hoofbeats

Herald of Hoofbeats MTG | March of the Machine Commander

The big MTG finance story this week is, of course, Herald of Hoofbeats. This is a fairly recent card, debuting in last year’s March of the Machine Commander decks. It’s a 3/3 Human Knight with Horsemanship, which also grants your other Knights Horsemanship as well.

Even if you’re an experienced player, you likely haven’t seen this mechanic before. Horsemanship hails from Magic’s Portal sets, where it essentially served as an alternate version of Flying. Since the mechanic was never really used again, however, it proved to be quite parasitic in nature. In practice, this is actually a good thing. With so few Horsemanship creatures about, your creatures with the mechanic will be essentially unblockable.

Thanks to a couple of nice Knight support cards in Assassin’s Creed, most notably Haytham Kenway, players are speculating on this card for Commander. That makes a lot of sense since it’s a card with just one printing that could be a serious player in a popular Typal deck. Over the past week, the card has spiked from around $1 to around $5 on average: a jump of over 500%. Copies are selling on TCGPlayer for as high as $9, too, so it could go higher still in the days to come.

This is a classic case of a powerful single-printing card going unnoticed until a key support piece comes along. Anybody playing a Knight or Changeling deck is going to want a copy of this card, and the low supply is going to keep its price high for the foreseeable.

Calamity Of The Titans

Calamity of the Titans | Commander Masters

It wouldn’t be a post-Modern Horizons 3 finance update without a mention of Eldrazi now, would it? The huge influx of support for Magic’s biggest colorless deck is a rising tide that has lifted many boats. Calamity of the Titans included. This is a fairly straightforward colorless wrath spell, exiling all creatures and planeswalkers that cost less than a revealed colorless creature in your hand.

Given the huge cost of most Eldrazi, this can clean up the entire board in many cases. Just reveal an Emrakul and ruin everyone’s day, simple as. Alternatively, you can reveal a cheaper Eldrazi and deal with the more aggressive players at the table, sparing your own midrange Eldrazi from a trip to the Blind Eternities.

Board wipes are near-mandatory in Commander, and now that Eldrazi decks are taking up more of the format Calamity is shooting to the top of many wishlists. So much so that the card has jumped from around $3 to around $13 in the last week. Like Herald of Hoofbeats, this is a card with just one printing, so supply is not particularly generous. Unless people start shunning Eldrazi players en masse from their stores, this card will be in demand for a good while yet.

Skittering Cicada

Skittering Cicada | Commander Masters

The Eldrazi love doesn’t stop there, oh no. One of the other financial success stories of the week is Skittering Cicada, a lovely support piece for any colorless-focused deck. For three mana, it’s a 2/2 with Flash that grants your other colorless spells Flash too. The spells distinction is very important here. Cicada will not only let you cast your Eldrazi at instant speed but their support cards too. Calamity of the Titans included.

This alone would probably be enough, but Cicada has some extra sauce on top. Each time you cast a colorless spell, this humble Insect gets a boost based on its mana value, and Trample to boot. Given how regularly Eldrazi decks drop seven+ mana threats, this makes Cicada legitimately terrifying, on multiple axes.

This card is in an eerily similar boat to Calamity of the Titans. Both are great in Eldrazi decks, and both have just one printing in Commander Masters. For that reason, thanks to its new MH3 demand, what was once a $4 card is now closer to $16 in many cases. That’s a huge jump, no matter how good the card is in Eldrazi decks.

In the case of both this card and Calamity, it’s worth taking a moment to think about their long-term viability. On the one hand, Commander is Magic’s most popular format, and demand from there is a legitimate source of spikes like these. On the other, Eldrazi is currently the flavor of the month, so there’s likely some artificial inflation on these prices due to hype. I’d recommend holding off for a bit if you’re unsure about picking these cards up. They’ll almost certainly settle down shortly.

Ashes Of The Fallen

Ashes of the Fallen | Saviors of Kamigawa

Let’s wrap things up with a real blast from the past. Ashes of the Fallen is a bizarre artifact from Saviors of Kamigawa, printed for the first and only time 19 years ago. For two mana it lets you choose a creature type, then sets all creatures in your graveyard to that type. Sounds niche enough to be beneath the notice of most players. Thanks to a new Modern Horizons 3 Commander card, however, it’s on the rise in a big way.

For those unaware, Disa the Restless, one of the set’s face Commanders, has an ability that brings your Lhurgoyf creatures back from the graveyard if they go there from anywhere other than the battlefield. Normally, this is a fun payoff for running a niche typal deck. With Ashes of the Fallen, however, it becomes a terrifying engine that can enable all manner of shenanigans.

Name Lhurgoyf with Ashes, and suddenly all your self-Mill and discard effects let you cheat creatures into play. This works particularly well with big chonkers, but even smaller utility creatures are great to hit with this. This single card boosts the power level of the Graveyard Overdrive precon considerably, and it’s price is starting to reflect that.

Just a week ago this card was only $5. Still a sizable price, due to its scarcity, but nothing crazy. Now, a single copy will cost you around $13, representing a spike of nearly 300%. Unlike the three cards above, Ashes isn’t the kind of card that can slot easily into a future set or Commander product. It’s very old and very weird, and for that reason, I can see this one holding its value in the long term. It may even go higher still, as players experiment with a card they likely hadn’t heard of before now in other strategies.

Read More: The Best MTG Reprints in Assassin’s Creed

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