Commander, for the most part, seems to have a grasp over the MTG secondary market this week. While the two biggest trending cards are constructed ones (one of those we talked about recently), there are a series of bulk rare cards that can no longer, reasonably, have the ‘bulk’ title attached to their identifiers. We’ll start and end with two outlier cards that are making headlines, but Cephalid Illusionist is suggesting that the recent Legacy bans are making a significant impact.
Shining Shoal up from $1 to $18!?
For those wondering why this bizarre rare is increasing in price, we discussed it in detail recently. Basically, a new Modern deck is out in full force, and Shining Shoal is one of the main cards that makes the deck tick. Notably, Shining Shoal only has one printing from Betrayers of Kamigawa. As we’ve seen traditionally from price spikes, it’s really easy for cards that only have one scarce printing to explode in price once demand increases.
As mentioned, this card has suddenly spiked from $1 to $18 following its massive success in Magic Online tournaments. You can find copies of the card selling for a bit less than $18, as is the case for most cards experiencing a spike. That said, many financial outlets have this card at $18 post-spike, so players interested in picking this up may want to do so while you can still get one for under that price.
When we last discussed the White aggro deck shaking things up, it was only beginning to impact prices, but there are some stronger, much more noticeable fluctuations appearing nowadays. Chancellor of the Annex and Emeria’s Call are the primary enablers used alongside Shining Shoal to deflect massive amounts of damage in the mono-white aggro deck. Emeria’s Call has since increased from about $5.50 to as high as $14 over the course of February and early March. This, notably, also sees occasional EDH play and can be played in ‘Oops, all spells’ archetypes, but those decks tend to use the Zendikar Rising lands in other colors.
Chancellor of the Annex, on the other hand, has begun to see very slight price increases, but not enough to tip the scales in terms of its overall price. This card, if anything, has become very erratic in sales, selling for anywhere between $2 and $8.
Norn’s Decree is a new Commander card available in the Ixhel preconstructed deck. Poison counters have been the name of the game for many EDH cards rising in price over the past few weeks. This particular card has been seeing increased levels of play alongside decks that care about Poison counters. Those, namely, being Ixhel, Atraxa, and Skrelv decks.
Norn’s Decree has a level of political power to it that gives the card a lot more value than may be hidden under the surface. Norn’s Decree, while granting players Poison counters to further your gameplan, also incentivizes your opponents to attack one another for card advantage. This means that players are less likely to attack you unless you’re a clear threat, and are less likely to blow up the enchantment giving them card advantage.
In terms of price, Norn’s Decree has gone up from about $1.50 to $3.50 over the past few days following a surge in demand. Since this spike is incredibly fresh, it’s not unreasonable to speculate a further jump. That said, prices don’t seem to be surging ahead of the $3.50 mark as of the writing of this article.
Descent into Avernus
This bizarre Battle from Baldur’s Gate bulk rare is seeing an uptick in price. This, notably, synergizes very well with multiple cards and mechanics in the Phyrexia: All Will Be One set. These include the Proliferate mechanic and Solphim, Mayhem Dominus. The card is also quite strong in Auntie Blyte, Bad Influence decks.
In terms of price, Descent into Avernus spiked from the $1 range from early January to about $3 nowadays. That said, sales for this card suggest that the card is still highly unstable. The card is selling for anywhere between $1.75 to $20. The $20 sale is a significant outlier, however, and most sales only go as high as $6. That said, there could be a further spike here.
Cephalid Illusionist Signals Legacy Changes
This price spike has a bit more context than the other ones mentioned here. If you missed it, some new cards were banned a few days ago in the Legacy format. These cards are, namely, White Plume Adventurer, another Baldur’s Gate rare, and Expressive Iteration.
In terms of price, Cephalid Illusionist has one of the heaviest price spikes of all. This card is up from 25 cents to, as an outlier, $6.50 – a 2500% price spike! As mentioned, the $6.50 price is a bit of an outlier. The card is typically selling for anywhere between $2.30 and $5 in near-mint condition, but this spike is incredibly fresh, suggesting that further price increases could be in the works.
White Plume Adventurer and Expressive Iteration were both a massive part of the format’s best decks: Mono White Initiative and Izzet Delver, respectively. Since both cards have been banned, it seems like new archetypes are getting more popular, and Cephalid Illusionist is the key card to one of those archetypes.
Cephalid Breakfast is an archetype that repetitively uses combos that target Cephalid Illusionist to mill the owner’s entire deck. From there, they can cast Thassa’s Oracle through the Necromeba and Dread Return combo to resurrect their Oracle from the graveyard, winning the game. This archetype was already viable pre-ban and stands to become a lot more powerful now that Legacy’s two best archetypes have been knocked down a peg. It’ll take time to tell whether this will rise to become a new pillar, however.