30, Nov, 23

MTG Unban Speculation Bumps Up Price of Fortnite Card!

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Partially due to a lack of other news, one big announcement has rocked the MTG community. Yesterday, it was announced during WeeklyMTG over on Twitch that the ban announcement next week will not feature the mundane ‘no changes’ that erects endless groans from the MTG community. Something is actually going to change.

The affected formats have been confirmed to be Pioneer and Modern. While players do not know exactly what is changing in those formats yet, we do have a few cryptic hints. Geological Appraiser in Pioneer appears to have a target on its back, and Karn, the Great Creator, despite the namesake deck being rather harmless at the moment, may also get the boot.

In Modern, Rakdos Scam and Up the Beanstalk strategies have been identified to be a concern. Orcish Bowmasters keeping one toughness creatures out of the format is also on Wizards’ radar.

What will ultimately be banned? Will anything be unbanned? No one really knows. That said, this hasn’t stopped players from speculating, and one speculation has a particular Universes Beyond card spiking in price. The Fortnite Battle Bus may soon become a competitive staple.

The Fortnite Battle Bus may soon become a competitive staple

Soon, you may be knocked out of your competitive bouts by a goofy Battle Bus held up by an even goofier hot air balloon. It was only a matter of time until Spider-Man and Captain America swung into older formats anyway thanks to the upcoming Marvel crossover, so this may be less unrealistic than you think.

Getting serious for a moment, the Fortnite Battle Bus is not a mechanically unique card. This is instead a sort of ‘skin’ for Smuggler’s Copter. Smuggler’s Copter is an incredibly powerful MTG card that has ended up on a few ban lists. Right now, the card is banned in Pioneer.

If Pioneer sees an unban, many players speculate that Smuggler’s Copter is the most realistic thing to come back. The card does seem powerful enough to see play in Pioneer’s current state, but does not seem to be overpowered in any way, shape or form. Multiple decks in the format, including Hidden Strings, Rona Combo, Jeskai Ascendancy and the infamous Discover combo are all able to end games as early as turn three. What the heck is this vehicle going to do about that?

Smuggler’s Copter, however, would undeniably give some consistency to creature-based decks. An early clock combined with Looting potential helps you find the cards you need to maximize your curve. Alternatively, you can find your hate pieces for specific strategies that may be attacking from an angle that you cannot handle.

In preparation for a potential unban of Smuggler’s Copter, many MTG players are starting to load up on copies of the card. The Fortnite Battle Bus just so happens to fit under that umbrella.

As a result, Smuggler’s Copter has increased in price. Even though the spike has picked up in recent times, the Battle Bus iteration of Smuggler’s Copter has been spiking since September. Initially worth about $4.25 and $5 for its nonfoil and foil variations respectively, the Battle Bus is now going for between $6 and $7 for both variants according to recent sales. That said, outliers have these cards selling for much more, floating around $15.

If the novelty of smacking the opponent with a tricked out school bus doesn’t appeal to you, it appears that a lot of money can be saved. The normal variants of Smuggler’s Copter Kaladesh and Commander: Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty are all going for a dollar or less, but are beginning to peak over a dollar. If Smuggler’s Copter does end up getting unbanned in Pioneer, these prices aren’t likely to stay the same.

Read More: Upcoming MTG Ban Announcement is the Perfect Opportunity for Much-Needed Change!

What About Other Unban Speculative Cards?

While many players pin Smuggler’s Copter as the most likely to see an unban in the Pioneer format, that’s not the only card getting some financial attention as a result of speculation. Kethis, the Hidden Hand, Inverter of Truth and more are seeing higher levels of attention thanks to unban speculation. Whether they will (or even should) get unbanned, however, is a very different story.

Splinter Twin | Rise of the Eldrazi
Splinter Twin | Rise of the Eldrazi

Over in Modern, similar things are starting to happen. Splinter Twin, in particular, goes through a cycle every time a ban announcement comes up, and the promising of changes to Modern and Pioneer has not exactly moderated this.

Many players think that Splinter Twin could harmlessly be unbanned in Modern, and I am inclined to agree. A four mana sorcery speed Aura is rather difficult to utilize in the current state of Modern, especially with multiple zero mana answers like Force of Negation and Solitude available for opponents to squander your win attempt.

Green Sun’s Zenith is another MTG card that some players speculate could be unbanned over in Modern. This is following some discussion from Wizards of the Coast, where they suggest that the card could be unbanned with little consequence.

Personal Thoughts

For any who are curious about what I would advise for bans or unbans, here is what I would suggest: just buy the cards you’re getting really excited about for unbans and, unless you’re preparing for the upcoming Regional Championship in the U.S., don’t worry about the rest of it. Even if your cards don’t get unbanned next week, who’s to say they won’t get unbanned some time down the road?

Mono Green may not be as good as it once was, but the deck will likely still function in some way or another. If you bought into the Discover hype, you may be out of luck.

I do think, however, that Wizards of the Coast should consider banning Treasure Cruise in Pioneer. It’s not what I personally want to see, as it would impact my deck’s good graces by weaking its best matchup, but Phoenix is absolutely everywhere at the moment. Alternatively, while I really hope Lotus Field doesn’t kick the bucket, it’s not an entirely unrealistic option if the objective of this ban announcement is to shake up the format.

I also want to see Kethis get unbanned in Pioneer, but would advise against it for the sake of the format’s health. Combo players would be in paradise, but it may be at the expense of the rest of the format.

I am also of the opinion that, while Discover is an incredibly unhealthy play pattern for Pioneer, the deck is not overpowered. The issue instead is what strategies that a one-card turn three combo pushes out of the format. The deck is very beatable, but at what cost?

If you want to read more about our ban and unban thoughts coming into the next ban announcement, you can do so here.

Read More: Controversial Lord Of The Rings MTG Card Explodes In Price, Surpassing $100!

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