Just a few days in, Murders at Karlov Manor’s spoiler season has already revealed plenty of gems. With new draw engines, power crept cycles, and plenty of soon-to-be staples, the set is shaping up nicely. For another year in a row, it seems like Wizards’ are knocking their Q1 set out of the park.
Out of all the cards that have been revealed so far, few are as exciting as the new combo engines. Capable of ending games in an instant, these cards typically have immense multiformat potential. Even if they’re just a lot of fun, it’s not hard to get MTG players whipped up into a combo fever.
Should this happen, it’s not uncommon to see major movements within the MTG markets. As players snap up copies of the latest combo pieces, prices can spike to an insane degree. Thanks to newly revealed cards, we’re seeing this happen all over again.
Animation Module Is Spiking Hard!
During the debut stream for Murders at Karlov Manor, Wizards revealed Crime Novelist. Initially, this little Goblin seemed to be rather strong, however, ultimately not broken. Synergizing with Treasure and clue-heavy strategies, this card was a natural fit with Krenko, Baron of Tin Street.
Following this initially tempered excitement, some MTG players started to realize that Crime Novelist had some serious potential. In fact, when paired with Animation Module, Crime Novelist can generate infinite +1/+1 counters. If played correctly, this easily allows you to swing in for infinite damage and win in an instant.
To create this combo, all you need to do is have both Crime Novelist and Animation Module in play alongside a sacrifice engine. For this example, we’ll be using Ravenous Intruder as they’re a cheap, in-color option. In total, this combo can be played as early as turn three.
For the combo itself, it all starts by simply sacrificing an artifact with all the pieces in play. This action will give a +1/+1 counter to Crime Novelist and float one red mana. This mana can be spent on Animation Module’s trigger which creates a 1/1 Servo Artifact Token. From here, this token can be sacrificed to repeat the loop, giving Crime Novelist a +1/+1 counter each time.
Potentially be quite powerful in the Pioneer format, MTG players were quick to latch onto this combo. As a result, copies of Animation Module have been being snapped up incredibly quickly. Since this MTG card only has one printing, this has caused an incredible price spike.
A few days ago, Animation Module was worth just $0.74 on TCGplayer. Now, however, copies are selling for $3.71, with recent sales as high as $5!
More Combos to Watch Out For
While the effectiveness of the Crime Novelist combo has yet to be proven and does have some holes, it’s nonetheless interesting. The same is true of the latest, and potentially greatest, combo to hit Standard. Similarly boasting an impressive quick win, turn four in this case, Forensic Researcher has been turning heads.
On its own, this card is two parts of a three-card combo. Played alongside Deeproot Pilgrimage, these cards can easily generate an infinite army of 1/1 Merfolk. Unlike the Crime Novelist combo, without a board wipe or timely removal, this combo doesn’t need extra evasion or tricks. As a result of this, MTG players are once again excited.
While it hasn’t happened yet, Deeproot Pilgrimage is definitely a card to watch right now. For better or worse, since it’s still in print, this card from The Lost Caverns of Ixalan shouldn’t have major supply issues. That being said, however, there’s already been a flurry of demand as players race to pick up copies.
With over a hundred copies of Deeproot Pilgrimage having been picked up today alone, the supply may not last long. Before everything sells out, prices will likely rise a good deal too, however, there’s no predicting by how much. So far, it seems prices have only climbed by around $0.40 for near-mint copies.
Ultimately, while this combo is definitely exciting, it’s important to remember it is a Standard combo. Sure, it could be played within every format, but it’d have the most hope within Standard’s midrange-focused metagame. For better or worse, this means Deeproot Pilgrimage may not actually spike too hard. Since Standard is primarily played on MTG Arena, the paper demand for this card may be left lacking somewhat.
Special Guests Are Getting More Expensive?!
Alongside the combo fever currently sweeping the MTG markets, it seems interest in Special Guests is heating up. Recently revealed for Murders at Karlov Manor Play Boosters, these cards all feature gorgeous borderless artwork. Thanks to this new series reprinting some competitive staples, it seems that demand is already sky-high.
Seeing immense amounts of play within Modern, Crashing Footfalls isn’t an ultra-expensive card. Most of the time, MTG players will have to drop around $4.50 for each copy, which isn’t too bad. For players looking to splash out, foil copies sell for around $23, however, this may be the tip of the iceberg.
While we are looking a pre-release prices at the moment, the Special Guests variant of Crashing Footfalls has seen an immense rise. Once valued at just $5, copies are now selling for $20 on TCGplayer, with listings now set to $45! Thankfully, these are just pre-release prices, so nothing is set in stone yet, however, the demand is nonetheless evident.
To showcase this heightened demand further, we can look back at The Lost Caverns of Ixalan. Here, the set’s best Special Guests cards each sell for a premium compared to normal variants. For example Lord of Atlantis usually sells for around $7, however, the Special Guests variant is $17!
Thankfully, not every Special Guest card is selling for a massive premium. A few cards like Bridge from Below, for instance, routinely sell for less than a dollar. Despite this detail, thanks to the rarity of the Special Guests and their glorious artwork, it’s no surprise some are more expensive.