5, Jul, 23

New MTG Typal Deck Drives Bulk Rare Prices to Obscene Heights!

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Article at a Glance

One of the biggest financial stories of the Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth set is definitely the Nazgul. Its quite rare for an uncommon MTG card that one can open in Draft packs to see such vested financial interest. Even though I personally thought the hype around a collectible uncommon would have passed at this point, the market has proven me wrong.

Besides the Nazgul being super collectible, there appear to be other elements at play. In addition to the Nazgul hosting one of the more popular Commander mechanics out there, some serious interest in a Wraith Typal synergy is driving the prices of multiple cards!

The Nazgul Just Keep Going Up

Despite the official release for Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth passing, the Nazgul have only kept increasing in price. At $20 on the high-end of the spectrum, these Nazgul can be disgustingly expensive for an uncommon card. According to TCGplayer’s market averages and recent sales, players should be expecting to pay at least $13 for a copy of these guys.

As a quick recap, there are nine different Nazgul available in the core set. This collectibility is the biggest reason why each individual Nazgul card has such an irregular price for a draftable uncommon. These cards also appear to have special slotting in Collector Booster product, making the foil iterations rarer pulls than expected.

On the topic of foils, the multiplier for foil Nazgul cards are stronger than expected. You should be expecting to pay at least $20 for a foil Nazgul, regardless of the copy. Prices do, however, rise to $40 in extreme circumstances.

Either way, we’ve talked about the collectibility of the Nazgul extensively before. With the amount of product released and opened, however, many may imagine that the price of the cards would have normalized at this point. It turns out that the Nazgul may have ignited another interest that has it, and other cards that share a Typal nature with it, increasing in price.

The Nine Nazgul in Commander

Wizards of the Coast went out of their way to try and capture the essence of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. This allows for some incredibly flavorful aspects to make their way into the cards. In the case of the Nazgul, there are nine different ones in the lore, which has been honored by Magic via allowing nine Nazgul into your deck. This supersedes the usual limit of four copies of a nonbasic land card in constructed decks and a single copy of a nonbasic land card in Commander decks.

This mechanic definitely leads to a price increase for cards affected. Generally, cards like Shadowborn Apostle and Relentless Rats have no limit to the number allowed in a deck, but this has proven to be a tool that Commander players love.

The biggest change in a mechanical sense for the Nazgul having this mechanic is how powerful they are in a Wraith Typal setting. Because the Nazgul’s buff ability is not based off of it entering the battlefield, but instead based off of one being Tempted by The Ring, each Nazgul will trigger every time one enters the battlefield and is Tempted by The Ring. If you have three on-board for example, one Nazgul entering will give three +1/+1 counters to each Wraith in play. Add in a card like Call of The Ring to the mix, and you have an absurd board presence.

Read More: The Most Collectible MTG Card Has Yet Another Valuable Variant!

Wraith Typal

This leads us to the crux of the other source of these cards, and many other’s sudden price increases: Wraith Typal is getting popular. Lord of the Nazgul is an obvious Commander for this archetype since it has a payoff that creates Wraiths while buffing all of your Wraiths if a condition is met.

This Commander also helps shore up another issue with the Wraith Typal archetype. If you include all nine Nazgul that can currently go in a Commander deck, there are only 19 creatures who have the Wraith creature type. A lot of these creatures, like Dirtwater Wraith, are incredibly unimpressive to boot.

Fortunately, Lord of the Nazgul shores this up by being a spellslinger Commander. As we’ve mentioned previously, this deck may become somewhat formulaic, but the ability to produce a Wraith off of an instant or sorcery cast should help shore up the lack of playable on-theme threats.

As you may imagine, this has also caused the Lord of the Nazgul to see a serious price increase. Thanks to this card being the best Commander for a hot new archetype, the base version of the card available in the Hosts of Mordor preconstructed deck is up to about $9 on average. The card has about tripled in price from mid-June.

Extended art variants of the Lord of the Nazgul have seen an even sharper financial increase, rising from $3.50 to about $14 over the same length of time.

Other Wraiths Jumping in Price

Even some of the weaker Wraiths that appeared in the new Lord of the Rings set are going up at absurd rates. Don’t get me wrong, there are other collectibility issues at play, but the Wraith subtype is still a factor to consider.

We went over the Ringwraiths in great detail in our recent financial roundup. The rarer versions of this card initially saw a price jump thanks to scarcity of copies, but now the base version is seeing an increase. Because this card is a Jumpstart rare, it is not available in Draft product. That said, the card is relatively easy to open in Jumpstart product.

The rise in interest for Wraith Typal decks is likely to have a larger impact on the base version of the card. Its probably not the only reason the card is going up, but it is a reason.

Either way, both the Ringwraiths and the Nazgul synergize well with Ring Tempting effects. If this is a subtheme in your Wraiths matter deck (and it probably should be), there could be some serious interest in adding this card to the deck. For six mana, however, even with the rebuyability considered, this is not a great card. A cantrip like Consider alongside The Lord of the Nazgul may just be a better inclusion, but it will be less flavorful.

Multiple Witch-kings

Following a similar nature is the Witch-king, Bringer of Ruin. This card’s spike is also likely a mix between demand and collectibility. only available in the Lord of the Rings Starter Kit, the Witch-king of Ruin is both difficult to acquire and is a flavorful inclusion into a Wraith Typal deck featuring the Nazgul. Otherwise, however, the card is not great.

Paying six mana for a big flier that doesn’t acquire immediate value is, in my opinion, not where you want to be in Commander. At a table where a lot of your opponents aren’t running heavy amounts of removal, Witch-king, Bringer of Ruin becomes a lot more relevant. Causing a defending player to sacrifice their smallest creature is no joke. Should you have reliable ways to give this creature Haste, it becomes even more deadly.

As mentioned in our previous roundup, the Witch-king, Bringer of Ruin has seen a serious increase in price over the last few weeks. Worth only $3 in the middle of June, the card has jumped to $15.

The Stronger Option

For six mana, however, there are much better things to be doing, even in-theme. The Witch-king of Angmar from the main set not only costs a mana less to cast, but offers a much more threatening ability. For five mana, you get access to a very difficult-to-remove flier that heavily discourages opponents from attacking you. Should they deal combat damage with a creature, they will have to sacrifice one of the creatures that dealt combat damage to you while you get Tempted by The Ring. This will offer a universal buff to all your Wraiths for each Nazgul in play.

Even though this copy of the Witch-king is a stronger card for a cheaper mana value, it still isn’t worth as much as the starter kit exclusive. Coming in at around $10, if you only want to include one of these cards in your deck, the Witch-king of Angmar is the better choice. It is more powerful, cheaper to cast and cheaper to buy.

Read More: Top 10 Most Expensive Cards in an LOTR Collector Booster!

Old Wraith Cards

Older cards with the Wraith subtype are also increasing in price, which is a strong indicator that the Wraith Typal decks are indeed influencing the secondary market. Canoptek Wraith is up to about $5 from just 22 cents at the beginning of the month. Bog Wraith, a terrible card, while not seeing a price increase is starting to sell in multiples of 10 per order. Odylic Wraith is seeing similar treatments.

The point here is that Wraith Typal is having a serious impact on the secondary market. There are a lot of other factors at play with many of these cards, but this Commander archetype should by on your radar. If you want to build this now, versus a few months from now should the hype die down, you may be paying a premium on your Wraith cards.

Read More: Top 11 MTG Most Expensive Mythic Rares: July 2023

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