Welcome back to my financial set review of Innistrad Midnight Hunt. If you missed the first part, where I talked about amazing cards like Arlinn, the Pack's Hope and Wrenn and Seven, be sure to check that out by following the link below:
As you read through my article today, you might notice that I haven't actually reviewed every single rare in the set like I normally do. Due to WotC speeding up preview season and releasing so many new sets each year, it's becoming more and more difficult to cover every single card in detail! If I were to cover each card in Midnight Hunt with the level of rigor that I demand of myself, you'd be waiting until the week after release to learn my thoughts on some of the set's key rares and mythics. That seems suboptimal.
Moving forward, most of my set reviews will go into detail on every single mythic, plus all of the "chase" rares that are currently selling for at least a couple of bucks. Let's be honest — these are the cards that you need to make informed financial decisions about right now, anyway. My hope will be to cover the set's bulk rares in a future article, either as part of my Buyers' Guide or in their own article after release. This is the best way for me to get you the most important intel as quickly as I can. I hope it leads to even more useful, more streamlined set reviews going forward.
At any rate, Innistrad: Midnight Hunt seems awesome. The flavor is off the hook, and my guess is that it will have quite a few Standard and Commander staples without being overpowered and oppressive like most of the sets rotating out of Standard this month. I love the set's chase mythics, and there are a couple of unbelievably good utility rares that I'm picking up ASAP so I don't miss out. Which cards are they? You'll have to read on to find out.
Just like with Wrenn and Seven, you're going to have to pay a premium if you want to buy into a Teferi card during the pre-order period. There have simply been too many powerful Azorius-colored Teferis over the past five years for this one to start off at an affordable rate. Make sure you keep that in mind as I tell you my thoughts on Teferi, Who Slows the Sunset.
I love Teferi, Who Slows the Sunset. It's not the kind of card you build around in Standard, and it's definitely not going to see any Modern play, but it's an absolute home run in Commander. That emblem is Commander gold, and getting to untap a land and artifact (think signets or Sol Ring) in that format is far better than it is in Standard. This card's interaction with The Chain Veil is off the you-know-what, and I'd expect that card to tick up a bit over the coming days as people figure that out.
I also expect that Teferi, Who Slows the Sunset will see at least a little bit of Standard play. It's not as powerful as the other two format-dominating Teferis, sure, but it's quite good as a role player in Bant-style decks, and probably Azorius Control as well.
Right now, Teferi, Who Slows the Sunset is pre-selling for more than $20, and I'm probably not buying in at that rate. I wouldn't be shocked if it trends up over the next few weeks as hype builds, so it's not a bad deal, especially since it has a high floor due to Commander play. I just think that too many people are expecting this to be as powerful as the last couple of Azorius-colored Teferis, and it's not. I'm going to wait and try to buy in at some point in October instead.
I am very high on the entire adversary cycle, and that includes Bloodthirsty Adversary. The base rare of a 2/2 with haste for 1R is eminently playable in an aggressive red deck, and it scales up to Goblin Dark-Dwellers from there. If the game gets super late and you've got a couple of burn spells in your graveyard, this becomes an outstanding topdeck that you can use to finish the game. There simply aren't that many game situations where you're ever going to hate drawing Bloodthirsty Adversary, and that's the mark of a top tier playable to me.
In Standard, I would be shocked if Bloodthirsty Adversary isn't a 4-of in a good deck. It has a shot in Modern, too, though it obviously has a lot more competition there. It's okay in Commander, though very few decks care about being aggressive. If you're a Standard player, especially a red mage, snag these at release — it's a good card that should see significant competitive play for years to come. Spec-wise, I'm still not excited about picking up anything that doesn't see significant eternal or Commander play. Once FNM play is back in all its glory, however, I wouldn't be shocked to see this one spike. Since it's pre-selling for less than $10, it feels like a decent buy at current retail.
I know I just said I was high on the entire adversary cycle, and I am, but I do think that Primal Adversary is the worst of the five. If this card sees play in Standard, it'll likely be because there's a critical mass of Wolves and/or midrange green beaters. There's a lot more competition at the three-drop slot, too. The fact that this has trample and late game upside definitely makes it playable, and I do think it'll show up here and there, but it feels like less of a sure thing to remain a perpetual staple over this set's 2-year life cycle in Standard. I also don't think it's playable at all in Modern or Commander. Snag a set if you want to use them, but don't worry about it otherwise.
It's so interesting to me that Sigardian Savior isn't generating any buzz despite Revillark being an incredibly powerful card back in its day. Granted, the game has come a long way since then, and it's a lot harder to combo off Sigardian Savior since you can't reanimate it and two other creatures, but this still has some potential as a three-for-one curve topper in the right Standard deck. It might also see a touch of Commander play as well, though there are quite a few other Revillark and Sun Titan cards in that format. There's a little financial upside here if Sigardian Savior ends up seeing some Standard play after all, but I'm not betting on that. There are other speculative gambles in this set that I like more.
Wow, what a spicy card. Giving every instant and sorcery in your graveyard flashback is just awesome, and you will win most gameswhen you untap with Lier, Disciple of the Drowned. The issue, of course, is that you can't back it up with countermagic at all. Lier is definitely a solid sideboard card against a countermagic-heavy opponent too, but I honestly think that his first ability is going to be a drawback in most decks that want to run it. After all, a generic 3/4 is pretty hard to protect, especially since it has the biggest bull's-eye in history on it. It might show up in Standard or even Modern, but I'm honestly pretty skeptical. Those formats tend to be faster than this.
Commander is a different story. This card is incredible in Magic's most popular format, where the drawback is less of a big deal and the upside is even higher. The community seems pretty excited about Lier, too, though the EDHREC data doesn't back that up the way I thought it would after reading the Commander forums and subreddit.
My guess is that Lier's current price is being propped up a little by competitive potential. After all, this is a creature with an incredibly powerful text box. If that potential fails to materialize, you should be able to buy in under $10 as a longer-term Commander spec. That's when I'm hoping to act myself. Cards with unique abilities like this tend to hold their value well.
Sidenote: Odyssey rare Catalyst Stone has spiked this week thanks to Lier hype in Commander. While I expect it to come down from its peak, as these spikes always tend to do, the card is definitely great alongside Lier in Commander. If you're in the market, I'd hold off for a week or two and let things settle down. If not, list your spare copies ASAP.
Lord of the Forsaken is probably too expensive to see any competitive play. I suppose it might have some use in a Reanimator deck in some eternal format, where you can chain this into an Eldrazi or something, but that's about it. This is primarily a commander card, and it's a solid one at that. You probably aren't playing Lord of the Forsaken unless you're planning to go infinite with it, but it's Commander — going infinite is part of the fun for a lot of folks.
Lord of the Forsaken is flying pretty low under the financial radar right now, so you should be able to snag copies for less than $5 if you're patient. This seems like a solid price, since it'll be a Commander favorite for quite some time. I'm gonna snag a few of these on release weekend for sure.
I adore Jerren, Corrupted Bishop. You're not going to hit the back side very often, but it's still fun to shoot for, especially in Commander. Good thing that doesn't matter much. 3/4 worth of power for 3 is solid in black, especially across two creatures, and Jerren's two abilities are both quite solid. Financially, token-based cards tend to do quite well, as do potential Aristocrats enablers. That gives Jerren some upside that a lot of the other cards on this list lack.
While I doubt this is good enough for Modern, Jerren should see enough Standard and Commander play to generate more demand than I'm seeing for it right now. This is a release weekend pickup for me for sure, and it has solid $15 upside. Definitely some sleeper potential here.
It doesn't take much for a non-basic land to see play, especially one that doesn't enter the battlefield tapped, since the drawback of including one in your deck is so low. Hostile Hostel tests my patience quite a bit, though. I'd love this card if you could sacrifice creatures at instant speed, but this is a pretty mediocre sac effect with an equally mediocre payoff. It might see a little play here and there, but this has the look of a bulk mythic to me.
I love me an ooze, but Consuming Blob is probably going to join a long, long line of cards like this that just aren't good enough. It helps that it replicates on the turn you play it, but it only makes one copy per turn no matter what, and it's probably never going to be all that big. Five mana for a creature with no evasion or protection is also a hard sell these days. Looks like a future bulk mythic to me.
Cards that rely on parasitic mechanics are always dicey propositions, especially since you're really hoping that your opponent is the one making it day and night and day again so that you can recur your Sunstreak Phoenix. It might end up in the sideboard of a Standard deck at some point, but this has future bulk mythic written all over it.
Let's end our jaunt through Midnight Hunt's mythic rares with a card that should see plenty of play in Standard and Commander. The Meathook Massacre is going to have problems getting rid of large creatures, so it's no replacement for unconditional board wipes, but it's an absolutely excellent way to get rid of smaller creatures and tokens. The life drain is a major part of the package here too, making it perfect for Aristocrats-style decks. While all board wipes have a lot of competition in Commander, I've seen a ton of hype for this one due to how easily it kills tokens and how big the life swing is going to be most of the time. Teysa Karlov, Massacre Girl, Grismold, the Dreadsower, and so, so, so many other popular Commander brews are going to run The Meathook Massacre as a board wipe, an enabler, or even as a win condition.
While I don't think that The Meathook Massacre is powerful enough for Modern play, this is definitely a card that I suspect will be a 4-of in Standard as well as a sought-after Commander staple. It should remain one of the most expensive mythics in the set, so feel free to buy in when you feel the time is right. If you want a copy ASAP, snag it opening weekend. Otherwise, hold off for the end-of-year slump.
Some cards are obvious Standard staples, and Fateful Absence is about as obvious as it gets. It's a two-mana instant that can destroy any creature or planeswalker. That's absurd. I know that it gives your opponent a clue and might eventually set them up to beat you out on raw card advantage, but I also don't think it matters. This card is absurd. It will see play in most of the Standard decks that can run it for the next two years, as well as Pioneer and Historic. It's very good, and you don't need me to tell you that.
Financially, Fateful Absence is hurt by the fact that it has a lot of competition in both Commander and Modern. It might see some play in both formats, but there are other options on the table. Since Standard has taken a bit of a backseat at the moment, Fateful Absence's upside is limited. Five years ago, this would be a $15 to $20 card straight out of the gate. Right now, you can pick up as many copies as you want for $5 on the TCGplayer marketplace.
As I've said many times over the course of this set review, I don't recommend speculating on Standard-only cards right now. If you're a Standard player, though? Grab a set. Why not? It's $20 for a playset of staples that you will want to have access to from now until the day they rotate. Targeted removal does not get much better than this, at least not in Standard, so snagging them now is totally fine. I can't imagine you'll regret the decision, even if the card spends time in the $2 to $3 range here and there.
Malevolent Hermit // Benevolent Geist
Malevolent Hermit is a cool card, but I think it's being somewhat overrated right now. It seems solid in control mirrors, but on-board tricks are always so much worse, and giving your opponent a small creature to use their otherwise-dead targeted removal spells on could actually set you back over the course of the game. I like it far more in a Mono-Blue or Azorius Tempo deck, but it's unclear whether such a deck materializes. If so, Malevolent Hermit should end up being a solid Standard card. If not, it might slip through the cracks. Since I don't see any demand for Malevolent Hermit in either Commander or Modern right now, I'm staying away until the price drops.
Siphon Insight is going to lead to some really fun plays, but I don't think it'll happen much at the top tables in any competitive format. The rate on this card isn't much better than Think Twice, and the fact that you're getting random stuff off the top of your opponent's library instead of your own cards, which synergize with your strategies, pushes this out of the realm of playability for me. I want to live in a world where this is good, but I just don't see it. Not even the Commander community seems psyched. I'm staying away until or unless I'm proven wrong.
Reckless Stormseeker // Storm-Charged Slasher
Reckless Stormseeker should see Standard play if a Gruul Werewolves deck materializes. I expect that it will, so I think that this card is ticketed for use as a future format role-player. Outside of that particular deck, I'm not sure that Reckless Stormseeker has a home. It's a tad slow for Mono-Red Aggro, it's definitely too slow for Modern, and it's too aggressive for Commander. Snag a few copies if you want to use them, and feel free to ignore otherwise.
Memory Deluge is one of the strongest mid-game draw spells ever printed. It's not quite Dig Through Time, admittedly, but it's arguably stronger than Fact or Fiction and it should see quite a bit of play across multiple formats. Commander doesn't care much about stuff like this, but Memory Deluge is a Standard staple that should see play in Modern as well. Every blue-based control and ramp deck will at least consider running Memory Deluge, and I'd recommend snagging a set ASAP. I know we only have a few days of sales data so far, but check out this chart:
More people are playing with Memory Deluge, figuring out what it can do, and buying copies. As they are, the price is going up. The fact that you can still get a full playset for around $10 is wild to me, and I'm going to be buying my personal set as soon as I've finished writing this paragraph.
Slogurk, the Overslime is a rad card that might actually see some play in Modern. Stick this in a deck that already has a bunch of fetchlands and self-mill, and it can get very scary very quickly. Slogurk should also see a little play in Commander, where the ability to recur lands will shine due to the fact that games in that format tend to be longer and grindier. I don't think that Slogurk is nearly as strong in Standard, where there are far fewer enablers to pair with it.
Financially, cards like this rarely pop off unless they end up defining a new kind of deck. It's a non-mythic rare in a Standard-legal set, so if it does end up in a Modern deck, it won't be the bottleneck — some other, harder-to-find card from that deck will spike instead. It would be different if Slogurk also took off in Standard or Commander, but I don't think that's likely to happen. Feel free to snag copies, but I'm going to try to hold out for the $1 range myself.
Rite of Harmony certainly looks like a playable card, as Glimpse of Nature has been from time to time, though it's worth remembering that Beck//Call has a similar cost and it remains a bulk rare all of these years later. Rite of Harmony is definitely the better of the two spells, especially since it can see play in Modern Enchantress decks, but I wouldn't expect huge things. If this effect were about to break Modern wide open, Beck//Call would see at least a little bit of play right now.
As for Commander, Rite of Harmony isn't really comparable to Beck//Call since it's in a different color combination. I do think some go-wide tokens decks will run it, though I haven't seen much hype yet. I think the price will drop, and I'll look to buy in after the pre-order period ends.
Can't Stay Away is a powerful spell (with very cute kitties!) that needs the right home before seeing play. If there's a deck out there that relies on a handful of incredibly strong two and three-drop creatures, and it can support the mana cost of Can't Stay Away, I see no reason why this can't be a four-of in a very good Standard deck. It would have seen a lot of play last year, for example, when Lurrus of the Dream-Den was all over the place.
As with the past few cards we've looked at, I think Can't Stay Away (Cat Stay Away?) will drop a bit as we approach release day. These $3 "tweener" rares tend to either shoot up in price, or they drop toward $1 until finding a top tier home. I'm betting the under on this one, though I'll be hoping to pick up a set when they're cheap just in case.
I'm not quite sure why Storm the Festival is pre-ordering in the $3 to $4 range right now. I haven't seen anyone talking about it on any of the competitive or Commander forums, and it doesn't look like much to me. The "5 or less" clause keeps this from really going off, and 6-mana sorceries that might whiff entirely aren't exactly beloved by the competitive crowd. Future bulk rare.
Old Stickfingers might not ever see much competitive play, but this is a Commander staple through and through. It's an outstanding way to fill your graveyard with creatures to reanimate, and the fact that it works on cast(!) instead of resolution means that you get the best part of Old Stickfingers even if it's countered. Not only is this card currently the #2 most popular new Commander in Midnight Hunt (after Tovolar, of course) — it's also going to be a must-play utility card for any Golgari-based reanimation deck.
The only real question I have on Old Stickfingers is...when do we buy? I'm torn between snagging a bunch of copies on release day, or waiting until the end of the year and hoping for an early winter lull before the long-term trends cause the price to rise. Honestly, I'll probably buy a few copies on release weekend just to hedge my bets and then snag a bunch more in late November if the price cooperates. This card is going to hold its value well if you're patient.
Patrician Geist is kind of an awkward card. It's a Spirit lord, and it's a way to lower the cost of spells you cast out of your graveyard, but there simply aren't that many good ways to play Sprits out of your 'yard in Standard right now. That's kind of a problem!
It's certainly possible that WotC will print a few more cards that work well with Patrician Geist in the next set, and that this card will end up being a Standard staple at some point, but I don't see it yet. Future bulk rare.
Falkenrath Pit Fighter is a 2/1 for R with a relevant creature type. That's all it really needs to be. The card draw ability is going to come in handy sometimes, but it won't be relevant as often as you'd think since it's so conditional. Luckily, that doesn't matter. This card will see play on its stats alone, and it's cheap enough right now that you should snag a set if you play Red Aggro in Standard. Also, with the coming set likely to be more Vampire-focused, this card should remain in demand.
Ghoulcaller's Harvest definitely has potential, but I think it's in the wrong color pair to really shine. Decay works a lot better in Aristocrats style decks, which tend to be Rakdos-colored. It's possible that Ghoulcaller's Harvest will act as a solid mid-game card in a Standard Golgari deck that threatens lethal in the endgame, but there are so many other cards that look slightly better to me at this price point. I also don't see anyone getting excited about Ghoulcaller's Harvest in Modern or Commander right now. All in all, it's not for me.
Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter if you haven't done so yet! Not only do you get my trends pieces emailed directly to your inbox for free, but you gain exclusive access to all of my articles two full days before anybody else. It's a win/win/win!
Last week's newsletter was a look at what the Golos, Tireless Pilgrim ban and Worldfire unban mean for Commander. Should you be selling Golos? Buying Worldfire? Are five-color cards on the decline? Is Red the new powerhouse color in Magic's most popular format? You'll have to subscribe to my newsletter to find out!