Disclaimer: With how fast prices change during spoiler season, some of this information may have changed since writing this article. As always, if you ever want to know what a card is going for, searching TCGplayer.com will bring up both currently listed prices as well as a market price based on recent sales.
Typically on Top 10 I talk about our best selling cards from the previous week, but with all the excitement around Throne of Eldraine, I wanted to do something special. So I put together this list of my top 10 specs from what's been revealed so far in Throne of Eldraine. Let's get started.
This mono-blue legendary is just waiting to be broken. From a glance it looks like Eternal formats are where this will really shine. In most cases this card will cost one blue mana and be able to continually cast artifacts out of your graveyard. While I don't have a precise reason why I would spec on this card, it has all the makings of something that can shake up a format. Due to this, I would consider this card my one blind spec of the set. Cost reduction, an enters-the-battlefield effect and an ability that interacts with the graveyard (essentially expanding your hand) are all things we look for in Eternal formats and having access to all of that turn one is likely to at least see some experimentation.
On the Commander front, this will be another great addition to the many mono-blue commanders to choose from. Emry's cost reduction is the main draw here as it reduces commander tax as well. Sharuum the Hegemon, Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain, and Silas Renn, Seeker Adept decks will probably want to add this to their 99 as well.
With rotation looming on the horizon, Mono-Red Aggro is looking for replacements for Lightning Strike and Wizard's Lightning, both of which are exiting Standard. Slaying Fire may end up taking one of these slots. Three damage for three mana isn't something to write home about, but in a mono-red deck, this card's "adamant" ability should be active at all times. Four damage for three mana is much better—especially since it can target players. There still may not be enough replacements for the rotating cards to keep mono-red going, but if the deck does survive rotation, these may see a jump out of necessity, even if it is a poor replacement for Wizard's Lightning and Lightning Strike. Currently many sellers are listing this for as low as 20 cents apiece. As far as risk/reward goes, the risk is pretty low on this one. If it sees Standard play as an uncommon burn spell with only one print run it should go up by a decent percentage.
Here we are looking at an instant Commander staple. Copy Artifact and Copy Enchantment all in one card for a single mana more. Currently Mirrormade is only $3.50 so I think there is plenty of room for this to creep up in price alongside its predecessors. This will probably see some Standard play at some point as well, but Commander will ensure that this maintains value even after it rotates out. According to EDHREC, 35 of the top 100 most popular Commander cards are targetable with this so I think this card will be sticking around for quite a while.
This one is a spec for a bit further on. Theros is returning to Standard in quarter 1 of 2020 and one of the key abilities of Theros was devotion. If devotion comes back in Theros: Beyond Death then Arcanist's Owl's four hybrid white-blue will easily activate whatever blue or white devotion you need. On top of that it can dig four cards down and grab whatever artifacts or enchantments you may be playing, be it Leylines, equipment or removal. The 3/3 flying body on this card isn't a joke either; it'll continue being useful long after its trigger. Right now Arcanist's Owl is between 20 and 40 cents so if you can find a good deal on these now, and sit on them until Theros, you might just be the early bird that gets the worm.
Currently Witch's Cottage has a Market Price of 23 cents. We don't yet have prices on Idyllic Grange and the three lands yet to be revealed from this cycle are a mystery but nevertheless I'm going to call this out as a long-term spec. These nonbasic lands with basic land types are fetchable, tutorable with anything that searches for their corresponding basic land type, and so far have very relevant abilities to any format. I wouldn't be surprised to see the occasional one popping into Modern decks as a one- or two-of.
The biggest reason I think this is a decent spec is because of Pauper. Paper Pauper has been growing in popularity lately and is finally getting some official tournament support. If this becomes the only set that we see these lands in, then they will slowly rise in price over time. Pauper is like Legacy lite. The card pool is enormous and many older cards end up having cool interactions with things like these. For example Quirion Ranger has an ability that returns a Forest to your hand to untap a creature. We don't yet know what the non-basic Forest will be in this cycle, but whatever ability it has, will be repeatable over and over with Quirion Ranger. Sadly Gush and Daze were recently banned so blue won't get to enjoy abusing the abilities of the non-basic island as easily, but I think we will be seeing a lot of these lands popping up in Pauper decks.
This spec isn't the kind where you can buy a playset and expect to whistle while counting your money a few months later. This is the kind of spec where you are looking at percentages per card instead of dollars. It would take a large quantity over a long period of time for this one to really pay off.
With a Market Price of $3.25, this mythic seems very underappreciated. It balances out every creature on the board while being the only creature above the rest. Mana dorks and Human tokens become as strong as trolls and all of them are brought into range of Deafening Clarion if you need to board wipe while keeping your 4/5 flyer as the only survivor. This can be the bomb that allows White Weenies and token decks to overpower decks that focus on barreling in with large creatures. It's also a great follow-up to a wrath effect as it puts 10 power on the board for six mana. I don't think the ceiling is super high on this one but it can definitely go quite a bit higher than the presales it's seen so far.
As of the making of this video we don't yet have prices for Stonecoil Serpent so it may come out at a reasonable price point from the get go, but just in case it starts off low, I'm going to call it out here. Typically when we have X-costed artifact creatures the cost is 2 times X for a power and toughness of X. Not with Stonecoil Serpent. This card is value no matter what turn you play it. Even if you pay two for it on turn two, you have a 2/2 with reach, trample and protection from multicolor, Not bad at all, and if you can find ways to pump extra mana into it or give it extra counters it'll be a threat that your opponent has to find an answer to. This is likely a spec with a short lifespan, as after Eldraine we are heading to Theros which is a heavily monocolor plane, but it's also possible that this will find a place in Modern during times when the format shifts toward more multicolored strategies. Against Humans for example this is protected from Deputy of Detention, Reflector Mage and Knight of Autumn: three of what would be the deck's best removal for an artifact creature, if Stonecoil Serpent didn't have protection from them.
We've all been wondering when we'd see Garruk again. This unlucky guy keeps getting into trouble on every plane he goes to. Lucky for us though his new planeswalker abilities are powerhouses. I'll break down each of his abilities one by one for you.
0: Create two 2/2 black and green Wolf creature tokens with "When this creature dies, put a loyalty counter on each Garruk you control."
His 0 puts 4 power onto the battlefield. As far as planeswalkers that protect themselves go, Garruk probably just stole the top spot. Two 2/2 Wolves can eat up a lot of damage headed Garruk's way, and chump blocking doesn't just protect Garruk, it buffs his loyalty and the loyalty of any other Garruks you control when the wolf dies, putting him even further out of the reach of your opponents creatures. This is virtually a +2 put two 2/2 Wolves on the battlefield but in some ways it's even better than that. The Wolves themselves have that ability, so duplicating those tokens with the populate mechanic or cards like Parallel Lives grants Garruk even more loyalty counters when the Wolves die. These Wolves are excellent options to use with sac engines if you can spare the blockers to put counters on your Garruk.
One last note on this 0 ability: it actually can make multiples of Garruk pretty interesting. If any Wolves remain after your Garruk gets removed they can add counters to the next Garruk you play leading to the possibility of Ulting your Garruk the turn you play him before your opponent can respond.
-3: Destroy target creature. Draw a card.
Garruk wouldn't be much of a huntsman if he couldn't kill something. His minus ability kills any creature you can target and draws a card on top of it. This means that even if all you can do is minus him before your opponent destroys him, Garruk still managed to kill a creature and replace himself. The closest card to this ability is Annihilate which destroys a non-black creature and draws a card for five mana so this ability alone is on par with cards that cost a similar amount to Garruk.
-6: You get an emblem with "Creatures you control get +3/+3 and have trample.
Garruk's emblem is incredibly easy to pull off. In fact it can be used the turn after you played him without even killing himself if both of your Wolves went to the graveyard. Your opponent will have to weigh that while determining whether to attack or not. If they can't tick Garruk down below 6, it would probably be better to avoid handing you an emblem on a silver platter.
Garruk is sitting at only $14, which honestly seems low seeing as this will undoubtedly be played in nearly every Golgari and planeswalker Commander deck. Whether Garruk will find himself in a Standard deck remains to be seen, but if he does I don't expect he will stay at $14 for too long.
From Facebook, to Reddit, to Mythic Spoiler, I kept seeing the same reaction: "Where is the downside?" This 4/4 is overflowing with abilities. With many of the huge green Dinosaurs rotating out, this seems like it will be a first pick to fill the vacancy. The card is already sitting at about $19 so people obviously aren't ignoring it but I think it deserves quite a bit more than that. Carnage Tyrant spent quite a while in the mid-to-high $20s during its time in Standard and Questing Beast is even more aggressive. I wouldn't be surprised if this broke $30 once people experience the aggro for themselves. The biggest reason I think this may break $30 is that it removes the dilemma of attacking your opponent or their planeswalker. Baby Teferi won't even slow you down as you hit him and his controller for 4 on turn three if you've got a mana dork. Chump blockers aren't even a worry since nothing with a power of 2 or less can block the Beast, and the vigilance allows you to be as aggressive as you want without worrying about keeping up blockers.
This sorcery is sitting at only $2.50 but it has the ability to provide an incredible amount of value. After rotation, there will be multiple enchantments and artifacts that exile opponents' creatures upon entering the battlefield. We are also undoubtedly going to be getting a lot more enchantments to target with this once Theros enters Standard.
This card specifies that it can't target auras but doesn't restrict any other types. Therefore enchantment creatures like the Gods of Theros are fair game, and even bestow creatures that become auras when you cast them for their bestow cost are targetable since they don't have the aura type unless you pay that cost.
The name says it all: Gilded Goose is going to be the golden goose of Standard. With Llanowar Elves leaving Standard Gilded Goose will need to take up the one-drop mana dork spot. In a vacuum this looks like a Birds of Paradise that can only be used once every other turn. Thankfully, we don't play Magic in a vacuum and the rest of Eldraine is full of cards that interact with Gilded Goose.
Foremost among them is Oko, Thief of Crowns. These two cards work in perfect harmony. Gilded Goose uses it's one Food token to cast Oko on turn two, and Oko's +2 ability produces a Food token to replace the one you just used. If you don't need the Goose anymore or you just want a beefier creature , you can +1 Oko and turn your Gilded Goose into a 3/3 Elk, and lastly you can use Oko's -5 ability and give your 0/2 goose to your opponent in exchange for any creature your opponent controls with a power of 3 or less. This is especially useful if your opponent isn't playing green, as it shuts off the Bird's ability to create Food tokens. There are various other cards in the set that produce Food as well, so you're not limited to just playing Simic with Oko. Witch's Oven is a cheap artifact that can produce tokens while acting as a sac engine in your deck: perfect for getting some value out of creatures that would just be exiled or killed anyway.
Right now Gilded Goose is sitting at about $3.50. This is a reasonable price for this card, but I think there are a few factors that could push this card upward. The first is demand. This will be the only one-drop mana dork available after rotation and unlike Llanowar Elves which is a common that has been reprinted consistently since Alpha, Gilded Goose is a rare with this being its only printing. The second is versatility. Gilded Goose is the only card that has been revealed to both produce Food tokens, and provide an always-relevant ability to feed those tokens into. Not only will this be a mana dork that taps for any color, which allows for splashing, it can also be a Food token engine that builds up resources for your other abilities to use later on.
Murderous Rider // Swift End is one of the best Adventure cards in the set. It is straight up non-conditional removal of creatures and planeswalkers for three mana. If the Oracle text on Swift End looks familiar that's because it is almost exactly the same as a popular removal spell from back in Theros, Hero's Downfall. The only difference between these two is that Swift End also has you lose 2 life, but don't worry, you'll get that back in no time after you cast the creature half, Murderous Rider, from exile. With all the buffs Knights give each other, the lifelink on Murderous Rider will probably more than pay back the 2 life it borrowed to kill your opponent's pesky creature.
Let's take a look at the finance side of why this is my number 1 spec from Eldraine. Currently Murderous Rider // Swift End is just under $6. This is incredibly close to where Hero's Downfall started off back in September of 2013 when Theros was released. Hero's Downfall was a $5 card then, but within a month it spiked up to $15 and stayed above $10 until Born of the Gods came out in February. For a while it hovered around $5 before spiking back up to $12 and then had a slow decline until it rotated out of Standard at just about the same price that it came in at.
With how similar Swift End is to Hero's Downfall, I think it could easily reach at least the same level after release and potentially even higher since the Murderous Rider half of the card provides a lot of advantages that Hero's Downfall lacked. The 2/3 lifelink body tacked on is great, and it also possesses two creature types that are expected to be very popular in the coming months. It can be searched for with creature tutors or effects that let you grab creatures from a revealed number of cards, and finally it goes back into your library ready to be searched for or drawn again.