Magic: The Gathering's latest Standard set, Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, releases in paper form this Friday, returning to the plane of Innistrad with a focus on Werewolves. With 277 cards in the main set, Midnight Hunt features new mechanics, including day/night, disturb, and coven.
There are 14 cards in Midnight Hunt with the ability to create Zombie creature tokens. Most of these cards create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token with decayed. Creatures with decayed can't block, and they get sacrificed at the end of combat when they attack. New Zombie cards in Midnight Hunt and Midnight Hunt Commander led to Tombstone Stairwell spiking in price.
Tombstone Stairwell a Reserved List card from Mirage that creates 2/2 Zombie tokens with haste in each upkeep; all players receive a 2/2 Zombie creature token for each creature card in their graveyard. You destroy all the tokens created by the Tombstone Stairwell at the beginning of each end step, or whenever it leaves the battlefield.
The price history for Tombstone Stairwell shows units sold per day across the green bottom bars, and the average market price it sold for along the blue line. Tombstone Stairwell average market price spiked on September 3rd from about $20 to $50, a massive 150% increase. Buyers purchased an average of 1.6 copies during the price spike.
Midnight Hunt's product-hover id="246461" features Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver, synergizing with Tombstone Stairwell. Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver creates a 2/2 black Zombie creature token with decayed each time the Tombstone Stairwell destroys a Zombie token it created under your control, so you can quickly amass a horde of zombies by playing them in tandem.
Players might be interested in pairing Revel in Riches with the Tombstone Stairwell as an alternative win condition, too. It won't take long to amass 10 Treasure tokens assuming your opponents have creature cards in their graveyards. If you want to end the game by dealing damage, consider Syr Konrad, the Grim in any deck with Tombstone Stairwell.
Zombie tokens with decay aren't the only tribal innovation in Midnight Hunt. Werewolves got a boost in power with the day/night mechanic. Werewolves enter the battlefield transformed if night is active, which is a big advantage. For example, Tovolar's Huntmaster will enter the battlefield as Tovolar's Packleader if it's night on the battlefield.
Midnight Hunt includes 19 Werewolves, five Wolves, and a transforming planeswalker. As a result, we saw big demand for Werewolf cards from earlier Innistrad sets. Let's take a look at a few Werewolves that spiked in price due to Midnight Hunt!
Mayor of Avabruck a powerful Werewolf from Innistrad. On its front side, it gives all Human creatures +1/+1. When it transforms, other Werewolf and Wolf creatures receive +1/+1 and you get a 2/2 green Wolf creature token at the beginning of your end step.
Buyers purchased an average of 1.2 copies of Mayor of Avabruck on September 2nd, and the average market price for more than doubled from about $5 to over $10. Currently it's up to about $11, with low supply in the Marketplace. Considering every Werewolf Commander deck will probably want Mayor of Avabruck, I think that price will stay around $10 for the next few months.
Huntmaster of the Fells is one of the best Werewolves in MTG. Whenever it enters the battlefield or transforms to its front side, you create a 2/2 green Wolf creature token and gain two life. When Huntmaster of the Fells transforms into Ravager of the Fells, it deals 2 damage to an opponent and up to one creature they control.
The average market price for Huntmaster of the Fells hovered around $10 leading up to Midnight Hunt spoiler season. On September 2nd, it spiked in price to $30, for a 200% increase. Buyers purchased an average of 1.1 copies. Practically every green and red Werewolf Commander deck should run a copy. Considering Huntmaster of the Fells only saw printings in Dark Ascension and From the Vault: Transform, I wouldn't expect its price to fall below $20 any time soon.
Anyone interested in building a Werewolf deck before Midnight Hunt had very few Commander options: Ulrich of the Krallenhorde was the only legendary Werewolf until Midnight Hunt dropped Tovolar, Dire Overlord. Even though Ulrich of the Krallenhorde casting cost is higher than most Werewolves, his abilities trigger when he enters the battlefield or transforms.
On September 2nd, Ulrich of the Krallenhorde average market price spiked from $3 to almost $11, a 267% increase! With an average of 1.1 copies bought per buyer, we can assume it'll see more play in Commander. While Ulrich of the Krallenhorde is a potent Werewolf, his future home is likely in the 99 of Tovolar, Dire Overlord. I predict Ulrich of the Krallenhorde market price will slowly decline once Midnight Hunt releases, because players will choose Tovolar, Dire Overlord as their Werewolf commander moving forward.
Arlinn Kord another card players should consider for Werewolf Commander decks. As a doubled-sided planeswalker, it offers five different loyalty abilities. Interestingly, some of Arlinn Kord loyalty abilities buff Werewolf and non-Werewolf creatures.
Arlinn Kord average market price rose from under 6 dollars to over 12 on September 2nd. Similar to Ulrich of the Krallenhorde, buyers purchased an average of 1.1 copies. It's exciting that players can cast Arlinn Kord alongside Arlinn, the Pack's Hope. But let's move on to a non-Werewolf cards that spiked in price.
The average market price of Master of the Wild Hunt rose from $9 to $17 for a gain of 89%. It may not synergize with Werewolf creatures, but it works incredibly well with Wolves, creating a 2/2 green Wolf token at the beginning of your upkeep. Master of the Wild Hunt activated ability can use Wolves to deal damage to a creature on the battlefield, too.
Werewolves that create Wolf tokens complement Master of the Wild Hunt, like Huntmaster of the Fells and Tovolar's Huntmaster. It's entirely reasonable to run a mix of Werewolves and regular Wolves in a Werewolf Commander deck since several cards can interact with both creature types.
You may notice a trend among the average copies purchased per buyer for Werewolf cards that spiked in price. buyers likely picked up cards for new or existing Werewolf Commander decks. However, one Wolf creature card had almost three copies purchased per buyer during its price spike.
Immerwolf offers a ton of value to Werewolf decks. First, your other Wolf and Werewolf creatures each get +1/+1. Second, any non-Human Werewolves you control cannot transform. If Storm-Charged Slasher and Immerwolf are on the battlefield, Storm-Charged Slasher won't change back to Reckless Stormchaser even if the game state shifts to day.
Buyers purchased an average of 2.8 copies of Immerwolf on September 2nd, moving its market price from $1 to $2.50. Speculation about a Werewolf or Wolf tribal deck surfacing in Modern is a reasonable driving force of Immerwolf sales. Buyers also may have purchased a set to sell extra copies for profit. Players looking to pick up Immerwolf now will have to pay a premium of about $2 per copy.
Zombies and Werewolves aren't the only causes for card price spikes. Midnight Hunt includes 37 flashback cards in the main set plus 5 flashback cards only found in Set and Collector Boosters. Flashback and other related cards spoiled in Midnight Hunt led to a buyout of Catalyst Stone.
First printed in Odyssey, Catalyst Stone reduces your cost for flashback by two colorless. In addition, it raises the cost of flashback for your opponents by two colorless. Catalyst Stone chart is fascinating, with two price spikes between August and September.
A buyout of Catalyst Stone occurred between August 3rd and August 4th. TCGplayer's Sales History Snapshot shows one transaction for 54 units on August 3rd, and another for 42 copies on August 4th. The same person theoretically bought 96 copies, pushing the Catalyst Stone average market price from $1 to $5. But the buyout proved fruitless: Catalyst Stone price retraced close to $1 a week later.
On September 8th, its price rose again from $1 to $11 as buyers bought an average of 3.1 copies. Coincidentally, Lier, Disciple of the Drowned got spoiled on the same day. While both buyouts of Catalyst Stone contained speculative purchases, the second buyout included more sales driven by organic demand.
According to EDHREC, Catalyst Stone sees play in under 300 decks. Lier, Disciple of the Drowned is an appealing home for it, but it requires Lier to stay alive on the battlefield for full effect. As such, Catalyst Stone may not be a must-have in the 99.
As demand subsides, I suspect Catalyst Stone will fall in price to somewhere between $2 and $5.