Jordan Pollack: Aether Revolt’s Bulls and Bears

If your first thought after reading the headline is the stock market, I applaud you. If your first thought is a 2/2 green vanilla Bear that is in every Magic set, then keep reading.

Aether Revolt is a deep set. It reminds me of Dark Ascension or Dragons of Tarkir: The set comes out and everyone focuses on one or two cards. But there are some bottom feeders that will drive the EV of the set. I guarantee it.

A bull market is a market where everything is on the rise. Stocks are healthy, companies are making their profits, and dividends are strong. Investors are happy, economists are happy, your average worker bee that looks at their retirement account is happy, everyone is happy go lucky. Good, great, grand wonderful! Then the market goes the other way. Into the red, also known as a bear market. Everything goes down and people lose their minds. Things go up and down like a roller coaster.

It’s actually healthy for the market. An easy way to think of this is a bull has horns, right? Horns go up when they poke people; stock market goes up in a bull market. Bears have big claws, hands, paws, whatever they are called. When a bear is attacking its paws swipe down: stock market going down. There are plenty more economic terms we could define, but let’s jump into Magic.

I am going to focus on a few cards that I would recommend buying or selling based on price as of Jan. 13. Bulls are cards to pick up now, Bears are cards to sell or trade away now.

Bull: Sram’s Expertise

I really like this card. It’s a bit restrictive with its mana cost but it’s very strong. It’s a 4-drop, which means it competes in Standard with Gideon, but they work well together. Tokens protect Gideon and this Expertise lets you continue to cast more spells. Done. Decks will want 2-3 copies of this card easy. It’s playable in G/W tokens and B/W humans. This card is what is making Beck // Call spike in price, as you can cast both sides for free.

Bull: Sram, Senior Edificer

Okay, White is my favorite color. But if that Cheerios deck with Puresteel Paladin sees more play in Modern, this card will spike. At under a dollar, you can’t go wrong. Notice this is a cast trigger (similar to Kor Spiritdancer) and it’s easy to cast. So if you cast an Aura or Equipment card and your opponent counters it, you still get to draw. Awesome!

Bear: Solemn Recruit

Not constructed playable. It maybe would be at 1W. Too slow of a card and a clear future bulk rare. Get out at the $2 it’s at now.

Bear: Baral, Chief of Compliance

This is a clear $2-4 card. Unless a new control deck appears in Standard, this card will go down in price for sure. Its $8 price tag right now is too high for a Standard rare. Too many packs will be opened for all the Inventions, so stay away. Will it see play in Modern? The last time Storm was tier 1 was in 2015. Or even in a top 8 of any Modern tournament. Turn 4-5 kills are too slow nowadays.

Bull: Disallow

I like this counterspell a lot, actually. A lot of flexibility, normal mana cost, and moderate price. Counterspells like this usually go for $2-10 while they are in standard, depending on how much they see play. So $5 right now isn’t the worst bet in the world. Cool art, too.

Bear: Fatal Push
Bull: Foil Fatal Push

An uncommon in Standard for $4? I think not. I don’t care if its Kitchen Finks or Inquisition of Kozilek; it’s not worth $4 coming out of the gates. Sure it’s a good kill spell, but it’s not better than Path to Exile, despite what some may think. It’s also a lot harder to trigger Revolt in Standard than it is in other formats.

The foils I like a lot. Even though they are crazy expensive, this card could see play as a 2-3x in modern and legacy decks. Fetchlands make this card ridiculous. I also think it could push the value of Snapcaster Mage and Tasigur, which I own piles of. (Snapcaster needs to rebound in price, like, today). Could this be the card that finally makes Faeries Tier 1? I hope so, because I love Bitterblossom and that card has seen next to zero play since it got unbanned. Look to pick these up by trading your bulk rares.

Bear: Heart of Kiran

I want to like this card a lot more. People underrate vigilance, which this card has and Smuggler’s Copter didn’t. The bad part? It’s a legendary. See its crazy price tag right now.

Bull: Lightning Runner

OK, yes, I like aggressive decks, and I like pump spells. If an energy-based Red deck comes in under all the midrange and control decks, this will be their finisher. It’s not legendary and its $2 right now. I have gambled on worse cards.

Bull: Inspiring Statuary

Enough good things can’t be said. Standard and definitely EDH playable. It’s cheap at only $2; foils are cheap too. It can cascade into crazy turns in the late game. Do you like mana rocks? Now you have all the mana rocks.

Is Standard artifact themed? Clearly it is. Does Standard have a Big Red aggressive deck? I think it’s coming with Aether Revolt. What about Eldrazi that all the little kids want to cast? Buy!

Bull: Kari Zev’s Expertise

Is this the best Threaten effect you have seen? I say yes. It’s very good. Most times you will see this relegated to the sideboard, but it’s going to be a mainboard inclusion once people realize how good it is. Aggressive Red decks need a top end, and this keeps the motor running hot. At $3 it’s a little pricey today, but it will come down to $1-2, then we swoop in. It will compete with Lathnu Hellion in the 3-drop spot, but they do very different things and could warrant decks playing all available copies.

That’s the end, guys. For a poll question, I would like to ask:


 Jordan Pollack is a Tax Accountant and Magic player from suburban Chicago. He holds an accounting degree from the University of Kansas and is currently pursuing CPA certification. He enjoys watching the Blackhawks and doing manly things such as fixing a leaky sink, grilling, and making sure his girlfriend has everything she needs (and wants).

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Jordan Pollack