The official release of Brothers’ War arrives this Friday, and players are quickly trying to figure out what the standout card in the set is. Each of the recent Standard sets seems to have cards that outperform in competitive play. As a result, the price of these hunting cards is skyrocketing in the secondary market. At Dominaria United, we had Ley Link and Sheoldred, the apocalypse. The streets of New Capenna brought with it ledger shredder and Unlicensed hearse. Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty featured the Channel lands and the wandering emperor. With that in mind, which map will be the staple of The Brothers’ War? Well, early financial moves suggest this will be the portal to Phyrexia, the absurdly expensive Artifact Card.
Portal to Phyrexia
We had Portal to Phyrexia as the second pick on the Best Brothers War list we put together, so we won’t be too surprised if these moves pan out. What we have right now is a huge opportunity. Portal to Phyrexia is definitely halfway through at the moment, and Star City Games already has the full art version of the map for you. $60. It is important to note here that other sites offer this card at a much lower price, so there is a real chance that you can find this card much cheaper, but that may not last.
TCGplayer has a sales history with copies of this full art sheet map selling for as little as $20! Lots of cheaper sales for this card are selling out fast, so if you want to try and take advantage of that price difference, I’d try to find a copy right away. Note that at this point there is no guarantee that Portal to Phyrexia will climb to the $60 brand, but forecasts, along with current trends, suggest that Portal to Phyrexia will see, at worst, a significant price spike. As shown above, eBay sales are now asking $70 for full art prints of this map.
Why this escalation?
Portal to the Fate of Phyrexia likely rests in the hands of how Shape Anew behaves in the modern metagame. This deck has been around for a while now, but Portal to Phyrexia finally delivers the payoff the deck needs to be competitive.
To be clear, the goal here is to turn a treasure token (or something like that) into a portal to Phyrexia with Shape Anew. Indomitable Creativity decks already exist in the format and are widely considered to be some of the best decks for Modern. The advantage of Shape Anew over Indomitable Creativity is that the build factor is less severe. In order to ensure that indomitable creativity always touches Archon of Cruelty, you can’t put creatures or artifacts into your deck other than the Archons themselves. You can run any creature you want for Shape Anew because it only cares about artifacts. Ragavan, Agile Thiefand the elementals of evocation like Solitude are fantastic options that are unlocked by this difference.
Shape Anew is also experiencing a financial boost due to this interaction. The card was worth 25 cents a few weeks ago but is approaching now $3. Trends indicate that this card hasn’t fully increased in price yet, but whether or not it continues will, again, heavily depend on whether the card is relevant in Modern or not. If Modern ends up adopting Shape Anew, that might be the best speculation of the entire article, as it currently only has one rare print.
Standard Extended Foil cards rarer than expected
As mentioned in our Collector Booster review for The Brothers’ War, Retro Artifacts completely takes over the Collector Booster packs. This, in addition to lowering the price of Retro Artifacts, has resulted in actual full art sheet cards from the Standard Brothers’ War set being rarer than usual. We can see a scenario where the full art foil version is twice as expensive as any of the others. At this point, players who want it for competitive play can purchase it at cheaper prices.
Is the commander a postman?
While I personally bought one as a themed upgrade from Mishra’s Burnished Banner, Portal to Phyrexia is precisely the kind of nonsense Commander players love. Play a gigantic artifact that blows up stuff and revives other stuff. I could easily see that it had some interest in Commander, but not enough to affect the price significantly.
It’s hard to know if this card will climb to its $60 price tag on every avenue in the market, and I currently wouldn’t pay $60 for this map, but it offers an interesting idea and kind of silent alarm clock for anyone who wants that Brothers’ War hunting map.
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