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By: Cheater Hater, Vincent Borchardt
Nov 09 2017 11:00am
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This has been an interesting week for From the Vault: Transform. Last week, the box was revealed, showing three cards: Huntmaster of the Fells (with new art), Delver of Secrets (with new art), and Liliana, Heretical Healer. While I was happy (mostly since that was three-for-three on my predictions), everyone else was freaking out, since Jace, Vryn's Prodigy clearly wasn’t in the set. I didn’t have any articles during that short time, but I would have told everyone to calm down—the box mostly exists to hype people who don’t know about the product, and Liliana, Heretical Healer both covers a different color than the other two cards and has significance as the first DFC Planeswalker. Of course, now the whole set has been revealed, and not only is Jace, Vryn's Prodigy in the set, so is every single other DFC Planeswalker. As such, it’s time to go over the picks and see how I did with my predictions, as well as how good the set is as a whole.

 

Archangel Avacyn:

Bruna, the Fading Light:

Gisela, the Broken Blade:

All three of the Angels I predicted made it in, as Avacyn and Brisela are both important-enough story cards to be worth highlighting in this set. I did like the suggestion I saw on social media that Brisela should have gotten new art, even if Bruna and Gisela didn’t—I wonder if WotC would give new art to only half of a DFC? Of course, after I write this the Black Friday Treasure Chests were revealed for paper, where the back-halves of all the Ixalan DFCs are different, while the front sides are the same—hooray for off-hand thoughts that are obsoleted before I even publish the article!

 

Kytheon, Hero of Akros:

Jace, Vryn's Prodigy:

Liliana, Heretical Healer:

Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh:

Nissa, Vastwood Seer:

I mentioned the possibility of reprinting all the Magic Origins flip Planeswalkers in my article, and here they all are. While these are all high-profile choices for reprints, I feel like it means more for the future of DFCs in general: mostly that they aren’t going to be reprinted anywhere else anytime soon. I get that it’s much more expensive to print DFCs (in paper), but with how they’re being used more sparingly in Magic Origins and Ixalan block, I hoped that obstacle had been at least partially overcome. My assumption is that the next place any DFCs can be reprinted is in Modern Masters 2021 (aka MM5 that goes through Amonkhet block), and while Jace, Garruk, Huntmaster, Delver, and a Werewolf archetype will be the highlights, there wouldn’t be room for much else, which is why they’re getting all the high-profile reprints done here.

 

Delver of Secrets:

Another obvious pick, and the new art is great. As I mentioned before, putting a card in an FTV that everyone wants four of is new (mostly the target of FTV has been cube players), and thus the curve of the set is going to be different—if most of the Delver decks didn’t already want Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, I’d expect that to decrease in price more than you would expect from a FTV printing as a result.

 

(Arguel’s Blood Fast):

Here’s the card everyone is dumping on, but did you really expect them to put a high-profile card from a set they just released into a boxed product? Furthermore, if it was Search for Azcanta like everyone wanted, the three most desirable cards in the set would be blue, which flies in the face of color balance. I had Treasure Map in the Ixalan slot, but that might have been too good in retrospect, and this does give the FTV an enchantment (the one aspect I mentioned I missed in my design). I am surprised it wasn’t Vance's Blasting Cannons for color balance though—maybe they thought it would be better than it’s been so far, or it was better when they had to lock in the FTV and it got nerfed?

 

Bloodline Keeper:

Another relatively easy pick, though I thought it could have gotten new art—getting updated with the “create” wording is good enough, I guess.

 

Garruk Relentless:

An easy pick even with all the other Planeswalkers in the set, and I should have seen the new art coming as one of the bigger story points in Innistrad.

 

Arlinn Kord:

Huh? Does anyone care about this card? One of my main complaints is that there is a lack of Werewolves in the set (only Huntmaster of the Fells), so you use one of the slots on the Werewolf planeswalker instead? I guess if your goal was to reprint every single DFC Planeswalker you have to reprint Arlinn, but she just isn’t interesting.

 

Huntmaster of the Fells:

Here’s the cube pick of this set—does this see that much play in Modern anymore? The art is nice though, and is it just me, or does the multi-color color indicator stand out more on this card and Garruk Relentless?

 

Elbrus, the Binding Blade:

Another pick I got that others likely overlooked, and its role is much more important now that it’s the only high-profile artifact.

 

Prediction Review:

Overall I did very well, getting ten of fifteen correct, including most of the high-profile cards. Furthermore, not only did I talk about most of the possibilities in my article (reprinting all the Origins Planeswalkers, using an Ixalan enchantment instead of an artifact), most of my misses were from aiming too low—did anyone really want Conduit of Storms, for instance? I do wish there was one more Werewolf (either Mayor of Avabruck or Duskwatch Recruiter), but I don’t know how you fit it in with the given goals (color balance, card type representation, reprinting every Planeswalker). The only other complaint I have with the set is very big picture: this set feels too much like FTV: Planeswalkers. I am expecting the actual FTV: Planeswalkers to come in the next year or two (now that we have fifteen notable characters and good versions of all the Gatewatch/Lorwyn Five), and I feel like the power of that set is lessened now that we have a set with basically no duds already and almost half Planeswalkers. Then again, everyone expected From the Vaults to disappear with Masterpieces becoming a regular occurrence, so that might not be an issue, though Masterpieces becoming semi-regular complicates things some more.

 

Financial Review:

As I mentioned in the prediction article, the financial aspects of From the Vault sets is unlike any other Magic product. On one hand, the paper version basically never shows up for its MSRP (unless you have a very nice game store). On the other, the online version is devalued since it’s entirely in foil (which aren’t desired by the online population). Either way, let’s start with the price sheet:

Card Paper Nov 16 Paper May 17 Paper Nov 17 MTGO Nov 16 MTGO May 17 MTGO Nov 17
Archangel Avacyn $19.90 $10.40 $5.00 17.2 9.5 1.7
Bruna, the Fading Light $1.20 $1.20 $1.00 0.0 0.0 0.0
Gisela, the Broken Blade $9.90 $8.00 $6.70 12.4 4.6 0.9
Kytheon, Hero of Akros $5.00 $4.50 $4.20 2.0 2.6 1.9
Delver of Secrets (set foil) $10.80 $9.30 $8.70 0.3 0.4 0.4
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy $24.60 $25.00 $23.70 19.5 21.5 24.1
Arguel's Blood Fast $1.00 $1.00 $1.00 0.2 0.2 0.2
Bloodline Keeper $6.30 $5.70 $15.00 0.0 0.0 0.0
Liliana, Heretical Healer $7.30 $9.70 $9.90 3.0 3.4 2.3
Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh $3.30 $3.00 $3.10 1.1 0.5 0.3
Garruk Relentless $5.70 $5.60 $5.10 0.7 2.0 0.4
Nissa, Vastwood Seer $9.40 $7.60 $6.70 1.6 2.8 1.7
Arlinn Kord $8.00 $6.80 $3.80 2.8 2.7 1.7
Huntmaster of the Fells $10.80 $9.80 $9.20 3.9 3.0 3.1
Elbrus, the Binding Blade $4.10 $4.20 $4.00 0.0 0.1 0.2
Total $127.30 $111.80 $107.10 64.7 53.3 38.9
Average Cards $8.49 $7.45 $7.14 4.3 3.6 2.6

Overall, it looks good, and obviously worth buying in paper at MSRP. Online is more questionable, as the total is close to retail, and that’s before everything drops. The biggest question is how many people want that Delver art (and the other two new arts I guess)—I could see a scenario where you sell the Delver for close to 35 tickets by itself, and if not Jace will make up most of the difference.

 

Conclusion:

As I said, the set looks very good, my predictions were on the money, and my main concerns were very big-picture. As such, the article came down a bit on the short side, but I have plenty more to write about in the near future. Notably, Lee Sharpe tweeted he’d have the article on Iconic Masters events and more coming on Thursday, and I’m assuming the Treasure Chest updates with Commander 2017 will come alongside it. Otherwise I have the Iconic Masters Limited Review coming soon as well (and thankfully that was something I could mostly write in advance), so you’ll be seeing more of me soon.

 

Vincent

@CheaterHater1 on Twitter

1 Comments

Update: as I said, the by Cheater Hater at Thu, 11/09/2017 - 16:15
Cheater Hater's picture

Update: as I said, the Treasure Chest changes are up on DailyMTG, and while I'm still going through the details, one message is abundantly clear: buy Treasure Chests! A ton of chaff was removed, the complete sets are a crazy lottery ticket, and the new cards are great (even if I knew about most of the list beforehand). Honestly, that combined with the new Play Point bundles has me a bit worried (Cardhoarder was decreasing their ticket buy price), but I'll get into that in the article.