by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
Featured in the Magic 2013 Event Deck: Sweet Revenge, Firewing Phoenix is essentially a watered down version of Chandra's Phoenix. Unlike Chandra's fiery bird, this Phoenix doesn't have haste,. Also, while you can get it back from the graveyard, it costs 1RRR to get it back to your hand.
This isn't nearly as good as Chandra's Phoenix which comes back to the field instead. Not only that, it comes back far more easily. Chandra's Phoenix can come back anytime you deal damage to an opponent via a red instant or sorcery spell or by a red planeswalker you control. So, Firewing Phoenix is a greatly inferior version.
Don't get me wrong: Firewing Phoenix was a nice Limited card because it's a flyer and can be brought back fairly easily in a mono-red deck. But four mana to get back a 4/2 flyer in a mono-red deck is probably mana better spent in just about any other format. It's not even too good in Limited in anything other than mono-red due to the heavy investment in Red that's required!
Obviously, Firewing Phoenix was never the Standard staple that Chandra's Phoenix was each of the times it was in Standard. It's a case where Wizards realized that they made a card a little too good, so they designed a greatly watered-down version in the next Core Set. It has beautiful artwork, but that's about all it's got going for it in the long run. It's pretty janky and doesn't see play in any format, really. It does find a home in the occasional Jaya Ballard, Task Mage Commander deck, though. Really, it's just nice to have a foil version of to bling out your binder. Who doesn't love a shiny phoenix?
by Richard Rowell, Gaming Successfully Staff
Boundless Realms is a green rare from the Magic 2013 Core Set that essentially doubles the amount of lands you have in play for 6G. It has been a decently popular card in Commander since its release, with its price trending upwards over the past couple of years. After reaching $1.50 in late September, it has reached a $2.15 TCGPlayer Mid price in early November on TCGPlayer, an increase of nearly 50 percent. Some sellers are already marking it up to $3, apparently based on demand.
A reasonable explanation for this price jump is the most popular commander from Battle for Zendikar, Omnath, Locus of Rage. Since being released in October, copies of Boundless Realms have been flying off of the market. With the Locus of Rage’s Landfall ability to put a 5/5 Elemental creature token into play for each land that comes down for you, it's not surprising to see Boundless Realms become a staple in that deck.
The somewhat surprising thing is that Boundless Realms foils have remained around $4-4.50. They hit almost $5 at one point but it's the non foil that's being bought out. Boundless Realms is easily a card that could see a reprint in a Commander deck, so the foil feels like a safer long term investment.
Risk: Low. Organic demand alone will make sure that Boundless Realms keeps a price over $2 unless a reprint happens,especially in a full fledged expansion set. Foil risk is much lower, except if Boundless Realms does get reprinted in a major release.
Price target: $5 seems like a decent ceiling for this card if supply dwindles. We've also seen commander related buyouts happen before. $3 to $4 seems like a better long term price, but additional Landfall cards being printed that prove good in Commander could put a lot of yet unforeseen pressure on this card.
Looking to double your money on foils seems reasonable in the long term. $8 seems like a fine target price. This is a card that sees play in far more than one deck so there will always be some demand for it.
Term: Long. Cards that see consistent play in Commander are always great investments barring a reprint. This would be a very easy card to reprint, but if it isn't, then you could make a little money out of this. If any more green Landfall centered commanders come around, this will be a must have.
by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
Gilded Lotus was first printed in Mirrodin, and reprinted in the Magic 2013 Core Set and Dominaria. It was also included as a premium foil in the highly popular From the Vault: Twenty product.
Ah, mana fixing. In a set like Magic 2013 that saw a bunch of baffling reprints, such as Battle of Wits, Gilded Lotus is one of those cards you’ll never mind opening. It does cost 5 colorless mana to play, but it essentially only costs 2 because it immediately has the ability to give you three mana of any color.
It was a great color fixer back in the days of the Mirrodin Block (a few years before my time). It's also a very popular card in Commander, and has seen some fringe play in Modern Tron decks, as well. It’s a solid card. With its Dominaria printing, it's now far more available for those that want to use it as part of their mana ramp package.
First printed in Magic 2011, Phylactery Lich is an interesting mono-black zombie. The Lich was later reprinted in the Magic 2013 and Magic 2019 Core Sets. It’s a 5/5 Zombie for only 3 mana, and it’s indestructible.
Of course, with that power and toughness for a low cost. there’s a downside. But, it’s an interesting drawback. When the Lich enters the battlefield, you put a phylactery counter on an artifact you control. The counter itself doesn’t do anything, but if you control no permanents with phylactery counters on them, you sacrifice Phylactery Lich.
There are, of course, cases in which you could easily have four of these on the board at a time and spread out the counters among four artifacts. You only have to have one of those counters no matter how many of the Lich you have on the board. The question is, what artifacts are going to be played in mono-black?
When this card was first in Standard, Scars of Mirrodin block was still available, and there were several good options. You had Mortarpod and Lashwrithe, both often played in mono-black control decks. There were other artifacts that could be playable, as well, but it will be interesting to see what artifacts will be played in this sort of Constructed deck in the future.
Potentially, this is an extremely good card. It’s especially good in mono-black Zombies (for obvious reasons). I’d like to see some competitive decks playing it, though I’m not sure we will. In any case, you’ll want to have one if you ever play Zombies in EDH. It’s a good card that may go overlooked, and can work in a deck made for it.
Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker - Conflux & Magic 2013 Mythic Rare Card Review - Magic the Gathering (MTG)
Conflux was a very interesting set. It may not be considered one of the best sets in Magic history, but it does have plenty of very popular EDH cards, and also introduced a few of the better cards in Magic, specifically Knight of the Reliquary, Master Transmuter, Noble Hierarch, and Path to Exile. Plus, it also featured Reliquary Tower.
Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker, while not the best card in the entire set, is likely the very best mythic rare in the set. It's still a very good card today, and is a staple in Grixis versions of Super Friends (Red, Blue and Black) in EDH.
In the Magic 2013 Core Set, Nicol Bolas the Planeswalker returned to Standard for the first time since October of 2010. The game certainly changed a bit since that rotation, as that was the beginning of the Scars of Mirrodin block and Jace the Mind Sculptor's hey-day. How good would Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker be in that new environment?
First of all, he's an eight-drop. 4UBBR (4 Colorless, 1 Blue, 2 Black, 1 Red) is not exactly a pretty mana requirement to cast. It's not like you can cheat him into play somehow. But, when he does hit the board, you have a planeswalker with 5 loyalty and three very good abilities.
His +3 destroys any non-creature permanent on the board, a solid plus ability. His -2 is a Mind Control without the enchantment, which is very good. Finally, his ultimate ability, which costs 9 loyalty counters is absolutely devastating. It forces your opponent to discard 7 cards (which most often will mean their whole hand), sacrifice 7 permanents, and lose 7 life. Talk about card advantage!
If this planeswalker lives until the third turn it's on the board, you have the game essentially won against most decks. He's well worth the mana investment if he goes ultimate, but most of the time, you're going to just mind control something or destroy a pesky non-creature card that's in your way to push for game.
He's a great control card. Did he work in that Standard environment? Despite such a high mana cost, Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker happened to share the format with an awesome Enchantment called Omniscience! With Omniscience in play, you don't pay the casting cost of any card that you card. Suddenly, Nicol Bolas is free to cast!
Unsurprisingly, a deck called Omniscience Control popped up! It fared pretty well in tournaments, too, often making the Top 8 cut! But Nicol Bolas didn't need Omniscience to see play. He still found his way into Grixis Control decks who were happy to hard-cast him for his full mana cost, albeit with the help of mana rocks like Rakdos Keyrune and Chromatic Lantern. While he costs 8 mana, he's such a game-changing card that he's worth playing a copy of anyway.
Since early 2013, though, he hasn't seen much competitive play outside of the odd Modern deck. But in EDH, where an eight-mana casting cost is hardly an impediment for playing a powerful card, he still sees tons of play. It also helps that he has two incarnations as a creature, who can be Commanders, that can play him in their decks. In any case, he's an awesome card to own!
Have you ever played Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker?
~ Phoenix <3
With just a quick glance at Elderscale Wurm, you may notice that there is definitely a theme of sevens with this guy. He costs 7 mana to play, with a triple green in his mana cost (4GGG). This means he's a mono-green beast and not particularly splash-able. But big Green monsters can be pretty good. This one certainly is one worth looking at, too.
Here's the reason that he is a mythic rare: as long as he's on the board, you can never take damage that will bring you below 7 life. Unfortunately, he doesn't prevent effects that make you lose life. The card effect has to specifically deal damage, not make you "lose life" and that's the kicker. So, Elderscale Wurm was a marginal Standard play at best. Still, he had a lot going for him.
He's a 7/7 trampler, which is quite good. When he enters the battlefield, if your life total is less than 7, Elderscale Wurm restores you back to 7 life. The other good news is that you basically become invincible to combat damage as long as he's on the board and you're at 7 life.
This guy was a definite bomb in Limited. But in pretty much 60-card Constructed format, he was mostly never considered. However, he's quite good in Commander. While he's never really found a home in any particular deck, Mayael the Anima can cheat him out and Omnath, Locus of Mana makes so much Green mana that the Wurm is easy to cast.
For those Magic players who played in the Shards of Alara block era, Exalted should be a pretty familiar mechanic. With the Magic 2013 Core Set, the Exalted mechanic returned in full force. So, why not create a creature, an Angel no less, that takes Exalted to another level? Not only is Sublime Archangel a pretty 4/3 flyer for 2WW and has Exalted, but she gives all of your other creatures Exalted, too. Nifty!
Guess what? If they already have Exalted they get it AGAIN. So, if you have 5 creatures with Exalted, including Sublime Archangel, you now have NINE instances of Exalted. Yes, if one creature attacks alone, it gets +9/+9.
While this card didn't make Angels a competitive deck in Standard again, it certainly saw a fair share of play! Hopefully, one day they bring back Baneslayer Angel, just to play it along side this little beauty. Oh, what fun!
Have you ever played Sublime Archangel?
~ Phoenix <3
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