Archive for the ‘Zendikar’ Category

Blue Chips: Fetchlands

Hi again everyone, welcome back for some more magic market discussion. First a bit of housekeeping, I’ve created an email address for this blog at gwafahazid@gmail.com, so if you have any comments or suggestions you don’t feel like sharing you can send them there. You can also find me on twitter at http://twitter.com/rtassicker.

Today I’m starting an occasional series I’ve entitled ‘Blue Chips’. Blue Chip is a financial term referring to stocks which have stable earnings and no extensive liabilities – in other words, they are considered to be safe investments that will hold their value. The term derives from casino chips, where blue ones are the highest in value. In magic terms, I’ll be defining blue chip cards in similar terms – ones that are likely to hold their deservedly high value. These cards are staples in multiple formats and will be less subject to fluctuations in value based on metagame shifts. They are definitely not sleepers but if you’re looking for sure value to trade for, these cards are what you’re looking for.

Misty Rainforest

The first of these staples I’ll be looking at is not one card, but five – the long-awaited enemy fetchlands, finally completing the cycle started way back in Onslaught block. There is one of these lands in Zendikar for each enemy colour pairing – RW, WB, BG, BU, UR – and they obviously interact well with this set’s landfall mechanic. Why play one land a turn, when you can crack a fetchland and play two? More than this, they also offer precious enemy colour fixing which is especially important given the 3-colour theme of Shards of Alara block. Naya decks can now pair their Sunpetal Groves and Rootbound Crags with Arid Mesa, for example.

Arid Mesa

Aside from being staples in the multicolour themed present standard environment, the new fetchlands’ status is enhanced by the rotation out of extended of their allied-colour cousins. Fetchlands are the defining feature of extended in many ways, and people have managed to play successful 5-colour aggressive decks that hit their 1, 2 and 3 drops on time using fetchlands and Ravnica shocklands. A Misty Rainforest, for example, can get any colour of mana, untapped, for the simple price of a few measly points of life with a Temple Garden, Overgrown Tomb and Steam Vents in the deck. This power is even greater in vintage and legacy, where you can search up the original dual lands like Underground Sea. Some writers have even said that fetches are better than the original duals, as you can search up a basic land if your opponent has a Wasteland ready.

Scalding Tarn

Hopefully I’ve convinced you by this point of their power in every competitive format. Dual lands always hold a high value in standard, but the lesser ones like pain lands or Invasion taplands drop off in value once they move to extended and beyond. Fetches however are guaranteed to be playable whatever format they are in and will hold a correspondingly high value. It should be noted that due to their popularity in eternal formats (and eternal players being fascinated by shiny objects) that foil fetchlands are extremely valuable. None moreso than Misty Rainforest, as blue is traditionally the strongest colour in eternal and it needs green mana to play Tarmogoyf. A foil Misty Rainforest will currently set you back a cool $75! (Noah points out in the comments that they can be had for around $45 nowadays, but the point is they are very pricey).

Marsh Flats

One word of warning with the new fetches, they are not likely to hold value quite as well as the originals in the very long term. This is down simply to the fact that a lot more of them are in circulation due to more Zendikar being printed and there being less rares in Zendikar. For the next seven years though, they have extended legality on their side and they should match it with the originals at between 15 and 20 dollars. And who knows, R&D might decide to swing the pendulum back toward allied fetches when these ones rotate out!

Verdant Catacombs

When trading for these babies it should be noted that newer players often don’t value them very highly. A land that deals me damage? Why do I want that? Well, we know why. You should certainly make your trading partners aware of their strength in older formats, but it probably won’t be too hard to convince them to trade their fetches for your more exciting rares, like Ob Nixilis or Chandra Ablaze. Or Armament Master, if you’re the unscrupulous sort. I hope this article has been educational, and I’d love some comments!

Recommendation: All 5 fetches, hold & trade for aggressively. You’ll never want to get rid of these.


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