The release of Ravnica Allegiance is close at hand, and the power level of this new set already seems insane. Based on the MTG Allegiance spoilers published, a myriad of archetypes seem tournament playable, especially with the inclusion of the remaining shocklands like Blood Crypt and Breeding Pool. Yet, there are cards that seem to stand out amongst the set that are poised for success without a price that currently reflects their impressive functionality. These cards are excellent targets for speculation, not only for resale but also to ensure you have playsets of them for deck building early on in the season. To get ahead of the curve, here are the top 4 MTG Allegiance cards to speculate on at the beginning of 2019.
Massive early game advantages for free are inherently powerful in Magic: The Gathering, where resource allocation and tempo decides games, and Sphinx of Foresight is no exception. Like Leyline of the Void and other historically powerful cards, Sphinx of Foresight allows you to reveal the card in your opening hand and, without any cost, rig the first three cards of your deck by scrying 3. This means you can not only order the top three cards, but also put any number of those cards on the bottom of your deck if they are redundant or inferior in that particular match. The applications for this are innumerable, as you can use this ability to fix your mana base, ensure land drops, gain access to early removal sooner than later, or even bottom all three cards to salvage a game that would have ended to early mana screw. You can keep greedier starting hands that contain the Sphinx, and be more ambitious with your color combinations. Moreover, Sphinx of Foresight is also a cost efficient 4/4 flyer for 4 mana that allows you to continuous card selection each upkeep, so drawing it late is fine too.
Bedevil is, as the name suggests, a worst case scenario for a number of decks opposing the Rakdos archetype. For only three mana, this card destroys any creature, artifact, or planeswalker at instant speed, a combination unseen in standard in recent memory. The mana cost of only two black and one red is not only suprisingly cheap, but also not too taxing on the mana base as a triple red or triple black cards would otherwise be. Additionally, the options of targets makes this card extremely versatile, as virtually every deck in the format will make use of some non-land permanent other than enchantments. The ability to choose between artifacts, creatures, or planeswalkers means this card can be put directly into the main 60 cards, instead of offering specialized help on the sideboard. Finally, the fact that Bedevil is an instant allows you to outplay opponents who want to resolve powerful creatures during their first main phase for maximum combat efficiency, such as the new End-Raze Forerunners, or wait for control decks to tap out for draw spells. Overall this card is likely going to see extensive play in standard, and is one of the best Ravnica Allegiance cards for speculation.
Similar to Birthing Pod, Prime Speaker Vannifar has the potential to totally take over the format if players can find the right creature progression. A 2/4 for 4 mana, Vannifar allows you to tap it, sacrifice a creature, and put any creature in your deck directly into play for the same casting cost plus one. The permutations allowed by this card are limited only by your imagination, as there are hundreds of creatures in standard that could benefit from this effect. Creatures that have “Enter the Battlefield” effects, for example, like Trostani Discordant, can be triggered and then sacrificed in response to removal to find more cards with similar abilities, or combo pieces can be pulled directly out of your deck. Additionally, Vannifar can put cards into play that you would otherwise not be able to play because of your mana base, allowing you to play one of creatures that synergize well without stretching your land ratio. Overall, Prime Speaker Vannifar has the potential to be one of the best MTG Allegiance cards in the format, and is a great option for speculation as people will only find more creative uses for her.
Although underpowered at first glance, Simic Ascendancy is a great Ravnica Allegiance card for speculation because it could be absolutely broken in the future. Offering an alternative win condition, Simic Ascendancy allows you to put a Growth Counter on it every time you put a +1/+1 counter on a creature you control, and when you have 20 counters you automatically win the game. As an enchantment for two mana that also allows you to put counters on creatures for three mana, it isn’t prohibitively expensive or hard to cast and does help somewhat by itself. Importantly, however, this card’s potential is binary, and will either be mediocre and rarely played, or the backbone of a specific deck that can absue its absolute win condition. Because no one has had time to playtest and balance a deck for this card, the price is currently low, but if it is broken at some later point that price will skyrocket, similar to what happened with Nexus of Fate. This high risk, high reward speculation play could turn out to be the most profitable MTG Allegiance speculation available, and is definitely worth consideration as you gather cards early in the season.
Speculating on Maigc: The Gathering singles can be risky, but, as the old adage goes, fortune favors the bold, and the upfront risk can pay dividends. These may not be the most powerful or the most broken cards in the format, but they are still relatively cheap compared to their effect, especially those with functionality that has seen explosive prices in similar situations elsewhere. Which cards do you think are under, or over, priced? Comment below!