Well, it is pre-order price gouge season after all Wait until the rest of the set is spoiled. There is room for only so many cards to be > $50 a piece. I do expect the value of the foils though to be worth about as much as donating a kidney or a testicle though...
It's a print-to-demand set, the prices will probably stabilize somewhere sane in a month or two.
On topic, I'm not sure what to think about Urza. I see the appeal, but I don't think he's necessarily better than Whirler Rogue. The two Thopters are going to better than the Construct on average; the unblockability is probably worse than the ramp on average, but it's a situationally great effect; and the Mind's Desire is probably going to be disappointing. I might try him out, but I'm really not sold.
I'm going to go against the consensus here and say I don't think this card makes the 4 drop slot. I'd rather play Whirler Rogue, as on it's own it is a stronger card. It fits into more archetypes as well, and functions much better on offense. An easy pass from me, but I'l be interested to see how the card pans out in everyone else's cube.
I'm running a 720 cube so I have a little more flexibility than most for additions. I'm looking at either dungeon geists or clever impersonator. I'm leaning toward impersonator because, while his ceiling is for sure higher, geists tends to do more work/have a bigger impact on average. Anyone have any thoughts on whether this would be the right swap or not?
Don't normally post in this forum much, but my group proxied this in the Nonsense to test it as we've a dedicated W/U artifact shell for it to slide into. What we found was:
Without the artifact deck: Essentially an expensive wall that generates a blue Llanowar Elves. While people could use it's 5 cost ability they'd normally have better cards to play, and it obviously has the risk factor of hitting a land as much as an Kederekt Leviathan. Was ok, but non-artifact players quickly passed on it alot.
With the artifact deck: Hahahaha. This guy gets pretty funny if you've got plenty of tokens kicking about. Essentially works like the golem creating cards, with a mana sink to funnel excess mana into at the end of your opponent's turn, which while hitting a land can be awful, dropping a Darksteel Forge or Scourglass can be hilarious. However, it didn't do much proactively outside of that, and if it gets nuked off the board it's done little other than make a golem.
I don't think I'd recommend it to anyone not running an artifact deck of some type, and even then, I don't think it would replace Whirler Rogue in it. It's more like a mid-tier piece for artifact deck, or a flashy blocked outside of it. He does really like the Shaeeli cards though... just saying
We got to see a player to live the dream of Extraplanar Lens with Urza last night. Things got a bit nutty. He didn't get to play his while library, but he got to activate things on the cheap and do it multiple times a turn.
From watching the game, I noticed something that isn't really mentioned here.
Yes, he hit lands on activation... but what seemed to hurt more was also hitting irrelevant spells like Mana Drain. While most things he flipped were lands or playable cards like more artifacts, there were a couple of times he hit a counterspell on his turn after also hitting a land, or hitting a land right afterwards.
If this ends up cheap, I'm interested. If not, I'm okay without it. It does a lot of stuff that I like, but the idea that it's an $80 card is just silly. Turning artifacts into mana dorks and being a great mana sink are pretty swell.
Tinker is pretty easy to support even if your cube isn't artifact heavy. It's a Blue Natural Order. I don't think most unpowered cubes run Tolarian Academy. Anyway, I don't think Urza is better than existing options in unpowered lists that aren't heavily invested into the artifacts archetype. Just my two cents.
It's taking longer to get data for me than usual since I'm on a bit of a hiatus, but took a break and got in two drafts with Urza yesterday. Pretty sure it cemented the card as one that will never leave my cube. The fact of the matter is that the floor is completely serviceable with very little artifact synergy. When it isn't doing something stupid, it feels around the level of Huntmaster of the Fells, which is a cubable card. But it is not hard to make this card utterly absurd, or even just have the average case be strong stats for an efficient cost in a color that doesn't really get that. God forbid you can jam it and leave up Counterspell thanks to the mana ability.
While it's likely not as good in cubes that don't support an artifact deck, I think you're doing yourself a disservice not testing it. It's expensive, so if you don't want to invest and don't like proxies, I get it. But FWIW after seeing it in action a couple times my gut says that this is the best four mana blue card in my cube. Yes, that includes JTMS.
While I don't necessarily agree with the scalding hot take of it being better than Jace, the Mind Sculptor, I do agree with the take that I can't imaging taking Urza, Lord High Artificer out of my cube. The card is not only insanely powerful and synergistic, but it's a blast to play with. It's really rare that a card is both terrific and a flavor home run, and Urza is exactly that.
It probably has a higher ceiling than JTMS, but I can't imagine picking it p1p1 over jace. You probably need a ton of artifacts before it comes better.
In my cube ,locking yourself into the artifact deck has a clear chance of train wrecking if other people are doing the same. Also, going an early artifact.dec piece forces you to pick cards like signets over better cards.
I think Tolarian academy and tinker are even more busted in the artifact deck, then you have people who want to go into it because they had some absurd start like mox -> mana vault... If you use the 3rd/4th best card as a signal to move into the archetype, and other people are doing the same, trainwrecks will happen too often.
That being said I've yet to get proper experience with the card, maybe it's just that good
At least in a P1P1. I think JTMS is going to give you a more stable draft overall, but Tinker and Urza have such crazy games sometimes, that I have a hard time just passing them. You can often beat JTMS at his best, you don't get to beat the other two are their best, at least not in my drafting with Urza since he was spoiled. I have seen so much crazy stuff so far.
Obviously as the draft moves forward you can get signals if your artifact deck is open or not. I wouldn't P2P1 it over JTMS unless I had a good P1 draft for it, but definitely P1P1.
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LEGACY|UWStonebladeCOMMANDER|UBGThe Mimeoplsm Ooze & Aghhs!MODERN|UWAzorius Control
If I still ran Tezzeret, the Seeker I would make that swap. As I think that iteration of Tezzeret is near worthless.
There is some really high praise for Urza happening here with people placing it over JTMS. Maybe we're still looking at this card with the spoiler-season tinted glasses? I'll admit, I'm still trying to rework my cube to make it more artifact friendly and maybe that is why in my cube's current form I can't see this being an impactful play. I keep thinking about the "average" value of this card with 3 artifacts (and that is being very generous for many cubes) and you're getting 4/7 in power over two bodies. With three artifacts the total p/t you get is obvious solid--but really only defensively speaking as neither a 3/3 or a 1/4 attack well at that point in the game.
There's some mention about how you can tap your new robot for U and be able to counterspell if you just have one other artifact. Are you really getting a lot of ramp out of this when the artifacts are often mana rocks that can produce mana more efficiently to begin with?
The last ability isn't really impactful from feedback I have seen. It's okay as a mana sink, but blue isn't a color that needs to rely on chance in its gameplan.
In sum: I think this card is strong and in powered or artifact intensive cubes it probably merits a slot, but most unpowered cubes I have seen don't have the proper support for this card to get the value needed to make it impactful.