One of the most recently spoiled cards was "Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver." This card is surely to give opponents nightmares. Not only does it have a low casting cost, but it's additional abilities should prove to be extremely powerful in the game.
"Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver"
By adding two loyalty, Ashiok will "exile the top three cards of target opponent's library." In a game where drawing cards and seeking options is vital to winning some games, removing some of those options is a painful blow. In addition to making sure your opponent won't be seeing those cards, they also will not be able to use them against you.
More importantly, adding two loyalty counters brings the total to five (barring any other early disruption), making Ashiok just a little bit harder to destroy even if it's controller has nothing to protect it with.
The God complex
It's your third turn and you play Ashiok. You add two loyalty counters and exile the top three cards of your opponents deck. One of those cards is "Thassa, God of the Sea." You pass, and on their turn they play a land and say go. Ashiok now has five counters.
It's second ability says that you can remove "X" counters and "put a creature card with converted mana cost X exiled with Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver onto the battlefield under your control." In this case, "X" equals three because that's the converted mana cost of Thassa. So you decide to remove three counters from Ashiok, and now you get to take Thassa from your opponent and place her onto the battlefield under your control.
How does this impact the fake scenario? You now have an indestructible creature/enchantment. This creature is a rather large creature with a power of five and a toughness of five. You'll have the ability to scry for one during your upkeep. More importantly, you've now greatly reduced the statistical chances that your opponent will draw and play Thassa on their side.
Ashiok and his Ultimate
There is a reason its known as the ultimate ability. Typically, the last ability on a planeswalker takes the most loyalty to use and can have a large impact on the game. In this situation, it can have its upside and (mostly) downside.
As someone who plays in the standard-constructed format, it's difficult to see Ashiok's ultimate being used often as well as effectively. Unless control makes a strong surge, emptying the hand of an aggro player will not be of much use because their hand is close to empty most of the time as they are constantly playing spells and creatures.
However, in casual multiplayer environments, you can expect plenty of moans and groans when it gets used.
Early predictions on financial value
The newest incarnation of Elspeth is currently pre-selling on Starcitygames.com for $24.99. It may be safe to assume that we can expect Ashiok to pre-sell for at least the same amount, if not, more. It would be quite a surprise if it pre-sold for less.
Among standard players, Ashiok may be a popular choice as the only other blue planeswalkers are "Jace, Architect of Thought" and "Jace, Memory Adept." "Tamiyo, the Moon Sage" will be rotating out of the format once "Theros" is legal. Both Jaces are currently not a popular choice, so this one may see more play.
EDH players should find this an appealing card as well, and the fact that it's a planeswalker is enough to make casual players want it.
Some safe, early numbers could see Ashiok spike at $30 or more early on and then settle to around $20.
If you've been playing "Magic: The Gathering" for a while now or you've just started, it's important to remember that sometimes this game can be quite unpredictable. My point of reference: "Glimpse the Unthinkable."
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