Pro Trader: French is Greek to Me


I’m going to be honest, the research for this article didn’t lead me where I thought it was going to at all. I started out with a request from my readers (and my boss, someone I’m even more inclined to listen to) that I talk about how the adoption of 1v1 Commander on Magic Online will affect that format and prices. It’s Commander and I write about Commander, so I should know about it, right? That was the theory, anyway. It was a theory I even accepted myself. “How different could it be?” I asked myself, not doing really any research between last week and today. “After all, it’s not like 1v1 Commander is Tiny Leaders.” You want to know what I learned right off the bat?

Actually, I will get to that in a second, but first there’s something I want to cover. What do I mean by the adoption of 1v1 Commander by Magic Online? Well, last week, they made this post to a few places including their Tumblr which is where I cribbed it from.

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Pro Trader: Mastering Modern: Making Money on Modern in 2017 (Pt 2)

This is the second in my three part series on making money on Modern cards in 2017. You can find the first part, covering the cards most likely to rebound from Modern Masters 2017, over here.

First off, let’s check in on the prices of the rares and mythics from Modern Masters 2017 to see how those potential specs are progressing.

Most mythics are still on the decline since the release of MM17.

There was some chatter online last week that the set was rebounding, but as the charts above show, this is clearly not the case overall. MM17 mythics are down nearly 50% on average from Dec 1st, 2016 and

Nearly all of the MM17 mythics are either holding steady or have continued to fall, down an average of 12% from their release day pricing. Some very good deals were found during opening weekend, and momentum from those couple of days likely accounts for the few rebounds. The exceptions along those lines so far are Liliana of the Veil, Cavern of Souls and Snapcaster Mage, all of which are of course very popular staples in both Modern and Legacy. LOTV currently holds one of the shallowest listings on, which could indicate it could regain $90-100 within the next few months, pending information on further set inventory.

Tarmogoyf has also been relatively consistent in the $85-90 range. As frequent 3 or 4-ofs in multiple decks, many players have had their eye on these cards looking for a solid entry point, and were likely impressed enough by the large discounts vs. prices from last fall to move in. It’s possible that some dealers and speculators have also taken up some of the inventory slack in hopes of future profits. From here on out, I would expect the cards that have been holding stead or rebounding to continue along similar lines, but whether this stays the case will depend heavily on how much more inventory shows up. Now that we’ve moved on to Amonkhet spoilers, the shift in focus back to Standard may redirect player funds and chill the rebounds as well. That being said, there really aren’t that many listings for the mythics at present, so if inventory is choked off faster than expected, further gains on the popular cards are likely.

Rares also continue to fall.

MM17 rares have been following similar patterns, with the average rare down a whopping 63% since Dec 1st/16, and nearly 19% since release day. If we ignore the most popular handful of rares, many of the other rares are down over 80% (!) since December. Some of these cards are now so cheap that waiting for further discounts is largely unnecessary. If you need play sets of Terminus, Pyromancer’s Ascension, Thragtusk, Scavenging Ooze, Phantasmal Image, or Abrupt Decay a further 10-20% decline won’t make much difference either way.

The most resiliant rares have so far proven to be Scalding Tarn, Verdant Catacombs and Stony Silence.  Most of the other fetchlands are so far holding steady, with shallow gains or losses, but I don’t think you need to be shy on getting in on them at this point, at least for your first playset. I’d like to spec on some of these, but for those purposes I’m willing to hold off until I understand inventory flow a bit better. Death’s Shadow got as low as $4 at one point during release weekend, but as one of the most important creatures in Modern right now, it didn’t take much for people to scoop them up and push the price back towards $8. If the card stays popular, and doesn’t get banned out of the format this year, these could end up close to $15 and may still be a solid speculative pick.

Cards like Damnation and Basilisk Collar, whose prices were largely supply side driven, have taken a serious pounding, with $20 Damnations now available, representing a 67% discount vs. last fall.

A Look at The Cards Not Printed

Now let us turn our attention to the important Modern cards that didn’t make it into Modern Masters 2017, investigate their recent price trends and try to identify our best targets for further gains.

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ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

CEO of, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

MTG Fast Finance Podcast: Episode 60 (Mar 24/17)

MTG Fast Finance is our weekly podcast covering the flurry of weekly financial activity in the world of Magic: The Gathering. MFF provides a fast, fun and useful sixty minute format. Follow along with our seasoned hosts as they walk you through this week’s big price movements, their picks of the week, metagame analysis and a rotating weekly topic.

Show Notes: Mar 24, 2017

Segment 1: Top Card Spikes of the Week

A pretty quiet week in card spikes…that is up until the MM17 reveals wrapped up Thursday and people started moving on cards that weren’t included. (Expect to see those here next week.)

Pain's Reward

Pain’s Reward (SOK, Rare)
Start: $0.75
Finish: $6.75
Gain: +$6.00 (+800%)

Grasp of Fate (CMD 2015, Rare)
Start: $2.75
Finish: $16.00
Gain: +$13.25 (+481%)

Seismic Assault (Exodus, Rare)
Start: $2.00
Finish: $7.00
Gain: +5.00 (+250%)

Concordant Crossroads (LEG, Rare)
Start: $25.00
Finish: $70.00
Gain: +$45.00 (+180%)

Power Artifact (ANT, Uncommon)
Start: $53.00
Finish: $120.00
Gain: +$67.00 (+127%)

Negate (Magic Player Rewards)
Start: $12.00
Finish: $21.00
Gain: +$9.00 (+75%)

Caves of Koilos (APOC, Uncommon)
Start: $15.00
Finish: $23.00
Gain: +$8.00 (+53%)

James’ Picks:

Eldrazi Temple

  1. Eldrazi Temple (MM15, Uncommon)
  • The Call: Confidence Level 8: $10.00 to $18.00 (+8.00/80%) 0-12+ months)

2. Cyclonic Rift (MM17, Foil Rare)

  • The Call: Confidence Level 8: $10.00 to $20.00 (+10.00/+100%, 12+ months)

3. All is Dust (MM15, Rare)

  • The Call: Confidence Level 7: $13.00 to $20.00 (+7.00/+54%, 0-6+ months)

Cliffs’ Picks:

  1. Whir of Invention (AER, Rare)
  • The Call: Confidence Level 7: $1.00 to $5.00 (+4.00/+400%, 12+ months)

2. Winding Constrictor (AER, Uncommon Foil)

  • The Call: Confidence Level 6: $7.50 to $12.50 (+5.00/+67%, 6-12+ months)

Disclosure: Cliff and James may own speculative copies of the above cards.

Segment 3: Metagame Week in Review

Cliff & James went over the results from the Standard GPs in Japan and Brazil last weekend, spotlighting the Temur Tower decks as the main breath of fresh air.

Segment 4: Topic of the Week

The guys went over the current price points for key MM17 staples and discussed where we’re likely going from here.

CEO of, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

Checking the Sideboards

Today I want to look at some sideboard cards in Modern and Legacy, things which aren’t seeing a lot of play yet but if they are good enough to make the 75, it’s worth thinking about what might pop given a little time or a minor metagame shift.

Deck: Death’s Shadow

Collective Brutality – $10/$18 foil – This is a very intriguing card, since it’s a small set rare with a foil multiplier that’s under two. It’s not seeing play in Standard currently, so this price is mostly from the other formats. This is seeing play in a range of decks, but not in large numbers. Mostly, it’s a one-or-two-of, as befits such a flexible card.

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ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.