UNLOCKED PROTRADER: Presents for Future You

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I love this time of year. I love how excited I get about buying people presents, and seeing their reactions.

Know what else I love? Getting presents from my past self! This past year, my biggest presents were a stack of Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and a few foil Thought-Knot Seers. Thanks, Past Cliff!

So with the year closing down, I want to highlight a few things that you should buy for your future self, and that person will thank you for spending as little as you did for something so valuable. Yes, this is a semi-wordy way of explaining that I’ve got some juicy picks for the coming year, but it truly felt like a present to trade away foil TKS at $40 when I’d gotten them for a lot less!

Now for the cards:

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Whir of Invention foil ($5): It’s started to pop up in Lantern Control builds, and it’s a terrifying card in that deck, able to get whichever one-of they need. This is only the first deck to make good use of the card, and that’s why it’s still just $5. The casual appeal is also off the charts, as artifact tutors are really powerful (Fabricate, an uncommon, is nearly $3 for this reason) and abuseable. I’ve called it out, as has the MTG Fast Finance crew, and consider this your last warning for getting in under $10. There’s 20 pack foils on TCG right now, and another 70 Prerelease foils.

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Treachery ($23): Reserved List cards have been popping all year, some for reasons no better than ‘It’s on the RL, BUY THEM NOW OMGWTFBBQ’ so getting this while it’s cheap is wonderful. There’s only 32 on TCG right now, so it won’t be available for long. It’s awesome in both Cube and Commander, and how about a foil price above $300? That’s a 12x multiplier, an indication of the super-tiny supply in existence.

I could also be talked into buying Future Cliff some relatively cheap Gilded Drakes, a card that just wants one more good flicker effect. Roon of the Hidden Realm does love this fella.

Containment Priest ($12): Yes, I know there’s an Invocation version, but I have a very strong bias against those cards, but that version will likely rise too. If this spikes, I like to be in on the cheaper version and get the bigger percentage gain. This was a $50 card its first weekend, if you remember all the way back to the GP right after its premiere. I don’t think it’ll hit those heights again, but there are enough Legacy and Vintage decks, plus the Commander/Cube users, to give this legs. The Invocation likely means it’s safe from reprints for a little while, and the supply is pretty small.

Solemn Simulacrum, Invention version ($55): I think the Inventions are home runs every time I see them, and as the card with the widest range of homes, I want to get my future self a couple of these relatively cheaply. It’s not going to take much for this to bump to $75, and given the number that get soaked up by casual players, there’s never going to be a lot of these in circulation. The sad robot is at the sweet spot for the amount of play it gets and the price it’s at. Sure, there’s a ton of printings out there, but this is the sweetest version of all, unless you’re a pack foil purist, a totally respectable stance to take.

Ignore the non-filters in the list, though they are intriguing…

Expedition-version filterlands ($32-$59): I keep being surprised that they haven’t reprinted these lands, but given the prices of these special versions, maybe I shouldn’t be. What’s really surprising is that these specials are around 1.7x the price of the normal paper version, with the exception of Graven Cairns, who’s had two extra printings in Future Sight and now Iconic Masters. These are some of the best lands you could ask for in color-hungry decks, and if I’m needing just one for casual play, why not pay a little more and get the super-sweet one?

Sigarda’s Aid in foil ($3.50): There’s ~150 total foils of this on TCG, and a foil multiplier of a touch over 3. For a small-set rare, that’s awfully intriguing, considering that this card is truly absurd in the decks that want it. Equipment has flash AND free equips? Auras are all instant-speed too? (Don’t overlook that, I sure did!) It’s an enabler in two archetypes, and the name means we’re less likely to see it in a Masters set where it’d be in foil again. This seems like a great contender to be in a nonfoil special release, like Commander decks.

Too bad it’s not the top ten cards of your deck!

Deploy the Gatewatch foil ($4): Here’s another card that I feel pretty good about going forward. It’s got HUGE appeal among the casual crowd, and is a card worth jamming in the superfriends decks that commanders like Atraxa love. It’s even a small-set mythic, with only 50 NM copies on TCG right now. I’m also tickled to have this card because Magic’s creative team is leaning away from the Gatewatch as a story element, making reprints that much less likely.

And whatever holidays you’re celebrating, I hope they are awesome!

Cliff is an avid Cuber and Commander player and loves any unusual way to play Magic, especially avoiding endless Temur Energy mirror matches. Catch his weekly articles every Friday on MTGPrice or hit him up on Twitter @WordOfCommander.

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