Unlocked Pro Trader: More Like Guilds Of Ravnoonecares

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Readers,

I apologize for my lack of.. doing an article last week. I wrote one on Saturday, otherwise known as 3 days ago, and you can find it… directly under this one.

I’m back on my regular schedule and I promised some exclusive picks for insiders, and I sort of wish I hadn’t, because, you see

No One Cares About Guilds Of Ravnica

That’s not accurate, I regret writing that in such big letters. Let’s refine that so it more accurately represents my findings.

People Building EDH Decks Don’t Care About Guilds Of Ravnica

Well.. maybe. I’m sure cards from the set are finding their way into all kinds of decks and the new mechanics are very interesting .

People Aren’t Building Decks With Guilds Of Ravnica Commanders

And can you blame them? There’s nothing really new, is there? Remember this graphic from Saturday?

Those are the only Guilds commanders that even cracked the top 25 of the week and Niv-Mizzet barely counts as a new commanders. How do we even know what to care about in the face of builders not really caring about the new set?

We’re going to have to do what I do, the hard way.

A New Technique

Since searching by commander seems a little bit fruitless, we can search by card and see if that tells us anything. Yes, that’s a thing.

Type h t t p colon backslash blackslash w w w dot edhrec dot com into ask jeeves. The first  result will be EDHREC’s website. Alternatively, just click this link and don’t go to websites the way my wife does.

Peep the bar at the top.

See the link for “sets”?

You can click on that dropdown and pick a set.

That will take you to a page where we’ll be able to see the cards from Guilds that are getting put in the most decks. Searching by commander is pretty fruitless but we may find some things searching by set.

POP QUIZ

Before you bring the page up, which card from Guilds of Ravnica do you think is appearing in the most decks? Remember, Niv-Mizzet is the most popular commander in the set and people are building Lazav, then Izoni then Emmara. Got a guess? Go ahead and click the link to bring up the page.

I wouldn’t have guessed this exact sequence of cards, but it’s not a shock to see Assassin’s Trophy and Thousand-Year Storm in the top 10.

Here are some thoughts.

Izoni is in a lot of 99s

Izoni is a fun commander in its own right and a lot of people are brewing with it even though the card sort of looks like a bad Meren or similar commander. However, making a ton of tokens and being able to sac them rather than having to sac real creatures seems like a real winner. If you do something I should have done last week and look at Izoni as a card rather than as a commander, you see where it’s going.

If Izoni is a reason to update Meren and Muldrotha, it’s worth looking at which other cards from Guilds are going in those decks. When some of the most popular decks of all time start using a card, it’s going to have a much larger impact than a new archetype springing up and petering out after 3 months.

Here’s Meren

And here is Muldrotha

3 of the 5 new cards between those decks are identical – Underrealm Lich (GRN), Night Incarnate (C18) and Plaguecrafter (GRN). I think the overlap between two of the most heavily-built decks of all time could be a lot of demand for those cards. In fact,

Plaguecrafter grabs the top spot?

I would never have guessed that with Niv-Mizzet blowing the other decks away, that Plaguecrafter, a card basically no one seems to be talking about is getting jammed in more decks than any other card from the set.

No surprises when you look at the decks it’s getting jammed in, but the card itself didn’t seem THAT remarkable when the set first dropped. However, it makes sense – players who laughed at Fleshbag Marauder because they were a creatureless or Superfriends deck aren’t laughing anymore.

The 6x multiplier lets me know that people are very eager to get a copy of this guy into their lives and I can dig it.

Beast Whisperer is Legit

It’s often we get a card that kind of has this ability, but at 3 mana, this is one of the cheapest ways we’ve ever been able to keep our hands full as fast as we dump them out. I don’t know if EDH demand is going to be able to move the needle on an in-print non-mythic, but I have to imagine this is an important card basically forever. It’s also really easy to reprint, so hoard responsibly.

It’s an Elf and a Druid and I think that could end up mattering a great deal but I also think if this ever flirts with $6 or $7 it likely gets reprinted.

Mission Briefing May Actually Be Good In EDH

People seem inclined to try it, and with EDH being a big mana format, 2 mana tacked onto any spell in your ‘yard is probably not that big a deal. I don’t think its price is done dropping but I also think it’s better in EDH than people think just as it’s worse in other formats than people think.

I don’t know if any of this information is at all useful.

I think some of this stuff will be worth looking at long-term but in the mean time, I want to close out by looking at what goes in a Thousand-Year Storm deck because that’s pretty exciting and none of the rest of this seems super relevant.

I have seen a lot more people online using Kess than I have Mizzix, but I am not doing an anecdotal method here so I guess I am forced to look at both.

 Mizzix of the Izmagnus

1 Baral, Chief of Compliance
1 Charmbreaker Devils
1 Docent of Perfection
1 Goblin Electromancer
1 Guttersnipe
1 Melek, Izzet Paragon
1 Talrand, Sky Summoner
1 Young Pyromancer

1 Blue Sun’s Zenith
1 Brainstorm
1 Capsize
1 Comet Storm
1 Counterflux
1 Counterspell
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Dig Through Time
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Firemind’s Foresight
1 Frantic Search
1 Fury Storm
1 Increasing Vengeance
1 Mystic Confluence
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Nexus of Fate
1 Prophetic Bolt
1 Pull from Tomorrow
1 Reiterate
1 Rewind
1 Scour from Existence
1 Seething Song
1 Stroke of Genius
1 Turnabout
1 Unwind

1 Blasphemous Act
1 Blatant Thievery
1 Bonus Round
1 Epic Experiment
1 Faithless Looting
1 Jaya’s Immolating Inferno
1 Mana Geyser
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Mizzium Mortars
1 Mizzix’s Mastery
1 Mystic Retrieval
1 Past in Flames
1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Rite of Replication
1 Tezzeret’s Gambit
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Vandalblast
1 Volcanic Vision
1 Windfall

1 Izzet Signet
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Primal Amulet
1 Pyromancer’s Goggles
1 Sol Ring
1 Swiftfoot Boots
1 Thought Vessel
1 Worn Powerstone

1 Metallurgic Summonings
1 Swarm Intelligence
1 Thousand-Year Storm

1 Jaya Ballard

 Kess, Dissident Mage

1 Baral, Chief of Compliance
1 Docent of Perfection
1 Goblin Electromancer
1 Guttersnipe
1 Laboratory Maniac
1 Notion Thief
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Spellseeker
1 Talrand, Sky Summoner

1 Brainstorm
1 Cabal Ritual
1 Chaos Warp
1 Counterspell
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Dark Ritual
1 Expansion
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Force of Will
1 Frantic Search
1 Go for the Throat
1 Impulse
1 Increasing Vengeance
1 Izzet Charm
1 Mission Briefing
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Negate
1 Rakdos Charm
1 Reality Shift
1 Swan Song
1 Terminate
1 Vampiric Tutor

1 Damnation
1 Dark Petition
1 Decree of Pain
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Dreadbore
1 Faithless Looting
1 Gamble
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Past in Flames
1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Serum Visions
1 Skull Storm
1 Torment of Hailfire
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Vandalblast
1 Windfall

1 Aetherflux Reservoir
1 Commander’s Sphere
1 Dimir Signet
1 Fellwar Stone
1 Izzet Signet
1 Primal Amulet
1 Rakdos Signet
1 Sol Ring
1 Talisman of Dominance
1 Talisman of Indulgence

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1 Jace’s Sanctum
1 Metallurgic Summonings
1 Search for Azcanta
1 Thousand-Year Storm

1 Ral, Izzet Viceroy

I used a tool I found online to quickly find the list of cards that were in both decks.

1 Baral, Chief of Compliance
1 Docent of Perfection
1 Goblin Electromancer
1 Guttersnipe
1 Talrand, Sky Summoner
1 Brainstorm
1 Counterspell
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Frantic Search
1 Increasing Vengeance
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Faithless Looting
1 Past in Flames
1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Vandalblast
1 Windfall
1 Izzet Signet
1 Primal Amulet
1 Sol Ring
1 Metallurgic Summonings
1 Thousand-Year Storm

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It seems like Docent of Perfection and Talrand are both pretty casual which means we may not get a good idea of what more competitive players are doing. Competitive players buy more foils, better mana bases and they aren’t afraid to drop money on the best cards for a deck. I think competitive players also severely overestimate their numbers, impact on the format and overall relevance. EDH is a casual format and it isn’t like competitive players use cards casual players have never heard of.

If I were going to build around Thousand-Year Storm (Not if, when) I would use Kess but either way, I think these cards are the ones to focus one. Let’s cut the irrelevant and obvious ones.

1 Baral, Chief of Compliance
1 Goblin Electromancer
1 Guttersnipe
1 Brainstorm
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Frantic Search
1 Increasing Vengeance
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Faithless Looting
1 Past in Flames
1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Vandalblast
1 Windfall
1 Primal Amulet
1 Metallurgic Summonings

We have 3 creatures, 2 which reduce the cost of spells and one that domes them when we play a spell, which is great in a deck with cantrips.

We have 6 instants, 1 card that goes in every blue deck because it wipes the board, 2 cantrips, 1 tutor and one card that lets us copy spells. We have 6 sorceries, 3 cantrips, 1 wheel, 1 spell that lets us rebuy our yard and 1 artifact sweeper which seems useful since it leaves our Primal Amulet alone. Metallurgic Summonings is one I almost threw in the pile with Talrand and Docent but I figured it was worth talking about briefly since it’s rotating and could go down in price and might be a good snag. In fact…

Rotation sent this price plummenting from $2 to $1 which doesn’t seem like much but considering this price was entirely predicated on EDH and only tanked because people wanted to dump at rotation, it’s very reasonable to assume this could be $2 again in the near term and more in the longer term. It’s not like Standard was helping us with demand any and the more people who build spellslinger decks, the more copies of this card, one I think is tough to reprint unless they do another spellslinger EDH deck this close to the last one, we’ll see soaked up. I think if you can trade other rotating cards that will tank forever for something that might not tank forever, you won trading straight across. I get these in bulk in collections so often I’m not inclined to pay $1 cash on these but selling out on a few sites wouldn’t hurt its appeal.

There was doubt this could recover from two reprintings in two years but it looks like the doubters can eat Storm Crow. Formats where this gets used 2-4 copies don’t really exist anymore so EDH is soaking up a lot of copies but doing it just fine.  This is a powerful card with a lot of upside and if it managed to shrug off two reprintings, it’s got more upside and it also likely doesn’t get hit for a while at least. I like this pickup.

The cheapest NM foil is like $5 on TCG Player which is barely twice the non-foil price. I like this pickup a lot. It’s got flashback which somewhat limits its reprint venues which is not a guarantee but is an insulating factor. There is some evidence to suggest a non-foil reprint increases the foil price if no foil is printed at the same time such as with a Commander precon or goofy boardgame or something. I think both are an excellent place to park money and they should be in any deck that runs Thousand-Year Storm.

That’s all for me! Tune in next week or if you’re a Pro Trader, keep reading for a few bonus picks that I promised to thank you for not rioting when I didn’t publish an article until Saturday last week. If you aren’t a Pro Trader, it is very inexpensive and a lot of the time when one of us recommends a low-stock pick, 48 hours makes all of the difference. Consider supporting the site. Thanks for reading!

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Bonus Article – Rebound

Readers,

I’m sorry for the lack of an article earlier in the week. By way of apology to Pro Traders, I’ll have some exclusive picks for you in next week’s article. We have a policy of a pretty soft paywall on this site but that doesn’t apply to cases where I drop the ball. If you’re not a Pro Trader, thanks for reading and consider buying what is easily the cheapest paywall subscription on any website. You’ll make your money back  for the year the first time a spec hits. Onward to what I wanted to discuss today.

Guilds of Ravnica is having a sort of slow time getting going compared to the excitement people experienced with Commander 2018. That’s to be expected – Guilds of Ravnica is not exactly optimized for EDH and cards like Tajic really drive that point home. However, there are a few unique commanders like Lazav that are driving prices already (although we could argue Necrotic Ooze popped because of the free article on SCG rather than Lazav decks, but I guess we’ll never know until Phyrexian Devourer either pops or doesn’t) but for the most part, we’re not finding a ton of data. What I am seeing isn’t super encouraging.

We have 4 GRN commanders in the top commanders for the week, which is not great. Worse, only one of them is really all that new and unique. Niv-Mizzet is being basically built the exact same way as every other Niv-Mizzet because he has 0 new abilities, Izoni is basically Slimefoot with different creature types and Emmara is a bad Rhys. Lazav is doing novel things but we already covered what I expect to pop based on that deck. I don’t think it’s worth taking another look at it this week but this did make me wonder – how likely are non-mythics to recover from recent reprints if they get more play based on events that happen after their printing? Is there a way we can target cards in Masters sets and commander precons better knowing what’s likely to recover and what’s not? Do we pick differently based on what shakes off a printing in under a year (Eternal Witness) and what takes two or more (Oblivion Stone)?

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It’s unlikely that someone who has built a Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind deck is going to run back out and buy the 97 or more cards that will be identical when you build a Niv-Mizzet, Parun deck, but someone who has built and loves Rhys might be inclined to build an Emmara deck because the decks, while one seems to be more effective, play a bit differently. Emmara is focused on using the cheap, easy-to-recast commander to generate advantage and use spells to modify the tokens whereas Rhys uses spells to make the tokens and his ability to modify them. Cards like Parallel Lives overlap and cards like Umbral Mantle do not.

So what that was reprinted in the last year and I looking at based on its inclusion in one of these 4 decks?

I want to use this card as my baseline. I think being a Mythic in a recentish set (last Ravnica which everyone says was too recent but was 6 years ago this week) is like being a rare in an older set and getting a commander precon printing is worse than getting a masters set reprinting. I don’t expect Epic Experiment to recover. I think under 3K decks is probably too few, I think it’s not even that great in Niv-Mizzet, Parun decks but a third of the people who just built it disagree with me there (though two thirds agree) and I think it’s not useful in enough different kinds of decks to go up. I’ll be saying whether every pick I come across is more or less likely than Epic Experiment to go up. If you agree, then maybe the pick is a good one.

Tandem Lookout is a card with very little demand (around 1,000 decks, almost all of them Niv-Mizzet) but foils are basically the same price as non-foils. The farther we get from Modern Masters 2017, the more likely it is to flirt with that $2 mark again. I think this is a “roughly as likely as Epic Experiment to recover” but you can get these in bulk foils and I recommend setting them aside.  These may be the same price as the non-foil now, but I expect that to change. It’s too perfect with Niv-Mizzet and apparently they love to reprint cards with that same ability in Izzet.

Up from $0.50 to its current $2, this has recovered from Eternal Masters quite nicely. The foils took a bit of a hit as well.

I think this is a good example of a card that can shrug off a reprinting in foil eventually as well and Modern and Vintage play makes the foils more attractive than does EDH. However, the foil is beginning to recover and though any time this is reprinted, it will likely be in a set that has foil options also, this is still bound to follow the non-foil and recover. It’s sub-$20 but has shown the capacity to flirt with $50. I think this will be $25-$30 pretty soon and the non-foil will be $3 to $4. EDH isn’t doing this on its own, but it’s helping.

Way more useful than Niv-Mizzet-specific cards is one that I found in Lazav lists as well. This shrugs off reprints all the time but never really gets above $2.50, either. I think the real play here is the foil copies.

While the non-foil is likely to get a breather to recover in price for a year or so in which time I expect it to crest $3, the foil is currently $4 despite only having been printed in foil once. I think this can slowly climb given how good the non-foil has been at maintaining a relatively even keel in the face of a pile of reprints and if this is $10 in a year, I won’t be that surprised. It could just as easily not be $10, but it’s in 18,000 decks and because of its inclusion in Commander sets and Battle Royale, it was only printed once in a set where its rarity mattered. I like both the foil and non-foil of Windfall and the fact that it showed up in Niv-Mizzet AND Lazav decks when I checked today makes me doubly confident. This foil can’t remain a dollar more than the non-foil when it’s in booster packs that cost $7.

This tanked to nearly $4 and is recovering but it’s not done. I think the new art kind of sucks so I am targeting Mirage copies but at 33,000 deck inclusions, it’s clear players aren’t picky, they just want copies. This likely crests $10 if it’s not printed again soon and despite not being legal in Legacy anymore, this is a real iconic card, it’s an EDH staple in Blue decks and it has almost recovered 100% in the last year and isn’t done. Next time they do a Master’s Set, I’ll do another list of cards likely to recover well – I checked back in on the cards I mentioned last time I did that like Rune-scarred Demon and Austere Command and they are doing very well. This seems like a no-brainer even if we’re not buying at the floor.

12,000 deck inclusions and some real synergy with Izoni make me think this is bound to pop back up, soon. Being printed at uncommon in Masters 25 isn’t ideal, but it’s also like an $8 booster pack and the card is relatively recent anyway. I bet this is $2 eventually – especially given that Blood Artist was in Eternal Masters AND C17 and is already over $2 itself. If you only play one, you probably play Artist over Cutthroat, but why in the world wouldn’t you play both?

You do play both.

There’s nothing really applicable in the Emmara deck, but I do have a few notes.

This is in the Guild Kit with the same art, meaning the Eternal Masters price drubbing has been made even worse. This will likely never recover. I don’t think its modest demand, limited mostly to Emmara decks coming out soon, is enough to make me want the foils, either. Don’t sleep on the Guild kits, folks. They have foil commanders with new art, really sexy basic lands and it has quite a few rares for its price point.

No one really has this in stock and I think a quick run on it the few places it’s listed can create a spike you can sell into.  I’m not advocating creating the spike but I think you might want to be equipped with some of these. They are pretty specific to this one deck but they are also rare as can be given they were printed in 1996. I am planning to buy every copy on Card Shark in a few days – it’s already selling out everywhere else.

That’s all for me. I apologize for the late article. I’ll get the Pro Traders back next week with some exclusive picks. Until next time!

Brainstorm Brewery #308 Now I’m Recording

 

Corbin’s (@CHosler88) and DJ (@Rose0fThorns) start the episode without the star, Jason (@jasonEalt). But once they all gang up they are able to help you tackle your way through new standard, Magic Fest, and the Mexico of Europe.

Make sure to check us out on Youtube for hidden easter eggs and facial reactions  https://www.youtube.com/user/BrainstormBrewery

The First-Week Frenzy

There’s nothing like the first week of Standard results and a big event on camera to make me look both quite good and quite bad.

We’ve had more than a few cards jump, and jump impressively, from Guilds of Ravnica and from the other Standard-legal sets.

Today I want to look at a few of those cards and see if there’s still room for growth, or if it’s time to get out.

The rest of this content is only visible to ProTrader members.

To learn how ProTrader can benefit YOU, click here to watch our short video.

expensive cards

ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

 

Cliff has been writing for MTGPrice for five years now, and is an eager Commander player, Draft enthusiast, and Cube fanatic. A high school science teacher by day, he’s also the official substitute teacher of the MTG Fast Finance podcast. If you’re ever at a GP (next up: Oakland in January!) and you see a giant flashing ‘CUBE DRAFT’ sign, go over, say hi, and be ready to draft.

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