All posts by Jason Alt

Jason is the hardest working MTG Finance writer in the business. With a column appearing on Gathering Magic in addition to MTG Price, he is also a member of the Brainstorm Brewery finance podcast and a writer and administrator for Brainstorm Brewery's content website. Follow him on twitter @JasonEAlt

Brainstorm Brewery #307 Brown Listed


Corbin’s (@CHosler88), DJ (@Rose0fThorns), and Jason (@jasonEalt) welcome back patron Steve (@SteveMKestner) to discuss all the exciting news and hype for Guilds of Ravnica.

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Unlocked Pro Trader: The Second Wave

People all seem to agree that a second wave of Battlebond is coming. I looked for a while and the only corroboration I could find was this bitchy tweet and, considering the source, I’m inclined to take it with a grain of salt, but if someone were going to dispute the facts, they would have already and so far no one has.

It would appear we’re getting a second wave of Battlebond that, for two reasons, excites me.

No, it excites me for ONE reason but there are two reasons it excites me for one reason. That’s confusing. There are two reasons it’s exciting for one reason? There are two FACTORS that contribute to it being exciting (for one reason) and here they are.

  1. It’s been a long time since we had Battlebond packs
  2. We didn’t know we were getting more

If you take the total amount of Battlebond packs over the two printings and released them at a steady rate until they were all gone, the prices would all equilibrate quite a bit lower than they are now. However, breaking it up into two waves with the second wave not even really announced (I suspect they realized they underprinted) and a curious thing will happen. The first wave will establish the price, high, based on the full demand and half of the supply. When the second wave of supply comes in, demand won’t really be satiated, most people won’t really be aware that the second wave is happening or that it’s as big as the first wave and the prices will mostly stay the same. The first wave gave us the $12 Morphic Pool, the second wave will give us hundreds and hundreds of Morphic Pools that we can sell at $12.

A perception of a smaller supply than exists can cause prices to go drastically above MSRP.

This is what happens when a small batch of $5 chips sell out quickly and end up on the secondary market. I only know these chips sell for so much because we wanted to eat one as a Patreon goal on Brainstorm Brewery. If you want to see Douglas Johnson almost die and Corbin Hosler embarrass himself by being a filthy cheater, check it out.  If you want to see Corbin have to redeem himself by eating a second hot-ass chip (they were so hot, seriously) then check it out.  If they released all of the chips at once, the price wouldn’t be so ridiculous on the secondary market with such a high supply of high price chips, but with release staggered and the total number available unclear, we see a high price that maintains itself.


If you don’t want a chip anecdote because the part of your brain that allows you to experience joy or whimsy is damaged, I can give you another example, and that’s Unstable. The example isn’t unstable, the example IS Unstable. The set.

Maro says they didn’t overprint Unstable and they broke it into multiple waves which meant that prices were allowed to get decently high on the important stuff like foil tokens, meme cards and the full-art lands. They learned how to make a set seem like it sold much better than previous Un-sets while selling less of it. The trick? Something they must have failed to do with Conspiracy 2 – they didn’t have a bunch of unsold boxes of a set that people were only interested in for a few weeks. Battlebond appears to have sold much better than Conspiracy 2 by sheer virtue of there not being loose boxes of Battlebond for dealer cost all over the internet.

With a second wave of Battlebond coming, what do we expect?

Discovered Demand

People are priced out of some of the Battlebond cards, if you ask me. Najeela is $8, the foil is $100 and the Battlebond lands, all 5 of which could go in the deck, are all above $10. A second stab at being able to open some Battlebond hotness saw 15 people make a Najeela deck on EDHREC this week, which is high. Is it that people are updating their list to incorporate Guilds of Ravnica cards?

I don’t think that’s the case because only 3 people have updated with Guilds cards and the cards they added aren’t exactly staples. It seems like the promise of more Battlebond boxes has people jazzed and thinking about the deck. More people built Najeela than Saheeli this week and the ink isn’t even dry on Saheeli.

If there is hype surrounding Najeela and other Battlebond stuff, we should briefly re-look at what’s going on in that deck.

For whatever reason, the Humans deck in Modern doesn’t care about this human. That said, this is also a Warrior, it’s unfair and it is coming off of a reprint and regaining ground fast. If this is left alone for a few years, which I anticipate, this is a $4-$5 card you can currently buy below $2. I don’t like this as much as other picks, but this is a great card to snag in trade or just get for a dime when you tell people you buy bulk rares and you let them tell you which rares they want to sell you for a dime (don’t be a scumbag and tell people their $2 cards are bulk rares). I buy stacks of bulk rares without looking through and when I get home I always find one or two of these and I can live with that.  That party won’t last forever.


I wouldn’t call what’s going to happen to this card a second “spike” per se but I would venture to guess that this tanks at rotation and approaches $5ish bucks. All of the cheap copies were ferreted out when it spiked the first time and it’s not like people are going to stop doing Helm of the Host stuff in EDH. Celebrant gives extra combat phases to everything and there are a lot of commanders that like to swing a few times and even more that haven’t been printed yet, but will and when they are, people will remember this mythic.

If this isn’t reprinted or made obsolete in the next 24 months, this will sell for $10 on Card Kingdom. I would stake money on that claim.

Since we have EDHREC data (some) for Guilds of Ravnica and my best advice regarding Battlebond singles is “buy boxes as close to dealer cost as you can and enjoy opening a set where there are 10 cards over $10 and multiple $100 foils,” I am going to close today’s piece out with a few GRN picks based on Lazav data.

Lazav Picks

This is also a $10 foil but this unreprintable uncommon from a set with $700 booster boxes (I’m guessing) isn’t getting any cheaper and with demand from both Lazav and Yuriko coming within weeks of each other, expect a brief ramp and then a violent cascade in this card’s price. I realize there are a lot of copies of this out there, but there are a lot of copies of a lot of cards that have been printed more than this and which cost more. This is a $3-$4 card that you’re going to pull out of bulk.

I know I mentioned this last week or the week before but, seriously, this is a matter of “when” and not “if” and you need to believe that.

This card is $3 some places and $0.50 others. Which of those two prices do you expect is going to be the one to correct?

Anyway, there’s some picks. I think if you have a line on cheap Battlebond boxes, I might look into getting a case because box EV is pretty nutty. EV is currently over $100 and if you can get $80ish boxes, you’re playing a lottery where every $1 ticket pays $1.20 and there are occasional jackpots. A case makes you reasonably sure to get cards that aren’t done going up like Brightling, Doubling Season, Diabolic Intent, Najeela, Morphic Pools cycle and Will and Rowan. That’s my plan, anyway. You do you.

Until next time!

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Brainstorm Brewery #306 Guilds of Ravnica Set Review

Corbin’s (@CHosler88), DJ (@Rose0fThorns), and Jason (@jasonEalt) bring in the big guns, Jacob Van Lunen (@JVLTMS) to help with the Guilds of Ravnica Set review.

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Guilds of Ravnica Prerelease Weekend Pickup Guide.


Lots of stuff is going to go down in price – it has to. The current prices are predicated a lot on guessing and the stuff that’s getting reprinted is going to really tank, there’s no way Assassin’s Trophy can maintain $63 or whatever it’s at right now ($25 Market price, which seems OK for now) and bulk rares are pre-selling for $2 because of course they are.

I haven’t done this before, but given the lack of EDHREC data and my total lack of enthusiasm for any of these commanders as build-arounds with the exception of like, Lazav, whose picks I already talked about, I have to do something worthwhile this week, so why not a guide for the prerelease weekend? If you go to the LGS, and you should, it’s an opportunity to grab the new cards before anyone else has them. It’s also a chance to think about which bulk rares are going to be a dime soon so you can try to get something out of them. An ideal scenario? Trading bulk rares out at $2 toward some future EDH staples. If you got rid of Aethersquall Ancient at $2 and picked up Panharmonicon at $2 on prerelease weekend, you look like a genius today.

Today Ancient is a bulk rare worth a thin dime and Panharmonicon is at $3 and climbing.

How can we try and set up trades like that? Thinking about what’s going where and going into the weekend forewarned and therefore forearmed. I mean forearmed in the sense that you’re armed with knowledge ahead of time, not in these sense that you, you know, have forearms. You don’t need forearms to make good trades, that’s ridiculous and ableist. You don’t need forearms to be forearmed. OK, I’m done. Let’s look at cards.


Last night we did the Brainstorm Brewery set review and if you read my articles but don’t listen to the free podcast where Corbin Hosler and Douglas Johnson and I give you free finance advice every week, that’s an option and you should take advantage of it for free. You clearly value my opinion.

Anyway, we always spend like 20 minutes talking about a $25 planeswalker that sucks and is only expensive because Jace the Mind Sculptor fooled everyone and we haven’t forgotten it all these years later. Instead of that noise, we decided to sort TCG Player by best selling rather than most expensive and it was a much better experience. Looking at best selling cards before the prerelease can help you predict what will get played in Standard and what will likely stay a bulk rare. After that experience, here are a few things I gathered based entirely on that metric alone.

Boros is Popular

The top cards are all Boros cards. It has no implications for EDH whatsoever – Tajic and Aurelia are complete trash as commanders and the only real assets they get are Deafening Clarion, Response//Resurgence and Boros Locket, a card I fully expect will see play. Foil Lockets are like $0.50 right now and I think any that see play could end up a buck or two, but I don’t know how juicy a target that is. I don’t like any of the other 9 lockets for EDH, but Boros could get there considering Boros decks play cards like Dreamstone Hedron which is way more awkward. Boros is going to run roughshod over Standard, though, so I expect those cards to be popular the first few weeks. I think, ironically, it may be Chainwhirler, a card that will be excellent in Boros decks, that could nip the deck in the bud before it’s a thing. Still, Boros staples will go out 4 at a time, are very cheap and will be highly sought.

Ferocidon last year demonstrated that $2 becomes $6 quickly if the deck takes off.

What I like from Boros – Tajic around $3, Vindicator around $1.50, Warboss around $3, but get out quickly.

For EDH, I like Response//Resurgence long-term and that’s about it. Maybe foil Cluestone. I don’t really like much else from Boros. I think the deck is likely to be a thing in Standard early since aggro sorts itself out first so I might try and pick up stuff like Tajic to flip in a week or two, but for the less nimble, see what EDH players like and trade straight across for stuff that won’t hold value as much. Don’t be afraid to trade stuff like Deafening Clarion for EDH cards from sets about to rotate now at their floor.

Lantern could hit $2-$3

This card tends to shrug off reprints and while this will give us way more copies than normal, this is likely a $7-$9 card in as little as a year and you’re going to feel like such a chump if you don’t pick up every single loose copy at your LGS. I think a 1-2 punch of reprint followed by another reprint is possible and they’ve done it in the past but it seems rather unlikely here. I think we can expect a year of growth and if these hit like $2, scoop em all. I would trade a $3 card that will be $0.75 in a month for a $3 lantern that will be $5 in 6 months. Just grab these.

Knight of Autumn may be the best card in the set

And Knight certainly goes up from like $4. It’s a $30 foil right now but it likely goes way down at peak supply. I don’t know how much I care about foils, but this card is a multi-format allstar. If it’s still $4 on Friday night, gobble as many copies as you can. Almost any pile worth $4 you trade toward a Knight of Autumn will look like a joke in 3 months when Knight is $10 and we all wonder how we missed it.

Mission Briefing is way overrated

I’m reminded of Pain Seer here. Remember how Pain Seer was the next Dark Confidant in Standard? This is the next Snapcaster Mage. Exceeeeept not. I’m getting out of every copy of these at $8-$10 immediately and trading for stacks of relevant cards. This is a trap, get out while you can.

Shocks are not cheap enough yet

I’m avoiding these. They are a great deal cheaper than they were a month ago but we haven’t come close to peak supply. I say out any you crack at full value and then buy back in for cash later.

Take a Crazy Risk

I don’t have any reason for thinking I’ll be glad later that I picked up Dream Eater at $3 but I’m going to do it. Remember, in 3 years when Dream Eater is sitting in my box of shame and some EDH precon makes a card that turns Dream Eater into a $15 card overnight and I can pay for a year of car insurance with a busted spec, I’ll repeat the mantra “there are no misses, only longer term specs.” I have been so analytical in my pickups lately that I forgot what it was like to gamble, and if I’m picking up Dream Eater with money I got buylisting a million Lorwyn block tokens or something silly like that, I’m playing with the house’s money and every hit is pure gravy.

Rares are too Cheap

With one exception, rares are too cheap. The mythics in the set are not super likely to impact Standard as much as the rares with few exceptions and that means there are a bunch of $6 mythics that shouldn’t be and a bunch of $1 rares that shouldn’t be. I think it will shake out differently. I think the following mythics go down.

Arclight Phoenix


Chance for Glory

Divine Visitation (but this card is nutty in EDH)

Doom Whisperer (but I bet this is the most expensive mythic)

Dream Eater


March of the Multitudes

Mnemonic Betrayal

Nullhide Ferox


Underrealm Lich


Accordingly, I think the following rares go up to pick up some slack

Chromatic Lantern

Citywide Bust

Deafening Clarion

Guildmage’s Forum (?)


Legion Warboss



Thief of Sanity (?)

Venerated Loxodon

A lot of those are iffy and rely on a deck coming along to use them, but I would look to get out of inflated mythics, especially marquee stuff like the Planeswalkers as soon as you open it.

One major caveat is that there are 5 shocklands that will be soaking up a ton of value, and with MODO redemption being less of a factor to enforce box MSRP and with a glut of cheap boxes on Amazon, we could see a lot of good, $1 rares. It could take years for even cards with a lot of EDH demand on top of Standard playability to exceed $5. I’m not sure whether that will happen, but let’s be ready.

Here are a few EDH cards I like as a player and whether or not I like the price.

Affectionate Indrik, Magic, Guilds of Ravnica

At under $1 for foils, this seems like a meme card and meme cards are collectible. It should be easy to get foils of this for cheap and watch them end up like $4 later because, lol, snugglyboi snuggled u over teh gardrayl lolzz >< so kawai!!!!!!!!11 yatta!

Burglar Rat, Magic, Guilds of Ravnica

At under $1 for the foils of this as well, I think this is a steal. It’s the best Ravenous Rats variant ever created because it hits them and not you for the exact same stats as Ravenous Rats and for whatever reason, no one is talking about that. Grab these out of draft chaff because discard rats are always a pick until they’re printed 200 times. Chittering Rats are $1 retail and they sell a playset at a time and I get them in bulk for 4 tenths of a cent all day. Chittering Rats is also a $6 foil. It will take years for this to be a $5 foil, if ever, but this is bound to be a bulk foil at first and it shouldn’t be.

Conclave Tribunal, Magic, Guilds of Ravnica

This isn’t Fatal Push, but this is a card that will be in draft chaff for free the first week or so and shouldn’t be. It’s a $7 presale foil which means some people have caught on. I think if there is a Selesnya deck, and there better be, convoking is a real factor in the deck and this is a great thing to convoke for. Tapping Emmara to make a dork while you kill a blocker is what Convoke is all about. People won’t know this is a $7 foil when you booster draft the set so get with people after the draft and get these for whatever they think is fair.

Crush Contraband, Magic, Guilds of Ravnica

This isn’t as good as Return to Dust but you can do it as an instant and that means people will want to try it out. I don’t hate the single white, either. This is a $1 foil which I think has little downside and lots of potential upside at that price.

Discovery // Dispersal, Magic, Guilds of Ravnica

This was the EDHREC preview card so I have had more time to evaluate this card than the rest of the set. It’s not fair to call Discovery a Ponder since it’s 2 mana which is way more than 1 mana, but we also don’t have Ponder. This isn’t really a worse Ponder anyway, it’s a better Forbidden Alchemy that is way better drawn late since it has an excellent late-game mode. This is low downside and it’s getting buzz. Every Surveil card will get looked at because the mechanic is probably too good and probably a mistake.

Divine Visitation, Magic, Guilds of Ravnica

I have to imagine this tanks from $8 but this is a nutso EDH card and basically any token deck runs this. Watch this price like a hawk and when it bottoms out and begins to rebound, be about it.

Emmara, Soul of the Accord, Magic, Guilds of Ravnica

I think the Selesnya deck is going to be bad because of Chainwhirler. I also think people are going to try it and/or they may ban the Whirler. If Chainwhirler gets banned, I think this has a lot of upside but in a whirly world, this is really bad unless you get the Loxodon to buff your creatures. There’s no point not just playing a Tajic deck until then.

Guildmages' Forum, Magic, Guilds of Ravnica

This may be a way to beat Chainwhirler. You play a bit behind the curve but that lets you let them dump their greedy-ass Red player hand, then you play some buff dudes behind curve interspersed with removal, leave them topdecking and then swarm them. If this finds a home, it’s a $4 card, so watch these at bulk.

Hatchery Spider, Magic, Guilds of Ravnica

This is good. Is it too good to be a bulk rare? I don’t know! But I know I like it a lot.

Mausoleum Secrets, Magic, Guilds of Ravnica

I think this is a fine EDH tutor but I don’t know if a format that has great tutors needs a fine one. I do know I personally like it in 75% builds and advocated for it accordingly but that’s narrow. This is better earlier in the game than you think.

Omnispell Adept, Magic, Guilds of Ravnica

This is as liable to make a bunch of other cards go up in price as are any of the boring commanders in this set.

Thief of Sanity, Magic, Guilds of Ravnica

This is a really good card, but I don’t know if there is too much red removal for you to lean into it. It doesn’t block and by the time you slam this, they have a Warboss and a few gobbos attacking for 6. I hope this ends up a card.

Thousand-Year Storm, Magic, Guilds of Ravnica

Lol. I don’t know how long the foil stays $30 but this is a card I want to open as my guild rare in the worst way.

Venerated Loxodon, Magic, Guilds of Ravnica

If there is a Selesnya deck, it will be because this card exists. It’s the only way you beat Chainwhirler, imo and it’s currently a bulk rare.

That’s all I think I want people to know. This is a good set so play as many prerelease events as you can. I’ll be back with some data-based action next week. Until then, grab those rising stars. Until next time!

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