Category Archives: Jason Alt

My Masterpiece Masterpiece – Part 1

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Welp, I’ve done it again. I’ve committed to doing an article that’s going to be a lot of work that I’m not even sure if I want to write anymore. Seriously, have you seen how many Masterpieces there are in this set? And I said I would write about all of them? What hubris. But that’s what I do, I overcommit and challenge myself not to underdeliver.

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You guys are worth it, though. You’re the best and savviest readers in the business because you know EDH is slow, forgiving, predictable and steady. It might not be as sexy as Pyromancer’s Goggles spiking overnight and everyone scrambling to place and order that’s going to be cancelled before everyone else does, but the sports car you buy with all of the money you make buying Squandered Resources for a quarter each will be.

Can we predict where the Masterpieces are likely to end up? Where they’ll start out? What this will do to the price of the set? We can sure try. Let’s get messy.

The Gearhulk cycle

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Star City wants $40 for these beasts, which may or may not be too much. I feel like this won’t get as much EDH play as they need to in order to sustain $40. With 2/3 of the Zendikar expeditions trending downward in price, EDH demand isn’t enough on some of these cards and I don’t think these will even have much EDH demand. Noxius and Torrential are obviously good, but good enough? I don’t see it. These are a sell at their current $40.

Aether Vial

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SCG wants $120 for this right off the bat, and I think that may be pretty close. There are 9 Zendikar Expeditions currently above $120 and half of them are trending upward in price right now. Of course the top 5 are all fetchlands used in multiple formats, which makes it tough to judge the price of Vial. However, Ancient Tomb is currently $120 and  I think Vial is a decent corrollary for Vial, actually. It’s used as a 4-of in the decks that use it and it’s used in multiple formats. I feel like Ancient Tomb gets used in a few more places than Vial, however. Vial has Darksteel foils, FTV foils, Modern Masters foils and now these. Is this Masterpiece far and away the sexiest? Yes, and people who want these will want 4. If you look at Ancient Tomb, the price has barely moved, but Ancient Tomb doesn’t have the Modern demand Vial does, leading me to believe Vial could have upside due to there being more demand for it than for Tomb. FTV Aether Vial costs 50% more than FTV Tomb, but those have wildly different availability, so that’s sort of meaningless as a metric. Ultimately, I don’t think Vial at $120 is correct based on how much more in-demand it will be than Ancient Tomb. I think this has upside.

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I hope the rest of these go quicker. I got cocky being able to do 5 at once and I just wrote half a book about one card.

Champion’s Helm

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and

Chromatic Lantern

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$50 for this is almost certainly incorrect for Helm. Scarcity has made Helm expensive – it is $2 more than Chromatic Lantern despite being in far fewer decks. However, I don’t think the prices will stay similar. There will be the same number of Expedition Champion’s Helms and Chromatic Lanterns with much greater demand for one than the other. I think the prices will diverge. We’re left to figure out which way prices will go. Considering a regular foil Lantern is already $20, I am inclined to say that $50 may be too cheap for Lantern. Mana Confluence is a $50 Expedition and that is down from $80 and has a $17 foil from the set. I think the starting point for the Expeditions may be misleading because a lot of those were pure guesswork and we have some more data this time. I think Lantern may have a bit of upside at $50, but, again, looking at Mana Confluence which has a very similar non-foil price, it may hover around $50 +/- $5 or so because while EDH demand for Lantern is very strong, it’s only the one format. I think Helm will tail down in price more than Lantern does. I have taken into account the fact that this is the only premium way to get Champion’s Helm and there are already foil Lanterns – I think the profound difference in demand within EDH more than accounts for that.

Chrome Mox

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Chrome Mox is an odd card. Banned in Modern, underutilized in Legacy, not a great deal in EDH, this card nonetheless is commanding $80 out of the gate. People who want one are likely to want 3 or 4 and that could be the factor that makes this sell higher than EDH staples that disappear one at a time. Chrome Mox is a $40 set foil despite also being printed as a $25 GP Promo.

It’s hard to find a corollary for this. Almost all of the expeditions lost at least 30% of their value over time due to the sheer amount of guessing that went into pricing them initially and the stickiness of prices on very rare, luxury cards. There won’t be a huge race to the bottom on any of these cards, so a lot of these prices may hold. The very highly-sought cards will have upside but the rest will likely tail off and I think this is likely to tail off a bit, or at least have a very difficult time growing in price. I don’t like this at $80.

Cloudstone Curio

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I’d stake quite a bit of money on this tanking. I wish I could short it, frankly. SCG wants $50 for this, which I don’t think it can sustain. Curio is used in a few goofy combo decks and basically just Animar in EDH (I mean, I use it in a lot of my decks but EDHREC data shows Animar uses it 6 times as often as the deck where it gets the second most use and it’s used about a tenth as much as Lantern) so you have to question where the demand is coming from. It basically isn’t, put simply. When Beck//Call was spoiled SCG bought the internet out of Cloudstone Curio banking on a UG elf deck emerging in Modern because Elves wasn’t quite getting there with Glimpse of Nature banned. The deck never materialized (I bet my money on Intruder Alarm and had even less luck). The price is sticky and that’s leading to an overevaluation of Curio in my view. I don’t think its current demand makes it a good candidate to be the same price as cards with more demand. This is a sell.

Crucible of Worlds

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At $150, this is one of the more pricey Masterpieces based on SCG preorder pricing. Wasteland Expedition is currently $150, down from an initial $300. Wasteland has 2 DCI rewards foil versions worth $250 so it seemed logical for Wasteland to start out at $250+. What do we have for Crucible? A $100 Judge foil and 2 set foils around $100 also. Wasteland fell below its judge foil versions, although those are quite scarce and the Crucible is much newer. I think this could be priced pretty accurately – I don’t expect this to fall below the set foil price by any means and since the judge foil is pegged at where the set foils are (which finally moved after I pointed out on Twitter that Strike Zone had non-foils for $10 cheaper than foils. Maybe not because I pointed it out, but after I pointed it out.) and the Masterpiece version is bound to be more. Yet it’s hard to see the version going up without demand that rivals or even exceeds something like Wasteland, which is played as a 4-of in a format where Crucible is a 1-of or Scalding Tarn which increased in price despite being pretty expensive to begin with as an expedition. I think $150 is pretty close.

Gauntlet of Power

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Gauntlet of Power is a $30 set foil, which is more than Chromatic Lantern which makes sense considering how much more Return to Ravnica was printed than Time Spiral. There is not more demand for Gauntlet than there is for Lantern. If we don’t expect Lantern to grow much if at all, we can extrapolate that Gauntlet could have some downside at $50, though not much since it’s bound to go for more than the set foil.

Hangarback Walker

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This is $50 because none of the cards are cheaper than $50. This should be cheaper than $50. This is barely played in any format and this price is going to tank. If it holds it’s because every other Masterpiece doubled in price and this article becomes hilarious in hindsight because I got literally every call wrong. If that’s the case, are you going back through this article in the future after Chromatic Lantern is $300 to write a comment chewing me out for telling you it might not be a great buy at $50 and running across this paragraph? How meta for you. You’ll notice that even though I predicted getting everything wrong, which was write, I got every price wrong, including Hangarback Walker which, again, I think has a lot of downside.

Lightning Greaves 

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This is probably underpriced. This is a $20 set foil as an uncommon. This is an absolute EDH staple and one of the few Masterpieces beyond Sol Ring for which that is true. If some of the other cards that are played way less often are $50, this has a decent chance of upside since there are so many decks this is waiting to go into compared to the other $50 cards and there will be one Lightning Greaves for every Champion’s Helm. This has real upside and I think if someone cracks this at the LGS and you can get it for $40 you will be happy later.

Lotus Petal

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Sure, this gets used as a 4-of and sure it gets used in Legacy and some in Vintage and those are pimp formats, but at $80 I think the demand for this card is overstated a bit. Legacy players aren’t the only ones who pimp their decks out. I think $80 is high. Then again, Breeding Pool is $80 right now and that started at $100.

I am at the halfway point of the list and if I keep going, this article is going to turn into a monstrosity. We have some time until Kaladesh comes out so I think I will write the rest of this up later and release it on Monday of next week. If some of the prices start to move, that will help us write the second half with more data and a better frame of reference. If anything I said in the first half pans out, even better. Thanks for reading Part 1 of my Masterpiece Masterpiece. Until next week!

 

 

 

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Rashmi, Captain of Tides

It seems like every set gives me a card I’m so excited about I can’t even.

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The Gitrog Monster was a big deal because every set wasn’t supposed to get a amazing EDH card but now every set has one and it’s starting to get a little ridiculous. How many Sultai, Golgari and Simic generals can they force us to build? Why can’t they make a good Boros general that doesn’t force you to attack or durdle around with dwarves and cars and crap like that?

That was probably harsh – I have no idea whether Depala will be good or bad.

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I am inclined to say this could be OK, especially since she triggers when she crews something and she’s big enough to crew Skysovereign on her own and Skysovereign is the only vehicle worth even pretending to care about at this point IMO.

Depala may seem durdly, but let’s not pretend people won’t build Dwarves and Cars as a deck in EDH as soon as the whole set is out. It doesn’t have to be good, you just have to come up with enough dwarves and cars to fill out a 99 card deck. I hate having to type cars, honestly. I hate that there are stupid cars in this set. I see people online calling Kaladesh their favorite set of all time. They’ve spoiled like 15 cards and 4 of them are cars. Here’s the crazy part – I like the Inventor’s Fair story a lot and I think it’s flavorful and cool and why not have one plane with advanced technology considering there are so many potential planes of existence, some that are only 100 or so years behind reality like in the case of Innistrad. I get all of that. Still, whenever I remember that there are cars driving around I’m like

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Even though I was totally cool with the Weatherlight in 1996, I’m super upset about cars right now. Go figure.

I don’t like much stuff because it allows me to focus on the stuff I do like and I think I’ll do that for the rest of this article because there is stuff I like. That stuff includes a creature they spoiled around the same time as the durdly dwarf skypilot. Her name is Rashmi and she is going to spike prices like it’s a keyword ability. Behold.

BOOM. This is an elf because why not? This draws extra cards, cheats stuff into play and in general gives you a huge advantage. The ways you leverage this advantage are going to be factors moving forward. I think this creature is this set’s Leovold (already, right?) and the cards affected are myriad. Here’s what I see mattering.

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Interest in Scroll Rack has cooled off. It never really materialized as a Miracle enabler in Legacy (same as Personal Tutor, which fell off a cliff) but EDH demand and new scarcity meant the new price was pretty sticky. Scoll Rack’s Commander’s Arsenal printing didn’t really do much for the price or add that many copies. Scroll Rack is basically the best way to get advantage out of Rashmi, allowing you to put back stuff you drew and set up your free spells. I don’t know how much money you can make with a buy-in this high, but if you want these and have been waiting, I wouldn’t wait much longer. This commander is going to push this card up and that’s basically all there is to it. Remember Anvil of Bogaradan and Teferi’s Puzzle Box? There’s less money to be made here, but we are looking at a second spike and I keep telling you that matters. This card is going to move.

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Eternal Masters helped the price of top but I think this new demand is going to un-help. I expect top to be back where it was before Eternal Masters based on the new demand. Eternal Masters never really introduced enough copies to curb demand to begin with so the price was always going to go back up. Maybe top had some more declining to do. We’ll never know because Rashmi is likely to push it back up. Whatever it’s at now, like $20, that’s the floor. I don’t think it keep declining in the face of new demand. If it keeps declining, wait until it recovers to buy in, but I feel like this is a signal to watch the price very closely. Eternal Masters is basically forgotten at this point so new copies will be introduced very, very slowly and I think the market is going to soak them very quickly with extra demand left over to push prices. This is another card to watch closely.

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This narrowly avoided inclusion on the Reserved List so there’s technically nothing stopping them from reprinting this, beyond inclination. I think they are quite disinclined to reprint this and this plucky rare that was less splashy than Recycle and Sarcomancy back in the day has really come into its own and gotten there in price. I’m suggesting a lot of cards with $20+ buy-ins but I think this is the reality. Rashmi is going to disproportionately affect cards that synergize well with it and I’m going to mention those first. Are you interested in Guile? Grab one before they go up another $10 in the next year or two.

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Sometimes people are really bad at this. The goofy 93/94 format temporarily spiked the Legends version of this card and that triggered people who don’t pay attention to run out and buy the other versions. That price spike has gone away, but a recent spike will only bode well for another predicated on real demand. Every Rashmi deck will want a Library if the builder can afford it and I think real demand will have a more permanent effect on price than pretend demand based on not understanding why a certain printing was going up.

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This had to recover from its Commander 2013 reprinting sometime, so why not today? New demand is going to push this up from its current level. Check out buylist price creeping up at the edge of the graph, there. This card was poised to move regardless and this won’t hurt at all.

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This price is stupid and we all know it. It was bought out when Prophet of Kruphix was banned and some people are jamming it in that slot as if it isn’t less than half as good as Prophet. Unfortunately the price seems like it’s sticking and Rashmi certainly won’t help. I think we’re stuck with $20+ Muse.

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This price didn’t stick. People didn’t like Awakening in that slot quite as much as they liked Prophet. Unfortunately, that second spike could see up paying $6-$8 for Awakening forever. It’s not as good but people who build the deck won’t care.

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This is a card you might be able to make some money on. The ceiling is likely the $15 this card pretended it could sell for at one point. The steady increase in price as we pile on years between now and 2011 could make us money even if an increase in demand doesn’t, but I like my odds of beating this current price increase curve. Dealer interest is cooling off right now, but I don’t expect that to continue after Rashmi starts lighting people up.

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There is some money potentially to be found here. This is a great way to make sure you get something good with a Rashmi trigger. Just be sure this isn’t the first spell you cast that turn unless you’re trying to draw it.

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This is a great way to impart flash to your expensive creatures and get triggers on their turn. This spiked a long time ago because of that blue moon deck and has been flat since. New demand coupled with the copies being concentrated in the hands of dealers which is what so often happens when a card spikes out of nowhere and can’t sustain any of the demand that people pretended was there should see a pretty healthy climb if Rashmi is as popular as I imagine.

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Finally, a card you might be able to make some money off of. I think there are way too many copies of this card for the excess to be soaked up by some demand from Rashmi and that’s too bad because Yeva is a match made in heaven with Rashmi.

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The $2 foil has some more upside, though and I think dealers were already looking at increasing their holdings in it. I think there is probably a decent shot at some growth here although I’m not sure you’d want this to be the only foil in the deck. EDH demand for foils is a tricky thing to predict but this is promising.

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This is too recent and too underplayed elsewhere to really catch on but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that this is amazing in a Rashmi deck.

I am sure this list is going to grow as more people start brewing with Rashmi. EDHREC isn’t populated right now because no one is really registering their decks on tappedout and the like, but when they do, we’ll have some analytical data to back up our picks with. As it is right now, I’m trying to cobble together a pick list based on a few scattered lists in discussion forums and it’s going… OK. In a few weeks we’ll know a lot more and the best part about EDH speculation is that we’ve got weeks. There are no weekend spikes, cancelled orders and there’s no need to be glued to coverage. We have time so let’s use it.

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Hot $#&@ in a Champagne Glass

the_monarch_is_delicious_by_blufionex

It’s good to be The Monarch.

This is especially true if you can stay The Monarch. Having a painless Phyrexian Arena is a good way to bury them in card advantage and that’s exactly what you get for becoming and staying The Monarch. There are several cards in every color that can make you The Monarch, but the article today is going to focus on Mardu colors because I want to talk about Queen Marchesa and all of the cards about to go up in price because of her. I mean, or not. Maybe nothing gets enough play to go up. Still, this article series isn’t predicated on popular generals NOT being able to spike prices and this would be a boring series if I talked about cards after they already went up. I mean, it would be boring to me. I bet a lot of people would love being told what they already know by someone who barely knows more about finance than they do. But that’s not me, so I guess we’re stuck trying to predict the future.

Queen Marchesa could potentially be as popular a commander as the other Marchesa and if that is the case, a lot of cards have upside. A lot of them are new because obviously cards in the same set that synergize with her and her Monarchistic strategies will have some upside (probably not enough) but we can also look at some older stuff that is bound to get a second look.

Broadly, we can mention a few cards that will get played roughly as much as Marchesa and could become non-bulk in foil accordingly.  Knights of the Black Rose, Marchesa’s Decree, Thorn of the Black Rose and Garrulous Sycophant all seem like prime foil targets. I’d trade for them rather than buy in for cash, personally. Marchesa’s Decree feels like the only card in the bunch liable to get played outside of a Marchesa deck, although it’s kind of hard to predict how popular cards that introduce The Monarch token to the game are going to be. Making you The Monarch doesn’t just take the token away from someone, it also can literally introduce the token to the game if it wasn’t there before meaning even a terrible 2/2 for 4 suddenly invents a Phyrexian Arena to fight over. It’s hard to say how important that will be, but for cards that also do something worthwhile like Regal Behemoth, I suspect there is real upside there.

Custodi Lich is a card I am very excited about. I think its effect is brutal and combining it with cards like Deadeye Navigator, Eldrazi Displacer and Kaya will make it pretty miserable to be your opponents. Blinking Lich every time you lose control of the Monarch token keeping them from drawing and making them sac their board is oppressive and lich is very exciting as a card. I think it will go up from bulk as people discover its power and as other cards return to a normal value and a lower total set price becomes enforced by cheap packs at Target.

Skyline Despot is another sweet card. Red decks struggle with card advantage and being able to draw an extra card by being aggressive and keeping the Monarch token is legit. Being rewarded with dragons for being the only aggressive player at a table full of turtles is even better. This card has real upside. Not Scourge of the Throne upside, but upside.

We have covered various ways other than summoning your commander to become The Monarch, but how do you stay The Monarch?

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No Mercy is a card I really like a lot. It’s decently reprint able, especially in EDH precons, but it’s old, in low supply and brutal. If they have to hit you to become The Monarch (or deprive you of that card draw) this card is going to make sure they have to keep churning out creatures to do it with. It doesn’t exactly keep you from getting hit but it is a deterrent and is useful against annoying unblockable creatures, creatures with shroud or hexproof and annoying crap like Thada Adel.

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In a similar vein, I have been big on Dread for a long time. It’s a No Mercy with feet and what big feet they are. This has upside moving forward for sure and while it is probably reprintable to an extent, I think WotC’s priorities are elsewhere like printing Avatar of Woe for a 7th time. Dread is a solid reanimation target and all-around decent creature for beating faces. This will punish them for taking your Monarch status away and can also hit them and take it back. He works when tapped which means there isn’t much reason not to serve with him. Dread is good and if you look at Vigor’s price, you can get an idea of the kind of money he could command (and with fewer printings, to boot, increasing his upside by comparison).

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Norn’s Annex is going to be very tough to reprint. The Phyrexian Mana symbols are unlikely to make a comeback anytime soon and if they do return to that plane, it’s not even all that likely that they reprint this card. Its’s not impossible to just jam this in a Commander recon, nothing is impossible, but it is clunky. We have seen uncommon from New Pyrexia go for quite a bit so we know that the rares have a decently high ceiling. This doesn’t get the Modern play Ghostly Prison does (used to?) so that isn’t a good comparison, but Annex is certainly going to be worth more money later than it is now and Queen Marchesa is as good an impetus as anything else.

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Ghostly Prison is down but not out. I think that moving forward, it’s going to move up a lot more slowly than people think. Its high price and high Modern demand was predicated on it shutting down Twin decks, something that we don’t have to worry about anymore. I think these are a buy when they crater due to high supply, but these will never approach the price they were at before.

There isn’t much precedent for what is happening with Ghostly Prison. We had a card with lowish supply spike because of its use in multiple formats including EDH but punctuated by a sudden spike in demand due to its adoption as tech against the prevailing deck in Modern. When that deck went away, the price went down a bit, but mostly we had dealers using EDH demand as a justification for not lowering their prices too much. Why race to the bottom? The cards should sell eventually so why take a loss on a card that used to buylist for $10 when you can wait and sell them for a little more than you paid for them? In my set review I called what’s going on a sort of “Emperor’s New Clothes” scenario where everyone was playing along with the price but a reprint came along which threatened to expose that we had a sticky price that was predicated on circumstances that didn’t apply anymore. The price is going to tank harder than anyone expects and be slower to recover than anyone expects. I like Ghostly Prison as a slow-growth card that is very useful in EDH and I am going to scoop as many as I can when the price stabilizes, but for now, be cautious. No one really admitted what the card was worth before and no one is really taking any of that into account right now.

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Crawlspace was affected by  reprinting in a Commander recon (2013) and that tanked its price to $2 which is an attractive place to buy in. Crawlspace is very good at funneling “wide” decks into less effective ones, especially if you have a 1/1 deathtouch creature ready to block. This can keep you The Monarch but it can also keep other decks off of your back and make it harder to kill you. Voltron decks aren’t deterred, but you have other weapons against those decks. I like where Crawlspace is at price-wise and I think it has upside.

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Finally, I really like Assemble the Legion right now. It’s sort of reprint able, and that will hurt, but it’s also super strong and bound to get there moving forward. It wins games unchecked and is exactly the kind of card you want for a Mardu deck where you’re trying to attack people. This fits in with melee decks as well and that means you could see some upside if anyone decides to build Ariana, Captain of the Guard (they won’t). This card is savage and it’s too cheap. I want every copy of this.

That’s what I have to say about the upside Marchesa will be giving to various cards. Next week we may have some tasty Kaladesh spoilers to delve into, or maybe I will take a look at some other legendary creatures in Conspiracy. Who knows? All I can say for sure is that you’re doing it right by continuing to read my brain vomit week after week and I thank you.

 

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Rising Tides – The Brave and the Vold

Awww yisss

I spent the last week covering the spoiler for Conspiracy 2: 2 Fast 2 Conspiratorious and it made me want to talk about some of the cards that those cards are going to impact. A lot of times I write financial reviews of entire sets hoping there will be some under-priced gem in there, and sometimes there are but there aren’t always and I don’t always find them. The good thing is, if you are buying to invest and not play, you never have to buy a card if you missed it at its cheapest price, so I just make money elsewhere and move on with my life. Still, if you find more $12 Pain Seers than $5 Thragtusks after a while it starts to feel like you can only lose money pre-ordering.

Is that the case? Of course not. Lots of people make money pre-ordering and lots of players who just go ahead and pull the trigger on those $8 Collected Company because they need them to play with make out like bandits. I’m not saying I don’t think that happens or even that I don’t know how to do it. What I will say is that everyone writes about that. It bores me. So let’s go next level and look at the cards that are going to move because of the cards in the set rather than the cards in the set because it takes people longer to do that analysis. In the case of the EDH community, it takes a long time to do that analysis which means our orders aren’t getting cancelled, we have time to clean out our LGS and all the stores in the area and we can grab every loose copy from binders. In one to six months the card will quadruple and everyone will say “Who could have seen it coming?”

I think there are a ton of exciting cards in the set, but I think there is one obvious commander that is going to make a lot of prices move quite a bit and we have some time to buy those  cards because while players who are all about EDH are aware of what cards interact with commanders, they don’t always buy in a timely manner. We had almost 6 weeks to buy Squandered Resources when they spoiled The Gitrog Monster. It’s probably not done going up, either. Why try to be the first to buy TCG Player out of some new Standard rare because it was on camera in a deck that is 4-1 because its pilot had 3 byes? Your order is getting cancelled. Let’s try MTG Finance on easy mode.

Let’s talk about one of the least fair commanders they’ve ever printed.

THE CARD IN QUESTION

I am so excited I can’t even not type in all caps.

leovoldemissaryoftrest

Look at this elf.

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Look at it.

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LOOK AT IT

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“Real talk, I’m about to ruin EDH forever lol” – This dude

Look at his Scott Bakula-looking stupid elf face. He’s about to make EDH a buncha bulls$%&t for like, ever. This Quantum Leap-looking long-ears. You got two choices right now, nerds. Beat them or join them. Or don’t play EDH. Three choices. Or buy the cards that are about to go up. Or start vaping. Five choices. You have five choices.

What’s about to go up?

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Let’s start with this one. With Leovold’s first ability, this card now reads “During each player’s draw phase, that player discards his or her hand then draws one card. Forever. They are probably pretty salty about it since you Mind Twisted the whole table for 4 mana and this doesn’t let them hang onto anything they can’t afford to play the turn they draw it.” Puzzle Box is brutal with Leovold rendering them unable to draw additional cards and therefore climb back into the game. If you curve out, it’s reasonable to play Leovold turn 2 (Tricky but doable, especially with signets) and Puzzle Box turn 3 and get punched in your smug, stupid throat on turn 4.

So is Leovold going to be popular enough to drive this already highish price up? I think so. It isn’t like anyone’s taking apart their Nekusar decks to build Leovold, after all. You’re the same jerkoff playing the “Tier 1” EDH deck because you’re the kind of tryhard who insists there even are tiers in EDH. You won’t take your deck apart, you spent too much time getting Japanese foil Ponder because you play Ponder in Nekusar. Wow, that got specific. The point is, Leovold is going to appeal broadly, and people don’t really take apart EDH decks that often. Absent new supply we’re seeing a price increase predicated on new demand because that’s how economics work.

Remember what I always say about second spikes? That applies here, I think. Teferi’s Puzzle Box was a fringe card forever. EDH never really wanted it because it never really fit in with any sort of win condition and it inconvenienced you as much as them. There were copies in bulk boxes, binders, collections, store inventories, the works. Nekusar comes along and suddenly $0.25 seems cheap. People buy extras because they never know if they’ll want more. They start flying off the shelves. Suddenly a card that’s in boxes all over at LGSs marked for sale at $0.25 is buylisting for $1. All of the cheap copies are being snapped up and sold to buylists. People are trading them and the people they trade their copies to either put the card in a deck or they buylist it. Copies are going from being diffuse and hidden to being concentrated and accounted for. Loose copies dry up, the price equilibrates based on the new demand and it waits for an event. An event could be supply never really gets sustained and dealers start to race to the bottom to get out of their copies and recoup their investment. That or the price just makes sense and hangs out forever.

Another event that’s possible is there is new, novel demand for the card. Leovold isn’t replacing Nekusar, it’s supplementing it. That means even people with Puzzle Boxes in their Nekusar deck are jamming them in Leovold. That means people need copies. They’re not going to get them at the LGS for $0.25, those sold. They won’t find them in some random’s binder, he traded it for a card back in 2013. They’re forced to pay $5 on SCG. (I mean, no one is forced to buy from SCG but lots of people do) and when the cards sell out on the relatively small number of websites (or on just TCG Player which means 20 copies selling in a week will trigger all of the “market watch” people to buy out every other site). The card is good, it’s good in a deck already and it will be good in this new deck, too. People will pay the new price. That will make the price go up. Foils are already selling out. Puzzle Box is due for a second spike on the back of Leovold and you could make some money on this card, again. I love gifts that keep giving. All of my Puzzle Boxes were free since I sold enough that I broke even on the ones I bought before the first spike so I have the luxury of seeing how high they get, but I think there’s money to be made even buying at retail now if you can out for retail later. This card is real.

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This card is good in Leovold. Very good. People are brewing with it, and more importantly, people who are widely read are brewing with it. Even if a deck isn’t necessarily great, you have to look at what the EDH writers are suggesting to large swaths of people. There aren’t that many EDH articles so it’s pretty easy to pay attention to 2 or 3 articles a week based on new generals. Bruce wrote about Anvil this week, so did I and I imagine a few other writers will, too. If people pay attention or discover the card on their own and put it on TapedOut, EDHREC readers will notice and start buying it for their decks. It was always a good idea to read articles and see what people who have a lot of readers (like Bruce does) are suggesting to people but Anvil was the card that made me think to talk about it. Anvil’s supply and demand are both flat. The card is primed for an event to make it move and I think that event is Leovold.

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If they put Archivist in every Commander precon set from here until eternity that will only make me feel better about the $3 foil. EDH demand has made this attractive before and a card with 3 printings but only one in foil that does this much work is worth looking at. If they have a full grip and you have Leovold, you’re wrecking the entire table with this, especially if your hand is empty. Dealers have been enthusiastic about this foil before and will again. The non-foil is trash, but I don’t hate the foil at $3. It’s got nowhere to go but up.

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This card is pretty brutal. Nath of the Gilt Leaf and other decks like it (Hey, Nath would be pretty good in Leovold) use this card already and I expect Leovold to like effects like this. Playing a simple Megrim seems boring but getting value out of them discarding to your Anvil appeals to me. I have this card in a few decks and I’m never sad to draw it. It’s climbing already, so this can only help it climb faster.

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I like when cards that are climbing on their own already get a second look based on a card that just came out. This is bound to make stuff happen.

There are a few more cards that go in the deck. Temple Bell, Howling Mine, Kami of the Crescent Moon. With the exception of the Kami, the rest of the article would be basically

Highlight paragraphs about Teferi’s Puzzle Box

Ctrl + C

Ctrl + V

Ctrl + F – replace “Teferi’s Puzzle Box” with “Temple Bell”

Pat self on back.

By now you’re equipped to hit EDHREC in the next few weeks as people start to populate tappedout with their own lists. Look at what’s trending. Look at how popular Levold actually is (I literally can’t fathom him not being the next The Gitrog Monster) on there, you know how to do some of this legwork yourself by now.

I’m not sure what I’ll be writing about next week, but with Marchesa a tempting card, a new Recruiter poised to make some decks better, others playable for the first time and giving us another lesson about how cross-format overlap only helps all of us who buy early and with a new Daretti Planeswalker making me want to brew, there is a lot to talk about. Keep paying attention to the rising tides and keep doing finance the easy way.

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