Category Archives: Jason Alt

The Gods Must be (About to go) Crazy


I am basically sick of waiting to know more about Commander 2016. At this point, we should have heard something, anything. Sure, last time some dingleberry snapped a picture of the RW deck and posted a pic online which let us know quite a lot of information. We learned that the deck was only Boros meaning we’d be getting the 5 “enemy” color pairings. Kalemne himself told us we’d see the experience counter on that card at the very least and likely at least one commander per deck. It also told us that Wizards hadn’t figure out how to make Boros not boring.

I want to get a real jump on Commander 2016 since we should be able to reasonably work some things out based on what we’ve seen in the past and the success we had working things out beforehand for Commander 2015. We basically proved last year if we approach things logically we can have a relatively high degree of success in predicting what will happen (broad strokes – we’re not going to guess the abilities of the new creatures in the decks but we may be able to guess at the sorts of strategies they will employ). Using the themes for each 2-color combination that Wizards likes to use from a Magic wiki article we correctly guessed that the Golgari deck would deal with the graveyard, the Orzhov deck would deal with enchantments, the Simic deck would deal with +1/+1 counters and the Izzet deck would deal with Instants/Sorceries. If that sounds pretty obvious, you’ve never been on any forum where EDH players discuss their predictions. They were sure the Izzet deck was going to be artifact-based. Why did they think that? Because they assumed Wizards would give them what they have been missing, not what they’re going to do predictably.

I’ve been looking at a different wiki page these days and I think there’s some information we can glean from it. First, though, I should deal with how I came to the conclusion that we’re on the right track.

Why Allied 2-Color Decks?

How many different combinations of 5 decks can they even do?

  • Between 1 and 5 five-color decks
  • 5 four-color decks
  • 10 three-color decks
  • 10 two-color decks
  • 5 one-color decks

So far they have done Commander sealed product a few times

  • 2011 – “Khans block” three-color decks
  • 2013 – “Shards of Alara block” three-color decks
  • 2014 – One-color decks
  • 2015 – “Enemy color” two-color decks

It seems pretty obvious based on 2011 and 2013 being the three-color decks back-to-back and how reluctant Wizards has been to tackle the four-color decks that we’re going to get “allied-color” two-color decks. This fits their pattern of doing the batches of five back-to-back and it leaves the four-color decks for 2017. Again, I have no confirmation but I’m very confident that we’re going to get the “allied-color” decks this time around. Confident enough to see if there is any loose money to be scooped up before the people who are waiting for confirmation get wise.

Operating under this assumption, I’m going to do what I did last year, writing an article for each of the five entries into the wiki article regarding the different themes of each deck and which cards are likely to be reprinted giving us ample time to dump the copies or otherwise prepare ourselves. Not all reprintings are created equal, though and sometimes knowing what’s likely to be reprinted could help us figure out which cards pair well with those likely reprint targets but are unlikely reprint targets themselves and are therefore good pickups. It sounds more exhausting than it is. We went through this last year and we nailed quite a few cards simply on the basis of their price and a vague correlation between their effect and the themes of the two-color guilds represented by each deck.

I’m going to go much more in depth for each of the five themes much like I did last year, giving each of the five decks a deep look to see if we can’t figure out cards likely to be reprinted, which doesn’t make us a ton of money. I would like to try and make some money at some point, so this week I am going to just poke around a little bit and see if there are any safe cards that are likely to experience upside on the vague basis of the color wheel. I think there is a non-zero amount of opportunity and I think applying the same logical approach we’ve adopted up to this point is going to serve us well.


The wiki about allied-color guilds is a little vague for some of the combinations. Nearly all it said about Boros was “combat” which doesn’t seem like something that’s exclusive to Boros, but what do I know? I’m a Simic guy. That said, I suppose I know a few things since we were able to make the very simple leaps in logic to predict that we’d get a Golgari graveyard deck, an Izzet spells deck, an Orzhov enchantments deck, a Boros beatdown deck and a Simic +1/+1 counters deck. If we have to guess what we’ll get this time around, the wiki page actually isn’t that bad. My guesses?

  • Azorius fliers
  • Rakdos hellbent
  • Gruul fatty ramp
  • Selesnya tokens

Finally, my “safe” pick for Dimir is that we’ll get some sort of “unblockable” creature deck, potentially with ninjas if we’re super lucky. My ballsy pick is mill, but mill is pretty terrible in EDH, not because it doesn’t work very well since your opponent’s starting life total is 92, lots of people run Eldrazi and you have to concentrate on milling one person while the rest of the table just kills you. Wait, did I say not for those reasons? Well, I meant for those reasons, but also because every card in the deck will need to be devoted to the strategy and that seems unlikely.  People like mill, so I can’t rule it out given the fact that we could get some cards like Nemesis of Reason and Consuming Aberration which technically get better with mill but can actually do some damage.

If you look at the relevant planechase decks for guidance, we see what could be. The Selesnya deck was voltron last time, but the Dimir one was ninjas which I see coming back and the Gruul one was devour-based. I don’t see the decks being built around mechanics like the planechase decks were (cascade, devour, totem armor, ninjitsu) and instead being built around the things those colors do vaguely well. The Dimir one could very well give us some sweet new ninjas although Planechase makes that seem sort of unlikely.  Can the Dimir deck really ignore mill entirely?

Can the way the Born of the Gods gods fit thematically in with how we suppose the color wheel is supposed to work at the intersections of these two color combinations tell us anything about future upside?


Near its very bottom, Phenax can only benefit from basically any card that makes mill more viable in EDH. That’s trickier than we may think because making mill viable in EDH means giving us more creatures like Consuming Aberration that get bigger the more you mill them which in turn lets you fuel Phenax, or Eater of the Dead which goes infinite. Speaking of which –




Those spikes and subsequent declines are copies getting concentrated in the hands of dealers. People who had tons of boxes of old The Dark lying around suddenly felt like rummaging through them during that brief few days when this card hit $10 on the strength of the very few copies that were lying around. People finally figured out this card was dumb with Phenax and people bought out the internet – very slowly. Remember the piece I wrote last week about how EDH players give us approximately a million years to pick up the cards they’ll want before they spike? I’m going to put an arrow on the graph that indicates when Phenax was released.


Talk about ample time to get one’s act together. This was a weird tangent to get onto, but I can’t tell which of my thoughts deserve a paragraph and which are only funny to me at this point. EDH finance really is too easy sometimes, but it’s only because it’s so much harder to figure out card interactions sometimes and almost no one is publishing “tech” articles or tournament reports for EDH and there is no urgency like there is with standard. This is good as far as I’m concerned. The more gradually a card spikes, the more likely it is to find price equilibrium sooner.

If we get anything that benefits a mill deck in the Dimir deck, even a card that is seemingly agnostic to the concept and only accidentally good in mill or specifically in how it ineracts with Phenax (basically the only viable EDH general where milling them is your win con rather than doing something like Lazav or Szadek shenanigans or the Mimeoplasm or Sidisi where you mill yourself. Hell, even Bruna is a “mill” deck if you think Traumatizing yourself to find goodies to strap onto your beatface angel is a “mill” deck.) we could see some real upside for the cards in the deck, but Phenax specifically. I’ll address the other cards more specifically later.


Karametra doesn’t seem like she has as much upside at the helm of a deck based on getting new tokeny cards from Commander 2016 since she triggers on casting but she has always been a strong albeit inexpensive commander. She has a lot of upside, but I feel like others do as well and it may take a lot of nudging to get her to go up. I’m not super excited about anything to do with her, but that obviously could change. She sure is good in a Trostani deck and I expect Trostani to go up and also the cards in her deck, provided Trostani herself isn’t reprinted. I’m betting heavily we get a token theme or subtheme. Trostani encompasses two of Selesnya’s key abilities – tokens and lifegain so I think there is a strong possibility we’ll see her reprinted in the deck but the cards in her deck like Parallel Lives and Giant Adephage could experience some upside. I’d say pass on Karametra potentially.


The sentient Blood Clock has mostly defied my expectations. It’s been flat for so long you have to wonder why the distance from its printing hasn’t put upward pressure on the price or lack of demand hasn’t put downward pressure on it. This is kind of an annoying commander to play against, but Rakdos seems like a better choice, or Olivia. This theoretically goes in more decks as part of the 99 than almost any of the other gods, though, which could account for the price. However, most of them aren’t Rakdos-specific and therefore Rakdos goods aren’t likely to influence his price much. I’m pretty bearish, here.


It’s hard to know what to expect from the Azorius deck. They’re almost certain to have one of the Legendary creatures be a reprint so it’s up to us to figure out if it’s Lavinia, Grand Arbiter Augustin, Ojutai, Isperia or any number of cards. Personally, I think we could see some sweet new bird tribal cards. I remember reading that the future future league expected Pride of the Clouds to define Standard and it was a bulk rare almost immediately. Could more fliers be the theme? I don’t know that it matters with respect to Ephara. This is a very cheap creature despite going in quite a few decks, especially ones like Brago where it’s pretty easy to get her to trigger almost every turn, drawing you x cards per cycle where x is the number of players. This has a ton of room to grow but, like Mogis, there isn’t much movement on the price. Do we have any reason to expect movement?


How about yes? It’s a bit hard to see, but Xenagos is on the move.


Equally effective as a Commander or part of the 99, Xenagos is almost certain to have a ton of new cards to interact with. Players have been waiting for a Gruull Hydra Commander and while they don’t always get what they want (Like an Izzet artifact commander), it seems fairly likely the Gruul deck will have ramp and fatties and Xenagos will be put in that deck when it’s out and the cards from it will go in existing Xenagos decks. Since the price is already on the move and I’m estimating it has the most upside based on his abilities coinciding perfectly with nearly every Gruul contingency we can reasonably expect in Commander 2016, this is my pick. I have a lot of confidence in this card and since it’s already on the way up, it’s hard to lose here.

I’ll start looking more in-depth at each likely deck theme and the cards likely to be reprinted next week. Until then, I feel like Xenagos and maybe some of the cards with a high affinity rating with him are going to go up when we start getting cards spoiled. We don’t know what’s in Commander 2016 for certain, but we’ve been right before taking a logical, analytical approach and I don’t expect it to fail us, now.

Track your collection's value over time, see which cards moved the most, track wishlists, tradelists and more. Sign up at - it's free!


Please follow and like us:


I saw a price update on Twitter that got me thinking.


I thought it was a good point. Not only is the growth on Burgeoning stupid good, it was stupid predictable. Even if The Gitrog Monster hadn’t come out and put a new focus on land shenanigans (Burgeoning works just as well against Gitrog and Mina and Denn decks as it does in them – probably better) it was already trending up likely due to how good it is and the fact that people think it’s on the Reserved List (it actually isn’t). Burgeoning is just looking good and that’s all there is to it.


This is what we want to see. Buylist price is growing right along with retail price, there aren’t really sharp spikes that can’t be explained by restocking of inventories, the growth is over a long time period and seems to be predicated on supply and demand. This is the picture of real, sustainable growth. Best of all, there is no real reprint pressure because so many more cards are higher priority, although I don’t expect Burgeoning to hang out at $12 for long. This is headed to $15 and beyond, babies.

There are some cards that go up because of events – those are the boats lifted by the rising water levels I’m always talking about. Sage of Hours is a perfect example of this.


Whatever happened at that red arrow? Ezuri? Ezuri. How stupid a card that puts a ton of +1/+1 counters on a creature paired with a creature that removes those same counters to take extra turns can be got people moving and the non-foil price spiked as well as the foil price. The return to a price somewhere between the pre- and post-spike prices shows this was influenced by outside factors besides mere demand at the time. The buying was predicated on the promise of increased future demand, demand that puts the price at double what it used to be. Not too shabby. Ezuri ended up being built a lot less than decks like Meren but this is still a win for us. I’m saying us because I said “Hey, buy Sage of Hours” in an article and none of you wrote a comment to say “This card isn’t going to go up in price, you idiot” or “I remember that article you wrote calling us neckbeards and I still want you to know I hate you” or “I’m the real Jason Alt and this impostor is tricking you with terrible ideas in this article series and also can you call the police because the impostor Jason has locked me in a basement with my phone and I can get onto the comments section of MTG Price articles but I can’t make outgoing phone calls to let the police know I’m locked up although maybe cancel that because this basement has a PS4 which I don’t have at home and it also doesn’t have a crying infant so I’m just going to chill here for a bit” although that last one sounds like something the real Jason Alt would say. In any case, no one disagreed with me so that means I’m giving you all credit for calling it. Hooray. We won. This was a good call because we saw the increased demand coming and had a nice big window to buy our copies. You want to hear why I think that is? It’s hilarious to me.

Brief Aside, Where I Pontificate

OK, we’re veering off topic but I just picked this thread and I don’t want to lose it.

OK, so spoiler season for Commander 2015 started in September of 2015, in November we called the Sage price increase and that is  a long time in between because the price didn’t start to increase until 10 days after my article was published, giving readers a seriously big window. You had an even bigger window if you thought about it as soon as Ezuri was spoiled. I don’t remember when, exactly, but we found out what Ezuri did in late October or early November. Why wasn’t it until mid-Novemeber that Sage of Hours’ price started to move? I have a theory and you’re going to love this.

EDH players didn’t buy the cards they needed for their Ezuri decks until they bought the Ezuri precon and cracked it open.


Seriously, think about it. Why else wouldn’t the prices move until after the decks were released (November 13th) if players knew they’d want Sage weeks earlier? Can you imagine having two weeks to prepare financially for something you know is coming? Well, once a year Commander sealed product is going to give us a gift and EDH players, bless their (our?) hearts, are going to wait until they have their precons before they start acquiring their singles, hopefully from my readers on TCG Player and Pucatrade.

End Aside. I Hope You Liked It.

Again, that’s a hypothesis of mine, but data seems to mostly bear it out. If someone wants to disprove it with a bunch of graph data, feel free, but the EDH mindset informed that hypothesis as much as the pricing data did. I’m thankful we get such long periods of time to wait for things to happen.


7 months is a really long time for something you are certain is going to happen to eventually happen. It’s actually enough time to doubt yourself, which I started to do. OK, not really, but that would have been reasonable. I don’t doubt my specs, I stare at the price graphs and yell “WHAT IS TAKING YOU SO LONG?!?!?!” because I believe in myself because I’m always right it’s just reality that is sometimes wrong.

7 months allows you to take your time and get your cards by trading rather than buying a bunch of copies on TCG Player, which can sometimes trigger the market if people notice supply is lowering or average price is increasing. Dealers can update their prices and then you’re stuck paying much closer to the spike price or competing with others for copies. We want other people to do their buying at the new price, not the old one. This is our spec, so let’s make some money.

Isn’t this the main appeal to speculating on EDH cards? Instead of being glued to coverage, waiting for something to spike and hoping you beat everyone else to the copies, the store doesn’t cancel your order and you can out the copies when you do get them before the price goes right back down, you can pick up stuff at a leisurely pace. You know how long I’ve been accumulating copies of Dictate of Erebos? Like 2 years. If you read this series, you have been, too because it’s so obvious a pick-up that there is literally no way not to make money, especially when copies were nearish bulk.


$0.50 into $3? Almost a year of being bottomed out in price? Sometimes it’s super easy, and you can take your time and snag copies via any method you want. Is something going to happen soon to make Dictate go down in price a ton? That’s pretty doubtful. What we have is a low risk, high reward spec with inevitability. You won’t get that as often with Modern and you will never get it with Standard.

Cutting out the risk of reprint makes some cards seem even better.

We looked at a lot of Reserved List cards that EDH could push up and a lot of them went up a few weeks later but all of them were predicated on the Eldrazi deck in Legacy more than they were EDH. Still, it was pretty easy to predict and hopefully my readers got any cards they needed before they went nuts. One card I did forget to include in that piece was Winding Canyons.


Still available under $8, this hasn’t moved a ton, but this could see a bump in the new land-aware meta as well as a post-Prophet of Kruphix meta which requires us to find new ways to cheat at Magic. People buying Seedborn Muse (a lot of people, because they thought a little bit but not a lot) forget that the part of Prophet of Kruphix that is cheating is the part that gives your creatures super haste by letting you play them on any turn. Any turn means more when there are 6 players than when there are 2. This is an example of a card that will go up. How could it not?

It’s on the Reserved List

That means we’re not getting more copies. The number of copies we have is the number of copies we have. Weatherlight is on the tail end of the Reserved List, but it’s still old as hell meaning there aren’t a ton of copies. Current demand won’t hold as more players are added and we adapt to the new reality, current supply is all there is and this is a desirable effect, stapled to a land with no color identity.

Its Effect is Unique

While not unique in the game, this is the only colorless land that does it. People are perfectly willing to play Alchemists’ Refuge (And why not play the best color combination in EDH, really? ) but any deck can play Canyons and that’s another reason it gets a look.

EDH is Growing

Any time we have a growing player base fighting for finite copies, we have a recipe for growth.

How long will it take Canyons to go up? Hard to say. Why not buy in a ton? Well, there isn’t movement on the price now and we had to wait 7 months for Primal Vigor to go up and that was a sure thing. How long do you want $8 a copy tied up in Canyons? What I do recommend is trading for them, putting them in decks for the time being and selling them when you’re happy with where they’re at.

All of this set us up for what I want to discuss next week, which is a way to identify EDH specs based on their being budget alternatives to more expensive cards that are so good people stop using them as alternatives and just jam both copies. I’m excited about it, so get excited yourself. Until next week.

ADVERTISEMENT: Your Collection. Digitised. Organised. Organising your Magic cards has never been easier… use the OzGuild app to quickly and easily add your cards to an online catalogue. Scan in your first deck for free!

Please follow and like us:

Let the Community Surprise You

I didn’t think much of the new Odric when I saw him. In fact, last week, in probably the best article anyone has ever written about EDH Finance, I said the following about him.


That was mostly about how unexcited I was to build around him compared to a card like The Gitrog Monster. Odric is cool and all, but the other Odric just seems way better. Here’s the problem with that logic – the new Odric is NEW. And new is exciting. You can absolutely capitalize on excitement and I’ll tell you how.

Why am I bringing up Odric at all? Well, it’s pretty simple. While the Gitrog Monster is clearly the most exciting card for EDH in all of Shadows over Innistrad, it’s not the only card. People want to build other decks. Based on what I read leading up to the release by basically everyone, the second-most-exciting creature in the set to build around was the new Avacyn. It’s a mythic angel, lets you play red, flips to blow stuff up, makes stuff indestructible and it’s named Avacyn. Those are all super compelling reasons to want to build around her. You will imagine my surprise when EDHREC published their power rankings and the punditry was silenced by raw data.


This list is abridged – the full list can be found in this reddit post.

As a brief aside, I’ll explain how the list is weighted. It’s based on percentage of decks submitted as a snapshot. The numerator is the number of decks submitted with a specific commander and the denominator is the total number of decks submitted to the database over the time period as a snapshot. That means Prossh is 1% of the total decks submitted to EDHREC ever and The Gitrog Monster is 20% of the decks submitted over the 130 decks submitted in April. While this isn’t accurate in terms of showing the most popular decks of all time, it is not that sort of ranking. Those other decks are there merely as context to show relative popularity of decks submitted in April. It’s a power ranking, after all. It shows Meren getting pushed out of the number one spot but still shows how popular Meren has been for context. For more context, they also showed  the unweighted, all-time popularity rankings which shows the number of decks for that commander over the total number of decks submitted. Meren didn’t crack the Top 20 all-time (but I can’t imagine it won’t).


So in addition to showing that new cards are topping the power rankings meaning that they experienced the biggest surge, Meren beating out Olivia and Sigarda shows a little context for the surge in popularity for new Commanders relative to older ones people are still excited about. That was to be expected – Sigarda is an angel, but it’s not a very exciting one compared to her older sister. Odric didn’t initially seem that exciting compared to is older brother but the community showed that they were as willing to build an Odric deck as they were Avacyn, at least this early into April. I don’t expect that to stay the same, but as long as people are more excited about Odric than we’d anticipated, it’s worth looking at the cards they are going to want.

Were we wrong in our analysis of how unexciting Odric was during our set review? I don’t think so because even if Odric were 20% of the decks submitted in April, there still wouldn’t be much money to be made pre-ordering him. Non-mythic cards from a 1-of format don’t really move the needle too much when they’re in a set that sells a ton of copies. Ayli is 7th on the power ranking list and look at her price.


The price fluctuated a bit, but dealers didn’t change their buying behavior and they’re as bearish on buying this now as I am. It’s a $7 foil and rightly so, but Odric wasn’t going to make you any money buying just him so telling people not to be excited at presale time seemed correct. There wasn’t money to be made on Odric – he’s no stapler.

I will say I underestimated his utility as a rock, however. Throw Odric into the pool of EDH cards and you’re going to make a ton of ripples. Is there money in them thar waves? Let’s take a look at what those people who are just excited to build with him as they are to build with Avacyn are using.

The Fairly Odd…ric…father. They can’t all be gems.


This is the guy. He’s a Concerted Effort with feet. Is that a thing people like in EDH? You tell me.


Eh. Kinda. Enchantments from Ravnica that get a lot of EDH play are worth actual money. Privileged Position is worth four times as much as Concerted Effort and Perilous Forays, an uncommon, is worth a fourth as much. This price indicates a minimal but statistically-significant level of inclusion. EDHREC gives it a 39% synergy rating with Odric, a card that was just printed, indicating most of its play is recent and even with the card appearing in 44% of the new Odric decks, it’s only in 1.4% of white decks. You can see why I didn’t think having a Concerted Effort with feet was as exciting as a flying murder machine like Avacyn or a 6/6 creature with Deathtouch like The Gitrog Monster (I am planning on building around its huge body and deatchtouch by building Gitrog Votron. No, I’m really not, but can we talk for a second about how stupid it is to give a huge creature deathtouch? It was marginally acceptable on Grave Titan because they had to give him something but it is silly at this point) but the community surprised me by being more excited about this card than I am.

The great thing about EDH is that it moves prices predictably and more slowly than Standard which gives us time to position ourselves in front of coming waves. Cards used in Odric are going to sell slowly, trade well and generally just tick up reliably if he keeps being built at the rate he is. We’ve looked at Concerted Effort already, so why not look at it again and call it the first card on our list?


Activity has been pretty flat lately and with a new event (a deck where 44% of the new builders are including a redundant copy of their Commander) and the reprint risk being low, I think there is upside. Dealers aren’t adjusting their buying yet so the copies in stores are going to be lower than they would on a card whose popularity was well anticipated so buying behavior could shock the price a little bit. I don’t like the card, personally, but with obvious synergy with a popular commander and a $2.50 buy-in (and I guess a ceiling at $13 like Privileged Position, which would be predicated on much, much more play than it’s ever likely to see) there is a non-zero amount of money to be made here. I’d try to snag these cheap and out them for $5 in trade soon-ish. I still get these shipped to me in bulk rares.

The cards that are best with a creature like this are creatures with multiple abilities. You’re going to be able to grant your team a lot of abilities with fewer creatures in play by doubling or tripling up on the abilities on any given creature. There are some pretty saucy cards that pair with Odric in this manner.


Giving 3 solid abilities to your other creatures and being not-too-shabby on its own, Baneslayer seems like a fairly obvious inclusion. Baneslayer has been flat lately, and the FTV printing didn’t help any. Baneslayer is always going to be a good card, a casual favorite and something for angel collectors to covet. I think we’re done seeing reprints of Baneslayer for a while, unless Commander 2016 or ’17 gives us a commander that pairs well with angels, in which case this would be a good inclusion as that deck’s Wurmcoil. We have seen a lot of reprints in the $10-$15 range in those products, but only when they are slam dunk inclusions. This seems pretty safe to me and I think there is upside either based on an Odric bump or just time marching on.


If it weren’t for Modern Masters 2015, this would likely be much higher. Formats that play more than one copy of this card still like it and the extra interest from other formats like Legacy (Death and Taxes, mostly) just gives this more upside. I hope this is done getting reprinted because this could see $4 or $5 again and I want to have a pile when it does. Have creatures that grant double strike are going to be very useful in an Odric deck, and this is basically the only white double-striker worth any money as the rest are big, durdly white uncommons. Those other cards are nothing to sneeze as because most of them also grant flying, but there isn’t a ton of money to be made there unless you’re buying bulk and picking them out to buylist for for a dime. For the record, I don’t hate buying bulk and buylisting dimes.


With great numbers of abilities comes great responsibility. Or something. Look, this card has approximately all of the abilities. The issue? It also has approximately all of the printings. Angels are pretty good with Odric because they tend to be both white and laden with cool abilities and Akroma here is no exception. This is going to load up your team with a ton of relevant abilities and I think there is upside for Akroma if they can see their way clear to stop reprinting her. I feel like a bunch of duel deck anthologies copies are about to hit the market since it’s becoming increasingly efficient for speculators to crack those open since they contain an Ancestral Vision. That means more copies of Akroma could hit the market as people dump the rest of the cards in those decks since they broke even on a few cards and the rest are gravy. I don’t like this as a result, so I think this card is a long-term hold that will keep getting pushed to longer and longer terms. There isn’t even upside for the older versions because EDH players in general want the cheapest copy, not the prettiest.


Currently this has an even higher synergy rating with Odric than Concerted Effort does. This grants two useful abilities, is super good in other decks and does it all for 3 mana. I feel like the reprint risk is medium to high but in the medium term, this absolutely has upside. All this does is climb.


This pick is ballsy. Reprinted in both Commander 2014 and Commander 2015, this could have been a $5 card by now. Commander 2016 could easily see another printing which would disappoint me. I’m inclined to say the reprint risk is very high since they did it in back-to-back sets, but maybe they feel like they have printed this enough. I don’t know what the play is here, but this is certainly a good card in the deck.


Fetching equipment is useful in decks like this. Grabbing one of any number of equipment that grant multiple abilities is saucy in this deck. Open the Armory is too prevalent out there for us to make money on right now (You can get these for free just by picking up draft chaff people leave on tables) but Steelshaper’s Gift is still plugging along. This demonstrated an ability to hit $7, but that was predicated on the banning of Stoneforge Mystic in Modern and the mistaken idea that this was a suitable replacement. That first spike concentrated copies in the hands of dealers, though, making it less likely that increased demand will be flattened out by copies coming out of the woodwork. Second spikes always end up being steeper. Odric isn’t enough to spike this card, but increased demand is going to lead to increased price for all of those reasons. I don’t hate this as a buy and it’s unlikely to get reprinted if they’re going to print cards like Open the Armory that are just better (although more expensive mana-wise).


I am over my word count mandate, but I will briefly say this is never going down in price barring a reprint, which isn’t all that likely outside of Commander supplemental product, something we’ll be able to predict once we know what the color combinations for Commander 2016 are and what the generals are likely to do. I like this a lot.

There are quite a few more saucy cards and I think you get the idea by now. Check out the entire Odric page on EDHREC for more ideas. Check the synergy rating and pricing trends. For this article I avoided cards that are only good because it’s a mono-white deck like Caged Sun and Nykthos, cards that are color staples rather than Odric staples like Land Tax and Swords to Plowshares and are too cheap and prevalent to experience upside like Aven Sunstriker and Sungrace Pegasus. There are cards that will see a bump if Odric is built as aggressively in the coming months as he was the last week. I didn’t predict that happening at all, but luckily we are in a position to let the community surprise us. Until next week!

Advertisement: The best Magic players are organized… and the best way to organize your collection is with OzGuild! Building a digital catalogue of your cards is quick and easy, just scan your cards with your smartphone. Scan in your first deck for free!


Please follow and like us:

The Mother of All Boats

I got away from it a bit but this series used to be one where I’d point out upcoming Legendary creatures, their associated archetypes and cards bound to get used in those archetypal decks that have upside once people started building those decks. It was fun to write those pieces. It was also when we were getting spoilers of cool Commanders all the time. I had to write different articles to bridge the gaps between those cool spoilers and honestly, I didn’t see anything out of Shadows that made me super excited.

Don’t get me wrong, Olivia is going to be a real clock in some format, I’m sure, but there’s no reason I want her over Olivia Voldaren.

People seem excited about Avacyn but I don’t know if relying on blinking your commander in a deck that can’t have blue in it is wise and I’m not sure 3 damage matters a ton against every deck, although some decks you’re going to kill a million kobolds and take them to Fecundity town.

People are excited about Arlin Kord and by that I mean non-EDH players are excited about Arlin Kord.


Odric isn’t mythic for a reason. He’s a great inclusion but I can’t imagine building around a Concerted Effort with feet when the other Odric CHEATS AT MAGIC.


Sigarda is a slightly better Angelic Overseer that makes you play green whether you want to or not. About time we got another Angelic Overseer. That’s in 0.012% of all eligible decks on EDHREC after all and is worth more than you might think.


This card is aging like a fine milk.

That basically only leaves us one Legendary creature worth giving a hot fart about. Fortunately for those who were looking forward to an article full of sicko picks, that one creature is worth ALL OF THE FARTS, irrespective of the temperature of those farts… annnnnd now I made myself sad with my gross metaphor.

This card is a monster. Literally.







If you’re not hyped for this card, I’m sorry you snorted too many marijuanas and damaged the part of your brain that the rest of us use to experience joy. It’s called the Ventral Tegmental Area, but you wouldn’t know that because you’re too busy not being happy that they made a Legendary creature that makes up for how lackluster the rest of the Legendary creatures are AND the fact that there is no RG werewolf in the set (all signs point toward one named Ulrich being in the next set) AND the fact that delirium as a mechanic meant I was subjected to a bunch of halfwits posting all over Facebook that “OMG TRAGOMOYF CUD B N THIS SET GUISE” and that’s on you. If you make a comment about how the Ventral Tegmental Area is only one of the parts of the brain responsible for a complex emotion like joy, I will not read it and I will sign your e-mail address up for Gary Johnson e-mail updates because someone did that to me and it’s literally impossible to get your name taken off of that list. Don’t do it, nerd.

Talk About the BOOOAAATS

I’m getting to it, damn.

So’s as I was sayin’, Gitrog Monster is basically the only Legend from the set that people can really agree on. I’m sure some good writers whose opinion I respect are going to make a decent case for Avacyn or whatever, but everyone and their Magic-playing DAD be talkin’ ’bout that Gitmonster life. People are excited and when people are excited, prices move.

But it’s not just the excitment, which is palpable, that I think The Gitrog Monster has going for it in the “make prices go crazy” department. I think it’s also the linearity the deck at least implies. I am sure there are a ton of ways to build the deck. I brewed with it for Gathering Magic this week and thought it would be hilarious to run a bunch of effects that turn your lands into 2/2 creatures. You could run some reanimation stuff to dredge a Craterhoof into your yard then go full Nature’s Revolt with like 20 lands that are all 20+ power if you’re into winning the game that way. You could make infinite black mana with Skirge Familiar and Dakmor Salvage and Exsanguinate their faces. How you win is sort of up to you, but how you get there is less open to interpretation and that means we’re going to see some opportunity to make some money. There are some major things about to go down.


What are the odds that everyone waits around to see if this is reprinted in Eternal Masters? It’s at least possible that this won’t be. It’s at least possible that people who want to go to Gitrog town (and what a town it is; an arm for every mouth hole) who have the $60+ bones to shell out are going to be impatient and are going to just make this card $100 soon. Every Gitrog monster basically needs Crucible. You can get by without one, but that’s basically admitting to the world that you’re a peasant, not that you’re a savvy deckbuilder who found a workaround. You didn’t find a workaround, you’re a poor. Embrace it, and sell plasma or whatever poors do and get yourself a Crucible.

Or don’t, probably. I don’t like buying into a lot of uncertainty. If this is in Eternal Masters it probably stalls the growth for quite a while, especially if it’s in at non-mythic rare. If it is in at mythic or it’s not reprinted, the price won’t go down much if at all (or in the case of not reprinted, Hypnotoad should spike it)  but if it’s in at regular rare, you can lose a lot of money here. This is an important card but the future is murky and I’m not parking money here. I think you watch spoilers carefully, though, because the second Crucible is ruled out, the price goes up instantly.


This guy on the other hand has had two reprintings and neither one of them was all that successful at keeping the price down. This card is a proven winner and with its reprint risk being super low and its playability in Gitrog decks super high, it’s fairly obvious this price has nowhere to go but up. At $10 there are a lot worse places to park your money. I like this as a pickup quite a bit since it’s pretty easy money, although with hella copies out there it’s hard to say how much upside there is. We’re certain to see movement but maybe your $10 is better spent elsewhere if you want to really rake in off of a hit. This is low risk but the reward is correspondingly low and the impact will be cushioned by the duel decks copies. Those duel decks, while we’re talking about it, look really, really good if Life hits $15. If you can still get them for $20, Izzet vs Golgari has Jarad, Niv-Mizzet, Brainstorm, Fire//Ice, Isochron Scepter, Prophetic Bolt, Sphinx-Bone Wand, Dakmor Salvage, Eternal Witness, Golgari Grave Troll, a couple of Purefy and Izzet and Golgari Signets that look better than the Ravnica versions. I see Japanese copies of the duel deck on eBay for $23 right now, and if Dakmor Salvage and Life go up from The Gitrog Monster, you’re shipping the rest of those good for pure profit. I bought a few Target stores completely out of them a while back and have been sitting on them ever since but with English copies already going for $30, I may just take my 50% profit (more because I used someone’s employee discount to save 10% – it’s good to know people) and get out.


This card has been printed as often as Life from the Loam and at a lower rarity so there is a lot of push needed to get these going, but reports are already coming in that buylist prices are up on these. I think it will take a heap of copies moving to trigger TCG Player, but as soon as someone buys it out, every amateur financier is going to buy out the rest of the loose copies on the net. The “Oh, Gitrog did this” analysis after the fact even if what really happened was someone just spending a few hundred bucks will get everyone else to buy. I don’t like this effect of sites like reddit but we can’t pretend it doesn’t happen so it pays to be prepared. I think this card is going to move.

On a related note, if you go after foils, there is more potential upside and foils negate the influence of the duel deck printings, although the foils from Modern Masters hurt the upside of the Future Sight foils a bit. Still food for thought.


Another must-run card, this is flat and has nowhere to go but up. I am sure there are a lot of copies on TCG Player since this was in 3 of the decks but this is a penny stock that is likely to move and I would be remiss if I mentioned Dakmor Salvage and not this. If there were foils of this available, I’d be about it. But there aren’t. Let’s move on to another important card of which there are no foils.


There is real potential money here. First of all, this can fuel infinite combos with the deck, draw you cards, get you mana and generally make all of your filthy Golgari dreams come true. Gitrog players know this card is bananas in the deck and they’re chirping about it all over reddit and twitter. The crazy thing is, it’s drawing so much attention that people running other combo decks are starting to take a look. Any additional attention from other decks is going to have a huge effect on price. This is on the Reserved List so it’s never getting reprinted, it’s from Mirage block so there aren’t really many copies and it’s bound to get played a lot in the near future. I’ve seen nearly identical cards to this one spike on flimsier premises. We saw one this week.


Mirage block? Check. Reserved List? Check. Rare? Check. Only EDH play? Check. Someone mentioned this could potentially hose Eldrazi decks in Legacy and that was all it took for the finance followers to strip the internet of every loose copy. I don’t know if Squandered Resources will hit $20 as fast just because we don’t have the Legacy crowd making dumb buys, but people got really smug with me when I pointed out that Hall of Gemstones is in like 0 decks on EDHREC. They saw it mentioned on MTG Salvation, you guys. It’s a real card.

OK, Squandered Resources is a card, too, and it’s nearly identical to Hall of Gemstones in every way. It’s also going to get played a ton in a deck that I’m fairly certain will be the most-built deck of the month as soon as it’s out. Unlike Meren which had competition from all the other Commander 2015 commanders and Ayli which had competition from Tazri, Gitrog is all alone. It’s the only card anyone seems to give a rip about in terms of EDH commanders which means the decklists will be everywhere. I think Squandered Resources is a no-brainer and unlike Crucible, we can see essentially exactly where it’s headed.


This is on its way up, already. Imagine where it’s headed after Gitrog enters all of our lives. I think there’s upside on this card and it’s something EDH was already aware of. To the extent that this happened.


We got an expedition. Could Gitrog reverse this expedition’s slow decline? I don’t know. There is a set foil at only $70 which is way more pimp than this expedition which is, like, Michael Shannon ugly. It’s so bad. It’s like road rash ugly. It’s so bad that if my daughter drew this I wouldn’t put it on the refrigerator. You remember those books, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark? Remember that art? This is worse than that. Spend the extra coin and buy the set foil if you’re going to trifle with this ballbag of an expedition. Seriously. This art is uglier than if Steve Buscemi fell asleep on someone’s leg at a party and that person was wearing corduroy pants and Steve woke up and noticed he had lines on his face and thought “wow, this looks really bad” right before someone splashed acid on his face because they thought Boardwalk Empire was real. Wasn’t Michael Shannon on Boardwalk Empire, too? And a dude with half his face blown off by a sniper? That’s an ugly show. When Michael K Williams is the best-looking person on your show, your show is messed up. It’s still better than this art.

I wrote like 200 extra words I’m not getting paid for because I hate this art so much. Some person worked really hard on this art and they probably did exactly what the art director who hired them told them to do. I don’t even care. Everyone responsible for this expedition utterly, UTTERLY failed in every way. I’m not one for recommending you stay away from an expedition but, stay away from this.

This one is running long but it’s my article and I’ll run long if I want. Few more cards.


Look at this graph shape and inevitable inclusion in the deck, etc. Man, I’m starting to regret not being more conservative with my word count earlier. This is a good card and you should buy it if you want to. Or not, I don’t care. But this goes in the deck.


I call this card every few months and I’m always right. Eventually people are going to stop letting me pretend I can be right with a pick more than once. This goes in the deck, but it’s going up regardless. The only difference is the slope of the graph. I still like this at $3. Spend $45 and you’ll be glad you did.


This could hit $1!!!!!!!!!11one

I’m over my word count. Let’s call it an article right here.

Edit – So this happened


I think he makes a good point. Realms probably has more upside than a mere double up since it’s going in Gitrog decks because it does a lot of what you want. I was going to mention a new card like Fork in the Road just for being a cantripy Farseek so why not Realms Uncharted?

I think what Travis did was point to a bit of subconcious bias on my part. Realms is a card a lot of us have wanted to get there forever and it has resisted any pressure so far. It just won’t go up. Azusa couldn’t do it, Mina and Denn couldn’t do it, Boborygmos couldn’t do it. It’s almost like I gave up on Realms Uncharted. It wouldn’t pull itself up by its bootstraps so I decided it will never be worth money. I think Realms Uncharted probably has more upside than Restore, a card I am relatively bullish on. Foils are a 10x multiplier, and at a $5 buy-in, you can make real money if the non-foil hits a few bucks and we maintain the multiplier, which is reasonable.

I should like Realms more, and I think you should, too. Don’t let a card’s past behavior make you resist re-evaluating it in light of new developments, since that’s literally what we do in this column.


Please follow and like us: