Category Archives: Jason Alt

PROTRADER: The Naval Archives

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I’ve got boat puns for days. You can’t escape the boat puns. It’s like the boat puns are a boat and you’re just some guy in an inner tube. Nice inner tube, idiot. I’ve got a whole navy of puns.

You know what’s even better than boat puns, besides “nothing”? Making money. Dolla dolla bills, y’all! I mean, if you want to make money in larger quantities than single dollars, that’s on you. You don’t want to end up like Pablo Escobar, spending six grand a month on rubber bands to hold all of your money. If you used hundreds, you could get that down to $60 a month, which is way more reasonable. Or you could reinvest that cash in some sicko EDH staples and make your money work for you.

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Announcing Commander 2015

Making good on its promise to release a new spate of Commander preconstructed decks every year, Wizards has announced Commander 2015.

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There will be 55 brand-new cards created for this product unequally distributed over the 5 decks. Each deck gets 15 new cards, with the repeated cards usually being lands like Arcane Lighthouse and Myriad Landscape (which is bad for their price upside, but that can’t be helped).

The five decks will be comprised of the five “enemy” two-color combinations (white-black, blue-red, black-green, red-white, and green-blue) and will be 100 cards, as always.

Each Deck Contains:

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  • A 100-card Commander deck
  • One oversized foil commander card for each deck
  • 10 double-sided tokens
  • Deck storage box
  • Strategy insert and rules reference card
  • 15 new Magic cards (55 for the set in total)

The double-sided tokens are cool, but they are so dirt cheap that there hasn’t been much secondary market buzz on them, even good ones like Wurmcoil Engine tokens.

What mana fixing are we likely to get? Pain lands? Bad River? Tempest duals? ABUR duals? It’s hard to know how Wizards will fix the mana, but it’s possible we’ll get a new card to do it and that there will be potential Legacy implications.

Remember, each of these sets has had one or two cards that shake up Legacy, so make sure you arbitrage those decks where you can. I don’t like these as long-term sealed investments, but I think a lot of the singles have more upside than is readily apparent. This is a chance for Wizards to print cards for Legacy without ruining Modern, so expect more of that.

With 55 brand-new cards, there are bound to be a few that have real financial implications. Stay glued to MTGPrice’s spoiler coverage for analysis. We just might be able to predict some sleepers and help you figure out which decks to grab.

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PROTRADER: Naval Pacts

That’s a real thing, look it up. You’re just mad because you saw the title and thought, “I bet that one was really easy to come up with,” and while you’d be right, so what? I’m on top of my game, not everything has to be complicated, and I make it all look easy. What wasn’t easy was separating my feelings of “this card seems cool but not right for Standard” from the notion that sometimes powerful cards get built around.

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Battle for Zendikar Spoiler: Oblivion Sower

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The upcoming product Duel Decks: Zendikar vs. Eldrazi has yielded its first spoiler from Battle for Zendikar, and it’s not bad at all. Oblivion Sower can get you up to four lands from the top of your opponent’s deck (although I’m sure you’d rather have them draw land for four turns in a row).

Six mana is perfect in EDH, but this may be too slow for Standard unless Battle for Zendikar is like last Zendikar block: lots of mana ramp, cost reducers, and ways to slow the game down. While Oblivion Sower isn’t the kind of Eldrazi we’re used to with humongous stats, a gigantic mana cost, and annihilator triggering on attacks, it is interesting and gives us some clues into what Eldrazi may look like in the upcoming set.

If we’re not going to get annihilator, you can bet we’ll get some more abilities that trigger when the creatures are cast. We may see more reasonable mana costs like what we’re seeing with this card, accompanied by smaller bodies. Eldrazi won’t be the giant Eldritch monsters Emrakul and Kozilek are, but they will still be formidable. However, if you compare this to a card like Sun Titan or Wurmcoil Engine, it comes up short in my view. I’m hoping this is one of the lesser Eldrazi, included in a duel deck because it was deemed similar in size and castability to Avenger of Zendikar (which didn’t need another reprinting) and not indicative of what Eldrazi will be like in this block—or we’re all in for a disappointing time.

I don’t know what Oblivion Sower will sell for on presale, but the Duel Deck printing coupled with its effect that I’m having a hard time judging outside of the context of the rest of the set, I imagine its price will be too high to bother. It’s a cool card, but if all Eldrazi are like this one, I don’t expect Eldrazi to capture the imagination of casual players the way the last batch did, and that’s too bad.

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