Category Archives: Unlocked ProTrader

Unlocked Pro Trader: Be Fearful When Others Aren’t Paying Attention

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Masters 25 is coming up and that means that nothing is safe. I mean, within reason. Like, RL cards are safe and actual garbage is safe. But you’re holding some non-RL non-garbage and one of my readers said they wanted me to talk about what to worry about and ooooooooo boy do I know a thing or two about worrying about stuff.

I don’t like not knowing what’s up. I’d really like to know what exactly is in Masters 25 so I know what to get out of but there are some fundamental things I don’t know and that’s causing me to doubt everything I do know. Let’s make lists and calm ourselves down before we plunge into it.

Actually, before I launch into it, I want to share a reddit thread I found looking up info on Masters 25 because it’s like “perfect 5/7” meme guy visited a magic sub. It’s a quick read, but it’s worth it for “I do now know what rhetorical means thanks to trapperjustin and his dictionary” which will be funnier later. Read it real fast to cleanse your palate because this article could be sort of depressing if you’re holding a ton of card stock like I am.

What Do We Know?

  • Masters 25 will have 249 cards, just like the other Masters sets.
  • The 3 letter code is, I’m not making this up, A25. Not M25, A 25. You know, A, as in mAsters.
  • If North America isn’t a smoldering crater by then, it comes out in March.
  • All cards from Magic’s 25 year history that aren’t silver-bordered or on the Reserved List are eligible
  • The set is designed to be drafted
  • Each pack will contain a foil
  • Packs come in English, Chinese and Japanese

I think that’s basically all of the relevant information.

What Do We Not Know?

  • Are there going to be the same number of rares and mythics as in Iconic Masters?
  • Is this another 8th Edition? 8th was bad.
  • Can they do a good job with this many Masters sets all on top of each other needing to be balanced for both finance, which they can’t even acknowledge and also Limited like they sometimes do?
  • Will they reprint something that was recently reprinted in a Commander set or Masters Set or ftv?

I’m going to make some assumptions because I have to and if they’re wrong, we’ll probably be OK. If we sell something that doesn’t get reprinted, we probably have a chance to buy it back. If we don’t sell something that is, we lose some value. Let’s look at what could be in M25 that would blow us out as EDH players.

What I Assume

I assume there will be 15 mythics and 2 or 3 of them will be bad, but “Iconic.” I assume there will be 53 rares and I assume a lot of them will be good and there could be a bunch of crap like “Autumn Willow” but we also expected that in Iconic Masters and Iconic Masters turned out to be a set with a ton of decent Mythics plus Channel. The non-mythic rares are even better and the rarity down-shift on a lot of cards was welcome. I think M25 could be good. I also still think Iconic Masters is good but the Ev is currently trash. I also thought Conspiracy 2 was good so don’t listen to me, I guess. Anyway, stop not listening to me and resume listening to me because I want to talk about cards I think might be reprinted.

I’m assuming the 15 mythics will be distributed like they are in Modern Masters 2017. Iconic Masters had 3 mythics of each color and I don’t know that Masters 25 won’t want gold, artifact or land mythics. If this list feels very EDH-centric, that’s because it mostly is and because other people have mostly already identified the Legacy and Modern cards that are likely to be in but we’ve seen that these sets have a lot of EDH goodies in them and I want to identify those since who else will do it if I don’t? That said, can you think of a Land card that could be in at mythic that isn’t already in a Masters set or on the Reserved List? I can only think of one.

Rishadan Port

That is a lot of fear in the price, even though buylist is starting to recover a bit. I think Port is just about guarandamnteed to be in Masters 25. If it’s not, where will it be reprinted? This is probably in at Mythic and that probably won’t help it much.

AHHHHHHH! This card fell right off of a cliff. Port’s likely headed for a similar fate, so don’t let your copies ride that roller coaster into Bolivian.

If we have gold or artifact Mythic rares in M25, can you think of any that are obvious?

Crucible of Worlds

This could be in at Mythic. It will see a decline in price but it won’t be as profound as it would if they threw this in at non-mythic rare. It almost feels like they can’t do that to anything worth more than $50 currently because that would really be painful. They’re doing this to increase supply no gut price, so Crucible feels like a pretty reasonable inclusion. This price takes a real hit if it’s in M25 (sorry, A25) and I think you maybe get out of these while you can.

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Phyrexian Altar

Here’s a card I’ve been saying for a while they need to reprint and they keep not. It’s too late for a Commander precon at this point and since it’s dodged a ton of Masters sets, this is basically its only chance. They’ll likely have something from Invasion block and this is one of the cards that’s pretty reasonable to reprint at mythic. If this gets shifted to rare, even better because it will crater, I’ll scoop a lot of copies and it will do a good job recovering. I’ll sell a lot more of these for cheap and it may pull an Urza’s Incubator and recover faster than anyone expects. If you have one of these, I’d look at offloading.

While we’re talking about this, it has a 1.4 foil mutliplier. Read into that what you will, but I take that to mean this is a very EDH card and that explains why there isn’t enough demand in the foil to match the demand of people who just want the cheapest copy and are having a harder and harder time getting one. This is something I sure hope is in Masters 25.

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Cabal Coffers

I’m jumping around a bit because Coffers is worth discussing. If this is in at rare, that’s amazing, but I think it’s non-trivially possible that this ends up in the set at Mythic. It’s awkward to put this in at all because do you make it part of a cycle? With what other lands? Does this count as a black card? Limited has to be built with this in mind. Do you add a swamp theme for black and include Mutilate and Nantuko Shade and Corrupt? That would be pretty good, I think, but how do you balance Limited around that? This almost feels too expensive not to be in at Mythic but either way, I think this card has to see a printing soon and this is a good venue for it.

We might as well look at gold stuff that could be Mythic while we’re at it.

Aura Shards

This won’t be Mythic in Masters 25 but only because boosters are $10. This could be in the Mirari’s Wake slot of any Conspiracy-type set and could be at rare in Masters 25 so be ready for that. This feels very reprintable and I’m very nervous having these in stock. I’m selling them briskly, though, so it hardly matters. This card is nuts and I think a reprint is incoming. This probably can’t be a Mythic in a $10 a pack set but I bet it’s in there somewhere.

Sliver Legion

This could be a Mythic but if you jam this in, a huge portion of the set is basically decided. I’m waiting for them to reprint this at some point and there are a lot of slivers throughout Magic’s history but I can’t imagine designing a set for Limited with this in it. The Slivers can go across every color equally, but they don’t play well with any other strategy. Slivers were in an M-set, though so maybe all bets are off.

I think we’re off to a good start. There are a ton of cards that could occupy the 53 rare spots and I’ll be covering the ones I think are EDH relevant over the next few weeks. I think this was a good chunk of what I expect to be in, though and it’s worth thinking about moving out of some stuff. Until next week!

 

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Unlocked Pro Trader: X Amount of Words

Did you read my article last week? Congratulations. If you liked that article and you end up liking this one, say something in the comments section. That helps me steer which direction to take the series. Whether you love me or hate me, write something*. OK, enough of that, let’s remind everyone what we’re doing.

Like a month and a half ago I had a simple idea – look at all of the Top 100 played cards in EDH per EDHREC data and then put their cheapest price and cheapest foil price into a spreadsheet and calculate the foil multiplier. I wanted to see if there were any trends we could use to predict future prices of similar cards or see if there were any cards that were mispriced. We found a lot more than I expected. Last week I realized I left Vindicate off the list and that sent me down a rabbit hole so deep that I didn’t even get finished with what I discovered before I had to pinch it off and pick it up this week. Go read last week’s article if you want a refresher – I just did.

We flagged 14 cards that had a foil multiplier between 1.0 (We already looked into the cards with multipliers below 1.0) and 2.0, 2.0 being an arbitrary value we decided was a minimum acceptable foil multiplier. If it’s below 2.0 something’s wrong and if it’s above 1.0 but below 2.0, maybe something very specific was wrong. We got through a bunch of them but there are still a few cards I flagged in light blue to go over this week. Did you take a look at the spreadsheet between then and now to see if you got any impressions from the rest of the flagged cards? If not, it’s OK because we can go over them together, now.

The Cards

I saw distinct “groups” of cards but since there were a few cards that fit in multiple “groups” I decided to just tackle the list from the top and talk about each card individually.

Cyclonic Rift

Foil Multiplier – 1.8

This card very much is suffering from “reprinted a lot” flu. It’s been printed twice in foil and three times in non-foil and its growth was pretty good before this. The odds of this getting printed in foil again seem pretty low, but I’m not sure the demand for foil copies of this card, despite its status as a staple, can soak all of the demand. That said, this flirted with $30 before, Modern Masters 2017 didn’t give us that many copies and I don’t know that they’ll put this in a future Masters set. I’m saying don’t buy because there are better targets, not because this is a bad one. I think it has a lot going for it but I think other cards we flagged have even more.

Path to Exile

Foil Multiplier – 1.3

With a foil in every pack, Masters sets tend to put out a ton of foils and this is 3 times as true for uncommons as it is for rares. I’m not saying don’t touch this, I’m merely pointing out this is super reprintable. It’s also basically been printed in foil as much as it has in non-foil with the duel deck, Archenemy and Commander printings being somewhat offset by the Gateway and FNM promos. This card gets a lot of printings. I have no opinion about its future price growth based on this data, I’m merely explaining that something with so many foil printings is bound to have a low multiplier. People have an embarrassment of choices when it comes to which foil version they like meaning the demand is spread out over multiple printings. This also gets played outside of EDH a ton, obviously, but that just means it’s easy to reprint.

Utter End

Foil Multiplier – 1.3

This hasn’t had time to catch its breath but I’m not sure how reprintable this is. The 1.3 multiplier is for the set foil which has tumbled and it’s likely that a lot of this is due to a card that came out at the same time and is much more desirable.

Khans was pretty recent in the grand scheme of things so there are likely hella set foil copies running around but the Gameday promo is just about at its bottom also. I don’t know if it’s squeamishness about a future foil reprinting, but this art is never getting used again (I think it looks like a cutscene from Shandalar but no one but me cares about that, I guess) and I think a generic Masters 25 or something foil doesn’t do much to this price of this. Utter End and/or Anguished Unmaking likely make their way into a Commander precon or two in the next five years but this seems unmesswithable. Both the set foil and promo seem safe but the Gameday promo seems really good to me. Two foils printed right on top of each other competing for demand explains the low multiplier (the multiplier calculated for the price of the Gameday promo is 3.8) and I think we may stumbled upon a good buy, here.

Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker

Foil Multiplier – 1.3

I haven’t checked, but I feel like I remember that Venser the Sojourner and Elspeth, Sun’s Champion both also got flagged (I’ll confirm when I get to them) and the duel deck printings behave like a non-foil rather than a foil due to relative abundance. If you calculate the foil multiplier using the duel deck printing as the base, the M13 foil is 3.5 and Conflux is 3.1. Those aren’t great, but they’re healthy and they’re healthy in a situation where there is a really cheap foil floating around. I’ve seen sites where the duel deck version is cheaper than the Conflux non-foil and that tells you a lot about what duel deck printings do to Planeswalkers. Honestly, as someone who can’t keep Planeswalkers in my case, I like buying and selling them cheap. You sell one foil Russian Jace a lifetime if you’re lucky but you sell 3 Garruk Wildspeakers a week. I don’t see a real opportunity here besides the normal “look at that slow, incremental growth” that cards that aren’t great specs exhibit. Will you lose money socking your money away in this? Eh. Depends on the rate of inflation, and that’s not something you should have to consider. I’ll pass.

Venser the Sojourner

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Foil Multiplier – 1.1

I wanted to be kind of lazy and say “everything I said about Nicol Bolas applies here” but it kind of doesn’t. Look at the steady growth in the set foil price. That is very promising. Again, using the duel deck printing as the base, we have a multiplier of 2.3 which is better. The price of the non-foil versus the duel deck promo are so negligible that it comes down to art preference basically, but the set foil is growing nicely. Compare the slope of this graph to the non-foil.

This looks pretty healthy, honestly. I think I like this card despite the high buy-in.  Even the duel deck printing is OK – it’s disappearing from online and while it flirted with $20 at one point, it’s gettable around $10. Still, is this getting a reprint anytime soon? Certainly not the duel deck art. It’s worth a look. I think the growth curve looks far less anemic than does Bolas and I think despite these being in the same “class” when it comes to explaining why the multiplier is below 2.0, they’re pretty different and that has a lot to do with Venser being 2 colors rather than 3 and having a very relevant EDH-based effect rather than just being vaguely powerful like Bolas.

Phyrexian Metamorph

Foil Multiplier – 1.5

Here’s another card with a very healthy looking growth curve whose data was “spoiled” by a cheap, abundant promo. Set foils tend to do even better when there’s a ubiquitous promo, especially in cases where the price of the promo behaves more like the foil than the non-foil. Adjusting our expectations with the promo as the base price, we have a multiplier of 1.78, which honestly isn’t much better. It seems like the multipliers are low because the prices aren’t really diverging – they seem to be growing at roughly the same pace for all three versions – promo, non-foil and set foil. Demand has spoken. I’m worried about this being in Masters 25 and by the time that’s fully spoiled this may have gone up another few bucks, so it’s risky but this is also one of the best blue cards in EDH and that’s saying a lot considering how good blue is.

Maelstrom Nexus

This may have suffered from a small number of data points. The price for a near mint foil most places is closer to $40 than $30 which would put the multiplier around 2.0. This is, in a lot of ways, the most EDH card on the list because it’s so narrow, so powerful, so unplayable in Legacy, etc and is going so nuts price-wise. Someone is selling a busted copy on TCG Player for cheap, it’s sold out like everywhere else and that means this was flagged by accident. This has a healthy multiplier and shouldn’t be on our list. I’m glad we looked, though, because then we got to look at the graphs for the foil. Here’s the non-foil below.

We got two new 5-color Commanders in the form of The Ur-Dragon and Ramos and that could be a contributing factor. Basically both prices are way up so I expect a bit of a divergence when demand really catches up to supply like it’s about to. Maybe the seller with his foil listed on TCG Player at $60 isn’t such a lunatic.

Xenagos the Reveler

Foil Multplier – 1.7

Part of the problem here could be the prices converging as the non-foil tanks and so does the foil. No one seems to care about this card in non-EDH formats which puts less pressure on the foil price since EDH players chase the cheapest copy more than players of most formats. It makes sense – if you play legacy, you got your foil Brainstorms for $30 each in 2005 and kept them because of course you did. With EDH, they pump out cards that create new archetypes every set. Some people want to foil staples and this technically qualifies as a staple (I’ve never seen anyone use it) so maybe people should want to foil this, but the graph is gross-looking. The graph of the non-foil honestly isn’t much better.

I’m not sure why the price is falling off – it could be it was used in other formats and lost favor, flooding the EDH market with more copies than it wanted despite this appearing in 15% of eligible decks. It’s possible demand will buoy this and it’s at its floor for sure (flo’ for sho’?) so maybe the getting’s good now? I don’t know because I don’t really have strong feelings about this card other than that it seems great in some decks but not exactly a red-green staple. It can fart out a ton of mana, though, or a ton of creatures and that’s cool. I honestly can’t explain the low multiplier other than that we’re getting deluged with copies from Modern. If you have a hypothesis, hit me in the comments.

Gilded Lotus

Foil Multiplier – 1.1

Gilded Lotus is a special case – I believe it’s the only card on the list above a 1.0 that has been printed more times in foil than in non-foil (2 set printings with both and an FTV printing). This is also basically 95% likely to be in Masters 25 (I made that number up – I would have said it was a shoo-in for Iconic Masters) and that makes me nervous. However, I don’t think even the (ugly) FTV foil can keep this multiplier down. It’s interesting to see the effect of more foil than non-foil printings especially since even if you calculate the multiplier within the printings (for example, M13 non-foil goes for $12 on TCG Player and the foil goes for $15.50) you get similar results. I think this has real potential and as worried as I am about a reprinting, I probably shouldn’t be. This may just be a great opportunity. This is another EDH-specific card and EDH players tend to nab the cheapest copy (which isn’t the FTV foil, actually) so that is why we see what I assume is a non-foil price that’s high rather than a foil price that’s low. I think there’s opportunity here and barring a Masters set, this is tough to print in foil again. That said, this is a snap inclusion in a Commander’s Arsenal, something I hope they do again, though how much that affects prices, I can’t say.

I think we covered quite a bit today and identified quite a few juicy targets. I’ll have to figure something out for next week, but I’m grateful that the mere exercise of plotting some prices gave us so much to think about. If you have any ideas, hit me up in the comments. Thanks for reading, nerds. Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*This was the point in the paragraph where I decided to abandon the bit I was planning where I’d reference a bunch of song titles from that Blue October album “foiled” since we’re talking about the list of foil prices again. I got, what, 2 in? 3 if I don’t change the title from “X amount of words” to something else. Are people going to get Blue October references? It got too hard – how am I going to subtly slip “I drilled a wire through my cheek” or “She’s my ride home” or “The sound of pulling heaven down” into a paragraph? It was a stupid bit and I’m glad I abandoned it.

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Unlocked Pro Trader – Puttin’ on the Foil

Let me just say that if you haven’t seen Slapshot, stop being terrible at life and correct that. If you have to stop this article right now and go watch it because otherwise you’ll forget, I’ll wait. I may or may not reference the movie a lot in this article so if you’ve seen it, prepare to catch a bunch of references. You know, unless I don’t do it.

I wanted to talk more about foil copies of the Top 100 EDH cards today because I think there is some still some value to be gleaned here so let’s take a look. The link is here. Also, I was missing a card and had to figure out what it was. I always do this, I miss some mundane detail! Wait, that’s Office Space, not Slapshot. What are the good Slapshot quotes? I don’t know, something about the team moving to Florida. Wait, I got a reference for this. “I ask him who own da mistake and leave card off of list.” “And what did he say?” “Ownsuh, OWNSUH!” I’m a guy who ownsuh his mistakes so let’s figure out what I forgot.

It’s a good thing I checked, actually.

 

Sweet Vindication

But not for me. I made a mistake and left a card off the list (A reader found it – nice save). I have been doing EDH decklists for so long, I probably saw the list was at 99 and said “Plus the commander makes 100) and called it a day. The card I left off the list?

This guy.

Vindicate isn’t quite the monster it used to be. Eternal Masters was designed to curtail the prices of certain cards that seemed overly expensive just due to scarcity and a few attempts at things like judge foils didn’t really curtail the price as much as they’d hoped. Eternal Masters seemed to knock it down a peg or two, making the cheapest non-foil available around $7.50. Here’s the really curious thing.

The same Card Kingdom that will part with a non-foil copy for $7.50 only wants $10 for the foil, pegging the multiplier at a mere 1.3. Is there a magic number it should be at?

On Magic Numbers

When a set is brand new, I go to the LGS for the prerelease. I don’t go to as many events as I used to – when Return to Ravnica was released, Bushard and I went to 6 prerelease events in a single weekend, which was an angry gauntlet by the end because after building that many sealed pools, you start to always make the finals and have to play the whole thing. Very little sleep, bad food, Magic all day and night – I couldn’t do it at my current age. I’d die. Now I go to one or two, which is too bad because trading at prereleases is the best. People look up prices but those prices are all about to change so if you’re getting out of stuff that’s going to plummet at peak supply and get into stable stuff like EDH staples, you’re going to get maximum trade value. Your trade partner is happy because they shipped old cards they don’t care about for new, shiny stuff and everyone wins for once. The best part about foils at these events is the foil prices are basically not known so everyone has to guess. What does everyone guess? “Uhhh, I don’t know… double?” Double seems about right. Most foils are twice the price of the non-foil at first so if you can grab foil EDH cards for a mere 2x at the prerelease, you do it.

Double isn’t always correct, but for EDH cards that get a lot of play, a multiplier below 2x is suspicious. Is it always going to be at least 2x if nothing is wrong? Not necessarily, but just flagging the cards that are below 2x (but above 1x which I already flagged because those are already worth having a separate conversation about which we did have) means we take a look at them and see why they are the price they are. Maybe they’re due for some divergent or even convergent growth.

Flagged

Having flagged the cards between 1.0 and 2.0, I have 14 cards to examine and see if there is an explanation for the price or whether I think there is room for growth (divergent or convergent) and therefore a correction is imminent meaning there is financial opportunity. The first one I’ll look at accidentally inspired this article. Like, I had no idea I was going to write about cards between 1 and 2x until I made that joke about finding the 100th card on the spreadsheet. With this spreadsheet, I just writing and the article develops around my findings. I know you don’t need to know about my process, but that’s got to be worth noting, right?

Vindicate

We caught this basically at a little above its floor. It looks like the reason there is a small multiplier is that the foil is about to grow in price.

The graph of the non-foil is showing similar signs of life. It could be that the growth about to begin will be convergent. However, with a 1.3 multiplier, the foil is probably a better investment given how close they are in price. If the multiplier holds, you’ll make more money. It won’t go any lower than 1.3x in my view since its growth will be predicated on it being an all-star in EDH and getting a modicum of play in Legacy. I think these cards like grow divergently due to the increased scarcity of the EMA foils (the cheapest foils – there are judge foils out there, but, still, this is a chance to get a $10 foil). $10 for a foil Vindicate seems reasonable and since the price difference is negligible and both prices look poised to increase, I think there is a play to be made here.

It’s possible that later in the article we’ll figure out that a 1.3 multiplier on a card that already has judge foil printings and got reprinted in EMA is a big red flag. That does describe a lot of the 14 cards we flagged, now that I think about it. What else was in EMA that may or may not have had a judge foil printing?

Wrath of God, Mystical Tutor, Sylvan Library and Vampiric Tutor are all EMA cards, all had foil printings (but only Wrath of God had foils in a real set before EMA) and all have a foil multiplier below 2.0.  I think this says less about some “curse” the cards have if they’re in this category and more about the relative undesirability of the EMA foils for people inclined to play foil copies of the card. EDH players want the cheapest copy, usually and Legacy players want the sexiest. As EMA copies dry up, the cheapest Vindicate is starting to approach the cheapest foil, which should move the price of the foils just on principle. The smaller the multiplier, the more attractive the foils are as they become a “why not pay $1 more” thing rather than a luxury thing. Legacy players don’t want the cheapest foil available – at least not yet. I think all of these cards – Vindicate, Mystical Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, Sylvan Library and Wrath of God all could have similar upside to Vindicate and we should look at their graphs.

We started here because I expected this to be the outlier. It has so many foil printings and with better art. There’s no reason to play this card when the player rewards foil is like $16. This could go up but I don’t want it at $10.

Dealers are starting to notice this card. The buy price is beginning to converge with the retail price. I think this card is a buy. The only other foil is the same art from Commander’s Arsenal and Sylvan has some cross-format applicability that should swipe some of the foil copies EDH players wanted for themselves. This is plateauing on top of the buy price beginning to recover – I don’t think it gets much more healthy-looking than this. I am REALLY glad I decided to flag these cards and take a look at them individually, wow.

This is a little different. When you’re talking about a $45 card, that 1.y multiplier starts to look a little different. This is almost a $90 card most places. I think if you’re going to shell out $90 for a foil, you shell out for the Judge foil. Also, I just realized the Judge foil is cheaper than the EMA foil (did NOT see that coming) and that was the one I used for the calculation. I don’t know why the EMA foil is $90 and the judge foil with the better art is cheaper, but that’s how it is. Let’s look at the judge foil to see how that looks.

It took a bit of a tumble. Apparently people prefer the EMA printing, which looks like garbage to me, but I’m one vote. So far we aren’t learning much categorically about these cards other than that we need to look at their graphs, but when we do, we usually see what’s what. I think the future of the judge foil is imperiled and with the future of the EMA foil being so bright the card has to wear shades, maybe this card was mis-flagged. While the ratio of EMA to Judge foil is 1.7:1 the ratio of EMA to EMA foil is 2:1. Still not great but it wasn’t what we were hoping to find.

This is about what I expected. Since the other foil is a garbage, curly FTV foil, the EMA foil is going to be more attractive. It’s the opposite of what I expected with Vampiric but it’s the same result. I like the future of the EMA foil, personally. There isn’t a ton more to say about it other than that I think the graph shape looks pretty healthy and this card is headed for some growth.

In fact, it seems like the foil is actually lagging a bit behind the non-foil. It’s what we expected – Mystical Tutor is banned in Legacy and that means that it’s likely that EDH demand is driving prices which means the cheapest copy (non-foil) will move first and if the multiplier holds, there is more growth potential in the foil. But this card has grown so much, it’s no longer even the cheapest non-foil.

As expected, the Mirage version took a bit of a tumble when the reprinting happened and is only now beginning to recover. Some people like the art with the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch on it so that could explain the precipitous growth there. I think all Mystical Tutors have upside – they’re basically all a buy for me, even the white-bordered one.

I think this could recover as well. It’s the overall cheapest copy which means EDH players who just want the cheapest one irrespective of art or border or shininess will target this one. I think it has upside.

Even the FTV foil is starting to show signs of life. It took the same tumble as the others at the EMA printing but if you want a foil of the art with the tutor on it and not the purple alien hand holding a Baldur’s Gate mana potion, this is your best bet. I hate EMA foiling but with the price graphs all showing signs of imminent recovery, you basically can’t go wrong.

I expected to get deeper into the list but we had a lot to talk about today. I like when I start digging in as I write and find so much I have to postpone the rest of the article for a second part. That’s fine – next week we’ll be back to discuss the 9 other cards I flagged in light blue on the spreadsheet. Check it out and see if you find anything with those cards – I suspect you will find some similarities between some of the cards. Until next week!

 

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Unlocked Pro Trader – From The Vault: Boats

I think my foil spreadsheet nonsense can wait. The spreadsheet isn’t going anywhere (as always, here is the link) and there is more to be gleaned from it. For today, though, I wanted to get back in the practice of trying to make predictions based on upside to older cards based on the printing of newer ones and there was a really spicy card spoiled this week. Well, two, actually. One of them is a little harder to pin down but it probably goes in a ton of decks.

Legendary Artifact
Players can’t activate Loyalty abilities of Planeswalkers.

At the beginning of your draw step, draw an additional card.

Spells you cast cost 1 less to cast.

Creatures you control get +1/+1

This is just dumb. It’s a better* Caged Sun and for the decks that can afford it, it’s going to get a lot of value going. Shutting down their ‘walkers is just absurd value on top of everything else this card does for you. However, since this appeals so broadly, it’s going to be really tough to nail down which decks it improves on its own and therefore I’m not going to discuss it this week. There’s another card coming to town which can reinvigorate an older deck that is still very popular and give some upside to a lot of the cards in it. I’m talking, of course about one of the four other cards from Rivals that are spoiled so far. I’m talking about the good one.

So this is a card. Let’s not be hyperbolic about this card, though. People who don’t play much EDH got REAL hyperbolic about Growing Rites of Itilmoc and compared it to Gaea’s Cradle. That card is not Gaea’s Cradle. It’s much worse than Cradle. This card is much worse than Tolarian Academy but it does have one thing going for it that Academy does not – this is legal. Also, this makes treasure tokens sometimes. So two things. I’m not saying this is a better or worse cards than Academy because that’s a pointless distinction to make when we should be talking about whether this card will make people dust off or build for the first time old archetypes. Will this give anything older some upside? I think it might.

First, let’s take a token look at what we expect from a price perspective on this card. Since Growing Rites is much more playable in EDH than this is and didn’t have the benefit of a card performing poorly in front of it the way Storm the Vault has had, I think the price graph shows points above which Storm the Vault’s prices will never go.

OK, then. That’s about what I expected. I don’t expect Storm the Vault to tail off so hard because I expect people to be a little wiser than they were when they said “OMG CRADLE” the way they did when Rites was spoiled. Then again, I didn’t expect people to say “OMG SPHINX’S REVELATION” when they spoiled Aurelia’s Fury or “OMG DARK CONFIDANT” when they saw Pain Seer, so maybe I am giving this community too much credit.

I do, however, expect Storm the Vault to be relevant and I think it’s going to make people build decks they might not have gotten around to before, namely Breya.

Why Breya?

Breya is the ideal shell for this card which makes it pretty narrow but also pretty strong. I can’t imagine any Breya deck out there doesn’t want this and I think this gets Breya decks built and rebuilt. The two colors in the color identity make this card tough to slot in and could hint at a UR artifact commander coming soon – nerds have certainly been clamoring for one for long enough. Should we get that, either in Rivals or soon after, everything we associate with Storm the Vault will have more upside so it doesn’t hurt us to start making those associations now so we have a blueprint later and don’t have to think about it.

What in Breya Has Upside?

So glad I pretended you asked. I think there’s quite a bit worth revisiting since this time a year ago when this set was new. It’s been a year and a lot has happened so let’s take a look at what I think goes up if more people build Breya decks.

Breya, Etherium Sculptor

Breya herself is a great place to look first. While apparently Breya decks are popping up in those crazy Target 4-deck repacks for $30, you’re mostly not finding them on shelves. Until we get an artifact commander as good as Breya, she’s the de facto ruling queen of all things artifacts every time they print a new artifact that can go in her deck (or has to, like in the case of Storm the Vault). How much can we expect to make if we buy the card at $5, though?

Meren went up a lot faster and there are more Meren decks than Breya decks, but $10 seems like a reasonable ceiling.

Meanwhile we’ve established precedent for a commander from C16 to go above $10 so it’s pretty reasonable to think Breya could go from $5 to $10 a year from now. Breya’s deck didn’t end up being as tough to find as Atraxa’s but I bet 90% of the Breyas opened were in a deck and with supply dwindling even in repacks, we’re going to see some upside on the price if new printings give us any impetus to build. If we don’t see a better artifact commander soon, people will have to take a second look at Breya. You know why else we want to be using Breya for our artifact decks?

Revel in Riches

I don’t hate foils of this under $5. I think they can go down but I think this is a solid EDH card and it’s not just good in gimmick decks (I hesitate to compare it to the price trajectory of cards like Biovisionary because this is an achievable goal and you can get there just by casting Damnation so you win by doing stuff you’d do anyway which makes this not a durdly combo card) but rather in any deck where you plan to be killing creatures. I like foils of this a lot and Breya is a great home for it. If this card’s printing wasn’t an impetus to build a Breya deck, surely this plus Storm the Vault will be. I’ll take to my article series and other content websites to make sure of it. Spell Swindle likely goes in the deck, I guess, but Revel is the play.

Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer

You don’t HAVE to play White, but since you can, it doesn’t suck to take a look at foils of Jor. The price trend seems to be up-ish overall and while this is still not buylisting for more than it used to since I bet it’s easy to replenish stocks of a fringey card, I think the overall price increase continues. This is a fine commander in its own right and if you can snap sub-$3 foils you’re already doing pretty well. I think a small number of copies of these get snapped up and this is a $5 card. This is probably the pick I have the least amount of faith in since I don’t know if it does enough on its own to move even the small number of copies to make this $5 or more, but I think it is a card that takes a small amount of work for a price correction to happen and those are worth noting, even when the card doesn’t seem capable of doing that small amount of work on its own.

Reshape

We know second spikes are good and this has the potential to reach its full potential. Modern didn’t quite make this the price people hoped and adding on some Breya demand was good for the price which means there aren’t too many loose copies. This is a pick that needs very little work to go over its tipping point and I think it can do it. New relevance in Modern, a new artifacts-matter card in a set and more people playing artifacts on the back of the printing of Storm the Vault are all factors that make this $10 overnight. Could this get reprinted. I mean, sure. Where? A Commander set? Masters 25? Reshapers of Ixalan? I don’t think this is very easy to reprint. If you’re that worried, grab one of the $20 foil copies floating around. This card is legit and stocks online are not plentiful. I feel good about this one.

Scourglass

This is one that I’m not sure about. It went up a lot predicated on Breya the first time around and it sort of petered out. Plenty of Breya decks want this, but this has fewer chances to go up outside of Breya so I think tracking stock of this card can be a worst case scenario for what your other stuff is going to do. Other cards have upside from sources outside of Breya, but the White cards associated with Breya have virtually 0 non-Breya upside unless they print more Esper artifact stuff. Could we return to Alara? I wouldn’t hate that. Did that plane get wiped out or some BS? Man, I wish I paid attention to lore, that would be really helpful to know right now. OK, unless someone in the comments says the Godsire ate the whole plane or an Eldrazi destroyed it or whatever, I guess we’ll assume we could go back to Alara at some point. Barring that, White artifact stuff basically signals “Breya upside” and that’s about it.

If Scourglass represents our worst-case scenario, I think the Blue and Red artifact stuff have even more upside. A potential Izzet artifact commander is always a possibility since nerds have been clamoring for it so there are some chances for Storm the Vaults to make some other cards relevant. Watch stuff like Hellkite Tyrant, Mechanized Production and other goofy “Revel in Riches enabler” cards to go up alongside Storm and check back next week for hopefully more Rivals cards to look at. Until next time!

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