Unlocked PRO TRADER: THE AMONKHET STUFF EDH CARES ABOUT – PART 2

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What’s up, nerds?

I am going to finish up the spoilers today by talking about the stuff I missed last week because it hadn’t been spoiled yet or I didn’t want to. I also had some requests from you nerds, and I don’t want you to think I don’t read your comments so I’m going to address those points.

As a reminder, let’s take a look at the cards from Aether Revolt that are worth more than $2 now that it’s been a few months.

Not too many cards here.

Next week I’m going to talk the whole time about all of the cards that Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons is going to make expensive because that’s what this column used to be about before everything Wizards did kept distracting me. Hapatra her(Him? Their?)self is unlikely to be a factor finance-wise but we’re not so much concerned with that. We’re all about throwing big rocks in the pond and studying the ripples they make and not so much caring about the price of the rock. I think Baral being $2.15 means that the conversation about Hapatra’s price is liable to be a short one. Still, next week’s conversation is bound to be a lively one as all of the -1/-1 counter tribal cards (Except Kulrath Knight, dammit) can go in a Hapatra deck and it’s the most popular of the new commanders on EDHREC.

 

Before I launch into the stuff I wanted to talk about this week, I had some requests last week and I’m going to address those before I move on.

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Samut, Voice of Dissent

This card sure does have a lot of abilities. The question, though, is whether any of it matters. I think for this card itself to be relevant financially, it will need to get picked up in Modern or Standard and I’m not sure that’s going to happen. While it’s cool to have a Flash, Double Strike creature, are we going Voltron? I think you’re a bad Uril deck. Are you some sort of Naya commander, giving your creatures haste and untapping one of them a turn? Does that help you out at all? I can’t predict which cards will go up as a result of this printing because I don’t know what Samut players want. Neither do they. A brief trip over to EDHREC to look at the Samut page reveals a disorganized hodgepodge of random Naya goodstuff and a total lack of cohesion. Until something solid built around this card materializes, I’m forced to conclude that despite this card having every ability, it’s not going to be a force financially due to its lack of focus.

Vizier of Tumbling Sands

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This is a real card and the cycling certainly doesn’t hurt its case, especially with creatures like Phyrexian Ooze and The Mimeoplasm out there. However, I don’t know that this will ever be worth actual money. I know this because I can compare it to something that is worth actual money.

Aphetto Alchemist is worth actual money. I’m not sure if anything outside of EDH is playing it (Whereas Fatestitcher got where it is because of use in Modern Jeskai decks) but EDH use has been enough to send this card surging into “actual money” territory which is a good place to be. The problem? The bulk of the use Aphetto Alchemist is getting is from Azami decks because Alchemist is a Wizard. Being a Wizard is very important in Azami decks and Vizier is a Cleric, not a Wizard. Being a blue Cleric is like being the Valedictorian at Summer School. If your plan is to snag free copies of Vizier out of draft chaff, box them for a minute and wait until you can buylist them for quarters, that’s a fine plan. If you want to do anything beyond that with them, good luck – I don’t see it happening. It’s a good card, but so what?

That’s all for requests this week, so if you had a card you wanted me to talk about and I didn’t, I’m sorry. Maybe we’ll talk about it next week before I get deep into Hapatrananigans. Nagananigans? Not snakenanigans, certainly – Naga aren’t snakes, guys, the cat god doesn’t make cats and I just said a creature with 11 keyword abilities isn’t a good commander. What’s the world coming to?

Anyway, here’s the stuff I didn’t talk about last week because it hadn’t been spoiled yet or I didn’t feel like it.

Gideon’s Intervention

This is Nevermore with way more flexibility. If you say the name of the card after it’s played, this still hampers it. Nevermore is in about 2,000 decks on EDHREC and has climbed to nearly $1 in price. I don’t know that this can get much higher than that despite being a better (albeit slower, which isn’t necessarily the best thing for a card that’s supposed to come down before another card) version of it. I still think this will impact the format and it’s worth looking after.

Vizier of Remedies

This plus Devoted Druid is infinite Green mana. I don’t know if you want that much mana, but that’s a thing you can do. This can also mitigate some of the pain associated with creatures that put -1/-1 counters on your own creatures or opponents trying to do that. This nerfs Hapatra, but that’s too narrow to bother jamming in your deck. This will be used to generate infinite mana with Devoted Druid and that’s about it. I think the price will start high so there isn’t much opportunity here, but be aware that this is part of a good combo.

Forsake the Worldly 

People play cards like Revoke Existence. This is better than that card in several ways.  It’s an instant, it has cycling and it still hits artifacts and enchantments. I’m not sure if this will be a staple, but I am generally in favor of flexible, instant-speed removal that isn’t a dead draw and this is those things. Foils may be money.

Lay Claim

I don’t know how inclined people are to do this, but I am generally in favor of replacing cards that cost 1 less mana but don’t have cycling. I use Take Possession in my decks and I have even used Confiscate a few times. If you have Confiscate, replace it with this for sure. I like this a lot in Maelstrom Wanderer, in fact, and this like replaces the Take Possession that’s in there since I don’t whiff when I draw this like I do with other expensive spells in that deck early when all I want to do is ramp my mana. I’m in the market for a foil of this, and maybe more.

Shadow of the Grave

Yidris decks want this for sure, right? If you’re dumping a lot of cards to a wheel effect, drawing back double is going to get you there and even if you have to discard down to hand size, you can easily find 7 cards that will win you the game or at least help you stabilize. I think this could be used, though maybe not enough to keep it from being a bulk rare. Still seems dumb in Nekusar, Leovold and Yidris, and those decks combine for a lot of play.

Faith of the Devoted

A new, better Lightning Rift? Sign me up.

Combat Celebrant

Things that do this thing are always playable. Find a way to blink this dude and/or give him haste and you’ve got a stew, baby! I’ve been known to put Bear Umbra on Hellkite Charger, so you know how I do.

By Force

This is very good. I don’t know if it’s better or worse than Shattering Spree but I’m inclined to say better unless you’re in Mono-red. This is savage, but maybe not as exciting as other variants.

Manglehorn

This is bonkers. I’m not sure I’m replacing Acidic Slime with it, but this is just such a good hoser. It’s good to blink, it’s good not to blink, it’s maindeckable. I love this card. Love love love love this card. Get foils.

Gift of Paradise

Overgrowth is in almost 700 decks on EDHREC and this card is much, much better. Hargismb actually read the card and has a different take on it. I have changed how I feel.

Cascading Cataracts

This card is fun. I remember playing Crystal Quarry in a mono-black deck that used Last Stand to dome them for a ton because you only had Swamps. It was probably a decklist I got out of Duelist magazine but, whatever, I liked it. 5-color players are using Crystal Quarry enough that it’s a $5 card. This is better than that but not as rare so I bet this ends up around $3-$4ish in a year or two. Not bad for what almost assuredly starts out a bulk rare.

I think there may be a few more relevant cards but I think they’ll reveal themselves as people start to build decks. I’m going to talk to EDHREC about a custom report that ranks the cards from each new set based on the number of decks they’re in so I don’t have to do it manually. Next week there will be plenty to talk about and we can even spend the next few weeks speculating about which four tribes will be represented in Commander 2017.  Until next week!

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UNLOCKED PROTRADER: The Watchtower 4/17/17

By: Travis Allen
@wizardbumpin


Don’t miss this week’s installment of the MTG Fast Finance podcast, an on-topic, no-nonsense tour through the week’s most important changes in the Magic economy. And if you enjoy playing Magic, make sure to visit https://scry.land to find PPTQs, SCG Opens, and more events on an interactive map with worldwide coverage. Find Magic near you today.


Now that we’ve got the full Amonkhet spoiler, pros have begun brewing in earnest for the Pro Tour that will just be wrapping up about four weeks from now. Until then, we’re going with articles that get posted by (presumably) non-pros and whatever is happening over on the MTGO beta client. Then this coming weekend will be the first SCG Open with new cards and we’ll get our first true glimpse of Amonkhet Standard.

And then it’s all for naught! Amonkhet’s Banned and Restricted List update is next Monday, seven days from now. Most expect something to go – whether it’s Felidar Guardian, because why is Splinter Twin legal in Standard, or Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, because he was never intended to exist alongside Gideon of the Trials, thanks to the rapid reversion to the two-year rotation cycle. Or even both, perhaps? Heart of Kiran? Will we get Emrakul, the Promise End back? We can’t say for sure, but one thing is for certain. People are expecting change, especially with how rotten Standard has been for awhile now.

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Aetherworks Marvel

Krark-Clan Ironworks

Price Today: $3
Possible Price: $10

Remember this guy? It was terrorizing Standard for a brief window, and in parallel, had reached price tags of over $10, sometimes even $20. Vehicles and Copy Cat have since taken over Standard, especially after Aether Revolt, and Marvel has fallen by the wayside as a result.

Our biggest reason for keeping an eye on Marvel is the Banned and Restricted list announcement coming in a week. While it’s been chased out of Standard, the removal of either key Vehicles and/or Copy Cat pieces would blow a massive hole in the format, and I’m sure this would rush in to fill the void, at least temporarily. While Emrakul may be gone, most of the other tools are still there, and newcomer Approach of the Second Sun is weird, cumbersome, and deliciously tempting in a Marvel deck.

This isn’t a call to arms, though. Without a meaningful change in Standard, this set is only going to be more hostile to Marvel with cards like Manglehorn entering the fray. Our real decision point will be Monday morning. Yes, Monday morning – NOT the SCG Open this weekend. Don’t forget that that event fires before the B&R List update.


Mizzix’s Mastery

Krark-Clan Ironworks
Price Today: $4
Possible Price: $12

Mizzix’s Mastery was an early gainer out of Commander 2015, and since has been off the radar, as most Commander-only cards tend to be. “Off the radar” only applies to those looking at the radar though, which is a, well, two-dimensional way of looking at things. For those that track Commander cards long after the initial hype as died down, this has been a Thomas the Tank Engine, gaining slowly and slowly each week.

Supply is finally reaching critical levels, with only six copies left under $7 on TCG. You can score copies closer to $3 and $4 if you start digging, but not many. Once this dries up it will get relisted at $7 to $8, and while it will decline slightly at the start, it won’t take long to start climbing again. Eventually this should sit comfortably at the $9 to $12 range. It could take another year or so to reliably sell at that range, but we don’t invest in Commander because we expect rapid profits.

With reprints extremely limited to future Commander sets and maaaaaybe a Conspiracy-type set, we should have plenty of time to let these mature before overloading TCG with our spare copies.


Travis Allen has  been playing Magic: The Gathering since 1994, mostly in upstate New York. Ever since his first FNM he’s been trying to make playing Magic cheaper, and he first brought his perspective to MTGPrice in 2012. You can find his articles there weekly, as well as on the podcast MTG Fast Finance.


MTG Fast Finance Podcast: Episode 63 (April 15/17)

MTG Fast Finance is our weekly podcast covering the flurry of weekly financial activity in the world of Magic: The Gathering. MFF provides a fast, fun and useful sixty minute format. Follow along with our seasoned hosts as they walk you through this week’s big price movements, their picks of the week, metagame analysis and a rotating weekly topic.

Show Notes: Apr 15, 2017

Segment 1: Top Card Spikes of the Week

Fiery Gambit

Fiery Gambit (Mirrodin, Foil Rare)
Start: $6.00
Finish: $16.00
Gain: +$10.00 (+167%)

Magister Sphinx (CFX, Rare)
Start: $3.25
Finish: $8.50
Gain: +$5.25 (+161%)

Wheel of Fate (C16, Rare)
Start: $1.50
Finish: $3.75
Gain: +2.25 (+150%)

Always Watching (SOI, Rare)
Start: $1.50
Finish: $3.50
Gain: +$2.00 (+133%)

Crumbling Ashes (SHM, Uncommon)
Start: $1.50
Finish: $3.00
Gain: +$1.50 (+100%)

Relentless Dead (SOI, Mythic)
Start: $5.00
Finish: $8.00
Gain: +$3.00 (+60%)

Long Term Amonkhet Specs:

Disclosure: Travis and James may own speculative copies of the above cards.

 

CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

Amonkhet Accessories

I love this time of year so very much. We have a new set that we are all drooling over and eagerly brewing with. We are amazed at the cards that are seeing print and we are full of bad predictions about prices. (I’ll get to some of those next week.)

This week, though, I want to look at some cards that I think will have strong potential with the new cards, and hopefully these will gain in value when new decks get played and get some camera time.

Lupine Prototype + Hazoret the Fervent: Is this obvious? Sure. Both of them want the same thing but that’s what we are being pushed to. Embrace it. I don’t think that Noose Constrictor is going to grow in value, though it’s the logical partner for dumping your hand rapidly. Call the Bloodline is another contender, but the Prototype has the best growth potential because it’s a rare you can acquire for very little.

The foils are intriguing, because they are eight times the price of the nonfoil. That indicates to me that either there’s a very high casual demand for the card, or someone is stockpiling foils for future spikes. You can get in on this card for a ridiculously low price, so this is safe even if the combo doesn’t take off.

Anafenza, the Foremost + Rhonas the Indomitable: There’s a surprising number of cards that come pre-loaded with the right amount of power for Rhonas to be active, but this is one of my favorites, given the rise of Abzan in Modern. I’m aware that Anafenza has had some spikes and rises already, but of the cards I want to play with Rhonas, this is a strong one.

An honorable mention has to go to Greenwheel Liberator, as a card that can come down cheap and be big enough for Rhonas. It’s easy to find four-drops that match well with the green god, but early drops are just as important. This is another one that can bump up in price significantly, since it’s under fifty cents currently.

Bloodfury Militant + either of the above: I want to point out that this uncommon is great with both of the above cards. What’s truly special is the lack of sacrifice clause. If you cast this as the last card in your hand, then you’re golden! I want this card to be good, I really do. I’m going to be going after foils fairly aggressively after the first week or two that the set is out, because the value is real. Do I think it’s going to revolutionize a format? Not at all, but this is a lot of card and a lot of potential.

White Sun’s Zenith + Regal Caracal: This is a casual combo, but what a combo it is. The Zenith is a solid card, if a touch expensive to get started, but in Cat decks, it’s awesome and might get cast more than once. We have surprisingly few Cat lords, and giving a boost to size and lifelink at the same time is going to make a lot of Cat cards better.

The Zenith is a very cheap and very good card, and seeing it pick up in value seems like a reasonable thing. Get the card in the range of a quarter or thirty cents, and watch it hit a dollar or more. The foils already have a 10x multiplier, and I would be surprised if there was another foil printing anytime soon. Seeing this foil price double wouldn’t shock me at all.

Black Sun’s Zenith + Nest of Scarabs: Black Sun’s Zenith hasn’t had much of a bump yet even though it got some attention when this card was spoiled. There’s not much better than killing all of their creatures and then getting a swarm of your own, and this is a combo that’s going to have your Commander table both envious and angry.

It’s worth calling out Carnifex Demon and Midnight Banshee as dirt-cheap spec targets that could well spike if Nest of Scarabs becomes a build-around casual card. The Banshee is a true delight to combo together, as the Insect tokens are black and won’t get counters every turn.

Splendid Reclamation + the cycling duals: Yes, this card has already had a spike when these lands were spoiled. It’s not a huge bump, and I think that the card has some room to grow. The graveyard synergies are really strong in this new set, and this is one of the most powerful things you can do if set up properly. I also really like the casual potential of this card, so feel free to stock up.

 

Cliff is a high school teacher, father of two, and newfound Cube enthusiast. While Commander will always be his first love and greatest value engine, long-term foil investments are always going to be his stock-in-trade. He prefers to diversify over a wide range of cards, rather than overload on one, as a box full of Prophet of Kruphix can attest to.

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