Battlebonding For Fun And Profit

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Oh happy day, we have the new multiplayer set in hand and early reports are that the set is super fun to play with and to draft.

I haven’t done either of those things yet, but I’m planning to at GP Vegas! That’s going to be a very good time, and it’s also where I’ll get to see a lot of vendors who are furiously opening product, and selling to those Commander players and Cubers who have to have the newest thing right now!

And good grief, there are a few cards that are begging to get played. Time to take a look at where they are now, and where I’d want to start buying.

Doubling Season ($37)

Oh yeah, this is currently the most expensive card. Got to love $4 packs! Let’s take a look at where the original has been, price-wise.

Double those crystals!

And just in case you think it’s a fluke, here’s the Modern Masters (2013) edition:

Double the…entwine?

There’s 13k decks running this, and there’s an awesome overlap for ONLY this card at the intersections of tokens, power/toughness counters, and planeswalkers.

This is a card that will bounce back. Not only will people finally be able to put one into a deck at a reasonable price, but lots of people who open one are going to jam it into a deck (rightfully so) and lot let it enter circulation. It’s a mythic, too, so there won’t be that much supply. We’re about to start M19 preview season, and I don’t think Battlebond is going to be opened all that much.

So put all that together, and I think this falls a little farther, but not much farther. My guess is $30 is where it levels off, and that’s a point you want to get in at, either for your personal copies or to go up long-term.I think that in a year, it’ll be back to $50-$60, as this is one of the filthiest of casual cards. Too many decks want this for it to stay low.

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Land Tax ($16)

This is going to fall too. It’s also a mythic, but there’s a smaller set of people who will run this card. It’s a very good card, enables all sorts of stuff, but it doesn’t scream ‘BREAK ME’ the way Doubling Season does. Playing it turn 1 might get you killed in Commander, if only because it’s constant shuffling of your deck.

As a spec, though, it’s hard to beat. It’s in 10,000 decks on EDHREC and I thought that would be lower. The greedy-smile art of the original and the reprints aren’t as pretty as this is, so I’m going to be hoping to get in under $10, with it climbing back to $30 within a year or two. It might fall even further than that, as this hasn’t been printed since it was a Judge Promo in 2010. That’s a long time for copies to dry up, so there might not be too much demand left to fill.

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True-Name Nemesis ($15)

First of all, I loathe this card and I want to see the price tank hard. This is seeing some Legacy play, and that’s why it’s been a $30 card. It was in exactly one Commander 2013 deck, so the supply was never huge (caused a whole set of Nekusar cards to spike!) and the demand has mostly been met.

The problem is that in Commander, the only other place that can play it aside from Vintage and Cube, this card kind of sucks. It dies to all the mass removal and there’s two other players who can be talked into dealing with the card.

This is going to drop under $10. The demand isn’t there, and even as a mythic, I’d expect this to have a pretty slow growth curve, at least until Legacy Merfolk wins the PT. (That’s a joke. Don’t buy this unless you’re willing to wait a super-long time)

Seedborn Muse ($10)

Another card that asks the question, “What does a card have to do to get banned in Commander?” this is one of my least favorite creatures of all time.

Still a terrifying card, even if I hate it.

My personal feelings aside, this is the easiest money you’re going to make. It’ll fall farther in the next couple of weeks, but that’s okay. It’ll level out at $7, maybe even $5, and that’s when you dive in. You’re going to buy these cheap, and then have them for trade when they are back to $15 in six months and $25 in eighteen months.

There’s been three printings, all full sets, none since Tenth Edition in 2007. This is another card that all the new players aren’t going to want to trade because it’s so damn awesome! It goes into any green deck ever, nearly 12k decks on EDHREC. Get the ones you want, get a few extras, thank me later.

Any new mythic at $1 or less

That’s right, this is blanket advice. Some of these cards look bad. Archfiend of Despair is eight mana. Arcane Artisan is slow as all hell. Brightling, even at three mana, doesn’t have a lot of immediate impact on a game.

Doesn’t matter at all. This is pure speculation on cards that are not going to be printed for long, quickly overshadowed, and when something happens and they hit, you’ll be there to sell into the hype!

 

Cliff has been writing for MTGPrice for nearly five years now, and is an eager Commander player, Draft enthusiast, and Cube fanatic. He’s the official substitute teacher of MTG Fast Finance, and if you’re going to be at GP Vegas, look for the guy under the giant flashing ‘Cube Draft’ sign and he’ll have you drafting in no time!

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Brainstorm Brewery #293 Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

 

Corbin (@Chosler88), DJ (@Rose0fThorns), and Jason’s (@jasonEalt ) all host their Patreon guest Steven (@SteveMKestner) as they recap the weekend of Battle Bond, how to identify odd looking foreign cards and what really causes spikes. Also, we announce the winner of our first youtube giveaway!

Make sure to check us out on Youtube for hidden easter eggs and facial reactions  https://www.youtube.com/user/BrainstormBrewery

  • Battle Bond Experiences

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Unlocked Pro Trader: No Data No Problems

EDHREC data for Battlebond isn’t available yet. I don’t have a problem with that and honestly, it might even be a bit premature at this point, anyway. All of the coin flip cards already went nuts because they were obvious to people who don’t play EDH and that kind of stuff is kittycatnip for the uninformed class of speculator. Thinking is hard and checking the Reserved List for cards that haven’t been bought out yet or searching for “flip a coin” in gatherer is easy and sometimes that makes people think they’re geniuses.

You did it!

The non-obvious stuff is just sitting in store inventories because, like I said, it’s not obvious and that means it could take a minute to go up. I’m going to make a few guesses this week based on no data, just like the rest of the lunatics still sitting on a million copies of Jazal Goldmane. Where do I get off doing that? Well, I sort of have to this week, I’m bored and I’ve done this long enough that I feel fairly confident in my ability to say a few obvious things about a few obvious other things. This article has no theme to it other than “not supported by any EDHREC data” which is not a very good theme. Oh well,  you know what they say; “mo data mo problems” (no one says that) so let’s wing it. If you want to argue with me, there’s a comment section below. Let’s do this!

Probably the Last Heading

This is going to be a few thoughts that I have thought and I will try to make convincing cases for these cards mattering.

Arena Rector

I stopped incorrectly guessing the prices of cards like Recruiter of the Guard and Arena Rector when I stopped making myself guess. I don’t care what Arena Rector ends up costing. I think the value of the set has to go somewhere and short term, a lot of the reprinted cards will tank a lot but the reprinted cards are almost all EDH staples so I bet they go up before it even matters. However, there will be a few weeks where cards like this need to pull their weight so this could maintain some of its value. I don’t care either way. If you want them, buy them at peak supply as long as the price graph has rebounded a bit. Don’t grab a falling knife, folks. But this card’s price bores me so let’s talk about the cards that this will affect.

The Chain Veil

There seems to be no shortage of opportunities to make money on this card. I like its a lot at $0.75 but I kind of don’t hate it right now. Arena Rector means more interest in Planeswalkers in general and Atraxa will be in Commander Anthology shortly which means you can pay like $120 for 4 decks, one of which is Atraxa versus paying $100 for Atraxa right now. This means you get 3 decks for $20 and people are about it. I expect cards like the Chain Veil that get jammed in Superfriends decks are extra buoyant in the future with those two things converging.

See the thing the arrow is pointing at? on EDHREC’s Atraxa page, you can click on themes and find the cards that are only in Atraxa Superfriends builds. That will let you filter through more relevant cards in a shorter time by eliminating infect and other cards and letting you see Superfriends staples. That will help you figure out what has upside with Arena Rector becoming a thing.

There are some interesting cards on that page and they don’t warrant a ton of explanation.

This is near a historic low after a recent brush with arbitrage. There are a lot of these but they’re also foil mythics and that means supply will eventually run out and drive the price up.

There are more of these but we’re in week 4 of arbitrage watch and I think it’s the dealers who have the right of it, here, not the low retail price. I can’t think of many places I’d rather park a few bucks at $1 per.

You’re seeing the inherent weakness in the ability of fringe EDH to move prices of non-mythic cards under 2 years old. That said, how can this get cheaper? It’s good in White Planeswalker decks and if you’re playing Arena Rector, there is a 100% chance you at least have access to Djeru.

Najeela, the Blade-Blossom

I will do a full article on this because I expect this to move a lot of dials, but the most popular way this is currently being built is a combo build and the combo pieces are already known to me because the people who are inclined to go super spiky with a commander like this are equally inclined to get their thoughts published on the internet first.  I think the combo pieces are worth a look.

Druids’ Repository

At 1,540 decks currently, this card isn’t exactly unknown. It’s also over half a decade old and supply of Innistrad isn’t exactly getting replenished with boxes being so expensive. This card is instrumental to the Najeela combo and if you’re buying in at like $1, you basically can’t lose. The combo needs this card in a few of its iterations and all of the ones that are fewer than 4 cards. I like this as a pick-up a lot.

Aggravated Assault

This back on an upswing after the Explorers of Ixalan printing, which isn’t that surprising. Two innovative ways to try an curb the price of this monster card, the Masterpiece and the Explorers printing, gave decent opportunity to buy low on these. Considering this is a way to do the Najeela combo without having WUBRG I think this is pretty important and anytime a “combat matters” commander comes out, this goes up. This is an EDH semi-staple basically from now on. Staple is a word that a lot of people throw around, but semi-staple should catch on because a card that’s in a lot of copies of a few builds isn’t a format staple but isn’t chopped liver, either. Auto-includes deserve a classification because their demand is less linear a curve and more a series of leaps and plateaus and that’s good to know.

Nature’s Will

These were $2 the first time I mentioned them in an MTGPrice article, so I hope you used those gains to buy a Pro Trader subscription for life. If not, that’s cool, just calling out my hits and ignoring my misses like everyone else.

Anyway, this card is usually worse than Bear Umbra because you have to connect with something to get the benefit but considering you’re farting out a ton of  tokens, you’ll be connecting for sure. Both Bear Umbra and Nature’s Will are like $10 now which makes me wary of a reprint but in the short term, they’re not exactly going down and Najeela has created more demand.

Cryptolith Rite

I don’t want to shoot my wad  and not have enough cards to cover when I do a Najeela article (if I even do one at this point) but Najeela has a lot going for it just vis-a-vis the combo wins I have seen online and this card features in a lot of them. Its days in Standard are over leaving us to speculate about how much EDH can prop it up, and considering how much Earthcraft costs these days, I think we’re pretty safe calling this at like $2. This is like Druids’ Repository in that it’s an easy pick and if you don’t buy these, some non-Pro Trader will on Thursday.

Champion of Lambholt

Not going to list too many Warriors here, but this looks pretty damn good to me.

This is what I could come up with off the top of my head based on what people have already built or said they were building. Normally my articles have more words but they don’t have fewer cards discussed and since a picture is worth 1,000 words, I’m way, way over my word count anyway. There’s a lot of digest here and if you felt this was too brief, here’s a homework assignment – take the 3 minutes you would have spent reading 3 more paragraphs and mess around on EDHREC. Get used to the filters like the one I pointed out that can be used to filter just the Superfriends cards and look at some of those cards. Which White Planeswalkers are always likely to be in decks with Arena Rector? Here’s a hint – you can use EDHREC to figure out which Planeswalkers get played the most overall and also use the Atraxa page to find the Superfriends ones. Maybe go to a Planeswalker card like The Chain Veil’s page to see which White ‘walkers (heh) correlate the most with that card. I’m teaching you to fish as much as I’m feeding you hand-cut sushi every week. Next week I’ll either have some EDHREC data to look at or I’ll be looking at speculating on stuff like Pir and Toothy and I hope to not have to do that. Until next time!

 

The Watchtower 6/4/18 for ProTraders – Plan Your Specs

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.


Typically, this is where I would talk about the Pro Tour that wrapped up about 15 hours ago. We’d look at dominant archetypes, scour them for keystone cards, and try to identify potential pillars of the new Standard in October.

Except that the Pro Tour was a wasteland. Look at the top performing Standard decks — Mono-Red Aggro, Red-Black Aggro, Red Vehicles, Red Menance, Red Scare, Red Square, Seeing Red, Redoubled Efforts, uhh, RedderRabbit.

There isn’t even any blood in the stone that is the control lists. I was all set to look for key UW Control cards, except that the first Ravnica set won’t have Azorious — they’re getting Dimir instead. Which means Teferi, and Lyra, and History of Benalia may not be part of the control archetype. Instead we should be focusing on the black control cards, since that’s the strategy that’s getting paid. Once Standard prices deflate over the summer, mid-August perhaps, it will be worth trying to find opportunities. Until then though, we’re going to be focusing on EDH, maybe the reserve list, and Modern, should the opportunity arise.

Swiftfoot Boots (Foil)

Price Today: $5
Possible Price: $15

First up this week is Lightning Greaves’ cousin, Swiftfoot Boots. A touch more expensive in the activation cost, but that’s because you get to upgrade from shroud to hexproof, which is not a negligible difference, as any equipment-themed deck will tell you.

Swiftfoot Boots is the third most played artifact that isn’t a signet. It goes Sol Ring, Lightning Greaves, Swiftfoot Boots. 72,000 decks, according to EDHREC. That’s, as they say, “an assload of decks.” I do not need to give you more reasons why you should believe me that this is a desirable, in-demand card.

Boots have been reprinted a lot. After their initial run in Magic 2012, they were in Commander 2013. And Commander 2014. And Commander 2015. And Commander 2016. And Commander 2017. And then Masters 25. You’ll notice that only two of those have foil printings — the original Magic 2012 run, and now Masters 25. People that didn’t want to spend $15 on foil M12 copies got a break with M25, since they’re now down around $5. That’s where we are now, and it’s not going to last. Pick up your foil M25 copies before they’re $15.


Kodama’s Reach (Foil)

Price Today: $6
Possible Price: $15

Cultivate is the most played sorcery in EDH. The second most played is Kodama’s Reach, which is the original version of the functional reprint that is Cultivate. Kodama’s Reach is like Swiftfoot boots. It has its original foil printing, a zillion Commander printings, and a second foil printing. (Although the order is a bit difference I believe.) Point being that there’s two foil copies of Kodama’s Reach – the original Kamigawa one, and the Modern Masters one.

I do not need to tell you that neither Champions of Kamigawa nor Modern Masters are recent sets. Modern Masters was 2013, and Champions of Kamigawa is even older than that. And without any more Masters sets on the horizon, there are basically no foil reprint venues on the table right now. This year’s core set I guess? That’s it though.

You’ll find roughly ten foil MMA printings of Kodama’s Reach on TCG right now, and zero — yes, zero — NM foil Champions copies. Of a card in 45,000 EDH decks.


Command Tower (CMA)

Price Today: $60
Possible Price: $100

We’ll wrap up the week with a bigger ticket item. Command Tower is the most played land in EDH, behind only basic lands. (Amusingly enough, none are played in 100% of decks they could be). Like Kodama’s Reach and Swiftfoot Boots, it’s found in nearly every Commander set. Anyone building an EDH deck is going to get to the mana base, and there’s a good chance the first card the scribble down on the back of the Denny’s napkin is “Command Tower.” Its utility only continues to grow, as we see more viable five-color decks enter the fray in the way of Ramos, Dragon Engine and Jodah.

There’s two foil copies of Command Tower available. One is the judge promo, which is fairly cool. Fairly. But honestly, not as cool as the Commander’s Arsenal printing. The judge promo has the original art, which is, come on, just not that cool. Sort of a bland…tower. While the Commander’s Arsenal printing isn’t blowing anyone away, it’s at least got some color in it, which is an improvement over the judge copies.

In any case, judge copies, where you can find them, are $100 or more. Commander’s Arsenal copies, of which there are like six available, are between $60 and $70. Probably not going to be long before that gap closes and both copies end up at $120.


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.


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