Tag Archives: Eternal Masters

A Break From Bulk for Those Who Can’t be Buylists

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Written By:

Douglas Johnson @Rose0fthorns
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We’ve been focusing on bulk, both common and rare, for the past few weeks. If you were comatose and missed one or all of those articles, you can find them each here to catch up;

I’ve got one more article up my sleeve in that little “trilogy” if you want to call it that, but it can wait until next week because this article is unlike most of my others in that its’ time sensitive. We haven’t really talked a lot about Eternal Masters in this column because buying those cards at retail and crossing my fingers isn’t normally how I operate. I’m in a fortunate enough situation that I’m one of the only “buylists” within about an hour drive, so a lot of collections and singles at buylist just come my way due to word of mouth. A lot of my writing has been geared towards helping you be that guy, or how to get around being region locked if you’re forced to compete with a huge store.

This article goes against the grain in that it’s a strategy that I wouldn’t personally use because of how I’m “region locked” out of it, and the margins are too low for me when I have individuals selling me cards at buylist. However if you live in an area where trading as a whole is still alive and well, then you might be able to use these tips to pick up some cards with a low buylist-to-retail spread in trade, or build a deck for cheaper than you might otherwise have to pay for it.

It’s no secret that the difference between the low and mid spread on Eternal Masters rares is pretty thin already, with some rares being available on TCGplayer for 60% of their “median” value. Look at the “featured seller” in the top right of each of the below pictures to see what I mean. This drops even further if you’re a smart consumer and use Facebook/Twitter to purchase your cards at 10-15% less than the available low. Even if we haven’t hit the absolute possible low that the card will ever reach, we’re damn close enough that I feel comfortable in this strategy. That is, if you have a highly active local group of traders who aren’t sharks.

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Sinkhole

Gamble

Maybe you can already see where I’m going with this. If you’re located in an area where trading at TCG median is still relatively common, then it’s possible to buy cards at 60% of the TCG median, then trade them out for cards that have a significantly lower spread between the buylist and retail. Do I know of any such cards? Well, here’s a couple of hitns to get you started.

Screenshot 2016-06-20 at 4.32.12 PM

Screenshot 2016-06-20 at 4.32.25 PM

Sedge

Screenshot 2016-06-20 at 4.37.12 PM

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Screenshot 2016-06-20 at 4.43.22 PM

galerider hive

sliiiiiiiiiver

There’s a ridiculous spread on certain competitive Slivers right now for whatever reason, at least according to SCG. They’re paying almost retail to fill up on cards that are played in the Modern slivers deck, and you can find these in binders for $4-5 each. Based on our previous discussion, here’s an example arbitrage purchase and follow up trade you can make.

The cheapest available NM Sinkhole on TCGplayer right now is $9. If you go on Facebook/Twitter right now, scour through the various groups/backpack grinders, you can probably find one or several for $8. When those come in the mail, you walk into your LGS and say “I’m looking for Galerider Sliver and Sliver Hive. I have Sinkholes (or whatever EMA card you bought).

If you find someone with Galeriders that you can trade for at $4.50 (their TCG median price as of 6/21/16), then you can get three copies plus a dollar throw-in for your $8 Sinkhole.

trademe

Is this highly specific scenario going to occur every time? No, of course not. In fact, there’s more than a negligible risk involved because we’re waiting on our TCG/Facebook/Twitter seller to ship the card and arrive 3-4 days later, then we’re hoping that SCG’s buy price on these Slivers holds strong over the course of that week. I’m not to worried about that latter fact in this example because Slivers are such a strong casual pickup in the long run, but I think you get what I mean.

The “worst case snenario” here is that you paid $8 for a Sinkhole, which I think is still a pretty fine buy for the long haul if you’re into long term speculation on Eternal Masters singles. It’s certainly not a foolproof arbitrage strategy and it’s not even something I’ve tested personally, but it’s an idea for those of you who still have a lively trading scene at your LGS or PPTQ. Personally I have to pay state sales tax on anything I purchase from TCGplayer, so any small spec target I buy from there is automatically slightly less attractive.

End Step

Untitled

This happened with Moat over the weekend. A single party purchased all available copies on SCG and TCGplayer, then posted a video to Facebook that said something along the lines of “I just bought all the Moats on SCG and TCG. I’m going to wait 30 minutes before buying all of the ones on eBay as well. If you want to get Moats anywhere else, now is your chance.”

While most individuals in this community use the term “buyout” incorrectly, this would be one of the few examples where the word rings true. It’s highly unlikely that the card will fall to its’ previous low of $350, but there will be at least a few people who decide that $700 is a little high for a card in their Commander deck, so be looking for those to hit the market on TCGplayer or eBay. There’s also the option of grabbing Italian copies for significantly cheaper, considering the Master Buyoutmancer didn’t touch the foreign copies.

For what its’ worth, there are two NM copies on TCGplayer for $400 each as I’m finishing up this article. I’m tempted to grab them, but that NY sales tax really bites at that high of a number. I think I’m gonna leave them alone for now, as I don’t want to risk that amount of capital on a card that I’m not confident people are ready to buy into post-spike.

moat2

I’ll see all of you next week, when we return to a new discussion on bulk rares. Thanks for reading!

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Fifteen Bulk Rares Per Pack

Written By:
Douglas Johnson @Rose0fthorns
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I hope everyone had a great weekend of Eternal Masters releases! I’m currently crying over the insane amounts of value I lost with the release of the set. I was speccing so hard on a certain spec target, and I lost all my spec money when they reprinted my speculation into the speccing ground. Ugh.

Crocs

Jokes aside, I had a pretty solid weekend. I was literally the only player in my 8-man pod drafting blue, so I ended up with this monstrosity of a deck on Saturday. The Counterspell and Peregrine Drake are foil, for added value. (After some advice on Twitter, I ended up playing 3x Plains and the Swords+Faith’s Fetters to a 4-0 success). You’re not here to hear my tournament report though, so let’s talk a little finance.

EMA1

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While we’re on the subject of Eternal Masters for the first time ever in this column (We probably won’t come back to the set unless we get to talk about bulk rares), so let’s discuss foils for a quick minute.

Drake1

Remember that foil Peregrine Drake? While it was great at stealing games in the sky, it was also worth drafting for value because I don’t hate money. I quickly skimmed the TCGplayer website while I was building my deck, and glanced at the median price. $12 bucks looks pretty sweet for a foil common, right? Even if we look at the article written a few weeks ago by a certain handsome #MTGFINANCE person, we can safely assume that the Median is a slightly incorrect way to determine the true value of a card. Pretty much every card we normally look at with a TCG median of $12 can be realistically sold for around $9…..

drakemisprice

Oh. I guess that’s a thing. (In case you were wondering, yes that’s a foil Peregrine Drake listed on TCGplayer for $.29 by Adventureson. Someone made a tiny mistake). Other than that minor outlier, we’re still looking at a ridiculous spread difference between the TCG median and the lowest available buy price. If you find someone on the hunt for EMA foils, you’re definitely better off trading at TCG median for cards that aren’t Eternal Masters foils. There are people out there who will revere TCG median as their bible, so it’s technically possible if you can actually find other human beings to trade with. I personally haven’t traded cards out of a binder for other Magic cards in multiple years, but you do you.

If you’re really lucky (or using some sort of Pucatrade bot), you might be able to ship out a copy for Pucapoints but you’ll be dealing with a significant amount of competition from everyone else who cracked a box and wants to fufill the dream of getting all their money back.

On the other hand, this is a great situation if you’re in the market for EMA foils. While we’ve mostly passed the all-time low (I paid $20 for a foil Maze of Ith on eBay, and it felt good, you’re still not in a terrible spot to buy foils for you cube, Commander decks, or long term speculation. While the TCG median is an arbitrary number that we can’t technically attach a real market value to, it still feels really good paying 25-40% of that number when so many sellers are desperate to recoup their value from Pandora’s Booster Box.

DJ, You Said Something About Cube

Oh, right. Last week I talked about Bulk Rare EDH, and this week I’m gonna talk a little bit about my adventures of building a cube by picking through thousands of bulk rares. I set a few rules for myself similar to the EDH restrictions, but I couldn’t find a way to realistically only use rare non-basic lands that were all under $1.00 without the cube being a pile of garbage. I mean, the 360 card list will still probably be close to garbage value-wise but I do want it to actually be fun to draft repeatedly. It’s for that reason that I ended up taking out the Land Cap and friends cycle, which I’m sure my drafters will forgive me for.

Cube1

If anyone’s interested in looking at the list and telling me how I did, it can be found by clicking this link. The rules are:

  • No Commons, Uncommons, or Mythic rares
  • Rares have to be less than $1.00 TCG median (even after we got done discussing how it wasn’t an optimal pricing structure, I know)
  • Lands are exempt from this rule, because nobody I know wants to be forced into mono color decks. I couldn’t really think of a ‘hard limit’ for lands, but I’m trying to cut it off at the $3 range for higher end cards in cycles like Temple of Epiphany. No shocklands or Innistrad buddy lands, or anything like that.
  • There are  a few cards in the cube that currently break the second $1.00 TCG mid rule, because I’m expecting them to rotate or go down in value sometime soon. Stratus Dancer and Hidden Dragonslayer. I don’t expect this cube to be finished or drafted until a couple months from now, so I’m trying to lock the list down for then.

Protecting These $.10 Cards

Every cube needs sleeves. With the amount of shuffling, table sliding, and flicking these cards are going to get, it’s important to get a set of long lasting sleeves that will protect the cube for an extended period of time. Even though almost all the cards in my cube are near-worthless, I’d prefer to avoid having them ground to powder and having the HP cards be indistinguishable from the NM ones. Speaking of condition, another benefit of building a cube was that I got to use up a ton of the MP and HP bulk rares lying around that I couldn’t put into my $.25 bulk rare boxes. Most of my non-competitive players don’t like beat up cards unless they’re getting $5 Gilded Lotuses off me, so my damaged bulk ended up gathering dust in a 1k box.

beatupbulk

Anyway, sleeves. Right. So a few months ago, I knew that I wanted to build a cube but I was too busy with school stuff. I also had to resleeve all my EDH decks, so I wanted to buy a large quantity of high quality sleeves in bulk. After asking around and doing a bit of research, I was determined to try out the Hareruya sleeves I had been hearing about. I dropped the money required to order two cases from Japan (enough to sleeve five Commander decks and a large sized cube, with enough leftover to sell to friends who couldn’t attend Grands Prix). It ended up coming out to $4 per pack of 50, which is a better deal than any $10 packs of 100 Dragonshields that I’ve been using for the past couple of years.

I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the quality of the sleeves, although I can’t speak to their endurance when used for 5-6 hours a week at lengthy events. While I bought these back in April, you can still find them readily available by the pack at a Grand Prix for $5 per pack if you don’t have plans to drop a hundred dollars on sleeves.

Cubesleeves

Sleeve order

End Step

  • River Kelpie continues to creep up. It’s a low-stock Shadowmoor rare with no reprints, so I guess the supply is just bottoming out. I bought 30 from SCG at $.50 each, and I’m accepting that it’ll probably take a while to unload all of these to 30 Marchesa, the Black Rose players.
  • Thought Lash is a really terrible card that you can give to your opponent with Zedruu the Greathearted, but it’s a $4 card now. Thankfully it’s on the Reserved List so we don’t have to worry about a reprint in Kaladesh crashing the price of our beloved enchantment.
  • Apparently Day’s Undoing is being tested out in the mono blue prison deck in Standard. I agree with Travis Allen that this is a solid long term hold because it seems like something that could be broken later on when Wizards forgets that those two cards interact. Either way, I’m happy to sell into any Standard-fueled spike instead of waiting around.

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PROTRADER: Grab Bag, EMA Edition

This week is going to be Grab Bag style, since there isn’t any one major thing to talk about.

ETERNAL MASTERS RELEASE NOTES

I am about to do something that I never thought I would ever do. I am so, so sorry.

Please forgive me.
Please forgive me.

And yet, Magic’s equivalent of ‘Family Circus’ makes a pretty valid point. Eternal Masters does some things to help promote Legacy (more than this and other, related strips would have you believe), but it also makes sense to broaden our understanding of what ‘Eternal’ really means. Technically, Pauper isn’t a supported paper format (at least, not as much as it is online), but it’s a huge gainer with this set release (there are Pauper staples at Common, Uncommon, AND Rare in EMA!).

We still don’t know what the final numbers are going to look like for distribution, but early reports have been considerably mixed. I’ve heard of some stores only getting half of their requested allotments, while others have had the opportunity to increase their orders. Because this is a distributor/store interaction (WotC has already sold off all of their stuff, and it sounds like stores will be unable to get more from them directly), the results are expected to be different based on geography and involved parties. In this instance, however, knowing what exists in your local market is likely to create some favorable short-term opportunities- if you feel the opportunity to leverage a trade premium in your favor, don’t be afraid to do so.

It currently looks like the money is made in the foil slot- there are a high number of cards with significant foil multipliers across each rarity, so make sure you are price checking anything you aren’t 100% sure of.

As a quick (and compiled) reminder, here are my top picks for cards that I expect to be gainers following EMA:

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Cube Watch: Eternal Masters Edition

Reprint sets remain a special conundrum for cube owners. On one hand, they provide access to cards we don’t yet have, introduce alternate art and a new frame for many cards, and print foils that did not previously exist. On the other hand, for cube owners with relatively well-developed lists,  these sets can potentially reduce our cubes’ overall values without offering a lot of perks.

Now add to this the fact that not a single one of these cards is new. If you don’t own a copy or it isn’t in your list, that’s likely either a conscious cube design decision or a matter of money. It’s the money-restricted cards that should, of course, be the most on our radars when a set like Eternal Masters is released, as now may be the best time in years to snag our copies.

I’m going to go through each of the relevant-to-Cube cards in Eternal Masters today, grouped by price category. First, though, let’s talk about value lost.

Value Lost

You probably already know that you’re late to the party with selling off pieces of your cube in anticipation of reprint announcements. Based on the limited lasting price impact of the first two Modern Masters sets, I chose to completely ignore any potentially adverse effects EMA reprints could have on my cube, and now that the set is fully spoiled, I feel more or less okay with that. The fact is that my cube, like most, has only one copy of each card, so unless Wizards just borrowed my list from Cube Tutor and reprinted it as a set, it’s unlikely that I was going to get completely blown out.

Still, if you’re really worried about losing value, you could take a look at the most expensive cards in the set. The top tier of these ($50 or more) consists of  Mana Crypt, Karakas, Force of Will, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, and Wasteland. The next tier of value ($30-ish) includes cards like Sneak Attack, Vampiric Tutor, Natural Order, Sylvan Library, Dack Fayden, Sensei’s Divining Top, Maze of Ith, and Entomb. Pretty much everything else in the set (and some of the above cards as well) will end up below $20.

Mana Crypt

Mana Crypt seems to me to be the card most at risk to lose significant value. It has only been printed as a promo previously and is in the conversation with Moxen as far as power level goes. Being banned in Legacy means that there won’t be four-of demand, however, so this set could be adding a big relative number to the supply with only one-of demand from Cube, Commander, and Vintage players. I’ll tell you what I did: had @TheProxyGuy make me a high-quality replica that I don’t have to worry about being stolen, destroyed, or reprinted into oblivion. If you own a real copy? It might be worth locking in some profit, but again, you’re late to the party if you do that, and it’s very likely that the price will rebound nicely after some time, even if the card does lose a lot of value. It’s going to come down to a personal decision based on what you paid, your attachment to your copy, and how much you value your time.

Besides Mana Crypt, the rest of the above cards have demand from enough places that I’m not really worried about major price drops. Yeah, they’ll all probably drop the median a bit, but history suggests that the effects will be minor and brief.

Staples You Don’t Have Yet

Enough talk of cards we already have—the real fun of new sets is getting to pick up cards we don’t yet have.

As a cube owner, you should be going down the spoiler for EMA to mark down cards that you don’t own but may want in your collection. There are tons of Cube-playable cards in this set, and many will be available for less now than at any point in the last several years. Even if a card won’t make your list right away, it’s always worthwhile to keep an “on-deck binder” to hold copies of cards that are potentially playable in your cube but just aren’t getting a spot right now.

We already went over the top two tiers of value, but let’s quickly list everything that you may want to keep your eye on.

Tier One ($50+)

  • Mana Crypt
  • Karakas
  • Force of Will
  • Jace, the Mind Sculptor
  • Wasteland

For tier-one cards, I’m not convinced we’ll see them bottom out until after EMA is released and has been drafted for a few weeks or more. I don’t expect the floor to last long, though, so if you’re looking for any of these cards, keep a close eye and make your move when it looks like the descent has stopped.

Wasteland

Tier Two ($15-$30-ish)

  • Sneak Attack
  • Vampiric Tutor
  • Natural Order
  • Sylvan Library
  • Dack Fayden
  • Sensei’s Divining Top
  • Maze of Ith
  • Entomb

These are cards that are all 1) Legacy- and (in some cases) Vintage-playable, 2) old and underprinted, and 3) have varying levels of demand from Commander and Cube. These could go a number of ways. Maybe their lack of supply was the biggest limiting factor before, and prices are bound to drop now that the market has a new injection of copies. Maybe players have been waiting to get these for slightly lower prices, will buy up the supply quickly, and the prices will basically stay the same. Because I don’t believe this set will actually push anyone into playing Legacy or Vintage, it’s hard for me to imagine a world where so many new players are created from this set that the prices for these cards go up. I suspect that none of the tier-two cards are going to move more than a few dollars in either direction, but there will likely be one or two exceptions.

Sneak Attack

Tier Three ($10-$15)

  • Chrome Mox
  • Enlightened Tutor
  • Sinkhole*
  • Argothian Enchantress*
  • Gamble*

Only five cards in the set currently reside between $10 and $15, and the three marked with asterisks are, in my mind at least, not really cards I would consider for Cube. Sinkhole is the closest, especially if you have a Pox theme in your black section, and Enchantress builds are a thing in some cubes, but not many that I’ve seen. Chrome Mox and Enlightened Tutor are both powerful cards that are very niche, so I could see them dropping significantly with the increased supply. Wait a bit before moving on these.

Enlightened Tutor

Tier Four ($5-$10)

  • Vindicate
  • Cabal Therapy (uncommon)
  • Necropotence
  • Toxic Deluge
  • Shardless Agent (rare)
  • Mystical Tutor
  • Chain Lightning (uncommon)
  • Duplicant
  • Eight-and-a-Half-Tails
  • Green Sun’s Zenith
  • Wrath of God
  • Deathrite Shaman

Chain Lightning

Here’s the level where we really are beginning to see price hits. Most of these cards are available for a few dollars less than they were before reprint season, and once packs actually start getting opened, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them drop more.

Cabal Therapy and Chain Lightning are both being printed at uncommon, and that makes me believe that the current prices are way too high. I expect these to drop to $3 a la Spell Snare and Kitchen Finks in Modern Masters 2013 before beginning their inevitable ascent back up. Hold off on these for a while, as the floor should be lower than a lot of the stuff we’re looking for.

Vindicate seems like a steal for below $10, and everything else in tier four I do not expect to stay down for long. Many of these prices seem downright attractive compared to what we’ve been seeing pre-reprint on these cards, but the prudent play is to wait for packs to actually start being opened to allow the increased supply to drive prices down a little more.

Tier Five ($3-$5)

  • Baleful Strix
  • Regal Force
  • Wall of Omens (uncommon)
  • Winter Orb
  • Balance
  • Isochron Scepter

Color me surprised that Wall of Omens has gotten so high! I must have picked up my cube’s copy right before it went up from $2. Again, being printed at uncommon makes me think that this will lose more value than most of the cards at its level, so hold off a bit longer than you might otherwise.

Unless you really like the new artwork or hate white borders, I don’t see why you’d pay $4 for this Balance when you could have a beautiful Revised copy for $1. (Disclaimer: Most of my collection as a kid consisted of Revised cards, so I like them more than most people due to nostalgia.)

For everything else, we’re getting to the point where if you didn’t have it before, it was likely for reasons other than money. Any of these cards could drop a dollar or two after release, but somehow I doubt price is your concern if you don’t include these in your cube or on-deck binder.

Balance

Tier Six ($1-$3)

  • Blood Artist (uncommon)
  • Mother of Runes
  • Mishra’s Factory (uncommon)
  • Karmic Guide
  • Braids, Cabal Minion
  • Daze (uncommon)
  • Siege-Gang Commander
  • Bloodbraid Elf (uncommon)
  • Harmonize (uncommon)
  • Malicious Affliction
  • Nevinyrral’s Disk
  • Young Pyromancer (uncommon)
  • Hymn to Tourach (uncommon)
  • Dualcaster Mage
  • Animate Dead (uncommon)
  • Brago, King Eternal
  • Inkwell Leviathan
  • Sphinx of the Steel Wind
  • Brainstorm (uncommon)
  • Control Magic (rare with new art)
  • Unexpectedly Absent
  • Counterspell (common)
  • Swords to Plowshares (uncommon)

So now we’re really at a point where price shouldn’t be the reason that you don’t own these cards. These are not cost-prohibitive cards, so you either just haven’t gotten around to it or you actively don’t want copies.

Yet again, the commons and uncommons should take the largest hits here, so wait the longest on those pickups. Everything else is unlikely to drop much further, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this influx of supply be the thing that forces some of these cards to bulk-rare status.

Dualcaster Mage

Tier Seven (below $1)

  • Future Sight
  • Night’s Whisper
  • Serendib Efreet
  • Sulfuric Vortex
  • Worn Powerstone
  • Fact or Fiction
  • Trygon Predator
  • Faithless Looting
  • Keldon Champion
  • Kird Ape
  • Llanowar Elves
  • Man-o’-War
  • Nekrataal
  • Duress
  • Elite Vanguard
  • Faith’s Fetters
  • Firebolt
  • Merfolk Looter

Truly, if price has kept you from owning any of these cards, you should probably reconsider whether Magic is the right hobby for you. All of these should be in your on-deck binder, if not your cube itself.

Trygon Predator

Personal Decisions

Since every cube is different, I can’t tell you exactly what you should buy or sell, for how much, or when. You may value finding the best possible deal on a card or finding the most rare, premium version of everything in your list. I don’t know what you own already, what you’ve been waiting for some outside influence to buy, or if there’s a card you hate and would never include in your cube.

I’ve provided an outline of basically every Cube-playable card in the set above, but by way of example to outline my thought process, let’s close today with a bonus section.

I own most of the cards in this article. A few of the more expensive ones are proxies or gold-bordered versions, but the vast majority are unneeded by me at this point. Here’s what’s in Eternal Masters that I don’t have, and my ideas on when and whether I will be picking up a copy:

Karmic Guide

I can’t imagine having a spot in my cube for this any time soon, but I still want an on-deck copy in case Reanimator ever becomes good through some new card or something. Still, this is low on my list and I’ll be targeting it at not much more than $1 (copies are currently around $3).

Mystical Tutor

The card disadvantage tutors aren’t my favorite spells, but they do serve a purpose. Still, despite its Vintage-playability, Mystical Tutor is one of my least favorites of this cycle, so again, I don’t expect to find a slot soon. As such, I’ll be targeting this currently $7 card for around $3.

Serendib Efreet

I constantly flirt with the idea of blue aggro in my cube, and this will be a necessary addition if I go that route. The only thing that’s kept me from owning a copy by now is that there were three copies available, and they were 1) Extremely expensive (Arabian Nights), 2) A From the Vaults foil (ewwww), and 3) Misprinted with the wrong-color border. I kind of like the misprinted version, but I was afraid of confusing less-experienced drafters. I’m glad to finally have a cheap, non-foil, correctly printed version of this card.

Cabal Therapy

I don’t see this in a lot of lists, but I’d like a copy for my on-deck binder should I want to include it someday. Price has been the primary problem up until now (I hate to spend so much on a card that isn’t even immediately going to be played), but I’ll be happy to snag a copy for $3, which I expect to be possible given the uncommon printing here.

Entomb

I don’t think that dedicated Reanimator is very good in Cube. Cards like Animate Dead and Reanimate are great because they can provide value in decks not necessarily all-in on the strategy, but a card like Entomb serves the one and only purpose of turning on Reanimator. I like to include cards in my cube that are good in multiple archetypes, and Entomb is not that. All that being said, it is a staple of its strategy, and I do often adjust my cube’s archetypes, so I’d like to have a copy available. I just didn’t want to pay more than $20 for a card I may never use. If it drops below $10, though, I’ll pay that for this card I may never use.

Necropotence

The original printing of Necropotence is up to around $13, which is crazy when you consider how unplayed the card is in basically every format. Even LSV can’t find good things to say about this card in Cube. For history’s sake more than anything, I wouldn’t mind having a Necropotence in my on-deck binder, but I really don’t feel like paying more than $3 for it. That’s an awfully aggressive target price, I realize, but the alternative—simply not buying a card I will likely never play—is completely acceptable to me.

Sinkhole

I like to have a deep bench when it comes to black cards, because black is largely considered to be the worst color in Cube. Therefore, when somebody breaks the format and figures out how to actually make black good, I want to have whatever cards are necessary on hand to make that happen. That said, I’m not even sure what target price on Sinkhole would be appealing to me. With the cheapest paper copy costing around $25, I can see objectively that $10 would be a steal, but I’m not sure I’d pull the trigger even there. This is a big question mark for me.

Sneak Attack

This card has long been in the in-between zone where it’s too cheap to bother having a high-quality proxy made but too expensive to actually pick up a copy. Still, I support this archetype in my cube, so I really should have this card. I’m hoping it will drop as low as $20, though I’m not especially confident of that. I’ll pull the trigger at $25 or $30 if I need to.

Regal Force

I’m pretty sure that this has been outclassed by five or ten better fatties in green, but I’d still like a copy available. EMA copies are already a third of the price of the $13 Eventide copies, but I greedily want this for $2 or $3. We’ll see.

Karakas

The only reason I didn’t have a proxy of this already is because I have never really felt like I could make a slot for it. I expect that should I want a copy, a proxy will remain preferable to the still-very-high price this will have once everything has settled. If it drops way more than I’m expecting, though, I’m all too happy to have an actual card rather than a proxy. It would have to be a serious price drop, however.

Don’t Freak Out, Just Watch and Wait

I learned from the first two Modern Masters sets that it is shortsighted and unnecessary to freak out about Cube cards being reprinted. We’re not Legacy players, holding four or eight (or more!) copies of Force of Will and Wasteland and other staple expensive cards. Yeah, our cubes might lose some value, but cards that weren’t reprinted are already going up, so as a whole, we’re going to stay around where we were. And after some time, it’s very likely that most cards that do drop will end up around where they started.

All that being said, with the right approach and timing, we can pick up new cards or upgrades to cards we already own for relative bargain prices. I’ve outlined many of the cards you should have your eye on in this set, as well as gone through my thought process for cards that I personally will be looking to pick up.

Finally, I shouldn’t need to tell you this, but just to be clear: don’t buy booster packs of Eternal Masters. If you need explanation as to why, please see…oh, the entire spectrum of Magic finance content on the internet.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, hit me up on Twitter at @dbro37. Until next time!

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