Tag Archives: picks

UNLOCKED PROTRADER: Time to Move in or Move on?

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I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving, and has had the chance to do some awesome drafts with Iconic Masters, which has such a different play pattern than Ixalan draft. It’s a nice change of pace, but I have to admit, I really hated paying $35 for a draft when I knew I could get a box for $160 all over the place.

I don’t think Iconic Masters is done falling in price, but we are only two weeks away from Unstable drafts, and then it’s dead in December until after New Year’s, when we dive into Rivals of Ixalan previews and prerelease!

If it seems that time is flying by, I’m with you. I’m also keenly aware that lots of stuff has settled in price and that means I need to evaluate two things, as it comes to Amonket and Kaladesh blocks:

  1. How likely is the card to see another bump before it rotates?
  2. Is the card Modern/Legacy/casual playable, and what’s the demand going to be going forward?

Now if you’re thinking, “What the heck, did he say rotation? It’s December!” that’s not wrong but you need to be aware that there’s not a lot of chances for a deck to break out.

With that in mind, I want to look at some cards and see if I want to get in or move on.
 

Glorybringer ($6): Right now, creatures are dying all over the place. Four toughness is not enough, with this dragon and with Chandra, Torch of Defiance. The fifth toughness is a big part of the appeal with it comes to The Scarab God. Glorybringer is seeing some play in a range of decks, but it’s only a four-of in some of the new Mardu Vehicles lists.

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Especially with a buy-in at this range, I don’t think this is worth a buy. It would have to spike past $10, into the $12-$15 range, and that means super-widespread adoption. Seems pretty unlikely to me, and since this doesn’t see much play. It’s in less than 700 Commander decks, so yeah, stay away.

Anointed Procession ($9): I have to be honest, I didn’t know that this had crept up to the threshold of $10. It’s now the #3 card in Amonkhet, and while I want to say that’s due to casual appeal, that’s not quite right. There’s a lot of these in EDH decks (4500!) and there’s a range of token strategies available in Standard. Bringing some Hidden Stockpile/Anointed Procession deck to FNM and making a huge stack of tokens does sound like a lot of fun!

Don’t count out the kitchen table players either. Something has been soaking up spare copies of this, to keep pushing it on the gradual upward curve. Legion’s Landing is the proximate cause, but at the root, the casual demand is super high on here, though the foil is still available under $20. I’m going to be looking for this to drop at rotation, but I don’t think it will fall far.

A caveat: This is very easy to reprint in a Commander product going forward. Be cautious if you’re stocking up.

Bontu’s Last Reckoning ($4): This is intriguing on a couple of levels. It’s hot garbage in casual formats, so that’s out, but it’s the cheapest Wrath of God variant available in Modern, where it’s popped up in a few sideboards. It’s not super-widely adopted yet, but there is room for that to grow. Lantern Control, a deck which is merciless to play with and against, has one or two in the board, as does 8-rack and some other fringe strategies. This price isn’t due to Standard, or to casual demand, so the amount of play it’s seeing has kept it from being a dollar rare.

I would like it better if it fell back into the $2 range, where it was a couple of months ago, but if it doesn’t dip at rotation, Picking up a few is something I can get behind.

Solemnity ($2): It’s got all sorts of fun combos, and frankly, it hoses a wide range of popular EDH strategies. Do note that it doesn’t care about planeswalkers, as happened in a game I was in. I’m hoping that rotation cuts this to a dollar rare or less, as it’s too unique an effect to stay this cheap forever. Also notable is that the foils are four times as much, but the card is only listed in 850 decks on EDHREC.

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Panharmonicon ($3): If you don’t have a taste for reprint risk, this is a lock. It’s in more than 11,000 EDH decks. It’s the #81 artifact in that database, which is surprising to me until I looked at the list and saw all the mana rocks. Three bucks is too low for this card, it did make it to $10 when people were trying to get all the value possible early in the format. It’s highly reprintable, though…so the foils at sub-$10 are even more appealing to me. Foil Anointed Procession is already pushing $20, and this is the card that defines ‘win more’ which is what we all want to do deep in our filthy casual hearts. Go buy some of the foils right now and just sit on them for a little while, and thank me later.

Bonus Pick: The Chain Veil (Foil): There’s 23 copies on TCG right now, and none at several big sites. It’s only in 3500 EDH decks, but the supply is super tiny for a card that fits into the always-popular superfriends decks. I don’t think it’ll take long for this to get a hefty spike over $20, and while this is a strong contender to be put into a supplemental deck, I have a hard time seeing this in a Masters set or in a set that has foils.

Cliff is an avid Cuber and a player at a wide range of kitchen tables. He has yet to Top 8 a GP but eventually they will have a Cube event and he’ll have that locked right up! Find him on Twitter @WordOfCommander or here on MTGPrice every Friday.

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UNLOCKED PROTRADER: Stuff Worth Keeping from BFZ and OGW

Hello and welcome back! I didn’t want to overwhelm everyone with acres of picks last week, so I’m back to talk about the other rotating block, Shadows over Innistrad and Eldritch Moon.

To repeat myself from last week: These are the cards that I think are good to have as they leave Standard, either for their value in Modern/Legacy, or as long-term casual holds.

I don’t think I gave you a good example last week of such a card, so let me do so now: Thespian’s Stage, in foil or nonfoil. Here’s the graph of the foil:

During Theros block, you could get the foil for under $10. Even at rotation, you could get it about $10. But now it’s double that, and nowhere to go but up. The nonfoil has gone from dollar rare to $3 casual gold, and I’m pleased with either of those graphs.

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Every time the Stage dodges reprinting, it ticks up by fifty cents or a dollar. If it gets reprinted in Commander 2017, I don’t think the price will get hit much but the foil will tick upward. It’s going to take a Conspiracy/Masters set to impact the foil very much, and that seems unlikely in the next year (It’s not Iconic, after all).

Shadows over Innistrad

Traverse the Ulvenwald ($4.50 nonfoil/$14 foil): Really, we should have seen this coming. Delirium isn’t just easy in Modern, it’s the focus of Tarmogoyf. Getting the ‘Goyf as big as possible as fast as possible is why Tarfire spiked. Gotta get that Tribal type!

I think the nonfoils are going to go down a little, maybe as far as $3, but then they seem like a very solid pickup. As ever, for Modern/Legacy or casual use, I generally like the foils more than the nonfoils to hold value and to resist losing much when they are reprinted. (Yes, that’s WHEN they are reprinted. That’s my view going forward. Can’t say when, but it is going to happen.)

Archangel Avacyn ($10/$22): The poster angel for the set, a double-sided mythic, she’s going to be very hard to reprint. It’s my understanding that the double-sided require a whole sheet, and then are added, so it’s not possible to throw one two-faced card into a regular print run. The flip planeswalkers of Magic Origins were done on their own, lots of languages to a sheet, so I feel confident in thinking that Avacyn is safe from reprinting for a while.

She’s at the lowest she’s been during her time in Standard, and frankly the foils are super appealing. The foil multiplier isn’t even three yet! Let’s get in on these and just be patient. The growth will be real.

Thalia’s Lieutenant ($2.75/$6): I want this to drop further. I’d like picking these up a lot more at $1.50 or less, but this price is likely an artifact of a couple of recent Modern decks that have a Human theme. I would truly love it if the triggered ability could affect Soldiers too, but it’s still a very good card. Every set has Human creatures, and with every good creature to add to the deck, this card gets better.

Prized Amalgam ($2.25/$5.50): It’s one of the centerpiece cards for Modern Dredge, it’s an automatic four-of in the strategy, and yet it’s this cheap. Foils being $5 on eBay seem like a complete gift to your future self. It’s true that the ban of the Grave-Troll made the deck a little less appealing, but here’s what is going to happen:

  1. People pack lots of graveyard hate in Modern, making Dredge a bad choice.
  2. People move their sideboard choices to other decks, because no one is playing Dredge.
  3. Someone makes the right metagame call at the right big event and Dredge takes it all.
  4. This price goes up by at least double.

I don’t know when that process will happen, but it’s only a matter of time.

Honorable mentions at $1 or less: Fevered Visions, Descend Upon the SinfulSeasons Past, Duskwatch Recruiter, Second Harvest.

Eldritch Moon

Gisela, the Broken Blade ($8/$20) and Bruna, the Fading Light ($1/$6): I like all the foil Meld cards going forward, but this pair having a mythic member AND being part of an iconic tribe means that I love the casual potential here. Bruna is already very good in Angel decks, and I can’t imagine not making space for her sister in Commander decks.

Gisa and Geralf ($1.60/$6): The high foil multiplier here is a very good indicator that you want to have some of these going forward. This card never had a huge supply, being a small-set mythic, and Commander players are taking these out of circulation. I’d much much much rather have the foil version, because I can see this being the headliner for some future duel deck (Undead vs. Survivors or some such).

Bedlam Reveler ($1/$4.50): Another big foil multiplier indicates the foil is sought after more, either in Eternal (where it’s seen some play) or casual play, where only the most dedicated of decks play this. I’ve written about this before, so I don’t want to repeat myself too much, but I can see this spiking pretty hard with just one good showing.

Deploy the Gatewatch ($1/$4): So about a year ago, while I was guesting on MTG Fast Finance, James and I had a polite disagreement about this card. I thought it was trash for Standard, but an excellent long-term hold. The card has gone up about a dollar since then, but it remains a ridiculously safe pick in foil. I suspect we will get some Gatewatch-themed special issue deck at some point, but until then, snag lots of foils and just wait. You’ll thank us later.

Honorable mentions at $1 or so: Mind’s Dilation, Sigarda’s Aid, Ulrich of the Krallenhorde, Decimator of the Provinces

Cliff is impressively devoted to Magic, in a range of formats. His greatest love has been Commander, but Cube is the new hotness and it’s not as clear as it used to be. Who will steal his heart and get that rose? Tune in next week!

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