Pro Trader: Yaroktopus’ Garden



I’m not going to sugarcoat it – I’m not really in the mood to write my normal type of article. I have a bunch of ideas about picks and I want to get them all down before I forget any of them and that means the structure of the article is going to suffer. I really like to write two or three paragraphs before the Pro Trader paywall comes down and if I don’t do that, the transition is going to be pretty abrupt and

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ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

MTGPrice helps keep you at the top of your game with our daily card price index, fast movers lists, weekly articles by the best MTGFinance minds in the business, the MTGFastFinance podcast co-hosted by James Chillcott & Travis Allen, as well as the Pro Trader Discord channels, where all the action goes down. Find out more.


The Watchtower 6/24/19 for ProTraders – Plan Your Specs

By: Travis Allen

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.

Our endless spoiler season lurches ever forward, with a slew of Magic 2020 cards having come out in the last few days, between the MPL, the planeswalker decks, and assorted sources. So far the set looks decent enough, although it’s hardly capturing hearts and minds in the way that Dominaria, or War of the Spark, or Modern Horizons did. There’s not a lot of blood flowing for the new cavalier cycle, I’ll tell you that much. Will they be decent? Possibly. Will any of them become a top tier Standard staple? Conceivable. Is anyone eager to play with them today? Not at all. Your best bet is looking at them as plants for a forthcoming Theros set that will reward devotion again.

Seasoned Pyromancer

Price Today: $13
Possible Price: $30


Modern Horizons has remixed the format, if not in exactly the way we may have expected. I was looking forward to a new archetype or two, and a few more “pillar” cards that would do more to redevelop the landscape of the metagame. Mostly we didn’t get any of that, and instead got a lot of playable cards that are all adding ripples rather than waves. Of course it’s early yet, and Hogaaak is sort of ruining things at the moment, so perhaps in six months it will be like a rerelease for MH1.

Anyways, Seasoned Pyromancer. He’s a spicy meatball, which makes sense, because of the aforementioned seasoning. We’re seeing him in Mardu midrange builds, more aggressive Bedlam Reveler decks, Jund, and even Dreadhorde Arcanist strategies. I wasn’t particularly enamored with him on reveal, but he’s proven that there’s no shortage of slots that can make use of his abilities. For three mana you can have a 2/2, loot 2 cards, and 2 1/1s? Yeah alright. So long as you’re making the most of those discarded cards, that seems reasonable.

Pyromancer is doing solid duty in Modern, and it doesn’t feel like his price is matching that utility. I’m lacking a tool to tell me what cards from a specific set are doing the most work in Modern, but if I had to guess (which is what I’m doing right now), Pyromancer is one of the more useful cards from MH1. Supply is mediumish, as the set is still quite new. Many of the metrics are pointing at MH1 prices rising soon though, and I suspect Pyromancer will be one of the beneficiaries of that when it happens.

Nirkana Revenant

Price Today: $6
Possible Price: $15

A superstar of black creatures, Nirkana Revenant has long been potent in both EDH and casual circles. It doubles mana production of swamps (of which all your lands are, thanks to Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, which will also be in the deck with Yawgmoth, which is weird), a relatively uncommon feature for black decks. It also pumps itself with that boatload of mana, but, nobody is using double their black mana to give Revenant +1/+1.

One may notice that Revenant’s EDH numbers aren’t the most stunning. She’s clocking about 3400 decks, which is about as low as we tend to go when acknowledging cards for that format. The other numbers don’t lie though — Revenants were easily selling for north of $20 for two dang years. Clearly demand exists for this card outside of EDH, and enough so that it drove the price into solid $20+ territory. That’s quite good for casual demand.

Battlebond sunk prices to the current lows of roughly $6, where it seems to have bottomed out this spring. We’ll certainly see numbers on the non-foils climb over time regardless, and with Yawgmoth’s printing and a rush to mono-black decks, I expect a temporary surge as well. Plus, smart money is on Theros in the next year, which is also likely to push mono colored decks, and line up Revenant for another spike at that time.

Urza’s Incubator

Price Today: $12
Possible Price: $25

Modern Horizons hit shelves and people started building Morontron in all its various flavors. (Which is like, a lot of flavors.) Tribal popularity comes and goes for the most part, with only a select few tribes maintaining sales a few months after a hot new commander, but Mophontrod has the unique property of getting to always be a popular tribal commander regardless of what tribe is popular what week. Did they print some cool dinosaurs again? Morpho can play that general. Slivers? To the Morpho deck. Allies? Ok nobody is playing allies, but you get the idea.

Tribal has a consistent general now, and people are going to move in that direction often. It’s great at reducing colored mana costs, but it can’t handle the pesky colorless mana. That’s where Urza’s Incubator comes in. Like Morpo, it’s colorless and tribe-agnostic, which means every single tribal deck is in the market. They were before, but now with Morpho, there’s even more of an incentive, especially since Incubator fills the other half of the equation. Between Mopo and Incubator, most of the creatures in your deck are free.

Incubator used to be fairly cheap; about $6. Then it jumped to $20 or $25; I forgot exactly why. It’s slowly lost ground since then, and appears to have bottomed out around January or February. It has since regained ground, and with the new all-purpose tribal commander, is slated to see a lot more play in the future. I can’t say for sure how fast they’ll turn around, but don’t sleep on Incubators, especially if you need any yourself.

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.

Preordering Core 2020

Well, we have almost all the mythics and some of the rares for Core Set 2020, and these are some doozies. We’ve got cards to trigger infinite loops in Standard, we’ve got busted Commander interactions, and we’ve got an honest-to-God Scapeshift deck in Standard.

The set gets prereleased in a week, so right now, let’s look at some prices and see where they are likely to go.

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expensive cards ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

Cliff (@WordOfCommander) has been writing for MTGPrice since 2013, and is an eager Commander player, Draft enthusiast, and Cube fanatic. A high school science teacher by day, he’s also the official substitute teacher of the MTG Fast Finance podcast. If you’re ever at a GP and you see a giant flashing ‘CUBE DRAFT’ sign, go over, say hi, and be ready to draft.

Unlocked Pro Trader: Getting A Jump On The Competition

That title isn’t a pun, I literally just couldn’t think of a pun with the name of the card and you don’t care about the pun titles. No one has ever sent me a message telling me I made a sweet pun in the title. Well, on this site, anyway. My puns are lauded on Coolstuff. LAUDED. I give you people metaphorical GOLD and all you want is literal gold in the form of money-making specs. Fine. You’ll have your specs. I’m writing this super early for Pro Traders because this card got spoiled today and I think it matters. Let’s take a look at the card I mean, first off.

Look at this flappy boi. It’s like Young Pyromancer turned into a goose thing. This puts you in Monastery Mentor colors in EDH and gives you access to Cathars’ Crusade if you want to beat them down, ways to tutor for an Isochron Scepter and a Dramatic Reversal to throw on it and plenty of other madness. Here’s what I think has a chance of going up, probably in the next 48 hours, if people think this deck matters.

For the record, Competitive EDH people seem convinced that this is a really viable engine so on top of this likely to be appealing in the kind of EDH played by 90% of the community, the deck could potentially have legs in cEDH as well. Does that do anything for prices? Eh, yes and no. cEDH decks are super homoegenous so the staples are going to get played in most builds in that format, but they’re cards that were already expensive because they’re good in everything. Take a look at a build for Kykar someone on the cEDH sub came up with. Granted he shot from the hip, but all of their decks are built this way.


This deck is jammed with tutors, countermagic, card draw and like, 10 Kykar-specific cards. It has a way to get both of its creatures into play and that sets up the Sensei’s Top/ Future Sight combo which makes 80 birds and draws the deck. It’s very consistent and that’s what cEDH is about, but Kykar won’t move the needle on Merchant Scroll or Wheel of Fortune or Rhystic Study. I think people building casually will move the needle on cards not played before and that’s why I acknowledge what cEDH is doing but don’t see much opportunity to make money in it, and I’ve talked about that a lot recently. Go back to my articles about Vannifar for a more in-depth discussion about it.

I don’t have EDHREC data yet so I’m going to talk about cards I think are in immediate danger of repricing themselves in the next few days. This is where Pro Trader really pays off.

Down quite a bit from its all-time high, Echoes is poised to go right back up, especially in the near term. It’s already rebounding a bit, and between Slivers being reintroduced and Kykar doing crazy shenanigans, I think Mana Echoes pops this week. It’s tough to reprint and it was $35 when they decided what was going in Commander 2019 so I think it’s safe for now. If you want these, I wouldn’t wait for it to get cheaper, especially since it’s recovering quite a bit.

This seems to rise from the ashes stronger each time it’s reprinted. Skullclamp is already a real workhorse in Teysa, a deck people are still playing, and it’s going to do even more work in this deck. It’s even easier to keep the party going because you can sac one spirit to pay the equip cost on another and keep the old grip full. If you have Saheeli, or Sai, or Monastery Mentor or Young Pyromancer or any of the myriad ways to make 2 tokens per spell, you’re going to draw your deck. Seems good. This has a lot of printings but also a lot of upside in the near term.

Pepperidge Farm remembers when this was a $10 foil. It’s not quite the insane, take-Modern-by-storm deck it once was and people are off it, mostly, but the foils ended up in the hands of dealers who are ratcheting their buy price (the blue line on the graph) and this card is going up regardless. I think it’s actually just insane in a Kykar deck and maybe the non-foils pop as well, but the foils are for sure in play, especially since this is one of the few cards cEDH decks aren’t already playing that they will play in this.

I don’t know how much Kykar can push this, but it’s in a deck that no one bought much at the time but which is super worth popping now given the $150 worth of cards in it. It’s not an easy card to get and Kykar is the perfect deck because you can get away with only running 2 creatures. You have plenty of tokens to sac and then you just hit Kiki combo or Ilharg and Medomai or something brutal and just win. This is the best Polymorph variant, and between the mana rocks you should run in the deck and the fact that this is more like a 4 mana spell than a 7 mana spell, it should be pretty easy to get this to go off. I think the deck is worthwhile if you can get it cheap since it has 3 $20 cards in it, and I think this card is good in Kykar. Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

The internet is getting cleaned out of these so find them while you can. The Izzet Vs. Golgari deck is a good source of them – I bought a ton at Target when it was new and I am still sitting on them sealed despite watching Grave Troll rise and fall and Life From The Loam spike and get reprinted. It may be time to dig them out. There are Japanese versions of that deck floating around and it’s tough for dealers to move those copies, so take a risk on that and hope people are interested in those, or scour obscure sites for a few loose copies. The price basically double today so even if you have to pay like $4 shipping per copy at the old price, you’re still up.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print. I don’t usually write my article a day early but you deserve it. Thanks for reading. Until next time!