Pro Trader: Sliver me Timbers

Readers!

I’m on a new “Keep it simple, stupid” kick and one benefit of that is you don’t miss something obvious. To me, it seems obvious that Slivers are coming. If not in Dominaria United, then soon. Ideally not in a precon because lately people aren’t adding too many cards to the precons. If we could get Slivers in a main set, that would be pretty ideal and it seems like they are signaling pretty hard.

Are Slivers NECESSARILY coming back in Dominaria United? The good news is that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter for several reasons. The first is that, whether or not this is hinting at anything, Slivers will eventually get done again so these won’t be missed specs, they will be longer-term specs. You’ll get dinged with a reprint or two, you might start to calculate the opportunity cost of having money tied up in long-term specs, but the day will come when you cheer my name for pointing out the obvious. I guess perhaps the second reason it’s fine is that the worst case scenario is that you’re right too early. Also, consider that this is a strong signal that others are reading which means we could see all of the Slivers stuff tick up just on principle. I like when stuff becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because you get to strut around like Nostradamus with a pocket full of shrimp money from being good at guessing when I’m right.

The word he says here does not reflect the way I feel about my readers. He says the b word, not the word you’re afraid a white rapper will say in a music video

If we are in some sort of quantum experiment where observation changes outcome, it makes sense that finance really can be that easy sometimes, where a few dozen people tweeting about getting a bunch of Slivers in their Secret Lairs that I still don’t have can make people think “Slivers.” Am I capitalizing on an effect of those Slivers being sent out or am I helping to originate a panic? Good question, but if you buy right now it won’t matter since anyone I convince to buy with this article will buy enough to drive the price up, so you actually can’t lose here.

So say Slivers do come and they come in the next year and other people want to build Slivers decks. You’d like me to tell you what I think you should buy and show my work. I’m into it, let’s knock this out before wherever you buy shrimp closes.

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ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

Pro Trader: Succinct Selections

When life gets hectic, sometimes it’s better to cut a few corners to produce something, rather than skipping it altogether. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good, as they say. I’m moving to a new home this week so instead of delivering a comprehensive theme, I’m going to quickly share a few selections I’ve been watching personally and discuss the reasons behind my interest in each. Without further ado, let’s jump in!

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expensive cards

ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

Oko (@OkoAssassin) has been writing for MTGPrice since 2020 with a focus on competitive play and Magic Online. In his personal life Oko is a lawyer, father, ice-hockey player, runner, and PC gamer.

We Haven’t Forgotten The Realms!

Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is in a strange place as a Magic set. It got overshadowed pretty quickly by other sets, and didn’t have a lot to keep it going. The set right now is at a really low point, since it’s about to rotate.

Being at a really low point means some great opportunities to buy! Let’s look at some singles from the set itself and the accompanying Commander cards, and determine what we want to buy.

Mostly I prefer to stick to the more premium versions of cards, especially as Commander specs, because they are more resilient in case they are reprinted. However, sometimes the siren’s call of more basic versions at super cheap prices cannot be overlooked.

To the cards!

Wand of Orcus ($3.50 for the cheapest version, $7 for the most expensive, 8700 EDHREC decks) – It’s necessary to caveat the EDHREC numbers for two reasons: One, cards that come in the precon decks are just uploaded to the database and then given very small tweaks. That gooses the numbers for inclusion, and makes it look a bit more popular than it is. The other thing to remember is that the database is self-selecting. Only the people who care enough to build the deck and then upload it bother to do so. I’ve had all my Commander decks at least two years, and never gotten around to uploading the list to EDHREC.

That said, the Wand of Orcus has quite a history. It had a jump to over $15 for both versions, and has the potential to do some incredibly broken things. What it could do again is up for discussion, but there aren’t a lot of ‘deal X damage, get X tokens’ cards out there. The creature type and the deathtouch is also very relevant; we have a very similar card in Scepter of Celebration and only the super-rare foil version of that is even over a buck.

I think $3.50 is a great price to get in at, especially if you already bought cheap and sold high once. If nothing else, it’ll be a candidate every time a new Zombie commander comes along.

Grim Hireling ($3 to $14, 25,000 decks) – It’s in the precons, yes, but it’s an amazing card in Treasure decks and I’ve seen this knock down a whole board with Mayhem Devil out. This got expensive and has trickled downward in the time since, and the reprint in Baldur’s Gate has really driven the price low. I can’t imagine it goes below $2, and I’m more than happy to get a stack of these in anticipation of the next amazing Treasure interactions.

Treasure Vault ($6 to $10, 34,000 decks) – While the Treasure interactions are great, what you can never overlook here is that this is an artifact land that comes into play untapped. There’s blessed few of those that are legal in Modern and/or Pioneer. Such a narrow gap between the basic nonfoil and the Module frame in foil is a surprise to me. I’m definitely bigger on the special version, because this is a frame that I doubt they’ll go back to, except perhaps for one Secret Lair. 

Hall of the Storm Giants ($2.50 to $10, 7600 decks) – The Module frame here is much more expensive, but the base version is quite attractively cheap. This has a smattering of copies across assorted control decks in Pioneer and even occasionally in Modern, where it’s a win condition inside of a land, something control decks crave like nothing else.

The drawback of coming in tapped is a big deal in Commander, but 7 is a good amount of damage for tapping seven lands.

Wizard Class ($1.50 to $2.50, 27,000 decks) – Yes, it’s uncommon, but it’s super popular and those foils are drying up fast. One or two vendors have big walls, but I’d be all over the foils here, as we’ve gotten nonfoils in The List already. 

These foils had a spike up high and have come back down, with enough copies selling to keep it from going too far. Now’s a great time to sweep up some copies and be ready to sell at 2.5x what you paid.

Oswald Fiddlebender ($1 to $2.50, 13,000 decks) – I love this card, and having a brick of copies makes me feel good about the inevitable combos that will pop up. Every artifact that can go into a white deck makes Ozzie that much better, and I want to have copies in stock when the next combo piece comes out.I don’t know when that’ll be, but it won’t take much. Please note that he’s besties with Replication Specialist, a card that feels criminally underplayed.

Circle of Dreams Druid ($5 to $9, 30,000 decks) – Yup, it’s ready. I’ve been patient on this card for the longest time, and the graph shows how delightfully it’s fallen:

There’s a lot of FEA copies still on TCG for under $10, but there’s a whole lot more people patiently waiting for their copies to get to the $20 or even $30 range, and it won’t take too long. A couple of foils a day being sold adds up really quick!

Old Gnawbone ($42 to $80, 30,000 decks) – The Borderless foil is up about $20 from three months ago, mostly due to how good this is with Miirym, Sentinel Wurm:

I think that if you haven’t gotten a personal copy yet, you’d better do so soon. There’s going to be one wave of the Beadle and Grimm dragons in the Monster Manual style, but that’s probably not going to affect this price too much. If you had sticker shock when the set first came out and you didn’t want to spend so much on the most expensive card in the set, well, it’s come down a lot in price but it’s started to go back up. Time to get what you need, plus some extras.

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.

Pro Trader: Cards I Think Are Underplayed

Readers!

This week I didn’t want to flog the dead horse that is the latest commander/modern mishmash reprint set because the cards that are going to rebound are obvious to you if you’re reading this article. I think one of the best-kept secret of mtg financiers is that you will immediately look amazing at it after about 4 weeks of effort compared to someone who doesn’t pay attention at all. Most of making good mtg finance calls is just paying attention, and if you’re paying attention to my articles, that’s probably paying attention enough. This article isn’t me teaching you to pay attention, this article is me being paid to pay attention for you, something you’re capable of. I’m absolutely fine with that arrangement, it is my preferred method of laboring under capitalism. If you’re fine with me being fine with it, let’s talk about what you already know a bit more.

Since all parties involved accept the basic premise of the first paragraph, we can all agree that we can basically dispense of another article where I tell you more cards from Double Double Toil and Trouble Masters. I talked about the ones I strongly believe in last week and we can always revisit the topic next week when prices are sure to have stabilized a bit more and the picture of what’s a nice pickup at its bottom is a bit clearer. I’ll pay attention to that for you. I was going to belabor the point a little for the sake of the content but I owe you better than that. I needed a backup article idea and James Chilcott told me “Keep it simple. Tell me 5 cards you think are underplayed” which, I don’t feels like a cheat…somehow? Thematically? It just seems like such a dry topic to drop in your laps, I thought I’d type a few paragraphs to lull you into a false sense of security and then spring a really basic topic on you with no pizzazz and then

5 Cards I Think Are Underplayed

It’s not the same as the title of the article because I didn’t want people to see the number 5 in the title of the article because then this really looks like I farmed this job out to someone at buzzfeed. You know what? This is a good article topic, I’m going to have fun researching this and presenting my findings to you. I’m going to stop apologizing for this being the article, but I kind of blew a lot of the word count space I would have needed to introduce these topics a little better so we’re really going to have to get into it very quickly

OK, can we move on? No, you’re probably right, and the very least I should address what is the obvious implication of my bias regarding this card. I think this card should be in every EDH deck. Without exception. That’s probably a little hyperbolic-sounding, so I will tone it down and say that every deck should play this card with exceptions. I can’t think of any, but maybe you like not having the best way ever to take care of a problematic commander. The price started going up in 2021 and it will probably sound ridiculous if I take any credit for that, right? I’m not that much of an egomaniac but, like, the dates line up, that’s all I’m saying. I think this is a buy under $10 forever. It’s not on the Reserved List but the last time they really talked about it for a reprint that is going to come out anytime soon would have been like 2 years ago when this was like $3.60 on TCG Player. I think we’re good to cash in buying these under $10. I really don’t see a reprint coming anytime soon and if they’re not really nimble enough to respond to an increase caused by us buying. This feels like a slam dunk and I would honestly bring this card up every week in this article if I didn’t think you’d all get sick of that.

Acquire absolutely RIPS as a Magic card but something very important happened in 2020 and it caused people to not really play cards that searched other peoples’ decks because everyone was playing on webcam and being germaphobic in person. I think there is pent up demand for Acquire that will actualize when play in person returns in full. Barring another reprint or media insert, these are a buy under $5.

This version is exceedingly rare for some reason, I guess because people stopped picking up the comic book when it was like Arrest, Feat of Blood and like, Castigate back to back months. I was in it for the early Faithless Looting and High Tide but a lot of people dropped the book making these concentrate in the hands of dealers. When those copies sell out, the card will basically disappear and command a premium. I like this version under $10, $10 may be pushing it a bit. It’s around $6 or $7 on TCG Player right now, I like that number quite a bit.

MANNNN I wish I had calling this sooner. It basically bottomed out at $1 for the superior Urza’s Saga printing but not you’ll be lucky to get these under $5 on TCG Player. It’s a shame because I really believed this card would rebound but I was too busy watching Tiger King and playing Animal Crossing to go back for it. I like this under $5 for the record. It shrugged off its reprinting, and by the way, reprints like that have a way of creating demand that will put pressure on existing stock, also, because some people literally didn’t know the card existed because it’s been that long since this set came out. Imagine you started playing a year ago! You wouldn’t be able to keep up with current releases, let alone go back to Urza’s Block. EDHREC ranking on this keeps slipping year to year but it will come back, and when it shows up in the high synergy cards of a sacrifice commander, you’ll be glad you HODL’d.

I don’t expect any of you to know this, but I write an EDH column on Coolstuff Inc. and I will, no joke, add Snow-Covered Lands to my decks literally just to play this and then at that point, why not Sunstone? And Glacial Crevasses? Might as well jam an Extraplanar Lens in there. I run Extraplanar Lens in 2 color decks, it doesn’t even got that well whenever I draw it, I don’t care, snow lands, BABY! Look how pretty and how cheap this pathologically playable card is. Fill your shopping card and this is going to be $3 again.

This whole entire article is positively RIFE with my bias, so why stop now? I am biased because I run a lot of of landfall. However, this is a Rhystic Study that banks the cards for a few turns then turns into a beater, or you literally go troll mode and hit them with The Omenkeel and steal their lands. It is so funny to steal people’s lands in EDH, they get so upset. Especially on webcam. I write the name of the person I stole the land from on the infinitoken to mock their pain. This is 2 kinds of card in one and I saw literally 2 articles today (fine, I wrote one of them, but I still SAW it, I had to see it to write it) talking about what a boring card Rhystic Study is. This is a more fun Rhystic Study, and it doesn’t cost $30 for a common masquerading as a rare.

I am glad we decided to do the article this way this week. I have some more opinions and I’d like to discuss them with the Pro Traders in the Pro Trader Discord, so if you’re not signed up for Pro Trader yet, it might be a good idea. My article was late this week and our loyal Pro Traders deserve some compensatory picks from me and I really hope they’re non-obvious since I feel like I accidentally hyped them up a bit. Thanks for reading, everyone. Until next time!

MAGIC: THE GATHERING FINANCE ARTICLES AND COMMUNITY