Seek The Horizons!

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The Mythic Championship is this weekend, and after that, it’ll be a Players’ Tour, and from there, make your own joke. I’m old enough to sound crotchety when I complain about the names of things, or how the simple things aren’t so simple, or old rules…you get the idea.

What isn’t old, though, is that Modern Horizons is ready to pop. Buckle up.

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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.

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.

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Pro Trader: Alela Part 2 Faerie Boogaloo

Readers,

Last week we talked about how Alela was the top deck on EDHREC. Well, I checked today, and guess what happened? 

Kenrith is creeping up and maybe we talk about that next week, but for this week, I noticed a few cards I wasn’t sure about last week are on the move and I’m going to talk about those before I get upset with myself.

Is it telling to anyone else that the Top 4 commanders right now are the 4 Brawl commanders? This format they’re trying to push has real consequences for EDH and Alela just might be good enough for Standard. No rants today, just value.

OK, 3 things about Kenrith, real fast.

The price of the card on the right probably has consequences for the price of the card on the left. There is basically only one good card that isn’t a shockland in the set so a bulk rare like Biomancer’s Familiar could have long-term upside. There are a ton of loose copies and not enough pressure to make this a fast process and then there’s the matter of the high reprint risk. I think there SHOULD BE reprint risk for Training Grounds because letting it hit $25 was pretty negligent on Wizards’ behalf, but they’ve been letting a lot of stuff get stupid expensive. Biomancer’s Familiar is an OK budget Training Grounds but both have upside, however limited.

Speaking of letting things get stupid expensive.

This card is stupid expensive. It’s very, very good but a lot of that price is scarcity. Speaking of which, you know what isn’t scarce?

This card is underpriced at a buck and I want basically every copy I can lay hands on. I don’t think its reprint risk is all that high per se and I think some of the $7 cards in Throne will tank leaving room for this card’s price to move up, but that paradigm may be shifting given the absence of MODO redemption as a factor that enforces box prices. Sets come out so often that box prices don’t go up because people only buy boxes for about 3 months before the next set full of insane cards that are a mistake and ruin multiple formats comes out. Modern Horizons made Modern, Legacy, Pauper and Vintage unfun – how long until they do another set like that? Will anyone care about Throne of Eldraine boxes in 4 months when their next mistake set comes out? Better just snag these while you can.

Also, there are 5 different versions (FIVE!) of Throne of Eldraine cards, so no one knows what to charge for foils given the extended art versions. It’s weird out here. I think Faeburrow Elder has applicability in multiple formats and this card is going to take off soon and everyone will act surprised.

Anyway, enough of Kenrith, here are some quick hits based on a second look at Alela.

TCG Player is the last to know here, but this card is selling out everywhere. It isn’t hard to see why – it’s old, it only has 2 printings (I don’t count that HIDEOUS Masterpiece) and it’s bonkers in Alela and in other go-wide decks that involve Blue. Opposition isn’t in a ton of Alela decks on EDHREC but there are more Alela decks with Opposition in them (25) than there were Yorvo or Linden decks built total, so that’s a thing. Opposition is gettable for the “old” price on a few sites like Strike Zone.

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TCG Player prices are a little stickier because we scrape their market price which is based on last sold price. They haven’t started moving at the new price because there are still copies at the old price to buy up, and that will persist for a while because there are MP copies, people that charge like $2.50 for shipping and only have one copy of the card, foreign versions and all sorts of impediments to the card selling out completely. Since TCG Player is so tough to buy out and everyone uses their app, people will still think Opposition is $4 for a week or two after every other site lists it for $10 if that’s what happens. You have time, but not much.

And it’s not done, either. Check your bulk rares!

Every time they print a commander that makes small-ish tokens from now on, another deck needs this card. It’s tailing off a bit from its last spike but this is a $5 card if it’s not reprinted, and given that it’s a set-specific, Legendary artifact, I’m not sure how likely that is. Check out this metric while we’re looking at metrics.

There are only 2 non-land cards from Amonkhet, an insanely powerful set, that get more play per EDHREC than Throne. One of them is Pull from Tomorrow and the other is Anointed Procession. Throne doesn’t know it’s a $5 card yet, but it is.

As long as we’re doing that, check out cha boy, Revel in Riches.

As far as I am concerned, the underlying metrics are better and the reprint risk is lower for Revel in Riches compared to Throne of the God-Pharaoh and I LIKE Throne as a spec. Revel is rough to reprint in an EDH precon because it wins the game and they won’t put that in a precon. It’s no unreprintable, but it will be tough. I think Revel is a slam-dunk and I’m glad the price is down because it WILL go back up and now we can get them cheaper.

That’s all I have for you today. I think these Brawl precons will have a big impact on EDH and EDH prices and I think Arcane Signet was a huge mistake. Sell your Felwar Stones if anyone is still buying, I guess. Until next time!

The Watchtower 10/14/19 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.


Throne of Eldraine is set to hit the big time this coming weekend with the last paper Mythic Championship. Have I got that right? After this one, they switch back to “PTs,” which are now Player’s Tours? Or is it Players Tours? Heading into the weekend Golos is the deck to beat, with armies of 2/2 zombies seeming quite likely. There’s quite a purse available for anyone that can crack the Golos threat. If you’re Golos, this is all a lose/lose type of deal. Wizards moved the next B&R update up several weeks to later this month, in the second-least gracious wielding of list management since the “lol nm it’s banned” Felidar Sovereign update back in Kaladesh. RIP to all the people that bought Saheeli’s Monday afternoon when they thought the deck had dodged a ban.

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  ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.


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 2013. You can find his articles there weekly, as well as on the podcast MTG Fast Finance.


Checking on Standard

Since we’re getting a Mythic Championship in a couple of weeks, and we’re all enjoying Throne of Eldraine, it’s time for the unglamorous task of looking at the other sets in Standard for things that are undervalued yet could see some life before they rotate in twelve months.

The traditional play right now is to just look at Core Set 2020, but honestly, there’s a couple of cards that are too tempting not to mention right away.

Divine Visitation ($6.50 regular/$9 foil)

I’ve been playing the Golos Field deck on Arena, and while I love having Ethereal Procession in the wishboard, what I’ve been reaching for more often is Divine Visitation. You’ll notice that all three vendors in the graph above have ticked up their price a little lately, and this is why. It is a total backbreaker of a card, requiring a Planar Cleansing in response. 

It’s also a fantastic casual card, and yes, that foil price is right. You can get some foils on TCG for 1.5x the normal price, which is absurd for a token-centric mythic. I like this as a short-term spec and for the long term, as it’s golden in so many different Commander decks.

Agent of Treachery ($2/$3)

Another card with super-low foils, we’re about to see this one blow open the mirror match in Standard. The appeal of Agent is that it’s castable off of a Golos activation (unlike Mass Manipulation), and is going to be great no matter who you’re against. Steal their best creature, snag a planeswalker, or annex their Field of the Dead. It’s all wonderful and three copies is the standard for now.

This was $1 a couple of weeks ago and it’s not done climbing. It’ll hit $5 once Golos is all over the place at the Mythic Championship. Get your copies at $2 now, and flip them for $4 worth of buylist credit in a couple of weeks. I’m not as stoked about the foils here, but the multiplier is so low I might not be able to help myself.

Realm-Cloaked Giant – Showcase Foil ($10 showcase nonfoil/$25 foil)

I do hate that instead of two prices, every card in Eldraine has four. It’s going to take a lot of getting used to.

If you haven’t read James’s excellent analysis of the drop rate for Eldraine’s unusual borders, do it now. And then go buy yourself some alternate-frame foils. Right now they are dropping fast as people feverishly crack Collector Booster boxes, and that’s not the play you want to make. Just buy the singles! You can snag this mythic Showcase foil for the price of a Collector Booster.

There’s lots of other prices that I like, but the alt-art mythics especially call to me. Brazen Borrower in Showcase foil for ~$70 is very appealing as well as The Great Henge at $150. Read his article again, everyone. There’s a lot more people who desire shiny new things than there will be copies of these shiny new things.

Emergency Powers ($1/$3)

I admit, this is win-more, but I’ve been playing around with this in Golos as well and it’s a very good time. As a bulk mythic, your expectations are low but the potential for profit is high.

Chandra, Acolyte of Flame ($5/$9)

The Cavalcade of Calamity/Torbran, Thane of Red Fell deck is real. Chandra offers two hasty 1/1’s for three mana, and that’s a card you’d play in this deck no matter what. Being able to re-use a burn spell from earlier is just gravy. If the red decks have a good showing on camera these next couple of weeks, she’ll go up. If the deck wins it all, or even looks intimidating in the Top 8, she’s a good bet to double her retail price temporarily, and that’s when you’ll need to mash that SELL button pretty hard.

Veil of Summer ($5/$28)

Currently the eighth most valuable card in Core Set 2020 is this uncommon, because it’s in most Standard sideboards, a lot of Modern sideboards, and a few Legacy sideboards. That’s a whole lot to ask, and if this card wasn’t costed so aggressively, this wouldn’t be an issue.Just about half the decks in Standard have at least one copy in the 75, one deck in eight has copies if you’re in Legacy, and a little over 10% of Modern decks do the same. That’s an enormous amount of reach for a card released four months ago.

A single green mana can not only get you that 2-for-1, nullifying their kill spell and drawing you a card, but it can ensure the coast is clear for the rest of the turn. It’s also great against Thoughtseize decks, and will win you the counter wars for the rest of the turn. For one mana!

I’m worried that there is going to be a special version of this card sometime soon. It used to be that the FNM card was an uncommon from a recent set, not just the set that’s currently being drafted. That’s no longer the case, and frankly, we’re going to need more copies of this. The graph is clear, and we stopped opening Core Set 2020 three weeks ago:

I wish I could say what the entrance and exit could be on this card. It could have three copies in the next set of preconstructed Standard decks. It could be a judge foil early next year. It might even be in the MYSTERY BOOSTERS that we’re going to see in Richmond this November. 

If it’s not reprinted, it’ll be $10 by Valentine’s Day. Too many decks need it, and it’s good against enough of the field that we might see something so weird as an uncommon being the most expensive card in a modern-day set. That’s happened before (Alliances’ Force of Will, and likely Mana Drain was the priciest card in Legends for a little while) but it hasn’t happened in a long long time. If Veil becomes the #2 card, behind Big Chandra, it’ll be $8 but I don’t think vendors will crack boxes just to get the cards. It’s pretty common to open a box of a set and not even get a whole playset of a specific uncommon. 

If you think it’s safe, now’s the time to buy. The demand is real and it’s not going away. If you’re like me and you’re wary of the many reprint opportunities, keep your playset and avoid 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.

MAGIC: THE GATHERING FINANCE ARTICLES AND COMMUNITY

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