Pro Trader: The Still-Shifting Landscape

Readers!

Last week I wrote about how the landscape has shifted a bit and as people actually got Baldur’s Gate cards in their hands, and I feel like I should admit that the landscape continues to shift and every article is merely a snapshot into a fluid situation, further compacted by the fact that Dominaria United previews will start any day, now. Fortunately, we still have some time to figure out some cards that have some velocity because they’re in decks that aren’t tearing up the charts but are still getting built quite a bit. Let’s look at the lesser known decks in Baldur’s Gate (I don’t remember the name of the set, go with it).

The obvious ones are still doing really well, but what about the ones that are not obvious are are not doing as well? Not exactly the dregs, but certainly not the decks ending up in the top-built decks from the last week. Compare Raggadragga’s 716 decks to some of the others.

The 347 Kadira decks aren’t exactly pulling the same weight, are they? That said, they are still pulling weight and we have ignored them for a few weeks. Let’s not do that anymore, shall we?

All precon cards. We talked about this last week – A ton of the high synergy cards are directly from the precon and I don’t know what to do about that. We could filter them out but then you’re getting some fairly low synergy scores and you might as well just look at top cards, which are likely Orzhov staples.

There aren’t enough Party-based decks in the world not to make Coveted Prize a perennial stinker, and going down below the “Top Cards” cutoff seems… fraught I guess is the word. Still, we should soldier on and see if we can find anything here.

This could take a minute, but every time I swing with this and activate it, someone asks “wait, does it really tutor when it swings?” Yes, this card is slept-on because Kaldheim is slept-on. This card, however, has solid fundamentals imo.

I don’t love looking at the raw number of inclusions as a substitute for analysis, but if this card is in this many decks and no one told the price, it’s a matter of time until this butts up against reality and becomes the price it’s supposed to be. Yeah, they’re printing everything into Bolivian right now but that doesn’t mean even the supply we got can keep up with this demand. A new card making this obsolete seems more likely than a reprint. Unfortunately, it seems more likely than a lot of things.

You can basically copy everything I said about Varragoth and apply it here. In fact,

This could take a minute, but every time I swing with [another creature] and activate it, someone asks “wait, does it really tutor when it swings?” and I say “no, you’re thinking of Varragoth.” Yes, this card is slept-on because Kaldheim is slept-on. This card, however, has solid fundamentals imo.

I don’t love looking at the raw number of inclusions as a substitute for analysis, but if this card is in this many decks and no one told the price, it’s a matter of time until this butts up against reality and becomes the price it’s supposed to be. Yeah, they’re printing everything into Bolivian right now but that doesn’t mean even the supply we got can keep up with this demand. A new card making this obsolete seems more likely than a reprint. Unfortunately, it seems more likely than a lot of things

Despite the enormous handicap of coming from Wisconsin and working in de lumberyard dere, this guy manages to craft some chaos wherever he goes. I can dig it. How much chaos?

Cards that aren’t included in the precon! What the WHAT?

I think this is likely to be a much more expensive foil soon. The set has been out a year and boxes are pretty expensive on this already. I’m confident we will see a lot of growth on this barring a reprint in foil.

We are currently at this point in the graph, if that makes this any clearer. I like foil Nightblade a LOT.

This is quite possibly the ugliest premium version I’ve ever seen.

And the foils are about to be dirt cheap.

That said,

Barring a reprint, this goes to $10. That said, a reprint seems kind of likely and there is no foil or premium version that can insulate this card from the shock of said reprint. This has the juice to hit $10, I just don’t know how much time we have. If you’re squeamish, put your dollahs elswur.

Well hot damn.

$10 on CK was the floor on these and CK is already asking $15. It’s not unreasonable to assume this can hit $20. A lot of Jumpstart was opened because the first print run was small, the prices were nuts and excitement was high. Then boxes came out and people bought then at $80 feverishly because they were so laden with value. Then the market realized a ton of singles were in it and supply was basically infinite and prices bottomed out. We’re for sure in an upswing, though, and this is on its way to, and I’m speculating, $20ish. Plan accordingly.

That does it for me this week. Next week we’ll dive even deeper unless another set has come out by then. Until next time!

The Math of Double Masters 2022

Welcome, let’s get down to the numbers of Double Masters 2022. We’ve got only 24 Draft Boosters per box and a mere 4 Collector Boosters per box, effectively upping the price for each pack.

We are also getting double the rares and mythics, along with some incredibly expensive reprints. Quite the assortment of value here, and with the numbers doubled, we’ve got some really amazing things and some real bulk mixed together.

So let’s dive in and see how rare these cards are, especially compared to rarities of sets past, as try to figure out what’s worth it and what isn’t.

The rest of this content is only visible to ProTrader members.

To learn how ProTrader can benefit YOU, click here to watch our short video.

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: The Shifting Landscape

Readers!

I titled this article “The Shifting Landscape” because the landscape is shifting. I will not be taking further questions at this time.

Baldur’s Gate still hasn’t settled and some of the top commanders in the set are shaking out a bit differently. Let’s take a look at the leaderboard this week.

Captain value has absolutely rocketed up the charts and it’s worth taking a look at, but you’re going to be disappointed. A growing trend has started to emerge lately, and I attribute it in part to how little time we have to brew and tune decks before we’re encouraged to ditch them and move on to the next thing. I’m convinced every Captain N’ghathrod deck is just the precon sprinkled with 25% of an Umbris deck that didn’t get finished since a set came out every few weeks since then and there never seemed to be time to finish. What makes me think people are using largely unmodified precons?

Every single High Synergy card,

and every top card are in the precon. 28/28 on the key cards in the deck being shipped with it. The precons are getting more and more tuned and less and less broad, and the more tuned they get, the more they’re forced to reprint very specific cards that will never leave the deck and the less people are adding singles from other sets. It’s not every deck that’s like that, certainly, but the small window between sets is clearly having an impact on builders and it’s being reflected in the data no matter whether it’s a measure of cards appearing a lot in this one deck and nowhere else or a measure of cards just showing up in this deck a ton. Yeah, I’m not surprised people are playing Thought Vessel and Lightning Greaves, but every single card here is in the precon.

Accordingly, we have to scroll down pretty far to find anything, bad news when we’ve proved in this column that the deck’s ranking in the set and top commanders of the week list can predict whether the deck has the velocity to launch all but the lowest-stock of specs. I think there is a non-trivial amount here, and I’ll find it, but I’m not thrilled about it.

You can say that Card Kingdom prices aren’t real, but this card is sold out on Card Kingdom at $5 a copy and CSI still has some for $2.50.

Is this card bad? Is the price real? Is CK a reliable metric? I will answer any and all questions by silently pointing to the part of your computer screen where I showed with data that you could arbitrage this card to CK’s buylist by paying retail at Coolstuff if you were so inclined. If you do, please use EDHREC’s clipboard feature to upload your want list to one of the affiliated sites so I don’t have to get a day job.

It’s my job to know what’s going on here but I will be real honest, I do not. There are copies on other sites, but TCG Player seems to be experiencing a run on this and that’s really interesting. Don’t expect this to be $10, but don’t expect it to stay under $5 if it’s not reprinted pronto.

So what about a deck where we’re bound to have a bunch of old cards? Will we see a ton of precon cards or what?

Looks like there’s something here after all. Let’s dig in.

You have got to love the shapes of both of these graphs. These are cards that are ready to move. The set is a year old but 90 products have come out since then and people have moved on hard from Commander Legends one. It’s time to pay more than $3 for a better Boundless Realms. This card rules.

No idea what’s taking this card so long when it already spiked to $5 but I continue to not understand this graph shape. What I do know is that this card is quite good and it’s very cheap but has also demonstrated the ability to hit $5 for a bit. I’m into these under a buck.

This card keeps threatening to mean business – I wish anyone took it seriously. Personally, if these are scoopable for half of their peak price right now, I don’t know what any of us is waiting for.

This wasn’t as deep a dive into the set as maybe you would have liked, but I covered two new commanders with radically different spec outlooks and I think they contrast each other in a way that’s instructive. I hope you agree and I hope you’ll tell me about it in the comments or on Discord. Until next time!

Blue Foils for the Win

Have you ever identified such a compelling speculation target that you’ve dreamed about it – perhaps in nightmare where you missed the opportunity and now the price has gone soaring? I recently had a bad dreams about Double Masters 2022 (2X2) booster boxes, which at the time were prices around $255 per box – a week later were up to $320 per box. Fortunately, after this dream I was smart (or dumb) enough to purchase several cases of 2X2, which are currently on track to be very profitable! While I have not yet had a dream about my first pick yet, that’s likely because I already took out a sizable position on it due to it being my first 10/10 confidence level selection. 

One factor I often use when evaluating potential selections is by looking at the quantity and type sold for any given card on TCGPlayer.com, which can be very illuminating. Typically, non-foil versions sell at a greater frequency for most cards, especially for products with collector boosters producing a large quantity of foils. But there are of course always exceptions to this rule. One exception is cards in many EDH decks that also have a limited number of foil printings. This is especially true for first time foils, for example Carpet of Flowers, which was first printed in foil in a Secret Lair Artist Series: Johannes Voss. This first-time foil started out at around $30 and continued to grow over time to $60 today. When combined with the other contents of this drop, this Secret Lair has doubled up in value in just one year.

I believe my first pick will replicate the success of Carpet of Flowers, if not more.

Secret Lair Kelogsloops Foil Edition – Including First Time Foil Mystic Remora

Price today: $39.99 plus tax
Possible price: $80 in 12 months
Confidence: 10/10

Mystic Remora is included in 117,989 decks on EDHREC, which is two and a half times as many decks as Carpet of Flowers. This is despite zero reprints until this new Secret Lair – in any form – which will finally put more eyes on the card. Impressive. The original printing of Mystic Remora from Ice Age was cheap for a long time, but over the last few years it had begun to climb to over $10. Absent this reprint, it would have been a $20 card in a hurry, and I think it still is on this trajectory given a little more time. Having a strong non-foil price is important to give foil copies a solid foundation to establish a favorable foil-multiplier. I expect foil Mystic Remora’s to start off reasonably expensive and begin climbing even higher after months of supply draining out.

The rest of this Secret Lairs’ contents are very solid as well, which is why I recommend the entire drop instead of buying singles post-release. This drop also includes Burgeoning, Utopia Sprawl, and Retreat to Coralhelm, plus any unexpected bonus card.  In particular, Burgeoning is a very solid reprint based on its inclusion in 30,000 EDHREC decks and current $20 non-foil price tag. Burgeoning’s current foil price of $70 doesn’t seem like a realistic comparison, considering it’s from the 2016 release Conspiracy: Take the Crown, but still, the foils should do well.

Lastly, the art of this drop is amazing, and it’s borderless to boot. This Secret Lair is firing on all cylinders and is about as close to a sure bet that we’ve seen in a Secret Lairs for a long time, assuming no other reprints of these cards in the short term.

Rhystic Study (Unstable Harmonics): Secret Lair Foil

Price today: $30
Possible price: $60 in 18 months
Confidence: 8/10

Everyone knows Rhystic Study is an S tier staple in EDH. It’s included in nearly 200,000 decks on EDHREC and is often featured by key content producers who focus on the Commander format. What you might not know is that the only affordable foil version of this card is starting to dry up fast. when the Unstable Harmonics version of Rhystic Study first hit the market, there were large bricks available as far as the eye could see. Vendors had 20, 30, 60 copies available for sale – and for a moment the price fell below $30/copy. But from June 1-20, 150 near mint foil copies have sold on TCGPlayer.com. There are still a few vendors with bricks available, including one with 48 copies, but it’s significantly less than a month ago and it’s only a matter of time until this version of Rhystic Study begins climbing significantly in price. Its current foil competition is the Commander’s Arsenal version which is $75 for a light played foil or closer to $100 for a near mint version. While it’s unlikely that this new Secret Lair version will catch up with a 10-year-old foil, it should be much closer to this foil version than the none foils, which is where it stands right now. I would wait until this card is officially crushed out of 2X2, before picking up your copies just to be safe. After that, it seems like this foil should be a solid steady gainer moving forward.

Spellseeker – Judge Foil

Price today: $80
Possible price: $150 in 12 months
Confidence: 7/10

Spellseeker is an incredible EDH card, providing a solid tutor effect on a body that can be repeated if flickered. It is in 36,000 EDHREC decks, including six percent of all blue decks. The only non-foil printing of this card is around $35, setting a high price starting point for the foil multiplier. This judge promo originally began circulating in early 2020, so we should be near the tail-end of supply. In April 2022, the price for the judge promo climbed to over $150, with a few selling at $200, before falling back to its present level. While fleeting, this highlights the solid potential of this version of the card. Given another year, I believe this card can once again become a $150+ card. While the original foil Battlebond version is slightly cheaper at the moment, that hasn’t held back other similarly positioned cards, and I don’t think it will be able to contain Spellseeker either.  

MAGIC: THE GATHERING FINANCE ARTICLES AND COMMUNITY