Unlocked Pro Trader: A Super Boring Followup

Last week I wrote a boring article and you hated it and this week I’m going to do the rest of the boring work I did last week that is three times as boring for me to do as it is for you to read it and you’re going to be upset that I made you read something boring even though, like I said, it’s three times worse for me and I’m complaining less about it than you are. I’m not saying I’m better than you are or anything. I am, but I’m not saying that. Anyway, if you forgot about last week’s piece because it was so horrendously boring that you blocked it from your memory, go read it here and refresh that memory. I’m going to very abruptly pick up where that piece left off. I’m serious.


You Were Warned

Built From Scratch

Wurmcoil Engine

Currently – $24

In a Year? – $30

I think Wurmcoil is headed up and this reprinting won’t do much for the price but could get some more $25 Wurmcoils in some more people’s hands. This card is up $10 over this time a year ago and even if the Anthology reprinting attenuates some of the growth (nothing’s impossible) then we’ll still see some gains over the next year. If these dip at all, I’d trade for them. Turn a bunch of cards that will be flat or go down for something I think has upside. It has little to do with what the Anthology will or won’t do and everything to do with how the card looked already.

The retail price is back tied at a historic high but the buylist price has never been higher. Dealer confidence continues to climb despite the announced reprinting. I would say trade anything you can for Wurmcoil if anyone is coming off of them when Anthology II comes out. I mean, that is if you feel you have to do anything. I’m likely trying to buy these for cost with my LGS hookup and put them on TCG Player but I’m out if I have to pay MSRP. Wurmcoil looks healthy, that’s my point, and it’s probably the impetus for the inclusion in the Anthology.

Caged Sun

Currently – $10

In a Year? – $12

Again, undeterred by the reprinting, this card is on an upswing and it’s a beautiful-looking graph to behold for someone like me who bought a load of these for $1 each when New Phyrexia first came out.

The stuff in the Devour for Power (The Mimeoplasm) deck that’s over $5 is goofy and predicated on low supply, but this Daretti deck has a few heavy hitters that the market will never get enough of no matter how many $150 specialty collections WotC jams them in. Caged Sun is an EDH staple (16th-most-played artifact in over 26,000 decks) and it’s going to take a more serious reprint to throw this growth train off its tracks. I’m liking the Daretti deck because it has two more EDH staples.

Ruby Medallion

Currently – $8

In a year? – $10

Woah. I have to admit I didn’t see this coming. It’s not EDH per se doing this so I’m not sure what the deal is but all of them started climbing last summer with the order of prices being about what you’d expect with the spellslinger colors, Red and Blue, being the most expensive. I don’t know how much more these can climb but I also know the Tempest supply of these was pretty minuscule. This is going to add an equally-paltry supply and I think the pronounced demand that has this price growing this precipitously won’t be cowed by this minor reprinting.

Reliquary Tower

Currently – $5.50

In a Year? – $7

Can’t stop, won’t stop. Printing in Commanders 2014, 2015 and 2016, this Tower of power is a rocket headed straight to the moon. I’m not saying it will always shrug off reprints the way Eternal Witness or other EDH staples do, but Tower is the 31st-most-played land in all of EDHdom and I think that’s a pretty strong pedigree. More decks need Tower than contain Tower which means most EDH precons opened leave the Tower in them because it’s a deck and a deck needs Tower. Loose Towers will only pop up  if they end up in a core set, which is possible, or to the extent that someone buys a precon deck and shreds it for singles, which is  thing I do but not on the scale necessary to bring the price down.

Wade Into Battle

These decks are pretty good at MSRP right now because they’re like $90 in singles and that owes a lot to Urza’s Incubator going right back up on the basis of a Tribal EDH set following after the printing of Incubator and Blade of Selves being in this deck and not one of the “better” ones and every Legacy burn player wanting 4 copies of Fiery Confluence. I am making the decision not to buylist the remaining copies I have, preferring to take my chances with TCG Player. If I thought we were about to get pantsed, my advice would be different.

Gisela, Blade of Goldnight

Currently – $5 (barely)

In a year? – $5

Gisela is going through some hard times. I think she may recover, especially if she doesn’t get re-reprinted for a minute, but it doesn’t look like anyone is inclined to let up on her. It’s currently in the midst of a price downswing, down $0.50 over the last few months which is about 10% of her total value and therefore pretty significant. If this bottoms out more, I’m a buyer, but even though Anthology won’t be what does it, this is currently radioactive.

Fiery Confluence

Currently – $27

In a Year? – $35-$40 (barring another reprint)

Confluence is up 100% over the last 12 months and that’s even with people buying all of the formerly-worthless Wade into Battle decks left over on shelves an busting them for the $100 worth of singles inside. Anthology won’t get enough copies into enough hands and anyone who wants one needs four. I think this continues to grow barring a more serious reprinting than a Commander Anthology. Where, though?

Blade of Selves 

Currently – $11

In a year? – $15

This card is dumb and it should never have gotten as cheap as it did. I bought a few copies a little while before it stopped going down but not enough. The deck it was in was the “bad” one (it’s the best one financially, now). I don’t think the reprint is going to do much (dealer confidence seems wounded for this card in particular, which could mean they don’t see it at $15 again) and I think this continues to grow. Helm of the Host has people fetching more equipment and I think throwing this on a Godo is hilarious. Even if this doesn’t go up much, I don’t think this is ever getting cheaper. Myriad makes this tough to reprint and this is a solid piece of equipment so take advantage of what appears to be a temporary glut in supply and load up if you can shave a few bucks off the $11 asking.

Urza’s Incubator

Currently – $18

In a Year – $18 or less

Here’s a hot take – I think this card is overpriced. With tribal fever mostly over, I don’t know how much pent-up demand there is. I think the retail price goes down as people realize this basically only goes in Tribal decks where it’s an OK card. A tribal EDH set naturally spiked these but a lot were bought by team “Waiting in the Weeds” who thought they were geniuses for buying Tribal cards when a Tribal set came out. Yes, people are still going to use a mediocre card like this in their Tribal decks. People are playing Belbe’s Portal ffs. I just don’t think you rely on bad players making bad decisions to drive your financial decisions. Bad people aren’t valuable for a reason – it’s not that their decisions are bad, it’s that their decisions are unpredictable. If bad players always did the bad thing, you could predict it. My hot take is leave this alone.

Thought Vessel

Currently – $8.50

In a Year? – $10 barring a reprint

This card makes me nervous. Lands are a little easier to reprint and they SMASHED the price of Ash Barrens. I’m not holding these – they rose too fast and I think they are about to learn the lesson of Icarus.

Breed Lethality


Currently – $30

In a Year? – $40

This needs a proper reprinting and this isn’t going to do it. This is the #1 deck for people who fundamentally lack imagination but think they have the most imagination. “You can build this infect, planeswalkers, beefy creatures – the possibilities are endless” – a guy who listed, exhaustively, all of the possibilities. The sheer idiotic power level of the deck combined with the masterful ego stroke to unimaginative Magic players is the perfect storm and this deck is hard to get under $100. Funny enough, it’s easy to grab Wade into Battle for $45 online (or it was) and have $120 in cards but you can barely find Breed Lethality for under $100 to get its $100 worth of cards. Atraxa herself is doing most of the heavy lifting here, too, since there aren’t too many other cards worth above $5.

Reyhan, Last of the Abzan

Currently – $10 (lol wut)

In a year? – $15

Admit it. You had no idea how much this card was worth. This would be $3 if it were in the Saskia deck but instead this is in the Atraxa deck and, suffering from the precon effect where people see it and think it’s just good enough not to take out, people are not taking this card out of the deck like they should and selling it like they should. As a result, a $5 card approaches $15 just because this is the only way to get it. I don’t see what can stop the growth of this card. It has 700 decks built around it on EDHREC but it’s also in 35% of the registered Atraxa lists meaning there is a ton of demand because people just won’t take the card out of the deck. This is worth Deepglow Skate money because, ironically, it has more demand than Deepglow Skate, a sentence that would have made me laugh 2 years ago. A lot can change in 2 years.

Deepglow Skate

Currently – $8.50

In a Year? $12

I wasn’t sure what this would do until I saw two things.

Thing the first –

Those lines are about to intersect in what I call “this kiss of arbitrage” which is a beautiful thing.

Thing the second –

If Reyhan suffered from the precon effect, this card INVENTED it. 72% is a big number. If you want a Deepglow Skate, you’re either paying $12 while you still can or you’re paying $165 for the Commander Anthology. If Breed Lethality is going for $100 on eBay, for $65 you get the 3 other decks, essentially. That’s starting to look pretty juicy, even at MSRP.  I think the price corrects upward, and dealers think so, too because even with the reprints incoming they’re still hurtling their buy price toward current retail with reckless abandon. If dealers are voting a certain way, at leas pay attention.

Crystalline Crawler 

Currently – $5

In a Year? – $3 or less

I don’t like this graph or this stupid card. Sure, Jodah has come along and made everyone fall in love with 5-color again, and my tendency to want to jam Paradox Engine into every deck should make me love this card but I DON’T. I think WotC correctly identified Prismatic Geoscope as the judge foil EDH players wanted.  I think this probably tanks more.

This is where I make some grand pronouncement and wrap up the themes I started in the first article about how boring all of this is, but I think they picked better targets for the Anthology this year. If every card falls by a buck, you’re better off with decks that have a small number of cards way over $10 than a deck with 100 $1 cards. I think Wurmcoil, Atraxa and other huge cards won’t be perturbed much and I think if you can get these sets under MSRP, either by having a hookup or by using eBay coupons, you might want to do it considering the Atraxa deck itself is hard to get under $100 and has $120 worth of cards in it and so does Wade Into Battle ($100 for Built from Scratch and $120 for Devour for Power, but that one isn’t as juicy). The singles should move, you can sell those spindown life counter things and you can use the box to house a talking mouse like in those Mouse and the Motorcyle books I acknowledge I read but don’t remember anything about except there was one where the kid was going to die if he didn’t get an aspirin for some reason and the mouse found a dirty aspirin under like a desk or something and I can’t think of lower stakes for the climax of a book but that’s me. Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for you. Anyway, I’ll write another one of these next week and we’ll talk about something else. Until next time!


One thought on “Unlocked Pro Trader: A Super Boring Followup”

  1. ruby medallion spike is from legacy, mono-red storm was the flavor of the week there for a bit (which is one week, I guess)

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