Unlocked Pro Trader: Black Sabboth


I have a different article (that still would have been late, sorry) half-written because Las Vegas required a lot of post-con recovery time and I didn’t really get it. The good thing is, since my article was late, I was privvy to a card being spoiled and decided to audible into writing about it. Some of the cards are disappearing so it’s best we think about these picks, stat before it’s too late. Sometimes EDH prices move slowly and sometimes they’re obvious and obvious means people who don’t know anything about EDH are going to buy them. I bet a lot of these panic picks don’t pan out so sell as fast as possible but if you can get some of these for cheap, you almost certainly profit even if the cards do what they usually do and plateau halfway between the pre- and post-spike price.

I think there is still a little bit of time if you are a Pro Trader and get in on this stuff now and I think some of the other stuff will need a big nudge and will only get there if the deck materializes.

My “EDH Guy” Analysis

This deck is going to suck. Have you ever played a deck where you can’t really do much if your commander is dead? Well, literally 2 minutes ago, Jim had the same thought.


You are incentivized to run really bad cards and they’re only useful if your general is out. Drawing cards is cool but I draw a lot of cards with my Enchantress deck and that deck eats other decks’ dust like it’s its job. If Arcades is out, congratulations, you’re now allowed to win an EDH game the slowest and stupidest way possible, by attacking with creatures. Big, stupid creatures, most of whom have no useful abilities because they were designed to have a good casting cost to power and toughness ratio and a lot of their abilities trigger when they block.

What this deck has going for it is that it’s fast. Arcades comes down early and if he dies, it’s only 6 to resurrect him and Alpha Strike early. Unfortunately, you’re not killing anyone so you’re just going to beat fair decks.  You’re going to beat basically tribal decks unless those tribes have some sort of synergy, in which case you’re boned. You do have a mostly full grip and an incredibly good rate on your creatures. a 5/5 flying dragon costs like 6 mana whereas a 0/5 flying wall costs like 2.  Wall of Blossoms and Wall of Omens, normally playable cards, are doubly good. Wall of Junk and Quicksilver Wall suddenly are draw machines. The good news is that I bet this deck gets built a lot because it’s obvious and whether or not it gets played at all is irrelevant. This is splashy and where there is a splash, there are ripples and we’re all about ripples here. So let’s look at the ripples and ignore whether this deck has any long-term chops. You don’t write Emergency Articles for decks with long-term chops, anyway.

It’s Probably Too Late For These, But…

Very low supply and very obvious, foil Rolling Stones from 7th and 8th are basically dried up, You’ll find them on obscure sites but a lot of obscures sites are on TCG Player so even then they’ll probably get sold on TCG Player and you’ll get an email saying they’re out of stock. It’s probably true some of the time – who expects to sit on foil Rolling Stones for 10 years then sell 12 of them in an hour? If you can grab these, sell into hype. It’s hyperbolic to say that no one foils their EDH decks but it’s also intellectually lazy to pretend foils are a good play at all, especially on goofy cards that are only good in one deck. People target foils because they’re lower supply and therefore they can buy them out and say “see, the card’s moving!” and get people to buy the non-foils. Finance people buy foils, EDH players buy non-foils. I mean, unless you simultaneously think this deck is bad but that’s OK because casual players buy cards and you also think those same people are going to not only build a deck that does nothing when your commander is dead, but they’re also going to foil it out. That said, the foils selling out will get people talking about the card and if you get foils at their current price, you can probably sell them, to another financier, later.

This is in the same boat but it doesn’t have the benefit of having trended up over time like Rolling Stones had. You can snag a few of these foil if you’re lucky. The non-foil is in Khans and Iconic Masters and that’s a lot of copies that the demand from this goofy deck can’t provide. I imagine the non-foil copies may have some upside but that’s probably driven as much by speculative buying as it is actual demand which, again, can’t touch supply. I think the foils of this will disappear quickly, maybe too quickly for an article written within hours of Arcades being spoiled. I also don’t think it matters, particularly. I think these will be hard to sell.

This card is not on the Reserved List and that confuses a lot of people. Does anyone even know what rarity this is? Anyway, people want to live in a world where they get a 2 mana 6/6 that cantrips when your controllers is out. This isn’t Brawl, folks. A 2 mana 6/6 is a slightly better Woolly Thoctar, you know, sometimes. I just can’t get excited about this deck. I’m really trying, but I think people are excited because Shield Sphere is obvious and it makes them feel smart. Shield Sphere is Waiting in the Weeds 2018 edition.

These You Have A Chance At

This is a second spike in the making. Buy these right away if at all. The price is creeping up because this hits their creatures and like none of yours (Even Arcades), this is on the Reserved List and it spiked once already (if you’ve been a Pro Trader long enough, you made money on this card when I called it ahead of time last time and you could have a second chance to make money on the same card). I think these are drying up and they’re pretty good in the deck, if there’s a deck.

This was just reprinted and the price came way down, but I think it’s actually going to get played in the deck if there is one. However, it’s less obvious than Shield Sphere and that coupled with the high supply could mean this is a slow mover and any growth will be predicated on more demand than I think the deck is capable of. However, lots of people are telling me on Twitter I’m grossly underestimating the demand of Wall Tribal so if that’s true, here’s a spec that won’t get bought out in the first wave of obvious stuff and has some long-term chops.

This got a reprint but that was all the way back in Commander 2013 so I think supply on this is lower than a lot of the other cards in play. It’s no Shield Sphere, which has the same number of printings as Alliances Force of Will, but the supply is reasonable compared with more recent cards. I think this would be good in the deck and I think it’s a little less obvious than some of the other cards people are all over. This could be gone by now, but it could also make you some money. TCG Player will sell out first, so go deep, Check sites like Miniature Market, Card Shark and ABU.

This already spiked. I don’t remember why but it did and now it could spike a second time. Copies were rooted out of their hiding places when the buylist price of this card hit $2, it’s all-time high. I’m not sold on this deck but this card is in it if it’s a deck and despite being an uncommon, it’s from Coldsnap, an old, terrible set whose booster boxes aren’t worth opening.

With Arcades out, this makes a 1/1 attacker that cantrips every turn. Cool? I mean, this goes in the deck so go through your giant pile of Homelands stuff you don’t want to bulk out but isn’t worth anything, yank these out and throw them up on a selling platform, or just buylist them in a week and let the dealer who buys these from you for $0.50 deal with them never selling. This is an old card but it’s also garbage outside this deck. If Arcades is the next Nekusar, there’s money here, so only bet on these picks if you think that’s happening.

If I were Josh Lee Kwai, I would play this on Game Knights and it would end up $15. Luckily (for Josh) I’m not him and what I think is good in a given deck doesn’t really matter. This is the reason I tend to wait for data on EDHREC. Usually we have time to see for sure what other people are playing and buy smart and I don’t want to turn into some old curmudgeon shaking my fist at the heavens because people won’t play this sick new tech I figured out but no one found out about. This should get played if the deck is a deck. Will it? I don’t know. I am giving you lots of caveats on picks like this when I think they should get played but might not. There is time to buy these because no one is running out to do it, so if you think the deck has real demand, here’s a riskier pick that there’s still time to buy.

Think about how people might actually build the deck. Besides flashy walls, what else is good?

Check out Doran’s page, first.  While Doran’s creatures don’t have defender, usually, spells like Solidarity, Retribution of the Meek, Tower Defense and others are findable. I would build the entire deck on paper if you think it will be a deck and look at some of the utility stuff that goes in every build. Not everyone may pack Doorkeeper but I bet every deck that is built around Arcades runs Stalwart Shield-Bearers.

I am not excited about this card moving tons of stuff that won’t be back down in a year, but if you’re fast you can snag some stuff and sell to greater fools later this week. I got out of that game but that doesn’t mean I still don’t know the moves. Thanks for reading – we’ll have a more Jason Alt-esque article next week. Until next time!