Unlocked Pro Trader: The Ballad of Wormtongue


You know by now that good advice can make you and bad advice can break you. I do my best to give the best advice possible and it is in the spirit of advice that I will be advising about advisors. The first advisor I want to discuss is me. I give good advice and you should listen to me. Now that I have established my bona fides as an advisor advisor, I’d like you to step into my office because there are a few more things to discuss and I want you along for the ride.

We’re talking advisors to day because a non-commander is making a splash and there is still time to get into a few of the cards that are headed up in price as a result. It’s too late on some, but on others, there is still time. If you’re wondering which non-Commander I could mean, buckle up because I haven’t even begun to advise on advisors.

Boom, there they are in all of their persistent glory. They would probably be good enough if it said “Tap four untapped Persistent Petitioners” because milling twelve is pretty spicy and if Blue does anything well, it’s untapping creatures. However, it says “Tap four untapped Advisors” which means it would behoove you to fill a few of the non-petitioner creature slots in your EDH deck with some other advisors, when relevant, to get a few additional effects.

I didn’t mention much about this before because I thought it was too late for the most obvious inclusion in the deck, Thrumming Stone.

This is a card I am proud to have called several times in the past and if you have been reading my articles for a while, you had a chance to get these for far below the $50 they’re flirting with today. 6 months ago we saw a nice bump from Rat Colony and even then wasn’t too late to buy in because Persistent Petitioners sent these into the stratosphere. Second bumps are always better. One card I will admit I didn’t see coming per se that went nuts this week, though, is probably the best commander for the deck and wasn’t reprinted as recently as I remembered.

Grand Arbiter Augustin IV

Nearly doubling in price the last few weeks, GAAIV, as he likes the be called, is the latest beneficiary of hype surrounding Persistent Petitioners decks. If you’re worried about the efficacy of milling a ton of opponents for hundreds of cards at a time, let me remind you that EDH need not work this way. The power of the phrase “target player” is very relevant with this deck for this reason.

The UMA reprinting basically destroyed this card’s price for life but I hope you made some decent money on this when I said it was nuts around $2. I have been high on this card for so long I probably wrote about it on Quiet Speculation or talked about it on a podcast that doesn’t even exist anymore. Maniac may be dead forever, but you won’t be dead when you mill yourself into Bolivian with petitioners and use lab man to win the game. This makes mill fairly viable in EDH and it makes me want to see which other advisors could be about to pop on the basis of inclusion in this deck.

While we’re talking about cards that it’s too late to buy cheaply, Intruder Alarm seems really good in this deck. Move the copy over from the Vannifar deck I’m sure you’re taking apart after playing it twice.

Let’s look at some other advisors that could be ready to pop on the basis of inclusion in the deck. Said advisors would ideally-

  • Be in Azorius colors because Grand Arbiter Augustin IV is an advisor and is likely the best commander for the deck, though this point is a bit flexible
  • Have a nice static ability that functions when it’s tapped allowing you to get a benefit from having it in play but being able to tap it with abandon

Let’s go to gatherer and look at advisors and see if we find anything worth talking about. Spoiler alert, I know of at least one and that was the whole point of writing the article, but I also think it’s possible I’ll find more so while I know some stuff you don’t know, I also don’t know some stuff we’ll find out together. This will be fun.

Ok, so this card was already pretty busted to begin with and the fact that Kamigawa cards are a little tougher than most to reprint coupled with the fact that this card is quite good lead to the shallow climb, punctuated by a steeper one lately. However, this card went somewhat unnoticed before because, with the exception of the graph shape, the underlying metrics weren’t that great.

This is basically a card I would only have found accidentally. You can see in this picture that Card Kingdom has already jacked the price up, but there are still copies to be found for a more reasonable amount elsewhere.

Time appears to be running out, but there are still sub-$12 copies floating around and while there is a lot of hype surrounding Petitioners that may or may not, well, persist, the graph shape of Michiko Konda tells you that the price is unlikely to go anywhere but up. Remember, sudden spikes settle and have a tendency to settle between the pre-spike price and the post-spike price, usually right in the middle. She flirted with $13 already, so if she goes to $20 she still ends up around $17 so there’s money to be made, especially if EDH players around you trade. More people are going to notice this card once it officially starts to sell out on various sites and you want to be ready to sell when it hits $20 and people are looking to buy.

This card is so hard to work in EDH, just like Luminarch Ascension. I used to run Luminarch Ascension in Standard in a control deck with a lot of Planeswalkers. It was fairly easy to go a turn cycle without taking damage with one opponent, but it’s nearly impossible to get it going in EDH. No one is going to let you go 5 turns without getting hit by anyone at all, even if you’re fogging a ton and proliferating. I don’t think you’re likely to win via Elecutors, but I think the foils are under $2, are showing signs of life, especially vis-a-vis the buylist (shown as a blue line) price moving and there’s little downside here with advisors being relevant.

I like to shy away from P3K stuff because there’s nothing saying they can’t reprint it and it would make this a $0.02 card overnight, but you can’t argue with that graph shape. Besides, they reprint one P3K card a year, on average. Sorry about your “Borrowing 100,000 Arrows” but 3 Visits continues to be an astounding amount and will be until they print it in a commander set or something.

It takes a lot to perk up a bulk mythic from a recent (ish) set, especially when the graph is trending in the wrong direction, but this is a penny stock you could scoop up by the armload and potentially offload for like $0.50 to $1 each to a buylist in a while. Either Advisors are so good that Arbiter Augustin’s price doubled in under a month and Michiko is ready to pop or it can’t move a bulk mythic at all. I think the answer could be in the middle depending how much the deck gets built, but attacking with creatures in EDH is dumb and frustrating so a whole new class of player who didn’t want to trifle with Ripple Rats suddenly has a combo deck to play and that’s exciting.

The graph of the foil is similarly-discouraging, although it’s under $2 and that’s attractive (if I were to buy any foil under $2, it would be Arcane Denial, but that’s just me – I’ll beat that drum until it’s $10). This card is good in the deck if the deck is a deck, and its abilities still work if you tap it to mill.

This card kind of doesn’t suck. It’s a bulk foil from a very long time ago and the graph is showing slight, slight, slight signs of life with respect to a convergence of retail and buylist price. This isn’t quite War Tax but it’s worth having in a deck and has a big butt, which is useful sometimes.

Lol wut?

Oh. Yeah, this basically means the buyout is underway, but if you can ferret out a cheaper copy from somewhere, just know that you can list a NM copy for under $500 and be the cheapest TCG Player listing. Most likely this goes to $50 or so and ends up at $35, so bear that in mind. Here’s a better look at the graph before Action Adventure got involved.

There are so few copies of this card that any seller can have a profound effect on data, so be careful when you see graphs and other scrapers reporting prices. The obscure corners of the internet might have some affordable copies of this so get sleuthing.

P3K is risky because a reprint pantses you, but Bad Archivist over here look like it has decent underlying metrics and is a probably a low reprint risk.

I liked how this card played already. It fits both of our criteria that I outlined before we looked at the list. The one strike against this is that it’s in 2 different Commander 2016 precons including the Atraxa deck and that means it’s twice as common as say, Deepglow Skate. That said, it’s ONLY twice as common as Deepglow Skate. This could be a thing and the price is already sloping toward money town.

I have to mill myself to avoid damage? Throw me in the briar patch!

Look, you likely can’t make money buying this but if you have Alliances bulk, you have these. Yank them and I bet someone buys them on TCG Player because it goes in the deck.

There are a few more Azorius-colored advisors like Sram that I didn’t mention and a few other bad P3K ones, but I think these cards go in the deck and have a chance at seeing play. That’s what I advise, anyway.

Thanks for reading. Join me next week where we potentially have the fallout of a major announcement affecting Modern and therefore maybe us, to parse. If not, EDH is the gift that keeps on giving and we’ll have plenty to discuss. Your homework for the week is go to EDHREC and figure out how to use the filters at the top to find decks of Augustin that are going to be specific to petitioners builds. Do you see anything juicy on that page you didn’t see before you filtered?

Until next time!