Unlocked Pro Trader: Number Crunch

Normally I have a few weeks’ worth of article ideas written out ahead of time but this time of year when there is a stretch between sets and nothing really has impacted EDH or other formats I pay attention to, the well starts to dry up. I’m not going to NOT write an article, so today we’re going to do a bit of housekeeping and get to a few smaller ideas that don’t warrant an entire article but will be nonetheless valuable to you. “Damn.” you’ll say as you finish reading this article. “That was mad valuable.” That’s the kind of thing you say. When you read an article such as this. A valuable one. Let’s get down to it, shall we? First of all, let’s do some pure number crunching with no analysis so I can look smarter than I am.

It’s The Remix To Ignition, Ravnica Mythic Edition

I have heard a lot of people say qualitative things about the planeswalkers from Mythic Edition but I haven’t seen much quantification. With that in mind, I am going to rank the 8 Mythic Edition Planeswalkers, first by the number of decks they are in on EDHREC and then by MTG Top 8. It’s too late to get a set of Mythic Edition but it’s not too late to buy single planeswalkers and you likely haven’t though about the amount of EDH play they get or you guessed at that amount. Here’s some fact action.

EDHREC Rankings

  1. Tamiyo, the Moon Sage (8,350)
  2. Sorin Markov (7,923)
  3. Dack Fayden (6,696)
  4. Ajani, Mentor of Heroes (5,519)
  5. Karn, Scion of Urza (1,238)
  6. Jaya Ballard (971)
  7. Domri, Chaos Bringer (123)
  8. Kaya, Orzhov Usurper (62)

MTG Top 8 Rankings

  1. Dack Fayden (2,647)
  2. Karn, Scion of Urza (1,302)
  3. Tamiyo, the Moon Sage (797)
  4. Ajani, Mentor of Heroes (471)
  5. Sorin Markov (96)
  6. Kaya, Orzhov Usurper (21)
  7. Jaya Ballard (15)
  8. Domri, Chaos Bringer (literally 3)

Average Ranking

  1. Tamiyo, the Moon Sage (2) (tie)
  2. Dack Fayden (2) (tie)
  3. Karn, Scion of Urza (3.5) (tie)
  4. Sorin Markov (3.5) (tie)
  5. Ajani, Mentor of Heroes (4)
  6. Kaya, Orzhov Usurper (7) (tie)
  7. Jaya Ballard (7) (tie)
  8. Domri, Chaos Bringer (7.5)

There are some very clear winners and losers here. It makes sense that two of the bottom-dwellers are the newest walkers – not only have they had the least amount of time to get used in EDHREC decks, Standard players haven’t even had that many events recorded by Top 8. Jaya Ballard is a very clear stinker here with much more time to get her act together.

The clear winners are probably surprising to everyone who assumed Karn would be a clear favorite. He’s used a lot in 60 card formats but his EDH appeal lags behind Sorin Markov, a planeswalker who tied him in the (unweighted, because how even would I begin to figure out how?) average ranking. Tamiyo and Dack are pretty clear favorites across formats and it seems like the 8 cards arranged themselves into tiers of sorts. Strong overall (Tamiyo and Dack), format-specific but quite strong (Karn, Sorin), average af (Ajani), not that useful (Kaya, Domri, Jaya). With 2 great walkers and 2 good ones, I would say it wasn’t a great buy although even with them flooding out copies, people got as many as they wanted people managed to resell later for more and boosters are still a thing. Next year, Hasbro will be avoiding the fustercluck that is their online store and using a special portal for stuff like this so expect it to be smoother. I don’t know if the Mythic Edition will be a buy next set but I do know that I like Dack Fayden’s metrics but not his art and I like Tamiyo’s both. One last thing – here they are ranked by TCG Player price.

  1. Tamiyo ($63.64)
  2. Karn ($56.16)
  3. Dack ($43.43)
  4. Kaya ($39.38)
  5. Sorin ($36.32)
  6. Domri ($31.60)
  7. Ajani ($25.60)
  8. Jaya ($15.39)

Jaya seems correct, Tamiyo seems correct, Karn seems OK, Sorin seems very wrong, Ajani seems pretty wrong, Dack seems pretty wrong, Kaya seems pretty wrong. Those prices are bound to shift some more so do with that info what you will. Tamiyo is also the best-looking card, don’t @ me.

Picks, Kinda

A twitter user who follows me (that helps me feel like answering a finance question) inquired today about Mana Maze – a card that’s in fewer than 500 decks on EDHREC. Don’t know what it does? You probably don’t.

So hey, that’s a pretty punishing card. It likely gets slotted into multicolored decks since you can’t play two Blue spells if you play this so that makes Blue angry, but this has uses. Zedruu, Blind Seer and Zur decks are the primary users of this card. The metrics aren’t great, but this is a hell of a hoser. It made me want to look at a few other cards that I think are underutilized and are in a set where a rare card used in EDH goes for upwards of $5 the way EDH cards from Invasion do if they haven’t been reprinted. These are one appearance on Game Knights away from popping off.

This is a pet card of mine but I think it’s solid. It’s a Bribery half the time and can deprive them of combo pieces or just snag a big mana rock. There are lots of uses for this card and 2,892 is respectable.

Also, this is a thing. The card is like $6 on Card Kingdom and for a promo version, that’s reasonable. The art is better, it’s more rare and it’s a good premium version for people who don’t like foils. It also features Dack Fayden, which people like.

Compare the inclusion numbers on those last two cards to this one. This isn’t played in 60 card formats at all, unless it gets play I haven’t seen in casual Magic but this isn’t a very casual card. For whatever reason, this card is “known” price-wise but cards with similar metrics haven’t popped price-wise yet. It’s a puzzle.

Another card I hadn’t check in on in a few years is Painful Quandary, which is a really brutal card. Since it’s possible to sort by set and inclusion numbers in EDHREC, why not look at the cards next to Mana Maze, Acquire, Overburden and Painful Quandary in their respective sets and see if anything looks “off.”

These are both used less than Mana Maze but are worth more. Also, Tectonic Instability is DIRTY and no one uses it. People don’t like when people mess with mana but the people who mess with mana aren’t really using the tools available to them, which is odd. Anyway, that seemed noteworthy.

Used less than Acquire, has inflated inclusion numbers due to the precon effect and has a reprint. Funny what the Travis Woo effect can do to stupid cards.

The only non-Mythic rare used less than Painful Quandary but worth more in Semblance Anvil and that’s because of Modern. Also, no non-reprinted card used more is worth less. Nothing seems confusing in Scars.

This set sucks, lol. No surprises here, although if you didn’t know Keldon Firebombers was real money and Citadel of Pain is in bulk that gets shipped to you, that’s worth knowing.

You should go through sets on EDHREC yourself and see how many surprises you run across.

That does it for me this week. Join me next week for a complete topic. Until next time!