Unlocked Pro Trader: 20 Thoughts About 2020 Going Into Prerelease Weekend

Not all of these are going to be gems but there is a lot going on with this set and coinciding with the release of this set which stomps on some potential Modern Horizons drafting. I got like 4 articles’ worth of ideas and rather than make you wait for them, I’m going to get everything pertinent to the prerelease out there before the prerelease. With that said, no more preamble, let’s get this show on the road. Also, I lied – I have 10 thoughts and 10 cards I’m thinking about.

1. The Most Built Deck This Week is Nuts

What in the world? Of course I get that Modern Horizons gave us new ninjas, rather a lot of them and people re-submitting their decklist will trigger the algorithm so it’s impossible to know who made new decks and who updated old ones, but Yuriko beat out Yawgmoth and Urza which is fairly nutty. I imagine a lot of the Edgar decks are updates based on a few, sexy new vampires in Core 2020 and cards like Wren and Six pushed up the Windgrace totals. Still, Yuriko winning the day is nice.

2. Other Surprises Abound

Kykar coming in at number 10 is pretty solid considering no one has their cards yet and the competitive players who are more stoked about Kykar tend not to post their decks where EDHREC can scrape them. That means Casual players are excited, too.

Sisay being built almost as much as Windgrace, a deck that got new cards and is the only fun Jund deck to play in EDH (I say that as a Prossh player) surprised me. Take a look at Sisay’s page – there isn’t much to spec on in there – it’s mostly clunky Dominaria cards and stuff that was already expensive. If you find some gems in there, let me know, but I didn’t find anything I cared about.

3. Muldrotha?

With Yarok on the horizon, it’s surprising to see Muldrotha still hanging on in there, but maybe this will help.

It seems that in addition to Yarok coming out and making stuff happen, people who are dead-set on playing Muldrotha plan to use Yarok in their decks, and Ashiok is about to join the party. 2 new lands that draw cards when you sac them also joined the party, so while I think Yarok is the new hotness and will get built a ton in the next few weeks, Muldrotha players are benefiting a bunch, too, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those new database entries are brand new decks. After all, Muldrotha gives dumb card advantage and you can play stuff like Mystic Remora and other cards with cumulative upkeeps.

4. Speaking of Which…

The best time to buy these was 2017, but if you didn’t buy an entire store’s inventory in 2017 like I did, you might not have a hundred of these (all LP) laying around. Muldrotha made this pop but I think with the recent changes to Pauper, they’re not done ascending.

Pauper paper people can play paper pauper for pay. The format has officially become sanctioned and they are unifying the legality, meaning cards that are common either on MODO or paper are legal. This only works one way – nothing is legal in paper that isn’t legal on MODO, but there were some cards that were common in paper but not common on MODO and therefore couldn’t be played. Among them were Sinkhole, Hymn to Tourach and Remora. Sinkhole and Hymn were banned outright along with the announcement of the format being sanctioned, but Remora and, I think, Merchant Scroll have some upside. Remora isn’t that reprintable imo and it could ascend to $5, considering how expensive Rhystic Study is from a much later set and with no pauper appeal.

5. Speaking of Which Part 2

Second spikes are harder and with this price recovering rapidly, you may want to lock down foils before they hit $100, which is achievable. There’s a possibility Scroll gets banned out from under you, but I think with how playable it is in Vintage, having the only foil printing with this art isn’t bad. The Judge foils aren’t a bad place to park money, either, and they’re generally below $40 on TCG Player, still.

6. Core Set 2020 Top Cards

On EDHREC, there is a series of dropdown menus at the top of the main page and one of them says “sets” and clicking on Core set 2020 will reveal that, while we don’t have a ton of data, some cards are beginning to emerge. Risen Reef is a card I like very much because while it’s a bad, 3 mana Coiling Oracle at first blush, you can probably play a few elementals in a lot of decks and trigger additional rips. It’s no worse than Oracle beyond costing an extra mana (and not being an Elf, I guess, which can matter) but it is significantly better in a lot of other situations. There are a lot of good elementals in the decks that want Reef and foils will be dirt cheap on what could end up a staple.

7. Coremmanders

No real shocks here, per se, but it is intersting that more people have so far built Rienne than Kaalia. I expect that to change.

Also, Sephara was built using EDHREC by The Prof in his preview of the deck and while that may or may not get people excited about the deck, his specific list is more than likely a jumping-off point for people to a greater extent than decks not generated by him. Watch his video and watch his list.

8. Sephara in Depth

Looking at Sephara’s page on EDHREC so far, there is quite a bit of overlap with Teysa Karlov, at least the white portions of it. Those cards that overlap used to be bulk and Teysa got them wrested from their hiding places and any with upside could climb to a respectable number now that people are forced to deal with a store to get their copy rather than just having one in a junk box. Not that having a card in a box somewhere has stopped me from just buying a card so I don’t have to look for it.

I like the new Bishop of Wings with Divine Visitation and a sac outlet, but Divine Visitation is just nuts on its own and it’s too cheap right now. Visitation is a $10+ card waiting to happen but you probably have some time to grab yours (also, the reprint risk is Medium/Medium High).

9. Gargos in Depth

Gargos is getting more decks built than I had expected. A Hydra tribal commander without red or blue seems really silly to me, but it’s happening and with a few new mono-green hydras, we may be right where we need to be for things to happen.

The Gargos page shows all of the green hydras, but there are a few interesting cards used in those decks on the utility side. I might as well discuss those at the end.

10. Kethis in Depth

Yawgmoth makes an appearance in a ton of Kethis decks. He’s a sac outlet and a discard outlet which makes him perfect for a deck that can bring creatures back from the graveyard. I’m not sure exactly how I want to build Kethis so I have been avoiding trying in my Coolstuff articles, but people seem pumped despite, you know, the enormous card advantage, negligible cost reduction, limited window to play spells without having to re-activate, limited scope of creatures able to be reanimated and being a worse Karador in every single way. You can get back Planeswalkers, though, so that’s neat.

10 Picks With Minimal Explanation

Nice trend, low reprint risk and high synergy with Gargos.

Kethis and new Sisay both reference Legendary creatures.

You don’t want to build a new Omnath deck and not include this.

Good in Omnath and also fetches Ingot Chewer and Wispmare in the Hogaak deck I hope gets banned.

This is entirely too cheap and I can’t figure out why.

If Gargos didn’t do this, and it didn’t, imagine what’s going to happen now. Casuals don’t foil their casual decks per se, but look at that price graph.

I don’t know where this foil bottoms out but when it does, I’m a buyer. Too good on its own, in Oathbreaker and in Kykar to be ignored. Look at the price of Narset for its absolute ceiling and extrapolate from there given its smaller degree of appeal compared to Narset.

I get these as bulk rares all the time. You should buy bulk rares sight unseen.

Cards that cost more on TCG Player than Card Kingdom make my Spider Sense tingle.

That was a lot of work but you’re worth it. Catch me next week!