Unlocked Pro Trader: Going Wide

If I’d written this article yesterday, it would have been about the most popular commander of the week on EDHREC.

Alela is a far more interesting commander than Korvold and I’m going to ignore Korvold for now. Sure, Korvold may give some cards some upside, but I also think the upside is for cards that are already expensive or never going to be expensive. Think either Food Chain which is a million dollars or Smothering Abomination which has a million copies out there. Battle for Zendikar was one of the worst sets ever but it was also one of the best-selling sets ever, so figure it out. I think Korvold may be worth talking about at some point but not today. Today I want to focus on Alela because I think cards that don’t get a ton of play are in play now and that’s a thing worth knowing. No preamble today, let’s just get down to bidness.

It’s possible we’re too late here, but with these gettable some places around $6 and the trajectory shooting at $10 or above, I’d say getting these today would be smart. These went to nothing with the Modern Masters printing but if you were savvy, you scooped them cheap because it’s a Lord. I won’t pretend I was savvy or that I recommended to anyone to get these for cheap, but here we are faced with the prospect of a $10 non-mythic. It’s very good in that it doubles the power and toughness of the tokens Alela spits out. This isn’t an “I predict this” pick as much as a “Well, I missed the best time to get this but they’re still gettable at the old price if you hurry” pick which is the kind of pick Corbin Hosler made an entire MTG Finance career out of.

I’m kidding him.

A little.

There was basically never a better or worse time to get this card. It used to be something like this would hover at a lower price while not seeing play in Standard then tank at rotation and we could scoop them up but so many people play EDH now that there is basically no good time like that. I remember Parallel Lives was like a buck or two and I could take my time getting them. We didn’t see that same concept for Anointed Procession, really. It caught on a bit in Standard and never became reasonable.

Divine Visitation has been the same price for half a year. Could it drop? Yeah, maybe. But it could also end up a lot more than it is, now, and with it being sort of awkward to reprint it in a Commander precon, I think we’re safe. If the price does drop significantly, get greedy and buy twice as many copies so your average price paid feels better to you. That said, I don’t see a drop. Visitation is trending down a bit but it’s not likely to tank and the relative stability tells me that it’s been adopted and the more decks that want it, the fewer copies to go around. Also worth noting, this is legal in Brawl and not in the precon. Are people going to build Brawl? If they do, Alela making big angels is big game.

This is premium removal in Blue but I’m kind of puzzled with an Esper deck has so many instances of it given access to Black and White.

Stranding their commander in play given the changes to the tuck rule has become increasingly important and when those rules went through, I didn’t properly re-evaluate cards like this the way I did for cards that got worse. Lignify and Song of the Dryads are legit cards and this is a very permanent way for Blue to deal with commanders because bouncing and countering is not that effective. This isn’t specific to Alela, but I bet you didn’t know this was closing in on $3 already because I sure didn’t.

One of these prices is almost certainly wrong. My guess is that Card Kingdom is selling these at $20 for Near Mint and TCG Player will eventually get with the program. The cheapest NM on TCG Player is $14 and the thing about these getting bought out on that platform is that played copies that are only a buck or so cheaper than NM when the price starts to shift get stranded and go last, obscuring the signal that the price is shifting. The Market Price shifts slowly so if there is a run on these, it will take awhile to register. I don’t know if this is going to be $25 on TCG Player anytime soon, but look at that price disparity between the two platforms and tell me something isn’t going to change soon.

The floor is now.

I mean, the floor was mid 2018, apparently, but the post-rotation floor is now. At the very least, there will be one copy of this for every copy of Morophon, but it’s not like tribes that already have Lords won’t run this. This is tribal, EDH like tribal, casuals like tribal and Kaladesh boxes are about to be very expensive. This is a no-brainer.

That does it for me this week. As always, take a look at the page and try to find a pick or two on your own. If you aren’t sure, you can always leave me a comment below or tweet to me @jasonealt. Until next time!