Everyone loves a sequel, except Martin Scorsese but he just released a movie that’s basically exactly The Departed only it’s 3 and a half hours long and it’s on Netflix because that’s how you save cinema, so we can safely ignore anything he has to say.
We’re back with the next edition of the article I wrote last week that I think was a great resource for new and old financiers alike. I’m always tweaking my process so thanks for coming along for the ride with me. Anyway, here’s some homework for you – if you didn’t read that article, go read it bow because I’m not going to go back and do that now because I’m not going to explain anything I explained there, I’m just going to give you some information and you can do with that information whatever you’d like.
The Next Impetus
We found out what was in the Secret Lair set and… look, as a finance person I think they’re great for now because I think they’re going to sell well and retain value but I think it’s also pretty jacked that a “set” that consists of a Bitterblossom and Bitterblossom tokens is being released by a company that won’t acknowledge the secondary market.
I don’t know if that signals their willingness to sell single cards directly to consumers (at the expense of the LGS, you know, that place where people congregate to play the game) but I do know the CONTENTS of the set and that’s a thing we can talk about with some certainty.
There are more sets like “Secret Lair part of a Dredge deck” and “I can’t believe we’re getting away with selling just a Bitterblossom” and “Ooops, All Serum Visions” but the ones I care about are these – 4 tribal commanders all with new art.
Are new people going to build decks around these commanders on the basis of this re-issue? Absolutely. Are people with those decks built going to update them? Also yes. They won’t buy all of the staples, but they’re more likely to buy the new ones. Playing your Reaper King deck down at the LGS once every 12 months doesn’t motivate you to go through and find a few cuts for Smothering Tithe and Revel in Riches but I bet a new art for your 7th favorite commander will.
Maybe the individual effect of people updating old decks and a few people building for the first time is enough to move the needle, maybe it isn’t. What I DO know is that if there are cards that are in all 4 decks, they’re 4 times as likely to move the needle. I mean, maybe not 4 exactly, but the actual number is both incalculable and probably pretty close to 4. Let’s use the technique I used last time to figure out which cards are in all 4 decks and could be in play. It might not be just Tribal staples.
Here is everything in all 4 decks before I clean it up. If you have an issue or a question with something I omit from my next list, leave it in the comments section.
|Arcane Signet||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Command Tower||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Cultivate||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Door of Destinies||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Evolving Wilds||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Explosive Vegetation||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Farseek||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Flooded Strand||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Guardian Project||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Helm of the Host||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Herald’s Horn||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Icon of Ancestry||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Kodama’s Reach||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Lightning Greaves||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Mirari’s Wake||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Path of Ancestry||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Rampant Growth||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Reliquary Tower||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Smothering Tithe||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Sol Ring||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Swords to Plowshares||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Temple Garden||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Terramorphic Expanse||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Unclaimed Territory||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Vanquisher’s Banner||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Vivid Grove||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Vivid Meadow||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Windswept Heath||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
|Wooded Foothills||4||List A, List B, List C, List D|
Here’s the stuff I think is interesting and not just “Multi-color manabase card.”
Before I do that, I just want to point out that every one of these decks will have Arcane Signet and anytime someone builds a new deck, they’ll need a Signet from a finite current supply, so anything that makes people build a new deck between now and a Signet reprint is significant with respect to that card.
Door of Destinies 4 List A, List B, List C, List D
Guardian Project 4 List A, List B, List C, List D
Helm of the Host 4 List A, List B, List C, List D
Herald’s Horn 4 List A, List B, List C, List D
Icon of Ancestry 4 List A, List B, List C, List D
Mirari’s Wake 4 List A, List B, List C, List D
Path of Ancestry 4 List A, List B, List C, List D
Smothering Tithe 4 List A, List B, List C, List D
Unclaimed Territory 4 List A, List B, List C, List D
Vanquisher’s Banner 4 List A, List B, List C, List D
A lot of tribal stuff here, but Mirari’s Wake is a card that is in a lot of “older” decks but has gone under the radar a bit lately. The rest of these cards are great in tribal decks, but Guardian Project and Smothering Tithe are especially curious since they’re newer cards in older decks. Enough people updated their lists on EDHREC when those cards came out to have those cards end up in a high percentage of decks on the database, so that backs up my assertion that people are going to build new copies of the deck.
The most interesting card here is clearly Helm of the Host. Let’s talk a lot about why I like it so much.
It’s trending upwards, it’s sold out of Card Kingdom, it’s underpriced on TCG Player, it’s an artifact, it’s the 7th-most-played equipment on EDHREC (Greaves, Boots, Clamp, Sunforger, Whispersilk Cloak, Sword of the Animist), it’s tricky to reprint, it’s the 11th-most-played card in Dominaria and, most importantly in my opinion, it’s in all 4 of these decks because people are figuring out that it’s a better Conjurer’s Closet in most decks and anything that scales off of the number of creatures you have or number of creatures in a tribe wants this. Helm of the Host is underpriced under $5 and it’s a card I’ve always liked, now more than ever since it’s going up from where I said to get it initially when I told people to buy them too early.
The ability of this card to shrug off reprints is commendable. It looks as though we should have bought in heavy when this price tanked as a result of a Commander 2017 reprinting, but the good news is it’s going up precipitously. If you buy some of these and get caught by a reprinting, buy new copies until your average price paid is satisfactory to you than watch all of them grow. It doesn’t change the fact that you overpaid a bit but it does change how good you feel about the price starting at $4 and reaching for the stars.
There are a few more interesting cards if you drop down to cards that show up in just 3 lists. A lot of the cards that weren’t in the 4 lists are because Arahbo is only 2 colors and the other cards are 5 colors. There is more signal but also more noise, if that makes sense.
I try not to do this that often but this card is in 3 of those decks, it’s played in tribal a lot, it’s got a sub-2x multiplier and the stock is super low. This is a card that’s going to organically reprice itself if none of us buy copies for speculation purposes. Players will snap up the last few copies, the price will go up, people will blame speculators and you won’t have any more money than you did last week. I’m not sure if I sound like a supervillain rationalizing his plan to drop a nuke into a volcano to make a third of Bolivia’s palm oil more expensive of make people buy kindles or whatever lame plan Bond villains have these days or if I just sound like a guy with like 10 years of MtG finance experience who has pretty much resigned myself to the fact that we get blamed for stuff we don’t do and not wanting to get blamed for things is no longer a reason not to do them. Just make some money on these cards, one of you. Seems easy.
Hey, look, it’s a tribal card in Green that has demonstrated the ability to hit $8 in the past that currently costs less than $8, is about to be in more decks and is relatively low stock.
I guess my point is that if you find the right lists to compare, you can do in 30 seconds of copying and pasting and a few minutes of paring lists down what used to take me much longer. If you don’t trust yourself to remember what was going on between multiple decks and you don’t think you know too much about EDH Finance to get actual data to back up your gut feelings, use a list comparison tool and see what’s really going on. You could have guessed Herald’s Horn, I bet, but who saw Helm of the Host coming? Not me, that’s why I do this now. You should, too.
That does it for me this week. There are some low-stock picks here that were going to hit a natural tipping point when people start building these new tribal decks anyway, so be in a position to sell to them rather than being in competition with them for copies. Your orders don’t get cancelled that way, in fact, you’re the one receiving the order, not placing it, and that’s how we make money rather than risking it. Until next time!