Unlocked Pro Trader: The Sequel To Last Week


Go read last week’s article and the one from the week before if you haven’t yet or need your memory refreshed. I’m sort of eager to just get into it.

We identified War of the Spark and Core 2020 as having a lot of potential, but based on those criteria, Shadows over Innistrad and Ixalan actually have the most potential. Are we waiting for them to pop or do we just not know what we’re talking about?

In any case, let’s look at Ixalan because there are bound to be interesting cards in that set, even with them randomly yanking the rug out by reprinting cards like Revel in Riches. Let’s begin.

I wouldn’t have predicted a year ago that Gishy would be the number 1 commander, but here we are. There are a lot of EDH “staple” type cards here which means they’ll be somewhat easy to reprint, which may attenuate a lot of our potential growth here, but let’s look at what matters in any case.

This is a little tricky to reprint and I think this shows that the best time to buy in was peak supply, as is always the case. That said, this is going to be an important EDH fixture forever and this could hit $20 despite it doing a very bad, clunky impression of Gaea’s Cradle. It turns out Growing Rites of Itilmoc is sort of like Frank Caliendo’s impression of Casey Kasem – it sort of sucks but it’s the best thing we’ve got and we should recognize that.

I liked this a lot as a bulk rare and picked up a ton of copies and while it’s not rising as much as I would have liked and seems to have plateaued a bit, it’s tough to reprint, is very powerful, and there’s every chance a new card gets printed that makes this $10 overnight. Barring that, this slowly climbs to $5 and I’m OK with that.

This card is 100% getting a reprint, probably soon. When it does, buy in hard. The price will tank in the near term and I need you to know that I’m betting my own money that this recovers. For whatever reason, they don’t seem to be able to print something stronger than this in a Standard set. If you make it better, it’s too good unless the set has no tribes and they wouldn’t print something like this in a set with no tribes. Players want this card and they’ll always build tribal. I’m not that bullish on its current price, but if a reprint comes along soon, I’m all in.

Compass is in the process of selling out and with double-sided cards particularly tricky to reprint, expect this to hold value well. While you’re at it, why not look at the promo editions that had the treasure maps on the back? Those are Ugin’s fate tier promos and basically unreprintable, but they’ll also shrug off reprints of the regular versions.

Briefly, other cards I like include Spell Swindle, Herald of Secret Streams, Settle the Wreckage, Arcane Adaptation, River’s Rebuke and Primal Amulet. 

In fact, there’s a good case to be made for buying quite a few copies of Arcane Adaptation.

That little blip was when people thought about using Turntimber Ranger to generate an infinite number of tokens. Anything that can mess with tribal affiliations like this will always get tested and has the capacity to spike to $5. If it could hit $5 when it was in print, imagine how high it would go now if some other new card made it relevant again. Is Thassa’s Oracle THAT much better than Laboratory Maniac and Jace that Inverter went from a non-deck to Tier 1 overnight? Maybe yes, maybe not. Either way, Inverter went banana pancakes, as did bad cards like Paradigm Shift when Oracle came out. They won’t stop making tribal stuff because it’s an easy way to appeal to casuals and competitive players alike and with Arcane Adaptation gettable for literally a tenth of a Euro on MKM, it’s not the worst idea in the world to throw a few European monopoly bucks at 100 copies or so to make you look like a genius in a year or two when they accidentally make this a $10 card. It could get reprinted, in which case you’re barely out anything, otherwise you look like Nostradamus. If you must speculate, speculate in this manner, I beg.

Speaking of begging, please comment on this article. I’m going to be stuck in my house for 2 months and I need some diversion. I’ve watched everything worth watching on Netflix and Prime so I either talk with you about cards or I rewatch 6 Feet Under or something. I know what I’m voting for. Until next week!