Unlocked Pro Trader: Make Bad Cards Good More


One problem I have with Wizards making cards for Commander on purpose instead of accidentally is that bad cards will be phased out by 2023. Rhystic Study used to be trash. Big, dumb, 7-mana creatures used to be pipe dreams and now they’re the first play that isn’t a mana rock or ramp spell that people play. The format is adding more and more “must-play” cards and the days of EDH being a bulk rare format are over.

This is why it’s heartening to see decks that make bad cards relevant. It’s heartening as a player and exciting as a financier because cards going from unplayed to must-include, even in fringe decks, can make you some money. Bottomless Pit’s price shows how inefficient the market is right now and while it likely won’t stick, it’s also taking its sweet time moving because of the inability of sellers to get copies onto the platform. Once a card is $11 on TCG Player, it’s not going to stay cheap everywhere else.

Tinybones was obvious but the second most popular commander from this week’s set drop could make even more obscure cards go up. Let’s look at the second coming of Zedruu.

Inniaz, the Gale Force (Commander / EDH MTG Deck)

Inniaz looks like a lot of fun and, more importantly, could bump up some old, worthless cards. Let’s look at a few, shall we? Like, I can dispense with some of the preamble because you’ve read enough of my articles by now to know my methods and if you haven’t, you can figure out how to read the last few? Plus I forgot. Let’s just do the article.

I’m not sure why this is so cheap but I like this for getting your stuff back and triggering some ETB effect while you’re at it. There’s no reason not to play Cloudblazer and Mulldrifter in a deck like this and both are great to donate then yoink back, then repeat. One Cloudblazer can come in, trigger, participate in combat next turn, trigger Inniaz, go to the opponent, get blinked, trigger again, etc. If you’re getting your fliers back and getting ETB triggers to boot, you can mitigate Inniaz’s parity, and not have to keep running out fliers to replace the ones you lost. This has other opportunities to go up and I’ve wondered why this hasn’t hit $10 yet. It will, I just don’t know when. If you’re not convinced, ask yourself where they could reprint this.

Many printings means lots of copies, but this has also been shrugging those reprints off. I think the fact that the non-foil price is approaching the foil price means something is coming soon. These seem low-risk to me and another reprint just means you have an opportunity to buy in even cheaper until your average cost is so low that you don’t feel bad you paid its current $1 price tag.

This card is perfect for this deck and if it maintains popularity like it should, getting in on the absolute floor for foil copies seems prudent. I don’t know what the foil could go to, but I don’t think it can get any cheaper than like $1.50 on TCG Player. It’s not entirely unplayed now…

…just almost entirely. At dirt cheap, the foils have some upside, provided Inniaz catches on.

One interesting caveat I might as well mention now is that Inniaz is a pain to play on webcam and that’s where a lot of EDH is played these days. Everyone having to have proxies for cards they’re borrowing means you’re making work for everyone with your deck choice and they might not appreciate it after awhile. Some people might decide they don’t want the hassle of playing with this deck and it could hurt its adoption. It wasn’t something they considered when they printed the card but it matters now.

This card is played quite a bit, and it’s absurd in this deck where you either blink it to refresh it and get it back or just let someone else have a 1/1 with no blue mana to activate it.

With 3 printings, there are copies out there, but with copies gettable around $4 or $5, how little people play Modern anymore won’t matter since demand will only increase for this card. It likely doesn’t get reprinted again since the price is way under control and it’s pretty absurd in Inniaz decks.

This is sold out everywhere but TCG Player (and MKM, I guess) because it deals people 20 damage and that’s hilarious because you gain 20 life and then ruin someone’s day. Can’t beat that!

There are a ton of cards like Rust Elemental, Steel Golem, Illusions of Grandeur and Thought Lash that hurt the opponent in obvious ways, but Statecraft is old Zedruu tech that hurts them in a bit more of a subtle way. Their creatures are harder to kill but they can’t hurt anyone with theirs and you can really shut a player down with something like this. Pass this as many times as you have to until the right person is having trouble doing anything. Check out the full Zedruu page for more ideas.

Speaking of Thought Lash…

Looks like people already got the memo. This makes me like Illusions even more.

There are other cards in here that are already expensive, but I think some of the inexpensive cards have the ability to go from unplayed to un-keep-in-stock-able on the basis of a popular new commander. Will it stay popular? Who knows? Kalamax has unseated Xyris as Teysa unseated Vannifar and Core 2020 commanders are being built more than Commander 2020 commanders. Everything is messed up right now, but when I get more data, I’ll have more answers and we have more time than ever before. Thanks for reading, everyone. Stay healthy, stay safe, and wear a mask you bunch of savages. Until next time!