Unlocked Pro Trader: How is MTG Finance Like Jazz?

An old cliche about Jazz music is “it’s not about the notes they play, it’s about the notes they don’t play.” which sounds smart if you don’t think about it for too long. It’s become sort of a cudgel to lazily bash Jazz in the Zeitgeist and occasionally it’s sort of a decent thing to try and make a metaphor around. That’s what I’m doing, after all. It’s not about the joke I tried to make, it’s about the jokes I didn’t try to make. Those were bad jokes and less funny and you’re lucky I didn’t make them.

I don’t want to buy cards right before they’re reprinted and I don’t want to buy cards that are not for EDH which leaves me in sort of a jam right now. Everyone feels the same way, I think, which is why everyone is buying Reserved List cards, sending the price skyrocketing because dealers can’t restock the cards and no one wants to come off of them. It’s a weird time to think about buying anything that isn’t RL, especially with how much a lot of the cards are going up.

To avoid getting completely blown out as a result of my hubris and refusal to lazily buy cards on the Reserved List, I’ve decided to wait until Commander Legends is fully spoiled to buy anything. I think a lot of people are waiting to pull the trigger on EDH staples and prices have upside if the cards aren’t reprinted. Rather than scrambling when that happens, why not come up with a list of cards I think are good buys if they avoid a reprint now and cross them off as they’re spoiled? The list I am left with will be what I buy the second the last rare and mythic are revealed. It’s not a perfect system but it’s better than buying now and risking being blown out. Here are the Jazz notes I hope Commander Legends doesn’t play.

I think the reprint risk on this is fairly high given how ubiquitous it has become and how long it’s dodged a reprint. If they don’t manage to figure out this should be in the Masters set, I think this, despite its highish buy-in price, has upside. There is an alt art foil that’s ugly but cheap and I think any of the versions; Prerelease foil, alt art foil or set foil or set non-foil are all good buys. One factor you may want to consider is that we’re a month away from the demand for lands-matters cards going up with the release of the new Zendikar set so you may want to buy now if you’re feeling frisky. You may be able to just sell out in the next 6 weeks and not worry about a Commander product that won’t be out until the 4th quarter.

I don’t like the high buy-in price THAT much, but if this isn’t in Commander Legends, I don’t know where else they reprint it. They screwed up having 4 Commander decks with only 1 good card between them and something is going to happen with this price – it’s either going to tank because of more supply or it’s going to go basically nuts like it has been since April. I think they may not have realized this would flirt with $40 on CK before they had to finalize their list for Commander Legends, so it’s likely this got missed and that’s a good time to remind everyone about the cliche where they say the Chinese character for crisis also means opportunity. I don’t know if that’s true, but it sounds good, just like that Jazz thing. Not jamming this in Commander Legends will create a crisportunity, be on the opportunity side if you can.

This needs to be left alone for a year for you to be happy you bought in at $4, but with them printing it twice on top of each other, they’ll either conclude they got the number of copies they wanted out there, or they’ll print it two more times in a year. But how would they print this twice in the next year? Or even once? If this isn’t in Commander Legends, I think it’s on the safer side, but there are even safer picks, like…

Card Kingdom wants $8 for this. I think the copies under $5 will be gone overnight if this isn’t reprinted in Commander Legends. It’s a good place to do it, they won’t put it in a precon deck and it’s not Green so CL is basically the one place they could print this. I have like 200 of these I plan to sell before the set is spoiled, that’s how confident I am that it’s in, but if it’s not (who doesn’t want a foil of this?) then buy some under $5.

This was in Mystery Boosters and that makes me think this could be safe for a bit. Again, I don’t love super high buy-ins, and this may just be a card you buy to play with, but I sure hope this is in CL because it needs to be.

This has always needed a reprint and the time to do it was years ago. At this point, it’s not really appropriate for a precon so it’s basically Commander Legends or… I don’t even know. I think scooping these under $40 is fine, and buying them on MCM is even better. If you don’t have access to MCM, consider becoming a Pro Trader and making some connections in the Discord.

This card is out of control and with a bunch of new Legends being printed, the odds that one of them is insane with this card seems high-ish. I think if you buy in as a result of yet another missed opportunity to reprint this, you sell at around $50 because it feels like you’re on borrowed time. That said, I’ve felt like a reprint was coming any day on this for the last 2 years and I’ve been consistently proven wrong. This is a hot potato, but you can still warm your hands before you pass it on.

There are other solid picks as well, and ones with lower price tags, but this is what I am targeting. As the spoilers roll in, let’s pay particular attention to the number crunch. Some cards can be eliminated on the basis of what their number in the set would be which signals to you to buy long before the full set is spoiled and other people start thinking about what they need to buy.

That does it for me this week. I think there is a list of cards that will likely go up as a result of Zendikar Rising but which you’ll need to flip quickly as a result of risk of reprinting in Commander Legends, and we’ll talk about that next week. Until next time!