The Watchtower 09/07/20 – The List That Must Not Be Named

Over the past couple of months we’ve been seeing another wave of Reserved List spikes, and although some of them make sense due to demand, mostly from EDH, (Mox Diamond, Gaea’s Cradle etc.), a lot more have just been pure speculation and targeting (Radiant, Archangel, Singing Tree etc.). I’m not here to advocate Reserved List buyouts, and I’m definitely not here to talk about whether or not the Reserved List should exist. What I am here to do is talk about which cards on the List are mostly likely to spike next due to EDH demand coupled with the ongoing Reserved List targeting, so that you can pick up anything you might want to play with before it gets really expensive, and make some money on the way up.

CE and IE Dual Lands

Prices today: $130-360
Possible price: $200-500

Collectors’ Edition and International Edition cards are a bit of an odd one. For those that don’t know, they are square-bordered cards with gold borders on the back (this is different to the gold-bordered World Championship Deck cards), printed as a Collectors’ Edition Set and not intended for tournament play. Around 10,000 Collectors’ Editions were distributed in the US and Canada, and around 5000 International Editions were distributed in Europe. They’re technically not legal anywhere, so why are CE Underground Seas $360?

There are two main factors here: these are cards for collectors; and a lot of people don’t mind you playing them in EDH and casual formats. I’ve played with an IE Scrubland in an EDH deck for a couple of years now, and nobody in any of the playgroups I’ve played with has minded me using it – anecdotal evidence, I know, but I’ve heard similar things from a lot of EDH players. They’re still official Magic cards, and so people tend to take quite a different view of them than they do with proxies. It’s also worth pointing out that in black sleeves, they’re very comparable to Beta cards because you can’t really see the square borders, and other than that they look the same, giving the Beta look whilst costing less than Revised.

As ABUR duals push upwards, these CE and IE duals remain a more affordable option for those looking to upgrade their EDH manabases, and are going to be dragged up the curve alongside their round-cornered counterparts. This is potentially an interesting arbitrage opportunity, as IE supply is very scarce in the US due to the cards never being distributed there, whereas IE and CE cards have relatively similar amounts of supply to each other in Europe. I doubt that many players in the US will pay the premium for IE over CE, but collectors looking to complete sets might.

Volrath’s Stronghold

Price today: $80
Possible price: $150

I was actually a little surprised when I checked the EDHREC numbers for Volrath’s Stronghold, and found that this was only in 8000 decks, because the power level of the card is definitely way above that. Being able to recur multiple threats from your graveyard, controlling your draw step and maybe pairing it with something like Shriekmaw makes for some real shenanigans, and definitely paints a target on you in a game of EDH.

Stronghold was a $40-50 card until this summer, and looking at a card that’s recently gone from $40 to $80 can definitely make you not want to buy it. But realistically, along with most cards like this, Volrath’s Stronghold is far from being done. There are only 13 NM listings on TCGPlayer for the card, and NM copies of the older cards are becoming more and more scarce as they’re absorbed by players, collectors and speculators alike. LP copies aren’t actually a lot cheaper at $70, so I’d definitely be buying the NM ones here.

MKM has NM copies from €55, but supply isn’t particularly deep there either. I don’t think it’ll be very long at all before we see this card over $100, and given it 6-12 months I think we’ll see $150+. After that, who knows?

Yavimaya Hollow

Price today: $80
Possible price: $150

I’m sure that Yavimaya Hollow has been talked about on the podcast and/or in articles multiple times before now, but even at $80 it’s still got room to grow. A lot of my discussion here would be similar to what I’ve just said about Volrath’s Stronghold, so I won’t spend too long on it. It’s a great utility land that should probably be in all mono-green EDH decks, and quite a lot more beyond that. Providing protection for any of your creatures from a good chunk of the removal going around in EDH is strong, and having that attached to a land and cost only 2 mana is even better.

NM copies start at $80, with LP going from $65 – looking quite similar to Volrath’s Stronghold again. MKM is actually more expensive for this one, starting at €80 for NM, but has a lot of cheaper EX copies (LP in US = EX in EU). Notably, Yavimaya Hollow does also have foil versions, being from Urza’s Destiny – the second Magic set to contain foils. Foils are super scarce, especially in decent condition, but if you can get any LP or better around $350 then I think you’re looking pretty good to ride that to $500+.


David Sharman (@accidentprune on Twitter) has been playing Magic since 2013, dabbling in almost all formats but with a main focus on Modern, EDH and Pioneer. Based in the UK and a new writer for MTGPrice in 2020, he’s an active MTG finance speculator specialising in cross-border arbitrage.

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