The Watchtower 02/22/21 – Finally Some Good Flipping Bans

Last week we had a Banned & Restricted announcement that gave a colossal shakeup to four different formats (plus an unban in Vintage). We had fifteen bans across Historic, Pioneer, Modern and Legacy, and a lot of those bans have opened up opportunities within each format for both new and old decks to be played again. With so many bans it can be difficult to figure out what’s a good pickup and what isn’t, but I think that I’ve identified a few good targets here for you to have a look at.

Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath

Price today: $20
Possible price: $40

Uro has finally been given the boot in Modern, Pioneer and Historic, and I’m half surprised that they didn’t kick it out of Legacy too, just for good measure. It’s a card that has been incredibly dominant for far too long, because Wizards just can’t resist printing busted Simic cards but then want to wait long enough to ban them that their sales don’t get impacted by it.

Anyway, the point is that although Uro is gone from almost all competitive play now, it’s still an absolute powerhouse in EDH. At 671 decks as a commander it’s the fourth most popular general from Theros Beyond Death, and comes in at a medium eighth place for top cards from the set overall. It’s never going to be as ubiquitous as something like Dryad of the Ilysian Grove or Thassa’s Oracle, but the advantages it has over those is that it’s a mythic not a rare, and the fact that it’s now banned everywhere means that it’s incredibly unlikely to ever be reprinted in the next however many years.

People have been dumping their copies into the market post-ban, and you can now pick regular versions up for $20. For a card that flirted with $50 not too long ago, I think that this has a reasonable future ahead of it. It’s going to be a longer hold but I definitely don’t mind grabbing a few copies under $25, because there aren’t actually that many copies before the ramp on TCGPlayer hits $30-35. Given a year or two I think that this is a great gainer.

Lurrus of the Dream Den (EA) – Arbitrage

Price in Europe: €15 ($18)
Price in US: $27
Possible price: $35

The only unban last week was Lurrus of the Dream Den in Vintage, and although Vintage might not drive prices like other formats do, FEA Lurrus was on the way up anyway and with last week’s announcement it popped to $100 and has stayed there. There are only 13 foil listings on TCGPlayer and I don’t think that they’re a great buy right now (although I hope that you were in on them at $30 when I called it in my article back in September), so now I’m looking at the non-foil EAs instead.

Lurrus is still the best Companion for competitive play, and is a big role-player in Modern and Pioneer. Non-foil EA copies have seen a bump along with the foils, and will now set you back around $27 or more. What’s more, supply is looking very low – only thirteen listings on TCGPlayer with a steep ramp, and not much resupply on the horizon.

Over in Europe you can still pick up a load of copies at around €15, which seems like some very solid arbitrage to me. If you’re able to grab these in Europe for sale in the US then go right ahead, because you’ve already got a safe backing with CardKingdom offering $20 credit for them, and TCG prices will be well above that. You could flip these quickly or sit on them a little while, but I think it’s a great opportunity if you have access (see my arbitrage article for any help with that).

Force of Negation (Foil) – Arbitrage

Price in Europe: €160 ($195)
Price in US: $250
Possible price: $300

Okay I can’t resist another arbitrage pick, because I haven’t done any dedicated arbitrage specs in a little while (I think?). With Mystic Sanctuary being banned from Modern you might think that the stock of blue control decks would go down, but in fact the opposite has happened. Azorius control decks have been at the top of the Modern metagame for the past week, opting to play more Snapcaster Mages again now that they don’t have access to Mystic Sanctuary.

Force of Negation has been a staple in Modern blue decks since it was printed in Modern Horizons, and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon. It’s also in over eighteen thousand EDH decks listed on EDHREC, and foils are in very scarce supply. With only thirteen NM foil copies on TCGPlayer, and only half of those under $300, the €160 copies in Europe are a tasty target.

This could see a reprint in Modern Horizons 2, but that’s not coming out until Q3 this year and so I think you’ve got plenty of time to arbitrage some copies of Force of Negation before then. It’s not one to go deep on but if you can grab a copy or two under $200 in Europe then you should do just fine to sell close to $300 in the US.

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, he’s an active MTG finance speculator specialising in cross-border arbitrage.