Unlocked Pro Trader: Hello There


The very second a new commander from Kamigawa: “I’m out of cyberpunk references because I am not that familiar with the genre except the stuff everyone has read like Neuromancer” was spoiled, everyone rushed to buy out a dumb rare from Apocalypse and while that’s cool and also a good thing and also I had a bunch of them but I also sold more as bulk rares 8 years ago.

Older rares are going to pop more, but what is really going on here is that a card will get latched onto by Twitter or reddit and it’s very easy to buy it out because it’s old. That life is stressful to me – you’re competing with a ton of people for a small number of cards and by the time your copies come in, there is no guarantee you didn’t miss the sell window. I’d much rather let people show me what they’re actually playing and decide that way. So what Apocalypse bulk rare am I talking about? Only this guy.

At first it was like

but then it was like

And who is the card that made this card do the thing? Why, General Obi Won Kenobi, of course.

Isshin triggers Fervent Charge twice when he attacks, giving your attacking creatures +4/+4 which sounds amazing if you have literally never played a game of EDH in your life. Seriously, imagine paying $30 for a bad version of Beastmaster Ascension that only works when your commander is out.

I think there are better specs for this deck. Why this deck? Surely it’s not because I’m bent out of shape about Fervent Charge (don’t check to see if I tweeted about it, I absolutely did, and while I should have been finishing this column). Rather, it’s because I decided to check which commander was the most built on EDHREC in the last week. Atraxa? Sythis? Marchea? Nay, it is none of these, it’s a most surprising result.

It would have bee surprising if I hadn’t told you what it was beforehand. You, if you’re like me, likely expected Go Shintai, Tatsunari, Hinata or not Isshin to be #1, but people can’t get enough of this nutty jedi. Let’s look at the not Fervent Charge cards people aren’t going nuts over but maybe should.

Fervent Charge is in the 4th highest percentage of decks, but I like a few of the cards that are in more. Etali will get reprinted again, but Brutal Hordechief? I’m not so sure.

The reprint hurt this badly, but it can absolutely flirt with $5 again. A ton of use in Isshin is important because Mardu cards are hard to slot into decks because they go in Mardu decks and Mardu sucks, or they go in 4 and 5 color decks and 4 and 5 color decks don’t attack with creatures. This isn’t exactly doing a ton in other decks, but this is a high synergy card not a top card.

If you want a high synergy card played elsewhere that’s already on the up-swing, look no further. Basically impossible to reprint because it has meld, this is useful in Legacy, a format that used to exist, as well as some fringe Modern decks. The foil doubled this month, owing to Isshin, so the non-foils will be slower but we have every reason to believe they’re going to go. The wall was just higher – no one building a durdly Mardu combat deck is foiling it out. Not with foil Fervent Charge going for $75.00.

The “not Isshin staples but in a lot of Isshin decks” cards are predictable but there is some food for thought here.

This has spent the last year slowly doubling. I’ve mentioned it in at least 2 articles since then, but if you missed it, I like this card a lot. It’s not fair. If someone cast this against me, I would key their car. Is this easy to reprint? Maybe, but with them printing 10,000 new cards a year, where is the pressure to reprint a $5 card even coming from?

This is the part of the article where I have to divorce my training as a builder from my training as a financier. If you asked me to pick 5 cards that would see a ton of play from Isshin, I would have said Lightmine Field, Crown of Doom, Ilharg the Rage Boar, Grave Titan and Adriana, Captain of the Guard. Those cards are seeing play (except Crown of Doom which isn’t played enough to show up on Isshin’s EDHREC page because no one held the community’s hand and played Crown of Doom on Game Knights). I THINK Lightmine Field is a great pickup, and I’d play it if I built Isshin (I won’t – my current project is using Helm of the Host and Double Major to make non-Legendary copies of Tatsunari’s Frog so I can make lots of copies and endanger everyone’s lives) but no one cares so I have to not care.

What people ARE actually playing is kind of boring compared with the stuff I like to do, but there is money in doing what people are doing. I’ll save reinventing the wheel for my coolstuff column and do boring old finance here, I guess.

Magic players love doggies and kitties, and being a kitty matters 1,000 times more than being good in Isshin matters, but that doesn’t mean being in Isshin doesn’t matter. I get these in bulk sometimes because no one thinks this is worth anything. It is.

Didn’t have this pegged as a massive gainer when it was spoiled but people love to draw cards. Every EDH artifact says “draw a card on it” now but people love this one. We used to play Mind’s Eye for the love of God, I’m grateful for the upgrade and part of why I never bought in was that I expected this to be obsolete by now.

That does it for me this week. I feel very good about these pickups and I urge you to watch Game Knights to find out which terrible bulk rare is going to hit $30, or do what I do and stay out of it. Plenty of meat still on the bone. Until next time!