Unlocked Pro Trader: Unbiased Confirmation


I have been trying to identify new ways to target specs in a world with less and less time between sets to build, more and more hype, more expense and, in general, no rest. I used to sometimes get a little bored waiting for the next set, and I foolishly wished for that situation to be better on this old monkey paw I got from a dude named Rod and here we are. It’s not the end of the world, just my old method. Luckily, some of the calls I made are starting to pay dividends. Remember when we talked Blink, specifically White stuff twice in the last 2 months?

A few of these sold for $9.99 on TCG Player Direct today, so the doubling we predicted should be upon us within a matter of a week or so. It feels good that my new method of “Building around keywords” rather than commanders gives us a whole set worth of Legendary Creatures to give the card a chance to pop. It’s not just Elesh Norn that wants this card, either, if the data is to be believed (it is).

Teleportation Circle has had itself quite a year. Checking the card’s raw stats might not point to this kind of dominance across many different commanders, but it’s clear that a lot of people want to be blinking creatures in White decks. Then there is this.

The card is in 1,000 Norn decks already and is in 69 Malcator decks (nice). There is no reason we won’t see more in the future. I think Teleporation Circle may be a bit trickier to reprint, but targeting cards like Portal rather than very specific cards like Dream Chisel is the way to speculate these days. I could write lots of paragraphs about how there isn’t time to wait for people to upload their decks to Archidekt and give us a week or two to pick up copies of cards. The movers are moving immediately, just like they began to do in Standard about 8 years ago which made me shift to EDH. I told too many people how to do this and now they’re doing it, and I can’t be mad at it. I didn’t really invent anything all that revolutionary, I mostly just camped one data site hard until they hired me to improve its reach and here we are.

It’s only bad news for me if I want to be lazy and not learn anything, so I guess it’s good that we can talk about my new ideas by talking about a hit. I think there are more hits coming, though, and it’s all cards I have talked about in the past. Instead of showing you that I like Prince Charming and Panharmonicon and their current price (they can’t possibly print Panharmonicon again for like 6 more months… right?) I want to talk about another concept – getting rid of counters.

There has never been a better time to be trying to take counters off of permanents. With Infect creatures shrinking blockers, Planeswalkers everywhere and Sagas that are fun to keep on their first mode keep getting printed, it’s very useful. Unfortunately it’s mostly in Black and Green, and Leeches popped already (I have so many copies of that card that I can’t wait to out). Fortunately, the concept will stick around and I have some spicy picks.

Glissa has all of the cards I want to talk about within one deck so let’s see what they all are.

It’s going to sound insane to say this, but we can safely ignore the High Synergy cards, at least this time. More decks might come along that remove counters but not necessarily synergizing with Sagas. If the next card printed IS good with Sagas, they begin to make more sense. Why don’t we avoid the very, very niche cards because we have learned that method doesn’t work as well as it used to. I need to sift through to find gems. Luckily, I did that.

I had no interest in using Puca Trade to trade, but one of the reasons it failed was they gave every new account like $15 to spend and a person (me) could make an account, order cards, get them, never do anything, and win. You could use the platform, and maybe it was a mistake not to (Cardsphere is better and still going) but regardless, I put one card on my want list – a $1 rare called Torpor Orb. I received 12 of them with the $15 and bought a few more, but it was mostly just a way I got 15 copies of a card over a month.

I’m not bragging about my hits – if you have read my series for long, you know all about my misses, after all. The point is that once it hits a certain threshold of usefulness, it’s not at all unprecedented for a rare from New Phyrexia to be $10, or even $15. I think Hex Parasite could get there, and its overall price trend is upward anyway. If they were going to reprint a creature with Phyrexian mana in it, I feel like they would have in ONE or the ONE Commander decks, but they didn’t. I think Hex Parasite is a $12 card.

If the non-foil goes up, the foil which is showing no sign of an increase right now, could have some upside.

Lots of it.

Speaking of foils, I know I don’t love foils, but I love one foil.

These are DORT CHEAP in Europe, also. I am always talking about how good Blind Obedience is and how everyone is always shocked I deal 1 to everyone and gain 3 with it almost every turn. Everyone remembered the player who Extorted gaining 1 life, gaining 3 is a surprise. If people are surprised how good a card is, and it has another unique ability that’s in vogue right now, I don’t see a downside to picking these up at half of their historic peak price, do you?

This is why I never sell my foils, I just keep them in 500 count boxes STUFFED AS FULL AS POSSIBLE with basic lands at both ends to keep them as compressed as possible so maybe, just maybe, they’ll flatten out. I am not saying we can expect $25 for Thrull Parasite, I’m just saying if you have foil Power Conduits in a box, like maybe from before 2021, go open that box. I’m about to! I bet I sold a bunch of these for $5 in July of 2021, though. “U SHAPED GRAPH, BABY!” I likely screamed, already mentally spending all of those Lincolns on Skee Ball and Nikl-Nips.

Is that a good corollary for this card? No, but it does show the ceiling is basically boundless compared to its current price, and even if it “merely” hits a historical high, you’re doubling up, just for starters. I always dig through an LGS’ loose foil box if they have one and cards like this that were $0.50 when they put them in there and slowly creep up to $5 over time for no reason other than that they’re old and have some utility. Those card can go up a lot when that utility happens for a whole year worth of new commanders. Some people might have to buy 2. You don’t HAVE to buy ANY foil copies of Ferropede, but I’m gonna.

I was feeling a little gloomy over the holidays and the accumulated stress made it hard to see a future for this column. I have had to adapt or die a lot of the tenure of this series and if you keep working with me, bouncing ideas off of me in the Pro Trader Discord and just keep reading, I’ll keep trying to make us all some money. Thanks for reading, I really mean that. Until next time!