Unlocked Pro Trader: MOM’s preconstrughetti


We have to talk about the cards from the Mother of Machines preconstructed decks. If I am being honest, most likely the most difficult part of this article will have been the first paragraph. It serves two purposes -it engages people who are going to read the article and it engages the people who are going to read the article on Thursday because they didn’t know they weren’t going to read it today when they clicked on the link. I am not sure I am doing a great job of that right now. If you’re about to move on to the next paragraph, I am going to highlight a bunch of specs based on the MOM preconstructed decks and you can skip right to it if you want. If you’re going to read this Thursday, I am going to unlock the secrets of Mtg Finance and demystify the process of selecting good specs and the next 48 hours will be a free-for-all with readers who read on Tuesday running roughshod over store inventories. If you don’t want to fight for table scraps with all the other slowpokes, consider a membership which also gives you access to the discord server and exclusive group buys.

It might not seem like it, but all of that was sort of an apology that lately my articles have begun to blur together a bit. Even the names aren’t particularly memorable. I am not creating evergreen content here, unfortunately, I am generating a list of specs for my friends and loyal customers so that they don’t have to think about finance if they just like EDH and EDH if they just like finance. If you like both, perhaps you would like my podcast. This is going to be kind of dry despite my best efforts to make it…. juicy? I don’t know what the opposite of “dry” is in this context. You want-a the juice? You like-a the juice? It’s-a time for the juice (but read this in a Greek accent because it’s that SNL sketch, not like a Mario thing). Juice time.

The Juice

I will be honest, the hype around the combo potential with Shalai and Hallar sort of made me think the deck would be more popular since it’s so easy to build. I didn’t count on that having to compete with the popularity of a Ninja deck with Red in it. Let’s take a look.

There isn’t a ton to do here since the good ninjas mostly are reprinted, but there are some interesting things going on here, regardless.

This is a foil that didn’t start out expensive, rather it grew as ninja fever was at its pitch and cooled off as they started giving us 50 new Legendary creatures every month. The sheer number of decks people have distracting them has made it very tough for any deck to receive enough of a consensus to move the needle which is why I have begun to focus on the weekly leaders. Could another ninja deck make this go back to $10 on its own? Perhaps not, but Infiltrator might dodge a reprint in a set and if it does, the foils will be even better. This seems like a chance to buy a future $11 for like $5 now and I don’t hate it despite not feeling all that confident talking about foils.

It sounds ridiculous, but Gingerbrute is an unblockable haste creature for 1 colorless mana and it turns out lots of formats want that and this only has 1 foil printing.

Baldur’s Gate is the best MTG set in a decade and we are going to find cards that are $2 now that will randomly hit $10 years from now. Look at this graph – this card tripled in price in under a year. I would say there aren’t too many mythics from Baldur’s Gate that don’t have insane growth potential. Also, the showcase version is that awful PHB page effect meaning this is the only copy anyone is going to play with.

I don’t know if you ever noticed this dropdown before, but when there are very distinct and obvious ways the deck is getting built, we’ll start to separate them by theme. Looking through by theme is very instructive and I recommend you do it, but just looking at what the themes are is, too. You’ll pick a bunch of different specs if you grok that people are building extra turns decks with these cards even if you got a sense that people were playing that theme when you saw Karlach. You’ll also notice ninjitsu is ten times more popular than Extra turns, in case you wanted to ignore cards like Karlach. I would caution against ignoring top and high synergy cards, however. I realize that putting them on EDHREC means the cards will end up in more decks which will push them higher. That doesn’t mean EDHREC isn’t useful here, in fact, it accidentally works very nicely for our purposes. If we can guess the high synergy cards early enough, we’ll have our prices correct when the time comes.

Saprolings + Red is something I love to see, and if you play EDH, your brain immediately started firing off “Goblin Bombardment, Impact Tremors, Parallel Lives” and yeah, the obvious cards are good to have, but maybe not great specs. To me, great specs are old, cheap, specific, not obsolete, the less redundant the better, obscure, possibly a second spike, and featured on the EDHREC page for the commander. Cards like

The one issue we have? The wall.

Now, with over 600 lists registered in the last week, this wall can be overcome, but people will just root out more copies from binders and boxes. This has all the hallmarks of a good spec except for the new reality in speccing that TCG Player direct has made it worthwhile to list a $0.15 rare and it’s hard to chew through 458 instances of 2 copies per vendor which means you pay $3 for shipping like 250 times. You have to acknowledge reality sometimes, as much as I wanted to be the genius who picked this at bulk.

Here is some more fun – The card on the right is newer, has more copies out there, is worse in basically every way in a deck with a lot of small creautres and the card on the right is worth twice as much as the card on the left. Thanks, Dominaria Remastered. The thing about old cards that people discover when they build a very specific deck like this is that WotC has a long memory, too, and you could get pantsed by a reprint. Symbiosis was a solid $4 card when Slimefoot was peaking and how obvious it was as a spec didn’t matter due to how obvious it was as a reprint.

And then sometimes they don’t reprint something and you get to buy at $10 and sell at $20 like 3 or 4 times and it feels so good it should be considered cheating.

Looking at the themes dropdown page can help you figure out which cards are going to be played across commanders from multiple precons and identify cards that would have gotten lost in the noise generated by Magic players running the same staples in every Jund deck, for example. Also, I looked at a Jund deck and saw Ignoble Hierarch still isn’t done dropping in price and it’s made me realize nothing I used to know matters anymore. What does matter is making the most of your data sources and I hope you’ll consider this source a good one and come back next week so we can finish the rest of these off. Until next time!