The Watchtower 07/06/20 – Underpriced M21 Cards

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M21 has hit the shelves in full force despite the pandemic, and there’s been quite a lot of price instability over the past week. Being a summer release core set, M21 would generally be poised to be underopened compared to others anyway, but with the pandemic on top of that crushing LGS attendance and general player purchases, I think that M21 is on track to be full of excellent opportunities.

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ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.


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.

MTGPrice helps keep you at the top of your game with our daily card price index, fast movers lists, weekly articles by the best MTGFinance minds in the business, the MTGFastFinance podcast co-hosted by James Chillcott & Travis Allen, as well as the Pro Trader Discord channels, where all the action goes down. Find out more.

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Ravnica Allegiance at Rotation

We’re one week into Core 2021, and frankly, you should be selling most of what you’re opening. Teferi, Master of Time is down several dollars in the last week and he’s not done falling. This is a great time to be flipping cards/sealed product to the people that have to have things right now, and also a time to be looking at the cheapest cards in Standard as they prepare to rotate into the Eternal arena.

Last week was Guilds of Ravnica, now it’s time for Ravnica Allegiance. Let me tell you, this set has some clunkers, but also some unexpected opportunities.

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expensive cards ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

Cliff (@WordOfCommander) has been writing for MTGPrice since 2013, and is an eager Commander player, Draft enthusiast, and Cube fanatic. A high school science teacher by day, he’s also the official substitute teacher of the MTG Fast Finance podcast. If you’re ever at a GP and you see a giant flashing ‘CUBE DRAFT’ sign, go over, say hi, and be ready to draft.

Unlocked Pro Trader: Make Bad Cards Good More

Readers!

One problem I have with Wizards making cards for Commander on purpose instead of accidentally is that bad cards will be phased out by 2023. Rhystic Study used to be trash. Big, dumb, 7-mana creatures used to be pipe dreams and now they’re the first play that isn’t a mana rock or ramp spell that people play. The format is adding more and more “must-play” cards and the days of EDH being a bulk rare format are over.

This is why it’s heartening to see decks that make bad cards relevant. It’s heartening as a player and exciting as a financier because cards going from unplayed to must-include, even in fringe decks, can make you some money. Bottomless Pit’s price shows how inefficient the market is right now and while it likely won’t stick, it’s also taking its sweet time moving because of the inability of sellers to get copies onto the platform. Once a card is $11 on TCG Player, it’s not going to stay cheap everywhere else.

Tinybones was obvious but the second most popular commander from this week’s set drop could make even more obscure cards go up. Let’s look at the second coming of Zedruu.

Inniaz, the Gale Force (Commander / EDH MTG Deck)

Inniaz looks like a lot of fun and, more importantly, could bump up some old, worthless cards. Let’s look at a few, shall we? Like, I can dispense with some of the preamble because you’ve read enough of my articles by now to know my methods and if you haven’t, you can figure out how to read the last few? Plus I forgot. Let’s just do the article.

I’m not sure why this is so cheap but I like this for getting your stuff back and triggering some ETB effect while you’re at it. There’s no reason not to play Cloudblazer and Mulldrifter in a deck like this and both are great to donate then yoink back, then repeat. One Cloudblazer can come in, trigger, participate in combat next turn, trigger Inniaz, go to the opponent, get blinked, trigger again, etc. If you’re getting your fliers back and getting ETB triggers to boot, you can mitigate Inniaz’s parity, and not have to keep running out fliers to replace the ones you lost. This has other opportunities to go up and I’ve wondered why this hasn’t hit $10 yet. It will, I just don’t know when. If you’re not convinced, ask yourself where they could reprint this.

Many printings means lots of copies, but this has also been shrugging those reprints off. I think the fact that the non-foil price is approaching the foil price means something is coming soon. These seem low-risk to me and another reprint just means you have an opportunity to buy in even cheaper until your average cost is so low that you don’t feel bad you paid its current $1 price tag.

This card is perfect for this deck and if it maintains popularity like it should, getting in on the absolute floor for foil copies seems prudent. I don’t know what the foil could go to, but I don’t think it can get any cheaper than like $1.50 on TCG Player. It’s not entirely unplayed now…

…just almost entirely. At dirt cheap, the foils have some upside, provided Inniaz catches on.

One interesting caveat I might as well mention now is that Inniaz is a pain to play on webcam and that’s where a lot of EDH is played these days. Everyone having to have proxies for cards they’re borrowing means you’re making work for everyone with your deck choice and they might not appreciate it after awhile. Some people might decide they don’t want the hassle of playing with this deck and it could hurt its adoption. It wasn’t something they considered when they printed the card but it matters now.

This card is played quite a bit, and it’s absurd in this deck where you either blink it to refresh it and get it back or just let someone else have a 1/1 with no blue mana to activate it.

With 3 printings, there are copies out there, but with copies gettable around $4 or $5, how little people play Modern anymore won’t matter since demand will only increase for this card. It likely doesn’t get reprinted again since the price is way under control and it’s pretty absurd in Inniaz decks.

This is sold out everywhere but TCG Player (and MKM, I guess) because it deals people 20 damage and that’s hilarious because you gain 20 life and then ruin someone’s day. Can’t beat that!

There are a ton of cards like Rust Elemental, Steel Golem, Illusions of Grandeur and Thought Lash that hurt the opponent in obvious ways, but Statecraft is old Zedruu tech that hurts them in a bit more of a subtle way. Their creatures are harder to kill but they can’t hurt anyone with theirs and you can really shut a player down with something like this. Pass this as many times as you have to until the right person is having trouble doing anything. Check out the full Zedruu page for more ideas.

Speaking of Thought Lash…

Looks like people already got the memo. This makes me like Illusions even more.

There are other cards in here that are already expensive, but I think some of the inexpensive cards have the ability to go from unplayed to un-keep-in-stock-able on the basis of a popular new commander. Will it stay popular? Who knows? Kalamax has unseated Xyris as Teysa unseated Vannifar and Core 2020 commanders are being built more than Commander 2020 commanders. Everything is messed up right now, but when I get more data, I’ll have more answers and we have more time than ever before. Thanks for reading, everyone. Stay healthy, stay safe, and wear a mask you bunch of savages. Until next time!

The Watchtower 06/29/20 – Seeing Double

I’m a little pushed for brain space at the moment so today’s article is a little shorter than usual, but to make up for it I’ve got double the picks. That’s right, you’re getting two for the price of one here, so don’t say I never give you anything for free. I’m taking a special focus on some foil extended art cards that are well poised to take a jump up, so read on for a little extra juice than usual.


Eerie & Ruinous Ultimatum (Foil EA)

Price today: $16
Possible price: $30

These are the two most popular of the five Ultimatums from Ikoria, being the most powerful effects out of the lot for EDH play. As I talked a bit about last week, stock of these foil Showcase and EA cards is much lower than we might expect from other sets due to the release of Ikoria during a worldwide pandemic.

This is reflected on TCGPlayer, with only 22 listings of foil EA Eerie Ultimatum and only 9 for Ruinous Ultimatum. Prices on both start around $16 but ramp up pretty sharply, and I don’t think it’ll be too long before we see these cards hit $30+. We’re unlikely to see this treatment on these specific cards again if they get reprinted somewhere, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the foil EA versions of these even hit $40 in a year or two.

Dryad of the Ilysian Grove & Thassa’s Oracle (Foil EA)

Price today: $40
Possible price: $60

Moving over to Theros Beyond Death, the two most popular EDH cards by a country mile are Dryad of the Ilysian Grove and Thassa’s Oracle. This demand for both cards has been further pushed by their competitive constructed applications, with Oracle being a key part of both the Inverter and Underworld Breach decks in Pioneer, and Dryad a new staple for Primeval Titan and Scapeshift decks in Modern.

11 listings for Oracle and 16 for Dryad on TCGPlayer mean that once the few copies around $40 disappear, you’ll want to shop around other retailers, LGSs and other places to source copies of these cards. There’s no fresh supply of them on the horizon and so I don’t think we’re far away from $60+ on either of these cards.

If you’re in, or have contacts in the EU, there are copies around €20 on MKM, so there’s another decent arbitrage opportunity here. 

Ayara, First of Locthwain & Faeburrow Elder (Foil EA)

Price today: $20/30
Possible price: $40/50

Jumping back in time again to Throne of Eldraine, Ayara and Faeburrow Elder are both reasonably popular EDH cards in the 99, with Ayara also being a relatively popular commander too. They’re both pretty close to auto-includes in decks for their colours; Ayara for mono-black and Faeburrow for anything playing 3+ colours.

Whilst the regular versions of both these cards are sitting at around $1, it’s obviously an entirely different story with the foil extended art versions. Stock is getting low, with only 10 copies of Ayara and 25 copies of Faeburrow Elder available on TCGPlayer, and other major retailers out of stock or close to it.

With comparatively such low numbers of these cards around, I think that Ayara could go from $20 to $40 and Faeburrow from $30 to $50 on a 12-18 month timeline.


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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