Commander Horizons 2

People always joke about every Masters set being “Commander Masters”, and although we got a swathe of excellent Modern cards in MH2, there are also some EDH gems in there too – both reprints and new cards. As expected, Europe is being sluggish on the EDH cards and I think that now is prime time to be looking at some arbitrage opportunities from the set, as well as some pickups that are still solid value on the US side of the pond.

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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.

The Math Of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt

All right, everyone, let’s get into the distributions of different Innistrad: Midnight Hunt cards. There’s three variants, plus the usual Extended Art treatment. Wizards has been good about not throwing any huge curveballs here since the 30% hurdle in Commander Legends, and it makes these calculations a lot easier. If you’re looking for your odds of a Borderless Foil Wrenn and Seven, look no further!

First, some raw numbers. There are 20 mythics in the set, and 64 rares. Plus, there’s 83 uncommons and 105 commons. Those won’t be as relevant to us, but as we’ll discuss, if a foil hits it big (Expressive Iteration, I’m looking at you!) suddenly that’s a very relevant number.

There’s two Showcase frames in this set: All of the Werewolves and Warlocks in the set get what’s called the Equinox frame, on both sides if it’s a two-faced card. 

Then we have the Eternal Night frame, a black-and-white sketch art to go with a more translucent frame. This is done to every legendary creature which isn’t in the Equinox frame. If it’s a two-sided card, both sides get this treatment.

Finally, we get the Borderless treatment, which is new art and has no borders. This is just the five slowlands, and the three planeswalkers. Interestingly, Arlinn, the Pack’s Hope is the only card to get three different arts: regular, Equinox, and Borderless.

There’s not a special version of a single card, the way there was a Phyrexian Vorinclex in Kaldheim, or a special subset as in the Mystical Archive. Also, there’s no etched foils in this set. Thankfully, this is a straightforward set, and we can make clear comparisons to other sets.

Now let’s talk about what you get in the three kinds of packs:

In a Draft Booster, you can get foils or nonfoils of almost anything. Foil Equinox, foil Borderless, both are possible, but NOT the Commander-only cards and not the Extended Art versions of cards. One out of three Draft boosters have a foil, but that’s a foil of anything, including the basic land. (which is good–the foils of these Eternal Night basics should be solid, financially)

Set Boosters do have a slot for the Commander cards, but only in nonfoil. You can get the same foils and nonfoils, otherwise, just more of them to go with the 25% chance of card from The List, which is 300 cards long, everything is of equal rarity, and you need to open 1200 Set Boosters to get a full set of The List. (you won’t get it at exactly 1200 because of the way probability works, but the math is sound.

The rarest cards are going to be the Foil Extended-Art mythics from this set. Not the Equinox and not the Eternal Night, since those foils can show up in Draft and Set Boosters. The EA treatment is exclusive to the Collector Boosters, and Wizards’ own graphics tell us that there’s really only one slot to worry about: 

So how rare is rare in that last slot? (Last, in this case, meaning that you’ll reveal it last. If you open a CB card by card, you’ll see things in bottom-up order!) Let’s have a table:

Type of cardNumber of optionsOdds of getting one of these in a given CB (last 2 slots)How many CBs need to be opened to get a specific card with that treatment
Foil Mythic Equinox1.66%151
Foil Rare Equinox810.6%75.5
Foil Mythic Eternal Night31.9%151
Foil Rare Eternal Night1114.6%75.5
Foil Mythic Borderless31.9%151
Foil Rare Borderless56.6%75.5
Foil Mythic Extended Art149.3%151
Foil Rare Extended Art4154.3%75.5

Remember, you are twice as likely to get a rare (65 options) as a mythic (21 options) and that’s where the denominator of 151 comes from.

So about 75% of Collector Boosters will have a foil rare of some kind in this slot. Note that Arlinn is the only foil mythic Equinox, as well as being a Borderless Planeswalker, so she will be 50% more common than any other mythic from this set. Put another way, for every two copies of Teferi, Who Slows the Sunset, there’s three copies of Arlinn, the Pack’s Hope.

Here’s a table for the nonfoils:

Type of cardNumber of optionsOdds of getting one of these in a given CB How many CBs need to be opened to get a specific card with that treatment
Nonfoil Mythic Equinox11.8%55
Nonfoil Rare Equinox829.1%22.5
Nonfoil Mythic Eternal Night35.4%55
Nonfoil Rare Eternal Night1140%22.5
Nonfoil Mythic Borderless35.4%55
Nonfoil Rare Borderless518.2%22.5
Nonfoil Mythic Extended Art (slot 3)1414.6%96
Nonfoil Rare Extended Art (slot 3)4185.4%48

Where does this set land compared to other sets? One more table!

setOdds of a specific foil rareOdds of a specific foil mythic
Innistrad: Midnight Hunt1/75.51/151
Forgotten Realms1/631/126
Strixhaven 1/154.51/309
Kaldheim1/641/128
Modern Horizons 21/126.51/253

We can see that things will be a little more rare than in AFR, and this doesn’t have the Vorinclex effect that Kaldheim was blessed with. Strixhaven is going to be an outlier for most things, because of the way that they set up the Mystical Archive.

One thing I want you to note, if you love buying Collector Boosters: These last three slots have some rough math. About 85% of those packs will have these as the final three cards: nonfoil rare EA, nonfoil rare showcase/borderless, foil EA/showcase/borderless rare. For each of those slots, you’ve got about a 15% chance to hit a mythic. Buying a box of 12 packs, the math says you’re getting about two mythics in each slot.

I hope this helps inform your buying decisions. If you find an error here, be kind, and post a comment or come mention it in the ProTrader Discord.

Unlocked Pro Trader: Can’t You Hear Me Knocking

Last week, we did a bit of a quick hits article since there wasn’t much data but since there is a lot more, now, we can go a bit deeper into the data. In general, I think this set should get more decks built than the D&D set even though there were more precons for AFR than for Innistrad: Breaking Dawn because, and I don’t think this is controversial, Dungeons and Dragon’s Maze was a bad set and Innistrad: Team Jacob edition seems better. The commanders are better, the in-set Legendary creatures are better and the full-frame editions aren’t those awful yellow PHB designs. With more decks about to get built, cards are about to pop, so let’s take a look, shall we?

And this isn’t even all of them. Yikes.

Luckily, we don’t have to go through the ones with 2 decks and we can focus on the heavy hitters. Stickfingers is the most important one this week – We have already determined Toblerone or whatever just has Wolf tribal cards and that’s about it and that hasn’t changed since last week, so the second-most-built and most novel-looking one is where I want to start.

It seems like a pretty standard reanimator deck, but the enchantments are interesting. Likely nothing doing here, unfortunately, although this makes me wish I had snagged as many Praetor’s Grasps as I thought maybe I should when they were cheap. Oh well, there are no missed specs, only money invested elsewhere (sobs openly).

So you’re building a Golgari deck…

PAY DIRT! Old Stickyfingys is a combo deck! You don’t care about his power and toughness, you care about how much he can dredge you. The Necrotic Ooze/Phyrexian Devourer combo is in play, and historically, those cards can get there just on the basis of it doing well in one Legacy tournament. I never sold my Devourers and they keep going up, which is nice.

If you can get Ooze under $10, I suggest you go for it. This is a $10 card waiting to happen and it wasn’t just Stickyboi that did it. It went to $7 in 2019 which means this second spike will be harder since there won’t be cheap copies in dollar boxes or people’s trade binders. This is a dealer-owned card due to the first spike and we’re in for a real price push. There is money to be made here that there isn’t on Devourer, imo.

At the beginning of the year this started to climb just on the basis of it being on the Reserved List, but I think this stays above $20 basically forever and the Stickfingers combo won’t hurt it at all.

I am a little more cautious here. This is too good for a lot of eternal formats and very niche in EDH. There are a lot of printings and therefore a lot of copies. It looks like a nice buy-in with a historical precendent of a $15 cap, but I don’t love this given the printings. That said, this might go up with a combination of this set and the next set since Green has to do SOMETHING with the Vampire stuff happening.

Stickybuns is a pretty standard reanimator deck, but any combos that work from the graveyard are in play here, so it’s worth looking into cards that work here better than they did before. Here is a card that is also important in another deck.

Slogurk, the Overslime

Solgurk and Stickfingers both have a card in common and I bet you can guess what it is. Did you guess? Oh, right. You have no way of telling me if you got it. I’ll wait. OK, ready? Here it is.

If you can get Loams under $20, I would. It’s great in both of these decks and with Innistrad being a graveyard-based block, the next set could give us another reason to Loam it up. Loam has demonstrated the ability to approach $35 after multiple printings, buying it for half that seems prudent, secret lair or no.

Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver

Wilhelt seems kind of boring, but people are pairing it with one card that is old as hell, on the RL and you may have a few in your collection like I do.

I noticed talk about this in MtG Fianance Discord groups and didn’t really love it as a spec, so this is a nice reminder to sell into the hype since $50 for a really niche and not that playable in anything else, really, but if you want to hang on, that’s fine. What I would NOT advise is buying in at $50.

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Joey Schultz tweeted something pretty funny but it made me think about whether there wasn’t actually a deck here.

As soon as you play March of the Machines, you make a loop that makes infinite clues that die as soon as they come into existence, triggering another investigation into the mysterious death of a 0/0, sentient clue token. There are lots of ways to kill someone when this happens.

The buy-in is very low on this given how many printings it has, but it is possible either people notice this stupid combo or other cards that do the same thing later also make March go up? I don’t know, let’s look at foils.

$6 doesn’t seem too bad. Mebbe. Mebbe mebbe. I mean, mebbe not. Probably not. But mebbe. Especially if I build this deck and try to do this on stream, which I absolutely will. The problem is, if they deal with your Blood Artist, the game ends in a draw unless you can break the loop another way- I recommend Phrerxian Altar or something like that. The deck will already run it anyway.

That does it for me this week. Lier is very popular, but it doesn’t do anything new and I don’t see any opportunity there. Do you? Argue with me in the comments section. Until next time!

Modern Problems Require Modern Solutions

The Modern meta has settled down a little bit compared to where it was a few weeks ago, right after Modern Horizons 2 was released, but there are still new decks popping up and continual meta shifts that make for some excellent spec hunting. Today I’m looking at some of the fresher pieces of tech that seem to be surfacing in the format, and I think there are some great opportunities around.


Persist (Retro foil)

Price today: $3
Possible price: $10

Some hot new tech is on the scene in Modern, this time in the form of a new build of the Amulet Titan deck. There’s a black-green version of the deck using Unmarked Grave and Persist to dump a Titan into the graveyard and reanimate it for another angle of attack that isn’t just hard-casting your 6/6. This iteration of the deck doesn’t seem to have quite overtaken the regular build just yet, but it’s put up multiple 5-0 performances in Modern leagues and looks like a serious contender.

On top of its performance in this deck, Persist is a relatively popular EDH card from MH2, in nearly 2000 decks listed on EDHREC so far. If you’re wanting a bunch of reanimation spells in your deck then this is a good one to go for – it’s cheap, permanent and doesn’t hit your life total, so although it can’t hit Legendary creatures I think it’s still a great option (and with the big things you’re likely to be reanimating, the -1/-1 counter probably isn’t going to matter much).

There’s both a retro foil and sketch version of Persist, and I think that the retro foil is by far the best option. The old border is gorgeous on black cards especially, and the regular and sketch versions of this just don’t cut it. Retro foils are sitting around $3 on TCGPlayer at the moment, which is definitely too low even on a shorter timeline. 6-12 months out this is a $10+ card, and the retro foils could go a good chunk higher in the future without a reprint.

Void Mirror (Retro Foil)

Price today: $4
Possible price: $10-15

The Crashing Footfalls deck is still a force to be reckoned with at the top of the Modern metagame, and so people have been looking for new cards in order to fight against it. One of the more popular choices recently has been Void Mirror, which counters any spells cast without coloured mana – i.e. anything that you cascade into with Shardless Agent, Violent Outburst etc. A large proportion of the top decks are using this as a sideboard card to combat Footfalls and Living End, and it’s one of the best cards of its kind that we’ve had.

We have both a retro foil and extended art version of Void Mirror, but the retro foil is the clear winner here. Artifacts always look best in the old border, and that’s going to bear out as supply starts to drain. We’re looking at around 50 TCG listings for NM foils, and I think that anything under $5 is a decent pickup at this point to hit $10-15 depending on how popular the free spells decks continue to be in the format.

Fury

Price today: $12
Possible price: $25

A lot of the free Elementals have been big hits across the Modern format since their printing in MH2, with Endurance currently leading the pack as one of the best sideboard cards across a lot of different decks. That’s been reflected in its price, being the most expensive of the cycle at the moment – but I think that might change soon having had a look at the popularity of Fury right now.

While Endurance is being utilised as a great sideboard card across multiple different decks, Fury is being played as a maindeck four-of in Elementals, Crashing Footfalls and mono-red amongst others. Despite this high amount of play, regular copies are still around $12 – less half that of Endurance – and that’s got to change soon if this amount of play keeps up (which I think it will).

People buying these for Modern are going to be picking them up four at a time, so supply is likely to drain relatively well compared to, say, an EDH-only card. I think that Fury (along with the other elementals from MH2) is likely to be a player in the format for a long time to come, so if you want your personal copies then now is as good a time as any to pick them up, and some spec copies alongside are sure to be a good bet.


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.

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