All posts by Cliff Daigle

I am a husband, father, teacher, and EDH fanatic. My joy is in Casual and Limited formats, though I dip a toe into Constructed when I find something fun to play. I play less than I want to and more than my schedule should really allow. I write intermittently at and can easily be reached on Twitter @WordOfCommander.

Trading for banned cards?


The recent bannings have opened up some unique opportunities, but of the five cards, three are not as appealing as two are.

Gitaxian Probe: It sees Legacy play but that’s not enough to hold up a price it used to have, but luckily this means we are spared a reprint of the Probe in Modern Masters 2017 this March. There’s no value to be gained here.

Reflector Mage: I like foils in the long term, as something to drive Commander players crazy, but as a recent uncommon, it’s not good enough for other formats. Pass.

Golgari Grave-Troll: Poor guy. Banned, then let loose at the same time as Cathartic Reunion and Prized Amalgam, then banned again. Too broken for the format, and then they made sure, and now it’s likely forever. Plus, he’s not good enough for Legacy Dredge, so I’ve got no interest.

However, I admit this: I’m actively trading for Smuggler’s Copter and Emrakul, the Promised End.


I’m not afraid of doing so, either. I’m not buying copies hand over fist, though playsets of Copter can be had for $17 and that’s a very steep decline from where it’s been.

I like trading for a few of these gradually, because I want to pick up these two cards at their lowest point. Allow me to explain.


Smuggler’s Copter is a fantastic card. The first time Wizards does a new card type, they push one or two of the cards, and that’s how we get Jace, the Mind Sculptor, or the Copter. They just didn’t know how overpowering it was going to be. Skysovereign, Consul Flagship is close, considering how easily that can take over a board,

The Copter is intriguing to me for three reasons: First, it’s at its cheapest right now after the bannings. It was sitting pretty around $12, and now it can be had for $4-$5 each. The fact that it didn’t drop further is partially price memory, but partially optimism.

The second and third reasons are a pair of formats: Modern and Frontier. Copter hasn’t made a big splash in Modern yet but I want to be ready if it does. It’s popped up in a few lists, but nothing earthshattering has happened with it so far. It’s possible that the card is too consistent for Standard, but not good enough to make a splash in Modern.

Even though I’m not convinced of Frontier’s long-term potential, it’s already caused some spikes and I think there’s value to be gained here. I will let others make predictions about the format, but I don’t need to believe in the format in order to gain from its existence. I will note that the comparisons to Tiny Leaders feel appropriate at this point.

Emrakul, the Promised End is a different animal. No one is trying to break this card in older formats, but it’s a fantastic long-term gainer and it seems unlikely to be reprinted for quite a while. It’s one of only three Eldrazi with flying, and one of them is banned in commander, while the other is Eldrazi Skyspawner.

There is no shortage of decks in Commander that want to cast this card. Controlling someone else’s turn is incredibly powerful and shouldn’t be underestimated, and thankfully it’s a cast trigger, not an enters-the-battlefield trigger.

Emrakul is also a major character, the headliner of a small set, and one that was overshadowed to some extent in Eldritch Moon because Conspiracy 2 came out just a month and a half later. This impacted the amount of EMN that was opened and that’s also why Liliana, the Last Hope has stayed over $30. She’s not in a lot of decks, but she’s a fantastic card that was in a less-opened set.

(As an aside, the small sets are really getting treated poorly. We are barely going to have six weeks with Aether Revolt before Modern Masters 2017 shows up, and that’s just mean.)

I would gladly trade for foil versions of Emrakul, TPE right now, too. The multiplier is right about where I’d like it to be, not too high and not too low. I would expect steady growth from both prices as people trade for the card and they get put into decks and out of circulation.

I’d like to hear if you agree or disagree. Let me know in the comments, or head over to the forum!

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PROTRADER: PucaPicks for 1/19/2017

With the Prerelease behind us, prices are mostly too high but some of them are intriguingly low. I’ve got a few Aether Revolt cards on my want list already, and some I’ve sent out…


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ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

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PROTRADER: PucaPicks for 1/12/17

Normally, I like to squeeze in some info above the fold, because I want to tempt you into being a ProTrader, but you’re already here and there’s a lot to go over with the launch of Aether Revolt, and the bannings, and all sorts of things. So let’s get to it!

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I whine about this every set, but oh how irritating it is that the whole set is spoiled today and yet I have to have this written ahead of time.

Some things are already in motion, and it helps to see what kinds of things people are obsessed with.

Animation Module – There’s a nearly-infinite combo with this and Metallic Mimic. Name Servo, and your tokens get counters. Pay mana and make more creatures. Repeat until you’re out of mana, but you’re spending one mana to make a 2/2 and that’s pretty awesome. Is it Standard-playable? Maybe.

Revolt as a mechanic – This is going to bust the Eldrazi Displacer decks right in half. There’s a lot of amazing Revolt triggers so far, and likely more to come. The Displacer activation is going to repeat and empower the trigger all by itself, and sure, play Panharmonicon with it.

Yes, it’s ridiculous in Standard with the new Aetherborn Warrior. But Displacer already had Reflector Mage to play with. Will this tip those decks over? I can’t wait to see.

I wonder if this mechanic is a clear sign that this was planned and tested for Oath of the Gatewatch only being legal till Amonkhet. We will see if this is the new oppression.

I’m also not the first person to point this out, but Revolt is disgustingly good with fetchlands, as well as any flicker effects. What’s that, Roon of the Hidden Realm? You’re asking for your turn. Fair enough. You’re good to go.

Fatal Push – This is exactly as good as it looks. It’s possibly better in Modern. It’s going to be one of the chase uncommons (seriously, some of these uncommons are pushed) but the foils are going to be highly sought after. Modern is going to play lots of these, and I think the play is to sell the ones you open early, and the ones you open for about the first three weeks, and then you start hoarding these. Gonna be legal for a long time!

Oath of Ajani – I’m highly skeptical of this card. If you want the cheaper Planeswalkers, you play a mana dork. If you want the bigger creatures, you want Always Watching. I think that people are going to be trying really hard to make this work, but don’t lose sight of how these are two effects that don’t work well together.

Release the Gremlins – I’m high on this, though. I think casual decks and Commander decks will be spoiled for choices, and you should delight in casting this for five or seven mana regularly.

Rishkar’s Expertise – Please don’t lose sight of how this card works. When it resolves, you draw the cards, and then get the free cast. So you can cast something you drew! Casual gold and a card I’ll be delighted to pick up at nearly bulk prices.

Disallow – Voidslime is a fantastic Commander card. It’s so great to have that flexibility, and now we have an upgrade on the mana cost. I think Disallow is going to be a heavy player going forward, as it’s a good answer to have against both Marvel and Emrakul. It’s not perfect, but you have the power to decide if you’re better off giving them the creature or letting them have your turn.

Hidden Herbalists – So in Modern, there’s a deck running Burning-Tree Emissary, Reckless Bushwhacker, and Goblin Bushwhacker. It’s not running Priest of Urabrask, but will it run the Herbalists to go with fetches? Someone’s trying already, I imagine.

Gonti’s Aether Heart – Wow. It’s six mana, but it makes a lot of energy and the energy decks will absolutely pop this into play.

Planar Bridge – Going to be a one-of in Tron, I suppose, though 14 mana to play and activate it in the same turn isn’t easy even for that deck. A great upgrade over Planar Portal and a card that will be added to the “Ban this card plz!!!@21!!” threads over in the EDH forums.

Invention Platinum Angel – Such the hotness. Can’t wait to have one. Price is going to be too high for what it does, but it’s so so beautiful.

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