All posts by David Sharman

Not-So-New Capenna

The way that EDHREC sorts cards can be a little misleading sometimes, because it pushes multicoloured cards, that aren’t necessarily the most popular in terms of raw numbers, to the top of the standings due to their percentage inclusion in decks. This can be useful depending on what you’re looking for, but it does mean that some of the more popular cards that go into a lot of different decks get listed further down – so we have to use our brains a little more.

No matter, that’s what I’m here for – to help you decipher which cards you should really be looking to put money into and which might be red herrings.

I’m writing this article specifically about Streets of New Capenna, because this set is a prime example of having a huge number of multicoloured cards topping the EDHREC standings for percentage inclusion. There’s no doubt that cards like Void Rend and Riveteers Ascendancy are great, but they can draw our attention away from cards like Professional Face-Breaker that are going into more decks than both of those combined.

Halo Fountain

Price today: $4
Possible price: $15

I quite like picking up regular versions of Halo Fountain right now (not to be confused with Hallowed Fountain) – it’s one of the most popular Mythics from the set, and yet doesn’t have a price tag to match. Bootleggers’ Stash is in a little over a thousand decks more (5.3k vs 4k) listed on EDHREC, but is running up at $18 compared to the $4 we’re seeing for Halo Fountain. Yes, it’s a card that goes in a wider variety of decks, and yes green > white, but the numbers on Fountain are still pretty strong here and I wouldn’t discount it at all.

It’s going to be an incredibly popular casual card just because of the “win the game” clause on it, but even aside from that it’s just quite a good card in token/go-wide decks. Make creatures, draw cards, maybe win the game (especially if you’re playing some decent Convoke cards), and I think we’re onto a winner.

$4 for a popular mythic feels like a good buy here, and I wouldn’t sniff at the Borderless foils for $12 either – they could easily see a double up or more given enough time.

Rabble Rousing (FEA)

Price today: $3
Possible price: $10

Another white token-based card? Sure, why not. In the right kind of deck (and why would you be playing this in the wrong kind of deck?) I think that you could realistically be pulling out the card you hid away on the turn you drop this, or at the very least the turn after, and even once you’ve done that you’re still getting value from the enchantment afterwards.

Hiding away some big convoke spell or a Craterhoof Behemoth in your tokens decks seems pretty good, and although five mana is a reasonable investment for this card, you are getting immediate value from it and it’s probably not scary enough to meet an immediate removal spell, so you’re going to keep getting incremental gains from it as well.

Nearly 3500 decks recorded playing this on EDHREC makes me think that $3 FEAs are a good deal right now, especially considering the fact that regular non-foils are around $1. These could easily buylist for $7-8 down the road, and probably retail a good deal higher than that if you’re patient.

David Sharman (@accidentprune on Twitter) has been playing Magic since 2013, dabbling in almost all formats but with a main focus on Modern and EDH. Based in the UK, he’s an active MTG finance speculator specialising in cross-border arbitrage.

Neon Cycles

With Streets of New Capenna having been out for nearly a month now, and previews for Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate well underway, I want to take a look back at Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty. A lot of cards from that set have found homes in a lot of different EDH decks, and I’ve actually been surprised at the adoption rate or some of the cards I wouldn’t have thought to be that popular. Let’s see if you feel the same way…

Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance (Borderless Foil)

Price today: $10
Possible price: $25

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about Boseiju, Otawara and Takenuma before now, but the red cards in these cycles do seem to often get neglected. They may be less exciting and flashy, and so the adoption rate and price drags a little, but I think that just makes them a better opportunity for us. Sokenzan isn’t as powerful as some of the other lands in the set, but it can still easily replace a Mountain in your mono-red (or even multi-colour deck) for very little deck-building cost, giving you that extra little boost of creatures to use however you see fit.

Taking a look at EDHREC numbers, Boseiju takes the crown at over 31k decks, followed by Otawara, Takenuma, Eiganjo and then Sokenzan bringing up the rear. What’s quite interesting is that Otawara is in around 25k decks, but Borderless foils will run you over $40 – four times that of Sokenzan, but in just double the number of decks. Admittedly, Otawara sees more play in Modern, but I think this still indicates that Sokenzan is underpriced right now.

I think that the Borderless foils are the most exciting version of this not-very-exciting card, and can currently be had for around $10 on TGCPlayer. FEAs are running a lot lower around $4, with worse art and a higher supply. There are around 40 listings of Borderless foils right now, almost all single copies and still selling at least a couple a day, so those copies won’t last much longer with little more supply due to fill in the gaps.

Junji, the Midnight Sky (Borderless Foil)

Price today: $28
Possible price: $50

Another Borderless foil for you: Junji, the Midnight Sky. Again we’re not looking at the most popular of the dragons from this cycle here, but this time the second best – or at least, the second most played right now. I do actually think that it’s the best of the cycle; the red one – Atsushi, the Blazing Sky – is very strong too but I think that Junji has more flexibility and can slot into a wider variety of decks whilst still being able to make a big impact on any boardstate.

The drain effect on Junji might not quite stack up to the level of a Kokusho, the Evening Star, but forcing each of your opponents to discard two cards is very strong – especially if you start reanimating and re-sacrificing this dragon (which you definitely should be doing). Also having the option to reanimate a different creature when this one hits the graveyard gives the card another axis of attack, all the while having Flying and Menace to put the pain to your enemies and force them to deal with it – giving you another death trigger, which is exactly what you want.

Borderless foils of Junji are expensive for a standard set card that doesn’t really see play outside of EDH – but the price hasn’t been any cheaper than this and I don’t think it’s likely to get much cheaper than this any time soon. Supply on TCGPlayer is around 25 listings, and I don’t think it will be long at all before this is a $40 card. $50 won’t be too far off after that and as a Borderless foil Mythic the sky could really be the limit here.

David Sharman (@accidentprune on Twitter) has been playing Magic since 2013, dabbling in almost all formats but with a main focus on Modern, Pioneer and EDH. Based in the UK, he’s an active MTG finance speculator specialising in cross-border arbitrage.

Modern Movements

It’s a Modern week! There have been some shifts in the Modern metagame and I’m here to talk about them, the decks that are doing well and the cards from those decks that you should be buying if you want to keep on top of things.

Chord of Calling (Foil)

Price today: $7
Possible price: $20

I’ve written about the Yawgmoth Modern deck a couple of times previously, and until now it’s mostly been a tier 1.5ish deck that has had moderate success but never quite been one of the top dogs. In the past couple of weeks, however, it’s been seeing a lot more play and a lot more top finishes, so here we are again seeing what might be ripe for the picking.

Chord of Calling has always been a staple of this deck, and although the card has four printings now, supply – especially on foils – isn’t particularly plentiful any more. Original Ravnica foils are silly money, but M15 and Double Masters foils can still be had for around $7 right now, which I think could be a steal. There are only 17 2XM listings and 22 M15 listings for NM foils on TCGPlayer, and if you want a playset for Modern then that’s going to severely deplete the available supply quite quickly. There are also the promo foils to consider, of which there are a few more around at the same price, but again not too many.

Europe has everything a buck or two cheaper if you have access to those, but either way I think you should be rewarded on these fairly quickly. EDH demand will always back up the competitive play – this is in over 43k decks on EDHREC and that number isn’t going down anytime soon. Pick these up under $10 whilst you still can!

Dauthi Voidwalker (Retro Foil)

Price today: $15
Possible price: $30

Another deck on the up and up in Modern is the Rakdos Midrange archetype, curving Ragavan into Dauthi Voidwalker into Seasoned Pyromancer, and stacking full playsets each of the MH2 Elementals Grief and Fury. This is a super-streamlined deck that wants to attack your hand and your life total whilst keeping your board clear, to finish the game fast whilst still controlling your opponent’s every move.

Dauthi Voidwalker has become a big part of this deck, with most lists playing the full four copies. It’s an aggressively costed creature that is unblockable for the most part, and the graveyard hate is often very relevant in Modern. The bottom ability is what makes this card really powerful though – being able to play an opponent’s card without paying its mana cost can be a huge boon, especially if a game drags out into mid/late stages.

Retro foils are still only around $15 for this card, but supply is starting to dry up. Compared to the $7-8 regular non-foils, that seems quite cheap for the retro foils, and I think that they should do pretty well a little way down the line. This is also a card in an incredible 50k EDH decks on EDHREC, way more than I thought it would be – but it does make sense. This card is an EDH powerhouse that provides incidental graveyard hate whilst giving you access to your opponents’ most powerful cards.

David Sharman (@accidentprune on Twitter) has been playing Magic since 2013, dabbling in almost all formats but with a main focus on Modern, Pioneer and EDH. Based in the UK, he’s an active MTG finance speculator specialising in cross-border arbitrage.

Pioneer Innovation

The Pioneer meta has been changing from week to week and it’s quite exciting to see new decks popping up in each paper tournament, as well as in the online challenges and leagues. Although decks like Winota and Mono-Red are still the top dogs in the format, there’s a lot of innovation going on with the rest of the decks that people are playing, and that is making for some good spec opportunities.

Cavalier of Thorns

Price today: $10
Possible price: $25

Once upon a time, Cavalier of Thorns was a dominating force in multiple formats but has since fallen off a little – until now. There’s been a revival of the old mono-green deck that’s been doing well in Pioneer over the past couple of weeks; a classic ramp deck that can drop mana dorks on the first two turns into a turn three Cavalier, Nissa or Storm the Festival. Nykthos is still an incredibly powerful card in the format even since the banning of Leyline of Abundance, and can generate absurd amounts of mana very quickly when you’re churning out Elvish Mystics into Old-Growth Trolls.

Cavalier provides extra devotion for the deck as well as finding copies of Nykthos, Boseiju or Lair of the Hydra, and even gets you a card back from your graveyard when it dies – this card does it all, and if the mono-green deck stays around in Pioneer then I don’t think it will drop down to any less than four copies of the Elemental. Looking at EDH numbers it’s less popular than I thought it might be, but with us already being three years out from the card’s only printing, demand is outstripping supply without too much trouble.

Regular copies are already $10+ on TCGPlayer, and with only fourteen NM listings, supply is dwindling fast. There are still quite a few cheaper copies available in Europe if you have access to that market, which could make for some quick arbitrage over to the US as this deck picks up popularity, and it’s worth hunting around some of the smaller online retailers and LGSs for copies that haven’t had their prices raised yet. I don’t think it will be very long before this is a $20-25 card, so don’t hang around if you want any of these.

Mausoleum Wanderer

Price today: $2
Possible price: $5

Moving on from mono-green to mono-blue, the Spirits deck has evolved somewhat from previous iterations to a very aggressive deck that plays almost exclusively one- and two-drops, only stretching the curve out a little for a couple of copies of Brazen Borrower (I’m not counting Geistlight Snare as a three-drop because it should really always be costing one or two mana in this deck). This super-streamlined version of the archetype has been seeing a lot of recent success over its more midrange predecessor that plays Collected Company and a few more three-drops, but both decks share a card that is always played as a four-of in any Spirits deck: Mausoleum Wanderer.

This one mana 1/1 has quite a lot of text on it that makes it incredibly powerful – for starters it can often be swinging for three damage on turn two with a Supreme Phantom on the board, and on top of that it comes in clutch to counter removal spells or even boardwipes when you most need it to. I’ve played quite a lot of Spirits, both in Modern and Pioneer, and can safely say that Mausoleum Wanderer is one of, if not the best card in the deck.

Foil copies of this card are already very difficult to get hold of, but I think that non-foils are ripe for the picking right now. There are still quite a few hanging around, but at $2 I think they’re a safe bet; they’re generally going to be bought a playset at a time so don’t underestimate how quickly they could start to disappear. A very good sign for Wanderer is that CardKingdom are already paying $2.25 cash/$2.93 credit on them, so it’s obviously a popular card that they are willing to pay top dollar to keep in stock. Give it a few months or even less, and I can see this hitting $5 retail/$4 buylist for an easy double up. It’s not too exciting, but if you’re just buying a stack and then buylisting them, it’s easy money.

Mayhem Devil

Price in Europe: €0.10 ($0.10)
Price in US: $4
Possible price: $6? Does it matter?

There are a few different versions of Sacrifice decks going around in Pioneer at the moment, and whether they’re Jund or straight Rakdos, they’re all playing four copies of Mayhem Devil. It’s one of the best cards in the deck, and the damage output it can provide should never be underestimated. Even just cycling a Cauldron Familiar and a Food token each turn is two extra damage to kill off a creature or hit your opponent directly, and it can add up very quickly.

Mayhem Devil foils have been all but snatched up, and will set you back a crisp $20 if you really want one for your deck (and good luck justifying $80 on a playset of uncommons from three years ago). Non-foils are also in relatively short supply and have crept up to $4-5 over the past couple of months – in the US at least. Over in Europe you can still grab a load of copies for €0.10-0.20, and although it might mean grabbing a few playsets from a bunch of different vendors, it’ll still easily be worth it compared to the prices on the other side of the pond.

This is some easy straight arbitrage, with CardKingdom paying $2.25 cash/$2.93 credit if you’d rather do that than sell on TCGPlayer, but I think that if you wait a couple of months or so then you’ll be further rewarded. Demand for this card won’t be stopping any time soon, and with only a single printing there aren’t many copies to go around. I don’t think that it’s something primed for a reprint in any of the next sets, so you should be good to wait a little while if you want to squeeze as much value as you can out of this spec – but if you can sell at a tidy profit and move the money into the next spec then that’s generally going to be the correct play.

David Sharman (@accidentprune on Twitter) has been playing Magic since 2013, dabbling in almost all formats but with a main focus on Modern and EDH. Based in the UK, he’s an active MTG finance speculator specialising in cross-border arbitrage.