All posts by David Sharman

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.


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.

Are There Any Good White Cards?

White has pretty much always been the weakest colour in Magic, and although Wizards have said that they’ve been working on giving the colour some more power, it does seem to be coming in dribs and drabs. That being said, there are still some good cards to be had in white, and some of them even make good specs – so let’s see what we can find.

Ephemerate (Retro Foil)

Price today: $2.50
Possible price: $10

With the continued popularity of the Elementals deck in Modern, Ephemerate has become more and more popular in the format, almost always seen as a four-of in the tribal deck and sometimes played in Stoneblade decks too. I think that it’s the best blink effect we have in Magic now, and as such is also in nearly 13,000 EDH decks on EDHREC – not to mention its popularity in Pauper too. It’s a good card and it’s here to stay.

Even since its printing in MH1 a couple of years ago, we’ve had a few different versions presented to us since then: regular, Mystery Booster, Mystical Archive and now retro foil. That is quite a few different printings for a common, but really I think that we should only be looking at the two most premium versions – the retro foil and the JPN alt art Mystical Archive foils. Now the JPN Mystical Archive printings are already close to $25 (and rightly so; they’re gorgeous compared to their global art counterparts), but the retro foils are still somewhat languishing around the $2-3 mark.

I don’t think that price is correct in the mid to long term, both because of the wide playability and popularity of the card and the amount of supply there is. Some people will just prefer this version to others and some will be priced out of the Mystical Archive printings, but either way there are only 31 NM foil listings on TCGPlayer right now, and not many more over in Europe. This is prime time to pick up personal copies and a good opportunity to hunt for all the sub-$4 copies you can find – give it 6-12 months and I think this is easily a $10 card.

Teleportation Circle (FEA)

Price today: $4
Possible price: $15

On the theme of flickering things, Teleportation Circle has caught my eye as one of the best white cards for EDH out of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. Enter-the-battlefield effects have always, and will always, be incredibly popular in EDH, both because you generally want your cards to do something immediately rather than give three players a chance at removing it before you might get to use it, and because cards like Brago, King Eternal and Yorion, Sky Nomad exist as commanders.

We’ve seen time and time again how popular Conjurer’s Closet is; every time it gets reprinted the price tanks and then creeps back up and up – and Circle is a whole mana cheaper! Even though it puts you into white, most of the decks that are doing that sort of thing put you into white anyway, and Teleportation Circle even hits artifacts as well as creatures, so it’s just an easy shoe-in.

There are around 30 FEA listings on TCGPlayer at the moment, which honestly isn’t a huge amount compared to some of the other rares from the set – even Circle of Dreams Druid has more listings than that. I think that this is going to be a popular card in any kinda of flicker/ETB deck going forwards, and any white deck that’s got Conjurer’s Closet in is going to be playing this one too.

Castle Ardenvale (FEA)

Price today: $20
Possible price: $50

Yes, I know, it’s technically not a white card…but it’s going in white decks and I think it’s a good buy, so I’m bending the rules for my last pick this week! We’ve already seen some of the other utility lands from Throne of Eldraine head moon-wards – Castle Garenbrig, Locthwain and Vantress are all $50+ FEAs, and I think that Ardenvale is going to be the next one to go. In nearly 15,000 EDH decks listed on EDHREC, it’s a little behind the 20k+ of the aforementioned lands, but nevertheless a very popular EDH card as well as being utilised in a variety of Modern and Pioneer decks.

Currently sat around $20, there are only 12 TCG listings for NM FEAs, with almost all of those just being single copies. It’s a similar story over in Europe, with no real arbitrage available here, which means that supply really is quite drained at this point. We’re almost two years out from the release of Eldraine (although it feels like five), and I don’t see any more FEA supply incoming any time soon for these cards, so I think that Castle Embereth is worth a look at too, and might be a decent pickup at $10 for a slightly longer hold.

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.

Treasure Hunting

Adventures in the Forgotten Realms gave us quite a few new toys to play with in terms of Treasure use and generation, and it’s started to become a more popular theme amongst the EDH crowd. I was going to just write about AFR cards today, but instead figured that there are some much better options in other recent sets as well, so we’ve got a good range of Treasure-related goodness for you to plunder today!

Xorn (Showcase Foil)

Price today: $3
Possible price: $10

I think that a lot of the Showcase cards from AFR are being undervalued at the moment, with a lot of the value from the set being stored in the Mythics and Borderless cards. Some of the most popular EDH cards (and cards in general) have Showcase versions as their premium printing though, and so I think that now is a good time to be looking at buying some of them.

We got a lot of new tech for Treasures in AFR, and have seen cards like Revel in Riches spike as a result. A lot of the time Xorn reads “double your Treasures”, which can turn into a lot of mana very quickly and/or make for nice interactions with ‘artifacts matter’ cards and the like. In fact we have enough cards that make and interact with Treasures now that you can build a whole EDH deck around them, and I can bet you that Xorn is going in every single one – it’s currently the top red card from the set at 1600 EDH decks on EDHREC, and the third most popular card overall.

There are only 30 listings for NM foils of the Showcase version on TCGPlayer at the moment, with almost all of them being under $5. I really don’t think that that price is going to be correct in 6-12 months, and $10+ is likely to happen sooner or later. I don’t see Wizards reprinting these DnD Showcase versions again any time soon, so you’ll be safe on that front for a while to come.

Academy Manufactor (EA Foil)

Price today: $10
Possible price: $25

Another of the best Treasure-generators that we’ve seen recently is Academy Manufactor, and this is one that also makes Clues and Food for you as well, meaning that your artifact count is going to go through the roof pretty quickly with anything that makes any of these tokens. Not really much of a Modern card out of Modern Horizons 2, but I guess not everything can find a place in that format. Not to worry though, Manufactor is one of the most popular EDH cards from the set, just missing out on a top 10 spot at number 11 on EDHREC (going by raw number inclusion rather than percentage).

EA foils are already running in lower supply; we’re over two months out from MH2’s release now and copies are starting to dwindle away. MKM does have some EA foils a good bit cheaper at around the $5 mark, but there aren’t many listings there either. I don’t know if we’re going to get another wave of MH2 product, but if we do then I’ll likely just be using it as another opportunity to buy these slightly cheaper again. Either way, I think the outlook on Manufactor is pretty strong, and 12 months out this should be a $25+ card.

Magda, Brazen Outlaw (Showcase Foil)

Price today: $7
Possible price: $20

For our last pick today, we’re going all the way back to Kaldheim – which was admittedly only six months ago, but we’ve had six different product releases since then along with a whole slew of new announcements, and so it does feel like it’s been quite a while. Magda, Brazen Outlaw has become quite popular both as a commander and part of the 99 in Treasure-themed decks as well as Dwarf tribal builds, and the Showcase foils have been creeping up in price.

You don’t even need to be doing Dwarf things to make Magda good – so long as you’re reliably generating treasures, you can go and search up dragons to your heart’s content and start swinging. She does quite a lot for two mana, and although can be quite a fragile creature, that hasn’t stopped her popularity. We’re down to just 22 listings for Showcase foils on TCGPlayer, and a similar number over on MKM albeit at slightly reduced prices.

I like snapping off a few copies here and looking to flip within the next few months or so – although I don’t think that we’ll see this Showcase version reprinted any time soon, this should be a relatively quick spec to mature and you can move your money on into other things.

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.

A Mixed Bag

I couldn’t really come up with a good theme for my article this week, so instead I present you with a few cards that I think are going to be more expensive in the future than they are now. A bold premise, to be sure, but I think I’m up to the task – read on to see if you agree!

Warping Wail (Foil)

Price in Europe: €4 ($5)
Price in US: $30

Just looking at the price differences here, this is a pretty simple case of easy arbitrage here, but I do want to take a little bit of time to talk about why Warping Wail is suddenly (actually not-so-suddenly) a $30 foil uncommon. It’s been played here and there in Modern Tron decks for a long time now, with people sometimes favouring cards like Spatial Contortion or Dismember instead – but Warping Wail has a great flexibility to it that is currently proving to put it ahead of the rest of the pack.

Being able to exile almost every creature in the Hammer Time deck (before they’re holding a hammer) is huge, and it hits things like Dragon-Rage Channeler and Risen Reef as well. Not only does it hit almost every relevant creature in the format, the counterspell mode can come in handy too, doing away with things like Living End and Crashing Footfalls. I’m not sure how often you’re going to be creating a Scion with Warping Wail but I’m sure it’s going to come in clutch at some point too.

Foils have almost completely dried up in the US, with only five listings for foils of any condition. The card is close to six years old now without a reprint, and I don’t really know where Wizards would be able to reprint a card like this due to the colourless mana symbol. I don’t think we’ll be seeing this again any time soon, and so with foils still at €4 in Europe this is a great arbitrage opportunity to ship them overseas. Supply isn’t that deep in Europe, so don’t hang around on these – and if you’ve got any old OGW bulk to go through then you might be in for a nice surprise.

Esper Sentinel (Sketch Foil)

Price today: $25
Possible Price: $50

Speaking of things that Warping Wail can exile, Esper Sentinel is a pretty good one. It’s been a great pickup for the Hammer Time deck in Modern, and although it’s not seeing a huge amount of Modern play other than that, EDH is where the card really shines. Sentinel blows the rest of Modern Horizons 2 out of the water in comparison, already included in almost 9000 decks listed on EDHREC, with the only other card from the set coming close to it being Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth.

I fully expect this to be close to a Rhystic Study/Smothering Tithe level card moving forwards, and should slot into the vast majority of white EDH decks that can play it. Tax effects like this have proven time and time again to be hugely popular and end up getting pretty expensive, and people are starting to realise that earlier and earlier on, hence this already being a $15 card for regular copies.

I’ve talked about this before; I think the sketch arts were very hit-or-miss, but this is one of the ones that really shines. That’s why my pick today is for the sketch foils – because they’re the same price (actually a tiny bit cheaper on average) than the regular foils, but I think in time will overtake the regulars and command a good premium. Europe has some cheaper copies at around €15 ($18), and a couple of nice stacks still under $25 if you can grab those. I think that 6-12 months out this is easily a $50 card, so make sure you grab your personal and spec copies now!

Dauthi Voidwalker (Retro Foil)

Price today: $17
Possible price: $40

Sticking with Modern Horizons 2 for our last pick today, Dauthi Voidwalker is another card with a smattering of Modern play, but most powerful in EDH. Another of the most popular EDH cards from MH2 in nearly 6000 decks on EDHREC, Voidwalker does an excellent job of interrupting any graveyard shenanigans your opponents might have going on (which there is always a lot of), whilst not affecting your own at all. Its second ability to then cast a card exiled with it without paying its mana cost is slightly absurd, and really turns Voidwalker into a kill-on-sight kind of card.

We have both retro foils and extended art foils for this card, and although both should work out well in the end, I think that the retro foils should come out on top. You can grab a few copies under $20 at the moment and I think that those are good buys to double up in 12 months or so. Supply isn’t too deep compared to some of the other retro foils from the set and I feel fairly confident that this will end up in a lot of EDH decks, and on the off-chance it ends up doing well in Modern that will only make things better.

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.