All posts by David Sharman

Godzilla vs Your Wallet

We’re almost a year out from the release of Ikoria, Lair of Behemoths, and although most of them started out pretty cheap, some of the Godzilla alternate art cards have been on the move in a serious way. Ghidorah, King of the Cosmos (also known as Illuna, Apex of Wishes) (yes these names are unnecessarily confusing) foils have popped to $300+ on TCGPlayer, with only six copies available, and others are heading that way too.

Try not to confuse these ones with the comic book style alternate arts, because there are multiple versions of some of these cards just to keep us on our toes. There are some Godzilla variants that have great potential but haven’t quite popped off yet, so strap in and let’s take a look!

Dorat, the Perfect Pet (Sprite Dragon) (Foil)

Price today: $7
Possible price: $20

Sprite Dragon has become a staple in Modern UR Blitz decks, as well as being adopted into a multitude of other formats including Standard, Legacy and Vintage. It’s at its most powerful when you’re stuffing your deck full of zero and one mana spells, something which is much easier in older formats, and can hit really hard pretty early if you get off to a good start. Combine it with a turn one Monastery Swiftspear and you’re going to be killing your opponent more quickly than they might like!

The foil Godzilla versions of these are starting to run pretty thin on the ground, down to 21 listings on TCGPlayer now. This is only an uncommon so don’t expect it to reach the dizzying heights of cards like Ghidorah, but I think that a triple-up from $7 should easily happen within the next few months, or sooner if the Godzilla hype train keeps rolling. There are cheaper copies in Europe too, starting around €2 and supply being a little deeper – so if you can pick some up there then I’d advise doing so.

Biollante, Plant Beast Form (Nethroi, Apex of Death) (Foil)

Price in Europe: €20 ($24)
Price in US: $70
Possible price: $100+

Moving away from competitive formats, Nethroi has remained the most popular commander built from Ikoria pretty much since the set was released, and it’s also one of the top EDH cards from the set for part of the 99 as well. Mutating it really isn’t too difficult in EDH, and if you start playing around with cards that can have negative power in the graveyard (like Death’s Shadow and Scourge of the Skyclaves), then you can really start doing silly things with it.

The vast price gap between Europe and the US here might indicate that this should be purely an arbitrage pick, but considering the prices we’ve seen Ghidorah post I could actually see Biollante hitting well over $100 at some point in the not-too-distant future as well, as another mythic from the set. There are only four of these on TCGPlayer but you might be able to find some cheaper elsewhere in the US – that being said, if you have access to Europe then these are a slam dunk at €20.

We’ll probably see Ghidorah retrace a bit from $300 but I wouldn’t be surprised to see these heading in that direction before long as well – after all, Ghidorah was a $60 foil just a couple of months ago.

Mothra, Supersonic Queen (Luminous Broodmoth) (Foil)

Price in Europe: €27 ($32)
Price in US: $78
Possible price: $100+

Finishing off today, Mothra has also proven to be powerful both in competitive and casual formats, popping up in combo decks using Solemnity as well as being the second most popular white card in the set for EDH (behind Drannith Magistrate, which is fair enough really). What we’re here for though is the Godzilla variant of the card, because just like Biollante it’s way cheaper in Europe than it is in the US…but the $78 US copies could easily still be a buy here.

This one’s another mythic from the set which means there aren’t many around, especially in the special version, and with only 13 listings on TCGPlayer they’re starting to be more difficult to get hold of. MKM is your best option here, but if you can’t get those then I’d advise hunting around some different sites or LGSs for better deals. Either way, I think that these are headed over $100 soon enough, and it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see a reprint of these versions any time soon, if ever.

If you’re after personal copies of any of the Godzilla cards then I’d advise picking them up as soon as you can, because the only way is up from here.

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.

Third Time’s the Charm

I’ve already done a couple of passes at Kaldheim, but I think that there are still a couple of cards in the set worth talking about that I haven’t mentioned yet. It’s proved a fairly deep set for both casual and competitive formats, and there are a lot of cards that I think will be played for years to come. This is my third article on Kaldheim cards and there are more pickups I like that I haven’t even talked about here, so let’s see what made the cut!

Valki, God of Lies (Borderless Foil)

Price today: $45
Possible price: $80

When Kaldheim was first released, there was a huge amount of hype around Valki, God of Lies due to its interaction with the Cascade ability, meaning that you could cascade into the Valki side of the card but then cast the seven mana Tibalt side of the card for free. This trick caused Modern to be rife with people cascading into Tibalt on turn two or three, making for a rather unfun time.

This uh, oversight? has since been rectified with a rules change to Cascade, meaning that the card you cast off the Cascade trigger has to have a mana value less than that of the card you used to cascade, and this has in turn led to a retrace in Valki’s price across the board after the initial spike. However, the card is still seeing play in Modern and Pioneer just as a good fair value engine on both sides, and so I think that its dip in price leaves it in a good spot to pick up now. Niv to Light is still one of the most popular decks in Pioneer and four/five colour Omnath decks remain a thing in Modern, and both archetypes have adopted a few copies of Valki here and there. On top of that, it’s a reasonably popular EDH card too – 166 decks listed using it as the commander and another 400 or so playing it in the 99.

Borderless foils have retraced from almost $100 down to around $45 now, but supply isn’t exactly on the high side. Only 28 listings on TCGPlayer with just four of those under $50, and a nice ramp heading over $60 makes me think that this card is due to head back upwards over the next few months or so, as competitive and EDH demand slowly drains out the remaining copies. Give it 12-18 months and I can easily see this as an $80+ card – the Showcase foils are already over $65, which is a good indication.

Alrund’s Epiphany (Borderless Foil)

Price today: $15
Possible price: $30

Extra turn spells always do well, and I don’t think that this one is going to be an exception. It’s already performed strongly in Standard and Historic in the Emergent Ultimatum decks, and is racking up decent EDH stats as well. At over 500 decks recorded on EDHREC, I’d put it at a tier 2 ish level compared to the rest of the set, but it has the added benefit of being a Mythic and being a Time Walk effect.

It’s a slightly more expensive extra turn than some other spells like Time Warp, but the fact that it has Foretell makes it pseudo-immune to Wheel effects or hand attack in EDH, and you do get a couple of tokens for your troubles as well. We do have quite a few Time Walk effects to choose from in EDH these days, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this one makes the cut over a few others that are slightly more vanilla.

The Borderless foils only have 27 listings on TCGPlayer, and most of those are single copies. MKM has a few cheaper copies around €10 if you can get them, but again supply is not very deep there either. I expect to see this double or more in the next 12 months, and it’s a gorgeous card to look at in the meantime!

Mystic Reflection (FEA)

Price today: $10
Possible price: $25

I think that Mystic Reflection has a lot of different applications that may not be apparent on a first glance at the card, and the EDHREC stats seem to back this up. It’s been built into over 1200 decks since Kaldheim was released, making it the second most popular blue card behind Ravenform (which is a common, so doesn’t really matter to us). Mystic Reflection can be used to turn an opponent’s threat into a tiny token, disrupt someone’s combo or even enable your own by copying yours or someone else’s creature.

It’s such a flexible card that a lot of blue decks are going to want it, and as such I think that the price will be heading on an upwards trajectory. TCGPlayer has FEA copies around $10 right now, and you won’t find any cheaper on MKM. These are purely EDH demand but I think that this will become enough of a relative staple that we could see these over $20 in 12-18 months, so grab your personal copies now and stash away some more to hold onto for a bit.

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.

Swords Across the Seas

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a dedicated arbitrage article, but there are some fantastic opportunities at the moment for those of you who are able to pick cards up in Europe and either sell them internationally or send them overseas for resale in the US. As always, I’ll link my article on arbitrage here for you to have a read of.

EDHREC is doing a series on Equipment at the moment where they rank every single equipment in the game, and this had me looking at some of the more popular ones. Equipment cards are somewhat unique in that they’re broadly a card type that only ever really sees EDH play, which means that Europe is generally behind the curve on them, and this provides us with some good arbitrage opportunities. No, they’re not all swords, but it made for a catchy title so I’m sticking with it!

Shadowspear (All Versions)

Price in Europe: €5/€8/€30 ($6/$9.50/$35)
Price in US: $10/$17/$63
Possible price: $15/$30/$80

Since its release in Theros Beyond Death last January, Shadowspear has pretty much just gone up and up – in both popularity and price. It’s climbed its way right up to over 17,000 decks registered on EDHREC in the last two years, locking in a solid 9th place in the Equipment rankings. It’s honestly a fantastic card for almost any EDH deck – costing just one mana to cast and two to equip is peanuts for the effects you get strapped on (just compare it to Loxodon Warhammer), and being able to remove Hexproof and Indestructible from your opponents’ creatures is a big move at the EDH table.

I said prices have been going up, and that’s certainly true in the US – however over here in Europe prices are dragging significantly in comparison, as is likely to happen with EDH-only cards. Copies can still be had at €5/€8/€30 for regular/EA/FEA versions on MKM, which is honestly still a bargain on all fronts when you compare them to the prices on TCGPlayer.

Stock is especially low on EA and FEA versions now, and although we may see the regular card printed again sometime in the not-too-distant future, it’s unlikely that we’ll see it in the EA treatment any time soon. THB Collector Boosters are getting pretty pricey now, and with the big hitter Uro banned in most relevant places, they’re much less attractive to crack – meaning that not many more EA and FEA cards from the set are making their way into the market any time soon. These are all good for immediate flips but much better to hold for a few months!

Helm of the Host (Foil)

Price in Europe: €8 ($9.50)
Price in US: $25
Possible price: $30

Helm of the Host foils finally popped in the US last week, after years of thinking “any time now I’m SURE it’s going to pay off”. Well, to those of you that held out this long: well done. However, as is tradition Europe is lagging and there are still foils available around €8 on MKM. I don’t think that those will stick around too long as people begin to realise that prices in the US have moved significantly, so I wouldn’t hang around on these if you want any cheaper copies.

If you were in any doubt about how good or popular this card is, just take a look at the EDHREC stats: over 22,000 decks listed clocks it in at number seven in the Equipment rankings, because it turns out that being able to have multiple copies of your commander out can be preeeeetty good in the right deck (and it works just as well on other creatures too!), despite the relatively costly mana and equip costs. I like this as a quick flip target across the pond, but holding could be totally reasonable for you as well, and you might be able to get closer to $40 for this a couple of months down the road.

Dowsing Dagger (BaB Foil)

Price in Europe: €5 ($6)
Price in US: $25
Possible price: $50

Now for my last pick, I know that this is really only played for the back half of it, but it’s still technically an equipment and it’s also got a ridiculous price disparity between the two continents – and it’s also the closest thing to a sword in this article! This card spiked in the US a few weeks ago, but – you guessed it – Europe is dragging its heels, and there are still €5 copies on MKM. Not too many of them, mind you, but the opportunity is there and waiting for you to grab it.

This is a much less popular card than the other two I’ve talked about today, but it’s a lot more unique in the fact that I don’t think the Buy-a-Box promos from Ixalan will ever be printed in the same fashion again. These are the ones with partial maps on the back, that if you line them all up together they make a big map of Ixalan. It was a really cool idea and makes these a great collector’s item, as well as the cards just having good art and foiling on them.

If you’re wanting a premium version of Dowsing Dagger then you’re choosing between this, the set foil and the prerelease foil – and I think we all know what the best option there is. I think you’re even good to pick off the sub-$30 of these in the US, as they’re heading towards $50 in no short order. Growing Rites of Itlimoc is already there and some of the other BaB promos from Ixalan are well on their way – they’re all pretty good EDH cards and if you can get them cheap in Europe, I’d strongly advocate for it.

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.

Commander Legends Draining

It’s already been four months since Commander Legends was released, and supply is continuing to run thinner and thinner. Despite a couple of restocks of Collector Boosters here and there we haven’t seen a lot of those singles injected into the market, meaning that prices are only going up on the most sought-after EDH cards.

Cards like Jeweled Lotus and Hullbreacher are already very expensive in EA and FEA, but there are still some good deals to be had on a lot of the ‘tier two’ cards from the set, that I think will be the next ones to pop.

Akroma’s Will (EA/FEA)

Price today: $7/$18
Possible price: $15/$35

I’ve talked before about white needing as much help as it can get in EDH, and this is a card that really pulls its weight. It’s the second most popular card from Commander Legends, and fits into just about any white deck you’d like to put it in. The flexibility and power level it provides means that it can boost your creatures and really go over the top to launch your opponents into the sun on a final attack, as well as being able to protect them from pretty much anything – or both!

EA copies are currently around $7 on TCGPlayer and €4 on MKM, whilst foils will run you $18 or €18. I’m actually more of a proponent of the regular EA copies here, because I think that they have the potential for a higher multiplier than the FEA version. I could see the $7 copies being $15-20 in 6-12 months, whilst the FEAs will probably land somewhere between $30-40 in the same timeframe.

The supply is lower on the FEAs, but not by as much as you’d expect – there are 33 non-foil listings and 27 foil listings. I think this likely has to do with the bad curling issues on CMR foils, causing a lot of players to opt for the non-foils instead (but if you want to uncurl your foils, check out our article on it here).

Apex Devastator (EA/FEA)

Price today: $15/$55
Possible price: $30/$100

I’m honestly not sure how good Apex Devastator is in EDH, but I don’t think that it being really good is quite the point of playing the card. “Cascade, cascade, cascade, cascade” is quite the text to stick on a card, and it’s definitely something that is a lot of fun to play with. One of the best things about Cascade is that even if your 10-drop gets countered, you’re still going to get all of those triggers regardless. I’m also a huge fan of the clean textbox on the EA and FEA versions, just having those four words with nothing else to distract.

At just over 2000 EDH decks it’s not the most popular card, but its Mythic rarity means that there are much fewer copies around than any rares, and so the price is going to jump a lot faster than it might do otherwise. Calling the FEA from $55 to $100 here might be a slightly bold claim, but honestly I think that it’s going to get there at some point in the not-too-distant future.

There are a total of twenty copies on TCGPlayer, and only seven of those are under $60 – I think that those ones are ripe for the picking, and should head up towards $100 within the next 6-12months. That will in turn push the regular EA copies up along with them, heading for $30 or more in the same timeframe.

Commander’s Plate (FEA)

Price today: $40
Possible price: $80

Rounding things off with another Mythic FEA today, you have to scroll down the EDHREC page a little bit to find this one because it’s an artifact and the cards are sorted by inclusion percentage rather than raw numbers. Despite that, it’s in almost 3000 decks listed, which puts it right up there with some of the most popular cards from the set. Costing only one mana to play and three to equip to your commander is pretty cheap for such a strong effect, especially if you’re jamming it onto a mono-coloured or colourless Legend.

My comments about Apex Devastator’s rarity ring just as true for Commander’s Plate, and with only 19 FEA listings on TCGPlayer I expect to see the price pushing up and up over the next few months. This is actually one of the few CMR FEAs that have some slightly cheaper copies in Europe, with a few available around €30-35 (~$35-40). There aren’t a lot so you’ll have to be quick, but I think that it’s a decent arbitrage opportunity to squeeze some extra dollars out of your spec if you’re able to leverage it.

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.