All posts by David Sharman

New Tech, Old Decks

Continuing on from my article a couple of weeks ago, I’m back with more Modern content this week, and there have been some interesting decks popping up in the metagame that I want to take a look at. New and old decks in the metagame means new cards to spec on, and although this week’s picks might be a little more speculative than I usually go with, I like the look of them nonetheless.

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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.

Boring is Best

We all want to be hunting for the shiniest, most exciting specs to pick up in the hopes that they’ll work out well (and don’t get me wrong, I’m all too guilty of this as well), but often our money is best placed with some of the more mundane cards that will just steadily increase in value over the course of a few months or a year, rather than exploding suddenly. Today I’ll be looking at some of the hottest not-hot cards from recent sets that I think will be some solid steady gainers.

Fighter Class

Price today: $2
Possible price: $5

This is a neat little rare that hasn’t quite gotten down to bulk prices, and at this point I don’t think it will. It’s turned out to be one of the most popular multicolour EDH cards from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, slotting into all the Boros equipment and artifact decks, providing a useful tutor effect and cheap equipping as well as enabling some incredibly favourable combat for your creatures a little later on.

If you’re building a Boros deck in EDH then there’s a good chance that it’s going to be combat-based, and if it is then you’d be a fool not to include Fighter Class in the deck. I think it’s going to prove very popular with the casual crowd and although it might not make a splash in any competitive formats, the EDH play is going to be more than enough to ensure that this will be a card in demand for quite a while to come.

You can pick these up around $2 on TCGPlayer at the moment, and I don’t think we’ll see it going much lower than that now. Europe has them a little cheaper, closer to the $1 mark for bulk quantities which is quite an attractive prospect – I think that these will be a good buylist target a year or so down the road.

Sythis, Harvest’s Hand (Showcase Foil)

Price today: $3.50
Possible price: $8-10

Moving back in time a little to Modern Horizons 2 now, Sythis, Harvest’s Hand is another solid card that is going to go into a large number of EDH decks and likely make steady gains over the next few months or so. We’re in better luck with this one as well because there’s a Showcase version for us to buy too, and I think that the Showcase foils are going to be the best performing version of this card.

Sythis is going to have a home in every enchantment-based EDH deck that can run it, and I think that Showcase foils at $3.50 are too low in the long run. At over 3000 EDHREC inclusions it’s the third most popular multicoloured card from MH2, and those numbers are going to keep growing as we see more enchantment-matters cards printed in the future. I don’t think that we’re likely to see Sythis reprinted too soon, especially in the Showcase frame, so these should be safe for a little while.

We’re down to 63 NM foil listings on TCGPlayer (about the same price in Europe too), and I think that now is a good time to start picking some of these up. If we see some more exciting enchantment cards soon then Sythis might pop off more quickly than expected, but otherwise I think that this will be another steady spec that should pay off a little way down the road.

Ignoble Hierarch (Retro Foil)

Price today: $15
Possible price: $30

Moving up the ladder to the second most popular multicoloured card from MH2, Ignoble Hierarch hasn’t just been making waves in EDH. I talked a little about this card last week when I mentioned Munitions Expert; Ignoble Hierarch has made its way into a few Modern decks including Goblins and Jund, and with that kind of multi-format popularity it’s definitely worth taking a look at.

We have a bunch of different versions of this card to consider, but I think that the Retro Foils are the best ones here – they look the best and have the lowest amount of supply, so are likely to be the biggest gainers. They’re a good chunk more expensive in Europe at the moment which shows that they’re more popular in competitive formats, and I think that a double up from $15 to $30 is quite likely in the next 12 months or so.

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.

More Modern

It’s been a few weeks since I took a proper look at the Modern format, so here I am back at it again with the Modern content this week. The metagame is still pretty diverse and looks to be healthy, so read on for what I think you should be picking up this week.

Spreading Seas (Foil)

Price in Europe: €12 ($14)
Price in US: $???
Possible price: $50

UW(x) control has been hovering around the top of the Modern metagame for a few weeks now with no sign of dropping, and that’s partly because it’s got some of the best answers in the format right now. With Prismatic Ending, Counterspell and Solitude in its arsenal there isn’t much that the deck can’t deal with, and Spreading Seas has been a consistent tool for the deck to battle against things like Urza’s Saga, Tron decks and greedy 3+ colour manabases.

I was quite surprised when I realised that Spreading Seas has only ever had a single printing, all the way back in original Zendikar (not Battle for Zendikar, Zendikar Rising or the yet-to-come Zendikar Resurrections). That means that, for a relatively popular Modern card that only has one printing 12 years ago, foils are now getting incredibly hard to come by. There aren’t any NM foils on TCGPlayer and the only LP foils are at $70 and $100 – pretty ridiculous prices for this little common.

Europe has a few more than that though, with a few NM foils under €15 and a good handful more under €20. I think that buying these under €15 is an easy flip over to the US to list on TCGPlayer for $40-50. Nobody’s paying $70 for LP foils of this, but if they see NM foils under $50 then they could well be tempted to snap a couple up for their Modern deck.

Lurrus of the Dream Den (EA)

Price today: $15
Possible price: $30

I think it’s time to talk about Lurrus again. I’ll try not to repeat too much of what’s been said before, but Lurrus is still a hugely dominating force in Modern and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon. Three of the top decks in the format (Burn, Hammer Time and Jund) are playing Lurrus as a companion, and bans have been talked about quite a bit for this card. There’s been some discussion in the ProTrader Discord about it, and I’m of the mind that despite the power level and prevalence of this card, I don’t think that it’s ripe for a ban. It still allows for a variety of decks to be played and can be dealt with fairly handily by sideboard cards, and so isn’t oppressive enough to warrant a ban at the moment.

Despite its continued popularity, there’s been a dip in price over the past few weeks and I think now is a good time to capitalise on that. EA non-foils have dropped down to around $15, having been over $25 earlier in the summer, and I think that hitting that $25+ price point again won’t be any trouble at all for this card. A good data point here is that Lurrus EA non-foil is still around €25 ($29) in Europe, where Modern is possibly the most played format, and so I think that the TCG prices will reflect those in Europe before long.

Munitions Expert (Foil)

Price today: $5
Possible price: $15

Something a little more under the radar for today’s last pick, Goblin tribal has been putting up a decent showing in some Modern results over the past couple of weeks and I think it’s worth taking a look at. It’s utilising Ignoble Hierarch as some extra acceleration alongside the classic Æther Vial, which makes for a slightly trickier manabase but the fact that Hierarch is a Goblin means that cards like Cavern of Souls and Unclaimed Territory are very useful.

Munitions Expert is a consistent four-of in these lists, as it can pick off both creatures and planeswalkers that are getting in the way of pushing damage through, and having Flash for when you don’t have an Æther Vial in play can be huge.

Despite only being an uncommon, there are only seven listings left for NM foils of this on TCGPlayer. If you want foils for personal use then I’d snap them up sharpish, and a playset or two to spec on definitely won’t hurt you. There are a few more around the $4-5 mark in Europe too if you can get those, and if this deck takes off in Modern then I expect this to be $15 before long.

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.

Recycling Ikoria

Along with the not-so-beloved Throne of Eldraine, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths has just left Standard rotation, and in the 18 months since its release we’ve seen some big ups and downs from a few cards in the set. A lot of the best cards have already been identified, and the time to buy Triomes as specs is long gone – but I think that there are still a few good cards that deserve our attention as Eternal and EDH options.

Shark Typhoon

Price today: $9
Possible price: $20

Remember when Shark Typhoon was a $2 rare, back before people realised that it was actually really good and not just a meme? I remember, and I wish I’d bought a bunch when it was that cheap – but I didn’t, because I too didn’t really think much of it at the time and got caught by surprise when it was suddenly $10 and then even $15 for a brief period. Now that it’s rotated out of Standard, this is an Eternal and EDH-only card, and there’s good reason it hasn’t crashed to bulk prices.

Ever since people realised this card was pretty good, it’s been a staple of control decks in Modern and even Legacy, as well as being included in almost 10,000 decks listed on EDHREC. I think that it’s here to stay as a minor staple in multiple formats, and I doubt that we’ll be seeing a reprint too soon – it’s unlikely we’ll see Cycling again in a Standard set in the near future, and although it’s possible we see it reprinted in a Commander deck, we had a Cycling deck in the 2020 lists so again it might not show up for a while.

I like the look of the regular non-foils here, because although there are around 125 non-foil listings for the card on TCGPlayer, most of those are single copies and will dry up steadily over the next few months or so. If you are worried about a reprint then I think that the EA versions are a great buy too. Currently sitting at around $14 I think that those could easily see a double up to around $30, and if you’re feeling a little splashier then I feel fairly confident calling the FEAs to go from $45 to $60+ as well (although there’s less meat on those bones than I’d really like, so the others are better specs for now).

Reconnaissance Mission

Price today: $0.40
Possible price: $3

Onto more of a bulk pickup now, and I’m really quite happy to have found this one. Reconnaissance Mission is just a strictly better Coastal Piracy, and for one of the top EDH uncommons from Ikoria I think it’s definitely underpriced at the moment. If we compare it to Bastion of Remembrance, another top uncommon from the set that does a similar thing to a fair few other cards, you’d think that Mission would be pretty close to Bastion in price – but it’s not at all. Bastion is in just over 20,000 decks listed on EDHREC and Mission hits 80% of that at nearly 16k, and yet Bastion is already a $3 card.

This is sure to be due for a correction sooner or later, and so I think that now is a great time to be picking some Reconnaissance Missions up. You can currently grab a bunch from TCGPlayer at around $0.40 each, and the fact that CardKingdom is already paying $0.33 credit for them makes me fairly confident about this pick. There are a bunch available even cheaper in Europe too, so if you’ve got access then those are nice pickups as well. I’d be looking to buylist these out in 12 months or so – this isn’t a huge play but it’s something easy to bulk up a buylist nicely.

Mythos of Snapdax (FEA)

Price today: $3.50
Possible price: $10

As the most popular of the Mythos(es?) from Ikoria, Mythos of Snapdax FEAs are starting to run a little thin on the ground. I think that if this were just a white card and not three colours then it would be in a lot more decks than it currently is, but as it stands I think the card is doing just fine. It’s effectively just a Tragic Arrogance at one mana cheaper, and as such has turned out to be a popular choice amongst Mardu enthusiasts.

TCGPlayer is down to around 30 listings for NM FEAs, and I think that this will be a nice steady climber over the $10 mark given 12-18months. It’s a card I want to pick up a playset or two of and forget about for a while – no immediate rush to grab them but I think that they will prove to be good gainers over the next year or so.

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.