All posts by David Sharman

Early New Capenna

You’ll be thankful to hear that I’m taking a week off from talking about Pioneer today – now that we’ve seen the full preview for Streets of New Capenna, I want to do what I usually do right before a new set comes out and have a look at what I think should be decent pickups when we hit peak supply in a few weeks.

New Triomes (All Versions, Probably)

I’m not going to spend too long talking about these, because it’s pretty clear from looking at the original Triomes that these are going to be a success on pretty much any timeline. With the original set of five printed in Ikoria, we just had regular versions and Showcase variants – now we’re getting both of those plus Borderless versions too. Just to make things confusing, it looks like the new Borderless versions are the same style as the old Showcase versions, and the new Showcase versions are a totally different style (and the regular versions are thankfully just normal). Keeping up? Good.

The regular versions of the Ikoria Triomes got down to around $4-5 after release, and the foil Showcases hit a low of around $15-$25, depending on which one you’re looking at (Savai lower, Ketria higher etc.). I’m hoping to see similar (or lower) prices from these ones as well a few weeks after release – you might think that prices will stay higher because people already know how good these lands are, but I’m pretty sure people knew that the Ikoria Triomes were very strong and they were available at fairly reasonable prices for a while anyway.

Regular Ikoria Triomes are now sitting at around $15, with foil Showcases up at $40 or so – I think that given a reasonable amount of time we should see those prices from the new ones as well (if you swap out old Showcases for new Borderless foils – the Borderless are more expensive than the new Showcases and I think they’re likely to stay that way).

Void Rend (Showcase & Gilded Foil)

Void Rend has caught my eye as possibly one of the best spot removal spells that you can put into an Esper+ EDH deck (i.e. anything that’s white, blue, black plus any other colours). Unconditional permanent destruction that can’t be countered is huge for three mana, and I think that this will (or at least should) be going into every EDH deck that can play it for the foreseeable future. It’s almost a shame this doesn’t hit lands too, but I think that it might be a little too good/oppressive if it didn’t have the “non-land” clause on it.

As well as being a future EDH powerhouse (I don’t think I can quite call it a staple because it’s three colours), I think that this card could have potential in more competitive formats as well. Pioneer control decks will definitely be trying this out, and Modern will more than likely give it a shot as well – if they’re playing Vindicate (which they are) then I think they’ll be happy with a little upgrade.

I’m looking for non-foils to get pretty low on this – I don’t think it’ll hit bulk, but $1-2 seems realistic. For the Showcase foils preorders are currently sitting around $12, and I think this should come down a bit in the coming weeks – I’m hoping that we’ll see something like $5-7 but this will be one to keep an eye on and watch out for the low. The Gilded foils are going to be even more difficult to predict, with no preorders on TCGPlayer but a few up on CardMarket for €22+. I think we could definitely see it come lower than that, but by how much I’m not sure – it’ll be a bit of a wait-and-see.

Professional Face-Breaker

Aside from the fact that I absolutely love the name of this card, I think it’s going to be a big player in EDH. EDHREC is already showing it as one of the top cards from New Capenna, and with Treasures now being evergreen in Magic there’s always going to be more support for the mechanic and new things to do with Treasure-related cards. It’ll be easy enough to amass a pile of treasures with Face-Breaker (and other cards), and then churn through your deck using your extra Treasures for mana to cast the cards you’re exiling to Face-Breaker’s ability.

This is a card that I’m going to look to be buying bricks of either in the US or Europe, hopefully at around $1-2 (or even lower if we’re lucky). It should be a great buylist target a year or two out, so be ready to sit back on this one and wait it out.

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.

Pioneer Plus

I’m branching out from just talking about Pioneer this week, and whilst I’m still looking at the Pioneer metagame and how it’s evolving, I’m focusing on cards that are seeing cross-format play to back up their newly found (or already well-established) fame.

Dark Petition (Foil)

Price today: $10
Possible price: $30

As I alluded to a couple of weeks ago, it’s been hard to take down Hidden Strings as one of the top dogs in Pioneer. The new mono-red deck featuring Chandra, Dressed to Kill is doing its best to dominate the metagame right now and certainly doing a pretty good job of it, but after the past couple of weeks of people trying out different decks, Hidden Strings is still firmly one of the best decks in the format.

Dark Petition has long been a staple of this combo deck, not necessarily as a playset but almost always there as 1-3 copies, helping to find your combo pieces whilst generating mana to help you go off. This tutor is also (unsurprisingly) a very popular EDH card, in over 11,500 decks listed on EDHREC – tutors have always and will always be highly prevalent in that format, and the fact that Spell Mastery isn’t particularly difficult to achieve makes it that Dark Petition will effectively cost two mana the vast majority of the time.

What really makes this a great pick, though, is the fact that it’s never had a reprint outside of promo pack copies, which means it’s been nearly seven years since a proper print run of this card. Foils and even non-foils have been slowly drying up, and it’s getting to a point where there really aren’t many around any more. Foils are hard to get under or around $10, and will likely see $20 in the next couple of months – there are only nine listings for NM foils on TCGPlayer right now, and whilst there are a decent few more over in Europe I don’t think that will last too long. Non-foils are looking pretty ripe at around $5 too (more like $2.50 in Europe if you can get those), and should be headed for $10 pretty soon. Even though there aren’t a huge number of decks playing this card in competitive formats, the low supply combined with EDH popularity is definitely going to keep pushing Dark Petition upwards until we see a reprint. It might be something that we get in a Commander deck at some point, but likely not in foil so that’s a safer bet if you’re worried at all.

Stormwing Entity (FEA)

Price today: $2.50
Possible price: $10

Another deck that’s been putting up the numbers recently is Izzet Phoenix. Back in the very early stages of Pioneer, Arclight Phoenix decks were some of the best out there and dominated the top tables week after week – and the card hasn’t really gotten any weaker since then. If anything, it’s better than ever before due to the steady influx of new cantrips and cheap burn spells we get with every set. Stormwing Entity has seen some play across multiple formats in different variants of Arclight decks, and most recently has popped up in some of the Pioneer lists that have been doing well. Stormwing has seen a reasonable amount of price fluctuation over its time in Standard, Modern and Pioneer, but all versions are currently at a price floor and now is the perfect time to pick them up.

The best kind of setup with this card can look something like dropping it on turn three, and following up on turn four with one or more Arclight Phoenixes from the graveyard. That’s in Pioneer, mind you – in Modern you can do all that a turn earlier with free spells like Gutshot and Manamorphose.

With Stormwing as low as it is at the moment, I think it’s a great time to be grabbing some of these cheap. The deck is on the upswing in Pioneer and it’s sure to have some more time in the sun in Modern as well, so I think that this card should be primed for another spike soon enough. The FEAs have seen highs of around $30 before, and we could see that again with enough success from these styles of decks. Regular non-foils are very cheap right now, around $0.50-$1, so if you can pick up a brick of those at a decent price then that could also be a good option.

Knight of the White Orchid (Foil)

Price today: $5
Possible price: $20

Perhaps a slightly more under-the-radar card for my last pick today, I’m looking at Knight of the White Orchid and its use in a relatively new mono-white deck in Pioneer. There isn’t too much of this deck around at all, but it has put up some very strong finishes in recent Pioneer Challenges and I think is worth taking a look at.

Knight has never seen a huge amount of competitive play, but over on the EDH side of things it’s another story. Nearly 40,000 decks registered on EDHREC means that this is a very popular card in white decks, and we all know that EDH players love their foils, which is likely a big part of the reason supply is as low as it is.

Knight has had a lot of non-foil printings in Commander decks, but the foils are currently limited to the original Shards of Alara print, the Origins reprint and the Origins pre-release promo. That’s not a lot of supply with the last foil version already being nearly seven years old, and that’s reflected in the listings we can see across TCGPlayer and other vendors. Original Shards foils are practically non-existent if you want NM (although still a few around €6-7 in Europe if you’re quick…), whilst Origins foils can be had in a small amount for $5-10. These aren’t going to hang around much longer, but if you’re quick then I think you’ll be rewarded nicely 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 and EDH. Based in the UK, he’s an active MTG finance speculator specialising in cross-border arbitrage.

Pioneer Again

Pioneer is still the hot new thing and it’s still driving prices (crazy), so I’m talking about it more this week!

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

Price in Europe: €12 ($13)
Price in US: $15
Possible price: $30

Kalitas has had its fair share of time in the spotlight, from being a Standard powerhouse to a Pioneer workhorse, and even doing some good work in Modern now and again. Back when Pioneer was popular the first time around, Kalitas saw a huge spike from around $10 up to $40, and I think that we could see something similar happen this time – but perhaps even harder and faster due to the much lower supply around now.

Lots of midrange and aggro decks have been picking up Kalitas as both a maindeck and sideboard card, and it does a lot of work against multiple archetypes. The graveyard hate on it is pretty strong, and that coupled with it being a Lifelink brick wall against aggro decks has, somewhat unsurprisingly, made it a popular choice for black decks in the format.

We’ve seen the price tick up very slightly over the past week, but supply on both non-foils and foils is very low now, and I expect to see a hard push on the price over the next couple of weeks. Pick your copies up now if you want to play with or spec on these, because I don’t think non-foils will have too much trouble hitting $30, and foils could also double up to $60. Both versions are available slightly cheaper in Europe if you can get them, but it’s not a huge difference and the $15 copies in the US should still do you just fine. Maybe we’ll even see $40 from Kalitas again if it remains a popular format choice, but that depends on how the meta continues to shake out over the next few weeks, so grab yours now and keep a close eye on the price movement.

Winota, Joiner of Forces

Price in Europe: €12 ($13)
Price in US: $22
Possible price: $30

I hate to do it to you, but the opportunity is just too good (and the previous pick is honestly very nearly as good in the US as it is in Europe, so I’m not counting as a full arbitrage pick) – so here you are, Winota arbitrage (if you’re quick!). Just as it’s had success in Standard and Historic, Winota is here to dominate in another format – Pioneer. The bizarre Human/non-Human tribal card is doing exactly what it’s always done best, putting a silly amount of power into play in a sideways fashion and beating your opponent to death with it. As it happens, the deck works very nicely with the Daybound/Nightbound cards from Midnight Hunt, because Winota enables you to put creatures into play on your turn without casting any spells – you’ve advanced your boardstate but can still flip your Werewolves over in your opponent’s upkeep, making them even more powerful than they were before.

Winota has already seen a price jump in the US due to the reinvigoration of Pioneer, but Europe is still lagging behind a little on this one. There are plenty of €12-13 copies available on CardMarket, which you should be able to flip quite easily for $30 or so once you get them over to the US. If you are on the other side of the pond (the US side that is), then it might still be worth hunting around for any sub-$20 copies you can find, because supply is getting so low on these that I don’t think $40 is out of the question in the near future and so making money on $20 copies isn’t out of the question.

Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger

Price today: $20
Possible price: $40

Not an arbitrage pick! Yay! Rounding things off today we have a card that has been prolific in quite a few formats over the past couple of years, and I’m actually a little surprised that the regular copies can still be had for $20. Kroxa has, and still does, see play in multiple Modern decks (Death’s Shadow, Jund), and appears in multiple top Pioneer decks as well as being a reasonably popular EDH card. Although it might not quite live up to its fallen brother Uro, Kroxa still packs a punch and does have the advantage of not having been banned in multiple formats.

FEAs of this card are hard to find under $100, but non-foil EAs and regular non-foils do seem to be lacking a little in comparison. Regular copies at $20 and EAs at $30 makes me think that they’re primed to be on the move quite soon, especially if we see continued success for the card in Pioneer. I don’t think that it’s in any danger of going the way of the blue-green Titan, but is still of a high enough power level that it should see cross-format play for months and even years to come. There are around 50 regular non-foil listings on TCGPlayer right now, but most of those are singles and no vendor has more than four copies, so it won’t take too much to move the needle on these. I think given 12 months we could see $40 or more on Kroxa.

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.

Pioneer Reborn

I’m writing this article because Jason told me to. Kind of. Look at his tweet, okay?

Pioneer is being brought back into the spotlight with the upcoming Regional Championships featuring the format, and so everyone and their dog has started playing and streaming Pioneer on MTGO again.  So let’s talk Pioneer.

Emergent Ultimatum (FEA)

Price today: $5
Possible price: $20

Hidden Strings has been one of the top Pioneer decks for quite a while now, and I think that it’s a good time to act on some of the cards in it before prices start to move. Emergent Ultimatum has long been a key part of the deck, casting it with your bounty of mana from Lotus Fields to go and find your Fae of Wishes + untap effects etc, and grab your wincon. It sounds a little convoluted but once you see it in action it works pretty well, and the only real disruption you can hit it with is counterspells (or you know, killing your opponent before they can go off).

The best decks against Hidden Strings are either hard aggro or hard control, both of which are a reasonable part of the meta at the moment but still can’t quite topple the king. Mono-red likely stands the best chance of being the top deck in the weeks to come, as a cheap and accessible deck that a lot of newer players (to the game or the format) can easily pick up, so we will be taking a look at those cards too.

I’m almost surprised that Emergent Ultimatum is still as cheap as it is, because it’s seen moderate EDH play along with its Pioneer prowess and copies have started to dry up. Only 29 listings left on TCGPlayer and not many around the $5 mark before it’s closer to $10, so I think this is prime time to grab a few of these before the cheaper copies are gone. A $10 floor is very soon in this card’s future, and $15-20 really won’t be too far off either.

Chandra, Dressed to Kill

Price in Europe: €8 ($9)
Price in US: $15+
Possible price: $25

As mentioned in the previous section, I’m looking at the mono-red deck. It’s a very streamlined, hardline aggro deck that plays 8 one-drops, four Eidolon of the Great Revel, and a bunch of burn spells (including Bonecrusher Giant which is obviously serving double duty). Chandra, Dressed to Kill really isn’t playing games (ironically?), with almost all the decks playing four copies and a few on three, and it seems like she’s the real deal.

Three mana for three loyalty is pretty standard, but Chandra comes equipped with two different +1 abilities that give you mana and burn (but not mana burn) or card advantage, and an ultimate that is certain to end the game very quickly if you ever get it off. I expect this card to be a mainstay in Pioneer, and might even get tested in Modern (although likely won’t make it very far), but either way people are all over this card right now and copies are getting hard to find.

They’ve pretty much vanished from TCGPlayer, with only nineteen listings across foil and non-foil, and the major vendors have very few copies (and they’re expensive). Over in Europe, however, the market is lagging a little bit and you can still get quite a few around the €8 mark on CardMarket. I don’t think that those copies are going to last very long at all, so pick them up whilst you can – and if you can find any in the US around $12-15 then I think they’re still a decent buy too. Supply on this mythic isn’t high enough to meet the new demand at the moment, so for the time being it’s going to be a scarcity and could easily crest $25 and keep going up if its popularity continues.

Greasefang, Okiba Boss (Showcase Foil)

Price today: $4
Possible price: $10

Now onto a completely new deck on the scene (as far as I can tell), with Mardu Greasefang. This is a deck that pivots around Greasefang, Okiba Boss, Parhelion II, and discard/mill effects. The deck’s been doing pretty well over the past few days, with a bunch of 5-0 Leagues from different players and some strong finishes in the Pioneer Challenges (including a win). I really like the look of this deck, and its strong synergy backed up by some generally powerful cards makes for a promising future.

As the name suggests, Greasefang is a key component to this deck, and until it finds a copy the deck can’t really ‘do its thing’. The fact that the Vehicle comes back to your hand instead of getting exiled is huge when you’ve got so many discard effects in the deck; it means you can just keep repeating again and again. I expect to see a few different variants of this deck pop up over the next couple of weeks, and wouldn’t be surprised if it were a major player at the Regional Championships.

Foil Showcase copies are currently available for around $4 on TCGPlayer, and I think are the best version to go for if you’re looking to spec on this card. 48 TCG listings but most are single copies with no major walls (actually nothing past 3 copies), so once demand picks up a little bit these are going to disappear pretty quickly. If you want to play this deck with foils then I’d grab these quickly, and I think it’s a really solid spec too.

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.