All posts by David Sharman

Crimson Commander

I don’t think I’ve written specifically about Innistrad: Crimson Vow in relation to EDH since the set was first released, around four months ago. I think it’s time to go back and see how the set has done since then, and which cards might yet have a bright future ahead of them.

Toxrill, the Corrosive

Price in Europe: €9 ($10)
Price in US: $12
Possible price: $25

Aside from being the most popular commander from the set, Toxrill has proven to be a solid card in its own right as well – 2200 as a commander and 4200 as a card. I think that it would be far more popular than that even if not for one tiny little blue mana symbol in the textbox, which is holding it back from being in all those mono-black and black/X decks that don’t include blue.

A 7/7 for 7 certainly isn’t the best rate going when it comes to pure stats, but that’s not what this card is about. The first line of text is the most important here, because it says at the beginning of each end step – that means four times for each go around your normal EDH table, and those slime counters are going on every creature you don’t control. That’s pretty strong if you ask me, and the fact that Toxrill has a card draw engine attached to it on top of that is just even sweeter. This works equally well either as a commander or part of the 99, and I honestly think that it would already be a $20 card if it were mono-black.

Prices in Europe are, as expected, a little lower for this EDH-only card, and so if you have access to that market then I’d grab some copies under and around $10 there. Over on TCGPlayer you’ll be paying a little more at $12, but I think that’s still a reasonable price to pay for what I think should be a $25 card in the not-too-distant future. There are also the Showcase variants at around the same price, but I think those arts were a swing and a miss. The Double Feature versions are…fine? but not worth paying the extra $4 if you ask me; the regular copies should do well here. If you do want to gamble on some extra arbitrage, there are €55 Double Feature foils on CardMarket – a card which is over $200 on TCGPlayer (last sold copies around $120). I won’t be taking that bet, but if you’re feeling lucky…

Edgar, Charmed Groom (Double Feature Foil)

Price in Europe: €7 ($8)
Price in US: $13
Possible price: $25-50

Now onto a Double Feature foil that I do think is worth it: Edgar, Charmed Groom. I’m nearly surprised at how few Edgar decks have actually been built, but when you have the opportunity to play Edgar Markov as your commander instead then there’s really no competition. Nevertheless, the Charmed Groom has found a nice home in the 99 of lots of Vampire tribal decks, and for good reason. This card is going to be so annoying for anyone else to deal with unless they can just straight-up exile it, because otherwise it’s just going to keep flipping and making tokens and buffing your Vampires and flipping and…yeah, you get the idea.

There are five different versions of this card out there, and so I think the play is to look at the ones with low supply: Double Feature foils. There are only six listings on TCGPlayer and not many more elsewhere, so they’re already getting difficult to pick up. Europe has a few more but not many, albeit at a cheaper price point. We’ve already seen some of the more popular Double Feature foils hit sky high prices (mythics over $200 etc), and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect Edgar to be pushing $50 before too long. People that want the most premium version of this card are going to pay for it, so make sure you’re going to be the one selling it to them!

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.

Uncut Gems

Two weeks on from the Lurrus ban in Modern and the meta seems in reasonable shape, with plenty of different decks running around in the format and many different viable strategies. Today I want to take a look at some of the undervalued cards from these top decks, and what I think their futures have in store.

Unsettled Mariner (Foil)

Price in Europe: €5 ($5.50)
Price in US: $11
Possible price: $20

Unsettled Mariner isn’t much talked about any more; it used to be a very useful tool for the UW and Bant Spirits decks in Modern, as well as often appearing as a favourite for Humans decks. Those archetypes aren’t particularly prevalent in Modern at the moment, but another deck has picked up the slack and you can instead find the five colour Elementals deck playing a couple of copies of the Changeling. That’s what brought it to my attention, and a little look at the stock levels across Europe and the US showed that foils are in a nice position right now if you can grab some from CardMarket.

Mariner may not be in all the top tier Modern decks, but that’s the point of today’s article – cards that you might not look twice at normally. With the medium amount of play it sees in Modern plus a reasonable 6330 EDH decks on EDHREC, foils are in a good spot to make some solid gains over the next few months.

With foils sitting at around $11 on TCGPlayer, that’s not a bad price if you’re just looking to pick up some personal copies, but if you want to spec on these then I suggest hunting across the water. CardMarket in Europe has them available from around €5 ($5.50), and with supply as low as it is right now I think this card should be set to hit $20 before too long. Only 33 listings on TCGPlayer (almost all single copies) isn’t many, and I wouldn’t expect a reprint any time soon – the number of times we’ve seen Changelings printed is few and far between, so another foil of this card might not be on the cards for a little while yet.

Memory Deluge (FEA)

Price today: $11
Possible price: $25-30

UW Control has been seeing more and more play as a top deck in Modern over the past couple of weeks; whether that’s a product of the Lurrus banning or not, it means we’ve got some more cards to look at. March of Otherworldly Light is still going strong in the deck (I hope you bought some when I told you to a few weeks ago), and another card seeing a reasonable amount of success in the deck is Memory Deluge.

Dig Through Time this card is not, but honestly I think it comes closer than you’d guess at first glance. Both the normal casting cost and the flashback are fairly reasonable, but the instant speed of the card means that it’s a fantastic option to cast either early or late in the game at the end of your opponent’s turn to dig for an answer to something or just more card advantage. I think it’s the best four mana card draw engine that the archetype has at the moment, because of the added flexibility with the Flashback, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it remain a staple in the deck for a while to come.

I’m inclined to look to Shark Typhoon as a comparison for Memory Deluge – a card that was a big part of Standard when it was in rotation, and has since been a staple as a one/two-of in Modern control builds. FEAs of that card are now around $45 (having been even higher previous to that), and I don’t see much reason why Deluge shouldn’t follow a similar path. It might not prove to be quite as popular as Typhoon in EDH, but at around 2500 decks listed on EDHREC it’s certainly not doing too badly and should continue to see a decent amount of play in that format. It’s also a popular choice for control decks in Pioneer for what that’s worth, which should help to drive the price at least a little.

Otawara, Soaring City (FEA)

Price today: $15
Possible price: $30

Otawara, Soaring City might not be the first land from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty that you think of; it might not even be the second one either – but it’s definitely worth taking a closer look at. All the hype so far has been around Boseiju, Who Endures, and that’s definitely not been misplaced – Boseiju has been showing up in a lot of Modern decks since it came out, most notably in the Amulet Titan and Omnath decks. Otawara, however, has also proven to be a very popular choice as a one/two-of in quite a lot of decks…and I mean quite a lot. Murktide, UW Control, Living End, Omnath and Crashing Footfalls decks – to name but a few – have all been playing a copy or two in their lists, and I think that Otawara is here to stay as a flexible land choice in Modern.

I spoke about Takenuma a couple of weeks ago and the same logic applies here – this is a land that comes in untapped without restriction, taps for coloured mana and has a strong ability tacked onto it – what’s not to love? You can play around with this bouncing your opponent’s threats in a control shell, or your own haymakers in Elementals and Omnath decks.

Foil extended arts of this card are much cheaper than the Borderless foils, (almost half the price in fact) and I really quite like the look of them. I think that the art is much better than the Borderless version, and supply is currently a little lower on top of that, so it seems like a win/win to me. With continued Modern play and as the second most popular EDH card from the set (nearly 8000 decks on EDHREC already), this should be an easy win to double up 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 and EDH. Based in the UK, he’s an active MTG finance speculator specialising in cross-border arbitrage.

Modern: A Week on

We’re a week on from the banning of Lurrus of the Dream-Den in Modern (and Pioneer), so I want to revisit the format and see how much it’s changed since then, and what kinds of decks we’re likely to see doing well over the coming weeks.

As expected, the Murktide Regent decks have seen a decent uptick in play, and in price. The dragon itself is up to around $24 now from the $18 I called it at last week, and I expect it to see further gains towards $30 over the next few weeks. The Death’s Shadow decks have definitely taken a back seat without their cat in the sideboard, although I think that this could be more of a product of people trying different things, rather than the deck actually being significantly worse than it was before.

Cultivator Colossus (EA)

Price today: $21
Possible price: $35

As predicted in last week’s article, Amulet Titan (amongst other more mana-intensive decks) has pushed its way to the forefront of the Modern meta – for now, at least. I’ve wanted to talk about Cultivator Colossus for a little while now but haven’t quite found the right space, so instead have just been keeping a close eye on the price and play patterns of the card.

Now though, I think the time is right to take a closer look at this card. Since people started testing it when Crimson Vow was released, it’s been a consistent 2-of in most Amulet Titan lists that we’ve seen do well across mono-green, green-white and green-black variants. I think that it’s likely to be a mainstay in the archetype going forwards, and Titan decks seem to be in a healthy place right now so I wouldn’t expect any bannings any time soon. It’s effectively Primeval Titan copies five and six, with the added benefit of being able to churn through your deck if you get lucky and have a bunch of lands to put into play with it. A point to note is that you can’t go infinite with bouncelands, but that doesn’t stop them from still being great here.

I really like the look of EA non-foils at the moment, because they’re only a dollar or so more expensive than the regular non-foils, and could be an attractive option for Modern players. There are only around 40 listings on TCGPlayer, and Europe already has these a decent chunk more expensive at around $26. That’s a good indicator that this is a strong Modern card, and being a premium treatment mythic there aren’t ever going to be too many copies running around.

It’s worth noting that this is also a 5k card on EDHREC, putting it solidly in the top 5 cards from Crimson Vow if you discount the land cycle (so top 10 anyway if you don’t). I think that this is a solid pick for both medium and long term speculation, and would be happy grabbing a stack around $20-22.

Omnath, Locus of Creation

Price today: $8
Possible price: $20

Omnath has been a reasonable force in Modern for quite a while now, never really dominating the top tables but putting up solid results nonetheless, between a few different flavours of four/five colour Yorion piles and the dedicated Elementals deck. Even after the Uro banning, the Yorion variant of the deck has continued to perform and be popular, and we’re now seeing somewhat of an Elemental/Yorion hybrid version emerge into the metagame.

Pretty much all of the decks in Modern playing Omnath are currently running four copies, and I like the look of regular non-foils right now. Since the spike around September last year this is currently the lowest price the card has been, and I think it’s a good time to pick some up. As well as being a Modern playset, it’s an EDH favourite to play as a Commander and likely a popular casual card too. CardKingdom are currently paying $6.75 cash/$8.78 credit which is a good sign that they’re reasonably high on the card too, and I honestly believe that this could be a $20 not too far down the road.

I think that the only danger of a reprint for this card would be in a Commander deck, but even then I really think that they would prioritise a new four colour legend over reprinting this one. I’m betting that this Omnath will be safe for a little while, so I wouldn’t be particularly scared of picking these up right now – and hey, we might even see a five colour version of Omnath at some point before this one hits the printers again.

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.

Banned & Restricted

It’s times like these that I’m grateful for the fact that I don’t write these articles ahead of time and wait until Monday to decide what I’m going to talk about, because we just got a huge Banned & Restricted announcement. Not huge in the number of changes (although we did get three changes in Pauper), but huge in the fact that Lurrus of the Dream-Den has been a dominant force in both Modern and Pioneer since it was printed, and has just been banned in both those formats.

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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 and EDH. Based in the UK, he’s an active MTG finance speculator specialising in cross-border arbitrage.