All posts by David Sharman

Commander: Neon Dynasty

Last week I promised some talk on the new Kamigawa cards in this week’s article, and I’m keeping to my word on that. With the full card preview having been out for a few weeks now and paper cards in hands for a few days (other than cards from prereleases, that is), it’s time for me to take a look at what I want to be buying from the set, specifically for EDH. Some cards are yet to hit their lows and so we’ll need to keep that in mind, but it’ll be worth keeping an eye on a few of these to pick up when the time is right.

Takenuma, Abandoned Mire (Borderless Foil)

Price today: $16
Price I want to buy at: $10-15
Possible future price: $30

Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire is all the rage in Modern at the moment (by which I mean Hammer Time is trying out a copy or two), but I want to look at the black card from the cycle – Takenuma. It may be below the green, blue and white lands from the cycle in terms of numbers on EDHREC, but I think it’s actually second best only to Boseiju at the EDH table. Any lands-matters deck is definitely going to want this, be it Lord Windgrace or The Gitrog Monster or something else, and it’s going to be a great card in the majority of decks that have any graveyard interaction full stop.

If you’re building your deck around Legendaries with something like Kethis, the Hidden Hand, then you’ll likely only be paying one or two mana at the most for the ability on Takenuma, but even if you’re not and only have your commander out then three mana to stock up your graveyard and get something back is still a great deal when you consider that it’s effectively on a basic land. I reckon this card is more powerful than you think until you actually play with it – pair it with a Life from the Loam and things get pretty gross pretty fast.

At $16 for the borderless foils I think that they could come down a little more in the next couple of weeks, and I’d really like to see these at $10 to grab a bunch. I’ve picked the borderless foils over the FEAs because I think the art is better, and because borderless cards in NEO are more rare than they used to be. FEAs are already cheaper and more plentiful as it is, and although I hope to see borderless Takenumas come down a bit first, I think we’ll see them retain the higher price point overall.

Kodama of the West Tree

Price today: $5
Possible future price: $10-15

Onto a creature now that doesn’t really feel like it should be Legendary, but then again neither do any of the other Kodamas (in my opinion). Regardless, I think this one is an important one for a lot of EDH decks, and has more applications than it might seem at first glance. It can technically be played as your commander, but I think it will generally find a better home in the 99 of a few different types of decks.

Any auras or equipments decks in green are definitely going to want to be playing this; trample is a huge boon in EDH where there are often a tonne of chump blockers sitting around to stop your creatures from being effective in combat. On top of that, any counter-based deck – be it +1/+1 counters, ability counters or something else weird – loves this card, especially when you can use that trample damage to ramp out even more threats.

Preorders for this card were way up at $15-20, and thankfully it’s come down to a much more reasonable $5 now. I think this is probably as low as it might get; we could see $3-4 but for a relatively popular mythic I wouldn’t wait too long if you want to pick these up. I don’t mind the showcase foils at $13-14 (but would prefer them closer to $10), but my play would be the regular non-foils here – CK are currently pretty much paying retail on them which I hope is a good sign for their opinion on the future of the card.

Silver-Fur Master (Showcase)

Price today: $0.25
Possible price: $0.50-$1

Looking at more of a penny-stock for our final pick this week, I really like the look of Silver-Fur Master – and I mean the text on the card as well as the art and border. This is going in every Ninja and Rogue EDH deck ever built or to be built, and on top of that I suspect it’s set to be a casual favourite too. It doesn’t get much better than buffing all your creatures and reducing Ninjutsu costs all on a 2/2 for 2, so I can’t see any reason not to play this in those decks.

As I alluded to, the showcase versions of this card are gorgeous, and I’d be saving any and all of these from box openings and draft tables. This is also an opportunity for European speculators to get in on – you can grab stacks of these off MKM for 10¢ or so each, much less than you’ll likely be paying for them on TCGPlayer. It’ll probably be a bit of a longer hold on these, one to stash away in the cupboard for a bit, but I expect buylists to be paying $0.50-$1 each for these a year or so down the road.

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.


In this week’s article I wanted to take a little breather from the slew of Kamigawa-related news and hype, with the set having been released online at the end of last week and set for paper release this week. I’ll pay some more attention to the new cards next week, but today I’m venturing into the Modern lists that don’t quite make the top of the metagame share, but still have some serious potential in them.

Ignoble Hierarch (Retro Foil)

Price today: $12
Possible price: $25

Kicking things off with a big one, Ignoble Hierarch is the king of off-meta decks right now. Four copies in both the Goblins and Yawgmoth decks, it’s a fantastic mana dork for both archetypes as well as actually being a Goblin for the Goblins deck. The Exalted makes it a big step up from Birds of Paradise (although that doesn’t stop the Yawgmoth decks from running a playset of each), and it’s even seen some play in more classic Jund archetypes in the Modern format.

Ignoble Hierarch can also be found in over 13,000 EDH decks on EDHREC, which is quite impressive considering that the much older card Noble Hierarch is only in 20,000 decks in comparison. We do have quite a few versions of the Ignoble dork, but its ubiquity across formats and decks makes me think that the $12 retro foil copies are far too cheap.

94 listings on TCGPlayer certainly isn’t nothing, but the vast majority of those are single copies and if Modern players are picking up four at a time, it won’t take too long for those numbers to dwindle down. With that backed by EDH play, I expect to see Ignoble Hierarch retro foils over $20 by the end of this year, and without a good place to reprint those versions any time soon it’s likely to just keep going up even after that.

Abundant Harvest (JPN Mystical Archives)

Price today: $6
Possible price: $15

Something else that caught my eye browsing the Modern lists was the old Neobrand deck, which was very strong for a while but ultimately ended up being a little bit of a flash in the pan. It’s back with some new tools and a vengeance though, putting up some strong results in Modern leagues and preliminaries, and I think is definitely worth taking a look at.

Some of the new toys that have been added include Children of Korlis as an alternate wincon, and some old favourites reappearing in Neoform and Abundant Harvest. I want to focus on Abundant Harvest here because the Japanese art versions from the Mystical Archives look to be drying up quite quickly. We’re down to 69 NM foil listings on TCGPlayer and only a few more than that in Europe. Interestingly enough, the European copies are already a good deal more expensive than in North America, running around $8-9 for the cheapest copies.

Bear in mind that this is also a card used here and there in Amulet Titan lists, as well as being in around 4000 EDH decks listed on EDHREC, and as such can’t be dismissed as just being a card for an unpopular Modern deck. I expect to see copies under $10 disappear within a few months, and given 12-18months this should be a $15 or even $20 foil. The Japanese versions are gorgeous and far more desirable than the global art versions, as well as being in lesser supply in the first place.

Ingenious Smith (Foil)

Price today: $2.50
Possible price: $10

I’m cheating a little bit with this last one because it’s actually seeing more play in Hammer Time, one of the most popular archetypes in Modern right now, but the reason it caught my eye was actually from looking at the Thopter Sword combo decks that have been reappearing in the format. This is a deck that fell off a little bit along with the rest of the Urza decks after the banning of Arcum’s Astrolabe in Modern, but people have been trying new things with it recently and so here we are.

In both the decks it’s being used in, Ingenious Smith is another great tool for finding your combo pieces, be that a Colossus Hammer, Thopter Foundry or Sword of the Meek. You can even pick up a Kaldra Compleat with it, because it doesn’t have a mana restriction on it that we often see on these kinds of cards. The Smith can even work as an alternate win-con in a pinch, incidentally getting quite large as you play out the rest of your game plan.

Due to its play patterns in Modern, this uncommon is already a $2.50 foil – but with only the single printing and no other variants of the card, I’m quite optimistic about its future. I’m surprised that it’s only in around a thousand EDH decks listed on EDHREC, but that number will climb steadily over the coming months. Supply isn’t very high on these foils and if Modern players are grabbing them then they’ll likely be picking a playset up at a time, so I think we could see this as an $8-10 foil a year or so down the line.

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.

Kamigawa in Modern

Now that we’ve got the full preview for Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, it’s time for me to take a look at all the new cards and see what I think is going to be potentially useful or relevant in the Modern format.

Hidetsugu Consumes All

Price today: $10
Price I want to buy at: $5-8
Possible future price: $15

I’ve liked Sagas ever since they were first introduced to Magic back in Dominaria, and they’ve provided an interesting design space for some powerful cards. We don’t see too many Sagas in Modern, but I think that Hidetsugu Consumes All is a card that could prove very strong in the format. Both the first and second chapters have an immediate impact on the board: destroying all nonland permanents (not just creatures) with mana value one or less hits so many relevant targets like Ragavan, Death’s Shadow, Colossus Hammer and more. Exiling graveyards has always, and probably will always be useful in Modern (looking at you, Lurrus), and then once you’ve done all that you still get a 3/3 with upside for your troubles.

Modern is a format about efficiency and flexibility of threats and answers, and Hidetsugu Consumes All does all that and more in one card. I certainly expect to see this tested out a bunch and wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a reasonable force in the format, so keep an eye on prices as they come down a bit after release and pick your entry point. I like the Showcase versions quite a bit here too (more so than the EA copies), so don’t forget those if you’re looking to pick some up as a spec or for your decks.

Boseiju, Who Endures

Price today: $35 (lol)
Price I want to buy at: $5 (yes, really)
Possible future price: $20

Boseiju, Who Endures is possibly the card from the new set that’s had the most hype and chatter around it, with people getting very excited about pairing it with Wrenn and Six, Life From the Loam or Primeval Titan. These are all undoubtedly great homes for the card and I’m not saying the card isn’t great, but I am saying that a $35 preorder price for a regular rare in a Standard set is a little ridiculous.

Boseiju puts in the work of an Assassin’s Trophy (although admittedly not hitting creatures), but is also just an untapped land that even makes coloured mana – quite the package deal for this card. I don’t think that we’re going to see this become a huge staple with decks running four copies, but I do think that multiple decks like Jund, Dredge and Titan will start running 1-3 copies and be able to replace a basic land with it, potentially opening up other removal slots for different cards instead.

As I said before, the $35 price tag on these preorders isn’t really justifiable, and once the mass box openings start we should see this fall under $10 before too long at all. I expect to see this played a reasonable amount in EDH too, and its multi-format popularity should secure it as a good spec to pick up a fair few of and sit on for a year or two.

March of Otherworldly Light

Price today: $3
Price I want to buy at: $3
Possible future price: $10

Kamigawa has given us a cycle of five Marches and they all seem like pretty decent cards, but March of Otherworldly Light really stands out as the one that could actually make it in eternal formats. I see this as a premium removal spell to challenge the likes of Prismatic Ending and Path to Exile in Modern (although Ending has pretty much replaced Path at this point anyway), and is definitely going to be tested heavily.

March is an instant which already puts it ahead of the sorcery speed Prismatic Ending, and although it can’t Planeswalkers, it’s still going to be great against the vast majority of relevant threats in Modern. You can be on the draw and still hit a turn three Lurrus before you untap, and the scalability of the card makes it incredibly flexible. You can take out anything from a Ragavan to a Primeval Titan without much trouble, and although you’ll sometimes be putting yourself down on cards, the mana you’re saving and the fact that you can react at instant speed more than makes up for that in my books.

TCGPlayer prices are currently around $3 for this, whereas over in Europe you’re looking at paying more like $8-9. That means one of two things: prices in Europe are yet to fall far enough, or the US is massively undervaluing this card (or a mixture of the two). I’m willing to bet that it’s a little of each column, but that also means that I think you should be grabbing these at $3 whilst you can. Prices in Europe might come down to around $5 but could well stop there if March of Otherworldly Light proves to become a Modern staple, so I wouldn’t hang around if you want copies of this.

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.

An Early Look At Kamigawa

We’ve been well underway with Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty spoilers previews for a couple of weeks now, and I want to spend today talking a little bit about some cards that I think are going to be ubiquitous, underrated or both.

Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant

Pre-order price: $30
Price I want to buy at: $10
Possible future price: $25

The new iteration of Jin-Gitaxias we’re getting looks to be a very powerful card, and might even outstrip the old Jin-Gitaxias in terms of how oppressive it could be at the EDH table. Copying your spells and countering your opponents’ spells is obviously strong, but the limit of one per turn isn’t nearly as restrictive as you might think at first glance. You can copy your own spell on your turn, counter someone else’s, and then do it again on each of your opponents’ turns – which means that it’s going to take at least two successive removal spells to get rid of Jin-Gitaxias. What’s more is that we’ve also upgraded from a nine mana 5/4 to a seven mana 5/5, a cost reduction which is not at all insignificant, especially if you’re playing this as your commander.

Pre-order prices are as usual a little too high, with TCGPlayer starting at $30 for the regular non-foil versions and a lot more for the EA, Showcase and Phyrexian versions. I’ve no doubt that this is going to be a hugely popular EDH card amongst blue mages – it does everything you want except for draw cards really, and will be a powerhouse in most decks. I expect to see prices come down towards $10 once we start to hit peak supply (pre-orders in Europe are already $18), and bounce back up to around $25 a year or two out from there. I’ll be keeping an eye on prices for the premium versions too, as they’re likely to get very expensive some way down the road, so if we can get those at a reasonable price then they should be a great pickup too.

Scrap Welder

Pre-order price: $2
Price I want to buy at: $0.50
Possible future price: $5

Scrap Welder is another Goblin Welder/Goblin Engineer lookalike, but with the potential for more versatility than either of those predecessors. It’s hard to beat the power level on Goblin Welder, at just one mana and no other cost to activate its ability, and Goblin Engineer’s tutor ability can make for a great setup before you start messing around with reanimating your artifacts – but hear me out.

Scrap Welder doesn’t have the three-mana-or-less restriction on it that Goblin Engineer does, and being a 3/3 it doesn’t die quite as easily as a Goblin Welder might, which falls over in a stiff breeze. What’s more is that you get to give haste to whatever behemoth you’re reanimating, and although you need to give as good as you’re getting in terms of mana cost, giving haste to something like a Kuldotha Forgemaster is bound to instil fear into your opponents.

As far as I can see there isn’t actually a page for this on TCGPlayer yet, but CardKingdom has had pre-orders up at $2 (which is roughly what I expect) so I’m going off that for now. It’s a little cheaper in Europe as pre-orders tend to be, but I hope to see this card getting down to (or below) $0.50 in the coming weeks. I don’t think it will ever hit true bulk rare prices so I wouldn’t hold out for that, or you might miss out on picking them up before the price trends up again. I think that this is going to be just as ubiquitous as its aforementioned cousins and as such should see some nice gains across all versions until its likely inevitable reprint in a future Commander deck.

Satsuki, the Living Lore

Pre-order price: $5
Price I want to buy at: $0.50
Possible future price: $5

This is another one without a page on TCGPlayer or CardKingdom, but prices in Europe are good enough to go off for now – although I think that they’re currently a bit higher than they should be. Don’t get me wrong, I think that Satsuki is a very strong card, but it doesn’t have quite the broad applications of the other cards I’ve discussed today, and as such will probably see prices in the $0.10-0.50 range.

Why is Satsuki so good? Well, if you want to play it as your Commander then the recently (ish) updated rule which enables your Commander to die and then also return to the Command Zone means that you can have your cake and eat it with the death trigger on the card. You can also just loop it with Sagas like Binding of the Titans and The Eldest Reborn, recurring value and card advantage with Satsuki also speeding the whole process up by setting off your Sagas earlier than normal.

Overall I think that this is a fantastic card for enchantment themed EDH decks, either as the Commander or part of the 99, and will likely rebound nicely from bulk-ish prices given enough time. It’s probably going to be a good buylist target down the road, so I wouldn’t be afraid of picking up a decent stack of these. I’d also keep an eye on prices for the Neon version, because those are likely to end up pretty popular too.

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.