All posts by Jason Alt

Jason is the hardest working MTG Finance writer in the business. With a column appearing on Coolstufff Inc. in addition to MTG Price, he is also a member of the Brainstorm Brewery finance podcast and a writer and administrator for EDHREC's content website. Follow him on twitter @JasonEAlt

Unlocked Pro Trader: Getting A Jump On The Competition


That title isn’t a pun, I literally just couldn’t think of a pun with the name of the card and you don’t care about the pun titles. No one has ever sent me a message telling me I made a sweet pun in the title. Well, on this site, anyway. My puns are lauded on Coolstuff. LAUDED. I give you people metaphorical GOLD and all you want is literal gold in the form of money-making specs. Fine. You’ll have your specs. I’m writing this super early for Pro Traders because this card got spoiled today and I think it matters. Let’s take a look at the card I mean, first off.

Look at this flappy boi. It’s like Young Pyromancer turned into a goose thing. This puts you in Monastery Mentor colors in EDH and gives you access to Cathars’ Crusade if you want to beat them down, ways to tutor for an Isochron Scepter and a Dramatic Reversal to throw on it and plenty of other madness. Here’s what I think has a chance of going up, probably in the next 48 hours, if people think this deck matters.

For the record, Competitive EDH people seem convinced that this is a really viable engine so on top of this likely to be appealing in the kind of EDH played by 90% of the community, the deck could potentially have legs in cEDH as well. Does that do anything for prices? Eh, yes and no. cEDH decks are super homoegenous so the staples are going to get played in most builds in that format, but they’re cards that were already expensive because they’re good in everything. Take a look at a build for Kykar someone on the cEDH sub came up with. Granted he shot from the hip, but all of their decks are built this way.


This deck is jammed with tutors, countermagic, card draw and like, 10 Kykar-specific cards. It has a way to get both of its creatures into play and that sets up the Sensei’s Top/ Future Sight combo which makes 80 birds and draws the deck. It’s very consistent and that’s what cEDH is about, but Kykar won’t move the needle on Merchant Scroll or Wheel of Fortune or Rhystic Study. I think people building casually will move the needle on cards not played before and that’s why I acknowledge what cEDH is doing but don’t see much opportunity to make money in it, and I’ve talked about that a lot recently. Go back to my articles about Vannifar for a more in-depth discussion about it.

I don’t have EDHREC data yet so I’m going to talk about cards I think are in immediate danger of repricing themselves in the next few days. This is where Pro Trader really pays off.


Down quite a bit from its all-time high, Echoes is poised to go right back up, especially in the near term. It’s already rebounding a bit, and between Slivers being reintroduced and Kykar doing crazy shenanigans, I think Mana Echoes pops this week. It’s tough to reprint and it was $35 when they decided what was going in Commander 2019 so I think it’s safe for now. If you want these, I wouldn’t wait for it to get cheaper, especially since it’s recovering quite a bit.

This seems to rise from the ashes stronger each time it’s reprinted. Skullclamp is already a real workhorse in Teysa, a deck people are still playing, and it’s going to do even more work in this deck. It’s even easier to keep the party going because you can sac one spirit to pay the equip cost on another and keep the old grip full. If you have Saheeli, or Sai, or Monastery Mentor or Young Pyromancer or any of the myriad ways to make 2 tokens per spell, you’re going to draw your deck. Seems good. This has a lot of printings but also a lot of upside in the near term.


Pepperidge Farm remembers when this was a $10 foil. It’s not quite the insane, take-Modern-by-storm deck it once was and people are off it, mostly, but the foils ended up in the hands of dealers who are ratcheting their buy price (the blue line on the graph) and this card is going up regardless. I think it’s actually just insane in a Kykar deck and maybe the non-foils pop as well, but the foils are for sure in play, especially since this is one of the few cards cEDH decks aren’t already playing that they will play in this.

I don’t know how much Kykar can push this, but it’s in a deck that no one bought much at the time but which is super worth popping now given the $150 worth of cards in it. It’s not an easy card to get and Kykar is the perfect deck because you can get away with only running 2 creatures. You have plenty of tokens to sac and then you just hit Kiki combo or Ilharg and Medomai or something brutal and just win. This is the best Polymorph variant, and between the mana rocks you should run in the deck and the fact that this is more like a 4 mana spell than a 7 mana spell, it should be pretty easy to get this to go off. I think the deck is worthwhile if you can get it cheap since it has 3 $20 cards in it, and I think this card is good in Kykar. Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

The internet is getting cleaned out of these so find them while you can. The Izzet Vs. Golgari deck is a good source of them – I bought a ton at Target when it was new and I am still sitting on them sealed despite watching Grave Troll rise and fall and Life From The Loam spike and get reprinted. It may be time to dig them out. There are Japanese versions of that deck floating around and it’s tough for dealers to move those copies, so take a risk on that and hope people are interested in those, or scour obscure sites for a few loose copies. The price basically double today so even if you have to pay like $4 shipping per copy at the old price, you’re still up.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print. I don’t usually write my article a day early but you deserve it. Thanks for reading. Until next time!

MTGPrice helps keep you at the top of your game with our daily card price index, fast movers lists, weekly articles by the best MTGFinance minds in the business, the MTGFastFinance podcast co-hosted by James Chillcott & Travis Allen, as well as the Pro Trader Discord channels, where all the action goes down. Find out more.


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Brainstorm Brewery #343 Dual Forked Reason

Corbin (@CHosler88), DJ (@Rose0fThorns) and Jason (@jasonEalt) are back to talk to you about what to look out for after the Modern Horizons post pre release as well as Finance 101 and a new segment 5 under $5.

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Pro Trader: New Format, New Resources


I’m not here to tell you how to feel about Oathbreaker. Is it a silly thing or is it a real thing? I don’t know. Is it Brawl which failed despite support from WotC or is it Tiny Leaders which failed all on its own? Oathbreaker proponents swear it’s the future, but they said that about formats in the past.

Either Oathbreaker is the new frontier or it’s the new Frontier. It’s actually not up to me to decide. I deride Tiny Leaders for being a wacky thing no one cared about long enough for it to sustain itself but the thing is, I recgonized there was short-term money to be made in that format and I loaded up on Sunforger and made that money. I regret nothing. Whether or not we ever build a Oathbreaker deck of our own or the format takes off long-term, there is short-term money to be made.

Don’t understand the format? Don’t worry!


EDHREC is now in the beta of OathbreakerREC which will possibly outlive the format, we’ll see. It’s a trove of information already and to the extent that things here are actionable, they’re worth looking into for sure. Let’s look at the front page, shall we?

We include both the Oathbreaker and the signature spell together, making it easy to browse visually. You can click in the upper right hand corner to browse by name if you want, but I like the pictures because seeing the images and names together helps me remember. Clicking on any given one takes you to the deck just like with an EDH deck on EDHREC. It’s the same thing but with 60 cards and Sol Ring is banned.

A few things popped out at me just doing a cursory glance at this page and I am happy to share them.

Of the 18 top decks, only one signature spell is repeated.

Triumph sees fringe EDH play but is pretty pushed in this format where it’s quite easy to make sure you have a Nissa planeswalker in play because you always have access to one.

Here are the EDHREC stats.

And here are the stats from the burgeoning Oathbreaker section. 1.3% of the decks isn’t exactly melting faces, but I don’t know what an impressive percentage would be. I DO know that this is in multiple decks and that means if either one takes off (I assume this is a solveable format like Tiny Leaders was) then there is real upside.

Could the price on the foil copy climbing even as more packs get opened (I mean, War of the Spark was 5 expansion sets ago, we’re already on to Core 2020) be due in part to Oathbreaker? I don’t know how high this gets on the basis of that set and I don’t think you buy in at $2.50 under any circumstances, but we’re working a process here, letting the data talk to us. The data said “Here’s a thing!’ but it seems like we’re late to the party. We won’t always be!

Let’s look at a card that has crossover appeal with EDH.


Windfall has much stronger EDH adoption due to decks like Nekusar and The Locust God.

It’s $7 too high a buy-in? What is the ceiling on a card like this? Will they continue to do sets like Modern Horizons and avoid printing cards that would be too good in Modern? If so, Windfall likely doesn’t get reprinted again anytime soon. But for a $7 buy-in, you’re looking for it to hit like $15 before you’re happy. $15 for an uncommon? It’s possible and it’s already doubled from around $4 to around high $7.

Compared to something like Nissa’s Triumph, this seems a lot more like the power level we expect to see in the format. Once you stick Wrenn and Six, say on turn 2, you can cast Crop Rotation for G and then again for 2G to get Dark Depths and Thespians’ Stage. I think that’s how this works. In any case, Crop Rotation is busted.

A $200 buy-in seems pretty reasonable to me given the fact that Crop Rotation could be reprinted in a Masters-esque set any minute. Yikes.

The $6 Crop Rotation from the Nissa vs. Ob Nixilis deck makes me want to look at the value of the rest of it. Looks like this, $4 Nissa, $3 Ob Nixilis and the fourth most expensive card is… Wood Elves. That’s not great, but there are 2 decks and if you add up all the nickels and dimes, you get about $28 in value. I think some of the cards in that deck can rebound given cards like Leechridden Swamp, Smallpox, Cloudthresher and Abudance being basically free right now. eBay doesn’t have the decks under $25, but it’s always worth looking when one card in a Duel deck spikes. If you can still find Izzet vs. Golgari for sticker price, you double up, for example.

I think all of us predicted what the number one deck would be.

Moonmist bumped when they printed a (terrible) Werewolf Commander, could it be due for another bump?

Probably some money to be made here, second spikes and all that. The foil plummeted from $6 to $2 but is hanging around $4 now. I think if this does catch on, it goes to $8 or $10 fairly easily. Let’s look at the rest of the deck.

There’s no money to be made, here. It’s all dumb tribal wolf stuff with rares and uncommon from the post-mythic era that 60 card casual, EDH and Oathbreaker combined will labor to move up.

So far our foray into Oathbreaker is looking pretty fruitless.

The one deck I do think benefits from the format the most is a degenerate Saheeli deck.

Thoughtcast makes the deck very consistent, playing a mana rock makes a 1/1 creature and enough of those creatures allows you to reduce the commander tax on Thoughtcast because it has Affinity. If I were to build an Oathbreaker deck, this is the one I’d build. These 5 cards speak for themselves so they won’t get a paragraph. Here’s 5,000 words to end the article.

Until next time!

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Brainstorm Brewery #342 Modern Horizons Set Review

Corbin (@CHosler88), DJ (@Rose0fThorns) and Jason (@jasonEalt) welcome on the hosts of the Masters of Modern podcast, Ben Batemen (@BenBatemenMedia) and Alex Kessler (@Kesswylie) to review the first direct to modern set, Modern Horizons, to help you decipher the trash from treasure.

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