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: Crime in Partners

Readers!

INSIDER TRADING ALERT

The price of Thrasios went up recently, coinciding with dozens of other expensive cards played in Competitive EDH going up and for months, everyone thought the two events were related. Now, months later, we see that Thrasios was bought because there are new Partners in Commander Legends, something no one could have predicted. This is a clear case of Insider Trading, Conflict of Interest, and some other words I heard watching 10 minutes of MSNBC.

Since the nefarious actors who perpetuated this crime didn’t leave any copies for the rest of us, we’re forced to make do with the copies that… have gone down in price since the spike? That’s weird. This buyout was fairly sloppy and it wasn’t very thorough. That’s good news for us, actually, because it gives us a chance to look at what kind of cards we should be taking a look at given there are more chances for them to be relevant moving forward.

We don’t know what the new partners will be but I think we can at least evaluate the old ones in terms of how likely they are to pair well with something new. The ones that are already good and expensive won’t matter because they’ll be made into goodstuff decks regardless. Here are the current partners with the most upside, imo.

Effects that are good broadly are going to be good choices for future gains. Ikra was printed in Commander Anthology volume 2 so there are more copies of this than some of the partners that weren’t. Ikra is good with any new partner that lets you pay life to do things, grows creatures when you gain life, makes creatures bigger, etc. The price went up a bit but there are still lots of copies available even though people had all day Sunday and Monday to buy them. I think this is a fair low-risk spec and copies should be easy to track down.

This is the lowest-risk, highest-possible reward one and has the lowest buy-in price. If you’re looking for a bit more risk and a bit more potential reward, I have one.

I like to talk about second spikes a lot. What I mean when I say that is a situation where a card’s price goes up precipitously, equilibrates then goes up again. The first time a card spikes, a limited amount of available copies at retail sell out quickly. Dealers raise their buylist prices to get the card back in stock, people find mispriced copies at the LGS and people who had been sitting on them fish them out of boxes and binders to sell or trade into the hype. This concentrates the loose copies in the hands of dealers. When the card spikes again, no one has the option of the cheap LGS copies, or pulling it out of a box and they have to pay retail. The price goes up harder and higher that second time without loose copies in the wild to attenuate the blow. If Kydele is relevant in the new context of a bunch of new partner commanders, it has demonstrated it can go to $15 and can do again. I think Kydele is underrated as all heck and my first deck with partners was Kydele and Thrasios which was so good and consistent I took it apart. Kydele makes a lot of mana, it’s in the 2 best colors in EDH and something is bound to come along that draws lots of cards. If you can get these under $10, seems like you do it.

The ship has largely sailed here. If you can get these on Card Market, do it. If you find them under $10, do it. Reyhan was in Breed Lethality, which was in Commander Anthology 2, so there are a few more copies out there just like with Ikra Shadiqi, but this got a lot of attention given how good it is with Sengir, Dark Baron which is, and I can’t stress this enough, a garbage, terrible card that introduced a new thing you have to do in EDH where you have to remember what everyone’s life totals are at the beginning of every turn in case someone dies. Because there isn’t enough to keep track of already, right? I think the partners revealed later will be better than Baron Sengir and it’s likely one or more will be a better pairing for Reyhan.

Speaking of “The ship has sailed, get these on MKM” Bruse Tarl has been underrated for years. Bruse is in the Breya deck, which is about as difficult to find sealed for a reasonable price as the Atraxa deck (Breed Lethality). If you’re not sure which cards came in which deck, don’t worry, here’s a handy refresher. Attacking with creatures is stupid and hard in Commander and I think people may have forgotten that. This certainly wraps things up with infect or a huge creature, but that was a thing before and no one cared because this was $6 for a whole year.

The rest of the partners are either bad or they’re too good on their own for them not to already be identified. The price of Vial Smasher came away down after its fake-out spike a few months back, but Vial Smasher doesn’t pair with anything. It could, I don’t know what the unrevealed partners are. That said, I tried to come up with some text that would make Vial Smasher part of a winning duo and couldn’t. I would focus on underrated ones like Ikra, maybe a good but high-upside one like Kydele and try to swipe some Brusers from MKM. That said, there’s one more kind of card that matters.

It’s so funny to witness in real time as Card Kingdom gets something right away and competitive sites where competitive players buy competitive cards lag far behind. CFB isn’t selling out of Bastion Protector at $8 and CK can’t keep them in stock at $13. Exploit the insularity of EDH players’ buying habits for profit.

Thanks for reading, everyone! Join me next week for more ideas about this wacky format, and hopefully a few more preview cards. We could talk about the Green spellbook and how nuts it is. Or I could build my Omnath deck a month early. There’s no wrong answer! Until next time!

Unlocked Pro Trader: All Double Masters Box Toppers Ranked! You Won’t believe #11!

Readers!

“What could today’s title possibly mean? It’s usually stupid pun, or something you don’t explain until the last paragraph,” I’m pretending you’re thinking. Well today, I’m going to rank the box toppers. The ones that are better in EDH are the ones I’m going to say I like more. Accordingly, I am going to do a stupid clickbait thing where I start with the worst one first and make you read the whole article to see what the best one is. Awww boo. You drove me to this, you have no one to blame but yourselves. Not you, personally, the collective you. Society. You as an individual are a lovely person and I’m so glad you’re reading my article.

This is part art part science. EDHREC ranks the cards by the percentage of total decks they could be in and are, but it also lists the raw number of decks. I’m going to take both of those numbers into account and do some “I have spent a lot of time thinking about EDH” math and then I’m going to determine the order. If it sounds not entirely scientific, that’s because there is subjectivity to what people are going to buy in the future, imo, and experience matters so I’m leveraging mine. Feel free to create your own ranking and post it in the comments. What’s that? It’s a lot of work and you don’t want to do a bunch of work just to argue with me? That’s what I thought. I’d love it if you did, but I get it if you don’t.

Some Questions I Think You Might Ask

Q: How are you determining the rankings?

A: I’m going to rank them by raw number rather than percentage, check the synergy score with the top 3 decks the card is in to see if it’s a format staple or a pet card in a really popular deck that people might not build forever and stop moving the cards around when the order “looks right.” It sounds goofy but this doesn’t have to be perfect since the difference between #12 and #13 doesn’t matter as much as the difference between #25 and #4 and I can’t imagine looking at lots of factors would make me flip those or something.

Q: Why are you doing this?

A: I want people who don’t play a ton of EDH to know which cards matter to EDH. The boxtoppers weren’t necessarily 100% made with EDH in mind but that doesn’t mean they don’t affect the format and people might not realize how much certain Legacy staples see play in EDH despite it being billed as a casual, bulk rare format.

Q: Yeah, but why are you doing THIS?

A: I’m trying to win “Article of the Year ” at next year’s content creator awards.

Let’s rank some cards, shall we?

40. Goblin Guide

Gobby Boy is just straight trash in EDH. 411 decks are probably playing him because there is Goblin synergy. This is a fine card and the repeated printings bringing the cost of a playset to $20 makes this an accessible deck to build in Modern, but this is the worst box-topper in terms of EDH and that’s what we’re looking at, right?

39. Meddling Mage

I’m surprised this doesn’t get played more in EDH, honestly, but that doesn’t change the fact that it doesn’t, and this is the real stinker boxtopper to get for any format. Goblin Guide is going to go out as a 4-of and make players of other formats happy, but this seems to be for no one. Humans in Modern? I don’t know.

38. Fatal Push

There are certainly formats where this card shines and EDH is not among them. A lot of people just have these from Standard and they put them in the deck because they have it, but I can’t justify playing this in EDH. This is in so many decks for as narrow as it is.

37. Thoughtseize

Damaging yourself to get 1 card from 1 hand 1 time? This isn’t an EDH card, and that’s fine.

36. Batterskull

This just isn’t that impressive in EDH. As a creature it’s pretty average and as an equipment it’s even more average. I’d be excited to open this boxtopper as a financier but I’m not keeping it unless I build a Kemba deck or something dumb like that.

35. Sword of Body and Mind

Artifacts throw off any attempt to do a standard numerical ranking. Of course any artifact is going to be super low in terms of percentage of eligible decks and super high in terms of included decks – both numbers are skewed. However, this is in a low absolute number of decks compared to the other artifacts and it’s the worst sword. It’s where it belongs. This is a bad box topper considering no other format really plays this card and EDH doesn’t want it much.

34. Sword of War and Peace

Compared to Body and Mind, this is much better, but it’s still in a pretty low number of decks. At least Body and Mind makes your creatures unblockable to the best decks, this makes your creatures unblockable by the worst decks. This sees more play outside of EDH than Body and Mind, which is to its credit, but EDH doesn’t care much outside of equipment tribal. Life gain and loss scales poorly into EDH.

33. Sword of Light and Shadow

All of the swords are just a little too fair in EDH. That said, this feels like it’s low on the list but it was hard to justify putting it any higher given the quality and good inclusion metrics of the rest of the cards. They didn’t make any truly abyssmal cards into box toppers so there will be good cards low on the list. The swords with numbers on them don’t scale as well in EDH 3 life, 1 life, mill 20. This can’t hang with Fire and Ice or Feast and Famine.

32. Karn Liberated

Karn is in a lot of decks because it can go in a lot of decks. Maybe you flip this and sword, I don’t know. It’s pretty wishy-washy in the middle but you are just starting to scroll a little faster by this point anyway, who cares?

31. Sneak Attack

There are better ways to cheat things into play and keep them. This card was also priced out of people’s collections forever, so that affected its inclusion a bit, and now that it’s cheaper, people have sort of moved on. This isn’t Legacy where you hit them with Emrakul and they can’t recover.

30. Kaalia of the Vast

You sort of have to ignore the inclusion numbers on this one. Kaalia is the #36 commander built on EDHREC in the last 2 years and it was very expensive. This maybe should be even higher on the list, especially since this is only an EDH card.

29. Council’s Judgment

This is played a lot outside of EDH but it’s still quite good in EDH. This is a very political card and can get rid of the permanent of each person’s that is annoying everyone, but one player can double up on their vote to mostly negate it, making this interesting every time. It’s a cheap card and not a great choice for box topper, but it will be a good card forever.

28-26. Tron Lands

These were included to let Modern players have more upgrade options for the lands and while it’s much better to have 12 lands in a 60 card deck, people have found some success with 3 Tron lands in a 99 card deck. These are no worse than a Wastes when you don’t have Tron and then they get quite good, even in EDH, when you assemble Tron, meaning there is no real downside to them. There are a lot of colorless commanders, hence the high inclusion numbers.

25. Blightsteel Colossus

This was basically a card for whales before because it was always over $50 and most players couldn’t afford it. Cards for whales are nice choices of cards to upgrade and this should free up some of the cheaper, non-premium copies. Not every deck wants these, but the decks that do REALLY want them. 2% doesn’t seem like a lot, but that’s 2% of all of the decks in the database. 1 in every 50 decks runs Blightsteel. That’s a lot for a card that was commanding a $50 price tag and beyond.

24. Sword of Fire and Ice

This is the second-best sword. 2 damage is pretty meh, but protection from relevant colors and drawing a card is good. I personally think this is overrated and Light and Shadow is underrated, but Fire and Ice is very expensive and desirable and the art on the box topper is insane.

23. Jace the Mind Sculptor

I have literally never once in my life had one of these played against me in EDH, but apparently 1 in every 25 Blue decks is packing this card that used to be a straight Benjamin. This is the most powerful Planeswalker ever, but you have 3 other opponents in EDH. Still, this is in a lot of decks, so who am I to argue?

22. Stoneforge Mystic

This is in the same number of decks as Jace? I should check to see how much Squadron Hawk is getting played in EDH. I should check our code to see if we’re accidentally scraping MTG Top8. A 3rd joke.

21. Blood Moon

Don’t play this card in EDH. You can, a lot of people do. But don’t.

20. Dark Confidant

Baffling. I can’t believe this many people play this card in EDH. Phyrexian Arena exists. I really can’t justify a card like this where board sweepers are played every turn and your best cards cost 5 mana.

19. Noble Hierarch

Bant is very good in EDH most of the time and 1 in every 9 Bant decks packs this card. That’s good because no one is playing Modern in paper right now and this is below $20 right now. This card needs all the help it can get. Sure glad I bought a bunch of these for like $20 each and didn’t sell in time. I mean, I kind of am glad, actually. I love this card, and we’re getting White Omanth soon.

18. Wurmcoil Engine

This is a reason to play EDH and a reason not to play Dark Confidant all in one card. Is there anything it can’t do? Teysa Karlov decks love this, Daretti decks love this. Unspecified future decks are going to love this. This is a very, very EDH card.

17. Academy Ruins

Gonna be a lot of Blue cards from here on out. Blue is the best color in Magic and it’s tied for the best color in EDH. I just bought a bunch of these box toppers because they look great and I like getting my cards back after someone blows them up.

16. Sword of Feast and Famine

This is the best sword and the second-best equipment in the set. No one would have complained if instead of making Sword of Body and Mind, they had made a Sunforger box topper instead. But hey, what do I know? I make bad decisions all the time.

15. Mox Opal

It’s not super exciting but this card is just fine in EDH, especially since metalcraft and colored mana go hand-in-hand in that format more than most others. I like this being under $50 even though that’s temporary.

14. Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice

This is the #1 commander built in the last 2 years. It’s in 2357 decks where it’s not the commander, which is nuts in and of itself. This might have been higher because it’s only for EDH but every other card in the top 13 is too good to displace.

13. Avacyn, Angel of Hope

This is in 7% of white decks with other commanders. Avacyn is insanely good in EDH and the box topper looks… well it looks like something you’d see airbrushed on the side of a van, but lots of people are into that.

12. Phyrexian Metamorph

This is in a lot of decks and for a good reason. Non-EDH players will be thrilled to crack one of these but EDH players will be especially stoked. This is a great card and while the price on the non-box topperis low from reprintings, it’s still a solid card to look at long-term.

11. Doubling Season

I remember opening this in a pack and being mad that I got casual garbage instead of a Plague Boiler. This is casual garbage but it turns out that just means that if there is ever a format full of casual garbage, something has to be the kind of the casual garbage. This is the EDHiest card of all time and I am glad I never got rid of the copies I was upset to get back in 2005.

10. Crop Rotation

This is a 1 mana tutor that puts the card you wanted into play. This is a 1 mana tutor. And it gets you any land. And it puts it into play. A 1 mana tutor that finds Nykthos or Cabal Coffers. Oh, and this was trash for like the first 5 years it was a card. Crop Rotation isn’t even in the Top 5 box toppers in this set, that’s how bonkers the rest of the set is.

9. Exploration

The regular copies of this card should not be under $20. I see no reason not to buy as many of the box toppers as you can afford, honestly. We’re about to go back to Zendikar and you can get an Exploration for under $20. The box topper is about as insulated from reprint as you can ask of a card and it looks better than this version, which itself looks fine. I’m bullish as hell on this.

8. Force of Will

This may not seem like an EDH card but it turns out you tap out a lot more as a control player when you need to keep countermagic mana up on 3 or 4 turns that aren’t yours instead of just 1. This is in 1 out of every 10 decks that play Blue and that’s half of the decks in the database.

7. Expedition Map

It turns out ways to get Cabal Coffers for 1 mana are popular, who knew? Being colorless, this can go in decks that don’t have Green making it even more versatile than Crop Rotation, a card that is, and I have to restate this, so, so good in EDH. Map gets played in non-EDH non-Legacy formats, so it has that over Crop Rotation, also. Super glad to have this as a box topper. The art isn’t that much of an improvement, though.

6. Chrome Mox

It turns out cards that are good in general are good in EDH. This gets played a ton and with good reason. It gets play outside of EDH which is good, but since EDH is basically the only format played in paper right now, strong EDH demand should be a factor you weigh heavily when selecting a box topper to invest in, and Chrome Mox ticks all of your boxes.

5. Toxic Deluge

I think in one of my articles I said this was played in Modern because I was thinking of Dead of Winter. This does NOT, in fact, see play in Modern, but it does NOT see play in Legacy because nothing sees play in Legacy. EDH demand is what is keeping this box topper from going in the trash, but there is a LOT of that. Roughly 40% of the decks on EDHREC are Black and this goes in 1 in every 8 of those. That’s a lot.

4. Mana Crypt

If you shelled out for foil copies of this when it was first reprinted and you’re upset that it’s being reprinted often, remember that the non-foils keep going back to $100 and also, the box topper is the new hotness so don’t worry so much, Moby Dick. WotC is well aware of who you are and what you’re about.

3. Brainstorm

This is a card that gets more play than it probably should, but I guess Aminatou is a thing. I think this is overrated in EDH but it’s easy to jam in a deck, it’s under a buck for most versions, it gets reprinted in EDH sets sometimes and also, it is the ugliest box topper of all time. Seriously, what were they thinking?

Double Masters Box Toppers: Brainstorm

This is so bad. It looks like a cutscene from a 90s PC game. This is what you see when you die to the last boss in Shandalar. This is what the guy who made that Dire Straits Money for Nothing video has been up to lately. This is… Ron Spencer? OK, I’m going to let this one slide.

2. Lighting Greaves

1 in every 4 decks built by a person has a copy of Greaves. They can keep printing to get the baseline version under $5 every couple of years, but giving the whales who aren’t excited about the Judge foil something to aspire to was a great idea.

Double Masters Box Toppers: Lightning Greaves

The art even looks good. I’m all about this.

1. Cyclonic Rift

I bet a lot of you guessed this right and a lot of you guessed wrong. Rift is the best EDH card out of all of the box toppers and it’s not even remotely close. Other formats get 0 use from this card but that doesn’t matter because it’s so good in EDH that it blows every other card away. This is a pure EDH box topper and accordingly, it might be undervalued by a segment of the whale population, meaning it could have a steeper growth curve that cards people pick up for Modern. EDH is a behemoth and getting box toppers just for the format shows WotC knows it.

That’s all for me this week. I hope this informs your box topper shopping and if you want me to never do this format again, I understand. If that’s the case, leave me a comment below. Thanks for reading, everyone. Until next time!

Unlocked Pro Trader: How is MTG Finance Like Jazz?

An old cliche about Jazz music is “it’s not about the notes they play, it’s about the notes they don’t play.” which sounds smart if you don’t think about it for too long. It’s become sort of a cudgel to lazily bash Jazz in the Zeitgeist and occasionally it’s sort of a decent thing to try and make a metaphor around. That’s what I’m doing, after all. It’s not about the joke I tried to make, it’s about the jokes I didn’t try to make. Those were bad jokes and less funny and you’re lucky I didn’t make them.

I don’t want to buy cards right before they’re reprinted and I don’t want to buy cards that are not for EDH which leaves me in sort of a jam right now. Everyone feels the same way, I think, which is why everyone is buying Reserved List cards, sending the price skyrocketing because dealers can’t restock the cards and no one wants to come off of them. It’s a weird time to think about buying anything that isn’t RL, especially with how much a lot of the cards are going up.

To avoid getting completely blown out as a result of my hubris and refusal to lazily buy cards on the Reserved List, I’ve decided to wait until Commander Legends is fully spoiled to buy anything. I think a lot of people are waiting to pull the trigger on EDH staples and prices have upside if the cards aren’t reprinted. Rather than scrambling when that happens, why not come up with a list of cards I think are good buys if they avoid a reprint now and cross them off as they’re spoiled? The list I am left with will be what I buy the second the last rare and mythic are revealed. It’s not a perfect system but it’s better than buying now and risking being blown out. Here are the Jazz notes I hope Commander Legends doesn’t play.

I think the reprint risk on this is fairly high given how ubiquitous it has become and how long it’s dodged a reprint. If they don’t manage to figure out this should be in the Masters set, I think this, despite its highish buy-in price, has upside. There is an alt art foil that’s ugly but cheap and I think any of the versions; Prerelease foil, alt art foil or set foil or set non-foil are all good buys. One factor you may want to consider is that we’re a month away from the demand for lands-matters cards going up with the release of the new Zendikar set so you may want to buy now if you’re feeling frisky. You may be able to just sell out in the next 6 weeks and not worry about a Commander product that won’t be out until the 4th quarter.

I don’t like the high buy-in price THAT much, but if this isn’t in Commander Legends, I don’t know where else they reprint it. They screwed up having 4 Commander decks with only 1 good card between them and something is going to happen with this price – it’s either going to tank because of more supply or it’s going to go basically nuts like it has been since April. I think they may not have realized this would flirt with $40 on CK before they had to finalize their list for Commander Legends, so it’s likely this got missed and that’s a good time to remind everyone about the cliche where they say the Chinese character for crisis also means opportunity. I don’t know if that’s true, but it sounds good, just like that Jazz thing. Not jamming this in Commander Legends will create a crisportunity, be on the opportunity side if you can.

This needs to be left alone for a year for you to be happy you bought in at $4, but with them printing it twice on top of each other, they’ll either conclude they got the number of copies they wanted out there, or they’ll print it two more times in a year. But how would they print this twice in the next year? Or even once? If this isn’t in Commander Legends, I think it’s on the safer side, but there are even safer picks, like…

Card Kingdom wants $8 for this. I think the copies under $5 will be gone overnight if this isn’t reprinted in Commander Legends. It’s a good place to do it, they won’t put it in a precon deck and it’s not Green so CL is basically the one place they could print this. I have like 200 of these I plan to sell before the set is spoiled, that’s how confident I am that it’s in, but if it’s not (who doesn’t want a foil of this?) then buy some under $5.

This was in Mystery Boosters and that makes me think this could be safe for a bit. Again, I don’t love super high buy-ins, and this may just be a card you buy to play with, but I sure hope this is in CL because it needs to be.

This has always needed a reprint and the time to do it was years ago. At this point, it’s not really appropriate for a precon so it’s basically Commander Legends or… I don’t even know. I think scooping these under $40 is fine, and buying them on MCM is even better. If you don’t have access to MCM, consider becoming a Pro Trader and making some connections in the Discord.

This card is out of control and with a bunch of new Legends being printed, the odds that one of them is insane with this card seems high-ish. I think if you buy in as a result of yet another missed opportunity to reprint this, you sell at around $50 because it feels like you’re on borrowed time. That said, I’ve felt like a reprint was coming any day on this for the last 2 years and I’ve been consistently proven wrong. This is a hot potato, but you can still warm your hands before you pass it on.

There are other solid picks as well, and ones with lower price tags, but this is what I am targeting. As the spoilers roll in, let’s pay particular attention to the number crunch. Some cards can be eliminated on the basis of what their number in the set would be which signals to you to buy long before the full set is spoiled and other people start thinking about what they need to buy.

That does it for me this week. I think there is a list of cards that will likely go up as a result of Zendikar Rising but which you’ll need to flip quickly as a result of risk of reprinting in Commander Legends, and we’ll talk about that next week. Until next time!

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Unlocked Pro trader: Free Money

I love reprint sets.

I don’t have to do things I don’t like doing when the cards are all reprints. You know what I hate doing? Going through 300 new cards and finding the one card that isn’t preselling for enough money and pointing it out to people. I hate that. People argue with me because they have their own pet card they’d rather see hit and if I’m right, they don’t remember and if I’m wrong, they bring it up in an unrelated argument 5 years later. I’m not complaining about the job, per se, rather I’m relishing that I get to do something I like a lot more – telling you where the free money is.

When Iconic Masters came out, there were plenty of cards that dropped to around $1 that rallied hard and made people a lot of money. A few of them are in Double Masters, and while that’s not great, it does mean we have about 2 years to make money on cards with which we’re assured to make some money. That seems like plenty and instead of keeping you from my spicy picks any longer, let’s get into the thick of it.

Reprint sets mean we already have adoption data, and years of it to boot. We already know what the most-used cards in the set will be, and EDHREC ranks them by the percentage of eligible decks using them for us. All we need to do is go down the list and figure out what’s going to rebound. Sounds easy, right? Well, actually… yes, it is. I’m going to do it for you because you paid to read this article or waited patiently to read it later and either way you deserve something for that. Besides, I care about EDH so you don’t have to and that’s taught me a thing or two.

They say failure is the greatest teacher but, I dunno, I feel like it was pretty instructive to make a bunch of money on this card when it was in Iconic Masters and got real cheap.

IM copies STARTED OUT at $4 on CK and were even cheaper on TCG Player. The price shot up precipitously over the years, because of course it did. This card is played a ton and there really isn’t better mass removal in White and it’s hard to imagine there ever will be. Lorwyn block was fairly slow and the decks that beat the Merfolk and Kithkin beatdowns didn’t run removal as expensive as Austere Command because Firespout existed. I don’t know if Standard will ever be slow enough again to make a 6 drop sweeper like Austere Command, and a better one to boot, so either it’s a Commander exclusive or Austere Command continues to be the king. I’m betting this is reprinted in 2 years and no card better comes along by then. I’m betting you can buy in at its current $3ish and make money on it. I’m buying in, personally.

I’d like to see if this gets any cheaper before I buy in, but as much of a slam dunk as Austere Command was when Iconic Masters was out, this is in more decks. It has cross-format appeal, so the real X-factor here is whether Legacy returns in full force. I DO NOT ADVOCATE buying cards that are not EDH-only right now in paper. I think there are better sweepers that don’t need another format to help them grow and justify a high buy-in price. Instead of Deluge, buy Eviction.

The smallest amount this ever grew by over a 2 year period was 100%. The most it ever grew over a 2 year period, and the most recent period of growth, saw it grow 200%. This is going to get near bulk and, if left alone, could flirt with $5 in like 3 years. I don’t give this the same odds I give Austere Command, but this is in a full quarter of the decks that contain Black and White and it’s one of the scariest cards in EDH. Bet money this bounces back.

This went from $5 to $10 in 2 years. A reprinting knocked it back down to $5 and then it climbed to $20 in 2 years. Could this go 2 years without a reprinting again? Maybe. But this card is one of the best Green creatures in all of Magic and we’re getting lands matters stuff in the next set so I bet every Green EDH deck brewed with a commander from return to return to Zendikar will want one of these. I also think this is not likely to be in the Commander decks that come out around return to return to Zendikar. If it is, we get blown out pretty hard. If it’s not, this card has shown you what it can do.

This flirted with $20 and when it gets under $10, which it should, it could suddenly become an option for players who didn’t want to shell out $20. This peaked at the time when decks like Kalamax were printed which meant players didn’t necessarily want to shell out $20 for an uncommon, but as this approaches $5, a price we’ve seen it historically recover from easily, this flirts with $15 soon and likely goes at least 2 years without a reprint. Wait for peak supply, which should take a couple of weeks, and snap them up. This is currently cheaper on CK than it is on TCG Player and I can’t imagine that holds. My money is obviously on TCG Player’s price going down.

The money I have made on just Exploration and Burgeoning alone is astounding. It’s really too easy. They’re not seemingly willing to print this into powder and if they do print this again in the next 24 months, I’m betting my own money that it will be a premium version that won’t really affect the price of the non-premium versions. Wait for peak supply and grab twice as many of these as you think you need.

Cards that are probably dead

There are a few cards that I think have been reprinted so aggressively that even if the price recovers, it will do it so slowly that it will get reprinted again before you can really make any money. These are good cards that I like but won’t buy.

Two reprints in a year? Ouch.

Unless you get this as a bulk rare, you’re not likely to get back out clear of what you’d lose to fees. This is a price predicated on scarcity rather than EDH play and it got downshifted from Mythic to Rare. RIP in Peace.

Penny Stocks

There are some cards that will likely be good buys under a buck.

The rarity downshift hurts this to the extent that it basically counts as 2 reprints in a year, but I think this is less likely to get reprinted subsequently which is what I think separates this from Champion of Lambholt, a card I hope I’m wrong about. I like this near bulk – this card does work and it gets better as creatures do.

Conjyclos’ wants its money back, too, and I bet it gets it. It’s been a long time since this got a reprinting and it might be a long time before it gets another one. I’m betting this goes near bulk and people come off of these for a dime or quarter locally.

I have made a lot of money on this card over the years and I do not intend to stop now. It’s not reprinted as often as people might think and it does a ton of work, especially since WotC is accused of making Boros boring and almost every attempt to make it not boring loves this card (except Winota which broke every format in Magic, nice work).

That’s what I think is fit to print. You’re welcome to look at the whole set yourself on the EDHREC page sorted by inclusion percentage to get a sense of what’s played more – it may help you a lot if you only look at sets sorted by highest price. If you have any specific questions, hit me up. Thanks for reading – until next time!