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: Time Marches On

Readers !

We have more cards and I have more picks. Last year at the end of the year was hectic and while it still feels too soon to have cards to write about and I literally haven’t busted all of my packs of the last set (by “last set” I mean “last set I’m going to buy collector booster boxes of”) but we have cards so cards we must discuss. Here are the quick hits on the new stuff.

There are a LOT of decks here for the relatively few spoilers we have. Part of that is that people are building a lot and the game is popular, and part of is that EDHREC spent the last year trying to get the daily scraping routine to finish faster, resulting in data days and sometimes weeks earlier than before. We have a clear winner and some clear other favorites, so let’s do quick hits before everyone else figures out how much data we have.

I mean, yeah. It’s fairly crazy that staples like Ramunap Excavator and Tireless Provisioner have such high synergy given their ubiquity across various formats, but there hasn’t really been a good landfall commander in the last 2 years that would lower these scores at all, so high synergy and high inclusion are basically the same in this case.

This card which warped other formats is not only legal in EDH, most people forget that it’s an option. Deathrite is very good in this deck and since it’s demonstrated that it can hit $12 repeatedly in the past and its one actual reprint was in Eternal Masters, I think this is a good buy under $7.

Eventually this card will stop cycling and go up more or down more. The buylist seems to be following the curves which makes me think that automated processes are buying these at a certain buylist number and driving retail up for a bit. If you’re asking me to bet whether this hits $15 or $5 next, my money is on $12 and if it hits $15, buy me a beer or something.

I was so pleased with myself for grabbing cheap foils of Retreat to Coralhelm, the one they had no trouble reprinting in foil, and ignored $0.30 foils like this one. I thought it was too easy to see Coralhelm coming, turns out I played myself and missed big on this one. In a world full of different kinds of Lords Windgrace and Obs Nixilis, it would have been nice to grab a brick of these at literal dirt. Sometimes you just have to give a foil uncommon 7 years to really establish itself.

Pop quiz, hot shot. You see an erstwhile $30 card on the Reserved List that is going to be popular in a new deck based on a character from the deck that made this go up from $0.25 making it one of the first huge hits from this article series. What do you do? Bonus points if you can answer after shooting Jeff Daniels in the leg. Like in Speed. That one is for some of you.

Lol, OK, wow.

This would be a great time for Villainous Wealth to go way up but it’s been printed way more times than it needed to have been. Still, the foils are cheap and have never been cheaper. Opportunity knocking?

The regular foil keeps getting tanked, but there is one version I don’t hate financially.

The etched foil has hovered between $3 and $4 since the card came out and this huge bump from Omnath could be a very big bump in price. There are lots of versions and another foil, but the etched foil is barely more than the regular foil and is the only version of this card with a positive price trend in the last 3 months.

This is already on its way back to $5, but if you don’t think it will hit $10 again, you’re still doing great buying in around $3. This whole cycle seems great in general, and insane in Omnath. Even the garbage Jeskai one could see play! Also, the garbage Jeskai one is better than I remember.

And now my riskiest call of the article. High risk high reward here – hitting $35 again on a $17 buy-in feels like cheating. I hope this gets there, but it’s also super cheap just in general for what the card does and I can’t think of an Omnath player who won’t want to try and cheese with this.

We can go deeper into the lineup of popular commanders next time – I didn’t expect to find so many hits in cards that are basically the abilities of Thalia and Gitrog Monster and an all-color Omnath with no landfall abilities. Omnath has a ton of ways to be built, so make sure you use the filters to look at the full pages for each build. Here, I’ll show you.

Each of those themes will give you a separate page, and the high synergy cards will be different. Unbound Flourishing isn’t breaking any records in general, but with that a nice, easy way to play the deck (and a fun one), all kinds of cards from Sphinx’s Revelation to Aurelia’s Fury are in play. There’s a lot happening, and we’ll get to more next week. Until next time!

Unlocked Pro Trader: March Madness


We have seen enough of the new cards to speculate baselessly which, thought I said differently last week, is the best way to speculate. I am going to semi-baselessly speculate because I’m too good at this not to have a basis even when there is no basis. Or something. Look, there are new commanders, I’m going to look at them and think about cards that go in the decks, OK? This is like my 12th year doing this, and writing what I am going to do right before I do it is kind of boring to me but I also know I really need to do it.

Let’s look at some cards and I’ll talk about some other cards and we’ll call it a day. Sound good? OK, here we go.

This is a strong one. Right away, landfall stuff, the way I would typically build an Omnath deck (I have 5, soon to be 6. Yes, I have 2 Locus of Creation decks. Sue me) but this one doesn’t care if the mana is from lands. In fact, is way more unfair if it isn’t. Here are 2 sources I think are superlative.

If they ever stop printing this card, it could go way up. Also, if they just stop printing foils, the foils can go up, so either way, we’re likely in bad shape here. I don’t trust them not to reprint this, and riding the wave back up from $3 to $6 isn’t my bag these days. It is free money for you, though, until it isn’t.

The foil thing was a joke, there’s 1 and it’s bonkers. Could this be $200 on CK again? Maybe! I don’t want to buy at $150 and try and find out, but that 99 Euro NM English copy on Card Market might find its way into my basket. If you want less risk, I have an idea.

This card once flirted with $30 and now it is worth less than half of that. Could this be $30 again? It’s going to be more than $12 again, that’s for sure. This has already demonstrated how high it can go and I plan to buy a lot of copies of this for personal use before I even start to speculate. This feels very, very strong to me in the deck, and with mana burn gone, there is no downside at all to this mana machine.

I don’t want to wade into which 3 color creatures are good, but you know what’s very good in a deck that plays Conflux like this deck probably will?

That’s right, Dream Halls. This is basically half of its historic peak as well. Was that buying driven by speculators trying to dump crypto gains into something stable? Maybe, but it’s on the Reserved List and it’s dirty in a deck like this where you have a good shot of pitching any given 3 color card for another one. This deck is going to be so much fun.

Black Market seems super good in this deck, too, honestly.

Looking at the Black Market price graph reminds me of the article where I talked about how I expected Blind Obedience to recover. Whelp! Extort is a sick ability in Commander but not enough cards have it. While Blind Obedience is too expensive right now, consider this monster.

As is the trend this week, this card also used to be worth more and is better now than it previously has been. Pontiff is very good but very slow. Play it in a slow deck, like this one.

I think this set is going to be huge and that’s a shame because I still haven’t really processed Brother’s War. Next week we’ll have some data to dig into so, until then, check my twitter feed, the Pro Trader’s Discord and your bulk. Until next time!

Unlocked Pro Trader: Unbiased Confirmation


I have been trying to identify new ways to target specs in a world with less and less time between sets to build, more and more hype, more expense and, in general, no rest. I used to sometimes get a little bored waiting for the next set, and I foolishly wished for that situation to be better on this old monkey paw I got from a dude named Rod and here we are. It’s not the end of the world, just my old method. Luckily, some of the calls I made are starting to pay dividends. Remember when we talked Blink, specifically White stuff twice in the last 2 months?

A few of these sold for $9.99 on TCG Player Direct today, so the doubling we predicted should be upon us within a matter of a week or so. It feels good that my new method of “Building around keywords” rather than commanders gives us a whole set worth of Legendary Creatures to give the card a chance to pop. It’s not just Elesh Norn that wants this card, either, if the data is to be believed (it is).

Teleportation Circle has had itself quite a year. Checking the card’s raw stats might not point to this kind of dominance across many different commanders, but it’s clear that a lot of people want to be blinking creatures in White decks. Then there is this.

The card is in 1,000 Norn decks already and is in 69 Malcator decks (nice). There is no reason we won’t see more in the future. I think Teleporation Circle may be a bit trickier to reprint, but targeting cards like Portal rather than very specific cards like Dream Chisel is the way to speculate these days. I could write lots of paragraphs about how there isn’t time to wait for people to upload their decks to Archidekt and give us a week or two to pick up copies of cards. The movers are moving immediately, just like they began to do in Standard about 8 years ago which made me shift to EDH. I told too many people how to do this and now they’re doing it, and I can’t be mad at it. I didn’t really invent anything all that revolutionary, I mostly just camped one data site hard until they hired me to improve its reach and here we are.

It’s only bad news for me if I want to be lazy and not learn anything, so I guess it’s good that we can talk about my new ideas by talking about a hit. I think there are more hits coming, though, and it’s all cards I have talked about in the past. Instead of showing you that I like Prince Charming and Panharmonicon and their current price (they can’t possibly print Panharmonicon again for like 6 more months… right?) I want to talk about another concept – getting rid of counters.

There has never been a better time to be trying to take counters off of permanents. With Infect creatures shrinking blockers, Planeswalkers everywhere and Sagas that are fun to keep on their first mode keep getting printed, it’s very useful. Unfortunately it’s mostly in Black and Green, and Leeches popped already (I have so many copies of that card that I can’t wait to out). Fortunately, the concept will stick around and I have some spicy picks.

Glissa has all of the cards I want to talk about within one deck so let’s see what they all are.

It’s going to sound insane to say this, but we can safely ignore the High Synergy cards, at least this time. More decks might come along that remove counters but not necessarily synergizing with Sagas. If the next card printed IS good with Sagas, they begin to make more sense. Why don’t we avoid the very, very niche cards because we have learned that method doesn’t work as well as it used to. I need to sift through to find gems. Luckily, I did that.

I had no interest in using Puca Trade to trade, but one of the reasons it failed was they gave every new account like $15 to spend and a person (me) could make an account, order cards, get them, never do anything, and win. You could use the platform, and maybe it was a mistake not to (Cardsphere is better and still going) but regardless, I put one card on my want list – a $1 rare called Torpor Orb. I received 12 of them with the $15 and bought a few more, but it was mostly just a way I got 15 copies of a card over a month.

I’m not bragging about my hits – if you have read my series for long, you know all about my misses, after all. The point is that once it hits a certain threshold of usefulness, it’s not at all unprecedented for a rare from New Phyrexia to be $10, or even $15. I think Hex Parasite could get there, and its overall price trend is upward anyway. If they were going to reprint a creature with Phyrexian mana in it, I feel like they would have in ONE or the ONE Commander decks, but they didn’t. I think Hex Parasite is a $12 card.

If the non-foil goes up, the foil which is showing no sign of an increase right now, could have some upside.

Lots of it.

Speaking of foils, I know I don’t love foils, but I love one foil.

These are DORT CHEAP in Europe, also. I am always talking about how good Blind Obedience is and how everyone is always shocked I deal 1 to everyone and gain 3 with it almost every turn. Everyone remembered the player who Extorted gaining 1 life, gaining 3 is a surprise. If people are surprised how good a card is, and it has another unique ability that’s in vogue right now, I don’t see a downside to picking these up at half of their historic peak price, do you?

This is why I never sell my foils, I just keep them in 500 count boxes STUFFED AS FULL AS POSSIBLE with basic lands at both ends to keep them as compressed as possible so maybe, just maybe, they’ll flatten out. I am not saying we can expect $25 for Thrull Parasite, I’m just saying if you have foil Power Conduits in a box, like maybe from before 2021, go open that box. I’m about to! I bet I sold a bunch of these for $5 in July of 2021, though. “U SHAPED GRAPH, BABY!” I likely screamed, already mentally spending all of those Lincolns on Skee Ball and Nikl-Nips.

Is that a good corollary for this card? No, but it does show the ceiling is basically boundless compared to its current price, and even if it “merely” hits a historical high, you’re doubling up, just for starters. I always dig through an LGS’ loose foil box if they have one and cards like this that were $0.50 when they put them in there and slowly creep up to $5 over time for no reason other than that they’re old and have some utility. Those card can go up a lot when that utility happens for a whole year worth of new commanders. Some people might have to buy 2. You don’t HAVE to buy ANY foil copies of Ferropede, but I’m gonna.

I was feeling a little gloomy over the holidays and the accumulated stress made it hard to see a future for this column. I have had to adapt or die a lot of the tenure of this series and if you keep working with me, bouncing ideas off of me in the Pro Trader Discord and just keep reading, I’ll keep trying to make us all some money. Thanks for reading, I really mean that. Until next time!

Pro Trader: Pro Liferation


I’m back on my particular signature brand of BS for this week and it’s going to be a fun article to write. Finally, we get to write about cards I like to play. By that, of course I mean cards I want to put in decks. Notice I didn’t say “deck” because with the stupid, stupid, stupid, idiotic stupid poison counter theme in Phyrexia: All Will Be One (PAWBO for short), we have another theme that works hand in hand with it, enables other strategies (Planeswalkers) and is heavily in the best color combination (Simic). I am talking, of course, about Landfall Proliferate.

Proliferate is a big subtheme in PAWBO, but between the set which gave us a few Proliferate cards and the precons which seemed to ignore the main set in that regard, we have old cards and new cards that are both getting some new looks. While Ezuri is of course not the most popular commander in the set, I think it’s the best place to see the Proliferate cards that matter. Let’s take a look.

I really expected a reprinting of Inexorable Tide, but I think it might be a minute for a reprint. I also think if Inexorable Tide gets printed, it’s unlikely to be in a big set and that could hurt its upside. Also, this isn’t the first time we made money on this card.

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