All posts by James Chillcott

Black Friday 2018 Magic the Gathering Sales

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The 2018 holiday season is posting up to put a dent in our collective wallets, and alongside the inappropriately early Christmas music and the over hyped ginger spice lattes it’s time to take Black Friday head on. Go ahead and cuddle up by the fire with your holiday sweater on, half conscious from turkey coma chemicals, while you chuckle at the fools who don’t know how to use the Internet to buy things on sale.

For Magic: The Gathering speculators and players in need of some savings, the holiday season from mid-November to the new year is often a pretty great hunting ground, with plenty of sales going on and plenty of folks looking to turn cards into cash fast so they can finance presents and travel plans. For the most part you’ll likely want to save your speculation budget to focus on the couple of weeks at the end of December when some pretty significant sales can be had during late night Ebay hunts, but for now let’s see whether the online Magic vendors have any goodies worth considering this year.

Here’s a round up of the Black Friday sales going on at various online vendors that you might be interested in, with some highlights of the sweetest deals as of Thursday afternoon. We’ll update over the weekend if relevant sales appear so check back in:

Aaron Cain Deckboxes

ABUGames

  • 25% off all MTG single cards paid for with credit card, debit, paypal or crypto

CardKingdom

$10% in store credit back on all purchases made Nov 23rd to 26th (excludes purchases made with existing store credit)

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ChannelFireball

Here’s the best of what CFB has to offer this year so far, with more deals coming Friday:

  • Save 11% today only on when you use code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout.
  • This insanity right here
  • Black Friday Crate (US only)
    • 10x recent Standard boosters
    • 3x Masters boosters
    • Core Set 2019 Fat Pack
    • CFB dice, score pad, sleeves, deck box

CoolStuffInc.

Black Friday Sale Pt 2 (Thursday deals):

  • Commander 2018 products at various discounts
  • D&D Waterdeep Dragon Heist Booster brick (8 boosters): $79.99
  • Unstable Booster Box: $119.99

FacetoFaceGames (Toronto, Canada Location)

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  • Friday Door Crasher:$1 Battlebond booster packs (1 per customer)
  • D&D/Pathfinder minis: Buy 2 get 1 Free
  • 10% off all cards
  • 20% off showcase foils, board games, FFG products
  • 30% off the “hot deals” binder
  • 30% off troves of all kinds
  • 80% off select games
  • Note: prices are in Canadian dollars (roughly 30% off USD equivalent)

Miniature Market

StarCityGames

  • Alpha Llanowar Elves (PL): $206.24 (25% off)
  • Japanese Conspiracy Vedalken Orrery: $10.35 (50% off)
  • Recurring Nightmare (PL): $10.78 (50% off)
  • Stoneforge Mystic GP Promo: $18.74 (30% off)
  • Masters 25 Booster Box: $149.99
  • Guilds of Ravnica Fat Pack: $24.99
  • Mox Diamond (PL): $134.99
  • Gaea’s Cradle (PL): $262.49 (25% off)
  • Ultimate Guard Twin Flip’n’Tray 200+: $22.49 (25% off)

TCGPlayer.com

15% kickback on all MTG singles (best deal I’ve seen on this site ever)

TrollandToad.com

  • Flooded Strand National Foil Promo: $64.99
  • Liliana of the Veil (INN): $59.99
  • Lion’s Eye Diamond: $159.99
  • Magic Game Night Box Set: $22.95
  • Thoughtseize (THS): $7.99
  • Wasteland (TMP): $24.99

WizardTower.com (Canada)

  • Min 20% off everything in the store
  • Prices in Canadian dollars (roughly 30% less than USD equivalent)

So that’s that. If you’d like to share a really sweet deal you found online, or you’re a store we haven’t added to the list yet, hit us up in the comments below!

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Ultimate Masters Absentees: Targeting Cards That Dodged a Reprint

With the full spoiler for Ultimate Masters now revealed we’ve got everything we need to run a reality check on the estimated value of the booster boxes and to plan out our next few moves. Given how much of a profit seeking dogpile this very sexy set is likely to be over the next few months, it behooves us to consider the cards that didn’t make the set and looks for opportunities to get ahead on some cards that are headed for a supply crunch.

Here are a few of the better options I’ve been looking at this week:

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Take care, and keep an eye out for my forthcoming article on the EV of Ultimate Masters.

James Chillcott (@mtgcritic) is an entrepreneur, investor, designer, collector, gamer and adventurer. Between dolling out good advice and humble bragging on Twitter he can be found playing with his daughter Alara, running a couple of web companies and eating cookies.

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Ultimate Masters: Putting Things In Perspective

Surprise! Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Wizards of the Coast has gone ahead and dropped a glitter bomb on the Magic community with the late announcement of Ultimate Masters.

First, let’s cover the basics. Here’s what you need to know about Ultimate Masters in a nutshell:

  • MSRP for this set is $335.76 / box ($13.99/pack), up from $240 or so for the last few Masters sets
  • The set has 20 mythics & 53 rares and several important cards feature new art
  • As per usual there is also a foil card in every pack
  • Boxes are only available at Local Gaming Stores, but that means you’ll also see them on Ebay and TCGPlayer as well as online vendor stores
  • Each box comes with an “Ultimate Box Topper” booster pack with one of forty brand new Masterpieces style cards. These packs are sealed within the boxes
  • UMA boxes will be an LGS exclusive but 3-packs of boosters will be available at big box stores for $34.99 for 3 packs, without any chance at the Masterpiece box toppers
  • UMA is only being printed in English and Japanese, but will be distributed worldwide
  • Further spoilers for the set are scheduled for November 19th and 20th, with the full set reveal on Nov 21
  • The set will also be available on Magic Online, though it will not be redeemable and the Masterpieces will only show up in Treasure Chests
  • Release date is December 7th, 2018

Now, let’s see what we can do about grounding our analysis to figure out whether this is a set we’re supposed to be purchasing for fun or profit.

The Masterpiece Factor vs. The Price Increase

Ultimate Masters Box Topper
Ultimate Masters Box Topper

There was a lot of chatter on social media Monday expressing dismay at the quoted MSRP of $335.76 USD. This does represent a 40% increase vs. the $240 MSRP we’ve come to expect from recent Masters sets, but it’s important to focus on value as expressed through the EV of the set, and not the sticker shock of a higher price point.

Firstly, price complaints that ignore the estimated value of the guaranteed Masterpiece included in every sealed box are missing the mark by a mile. Sure, some people are going to get stuck with Balefire Dragon or Raging Ravine as their Masterpiece, but far more are going to open something truly sweet that is very likely to appreciate longer term. No one is going to be complaining about getting a Masterpiece Liliana of the Veil, Tarmogoyf, Snapcaster Mage, or Karn Liberated.

Here’s the full list of box toppers.

My early math suggests that this set of Masterpieces will have the highest average EV of any Masterpiece set released so far, largely due to the preponderance of expensive Modern staples being included and the increase from 30 Inventions in Kaladesh to 40 possible cards here.

Overall, my guess is that the EV of the box topper alone will be $100+ or so once we get past peak supply, which means you have to consider the box price as being slightly less than previous sets, not more.

I should also note that I secured my first case last night at $900/case, or $225/box, which is about $80 above what I paid for the last two Masters set, and largely comparable to those purchases given the included Masterpiece. I will not be at all surprised to see further opportunities in the $240-$270 range as the pre-order season becomes more competitive, which seriously undercuts any criticisms of the MRSP, since that number is largely irrelevant. Add in the superior EV of the main set and possibility of truly insane openings, and I see no reason to hold back so far.

Further, ALL of the Masterpieces also appear in the set as mythics, rares and two uncommons (Kitchen Finks & Eternal Witness) and though we still have 34 rares and many of the uncommons and commons to be revealed, the theme of the set would suggest that WoTC will follow through here and deliver a truly impressive roster of cards. We get the full info Nov 21st, but I want my orders in before that since I’m expecting people to end up surprised at how great this set is. Kitchen sink set here we come!

Juiced To The Gills?

Take a look at the cards we know we’re getting in Ultimate Masters and their respective current price points.

Liliana of the Veil

Mythics (20 of 20 known)

  1. Liliana of the Veil $90
  2. Karn, Liberated $90
  3. Cavern of Souls $80
  4. Tarmogoyf $70
  5. Snapcaster Mage $70
  6. Temporal Manipulation $65
  7. Karakas $60
  8. Dark Depths $50
  9. Emrakul, the Aeons Torn $40
  10. Kozilek, the Butcher $40
  11. Bitterblossom $40
  12. Vengevine $38
  13. Mana Vault $30
  14. Mikaeus, the Unhallowed $27
  15. Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre $25
  16. Leovold, Emissary of Trest $20
  17. Lord of Extinction $16
  18. Sigarda, Host of Herons $16
  19. Balefire Dragon $15
  20. Platinum Emperion $14

That folks, is as good as your mythics list is ever likely to get in a booster box based Magic set. The current average price of these cards is a whopping $45, which is about 45% better than Modern Masters 2017 and 72% better than M25 last winter. With three mythics per box on average, you’re looking at underwriting  $135 in average box cost with your mythics alone (assuming they rebound back close to these prices down the road). Combined with the fact that this list represents significantly more high demand Modern staples, and this is unquestionably attractive.

Notice that there are five more Mythics in this set vs. past Masters sets, which should act as a minor damper on how much the mythics lose in price and for how long. On the other hand, the greater the average price of the included cards, the more they stand to lose from current pricing in the short term, since the alternative is that boxes are cracked for singles until they fall far enough to shut that down. This could result in some pretty swingy price shifts over the next several months as much of the print run is purchased, cracked and dumped into the market, only to dry up within a few months due to a lack of additional inventory from the supply chain.

Snapcaster Mage box topper

If I was to flag some early targets among the mythics that are likely to rebound out six to nine months I’d first look at the following cards as things to check in on heading into peak supply in mid to late December:

  • Liliana of the Veil
  • Karn, Liberated
  • Cavern of Souls
  • Tarmogoyf
  • Snapcaster Mage
  • Karakas
  • Dark Depths
  • Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
  • Vengevine
  • Mana Vault

Rares (19 of 53 known)

Demonic Tutor

  1. Engineered Explosives $85
  2. Noble Hierarch $80
  3. Celestial Collonade $55
  4. Gaddock Teeg $50
  5. Goryo’s Vengeance $44
  6. Through the Breach $44
  7. Ancient Tomb $36
  8. Demonic Tutor $36
  9. Fulminator Mage $26
  10. Reanimate $25
  11. Maelstrom Pulse $22
  12. Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth $20
  13. Life from the Loam $20
  14. Entomb $20
  15. Creeping Tar Pit $14
  16. Raging Ravine $12
  17. Lavaclaw Reaches $2
  18. Tasigur, the Golden Fang $1.50
  19. Stirring Wildwood $1

Aside from the hit or miss land cycle, that is a very good looking set of rares so far. Will there be some stinkers in the remaining 35? Definitely. Are you likely to see a set with a higher EV on rares anytime soon? Probably not.

The average price of these rares at present is $31, but we can’t hang our hat on that figure until we see the full list and recalculate a more realistic average.It is worth noting that when I looked at early rare values for the top 25 rares in MM17 however, they were only averaging $23 in the same time frame, so that’s a 35% boost with UMA. Not bad at all.

Even if the average rare price (across all rares) drops to $5 in the final tally, we’d still be underwriting $105 in box cost! If it’s $3, that’s still $63 + $135+ from the mythics + $100+ avg EV (estimated) from the Masterpieces and that’s without even considering the likely EV contributions from the foils in every pack and the uncommons/commons which tend to add $50-80 in value combined. Surprise! We probably just justified the MSRP of $335 even in a pessimistic scenario. Yes, the cards are going to fall from their current price points, but really good mythics and rares aren’t likely to fall very hard, or for very long.

Given that WoTC tends to lead spoilers with the good stuff, I’d expect that roughly just 15 of the remaining 35 rares will be impressive. That could still be enough to cement this set as the best Masters set ever.

Now I do feel that the list of rares here is less resilient overall to a reprint, but I feel good about the rebound potential of at least the following based on their overall demand profile in Modern & EDH:

  • Noble Hierarch
  • Celestial Collonade
  • Engineered Explosives
  • Demonic Tutor
  • Life from the Loam
  • Reanimate

Masterpiece Reprints & Premium Card Fatigue?

Ancient Tomb Box Topper

Some folks have wondered aloud (again) whether too many Masterpieces might be a bad thing. Could players get burned out on premium versions, driving down their values on the whole?

Historical precedent and the latest list of Masterpieces suggests that we’re pretty far from that scenario still. While it is true that a few of these cards have now been Masterpieces twice (Mana Vault, Ancient Tomb, Through the Breach), we need only look as far as Mana Crypt and Sol Ring for examples of cards that have had multiple rare and shiny versions that have tended to trend upward together once the Masterpiece started to rise. Given the higher than usual demand profile of the Masterpieces in question this time, and the deep stock of cards that haven’t yet been given the treatment, this isn’t something I think we need to worry about quite yet.

That being said, it is certainly possible that Masterpiece Cavern of Souls, for instance, might overshadow the Modern Masters 2017 foils for a while, though any gap that opens in their relative prices will only set them up to service different segments of the market or set the stage for the gap to close over time.

Limited Supply?

How limited will Ultimate Masters be relative to other Masters sets? So far, it’s tough to say with any certainty.  Dealers are telling us that their allocations are relatively modest vs. M25 and Iconic Masters last year, and I’m being told by reliable vendor sources that there is only going to be a single wave of allocations. A lot of people will assume this is going to be as common as M25 or Iconic Masters, and I think they’ll be dead wrong. This is WoTC learning from past mistakes and as with Mythic Edition, this set is being designed to sell out.

Further, I have pegged previous MPS sets at around 8000-12,000 copies of each card worldwide, but I think this set could be significantly lower.

Consider this: if WoTC puts out 100,000 boxes of this set and each box has 1 box topper, then there are just 2500 of each box topper. That means we need to be selling 400,000 boxes to approximate the # of Kaladesh Inventions that exist. At $200 cost/box to vendors, WoTC revenues from selling into distributors could be $160/box or about $64M in project revenues. That sounds high to me, and that’s what we’d need for there to be 10k.

Ah, but wait, we also need to consider the freebie copies sent out to folks involved in the Mythic Edition online sale debacle through HasbroToyShop.com. That might have added a few thousand more copies into the mix. Of course even if that’s 10,000 free box toppers, it’s only +250 of each. Not much really.

If you can refine that math, you can zero in on how many of these things exist, so you should try.

It should also be noted that Chinese has been dropped from the Masters print run, which further reduces the total # of boxes and  Masterpieces in circulation. This is more relevant for the box toppers than the Chinese staples, since those don’t circulate much outside of China due to lack of demand abroad.

Japanese boxes on the other hand are likely to be both very rare, and fairly pricey, with MSRP reportedly set around $340 USD in that country as well, but with likely street prices that could exceed $400-$500 with relative ease. I’ll be looking at acquiring some myself, but I suspect the margins will be too thin short term to go very deep since the Japanese vendors will automatically recognize the value of the product & unlike Battlebond the Japanese Modern players will scoop this stuff up right quick.

The Last Masters Set?

WoTC is claiming that this set will be the last Masters set for a while, but don’t expect that to mean no more reprints. Rather, I would expect to see some alternate product models hit the shelves in 2019, most likely with a focus on driving additional product into the hands of Modern & EDH players. A few possibilities include supplemental sets with new cards for Modern, Modern style challenger decks at high price points, and a fresh spin on a Commander’s Arsenal style foil set for Commander players.

What’s Missing?

Notable exclusions from Ultimate Masters so far include Dark Confidant, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Vendillion Clique, any hope of fetchlands and Mox Opal. Other cards such as Thoughtseize have seen recent printings but may still make it in once all the rares are revealed. There is likely some minor gains to be had in the next few months on any missing mythics and rares that in the Top 50 cards in Modern, so keep your eye on inventory levels and the associated price ladders.

In Summary

Ultimate Masters is looking like a source of compelling value, despite the high MSRP. The mythic and rare complement is as good as it gets, with many high demand cards that are often used as 4 of staples in Modern and while variance can still wreck you here, targeting boxes under $275 during pre-orders is going to be hard to beat for fun and value and it could easily turn out that even MSRP is too cheap in the longer term. The popularity of the included mythics and best rares will help card values recover faster, especially if the print run is also more limited and/or the set is released in less waves. This is also a set where you could possibly open Liliana of the Veil Masterpiece and Foil in the same box and that particular lottery result could be you.

Finally, if the price point is too high for your budget, perhaps consider splitting a box with some friends and drafting for the box topper as your prize or look to take advantage of the discounted staples pricing as peak supply hits around the same time as the holiday season drives down singles prices. Remember, not every product will be a perfect fit for your scenario, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to make it work for your needs.

Until next time, happy hunting!

James Chillcott (@mtgcritic) is an entrepreneur, investor, designer, collector, gamer and adventurer. Between dolling out good advice and humble bragging on Twitter he can be found playing with his daughter Alara, running a couple of web companies and eating cookies.

 

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MTGFinance Fall 2018 Rotation Priorities

With September in full swing, we’re now just a few weeks away from the annual Standard rotation and the resulting shake up in card values that typically accompanies it.

This time around we’re facing the rotation of both the Kaladesh and Amonkhet blocks, both of which are notable for containing Masterpiece cards and a plethora of casual and EDH staples. Kaladesh in particular, as an artifact themed block laden with open ended synergies, seems destined for spec greatness.

A while back I proposed a framework for evaluating Magic specs based on their fundamental attributes, as described in detail over here in my article on Spec Scores. And while I (still) haven’t gotten around to fleshing out that concept in the form of a forthcoming web tool on this site, we can still borrow some core concepts to make sure we’re setting priorities rationally when reviewing the upcoming rotation.

According to my Spec Score framework, we want to consider the following when choosing our top picks at any given moment:

  • rarity
  • inventory levels
  • power level
  • casting cost
  • color intensity
  • # of copies played
  • # of formats played
  • uniqueness
  • current price vs. potential
  • recency of last printing
  • # of printings (# of foil printings)

In quick summary, your best bets are often going to be found among mythics that are near a tipping point and are played in high demand in multiple formats, offer a unique effect, are easy to cast, and are hard to reprint or still years from their first reprint.

With that in mind, let’s dive in and try to find some tasty targets in the Kaladesh and Amonkhet blocks!

Multi-Format Staples

Walking Ballista

Walking Ballista (Rare, Aether Revolt)

Current Price: $12
Target Price (12-24 months): $20-25
Formats: Modern, Legacy, Vintage, Commander, Casual

You’re going to have trouble finding a card more likely to make you money from the Kaladesh block past rotation than Walking Ballista. According to MTGGoldfish.com, this ubiquitous XX construct is now one of the top five most played creatures in Modern and it’s in the Top 20 for most played cards overall. Between Tron variants, Hardened Scales Affinity, Amulet Titan, Counters Company and B/R Vengevine usage it’s pretty clear that Ballista is likely to maintain a presence regardless of which way the metagame rolls. This dangerous war machine also shows up as a powerhouse role player in Legacy (Eldrazi Stompy, Death & Taxes) and Vintage (Shops).  The card has also been reported in 5500 decks on EDHREC.com, so we’re talking a true multi format all-star here.

Based on all of that the question isn’t whether Walking Ballista will rise before it’s next reprint but whether we’re going to get a better entry point in six weeks than we have right now around $12. Personally, given how medium-low the inventory is at present (especially for a rotating Standard rare), I favor dollar cost averaging on this card over the next twelve weeks, opportunistically grabbing a few play sets every time a juicy Ebay or TCGPlayer coupon comes up.  I grabbed 12 near $10 last night, and I’ll be aiming to acquire 40-50 before Xmas with an eye to unloading via a future buylist order.

By the by, foils are already significantly more scarce than non-foils here and snapping a few up near $35 on the assumption that they’ll top $60 by 2020 seems like an easy bet.

Baral, Chief of Compliance

Baral, Chief of Compliance

Current Price: $4 ($11 foil)
Target Price (12-24 months): $10 ($25)
Formats: Modern, Commander, Casual

Baral, Chief of Compliance doesn’t even make the cut for the Top 50 most played creatures in Modern, largely because the only deck he ever shows up in is UR Storm. He is however a semi-permanent fixture of that archetype however, and typically played as a 4-of. Over in EDH, while not a popular commander per se, he does show up in 5000+ decks on EDHREC. Overall, I’m mostly interested in foils, though I liked those even better closer to $8. Snap off a couple of play sets for your spec box here, and a steep ramp will likely get you to $20+ in due time.

Spirebluff Canal

Spirebluff Canal (Rare, Kaladesh)

Current Price: $12 (foil)
Target Price (12-24 months): $25+
Formats: Modern, Commander

In terms of land cycles, the Kaladesh check lands are the most likely to do well for us on a longer horizon. Spirebluff Canal is only barely in the Top 30 lands in Modern, but it also shows up in a fair number of EDH decks so it’s still likely to show some healthy appreciation down the road. Given how many land cycles are backed up for reprint I also feel fairly confident we don’t see these again for at least three or four years.

There’s a lot more of any given fall set rare than any given small set rare, so I would tend to favor the foils here over the non-foils, especially given that Spirebluff Canal foils are already in relatively low supply. Picking these up under $15 and aiming for $30+ seems a good bet.

Side note: Blooming Marsh is also a decent, if lesser, target here, so if it fits better in your collection, consider those foils under $10 as rotation dumping picks up.

Inventors' Fair

Inventors’ Fair (Rare, Kaladesh)

Current Price: $2.50/$15 (foil)
Target Price (12-24 months): $6/$30+ (foil)
Formats: Modern, Commander

I already got in on the foils of this quiet all-star at $6, but I’m not scared to scoop some more up closer to $15 this fall because I think it’s obvious we’re going to see them hit $30 long before a reprint. Ironworks Combo and Bridge both run a pair of these in Modern, as do a few other decks. More importantly, this is the 2nd most played card in all of Kaladesh, with nearly 15,000 registered uses on EDHREC.com. Feel free to add 20 or so non-foils to your spec box if you can get them closer to $2 than $3, since buylists are already close to $2 and your risk is minimal.

EDH Staples

Panharmonicon

Panharmonicon

Current Price: $5.00/$20 (foil)
Target Price (12-24 months): $10/$35+ (foil)
Formats: Commander, Casual

The question isn’t whether Panharmonicon is going to see constant demand from Commander players. The question is whether you still want in given that you’ve missed your best entry point. As the top card for the format from Kaladesh, this card is currently double its peak supply low of $2.50, and foils have also already more than doubled up from their low as well. $20 foil rares that are about to rotate are not automatic wins, but in this case I think that if you’re late you just tip your hat to those of us that spotted this card early and go ahead and jump in. It doesn’t hurt that Saffron Olive just ran an entire theme week for this card on his stream, and that won’t be the last time the card gets a boost from casual coverage or memes. To sell by the single copy focus on foils, and you’ll get to exit over $30 within the year. For non-foils the profitable hold might be closer to 18-24 months, but you will almost certainly get to exit en masse to a buylist.

Aetherflux Reservoir

Aetherflux Reservoir

Current Price: $3.00/$10 (foil)
Target Price (12-24 months): $6/$25+ (foil)
Formats: Commander, Casual

Aetherflux Reservoir is the very definition of a card that most Spikes would ignore at first glance, while the casual scene posts up for a long term love affair. The effect is very unique, specific to the Kaladesh setting and unlikely to be a reprint priority for years. Reservoir was actually a key build around in a Standard deck less than a year ago, but up until May of 2018 it was still under a $1. Fast forward through the typically slow summer months and Reservoir is heading into rotation season with a surprising amount of momentum. The card can already be outed to buylists for $1.50 ($2 credit) and retail is steady around $3. Given that the Reservoirs’ online inventory is relatively modest for a rotating fall set rare, and given that it has been reported in 11,500 decks or so on EDHREC.com (ranking as the 3rd most important card in Kaladesh for EDH purposes) I’d say odds are good that the non-foils will hit $10 long before a reprint shows up. Foils can be found under $10 right now, but the ramp to $20-30 is well defined, and because a reprint is most likely to eventually show up via a fall Commander set release, foils are even more insulated.  Down the road, my best guess is that you will be looking to out non-foils via buylist en masse, and singular foils via the sales platform of your choice.

Disallow

Disallow

Current Price: $7 (foil)
Target Price (12-24 months): $15 (foil)
Formats: Commander, Casual

As a three mana counter spell with no alternate casting cost, Disallow is unlikely to ever make waves in Modern, Legacy or Vintage. In Commander however, it is one of the most useful counterspells ever printed, due to the flexibility of being able to counter activated and triggered abilities. EDHREC.com has Disallow pegged as the most popular card in the format from Aether Revolt, with over 12,500 decks registered using the card there. Inventory levels for non-foils are quite high, so I don’t have high hopes for that option, but I’m definitely down to pick up some foils near $7 with a plan to out them in under 24 months for $15+.

Paradox Engine

Paradox Engine

Current Price: $15/$25 (foil)/$100 (MPS)
Target Price (12-24 months): $30/$50(foil)/$150 (MPS)
Formats: Commander, Casual

The first time I saw this card I was a little stunned it had been printed. While a 5 mana artifact seemed fairly unlikely to make waves in Modern, Legacy or Vintage, in the slower battlefields of EDH, this shone out as a very likely open ended combo piece. Fast forward eighteen months and Paradox Engine is the 2nd most important Commander card from Aether Revolt with only slightly less decks registered than Disallow. Most importantly, as a mythic its inventory is likely to drain much faster and as a colorless card, the number of combos it will fit into as time goes on is likely to continue growing. At present the foil multiplier is only 67% or so, and foils are already showing a scarcity driven ramp up toward $50, so I like those to double long before a reprint. Non-foils are also a solid option, and you may want to also consider snapping up a Masterpiece version close to $100, which seems very likely to beat $150 no matter when an eventual reprint hits (I’d guess 3-5 years away minimum).

Anointed Procession

Anointed Procession

Current Price: $5/$10 (foil)
Target Price (12-24 months): $30/$50(foil)
Formats: Commander, Casual’

As the white version of Parallel Lives, Anointed Procession is a near lock to appreciate over time. This is definitely an EDH/casual only card now that’s its time in Standard is over, but in kitchen table magic I would expect demand to be pretty steady for the next 3-5 years before a reprint shows up, likely in sync with the launch of a “tokens matter” style commander in a fall EDH release. Non-foil supply is pretty deep, so I like targeting foils as a double up within 18 months that could end up appreciating in half that time if the ramp heats up.

So there you have it, my priority pick-ups for fall rotation 2018. Hollar in the comments if you have a pet spec you think should have made the list or a good reason to ignore one of my picks.

Until next time, have a great time making and saving money playing our favorite game, Magic: The Gathering!

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