Category Archives: Jason Alt

Unlocked Pro Trader: Karlov The Magnificent

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Readers!

I am a little more excited about this crop of commanders than I was for the ones in the last Ravnica set, gotta be honest. Niv-Mizzet was the most popular and he wasn’t even new. Lazav proved unwieldy, Izoni proved underpowered, Trostani proved unpopular, Ral Zarek proved to be a Planeswalker and Aurelia proved to be bad even in Standard. This new crop, however, is exciting. I have already discussed a bit about how I think Prime Speaker Vannifar is bound to give us some delicious new possibilities and will also be a boring, linear deck that everyone is going to hate out immediately. That won’t deter speculators from hoarding Intruder Alarms because that combo is so obvious, people who don’t play EDH thought of it. I hope you snagged Alarms when they were still $6 which was the price they were when I tweeted about it. Following me on Twitter seems like a good idea since it’s free and a lot of you pay money to get my opinion on stuff. What ISN’T so obvious that even a non-player could think of it is basically every card in the Vannifar deck that isn’t Intruder Alarm or Thornbite Staff and every card in every deck built around every other commander. I think the stuff in the Teysa Karlov deck is just as obvious as the stuff in the Vannifar deck so I am going to run through that today. That’s it. Magic Finance can be hard sometimes but my method has refined itself enough over the years that we don’t need to pretend it’s more complicated than it is. It’s simple but it also relies on me paying attention to stuff you don’t want to pay attention to. Well, I did that, and here’s what I came up with.

Teysa Karlov is a very interesting creature – so interesting that most people forget she has a second ability.

Teysa Karlov [RNA]

Creature tokens you control have Vigilance and Lifelink? Could that ever possibly be relevant? I think so, and people who build the deck are going to notice. In this way, Teysa is the perfect commander for a deck with creatures with Afterlife, which is a much smaller number of creatures than we anticipated. However, it isn’t just afterlife that is affected here – all of the “on death” triggers that Black decks normally use to great effect are doubled and that makes her brutal. You don’t need to haphazardly jam a bunch of mediocre creatures with Afterlife into the deck just because she synergizes with that ability and indeed people beginning to brew with her aren’t. You have better ways to make creature tokens and you have better ways to take advantage of her first ability, too. Let’s look at some cards I really like in the wake of this printing that haven’t spiked yet because, again, they are slightly less obvious than Intruder Alarm and that’s basically the only reason.

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Font of Agonies is a card that has people talking a lot. There are a lot of good ways to put counters on Font and the ones that people who write about EDH and have tens of thousands of readers aren’t even always that good. Bennie Smith said he wanted to pair Font with another way to kill creatures.

This is… a card, certainly. I don’t know if you pull these out of bulk per se because Bennie talked about it. This isn’t the worst card to pair with Font and while Font won’t make it into every Karlov deck, the fact that your tokens will gain you life should mitigate the life you pay and I think Font is an attractive inclusion in the deck. So if I don’t like Slaughter despite it putting enough counters on Font to kill another creature, what do I life? So glad I pretended you asked. Here’s a card that just got a reprint and won’t likely get one soon.

Here’s a $5ish mythic from a set whose prices are beginning to recover that is in 15,000 decks on EDHREC and does a great job of putting counters on Font. Don’t think you want to run Font? That’s cool because it turns out Necropotence is just fine in a deck that has a bunch of lifelink tokens running around. You’ll draw a ton of extra cards with this and it’s honestly cheating in EDH. The triple Black is no issue in a 2-color deck and honestly I’m not sure why Necropotence isn’t banned in EDH. It’s not, it’s not fair and that’s fine with me. Both the retail and buylist price are rising on this and Card Kingdom is charging twice what TCG Player is. These are too cheap right now even having grown a few bucks over the last year, so get them now. This is a slam-dunk inclusion in Teysa decks but it’s also an EDH staple that just got a reprint and is seeing the price rebound.

Remember when these were $0.50 and then I went on the Command Zone podcast and told people I bought 200 of them and they should buy some, too? I don’t think that appearance had as much to do with this precipitous climb as the fact that the card was a $0.50 substitute for a $12 Grave Pact but as those two prices converge, it’s looking more and more like you just play both and a lot of people play Butcher of Malakir as well. In a non-Teysa deck, Dictate of Erebos is brutal because saccing a creature token for mana to an Ashnod’s Altar or flinging it at them with Goblin Bombardment triggers the Pact and makes them sac a creature. In a Teysa Karlov deck, that happens twice as long as Teysa is in playsa. That’s what we call “value” in this bidness.

Black Market took quite a hit in 2015 but it seems to be on the cusp of making a comeback. Card Kingdom wants $5.50 for it and TCG Player isn’t too far behind with a market price of $4.89. I don’t expect this to stay under $8 forever and with double the charge counters with Teysa Karlov, I expect plenty of people to auto-include this in their Karlov decks, especially since you’re getting double counters on death triggers. Suddenly your Ashnod’s Altar can generate even more value when you sac a dork.

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A Conspiracy printing hacked the legs out from under this card but as much as 6 mana and a death trigger was a pretty “fair” rate before, with the trigger doubling, this is a very efficient way to dump your hand, especially in a deck bound to be playing big, expensive creatures like Kokusho and Sun Titan. Gettable for as little as $2.50 on TCG Player, this never really hit bulk rare status despite the reprint even though people ship me these in bulk all the time. If you’re not lucky enough to get these by accident, don’t worry, it’s likely retail will catch up with reality and a hundred bucks or so at $2.50 per will likely look pretty good pretty soon.

Remember the good, old days when these were under a buck? It’s been a long time since that was true and while I saw it coming, I don’t have as many copies as I would like. I sold a LOT at that first $3 plateau and while I’d like to kick myself for lacking the foresight to wait a whole year to see if they moved again, I’m not mad because I reinvested that money wisely. I don’t think this will ever be cheap again barring a reprint and how likely do you think a reprint is? They left Manamorphose out of Ultimate Masters so it’s clear they miss stuff. I bet this miss this card that sneakily climbed to within striking distance of $10 without anyone making a big deal out of it.

I honestly don’t know how much longer Attrition can stay under $10. Then again, I don’t know why it went down after it spiked near $17.50 years after it was reprinted. If I had to guess, it’s not getting played much in new decks and if you look at the decks where it’s used most, they’re pretty old. Demand is not what it used to be.

That said, with Teysa Karlov turning 1/1 tokens into two death triggers for 1 mana in situations where you don’t have a Dictate of Erebos in play and 4 death triggers where you do, I think it’s safe to say that Attrition is going to come back into favor very soon and while I don’t know if it ever flirts with $20 like it did back in early 2016, I think cresting the $10 point and going above and beyond is pretty reasonable. I don’t know how popular Teysa Karlov will be but I do know she’s a better commander than any commander in Guilds of Ravnica. Is that damnation by faint praise? That remains to be seen. What I do know is that Guilds was not very popular for builders.

Do I expect more than 27 people to build Teysa Karlov decks? I sure do. I think more people will build Teysa than built Niv-Mizzet. I’m counting on it.

One last thing before I go, one the issue of Guild Kit reprints, people are worried about their specs ending up in the kits. Given that only cards from Ravnica sets will appear in the guild kits, I think there are very few cards you need to worry about. I think there’s a real possibility the Orzhov one could be as good a buy as the Selesnya one was but even if it’s not, let’s quickly look at the cards I think will get hit.

Merciless Eviction $1.79, 21,679 decks

Debtor’s Knell $9.99 2,964 decks

Blind Obedience $1.99 15,038 decks

Ogre Slumlord $1.99 3,288 decks

Nothing else is really that much of a beating, financially, so I wouldn’t worry about it.

That’s all for me this week, folks. I recommend brewing a Teysa Karlov deck of your own and thinking about what you’d put in it. Skullclamp seems good, Phyrexian Altar seems good, Twilight Drover seems good and Divine Visitation seems good. Decks that get a loop going with Karmic Guide or Nim Deathmantle seem good and cards like Archon of Justice that are much better when doubled deserve a look. See what other people are building, brew yourself and make your decisions based on that. Or just spend $300 on copies of Attrition and if enough of us do that, it doesn’t even matter if I was wrong (I’m not). Just kidding about that last part, don’t do that. But do come back next week where I’ll have some more tips, possibly predicated on some actual data. Until next time!

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Unlocked Pro Trader: Stop Stopping At Obvious

Readers,

It’s no secret that Prime Speaker Zannifar is going to impact prices. It’s a dumb, linear, obvious deck and the fact that there are obvious, slam-dunk cards for it that people who don’t even play EDH saw them a mile away means that the obvious stuff gets bought out and gets bought out hard.

Hard.

HARD.

GREEK UNDERGROUND… you know the rest

The ship has sailed on a lot of “Staples” for the deck and there’s not much point of making like a greater fool and buying an Intruder Alarm now. Fortunately, readers of mine who don’t pay attention much to EDH, preferring that I pay attention to it and they pay me to pay attention may not know that there is a secret to EDH deck building.

Vannifar decks still have to include 96 more cards. The less obvious they are to people who don’t play EDH, the more money you can make.

“But Jason,” I am pretending that you are asking “surely the people who DO play and understand EDH have already purchased those cards that are not obvious to pure speculators but which have occurred to them.” Well, here’s another secret about EDH. No, they haven’t. They will put their decklist on TappedOut (don’t put your decklists on TappedOut, by the way, use Goldfish or DeckStats) or DeckStats, they’ll debate which color sleeves to put the deck in but the one thing they won’t do is buy the cards and build the deck until they have Vannifar in their hands. I don’t know why this is, but I sure appreciate it. It allows us to figure out what they’re going to build and buy it before they do.  Let’s look at the other 96 cards that aren’t obvious. Oh, and 40 of them are lands. Let’s look at the other 56 cards that aren’t obvious. Sol Ring. Let’s look at the other 55 cards that aren’t obvious.

I’m not going to show you 55 cards. Sorry, there aren’t 55 cards bound to go up, but I will show you some I think have promise.

EDHREC doesn’t have enough data to publish findings yet but googling Vannifar lists will show you that some people are already thinking pretty hard about how to make a dumb, linear combo deck with a Pod chain. I like a toolbox build but other people don’t so let’s look at the cards that are in almost every build I found.

Pod isn’t at a historic low but it’s climbing up mostly irrespective of specific demand. If this gets unbanned in Modern and you have a pile of these, you’ll look like a genius. These will go in every Vannifar deck and while far fewer Zannifar decks are going to be built than team “$20 Intruder Alarm” thinks, there will be some and you’ll move these. It looks like it’s midway through a climb anyway so smart money is betting on a graph shape like this where you know you’re getting some demand and the only question is whether you’ll get exactly as much as Vannifar gives us or more from another source. Seems low-risk to me.

This has a bit more reprint risk than I like, but I think we’re talking a short-term play here if there’s one to be made at all. This also has shrugged off a reprint in the past because it turns out it’s a very good card in EDH and does two jobs that are both important and does them in any deck due to its lack of a color identity. All of those things are pretty powerful. 11,127 is above my “magical arbitrary but meaningful to me” threshold of 10,000 decks on EDHREC and while that’s not astronomical for an artifact, there’s demand on top of Vannifar and the overall trend of the card is up.

That goes for the Commander 2013 copy as well, which celebrated its 5th birthday a few months ago and marked the occasion by tripling in value over its life.

This is better than Thornbite Staff in more decks, goes in the Vannifar deck also and there’s no reason this will ever be worth less money than Thornbite Staff. That’s all I have to say about that.

This won’t double but it will be in the decks and that’s significant. It’s not exactly doing a ton of business elsewhere and the spread continues to grow as the bottom drops out of dealer confidence in the form of lowering buylist prices. This is just used a lot, I don’t know how strongly I feel about the current metrics, but you may feel differently.

This seems to be in every list I come across and it also appears to be ticking up slowly. It’s not super likely to get a reprint and it’s a mythic from a set that there was no real pressure on anyone to buy so for those reasons alone, even irrespective of Vannifar, I like this. Vannifar makes me like it Vannifar more.

This card is also in a lot of Vannifar lists I see online and it’s likely EDHREC data will bear that out soon. This can’t get much lower as a mythic and the $1.50 foils seem awfully inviting and somewhat rare. If Thornbite Staff can flirt with $15, I don’t think $1.50 on these is out of the question, but I also don’t think you have any possibility of this going up for any reason other than Vannifar which makes me hesitate.

This was $50 once. It was also $10 once. Which one do you think it will be again first? Remember, this is the top of most pod chains when you turn your 6 drop into Avenger of Zendikar then hit this. Of course this doesn’t give your creatures haste, but if you need haste, there’s a card you should take a look at.

So this is on its way out of control and while it’s not on the Reserved List per se, reprint likelihood feels low to me and people are buying the Legends version like it IS one the Reserved List. Chronicles copies seem like endangered species and Chronicles hasn’t just been around for longer than most Magic players have played Magic, Chronicles came out before a lot of them were born. This is a $30-$40 card waiting to happen. You already have to pay in excess of $20 for a Near Mint copy on TCG Player so while the damaged copies no one wants are confounding metrics, you can safely pick off the Near Mint copies, clean out Card Shark and other peripheral sites no one does a good job of keeping an eye on and try not to trigger an avalanche.

Check yourself. There are a lot of cards I didn’t mention but some of them might be cards you personally think are worth looking at. Do you think the supply of Quirion Ranger is at a tipping point? Want to make some ballsy buys of Reserved List cards like Palinchron? Found a mispriced Staff of Domination? There are more cards that can go in the deck and I didn’t cover them all, so do some research, wait for EDHREC to give you the answers, ask around, build your own list. Do anything but gripe about how you missed the boat on cheap Intruder Alarms. You should have bought them at $2 when I said to in a QS article 6 years ago like I did. We all make mistakes. Until next time!

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Unlocked Pro Trader: The Great 2018 Retrospective

Readers,

I don’t want to do a 2018 Retrospective. Sorry. I was going to go back and reread every article I wrote in 2018 and select my best picks but, nah. You want to do that? That’s a pretty good idea. I was very insightful this year. I predicted a lot of things not because I am especially smart but because I spent 7 years of trial and error honing a strategy for predicting things and it’s working out because I use an analytical, data-driven approach. You are smart enough to have done it. You easily could have. You didn’t because it’s easier to pay me to do it for you. I don’t change my own oil. I know how. I think I learned in the Cub Scouts or something. The Boy Scouts you learn to do stuff but the Cub Scouts are when you’re like 9 and you get an award for watching your Dad change the oil or your grandfather or your Mom or whoever taught you to do man stuff. I feel like I changed my own oil a few times after that and said “I don’t want to do this myself” so I don’t. I pay some dude at Uncle Ed’s to change my oil. I’m not better than him, I just don’t want to do a dirty job in my garage when I can pay a dude in dirty clothes in a dirty garage to do it. So that’s my approach to finance- I’m just a dude changing your oil. You want to change your own oil? Go look it up on Youtube and then go buy the pan and the oil and rags and lava soap for when your hands are all oily afterward and junk and, oh, look at that, you spent as much as an oil change costs and your wife is pissed off that there’s oil residue on her guest towels.

What was I even talking about? 2018 has been incredibly taxing on me and we’re about to have another kid in the middle of 2019 and I will probably never sleep again. That’s good, though, because any inefficiencies in my method are about to get ironed out because I won’t have like 4 hours to blow writing an article, I’ll be dealing with a 3 year old and an infant. With 2018 officially over, why not look to 2019? Go read my old articles from 2018 if you want – there’s good stuff in there. but let’s talk about something else from 2018 instead. Let’s talk about a set that’s basically peaking right now.

B A T T L E B O N D

Battlebond was a smashing success and married everything I want in Magic. I write about EDH, 2HG is my favorite format and I dabble in finance and Battlebond checks all of those boxes, making the Conspiracy set the first 2 Conspiracy sets wish they were. So what’s peaking right now? Let’s take a look.

With very few exceptions, EDH is where these cards are being played, which is a huge plus for EDH players since no one is fighting them for the cards to a large extent. Other EDH players are, though, so it’s time to get some of the stuff that’s showing signs of twitching. When you sort by most-used on EDHREC, it’s predictable at first. I bet you can guess the first 5 cards. Also, saying it’s 5 cards is a hint. Also, your peripheral vision is probably picking up the answer because I’m displaying the pic below. I’ll just link it now, you know the answer, it’s the lands, I didn’t trick you at any point.

Blue, White, Green, Black, Red, in that order. Of course the two Blue lands are played the most, that’s obvious. What wasn’t obvious was how much play Spellseeker was seeing.

At 1,174 decks, this isn’t EXACTLY a staple but if you compare that to the number of copies of Luxury Suite, 1,344, and you realize that all of the numbers are pretty low. Remember, the numbers in ratio to each other is more important than a raw number. A raw number can’t tell you much but the fact that Spellseeker is in half as many decks as Morphic Pool and almost as many as Luxury Suite tells you all you need to know. This is $4 on TCG Player which is high for a rare, except not the highest it could be. Besides the 5 Battlebond lands, Seedborn Muse and Diabolic Intent are worth more. Spellseeker has strong EDH metrics, has a non-zero amount of Legacy play (3 results on MTGTop8, which isn’t nothing. There were 89 results for it in Competitive EDH events). This is half the price of Morphic Pools and played half as much. Do you think the price of Luxury Suite will stay the same? If it goes up, I expect this to go up just as much. I’d peg its price to .5x Morphic Pools or 1x Bountiful Promenade and buy accordingly. Oh, and this is a $32 foil, so it’s pretty clear people are aware of how powerful this is. It’s not going to spike as easily as, say, Archfiend of Despair, but considering that already happened, this a better play considering there is still time to buy in. Also, Archfiend is played less – half as much per EDHREC.

Speaking of cards whose prices will likely rise and fall together, let’s look at another pair of cards.

I don’t think there is a 10:1 ratio between mythics and non-mythics and as little play as both seem to be seeing in an absolute sense, Pir’s Whim sees play in half as many decks as Spellseeker and made a lot of EDH writers’ Top 10 lists this year. Pir’s Whim is under the radar and like it or not, short of it getting played on The Command Zone, it likely will be for a while. That’s too bad because the card is actually bananas. It says land card, not basic land card. You could blow up 3 Sol Rings and go get a Gaea’s Cradle with this. Bramble Sovereign is good but it’s demonstrably not much more popular than Whim but it’s perceived to be more popular. Another great thing about Pir’s Whim is that at $7 or so for foil, there is room for growth. It debuted at around $15 and has been sinking since, but if it ever starts to rebound, it’s going places. We got less Battlebond than we wanted and it’s unlikely a card called Pir’s Whim will get a reprint anytime soon, so that $7 foil could be $15 again before you know it.

Even more popular than the Lannister twins, these foils are $10 each and not as common as you may think. The buylist market price on Pir is the same as the retail price, which may be a fluke but may also indicate a price change is incoming.

Interestingly enough, these are actually cheaper on Card Kingdom than on TCG Player, which means the market is moving the price faster than a retailer can keep up with. It also means their buylist, usually the gold standard, is only about $4. I don’t know what the disparity means, but I do know that most people tend to get their signals from TCG Player so you may be able to get a near arbitrage going with the $7 foils on Card Kingdom. The price of these toofy bois is going up, I can feel it deep in my molars.

Last Pair

These are both pretty underrated cards in terms of what people say they like from the set but when you look at what people are actually playing versus what they say they would play, you get cards like this, cards I called in past set reviews and took heat for, overperforming expectations. At 550ish, these are just below Archfiend and above Bramble Sovereign. Should these be worth more than a buck or two right now? Hard to say they should given that they see a 5th as much play as Morphic Pool.  Would it surprise you to know Bonus Round is sold out at $8 in foil and Stolen Strategy is almost sold out at $12? Bonus Round has been flat around $8 for a minute but if it’s beginning to sell out, take notice. Strategy is on the downswing and $12 might not be the floor, but considering the demand here is identical almost except for the possibility of play in other formats (couldn’t find any evidence of that on Top8) I think these prices will eventually be the same. Whether they’re the same at $6 or the same at $15, that’s your call. I will say after Najeela and the lands, Bonus Round is the 5th-most-played card and Strategy 6th and it’s tough to argue with data and apologize to me for telling me I was dumb to say a do-nothing red Enchantment was worth playing at the same time.

 

That does it for me this week. Battlebond is beginning to ripen and with no supply on the horizon, those lands are prime to hit the $10 I know they can be. Buy the other stuff accordingly and keep reading my dumb ideas in 2019. A blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while. Until next time!

 

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Unlocked Pro Trader: Cards of a Certain Age

Readers,

I was going to do my 2018 wrap-up today but I think I’ll do that next week. Next Tuesday is the first day of 2019 and that will be a good time to look back at all the calls I made over the past year and if any of them are poised to do something big in 2019, I want to remind everyone it’s time to have the copies to move when they pop. I think there are a quite a few long-to-medium-term picks I’ve made that are going to make us all some money. Today, though, I have to figure out what to talk about and I thought I’d mention something I found while exploring other sites, something I do sometimes.

MTG Price’s tools are coming back with a vengeance next year and while peak MTG Price is my favorite go-to source for data, I do like to use other sites and encourage everyone to cast a wide net. Something that MTG Stocks does well is to flag things that have gone up a bit and could go up more and also flag big jumps you probably missed if they’re outside your wheelhouse or if a minor event pushed some amount of supply over a virtual cliff and triggered and avalanche. One such avalanche happened this week and it got me thinking about similar cards. As much as I like to deride people who only seem to talk about cards after they go up, that information isn’t always useless if you can apply it to similar cards that are waiting for a similar event to push them. Specifically, how much play does a card need to get in EDH to push its price if supply, if low (like for a foil or promo, for example) enough to trigger a precipitous increase in price? What card am I even talking about, for starters?

Looking at the interests page on MTG Stocks, I found some interesting foil price changes in the past 24 hours. I’d check their site for a minute or two a day just so you don’t miss anything major. So what the heck is going on with Battle Hymn?

I don’t know that fewer than 3,000 inclusions and no discernible new event could have done this. Is it speculation on new Gruul or Rakdos strategies? I’m not really much of an authority on competitive Magic anymore, so I lean on MTG Top8 the way I encourage people who don’t know EDH to use EDHREC. It’s not the be-all, end-all but I can usually figure out 90% of what’s going on just by searching for a card’s name on either or both of the two sites and since there are so many cards with potential, I tend to focus on other cards instead of really drilling down for that last 10%. Maybe someone on salvation or reddit or some secret Discord cabal where people who are bad at MTG Finance decide which terrible Visions card on the Reserved List they’re going to pretend was driven by EDH demand when they buy it out (This week it was Eye of Singularity) said something, but I don’t care. So, striking out on EDHREC, I checked MTG Top8.

I don’t think it was a tournament event that I could find. It could just be a supply issue. The next thing I am going to check is that this price is actually correct.

Looks like a TCG Player Buyout. Who knows why they did it? Check smaller sites to see if they have copies left for the old price since if that $16 doesn’t stick, it will likely stabilize halfway between the peak price and the old pre-spike price even if the spike was induced by some weird buying behavior. You can do that since you need to go to those sites to buy the cards anyway. I’m not about to talk about a card after it goes up then expect credit if you get copies at the old price, but I can hope to use this weird spike to help you find the next insane price bump. To do that, let’s look at cards from the same set and see if anything is getting more play in EDH and could see a similar bump if the same thing that happened to Battle Hymn happens. Back to EDHREC.

Using the “sets” tab, I am going to look at the commons and uncommons in Avacyn Restored and maybe a few older sets to see if there are any of those cards in more decks than Battle Hymn that need less of a nudge from an event outside of EDH and only have one printing to see if we can get ahead of the next weird buyout. If I’m missing an event and you know what it was that made Battle Hymn pop, leave it in the comments section. However, I’m operating under the assumption that what it was is immaterial if we can reasonably rely on it happening again to a card of similar or greater scarcity with similar or more demand. This will be fun.

At just under the number of decks Battle Hymn is played in, Seraph Sanctuary is worth looking at. It has a reprinting but in a duel deck with no foil printing meaning it has only been printed in foil once. I think reprint risk is pretty low, this card has some utility and I think this could reasonably double. If you’re hoping to buylist after the spike, stay away, but if you have a retail out, this seems safe and low-supply.

Every card in Avacyn Resored played more than Battle Hymn is rare, is Blood Artist or is Ghostly Flicker with multiple foil printings. That’s OK, I’m going to keep digging.

This was an interesting find. at 4,023 decks and no foil reprinting, Mask of Avacyn was curiously sold out on Card Kingdom. Off to TCG Player to look at price and supply over there. Here are the results.  In summary, there are 26 listings, Near Mint foils start at $2.50 and $5 seems like a reasonable out. If Battle Hymn can mysteriously hit $15 as the result of a buyout, this card could climb near there and stay there on what appears to be organic demand. Some people still ship me non-foils in bulk do it’s worth discussing this card at least once this year so people know it’s a pick. Keep shipping them to me in bulk if you have been, though. I’m having another kid and college is expensive.

Speaking of Innistrad equipment, here’s a card in more decks than Battle Hymn. If it was mere EDH demand that drove Hymn, this could get above $5. I think this will be a slow, organic gainer, but I also think this is unlikely to get reprinted soon and I like it though less than mask.

If Battle Hymn can maintain above $8, so can this. With Afterlife coming and introducing a bunch of Sprouting Thrinax variants into white EDH Aristocrats decks, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this go up sooner rather than later. We’re not looking at cards that much older than Hymn, but we’re finding stuff that is already “known” though is maybe undervalued. I expect Absorb to pop this week based on Ravnica Allegiance so why not this? For reference, Phyrexia’s Core, in fewer decks, is $10 on Card Kingdom.

If Priest could go up based on Orzhov, guess what could go up based on Simic?

Another $6 card that seems like it should be worth more. I’m comparing Priest and Drake to Phyrexia’s Core, which sees play outside of EDH a little bit but not double. I think Drake and Priest are sort of high buy-ins but supply is low and if 4 copies disappear, Card Kingdom activates their famous buylist and people take notice. I think the 34 listings on TCG Player vanish and then some jackass (me?) lists on for $25 on TCG Player, MTG Stocks gets triggered and some other me comes along and can’t figure out why Drake popped and writes an article about other cards in the same set that could be next to hit $15 and did I just become the kind of lazy financier I like to deride? I’m not telling you to do a buyout on Viral Drake. I’m not even pointing out it would be really easy to do it. I’m stating I think Drake’s days are numbered as it is considering how it interacts with Simic Ascendency and other cards and I think 34 people wanting a foil in the next 3 months is reasonable and you’d rather be in at $6 ready to sell than in at $16 hoping to sell before they’re $12.

There are more cards like the ones I found and you can use EDHREC to find them easily. Click the “sets” tab then click on a set and it will organize them from most EDH play to least and you can click on the individual card from that list to be taken to its EDHREC page where you can see the decks it goes in and click links to go to the price page on Card Kingdom and TCG player. If you’re going to buy, follow those links because EDHREC gets a cut and you were going to buy the card anyway.

One last card I’ll mention because I like it and not because data supports it is this bad boy.

It’s probably too late to affordably buy the foil and I am so bad at foil finance I didn’t even check when I tried to buy all of the non-foils a few months ago. However, they’re half as much on Card Kingdom as they are on TCG Player and I expect both prices on the non-foils are incorrect if this is a $15 foil. I like non-foils at a buck each quite a bit. I think this card is going places and I got a foil in bulk because people love to not have to look up prices on bad cards. Do it for them and let $15 foil uncommons make it worth doing.

That does it for me. Check back in a week for my Best of 2018 pickstravaganza. Until next time!

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