Category Archives: Jason Alt

Unlocked Pro Trader: Baldur’s Gate Specs

Readers!

I seriously stared at the title line for 10 minutes and drew a complete blank. I can cut my losses and submit a terrible, generic title or I can stare at it for another half hour and run the risk of still having a terrible, generic title.

“Wait” I can pretend to hear you asking “do you mean to tell me coming up with an article full of future potential specs backed by inclusion data and a decade of M:tG finance experience is easier than making a pun title?” which sounds like a dunk because it absolutely is easier in this instance, and how good EDHREC has been at identifying potential specs before anyone else is a big part of it. I have no one’s help for writing a pun title, especially one I haven’t used in the last 3 months to do any of those set review articles. I have lots of help when I write these articles, and EDHREC is almost all of it. Let’s see how the set looks, shall we?

Wait, this can’t possibly be right, can it?

Awesome.

We won’t go through all 62, but we won’t need to because the top ones need attention first. Let’s get into it!

Tokens goodstuff is pretty boring but I guess they can’t keep churning out interesting commanders 62 at a time. This is popular but nothing in it is super new, which is a drag.

At this point, there is probably a case to be made for any card from Shadowmoor block that can untap by adding a -1/-1 counter. It’s not just Devoted Druid, though that is the obvious one. Druid and Vizier of Remedies. The foil on this is trending up regardless and maybe you pick the regular ones out of bulk, too.

For reference, Grim Guardian, another card in the deck, is a $4 foil due in part to how popular it has been in EDH in the last year and how few foils of trash commons there are online. I don’t think medic hits $4 but it might not not.

Medic has some catching up to do first, obviously, but if this is a combo piece, Medic does something a lot more repeatable. Ultimately, I guess keep an eye on EDH foils, even fringe ones. I mean foils, no Pringles -5 years old and older is preferred.

None of this is really new, either, except the cards that are themselves new. New commanders come out so fast that the 70% of a Xanathar deck I have built probably becomes Tasha, or a commander from the next set if I miss the 2 week window to build Baldur’s Gate.

Sire is having a bit of a mini down-tick which seems fine. This is already flirting with $9 on CK, I think you can see your way clear to paying half of that on TCG Player right now and toppling the domino.

I want to live in a world where Tinder Wall is worth something.

Sure glad I didn’t pay $30 for these. They’re up a bit which means they’re likely done dropping which means these are pretty attractive around $10. It’s not just this deck that wants these but this deck wants them a lot.

Maybe this is an illustration of how trash modern foils are, but Grumgully just seems like it should be worth more. It’s not a great commander, but it can be a lot of fun in the right deck.

It isn’t not played.

I think this is a card I’ll wonder how it’s so inexpensive, forget about it for 3 years then wonder why it’s so expensive.

Weird pile.

Why isn’t this card worth more money while we’re at it? It makes no sense.

Not sure which Kermit to listen to here but I don’t like how this price is so sticky.

We talked about RaggidyDraggidy a bit last week but it made the most obvious specs go off. Is there anything else this card can do?

This should cost more money. I know I’m a broken record, but sheesh.

This seems to be trending upward enough that I think it’s a decent buy at its current price. There was never a great time to buy it since it debuted on CK at more than it goes for on TCG Player now. The truth is this price hasn’t moved much and any hint of upward movement is enough for me.

Next week we can dive into some lesser-played commanders in part 2. Until next time!

Unlocked Pro Trader: Data Will Be Lata

Readers!

We are currently in the very awkward period of time between the first few Baldur’s Gate cards being spoiled and having enough deck data to start to connect some dots, so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts about how these decks might likely be built in order to see if there is anything we can identify early. That’s not my favorite way to spec but we sometimes have a one week break between a set being released and the next set being spoiled and it’s fun to take advantage of that brief window in between releases so I don’t have time to focus on how the relentless pace of set releases coupled with my employing myself by making content about those releases on four different platforms is beginning to feel like a prison.

The good news, though, is that I am getting pretty decent at this. The bad news is that other people are, too, and anything that’s obvious is going to pop before I have a chance to tell you about it. It’s way too late to make money on these cards now, but if you had bought them years ago when I said to, you’d have them to sell to people paying outrageous prices for them, so I don’t feel that bad. There is plenty of money left to be made, but let’s examine the money we can’t make anymore unless we find a mispriced copy somewhere.

Raggadragga is an obvious pairing for a bunch of mana dorks, but people figured out right away that granting creatures a mana ability is a very easy way to upgrade them with Raggitydraggity and they responded by way overpaying for Citanul Hierophants, a card I have never stopped telling people they should play but no one listens to me because I said it in an article and not a YouTube video.

Rite wasn’t exactly cheap last week and this latest push is going to do quite a bit of damage to its price. If you’re holding when this peaks, I might shift out because a reprint could come any day now with 75 new EDH decks coming every 9 months.

The rest of the Raggadragga deck should be pretty easy to figure out.

People seem to be sleeping on Ashaya even though it does the same thing as Cryptolith Rite. It’s newer but the price has been pretty steady for a while, supply is what it is at this point and it’s a very good card in the deck. I think these under $10 are a slam dunk, but, again, there is nothing to indicate Raggadragga will be popular enough for anyone to make money on cards that aren’t so obvious that twitter figured it out in 5 minutes. I like Ashaya long-term but I recognize everything has never been easier to reprint.

To figure out what I think will be good with this card, I first searched Scryfall for Myriad to see how many creatures had it innately to see if it was worth picking any of them up.

Not seeing anything worthwhile, I went to EDHREC to see which cards paired with Blade of Selves.

The only things of interest to me here are Adeline, a card I said to buy last week and Delina, a near anagram of Adeline. This is what happens when you make 300 new Legendary creatures a year, their names become impossible to differentiate.

I like this card’s chances of hitting $5 given how much it has going for it. I think the closer to $1 you buy in, the better, obviously, but this card has already demonstrated a willingness and ability to hit $3 in recent memory and another push won’t be a bad thing.

This got cheap from Jumpstart, hasn’t gone up or down since and is pretty tempting to me right now. I like this as a pickup right now. I wish it had gotten cheaper, but Jumpstart got hit with some global supply chain issues and its weird, continuous release played havoc on prices. As soon as a Jumpstart pack yielded a copy, it was sucked up into the insatiable maw of the EDH community and no real impact was made. I think this is a card we need to pay more than $5 for and I also think it’s worth it, even with a reprint likely.

We do have some ‘REC data for this one.

This is basically exactly the same stuff spiked by Anhelo, but if you read that article and bought Worst Fears like I said, you’re feeling good about how they’re $6 a copy and climbing, I bet.

We seem to be in the beginning stages of the Thousand-Year Elixir Boom//Bust cycle, which is nice.

This probably doesn’t hit $30 again, but it’s very good and very cheap and you should consider buying these since they just tanked.

I think that when we get data, we’re bound to see some surprises but for me, the biggest surprise is that with the exception of myriad tribal and dragon tribal, these commanders don’t do anything particularly special and remind me of New Capenna and Strixhaven commanders. If you read me Anhelo and Zevlor’s text boxes in 2 months I bet I couldn’t tell you which one came from which set. That’s a problem, but we won’t solve it by grousing. So, go. Engage in some retail therapy. Buy some specs and cheer when they hit because EDH isn’t going anywhere for at least 6-12 more months. Thanks for reading – until next time!

Unlocked Pro Trader: Mopping Up

Readers!

We covered a lot of what is going to matter from New Capenna and New Capenna EDH decks which is great because previews started today for another product already so I guess we’re done with New Capenna.

We hardly knew ya, but you live by the streets, you die by the streets. Filling the void in our lives created by New Capenna being printed, thus depriving us of the cavalcade of spoilers that have been giving our lives meaning. For what is content creation without an incessant stream of new products, and the announcement of Secret Lairs which will charge your credit card $3,000 like 6 months after you forget you ordered them?

Before we close the book on New Capenna, let’s take one final look at how the Commanders are doing in terms of popularity. Now that the set is a week old, I think it’s finally fair to put them in the “Tops decks of the last week” category rather than sorting by set. That’s right, New Capenna is all grown up and ready to join the full data set and be judged against it. I feel like a proud papa here. Like a proud papa, I took pics.

Raffine and Jetmir not being able to beat Prosper makes sense – Prosper is the face card in an EDH precon and it’s also a super boring and obvious deck. I rail against boring and obvious because that kind of stuff offends my tastes as a deckbuilder and I need to constantly remind myself that I rely upon boring stuff to actually make money at MTG Finance. It’s not gambling if you remember your fundamentals, so let’s pick some boring cards and get out of here, I guess. Boring doesn’t have to be bad.

Archmage is popping? Let’s make sure.

This is how long these things take, now. Emertitus has a lot of versions, the bordless version of which is the best, but the multiple versions and sheer volume of product being poured down the throats of the community and the new perverse incentive to gamble at $1,000 a hand instead of $100 like in the past in the form of collector booster boxes has created such a glut of good, new, non-mythic rares that it takes some real doing to get a card to move. This is on its way, and while you might not break off any $2 borderless copies, we now know approximately how long this takes now. If it’s information that helps us in the future remains to be seen.

I don’t have much to say here, but this seems like an $8 card gettable around $2 some places until all of the $2 copies are gone which could be soon. This is a messed up card, but 8 mana is becoming increasingly trivial in EDH these days.

Cards are getting lost in the shuffle at a pretty rapid rate here and I think things are getting missed. Like this, at $1, is just a better version of this

which took 2 reprints to knock below $5. I don’t think Rampy boy necessary hits $7, but it’s not in the regular set and it’s not a card anyone is talking about which means you can snapple cheap copies while people don’t care about it because there are literally too many cards to even read these days.

Hear me out – this $12 card is way too cheap right now. I know $12 looks like a lot but it’s actually not enough. This is a $20 card and I don’t see how they reprint it.

Midnight Vow and Crimson Hunt were out for 15 minutes, no one drafted them because of Covid, they released an overpriced premium Black and White product that EVERYONE hated and now there are a bunch of standard rares that probably go to $10. Adeline is a profoundly unfair Magic card and everyone missed it because by the time the set was spoiled, they started spoiling another one. Besides, everyone is so unfamiliar with those sets that you didn’t even noticed I switched the names Midnight Hunt and Crimson Vow around earlier in this paragraph. It would have been great to get these at $2 but I literally still thought this was like $5 because I haven’t checked on this set in over a month.

Commander Legends spoilers started today so I guess it’s back to the content mine to mine more content until I die of content lung when I’m 40. It’s not much, but it’s honest work and doesn’t take a physical toll on me, so there’s that. If you ever get bogged down by the sheer volume if it all, just remember that no one else can pay attention, either. You pick a card you feel good about, you buy low, and you sell high when no one even thinks about the set 2 weeks after it’s released. You don’t have to read every card, you only to read 1 if it’s the right card. Maybe next week we’ll talk about knowing which card is the right card. Until next time!

Unlocked Pro Trader: 5 Cards You Should Buy 2: Buy Harder

In answer of your first question, yes, you can in fact count on next week’s article to be titled “5 Cards You Should Buy 3: Buy Hard With a Vengeance” and I’m embarrassed for both of us that you even felt the need to question it.

Last week I adopted a kind of shorter format because I was eager to get right into the speccin’ and if you’re all into it, and I assume you are because no one complained, what if we just snapped off 5 very sexy specs (I had the phrase “sexy specs” in my head but I think it’s supposed to refer to eyeglasses) and called it a day? You aren’t paying me to feel that I write enough above the fold to not slam the paywall down on someone’s hands as they’re just coming to grips with my writing style, you’re paying me to give you some MTG Finance advice using EDHREC data which, and I can’t stress this enough, is publicly available.

Here is a quick look at the top decks from the New Capenna Commander set.

This week, taken on 5/10/22

For reference, here is what it looked like last week.

Last week, taken on 5/3/22

Pretty crazy stuff. This current list looks a lot more accurate and it shows that we should not be sleeping on Sphinxy boy. Let’s go there foist.

I don’t normally include this many high synergy cards, but it looks like just about every Will of the Council card is in play, even the bad ones.

Sphinx strike me down if I tell a lie, I would have sworn $20 was not the floor here but since it’s already hit that twice and rebounded, I’d say that if Expropriate gets cheaper than $20, there is no reason not to buy every copy and it’s staying where it is. If it gets another reprint, it’s hard to say whether that will hold true, but getting in for $25 on a card that I think easily goes to $40 and potentially beyond barring a reprint is almost as good as getting in at $20. I wanted to see where it would stop going down and it did that, now it’s time to take a hard look.

On the back of Tivit, Plea for Power is taking off, but it was on a nice trajectory before. If you can still get these for the old price, like in a bulk rare box where most of the copies of this card are, it’s going to $8 but who knows if it sticks there. This is the kind of spec I don’t love, so I won’t count it in your 5.

Second spikes are good. That’s all the analysis you get, this is a bonus pick, chill.

With the exception of the weird Orgg, these are all cards we had identified previously. This deck loves handing out hot potatoes and cards like Leveler and Eater of Days have always been weird cards that are $0.50 for a decade then $10 for a week. I think the less obvious but just as effective cards are good “late” specs because people already hoovered up the high synergy stuff but left some money on the table imo.

Eater is way more gettable at the old price than is something like Hellcarver Demon, but I also think that buying into hype is a bit loose. I think we’ll have better luck elsewhere.

Kamiz loves getting creatures through and doing stuff and the high synergy cards reflect that. Also, if you check the expansion symbols, all of these cards are in the precon. Awkward.

All of the top cards are in the precon. Super imaginative building, fam. I think sometimes cards from the precon get played more than they should, so I tried to steer people in a better direction by creating an EDHREC article section, a podcast, and a precon upgrade section. It is nothing if not gratifying to see the work I have done over the last 8 years make such a small dent in player behavior. I get that it’s tempting to leave the stuff from the precon in the deck because that’s 1 fewer other card you have to buy, but, come on.

I did find ONE juicy card. You notice the big spike on the graph in 2020? That was the card showing up in an episode of Game Knights. Kids, don’t spend 8 years trying to teach the world to build EDH decks, watch Game Knights and maybe you’ll get to those copies of Fervent Charge before anyone else. Or something. I like Game Knights, you should watch it if you’re not, like it or not, they inform a lot of how players build.

This card has fluctuated enough between $4 and $6 that I like it at its current price of “Still $6 a lot of places but not for long.” Cards that require you to deal combat damage or get in unblocked have never been my favorite and that’s why I never really noticed what a solid casual card this is. This has been expensive enough for long enough that it didn’t hang out in bulk rare boxes so the supply is the supply and it’s dwindling.

Treasure? In a treasure deck? It’s more likely than you might think.

This has demonstrated an ability to reach $7.50, a willingness to reach toward 10, and a third thing. I’m sorry, Usually I can lay down all of the structure for a decent sentence but this week is just letting me have it, so you get a weird bit instead of the other 1/3 of the information I wanted to impart. I’ll dumb it down – “LOOK GRAPH.” That was too dumb. “The shape of the graph indicates a second spike could be incoming and $5 is half of where I think it will end up, go nuts.” Better. But for real, look graph.

I don’t know if I have exactly 5 specs here and I apologize if that upsets you after I basically promised in the title I’d have 5, but maybe you didn’t like one of the specs and don’t consider it a real card in which case, I did what I said I would and you should go to therapy. I mean, everyone should, but I’m not the one pretending Magic cards don’t exist. Except Farewell, that card can – anyway, thanks for reading. Until next time!