Category Archives: Jason Alt

Unlocked Pro Trader: The Vold and The Beautiful



We’re talking about Korvold this week because Alela won’t cede the top spot and we’ve talked about Alela specs just about to death. That said, is the #2 spot worth discussing? Is the #1 spot even worth discussing? Hard to say. It takes a lot of adoption to move the needle given it’s a 1-of format and Magic is more popular than ever. Korvold is very popular this month. Does that matter?

How Popular is Popular?

Alela is the #1 commander this week and has been for 3 weeks, since the Brawl decks came out. It’s tough to say whether that matters enough. Atraxa was the #1 deck for weeks and moved quite a lot of cards by virtue of the demand created when people built Atraxa decks. Was Atraxa being the #1 deck of the week for a few weeks the main indicator that this card was something special? No, I think this is.

Atraxa is the #1 card of the last 2 years.

How do we know if Alela, let alone Korvold is going to juice us enough to get us into Atraxa territory? Well, I don’t think it matters – I think what matters is total amount the cards are played. Is Korvold enough to make Grave Pact go up in price? Probably not, there are a lot of decks playing it and a few hundred more a month isn’t enough to push the needle per se. Is it enough to make Pitiless Plunderer go up in price? There are a lot of copies of an uncommon from a recent set. So what has upside in a world where Korvold made people realize they want to play these cards?

Is Korvold responsible for the price rebound for Revel in Riches? It’s in 40% of Korvold decks – is that enough? Is perception more important than reality? Real demand hardly matters if someone like me (or you) buys every copy speculatively and tries to sell the copies themselves, so is it a matter of a card being mentioned on a podcast or YouTube video sometimes? Hard to say, but we can drill down into Revel a bit.


Revel has been called a Black “staple” of EDH by many people but if you look at inclusions, it’s mostly a Teysa card, Teysa being a very popular commander. It’s still OK – it is a Top 20 Commander (20th) this month despite lots of commanders being printed since. EDHREC moved to sorting by percentage so while fewer Massacre Girl and and Grismold decks are being built, a huge percentage of them are using Revel. How meaningful is it, then, that Korvold is already 7th in terms of percentage inclusion? Well, availability is an issue and I think inclusion will go up with availability as more decks are released in November or when I come off the dozens of copies of each deck I’m too lazy to list on eBay (tweet and me and remind me to list those, time is running out). Even if only a third of Korvold decks run the card, 1/3 of 3,000 decks is still more than 75% of 811 decks like in the case of Admiral Beckett Brass. I think Revel in Riches is a card that belongs in most Black decks and even though the stats don’t currently agree, it’s Top 10 in a popular set so SOMEONE is playing it.

Revel is a $5 card in the near term and could crest $10 if it doesn’t catch a reprint. Sure, there are a lot of copies of it floating around, but there are a lot of copies of Aetherflux Reservoir, too.

Korvold Doin Thangs

Card Kingdom charges more than TCG Player does by virtue of Card Kingdom having a generous buiylist policy and getting a ton of sales irrespective of whether they’re the cheapest. TCG Player is a market where multiple people undercut each other. That said, I’m immediately suspicious when Card Kingdom is charging twice what TCG player is charging. If Card Kingdom is 50% more than TCG Player, Card Kingdom is charging too much. If Card Kingdom is 100% more than TCG Player, TCG Player is charging too little.

I liked this at $2 but considering Card Kingdom is getting $4+, those $3 copies on TCG Player are looking pretty good. This is a $5 card, and your LGS might have this priced wrong – some that I visited this month sure did.

This is a future “Wait, when did that become $10?” candidate. It gets some play in Legacy, could impact Pioneer and I am using it at FNM. It’s also a beast in EDH. It’s not quite a staple since it does something Green already does well but in certain decks, this is a monster. It goes and finds Nykthos and Cabal Coffers and for that reason alone this deserves a look. I think the fact that it’s beginning to sell out makes those $2.35 TCG Player copies super juicy-looking.

This keeps flirting with $2 and can’t maintain it. Does Korvold finally give it the push it needs? Maybe, maybe not. Those $4 foils sure look inviting, though.


This card seems to be underperforming, but is it?

12th in a strong set, but Woodland Bellower is only like $3 and it’s a mythic and Pyromancer’s Goggles is $5 on the basis of price memory. It’s hard to know if $1ish for Leap is correct, I suspect it’s not but who knows if enough people are buying to bear that out. It’s certainly the best in a Mazirek or Korvold deck.

This now costs less than Black Market and has significantly fewer copies out there. Is that correct?

It’s very correct. Never be afraid to put the cards up side-by-side like this to compare prices. There are more copies of Black Market but it’s played way more. Is Attrition underpriced? Probably. But Black Market is not the best comparison.

Compared with Painful Quandary, an Enchantment in roughly the same number of decks but with way fewer copies out there, Attrition appears to be overperforming. Still looking at the graph, the buy price and sell price are converging and the lower the spread gets, the better it looks. I think Attrition is in play.

That does it for me this week. I think Korvold is going to do things. Is it Atraxa? Nope, but it’s also going to get a second wave, soon and it’s easily the best Mazirek variant ever, giving us access to Red in a way that Shattergang Brothers only dreamed of. Drawing cards is good and this does that, so don’t sleep on Korvold. Until next time!

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Pro Trader: Alela Part 2 Faerie Boogaloo


Last week we talked about how Alela was the top deck on EDHREC. Well, I checked today, and guess what happened? 

Kenrith is creeping up and maybe we talk about that next week, but for this week, I noticed a few cards I wasn’t sure about last week are on the move and I’m going to talk about those before I get upset with myself.

Is it telling to anyone else that the Top 4 commanders right now are the 4 Brawl commanders? This format they’re trying to push has real consequences for EDH and Alela just might be good enough for Standard. No rants today, just value.

OK, 3 things about Kenrith, real fast.

The price of the card on the right probably has consequences for the price of the card on the left. There is basically only one good card that isn’t a shockland in the set so a bulk rare like Biomancer’s Familiar could have long-term upside. There are a ton of loose copies and not enough pressure to make this a fast process and then there’s the matter of the high reprint risk. I think there SHOULD BE reprint risk for Training Grounds because letting it hit $25 was pretty negligent on Wizards’ behalf, but they’ve been letting a lot of stuff get stupid expensive. Biomancer’s Familiar is an OK budget Training Grounds but both have upside, however limited.

Speaking of letting things get stupid expensive.


This card is stupid expensive. It’s very, very good but a lot of that price is scarcity. Speaking of which, you know what isn’t scarce?

This card is underpriced at a buck and I want basically every copy I can lay hands on. I don’t think its reprint risk is all that high per se and I think some of the $7 cards in Throne will tank leaving room for this card’s price to move up, but that paradigm may be shifting given the absence of MODO redemption as a factor that enforces box prices. Sets come out so often that box prices don’t go up because people only buy boxes for about 3 months before the next set full of insane cards that are a mistake and ruin multiple formats comes out. Modern Horizons made Modern, Legacy, Pauper and Vintage unfun – how long until they do another set like that? Will anyone care about Throne of Eldraine boxes in 4 months when their next mistake set comes out? Better just snag these while you can.

Also, there are 5 different versions (FIVE!) of Throne of Eldraine cards, so no one knows what to charge for foils given the extended art versions. It’s weird out here. I think Faeburrow Elder has applicability in multiple formats and this card is going to take off soon and everyone will act surprised.

Anyway, enough of Kenrith, here are some quick hits based on a second look at Alela.

TCG Player is the last to know here, but this card is selling out everywhere. It isn’t hard to see why – it’s old, it only has 2 printings (I don’t count that HIDEOUS Masterpiece) and it’s bonkers in Alela and in other go-wide decks that involve Blue. Opposition isn’t in a ton of Alela decks on EDHREC but there are more Alela decks with Opposition in them (25) than there were Yorvo or Linden decks built total, so that’s a thing. Opposition is gettable for the “old” price on a few sites like Strike Zone.

TCG Player prices are a little stickier because we scrape their market price which is based on last sold price. They haven’t started moving at the new price because there are still copies at the old price to buy up, and that will persist for a while because there are MP copies, people that charge like $2.50 for shipping and only have one copy of the card, foreign versions and all sorts of impediments to the card selling out completely. Since TCG Player is so tough to buy out and everyone uses their app, people will still think Opposition is $4 for a week or two after every other site lists it for $10 if that’s what happens. You have time, but not much.

And it’s not done, either. Check your bulk rares!

Every time they print a commander that makes small-ish tokens from now on, another deck needs this card. It’s tailing off a bit from its last spike but this is a $5 card if it’s not reprinted, and given that it’s a set-specific, Legendary artifact, I’m not sure how likely that is. Check out this metric while we’re looking at metrics.

There are only 2 non-land cards from Amonkhet, an insanely powerful set, that get more play per EDHREC than Throne. One of them is Pull from Tomorrow and the other is Anointed Procession. Throne doesn’t know it’s a $5 card yet, but it is.

As long as we’re doing that, check out cha boy, Revel in Riches.

As far as I am concerned, the underlying metrics are better and the reprint risk is lower for Revel in Riches compared to Throne of the God-Pharaoh and I LIKE Throne as a spec. Revel is rough to reprint in an EDH precon because it wins the game and they won’t put that in a precon. It’s no unreprintable, but it will be tough. I think Revel is a slam-dunk and I’m glad the price is down because it WILL go back up and now we can get them cheaper.

That’s all I have for you today. I think these Brawl precons will have a big impact on EDH and EDH prices and I think Arcane Signet was a huge mistake. Sell your Felwar Stones if anyone is still buying, I guess. Until next time!

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Unlocked Pro Trader: Going Wide

If I’d written this article yesterday, it would have been about the most popular commander of the week on EDHREC.

Alela is a far more interesting commander than Korvold and I’m going to ignore Korvold for now. Sure, Korvold may give some cards some upside, but I also think the upside is for cards that are already expensive or never going to be expensive. Think either Food Chain which is a million dollars or Smothering Abomination which has a million copies out there. Battle for Zendikar was one of the worst sets ever but it was also one of the best-selling sets ever, so figure it out. I think Korvold may be worth talking about at some point but not today. Today I want to focus on Alela because I think cards that don’t get a ton of play are in play now and that’s a thing worth knowing. No preamble today, let’s just get down to bidness.

It’s possible we’re too late here, but with these gettable some places around $6 and the trajectory shooting at $10 or above, I’d say getting these today would be smart. These went to nothing with the Modern Masters printing but if you were savvy, you scooped them cheap because it’s a Lord. I won’t pretend I was savvy or that I recommended to anyone to get these for cheap, but here we are faced with the prospect of a $10 non-mythic. It’s very good in that it doubles the power and toughness of the tokens Alela spits out. This isn’t an “I predict this” pick as much as a “Well, I missed the best time to get this but they’re still gettable at the old price if you hurry” pick which is the kind of pick Corbin Hosler made an entire MTG Finance career out of.

I’m kidding him.

A little.

There was basically never a better or worse time to get this card. It used to be something like this would hover at a lower price while not seeing play in Standard then tank at rotation and we could scoop them up but so many people play EDH now that there is basically no good time like that. I remember Parallel Lives was like a buck or two and I could take my time getting them. We didn’t see that same concept for Anointed Procession, really. It caught on a bit in Standard and never became reasonable.

Divine Visitation has been the same price for half a year. Could it drop? Yeah, maybe. But it could also end up a lot more than it is, now, and with it being sort of awkward to reprint it in a Commander precon, I think we’re safe. If the price does drop significantly, get greedy and buy twice as many copies so your average price paid feels better to you. That said, I don’t see a drop. Visitation is trending down a bit but it’s not likely to tank and the relative stability tells me that it’s been adopted and the more decks that want it, the fewer copies to go around. Also worth noting, this is legal in Brawl and not in the precon. Are people going to build Brawl? If they do, Alela making big angels is big game.

This is premium removal in Blue but I’m kind of puzzled with an Esper deck has so many instances of it given access to Black and White.

Stranding their commander in play given the changes to the tuck rule has become increasingly important and when those rules went through, I didn’t properly re-evaluate cards like this the way I did for cards that got worse. Lignify and Song of the Dryads are legit cards and this is a very permanent way for Blue to deal with commanders because bouncing and countering is not that effective. This isn’t specific to Alela, but I bet you didn’t know this was closing in on $3 already because I sure didn’t.

One of these prices is almost certainly wrong. My guess is that Card Kingdom is selling these at $20 for Near Mint and TCG Player will eventually get with the program. The cheapest NM on TCG Player is $14 and the thing about these getting bought out on that platform is that played copies that are only a buck or so cheaper than NM when the price starts to shift get stranded and go last, obscuring the signal that the price is shifting. The Market Price shifts slowly so if there is a run on these, it will take awhile to register. I don’t know if this is going to be $25 on TCG Player anytime soon, but look at that price disparity between the two platforms and tell me something isn’t going to change soon.

The floor is now.

I mean, the floor was mid 2018, apparently, but the post-rotation floor is now. At the very least, there will be one copy of this for every copy of Morophon, but it’s not like tribes that already have Lords won’t run this. This is tribal, EDH like tribal, casuals like tribal and Kaladesh boxes are about to be very expensive. This is a no-brainer.

That does it for me this week. As always, take a look at the page and try to find a pick or two on your own. If you aren’t sure, you can always leave me a comment below or tweet to me @jasonealt. Until next time!

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Unlocked Pro Trader: The Legacy of Brawl


These Brawl decks might not do much to get people playing what is at its core a flawed format given its reliance on new manabase support every time Standard rotates and decks having a short shelf life, something EDH players traditionally hate, but they are impacting EDH quite a bit. How much, you ask?

Well, Throne of Eldraine gave us Emry, Lurker of the Loch, an artifact combo creature and it was kept out of the top 21 decks of the week by all 4 Brawl commanders. What is your LGS going to charge for this product with no MSRP, creatures that Standard control players will want multiple copies of like Shimmer Dragon and Alela, Artful Provacateur and a $20 mana rock? More than the Commander precons, I bet, and that’s a problem.

It’s not my problem to solve, my problem to solve is to come to grips with the fact that the #1 commander for the week Throne of Eldraine releases is a boring, linear tribal commander.

Boring and linear is something I’ll gripe about when I’m wearing my “EDH Deckbuilder Thursdays on” hat but today I’m wearing the visor I got in Vegas that says “La$ Vega$” on it and has the visor part tinted green so I can count money for hours without eye strain from fluorescent bulbs and I can tell you that linear and boring is good because the easier a deck is to build, the more there is a consensus on how to do it. That’s a good thing because it makes key cards go up in price and makes people have to buy them from us. Let’s look at Ser Gwyn and the future of Knights.

The ship has sailed on a few of the kittycats and that’s fine. Puresteel Paladin was a card we all saw coming a mile away but if no one played the deck, I figured the copies would be difficult to offload. Kittycats like this feel bad if you miss them, but if you were going to play the deck, you would have bought the card already and if you’re looking to make money, misses aren’t a big deal since there are plenty of other cards you can hit on. We have more turnaround time on other cards than we would have on Paladin and that’s what we should focus on. When people were looking at Ser Gwyn and saying “KNIGHTS” with no data from people building the deck, what did they miss when they were buying Puresteel Paladin at $10?

Anyone who doesn’t play EDH can see Knight Exemplar coming, but for whatever reason, it seems like people who don’t play EDH didn’t go that deep on Sram, a slam-dunk in the deck. The foil is currently less than twice as much as the non-foil, which is also underpriced. Sram is a card that’s kind of tough to reprint, works as a commander and as part of the 99 and draws a ton of cards. Kaladesh block was also really nutty so the price of boxes is going to grow by a lot so the odds of being able to get these for a reasonable price are pretty remote after the current supply is gone. Sram foils under $3 seems like a really obvious play to me.

One advantage of the kittycat deck being approximately a million dollars on eBay sealed is that it’s not attractive to snag these in bulk and bust them for singles, so while the reprinting did some damage to the price, it basically shook it off and recovered.

It looks like the price on this foil hasn’t changed a ton lately (the down trends are the card going out of stock, not plummeting in price) and it looks like some sites had it for $6 basically since it was printed and it’s still gettable under $10 a few places. Go get. Conspiracy cards are hot despite boxes being sold on eBay for basically dealer cost a while back and now that that feeding frenzy is over and there prices are still pretty high for a set like this, it’s safe to say the supply is what it is and this is a $10 card if Gwyn maintains. I normally don’t care for foils but this is a rare case with a dwindling supply that hasn’t triggered a price change.

Speaking of Kittycats, we’re seeing the fallout from a deck that never really was. Nazhan and Balan decks seemed like a good fit for Darksteel Plate and the shape of the graph bears that timeline of events out but it also reveals that demand was perhaps overstated. Be wary and nimble and if you want to capitalize on a potential second spike here, get in and out. I don’t know I like the inclusions page for Plate just yet.

Still, second spikes are harder and Plate IS a casual favorite and a pretty absurd card to boot. Equipping for 0 at Instant speed means you could save anything at any time, so maybe buy it AND Shikari.

This is gettable at $5 and the keyword “infect” makes this really difficult to reprint. Gwyn lets you load up 1 creature with all of your equipment if you want to and this is an excellent target. It has protection already, swords could give it more and you could KO someone, untap and have another combat phase in these colors. That’s spicy.

Ultimately, you should check the page out yourself, and we’ll delve into the less obvious decks like Alela and Korvold next week because there is a bit more time on that stuff because of the lack of kittycats in the decks. That does it for me but if you wouldn’t mind, leave me a comment to let me know what you would like me to cover or clarify and remember to like and share on social media. Until next time!

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