Category Archives: ProTrader

Pro Trader: Titanic Growth


We’re at my least favorite part of the preview week – where there isn’t enough data to really know any information but we can’t talk about the spoilers anymore now that the set is fully spoiled. I am going to make calls that are wrong more often than usual, but this is the time to make real money since it’s the wild west of finance. People know what they like but haven’t bought the decks yet. It’s funny that a commander not being available to buy makes people hold off on buying the rest of the deck, but if you think about it, why make two orders? They’ll buy what they need next week when they can buy the commander, too. Let’s make sure they buy the rest of the deck from us, or from a site who just raised their buylist prices. Let’s make 5 pronouncements hoping 2 are dead wrong, are right and one of them is such a slam-dunk I’m still patting myself on the back in December when I do my 2020 wrap-up article (I’m going to call it Hindsight 2020, just warning you).

I think Uro is the most exciting card in the set and so does everyone else. It’s the most expensive card in the set right now and with Modern players interested in it for unfair Primeval Titan deck scenarios, it’s likely Uro gets a look in a lot of formats. It hasn’t had much of a look in EDH yet but the data we do have at least tells me how people are building. Let’s read some tea leaves, shall we?

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ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

Pro Trader: 2020 Resolutions


It’s 2020 and you know what that means!

Actually, I’ve got nothing. For some reason, I thought 2019 was the year when WotC ruined Magic with insanely powerful cards that made everything else obsolete and ruined most formats, resulting in emergency bans that made expensive cards suddenly worthless, FNMs no one wanted to play in, etc. I had some faith that they learned about making really dangerous cards and that they learned from the Saheeli, Guardian fiasco. Surely 2020 would be different.

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ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

Unlocked PRO tRADER: Winners And Losers

You know that article I write every week? Well I’m back with it, and this week I’m doing the this week version of it because, and I promise this is true, THINGS ARE DIFFERENT. Specifically, people are moving on to different top decks on EDHREC. 

Over the past week, these decks have emerged. If you don’t remember what it looked like last week, maybe the monthly trends will be instructive. 

Elshe is getting more popular, as is Kadena. Ghired got very popular, too, and it stands to reason that the kind of try-hards who would make a K’rrik deck will add their list to EDHREC immediately for theorycrafting purposes and the kinds of players who make durdle decks like Ghired wait until they physically have cards. Laugh all you want, Godsire is $30 and nothing from K’rrik has even moved. Well, nothing much, anyway.

This has likely hit its immediate ceiling, but it’s not $5 everywhere, so snap those cheap copies while you can, amigos and amigas (a kind of computer, I think). I think the fact that this is a non-mythic from a recent core set and hasn’t impacted Standard yet may put its ceiling right around 6 or 7 bucks but what do I know? I also think if this drops near rotation, it might rebound a bit, but I think the days of EDH cards tanking at rotation are basically over. That’s a whole different article I’ll write someday soon. 

I think K’rrik might be responsible for some other moves, if Coolstuff Inc (a website that employs me) is to be believed (I think they are).

Gray Merchant in their Top 10 doesn’t feel like an accident. I think Both K’rrik and Chainer decks want Gary. You can loop Gary very easily in Chainer and I’d share my Chainer picks if he were making more of an impact. Read my article from Coolstuff (a website that employs me) this week and check out my list. Probably nothing financially relevant, but I use Chainer with a Goblins theme and it’s pretty strong. Chainer likely overtakes some Core 2020 decks next week so we can talk about it then. 

While we’re on the topic of K’rrik, a topic I didn’t want to get much into, there’s a $6 price gap between Card Kingdom and Strike Zone/TCG Player/Troll and Toad

This is not an $11 card, so act accordingly. 

I wanted to talk about Elsha this week, but it’s probably fine that we spent some ink on K’rrik because what it was moving wasn’t as clear before. Elsha seems… solved. 

The high synergy cards from the deck show it’s a pretty basic spellcaster deck, but I think there are undervalued cards. 

I mention these and cards like them quite a bit but I think there’s something to be said about all of them. I like Helm of Awakening a lot more than most people both as a spec and as a card. I really don’t care if they get a spell reduction in a deck not built to take advantage of it if it means I go off with my deck. My spells costing 1 or 0 is all that matters, I don’t care if they cast a big, dumb blocker a turn earlier. Cloud Key is getting into that “ripe for a reprint” range, but since they don’t seem inclined to print anything that costs more than $7, I am thinking it could just never get touched. Future Sight is a weird set and it has expensive cards in it because of course it does. 

People are all done opening these packs, it’s time to buy a card that’s $2.25 on a buylist and on sale on Coolstuff and Miniature Market for $3. I don’t have much else to say about this card other than that I love it and it rules and it’s the kind of thing I want to be doing in Magic and if I could justify this and Swarm Intelligence and Sunbirds’ Invocation in a deck, I’d play them all. Maybe I can if I play junk like Seething Song… I digress. 

This is legitimately $37 on ABU Games. I don’t think it will stay in the “half of that price” range for long. Usually it’s Card Kingdom who charges the most (they can, it’s fine) but ABU sending a strong signal. In general, stores with very generous buylists will charge more than other sites that pay peanuts and a trade-in bonus can make your hotlist cards essentially the same as cash even with a markup, so watch for deals. $37 isn’t a deal, but you may find yourself in a year wishing you’d paid $22. 

That’s all the news that’s fit to print. We’re in Throne of Eldraine spoiler season already, so check this space for info about that. Until next time! 

Unlocked Pro Trader: Finally, Some Usable Data

I got the data like Arby’s got the meats. If I were to continue rhyming, there are a lot of different directions I could go in like “beats” or “treats” but I’m bored with this already. Everyone knows Battle Rap is the purest form of rhyming and I’m not going to dredge up painful memories of the summer when the other battle rappers found out I played Magic. What I will dredge up is pleasant money-making opportunities, which is why you clicked on this article. Let’s do the thing, shall we?

This isn’t quite what I expected because Ghired is, well, terrible. However, we need to think less like a spike and more like a casual if we’re going to truly grasp what EDH trends are driven by. We can wait for data, but when competitive players turned speculators try to guess what’s going to happen, you get Vannifar specs in a world full of Teysa decks. That rhyme was uninentional. You want to know what was intentional? Look at the first letter of every sentence in this paragraph.

People are building Commander 2019 decks, and not the ones we expected, either. But let’s take a look at some data real fast, shall we?

Probably not what we would have predicted 2 years ago. The spikes were all over the Wizards deck and cards like Wanderwine Prophets and Anthroplasm and all sorts of other Wizards spiked but never really did anything. Kess was better in Legacy. The Mairsil deck was solved day 1 and it was boring and slow and scooped to graveyard hate. I don’t even remember what the other one was because no one ever built it and that I can’t remember it actually strengthens my point. My point is, Ghired and Atla Palani may end up winning out in the end but I guess the end is starting way sooner. Kadena seems to be the spikey choice but there are way more people that want to do Rakdos things, it seems. With that in mind, let’s see if Anje has anything for us because I’d hate to have to delve into Ghired this early in the cycle.

It’s a trash deck full of trash cards. I can’t think of a constructive way to say that it’s a hash of every cheap spell with madness, including stuff that should never see play in EDH like Gorgon Recluse and Strength of Lunacy, two cards you have to look up. If this continues to be a top deck next week, I’ll re-evaluate but from where I am standing, no one is doing anything interesting with Anje despite it being the top deck of the week. If there were money to be made, I’d tell you about it. I’m sure I missed something and, if so, drop it in the comments section. The link to the page is here but I imagine you can find it on your own. Here is the average deck. It’s super boring.

I’m not harping on casuals in any way. Casual cards for casual players are my bread and butter. I literally quit going to SCG Opens when Dark Ascension came out because trading with spikes was so miserable and I started mainly focusing on GPs. The fact is that building around mechanics is a pretty lame idea because it limits your options a whole lot and they didn’t even pick good mechanics. You’re going to maybe make short-term money on Ixidor but you basically would have had to have already had them. I don’t know what goes up from this besides some commons going from bulk to picks and I’m not going to waste your time with a whole article on what is a 5 minute segment on my podcast. I will say peruse the whole list but I looked into this a lot and didn’t find anything.

These are basically gone under $4 right now. I don’t like the new price as a buy-in, but if you find these in bulk boxes like you’re liable to, yank them and try to flip them for around $4-$5 if you can.

I think I want to look at Ghired next. It’s just as obvious and most of the decks on EDHREC have a high volume of cards from the precon right now, but there could be some gems.

Shooty boi goes in enough decks that I’m pretty sure it will break out in one of them. Hard to reprint, very strong, very casual, very Jamie Wakefield, this card is something that you could play in Grismold decks as well so that’s two precons that potentially give us commanders that want this. Each upkeep, not each of your upkeeps. It’s on a down-swing which means I don’t love the graph shape so maybe you wait for these to begin to rebound or, go full Wall Street and buy a bunch and if the price lowers, buy twice as much so your average unit cost is lower and you feel better about throwing good money after bad. I don’t know, this is a good card, whatever.

Poor Man’s Earthcraft, as it likes to be called, is also downish but we saw a pretty recent period where buy price went way up. Its current retail is what buylist used to be and with this card being tough to reprint and powerful in token decks, decks which are always getting made since they’re easy and casuals like them, I think this has long-term potential. I can’t see being sorry I bought in at $4.

Growing Rites is a card that’s also really hard to reprint. I can’t see a flip card in a precon and I can’t see this becoming obsolete because they decided to go a little closer to Gaea’s Cradle in a new card, Lotus Field notwithstanding. I think this is just a card that goes up in price, and with Card Kingdom getting $12 out of this, I think paying half that on TCG Player is doable, especially since that puts the spread near 0.

Card Kingdom sold out at $17. I think this is due to jump and it’s not like Battlebond boxes are getting busted anymore. Not much to say here, this is good in more decks than just Ghired and the store where casual players overpay for cards sold out of this at a high price. Seems fairly obvious.

That does it for me this week. I am really frustrated with Commander 2019 and that may be another article or future podcast rant. There isn’t much room to improve these decks because of the mechanic theme so expect the next set to impact Commander with people hungry to actually build a deck. Until next time!