Category Archives: ProTrader

Unlocked Pro trader: Free Money

I love reprint sets.

I don’t have to do things I don’t like doing when the cards are all reprints. You know what I hate doing? Going through 300 new cards and finding the one card that isn’t preselling for enough money and pointing it out to people. I hate that. People argue with me because they have their own pet card they’d rather see hit and if I’m right, they don’t remember and if I’m wrong, they bring it up in an unrelated argument 5 years later. I’m not complaining about the job, per se, rather I’m relishing that I get to do something I like a lot more – telling you where the free money is.

When Iconic Masters came out, there were plenty of cards that dropped to around $1 that rallied hard and made people a lot of money. A few of them are in Double Masters, and while that’s not great, it does mean we have about 2 years to make money on cards with which we’re assured to make some money. That seems like plenty and instead of keeping you from my spicy picks any longer, let’s get into the thick of it.

Reprint sets mean we already have adoption data, and years of it to boot. We already know what the most-used cards in the set will be, and EDHREC ranks them by the percentage of eligible decks using them for us. All we need to do is go down the list and figure out what’s going to rebound. Sounds easy, right? Well, actually… yes, it is. I’m going to do it for you because you paid to read this article or waited patiently to read it later and either way you deserve something for that. Besides, I care about EDH so you don’t have to and that’s taught me a thing or two.

They say failure is the greatest teacher but, I dunno, I feel like it was pretty instructive to make a bunch of money on this card when it was in Iconic Masters and got real cheap.

IM copies STARTED OUT at $4 on CK and were even cheaper on TCG Player. The price shot up precipitously over the years, because of course it did. This card is played a ton and there really isn’t better mass removal in White and it’s hard to imagine there ever will be. Lorwyn block was fairly slow and the decks that beat the Merfolk and Kithkin beatdowns didn’t run removal as expensive as Austere Command because Firespout existed. I don’t know if Standard will ever be slow enough again to make a 6 drop sweeper like Austere Command, and a better one to boot, so either it’s a Commander exclusive or Austere Command continues to be the king. I’m betting this is reprinted in 2 years and no card better comes along by then. I’m betting you can buy in at its current $3ish and make money on it. I’m buying in, personally.

I’d like to see if this gets any cheaper before I buy in, but as much of a slam dunk as Austere Command was when Iconic Masters was out, this is in more decks. It has cross-format appeal, so the real X-factor here is whether Legacy returns in full force. I DO NOT ADVOCATE buying cards that are not EDH-only right now in paper. I think there are better sweepers that don’t need another format to help them grow and justify a high buy-in price. Instead of Deluge, buy Eviction.

The smallest amount this ever grew by over a 2 year period was 100%. The most it ever grew over a 2 year period, and the most recent period of growth, saw it grow 200%. This is going to get near bulk and, if left alone, could flirt with $5 in like 3 years. I don’t give this the same odds I give Austere Command, but this is in a full quarter of the decks that contain Black and White and it’s one of the scariest cards in EDH. Bet money this bounces back.

This went from $5 to $10 in 2 years. A reprinting knocked it back down to $5 and then it climbed to $20 in 2 years. Could this go 2 years without a reprinting again? Maybe. But this card is one of the best Green creatures in all of Magic and we’re getting lands matters stuff in the next set so I bet every Green EDH deck brewed with a commander from return to return to Zendikar will want one of these. I also think this is not likely to be in the Commander decks that come out around return to return to Zendikar. If it is, we get blown out pretty hard. If it’s not, this card has shown you what it can do.

This flirted with $20 and when it gets under $10, which it should, it could suddenly become an option for players who didn’t want to shell out $20. This peaked at the time when decks like Kalamax were printed which meant players didn’t necessarily want to shell out $20 for an uncommon, but as this approaches $5, a price we’ve seen it historically recover from easily, this flirts with $15 soon and likely goes at least 2 years without a reprint. Wait for peak supply, which should take a couple of weeks, and snap them up. This is currently cheaper on CK than it is on TCG Player and I can’t imagine that holds. My money is obviously on TCG Player’s price going down.

The money I have made on just Exploration and Burgeoning alone is astounding. It’s really too easy. They’re not seemingly willing to print this into powder and if they do print this again in the next 24 months, I’m betting my own money that it will be a premium version that won’t really affect the price of the non-premium versions. Wait for peak supply and grab twice as many of these as you think you need.

Cards that are probably dead

There are a few cards that I think have been reprinted so aggressively that even if the price recovers, it will do it so slowly that it will get reprinted again before you can really make any money. These are good cards that I like but won’t buy.

Two reprints in a year? Ouch.

Unless you get this as a bulk rare, you’re not likely to get back out clear of what you’d lose to fees. This is a price predicated on scarcity rather than EDH play and it got downshifted from Mythic to Rare. RIP in Peace.

Penny Stocks

There are some cards that will likely be good buys under a buck.

The rarity downshift hurts this to the extent that it basically counts as 2 reprints in a year, but I think this is less likely to get reprinted subsequently which is what I think separates this from Champion of Lambholt, a card I hope I’m wrong about. I like this near bulk – this card does work and it gets better as creatures do.

Conjyclos’ wants its money back, too, and I bet it gets it. It’s been a long time since this got a reprinting and it might be a long time before it gets another one. I’m betting this goes near bulk and people come off of these for a dime or quarter locally.

I have made a lot of money on this card over the years and I do not intend to stop now. It’s not reprinted as often as people might think and it does a ton of work, especially since WotC is accused of making Boros boring and almost every attempt to make it not boring loves this card (except Winota which broke every format in Magic, nice work).

That’s what I think is fit to print. You’re welcome to look at the whole set yourself on the EDHREC page sorted by inclusion percentage to get a sense of what’s played more – it may help you a lot if you only look at sets sorted by highest price. If you have any specific questions, hit me up. Thanks for reading – until next time!

Pro Trader: Stream of CONSCIOUSNESS

Readers! Every week I get hundreds of e-mails from adoring fans asking me how I can possibly generate 2 articles and 2 podcasts a week and still have time to be a loving and devoted husband, supportive and nurturing father and a borderline functional alcoholic. The secret is that I have developed a method for sniffing out valuable Magic specs before they happen and it can save a lot of time during the day. It’s a little difficult to explain my thought process all the time, so I thought I would take you through my process a bit which may be instructive. There’s a madness to the method and I want to let all of you in on it. I present to you – my unabridged thought process on article day.

Step 1

Let’s cruise by EDHREC and see if there is anything obvious going on.

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ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

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.