Category Archives: Uncategorized

Amonkhet Block at Rotation

ADVERTISEMENT:


Last week I had some picks for what to acquire now that Kaladesh block is FINALLY rotating. Amonkhet is also going, and this is our chance to pick up some cards dirt cheap.

I’ve got a combination of cards that are already good but underpriced, the casual foils I am targeting, and the spec cards that might not be worth much now, but in a world where Wall of Kelp is $10, anything is possible!

First up, Amonkhet, and then Hour of Devastation, the last small set we’re ever going to have until Wizards decides to go back to this model in two years.

As Foretold ($6 nonfoil/$20 foil)

There’s a few fringe decks using this, and it caused several of the nonexistent-mana-cost cards like Restore Balance to spike hard. What remains true is that this is a unique and powerful engine, and it’s a mythic that would be a four-of in the deck trying to break it.

Eventually, it’s going to get broken. Someone will figure out a new combo, or a new card will be printed that makes this a totally ridiculous play.

It’s not a big casual card, being in 3700 decks on EDHREC, but I want to have some of these for when Modern brewers make this the new terrifying play. Whenever it happens, I’d expect the nonfoils to hit $20.

Anointed Procession ($6/$10)

First of all, these foils are too cheap or the nonfoil is too expensive for the current prices. The ratio doesn’t line up at all. I’d expect this to either be $3 nonfoil or something like $15-$18 in foil. Frankly, I’m not sure which it is, but I’m super-in on foils at this low price. It’s in 6700 EDH decks, and that’s not bad for such a recent card. Compare to Parallel Lines, which is $18 and in 14,000 decks online. I think that’s a case of reverse recency bias, where older cards have just been around for a longer time, building up fans and decks. White is very good at making tokens, and I think the foil is due to correct upward by at least $10. There’s 80 copies on TCG, compared to 60 foils of something like Soul-Scar Mage or 200+ for Prowling Serpopard.

Soul-Scar Mage ($2/$5)

I’m hoping that the rotation in October floods the market a little on this card. It’s seeing just enough Modern (UR Wizards) and Legacy (UR Delver) to be worth putting a few copies away, I’d just like to get in as cheap as possible.

ADVERTISEMENT:


A wild ride indeed!

The reason both of those decks are running this card is because it’s a one-drop with Prowess, so a deck stuffed with cheap spells and interactions is going to have a field day with this.

I would prefer to get in at $1 or less, or hopefully $3 on the foils, but there’s a good chance that we are at the bottom for this card. It’s done a lot of coming and going, as the graph shows, but I’m hoping that people dump their supply.

ADVERTISEMENT:


Hour of Devastation

Crested Sunmare ($5.50/$8)

This is another card where the prices just don’t line up. There’s 120 nonfoils on TCG, and 60 foils, so there’s not a huge gap in supply. A price like this makes me think that the card has been carving up Standard, and people are playing the foil and the nonfoil at almost an equal rate. I can’t find any decks with this doing well in Standard, either.

Regardless of why (I wish I knew but shrug) the important thing is that the foils seem quite underpriced. It’s a much better Regal Bloodlord, triggering every turn and making a more powerful creature. There’s no Horse tribal synergies yet, so I’m just going to scoop up the foils at or under $10 and store these away. It feels like the foils will have a better growth pattern than the nonfoils, so that’s what I’m pursuing.

Mirage Mirror ($3/$8)

This is a pickup because it’s stunning in Commander games. It is a hasty clone effect, it can copy their Mirari’s Wake, or even pull a Thespian’s Stage and get you a Dark Depths 20/20 creature!

Terrible on its own, but in a Commander pod?

I am consistently impressed by this card, because it offers maximum flexibility and it gets used over and over again. Please, just go try it. You’ll be amazed too. I think this is a lock to end up in a Commander set sometime in the next couple years, and that’s why I strongly advocate you get foils now. Something’s going to happen and it’ll spike to $20, easily.

Scavenger Grounds ($3/$6)

I like this one for the amount of play it’s getting in Tron maindecks. It’s only a one-of currently, but in decks that are heavy on the colorless mana AND have 8 land tutors (plus a set of Ancient Stirrings) it’s pretty great to have this available game one. It’s notable that decks are playing this over Bojuka Bog, which might have been your first thought, but here we are. It’s not a heavy player yet, but I’ve seen this do a lot of work in Commander for not a lot of cost, and can be re-used if there’s more than one desert in the deck.

Abrade ($2/$8/$3 gameday non-foil)

The Game Day version of this card is sweet, but have you seen how many non-rotating decks play at least one copy in the main or sideboard?

courtesy of mtggoldfish.com

It’s so flexible, offering a lot of decks a lot of options. I don’t mind that several of these decks are playing just one in the board, as I’m going for the foils. There’s only 40 foils on TCG at the moment, and that’s a surprisingly low number for an uncommon printed just a year ago. All of these point to a moment when the card tips, and I don’t think that time is far away. I also think that it’s not going to do a small jump–this will be a $25 card. Don’t sell when it hits $15.

 

Cliff has been writing for MTGPrice for five years now, and is an eager Commander player, Draft enthusiast, and Cube fanatic. A high school science teacher by day, he’s also the official substitute teacher of the MTG Fast Finance podcast. If you’re ever at a GP and you see a giant flashing ‘CUBE DRAFT’ sign, go over, say hi, and be ready to draft.

Track your collection's value over time, see which cards moved the most, track wishlists, tradelists and more. Sign up at MTGPrice.com - it's free!

ADVERTISEMENT:


Please follow and like us:

The Watchtower 6/18/18 for ProTraders – Plan Your Specs

By: Travis Allen
@wizardbumpin


Don’t miss this week’s installment of the MTG Fast Finance podcast, an on-topic, no-nonsense tour through the week’s most important changes in the Magic economy.


If you weren’t at a computer last night an hour before Midnight EST, you missed a moment in Magic history. Watching eight players crack a bunch of unsearched Beta boosters was pretty dang cool, and aside from GenCon in a month or two, is unlikely to ever be repeated again. Wizards slept on the 20th anniversary, but they produced something quite cool for the 25th at least.

Of course what’s amusing about all of this is how excited the Wizards employees were, chief among them Aaron Forsythe. When they flipped Time Vault onto the table — a card that I’m assuming is unplayable in draft, or probably close to it — everyone cheered, and it was repeatedly referred to as “a big pull,” or something to that effect. Essentially that it’s one of the best cards they opened. But if it’s terrible in draft, why be excited to open it? Obviously you and I know the answer — it’s valuable. The director of R&D essentially admitting as much on camera, without using those words exactly, was probably just as fun as seeing it opened.

ADVERTISEMENT:


Goblin Chainwhirler (again)

Price Today: $5
Possible Price: $15

As Magic 2019 spoilers are rolling out, we’re seeing a Goblin theme is front and center, and possibly the biggest thing in red period. Of particular note so far is the Volley Veteran, which is a scalable Flame-Tongue Kavu. He’s not shooting down creatures when you’ve got an otherwise empty board, but he can scale up past four toughness, so it’s sort of a wash. Between new tools like this, and the heavy Goblin theme in Dominaria, we may see the tribe push hard in the fall.

Which, of course, would have Goblin Chainwhirler front and center. A three mana 3/3 for three is good stuff in general, and shooting down all the little guys on your opponent’s side is just savage. As is obvious, given how prevalent the card has been so far.

Chainwhirler was on my list a month or so ago, and I’m bringing it up again because the evidence is mounting that it’s going to be a key card in Ravnica’s Standard. Even without tribal support in M19 it was looking good, and now it’s shaping up to be even better. A month ago it was $4, now it’s $5. Will it be $15 in November?

Cryptolith Rite (Foil)

Price Today: $9
Possible Price: $20

Browsing EDHREC, I stumbled upon a nifty card that I’ve been waiting on for awhile; Cryptolith Rite. It was clear on release that this would be big game for EDH decks, and I’m not wrong. You’ll find Rite in about 10,000 EDH decks, making it (roughly) both the 50th most played green card and enchantment. Competitive categories both. Being able to provide any green deck that spits out tokens — which, come on, how many green decks can’t — a sudden army of Birds of Paradise is potentially insane, especially if you’re pairing it with Intruder Alarm, or Seedborn Muse, or any one of those busted cards.

As always, when it comes to EDH cards, we want to start with foils. Supply is quite low, but still close to the two times multiplier unexciting foils tend to have. I don’t believe this is accurate positioning for the card, and I suspect we’ll see a shift in the near future. In at $10, out at $20 is my goal.


Titania’s Song

Price Today: $5
Possible Price: $30

You’ll recall last week I was talking about 93/94 EDH. It’s not any more of a thing today than it was last week — at least not that I know of — but I’m still thinking about it. We know how key EDH has been to card prices over the last two years, and unlocking an entire new market of EDH would be so, so sweet. You’d of course have dramatically fewer players, but with the scarcity of the cards for the format, I’m not sure that would matter.

Perhaps the most important difference between regular 93/94 and 93/94 EDH is that cards that would otherwise be just about useless in the prior could be astounding in the latter. I mean, Doubling Season has never been seroiusly cast in Modern since the format was introduced so many years ago, yet it’s one of the best cards in EDH imaginable. Which, if we extrapolate from that, leads us to believe that there are serveral 93/94 cards that are dead fish in two player games but will be format all-stars in EDH.

Titania’s Song, for those unwilling to read that garbage text above, says that all noncreature artifacts lose all their abilities and become creatures based on their CMC. Which means you can either play a ton of artifacts that Do Things, then cast Titania’s Song to use them to kill people, or use Titania’s Song to annoy the hell out of other people trying to Do Things with their artifacts. Play it on offense or defense, either one works!

There’s a handful of NM copies hanging around at $5, and an original printing of of such a dramatic effect is unlikely to remain at that price if the format catches on, especially given how the whole point of the format is to play the oldest copy available.


Travis Allen has  been playing Magic: The Gathering since 1994, mostly in upstate New York. Ever since his first FNM he’s been trying to make playing Magic cheaper, and he first brought his perspective to MTGPrice in 2012. You can find his articles there weekly, as well as on the podcast MTG Fast Finance.


 

Please follow and like us:

PROTRADER: The Watchtower

By: Travis Allen
@wizardbumpin


Don’t miss this week’s installment of the MTG Fast Finance podcast, an on-topic, no-nonsense tour through the week’s most important changes in the Magic economy. And if you enjoy playing Magic, make sure to visit https://scry.land to find PPTQs, SCG Opens, and more events on an interactive map with worldwide coverage. Find Magic near you today.


Magic, just like the weather in upstate New York, is heating up a little. It’s not going to be hot, mind you, but rather than being a frozen tundrascape littered with the hardened flesh shells of arrogant middle schoolers that thought they could still walk to school in these temperatures, driven here by their own hubris, it will be a cold yet mostly tolerable, slushy, grey-skied SAD-addled city.

In a few weeks we’ll get the first Modern Pro Tour in years, which is coincidentally the first one I’ll care about since the last Pro Tour I gambled on. I’m not sure the return of these is good for the format in the long term, as was discussed at length by various individuals when the decision was made initially, but at least it will be fun for now, and Modern is robust enough that we don’t need to worry yet.

You’ve also got whispers of a banning of Energy as a deck in Standard, driven by a portentous DailyMTG article comparing it to Affinity, back when that was legal in type two. Maybe they’ll ban Aether Hub and replace it with Tree of Tales? In any case, if we do see some energy cards exit the format, Standard will certainly get more exciting, even if only for a week or two.

The rest of this content is only visible to ProTrader members.

To learn how ProTrader can benefit YOU, click here to watch our short video.

expensive cards

ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

Please follow and like us:

UNLOCKED PROTRADER: Losing and Finding

A lot of times, MTG Finance focuses on the nitty-gritty of single cards to get or watch or sell, and that’s a very useful set of topics. You’re reading this because that’s what I usually do.

However, there’s other aspects to this game and the finances. Here on MTGPrice, we’ve written about assorted formats, research tools, insurance, accessories, and other ancillary topics. Today, I want to talk about what to do when your unique collection vanishes.

Six years ago, I was at my LGS for the usual FNM experience. During that, I heard about one of the regulars whose five-color Sliver deck had been stolen. It had judge foil fetchlands, the full set of duals, loads of expensive foils, even by prices back then.

I happened to be in the store again the following Sunday, when someone came into the store and tried to sell a hundred cards that included chase foils, lots of Slivers, and a full set of duals. This person wanted something like $100 for the stack of cards, I want to say they wanted a few board games.

The buyer that day was also a judge who knew that this set of cards had been stolen and got the police to come to the store and confront this seller, as well as the player whose deck was stolen. Reports were made, stories were told, the police had this person there and justice was ready to be served, as a group of angry players watched eagerly for the comeuppance to happen.

The alleged thief walked away with the cards that day.

I cannot put into words how formative this experience was for me. Imagine seeing someone with your stolen deck, something you’ve put countless hours into, with your personal modifications, maybe even some alters, and all the emotion tied up in this deck.

Someone else has it, and you can’t prove it’s yours.

I can’t claim that every police officer will handle stuff the same way as these two (then four at the end) did. Maybe they are the exception, but they showed me the necessity of good information and some level of unique interaction. We don’t have barcodes or serial numbers on our cards. The whole point of the game is that all the backs are the same, and cards are interchangeable.

The police that day said that there was no way to prove that this stack of a hundred unsleeved cards belonged to the regular customer. I don’t know how many alters would be needed to prove ownership, and is it enough to have a couple of things drawn on three cards? Does your name need to be on these alters?

Depending on who you follow on Twitter, you may or may not be aware of other stories in this vein. Collections lost and stolen. Beloved and elaborate deck boxes, custom decks, all sorts of things have been lost and only some have been found.

Via WoodBornWorks on Etsy

My old pal had a bad ending to their story, but maybe you know someone with a better outcome.

There’s a couple of lessons to be learned from stories like this:

First of all, insurance. We had a writer cover insurance in 2014, I did a few months later, and I know it’s come up a couple of times in MTG Fast Finance’s archives. I strongly urge you to look into renter’s insurance to cover your assets. A modest policy won’t cost much, and requires some organization and documentation. Your results will depend on your local laws and agencies.

Second, documentation. Have a list of the cards in your EDH deck, in your Cube, in your long-term spec binder. Take a day and snap some photos. It’s really easy for your Commander deck to break a few hundred bucks, and some of you might need to have toploaders on every damn card in the deck because of the value. If something happens, you need to be able to say what was lost/stolen, and say so exactly.

Third, spread the word. Both my experience and that of others hinged on Magic players telling each other, and telling the local stores, that a specific collection has been stolen and someone might try to unload it all at once. Twitter, Reddit, Discord, whatever it is, tell as many people as you can and have them tell other people.

Fourth, be vigilant. Go read some stories of people having lots of valuable cards stolen. Here’s a whole other list of links via Reddit. Now that you’ve got a healthy fear, think about what you bring when you go to a GP, when you go to an LGS. Be aware of the risk you’re taking. Your Cube might be the down payment on a house! Even if you didn’t buy it for that much (foil Grim Monolith, for example) you’re taking on a level of risk when other people see what you have. A snatched backpack can set a thief up for a long time, and you can’t count on them being silly. Just a few minutes online will tell these criminals to break up their sales. A GP is a great place to steal a deck, wait two hours, and then circle the vendors, sell a few cards to each, and get away clean.

I want to scare you. I want you to think about what you’d do if you lost part or all of your collection. Most Magic players have a theft or loss story. I’ve had decks stolen, I’ve left decks on tables and never seen them again. I don’t want to relive those experiences, and I definitely don’t want you to go through it, but it requires consideration. Building value also means keeping that value secure.

Cliff has been playing Magic since late 1994, and is currently in the midst of a Cube obsession. Check out his Busted Uncommons cube if you want a great time, or let him know on Twitter (@WordOfCommander) what a chucklehead he is.

Please follow and like us: