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The Watchtower 6/17/19 for ProTraders – Plan Your Specs

By: Travis Allen

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.

Magic 2020 spoilers started today, which uh, alright. Modern Horizons completed on May 31st, barely over two weeks ago. Then it wasn’t officially released until June 14th, which was three days ago? So a brand new Modern-themed set was released for sale three days ago and we’re getting spoilers for the next set? Gahh. But then once M20 is released in mid-July, we’re done until like September or October? I don’t know you guys. This release schedule is maddening.

Primal Beyond

Price Today: $4
Possible Price: $10

A theme hinted at with the Chandra reveals last week, and basically confirmed today, is that there’s an elemental theme in RG. All three Chandras mentioned elementals in some manner, and there’s an uncommon elemental lord that’s obviously meant to support a draft archetype. How hard elementals are going to be pushed isn’t clear yet, though with one of red’s mythics an elemental knight, and a leaked green rare a basic elemental, I think it’s fairly clear.

With elementals returning in a seemingly big way, the first place to check is Lorwyn. A keen observer will notice that both Horde of Notions and Flamekin Harbinger foils, the two cards most likely to make it into an elemental EDH deck, have already been aggressively purchased. With almost no supply and a large gulf between the market price and the cheapest foil, it’s obvious someone went after those with a plan.

Primal Beyond has been chased down as well, with foil prices having sat at $10 for the last three years. You’ll pay about $20 for one as of Monday morning. If someone has already gone after all the foils of the most obvious elemental specs, including Primal Beyond, is there anything else we can do with it?

Sure, buy the non-foils. Primal Beyond is still going to be the first card written down under the ‘lands’ column of every single elemental EDH deck. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s a faultless 5c land. And for our purposes, supply is rough. While the foils are virtually gone, non-foils aren’t too far behind, with less than 25 vendors selling NM copies, and few have more than one. If elementals catch on this summer — and I want to stress the ‘if’ in that statement, since we do not know if they’re going to be popular yet — the last remaining Primal Beyonds will disappear quickly.

Vizier of Remedies (Foil)

Price Today: $3
Possible Price: $12

While Hogaak is the new hotness in Modern, the Vizier/Devoted combo keeps on trucking. It popped up in second place in a MTGO Modern Challenge a few days ago, and exists as the premier infinite mana combo in Modern. Plenty of cards are evaluated with this as a backbone behind a new strategy. Most recently Finale of Devastation out of War of the Spark was considered in light of the existence of these two, as it fills a role similar to Chord of Calling that could perhaps function better. We’ve also seen the Karn/Mycosynth combo used along with them, and other ideas that don’t always make it to a top eight.

Point being, Vizier of Remedies and Devoted Druid aren’t going anywhere. It’s a two card infinite mana combo that can win the game on turn three, and possibly turn two if you’ve got some help from a Simian Spirit Guide or Gemstone Caverns on turn one. Devoted Druid was just reprinted in UMA as an uncommon, and with nearly 200 vendors of non-foils and close to 100 for foils, not counting the Shadowmoor copies, it’s going to take some time to burn through that.

Vizier is looking different. There’s less than 40 foil vendors on TCG, with barely more copies than that. You’ll pay roughly $3 each, though with so few vendors carrying more than one copy, shipping is likely to push it above that. If you can find multiple from a single source, that’s going to be helpful. People are going to keep playing this combo, which is two four-ofs, for as long as its legal. And so long as it is, they’re going to keep buying sets of the foil uncommon. A few more people doing that this month is going to mean this isn’t a $3 card any longer.

Diabolic Intent (Foil)

Price Today: $18
Possible Price: $35

Ahh, Battlebond. It was summer of 2018, the warm air a somnial blanket wending through our homes, and we were blissfully enjoying all these wild new EDH cards. Now, a long 365 days later, we’re blissfully enjoying all the wild new EDH cards in War of the Spark and Modern Horizons while Battlebond quietly disappears from shelves, binders, and crystal commerce inventories.

Diabolic Intent was a welcome reprint, with the last time the card had graced the inside of a booster pack (under normal distribution) was Planeshift. We saw it as a reviled Amonkhet Invocations, the card frame that ended the Magic community’s love affair with Masterpieces. Planeshift non-foils were pushing $15 at the time, and foils have been over $50 for nearly three years. The BBD copy came out of the gate to match that, bottomed out at $16 or $17, and is creeping upwards.

There are 27 foil NM BBD copies on TCG right now, with about half over the $20 mark. At 10,000 listings on EDHREC, there’s certainly demand for Diabolic Intent. The introduction of Yawgmoth has sent players to the drawing board for a new mono-black commander, and Diabolic Intent is a popular inclusion. PLA foils are sitting at $55 and Invocations are $35, so a double up for the BBD pack foils is certainly in the cards.

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.

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Collecting like never before!

Well, I hope you’re feeling less drained than I am. It’s difficult to believe that the rollercoaster of Mythic Edition 3 was only nine days ago.

Hopefully your product is on its way to you, but for the rest of us, we’re getting quite the consolation prize: an uncut sheet of War of the Spark foil rares/mythics, plus $20 of eBay credit.

What’s this consolation prize worth? How about these Japanese alternate-art planeswalkers? Holy hell, is the preview season for Modern Horizons ten days away!?!

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.

Cliff (@WordOfCommander) has been writing for MTGPrice since 2013, 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.

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ME3 and Me!

I was having a relatively normal preview season, enjoying the story aspects, reading through cards and looking forward to the War of the Spark novel, when they dropped the Mythic Edition 3 bomb on us.

Frankly, I haven’t recovered.

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.

Cliff (@WordOfCommander) has been writing for MTGPrice since 2013, 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.

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The Best Time to Sell is Never


I met someone recently through a non-Magic social circle who admitted they used to boost boxes of 7th edition from Toys R Us and sell the singles on eBay. They knew nothing about Magic except that foil Birds of Paradise and Wrath of God must be good cards because they were the most expensive back in the day. If they looked now, they might be shocked at how much the price of some of those cards have gone up. Also, I hope they’re sad because if you steal Magic cards, I hope you fall into a wood chipper.

Have you looked at what 7th Edition foils are doing? It’s not surprising and it’s still kind of shocking somehow.

7th Edition foils are fantastic. Despite 7th Edition being white-bordered, the decision was made for the foils to have a black border, which is great. The art was a little weird and stylistically didn’t match a ton of the cards before or after but the cards themselves look sharp and dark and clean and the old border with the foiling looks pretty good. People try to collect an entire set of 7th Edition foil which is pretty tough to do but is a fairly attainable goal compared to some of the others out there.

Today I want to line up price data with EDHREC inclusion data to see if there’s anything in particular that leaps out. With any 7th Edition foil under the sun popping off lately, we could be at a tipping point and if our money is finite, we may be able to identify cards from the ones that aren’t expensive already which ones have the most upside given EDH inclusion. If we don’t find anything, I wasted your time and I’ll pull some picks out of the aether, but I’m pretty sure we’ll find something. Luckily, EDHREC couldn’t be easier to read for a scenario like this.

Sorted with the most used card at the top, you can see how many decks each card is in. I wish there were a way to flip it so the price displayed is the 7th edition foil price and not just whichever version is cheapest on TCG Player but that’s something that would need to be coded and our coder is hard at work on way more important stuff than that. For now, I’ll have to just do this manually.

Right from up top, it’s unlikely anything in the first 3 rows is going to be underpriced. Multi-format staples like Llanowar Elves, Rares I recognize from the 10 most expensive cards like Birds and Howling Mine, cards not available in foil often like Goblin Matron – there isn’t much here we should even bother checking. Eyeballing this, I’m going to look at Greed, Fervor, Spellbook and Memory Lapse.

Greed is $55 with a $30 buylist which is a big spread, Fervor is $18 with a $10 buylist which is a bigger spread but also a lower one, Spellbook is $45 with a $30 buylist and Memory Lapse is $11 with a $5 buylist. I think Fervor and Memory Lapse are sticking out a bit off the top. Their appeal is mostly limited to EDH which explains why they didn’t stick out much before, but if the entire set pops, cards that are played at all in EDH will rise to the top above cards like Reckless Embermage that aren’t used at all.

Memory Lapse’s price is attenuated a bit by the Judge foil and Eternal Masters foil. With other foils available, 7th Edition foils will mostly be important for completionists looking for a whole set since people who want it for EDH have other options. Still, EDH inclusion is a novel way to parse this data and we still may find some gems.

Fervor also has another foil printing, Core set 2013, which means its appeal is mostly due to its value as a piece of a full set of 7th foils. However, it’s within a buck or so of Kjeldoran Royal Guard which has as many foil printings and is a fairly useless card. I think Fervor could see an uptick on the basis of utility since it’s cheaper than worse rares that are played less in EDH.

The next grouping could have more gems since they’re less obvious outside of EDH the way a lot of the top EDH cards aren’t given how good they are in other formats.

This batch has even more cards that are useful outside of EDH. I’m going to look up Telepathy, Sisay’s Ring, Intrepid Hero and Arcane Laboratory.

Telepathy is $40 with a $25 buylist, Sisay’s Ring is $16 with a $10 buylist, Intrepid Hero is $21 with a $15 buylist and Arcane Laboratory is $50 with a $27 buylist which reflects a real lack of confidence in that $50.

Ring seems like it should see less play than it does – it strikes me as Manalith tier but you can’t argue with the price tag. I found one of these at an LGS with a 1999 price tag on it and was more than happy to liberate it from its mispriced prison but you don’t find these that often anymore. I think its EDH usage is overstated and people have replaced it in their decks but maybe not their lists online, but I could be wrong.

Telepathy has a million foil printings which makes me think for 7th foils to be expensive, the number of printings doesn’t matter if the card is good and 7th is the “best” version.

It’s not really that surprising that Arcane Lab is $50, honestly.

Intrepid Hero is about what Fervor costs and I kind of don’t hate either card at the price. I think if we find a real hidden gem, though, it will be a tier lower. Between 1600 and 850 decks, we’ll find cards that are specific to one or two decks and they might not all be that expensive.

Goblin War Drums, Blanchwood Armor, Mana Breach and Early Harvest probably deserve a look, and Tainted Aether and Darkest Hour are getting thrown in for good measure.

War Drums are $11/$5, Armor is $4.70/$2.50, Breach is $40/$20, Harvest is $22/$17 (low spread…), Aether is $60/$51, Hour is $51/$30.

I think Blanchwood Armor is a steal at that price. There are other foil versions and other foil versions with that art and it’s merely an uncommon but as far as useful 7th edition foils go, I think this has the best ranking to price ratio of cards we’ve seen.

Harvest also seems really juicy. The low spread makes me think it’s poised to go up and while it gets used less in general than some of the other $22 cards like Fervor, it is more useful in a smaller number of decks meaning you just need to convince a few lunatics to foil their decks with 7th cards? I don’t know under what circumstances these cards would go up independently of each other but they clearly are and if all we did was look at spread we could probably make a few educated guesses about future price increases irrespective of EDH use.

Shivan Dragon is in 800 decks and anything used less than Shivan Dragon likely can’t credit EDH with any price increases in the future. Let’s go down the list one last time and look for low spread cards and call this an article.

Tainted Aether is worth looking at, and I think it’s a card that actually should get more EDH play than it does, but I also know my capacity to make that happen is limited.

Per our data, Aladdin’s Ring has 0 spread, so that’s worth looking at up close. It turns out that the buylist price is correct but it sold out everywhere except CK where it’s $45. If only we had checked sooner.

Earthquake has the same buylist price as Telepathy but is $10 cheaper retail and even though there are a jillion foil quakes, there’s only one 7th.

Feroz’s Ban also has 0 spread but I can’t find it at $20 anywhere and it’s like moved up to $30 now.

Can we conclude anything? I think Fervor, Early Harvest and Blanchwood Armor are good buys right now given their low spread and high EDH demand but I don’t think we should bother doing this goofy method for any other sets. Next week we will have some PAX East spoilers to digest and on that note, let’s call it an article. Until next time!

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