Category Archives: Unlocked ProTrader

Unlocked Pro Trader: How to Make 40k


Here I was making a stupid pun title about the 40k decks, little did I know what I was actually doing was striking a rich vein of SEO GOLD BABY! Check out my score from the WordPress “headline analyzer” feature that I swear is a real thing and that I swear I have tried to game multiple times.

Now THAT’S a headline! I’m learning the headline analyzer just wants to see how good a job you can do sounding like a tech bro. My articles aren’t for general consumption and you get them from our feed or from me on twitter, but I can’t help but try and game this thing. Gamers gonna game, right? At least that’s WotC’s theory – they think people who game 40K on a tabletop will want to buy the new 40K preconstructed decks, and that EDH players will want to pay $100 for a precon that’s all curly-ass foils of absolutely pushed Magic cards. Just dumb, broken stuff that will plague Commander for a decade. Remember the Brawl decks? Let me refresh your memory.

Cool format you’ve got there, it would be a shame if something were to happen to it! Like we print a bunch of obvious. pushed commanders that end up in the top 100 of the last 2 years. Is the top 100 a hard goal to reach? Well, for reference, we got 70 new Legendary creatures in Dominaria United alone. It’s safe to say putting 4 commanders in the top 62 is an indication something is wrong. They didn’t get people to play Brawl at all but they permanently changed the face of Commander, so that’s nice. Are these 40k Commanders on the same power level? No, of course not. They’re worse. Much, much worse.

Here are the decklists

This doesn’t seem so bad. Does it synergize with anything in the deck that seems troubling?

I’d say so. Great googily moogily this card is bonkers. Gruul Hydra decks are going to be all over this but now the decks have access to Blue for cards like, I don’t know, Inexorable Tide.

It’s not your job to care about how to use EDHREC so I’ll tell you briefly that I went to Themes on the top bar, then clicked the word “tribes” and scrolled down to hydras. We have a Temur Hydras deck to look at, we don’t even have to extrapolate from Gruul. The deck is Animar and it has a lot of info about how people likely tackle The Swarmlord.

This is pretty interesting.

It’s wild that someone took a look at this price graph and said “this needs a Double Double Masters reprint STAT” but what do I know? WotC won’t even return my emails. I’m not sure which is more insane, the decline from $40 to $4 or the fact that the Double Double Masters reprint at rare had basically no impact on the price. I think if this card hits $2, you brick them. It’s not a $40 Standard scourge, nor is it a bulk mythic (though it got a rarity downshift which is a terrifying signal about the future of Simic creatures).

These are very solid underlying metrics for a $4 card and insane metrics for a $2 one if you consider how few copies of an Eldraine mythic and a rare from a set with $100 booster packs are out there.

But I don’t know how much else plays nicely with The Swarmlord specifically. One card I’ve been talking about fiveever is still a decent spec imo.

Barring a reprint this is a $7-$10 card, especially with some help from The Swarmlord. I don’t know how this card is still so cheap but it’s approaching $3 on the buylist, which is more than retail was when I first started beating this drum. Slow and steady until a reprint knocks out legs out from under us, that’s how we like it.

This will be a very popular commander and basically everything that will be in the deck is on this page for Torbran that you can peruse at your convenience. I want to get to more than one precon today but I think I might not be able to. This deck will be three much fun.

With less turnaround time than before, WoTC is unlikely to let this stay at $8 but I don’t think they can stop it from reaching that number. Mystery Booster printing did very little, if CSI wants $3 for this, I say oblige them.

Yes, they are that cheap and are still available for now.

I honestly don’t hate these under $10. Secret Lair drop cards always seem to go up and I loved that terrible Dungeons and Dragons TV show even before I had played Dungeons and Dragons for the first time. It was reruns, calm down, I’m not even 40 yet.

Torbran made this foil POP. Does Card Kingdom only want $7?

Well, yes and no.

At this point, any foil from an old set that does 1 damage in Izzet colors is a potential Aether Sting, which is exciting.

I have these in my bulk foils for sure, I haven’t picked that stuff in like 5 years.

Some sort of haste tribal deck seems very cool, and it’s not just Ball Lightnings that would be impacted. Let’s look at the page for Ball Lightning and see if we can glean anything from what cards tend to get played alongside it.

Look at these for a bit (if the image is too small, here is the page) and tell me if you see what I see. Give up?

Ognis is basically haste tribal!

Check out the High Synergy cards for Dragon tribal!

Deathleaper is one of the most exciting creatures we’ve seen in a while, and here is a card I will be putting directly onto my biggest creature.

Omnath, Locus of Rage made this no longer a bulk rare, what can Deathleaper do for it?

There is a lot to unpack here and each deck likely gets its own article, but it’s never too early to think about new cards even though we still haven’t even scratched the surface of Dominaria United. I could do this all day but I hit my word cap which means your eyes glazed over 4 paragraphs ago. Sorry for that. I’ll be back next week with more hot tips and cool quips. Until next time!

Unlocked Pro Trader: The Long View


We have some data, and like always, we have some surprising data. I decided to look at which commanders we should look at in-depth based on how they charted this week. There were some VERY clear winners.

I expected Jodah to do OK, but to be built more than Atraxa, even in 2022 is a coup. Like, I’m not saying a boring deck like Atraxa SHOULD be built this much, I’m saying it is and that’s reality. A deck that claws its way to the top of a pile of profoundly boring decks is worth celebrating. Let’s take a look at Jodah and Ivy for specs, shall we?

Jodah really isn’t built that interestingly, unfortunately. All of these cards are cards we’ve gone over in the past. Still, there have to be some challenges associated with being built 5 color. Are there any unique cards?

Now THIS is what I call podracing, or whatever. I’m not rewatching that movie just to look up what he says.

The cards here are going to get jammed into every “Legendary matters” deck from here until the end of time, and with 70 new Legendary creatures every 2 months, the odds of them having to revisit the topic soon are 100%.

This is just starting to rebound despite being hideous.

This is the better buy, IMO, but it’s hard to go wrong with either. Enough people like the showcase version that there is no clear winner. Either way you go, this is a buy under $5. It’s not a broadly-appealing card but for the decks where it’s useful, there is no substitute. It’s cheaper than Mirror Gallery and it’s way better. Everyone forgot about this card because it was 20 sets ago, but this is quite, quite good.

I am shocked to see this card is worth money, but it seems like if you can get the non-foil around $2 and the extended art under $5, it seems good right now.

Sometimes Cool Stuff is actually the lowest price and not because they ran out of stock first.

Wild stuff!

This deck is going to be split between random new stuff and old Orvar staples, which is great. Any Orvar card is going to be second spiking and therefore that’s what I would prefer to focus on.

You won’t often find me advocating for the foil copy of a common card whose price appears to be declining but you also won’t NEVER find me doing that, so here we go, I’m doing that. This is the foil and it’s an $8 foil under the right circumstances, seems like a buy at $2 or $3.

This is still too cheap.

Here is 1,000 more words in support of Mirror Box as a spec.

I suspect this would be higher if not for the Conspiracy reprinting, but this card is bugnutty.

I think it’s rad that two commanders from the new set are in the top 10 for the week, especially Ivy which is running my favorite card from the set and breaking it wide open.

The set seems good, we’re going to have 70 new EDH decks to contend with and then we’ll do it all again in a matter of weeks. You guys don’t want to hear me gripe about my job in the content mines but it’s less than I’m bitching about being busy and more that I’m worried that everyone will feel like they’re drowning the way I do soon and that’s bad for the long-term health of the game. Back in my early finance days, we used to say “You can shear a sheep every year but you can only skin it once” and I’m starting to worry about what’s going to happen when eBay/TCG/CFB sets its sights on Hasbro in a big to make the ultimate Katamari Damacy amalgam to take on Disney. When that happens, you’ll hear about it here first. Thanks for reading, nerds. Until next time!

Unlocked Pro Trader: Domoneyaria Monited


There’s a new set, we have spoiled commanders and it’s going to be a wild ride. Let’s take a real cursory glance at what I think matters and let you figure out the more mundane details. It’s more helpful for me to say “Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief makes me think of the cards that spiked from Orvar” and let you figure out what those are than to have you wait 5 weeks for me to get to Ivy in the rotation. Let’s do some real quick hits and cover a lot of ground quickly – I’ll give you a general idea of the landscape and we can get granular in the coming weeks sound good?

Soul of Windgrace seems like it will be fairly popular commander because it says “Draw a card” on it and it’s not Blue. People love landfall and getting lands out of the yard is a challenge that Soul of Windgrace BARELY ADDRESSES. I hate having to attack with my commander so there has to be a better way to not dump your entire mitt to this card. There is!

This got a reprint recently which really tanked the price. It has flirted with $7 before and while I don’t necessarily think we will see $7 on a card that can get reprinted a lot, let me suggest a card that is harder to make obsolete with a reprint.

The extended art version is a real good-looking image depicting some sort of tree planeswalker that I assume people who play landfall decks will be familiar with. This art is unlikely to come back up, is cheap right now and foils are garbage thanks to collector boosters. I think this will have the highest price slope out of all copies and I want these badly right now.

This gets better the longer you look at it. You aren’t obliged to copy anything bad but you have the option to copy anything anyone plays and make it target Ivy. I just saw this card spoiled a few hours ago and don’t have a real plan, but here are 2 cards I would yank out of bulk.

This is the foil in case you wanted to buy, but I bet you have these in bulk and should go check. A more recent one I KNOW you have in bulk is this one.

I know foils are bad, so maybe don’t buy, but look where these cards could go. Ivy isn’t as obvious or as ridiculous as Orvar, whose page is here, but people love value and Ivy as a value maven.

You can probably just read my Slimefoot article from 2018, but everything on Slimefoot’s page is likely in play, and this was a predictable outcome even back in 2018.

This might not be headed to $10 but I bet it gets to $5, and maybe even $7 again. Slimefoot was a big deal and Nemata is even better. Nemata’s first ability is actually insane in Commander, so expect Nemata to get built more than Slimefoot did. It’s a cheap deck, to boot, with a lot of the cards that care about Saprolings being common and uncommon and Corbin Hosler spilling Red Bull on an entire stack of copies of Parallel Lives, making them cheap pickups.

This is just another Depala, this set is kind of boring with respect to the 40 Legendary creatures I begged them not to put in the set. A lot of them are really uninspired, and what do you expect when you have to come up with more Legendary creatures than were printed between 1993 and 1998 every 2 months? Don’t bother looking that up, I’m being (barely) hyperbolic.

This is as good as Displacer Kitten in like half of the decks in the format. This costs half of Kitten and it probably still will in a year when Kitten is 20 and Ship is 10.

This is, of course, the money. A lot of cards are going up and I’m covering this commander in depth next week. Anything and everything that makes Proliferate happen is getting jammed in this deck, and really big, expensive Artifact Creatures are back on the menu for a Jhoira deck just like in 2009.

This is already in the midst of popping, but $10 for a rare with 2 printings, one in 2010 and 1 in 2015 is not entirely out of the question and might, in fact, seem quite reasonable. More about this commander next week, but keep an eye on big Proliferate cards – maybe think about those Contagion Engines before next week?

That does it for me, nerds. A lot of commanders are going to move a lot of cards so our time is fairly short, but there is no need to get into real detail until there is real detail to be gotten into. That does it for me – until next time!

Unlocked Pro Trader: Sliver me Timbers


I’m on a new “Keep it simple, stupid” kick and one benefit of that is you don’t miss something obvious. To me, it seems obvious that Slivers are coming. If not in Dominaria United, then soon. Ideally not in a precon because lately people aren’t adding too many cards to the precons. If we could get Slivers in a main set, that would be pretty ideal and it seems like they are signaling pretty hard.

Are Slivers NECESSARILY coming back in Dominaria United? The good news is that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter for several reasons. The first is that, whether or not this is hinting at anything, Slivers will eventually get done again so these won’t be missed specs, they will be longer-term specs. You’ll get dinged with a reprint or two, you might start to calculate the opportunity cost of having money tied up in long-term specs, but the day will come when you cheer my name for pointing out the obvious. I guess perhaps the second reason it’s fine is that the worst case scenario is that you’re right too early. Also, consider that this is a strong signal that others are reading which means we could see all of the Slivers stuff tick up just on principle. I like when stuff becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because you get to strut around like Nostradamus with a pocket full of shrimp money from being good at guessing when I’m right.

The word he says here does not reflect the way I feel about my readers. He says the b word, not the word you’re afraid a white rapper will say in a music video

If we are in some sort of quantum experiment where observation changes outcome, it makes sense that finance really can be that easy sometimes, where a few dozen people tweeting about getting a bunch of Slivers in their Secret Lairs that I still don’t have can make people think “Slivers.” Am I capitalizing on an effect of those Slivers being sent out or am I helping to originate a panic? Good question, but if you buy right now it won’t matter since anyone I convince to buy with this article will buy enough to drive the price up, so you actually can’t lose here.

So say Slivers do come and they come in the next year and other people want to build Slivers decks. You’d like me to tell you what I think you should buy and show my work. I’m into it, let’s knock this out before wherever you buy shrimp closes.

Did you know this was a thing on EDHREC? If you didn’t, yep, and if you click the word “tribes” it will take you to a page that ranks all of the tribes. If you’ve never navigated to this page, give yourself 10 minutes to really peruse it and try to digest it. It’s a new way to see the data represented and seeing how some tribes are played in real proportion to each other rather than what you assumed will make you better at this. Goofing around on EDHREC is just as valuable as goofing around with MTG Price’s tools. Anyway, clicking the thing I have highlighted brings up this page.

Slivers are the 9th-most-popular tribe after Vampires and before Dinosaurs, Cats and Rogues. Would you have guessed that? Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn’t. But seeing the real rankings has helped me immensely. I knew Slivers were popular, but I didn’t expect them to do better than Cats the last 2 years. I pay attention and I was still surprised. Clicking the Sliver takes you to the page we want.

I’m not surprised Sliver Overlord is the most-built. Being able to swipe Changelings, or make their creatures Slivers to steal them is very funny, Sliver Overlord is pricey but not expensive for a Magic card, especially a deck with a 5 color manabase. It’s also old border which is hot. Then they descend in order of how fun they are to play as your commander. I bet the number of Sliver Legion decks actually sleeved up in a world where you have to spend $300 real dollars on a Sliver Queen is greater than the number of people who spent an entire week at minimum wage buying a dorky old card from Stronghold to build their weird tribal deck. I think if they don’t print a new Sliver Commander, and I hope they don’t, Overlord is the winner here, and that’s good because Overlord has an Overlord-specific card that could use a nudge.

Unnatural Selection is a very cute card in a Sliver Overlord deck. You can make your mana dorks into Slivers if you play any mana dorks and you can make their creatures into Slivers and gain control of them with Sliver Overlord’s ability. I knew this was a card and it looks like it popped speculatively and Slivers might not be involved. Still, this could be a $8 card very easily and buying under $4 seems pretty safe to me. This is just vaguely good until something makes it absolutely broken. When they make a Commander whose ability is Dismiss Into Dream maybe? Point is, I like this under $4.

This was up but under $10 in 2021, so the soonest I expect to see this in a precon is 2023. I think this is a buy under $10 because it could easily go to $15 or $20 and it’s going to go up until it’s reprinted regardless because every deck is tribal these days.

I am including this card in this article because I trust EDHREC data. I really do think people are putting Legion Loyatly in decks like Slivers because while ordinarily copying a bunch of 1/1 Soldier tokens is sort of underwhelming, making 3 extra copies of Muscle Sliver and all of your other Lords, plus ETB triggers, plus LTB triggers, this card is absurd. The more it gets ignored in the obvious builds, the more the price tanks even more. A mythic of this caliber won’t be $3 for long. I think the other art is so much better that the full art version might not be the good one.

I’m no nerd, but that art rips. It’s so much better and the price is also tanking. Give these a bit to start to recover then pounce. This is 8 mana but that’s not a problem for EDH decks. People are playing this, the data says so and that’s good enough for me.

If they will stop reprinting this card, it would be helpful for its price for sure. I think they’re done reprinting it for a bit and this could really benefit from people wanting to play Slivers. For the record, the Conspiracy art is better.

The cycle from Legions, Magma, Synapse, Toxin, Brood and Essence are all pretty spicy. Of them, only Synapse and Magma have yet to be reprinted. I am betting that this goes up quickly if Slivers are officially announced because someone already took care of quite a bit of the supply late last year. What remains will be scarce and a sharper spike could see you enriched by selling at the top. I would rather be a seller than a buyer when something as mid as Magma Sliver flirts with $30.

That does it for me. If I’m totally wrong, no I’m not, I just wrote this article between 6 and 36 months too early and that’s not my fault. I am merely the muse’s mortal vessel and she dictated this whole article. Anyway, that’s what I think, gotta go, bye. Until next time!