Category Archives: Unlocked ProTrader

Unlocked Pro Trader: Ace or Base?


Readers! I am on a bit of a roll lately, writing what are at least my best-received articles if not my best-written and I would like to keep that streak alive and offer some real value this week. Continuing a bit from what we established last week in an article that if you haven’t read yet, you should and then come back and read this one. We established that artifacts and other colorless cards that have the potential to go in any deck tend to go in twice as many decks as similar “tier” staples that are limited to going into only decks of a certain color. The math is a little fuzzy, but we’re coming to a conclusion that “an artifact is basically twice as playable” which isn’t that exact and doesn’t need to be. That rule can be a rule we use every set we evaluate moving forward and as long as you check my math and, you know, agree with me, that factor of 2x can be something that helps you make assessments moving forward.

Armed both with that (vague, but so what?) factor and also the same process we used to come to those conclusions, we can therefore take a look at cards in Ultimate Masters and determine whether they are more or less likely than a card we consider a baseline “likely to recover in price” and make our buys with that knowledge in mind. It needn’t be the only factor we use to determine whether a card is worth buying now (prices have dipped and some are already showing signs of a brief recovery which might not hold, but people are already saying now is a good time to start buying in) but it can inform some of your future buying decisions when weighed against other factors. Or not, just ignore other factors and buy what I say to because you’re not paying for article access to have to think afterward, you’re paying me to think. Well, here’s what I think.

Ace or Base?

The first thing we need to do in order to figure out if something is above or below our “likely/not likely to recover in price” line is to figure out where it is. I am remaining relatively agnostic to cards used outside of EDH unless they’re used in EDH also. I can’t ignore the effects of other formats but I can mainly stick to cards that are largely used in EDH and to that end, I decided to use the handy feature of EDHREC where you can click on a full set and it will list the cards in order of EDH inclusion. The number one EDH card in terms of total EDHREC deck inclusions from Ultimate Masters? You guessed it. Terramorphic Expanse (You thought it was Eternal Witness, didn’t you? Me too.) I lucked out a bit in that prices hadn’t been updated in a few days so I got to look at the price of the cards before people started cracking packs for the most part which helps me figure out how much certain cards tanked which is a factor in determining how much they’re likely to rebound.

I think, personally, the line should be at Gamble. I think Gamble isn’t likely to recover a ton but I think cards used more than Gamble (and reprinted less) are more likely to recover and cards used less are less likely.

At 10k decks, Gamble is 28th on the list of cards in Ultimate Masters ranked by inclusion. Gamble has had a little play outside of EDH but that was basically inclusion in the Lands deck in Legacy and I hate to say it, but Legacy isn’t really driving prices like it used to. Gamble probably stays the same-ish and with the Eternal Masters version of the card down to $12 on Card Kingdom before the reprint and the Ultimate Masters version currently selling for $3.50, I don’t know if Gamble has the chops to make up for lost ground. If it does, that just means we have a higher degree of confidence in the cards we pick above Gamble and could see opportunity in sub-Gamble picks like Balefire Dragon, Phyrexian Altar and Glen Elendra Archamage.

Bubble Cards (Immediately Sub-Gamble)

I think if we don’t expect Gamble to regain more than like 50% of the $6 it lost, these cards are even less likely. Phyrexian Altar’s price was largely predicated on scarcity and as much as I loved to harp on how much it needed a reprint, that wasn’t because I thought it was a good investment post-reprint. I think Altar is used in only one format, is in fewer than 10,000 decks and doesn’t quite have the chops to get there. Phyrexian Tower and Gamble get played in Legacy and Karn and All is Dust get played in Modern to the extent that the EDH play may be an after thought but they’re still in the top 40 cards in the set in terms of play. I think we can safely ignore Modern cards and focus on EDH cards. Balefire Dragon’s price seems largely predicated on scarcity even though it’s relatively recent but I think it’s still less likely than Gamble to recover. These cards could go either way, but since there are much juicier targets, why worry about them? If you want them to play with, you can safely buy in at the current price and not feel too bad about it.

Relatively Certain Gainers (Immediately Super-Gamble)

The 13 cards immediately above Gamble look good. I think we can all agree Life From The Loam is likely to rebound just as a gut feeling so drawing the line above it didn’t make sense and even if we’re wrong about Gamble being our baseline, we can agree Loam probably goes up. Now we’re not sorting by EDH+other formats so the order the cards are in can be misleading when sorted solely by EDH demand, but all this does is tell us which cards we should zoom in on and take a second look at. Let’s look at Loam.


Before the reprinting, the last reprinting of Loam (Izzet Vs Golgari) were $24 on Card Kingdom. Today, the Ultimate Masters version is $14 and could probably go down a bit more – it’s $11 on TCG Player and players are racing each other to the bottom. Either way, it lost about $10. It has recovered exactly that amount before.

The Lord Windgrace deck didn’t suck for Loam and neither did people toying with Dredge in Modern, but between April 2017 and October 2018, the value recovered and then some, and that’s with a duel deck printing and a Masters set printing. Eventually this will stop recovering, but I don’t think this will be the printing that does it.

So what about a card that’s not getting any help from other formats? $23 or so and bafflingly more on TCG Player before the reprinting, today you can grab an Ultimate Masters copy of Mikaeus for $14 on Card Kingdom or $12 on TCG Player. If you’re going to do that, you may as well grab the $35 box-topper, which is significantly less than the set foil price. I think Mikaeus, despite only being an EDH card, could see a rebound. It’s in more than 10k decks which is a bit of an arbitrary cut-off and only really means something relative to the other cards current for the number of decks listed but we do tend to see stronger rebounds for cards above that cut-off so I’m going to use it (with caution).


I think given its EDH-only play, Mikaeus is less likely to regain 100% of what it lost than Loam but it’s a mythic whereas Loam is a rare and that should help tremendously. All in all, I’d say Mikaeus is a good pickup right now.

This is worth mentioning because I have a penchant for blue commons in foil and this is the first and only printing of this art in foil. It’s currently significantly cheaper than the much more rare set foil. Card Kingdom is sold out of Urza’s Legacy foils at $33 and you can currently snag UMA foils for $5 on Card Kingdom or a $3 listed median/$1 market price on TCG Player. $1 is very incorrect for a cube, pauper and EDH card like this. Cheap foils of this seem like a Dramatic Reversal or Arcane Denial waiting to happen.

With solid EDH play, this card seems poised to recover a pretty decent chunk of the $18 or so it just lost. A card losing half of its value can be pretty brutal and while Loam seems poised to recover all of its value, copies of Loam go out 4 at a time in non-EDH formats whereas copies of Kozilek don’t. I think this is less likely than Loam to recover all of the value it lost. The one saving grace is that this was always reprinted at mythic and that’s a huge help.

This is a graph showing the recovery last time which was pretty robust considering the peak of nearly $70 was pretty nutty.  I think the mythic printing can help this pull out of the spin and recover roughly half of what it lost.

Basically the cards above this tier seem fairly certain to recover and I’m not sure they bear much discussion.

If you were to somehow list the cards by EDH+all other formats’ demand, I think some of the cards from this tier would be lower and lower-tier cards would be higher, but for the most part, I think the stuff in this tier will recover well, provided there is something to recover. I think Thespians’ Stage is probably crushed forever except in foil and commons and uncommons are likely going to lose so little value that it won’t be hard to make it back up, but this tier has a lot of strong cards. Eternal Witness is the poster child for shrugging off reprints, Demonic Tutor hasn’t been printed in like 5 years and even then it was Duel Deck Anthologies so it’s basically been out of print since 2008, Kodama’s Reach has new art which should help it out and Urborg is Urborg. I think the cards in this tier with the obvious exceptions of Rogue’s Passage and Terramorphic Expanse which have both been printed into powder, we should see some strong recovery here. My favorites here are foil Eternal Witness, both Demonic Tutor in foil and not, and Mana Vault.

I think just sorting cards in terms of EDH inclusion can help you think about what has a chance of recovering by seeing the cards “ranked” and while there are some cards over- or under-represented in the tiers due to their play outside of EDH and whether they’re a 4-of in those formats, but for the most part, I think the cards are grouped appropriately. Agree? Disagree? Nitpick in the comments. Thanks for reading, readers. Until next time!

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Unlocked Pro Trader: All the Glitters is Silver


I say a lot that EDH finance is MTG Finance on easy mode and for the most part, that’s true. EDH is predictable, moves slowly, moves dependably and while it’s tough to quantify, we’ve found that looking at subsections of the available data can prove to be a fairly reliable model of the overall demand in the format.

Demand isn’t all created equal and when we talk about cards that are in the Top 100 EDH cards by color, sometimes the scale can vary by a zero or two between “staples” if you’re determining which cards are in the Top 100 in terms of percentage of eligible decks rather than the raw number of total decks. It’s good to determine what is a staple in certain decks by disallowing ineligible decks – is Eternal Witness not a green staple because it’s not in any Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim decks? Of course not – Eternal Witness is in a full 42% of decks containing Green on EDHREC and that’s absurdly high. Shouldn’t we rank a card that’s in 42% of all eligible decks higher than a card that’s in 33% of all eligible decks? We should – Eternal Witness is more of a Green staple than that card is a “whatever color it is” staple and I’m not suggesting we change that. What I am suggesting is to remember that you need to weight raw demand in your calculation as well. That’s something I do when making a determination. If you’re not, you should start, and here’s why.

The Economics of “Scale”

By scale here, I mean the difference between a color staple and a format staple and how they can vary wildly. When you rank based on percentage of eligible decks, you’ll get Eternal Witness in 5th place and Cultivate in 4th place. You should –  they are in an incredibly high percentage of Green decks.

However, being a staple in one of the 5 (I guess 6) possible colors isn’t the same as being a staple that can go in any deck. Despite being in only 33% of eligible decks, you’ll notice something about the raw number of decks for a card like Lightning Greaves.


Lightning Greaves is in 1.7 times as many decks as Eternal Witness. true, it’s in a smaller percentage of eligible decks (every single possible deck) but it’s in a greater total number because of course it is. Eternal Witness and Cultivate can’t go in Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim decks and that’s fine, but Lightning Greaves can and does. When you’re evaluating stuff that got a reprint and trying to guess how well it will shrug off that reprint or you’re looking at a new card to determine how many decks it will go in, you should bear in mind that artifacts and lands, provided they don’t have a color identity like Simic Signet or Rugged Prairie, will in general have higher total demand and you can develop a pretty rough formula to “weight” the colors against artifacts to figure out how much of an impact we can rely on. This is not going to be all that precise, but it kind of doesn’t have to be, does it? If we look at cards that are in a given percentage  of eligible decks of every color and weight that raw score against the raw score of an artifact that’s in the same percentage of eligible decks (read “all” decks) we can come up with a factor for each color that shows what percentage of format demand each color accounts for and we can make more informed decisions about what to target both when cards are reprinted and when they’re spoiled.

2824.44 decks is 1% of total decks.

1295.35 decks is 1% of all White decks. That means an artifact can have, on average, about 2 times the demand a White card can if they’re in the same percentage of total eligible decks. A White “staple” in 40% of all White decks is still in under half of of the number of decks an Artifact that’s in 40% of all eligible decks.

1420.64 is 1% of all Blue decks. Again, that means artifacts are represented 1.98 to 1 compared to Blue cards.

1433.16 is 1% of all Black decks. That means Artifacts are represented 1.97 times as much. So far, Blue and Black are very close and White is represented less than the other colors – but only by about 1% so it’s not a huge deal.

1276.23 is 1% of all Red decks. Artifacts are represented 2.2 times as much as Red cards if we can rely on this data.

1320.66 is 1% of Green decks. I’ll be honest – I expected Green to be represented more than Black but I’ve been wrong before. Again, we’re talking about a 1% difference so it’s really that we’re seeing artifacts represented twice as much as colored cards, provided they’re played in the same percentage of decks. Basically, an artifact has twice the potential because it can go in more decks.

Whether or not these numbers are exact, and there were some discrepancies between the totals depending on which page you looked at, the discrepancies were less than 1% of the total and we’re basically looking qualitatively at this rather than quantitatively. I don’t think it’s important to note that there was a factor of 1.97 for Black cards and 2.2 for Red cards, I think it’s more important to note that the colored cards, no matter the color, accounted for roughly half of the decks and artifacts can go in any deck. An artifact that looks like a staple like Aetherflux Reservoir can go in twice as many decks as a similar card like Thousand-Year Storm. Sure, they will overlap a lot, but Reservoir can go in Ayli, Oloro and a ton of other decks with no red or Blue that Storm cannot, and that’s important to remember. If I made a colossal error in my calculations by relying on data that was calculated in some goofy way, I think we would have come to some counterintuitive conclusions but considering most decks are two colors, it’s that crazy that decks with any given color would be roughly half the total. There are a lot of five color decks, for example, and a five-color deck outweighs the colorless decks five to 1. Going forward, know that colorless cards (truly colorless ones, not “colored” artifacts like Lifecrafter’s Bestiary). We should take note of that in the future.


We expect Eternal Witness to shrug off its reprinting. Currently, Eternal Witness is in 56,256 decks which is 42% of all registered Green decks. If a card with those sort of numbers can shrug off repeated reprintings, do we expect other cards to be able to do the same? Let’s look at some artifacts about to be reprinted and see what their numbers look like.

A 6,992 decks which is about 2.5% of all decks, I don’t think this has the chops to get back up in price. It was a scarcity-based price, antagonized by repeated failures to reprint it. Eternal Witness is in about 8 times as many decks as this. The good news is this being printed at rare and overlooked by everyone who doesn’t play EDH means this will probably tank very hard. It’s going to recover a bit and that means if you buy at its floor you will make money. It would be a little too simplistic to say this will recover an eighth of its value if Eternal Witness recovers all of its value, but considering this likely tanks to a few bucks, I think an eighth of its peak price of about $64 isn’t too shabby. I don’t have as much faith in this recovering, which is why we looked at numbers.

Meanwhile this bad boy is sitting at 23,651 decks which is 8% of all decks. I also think if this price tanks, there will be some discovered demand as a lot of players balked at paying $30 for a mana rock. I think this could be a decent buy when it tanks, and being reprinted at mythic in a very limited set bodes well for its recovery chances. I am much more optimistic about this recovering. I’ll still buy Phyrexian Altars for days because I want them in most decks, but this seems like a better investment.

9,363 decks, or about 3%, coupled with its play in other formats is nothing to sniff at, but repeated printings and a printing at non-mythic rare make me think this has limited recovery prospects. I’m not as excited about this as I am other cards.

Everything we said about Mana Valut we can say about this, only at its peak, Ancient Tomb hit about $50 which is substantially more than Mana Vault. I think there will be some discovered demand here although we’re talking about a card in roughly 8% of eligible decks, which is a lot, but whose demand is mostly predicated on other formats. I think non-zero EDH demand, discovered demand from new players eager to snag a copy with it pre-selling for about $24 and liable to go down a bit more as people open more packs means there is a lot of opportunity for this to substantially recover.

Compare the colorless cards to a “Black” land like Urborg. Despite being limited to black decks, Urborg is in 45,200 decks, which is 32% of all Black decks and therefore about 16% of all decks, Urborg is in twice as many decks as Ancient Tomb despite not being a colorless land. Demand based on power level matters, too, but this is more of a gut-check than anything. Sure, we have data to look at when evaluating reprints, but what lessons can we take forward when we look at cards printed for the first time?

  • There are roughly twice as many decks as there are decks of any given color
  • Colored cards are therefore half as likely to become a staple as an otherwise equivalent artifact or land card. Evaluating this can be tricky because of course it is.

This was an interesting data dive and I appreciate you taking the ride with me. If you take exception with any of my methods, let’s get into it in the comments section. Otherwise, have fun drafting Ultimate Masters on Friday! Until next time.

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Unlocked Pro Trader: Better Bargain to Buy Before the Bottom


I was going to make a huge deal out of the fact that I got a comment on my last article pointing out that they found it informative and helpful and I usually get fewer than three comments on an article (not just here, but on Coolstuff, also) and then I read Adrian Sullivan’s primer from when he won a GP and it had two comments and then I thought “three comments is a lot.” The thing about being a large percentage of the comments I get by virtue of bothering to comment is that I overreact to what can honestly be both construed as “an overwhelming percentage of my feedback” and also “literally two comments” and do what those people say. After all, they wrote in. Accordingly, I’m going to write something I hope is pretty similar to last week’s article and if you don’t like it, blame the people who commented.

Last week I talked about cards that were bound to increase by virtue of having been ruled out of Ultimate Masters before the full set was printed. It was more valuable to Pro Traders on Tuesday than the general public on Thursday but isn’t much good to anyone, now. While I still think “act fast” articles have value because you’re working with information not everyone has if they didn’t sit and think about it and rather than sit and think about it, you paid me to do it for you, which I’m happy to do. However, longer-term forecasts are good, too, because if you know what you want long-term before you crack your first booster, buying, selling and trading will be a lot easier since you don’t have to plan, I planned for you. Let’s talk about the cards in the EDHREC top 100 that are in Ultimate Masters, their rank, their likelihood for another future reprinting and how much we expect their price to recover given those factors. We nailed cards like Rune-Scarred Demon and Austere Command in Iconic Masters, so let’s work the same magic on a set with lower supply. This will make you the least sexy money you’ll ever make, but sexy doesn’t pay the rent, desperate men pay sexy’s rent for sexy. Let’s pay our own rent, shall we?


I realize that EDHREC has a few limitations and I wish people realized I realized that. I’ve been using EDHREC data to crush it at predictions for like 5 years, there’s not much about the site that you’re going to tell me that is going to make me go “Oh man, I’ve been doing it wrong all these years” so let’s assume that until EDHREC starts making me lose people a bunch of money, the data has things we can learn from it. If I say something derived from data that you think is wrong, A) argue with me in the comments and B) you’re under no obligation to buy. The best specs in my opinion are the ones where I say something and it jives with something you already thought but weren’t quite sure of. That’s a spec based on consensus. The Top 100 cards are the most-used cards and they’re ranked 1-100 on the basis of percentage inclusion in eligible decks rather than raw inclusion. Of course Sol Ring is in more decks than Chromanticore, for lots of reasons. However, Blasphemous Act is in 30.705 decks and Solemn Simulacrum is in 281,775 decks but Blasphemous Act is ranked two spots higher. Why? Because more decks could be playing Solemn and aren’t than could be playing Blasphemous Act but aren’t. Capiche? It’s a simple concept but people think I don’t know it so I’m pointing it out. Raw number of decks is very important but it doesn’t tell the whole story, otherwise we’d buy nothing but artifacts. So what from the Top 100 made it into Ultimate Masters?


Demonic Tutor

Rank – 20/100

Demonic Tutor is in a lot of decks. It’s the #1 most-played Black card in terms of raw numbers at over 46,000 which is like… all the black decks. Well, it’s a third of them, but, still. No other card is played in more than a third and this is a card that was $45 on Card Kingdom recently and selling for that price. There weren’t too many judge promo or other versions of the card and with this new art, I expect this to be highly coveted. This is a pretty insane inclusion as a rare in a set with $6 mythics and we’re lucky Wizards wanted us to have such a good set. So how long do we expect to wait for the price to do its thing? Well, if you consider Vampiric Tutor a decent analogue, take a look.

This took between 8 and 12 months to decrease and then rose pretty steadily. There wasn’t a whole ton of money to be made, but if you were buying at buylist or trading cards that didn’t recover as well, you did fine. If we’re talking in at retail, out at retail, someone who played it perfectly bought in around $26 on TCG Player and got out at around $46 on TCG Player, which is nothing to sneeze at. AND it was predictable. When the card his $26 after a few months of sliding, people were happy to sell for $15 cash at the LGS or trade for $25 worth of Modern stuff (so… one Manamorphose?). If you want a Tutor to play with, wait until it bottoms out, note if it starts to rebound and buy double because you’ll pay more if you wait longer and when it doubles up, you can always sell the spare copy and you got the play copy for free. That’s how I roll, anyway. Sexy doesn’t pay my rent, but sexy goes in decks. I think Demonic Tutor follows a similar trajectory, but has a slightly different demand profile.

Also, this will have the most affordable foil copies of this card we’ve ever seen, potentially. All in all, it’s a good look.

Eternal Witness

Rank – 5/100

There isn’t much excuse for not playing this card in a green deck and 42% of all builders couldn’t find one. 56,000 decks is a lot of demand and this card, despite being uncommon and in a precon and printed a ton, manages to shrug off every reprinting. After 7 printings (counting Commander Anthologies 1 and 2) with Terese Nielsen’s art, we get a new take on it and foils of this will be the only foil copies of Eternal Witness with this art in case people like it better. It’s also a box topper promo so not all of the demand for the card will be satiated by older copies which won’t help this shrug off the reprint a ton, but clearly Eternal Witness doesn’t need the help. Printed at uncommon again, I expect this to tank pretty deeply, although this is likely one of the smallest printings of this card to date and there’s a lot of demand.

The cheapest the Fifth Dawn version ever got was the week Modern Masters 2017 came out, which was about a year and a half after the last time Eternal Witness got a reprint of any real size, in Commander 2015. It’s been a while but it didn’t take the price that long to climb back up to where it mostly equilibrated, although it peaked a bit, both times it wasn’t included in a set it probably should have been (Modern Masters 2 and Battlebond). This will be $8 again, and soon, and it will be dirt in the near term unless people overwhelmingly prefer the new art, which they might.

Kodama’s Reach

Rank 10/100

The third and final card from the Top 100 in Ultimate Masters also has brand new art and also shrugs off reprints.  Even at common, foils of this will be desirable and the new art could end up displacing copies in other decks (it will in mine) meaning existing demand could be a booster. At common, this is getting a lot of new copies, but it’s always at common and it seems to recover. It’s at least always a pick, you can ship foils to people who like the new art and in general, it’s worth knowing that this should never be left in draft chaff although it probably will. I seriously get free copies of cards like this all the time by digging through cards players just leave on tables. Grab the good stuff, put the rest in neat piles, start a donation box for new players and look like a good person.

I finished… uh…early. I expected 5 cards and was a little surprised to find only 3. That means to give Pro Traders their money’s worth, I’m doing a bonus section.

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ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

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Unlocked Pro Trader: Crunch Time

Hello, Readers.

With Ultimate Masters mostly spoiled, people are waiting patiently to see on which cards they’re about to get their pants pulled down (R.I.P. Foil Thespians’ Stage) and which cards could see a surge in price as a result of not being printed. People tend to wait until the set is fully spoiled to make their buys on stuff that’s not in the set but the thing is, we don’t HAVE to wait on everything.

In Which I Introduce a Concept that is Not New

Magic cards are numbered.


Don’t interrupt me. Anyway, Magic cards are numbered. The bottom of the card has two numbers, one is the total cards in the set and the other is the number that card is in the order. Ultimate Masters has 254 cards, the first of which is All is Dust and the 254th of which is Urborg, Tomb Of Yawgmoth. How do we know this? Well, we’ve seen pictures of both of those cards and the number on All is Dust is 1/254 and the number on Urborg is 254/254/. This isn’t a new concept to most of you.

Another thing we know is that the cards are ordered alphabetically, subsected into colors which go Colorless, WUBRG, Gold, Lands. Fauna Shaman is before Snapcaster Mage alphabetically but its number in the set will be higher than Snapcaster Mage’s because Green comes after Blue. Don’t believe me? We can test this – Fauna Shaman is 164 and Snapcaster Mage is 71. Bam. Science.

What can this information tell us? Well, it can’t tell us what’s in the set as often as it can tell us what isn’t in the set, but the good news there is what isn’t in the set is more valuable to know right now than what is. If you get something in the set confirmed, you learn that you should have sold already because the price will tank. But if you learn something that’s ruled out, you can buy before the price goes up. Let’s see if we can figure out some sweet EDH staples that are ruled out.

First up, I pulled up the list of the Top 100 EDH cards in terms of deck inclusion for each color. Not all of them are money because, not surprisingly, a lot of them aren’t rare. However, there are some expensive ones that could go up if they’re not reprinted. I started with colorless/artifacts first. In the set, Eldrazi are up first in the colorless section and artifacts are later so we’re looking at two different spots on the number crunch.

Unfortunately, at the time I wrote this, we didn’t know many artifacts. Card #2 in the set can only be 7 different cards between All is Dust and Eldrazi Conscription and none of them really matter. In the artifacts section, though, we don’t know much.


225 Fire//Ice

226 Probably Unknown Artifact

227 Engineered Explosives

228 Unknown Artifact

229 Mana Vault

230 Unknown Artifact

231 Unknown Artifact

232 Phyrexian Altar

233 Platinum Emperion

234 Unknown Artifact

There isn’t much we can come up with, here. I can’t rule out Paradox Engine, Urza’s Incubator, Mox Opal, Hangarback Walker, Sword of anything, Gauntlets of Power, Caged Sun, Darksteel Forge… I feel like this section is a waste of time. Let’s move on to another color.


8-10 Unknown White Cards

11 Containment Priest

12-13 Unknown White Cards

14 Daybreak Coronet

15-18 Unknown White Cards

19 Heliod’s Pilgrim

20-24 Unknown White Cards

25 Martyr of Sands

26-29 Unknown White Card

30 Resurrection

31 Reveillark

32-33 Unknown White Card

34 Runed Halo

35 Sigil of the New Dawn

36-37 Unknown White Cards

38 Sublime Archangel

39 Unknown White Card

40 Tethmos High Priest

41 Wall of Reverence

42-45 Unknown White and/or Blue Cards

White has a few big gaps but there are a few cards we can rule out.

Thalia, both Guardian of Thraben and Heretic Cathar can’t be between 40 and 41.

That’s basically it for now. We can’t rule out anything we’d like to – Teferi’s Protection, Worship, Act of Authority, Council’s Judment, any Elspeth, you name it, basically.


42-45 Unknown White /Blue Cards

46 Back to Basics (!)

47 Circular Logic

48-50 Unknown Blue Cards

51 Disrupting Shoal

52-54 Unknown Blue Cards

55 Foil

56 Unknown Blue Card

57 Frantic Search

58 Glen Elendra Archmage

59-60 Unknown Blue Cards

61 Laboratory Maniac

62 Living Lore

63 Magus of the Bazaar

64-67 Unknown Blue Cards

68 Rune Snag

69-70 Unknown Blue Cards

71 Snapcaster Mage

72-75 Unknown Blue Cards

76 Talrand

77 Temporal Manipulation

78 Unknown Blue Card

79 Treasure Cruise

80 Unknown Blue Card

81 Visions of Beyond

82-84 Unknown Blue/Black Cards

Leyline of Anticipation can’t be between Laboratory Maniac and Magus of the Bazaar, and given the tendency for the set to include cycles, I think that could rule out Leyline of the Void and Leyline of Sanctity, but I’m not betting money on it.

Tamiyo, Moon Sage can’t be between Talrand and Temporal Manipulation.

Bribery can’t be between Back to Basics and Circular Logic.

Time Warp isn’t ruled out per se, but with Temporal Manipulation in the set, it’s unlikely card 78 is Time Warp. I feel the same way about Time Stretch, which needs a reprint badly.

Teferi, Temporal Archmage can’t be between Talrand and Temporal Manipulation.

Baral, Chief of Compliance can’t be between Back to Basics and Circular Logic.

There are a lot of cards we can’t rule out, but there is a lot of value in the ones we can. Blue was a treasure trove of crunched-out cards.


82-84 Unknown Blue/Black Cards

85 Bitterblossom

86-88 Unknown Black Cards

89 Chainer’s Edict

90-92 Unknown Black Cards

93 Demonic Tutor

94 Entomb

95-98 Unknown Black Cards

99 Goryo’s Vengeance

100-101 Unknown Black Cards

102 Gurmag Angler

103 Unknown Black Card

104 Liliana of the Veil

105 Unknown Black Card

106 Mikaeus, the Unhallowed

107-109 Unknown Black Cards

110  Reanimate

111 Unknown Black Card

112 Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker

113 Unknown Black Card

114 Slum Reaper

115 Unknown Black Card

116 Spoils of the Vault

117 Tasigur, the Golden Fang

118-123 Unknown Black/Red Cards

Liliana of the Veil all but rules out Liliana, Heretical Healer, which is creeping up in value.

Drana, Liberator of Malkir can’t be between Demonic Tutor and Entomb,

We can’t crunch much out of Black, but that’s fine since Black historically doesn’t have expensive EDH cards.


118-123 Unknown Black/Red Cards

124 Balefire Dragon

125-127 Unknown Red Cards

128 Faithless Looting

129 Fiery Temper

130 Firewing Phoenix

131 Unknown Red Card

132 Gamble

133-135 Unknown Red Cards

136 Lava Spike

137 Unknown Red Card

138 Magmaw

139-143 Unknown Red Cards

144 Reckless Wurm

145 Unknown Red Card

146 Seismic Assault

147-149 Unknown Red Cards

150 Squee, Goblin Nabob

151 Unknown Red Card

152 Through the Breach

153 Unknown Red Card

154 Vexing Devil

155-156 Unknown Red/Green Cards

Fiery Confluence can’t be between Faithless Looting and Fiery Temper.

There isn’t much else, here. We can’t rule out anything we want to – Repercussion, Price of Glory, Mana Echoes, Wrath of Goad, Insurrection, Purphoros – the list is long. The important thing is Fiery Confluence is safe for a bit, goes in Legacy where it’s bought 4 copies at a time and is in that Kalemne deck with a bunch of other $20 cards.


155-156 Unknown Red/Green Cards

157 Become Immense

158-162 Unknown Green Card

163 Eternal Witness

164 Fauna Shaman

165 Fecundity

166 Unknown Green Card

167 Golgari Grave-Troll

168 Unknown Green Card

169 Hero of Leina Tower

170-171 Unknown Green Cards

172 Life From The Loam

173 Miming Slime

174 Noble Hierarch

175 Nourishing Shoal

176 Pattern of Rebirth

177-183 Unknown Green Cards

184 Spider Umbra

185-186 Unknown Green Cards

187 Tarmogoyf

188 Travel Preparations

189 Vengevine

190-193 Unknown Green Cards

194 Wild Mongrel

195 Woodfall Primus

196-198 Unknown Green/Gold Cards

Mana Reflection can’t be between Life from the Loam and Miming Slime. That’s a pretty significant one. I would say that all but rules out Wound Reflection, also. It doesn’t exactly rule it out, but with the tendency toward cycles, I am betting my own personal money on it. I think Mana Reflection not being in the set is a gigantic punt and I also think they would have to know that so I could see a creative way to print Reflection in the next 12 months, so get in and get out. They seem too powerful for an EDH precon deck (Mana and Wound do, not so much the other 3 which are dirt cheap, anyway) so who knows what they’ll do? They surprised and delighted me with the Ixalan board game, the Guild Kits and other ways to reprint cards that need it.

Exploration can’t be between Eternal Witness and Fauna Shaman, and that’s very significant as well. Exploration seems to be trading printings off with Burgeoning, but Exploration seems like it’s too good for a set like Conspiracy/Battlebond (but so did Doubling Season) so we’ll see whether we have more than 6 months of growth on that.

Tooth and Nail can’t be between Tarmogoyf and Travel Preparations. Tempt With Discovery is in that same slot. Triumph of the Hordes is in the same 3 card block and is ruled out as well. Guess what else? Tireless Tracker. Guess what else? Titania, Protector of Argoth. Traverse the Outlands. Three Visits.

Mirri’s Guile can’t be between Miming Slime and Noble Hierarch and neither can’t Nature’s Will.


199 Gaddock Teeg

200-201 Unknown Gold Cards

202 Leovold

203 Lord of Extinction

204 Maelstrom Pulse

205 Unknown Gold Card

206 Sigarda, Host of Herons

207 Sovereigns of Lost Alara

208-212 Unknown Gold Cards

213 Dimir Guildmage

214 Unknown Gold Card

215 Fulminator Mage

216 Kitchen Finks

217-222 Unknown Gold Cards

223 Slippery Bogle

224 Unknown Gold Card

225 Fire//Ice

There isn’t much crunched out here, unfortunately.

Maelstrom Nexus can’t be between Lord of Extinction and Maelstrom Pulse, same with Maelstrom Archangel. I’m not excited.

236 Ancient Tomb

237 Cavern of Souls

238 Celestial Colonnade

239 Creeping Tar Pit

240 Unknown Land Card

241 Dark Depths

242 Unknown Land Card

243 Flagstone of Trokair

244 Karakas

245 Lavaclaw Reaches

246-247 Unknown Land Cards

248 Phyrexian Tower

249 Raging Ravine

250 Unknown Land Card

251 Stirring Wildwood

252-253 Unknown Land Cards

254 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.


A few unexciting cards like Kor Haven are ruled out but for the most part, the value here is in the large number of $10+ blue and green EDH staples that are crunched out. If you’re looking to buy cards bound to go up now that they dodged the reprinter’s metaphorical axe, those are your best bets. I really like Mana Reflection, Wound Reflection, Bribery and Exploration.

That does it for me. We’ll have a full spoiler next week and we can dig down some more. Until then!

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