Category Archives: Unlocked ProTrader

Unlocked Pro Trader: How to Invest in Crypto

lith Rite

Readers! My attempt to game the headline analyzer algorithm are yielding some interesting results – this time I did a bit worse, 72%. I guess it’s better to make specific promises – “making 40k” than it is to tell people how to do things. Fair enough. The headline analyzer doesn’t think you want to be taught how to fish, it thinks you want fish spoonfed to you. I’m not going to do that, readers. It’s not because I respect your intelligence too much, far from it, I’m just not inclined to try and feed anyone fish with a spoon. I’m going to forkfeed these picks to you. That said, there isn’t a ton more data now than there was last week, and the EDHREC backend has gotten a little more complicated so we only have data from one deck. Let’s beat it to death and see if anything else comes rolling out of the corpse. Actually, no, I changed my mind mid-paragraph and rather than just erase that and write what I’m actually going to do, I’m going to leave all of it which will have the effect of showing you how my thought process works and also emphasize that this other thing is so important that I don’t want to risk forgetting about it. They made Necrotic Ooze a commander.

It doesn’t have the activated abilities of all creatures, but having the activated abilities of all Artifact Creatures is enough because you don’t need any creatures that aren’t artifacts.

I know I sound like a broken record here, but Phyrexian Devourer is very good with Necrotic Ooze effects and they’re going to come back into focus soon. Notice the Old Stickfingers bumps I warned about? The price has been cut in half, but since we have an even better Necrotic Ooze commander now, I figured why not just make a lot of money when this hits $30 again? Second spike, baby. Making money on this card is so much fun and I’ve done it so often I should send the Alliances design lead a gift basket. One of those edible arrangements or something. Something classy with a bunch of pineapple and shit. People love being thanked with a bunch of pineapple and honeydew melon but they don’t want to pay $45 plus delivery fees to get like 4 chocolate covered strawberries to be served to them at room temperature in front of all of their work colleagues. That’s where I’ll come in. Did I make you a bunch of money with this card in 2021? I bet I did. Is it absolutely going to happen again? Don’t answer here, that was a rhetorical question since this is an article and not a conversation. Let your chocolate covered pineapple wedges on skewers do the talking.

Second spikes feel like cheating. This bad boy snaked all the way back down to a buck fiddy, can it be $7.50 again? It will probably be more, try to have copies when that happens. I have no idea how much this mono-Black commander will get played, but it doesn’t have to get played at all, that’s the beautiful part.

Imagine this pic is accompanied by a fart noise sound effect that goes on so long it stops being funny then starts being funny again

Not great build metrics here, but the hype sure took these cards to the moon, even though they didn’t stay there very long, like people who went to the actual moon landing faked video in that California studio directed by Stanley Kubrick. Buy early and often, sell into hype always. If you miss your window, these specs will literally inevitably go up again. They’re not reprinting Phyrexian Devourer, nor are they likely to make a version of it that’s so much better that people will stop also playing Phrexian Devourer in a format that literally allows you to run 100 cards, especially given that Artifacts are not excluded from any of those decks on the basis of color identity.

Let’s see how the reprint impacted the price of Walking Ballista.


Sure wish I had seen this coming 2 years ago, but it is down significantly from its peak, and the next bump goes higher. It likely takes a world event rather than a reprinting since it’s not just Triskelion that needs to go up but also Antiquities as a whole, but this is worth knowing.

Maybe Mirrodin foils are the play?

Anyway, this wasn’t even intended to be the main body of the article, but it was so interesting it got its own half an article. I like when stuff I talked about before happens again, even though I don’t remember which article I covered these cards in and it would be so painstaking to find it, it’s literally easier to repeat myself. Besides, maybe you didn’t read the last one, so enjoy the this one.

Moving on to our main topic which will be, at most, as big as this side topic and likely smaller, we have a deck with data on EDHREC, so that’s cool.

I don’t know if people like this dude or the Asstarts or however you pronounce that, but they seem to like the deck, so let’s see what goes in it.

If you’re like me, you looked at the High Synergy cards before you read the massive wall of text on this stupid wizard rectangle and right now you’re trying to mentally work backward to how this commander works looking at a bunch of weird Red Tims and suspend cards and the 5th best card in the “loyal” cycle. What in the world?

Oh, so those suspend cards just get cascaded into by any spell, basically. That’s pretty rad since you can control the exact amount of damage you deal.

Seems like this foil is always in play and with just one more impetus for it to go up and the fact that most Ravnica Allegiance foils have rolled themselves into tubes by now, the supply will only get lower.

Compare Spewer to this card that got a rarity downshift and still flirted with $2. Not bad. Alchemist is obviously a much better card, but, you know, still.

Compare this to a card I confidently paid $8 a copy for release week.

Uncommons that get played a lot can be worth money in foil, even if a deeply stupid deck is where they’re mostly played. Magic finance is fun which is why I never bothered to learn to trade stocks.

Really expected this to tank more, but I’ll take it.

I know foils are mostly trash these days, but the foil is the same price as the non-foil and that’s an opportunity for you to either bet on foil or non-foil or hedge your bets and do both and conduct some A/B testing of your own. There’s no wrong way to invest in Wizard triangles because if I admit there is a wrong way you’ll start remembering my past mistakes and holding them against me and you not doing that for a decade has allowed me to quit working in a stinky laboratory so don’t start now, I have no idea what any of the instruments are anymore and I’m too old to go to back to college.

This is a lot to think about, but I also feel like I barely scratched the surface of Abaddon (more like abadcard amirite) and you can certainly look more into what a pretty unremarkable Grixis spellslinger deck, a very old concept, it truly is if you want. Check my work, I welcome it. Ping me in the Pro Trader Discord server sometime, I’ll always respond to a DM from a Pro Trader, I love to chat, I just don’t love to follow the threads. Discord is actually a massive source of stress for me, but DMs make me happy and make my overall Discord experience a lot better, actually, so hit me up. I don’t bite, I promise. Until next time!

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!