Category Archives: Unlocked ProTrader

Unlocked Pro Trader: Data Will Be Lata


We are currently in the very awkward period of time between the first few Baldur’s Gate cards being spoiled and having enough deck data to start to connect some dots, so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts about how these decks might likely be built in order to see if there is anything we can identify early. That’s not my favorite way to spec but we sometimes have a one week break between a set being released and the next set being spoiled and it’s fun to take advantage of that brief window in between releases so I don’t have time to focus on how the relentless pace of set releases coupled with my employing myself by making content about those releases on four different platforms is beginning to feel like a prison.

The good news, though, is that I am getting pretty decent at this. The bad news is that other people are, too, and anything that’s obvious is going to pop before I have a chance to tell you about it. It’s way too late to make money on these cards now, but if you had bought them years ago when I said to, you’d have them to sell to people paying outrageous prices for them, so I don’t feel that bad. There is plenty of money left to be made, but let’s examine the money we can’t make anymore unless we find a mispriced copy somewhere.

Raggadragga is an obvious pairing for a bunch of mana dorks, but people figured out right away that granting creatures a mana ability is a very easy way to upgrade them with Raggitydraggity and they responded by way overpaying for Citanul Hierophants, a card I have never stopped telling people they should play but no one listens to me because I said it in an article and not a YouTube video.

Rite wasn’t exactly cheap last week and this latest push is going to do quite a bit of damage to its price. If you’re holding when this peaks, I might shift out because a reprint could come any day now with 75 new EDH decks coming every 9 months.

The rest of the Raggadragga deck should be pretty easy to figure out.

People seem to be sleeping on Ashaya even though it does the same thing as Cryptolith Rite. It’s newer but the price has been pretty steady for a while, supply is what it is at this point and it’s a very good card in the deck. I think these under $10 are a slam dunk, but, again, there is nothing to indicate Raggadragga will be popular enough for anyone to make money on cards that aren’t so obvious that twitter figured it out in 5 minutes. I like Ashaya long-term but I recognize everything has never been easier to reprint.

To figure out what I think will be good with this card, I first searched Scryfall for Myriad to see how many creatures had it innately to see if it was worth picking any of them up.

Not seeing anything worthwhile, I went to EDHREC to see which cards paired with Blade of Selves.

The only things of interest to me here are Adeline, a card I said to buy last week and Delina, a near anagram of Adeline. This is what happens when you make 300 new Legendary creatures a year, their names become impossible to differentiate.

I like this card’s chances of hitting $5 given how much it has going for it. I think the closer to $1 you buy in, the better, obviously, but this card has already demonstrated a willingness and ability to hit $3 in recent memory and another push won’t be a bad thing.

This got cheap from Jumpstart, hasn’t gone up or down since and is pretty tempting to me right now. I like this as a pickup right now. I wish it had gotten cheaper, but Jumpstart got hit with some global supply chain issues and its weird, continuous release played havoc on prices. As soon as a Jumpstart pack yielded a copy, it was sucked up into the insatiable maw of the EDH community and no real impact was made. I think this is a card we need to pay more than $5 for and I also think it’s worth it, even with a reprint likely.

We do have some ‘REC data for this one.

This is basically exactly the same stuff spiked by Anhelo, but if you read that article and bought Worst Fears like I said, you’re feeling good about how they’re $6 a copy and climbing, I bet.

We seem to be in the beginning stages of the Thousand-Year Elixir Boom//Bust cycle, which is nice.

This probably doesn’t hit $30 again, but it’s very good and very cheap and you should consider buying these since they just tanked.

I think that when we get data, we’re bound to see some surprises but for me, the biggest surprise is that with the exception of myriad tribal and dragon tribal, these commanders don’t do anything particularly special and remind me of New Capenna and Strixhaven commanders. If you read me Anhelo and Zevlor’s text boxes in 2 months I bet I couldn’t tell you which one came from which set. That’s a problem, but we won’t solve it by grousing. So, go. Engage in some retail therapy. Buy some specs and cheer when they hit because EDH isn’t going anywhere for at least 6-12 more months. Thanks for reading – until next time!

Unlocked Pro Trader: Mopping Up


We covered a lot of what is going to matter from New Capenna and New Capenna EDH decks which is great because previews started today for another product already so I guess we’re done with New Capenna.

We hardly knew ya, but you live by the streets, you die by the streets. Filling the void in our lives created by New Capenna being printed, thus depriving us of the cavalcade of spoilers that have been giving our lives meaning. For what is content creation without an incessant stream of new products, and the announcement of Secret Lairs which will charge your credit card $3,000 like 6 months after you forget you ordered them?

Before we close the book on New Capenna, let’s take one final look at how the Commanders are doing in terms of popularity. Now that the set is a week old, I think it’s finally fair to put them in the “Tops decks of the last week” category rather than sorting by set. That’s right, New Capenna is all grown up and ready to join the full data set and be judged against it. I feel like a proud papa here. Like a proud papa, I took pics.

Raffine and Jetmir not being able to beat Prosper makes sense – Prosper is the face card in an EDH precon and it’s also a super boring and obvious deck. I rail against boring and obvious because that kind of stuff offends my tastes as a deckbuilder and I need to constantly remind myself that I rely upon boring stuff to actually make money at MTG Finance. It’s not gambling if you remember your fundamentals, so let’s pick some boring cards and get out of here, I guess. Boring doesn’t have to be bad.

Archmage is popping? Let’s make sure.

This is how long these things take, now. Emertitus has a lot of versions, the bordless version of which is the best, but the multiple versions and sheer volume of product being poured down the throats of the community and the new perverse incentive to gamble at $1,000 a hand instead of $100 like in the past in the form of collector booster boxes has created such a glut of good, new, non-mythic rares that it takes some real doing to get a card to move. This is on its way, and while you might not break off any $2 borderless copies, we now know approximately how long this takes now. If it’s information that helps us in the future remains to be seen.

I don’t have much to say here, but this seems like an $8 card gettable around $2 some places until all of the $2 copies are gone which could be soon. This is a messed up card, but 8 mana is becoming increasingly trivial in EDH these days.

Cards are getting lost in the shuffle at a pretty rapid rate here and I think things are getting missed. Like this, at $1, is just a better version of this

which took 2 reprints to knock below $5. I don’t think Rampy boy necessary hits $7, but it’s not in the regular set and it’s not a card anyone is talking about which means you can snapple cheap copies while people don’t care about it because there are literally too many cards to even read these days.

Hear me out – this $12 card is way too cheap right now. I know $12 looks like a lot but it’s actually not enough. This is a $20 card and I don’t see how they reprint it.

Midnight Vow and Crimson Hunt were out for 15 minutes, no one drafted them because of Covid, they released an overpriced premium Black and White product that EVERYONE hated and now there are a bunch of standard rares that probably go to $10. Adeline is a profoundly unfair Magic card and everyone missed it because by the time the set was spoiled, they started spoiling another one. Besides, everyone is so unfamiliar with those sets that you didn’t even noticed I switched the names Midnight Hunt and Crimson Vow around earlier in this paragraph. It would have been great to get these at $2 but I literally still thought this was like $5 because I haven’t checked on this set in over a month.

Commander Legends spoilers started today so I guess it’s back to the content mine to mine more content until I die of content lung when I’m 40. It’s not much, but it’s honest work and doesn’t take a physical toll on me, so there’s that. If you ever get bogged down by the sheer volume if it all, just remember that no one else can pay attention, either. You pick a card you feel good about, you buy low, and you sell high when no one even thinks about the set 2 weeks after it’s released. You don’t have to read every card, you only to read 1 if it’s the right card. Maybe next week we’ll talk about knowing which card is the right card. Until next time!

Unlocked Pro Trader: 5 Cards You Should Buy 2: Buy Harder

In answer of your first question, yes, you can in fact count on next week’s article to be titled “5 Cards You Should Buy 3: Buy Hard With a Vengeance” and I’m embarrassed for both of us that you even felt the need to question it.

Last week I adopted a kind of shorter format because I was eager to get right into the speccin’ and if you’re all into it, and I assume you are because no one complained, what if we just snapped off 5 very sexy specs (I had the phrase “sexy specs” in my head but I think it’s supposed to refer to eyeglasses) and called it a day? You aren’t paying me to feel that I write enough above the fold to not slam the paywall down on someone’s hands as they’re just coming to grips with my writing style, you’re paying me to give you some MTG Finance advice using EDHREC data which, and I can’t stress this enough, is publicly available.

Here is a quick look at the top decks from the New Capenna Commander set.

This week, taken on 5/10/22

For reference, here is what it looked like last week.

Last week, taken on 5/3/22

Pretty crazy stuff. This current list looks a lot more accurate and it shows that we should not be sleeping on Sphinxy boy. Let’s go there foist.

I don’t normally include this many high synergy cards, but it looks like just about every Will of the Council card is in play, even the bad ones.

Sphinx strike me down if I tell a lie, I would have sworn $20 was not the floor here but since it’s already hit that twice and rebounded, I’d say that if Expropriate gets cheaper than $20, there is no reason not to buy every copy and it’s staying where it is. If it gets another reprint, it’s hard to say whether that will hold true, but getting in for $25 on a card that I think easily goes to $40 and potentially beyond barring a reprint is almost as good as getting in at $20. I wanted to see where it would stop going down and it did that, now it’s time to take a hard look.

On the back of Tivit, Plea for Power is taking off, but it was on a nice trajectory before. If you can still get these for the old price, like in a bulk rare box where most of the copies of this card are, it’s going to $8 but who knows if it sticks there. This is the kind of spec I don’t love, so I won’t count it in your 5.

Second spikes are good. That’s all the analysis you get, this is a bonus pick, chill.

With the exception of the weird Orgg, these are all cards we had identified previously. This deck loves handing out hot potatoes and cards like Leveler and Eater of Days have always been weird cards that are $0.50 for a decade then $10 for a week. I think the less obvious but just as effective cards are good “late” specs because people already hoovered up the high synergy stuff but left some money on the table imo.

Eater is way more gettable at the old price than is something like Hellcarver Demon, but I also think that buying into hype is a bit loose. I think we’ll have better luck elsewhere.

Kamiz loves getting creatures through and doing stuff and the high synergy cards reflect that. Also, if you check the expansion symbols, all of these cards are in the precon. Awkward.

All of the top cards are in the precon. Super imaginative building, fam. I think sometimes cards from the precon get played more than they should, so I tried to steer people in a better direction by creating an EDHREC article section, a podcast, and a precon upgrade section. It is nothing if not gratifying to see the work I have done over the last 8 years make such a small dent in player behavior. I get that it’s tempting to leave the stuff from the precon in the deck because that’s 1 fewer other card you have to buy, but, come on.

I did find ONE juicy card. You notice the big spike on the graph in 2020? That was the card showing up in an episode of Game Knights. Kids, don’t spend 8 years trying to teach the world to build EDH decks, watch Game Knights and maybe you’ll get to those copies of Fervent Charge before anyone else. Or something. I like Game Knights, you should watch it if you’re not, like it or not, they inform a lot of how players build.

This card has fluctuated enough between $4 and $6 that I like it at its current price of “Still $6 a lot of places but not for long.” Cards that require you to deal combat damage or get in unblocked have never been my favorite and that’s why I never really noticed what a solid casual card this is. This has been expensive enough for long enough that it didn’t hang out in bulk rare boxes so the supply is the supply and it’s dwindling.

Treasure? In a treasure deck? It’s more likely than you might think.

This has demonstrated an ability to reach $7.50, a willingness to reach toward 10, and a third thing. I’m sorry, Usually I can lay down all of the structure for a decent sentence but this week is just letting me have it, so you get a weird bit instead of the other 1/3 of the information I wanted to impart. I’ll dumb it down – “LOOK GRAPH.” That was too dumb. “The shape of the graph indicates a second spike could be incoming and $5 is half of where I think it will end up, go nuts.” Better. But for real, look graph.

I don’t know if I have exactly 5 specs here and I apologize if that upsets you after I basically promised in the title I’d have 5, but maybe you didn’t like one of the specs and don’t consider it a real card in which case, I did what I said I would and you should go to therapy. I mean, everyone should, but I’m not the one pretending Magic cards don’t exist. Except Farewell, that card can – anyway, thanks for reading. Until next time!

Unlocked Pro Trader: Five Cards You Should Buy

Oof, what a day. I literally spent like 10 minutes on the title and this was the best thing I could come up with. To be clear, the part of my brain capable of looking at cards and deciding what is a good pick is intact, but the part of my brain where I words good doesn’t words good now. I’m not going full Kevin from The Office (the bad one that overstayed its welcome, not the British version that seems super racist if you go back and watch it now), but I’m potentially cutting some of my description of the cards. I think I found some specs that will make a good case for themselves and I can cut what is essentially ad copy. That said, I kind of wish I hadn’t done that article where I just showed 20 pictures because that would have been sweet to have this week but I don’t want to just rehash my old, great ideas like that. Who am I, The Office?

The thing is, I think the specs I have assembled mostly speak for themselves, so I can likely get away with letting them make the case for themselves. Oh, also I cheated and picked a playable Reserved List card that’s under $5, which is a thing that shouldn’t exist. Thinking about it now, that’s a silly lede to bury. Let’s just start this article off with a bang and talk about why a Reserved List card is $5 (I don’t know) and why it’s playable (I think I know). This will be sick.

Get it? It’s Oscar the Grouch. You know, from Zeitgeist. Old Grouchy over here has a pretty interesting ability, rewarding you for discarding cards, kind of, or at least breaking the parity of cards like Bottomless Pit. It isn’t just cards like that, which keep spiking because WotC hasn’t figured out that people hate cards like Tergrid. Here is what I DO like.

This card, which spiked to $17 because bitcoin got pricey, is suddenly applicable in a deck people might play. Copies are drying up to the extent that there were a lot of $5 copies of this card after buylist hit $15 a year ago. If you can get this under $20, you are buying a card that has demonstrated its ability to get to $20 for no reason and now you’re buying it for a reason. I don’t know how much Oskar gets built, but no one was playing Oskar in 2019, so…

Speaking of Discard outlets, this erstwhile $30 card is on the Reserved List as well. It’s not the $10 it was after the bitcoin buyers but it’s still a very playable RL card and it’s bonkers in Oskar, a deck that might very well get built. This is a Reserved List card that is insanely powerful and it’s under $30, I think this seems like an easy pickup.

Card Kingdom was charging more than everyone else for this card and now they’re sold out. I don’t know if there is a clearer signal that this card is on its way to $15. I love this as a pickup. One caveat – Attunement isn’t quite as powerful as Argothian Wurm or Herald of Serra and it’s not on the Reserved List meaning this will never be $50 because they’ll dump it in a secret lair or something, but snatching these for $8 is cheating and you know it.

Art notwithstanding, this is the most popular EDH deck commander right now.

Welp, I was going to talk about this last week, but I missed the boat. With a week between articles, sometimes cards get missed and I am not sure how to best handle that. If you have any ideas, hit me up in the Pro Trader Discord or on Twitter and let me know. I feel bad that I didn’t say anything in time on this despite having identified it, but there are so many other cards that it shouldn’t matter.

For whatever reason, people keep playing this card and it already demonstrated it can go to twice what it costs right now, and it’s in the most popular deck from the precons, I think this seems like a safe bet.

I think there are a lot of cards from the EDH decks that could make older cards go up and I can’t get to all of them now. I think you can look through the EDHREC pages yourself, fortunately, but if you don’t, I’ll be back next week with more gas. Until next time!