Category Archives: Watchtower

Blue Foils for the Win

Have you ever identified such a compelling speculation target that you’ve dreamed about it – perhaps in nightmare where you missed the opportunity and now the price has gone soaring? I recently had a bad dreams about Double Masters 2022 (2X2) booster boxes, which at the time were prices around $255 per box – a week later were up to $320 per box. Fortunately, after this dream I was smart (or dumb) enough to purchase several cases of 2X2, which are currently on track to be very profitable! While I have not yet had a dream about my first pick yet, that’s likely because I already took out a sizable position on it due to it being my first 10/10 confidence level selection. 

One factor I often use when evaluating potential selections is by looking at the quantity and type sold for any given card on, which can be very illuminating. Typically, non-foil versions sell at a greater frequency for most cards, especially for products with collector boosters producing a large quantity of foils. But there are of course always exceptions to this rule. One exception is cards in many EDH decks that also have a limited number of foil printings. This is especially true for first time foils, for example Carpet of Flowers, which was first printed in foil in a Secret Lair Artist Series: Johannes Voss. This first-time foil started out at around $30 and continued to grow over time to $60 today. When combined with the other contents of this drop, this Secret Lair has doubled up in value in just one year.

I believe my first pick will replicate the success of Carpet of Flowers, if not more.

Secret Lair Kelogsloops Foil Edition – Including First Time Foil Mystic Remora

Price today: $39.99 plus tax
Possible price: $80 in 12 months
Confidence: 10/10

Mystic Remora is included in 117,989 decks on EDHREC, which is two and a half times as many decks as Carpet of Flowers. This is despite zero reprints until this new Secret Lair – in any form – which will finally put more eyes on the card. Impressive. The original printing of Mystic Remora from Ice Age was cheap for a long time, but over the last few years it had begun to climb to over $10. Absent this reprint, it would have been a $20 card in a hurry, and I think it still is on this trajectory given a little more time. Having a strong non-foil price is important to give foil copies a solid foundation to establish a favorable foil-multiplier. I expect foil Mystic Remora’s to start off reasonably expensive and begin climbing even higher after months of supply draining out.

The rest of this Secret Lairs’ contents are very solid as well, which is why I recommend the entire drop instead of buying singles post-release. This drop also includes Burgeoning, Utopia Sprawl, and Retreat to Coralhelm, plus any unexpected bonus card.  In particular, Burgeoning is a very solid reprint based on its inclusion in 30,000 EDHREC decks and current $20 non-foil price tag. Burgeoning’s current foil price of $70 doesn’t seem like a realistic comparison, considering it’s from the 2016 release Conspiracy: Take the Crown, but still, the foils should do well.

Lastly, the art of this drop is amazing, and it’s borderless to boot. This Secret Lair is firing on all cylinders and is about as close to a sure bet that we’ve seen in a Secret Lairs for a long time, assuming no other reprints of these cards in the short term.

Rhystic Study (Unstable Harmonics): Secret Lair Foil

Price today: $30
Possible price: $60 in 18 months
Confidence: 8/10

Everyone knows Rhystic Study is an S tier staple in EDH. It’s included in nearly 200,000 decks on EDHREC and is often featured by key content producers who focus on the Commander format. What you might not know is that the only affordable foil version of this card is starting to dry up fast. when the Unstable Harmonics version of Rhystic Study first hit the market, there were large bricks available as far as the eye could see. Vendors had 20, 30, 60 copies available for sale – and for a moment the price fell below $30/copy. But from June 1-20, 150 near mint foil copies have sold on There are still a few vendors with bricks available, including one with 48 copies, but it’s significantly less than a month ago and it’s only a matter of time until this version of Rhystic Study begins climbing significantly in price. Its current foil competition is the Commander’s Arsenal version which is $75 for a light played foil or closer to $100 for a near mint version. While it’s unlikely that this new Secret Lair version will catch up with a 10-year-old foil, it should be much closer to this foil version than the none foils, which is where it stands right now. I would wait until this card is officially crushed out of 2X2, before picking up your copies just to be safe. After that, it seems like this foil should be a solid steady gainer moving forward.

Spellseeker – Judge Foil

Price today: $80
Possible price: $150 in 12 months
Confidence: 7/10

Spellseeker is an incredible EDH card, providing a solid tutor effect on a body that can be repeated if flickered. It is in 36,000 EDHREC decks, including six percent of all blue decks. The only non-foil printing of this card is around $35, setting a high price starting point for the foil multiplier. This judge promo originally began circulating in early 2020, so we should be near the tail-end of supply. In April 2022, the price for the judge promo climbed to over $150, with a few selling at $200, before falling back to its present level. While fleeting, this highlights the solid potential of this version of the card. Given another year, I believe this card can once again become a $150+ card. While the original foil Battlebond version is slightly cheaper at the moment, that hasn’t held back other similarly positioned cards, and I don’t think it will be able to contain Spellseeker either.  

Aged to Perfection

It’s normal to focus one’s attention on upcoming sets to look for the next big thing. Everywhere you look content creators are focused on new sets and the reasons are obvious. Content creators want your attention, and nothing keeps the public’s attention like a shiny new object. Yet when it comes to producing reliable returns, often the predictable and boring leads the way.

It has been a little over one year since Strixhaven, Commander 2021, and Modern Horizons 2 released. While a little boring, and repetitive, looking back on these sets with additional data and hindsight provides a great environment to begin cheaply stocking up on key commander staples at prices not previously thought possible. Supply on these sets is still deep enough to suppress prices while giving you the ability to buy “bricks”, i.e. large quantities, which is my favored approach. This is especially true for commander products – whose single prices remain extremely suppressed while pre-constructed decks are still in print and widely available. As you approach the end of a product being in print, typically around two years, prices tend to rise as supply starts to diminish and others begin to see the writing on the wall. Here are a few cards from about a year ago that I believe are set up for long-term success going forward.

Modern Horizons 2: Sword of Hearth and Home

Price today: $9
Possible price: $25
Confidence: 9/10

The sword cycle has been highly successful and profitable over the years. The most recent example was the Sword of Truth and Justice, which at one point was only $9 and has since climbed to $25, in spite of modest reprint. Even its counterpart the Sword of Sinew and Steel was on track to post sold gains despite modest play patterns, moving from $8 to $13, only to have its growth stifled by the reprint in Modern Horizons 2. Despite only being out for one year, the Sword of Hearth and Home is on track to soon eclipse the EDHREC numbers of both the Swords of Truth and Justice plus Sinew and Steel together. That is impressive. While the supply is abundant right now, that will quickly change once Modern Horizon 2 goes out of print. This card has hovered around $10 for a while, but I don’t think it will last. Absent a reprint, this card will no doubt present an easy double up, and likely more going forward.

Commander 2021: Archaeomancer’s Map

Price today: $10
Possible price: $20
Confidence: 7/10

White has gotten a lot of good cards lately, but Archaeomancer’s Map was one of the first cards that started this trend. It’s a strong card that provides card draw and ramp in white – albeit conditional on its opponent’s actions. Despite being a little narrow due to its requirement of several basic plains, it has still has found a home in 8% of white EDHREC decks, with 34,000 inclusions total. The staying power of this card can be seen when contrasted with Monologue Tax from the same set, which is in half the number of decks and its price has collapsed to just a few dollars. Sales for Archaeomancer’s Map remain strong – only the affordable unlimited supply of Commander 2021 decks is holding it back which can’t last forever. Additionally, as the power of white in the color pie grows, this card could also see additional play because it will become easier to run white as a primary rather than as a support color.

Strixhaven: Wandering Archaic

Price today: $5
Possible price: $12
Confidence: 8/10

Right out of the gate, everyone believed Wandering Archaic was good and it’s launch price reflected that. For a long while, this card hovered between $6 to $7 dollars, but recently Wandering Archaic dipped to about $5, which is a significant discount from where it started. The card provides a relatively unique effect in a colorless card – something that Wizards of the Coast has publicly stated they are moving away from going forward. It’s also double sided, providing some flexibility, although no one is running it for the back half. It’s included in over 34,000 decks on EDHREC, which represents about 3% of all decks. This isn’t spectacular as a percentage, but it doesn’t need to be when the card is colorless. Supply is fairly deep due to continued mass box openings of Strixhaven by large vendors (which is surprising), so there is no rush, but once supply is cut off this card will likely rebound quickly based on its strong daily sales.

Not-So-New Capenna

The way that EDHREC sorts cards can be a little misleading sometimes, because it pushes multicoloured cards, that aren’t necessarily the most popular in terms of raw numbers, to the top of the standings due to their percentage inclusion in decks. This can be useful depending on what you’re looking for, but it does mean that some of the more popular cards that go into a lot of different decks get listed further down – so we have to use our brains a little more.

No matter, that’s what I’m here for – to help you decipher which cards you should really be looking to put money into and which might be red herrings.

I’m writing this article specifically about Streets of New Capenna, because this set is a prime example of having a huge number of multicoloured cards topping the EDHREC standings for percentage inclusion. There’s no doubt that cards like Void Rend and Riveteers Ascendancy are great, but they can draw our attention away from cards like Professional Face-Breaker that are going into more decks than both of those combined.

Halo Fountain

Price today: $4
Possible price: $15

I quite like picking up regular versions of Halo Fountain right now (not to be confused with Hallowed Fountain) – it’s one of the most popular Mythics from the set, and yet doesn’t have a price tag to match. Bootleggers’ Stash is in a little over a thousand decks more (5.3k vs 4k) listed on EDHREC, but is running up at $18 compared to the $4 we’re seeing for Halo Fountain. Yes, it’s a card that goes in a wider variety of decks, and yes green > white, but the numbers on Fountain are still pretty strong here and I wouldn’t discount it at all.

It’s going to be an incredibly popular casual card just because of the “win the game” clause on it, but even aside from that it’s just quite a good card in token/go-wide decks. Make creatures, draw cards, maybe win the game (especially if you’re playing some decent Convoke cards), and I think we’re onto a winner.

$4 for a popular mythic feels like a good buy here, and I wouldn’t sniff at the Borderless foils for $12 either – they could easily see a double up or more given enough time.

Rabble Rousing (FEA)

Price today: $3
Possible price: $10

Another white token-based card? Sure, why not. In the right kind of deck (and why would you be playing this in the wrong kind of deck?) I think that you could realistically be pulling out the card you hid away on the turn you drop this, or at the very least the turn after, and even once you’ve done that you’re still getting value from the enchantment afterwards.

Hiding away some big convoke spell or a Craterhoof Behemoth in your tokens decks seems pretty good, and although five mana is a reasonable investment for this card, you are getting immediate value from it and it’s probably not scary enough to meet an immediate removal spell, so you’re going to keep getting incremental gains from it as well.

Nearly 3500 decks recorded playing this on EDHREC makes me think that $3 FEAs are a good deal right now, especially considering the fact that regular non-foils are around $1. These could easily buylist for $7-8 down the road, and probably retail a good deal higher than that if you’re patient.

David Sharman (@accidentprune on Twitter) has been playing Magic since 2013, dabbling in almost all formats but with a main focus on Modern and EDH. Based in the UK, he’s an active MTG finance speculator specialising in cross-border arbitrage.

Neon Cycles

With Streets of New Capenna having been out for nearly a month now, and previews for Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate well underway, I want to take a look back at Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty. A lot of cards from that set have found homes in a lot of different EDH decks, and I’ve actually been surprised at the adoption rate or some of the cards I wouldn’t have thought to be that popular. Let’s see if you feel the same way…

Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance (Borderless Foil)

Price today: $10
Possible price: $25

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about Boseiju, Otawara and Takenuma before now, but the red cards in these cycles do seem to often get neglected. They may be less exciting and flashy, and so the adoption rate and price drags a little, but I think that just makes them a better opportunity for us. Sokenzan isn’t as powerful as some of the other lands in the set, but it can still easily replace a Mountain in your mono-red (or even multi-colour deck) for very little deck-building cost, giving you that extra little boost of creatures to use however you see fit.

Taking a look at EDHREC numbers, Boseiju takes the crown at over 31k decks, followed by Otawara, Takenuma, Eiganjo and then Sokenzan bringing up the rear. What’s quite interesting is that Otawara is in around 25k decks, but Borderless foils will run you over $40 – four times that of Sokenzan, but in just double the number of decks. Admittedly, Otawara sees more play in Modern, but I think this still indicates that Sokenzan is underpriced right now.

I think that the Borderless foils are the most exciting version of this not-very-exciting card, and can currently be had for around $10 on TGCPlayer. FEAs are running a lot lower around $4, with worse art and a higher supply. There are around 40 listings of Borderless foils right now, almost all single copies and still selling at least a couple a day, so those copies won’t last much longer with little more supply due to fill in the gaps.

Junji, the Midnight Sky (Borderless Foil)

Price today: $28
Possible price: $50

Another Borderless foil for you: Junji, the Midnight Sky. Again we’re not looking at the most popular of the dragons from this cycle here, but this time the second best – or at least, the second most played right now. I do actually think that it’s the best of the cycle; the red one – Atsushi, the Blazing Sky – is very strong too but I think that Junji has more flexibility and can slot into a wider variety of decks whilst still being able to make a big impact on any boardstate.

The drain effect on Junji might not quite stack up to the level of a Kokusho, the Evening Star, but forcing each of your opponents to discard two cards is very strong – especially if you start reanimating and re-sacrificing this dragon (which you definitely should be doing). Also having the option to reanimate a different creature when this one hits the graveyard gives the card another axis of attack, all the while having Flying and Menace to put the pain to your enemies and force them to deal with it – giving you another death trigger, which is exactly what you want.

Borderless foils of Junji are expensive for a standard set card that doesn’t really see play outside of EDH – but the price hasn’t been any cheaper than this and I don’t think it’s likely to get much cheaper than this any time soon. Supply on TCGPlayer is around 25 listings, and I don’t think it will be long at all before this is a $40 card. $50 won’t be too far off after that and as a Borderless foil Mythic the sky could really be the limit here.

David Sharman (@accidentprune on Twitter) has been playing Magic since 2013, dabbling in almost all formats but with a main focus on Modern, Pioneer and EDH. Based in the UK, he’s an active MTG finance speculator specialising in cross-border arbitrage.