Category Archives: Watchtower

Commander Horizons 2

People always joke about every Masters set being “Commander Masters”, and although we got a swathe of excellent Modern cards in MH2, there are also some EDH gems in there too – both reprints and new cards. As expected, Europe is being sluggish on the EDH cards and I think that now is prime time to be looking at some arbitrage opportunities from the set, as well as some pickups that are still solid value on the US side of the pond.

Cabal Coffers (Borderless)

Price in Europe: €23 ($27)
Price in US: $35
Possible price: $50

Cabal Coffers went so long without a reprint that it got to the point where it seemed like every upcoming set was sure to have it, until we finally got it in MH2. Bear in mind that this is the first reprint in eleven years; the last time we saw this card was back in Planechase, with only two small printings (original Torment and then an FNM promo) before that. With that in mind, there will have been a huge number of players priced out of this card – which peaked over $150 earlier this year – who are sure to have snapped up their copies with the release of the new set.

Bear in mind this is a card listed in over 35,000 decks on EDHREC, and I suspect that number would be closer to 50k if the card hadn’t been so prohibitively expensive these past few years. Every mono-black deck should definitely be running this, and it’s still very good in two/three colour decks too, especially when you have dual lands with basic land types on them. Add an Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth into the mix and you’re really off to the races!

MH2 has given us three new versions: regular and etched foil with the original art, and a borderless version with gorgeous new artwork. I’m a big fan of picking up the borderless versions in Europe here, as they’re a good chunk cheaper than those on the US market and in much more plentiful supply. Considering that the regular MH2 versions are already $21+ on TCGPlayer, I think that $27 for the borderless printing is a bit of a steal.

Mirari’s Wake (Borderless Foil)

Price in Europe: €11 ($13)
Price in US: $20
Possible price: $40

Moving onto another very popular EDH card, Mirari’s Wake is another reprint with some stunning new artwork – in my opinion, the best one we’ve got by quite a wide margin now. I’ve held some of these and the borderless foils really pop in person, much more so than most of the other printings out there. The original Judgement artwork is still a great one, but good luck finding any of those foils at a reasonable price!

Mirari’s Wake is just a generically good card in any EDH deck that can run it, and even forgetting the infinite combos you can set up with your lands tapping for double mana, the card provides a huge boon to token decks, enchantment decks and more. As a lover of shiny things I know I might be slightly biased, but I know that if I had an old Mirari’s Wake in any of my decks then I’d definitely be wanting to upgrade to the borderless foil.

The borderless foils are going for around €11/$13 on CardMarket in Europe at the moment, and I really think that’s far too cheap on any length horizon, especially if you’re going to be selling them in the US. TCGPlayer’s floor is already at $20, and I fully expect that to increase quite a bit over the next 6-12 months. Before this reprint, the Commander’s Arsenal foils were almost $40, and the (far superior) Conspiracy and Judge promo foils were around $80, so I don’t think that $40 from this is too much to ask. Even if you’re picking up the $20 copies on TCGPlayer I think you’re going to do well; even if we see another Commander set printing of the card, it’s unlikely to be in foil.

Patriarch’s Bidding (Foil)

Price today: $5
Possible price: $20

Finishing things off today with a slightly more niche, but nevertheless very popular EDH card, Patriarch’s Bidding was given its first ever reprint in Modern Horizons since the card’s first printing all the way back in Onslaught (not counting the WCD versions, which don’t exactly add much to the supply on top of being gold bordered and not in foil). With that in mind, I think that the new foils from MH2 being $5 is murderously cheap, and time will prove that true.

Although only being in around 6000 decks listed on EDHREC (relatively little compared to our other two cards today), Patriarch’s Bidding is an auto-include in any tribal deck running black – reanimating everything in your graveyard for just five mana is pretty great, and as long as your opponents aren’t also running tribal decks then it’s likely to be fairly one-sided most of the time.

With around 68 NM foil listings on TCGPlayer right now, the majority of those are single copies and so I don’t think it’s going to be too long before a lot of those drain out. The etched foils are much cheaper but far less desirable, and any magpies are definitely going for the set foils over the etched. Europe has these a little cheaper too at around $3-4, but the $5 copies in the US are definitely good enough for specs too. The reprint (as expected really) has barely caused a dip in the original foils, so I wouldn’t hunt there unless you want that extra EDH bling.

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

Modern Problems Require Modern Solutions

The Modern meta has settled down a little bit compared to where it was a few weeks ago, right after Modern Horizons 2 was released, but there are still new decks popping up and continual meta shifts that make for some excellent spec hunting. Today I’m looking at some of the fresher pieces of tech that seem to be surfacing in the format, and I think there are some great opportunities around.

Persist (Retro foil)

Price today: $3
Possible price: $10

Some hot new tech is on the scene in Modern, this time in the form of a new build of the Amulet Titan deck. There’s a black-green version of the deck using Unmarked Grave and Persist to dump a Titan into the graveyard and reanimate it for another angle of attack that isn’t just hard-casting your 6/6. This iteration of the deck doesn’t seem to have quite overtaken the regular build just yet, but it’s put up multiple 5-0 performances in Modern leagues and looks like a serious contender.

On top of its performance in this deck, Persist is a relatively popular EDH card from MH2, in nearly 2000 decks listed on EDHREC so far. If you’re wanting a bunch of reanimation spells in your deck then this is a good one to go for – it’s cheap, permanent and doesn’t hit your life total, so although it can’t hit Legendary creatures I think it’s still a great option (and with the big things you’re likely to be reanimating, the -1/-1 counter probably isn’t going to matter much).

There’s both a retro foil and sketch version of Persist, and I think that the retro foil is by far the best option. The old border is gorgeous on black cards especially, and the regular and sketch versions of this just don’t cut it. Retro foils are sitting around $3 on TCGPlayer at the moment, which is definitely too low even on a shorter timeline. 6-12 months out this is a $10+ card, and the retro foils could go a good chunk higher in the future without a reprint.

Void Mirror (Retro Foil)

Price today: $4
Possible price: $10-15

The Crashing Footfalls deck is still a force to be reckoned with at the top of the Modern metagame, and so people have been looking for new cards in order to fight against it. One of the more popular choices recently has been Void Mirror, which counters any spells cast without coloured mana – i.e. anything that you cascade into with Shardless Agent, Violent Outburst etc. A large proportion of the top decks are using this as a sideboard card to combat Footfalls and Living End, and it’s one of the best cards of its kind that we’ve had.

We have both a retro foil and extended art version of Void Mirror, but the retro foil is the clear winner here. Artifacts always look best in the old border, and that’s going to bear out as supply starts to drain. We’re looking at around 50 TCG listings for NM foils, and I think that anything under $5 is a decent pickup at this point to hit $10-15 depending on how popular the free spells decks continue to be in the format.


Price today: $12
Possible price: $25

A lot of the free Elementals have been big hits across the Modern format since their printing in MH2, with Endurance currently leading the pack as one of the best sideboard cards across a lot of different decks. That’s been reflected in its price, being the most expensive of the cycle at the moment – but I think that might change soon having had a look at the popularity of Fury right now.

While Endurance is being utilised as a great sideboard card across multiple different decks, Fury is being played as a maindeck four-of in Elementals, Crashing Footfalls and mono-red amongst others. Despite this high amount of play, regular copies are still around $12 – less half that of Endurance – and that’s got to change soon if this amount of play keeps up (which I think it will).

People buying these for Modern are going to be picking them up four at a time, so supply is likely to drain relatively well compared to, say, an EDH-only card. I think that Fury (along with the other elementals from MH2) is likely to be a player in the format for a long time to come, so if you want your personal copies then now is as good a time as any to pick them up, and some spec copies alongside are sure to be a good bet.

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

Are There Any Good White Cards?

White has pretty much always been the weakest colour in Magic, and although Wizards have said that they’ve been working on giving the colour some more power, it does seem to be coming in dribs and drabs. That being said, there are still some good cards to be had in white, and some of them even make good specs – so let’s see what we can find.

Ephemerate (Retro Foil)

Price today: $2.50
Possible price: $10

With the continued popularity of the Elementals deck in Modern, Ephemerate has become more and more popular in the format, almost always seen as a four-of in the tribal deck and sometimes played in Stoneblade decks too. I think that it’s the best blink effect we have in Magic now, and as such is also in nearly 13,000 EDH decks on EDHREC – not to mention its popularity in Pauper too. It’s a good card and it’s here to stay.

Even since its printing in MH1 a couple of years ago, we’ve had a few different versions presented to us since then: regular, Mystery Booster, Mystical Archive and now retro foil. That is quite a few different printings for a common, but really I think that we should only be looking at the two most premium versions – the retro foil and the JPN alt art Mystical Archive foils. Now the JPN Mystical Archive printings are already close to $25 (and rightly so; they’re gorgeous compared to their global art counterparts), but the retro foils are still somewhat languishing around the $2-3 mark.

I don’t think that price is correct in the mid to long term, both because of the wide playability and popularity of the card and the amount of supply there is. Some people will just prefer this version to others and some will be priced out of the Mystical Archive printings, but either way there are only 31 NM foil listings on TCGPlayer right now, and not many more over in Europe. This is prime time to pick up personal copies and a good opportunity to hunt for all the sub-$4 copies you can find – give it 6-12 months and I think this is easily a $10 card.

Teleportation Circle (FEA)

Price today: $4
Possible price: $15

On the theme of flickering things, Teleportation Circle has caught my eye as one of the best white cards for EDH out of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. Enter-the-battlefield effects have always, and will always, be incredibly popular in EDH, both because you generally want your cards to do something immediately rather than give three players a chance at removing it before you might get to use it, and because cards like Brago, King Eternal and Yorion, Sky Nomad exist as commanders.

We’ve seen time and time again how popular Conjurer’s Closet is; every time it gets reprinted the price tanks and then creeps back up and up – and Circle is a whole mana cheaper! Even though it puts you into white, most of the decks that are doing that sort of thing put you into white anyway, and Teleportation Circle even hits artifacts as well as creatures, so it’s just an easy shoe-in.

There are around 30 FEA listings on TCGPlayer at the moment, which honestly isn’t a huge amount compared to some of the other rares from the set – even Circle of Dreams Druid has more listings than that. I think that this is going to be a popular card in any kinda of flicker/ETB deck going forwards, and any white deck that’s got Conjurer’s Closet in is going to be playing this one too.

Castle Ardenvale (FEA)

Price today: $20
Possible price: $50

Yes, I know, it’s technically not a white card…but it’s going in white decks and I think it’s a good buy, so I’m bending the rules for my last pick this week! We’ve already seen some of the other utility lands from Throne of Eldraine head moon-wards – Castle Garenbrig, Locthwain and Vantress are all $50+ FEAs, and I think that Ardenvale is going to be the next one to go. In nearly 15,000 EDH decks listed on EDHREC, it’s a little behind the 20k+ of the aforementioned lands, but nevertheless a very popular EDH card as well as being utilised in a variety of Modern and Pioneer decks.

Currently sat around $20, there are only 12 TCG listings for NM FEAs, with almost all of those just being single copies. It’s a similar story over in Europe, with no real arbitrage available here, which means that supply really is quite drained at this point. We’re almost two years out from the release of Eldraine (although it feels like five), and I don’t see any more FEA supply incoming any time soon for these cards, so I think that Castle Embereth is worth a look at too, and might be a decent pickup at $10 for a slightly longer hold.

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

Treasure Hunting

Adventures in the Forgotten Realms gave us quite a few new toys to play with in terms of Treasure use and generation, and it’s started to become a more popular theme amongst the EDH crowd. I was going to just write about AFR cards today, but instead figured that there are some much better options in other recent sets as well, so we’ve got a good range of Treasure-related goodness for you to plunder today!

Xorn (Showcase Foil)

Price today: $3
Possible price: $10

I think that a lot of the Showcase cards from AFR are being undervalued at the moment, with a lot of the value from the set being stored in the Mythics and Borderless cards. Some of the most popular EDH cards (and cards in general) have Showcase versions as their premium printing though, and so I think that now is a good time to be looking at buying some of them.

We got a lot of new tech for Treasures in AFR, and have seen cards like Revel in Riches spike as a result. A lot of the time Xorn reads “double your Treasures”, which can turn into a lot of mana very quickly and/or make for nice interactions with ‘artifacts matter’ cards and the like. In fact we have enough cards that make and interact with Treasures now that you can build a whole EDH deck around them, and I can bet you that Xorn is going in every single one – it’s currently the top red card from the set at 1600 EDH decks on EDHREC, and the third most popular card overall.

There are only 30 listings for NM foils of the Showcase version on TCGPlayer at the moment, with almost all of them being under $5. I really don’t think that that price is going to be correct in 6-12 months, and $10+ is likely to happen sooner or later. I don’t see Wizards reprinting these DnD Showcase versions again any time soon, so you’ll be safe on that front for a while to come.

Academy Manufactor (EA Foil)

Price today: $10
Possible price: $25

Another of the best Treasure-generators that we’ve seen recently is Academy Manufactor, and this is one that also makes Clues and Food for you as well, meaning that your artifact count is going to go through the roof pretty quickly with anything that makes any of these tokens. Not really much of a Modern card out of Modern Horizons 2, but I guess not everything can find a place in that format. Not to worry though, Manufactor is one of the most popular EDH cards from the set, just missing out on a top 10 spot at number 11 on EDHREC (going by raw number inclusion rather than percentage).

EA foils are already running in lower supply; we’re over two months out from MH2’s release now and copies are starting to dwindle away. MKM does have some EA foils a good bit cheaper at around the $5 mark, but there aren’t many listings there either. I don’t know if we’re going to get another wave of MH2 product, but if we do then I’ll likely just be using it as another opportunity to buy these slightly cheaper again. Either way, I think the outlook on Manufactor is pretty strong, and 12 months out this should be a $25+ card.

Magda, Brazen Outlaw (Showcase Foil)

Price today: $7
Possible price: $20

For our last pick today, we’re going all the way back to Kaldheim – which was admittedly only six months ago, but we’ve had six different product releases since then along with a whole slew of new announcements, and so it does feel like it’s been quite a while. Magda, Brazen Outlaw has become quite popular both as a commander and part of the 99 in Treasure-themed decks as well as Dwarf tribal builds, and the Showcase foils have been creeping up in price.

You don’t even need to be doing Dwarf things to make Magda good – so long as you’re reliably generating treasures, you can go and search up dragons to your heart’s content and start swinging. She does quite a lot for two mana, and although can be quite a fragile creature, that hasn’t stopped her popularity. We’re down to just 22 listings for Showcase foils on TCGPlayer, and a similar number over on MKM albeit at slightly reduced prices.

I like snapping off a few copies here and looking to flip within the next few months or so – although I don’t think that we’ll see this Showcase version reprinted any time soon, this should be a relatively quick spec to mature and you can move your money on into other things.

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