Category Archives: Watchtower

Commander Legends Draining

It’s already been four months since Commander Legends was released, and supply is continuing to run thinner and thinner. Despite a couple of restocks of Collector Boosters here and there we haven’t seen a lot of those singles injected into the market, meaning that prices are only going up on the most sought-after EDH cards.

Cards like Jeweled Lotus and Hullbreacher are already very expensive in EA and FEA, but there are still some good deals to be had on a lot of the ‘tier two’ cards from the set, that I think will be the next ones to pop.

Akroma’s Will (EA/FEA)

Price today: $7/$18
Possible price: $15/$35

I’ve talked before about white needing as much help as it can get in EDH, and this is a card that really pulls its weight. It’s the second most popular card from Commander Legends, and fits into just about any white deck you’d like to put it in. The flexibility and power level it provides means that it can boost your creatures and really go over the top to launch your opponents into the sun on a final attack, as well as being able to protect them from pretty much anything – or both!

EA copies are currently around $7 on TCGPlayer and €4 on MKM, whilst foils will run you $18 or €18. I’m actually more of a proponent of the regular EA copies here, because I think that they have the potential for a higher multiplier than the FEA version. I could see the $7 copies being $15-20 in 6-12 months, whilst the FEAs will probably land somewhere between $30-40 in the same timeframe.

The supply is lower on the FEAs, but not by as much as you’d expect – there are 33 non-foil listings and 27 foil listings. I think this likely has to do with the bad curling issues on CMR foils, causing a lot of players to opt for the non-foils instead (but if you want to uncurl your foils, check out our article on it here).

Apex Devastator (EA/FEA)

Price today: $15/$55
Possible price: $30/$100

I’m honestly not sure how good Apex Devastator is in EDH, but I don’t think that it being really good is quite the point of playing the card. “Cascade, cascade, cascade, cascade” is quite the text to stick on a card, and it’s definitely something that is a lot of fun to play with. One of the best things about Cascade is that even if your 10-drop gets countered, you’re still going to get all of those triggers regardless. I’m also a huge fan of the clean textbox on the EA and FEA versions, just having those four words with nothing else to distract.

At just over 2000 EDH decks it’s not the most popular card, but its Mythic rarity means that there are much fewer copies around than any rares, and so the price is going to jump a lot faster than it might do otherwise. Calling the FEA from $55 to $100 here might be a slightly bold claim, but honestly I think that it’s going to get there at some point in the not-too-distant future.

There are a total of twenty copies on TCGPlayer, and only seven of those are under $60 – I think that those ones are ripe for the picking, and should head up towards $100 within the next 6-12months. That will in turn push the regular EA copies up along with them, heading for $30 or more in the same timeframe.

Commander’s Plate (FEA)

Price today: $40
Possible price: $80

Rounding things off with another Mythic FEA today, you have to scroll down the EDHREC page a little bit to find this one because it’s an artifact and the cards are sorted by inclusion percentage rather than raw numbers. Despite that, it’s in almost 3000 decks listed, which puts it right up there with some of the most popular cards from the set. Costing only one mana to play and three to equip to your commander is pretty cheap for such a strong effect, especially if you’re jamming it onto a mono-coloured or colourless Legend.

My comments about Apex Devastator’s rarity ring just as true for Commander’s Plate, and with only 19 FEA listings on TCGPlayer I expect to see the price pushing up and up over the next few months. This is actually one of the few CMR FEAs that have some slightly cheaper copies in Europe, with a few available around €30-35 (~$35-40). There aren’t a lot so you’ll have to be quick, but I think that it’s a decent arbitrage opportunity to squeeze some extra dollars out of your spec if you’re able to leverage it.

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 and a new writer for MTGPrice in 2020, he’s an active MTG finance speculator specialising in cross-border arbitrage.

Modern Problems Require Modern Solutions

Due to the current global pandemic I’ve generally stayed away from talking about cards for competitive formats, other than cards that I like for longer holds and big potential gains. With vaccinations being rolled out worldwide though, we may start to get in-store play and maybe even some smaller tournaments by the end of the year.

With this in mind, I think that it’s a good time to start taking a look at some of the cards that are going to be in high demand, short supply or both when players are wanting to buy new decks or change and upgrade old ones. Modern is going to be the main format affecting card prices here, but Pioneer is a consideration to bear in mind as well.

Monastery Swiftspear (Foil)

Price in Europe: €6/8 ($7/$9.50)
Price in US: $11/$16
Possible price: $20

Monastery Swiftspear has pretty much been a Modern staple since its first printing in Khans of Tarkir, all the way back in 2014. Since then we’ve seen it utilised in all sorts of different aggressive decks, from Burn to Death’s Shadow to Prowess Blitz, and as such it’s been the number one most popular creature in Modern for a while now. A hasty one drop that stays relevant even late in the game and is pretty much always a good top-deck is very strong indeed, and I find it hard to imagine a Modern metagame where this isn’t at the forefront of the format.

Since the first printing we’ve only had one other foil in IMA until very recently, where we’ve got the new Secret Lair printing (with new art) and the old-border foil that’s coming in Time Spiral Remastered. However, despite there now being four different foils, there are caveats that need discussing. The TSR old border foils are going to be incredibly hard to come by and very expensive because of that, and so acquiring the playset that you need for Modern is going to set you back a fair bit, and isn’t going to be a viable option for a lot of people. The Secret Lair copies are the only ones with a different art, and will definitely be attractive to some people but others won’t like the style so much.

That leaves a lot of people choosing between the KTK and IMA foils, both of which are in rather low supply. If we look at TCG there are only ten listings total across both versions, with IMA lowest at $10 and KTK lowest at $16. Over in Europe supply is a little bit deeper and prices a bit lower, so I think that this is a great arbitrage opportunity for a short-term flip. Bear in mind that if someone wants foils of these for Modern (or Pioneer) then they’re going to be buying four at a time, so supply will disappear in chunks when it does. Pick up a playset or two in Europe for under $40 and you should easily be able to get $70-80 for them in the US.

Collected Company (Foil)

Price today: $20
Possible price: $40

It took a few months after its release for people to realise how good Collected Company was and start playing it in both Standard and eternal formats, but since then it’s been another staple in Modern that hasn’t left the format. It’s also been a large part of Pioneer since the format was created, but due to the lack of paper play over the last year we’ve seen Collected Company drift downwards in price a fair bit.

Once a $50 foil, you can now get original KTK foils for as little as $20 on TCGPlayer. There aren’t many around that price though, and with only 25 listings there’s a steep ramp towards $40. The only competition for these is the Secret Lair versions, but I don’t think that those are really going to hinder the price of the original foils too much. Original set foils always have a premium attached to them, and will command higher prices than subsequent copies.

These aren’t any cheaper in Europe, but if you can pick some $20 copies up in the US then I think you’ll be doing just fine in 6-12months. Collected Company decks should remain a good part of both Modern and Pioneer for the foreseeable future, and if Historic ever emerges as a paper format then that’s yet another swathe of decks that will be using the card.

Supreme Verdict (Foil)

Price today: $9/$13
Possible price: $25+

UW control decks have been doing quite well for a little while in Modern now, consistently posting strong finishes in Modern challenges and leagues and generally sitting in the top 5 decks of a very diverse metagame. Supreme Verdict has pretty much always been a staple in this deck, with the uncounterable aspect of it being much more important than the anti-regeneration of Wrath of God.

The Buy-a-Box foils have a worse art and foiling than either the original RTR or the reprint IMA foils, and so I think that the latter two will be the most desirable versions by far.. There are 29 IMA foil listings on TCGPlayer and half that for the RTR version, with both printings forming nice ramps up to and over $20. They’re around the same price in Europe so no big bonus there, but I think both markets are going to be moving upwards before long.

Don’t forget – this is also a card in nearly 23,000 EDH decks listed on EDHREC, quite a sizeable number for the few foils left on the market here. With Modern most likely picking back up a bit later this year combined with the strong EDH backing, I think that this is easily a $20+ card in 6-12 months.

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.

The Watchtower 03/08/21 – A Second Pass At Kaldheim

As everyone is looking forward to Time Spiral remastered (and I’m crying over how difficult it will be to get the foils I want for EDH), I think it’s time for us to take a little look back at Kaldheim. I say “look back at” like it didn’t just come out a month ago, but the product cycle is so fast these days it feels like we’re already seeing it in the rear view mirror.

Anyway, now that Kaldheim has been out for a little while and people have had time to buy their cards and build their EDH decks, I want to take another look at the set and find some good cards we might have missed the first time around.

Toski, Bearer of Secrets (Showcase Foil)

Price today: $8
Possible price: $25

Toski creeps into the top ten Commanders for Kaldheim at number nine, but if we compare it to the other rare legends at the top of the table (that have Showcase variants), we can glean some interesting data. Toski may only be at number nine as a Commander, but is in more decks as part of the 99 than any of the others above it – i.e. Tergrid, Magda and Jorn. Those three are popular in their own right as generals, but when it comes to being part of the main deck they don’t stack up to the power of the little squirrel.

Toski is uncounterable and indestructible, a combo which can make it very difficult to deal with. It fits perfectly into more go-wide strategies like tokens or Edric style decks, and the card advantage it can get you just makes it an excellent addition to most green EDH decks.

Showcase versions of Toski can currently be had around $8 on TCGPlayer, but for a rare that’s only just come out, 37 listings is not a lot. Tergrid has double the number of listings than Toski does, and yet is double the price – starting around $15 for NM foils. That seems pretty off to me, and I think that the Toskis are way cheaper than they should be. Grab some of these under $10 and I think you’ll be very happy with your purchase in 6-12 months.

Binding the Old Gods (Foil)

Price today: $1
Possible price: $5

Binding the Old Gods is the most popular uncommon from Kaldheim for EDH in terms of percentage inclusion, and it’s another one where I want to take a look at some more numbers. At around 470 decks it’s in 11% of possible decks registered since Kaldheim came out, with the next most popular uncommon being Saw it Coming at 10%. Both foils are going for around $1 on TCGPlayer, but Binding has less than half the listings Saw it Coming does – this implies much greater demand for Binding.

It certainly feels like the kind of card that people are going to want to foil out more than a counterspell – it’ll stay in play a few turns and the foils really do look great. Apart from that it’s just a great card in its own right; the fact that it can hit any nonland permanent rather than just a creature makes it much more powerful than it otherwise might be. On top of that you get a bit of ramp plus a probably favourable combat step, so I can see why people are putting it in their decks.

I like grabbing a stack of these around $1 and would even go as high as $2 if you can pick them up in larger quantities. I think it’s a card that will most likely retail over $5 in a year or 18 months, and buylists will probably not be far off that as well. If you can buy for $1 now and buylist for $4 in 18 months then I’m totally happy with that.

Doomskar (FEA)

Price today: $9
Possible price: $20

You might see Doomskar as just another five mana wrath for EDH, but I think it’s actually a lot better than that. Yes, you have cards like Wrath of God and Day of Judgement at four mana, but to get the best out of Doomskar you’re going to be Foretelling it. I think that Foretell is actually really powerful in EDH, because although there isn’t often a lot of direct hand attack going around, there are almost always going to be people casting Wheel of Fortunes et al., along with other discard effects to boot. Foretell gets around that really nicely, and so to be able to stash away effectively a three mana wrath, safe from almost every angle, is a really powerful thing to do.

Clocking in at over 650 decks registered on EDHREC, Doomskar is up there with some of the most popular cards from the set and is the most popular white card by a very wide margin. You need to pick and choose your wraths in white decks because there are a lot of options, but I really do think that this is now one of the best ones there is – especially when you consider the fact that you can Foretell something on turn one off a Sol Ring or Mana Crypt (etc.).

You can currently grab foil extended arts at around $9 on TCGPlayer, and although there are 63 listings, only a couple of those have 4 or more copies. Supply isn’t super deep, and given 12-18 months I think that this could easily see $20-25 or more.

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.

The Watchtower 03/01/21 – Core Values

Core sets have always been Wizard’s way of introducing Magic to new players and trying to reel them into the game. They’re generally unthemed and use more basic cards and abilities compared to regular sets, and contain a bunch of reprints. Wizards tried to do away with them back in 2015 with Magic Origins supposed to be the last core set (if I’m remembering that correctly), but they then brought them back with M19 in 2018 (yes, the numbers don’t line up with the years and I hate it).

Anyway, there’s no Care Set 2022 scheduled, but instead there’s the Dungeons & Dragons crossover set lined up where M22 would be. On top of that, we’ve just had the announcement that we’re also getting Lord of the Rings and Warhammer 40k crossovers as well, and so it may well be the case that these IP crossover sets are replacing Core Sets as a new way of getting some fresh meat into Magic.

This over-long introduction is my lead into saying that Core Sets (or certainly the last few, at least) have had some great spec opportunities in them, and there’s still money to be made. They’re underprinted compared to the Fall sets that follow them, and have some hidden (or at least undervalued) gems that I’m going to take a look at today.

Mangara, the Diplomat (FEA)

Price today: $17
Possible price: $40

White is a colour that’s struggled with power level and card advantage over the past few years, despite Wizards’ insistence that they’re doing their best to remedy this (and yet even with Kaldheim we have another busted UG mythic where the best white card in the set is…Doomskar? Maybe? It’s silly). That means that white cards are still at a premium in EDH, and white probably still remains as the worst colour in the format.

So when we get good card advantage engines in white, we should pay attention. Mangara, the Diplomat is the most popular white card from M21 and the third most popular card from the set, at over 6000 decks recorded on EDHREC, plus another 170 playing it as the general. It provides card advantage strapped to a reasonably sized body that blocks fairly well, and helps to dissuade your opponents from attacking you or casting too many spells in a turn.

Foil extended arts are the version I like the look of here, with supply starting to dwindle and prices starting to go up. This was a $15 card and there are now only a couple of copies below $20 on TCGPlayer, with a total of 36 listings and no major walls of stock around. We’ve already seen mythics from this set like Fiery Emancipation and Terror of the Peaks pop off, and I don’t think that this one is too far away from doing a similar thing. Given 6 months or so, I think we’ll see this around $40.

Yarok, the Desecrated (Foil)

Price today: $25
Possible price: $50

Speaking of foil mythics, jumping back a core set to 2020 brings us Yarok, the Desecrated. It’s the second most built commander from the set, losing out on the top spot to Golos (nothing to be ashamed of), as well as being pretty popular in its own right – although I think that the main draw is to play the card as your general. Yarok is great at doing the EDH thing of “more more more”, and so any time we get more cards printed that play around with ETB triggers then this card is likely to see another bump.

These foils have been climbing from $15 since the end of 2019, but I don’t think they’re close to being done just yet. If we compare this to Golos – which is a rare not a mythic – Golos foils are already pretty much $30, and there are around half the number of Yarok foils on TCG than  Golos. That makes me think that barring a reprint (which I find fairly unlikely), this is due for a correction once the sub-$35 copies get bought, and the card will be heading up towards $50 before long.

Tale’s End (Foil)

Prices today: $10
Possible price: $25

Tale’s End has been a moderately popular EDH card, listed in around 6200 decks listed on EDHREC, and has seen a little play in competitive formats too (mostly in the hands of MTGO grinder Aspiring Spike). It’s not the most prolific card in the world, but it’s pretty powerful in EDH – being able to counter anyone’s commander for just two mana is great, as well as having the flexibility to stop any pesky triggered or activated abilities like a Planeswalker ultimate or even a ‘win the game’ trigger!

TCG is down to only twelve listings for NM foils, starting at $10 and ramping up to $20. Core Set 2020 is going to be two years old soon, and it’s not as if we’re getting any more supply soon. There are the prerelease and promo pack foils as well, but those are both already more expensive and also in short supply. I don’t think it’s even the kind of card that we’d see reprinted in Commander decks, but even if we do it’ll most likely be non-foil, so non worries there. I think that this will tip over the $20 mark in a few months or less, and ride on upwards from there.

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.