Category Archives: Watchtower

Dungeons & Dragons

In last week’s article I wrote a little bit about the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons crossover set – Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, and as we edge closer to the set release with more previews heading our way, I want to do a little bit of speculation on what I think is going to be important and which cards are going to be popular when the set hits us.

Coat of Arms (All Versions)

Price in Europe: €4
Price in US: $16
Possible price: $25

Races and classes are a huge part of Dungeons & Dragons, and so when we translate that to a Magic setting that probably means that creature types and tribes are going to be important when this set rolls around. That means that lords and lord effects could well be big game, and one of the most powerful lord effects around is Coat of Arms. Not only does it count your creatures for its effect, but it sees your opponents’ creatures as well which is more likely to matter than not at an EDH table.

As well as being in 17,000 EDH decks, Coat of Arms is the kind of card that’s hugely popular at the kitchen table – tribal decks are always going to do well, and that’s part of why I prefer the non-foils over the foils here – they have more casual appeal.

Aside from being a reasonable pickup in general, the arbitrage opportunities here are pretty wild – mostly due to the fact that this is not at all a competitive card, and so prices in Europe are low. You can grab various non-foils as low as €4 ($5) on MKM, whereas most versions on TCG start at $16+. That’s a huge gap that I think is only going to widen until we see a reprint, and to be honest I think it’s pretty impressive that the Mystery Booster versions are already at $16, after being $10 just a month or so ago. There are a tonne of different versions of this but they’re all a lot cheaper in Europe than the US, so take your pick and collect your winnings.

Dragon Tempest (Foil)

Price today: $5/OOS
Possible price: $15

Dungeons aren’t exactly a big part of MTG, but Dragons on the other hand – they’ve been an integral part of the game since Alpha, and they’re not done yet. We’ve already had one big dragon previewed from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms (a Dragon God no less), which goes and searches up all your best dragons from your deck for you. Dragons are the second most popular EDH tribe just behind elves, and I expect we’ll be seeing a lot more cool dragons with the new set.

Dragon Tempest might ‘only’ be in 8300 EDH decks on EDHREC, but the important fact is that it’s included in 86% of all dragon tribal decks that could play it, which is honestly a huge proportion considering the variety of dragon decks out there. The card was first printed back in Dragons of Tarkir, and since then we’ve had an IMA printing, a Commander 2017 printing (non-foil only) and an FNM promo pack. I was quite surprised to find that there are zero DTK NM foils on TCGPlayer, and only a small handful of LP copies. On top of that, even though it’s only an uncommon in IMA, there are only 13 NM foil listings for those.

I think that if you can find DTK foils under or around $7-8 and IMA foils around $5 you should be good here – both are available in Europe around those prices but not in huge supply, and some US vendors do still have a few copies here and there. I don’t think that this is primed for a reprint in the D&D set, so you should be looking good to grab a few copies and out them as hype for the set starts to spin up properly.

Temur Ascendancy (OBF)

Price today: $18
Possible price: $40

Staying with the Dragon theme (ish) for my last pick here, Temur Ascendancy is another enchantment in a lot of Dragon decks, and I think that the old-border foils from Time Spiral Remastered are generally just a good target here. A lot of the OBFs from the set are already very expensive but I think that some, like this one, are still being underrated.

Temur Ascendancy is in around 8500 EDH decks on EDHREC, a reasonably strong 12% of all decks that could play it. It’s an excellent card draw engine for the type of deck that’s likely to be playing it, and the haste really pushes everything over the top (especially for the dragons that are sorely lacking the haste department).

There are 36 OBF listings on TCGPlayer at the moment, which really isn’t a huge number considering almost all are single copies. With just a handful under $20, I think that those copies are a good buy at the moment to hold onto for 12 months or so. This is the kind of card you’ll probably see reprinted in a Commander set at some point, but I highly doubt we’ll get another premium printing like this for a long time.

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.

Future Sight

Modern Horizons 2 is already on the…well, the horizon, with the set’s release date looming ever closer just over a month away. We’ve already seen the enemy fetches and both their extended art versions and old-border versions previewed PLUS Counterspell finally being introduced to the Modern format and so there’s a lot of hype going on around this set.

That means, of course, that I want to look elsewhere – somewhat further afield to some of the sets we’re going to see coming out later this year. In July we’re getting the Dungeons and Dragons crossover set, and then in September and November we’re getting double Innistrad sets focusing first on Werewolves and then on Vampires. With all that in mind, today I’m having a look at some cards that might be the ideal pickups before we reach those hype cycles.

Tazri, Beacon of Unity (FEA)

Price today: $4
Possible price: $10

The Party mechanic was one of the main themes brought to use by Zendikar Rising last year, and even back then it gave us hints that there might be something of a D&D tie-in at some point in the future. Now that it’s been confirmed, I think that a return to the Party mechanic is almost a sure thing, and that means that people are going to be heading back and looking at some of the best Party cards we got in Zendikar for another go around.

Tazri, Beacon of Unity was one of the most popular commanders built from the set, and is definitely the best general if you’re going to build a party-themed deck. If you’re running low cost Party creatures then you can drop Tazri out as early as turn 3 without any other mana acceleration, and then start rolling through your deck finding the other creatures you need. Even if we get another decent commander in the D&D set, people are still going to come back to Tazri and want to build her again.

Foil extended art copies are currently fairly low around $4, with 60 or so listings on TCGPlayer. This is a reasonable amount of supply at a lowish price, but as a Mythic from the set, once people start to snap up their copies it’s going to dry up pretty quickly. I expect to see Tazri bump up a decent amount as we approach the D&D set and could well post over $10.

Mayor of Avabruck (Foil)

Price today: $4
Possible price: $20

Onto Innistrad next, and with it come Werewolves. Werewolves were a huge part of original Innistrad, and there’s going to be a lot of nostalgia setting in as we return there later this year. We get Vampires flying around (hah) relatively often in a lot of sets, but Werewolves are few and far between comparatively. That means that the good ones we have access to end up being less available and more expensive, which is something that we need to keep an eye on if we don’t want to miss the boat.

Mayor of Avabruck is in 97% of Werewolf themed decks on EDHREC, and you can see why. It’s a two mana Lord for your creatures that spits out tokens every turn if you can keep it flipped, and so is something that you’re definitely going to want if you’re building a Werewolf deck.

There are currently a grand total of five NM set foils listed on TCGPlayer, plus some extra promo copies, and once people realise they might need a copy for their EDH deck, those are going to disappear in a hurry – and anyone with copies unlisted are going to post theirs at much higher prices. If you want a personal copy then grab it yesterday, and if you want a few to spec on then I suggest going LGS hunting or picking some up in Europe where there is a little more supply to go around. These foil will be $20 or more in a hurry when people start to buy them, and even if we see a reprint in the Werewolves set, I think you’ll have a chance to out these on the hype before it’s previewed.

Anowon, the Ruin Sage (Foil)

Price in Europe: €5 ($6)
Price in US: $16
Possible price: $20+

Finally onto Vampires, and as I mentioned before there may not be the same kind of nostalgia as there is with Werewolves, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to make a comeback. There are a lot more decent Vampires around than Werewolves though, which means that we need to be a little more careful with what we’re buying.

I like the look of Anowon, the Ruin Sage here, because it’s a popular EDH choice with only two current printings and only one of those in foil (the other being a Commander set). The Original Worldwake foils seem to be close to non-existent in the US, with only one NM foil on TCGPlayer at $16 and a few LP copies as well. Major vendors in the US have very few or no copies as well, but over in Europe there are a few more to be had around the €5 mark.

That provides some good immediate arbitrage with the potential for much bigger gains down the road as we get closer to the release of the Innistrad: Vampires set. Non-foils of this aren’t exactly in great supply either, so I don’t mind picking up some of those at $1-2 to buylist or sell at $5-10 in a few months’ time.

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.

Back to School

It’s been a couple of weeks since I first wrote about some cards from Strixhaven, School of Mages, and so I think it’s time to revisit it armed with a little more data.

Culling Ritual (Regular Non-Foil & FEA)

Price in Europe: €0.50/€5 ($0.60/$6)
Price in US: $2/$10
Possible price: $4/$20

Culling Ritual has quickly become almost the most popular EDH card in its colours from Strixhaven, only being slightly edged out by Mortality Spear. Mortality Spear is an uncommon though, and so doesn’t have the best spec prospects…Culling Ritual on the other hand is a rare and has FEA versions to go after as a result.

In almost 20% of all decks registered since the set came out, Culling Ritual is a pretty powerful EDH card to be reckoned with. It may seem on the surface that only hitting cards with mana value 2 or less might not get a lot of things, but you need to remember that EDH is stacked with low cost artifacts, mana dorks, and tokens. Early game this could take out a Sol Ring and Mana Crypt, and later on you could hit a bunch of things and be rewarded with a huge amount of mana for it, which you can then use to ramp into your own threats.

I like the look of these in Europe at the moment, because as we know the EDH scene is a lot smaller than in the US and so prices on these sorts of cards are inherently lower. Regular non-foils at €0.50 seem like a great brick pickup, and FEAs at €5 should easily be set to double up and more in the long-term. I’m not too keen on the US pricing at the moment and do think that it’ll drop a bit as more supply hits the market, so watch out for that and pick some up when you can.

Prismari Command (FEA)

Price today: $10
Possible price: $30

Looking at another multicoloured, but otherwise very different card here, Prismari Command is another one that’s understandably popular in EDH with the Izzet mages, but I’m more interested in it from a competitive standpoint. Modern and Pioneer have started playing this card here and there, in both Niv to Light and Delver-esque decks. It’s the kind of card you look at and half expect to cost four mana, but at three it’s definitely a contender for some of the most powerful spells in the formats.

It offers great flexibility, like the fact that you get artifact destruction tacked onto a card that’s always going to be maindeckable, and the other modes are pretty strong too. Creating a Treasure token isn’t the greatest thing in the world but could come in clutch when you’re missing a land, and I think the looting ability on it is great. Overall this is a great tool for a bunch of different decks, and honestly might be better than Kolaghan’s Command, a card that has seen prolific Modern play in the past. It’s worth mentioning that this is also a very popular EDH card from the set, so the cross-play helps out here as well.

A good indicator of this card’s popularity in competitive formats is that it’s more expensive in Europe than in the US. You can pick up FEAs on TCGPlayer for around $10 at the moment, and I’m reasonably happy with that price for a slightly longer-term hold. We could see this dip down a little as more Collector Boosters are cracked, but I just see that as an excuse to pick up more copies.

Teferi’s Protection (Mystical Archive Foil)

Price today: $40
Possible price: $80

Hopping over to the Mystical Archive cards for our final pick of the week here, I think that Teferi’s Protection is one of the best pickups from the set at the moment. It’s also one of the very few that I actually think the global art version is better than the Japanese alternate art version (and I’m sure people will disagree with me, but that’s always going to be the case). We’re at the point now where Teferi’s Protection has had a few different printings, but I think that this is by far the best version we’ve had so far, and I don’t see any reason for another printing – let alone another premium one – in the near future.

The Judge foils of this card are all over $70 with very few copies around, and I think that the Mystical Archive copies could be headed in a similar direction before too long. The art and frame are stunning, and the foiling on these cards is pretty excellent from what I’ve seen so far (I’d avoid the etched foils though as they look basically the same as the non-foils but for a higher price). At 35,000 EDH decks it’s a top 10 white card and provides one of the best get-out-of-jail-free effects in the format, and is just great in any deck that can cast it.

Global art foils are sitting around $40 at the moment, which is only $10 more than the non-foils and around the same price as the Secret Lair versions. I reckon that this is going to be one of, if not the most sought-after version of Teferi’s Protection, and so the $40 is definitely way too low in the long-term. I’d definitely pick up personal copies now and keep an eye out for anything around or under $40 for spec copies. The JPN alt art versions are a lot more expensive at $85 and up right now, but those could realistically still see $150+ in the long term if we’re lucky.

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.

Time Spiral Revisited

As it is like to do, the hype cycle has already moved on from Time Spiral Remastered – which only came out *checks calendar* a month ago – and onto Strixhaven along with all the Mystical Archives. We’ve been getting some more supply of TSR boxes trickling in via Amazon and prices are being suppressed a little in the short-term, but I don’t think that’s going to hold for much longer.

Some of the best deals were to be had on day one, but there are definitely still some good targets hanging around – so let’s take a look.

Eternal Witness (OBF)

Price today: $65
Possible price: $100

Eternal Witness is in danger of becoming one of those cards that has too many premium versions, but I don’t think we’re there yet – and so the old-border foil (OBF) from Time Spiral Remastered looks like a pretty good target to me right now. At the moment the best versions we have are this, the Box Topper from UMA and the FNM promo. The FNM promo has an extremely low supply and art done by a problematic artist, so it’s not really competing with either the Box Topper or OBF at this point. The UMA Box Topper is nice, but let’s be honest it’s just not on the same level as the OBF – so why are they the same price?

Box Toppers start at $60 on TCGPlayer with a reasonable ramp up towards $100, and the OBFs are only a touch higher at $65 (also with 22 listings). If you compare this to something like Bojuka Bog, which is in a similar number of EDH decks (76k vs 79k), Bog’s price is much higher starting at $85 and ramping well over $100. Although Bog is a card with fewer premium versions, I don’t think that $65 is correct for OBF Eternal Witness in the mid or long term. This should be close to a $100 card before too long, and if you want any personal copies then now is the time to grab them.

Reclamation Sage (OBF) (Arbitrage)

Price in Europe: €30 ($36)
Price in US: $50
Possible price: $70

Reclamation Sage is a card that’s been begging for a real premium version for a while now. It’s had a million and one Commander set printings but the only foils have been M15 and Double Masters, with the only other fancy version being the Game Day promo (which didn’t come in foil). Now that we’ve got the OBF version, it’s clearly the best version you can get and will be the one people want for the true bling.

I don’t really need to talk about how popular Reclamation Sage is because it’s in 57,000 decks on EDHREC and is played here and there in competitive formats too. If a player wants the fanciest version, this is going to be the go-to for quite a while I think, and even if the $50 price tag in the US isn’t too tempting, I think that $36 in Europe is definitely too cheap.

If you’ve got access to the European market then I recommend grabbing a couple of these around €30 – I don’t really think you can go wrong at that price. Even at $50 in the US that’s not too bad, at least for personal copies if not spec copies – TCGPlayer is at 30 listings with a steady ramp up over $70, so I think these are good pickups on either continent.

Dovin’s Veto (OBF)

Price today: $38
Possible price: $60

The old border multicolour cards from Time Spiral Remastered use the original gold-ish border that the first multicolour cards had back in Legends, and I’ve found that they split opinions somewhat. Some players love them, some think they’re awful – but either way I think that these are the best version of the card, beating out the FNM foils and set foils.

Veto is one of the most popular counterspells in EDH, being beaten only by the one true Counterspell itself. It’s close to infallible and will get you out of a lot of tight spots in the format, coming in clutch against Time Walk effects and obscene game-ending spells like Torment of Hailfire or Expropriate. If you’re able to play it in your deck then you almost certainly should (unless you have certain stipulations in your deck), and 34,000 decks agree with me.

Supply isn’t very high on these, with 30 TCGPlayer listings and almost all of those are single listings. Prices start at $38 but there are only a few under $40 and it looks set to post over $60 before too long. They’re not too much cheaper in Europe starting at €25-27, but that’s obviously still a good price if you can get 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.