Category Archives: Watchtower

New Decks, Old Tech

I thought I’d give last week’s article an unofficial ‘part 2’, and flip the switch on it. There are a bunch of new decks and new variants popping up in Modern at the moment and I think that there are some good opportunities for pickups here, so let’s dive in!


Unburial Rites (Foil)

Price today: $2
Possible price: $10

The Reanimator deck in Modern has been picking up a bit of popularity over the past couple of weeks, and noted MTGO grinder aspiringspike took down a Modern Challenge with it last week. The main reanimation pieces of the deck – Unmarked Grave and Persist – have been talked about previously both by myself and James and Travis on the podcast, but Unburial Rites has started to find its way into lists as well.

This card has long been a staple of reanimator decks in multiple formats, and although those kinds of decks haven’t traditionally been at the top of the tables, with the new tech from MH2 I think that could be changing (in Modern at least). Faithful Mending from the new Innistrad set is in the mix there too, and I like this deck’s chances moving forwards in Modern – it’s fast, it’s streamlined and it’s got some decent protection too in the form of Teferi, Time Raveler and Ephemerate.

Unburial Rites may have had three different foil printings, but there are only 17 NM Foil listings across all of those versions on TCGPlayer right now, and I think that now is a great time to sweep up the last dregs. Seeing as we’re getting a slightly different version of Flashback in these Innistrad sets, I don’t think we’ll be seeing a foil reprint of this for a little while, and so if you want any personal copies then now is definitely the time before it’s too late. There are a few more available in Europe, but not too many so don’t hang around for long on these.

Vendilion Clique (Judge Foil)

Price in Europe: €37 ($43)
Price in US: $58

Possible price: $75

Another interesting deck that’s been popping up in Modern is a UW control variant based around flickering your creatures. Of course it plays Yorion as the companion, as well as a stack of Restoration Angels to blink your Wall of Omens, Solitudes and Vendilion Cliques. It’s a control deck with a value engine strapped on, and it’s been putting up some solid results, taking down a Modern Challenge along with some other high finishes.

Vendilion Clique drops in and out of Modern popularity all the time, and although it might not be the most prevalent card in any particular format, I’m focusing on the Judge Foils here because of low supply and arbitrage opportunity. It’s also a Cube favourite, and anyone foiling out their cube is likely to have this printing pretty high on their tier list – it’s the only version with this art and the foiling on Judge Foils is generally pretty great.

There are only 24 NM foil listings on TCGPlayer right now, but over in Europe you can pick these up a good deal cheaper, and I think you should if you can ship them for sale in the US. TCGPlayer has a steady price slope upwards and I think that in 6-12months this could easily have gone up to $75, making the $43 copies in Europe look pretty attractive. I doubt we’ll see Clique with this foiling/art again any time soon, so you should be safe for a longer hold if need be.

Grist, the Hunger Tide (Borderless Foil)

Price today: $20
Possible price: $40

For my last pick today I’m drawing inspiration from the Yawgmoth combo deck that’s seeing a small resurgence in Modern at the moment. This was an archetype that saw a decent amount of success soon after Yawgmoth, Thran Physician was first printed back in MH1, and has seen a small amount of success since then but never been a particularly dominant force in the meta. With the printing of Grist, the Hunger Tide in MH2 though, the deck might just have some legs again.

You can Chord of Calling and Eldritch Evolution into Grist, and Grist is both a token generator for Yawgmoth value as well as a handy piece of removal for problematic creatures or planeswalkers. What’s more is that if you’re looking to play it in EDH, you can actually use Grist as your commander due to its ability that makes it a creature when not on the battlefield – i.e. in the Command Zone.

When it comes to the different versions of this card we have the regular, the Sketch (Showcase) and the Borderless, and I think that the Borderless is a clear winner. The regular art and frame are fine, the Sketch doesn’t look great in my opinion, but the Borderless has some spectacular art and the foils look great. You can pick these up either in Europe or the US for around $20 at the moment and I think that due to Grist’s unique ability and status as a Mythic from MH2, it should be good for a double up over the next 12-24months.


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.

New Tech, Old Decks

Continuing on from my article a couple of weeks ago, I’m back with more Modern content this week, and there have been some interesting decks popping up in the metagame that I want to take a look at. New and old decks in the metagame means new cards to spec on, and although this week’s picks might be a little more speculative than I usually go with, I like the look of them nonetheless.

Fractured Sanity (Foil)

Price today: $2.5
Possible price: $8

Mill has been picking back up in Modern over the past couple of weeks, having been gifted new tech both from Modern Horizons 2 and Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. The deck has gained resources in the form of Tasha’s Hideous Laughter and Fractured Sanity, both of which have been appearing as four-ofs in almost all current Mill lists. I talked a little bit about Tasha’s Hideous Laughter a few weeks ago and mentioned that I wanted to see it down towards $1-2 before grabbing a bunch of copies, and it’s gotten close to that but I’m not sure that it’ll quite hit that low any more – $3 might be your best entry at this point.

However, Fractured Sanity is looking like a much more enticing prospect right now, also a four-of in all the Mill decks and yet the foils have been somewhat languishing down at $2.50. I think that these are a prime target to head upwards pretty soon, and I can’t see it staying cheaper than Tasha’s Hideous Laughter for too much longer. With around 63 listings on TCGPlayer there are no major walls of copies; most listings are single or duo copies.

I want to mention the sketch versions quickly here – I think that these are another one that missed the mark in terms of the art, and that’s being reflected in prices – these are both cheaper and more readily available than the regular versions, and are probably worse targets than the regular copies for picking up at the moment.

Svyelun of Sea and Sky (Retro & Showcase Foil)

Price today: $7
Possible price: $20

Another deck making waves (pun fully intended) in Modern at the moment is Merfolk – an archetype that hasn’t seen much time in the sun for quite a while now, but might be back as a real player thanks to a couple of additions from Modern Horizons 2. Svyelun of Sea and Sky and Tide Shaper have both brought a lease of new life to the tribal deck, and could help push the old deck back to the forefront of the meta.

Tide Shaper acts as a replacement for Spreading Seas that hits for damage instead of drawing a card, and Svyelun giving Ward to all your Merfolk is pretty big game when cards like Solitude and Prismatic Ending have become so popular in Modern at the moment. On top of that Svyelun drawing cards and gaining indestructible really pushes it over the top, and as such has been showing up as a consistent three-of in the new Merfolk lists.

Prices for both the Retro frame and Showcase foils for Svyelun are both sat around $7 now, which I think could easily move up significantly if the Merfolk deck starts to gain some more traction in Modern. Aside from that, this is a card you can expect to see in almost all Merfolk EDH decks that get built, either as the commander or part of the 99, and being a Mythic form MH2 supply won’t last for too long once people start to pick copies up. Modern players will be grabbing them 3-4 at a time and certainly won’t mind paying $30-40 for a playset of premium copies, pushing the price up as they go.

Prismari Command

Price today: $6
Possible price: $15

I’ve spoken about Prismari Command before, when I called the FEA copies to go from $10 to $30 (and they’re currently sitting at $20 so well done if you bought some when I said to), but now that the more premium versions are getting expensive, I want to take a look at the regular copies. You can get them for around $6-7 in the US at the moment and they’re actually more expensive than that in Europe, although across the board foils and non-foils seem to be around the same price, so take your pick.

Prismari Command has been popping up here and there in Modern, seeing play across a few different kinds of decks – Crashing Footfalls, Indomitable Creativity and control variants. It’s also a relatively popular EDH card, in over 5000 decks listed on EDHREC, and in the top ten cards from Strixhaven. I think that this will continue to show up here and there in Modern, and that coupled with its EDH popularity should mean that it will keep climbing in price.

If you can get FEAs under $20 then I think they’re still a decent buy, certainly for personal use if not as a spec. I expect to see those crest $30 within a couple of months or so and could well continue up to $40.


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.

Boring is Best

We all want to be hunting for the shiniest, most exciting specs to pick up in the hopes that they’ll work out well (and don’t get me wrong, I’m all too guilty of this as well), but often our money is best placed with some of the more mundane cards that will just steadily increase in value over the course of a few months or a year, rather than exploding suddenly. Today I’ll be looking at some of the hottest not-hot cards from recent sets that I think will be some solid steady gainers.


Fighter Class

Price today: $2
Possible price: $5

This is a neat little rare that hasn’t quite gotten down to bulk prices, and at this point I don’t think it will. It’s turned out to be one of the most popular multicolour EDH cards from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, slotting into all the Boros equipment and artifact decks, providing a useful tutor effect and cheap equipping as well as enabling some incredibly favourable combat for your creatures a little later on.

If you’re building a Boros deck in EDH then there’s a good chance that it’s going to be combat-based, and if it is then you’d be a fool not to include Fighter Class in the deck. I think it’s going to prove very popular with the casual crowd and although it might not make a splash in any competitive formats, the EDH play is going to be more than enough to ensure that this will be a card in demand for quite a while to come.

You can pick these up around $2 on TCGPlayer at the moment, and I don’t think we’ll see it going much lower than that now. Europe has them a little cheaper, closer to the $1 mark for bulk quantities which is quite an attractive prospect – I think that these will be a good buylist target a year or so down the road.

Sythis, Harvest’s Hand (Showcase Foil)

Price today: $3.50
Possible price: $8-10

Moving back in time a little to Modern Horizons 2 now, Sythis, Harvest’s Hand is another solid card that is going to go into a large number of EDH decks and likely make steady gains over the next few months or so. We’re in better luck with this one as well because there’s a Showcase version for us to buy too, and I think that the Showcase foils are going to be the best performing version of this card.

Sythis is going to have a home in every enchantment-based EDH deck that can run it, and I think that Showcase foils at $3.50 are too low in the long run. At over 3000 EDHREC inclusions it’s the third most popular multicoloured card from MH2, and those numbers are going to keep growing as we see more enchantment-matters cards printed in the future. I don’t think that we’re likely to see Sythis reprinted too soon, especially in the Showcase frame, so these should be safe for a little while.

We’re down to 63 NM foil listings on TCGPlayer (about the same price in Europe too), and I think that now is a good time to start picking some of these up. If we see some more exciting enchantment cards soon then Sythis might pop off more quickly than expected, but otherwise I think that this will be another steady spec that should pay off a little way down the road.

Ignoble Hierarch (Retro Foil)

Price today: $15
Possible price: $30

Moving up the ladder to the second most popular multicoloured card from MH2, Ignoble Hierarch hasn’t just been making waves in EDH. I talked a little about this card last week when I mentioned Munitions Expert; Ignoble Hierarch has made its way into a few Modern decks including Goblins and Jund, and with that kind of multi-format popularity it’s definitely worth taking a look at.

We have a bunch of different versions of this card to consider, but I think that the Retro Foils are the best ones here – they look the best and have the lowest amount of supply, so are likely to be the biggest gainers. They’re a good chunk more expensive in Europe at the moment which shows that they’re more popular in competitive formats, and I think that a double up from $15 to $30 is quite likely in the next 12 months or so.


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.

More Modern

It’s been a few weeks since I took a proper look at the Modern format, so here I am back at it again with the Modern content this week. The metagame is still pretty diverse and looks to be healthy, so read on for what I think you should be picking up this week.


Spreading Seas (Foil)

Price in Europe: €12 ($14)
Price in US: $???
Possible price: $50

UW(x) control has been hovering around the top of the Modern metagame for a few weeks now with no sign of dropping, and that’s partly because it’s got some of the best answers in the format right now. With Prismatic Ending, Counterspell and Solitude in its arsenal there isn’t much that the deck can’t deal with, and Spreading Seas has been a consistent tool for the deck to battle against things like Urza’s Saga, Tron decks and greedy 3+ colour manabases.

I was quite surprised when I realised that Spreading Seas has only ever had a single printing, all the way back in original Zendikar (not Battle for Zendikar, Zendikar Rising or the yet-to-come Zendikar Resurrections). That means that, for a relatively popular Modern card that only has one printing 12 years ago, foils are now getting incredibly hard to come by. There aren’t any NM foils on TCGPlayer and the only LP foils are at $70 and $100 – pretty ridiculous prices for this little common.

Europe has a few more than that though, with a few NM foils under €15 and a good handful more under €20. I think that buying these under €15 is an easy flip over to the US to list on TCGPlayer for $40-50. Nobody’s paying $70 for LP foils of this, but if they see NM foils under $50 then they could well be tempted to snap a couple up for their Modern deck.

Lurrus of the Dream Den (EA)

Price today: $15
Possible price: $30

I think it’s time to talk about Lurrus again. I’ll try not to repeat too much of what’s been said before, but Lurrus is still a hugely dominating force in Modern and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon. Three of the top decks in the format (Burn, Hammer Time and Jund) are playing Lurrus as a companion, and bans have been talked about quite a bit for this card. There’s been some discussion in the ProTrader Discord about it, and I’m of the mind that despite the power level and prevalence of this card, I don’t think that it’s ripe for a ban. It still allows for a variety of decks to be played and can be dealt with fairly handily by sideboard cards, and so isn’t oppressive enough to warrant a ban at the moment.

Despite its continued popularity, there’s been a dip in price over the past few weeks and I think now is a good time to capitalise on that. EA non-foils have dropped down to around $15, having been over $25 earlier in the summer, and I think that hitting that $25+ price point again won’t be any trouble at all for this card. A good data point here is that Lurrus EA non-foil is still around €25 ($29) in Europe, where Modern is possibly the most played format, and so I think that the TCG prices will reflect those in Europe before long.

Munitions Expert (Foil)

Price today: $5
Possible price: $15

Something a little more under the radar for today’s last pick, Goblin tribal has been putting up a decent showing in some Modern results over the past couple of weeks and I think it’s worth taking a look at. It’s utilising Ignoble Hierarch as some extra acceleration alongside the classic Æther Vial, which makes for a slightly trickier manabase but the fact that Hierarch is a Goblin means that cards like Cavern of Souls and Unclaimed Territory are very useful.

Munitions Expert is a consistent four-of in these lists, as it can pick off both creatures and planeswalkers that are getting in the way of pushing damage through, and having Flash for when you don’t have an Æther Vial in play can be huge.

Despite only being an uncommon, there are only seven listings left for NM foils of this on TCGPlayer. If you want foils for personal use then I’d snap them up sharpish, and a playset or two to spec on definitely won’t hurt you. There are a few more around the $4-5 mark in Europe too if you can get those, and if this deck takes off in Modern then I expect this to be $15 before long.


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.