Pro Trader: Cards I Think Are Underplayed


This week I didn’t want to flog the dead horse that is the latest commander/modern mishmash reprint set because the cards that are going to rebound are obvious to you if you’re reading this article. I think one of the best-kept secret of mtg financiers is that you will immediately look amazing at it after about 4 weeks of effort compared to someone who doesn’t pay attention at all. Most of making good mtg finance calls is just paying attention, and if you’re paying attention to my articles, that’s probably paying attention enough. This article isn’t me teaching you to pay attention, this article is me being paid to pay attention for you, something you’re capable of. I’m absolutely fine with that arrangement, it is my preferred method of laboring under capitalism. If you’re fine with me being fine with it, let’s talk about what you already know a bit more.

Since all parties involved accept the basic premise of the first paragraph, we can all agree that we can basically dispense of another article where I tell you more cards from Double Double Toil and Trouble Masters. I talked about the ones I strongly believe in last week and we can always revisit the topic next week when prices are sure to have stabilized a bit more and the picture of what’s a nice pickup at its bottom is a bit clearer. I’ll pay attention to that for you. I was going to belabor the point a little for the sake of the content but I owe you better than that. I needed a backup article idea and James Chilcott told me “Keep it simple. Tell me 5 cards you think are underplayed” which, I don’t feels like a cheat…somehow? Thematically? It just seems like such a dry topic to drop in your laps, I thought I’d type a few paragraphs to lull you into a false sense of security and then spring a really basic topic on you with no pizzazz and then

5 Cards I Think Are Underplayed

It’s not the same as the title of the article because I didn’t want people to see the number 5 in the title of the article because then this really looks like I farmed this job out to someone at buzzfeed. You know what? This is a good article topic, I’m going to have fun researching this and presenting my findings to you. I’m going to stop apologizing for this being the article, but I kind of blew a lot of the word count space I would have needed to introduce these topics a little better so we’re really going to have to get into it very quickly

OK, can we move on? No, you’re probably right, and the very least I should address what is the obvious implication of my bias regarding this card. I think this card should be in every EDH deck. Without exception. That’s probably a little hyperbolic-sounding, so I will tone it down and say that every deck should play this card with exceptions. I can’t think of any, but maybe you like not having the best way ever to take care of a problematic commander. The price started going up in 2021 and it will probably sound ridiculous if I take any credit for that, right? I’m not that much of an egomaniac but, like, the dates line up, that’s all I’m saying. I think this is a buy under $10 forever. It’s not on the Reserved List but the last time they really talked about it for a reprint that is going to come out anytime soon would have been like 2 years ago when this was like $3.60 on TCG Player. I think we’re good to cash in buying these under $10. I really don’t see a reprint coming anytime soon and if they’re not really nimble enough to respond to an increase caused by us buying. This feels like a slam dunk and I would honestly bring this card up every week in this article if I didn’t think you’d all get sick of that.

Acquire absolutely RIPS as a Magic card but something very important happened in 2020 and it caused people to not really play cards that searched other peoples’ decks because everyone was playing on webcam and being germaphobic in person. I think there is pent up demand for Acquire that will actualize when play in person returns in full. Barring another reprint or media insert, these are a buy under $5.

This version is exceedingly rare for some reason, I guess because people stopped picking up the comic book when it was like Arrest, Feat of Blood and like, Castigate back to back months. I was in it for the early Faithless Looting and High Tide but a lot of people dropped the book making these concentrate in the hands of dealers. When those copies sell out, the card will basically disappear and command a premium. I like this version under $10, $10 may be pushing it a bit. It’s around $6 or $7 on TCG Player right now, I like that number quite a bit.

MANNNN I wish I had calling this sooner. It basically bottomed out at $1 for the superior Urza’s Saga printing but not you’ll be lucky to get these under $5 on TCG Player. It’s a shame because I really believed this card would rebound but I was too busy watching Tiger King and playing Animal Crossing to go back for it. I like this under $5 for the record. It shrugged off its reprinting, and by the way, reprints like that have a way of creating demand that will put pressure on existing stock, also, because some people literally didn’t know the card existed because it’s been that long since this set came out. Imagine you started playing a year ago! You wouldn’t be able to keep up with current releases, let alone go back to Urza’s Block. EDHREC ranking on this keeps slipping year to year but it will come back, and when it shows up in the high synergy cards of a sacrifice commander, you’ll be glad you HODL’d.

I don’t expect any of you to know this, but I write an EDH column on Coolstuff Inc. and I will, no joke, add Snow-Covered Lands to my decks literally just to play this and then at that point, why not Sunstone? And Glacial Crevasses? Might as well jam an Extraplanar Lens in there. I run Extraplanar Lens in 2 color decks, it doesn’t even got that well whenever I draw it, I don’t care, snow lands, BABY! Look how pretty and how cheap this pathologically playable card is. Fill your shopping card and this is going to be $3 again.

This whole entire article is positively RIFE with my bias, so why stop now? I am biased because I run a lot of of landfall. However, this is a Rhystic Study that banks the cards for a few turns then turns into a beater, or you literally go troll mode and hit them with The Omenkeel and steal their lands. It is so funny to steal people’s lands in EDH, they get so upset. Especially on webcam. I write the name of the person I stole the land from on the infinitoken to mock their pain. This is 2 kinds of card in one and I saw literally 2 articles today (fine, I wrote one of them, but I still SAW it, I had to see it to write it) talking about what a boring card Rhystic Study is. This is a more fun Rhystic Study, and it doesn’t cost $30 for a common masquerading as a rare.

I am glad we decided to do the article this way this week. I have some more opinions and I’d like to discuss them with the Pro Traders in the Pro Trader Discord, so if you’re not signed up for Pro Trader yet, it might be a good idea. My article was late this week and our loyal Pro Traders deserve some compensatory picks from me and I really hope they’re non-obvious since I feel like I accidentally hyped them up a bit. Thanks for reading, everyone. Until next time!

Following a Few Clues from Goblin Charbelcher

The Modern Showcase Qualifier this weekend featured two Goblin Charbelcher (“Belcher”) decks in the top 8 from users victorjcoll1 and ZYX_Jerry. While Showcase Qualifiers are smaller, relatively high-stake events, in which the winner earns a spot in the Champions Showcase with its prize pool of $70,000 and a Pro Tour (Season 1) or World Championship (Season 2–3) invitation. A complete metagame breakdown can be found here. While Belcher decks pop up from time to time, it was very interesting to see not one but two in the top 8 for a premium MTGO tournament. This article takes a deep dive into the key cards of this deck that are run in multiple formats, which you may want to consider picking up sooner rather than later.

Below is the 7th place version of the Belcher deck from MTGO User victorjcoll1.

Goblin Charbelcher decks have had their ups and downs over the last year. Despite having success, many thought they would fade after the printing of the ultimate fair land destruction spell, Boseiju, Who Endures, which is a two-mana stone rain against Belcher. Critics of this deck were correct that Boseiju would see a large amount of play. It is currently the 5th most popular land in the Modern format, being included in 37% of decks, typically with two copies. But those critics apparently incorrectly assumed that Boseiju, or its predecessors like Cleansing Wildfire or Field of Ruin, would be enough to keep this highly unfair deck down.  

Many cards in the Belcher come and go but are not essential to the strategy, or are too narrow and are only good in Belcher decks to be trustworthy (I’m looking at you Irencrag). But there are several cards in this archetype that have cross-format appeal and deserve a much closer investigation.

Pact of Negation (Non-Foil)

Current Price: $10
Potential Price: $20 in 18 months
Confidence: 8/10
Disclosure: I own 33 copies.

Pact of Negation is a key card in several combo decks. Its purpose is obvious, allowing you to win the game during the turn it’s played, or alternatively, in the late game it’s an expensive awkward counter that is typically only used against a top threat. For decks like Belcher, it allows you to push through an opponent’s hate to combo off and win the game with very little downside!

In Modern Pact of Negation also plays an important role in Ad Nauseam, Storm, and Neobrand. All are very unfair combo decks that lean into what Pact of Negation does best. In Commander, Pact of Negation does extremely well too. It’s included in 74,500 decks on, which is about 10% of all blue decks!

Another reason I like Pact of Negation is because of its strong price history. The A25 version also fell to around $10 about a year after its reprinting, but then proceeded to climb to $40 before it was announced in Timespiral Remastered (TSR), combined with being in “The List” for a while. It’s hard to believe, but TSR was released in March 2021, nearly a year and a half ago. While supply is still fairly deep, Pact’s price has been holding steady thus far, and in my opinion, it’s only a matter of time until Pact of Negation begins to climb again!

Valakut Awakening (Foil Extended Art)

Current Price: $10
Potential Price: $20 in 18 months
Confidence: 8/10
Disclosure: I own 40 copies.

For the low cost of coming into play tapped, Valakut Awakening is able to selectively cycle away your dead cards and land in exchange for fresh new cards. At instant speed no less and it replaces itself! It is no surprise to see this card seeing competitive play, but typically decks run one or two copies as a backup plan like Omnath or Living End. But here, Belcher is running a full four copies! Love to see it. It has also recently been seeing Pioneer play in Jund Transmogrify and other Indomitable Creativity shells.

On top of seeing competitive play, Valakut Awakening is in 67,000 decks on This significant amount of commander play, combined with the Modern and Pioneer, is why I selected the premium version of this card. It’s unlikely that a better card filter card will be printed anytime soon that accomplishes the same flexibility as Valakut Awakening with such few downsides. Assuming a lack of premium reprint, all versions of this card should continue to climb.

Mythic Zendikar Rising Lands

A lot has been written about the Mythic Zendikar Rising lands since their release and this deck provides one more example why you should own a reasonable number of these lands. Some have missed their best entry points, but not all. They are essential for strategies like Belcher but are also role players in countless other decks and are strong EDH cards too.

Watch List: An Offer You Can’t Refuse (Promo Pack: Streets of New Capenna)

Current Price: $8

You may have noticed this sneaky little card is included as one copy in this Belcher list. An Offer You Can’t Refuse in many situations emulates a one-mana negate. For now, Belcher is one of the only consistently strong decks that include it. But at least one other fringe deck, Song of Creation storm, runs a full playset. While I’m not sold yet on An Offer You Can’t Refuse becoming extremely prevalent in competitive circles, I do think it’s worth keeping an eye on to see how it’s being incorporated in decks going forward. I could easily see this card becoming more mainstream, juicing demand for this card.

Turning to EDH, this card is in an astounding 35,000 decks on, which is extremely high for a set that released in April. To put that into perspective Swan Song is in 145,000 decks. At this rate, An Offer You Can’t Refuse is on track to be a mega staple in Commander.

Another question that is outstanding on this card is when will be peak supply? This version comes out of Promo Pack from Streets of New Capenna. It’s unclear to me whether we are currently in peak supply or if a solid amount of new inventory is coming to the market soon.

For now I’m keeping an eye on it, but don’t be surprised if you see it as a future pick.

Oko (@OkoAssassin) has been writing for MTGPrice since 2020 with a focus on competitive play and Magic Online. In his personal life Oko is a lawyer, father, ice-hockey player, runner, and PC gamer.

Picking Up Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty

I have written about how in the last couple of years, I’ve gotten burned pretty badly by moving in too soon on cards I want to spec on. It used to be a three-month timeline for cards to find their floor, but now it’s more like six months. 

With that in mind, let’s look at a few Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty cards and dive in on a couple of bricks. For the most part, I’m hoping to buy at least several playsets, with the intent of selling them all to a buylist when the prices go up. Yes, you get less money per card, but when your profits are already solid, you get a good return and save a lot of time and energy on the shipping.

I don’t like to buy these sorts of cards in small quantities, I’d much prefer to take down a big wall all at once. If you’ve got the patience for opening all the envelopes, go for it.

The primary metric I want to use is EDHREC inclusions, because most of these cards haven’t been in preconstructed decks. These numbers are the tip of the iceberg, coming from the most connected and optimizing players, but it’s good to know what people’s favorite cards are. Commander is the main engine of value these days, but if a card has a lot of Modern or Pioneer play too, that’s a lovely bonus.

I want to make clear that for most of these, I want the cheapest versions, unless the more premium printings are also quite cheap. In some cases that’s possible, and in others it’s totally farfetched. Also, I haven’t bought any of these yet, just for full disclosure.

The Channel Lands (cheapest is $2.50, most expensive is $63 for Borderless foil) – By far the most popular EDHREC inclusion is Boseiju, Who Shelters All, in 61,000 decks online, and the price chart shows a remarkably consistent price for an in-print rare land.

The lands are the most popular cards in the set, with Farewell being more popular than Eiganjo and Sokenzan. It’s not hard to see why all five are so popular, the effects are good and worthwhile and are difficult to counter. 

The only thing holding me back from a big purchase of any of these is that the full cycle is an excellent candidate for a future Secret Lair. That set wouldn’t hurt too bad, as we’re getting in at good prices, but it would take that much longer for the regular versions to get there as a result.

Secluded Courtyard ($1 to $7.50) – The most expensive version of this is the Promo Pack version, which has the Planeswalker symbol frame, but this land is strictly better than Unclaimed Territory, a card in more than 66k decks and has been reprinted several times. Courtyard is in 23,000 decks and again, we’re weighing reprint risk. This is absolutely an uncommon that can make it to $4 retail, giving us a profit of $1-$2 per card when selling to a buylist, but inclusion in a preconstructed deck would sting and slow it down.

Going after the more premium versions is safer, but more expensive to start with. Those are probably the safer play, but require both more capital and more time to open the singletons you’re sent. 

Farewell ($6.50 to $17) – The most popular nonland from the set, this ‘best board wipe ever’ is already expensive from being in 44k decks online. It’s not hard to see why, given the modular nature and the exiling. This is tough to evade and especially for annoyingly recursive decks, represents a total shutdown.

In fact, it’s entirely possible that we’ve already seen the floor on Farewell and it’s only going to trend upward from here. I want to be in on the basic versions, with a greater percentage in growth over time.

The Reality Chip ($2 to $9) – The foil Showcase version of this is already pretty expensive, but the foil EA can be had for close to $4 if you want a more premium version with less of a buy-in. This is a phenomenal card advantage engine, and is even showing up in Modern as a one-of in some Hammer Time decks that tutor it up with Stoneforge Mystic. 

More than 16,000 players have listed the card in their decks, and with a price gap like this, I really want a brick of the most basic versions. I’d be looking to get $4-$5 per copy from a buylist within a year.

Atsushi, the Blazing Sky ($5 to $22) – Almost exactly 16,000 players have added this to decks, and not all of them are Dragons players. This is quite a deal at four mana, and you almost want it to die to effects immediately. In this case, I’m most likely to look at the Borderless foils and hope for an increase to $40 or $50, and that feels pretty reasonable when you remember how many NEO Collector Boosters needed to be opened to get one of these. 

It also helps that right now on TCG there’s only one person with four or more foil Borderless versions, and only about 100 copies total.

Mirror Box ($1.50 to $4) – If you’d asked me how many decks played this card, I wouldn’t have guessed this was the 12th most popular nonland from the set, put into 10,000 decks in the last six months. People absolutely love copying things, though, and Mirror Box enables a very high level of shenanigans. It’s also handy for a boost to all the things you’re playing, and if you copy something multiple times, the boost really grows. There’s a case to be made for any of the versions, but given the higher quantities you can get of the regulars, I think that’s where I want to be. 

Don’t forget that buying all the copies someone has of a card can really lower your cost per card if they went low on price but high on shipping. Here’s an example, from regular frame, nonfoil Mirror Box:

The first vendor, you can get four copies for $10 or six for $15. The second vendor lowered prices but has a higher shipping. If you buy all eight copies, you’re spending $9.75, basically getting two free copies compared to the first vendor. 

Cliff (@WordOfCommander) has been writing for MTGPrice since 2013, and is an eager Commander player, Draft enthusiast, and Cube fanatic. A high school science teacher by day, he’s also the official substitute teacher of the MTG Fast Finance podcast. If you’re ever at a GP and you see a giant flashing ‘CUBE DRAFT’ sign, go over, say hi, and be ready to draft.

Unlocked Pro Trader: A Few Surprises


I work for EDHREC as you probably know and you would think that things on EDHREC wouldn’t surprise me considering I am on the site daily plus I access it in my capacity as finance writer. You would think so, rightfully, and yet there are things that escaped my attention that seem like they’re of consequence. Let’s take a look at some of them and see if there is anything we should have noticed before. I’m goin to be looking at the Top 100 commanders built the last two weeks to see if anything snuck in. Ideally, you’d expect the Top 100 of the last two weeks to be mostly the top 10 of the last 10 sets which were all released roughly in the last two weeks, but you’ll see what it actually looks like, and… well, there are a few surprises.

You miss a lot if you just look at the top 10. Sure, Dragons being hot is no surprise to anyone, and Proper and Yuriko, boring decks that are 95% assembled in the box they came in chart highly, but once you start checking deeper, you’ll see a lot you missed. Here are some of the hits among the misses.

26th place is a long way to scroll down the page and despite seeming very weak and very narrow both, Sefris is nonetheless getting built quite a bit. The ability to trigger this 4 times a turn cycle fairly trivially and recycle creatures has caught the eye of Value Mavens everywhere.

Acererak seems like it’s in a great place. It’s got some functional utility with cards like Aluren, and future decks that do something similar to Aluren could make a 2 card combo with Acererak that draws your whole deck or pings them to death. Couple that with its obvious utility with completing the dungeon and its price currently seeing signs of life and you have yourselves a card to throw in a box for 2 years.

You’d have to really be asleep at the wheel not to notice Liesa was THIRTIETH OVERALL but I done did that. Let’s redeem myself if I can.

This card, which has flirted with $15 twice now, is the kind of casual favorite that will always be worth something because of 60 card casual players. They are the solid majority of players, and while they tend not to use our markets a ton, TCG and CK have good enough SEO that if they’re buying those cards online, they’re buying from one of those sites. This is currently gettable for $10 less than the price it peaked at, it’s on its way up and I don’t need a third thing.

It’s a little surprising for an uncommon to be ranked this highly, but this card does see some play, and it also held a very tasty secret that a lot of people missed – there was a card in there that was arbable as recently as March. Everything changed when Jinnie Fay Nation attacked.

I wish I’d noticed this when it hit its floor but the price seemed flat for so long, I stopped checking. I revisted both Aura Mutation and Artifact Mutation in the wake of Jinnie Fay but I forget about the more recent InPestation. If you can get these for the old price, do. This isn’t as much as spec opportunity as a “woopsie daisy” – I don’t always notice everything. This likely tops out at $10 but $15 isn’t unreasonable. I think expecting to spec at $8 and get out at $15 maybe is, though.

Ranked #218 overall, this is a recent (I mean, obviously) inclusion in the Rick Dees Biweekly 2.5 times Top 40. However, Value hunters found a lot to like here, and they unearthed an older card that seems more fun than ever.

The regular-border version of this is $1.50 or so making the meteoric rise of the EA version kind of surprising. Cards with large gaps between the EA version and regular version are hard for me to identify using my current routine and I’ll really need to address that or I’ll miss more than just this. Regular version can’t be terribly far behind, but in terms of sheer availability, I’m not sure what the ceiling is. EA versions are the new foils, and the foils are the new rules or token insert. What a world to rear children up in.

I don’t have a spec based on this pretty old but very, very, very linear and boring commander which I gave up on building because the process of it being on rails literally bored me, but this is as good a time as any to point out that Kindred Discovery got a reprint.

Reprinted cards have a tendency to settle between their spike price and their reprint price. I won’t bore you with the average of $55 and $5, but that number is more than $5 and it’s more than $10 and it’s more than $20, so maybe you want these at $5.

That does it for me, readers. I have to get better about identifying cards that have a very juicy EA version but a really boring regular version and foil, and I have to start tracking commanders we all know are good but which will be like 7th in a set and 50th for the month and like 63rd overall. Not being in the Top 5 can make me miss it with my current routine, and I need to tighten up. That said, missing stuff doesn’t feel nearly as bad as false positives, something my current method has been good about. All I know is that I’ve been at this more than a decade, I’m still learning and I couldn’t have done it without your support. Until next time!