Unlocked Pro Trader: Ranking the 40 Box Toppers

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Readers,

By now you’re all aware of the new “Box Toppers” that are being included in booster boxes of Ultimate Masters. Some of them are very good and some of them are Lavaclaw Reaches. Some of them are Modern or Legacy staples and some of them are EDH gold. What I am going to do today is rank all 40 in terms of how much play they get in EDH to see if there are any cards likely to be underestimated by the general public at first. Remember, this is the same general public that thought a $70 Duplicant Invention was a good thing and a $20 Ornithopter Invention was an overpayment. Cards like Mind’s Eye, Duplicant and Solemn Simulacrum don’t get the play they used to and some other cards that people consider staples in “their” formats get a consider able amount of EDH play. Cross-format appeal can juice cards more than people might think and it’s important to know what matters in EDH. Here are all 40 cards, ranked by most EDH play to least, with some notes.

Eternal Witness (55,300 decks)

No real surprises here. Eternal Witness is a true format staple. Unfortunately, despite its ability to shake off reprints and maintain around $7 retail basically forever, it hasn’t shown much of an ability to have the premium versions go nuts. This is about a 5x multiplier which is great and I expect the box topper to be a lot, but without any real demand in formats outside of EDH and despite the most EDH demand of the 40 cards, I expect this to end up one of the cheaper ones due to the lack of cross-format appeal. That said, one just sold for $250 which is better than quite a few of the cards. I don’t have super high hopes here, though although being “uncommon” doesn’t matter since it has the same rarity as the other box toppers.

Demonic Tutor (46,352 decks)

I’m not sure if there will be more of these judge promos or more box toppers. What I do know is that Demonic Tutor has cross-format appeal, the second-most EDH demand, precendent for a nearly $300 promo and it looks like someone listed a UMA boxtopper on eBay for $200 and accepted a lower best offer. That’s good news for anyone who is looking to grab these around $150 when UMA is at peak supply because I don’t think $300 is unreasonable for the UMA box toppers which look way better than the Judge Promo version.

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth (45,160 decks)

There was no Urborg Expedition, which was sort of a surprise, but that means it will be tougher to pin down where the box topper is likely to end up. What I do know is that they’re currently going for about $150 and that’s like 5 times what an FTV foil is going for. I think high demand could confound the high supply of FTV foils and give us a price above $100, but I’m less confident about this than I am most cards.

Mana Vault (23,281 decks)

Competition with the Masterpiece could confound the price a bit but I think the insane degree of EDH inclusion, the amount of appeal in Vintage also where people foil their decks the most and the high current price of the Masterpiece all point to this box topper Mana Vault being a strong contender for the $250 to $300 range. I don’t like guessing exact prices, but I think high EDH demand could put this on par with the masterpiece and if there are fewer box toppers, it could surpass it considering how ugly I think the masterpiece is compared with the box topper. If anyone currently using a masterpiece switches, the price on those could dip and make those a nice buy since I expect that price to recover also.

Ancient Tomb (22,284 decks)

The box toppers are selling between $250 and $275 which seems low given the low supply currently and if they get even cheaper when UMA is being opened, the expedition makes a strong case for this staying above $200 in the near term. I like this card a lot and its play in Legacy and Vintage makes this one of the highest-demand cards on this list.

Cavern of Souls (19,204 decks)

Could this end up being one of the most expensive cards once the dust settles? It’s played as a 4-of in Legacy and Modern decks and the high EDH demand make this a real contender. Not having an expedition printing to compete with the box topper is another factor that make this seem like it could crest $300 and beyond. This is one to watch for sure.

Snapcaster Mage(12,338 decks)

I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect this card to have quite as much EDH demand as it does but numbers don’t lie. This is currently a $300 box topper and that seems about right – I expect that number to dip but recover.

Kozilek, Butcher of Truth (12,119 decks)

This has moderate EDH demand but I don’t expect a card that’s a 1-of outside of EDH to be worth that much. This is probably going to end up close to $100 if its $50 set foils are any indication. I’m not excited.

Reanimate (12,089 decks)

I don’t think EDH will have to do all of the heavy lifting here. With only one unsold box topper listed on eBay for $225 just sitting there, it’s hard to guess where it will end up, but 4-of formats play this card as much or more than EDH so cross-format appeal will help, which is good, because EDH demand is sort of middling.

Mikaeus, the Unhallowed (11,895 decks)

Almost 100% of this card’s demand is from EDH and while it’s got moderate to high demand, it also has established that EDH demand means it’s a $27 with a mere $64 foil. I think the box topper will be more than $64 but it’s hard to say how much or even whether it should be.

Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre (10,890 decks)

See everything I said about Kozilek and throw in the $30 ftv foil on top of it. These can’t all be $100 bills.

Life from the Loam (10,626 decks)

Moderate EDH demand, a recent spike due to how unfair Creeping Chill is in dredge decks and only two of its 3 printings having foil versions make me think the $210 BIN price on eBay isn’t that ambitious after all.

Balefire Dragon (8,724 decks)

Middling EDH demand and 0 demand from other formats all but doom this to sub-$100 territory, which is fine. I would like to own one and I can’t really justify buying myself a $300 card for EDH, but $45? I’m listening. I’m too good at selling expensive cards, which is a good habit to have, I think.

Karn Liberated (8,168 decks)

This doesn’t even look that good. It’s barely a border extension. I wouldn’t expect this to ever approach $200 but I’ve been wrong before, especially about prices in cards that are mostly used in Modern like this one.

Stirring Wildwood (5,975 decks)

Did you expect this to have the most EDH demand of the whole cycle? I didn’t! I expect this to be the 4th-cheapest, however. We’re getting into very low-demand territory here as far as EDH is concerned and Wildwood isn’t played outside of EDH. This is basically a wammy if you open it or Lavaclaw Reaches.

Bitterblossom (5,234 decks)

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EDH isn’t playing this card much and it’s not clear who is. This is one of the better-looking promos and it could just end up in a lot of cubes but $300 is a bit much.

Sigarda, Host of Herons (5,111 decks)

The amount of deck inclusions plus the number of decks where Sigarda is the commander still don’t really justify a $200 price tag and this isn’t played enough outside of EDH for me to be enthusiastic about its price.

Maelstrom Pulse (4,796 decks)

This “feels” $100 to me. I think it goes down at peak supply but I could see this maintaining about $100 on the basis of what we see other masterpiece cards doing, even the ugly ones from Amonkhet block.

Liliana of the Veil (3,967 decks)

This will be expensive and EDH won’t have anything to do with it.

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Creeping Tar Pit (3,586 decks)

Good luck getting that $250. I don’t see it.

Dark Depths (3,713 decks)

This isn’t played much in cube or EDH and it’s not clear where the demand is coming from. I like this card but I like it a lot less than a lot of other cards on the list and I think a lot of its previous high price was owed to scarcity and how dumb it was in Modern before they banned it.

Celestial Colonnade (3,320 decks)

Modern decks could gobble these up 2 or 3 at a time and I see this ending up worth way more than Wildwood which means the EDH demand is the gravy, not the cake.

Lavaclaw Reaches (3,007 decks)

This is the “wammy” card of the set. No real demand outside of EDH and a real low price

Platinum Emperion (2,864 decks)

Dumb, flash-in-the-pan Mtggoldfish decks aside, this doesn’t see much play and while it should get played more in EDH, it doesn’t. I can’t get $60 for the Japanese foil version I have, I don’t see someone breaking off $150 for this.

Lord of Extinction (2,661 decks)

This has a $35 Amonkhet invocation. That’s all I have to say about that.

Raging Ravine (2,627 decks)

A cycle of wammies? Are we sure that’s a good idea?

Noble Hierarch (2,599 decks)

I think $250 is fine-ish for now. I bet this drops when we’re at peak supply but this is in a lot of Modern decks, gets played a playset at a time and doesn’t have as many premium versions as it should. This was a sorely needed reprint and the box topper version is a nice bonus.

Gaddock Teeg (2,409 decks)

Not sure what’s going to happen here, but this guy is at the helm of a lot of decks and he needed a premium version. New art would have been cool but I like how this looks. All in all, I would expect this to be around $100.

Temporal Manipulation (1,912 decks)

This went from like a solid 3 bills to a $60 judge promo pretty fast. This price is about to crater after UMA packs come out. Luckily Wizards learned and didn’t make a Portal card the marquee card of the set but rather a deep inclusion which means it’s OK when this sheds a ton of value because it doesn’t have to pull the weight they expected Imperial Recruiter to pull. This will be very cheap soon and I bet it goes in a lot of EDH decks when it gets there.

Tasigur, the Golden Fang (1,704 decks)

This is a bigger wammy than I think people are anticipating. He doesn’t even have a banana in the art. No Potassium? That’s not K with me.

Kitchen Finks (1,070 decks)

I don’t know if this can maintain $100 but it does have quite a bit of demand from a few formats, it gets played in multiples and there are as many of the box toppers as any other box topper, not way more so its rarity matters for other promo versions but not this one.

Fulminator Mage (498 decks)

I don’t have much to say about this other than that FedEx bent Jim Casale’s copy of this card and that’s really funny because it didn’t happen to me and they should send him a new one.

Vengevine (387 decks)

Modern can’t decide if it wants this card or not and the price is going to dip a lot until it figures it out. There may be opportunity here, though I’m not sure how much.

Tarmogoyf (373 decks)

This card is none of our business.

Engineered Explosives (361 decks)

We’re getting to cards that EDH doesn’t care about but Modern and Legacy are fond of. If I had to guess, I would say $150 is probably OK but just keep an eye on these. It’s a sideboard card mostly, but it’s an important one.

Goryo’s Vengeance (172 decks)

This is an important card for 1 deck in Modern and the 2x foil multiplier lets me know people aren’t inclined to go Premium and I don’t expect this to be much more than the set foil.

Through the Breach (112 decks)

See what I said about Vengeance and on top of that, there’s a cheap invocation out there.

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn (Banned in EDH)

Someone just tweeted at James Chillcott that they sold one of these for $300. I thought that was nuts until I saw this dude out here on eBay trying to get 5.

Karakas (Banned in EDH)

I haven’t played one of these since I was still trying to make Punishing Maverick work in a world that just got Deathrite Shaman added to it. I hope this stays over $100 but the demand has largely evaporated and they waited too long to get us the supply. Snagged a lot of these for $50 on Card Shark and later sold them for $100 so that was cool. Remember Card Shark?

Leovold, Emmisary of Trest (Banned in EDH)

Card that warped Legacy and Vintage deserves no less, but it warped EDH a little too much.

 

That’s what I think. I like the cross-format cards a lot more but low on our list are cards like Tarmogoyf and Bitterblossom that will be money regardless of how little EDH cares. I think what emerged was how much I expect Demonic Tutor to go up and how much play Stirring Wildwood gets. That’s all for me this week – until next time!

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Ultimate Masters: Putting Things In Perspective

Surprise! Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Wizards of the Coast has gone ahead and dropped a glitter bomb on the Magic community with the late announcement of Ultimate Masters.

First, let’s cover the basics. Here’s what you need to know about Ultimate Masters in a nutshell:

  • MSRP for this set is $335.76 / box ($13.99/pack), up from $240 or so for the last few Masters sets
  • The set has 20 mythics & 53 rares and several important cards feature new art
  • As per usual there is also a foil card in every pack
  • Boxes are only available at Local Gaming Stores, but that means you’ll also see them on Ebay and TCGPlayer as well as online vendor stores
  • Each box comes with an “Ultimate Box Topper” booster pack with one of forty brand new Masterpieces style cards. These packs are sealed within the boxes
  • UMA boxes will be an LGS exclusive but 3-packs of boosters will be available at big box stores for $34.99 for 3 packs, without any chance at the Masterpiece box toppers
  • UMA is only being printed in English and Japanese, but will be distributed worldwide
  • Further spoilers for the set are scheduled for November 19th and 20th, with the full set reveal on Nov 21
  • The set will also be available on Magic Online, though it will not be redeemable and the Masterpieces will only show up in Treasure Chests
  • Release date is December 7th, 2018

Now, let’s see what we can do about grounding our analysis to figure out whether this is a set we’re supposed to be purchasing for fun or profit.

The Masterpiece Factor vs. The Price Increase

Ultimate Masters Box Topper
Ultimate Masters Box Topper

There was a lot of chatter on social media Monday expressing dismay at the quoted MSRP of $335.76 USD. This does represent a 40% increase vs. the $240 MSRP we’ve come to expect from recent Masters sets, but it’s important to focus on value as expressed through the EV of the set, and not the sticker shock of a higher price point.

Firstly, price complaints that ignore the estimated value of the guaranteed Masterpiece included in every sealed box are missing the mark by a mile. Sure, some people are going to get stuck with Balefire Dragon or Raging Ravine as their Masterpiece, but far more are going to open something truly sweet that is very likely to appreciate longer term. No one is going to be complaining about getting a Masterpiece Liliana of the Veil, Tarmogoyf, Snapcaster Mage, or Karn Liberated.

Here’s the full list of box toppers.

My early math suggests that this set of Masterpieces will have the highest average EV of any Masterpiece set released so far, largely due to the preponderance of expensive Modern staples being included and the increase from 30 Inventions in Kaladesh to 40 possible cards here.

Overall, my guess is that the EV of the box topper alone will be $100+ or so once we get past peak supply, which means you have to consider the box price as being slightly less than previous sets, not more.

I should also note that I secured my first case last night at $900/case, or $225/box, which is about $80 above what I paid for the last two Masters set, and largely comparable to those purchases given the included Masterpiece. I will not be at all surprised to see further opportunities in the $240-$270 range as the pre-order season becomes more competitive, which seriously undercuts any criticisms of the MRSP, since that number is largely irrelevant. Add in the superior EV of the main set and possibility of truly insane openings, and I see no reason to hold back so far.

Further, ALL of the Masterpieces also appear in the set as mythics, rares and two uncommons (Kitchen Finks & Eternal Witness) and though we still have 34 rares and many of the uncommons and commons to be revealed, the theme of the set would suggest that WoTC will follow through here and deliver a truly impressive roster of cards. We get the full info Nov 21st, but I want my orders in before that since I’m expecting people to end up surprised at how great this set is. Kitchen sink set here we come!

Juiced To The Gills?

Take a look at the cards we know we’re getting in Ultimate Masters and their respective current price points.

Liliana of the Veil

Mythics (20 of 20 known)

  1. Liliana of the Veil $90
  2. Karn, Liberated $90
  3. Cavern of Souls $80
  4. Tarmogoyf $70
  5. Snapcaster Mage $70
  6. Temporal Manipulation $65
  7. Karakas $60
  8. Dark Depths $50
  9. Emrakul, the Aeons Torn $40
  10. Kozilek, the Butcher $40
  11. Bitterblossom $40
  12. Vengevine $38
  13. Mana Vault $30
  14. Mikaeus, the Unhallowed $27
  15. Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre $25
  16. Leovold, Emissary of Trest $20
  17. Lord of Extinction $16
  18. Sigarda, Host of Herons $16
  19. Balefire Dragon $15
  20. Platinum Emperion $14

That folks, is as good as your mythics list is ever likely to get in a booster box based Magic set. The current average price of these cards is a whopping $45, which is about 45% better than Modern Masters 2017 and 72% better than M25 last winter. With three mythics per box on average, you’re looking at underwriting  $135 in average box cost with your mythics alone (assuming they rebound back close to these prices down the road). Combined with the fact that this list represents significantly more high demand Modern staples, and this is unquestionably attractive.

Notice that there are five more Mythics in this set vs. past Masters sets, which should act as a minor damper on how much the mythics lose in price and for how long. On the other hand, the greater the average price of the included cards, the more they stand to lose from current pricing in the short term, since the alternative is that boxes are cracked for singles until they fall far enough to shut that down. This could result in some pretty swingy price shifts over the next several months as much of the print run is purchased, cracked and dumped into the market, only to dry up within a few months due to a lack of additional inventory from the supply chain.

Snapcaster Mage box topper

If I was to flag some early targets among the mythics that are likely to rebound out six to nine months I’d first look at the following cards as things to check in on heading into peak supply in mid to late December:

  • Liliana of the Veil
  • Karn, Liberated
  • Cavern of Souls
  • Tarmogoyf
  • Snapcaster Mage
  • Karakas
  • Dark Depths
  • Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
  • Vengevine
  • Mana Vault

Rares (19 of 53 known)

Demonic Tutor

  1. Engineered Explosives $85
  2. Noble Hierarch $80
  3. Celestial Collonade $55
  4. Gaddock Teeg $50
  5. Goryo’s Vengeance $44
  6. Through the Breach $44
  7. Ancient Tomb $36
  8. Demonic Tutor $36
  9. Fulminator Mage $26
  10. Reanimate $25
  11. Maelstrom Pulse $22
  12. Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth $20
  13. Life from the Loam $20
  14. Entomb $20
  15. Creeping Tar Pit $14
  16. Raging Ravine $12
  17. Lavaclaw Reaches $2
  18. Tasigur, the Golden Fang $1.50
  19. Stirring Wildwood $1

Aside from the hit or miss land cycle, that is a very good looking set of rares so far. Will there be some stinkers in the remaining 35? Definitely. Are you likely to see a set with a higher EV on rares anytime soon? Probably not.

The average price of these rares at present is $31, but we can’t hang our hat on that figure until we see the full list and recalculate a more realistic average.It is worth noting that when I looked at early rare values for the top 25 rares in MM17 however, they were only averaging $23 in the same time frame, so that’s a 35% boost with UMA. Not bad at all.

Even if the average rare price (across all rares) drops to $5 in the final tally, we’d still be underwriting $105 in box cost! If it’s $3, that’s still $63 + $135+ from the mythics + $100+ avg EV (estimated) from the Masterpieces and that’s without even considering the likely EV contributions from the foils in every pack and the uncommons/commons which tend to add $50-80 in value combined. Surprise! We probably just justified the MSRP of $335 even in a pessimistic scenario. Yes, the cards are going to fall from their current price points, but really good mythics and rares aren’t likely to fall very hard, or for very long.

Given that WoTC tends to lead spoilers with the good stuff, I’d expect that roughly just 15 of the remaining 35 rares will be impressive. That could still be enough to cement this set as the best Masters set ever.

Now I do feel that the list of rares here is less resilient overall to a reprint, but I feel good about the rebound potential of at least the following based on their overall demand profile in Modern & EDH:

  • Noble Hierarch
  • Celestial Collonade
  • Engineered Explosives
  • Demonic Tutor
  • Life from the Loam
  • Reanimate

Masterpiece Reprints & Premium Card Fatigue?

Ancient Tomb Box Topper

Some folks have wondered aloud (again) whether too many Masterpieces might be a bad thing. Could players get burned out on premium versions, driving down their values on the whole?

Historical precedent and the latest list of Masterpieces suggests that we’re pretty far from that scenario still. While it is true that a few of these cards have now been Masterpieces twice (Mana Vault, Ancient Tomb, Through the Breach), we need only look as far as Mana Crypt and Sol Ring for examples of cards that have had multiple rare and shiny versions that have tended to trend upward together once the Masterpiece started to rise. Given the higher than usual demand profile of the Masterpieces in question this time, and the deep stock of cards that haven’t yet been given the treatment, this isn’t something I think we need to worry about quite yet.

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That being said, it is certainly possible that Masterpiece Cavern of Souls, for instance, might overshadow the Modern Masters 2017 foils for a while, though any gap that opens in their relative prices will only set them up to service different segments of the market or set the stage for the gap to close over time.

Limited Supply?

How limited will Ultimate Masters be relative to other Masters sets? So far, it’s tough to say with any certainty.  Dealers are telling us that their allocations are relatively modest vs. M25 and Iconic Masters last year, and I’m being told by reliable vendor sources that there is only going to be a single wave of allocations. A lot of people will assume this is going to be as common as M25 or Iconic Masters, and I think they’ll be dead wrong. This is WoTC learning from past mistakes and as with Mythic Edition, this set is being designed to sell out.

Further, I have pegged previous MPS sets at around 8000-12,000 copies of each card worldwide, but I think this set could be significantly lower.

Consider this: if WoTC puts out 100,000 boxes of this set and each box has 1 box topper, then there are just 2500 of each box topper. That means we need to be selling 400,000 boxes to approximate the # of Kaladesh Inventions that exist. At $200 cost/box to vendors, WoTC revenues from selling into distributors could be $160/box or about $64M in project revenues. That sounds high to me, and that’s what we’d need for there to be 10k.

Ah, but wait, we also need to consider the freebie copies sent out to folks involved in the Mythic Edition online sale debacle through HasbroToyShop.com. That might have added a few thousand more copies into the mix. Of course even if that’s 10,000 free box toppers, it’s only +250 of each. Not much really.

If you can refine that math, you can zero in on how many of these things exist, so you should try.

It should also be noted that Chinese has been dropped from the Masters print run, which further reduces the total # of boxes and  Masterpieces in circulation. This is more relevant for the box toppers than the Chinese staples, since those don’t circulate much outside of China due to lack of demand abroad.

Japanese boxes on the other hand are likely to be both very rare, and fairly pricey, with MSRP reportedly set around $340 USD in that country as well, but with likely street prices that could exceed $400-$500 with relative ease. I’ll be looking at acquiring some myself, but I suspect the margins will be too thin short term to go very deep since the Japanese vendors will automatically recognize the value of the product & unlike Battlebond the Japanese Modern players will scoop this stuff up right quick.

The Last Masters Set?

WoTC is claiming that this set will be the last Masters set for a while, but don’t expect that to mean no more reprints. Rather, I would expect to see some alternate product models hit the shelves in 2019, most likely with a focus on driving additional product into the hands of Modern & EDH players. A few possibilities include supplemental sets with new cards for Modern, Modern style challenger decks at high price points, and a fresh spin on a Commander’s Arsenal style foil set for Commander players.

What’s Missing?

Notable exclusions from Ultimate Masters so far include Dark Confidant, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Vendillion Clique, any hope of fetchlands and Mox Opal. Other cards such as Thoughtseize have seen recent printings but may still make it in once all the rares are revealed. There is likely some minor gains to be had in the next few months on any missing mythics and rares that in the Top 50 cards in Modern, so keep your eye on inventory levels and the associated price ladders.

In Summary

Ultimate Masters is looking like a source of compelling value, despite the high MSRP. The mythic and rare complement is as good as it gets, with many high demand cards that are often used as 4 of staples in Modern and while variance can still wreck you here, targeting boxes under $275 during pre-orders is going to be hard to beat for fun and value and it could easily turn out that even MSRP is too cheap in the longer term. The popularity of the included mythics and best rares will help card values recover faster, especially if the print run is also more limited and/or the set is released in less waves. This is also a set where you could possibly open Liliana of the Veil Masterpiece and Foil in the same box and that particular lottery result could be you.

Finally, if the price point is too high for your budget, perhaps consider splitting a box with some friends and drafting for the box topper as your prize or look to take advantage of the discounted staples pricing as peak supply hits around the same time as the holiday season drives down singles prices. Remember, not every product will be a perfect fit for your scenario, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to make it work for your needs.

Until next time, happy hunting!

James Chillcott (@mtgcritic) is an entrepreneur, investor, designer, collector, gamer and adventurer. Between dolling out good advice and humble bragging on Twitter he can be found playing with his daughter Alara, running a couple of web companies and eating cookies.

 

The Watchtower 11/5/18 for ProTraders – Plan Your Specs

By: Travis Allen
@wizardbumpin


Don’t miss this week’s installment of the MTG Fast Finance podcast, an on-topic, no-nonsense tour through the week’s most important changes in the Magic economy.


Magic’s community is awash in discussion of Ultimate Masters this week. Box toppers started showing up in mailboxes late last week as a PR stunt slash apology for how horrible the Guilds of Ravnica purchasing experience was. We didn’t have to wait long to find out what they were, as Ultimate Masters was announced just today. With an MSRP of $335 it’s going to scare a lot of players away, but the value of those box toppers is no joke.

Drogskol Captain

Price Today: $2.50
Possible Price: $9

With Grand Prix Atlanta in the books and another win for Bant Spirits, it’s clear that this deck is the real deal. We weren’t sure what to think of Humans when that first showed up, and it has shown that it’s capable of getting the job done. Now here we are with Spirits taking down back to back GPs and we should start talking about what things are going to look like in this list in a few months.

Prices aren’t dirt cheap the way they were a few months ago when we all wondered if this was just a fluke. We can’t pick up foil Drogskol Captains for $3 any longer. That ship has sailed. Instead, we should be looking at non-foils. Early adoption of the deck is going to put pressure on foils immediately, as people dash to get the limited supply that’s out there. Once that initial wave disappears, if the deck keeps putting up results, you’ll see the copies needed for average people that just want to jam the deck start to thin out. That’s the stage we’re in now, and a key piece is Drogskol Captain. He’s a virtual lock in every iteration, which is great for moving copies.

Today you’ll find a little under 60 vendors with copies, and many have several, so we’re not looking at running out this week. Instead, we’re looking into the spring, and possibly beyond for this to start to move. Barring an unexpected reprint in some ancillary product (since with the name Drogskol he’s not coming back in Ravnica any time soon), there’s nowhere to go but up. The cheapest copies are going to be getting snagged by players looking to play the deck, loose copies will filter out of collections as prices are hit $4 to $5, there will be a lull as the new supply is chewed through, and then the price increase will continue again.

Spell Queller

Price Today: $6
Possible Price: $15

 

Long-time readers (and especially listeners of @mtgfastfinance) will have heard this name a few times before. Back when Spell Queller was spooking Standard and just barely beginning to make ripples in Modern I began to take notice, and recommended foils. I pushed them again maybe a year or so, after the card had firmly situated itself in Modern. And now here we are, with Bant Spirits the latest rage, and I think we can start looking at non-foils.

Spell Queller has only two printings; the original pack copies, and the prerelease foils. Like Drogskol Captain, supply is healthy right now. That’s fine. We’re early in the period where there will be a sustained collective interest in the card since the deck is doing so well. Even if Bant Spirits the strategy begins to fade, Spell Queller has proven it has the chops to compete in the format, and future deck builders will be likely to consider it as a serious option.

With prices starting at $5 to $6, it isn’t going to be hard to pick these up out of trade binders or during sales. Keep stashing them away and forget you have them. These could pull up above $10 easily, and you’ll be glad you did when that time comes.


Razaketh, the Foulblooded

Price Today: $6
Possible Price: $13

We can’t do a Watchtower without touching on the greatest format, EDH. A constant source of price pressure, there’s always something to turn our attention to.

When he was released, I was all about Razaketh. One of Griselbrand’s companions, Razaketh has Demonic Tutor as an activated ability. Spicy! Today EDHREC is reporting Razaketh in about 4,500 decks, which is a healthy number given the time elapsed since his release. Foils have been maturing well, with initial buy-ins of $7 to $8 now seeing 100% gains and low supply.

Today we’re talking about non-foils though. While there are still some foil opportunities under $15 if you scour the internet that should still payoff nicely, non-foils are getting attractive. Like our other two cards this week, we aren’t looking at a card that’s got seven copies on the market. No, there’s still a healthy supply of Razaketh. (CFB has fifty in stock alone.) Our time of departure on Razaketh isn’t this year. It’s probably middle to late next year, after attrition has drained all the copies under $10, there’s fewer on the market, and larger price gaps between the copies that are out there.

Razaketh lets players fire off Demonic Tutors as quickly as they can generate thrull or elf tokens. Demonic Tutor is the most popular black card in EDH. Razaketh is going to keep finding his way into nearly any deck that can cast him.


Travis Allen has  been playing Magic: The Gathering since 1994, mostly in upstate New York. Ever since his first FNM he’s been trying to make playing Magic cheaper, and he first brought his perspective to MTGPrice in 2012. You can find his articles there weekly, as well as on the podcast MTG Fast Finance.


Brainstorm Brewery #311 Not For Sale

 

Corbin’s (@CHosler88) is gone but  DJ (@Rose0fThorns) and Jason (@jasonEalt) are ready to proxy in @TheProxyGuy to talk about proxies, bling, tokens and all things magic.

Make sure to check us out on Youtube for hidden easter eggs and facial reactions  https://www.youtube.com/user/BrainstormBrewery

  • 00:15 Just like Kindergarten

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  • 17:15 What Foils to use?

  • 18:08 Tokens!

  • 19:55 Dry Erase Tokens

  • 22:39 Proxy Cubes

  • 29:50 Breaking Bulk

  • 46:35 Top Gun

  • 53:47 Mighty Ducks …. Again

  • 1:02:46 C16 vs C17 vs C18

  • 1:06:37 Proxies for Nikes

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Return info for TeeSpring: You can return the items to the following address:

 

Teespring

1201 Aviation Blvd

Dock Door 9

Hebron, KY 41048

 

Kindly leave a note with your order number/email address, or include the label from your original shipment.

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