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.

Hofri? No, hof You!

I love Hofri Ghostforge, not just because he does awesome things like make your Spirits get haste and trample, not just because he enables all sorts of extra value shenanigans, but because he’s a Commander in a tribe and color combination that hasn’t had a lot of direct support. Sure, Kykar makes spirit tokens, but that’s a commander for a spells-based deck that wants to get degenerate.

My personal preference is almost always tribal goodness, where synergies can grow and thrive. Hofri offers that, telling us to play a R/W Spirit deck and all the enablers we can think of. Let’s dive in, and see where the value is before others catch on.

Some of these are decent specs anyway, but keep an eye on Hofri’s status on EDHREC’s list of commanders. Currently #8, if that creeps upward some of these are going to spike hard, and that’s when you want to be selling.

Balefire Liege ($3 nonfoil/$14 foil/$3 MYB foil) – This was the first card that really caught my eye. Eventide was forever ago AND had a pretty small print run. It’s had two reprints: Planechase (also forever ago) and most recently as a Mystery Booster retail foil. There’s only 27 EVE foils on TCG right now, and only 7 are NM. That’s a really low supply, and MYB foils weren’t exactly common to begin with. An excellent pickup, even before you get into the awesome synergies that the Liege offers with all the things you’re doing. 

Eternal Dragon (less than a buck) – Mostly, I’m looking at the Pro Tour promos for $10 or less, and thinking about how there’s none of the original foil left. Right now on TCG there’s three LP foils, for $60, $225, and $275. Someone read my mind already, as that foil was available for under $40 until just a couple of weeks ago. It does everything a deck like this would want, giving long-term value and even giving you a way to trigger all of the ‘leaves graveyard’ effects on a regular basis. 

Hokori, Dust Drinker ($8/$25) – Hokori has never had a reprint, and is one of those cards that makes a table grind their teeth in annoyance. This is not something you can apply one-sided, like Urza and Winter Orb. A reprint would hit this card pretty hard, as it’s not in high demand anywhere. This price is all the scarcity of being the middle set of a block that did not sell particularly well and was 16 years ago. That said, because copies are so rare, it won’t take much to cause a price bump.

Jiwari, the Earth Aflame (50 cents/$3) – 5 NM foils on TCG for a card that’s both niche and should see a lot more play. Channel is an ability that is hard to interact with. You can Disallow the ability, but you can’t Counterspell it. It’s repeatable killing on the table, or a semi-boardwipe, all in a tasty Spirit package. 

Karmic Guide ($7 up to $140 for the OG foil) – There’s been a few versions of this over the years, but it’s such a ridiculously easy card to abuse! Being from the first foil expansion set has kept the foil value high over the years, and the Angel synergies tend to play a part too. If Spirits start taking off as a tribe, I’d expect these $7 copies to hit $15 quickly.

Kataki, War’s Wage ($1 up to $35) – Two reprints to check on here: One was Modern Masters 2013, the other was the infamous Modern Event Deck, the only one of its kind. Should Commander players start picking this up, look for the MM foils to shoot up first, as there’s about a $20 gap between that one and the Saviors of Kamigawa original.

Myojin of Cleansing Fire ($3/$25) – Only one NM foil on TCG, for a card that’s never been reprinted. Sure, it’s eight mana to destroy all other creatures, but that’s the dream in Commander-land. Triggering this with Hofri out will get you all the tokens for the other creatures you control, so use with caution.

Nobilis of War (25 cents up to $5) – Having the Modern Masters 2015 reprint probably means this won’t take off, but it’s fantastic in the deck. Giving this Spirit a boost, plus trample and haste, means that it and any other Spirits are going to come down and hit hard. Unlikely to have a huge gain, unfortunately.

Oyobi, Who Split the Heavens ($1/$7) – I get that this is a seven-mana card that requires you to cast more Spirits, but to Commander players, that’s not a downside. We run a search for the creature type in the text or type line and get to it. This will have wonderful returns once it’s in play, and is the kind of card more casual players fall in love with. So many Spirits!

Ryusei, the Falling Star deserves special mention here as it’s got not just the OG foil from Kamigawa, but the alternate-art prerelease foil that is a sweet-looking Dragon Spirit as well! There’s a whole lot of cheaper versions, and also two other foil versions from Iconic Masters and Modern Masters 2013. 

Twilight Drover ($3/$10) – One of the most incredible token enablers ever, the Drover has surprisingly avoided much reprinting. One Duel Deck appearance, and then that’s it. The foil is primed to explode, with only a handful of copies left and very few of those NM.

Yosei, the Morning Star ($2 up to $15) – Either go for the OG foils or the IMA foil with the sweet new art. 

Now, a couple of enablers I love:

Emeria, the Sky Ruin ($10/$40) – The foil price is a bit misleading, as there’s very few NM foils around. White has a whole lot of one-shot reanimation effects, and I like to plan for the inevitable mass death of creatures. I was gobsmacked to find that this hasn’t been reprinted even once, but if you’ve ever seen someone recur Sun Titan with this, you’d understand the power level.

Homura, Human Ascendant ($3/$10) – Not a spirit, but a card that’s got tiny supply and is begging to be abused in an aggressive deck. 

Marshal’s Anthem (50 cents/$6) – This is one of the only ways for white or red to get back more than one creature at the same time, but having the anthem tacked on is a nice bonus. No foil reprint for this, but it’s only in 3300 decks on EDHREC. It’s been in several Commander decks over the years, including Kaldheim’s set. Focus on the foils here.

Sword of Light and Shadow ($25 up to $100 for a Masterpiece) – A lot of Masterpieces have seen recent spikes as collectors exert a heavy toll on prices, but this hasn’t gone up yet. White doesn’t have a lot of creature recursion, and this is one of the few re-usable effects. I’d prefer that it comes back into play, but you can’t have it all. The Masterpiece is where I’d want to be, although the old-border judge foil is also super sick art and has been more than $75 in the past.

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: Early Quick Hits


Usually I pick one commander, the most popular one, and do a whole article going very deep on just those picks before moving on to the next commander. The problem then became that by the time I got to the 4th or 5th article, all of the obvious picks had dried up. I feel like I was doing you a disservice by not mentioning big, obvious stuff while there was still time to get it. I can get granular for granularity’s sake later when the obvious stuff dries up. I think that money is money and picks are picks, but I also think you’re going to get sort of annoyed if I don’t mention obvious stuff because I tackled the subjects in the wrong order.

To that end, for this set at least, I’m going to try and cruise through quick hits for the set this week and for the precons next week. It’s not ideal either way – ideally I’d write a huge primer the second I had any data and you could all read it at once, but since that’s not really an option, let’s at least pick the low-hanging fruit, shall we?

The distribution so far isn’t quite how I expected it to go, but I think the precon commanders are liable to overshadow the set commanders a bit. That’s fine, I don’t love the idea of them jamming 35 Legendary creatures into every set now, anyway. We’re drowning in commanders and that has the effect of making everyone make every good one just to keep up rather than getting to spend some time with some silly ones. I don’t love it but that’s my commentary as a person who cares about the format. As a person who cares about prices, it’s probably not going to tip over the house of cards yet.

I didn’t really expect Extus to be number 1, but I was basing that on the fact that I like Extus a lot and usually the commanders I like a lot aren’t as embraced by the community. I also like Uvilda and Nassari and that deck isn’t even in the top 18 here.

I’m going to do the most obvious stuff from every deck in no particular order. Sound good? Don’t worry if it’s a little jarring, we’ll do this again next week and we’ll go deeper the week after. Let’s begin.

People tend to be running things they can sac, things they can sac creatures with, and ways to copy spells. I think there could be a bit of upside there.

Fury Storm is perfect. It’s cheap for now, on its way up for the second time in the past 4 months, and most importantly, it does more copying for every time you’ve played your commander, which happens to be the spell you’re copying. This card was made for this deck and supply seems to be on the move.

No real deep analysis here – this is a bit of a no-brainer.

This would be a no-brainer if I wasn’t so afraid of a 4th printing, which I am. Still, this card does WORK and if that printing doesn’t come soon, there’s money to be made on a card that gives you an absurd number of tokens. Also, with Divine Visitation out, you never make a Thrull and he goes OFF.

I’ve been on about this for a few sets and I think this probably can’t get cheaper, but it HAS already flirted with $15 and it’s gettable for under $10 on TCG Player but selling out elsewhere. Seems significant.

I’ve called this before but it doesn’t appear to be too late, wow. That’s great growth and while a reprint will stamp on us pretty hard, I don’t know if one is coming in the next year.

While there was never a truly cheap time to buy in, it doesn’t look too bad now. A year on and things are starting to trend up. I wouldn’t wait if you’re going to buy these. Consider the extended art.

While it was obviously better to buy right when this got a Mystery Booster printing, isn’t it nice to know it completely shrugged that off and continued on its upward trajectory? This card is a monster.

After I wrote this, a reader pointed out that Archive is in the Witherbloom precon. Do I think it can shrug that off? Yes, and I think when it bottoms out, you can safely buy in. It will go lower than $10 this time, which is nice.

This card can’t decide if it’s $5 or $10. When it finally makes up its mind, what are the odds it decides it’s going to stay at $5?

With Witherbloom being a lifegain school, I think just about every Witherbloom deck can use this. This is like $2 and it could be like $20 under the right circumstances. If all you want to do is pay $2 and buylist for $5 later, this seems like a slam dunk.

This was going to go up anyway.

That’s a lot of picks! I’ll go deeper later, but make sure you think about what each deck does and buy cards that go across lots of them, Lifegain, copying, saccing – some of the cards there are staples and some of them are specific to these decks. Go to EDHREC and mess around, find your own specs. I’ll be back next week! I’m out!

That’s So Strixhaven

Strixhaven: School of Mages has dropped, and there is definitely a lot to be excited about here. On top of everything from the main set we also have the Mystical Archive cards to consider, and on top of that there are the Japanese alternate art Mystical Archive cards as well. Yeah, it’s a lot. Today I’m going to be doing a shallower dive and taking a look at a few of the top cards across each of the different categories we have, and probably follow up again in the coming weeks with more of the cards that I think are going to do well – so be prepared for a slightly different article format than you’re used to from me.

Mystical Archive

We’ll kick things off with undoubtedly the coolest and most exciting of the cards that have just been released, the Mystical Archive cards. We’ve got two versions here – the regulars and the alternate art Japanese versions, which are all the same cards that you get in the English version, but solely in Japanese and with awesome alternate arts. When it comes to the Japanese cards, a lot of players that don’t read or speak Japanese are still going to be playing with them, and that means that the most popular ones are going to be the cards that are simple and have very little text to remember.

We’re talking about stuff like Counterspell, Swords to Plowshares and Demonic Tutor here – super-staples that are going to be in very high demand by a lot of players. However, prices on all of these are sky high at the moment due to choked supply, and I think that we’re going to see prices fall as we move forward into peak supply 4-6 weeks out from now.

As prices fall I want to be keeping an eye on these staples, in both the regular and alternate Japanese versions, in non-foil and foil. JPN alt foil Brainstorm is sat at $80 right now – I want to be seeing that around $50 or so; the same Demonic Tutor is way up at $400 – I expect to see that halved in the next few weeks as more product is cracked. Yes, these cards are rare but they’re not that rare.

The regular versions are great pickups here as well, and are going to be more readily available than the alternate versions and thus command lower prices, but you can still realise gains with them nonetheless. If we compare English foil Counterspell vs JPN alt foil, you’re looking at $16 vs $74. I expect the English ones to drop a little bit, and the JPN ones to drop quite a bit, but keep an eye on both for lows in a few weeks.

Extended Art and Borderless

I still don’t really know why these are two separate categories of card because it’s honestly just a bit confusing, and relatively easy to mix up which is which – but anyway, it is what it is. Borderless are the ones with different art to the regular versions (and also a borderless frame), and Extended Art are the ones with same art as the regular versions and a borderless frame. Borderless come in regular booster packs, EA only come in Collector Boosters. Easy!

So taking a look at some of our options, I quite like the look of Beledros Witherbloom at the moment. Albeit very early days at the moment, it’s the second most popular commander built on EDHREC so far and seems like a pretty powerful card. Paying 10 life is a lot less when you start on 40 in EDH, and being able to untap all your lands is a very powerful effect, especially when there are a bunch of pretty easy ways to gain either a tonne or infinite life going around. Pumping out a bunch of tokens on top of that is just extra value. Borderless foils are very expensive around $65 right now, but I expect to see that come way down towards $20 or so pretty soon. I like grabbing these at their low, especially as it’s a Mythic, and should look pretty good on a one to two year timeline.

When it comes to Extended Arts, I like the look of Codie, Vociferous Codex. Again it’s one of the most popular commanders built so far, and I’m inclined to compare it to something like Golos, Tireless Pilgrim. A colourless commander with a five colour identity and an activated ability looks pretty familiar, and Golos was (and still is) highly popular. The best thing about Codie is that you don’t need coloured mana to activate it – you actually get coloured mana out of it, which makes the ability a lot easier to use than Golos. Although it’s going to technically be a five colour deck, the fact that you don’t need coloured mana to activate it means that we might well just Izzet Spells builds of this instead. EA foils are around $12 at the moment and I think we’ll see that drop bit, depending on how many Collector Boosters are cracked. If we can get these around or under $5 then I think that should be a great price, but even at $7-10 I think that they’ll look good a year or two out.

Regular Old Cards

When it comes to regular cards, I’m looking at brick targets – cards that I want to be picking up a big chunk of with the view to buylist them at some point down the road. I think that the best for those are cards that have appeal across the board – from EDH to totally casual and maybe competitive as well. I’m looking at Archmage Emeritus first here, a rare from Strixhaven that has a lot of potential. Drawing a card whenever you cast or copy an instant or sorcery spell means that going infinite and drawing your whole deck is probably very easy, making for a win with Thassa’s Oracle or something similar. That’s already looking popular in EDH and will be big with the casual crowd, so I’m looking for bricks of these under $1 for sure (currently preordering around $2-3).

I’m already running up the word count here so I’m going to stop now and leave some more for next week’s article, where I’ll likely be talking more Strixhaven with new data, so tune in then!

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.