Cored to Death


There’s a disturbing trend at work right now in the Core Set, and maybe it’s for the best after the wild rides we’ve been experiencing: This core set has booster pack card currently being sold above $20.

The caveat here is that some of the Planeswalker Deck specials are above that over on TCG, but they are an exception. Leyline of the Void, a $60 card two weeks ago, is being presold for $17 and that’s before anyone has opened a pack of this set. Ouch.

To put that in perspective, there’s currently two cards from Core Set 2019 which are more than $20, and that set was released a year ago. It’s been quite some time since we had a set so full of unexciting and cheap cards, lacking headliners or chase cards.

What’s this mean for us? A couple of things, and you should get your wallets ready.

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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.

MTGPrice helps keep you at the top of your game with our daily card price index, fast movers lists, weekly articles by the best MTGFinance minds in the business, the MTGFastFinance podcast co-hosted by James Chillcott & Travis Allen, as well as the Pro Trader Discord channels, where all the action goes down. Find out more.


Unlocked Pro Trader: Yaroktopus’ Garden


I’m not going to sugarcoat it – I’m not really in the mood to write my normal type of article. I have a bunch of ideas about picks and I want to get them all down before I forget any of them and that means the structure of the article is going to suffer. I really like to write two or three paragraphs before the Pro Trader paywall comes down and if I don’t do that, the transition is going to be pretty abrupt and

OK, everyone still with me? Let’s talk about the card I think is going to make money moves and then we can talk picks. Here’s your boy.

Dwayne Yarok Johnson over here is in some serious card advantage colors and ETB effects abound. Panharmonicon was already a sick card and now we have one in the command zone, in good colors, with good stats to boot. Luckily, we already have EDHREC data flowing in so I don’t have to guess like I did for Kykar (I nailed it, though). I mean, there are 4 decks in the database but I poked around reddit and other places deckbuilders hang out and I also know how to build EDH deck so I think we’ll be fine. Let’s look at what’s inclined to be on the move on the basis of this elemental horror.

Ob is recovering nicely from his reprinting, as predicted. This isn’t the first time I have mentioned Ob since Iconic Masters but it may be the last because this much growth isn’t sustainable. The good news is that the card has plateaued and new usage will trigger more growth. Before the reprinting, the peak price of Ob was lower than it is now, meaning it’s at an all-time high despite more copies. I think this may be a weak buy considering how high it’s already gone but I also think if you can get them below $10, you can probably get out at $12-$15 fairly easily and I don’t know that another printing is coming soon. This card is too good in this deck but also elsewhere.

For years, “stagnation” described this card’s price but it has picked up a bit lately and also, it’s really dumb in this deck. Every time they play a land you draw 4 and they exile 4? It’s pretty powerful and you may need to quickly find a way to get rid of Sire before it kills you. Check yourself before you deck yourself, if you will. These are gettable under $2 and Yarok could make them $5, especially since it’s a mythic long out of print.


This is down from its peak which means another peak would be higher, but this is mostly just a safe bet. I’m not sure how many people are going to jam a $40 card in this deck, but I think with Palinchron being on the Reserved List and the odds of a Lotus Field situation being pretty remote given what a mistake the “untap X lands” cards were, I think this is just a safe buy that goes nuts. You untap 14 lands when you resolve this and that’s a lot of lands.

Even if you think this is reprintable, which do you think happens first? A reprint or this thing selling for a solid Hamilton on TCG Player? Gettable under $7 right now, the clock is ticking on this. I think you can easily makes 30-40% even if you think it’s getting reprinted soon.

I actually like the financial metrics of this less than other cards, but unlike other cards, it hasn’t gone up already and that’s good. I think this can shake off its latest reprinting eventually and even if Yarok doesn’t do it, something will. Let’s look at EDHREC, shall we?

4,851 is in 5% of total decks, but how is it performing versus other Green cards?

Despite Green being the “creatures” color, Primus, which is the 11th-most-played Green creature doesn’t crack the Top 100 Green cards. However, it’s played more than Kalonian Hydra and almost as much as Fertilid. I think Yarok could move the needle and if not, the other things that made this card peak at $10, get reprinted and peak at $10 again are still likely true.

It’s worth noting that this basically doubled to 30 over the last month and some stores online have them for $15. I snagged a couple of copies from a site I use but there are plenty of other obscure sites and some have copies. This needs a reprint, badly and perhaps the Invention printing shows they know that, so be nimble.

That does it for me this week. I recommend keeping an eye on the EDHREC page for Yarok over the coming weeks because this card is Muldrotha-tier advantage engine and people love Deadeye Navigator shenanigans. If you think of anything else, leave me a comment. Until next time!

The Watchtower 6/24/19 for ProTraders – Plan Your Specs

By: Travis Allen

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.

Our endless spoiler season lurches ever forward, with a slew of Magic 2020 cards having come out in the last few days, between the MPL, the planeswalker decks, and assorted sources. So far the set looks decent enough, although it’s hardly capturing hearts and minds in the way that Dominaria, or War of the Spark, or Modern Horizons did. There’s not a lot of blood flowing for the new cavalier cycle, I’ll tell you that much. Will they be decent? Possibly. Will any of them become a top tier Standard staple? Conceivable. Is anyone eager to play with them today? Not at all. Your best bet is looking at them as plants for a forthcoming Theros set that will reward devotion again.

Seasoned Pyromancer

Price Today: $13
Possible Price: $30

Modern Horizons has remixed the format, if not in exactly the way we may have expected. I was looking forward to a new archetype or two, and a few more “pillar” cards that would do more to redevelop the landscape of the metagame. Mostly we didn’t get any of that, and instead got a lot of playable cards that are all adding ripples rather than waves. Of course it’s early yet, and Hogaaak is sort of ruining things at the moment, so perhaps in six months it will be like a rerelease for MH1.

Anyways, Seasoned Pyromancer. He’s a spicy meatball, which makes sense, because of the aforementioned seasoning. We’re seeing him in Mardu midrange builds, more aggressive Bedlam Reveler decks, Jund, and even Dreadhorde Arcanist strategies. I wasn’t particularly enamored with him on reveal, but he’s proven that there’s no shortage of slots that can make use of his abilities. For three mana you can have a 2/2, loot 2 cards, and 2 1/1s? Yeah alright. So long as you’re making the most of those discarded cards, that seems reasonable.

Pyromancer is doing solid duty in Modern, and it doesn’t feel like his price is matching that utility. I’m lacking a tool to tell me what cards from a specific set are doing the most work in Modern, but if I had to guess (which is what I’m doing right now), Pyromancer is one of the more useful cards from MH1. Supply is mediumish, as the set is still quite new. Many of the metrics are pointing at MH1 prices rising soon though, and I suspect Pyromancer will be one of the beneficiaries of that when it happens.

Nirkana Revenant

Price Today: $6
Possible Price: $15

A superstar of black creatures, Nirkana Revenant has long been potent in both EDH and casual circles. It doubles mana production of swamps (of which all your lands are, thanks to Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, which will also be in the deck with Yawgmoth, which is weird), a relatively uncommon feature for black decks. It also pumps itself with that boatload of mana, but, nobody is using double their black mana to give Revenant +1/+1.

One may notice that Revenant’s EDH numbers aren’t the most stunning. She’s clocking about 3400 decks, which is about as low as we tend to go when acknowledging cards for that format. The other numbers don’t lie though — Revenants were easily selling for north of $20 for two dang years. Clearly demand exists for this card outside of EDH, and enough so that it drove the price into solid $20+ territory. That’s quite good for casual demand.

Battlebond sunk prices to the current lows of roughly $6, where it seems to have bottomed out this spring. We’ll certainly see numbers on the non-foils climb over time regardless, and with Yawgmoth’s printing and a rush to mono-black decks, I expect a temporary surge as well. Plus, smart money is on Theros in the next year, which is also likely to push mono colored decks, and line up Revenant for another spike at that time.

Urza’s Incubator

Price Today: $12
Possible Price: $25

Modern Horizons hit shelves and people started building Morontron in all its various flavors. (Which is like, a lot of flavors.) Tribal popularity comes and goes for the most part, with only a select few tribes maintaining sales a few months after a hot new commander, but Mophontrod has the unique property of getting to always be a popular tribal commander regardless of what tribe is popular what week. Did they print some cool dinosaurs again? Morpho can play that general. Slivers? To the Morpho deck. Allies? Ok nobody is playing allies, but you get the idea.

Tribal has a consistent general now, and people are going to move in that direction often. It’s great at reducing colored mana costs, but it can’t handle the pesky colorless mana. That’s where Urza’s Incubator comes in. Like Morpo, it’s colorless and tribe-agnostic, which means every single tribal deck is in the market. They were before, but now with Morpho, there’s even more of an incentive, especially since Incubator fills the other half of the equation. Between Mopo and Incubator, most of the creatures in your deck are free.

Incubator used to be fairly cheap; about $6. Then it jumped to $20 or $25; I forgot exactly why. It’s slowly lost ground since then, and appears to have bottomed out around January or February. It has since regained ground, and with the new all-purpose tribal commander, is slated to see a lot more play in the future. I can’t say for sure how fast they’ll turn around, but don’t sleep on Incubators, especially if you need any yourself.

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.

Preordering Core 2020

Well, we have almost all the mythics and some of the rares for Core Set 2020, and these are some doozies. We’ve got cards to trigger infinite loops in Standard, we’ve got busted Commander interactions, and we’ve got an honest-to-God Scapeshift deck in Standard.

The set gets prereleased in a week, so right now, let’s look at some prices and see where they are likely to go.

The rest of this content is only visible to ProTrader members.

To learn how ProTrader can benefit YOU, click here to watch our short video.

expensive cards ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

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.