Apprehension As Aftermath Arrives

My favorite leak of all time has got to be the New Phyrexia Godbook being shared on IRC chat way back in the day. A new favorite of mine, though, is the YouTuber who filmed a couple of box openings for March of the Machine: Aftermath and decided to release those a couple months early.

As a result, we know a lot of the cards in the set ahead of schedule, and if you don’t like unofficial spoilers, you can read what I think and avoid specifics card images. I’m not going to post any of those, but I am going to talk about potential gainers based on the cards.

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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.

Unlocked Pro Trader: Leftover Strughetti


Last week we looked at the MOM precons and I was a little surprised at how the top of the heap looked. For reference, the page for the precons last week looked like this.

We had a few commanders flip spots, but it wasn’t so much which moved as it is how much they moved. That makes sense to me but in case it doesn’t make sense to you, I’ll explain.

What I mean to say is that while it is cool that Sidar Jabari went from third to second place, Sidar Jabari went from 263 decks to 944 in the same time period Goro-Goro went from 700 to 955. Sure, it’s still number one, but one grew a lot, and one grew a little.

So do we talk about the top commander or the one that grew the most? Well, we didn’t talk about Sidar last week and this week we should, so let’s look at the 3 big growers because there is still time for these to matter.

Knights matter is sort of boring but this has a new twist in that he brings back dead knights. Not only that, he gives you access to Blue so you can play Knight of Mists and kill a Chameleon Colossus or whatever the hell. Kindred Discovery? The Blue we get may underwhelm.

This seems a bit boring. The precon is so well made that basically everyone who is building this commander didn’t remove any of these cards. And why would you? I am a player and financier and I feel like I am in a zero-sum game between the two halves. I always win because something either interests me as a player or financier, so I’m almost always happy when I see a Magic card. In theory.

We could ask what Blue gets us, but it’s not much interesting. In fact, there are very few interesting cards in these lists. The thing about precons being too good is that there isn’t much to add.

The graph on this looks pretty bad since it keeps getting reprinted and the regular foil turns into a hyperbolic parabaloid (Pringles shape, I know that and now you have to know it, too) once you open it. There is one version I don’t hate, however.

Worth almost $8 in foil, this version won’t be reprinted and they’re going to keep printing sets where Knights matter every couple of years. The Extended Art is a buy both foil and non foil.

Kindred Discovery under $8 feels like a buy right now. The reprint hurt it, but with them freshening things up by giving Blue to creature types unused to getting Blue, this card will matter.

This version of the card was only in collector boosters and it’s a $10 card. I don’t know what else to say about this $10 card. I think most dealers have it priced wrong, that’s the issue.

Seems like the only people who think this isn’t a $10 card are Card Kingdom. They think it’s a $12 card. When Card Kingdom speaks this loud, I listen. Buy this for half of what CK is charging, I guess.

If this catches in Modern, I think the increased demand from this sicko combo in EDH could drive this above $35, but even if it doesn’t, this is still a good buy at half of its peak price. They won’t stop accidentally printing cards that go infinite with this, so why would they reprint this? I think $20 or below is a snap buy on these.

Sometimes just looking at the price graph of the oldest version of a card tells the whole story. Based on this graph alone, this is a superlative pickup.

Next week I will be wrapping up these precon decks that have a surprising amount of depth to them! Thanks for reading. Until next time!

MOM’s Basket of Rares

The set is officially released next Friday, and there’s a lot of amazing things going on. A Multiverse Legends sheets playing merry hell with the draft/sealed format, previews for the doesn’t-have-commons Aftermath set, and serialized cards setting all sorts of records. Wild times!

One other wild thing going on is that rares in this set are vastly overpriced for cards who are about to flood the market. Traditionally, preordering is only for those who must have the newest thing now, either for Commander or Constructed play. About once every other set, a rare climbs from its low price to be a multi-format staple, destined to be expensive until its inevitable reprint. Examples include Ledger Shredder and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker.

So let’s get into March of the Machine’s rares, looking at current prices, where I think those prices will go, and if there’s anything worth buying right now.

All prices are for the regular nonfoil, and are accurate as of Friday morning, 4/14, but prices are about to be very volatile.

City on Fire ($8.50 preorder) – We’ve seen that a very similar card at mythic can do some amazing growth. Behold, Fiery Emancipation: 

Big caveat, though, is the rare vs mythic and the idea that MOM is going to sell a lot more booster packs than M21 did. The serialized chase is going to crater the prices of a lot of cards, and while I am looking forward to buying a big stack of City on Fire, I’m going to be patient about it. Hopefully this gets down to the $2-$3 range, a much safer starting point for the journey.

Faerie Mastermind ($6) – I know that Invitational cards are rarely bad, and this one especially hits hard. In Commander, it’s not hard to make this do a lot of work for you, and it’s going to be adopted very quickly into a wide range of decks. It’s got applications in lots and lots of deck types, and is aggressively costed for Standard appeal. I like the long-term potential of this card, I’m just unwilling to get in this early when there’s so many copies left to open.

Invasion of Ikoria ($6) – Finale of Devastation and Green Sun’s Zenith are similar cards, and this is now a card that can be played alongside the Finale. The main issue is that Invasion can’t go get Vizier of Remedies in Devoted Druid combo decks, as that’s a deck which would likely play a copy or two of the tutor. Rare in MOM is a whole different animal than mythic in WAR, and this is not going to give you $40 pricing ever. It’ll be lucky to be a $10 card in one year’s time, and in the short term, it going to fall to a dollar or less.

Tribute to the World Tree ($3) – Again, we have similar cards out there that haven’t taken off financially, and none of them had the hardcore mana cost that makes this mostly an option for decks that are mono-green or heavy in that color. It’s a fantastic card in Devotion decks, but in almost all ways, The Great Henge is better. I’m always a fan of adding the peanut butter and jelly together, though!

Chrome Host Seedshark ($2) – Of all the cards on this list, this is the one I’m most favorable towards. This effect is quite amazing, but we have a warning card in Metallic Summonings, which was mythic, it is an enchantment that is a lot harder to get rid of, and nonfoils are just over a buck. The Shark triggers on all noncreature spells, which is good, but it’s a creature and easy to kill. There’s tradeoffs, certainly.

Summonings dropped in price when it was in the Commander 2021 decks, but foils haven’t budged at all. I’m going to be waiting on buying the Shark for a bit, but if you asked me which rare from MOM might get there, this would be the one. If it gets to a nicely low price, especially FEA versions, I’m very likely to buy a brick.

Etali, Primal Conqueror ($4.50) – I love that we get the top of the deck effect right away, but then that’s it. Getting this effect as an attack trigger would be ideal, but honestly, the giant 7/7 trampler will be pretty good along with the four free spells you just cast. Shouldn’t be a huge problem.

Plus, you can flip it into a Blightsteel Colossus for just a little more mana and life! There’s no way Etali holds its price, not even a little bit. This will end up as close to bulk, even as it kicks butt all over Commander tables.

Invasion of Alara ($1) – I adore WUBRG cards. I’m pretty close to making a Commander deck with that as the theme. I only have one 5-color deck right now, and it’s the Ur-Dragon. I tried The Kami War in there, and found it mediocre, but I think this Invasion is one of the best even if you don’t flip it. You’re getting your five mana back, statistically speaking, and then there’s an enormous payoff for dealing the 7 damage. Given that this is already so cheap, I’m hesitant to say it’ll go up, especially when looking at the graphs for things like The Kami War. It’ll be bulk, and it’ll likely stay there.

Rampaging Raptor ($0.75) – Questing Beast was a mythic, and just couldn’t be blocked by small things. This is clearly worst than the Beast, but not by much. The problem is, what deck does this go into? There’s barely a market for it in Standard, unless a deck takes off that is hyper-focused on battles. Still, if this is the top end for a super-aggressive red deck, it has great potential to climb out of its trench. If it starts moving, be prepared to move with it.

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: MOM’s preconstrughetti


We have to talk about the cards from the Mother of Machines preconstructed decks. If I am being honest, most likely the most difficult part of this article will have been the first paragraph. It serves two purposes -it engages people who are going to read the article and it engages the people who are going to read the article on Thursday because they didn’t know they weren’t going to read it today when they clicked on the link. I am not sure I am doing a great job of that right now. If you’re about to move on to the next paragraph, I am going to highlight a bunch of specs based on the MOM preconstructed decks and you can skip right to it if you want. If you’re going to read this Thursday, I am going to unlock the secrets of Mtg Finance and demystify the process of selecting good specs and the next 48 hours will be a free-for-all with readers who read on Tuesday running roughshod over store inventories. If you don’t want to fight for table scraps with all the other slowpokes, consider a membership which also gives you access to the discord server and exclusive group buys.

It might not seem like it, but all of that was sort of an apology that lately my articles have begun to blur together a bit. Even the names aren’t particularly memorable. I am not creating evergreen content here, unfortunately, I am generating a list of specs for my friends and loyal customers so that they don’t have to think about finance if they just like EDH and EDH if they just like finance. If you like both, perhaps you would like my podcast. This is going to be kind of dry despite my best efforts to make it…. juicy? I don’t know what the opposite of “dry” is in this context. You want-a the juice? You like-a the juice? It’s-a time for the juice (but read this in a Greek accent because it’s that SNL sketch, not like a Mario thing). Juice time.

The Juice

I will be honest, the hype around the combo potential with Shalai and Hallar sort of made me think the deck would be more popular since it’s so easy to build. I didn’t count on that having to compete with the popularity of a Ninja deck with Red in it. Let’s take a look.

There isn’t a ton to do here since the good ninjas mostly are reprinted, but there are some interesting things going on here, regardless.

This is a foil that didn’t start out expensive, rather it grew as ninja fever was at its pitch and cooled off as they started giving us 50 new Legendary creatures every month. The sheer number of decks people have distracting them has made it very tough for any deck to receive enough of a consensus to move the needle which is why I have begun to focus on the weekly leaders. Could another ninja deck make this go back to $10 on its own? Perhaps not, but Infiltrator might dodge a reprint in a set and if it does, the foils will be even better. This seems like a chance to buy a future $11 for like $5 now and I don’t hate it despite not feeling all that confident talking about foils.

It sounds ridiculous, but Gingerbrute is an unblockable haste creature for 1 colorless mana and it turns out lots of formats want that and this only has 1 foil printing.

Baldur’s Gate is the best MTG set in a decade and we are going to find cards that are $2 now that will randomly hit $10 years from now. Look at this graph – this card tripled in price in under a year. I would say there aren’t too many mythics from Baldur’s Gate that don’t have insane growth potential. Also, the showcase version is that awful PHB page effect meaning this is the only copy anyone is going to play with.

I don’t know if you ever noticed this dropdown before, but when there are very distinct and obvious ways the deck is getting built, we’ll start to separate them by theme. Looking through by theme is very instructive and I recommend you do it, but just looking at what the themes are is, too. You’ll pick a bunch of different specs if you grok that people are building extra turns decks with these cards even if you got a sense that people were playing that theme when you saw Karlach. You’ll also notice ninjitsu is ten times more popular than Extra turns, in case you wanted to ignore cards like Karlach. I would caution against ignoring top and high synergy cards, however. I realize that putting them on EDHREC means the cards will end up in more decks which will push them higher. That doesn’t mean EDHREC isn’t useful here, in fact, it accidentally works very nicely for our purposes. If we can guess the high synergy cards early enough, we’ll have our prices correct when the time comes.

Saprolings + Red is something I love to see, and if you play EDH, your brain immediately started firing off “Goblin Bombardment, Impact Tremors, Parallel Lives” and yeah, the obvious cards are good to have, but maybe not great specs. To me, great specs are old, cheap, specific, not obsolete, the less redundant the better, obscure, possibly a second spike, and featured on the EDHREC page for the commander. Cards like

The one issue we have? The wall.

Now, with over 600 lists registered in the last week, this wall can be overcome, but people will just root out more copies from binders and boxes. This has all the hallmarks of a good spec except for the new reality in speccing that TCG Player direct has made it worthwhile to list a $0.15 rare and it’s hard to chew through 458 instances of 2 copies per vendor which means you pay $3 for shipping like 250 times. You have to acknowledge reality sometimes, as much as I wanted to be the genius who picked this at bulk.

Here is some more fun – The card on the right is newer, has more copies out there, is worse in basically every way in a deck with a lot of small creautres and the card on the right is worth twice as much as the card on the left. Thanks, Dominaria Remastered. The thing about old cards that people discover when they build a very specific deck like this is that WotC has a long memory, too, and you could get pantsed by a reprint. Symbiosis was a solid $4 card when Slimefoot was peaking and how obvious it was as a spec didn’t matter due to how obvious it was as a reprint.

And then sometimes they don’t reprint something and you get to buy at $10 and sell at $20 like 3 or 4 times and it feels so good it should be considered cheating.

Looking at the themes dropdown page can help you figure out which cards are going to be played across commanders from multiple precons and identify cards that would have gotten lost in the noise generated by Magic players running the same staples in every Jund deck, for example. Also, I looked at a Jund deck and saw Ignoble Hierarch still isn’t done dropping in price and it’s made me realize nothing I used to know matters anymore. What does matter is making the most of your data sources and I hope you’ll consider this source a good one and come back next week so we can finish the rest of these off. Until next time!