Unlocked Pro Trader: More (Somewhat) Baseless Speculation


We don’t have any data but I need to save myself from election day doomscrolling on social media. It can be a bad day on Twitter or a silly day of trying to guess if people like the same stupid garbage in EDH that I do. I can’t stress enough that this is stuff I like and stuff I like isn’t always going to be popular with other people. Here is what I’d do with the new cards and what I’d need to do it.

All of the Krakr garbage (Krark-bage) was pretty obvious, but this is a Cheerios combo piece in the command zone. As Mtg Price’s resident breakfast cereal expert, I can tell you that Cheerios is a trash cereal only given to literal babies, but the deck is fun. Currently, Cheerios decks run 0-cost equipment and Puresteel Paladin, but there was a time in Magic history where Crimson Kobolds and Kobolds of Kher Keep were bounced with Cloudstone Curio with Glimpse of Nature until you get Grapeshot them to death. I don’t think you want to Grapeshot people in EDH, per se, however…

The Mystery Booster slowed the hype train, much like a wayward cow on the tracks might slow but not stop a runaway locomotive in a Denzel Washington movie when he was in his “Make movies about trains with Tony Scott” period.

Reservoir is down from its maximum but there is a lot of room to grow, especially if you can snag $5 copies from TCG Player and it’s already $8 on Card Kingdom. If it hits $14 on CK again, they’ll be offering $10 in credit and an easy double-up for barely any effort is pretty sweet. I think this card is a monster and it’s a great finisher for a stupid Cheerios deck. True, it’s a multiple card combo, but having one of those pieces in your command zone is a game-changer.

This card needs a reprint that isn’t just a more expensive masterpiece. I liked these at $35 before they hit $45 and dropped again. I think they can hit $50 or $55 if they don’t get a reprint, and it’s looking like they won’t. These are good in more than just the hypothetical Cheerios deck I bet no one builds but me and the price reflects that. There are so few copies in the hands of vendors, if I wanted to take $500 and just jack this price all up with a few well-placed buys then say “See, I called it” I could, but since I don’t have a YouTube channel I don’t see a point.

I have like 50 of these but I used them as tokens in my Prossh deck, so I am never coming off of them. I think there are a lot of lunatics like me, and with several cards like Kher Keep making tokens called “Kobolds of Kher Keep” these are attractive tokens as well as Magic cards in their own right. I’m a little surprised these stayed under $5 apiece, honestly.

For reference Crookshank Kobolds cost half as much because no one wants them as tokens. That said, Crookshank Kobolds are *only* half as much, which doesn’t seem right, either.

Unfortunately, you only get 1 copy of each in a 99 card deck, but they’re not as important as the Curio, which is easy to tutor for in a red deck. You can also build the deck with any other color(s) you want because Rograkh has partner. The deck could be fun. I don’t know what else in the deck would be expensive, though. You could build a pretty competitive deck for under $50, which is appealing, even with $30 of that being tied up in Curio.

The fluctuations between $7 and $1 are the $7 copies selling out and our algorithm scraping the $1 the sites want for the oversized card. It’s funny. What’s not funny is how much Yidris is going to cost when everyone builds a new cascade deck and none of the 4 color commanders are reprinted in Commander Legends. I should have recommended this weeks ago but, I goofed.

This isn’t directly related to anything in CL, but it IS in Maelstrom Wanderer and also, I like this card and it’s getting more expensive on CK because it’s bonkers, but also it’s cheap on TCG Player. If this is $11 on CK and $5 on TCG Player, you can practically arbitrage them.

I say this a lot but not all of you read all of my articles, so I’ll spend a little ink on this before I wrap things up. Do cards that are $11 on Card Kingdom and $7 on TCG Player sell on Card Kingdom for $11? You bet. There are a lot of reasons for this, but just know that Card Kingdom is a very good indicator of the health of an EDH card’s price and EDH is carrying a lot of the weight of the paper market right now. I think something is underpriced on TCG rather than thinking it’s overpriced on CK, and for EDH-only cards like this, it may help you to think in those terms as well.

That’s all for this week. Next week we will have a full spoiler, some data, maybe a new POTUS and I’ll be chasing the Shandalar speedrun world record on Twitch. Frank Karsten is sitting in 5th place and I’d love to knock him off of the leaderboard. Until next time!

The Watchtower 11/02/20 – Banned But Not Forgotten

My cheeky title today is a sort of roundabout way of saying that just because a card gets banned in a format, doesn’t mean that all hope is lost for it in terms of speculation or financial interest. We’ve seen plenty of cards banned in various formats only to flourish in others, and EDH is generally an excellent backstop to hold up demand for cards that get banned out of the more competitive formats. There are plenty of cards I could talk about here, but some are better than others…number 3 will surprise you!

Omnath, Locus of Creation (Showcase Foil)

Price today: $30
Possible price: $60

Everyone was undeniably excited to brew with the latest incarnation of Omnath when it was previewed for Zendikar Rising, but it quickly became clear that the card was just busted in half in the Standard environment it was in. Combined with Lotus Cobra, Uro and Escape to the Wilds it was just an infinite value engine that could not be outmatched, and everyone knew it needed to be banned. So of course, Wizards banned Uro instead! A classic move. Then after a couple of weeks of selling more ZNR packs, they actually banned Omnath out of Standard (and Historic and Brawl, but whatever), along with Escape to the Wilds and Lucky Clover.

But enough story time, I’m supposed to be telling you why you should buy this card. If you head on over to the MTGGoldfish page for Omnath to have a look at what decks it’s being played in, you might expect to see it dominated by EDH play. But you’d be wrong! Omnath is being bandied around in multiple different Modern and Pioneer decks, and has even shown up in Legacy decks as well. Neat. It is also, of course, the most popular commander built from Zendikar Rising, and that’s going to help things along nicely too.

Now normally, Showcase cards aren’t the best picks to be buying compared to say, Extended Art cards, because you can find Showcase cards in regular packs which makes them a lot more abundant than EAs. However, Omnath is a Mythic which means much lower supply than a rare, for example, and his popularity has really suppressed supply. Compare it to another Mythic Showcase like Moraug, and you can see that TCGPlayer has nearly double the listings for Moraug as for Omnath, with Omnath sitting at almost twice the price.

With prices for Omnath starting at around $30, almost all the vendors just have one or two copies in stock and the price ladder isn’t too shallow. With the plethora of play that this card is seeing across so many different formats, I find it hard to believe that this won’t be a $60 card down the road.

Walking Ballista (Foil) (No, Not The Secret Lair One)

Price today: $14
Possible price: $30

Honestly, it was a tragedy that Walking Ballista got banned out of Pioneer. Walking Ballista died for Heliod’s sins, it’s just the truth. Heliod hasn’t done anything relevant in any format other than being part of the infinite combo with Walking Ballista, whereas Ballista is a really sweet, powerful-but-not-broken card that was a huge boon to the Hardened Scales deck in Pioneer, and Wizards went ahead and banned it anyway so they could sell their Theros packs with Heliod in them. I think we’re starting to see a pattern emerge here don’t you?

Despite that, Walking Ballista is still a relatively prevalent card in Modern, heading up the various iterations of the Counters Company deck and also being an integral part of regular and Eldrazi Tron decks. There are relatively few surprises if we head over to the EDH side of things, with it being included in over 15k decks listed on EDHREC, varying from the cEDH side of things all the way down to much more casual decks.

Onto versions: I really wanted to pick the Secret Lair foils here, because it’s the only ‘different’ version of the card – but I really just don’t like it that much. I think it’s inferior art to the original, prices are already much higher than I’d like and there’s a glut of supply. No thanks! Instead I’m looking at the Double Masters foils. As I and others have said before, now and heading more into the holiday period is a good time to be picking up Double Masters cards, and this is no different. Original Æther Revolt foils are around $23 and up, so grabbing 2XM foils at $14 seems pretty great to me to catch up quickly. After that, I think there’s a good runway on the card – original foils were close to $50 before the reprint and given 12-24 months without another reprint, I can easily see this getting back over $30.

Narset, Parter of Veils (Stained Glass Foil)

Price today: $30
Possible price: $60+

WELL ACTULLY NARSET ISN’T BANN- yeah I don’t care, she’s restricted in Vintage and that’s good enough for me! I don’t need to spend long on this one because we all know that Narset is an incredibly powerful planeswalker who sees a decent amount of play in pretty much any format she’s legal in, as well as being the most popular EDH card from War of the Spark (that’s 25k decks thank you very much).

The alternate art Japanese copies are already through the roof here, but the next best thing is probably the stained glass versions that came as bonus cards in Secret Lair products. I think I’m correct in saying that we’ve hit the end of the stained glass planeswalkers now, meaning that the already dwindling supply on the more popular cards is unlikely to be restocked any time soon.

These start at $30 on TCGPlayer but there are very few copies that cheap, and the ramp is another steep one with only 26 listings to play with. Considering the fact that I don’t think this is getting reprinted or restocked any time soon, Narset looks like she could be up over $60 within the next six months or so, possibly even reaching higher than that. The demand for the card is huge, and people that want flashy cardboard but can’t quite justify spending $400 on the JPN alt foils are definitely going to spend their money on this one instead.

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.

Early Commander Legends Targets

Previews are happening and I’m really excited. There’s going to be something for everyone, with trinkets for your favorite tribes, tools for beloved mechanics, and some flavor wins that are out of this world.

Oh, and a Lotus that’s preselling for more than $100. Please don’t buy Jeweled Lotus yet.

There are 22 mythics to be found in packs. You can get the foil-etched legends (both the new ones and reprints) in regular packs and collector boosters, but extended art (foil and nonfoil) will only be in the collector boosters. 

I want to look at what’s new in this set first, and then when we know all the reprints, then I can focus on those. This being the first few days of a preview season, preorder prices are sketchy. If I find some I trust, I’ll mention them, but one of my evergreen pieces of advice is never preorder cards. A little patience saves you a lot of money.

Jeweled Lotus – This isn’t going to break Commander as a format. This isn’t as broken as you might think it is. Some decks really want to pump their general out early, but in a format with the wraths and removal like this, I don’t think you need to fall all over yourself to play it. If you have a three-color general, it better cost at least five mana, else you’re not getting full value from this. I’m not going to play this in The Ur-Dragon. Some commanders are awesome and aggressive, and much will depend on the deck. Does it help to think of this as a worse Dark Ritual? Ritual can help you out with other things, but this mana is exceedingly narrow.

I’ve got to admit that I don’t think these listings are real. Someone is doing false listings on eBay for reasons that are unclear to me. Please be patient on this card. 

Arcane Signet (EA and EA foil) – Finally, we’re getting the shiny treatment for a card that’s sorely needed it for a year. This is only available in the Collector Boosters, and will be one of the best hits. I expect the progression for the card to be something like $2.50 for the regular, $10 for the foil, $5 for the extended art, and $30+ for the EA foil. That’s a set of guesses, and it presumes that people will be more interested in a shiny version of the regular art than the nonfoil EA treatment. Right now, most foils are about as much as the regular version of a card, but I think that Signet is going to be one of the most in-demand foils for some time. It’s in 24% of all EDHREC decks online, for a card that didn’t debut until last year in Throne of Eldraine. It’s gotten reprints, thankfully, but it’ll get the foil treatment infrequently. Keep in mind that a lot of people who open EA or foil copies recreationally will just put copies into their decks, and not let them enter circulation at all.

As an additional warning, be aware that this is definitely not the last time we’re going to get this card in foil/EA foil. Other printings will definitely be coming. If you want them for your decks, that’s fine, but if you’re planning future gains, I don’t think that’s a very safe bet. It’ll be possible, with careful management of where you get these (Europe!) and how quickly you resell them. Command Tower is in a similar place, though there’s other foils of Command Tower out there already, the EA foil will have quite the premium until the next EA foil printing.

Jeska, Thrice Reborn – This is a miss for me, as it’s extremely niche. The zero ability requires you to have some creature in play that you can do significant damage with and gain advantage that way. I like the meme value of using Jeska with Brash Taunter and Blasphemous Act, for example, but there’s blessed few ways to gain consistent advantage. What’s really a bummer is that Jeska’s second ability doesn’t scale well. Three mana lets you ping three targets for one damage each. Five mana, and you’re dealing two to each. Seven mana to deal three damage to three different things is not great. Yes, it’s possible that you’re casting the partnered commander some, and if you’re pushing that angle hard you can get much better value, but that’s slow and a lot of work. Jeska is going to be a very cheap mythic, which is a shame for a character with so much lore. (The same character is Jeska, Warrior Adept, Phage the Untouchable, and Karona, False God.)

Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools – Now this is a card to get people excited. There’s a lot to do with two free creatures to sacrifice, and the plus one to sac something and draw two is also strong…but the ultimate is what’s got people buzzing. This is exactly what people want to do in Commander, making huge swingy plays, and I fully expect some wonky combos based around cranking these counters ASAP. I appreciate that Doubling Season isn’t enough on its own, usually that’s a slam-dunk, but this is such a powerful ability that they needed to edit the cost even higher. I expect this to be somewhere around $10 for the base version. Right now you can get it for $20, which is much too high. The borderless treatment will have a premium, but nothing too outlandish.

Vampiric Tutor – What a time to reprint this card, and with an EA treatment:

Granted, this was a mythic two years ago, and that’s a good timeframe for most any card, but ouch. This is a gorgeous piece of art, and I wouldn’t be shocked if the EA foil was $200. It’s tough to see on this graph, but the price on TCG has fallen by $50 in the last week due to this being previewed. People who own Eternal Masters foils want to get what they can for the card before the new versions land.

What I’m really interested in doing is picking up a few copies at a cheap price. This was about $40 for a few months after its printing and climbed up above $120 before we got this preview. Let’s all learn a lesson here and buy it cheap around Valentine’s Day, shall we?

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: (Somewhat) Baseless Speculation


You know how I am always talking about how my data-driven approach has caused my confidence in my specs to increase as well as my hit rate? You’re getting better advice and making more money, I look smart, people go to EDHREC, etc? This is the week every 6 months we forget all of that.

Well this card is pretty stupid and ignoring the cards that could go up as a result seems stupid, also.

This is the biggest winner in terms of playability because you can force two players at once to hand over their decks (hopefully not on webcam) and you can take anything you want. Normally you’d target yourself and someone you kind of like, but Agent changes the whole game. I already liked this card, for the record.

Being the 9th-most-played card in a frankly STACKED set like Core 2020 is a good indicator that Schemy boi had some upside already. I also think Schemes Supremes over here is sort of tough to reprint per se in the kinds of products where they historically have printed Commander cards so it could be fairly insulated against a reprinting. Sure, you’ll make a ton buying Vampiric Tutor when it bottoms out and then goes back up because it’s Vampiric Tutor, but you didn’t need me to tell you to do that.

Fantastic Voyage over here was already in the midst of shaking off a reprint. It’s curious that it bottomed out 2 years after it was reprinted and not right in 2016 when the Commander deck containing it came out but you can see that the ceiling on the card is about $13 when its supply was half of what it currently is. EDH took it from $2 to $6 as a matter of course, I think its synergy with Opposition Agent makes it a card to *watch* if nothing else.

The internet works fast and this card is drying up faster than it already was. It’s been increasing the whole last year despite being a profoundly boring card to build around. Buying these now will be risky but if you have these, sell into the hype imo.

Any card that spent the year growing in price by 50% on Card Kingdom and stayed flat everywhere else is worth looking at in my opinion, as Card Kingdom is the canary in the coalmine for prices on EDH-only cards. If you can get this for half of what CK is charging now and it goes up, you can probably just turn around and buylist these to Card Kingdom for like $10 in store credit if it spikes. It was climbing anyway, so you actually can’t really lose, here.

This is a trap.

I mean, I think. The *second* time someone did OK at an SCG event with that stupid Food Chain, Misthollow Griffin deck, I really didn’t expect that to be the reason Food Chain went from $10 to $50 considering the initial print hype only made the card go from like $2 to $10 and EDH demand didn’t change at all over that time period. So when I say “this is a trap” I am basing this off of the fact that a deck built around Krark will be terrible and worse than Zndrsplt and Okaun decks already are, which is bad and mostly a novelty. If you have the cards, and you should know what the cards are without my help, sell into the hype. Here’s what I think moves but not sustainably.

This is mostly sold out, but what’s actually curious here is the price trajectory on Card Kingdom specifically.

It is obvious where Battlebond came out, but the price started ticking back up over time after the initial feeding frenzy ended. The deck isn’t built a ton and it’s sort of clunky and all of the stuff that was bulk before went right back down to bulk, but the iconic card stayed high on Card Kingdom specifically. It went back to $4 on TCG Player and up to $20 this week (second spikes will do that) and I still have a bunch of mine from last time because I couldn’t sell them and didn’t want to out them for CK store credit (they’re paying $9 now). Iconic cards don’t plummet like cards like Game of Chaos and Squee’s Revenge are going to. It’s likely too late to make nay money here unless you still had copies from last time, but I think that’s probably fine. The deck sucks without access to Blue, anyway. Also, I think it kind of sucks with access to Blue.

Legendary Creature – Spirit

Whenever another permanent enters the battlefield under your control, if it wasn’t put onto the battlefield with this ability, you may put a permanent card with an equal or lesser converted mana cost from your hand onto the battlefield.


So this card is actually incredibly busted AND it has partner so you can add another color (Blue) or other colors (Blue and Red or Black or Black and Red) and did they test this card? It generates a ton of value.

The good news is this is incredibly powerful and will cause a lot of decks to be built. The bad news is that anything this enables is already expensive and probably won’t go up much. I think it’s worth looking at every landfall token producer in this context, every Karoo all the way back to literal Karoo and that cycle and what this gets partnered with. Omnath, Locus of Rage, Emeria Angel, Scute Swarm – there’s no wrong way to generate infinite tokens with this stupid card that, I would like to remind you, can be your commander.

Here is what I think this card is most nutty paired with.

Once flirted with $30, now gettable under $15? Okey dokey. The Mystery Boosters didn’t add as much supply or as cleanly as people think and this is a card that is worth $30 because every set has one or two cards that as good with it. Purphoros and Impact Tremors will always be good in a certain kind of deck.

This is stupid. You make infinite clues with a Karoo. I don’t understand the rationale behind Kodama.

Now, I don’t speak German and some people are alleging that it’s been mistranslated and should read “nontoken permanent” which would still be quite good, but I haven’t seen anyone from Wizards verify that so I’ll assume the translation is correct. Insanity.

Karoos are back on the menu, boys. Yank these out of bulk – CK was getting nearly a buck apiece on these recently.

I’m sure there is stuff that I should have talked about, like the fact that pirates are a huge theme in the set, but since we don’t have any data and anything we’re baking on as a result of these particular cards is a gamble, I’ll save data for when we can afford to wait. For now, sell into hype, buy at your own risk and don’t take any wooden nickels. Until next time!

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