Tag Archives: Eternal Masters

Grinder Finance – Eternal Masters Part 1

So.  Eternal Masters.  Day 1 is mostly over and I’ll be frank with you.  I’m surprised.  This looks a lot more like Modern Masters than Modern Masters 2015.  Maybe Wizards thinks they only need base hits to keep Modern cards flowing into Modern Masters and maybe wanted to make sure Eternal Masters was a home run.  But is this set really as good as Modern Masters?

Why are cards in Legacy/Vintage expensive?

It’s not the same as the reason Standard or Modern cards are expensive.  A lot less people can afford to play Legacy and Vintage at a competitive level than can play Standard or Modern.  The price increases we see in those cards are purely because of high demand.  Older cards have a slightly different reason they’re so expensive.  There just isn’t a lot of them in existence.  The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale (this is really hard to spell without looking  it up) is not expensive because there is such a high demand for the card.  It wouldn’t even break the top 50 most played lands in Legacy.  Hell, the most competitive deck that plays it only has 1 copy as it is.  Karakas is a U2 (which means it was twice as common as most of the other uncommons) from the same set and is worth less than 25% of the same amount despite a huge amount of play.  While it’s not a perfectly direct comparison due to the fact that there was a Judge Karakas and it is not on the reserve list, you can get an idea of how little the supply of these cards are.

What decks benefit most from Eternal Masters?

I’ve spent some time debating if I want to make some in roads to Legacy but it’s a big pill to swallow.  The decks that will be the easiest to build after Eternal Masters will be Force of Will decks that don’t play a ton of reserve list cards outside of duals.  The biggest winner I think will be Sneak and Show.  With only 1 day of Eternal Masters spoilers we’ve got three of the more expensive cards in the deck being reprinted.  The most expensive cards by % of the deck cost are Volcanic Island, City of Traitors, Scalding Tarn, Force of Will, Sneak Attack, Blood Moon, and Emrakul.  Only two of those are on the reserve list so the reprints should help the cost of the deck in the short term.

The other deck I’m keeping my eye on is Reanimator.  While half of it’s current cost is almost entirely Underground Sea, the rest of the more expensive cards can be printed again.  Force of Will, Entomb, Show and Tell, and Flusterstorm are not on the reserve list and could  all very well be in Eternal Masters.

Biggest Traps

Decks that are getting reprints of expensive cards but play a lot of really odd reserve list cards.  Lands is going to be a trap to a lot of people.  Even if they reprint Gamble, Wasteland, and Rishidan Port the deck still plays Mox Diamond, The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, and Taiga which are all on the Reserve list.  Hell, the single Tabernacle is almost a third of the cost of the $3,000+ deck.

Decks that likely won’t get a lot of support because almost the entire deck is in Reserve list cards.  Elves is the biggest offender as the Gaea’s Cradles and Bayous are so much of the cost of the deck that even a reprint of Glimpse of Nature and Cavern of Souls is unlikely to make the deck more accessible.


I’m not a mathemagician all the time, but I can’t see this really making any Vintage decks easier to play.  Eldrazi is as close as we’re going to get to a “budget” Vintage deck.  Power nine and Mishra’s Workshop will likely continue to be insurmountable barriers for many players.



“Ahhh after 10,000 years, I can finally afford a Mana Crypt” – Commander players everywhere

While this set will probably help with the prices of some cards, there are a few that probably won’t budge.  Mana Crypts are so rare that if people open them they aren’t likely to sell them to a store.  This card will be similar to Tarmogoyf in that it’s the “prize” for opening a pack but unlike Tarmogoyf, you don’t need 4 to play a deck with it.  My thought are this will likely remain $150-180 after a few months and then climb back to $200.  If you need/want one of these for a Cube or a Commander deck, I wouldn’t fault you for buying in early while the few people trying to fire sale the card exist.  If you really dislike the “wingdings” colorless mana symbol you should use this opportunity to buy an older copy of Crypt as some people sell assuming it would drop.


It’s always important to keep in mind in these reprint sets which cards are new to foil.  There are a lot of new cards that have never been foil before and some that have only been foil once in a small amount (like a promo).

Never Foil


Gamble is originally an Urza’s Sage rare and foils didn’t start until Urza’s Legacy.  This one missed the promo foil printings that a lot of Saga cards got.


Toxic Deluge was originally printed in the Commander series and as such has never been available in foil.

Once Foil


Necropotence technically has two foil printings but they are in such small quantities that it is unlikely to matter much.  This is the 2nd foil printing with this art but will likely remain very low.


Sneak Attack was printed in foil once with this art as a Judge Promo.  I’m still disappointed they didn’t use this an opportunity to sneak Emrakul or Griselbrand into the art.


Sylvan Library is likely the 2nd most expensive foil on this list and will take a pretty big hit if the foiling process isn’t terrible.  Sylvan Libraries from Commander’s Arsenal.


So I really like this new art for Enlightened Tutor but I’m really curious to see if they will finish the cycle.  Enlightened Tutor is part of a 4 card tutor cycle printed in Mirage and Sixth Edition.  Neither set had foils and since then Mystical Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, and Enlightened Tutor have had promo foils.  With the inclusion of Gamble, they could reprint a five tutor pseudo cycle.  If they do, Worldly Tutor would get it’s first foil printing and be quite valuable.  Even the foil Vampiric Tutor promo is pretty expensive.

force of will EMA

So Force of Will got a really small promo printing for exceptional Judges some time ago.  I believe they introduced a few more into the market recently in exemplar packs but for the most part, these are very very rare.  Until it was announced in Eternal Masters, the judge foil Force of Wills were $650+.  They have come down to a more “managable” $300-350 now but this pack foil will likely push it down further.  A lot of people like that this art is done by the original Force of Will artist (Terese Nielson).


Both of these non-rare cards will have some pretty significant foil implications.  Daze was only printed once in a significantly unliked set, Nemesis, and Nimble Mongoose was from a few years later in Odyssey.  These cards will likely not be $100 and $30 foils respectively.

Post Modern GP weekends

  • Nahiri failed to make the mark she needed to sustain her price tag.  I don’t think it’s bad to keep them if you’re going to play with them but vendors were buying her for cash at 75% of her retail value.  I don’t expect this to continue so get out of any copies you don’t want.
  • Affinity is still good.  If you were wondering which deck to play, that is a good place to start.  I expect to see an uptick on Mox Opal and Arcbound Ravager this summer.
  • Figure out what deck you want to play for Modern.  You have about a month to buy it before Eldtrich Moon comes out and the constructed format switches to Modern for 3 months.
  • The RPTQs for Pro Tour Eldritch Moon take place between May 28th and June 5th.  Make sure if you believe you should be qualified to check this list to make sure you’re on it.

PROTRADER: From Here to Eternity

THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN UPDATED TO REFLECT NEW SPOILED CARDS! Scroll to the bottom! Most recent update: Wednesday Morning.

Okay, okay, so today was supposed to be the continuation on analytics, and in truth, I got that piece pretty far along before I decided to switch gears. That article is still going to happen, but something happened this week, and time is really of the essence here, so the analytics piece got bumped.

These were the five cards of the week on DailyMTG this week, billed as an homage to cards that were once banned in Legacy, but have since been unbanned. It was stated that this was in honor of Eternal Masters, although previews do not start until the coming Monday (so you see why we need to discuss this now!). Of those five cards, we have a pretty wide range of reprintability, and we are going to use each of them to explore the possibilities of the upcoming release. There is going to be a slow roll-out of the set, so I plan on updating this article over the course of Week 1 of spoilers (I assume we will have two weeks total). Make sure to check back each day next week! Okay, so I listed the cards up top in the order WotC posted them in, but I’m going to go in my own order now:

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ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

Reprint Awareness, Part 2

So a bunch of new things are coming this year, and as I said last week, there’s a lot of cards that I would be worried about. These are cards that I do not want to have extras of right now, or even if I do keep some, I do so knowing how easy these are to reprint.

Reflecting Pool ($8): It’s been printed three times, and has two foil versions. But it’s ridiculously good in multicolor decks, and four-color Commanders are going to make everyone want one of these. I will be ready to order a ton of these if we get the decklists and this hasn’t been printed again, as a spike to at least $15 seems reasonable.

Doubling Season ($40): Oh, this is scary. The good news, though, is that every time it’s been printed (Judge version, Modern Masters 2013) it’s eventually rebounded. I think this gets printed before the Commander decks, and if it goes as low as $20 I will be picking some up. It’s just too good in the long term with tokens, planeswalkers, counters, etc.

Path to Exile ($11-$13): Seven printings! Including an FNM version, as an uncommon, and yet here it is. I stand by my thinking, though: This is easy to print, a powerful yet balanced effect, and if it dips down to $5 it’ll be an attractive buy target. I would not be holding spare nonfoils.

Akroma’s Memorial ($16): I’ll be honest, I love cards like this that just end the game of Commander. Drop this down and immediately remove someone from the game with your hasty, vigilant, first striking army and don’t be afraid of any retaliation. This is a very high price for such a casual card, though, and a reprint is going to bite deeply into its value.

Cavern of Souls ($54): This is the new Damnation. We know it’s going to get reprinted. It’s an amazing card in Constructed for uncounterability and in casual formats for tribal color-fixing. I would call this somewhere between scorching and radioactive, in terms of how this would be burning a hole in my binder to get rid of it. I’m actually hoping for something with better art, because the foil isn’t all that pretty. Get rid of every copy you have, as I will be stunned if this makes it to New Year’s Day without a reprint.

Blood Artist ($4): As an uncommon from one of the worst Limited sets in recent memory, it’s surprising to see this be worth so much, but the effect is bonkers in a lot of settings. A reprint will tank this hard and you should move these out now.

Rune-Scarred Demon ($6): I don’t think Dark Petition is going to get a reprint this year, but I do believe that seven mana for a 6/6 flyer and a tutor is awesomely good enough to see a new version in one of the sets we get this year. I couldn’t say which, but I wouldn’t keep any of these around.

Oblivion Stone ($30): Big-mana strategies are in vogue and this hasn’t had a printing since 2011. There’s a lot of casual players who would love to have one of these, and you should move your extras out pretty soon. This could literally be in any set.

Champion’s Helm ($10): One of the underrated cards from the original Commander, this is one of the best ways to keep your general safe for a low cost. Lightning Greaves is the gold standard, but this is not far off. However, it’s only had the one printing, and a new release will really impact the price.

Consecrated Sphinx ($26): It’s due. It’s so due. It’s also an excellent candidate for a banning in Commander. I would let go of every copy that wasn’t in a deck right now.

Darksteel Plate ($8): It’s hard to grasp how long ago this got printed, and it’s had no additional versions added to the supply. Get your extras out of your binder and avoid the price loss that will happen.

Asceticism ($12): If you’ve never had the honor of playing with this, it’s even better than you think it is. Pinpoint removal is no good, and also it regenerates when needed. It’s also no mana to protect your creatures, and it’s a popular card in green Commander decks. This is rather expensive for a rare from a big set, and adding to the supply is going to torpedo the price.

Genesis Wave ($7): Speaking of Scars of Mirrodin! This card pops up from time to time when a ramp deck wants a big finisher, and this is ridiculously awesome in Commander games. I expect this to get printed again, losing at least half of its value when it does.

Steel Overseer ($19): I would imagine that one of the new Commander decks will be artifact-based, likely the one that isn’t green. This card would be fantastic in that set, and if it’s not printed, will likely go up by $5-$10, and drop by at least that much when printed.

Serra Ascendant ($19): I don’t think this would be in the Commander product, because it lacks the modern template of Chalice of Life and different playgroups have different ways they want to handle this card. The price, though, is going to drop like a rock, since this was a rare in 2011.

Captivating Vampire ($9): Sees no competitive play, one of the top tribes in Magic, five years old. It’s an excellent target for one of these supplemental products and won’t be even $5 after a reprint.

Linvala, Keeper of Silence ($52): This is another card that keeps dodging a reprint and I’m more and more surprised each time. If I had any extras, I would be very nervous. She’s continued to creep upward in price and kudos to you if you want to keep walking the tightrope with her.

Nirkana Revenant ($22): Everyone loves this effect in casual circles and it even comes with something to do with all of that mana! It’s a mythic from forever ago, though, and the supply is tiny. Expect this to drop to a third of its value.

Master of the Wild Hunt ($14): Another ancient mythic, this is really more and more amazing with all the new wolf creatures and token makers. Trade these away freely.

PROTRADER: Reprint Summer is Near

While Standard and Modern begin to establish consistent metagames, I’m noticing a flattening of price trends across much of MTG lately.  Sure, you still have explosive growth as players begin combining Nahiri with Emrakul in Modern, but Nahiri has got to be in the minority.


Many staples across multiple formats have seen their growth mature and, ultimately, stagnate.  Even my favorite Old School format has seen some stagnation in price growth in most cases lately.  Legacy, too has become uninspiring from an MTG finance standpoint.

But that may be about to change.

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