Tag Archives: iconic masters

UNLOCKED PROTRADER: Iconic Masters Movement

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the prices I was hoping that Iconic Masters cards were going to drop to, and we have reached a point on some of these that I’m comfortable moving in.

I don’t think I’ll need to tell you much about these cards, but this is a calendar point where I’m ready to pick up some copies. Unstable drops today, and with this being the Christmas-New Year’s lull for tournaments, sales, and other Magic activities, I don’t think much more Iconic Masters will be opened.

Rivals of Ixalan has already had a couple of spoilers/previews land, and that will start in full force after New Year’s Day, so there likely won’t be a ton of product opened. Even if prices fell another 5-10%, I’m content to get in on some of these now, and perhaps even more if the price does indeed slip another step or two.

On the flip side, there’s some cards from Iconic Masters that have fallen in price, but aren’t done falling. Be wary of these.

Let’s get to the cards!

Horizon Canopy ($33): It’s not done. $20? I can only find fringe versions of decks running more than two, though there’s a Five-Color Humans build in Modern that’s playing four of the 19 lands as this cantrip. The Future Sight version has lost nearly half its value, and I don’t think that’s done falling either.

Ebay’s completed sales show just a few over $30 in the past two weeks, and a whole lot more in the $25 range. Not all that many people need this land, so I’m staying away.

Thoughtseize ($15): This is the card I’m having the hardest time not buying. It’s one of the most popular cards in constructed Magic, being a top 5 card in Modern and a top 20 card in Legacy. Let me show you the graph for Lorwyn Thoughtseize:


The red arrow is the release of Theros, 2013! Those halcyon days.

Every time it’s had a printing, the value has taken a hit and then climbed back up. I didn’t get in on this when Theros came around, and I don’t think there is any doubt that it’ll climb back up again. It’s not going to hit $80 again. It’s not going to crack $50 for some time. I’m staying patient until I can get them for $10 each on eBay, and that time hasn’t come yet.

If you want to pull the trigger on a playset or two in the $12 range, I can’t fault you. When it looks like it’s flattened off, or when Rivals of Ixalan comes out, I’ll be ready to dive in.

Cryptic Command ($20): I’m staying patient till $15.We’ve got several version of Very Cryptic Command to fool around with and distract casual players, and while a playset of Cryptic is a starting point in Modern control decks, control isn’t too popular an archetype. I’m watching these on eBay closely too, and I have managed to get a couple at my target of $15. I’d much prefer that some retailer sell me a few in a batch, though.

Grove of the Burnwillows ($13): Get out. Now. If you open one of these I would buylist it immediately and not look back. Sure, it’s a Punishing Fire combo in one Legacy deck, and maybe you have a deck that abuses the lifegain somehow, but these are few and far between. The demand is not there, and I think this has a lot farther to fall before I’d want copies.

Consecrated Sphinx ($12): This is a super interesting card, and therefore a place I’m hesitant to put in much money. Sure, it’s one of the best things a blue deck can do in Commander or Cube, but those are the only formats where it sees play. The original mythic had made it up to $30, even with the Invocation draining demand somewhat, but now the slide is on. I am watching eBay for $10 copies, and foils under $20.

This had started to recover nicely from the Invocation in early 2017.

Even as I watch the card get cheaper, I’m hesitant. This is an excellent candidate for a ban in Commander, and it’s in 14,000 decks! It would be a bloodbath.That risk is going to keep me from going too deep, and your taste for risk should determine the number of copies you want to get.

Archangel of Thune ($11): I don’t think this will fall too much farther. It’s been a mythic twice, never a rare, and that’s big for the number of copies out there. I strongly suspect casual players are soaking up copies as well, because it’s good in Commander but not overpowered. If it’s unanswered, sure, the game’s over, but that’s the case in that format.

What I really like about Archangel is that looking into lifelink cards clued me into foil Crested Sunmare at $8. There’s only 40 copies on TCG, and it’s a top card for lifelink decks. There’s not much demand for Oloro, Ageless Ascetic, as there’s competition for who your lifelink Commander should be, but Sunmare is way up there on the list of things to do if you’ve got a lot of gain life effects around. Only 40 copies for a recent foil mythic, that’s a top target for me going forward.

Cliff is an eager participant in unusual formats, and is hoping to cube four times a day at the next GP. Find him on Twitter @wordofcommander or here on MTGPrice every Friday.

UNLOCKED PROTRADER: Price Targets for Iconic Masters

This…this is weird.

We are neck-deep in atrocious spoilers for Unstable and yet the set that’s getting opened this weekend is Iconic Masters. I’m not a marketing or economics major, but it seems something is off about this timing. We’ve known this set for months, a few folks drafted it at HasCon and all I want to do is mess around with Contraptions and Host creatures.

There’s another factor at play with Iconic Masters: Somehow, this set is dirt cheap to buy. The EV is there, with 16 rares and mythics that match the price of a pack, but why am I going to drop $30+ on a draft at my LGS when my pals and I can chip in for a box at $160-$170?

With this set, I’m not going to buy any boxes or any packs. The far better bet will be to choose the prices I want and see if cards settle to those ranges. The availability of boxes makes me think that this isn’t going to tick prices downward, it’s going to yank the rug out from under them and expose a giant hole.

I am open to being wrong, but the box prices are worrisome to me. We’re only going to be opening this for a month (Unstable lands December 9, so four weeks?) so that’s going to mitigate the damage, but I can’t help thinking that this is going to torpedo a lot of prices.

Here’s my targets, with their current prices.

Mana Drain ($90): So this represents the chase mythic of the set, the headliner, and I think it’s about to tank hard. I think this drop into the $50 range, and $40 wouldn’t shock me. There has been a judge foil, to go with the original, and now the rest of us are going to get a crack at it. Question is, what’s the demand? No one needs a playset, so is it going to be all EDH decks? It’s a pretty phenomenal card in there and in Cube, but that’s going to fill pretty fast. The people who were drooling for a cheaper version are going to get their wish. I will be looking to pick these up around $40-$60.

Ancestral Vision ($19): This is a card that has really ridden the rollercoaster over the years.

The truth is that while it feels really great to resolve this as a control player, Modern has become a bit too fast for this card. For right now, anyway. I fully expect that in the fullness of time, someone will build a control deck that sweeps away the aggressive decks and defeats the combo players. That time isn’t now, though. I know this will go below $10, but it’ll have to fall further to interest me, maybe to $7.

Flusterstorm ($31): This is another card that’s about to take a beating. I can’t find a Legacy or Vintage list that uses more than two, and that’s a bad sign because this is a rare. I think it’s going to drop into the $10 range, and I’m not sure I’d want to pick any up. Where’s the demand? This goes in some Cubes, but it seems like trash in Commander.

Aether Vial ($30): We keep getting this card, but never ever in Standard again: Darksteel, FTV, Masterpiece, Modern Masters, and now here. It’s dropped in price before and always recovered well, so I don’t think it’ll fall far. $20 would be my target, especially because when people want this, they want the full set. That bodes VERY well for future demand.

Thoughtseize ($15): This is a difficult call to make. Let’s go to the history:

It’s easy to forget that Thoughtseize was worth ninety dollars at one point before being in Theros. Even now, the original is worth about twice as much as the Theros version. We’re back to the original art and flavor text, which means little when a card is played as much as this is. It’s awful in casual formats, worthwhile in Cubes, and it’s among the most-played cards in Legacy and Modern. The demand is real, but the question of how much supply worries me.

Here’s the bottom line: It’s going to trickle down to $10. Will it go lower? I don’t think it will, and I’ll be content to stock up at $10 and wait. It’s played too much to stay that low for long, and if growth is slow, well, I’ll be patient until it gets back to a buylist of $10 and move on.

Glimpse the Unthinkable ($12): This is already half the price of the original Ravnica version, and is going to test the premise ‘casuals love mill cards enough to keep prices high.’ This will be a $5 card. It’ll stay a $5 card for quite a while after that, and I won’t want to get any.

Cryptic Command ($23): Lorwyn. Modern Masters 1 AND 2. Invocation, and a textless promo. That’s a LOT of printings, and two different alternate looks for those with a taste for either. This sees some Modern play, and that helps, but I can’t help feeling that a lot of people who want a Cryptic or four have them already. This will drop by at least half, and that casting cost is going to rule out a lot of Commander decks…though EDHREC has it in 11,000 decks already.

I can’t imagine this stays above $20, and only if it goes below $10 will I be interested. Getting in at $15 and waiting  is just going to take too long to be useful.

Cliff is an avid cuber and Commander player, and can be found investigating all sorts of unusual formats. His first boosters were in late 1994, and the years since have seen a range of spikes, sellouts, thefts, and triumphs. Catch his articles here every Friday or on Twitter @wordofcommander