Tag Archives: legacy

PROTRADER: EMA Winners and Losers

So we are still waiting on some spoilers to roll in, and I’m sure that there will be a few more winners and losers worth discussing once we have the full 249 revealed. I’m confident that we have enough so far that I can make a full length article out of it, and that makes me very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very *checks word count* very very very very very very… very happy.

WINNER: MERFOLK! Merfolk was actually the first big winner with this set, because the first two cards spoiled (Force of Will and Wasteland) are THE financial gatekeepers to playing this deck in Legacy. Merfolk is not the best deck in Legacy, but only because there isn’t a best deck in Legacy. Merfolk is a strong, linear archetype that doesn’t require Alpha duals, is able to win large tournaments, and largely comprised of Modern cards. The difference between ‘optimized’ and ‘budget’ lists has always been the inclusion of Wasteland and Force of Will (moreso the latter than the former due to the need for UU consistently), but any permutation seems to have its advocates. Merfolk was one of the more popular decks at the beginning of the Legacy boom a few years back, and it has only gotten better tools since (Master of the Pearl Trident is much better than Coralhelm Commander). Daze is another big piece for the deck, although Wasteland, Mutavault AND Cavern of Souls probably encourage shaving copies down. Fish just won a Modern GP, so its possible that there are people scrambling to build this for that lesser format, but know that this is a known player in Legacy, and probably one of the strongest decks that is not difficult to cobble together. I expect representation to be high for the next year or so, or however long it takes for EMA to totally dry up.

Legacy events will be like Jimmy Buffett concerts- fins to the left, fins to the right.
Legacy events will be like Jimmy Buffett concerts- fins to the left, fins to the right.

LOSERS: THE PEOPLE GETTING HYMNED IN EMA LIMITED! Oof, good luck. There’s a reason why people still stand by the old adage of “Hymn, Hymn, I win”. And now it looks like they have Sinkhole to back it up! EMA block constructed looks like one of the most fun formats, maybe that should be the new Legacy? I’m in if y’all are.

WINNER: DREDGE! So Dredge itself is not an archetype in EMA, but Ichorid, Cabal Therapy, and some lesser/formerly played pieces (Chrome Mox, Entomb) are all getting reprinted. Expect Golgari Grave-Troll to continue disappearing off shelves (as we discussed here previously!) and keep your eyes peeled for that Izzet v Golgari box.

LOSERS: EVERYONE BUT DREDGE! Look, I am the biggest supporter of Life From the Loam that there is, but I’m not going to call myself a fan of the Dredge deck. I don’t think we will ever see this archetype hit quite the same saturation numbers as Merfolk (because it is harder to play and easier to hate), but I do worry that on those weekends where it’s Dredge’s tournament to lose that we will see more than the one player that ran hot to get to Top 8. If there is ever a Legacy Top 8 with three or more Dredge lists, the world will become a foul and miserable place.

"But Loam's freedom came at a price - him."
“But Loam’s freedom came at a price – him.”

WINNERS: POPULAR CARDS WITH LOW SUPPLY: A lot of the cards that we are getting reprinted come from Magic’s very distant past, and are therefore bound by the scarcity issues that come with wanting something that hasn’t been made in nearly twenty years. This also includes more recent, but otherwise limited release cards such as Shardless Agent. Having new life entering the market is going to allow people more opportunity to snag what they want, while simultaneously buoying price on high demand in the short term. It is still possible that many of these cards increase in price when all is said and done, which I think we now all know as the “Tarmogoyf Principle”. The interesting thing is going to see how it plays out across rarity and format (Legacy vs Vintage). Sinkhole is a popular card in the Mono Black decks that lots of new Legacy players gravitate towards. Even though the card was originally a COMMON, it has since been (perhaps rightly) upgraded to rare. The more Sinkholes there are, the more people will sleeve up Dark Rituals, Hymns, and whatever the 2016 version of Phyrexian Negator is. Water finds its level.

Prices on cards you and everybody else like will be in outer space in two years. Buy now!
Prices on cards you and everybody else like will be in outer space in two years. Buy now!

LOSERS: NARROW CARDS WITH LOW SUPPLY! Mana Crypt at Mythic means that we won’t see so many that supply skyrockets, but this is a card only played as a 1x in Vintage (and possibly in Commander? Is it banned there also?)- how much demand is there? Mana Crypt and an Island is still a turn 1 Tinker, which is a good opening turn in Vintage, but how many people will willingly start to play without Power? Water finds its level, and I think that cards like Crypt that have been high because there are so few of them will drop when supply tiptoes past demand. Say we (the royal ‘we’) get 10,000 new Mana Crypts (a number that I totally made up)- are 10,000 people one Mana Crypt away from playing Vintage? Maybe a few are, but the rest of those are going to get sloshed around vendor tables for a while.

WINNERS: ART LOVERS! This may be the most aesthetically pleasing set in Magic’s history. WotC commissioned a very high percentage of new pieces for this set (partially, I assume, because they had lost the rights to many older artworks1), and they are all stunning. The new Winter Orb is probably my personal favorite, just because it captures the eerieness that the card has always had, while simultaneously looking like an album cover for some sort of sweet symphonic metal band.

"WINTER ORB", the new album by MYTHRIL PROPHECY.
“WINTER ORB”, the new album by MYTHRIL PROPHECY.

LOSERS: ANYONE WHO OPENS A BRAGO! I can handle a lot, and I didn’t mind that a lot of cards got rarity upshifts due to Limited, but seeing THIS card in THIS set really irked me. Blue White blink could be the best draft deck in the format, and I’m still going to be miserable taking this card. It’s a good thing he’s already dead, because I’d kill him myself.

WINNER: ANYONE WHO DRAFTS BLACK! Windmill slam that Braids, even if the foil is good. This color is insanely deep at the middle rarities, and has some pretty strong commons also.

LOSER: ME, FOR CALLING BERSERK! Wow, this was a real shocker. I thought Berserk was as good as in, and it looks like its not. This just makes the call for Fish decks look even better, as trying to respect an optimal Infect list requires some resource commitment, and now they don’t have to do as much. Buy your Lords of Atlantis!

WINNERS: PAUPER PLAYERS! Now, Pauper players are already awesome, super-smart, and overall great people, but they got some major rewards with EMA. There are going to be some commons in this set with extremely high foil multipliers (I’m looking at you, Man-O-War!), even though they aren’t “traditional” staples. Let’s close out today with a list of foil targets, prioritizing high multipliers and low visibility.

  • Yavimaya Enchantress: First time at common, basically an archetype unto herself (and GW Enchantments is already kind of a thing in Pauper!)
  • Nimble Mongoose: Sweet art, foils are currently insane- this is going to be respectably expensive.
  • Emperor Crocodile: Once a rare, now a common. This is more of a foil spec, but definitely a long-shot. Maybe one of the green stompy decks wants this?
  • Duplicant: Okay, not a common, but Duplicant has only had (compared to today’s standard) low printings, so foils always garner a high margin. This art is not the worst that the card has had, and the original is not necessarily iconic. I don’t this printing will cause foils or non-foils to bottom out, but they will briefly be cheaper.
  • Mistral Charger/Elite Vanguard: There are a lot of people excited about these? I don’t know how good either one is, but I wanted to pass the word along.
  • Rally the Peasants: This was an uncommon before, right? Makes the WR decks a lot better if it was.
  • Swords to Plowshares: Not too many opportunities to get this card in foil, so always take the chance when you can.
  • Peregrine Drake: Cloud of Faeries was banned in Pauper, and I think this was only ever an uncommon, so maybe it makes that deck better? Tough call, because the curve was much lower originally.
  • Man-O’-War: Still played in a large percentage of cubes, never previously available in foil. Make up a price, and someone will probably pay it.
  • Innocent Blood: Second time this card has been available in foil, and it’s a VERY popular card.
  • Night’s Whisper: First time that this art has been available in foil, and it’s also the first time the card has been printed at common.
  • Prowling Pangolin: Originally an uncommon, this could sneak its way into some of the black pauper decks.
  • Baleful Strix: Has this card ever been available in foil? I don’t think it has.
  • Beetleback Chief: I know this card was never available in foil, because I would own 100 of them.
  • Crater Hellion: Never before available in foil.

That’s it for now, have fun poring through EMA, and I’ll see you next week!



1This sounds like a job for VorthosMike!

Eternal Masters: The Mythics

So we’ve had an eventful few days of Eternal Masters spoilers, and wow does this look like a set that’s worth $10 per pack…maybe. I need to see the whole list and even then I’m going to be leery.

Today I want to look at the mythics that have been spoiled so far and think about what they will be worth, even taking a stab at the foil prices. I want to organize myself with the printings it’s had before as well. I’m noting the current prices, too, in case they start to slide abruptly.

Editorial note: As of this writing, there’s only 14 mythics previewed. I’ll update this as more are revealed.



Original printing: Legends ($170)

Other printings: Judge Promo in 2012 ($160)

Very important to note that this is banned in Commander but it is pretty amazing in Legacy when it comes to dealing with things like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. I think that there isn’t much demand for this card, to be honest. It’s not too amazing in Cube and it’s not played in high quantities in Legacy. I’m going to say that this ends up about $60 and $150 for the foil. Existing copies are not going to fall very far, since the supply is pretty small.


Chrome Mox

Original printing: Mirrodin ($15/$58 foil)

Other printings: Grand Prix promo in 2009 ($28)

This printing is going to be the nail in the coffin for its price. It’s played in some decks in Legacy but it’s banned in Modern and doesn’t see a lot of casual play. The price isn’t very high for a Mirrodin rare, and injecting more copies will lower the price by at least a third. This Mox will be about $10, but hit a high $50 or so in foil, because Volkan Baga is a real, honest, badass artist and this is gorgeous.


Mana Crypt 

Original Printing: Book promo in 1998 or so ($200)

Other printings: Judge Foil in 2011 ($233)

This is likely going to be the most expensive card from the set, in foil and not. Amazingly, this isn’t banned in Commander yet, and that’s despite one of the banning principles being ‘fast mana.’ I don’t know if you’ve ever played with one of these, but the 3 damage can add up. However, it’s two full turns ahead of what other people are doing, and that is why I’m leery. I think that this stays at $100/$250 foil, but I also think it gets the ban within a year. Not very many people have these in their Commander decks, and as that number goes up, so will the calls for a banning.


Maelstrom Wanderer

Original Printing: Commander 2011 ($20)

Other Printings: Commander’s Arsenal ($28)

Oh, this card is busted right in half. It’s just so good. So very, very, amazingly good. It’s possible you can miss with one of the cascades, but your deck is still amazing and getting the first spell or two off the top plus the big hasty creature. Of special note is that this set has the top-of-the-library tutors for the Wanderer, or bounce it back to your hand with Karakas every turn to make your opponent cry. Value-wise, I expect this to settle at about the $15/$40 range.


Dack Fayden 

Original Printing: Conspiracy ($33/$395)

Other Printings: none

Yes, you’re seeing the foil multiplier right. This is a $400 foil due to Vintage players who will pay anything for the foil version of something. The foil supply on this is super small (check out Marchesa, the Black Rose in foil too!) and that’s where the impact will be felt greatest, I think. Stealing a Mox or something is good, but don’t overlook the draw two, discard two. There’s a lot of decks that can use that effect, and Dack does pop up here and there in Legacy. The nonfoil will be about $20 and the foil will still be in the $150 range, and I’d expect the original foil to bottom out about $300, since there’s just so few copies out there.


Worldgorger Dragon

Original Printing: Judgment ($3/$30)

Other printings: none

This is one of the two really awful pulls for a mythic. It’s infinite mana with this and Animate Dead, so if you’ve got something to do with all that mana, great, it’s game over. If not, get back to your game. This is going to have a very low price, likely about $1/$5.



Original Printing: Ice Age ($13)

Other Printings: Deckmaster ($15), 5th edition ($9), FtV: Exiled ($20)

While this has had four times in print, including a special foil, I do not see this as being terribly expensive. It’s an amazing effect, and can draw a silly amount of cards at all points. This will be about $5/$30 at the end of the set.


Force of Will

Original Printing: Alliances ($78)

Other Printings: Judge Promo in 2014 ($500)

Oh, this is going to be interesting. Terese Nielsen has become one of the most iconic artists that Magic has to offer, and this piece is no exception. Force will always carry a high price in Legacy and Vintage, because it’s a playset or bust. Very few people run only three, and that’s always kept demand high. This should settle out in the $50 range, but I think foils are going to be in the $200 range, especially early on.

The presence of the special Judge version means that there’s both a ceiling and a competitor, price-wise. The part I’m unsure about is how much having this particular art is worth.


Sneak Attack

Original Printing: Urza’s Saga ($44)

Other Printings: Judge Promo in 2012 ($70)

Sneak Attack just wrecks face in a deck that can take advantage of it. Sacrifice for value, mass reanimate, do something unfair. This card enables a lot of that, but the price will stay reasonable, probably around $20/$50.


Vampiric Tutor

Original Printing: Visions ($35)

Other Printings: 6th Edition ($35), Judge Promo in 2000 ($100)

My only beef with this card is that the EMA art is a bit too close to the original art for Necropotence, but that’s me being nitpicky. I think this is gorgeous, and the foils will reflect that. $15 for the regular, $80 or so in foil.


Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Original Printing: Worldwake ($90)

Other Printings: FtV: 20 ($75)

Ah, Jace. How many things contributed to your overblown power? How many people made mistakes with you? It’s iconic, and likely going to be the best planeswalker ever made. This will be about $30, with foils being near $100. The FtV version is lower because a lot of people don’t like the unusual foiling on those cards.



Original Printing: Alpha ($550)

Other Printings: Beta ($350), Unlimited ($40), Revised ($2), 4th edition ($2), Judge Promo ($27), FtV: Exiled ($9)

This is one of those cards that fills the ‘overpowered to busted in Limited, worth less than a bag of beans in person’ slot that every set needs. I think this will be just about bulk, and the foils might make it to $10.


Argothian Enchantress

Original Printing: Urza’s Saga ($16)

Other Printings: Judge Promo from 2003 ($55)

She’s best friends with Rabid Wombat, she can’t help you by herself, she was the most feared 0/1 until Noble Hierarch showed up…and she’s going to have a middling price, since she’s not played too much. I would expect her to settle about $10/$35.


Natural Order

Original Printing: Visions ($35)

Other Printings: Portal ($43) , Judge Promo in 2010 ($130)

This is Tinker for green creatures. Progenitus is the usual target, but you have options in Regal Force or Craterhoof Behemoth, depending on the board state. Thankfully, this is using the dignified art, but it’s not going to be that expensive. $15 for the regular, and about $40 for the foil.

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: Quantitative Eternal Masters Reactions

After endless speculation, we finally have confirmation that Eternal Masters will be an official set, to be released June 10th of this year. Along with the announcement, we’ve also received two spoilers to whet our appetites: Force of Will and Wasteland (shout-out to Terese Nielsen for another gorgeous artwork on Force).


Since then, I’ve been monitoring three trends very closely: the price impact of these reprinted cards, the price impact of Reserved List cards, and discussions of a new (currently fictitious) Eternal format. This week I want to briefly explore each of these three separate reactions and share my takes on each. Some of my data just might surprise you…

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