A Tale for the Ages$3.00 (+200.00%)
Old Man of the Sea$440.00 (+57.27%)
Gaea's Blessing$5.99 (+48.64%)
Arcane Lighthouse$2.92 (+33.94%)
Angel's Grace$3.99 (+33.00%)
Juzám Djinn$3,189.99 (+27.81%)
Time Lord Regeneration$3.00 (-25.00%)
Diamond Valley$843.56 (+24.05%)
Xenk, Paladin Unbroken$49.50 (+23.75%)
Underworld Dreams$6.85 (-23.38%)
Vault of the Archangel$3.00 (-22.48%)
Virtue of Persistence$30.50 (+22.00%)
Radiate$7.99 (+21.06%)
Keen Duelist$3.00 (+20.00%)
Ancient Den$2.04 (+20.00%)
Alluring Scent$2.59 (-19.06%)
Relentless Assault$2.25 (-17.58%)
Food Chain$14.99 (-16.72%)
Donna Noble$10.00 (-16.67%)
Wheel of Misfortune$8.34 (-16.52%)
Sentinel of Lost Lore$2.40 (-15.49%)
Phyrexian Arena$4.04 (+15.43%)
Nature's Cloak$6.97 (+15.21%)
The One Ring (Borderless)$74.49 (+14.62%)
The First Sliver$29.93 (-14.46%)
Serendib Efreet$600.00 (-14.29%)
Thassa's Oracle$54.99 (+13.59%)
Nemesis of Reason$4.99 (+13.41%)
War Elephant (Light)$17.99 (-13.26%)
Songbirds' Blessing$2.40 (+12.68%)
Charisma$9.00 (+12.64%)
The Flux$9.00 (+12.50%)
Spellbook Vendor$2.25 (+12.50%)
Isolated Chapel$3.64 (+12.35%)
Zacama, Primal Calamity$5.92 (+11.91%)
Spirit Mantle$2.83 (+11.86%)
Swamp - Zendikar Cycle$2.46 (+11.82%)
Isolated Chapel$2.62 (-11.78%)
Agatha's Soul Cauldron$49.97 (+11.74%)
Abu Ja'far$38.44 (-11.71%)
Jandor's Ring$43.31 (-11.52%)
Talisman of Hierarchy$2.38 (-11.52%)
Avatar of Woe$4.15 (-11.51%)

10 Commander Masters Reprints I’m Watching

08 Aug
by Jason Alt

I was going to put “Watching Like a Hawk,” but that’s too wordy for a title and now it seems like I’m apologizing already. Not a great start to the article, Alt, pull it together.

I’m sure you’re all eager to get to the list, so if that’s you and you haven’t scrolled down already, don’t feel bad. You’re not hurting my feelings for preferring my list to my rationale. In fact, here, I’ll put the list at the top of the article to save you the trouble. Your click is already in my pocket, if you liked or re… xeeted (I guess? Is that what he expects us to say now?) or upvoted on Reddit, thanks very much, that’s more valuable than reading the rest of this. Here you go! Thanks for the support.

10 Vanquisher's Banner
9 Jeweled Lotus 
8 Spark Double 
7 Deadly Rollick
6 Dryad of the Ilysian Grove 
5 The Great Henge 
4 Fierce Guardianship
3 Toxic Deluge
2 Cyclonic Rift
1 Heroic Intervention

Now that they’re going, wouldn’t it be funny if I gave the rest of you a different list with better specs? I’m not going to do that, but I am going to give the rest of you some added value for giving me additional minutes of your life, minutes that are not refundable. As a token of gratitude, I’ll talk a bit about how I zeroed in on cards that were more interesting than others.

The first thing I did was order the list of all of the cards in the set by their current price using EDHREC. You can use whatever site you like but EDHREC has inclusion data in their list and no other site does, so I suggest you use EDHREC for one important reason. 

The far right column on the EDHREC list of the cards in the set has their inclusion numbers. This is a big factor in deciding if a card has enough demand to eventually counteract the supply injection. Remember, raw % is not the entire story. What am I talking about, “remember?” I’m not writing a series here that requires you to have read like 10 years of MTG Price articles to understand. Sorry about that, let’s talk about that first. 

Percent inclusion is one factor in seeing how much demand a card has. Raw inclusion numbers are, I think, sometimes not the entire story and I like that EDHREC lists cards by % inclusion rather than raw inclusion totals for one important reason. A card’s EDH demand is heavily influenced by its color identity. An artifact in 30k decks on EDHREC seems like it’s more of a staple than a gold card in 20k decks, but artifacts aren’t bound by color identity so they’re more likely to be in a larger number of decks. However, that gold card might be in 80% of the copies of the most-played deck of that month and demand will be hard and fast. As financiers, we want cards that go up slowly and reliably as well as cards that peak hard and fast and fade away in a month when three more sets come out and people leave their Tom Bombadil Saga deck half finished and move on to making their Caesar's Legion vs. Vault 88 Overseer duel decks. (I started writing this to be sarcastic about how I don’t love how fast the products come out or how little they have to do with Magic IP, but I’m legit excited for the Fallout product and this got me even more excited. I contain multitudes, sue me).

You need to be aware of raw inclusion numbers, certainly, but % inclusion accounts for the color identity factor better than any other single criterion, and that’s why I like to use the graph on EDHREC with the inclusion %. 

I did way too much intro here and if I want any of my word count budget left over to actually explain my picks, I should get started. No time to even finish this sent

10. Vanquisher's Banner

110k inclusions, 4% of eligible decks

Banner is a card I liked as a spec at its pre-reprint price, so imagine how happy I am now. Banner goes in creature typal decks, and since typal decks are going to be 80% of the EDH precons going forward, it’s really a balancing act between buying at the true bottom and not buying too early and overpaying and selling out before this gets another reprint. This will be tough to truly maximize, but it’s also a really obvious spec, and no one said MTG finance was easy, just that the when to buy half is pretty obvious here. The time to sell this is “before it’s reprinted again” and I won’t be taking any more questions about the issue. NEXT CARD.

9. Jeweled Lotus

207k inclusions, 7% of eligible decks

I really didn’t expect Commander players to embrace this card, but they have. Since this is also Mythic in Commander Masters, the price isn’t going to drop a ton, and maybe you want to wait out this cycle and buy in next year when this likely gets another four reprints. Still, this is the 35th-most used artifact in the format whether I saw that coming or not. I don’t know where this bottoms out, but it will in a few weeks unless people continue not to buy boosters. This likely won’t drop enough for any “discovered demand” where people who didn’t play a card at all because it was too pricey can suddenly afford it and the price rebounds faster than predicted, so it’s at the butt end of our list. 

8. Spark Double

112k inclusion, 8% of eligible decks

This desperately needed a reprint. This print run is going to be huge and being at rare is absolutely going to wallop this price in the short term, unless, again, people continue not buying boxes. But if that’s true, it’ll be true universally, which means that this reprint set basically didn’t happen, in which case I think this list still holds true. These are the cards and this is the order I care about them in, so either they’ll all go down from reprinting or none of them will. Let’s assume they’ll go down, in which case a cheap Spark Double is as good as gold. Also, Spark Double sees more play as time goes on, not less, because making non-legendary copies of legendary creatures is big business in Commander right now and it’s a lot of fun (for a while). 

7. Deadly Rollick 

123k inclusions, 8% of eligible decks 

This entire cycle was at the very cusp of precons giving more supply than in years past, and both Rollick and Guardianship make my list. In fact, everything I can say about one, I can say about the other. Free spells aren’t just good, they have historically screwed formats up pretty badly. This is a zero-mana spell that deals with one of their problem cards and that makes it very difficult to play around. Being printed at rare means we could see a big supply injection - they had no rarity in the precons, basically, because there was one per package every time. This is the first time they’re printed relatively more or less than the other cards in a product and that tanks their price a bit more, making them excellent pickups when the dust settles. 

6. Dryad of the Ilysian Grove 

112k inclusions, 9% of eligible decks 

With more enchantment sets than ever and more five-color commanders than ever, this card has never been more useful. This is a price I expect to rebound very quickly and I am not even sure what else to say. Like Spark Double, this card has become more useful as time has gone on, which has had an exponential impact on its price. Cards like that are liable to recover more quickly than cards that have always been vaguely good in the format, and that’s why there are so many of them on this list. 

5. The Great Henge

127k inclusions, 10% of eligible decks 

I talked about “discovered demand” earlier and this is the first card on this list perhaps that this concept will apply to (Fierce Guardianship is a maybe). People who couldn’t justify spending as much on a Henge before and therefore never included it in a deck will suddenly be able to buy one affordably or have a few more shots at getting one in a pack. I think this new demand caused by the card that was once out-of-the-question before becoming in-the-question (I think that’s how that works) could have an exponential effect on prices while a lot of other cards that were just a price and are now a different price and will grow in a more linear manner. Don’t get me wrong, linear is fine, but better than fine is better than fine, ya dig?

4. Fierce Guardianship

231k inclusions, 17% of eligible decks 

This entire cycle was at the very cusp of precons giving more supply than in years past, and both Rollick and Guardianship make my list. In fact, everything I can say about one, I can say about the other. Free spells aren’t just good, they have historically screwed formats up pretty badly. This is a 0 mana spell that deals with one of their problem cards and that makes it very difficult to play around. Being printed at rare means we could see a big supply injection - they had no rarity in the precons, basically, because there was one per package every time. This is the first time they’re printed relatively more or less than the other cards in a product and that tanks their price a bit more, making them excellent pick-ups when the dust settles. 

3. Toxic Deluge

222k inclusions, 15% of eligible decks

This is not Deluge’s first reprint rodeo, and it’s basically the second card on this list to have been reprinted previously. As you can tell from the price graph, it took like five printings to get this card under $20. I’m as much watching to see if this can hit $5 before it begins to rebound as I am to see if this gets reprinted again right away. I can’t imagine. 

In a way, perhaps that’s not enough of a reason to spec on a card - that I “can’t imagine” them doing it again. I CAN imagine it, actually, and if it happens soon, I won’t be surprised. You probably think a card this “iffy” shouldn’t be 3rd on my list. If you hadn’t noticed, I was sorting by ascending inclusions percentage, not increasing confidence in the card as a spec. I have less confidence in this card than I do in Vanquisher’s Banner. You know who doesn’t know that? Anyone who peeked at the top 10 list and closed the article. I told you I’d make it worth your while to read the whole thing. 

All that said, this is 3rd on the list because I sorted by % inclusion and this card has a lot of those. 

2. Cyclonic Rift

425k inclusions, 30% of eligible decks 

It sucks so bad that this boring card is a huge staple, but it is. A regular treatment of a card with multiple prior printings is likely to tank the price quite a bit, and then people will remember this card goes in all of their blue decks and they build like five more blue decks. This gets reprinted again in the next 18 months but you can get in and get out in six if you don’t forget to sell. 

1. Heroic Intervention

371k inclusions, 28% of eligible decks

I know I said I sorted by percent inclusions and this wasn’t necessarily a top 10 list in order of confidence, but I literally couldn’t live in a world where Cyclonic Rift was the top of this list.

This is the best card on this list. That’s it, I guess. This has been reprinted before, it will be again, and right now they’re the cheapest they’ve been and it’s a good idea to buy a bunch and get out fairly quickly. The graph should tell you how many months you have to wait until the price peaks and you can decide if it will get printed again before then. I don’t think it will, but you shouldn’t take my word for it. I can show you where to look but I don’t think you’re paying me to tell you how to think. If you were, but I didn’t think that was the case, am I really the guy you want doing your thinking for you? 

Thanks for reading, nerds. I have gotten a kick out of this series making me push myself as a writer a bit more and I hope you all find it valuable. Until next time! 

Vanquisher's Banner
Jeweled Lotus
Spark Double
Deadly Rollick
Dryad of the Ilysian Grove
The Great Henge
Fierce Guardianship
Toxic Deluge
Cyclonic Rift
Heroic Intervention

Check out these other articles:

The Big Things - Everything is Priced In by Harvey McGuinness

History, Restapled - In Full Swing by Steve Heisler

New Horizons - Commander Masters by Matt Grzechnik

Jason Alt
Jason Alt

Jason has been writing about Magic: the Gathering since 2010. He currently writes an EDH-focused column on CoolstuffInc.com and is the content manager of EDHREC and Commander's Herald. When he's not writing you can hear him as the cohost of the Brainstorm Brewery MtG Finance podcast weekly on YouTube and all podcasting apps. Follow him on Twitter for more free finance tips - free in the sense that you don't pay with money, but with having to see too many tweets about hockey.

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