The Most Interesting Speculator In The World

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You can find the occasional gem like this meme when you're slogging through all the garbage on the "#mtgfinance" hashtag on Twitter.

It seems like this has become a recent trend - cards like Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir and Sylvan Safekeeper received a ton of hype during the Modern PT despite being relegated to very few copies in a sideboard. I accidentally quadrupled up on Deadbridge Chant when it never took off as a "dredge" enabler like I'd wanted it to, but spiked to nearly $8 because it was played as a 1-of in a sideboard. It makes sense to buy cards like Rest in Peace and Grafdigger's Cage because their ubiquity in sideboards means they will go up over time. But cards that are a 1-of or 2-of in the sideboard of one deck?

It seems like a deck that puts three copies in the Top 16 matters less than a deck that gets a deck tech interview because its pilot it 5-0 (because he has 3 byes). Let's talk Sideboard Speculating- What do you think? Do you watch coverage on Saturday and buy cards that seem like hot sideboard tech, hoping to sell out before prices come back down? Do you prefer to speculate on flash-in-the-pan sideboard cards like Teferi or do you like the long-term gainers with potential like Swan Song? Do you avoid Sideboard cards completely, preferring to speculate on cards that make enough of an impact on the game to be included in the main deck? Leave it in the comments.

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Jason Alt

Jason Alt is a value trader and writer. He is Quiet Speculation's self-appointed web content archivist and co-captain of the interdepartmental dodgeball team. He enjoys craft microbrews and doing things ironically. You may have seen him at magic events; he wears black t-shirts and has a beard and a backpack so he's pretty easy to spot. You can hear him as co-host on the Brainstorm Brewery podcast or catch his articles on He is also the Community Manager at and writes the odd article there, too. Follow him on Twitter @JasonEAlt unless you don't like having your mind blown.

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37 thoughts on “The Most Interesting Speculator In The World

  1. I see this as a part of the sickness that has invaded the lower tiers of MTG finance lately. People who think everything is a good buy because it receives some tiny amount of attention.

    So, no. I think these SB 1-ofs are terrible choices unless they seem like someone has actually stumbled upon great tech.

  2. I made a bunch of money on Shadow of Doubt when it spiked after Worlds. I bought about 20 of them at $.50 a piece and sold when they spiked to $8-$9. Cha-ching!! I bought them because I got absolutely blown out by one at a modern PTQ last year before Worlds. My opinion is that you should not buy cards just based on coverage. You should buy them because you yourself know how powerful they are in game.

    Incidentally, I got hosed by a copy of Porphyry Nodes just a week before the last Pro Tour. I wanted to buy about 20 copies but then didn’t because of the whole “sideboard 2-of” argument. Thanks for denying me my 1000% return, Quiet Spec! Obviously I’m not blaming you, because 9 times out of ten “don’t spec on sideboard 2-ofs” is good advice. I am suggesting that your logic needs a bit more fine tuning. Are you speculating on a card because you know its powerful, or because someone else you saw on Twitch said it was?

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