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Insider: Virtually Infinite – Responding to Eternal Masters

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I write this on Thursday night, with nearly the full set of Eternal Masters (EMA) spoiled. By Friday morning we should have filled in most of the gaps. It's been a busy week, and I've been doing my best in the forums to keep a pulse on what's in, what's out, and what to do about it.

As the final set list nears, try to be at your laptop, as things will move quickly. As I mentioned in my initial article on EMA, we can employ two basic rules:

  • Anything confirmed in the set (and over half a tix) is worth selling ASAP.
  • Any Legacy staples confirmed not in the set are worth buying ASAP.

Taking Stock

Eternal Masters is shaping up to be quite a set, value-wise. Our predictions have largely been on point: in order to retain reprint equity, they have focused on pre-Modern cards, including just a sprinkling of newer cards as the mortar to make draft archetypes work. And they haven't been shy about reprinting high-price cornerstones of the Legacy format.

My first article on EMA drew on various online forums and David Schumann's excellent piece to posit a watch list. We added to this list over the course of our subsequent articles. If you went ahead and sold most of those cards you have done well.

I went ahead and split the list into four categories: confirmed in, confirmed out, unlikely, and pending.

Confirmed In

These are cards you don't want to be caught holding. For some, the window to sell has passed, but for others it still makes sense to unload, even at a loss. They will only continue to fall, as I expect this set to be very heavily drafted starting in three weeks.

Confirmed Out

The number crunch makes the inclusion of these cards impossible. They have already gone up 50% or more but will continue to rise in the coming weeks. I recommend getting in if you can find a reasonable price; I missed the floor but still bought a few playsets of each. Not everyone is yet aware these have been crunched out so there will be a second wave of buyers tomorrow.

Infernal Tutor was not on our initial watch list but seemed plausible given the likely presence of a Storm archetype. The number crunch shows it will not be reprinted and will become one of the key gatekeeper cards to the new format. A buy at 40-50 tix should yield strong returns in the coming weeks.


Unlikely

First off, the market is already betting that Show and Tell won't be in, based on the assumption that they would not print it at rare. This seems like a good bet, but there's a nonzero chance it does show up at rare, which would kill the value. High risk, high reward.


The same applies to Craterhoof Behemoth---they would have to print this at rare, which seems out of character, and they already included Regal Force. I bought a few playsets of the Behemoth and listed it as my pick of the day on Twitter, so I'm hoping it doesn't crater.

I also think a Zendikar fetchland reprint is highly unlikely and these are a safe buy at a depressed price. They have already seen a rise, but Marsh Flats remains nicely priced.


Next we come to some cards that are unlikely based on what's already in the set. Each of the cards below would occupy a similar space in the set as another card that's already been spoiled. For the sake of Limited play and keeping the set varied and interesting, their appearance would be surprising.

Again, these have not been crunched out so anything is possible.

Redundant Effects

Based on what we've seen, it also seems safe to speculate on Modern-legal rares, as Wizards seems committed to printing cards that would be difficult to print in a future Modern Masters set. Of course, they could throw us a curve ball, but sometimes speculation involves playing the percentages. Cards that are probably safe include:

Modern-Legal Cards

No guarantees, but they seem determined not to burn reprint equity on cards like these...

Pending

The last category of cards are those many people expected to be in EMA. As a result, their prices have remained artificially suppressed. The moment they are confirmed not to be in EMA, expect them to shoot up. These are the cards you'll want to keep an eye out for tomorrow.

The big hitters are Rishadan Port and Show and Tell. Most people expected them to be in the set but now it's looking rather unlikely.

Port could show up as the 15th mythic if Karakas is treated as a white card (there is precedent for that with Urborg.) Show and Tell could only show up as a rare, which is odd but possible---and would allow for a Sneak and Show deck in Limited. A guy can dream...


For what it's worth, I think we'll see Lotus Petal, Birthing Pod and Dark Depths join the list, in part because they would be a nice addition to the limited format. True-Name Nemesis would seem too brutal at rare so that's unlikely. There is a nice spot on the card list for Zur to slot in between Wee Dragonauts and Call the Skybreaker and its price has already dropped.

All of these cards are depressed because of expectations. If you see they are not reprinted, you should leap on the opportunity.

Happy hunting!

-Alexander Carl
@thoughtlaced

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