Blueprinting and Comparing Eldritch Moon and Shadows over Innistrad

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Hey there! I had some positive comments on last week's article, so go ahead and catch up now if you haven't had the chance. We'll be following a similar style this week, focusing more on the difference between Eldritch Moon and Shadows Over Innistrad's bulk common and uncommons. With Conspiracy: Take the Crown filling up a significant chunk of draft tables for the next month or so until Kaladesh, I feel like it's important to double check the bulk that we'll be buying as people make room in their closets and game rooms for the new piles of chaff yet to come.

We'll be using Trader Tools again to create a very easy to read layout of exactly what we want to pick, and which set we'd rather be picking. While there are other equally useful tools (, and download the buylist), I'm going to make a general assumption that you want to be able to use the tools that you pay for to customize your own picks.

To start, let's talk about the fact that a lot of other people are talking about Eldritch Moon. The rares and mythics in the set have an expectation to reach abnormally high prices, thanks to lower than average supply. Corbin Hosler talked about this recently on the Quietspeculation cast, and Jim Casale has mentioned it in several of his articles recently. If you play Standard, you want to pick up your EMN. Does this "grab it now before it jumps" apply to some of the bulk commons and uncommons (c/u) as well? Here's the list of c/u that you should be keeping an eye out for, whether you're a Scavenging Ooze checking draft chaff at FNM, or cracking a box that you won at a PPTQ.

EDM tools

Incendiary Flow is the most sought-after uncommon, which isn't too surprising. It's a 4-of when it's played, regardless of the Reddit complaints that Red no longer exists in Standard. There's a pun here with Red and Reddit, but I'm not gonna go for it. After Unsubstantiate and Gnarlwood Dryad, we don't have more than 16 other cards worth more than 0.08 to the highest paying buylist. Hrm. If you're someone picking primarily for Standard trade fodder or playsets for a deckbuilding gauntlet, we're not left with a whole lot of appetizing options. Let's check on the other side of the moon.



Hrm. I mean, it's not a Hrm for the same reason. It's just that double-sided cards being treated as two cards is kind of misleading, and I wish I could hide one of them to make it easier to read. I also don't want to take up this entire article with a blown up picture scrolling all the way down to the end of the .10 cards, but you can run the data for yourself very easily with the filters I included at the top of the image. The brief version of the data is that Shadows Over Innistrad has over 30 (30!) various commons and uncommons that a half dozen vendors are willing to pay a dime a piece on. Buying an Olivia's Bloodsworn for a half of a penny in bulk equals getting a dime from magicdotcards, equals buying a bulk rare from Spike, which you sell to Timmy for $.25, which buys you two more bulk rares.... and you live happily ever after writing Insider articles for QS five years later.

So what's the moral of the story? Even if your sellers pick out the Duskwatch Recruiters and Lambholt Pacifists for their Company decks, you're still going to have a very successful time buying bulk SOI cards. You can find buyers for Fiery Temper at a quarter each, and vendors paying 30 cents on Lightning Axe recoups shipping costs in a flash. If you can guarantee that the person you're buying from did not read this article, you might still be happy buying SOI bulk at $4 per thousand intead of just $3-3.5. Ideally you should still be paying 3-3.5, but if that's the deal breaker then I won't walk away from SOI bulk at this point.

There was an error retrieving a chart for Duskwatch Recruiter

So what about Eldritch Moon? Is it even worth picking for only a few scattered dimes and the off-chance of finding a half-dollar coin? If you're reading this article and already know that you don't have the time to turn bulk commons and uncommons into a mass production operation, you might be better off just skimming for the top five or six cards in the set that you can memorize, then throwing the rest to Craigslist for the non-competitive crowd to dig through and build their own decks. Don't worry, they won't be wondering where the random uncommon two-mana burn spell went. I've had a lot of success selling bulk c/u on Craigslist over the past several years, and a huge majority of the buyers that contact me fall into the category of "I used to play X years ago, and want a cheap way to get into the game for myself and/or my child(ren)." Having thousands of c/u at the ready can serve as an excellent starter collection once you pick out the basic lands and tokens separately, then include X basic lands of each type for a couple dollars extra. Here's an example Craigslist ad that I've used in the past; we'll probably look back at this in a few weeks time as the source of a related article.


End Step

Oh, right. There were actual announcements and stuff from Wizards yesterday. We're officially getting Modern Masters 2017, and a plane called Amonkhet. Now I'm not an expert on exactly how many Egyptian themed cards that already exist in Magic, but I'm confident that it's a small list. The number of those that have proven to have demand in even casual decks is even smaller. I'm honestly considering purchasing a pile of Vengeful Pharaoh in the next few days, if I can find a cheap enough seller on TCGplayer with a large enough inventory to make it worth my while.

Am I crazy for wanting to buy a pile of these at $3 each? We really don't have a precedent in Magic for mummies and pyramids, although I'm going to assume that mummies would all fall under the "Zombie" category and play nicely with the SOI/EMN zombies for a few months. On the other hand, it's not exactly the kind of card you want to play as a 4-of, unless you're burning cards off the top of your deck at your upkeep or draw step. Non-competitive players don't play dredge, they're more focused on milling out each other than wanting to incrementally draw cards from the graveyard. Then again, you're probably better off paying $1 more for copies of Rest in Peace, which is ironically at the complete opposite end of the spectrum; a graveyard hosing Spike card to crush a graveyard Johnny zombie. Hmm.... Maybe the correct answer is "Don't buy either of them, because buying cards at full retail is silly. Buy collections and bulk like you suggest for us to do, DJ!" Let me know in the comments below, or find me on Twitter at @Rose0fthorns!

6 thoughts on “Blueprinting and Comparing Eldritch Moon and Shadows over Innistrad

  1. Just a PSA for anybody buylisting, I would not use magicdotcards as a place to sell bulk. I have sold to them a few times, and every time they significantly downgrade 40% of the cards I send. The last order I sent in I double checked that every card was NM, and they still downgraded almost half of my order. It seems their marketing scheme is to list higher than normal buylist prices to get business, then they downgrade chunks of your order to get their buy prices under their competitors.

    1. Thanks for the insight, Austin! I’ve never actually send to them before, but I’ll be sure to be on the lookout for that. I might send them a smaller batch of cards as a test drive before shipping hundreds of cards and getting screwed over. I appreciate the heads-up 🙂

    1. I don’t think you should pay 45, but that’s only because there are copies on the market significantly cheaper than that. If you don’t have them yet and want them to play with, I would recommend searching for deals on some of the prominent Facebook pages or Twitter #mtgbuysell hashtag. There are copies on TCGplayer for 36-37, and Facebook groups usually cut that by 10% to account for the fees they’re avoiding by selling on social media.

      Long story short; If you want them to play with, yes you should buy them now. You should be looking to pay 34-35 though, not 45.

  2. You mention bulk from specific sets, is that in collections or solely a pile of SOI common uncommon cards. Curious where you are finding this bulk. Nice article and an interesting idea. Thanks

    1. Mostly Craigslist, word of mouth, and local grinders/competitive players who crack boxes and packs. It’s worth mentioning at FNM that you’re willing to trade for bulk common/uncommons at a flat rate, talking to your LGS if they don’t deal in bulk C/U that you’re willing to work something out with them, etc.

      It’s really about making connections and filling a niche in your community. Most people don’t want to put the time in to sort bulk, so the multipliers are way higher than buying standard staples at retail and crossing your fingers.

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