menu

Insider: How I Select Cards for the Daily Stock Watch

Are you a Quiet Speculation member?

If not, now is a perfect time to join up! Our powerful tools, breaking-news analysis, and exclusive Discord channel will make sure you stay up to date and ahead of the curve.

Did Cavern of Souls just breach the $70 barrier? Is Dark Confidant close to being $100 again?

These are just some of the questions that we ask ourselves whenever we look over our card portfolios. Magic is not as volatile as Bitcoin, not as predictable as some blue-chip stock investments, but could be comparable to real estate investments over time. Card speculating could drive you nuts or it could pad your pockets – but fret not, because I'm here to guide you in your trading adventure.

To be fairly honest, it's quite hard to come up with a card to feature every day for the Daily Stock Watch. There is no shortage of ideas on what could be featured as a possible spec or a future bust, but that doesn't mean that I could just select some random card that I'd like to talk about and sell you my ideas of how good it is. There are certain guidelines that I've personally created and followed to date to ensure that the daily segment features consistently high-quality cards. Let's go over a few of the things that I consider when writing.

Why Should You Read the Daily Stock Watch?

Stock Watch Gainers

I've made some calculated and lucky picks since I took over this segment late last year. Most, if not all of these cards, are heavily used in Modern. I've particularly kept an eye on staples and possible spec targets from Modern and Commander because I believe that these formats are the home of endless spec targets.

Standard cards are just a bit too shaky to be considered reliably profitable targets, although some random cards like Search for Azcanta // Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin do pop up occasionally and give us hope that there are some good money cards that could still come out of the newer sets.

However, I prefer to restrict myself to cards that are good in older formats to avoid losing much when a card value plummets. It's safe to say that history is on our side in this scenario: just watch how Rekindling Phoenix will drop out of the sky soon.


Going back to the picks I've made, we could see here that most of these cards gained leverage in the aftermath of Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan. Top eight finishes for their respective decks made cards like Bedlam Reveler and Goblin Lore relevant out of nowhere.

It could be argued that I was playing on the safe side for citing known staples such as Tarmogoyf and Thoughtseize, but we should also consider the fact that these cards' stocks have dropped significantly due to lack of demand over the last season. The unbanning of Bloodbraid Elf then paved the way for Jund's return to prominence, which then led to multiple price spikes across the format's best cards. Tolarian Academy was a pretty gutsy call on my part, but I guess that we all can make that one crazy call every now and then anyway.

What Are the Cards That I Didn't Trust That Much?

Cards I Underestimated

I was scared that Bloodbraid Elf wouldn't find its way back to Modern, so I didn't really encourage acquiring copies of the card. By the time that I was writing about it, I wasn't really sold on the idea of it returning, but I still made a claim that it would be unbanned along with Jace, the Mind Sculptor in a later article. Their return later on led to the rise of the price of Celestial Colonnade, which just so happened to be one of JTMS's favorite land buddies.

The case was different for Goryo's Vengeance and Mox Opal, as I was afraid that they were getting reprinted soon. The Mox is now sitting absurdly above $100, and it doesn't look like it's going to slow down anytime soon. It's just a crazy time right now for Modern, if you ask me.

How Can You Make Your Own Calls on What Could Be Nice Specs?

Wallet Burners

Magic is in a fine place right now, and you could be making some decent earnings if you have: 1) cash to spare and 2) enough speculating prowess to help you profit from buying and selling.

Picking up competitively played cards that are on the Reserved List is a good start, but those specs are expensive and take a while to pay off, so make sure you are speculating within your means.

Picking up good specs from among Magic's cheaper targets is also encouraged, and I suggest that you look at role players in top-tier decks across all format as possible investments. Crazy things happen all the time as new archetypes emerge, just like in the case of Collins Mullen's Humans deck (which is now probably one of the top three best decks in the format), and these events set off spikes in the prices of cards like Meddling Mage, Champion of the Parish and Dire Fleet Daredevil.

If you think that you're within reach of a breakout card in a new deck, grab a few copies of it before it goes off in the market, then pat yourself in the back afterward.

I hope that what I've shared with you in this article will be of some help in your MTG financial adventure. Always take people's opinions with a grain of salt and go for what your gut is telling you when it comes to speculating. Just make sure that you will be spending within your means, and that you visit the Daily Stock Watch for regular updates!

One thought on “Insider: How I Select Cards for the Daily Stock Watch

  1. Thanks, chief. I will be doing another recap after the Pro Tour to see the movements on the cards we’ve speculated on.

Join the conversation

Want Prices?

Browse thousands of prices with the first and most comprehensive MTG Finance tool around.


Trader Tools lists both buylist and retail prices for every MTG card, going back a decade.