Insider: Using Best-Sellers to Predict the Next Reserved List Spike

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.

I’ve just recently learned about the feature on TCGplayer that allows you to sort the results of a card search in order of best-selling, which provides some very interesting insight into the market. I’m curious if this feature could be used to predict cards that will spike in price, perhaps identifying the beginning trickles of a trend before it becomes a deluge. Today I will share the results of my searches and identify cards that could be good spec targets, and at the very least cards to watch going forward to test if the theory is sound.

I figure that one of the simplest and most effective ways to use the best-seller feature is to apply it to every set, which would highlight what cards in the set are moving the fastest and might be the best specs. I see this being valuable for bringing some clarity to the Reserved List, perhaps clearing out the noise and identifying the best reserve list cards to speculate on, rather than the approach of just targeting everything or them at seemingly random. With that, I’m going to focus my search on the Reserved List sets, and try to identify some bulk-level Reserved List cards that removing and might be next to pop.

Working backward, Urza's Destiny gives us Phyrexian Negator as its best-selling card. It was a staple in its day and a relatively iconic card, and definitely a bargain at under $1. It technically broke the Reserved List twice, once with a Judge promo, currently at $6, which might look like a bargain if the original version spikes, and a duel deck printing, which is also under $1.

The set’s next best-seller is Argentum Masticore, another Reserved List card, and one with even more iconic status. Its price has increased around $0.50 in the last month to $2, and I see the pace continuing. It’s another card that broke the Reserved List, with a From the Vault: Relics printing, with a price actually lower than the original, so it might be a bargain.

In Urza's Legacy, Crop Rotation stands at #1, which makes sense given that it’s a Pauper staple, as well as a Legacy-playable, and a strong Commander and casual card, but it doesn’t seem like a very attractive speculation target.

At #2 comes Ring of Gix, a Reserved List card and a possible bargain spec at around $0.50.

Urza's Saga is very interesting because its best-sellers is dominated by Pauper cards and commons in general, with the highest being Priest of Titania, followed by Befoul, Exhume, Goblin Matron, Duress, Pestilence, and even Power Taint, then the Legacy-playable uncommon Carpet of Flowers, and finally a rare in Bastion of Remembrance, but noy a Reserved List card. Then comes Dark Ritual and Turnabout, and finally the first Reserved List card, Karn, Silver Golem.

Karn is one of Magic’s most iconic figures, one that reached mythic levels with Karn Liberated and has just reached a new generation of fans with Karn, Scion of Urza. Recently there has even been a giant-sized Karn cosplayer at Grand Prix events garnering huge amounts of attention.

Karn, Silver Golem was just $8 a month ago and is currently selling for $25, so maybe the ship has sailed in terms of it spiking, but I do see some more growth in the near-term and a ton of long-term potential, especially because its From the Vault: Relics reprinting has grown right along with it.

The next-best-selling Reserved List card and first real bargain spec is Herald of Serra, which is a rather uninspiring card and not something I’d want to go in on, but worth taking note of.

The best seller in Exodus is Fighting Chance, a bulk card but not on the Reserved List, and one likely there due to it being a coin-flip card relevant to the new coin-flip Battlebond planeswalkers. Below Mogg Assassin[[card]card], another coin-flip card, and [card]Forbid, a Commander staple, comes Ertai, Wizard Adept, a Reserved List card and potential spec. It’s already $16, up from $10, but after spiking it fell down to $14 and recovered, so it will likely just continue to grow in price. Many of the Reserved List cards in the set already demand a high price, like Survival of the Fittest and Recurring Nightmare, so the first best-selling Reserved List card with a more bargain price is Dominating Licid, which is actually up to $1.30 from a $1 a month ago and could be set to spike.

The best-seller in Stronghold is Tortured Existence, which is fitting for a Pauper staple, while number two is Hermit Druid, a Reserved List card with history as a card so broken that it is banned from Legacy.

With no basic lands in the deck, its ability will mill the whole thing, leading to easy graveyard shenanigans. At around $3.75 it’s not bulk, but it might be a bargain, up from $3 at the new year and trending higher. It did break the Reserved List with a Judge promo printing, which at $30 shows that the original has room to grow.

The best selling card in Tempest is Lotus Petal, no surprise for a Pauper and Legacy staple, while the next is Sarcomancy, a Reserved List rare and a staple for Zombie decks, so it might be a great buy under $2.

Weatherlight’s best-seller is Heart of Bogardan, a bulk-level Reserved List rare that has been trending upwards over the past month. I am not sure what is causing the increase, but it looks to have potential to spike.

Pauper staples Quirion Ranger and Fireblast make perfect sense as the best-sellers in Visions, while #3 is the recently spiked Anvil of Bogardan, which might have more room to grow but isn’t something I’d jump to buy. I’d focus my attention on the #4 card, Forbidden Ritual, a bulk Reserved List rare that has recently moved to $0.65 from $0.50 and looks to be heading higher, especially because it has a very unique and potentially powerful effect.

The best-seller in Mirage is Choking Sands, a Pauper staple, and number #2 is a true bulk Mythic, the $0.50 Energy Vortex.

It’s definitely a unique card, and I like it as a spec because it doesn’t seem to have much downside.

What do you think about this process and these cards?


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.

Quiet Speculation