If you haven’t heard the news about the two new formats brought into the Magic community, you’re already behind the times. For reference, you can read the full descriptions here (for Overextended) and here (for Modern). With these formats coming down the pipes, I would be remiss if I didn’t look at how to profit on this.
Some background and a brief description of each. Overextended has been a rumored format for more than a year now, and after the changes to Extended and the subsequent failure of the format (Apparently no one but me likes to play it), changes appear needed. Patrick Chapin has attributed the failure of new Extended to the fact that it has no identity, whereas Standard is “the newest cards” and Legacy is “all the cards.” In contrast, current Extended is like a Recurring Nightmare, where all the decks you hated come back to torment you again.
Seeing the writing on the wall, Gavin Verhey decided to get the ball rolling on a solution. He created MTGoverextended.com, and is hosting Tuesday Night Overextended tournaments on MTGO, and is aiming for Worldwide Overextended Day on July 2.
Overextended starts with Invasion block and runs through the current set. There is a small banlist (notably Aether Vial, along with cards in the more broken combo decks) and sets never rotate out. This cuts out many Legacy staples such as Force of Will and Wasteland, not to mention dual lands, making the format both more accessible and vastly different than Legacy.
The Modern format takes it one step farther. Wizards created this (original) Mirrodin-onward format for the Community Cup, possibly looking to address the same issues Gavin did in regards to solving the current Extended’s format. While the format is a one-time event for now, it’s entirely possible it could become a paper constructed format.
What does this mean for us?
Let’s look at some of the cards from Invasion forward that would define the format. I’m going to try to hit on the cards that aren’t already completely saturated throughout Legacy, such as Tarmogoyf.
Watery Grave and friends, all of which command at least a $5 pricetag already, would go through the roof if this become a PTQ format. These are a great investment right now anyway due to the coming explosion of EDH (Commander) with the pre-cons launching this summer.
Hallowed Fountain is not Tundra, but it will do a close enough approximation if the format were to become real. One thing to keep in mind is if Wizards went this route and made Modern a format there would likely be a reprinting of the Shockland cycle somewhere not long down the line.
Bob would be pretty close to the nuts in this format, although in a world where your lands do 2 damage to you upon entering I can see him having matchups where he’s terrible.
Sword of the Meek may be banned in both possible formats, but Dark Depths could still exist if it was allowed. It’s currently on the Modern banlist but not the Overextended banlist (which can be found here and here, respectively). It’s very likely Marit Lage could come out once again.
This is already a good card to pick up in trades as it rotates out of Extended, and it would be the premier discard spell and very important against the combo decks since Hymn to Tourach won’t be available.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tog came back in an Overextended format, and since there’s no Swords to Plowshares there aren’t as many easy ways to exile him.
Gifts also seems like it would be pretty powerful in a slower format than Legacy.
I wasn’t around when this was a deck, but like many combo decks that didn’t quite make the transition to Legacy, it could still be a player in an Overextended format.
The Scapeshift list from last year’s Extended season, both the blue and aggro variants, would be viable again, but I promise there won’t be any Primeval Titans in sight.
With people playing decks that are likely full of fetchlands, shocklands and possibly Dark Depths you can really punish players with Ghost Quarter, an uncommon that climbed to $3-4 last Extended season.
With Dredge banned out of existence in both possible formats, Living End or Life from the Loam decks could become the premier graveyard decks in the format. Since you can pick up Living End for next to nothing it would represent a pretty drastic increase in its price.
The timing of the format’s release would mean a lot here, as Pulse will rebound with next year’s (current) Extended format when Jund is played again, but Pulse shows up from time to time in Legacy and would definitely have a home in a smaller format.
The price on this is tumbling after the end of Extended season, and it would receive a boost in the new format. The same goes for Doran.
Control decks would heavily lean on Explosives since the Zoo-type decks would be so good in the format.
I’m not positive the Grove/Punishing Fire combo would be good enough, but it would be close.
A card that would work a lot better in Modern, rather than in Overextended, but it’s powerful enough that it even showed up in the winning Legacy list from the last SCG Open, so I imagine it would find a home.
Elspeth, Knight Errant
Kibler seemed to do all right rocking Elspeth in Austin, though that was before the onset of Dark Depths/Sword. Elspeth would fit into a number of decks, making her a powerful option and easy target for profit.
This was a solid option last Extended season, and I imagine it would be again, probably in the sideboard or maindeck of the one or two color aggro decks.
This would make a sick pickup at the announcement of the format, since it’s been such a big role player in many decks, including last Extended season.
We’ve seen Path hit $5, and this format could see it hitting $10 without much of a problem.
With Jitte likely banned, Mystic loses some of its power, but I can’t see it not finding a home in a Mirrodin-onward format.
I’m going to stop there for now. I realize there are a number of things that would have to happen before any of us are heading to a PTQ with a Modern or Overextended deck in hand, but it’s not impossible to imagine either. If the Community Cup or Overextended prove that it’s a popular format I think we can expect Wizards to do something about current Extended.
If/When that happens, I wanted to give you a list to look to that says something more than “ZOMG BUY RAVNICA LANDS.” Let’s be honest, they’re all going to be bought up two minutes after the format’s announcement, long before anyone can write an article about what cards to buy.
You don’t stand to lose much (if any) money off these cards by buying in now, and if the format becomes a reality you’re going to look like a genius and rake in the benefits of being one. Here’s hoping.
@Chosler88 on Twitter