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Insider: Modern – Red and Gold

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As I've been writing this series, I've often found myself wondering if it was ever going to actually be a series that held long term value. Until recently, the Modern format was nothing more that rumors and hopeful whispers, and I knew I was taking a risk just publishing the series if the format never actually came around. You can imagine how happy I was to see the official announcement, and the subsequent price spike in a number of Modern cards, some I listed, some I didn't either because I overlooked them, or they were in sets more recent than Lorwyn.

None of the cards from Lorwyn - New Phyrexia should have shocked anyone. We all knew what the money cards from that era were going to be, and many of them still held their value during the off season. I've had at least one person ask me why I didn't include cards from that era, so there are probably 10 more people asking it as well, just not directly to me. They weren't included because the peak buying time (for us) had already passed once everyone was mass selling after extended season, or the cards are still seeing use in standard, and therefore have a price above where I would be interested in getting in as an investment.

While very few cards on the banlist surprise me (Mental Misstep came as a bit of a surprise), it's now rather clear that the price on Jace 2.0 rests entirely on his use in Legacy. This isn't a bad thing, since you sold yours off ages ago, and if you bought them during the banning selling spree you sold them again once you were back in profitable range, right? Well, hopefully so, otherwise you've got some long term Legacy staples you've invested in. Don't worry, I have every confidence that they will continue to rise, it may just take a while.

Alright, the last two sets of cards to go, though sadly I have a feeling that good cheap deals will be harder to come by now, but lets see what we can find.

Red

Arc Slogger - A solid card that has seen a large amount of play. It may be too slow for the format now, but we'll see after the Pro Tour.

Low: $0.21 @ The Card Nexus

High: $0.30 @ AnyCardUSA

Trade: $0.15

Trash for Treasure - Easy way to drop in an early Blightsteel Colossus? Combo piece? Either way, I'll risk less than a quarter on each one.

Low: $0.15 @ 3rd Coast Cards

High: $0.23 @ Manawerx

Trade: $0.10

Pulse of the Forge - The burn spell that keeps giving back. It lost some of it's power with the removal of mana burn, but it's still a very capable spell in its own right.

Low: $0.39 @ Untapped Resources

High: $0.56 @ AnyCardUSA

Trade: $0.25

Zo-Zu the Punisher - A favorite from the old days, used in combination with efficient burn and mana denial. I would trade for them, unless we catch word that the card shows up in a couple of weeks.

Low: $0.33 @ Manawerx

High: $0.40 @ The Mana Fix

Trade: $0.25

Through the Breach - Semi-Sneak Attack cards are a decent bet, but I wouldn't go deep on these. If you can find a large quantity of them for 0.20 or under, I would get a set or two.

Low: $0.30 @ Thp Deck Hobbies

High: $0.49 @ +EV Games

Trade: $0.20

Thoughts of Ruin - More mana denial, and saw some play. Again, I'll bet less than a quarter each.

Low: $0.16 @ The Card Nexus

High: $0.24 @ TJ Collectibles

Trade: $0.15

Hunted Dragon - Usually saw play as a 2-of in red decks, and has some room to grow. This is one of those cards you would get a couple of just to trade off for value, not necessarily to hold for investment.

Low: $0.43 @ Top Deck Hobbies

High: $0.66 @ AnyCardUSA

Trade: $0.30

Char - Signature burn spell from its era, seeing it this low makes me happy. If red can do well, it will most likely be with 4 of these somewhere in the 75.

Low: $0.30 @ Manawerx

High: $0.44 @ ChannelFireball

Trade: $0.25

Rakdos Pit Dragon - With as many mana accelerators as we currently have at present, I wouldn't be shocked to see some All in Red strategies pop up, and this guy could find himself gaining some ground. At over $1.00 each though, it's safe to just trade for them rather than buy them.

Low: $1.48 @ ShuffleandCut

High: $1.74 @ Top Shelf Games

Trade: $1.00

Braid of Fire - Priced higher than I expected, the removal of mana burn works in our favor here. It's a huge mana generation machine that comes down on turn 2. Look for copies in folders, since I advise not buying them.

Low: $3.44 @ Top Shelf Games

High: $3.98 Amazing Discoveries

Trade: $3.00

Dragonstorm (Timeshifted) - Lots of dragons, lots of mana production cards, and an immense amount of single blue mana search effects. This is a card I'm willing to watch. The banning of Bitterblossom (to make spellstutter sprite less effective) and Mental Misstep helps the dragonstorm combo deck quite a bit.

Low: $1.85 @ The End Zone

High: $1.99 @ SuperGamesInc

Trade: $1.25

Greater Gargadon - There have been a few rumors floating around about the Gargadon, and I would be foolish to not at least take note. While I don't believe he has tons of room to grow, I think there is enough to warrant having a set on hand to trade away.

Low: $1.01 @ Premier Magic

High: $1.41 @ AnyCardUSA

Trade: $0.75

Bogardan Hellkite - See Dragonstorm combo deck comment.

Low: $0.95 @ Premier Magic

High: $1.62 @ Empire Cards

Trade: $0.50

Magus of the Scroll - I notice a trend here, and that trend is that all of the awesome red cards so far have been priced to a point that if red is a major player, you almost can't lose.

Low: $0.18 @ TJ Collectibles

High: $0.23 @ Manawerx

Trade: $0.10

Boom // Bust - Continuing with the trend, this card saw a decent amount of play in the old extended season, and in zoo. Zoo being a deck I hear is doing quite well in testing.

Low: $0.20 @ Gamers Sanctuary

High: $0.38 @ XtremeGames

Trade: $0.25

Magus of the Moon - Ah, finally! A red card that is priced for how good it is. Much like Blood Moon, this has gone up recently as people look for ways to fight modern mana bases.

Low: $2.72 @ The Only Game in Town

High: $3.30 @ adventuresON

Trade: $2.50

Pyromancer's Swath - Without Minds Desire in the format, it comes down to other storm cards to help this card reach higher prices. Trade for them, but don't horde them.

Low: $0.25 @ Top Deck Hobbies

High: $0.47 @ TJ Collectibles

Trade: $0.15

Gold

Loxodon Hierarch - After going through the gold cards, the common theme is that G/W is a really strong color. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw it being played this upcoming weekend, considering all the tools it has access to, including this guy. Don't buy yet, but keep your ears open.

Low: $0.95 @ Pasttimes

High: $1.29 @ Hotsaucegames

Trade: $0.50

Voidslime - Fair price on a great card. I'm not sure U/G of U/G/X has the rest of the tools necessary to make this card rise more, but I would be actively trading for them.

Low: $1.77 @ Cape Fear Games

High: $2.80 @ Cape Fear Games

Trade: $2.00

Hide // Seek - Almost criminally under priced in my book. However, it's something of a situational card. If there is a deck for it, expect it to go up.

Low: $0.68 @ AnyCardUSA

High: $0.76 @ Premier Magic

Trade: $0.50

Mystic Enforcer (Timeshifted) - Another great G/W card. Mixed with Knight of the Reliquary, threshold shouldn't be too hard to hit quickly.

Low: $0.22 @ Hobby Goblins

High: $0.48 @ Alter Reality Games

Trade: $0.20

Dralnu, Lich Lord - U/B control is good in standard, can it be good in Modern? Not sure, but if it is, Dralnu will be there too, though most likely as a single copy.

Low: $0.23 @ adventuresON

High: $0.34 @ Crossroad Games

Trade: $0.20

Gaddock Teeg - Wanna stop combo and control strategies? Play GW apparently. Another tool in the box, and Teeg always sees some play at some point. He's a safe investment in my books.

Low: $1.81 @ Top Shelf Games

High: $2.53 @ Premier Magic

Trade: $1.50

Sygg, River Guide - Merfolk is almost completely ported over, lacking a few cards. Sygg at 0.21 is almost a steal, but zoo may be the better aggro deck.

Low: $0.21 @ Hobby goblins

High: $0.39 @ Crossroad Games

Trade: $0.15

That's all for this week. After the Pro Tour I'm going to reexamine this entire series and see if some money was made, and where the misses for the area's I've covered were. See you next week!

Stephen Moss

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