Insider: The News & Safe LANDing Zones

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Earlier, before the announcement...

I’ve been sitting here, patiently waiting for the big SCG announcement regarding the changes to the Open Series next year.

The one thing I've been fearing is that SCG will change the Legacy Open to Modern Open.

As Legacy doesn't have the same turn out as Standard, SCG may attempt to create larger turnouts by switching this portion of the series to Modern.

If SCG changes the format, we will surely see some major changes to the price of Legacy cards.

All I know is this: I play Magic to have fun and make some money in the market of cards. If Legacy disappears from the Open Series, the format will begin to die.

It really worries me that this may someday happen.

Legacy is really the only reason I still play Magic. If it dies, I’m afraid I'll slowly stop playing. I will continue to go to events to hangout with friends, all while still selling cards, but the general appeal to the game will drip away.

I know I'm not alone in feeling this way. I've met people all over the US who feel the same...


SCG Announcement Found Here

The announcement didn't affect Legacy at all. Except for the fact that SCG will still continue to take advantage of their high level players.

The SCG levels have been nerfed to an almost unplayable level.

Who cares about $50 vendor voucher?

Now WOTC is doing the same. Pulling the rug up from under everyone’s feet with this new rating system is odd, as I personally feel that the Planeswalker Points system is pretty sketchy.

I can probably qualify for Honolulu this season by simply playing MTG three times a week in addition to the SCG Opens and GPs I travel to.

I wonder how many FNMers will be on the Pro Tour this year. How do you feel about it?

The Fallout

PT Philly is done. The Modern bubble, for the most part, has popped. Prices will go back down.

The Shocklands have fallen a bit and the random staples are starting to level out.

I sold all of my Modern cards, made my money, and have begun to drift away from constantly watching prices.

Left Behind

So let’s say you you missed the high point of selling your Modern cards. What should you do?

I look at it one of two ways:

1. You can sell them now. You should do this if:

  • a. You need to sell them to remake your money to make your next investment.
  • b. You are satisfied with the amount of money you made.
  • c. You don't have the patience for the other option.

2. You can hold on to them longer. I don't recommend doing this with Shocklands because I'd be willing to put money that Wizards will reprint them within a year.
This is an option because:

  • a. There will probably be another Modern PT or GP in the future. Just like any other format, the cards will rise in value when it is in season and fall when the season is over.
  • b. You bought your Modern cards at too high of a price and are looking at a financial loss if you sell now. I like to gamble, so I'm willing to bet the demand will go back up over time. When it does, you need to be ready to capitalize.

The Best of the Worst

Nothing has been happening in the past week with Legacy.

Modern has been the only thing on anyone minds. With the PT and GP being in the US, SCG hasn't had an Open for two weeks.

So today we'll be talking about a deck I've been tooling around with the last few weeks.


No one likes to play against Lands. It controls the game and makes playing against it almost unbearable.

A good friend and local MN grinder, Jason Schousboe, wrote an article last week about a list of mine he made some changes to: The Problem With Lands, or What’s Cooler Than Being Cool?. He had an interesting run and his article makes for a good read.

My version of the list, however, is:

Valakut Lands by Mike Hawthorne


1 Eternal Witness


1 Engineered Explosives
3 Mox Diamond
1 Crucible of worlds


4 Exploration
1 Manabond


1 Jace, The Mind Sculptor


4 Intuition


3 Burning Wish
2 Life from the Loam


3 Maze of Ith
3 Rishadan Port
4 Wasteland
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Volcanic Island
4 Taiga
2 Tropical Island
1 Badlands
2 Valkut, the Molten Pinnacle
2 Vesuva
1 Plateau
1 Forest
2 Forgotten Cave
2 Tolaria West
1 The Tabernacle at Penrell Vale
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 Creeping Tar Pit
1 Academy Ruins
1 Volrath's Stronghold


1 Life from the Loam
1 Scapeshift
1 Devastating Dreams
1 Pulverize
1 Reverent Silence
1 Perish
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Chalice of the Void
2 Ethersworn Cannonist
1 Null Rod
2 Enlightened Tutor
1 Wurmcoil Engine

This is the Scapeshift list I've been tooling around with.

While Lands has gotten weaker because of Mental Misstep, it still can be a very powerful force without the need to resolve a turn one Exploration or Manabond. I put the Eternal Witness, Volrath's Stronghold package into this deck so you may have a midgame opportunity to recur a countered Exploration.

If you read over Jason Schousboe's article you will learn a little bit on how this deck plays. It combines the speed of a combo deck with the control of a prison deck.

The [card Burning Wish]Wish[/card] board gives the deck a little reach in the game ones where it normally wouldn't have a chance. Game one with Lands is more important than nearly any other deck.

Lands doesn't have a great track record with winning fast.

There are a lot of decisions to be made with only a limited time to make them. Winning game one can be the difference between a win and a draw.

The Valakut version of Lands allows for a very quick win against the non-Blue decks by winning as fast as possible alongside a ton of disruption.

I’ve had kills as fast as turn four. With Lands.

I never thought I would enjoy a deck like this. If you have never tried it before, I highly recommend giving it a whirl. It can be a ton of fun, but it can also be a painful grind if you pilot it cold. Remember: practice makes perfect.

Oldies but Goodies

When Mental Misstep was spoiled, I picked up a few Mox Diamonds. I still think this card has a lot of potential for growth. You can find them as low as $29.99 online and I don’t doubt they will go up over the next couple of years.

Exploration is a great card with a low cost and a very powerful effect. Playing an extra land every turn can be a huge advantage. You can find Exploration as low as $19.99 online. Wizards won’t be reprinting a card with anywhere close to as much power any time soon.

As far as short term gain is concerned, I’m expecting a ton of Natural Order decks returning next week. The card still holds a relatively low value, considering how powerful the effect of it is. Putting a big, [card Progenitus]protection from everything, fatty[/card] into play is... well, I wouldn't be surprised to see multiple copies in the Top 8 again.

Time for a Check Up.

This week on the checklist I will be focusing on three very powerful cards currently sliding under the radar.

Intuition- $29.99 on SCG

You can find Intuition as low as $24.99 on other sites across the internet. It has a super powerful effect that basically acts as an instant speed Demonic Tutor. Decks have been abusing it for a long time and will continue to use it in the future. Get them while they are cheap. They are also absurdly fun to design decks around.

Goblin Lackey- $14.99 on SCG

I think it’s about time Goblins made a comeback. Ignore the price on SCG, as you can find these for as low as $8.99 on other sites. I bought a few of these for when Goblins shows its ugly face again. It will shoot up in value significantly then. People love the little red men and reselling and trading these is always easy.

Arena of the Ancients- $1.99 (Chronicles) on SCG

Most of you will have to read what this card does. It’s really good against Emrakul and Progenitus and is a great answer to all the Natural Order decks running around. This card is obscure enough to not see a reprint and is still under the radar, seeing as most people don't even know it exists. I bought a few playsets and am simply waiting for it to make the sideboard in a SCG Top 8 deck.

Until Next Time…

Keep an eye out for a new article discussing the changes to the SCG Opens next year.

If you’re not having fun, you’re not risking anything.

Please feel free to post question in the comments or email me.

And have fun this week.

-Mike Hawthorne
Twitter: Gamble4Value

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