Insider: Investing in Modern Archetypes

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Ahead of Modern season, prices on staple cards have yet to settle. Looking over the card lists on MTG Salvation forums for potential spec targets may seem a bit obvious, but with players unable to settle on a price for their Modern must-haves I see a wishlist with plenty of room for profit.

Graveyard Goodies

Vengevine is going to make a splash in Modern. Two days ago single copies were selling on ebay for around $15. Interestingly, most were being snatched up via BIN auctions at $15 with no shipping. Meanwhile, playsets at the time were not always finding bidders even with free shipping and pricing less than $15 per Vengevine. Today, prices have drifted up to about $18 a card. That is slightly higher than the lowest TCG pricing (around $17). Here an auction set to end 9am EST Dec 11th already has bids for a playset valuing each card at $17.88. Meanwhile, TCG is still loaded with copies from gold star sellers at $18.

Modern Dredge calls for this as a 4-of and this archetype remains a popular choice among new and old players. Because Dredge decks have appeal across formats many dredge pieces make stable investments for MtG speculation. Bloodghast is selling on Ebay for about $4 a pop. This represents another recent price increase as TCG had copies available a month ago for less than $3. Bloodghast will always get attention in a binder if you've an MtG crowd playing something other than (or in addition to) Standard. This is easy to trade at $5 and has some great upside leading into the next Modern season.

Pod People

If Birthing Pod is going to be a thing, than $2 is too cheap for Razorverge Thicket. Most Modern Pod decks are going to run 4 copies of Thicket and sucking up copies today in trade, even buying old M13 event decks at retail makes sense. Fastlands are going to be in demand because they keep tempo and in a format where combo is a real threat, having usable mana on turn one matters.

Ever hear the one about how multiple reprints destroy value? I hope you didn't let that maxim keep you from picking up Birds of Paradise on the cheap as they left standard. Birds are going to be very comfortable in any Modern Birthing Pod deck, and will remain in demand anytime someone is trying to rush into mid-game. Buying Birds of Paradise for less than $4 is too hard considering how little the average trader is going to value them. Pick them up on the cheap. They are likely to return to Standard sometime and will continue to find a home in enough formats to justify an investment.

Drawing Poison

Go take a look at all the Infect variants in Modern. Don't you feel like, maybe Blinkmoth Nexus should be worth at least as much as Blinkmoth Nexus? That represents a potential doubling of value for Inkmoth. Here is another card that, like Vengevine, is pricing out slightly higher than TCG on Ebay. That is probably a bullish indicator for both cards and a good reason for you to test a retailer's willingness to fill your spec order.

Infect is a tough deck to make further specs on. Mutagenic Growth could be a long term value play assuming you can grab copies on the cheap. Creeping Corrosion, which should be a sideboard card in Infect to deal with Affinity, might creep up in value if it becomes popular in other side boards. Still, an investment in Infect probably starts and ends with the Nexus. At least, I can't think of anything representing that combo of value and upside.

How About Jund?

Lotus Cobra has a chance to impact the Modern format's most consistent performer: Jund. Presently copies can be had on Ebay for about $4.50 and that price is just half a buck under listed NM TCG pricing. Looks like people have noticed the extra speed the Cobra gives lists can lift Jund past more aggressive decks. Probably a good pick up as this mythic and the set in general seem to get harder to find.

Liliana of the Veil looks like an interesting play if you are a fan of putting money into Jund. This is one of my favorite planeswalkers ever, but at today's prices she seems fully valued. I admit, I thought the same about Thundermaw Hellkite at $30. That said, Liliana is being bought up on Ebay BIN auctions for under $20 including shipping. I'd trade into more Liliana at 18ish all day, but if I am buying Jund - I'll gamble with the Cobra.


12 thoughts on “Insider: Investing in Modern Archetypes

    1. here’s the thing: t’s not modern season yet. i think the weird ebay versus tcg pricing thing is worth paying attention to as it could be a leading indicator for price moves up. it certainly is a bigger investment but if you know people are going to dredge than it still seems like a pretty safe bet.

      my favorite has to be inkmoth nexus. it’s just too cheap.

    1. i think it could be, and that would raise the price on birds. the card defies logic with so many printings it’s still about 3$ at worst. the box promos ones are pretty, and i got two on the cheap ’cause he doesn’t have a place in standard.

      unlike pithing needle, birds is gonna end up main deck when it finds a home as a four of, with a strong price history and predictable swings (like the recent drop as they left standard), birds seems like a no brainer. don’t let what you think should happen (multiple printings hurting value) blind you to what’s actually going on.

  1. With Chronic Flooding making an entrance in Standard with the Nagoya-winning deck, do you think it would be better than Hedron Crab in Modern Dredgevine?

    Though I agree with Corbin that Deathrite Shaman kind of hoses Dredgevine a bit. Hm.

    1. i love deathrite but dredge is all about playing around gy hate. i don’t think the deck auto folds, esp game 1 because it’s fast enough to get there.

      my SB plan against the shaman involves a lich named Jarad. he dodges shaman targets and gives you another path to victory. too often people sb less aggression and that’s a mistake with dredge imo

      chronic flooding is a common card i pick up for free from people and a card i don’t give away to new players when i am done drafting. i doubt it sees much price appreciation while it’s in standard though.

      1. I meant, I was wondering whether or not Chromatic Flooding is better than Hedron Crab in the Dredgevine deck I might possibly be building at the moment. 🙂

        The thing I don’t like about Hedron Crab is that if he dies (which he usually does), the no more mill. Also, Flooding is quicker, right?

  2. Birds will not reprint in any RTR block(Gatecrash and Dragon’s Maze) Mark Roserwarter answered question about reprinting Birds He said like “We had a world with Birds in Ravnica block, we want to new world without Birds”

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