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Insider: Closing Out Standard and Diving Into Modern

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Happy New Year Speculators! With another year behind us, and a new one ahead we dive head first into Modern Season. If you’re anything like me, I hit a Magic black hole over the holidays as I’m busy travelling and catching up with friends and family. Having been back for a couple days now, I’m going through Modern events on MTGO to see where the next move will be. Before we do, I want to follow up on a couple calls I made last month in for Standard.

Standard Follow-up

Garruk, Primal Hunter has nearly doubled since I recommended him early in December, and I think he still has a small bit more to grow, but if you’re able to get rid of him at close to retail I’d be doing so. If you’re like me, and many of your outlets might be buylists, then I’m willing to hold out a bit longer to see if the buylist pricing will come up some more before Gatecrash releases. Angel of Serenity has yet to move, in some places its come down about $1, but the format hasn’t shifted a ton yet. I’m still hanging on to her until we see a bit more of what’s going to happen with post-Gatecrash Standard.

Nephalia Drownyard is one I’ve been standing behind confidently for some time. It’s nearly 5x the price I bought at on MTGO from $0.05 to up above $0.20. I’m tempted to cash out my digital copies, but I expect it has some more room to grow, as the paper card catches up. It shows some movement on Ebay, but is still found around $0.20 through various vendors online. My confidence on this card just continues to grow, and I’m doubling down on my paper investment, while with the recent increase on MTGO I’m just going to stand pat there.

At the onset of the season, I invested in Deathrite Shaman on MTGO. It started around $2.50 and has been steadily climbing towards $4. I expect this to continue for quite a while, so i’m not ready to jump out of this spec yet, but when RTR is no longer drafted on MTGO, I expect this cards growth to really shoot up. We’ll follow up on him next month.

Modern Happenings

In my week and a half black hole of Magic happenings, apparently a card I’ve literally never heard of, Daybreak Coronet, has shot up to over $20 appearing in a hexproof-aura themed deck. If you happened to jump on board for these in time, congrats. If you find any sitting in a box somewhere, time to dig ‘em up and dump ‘em. Even if this deck is real, which I don’t know that it is, this should fall pretty quickly back to Earth.

As results start coming in, we’re starting to see a fairly consistent field at the top tables. Splinter Twin, Pod, Jund, UWR Isochron Scepter, Robots and Storm. There are also some newcomers, including a traditional U/W control. I’m ready to start picking up Shocklands from RTR that have homes in these decks. Steam Vents can be found at $7 various places around the net, and that price, I want in. Once we stop drafting RTR, these rares won’t be just everywhere, and especially given that it’s played in 4 of the decks listed above (All but Robots and Jund). Additionaly, it is barely played in Standard at the moment, so it’s demand is as low as it will ever be. I’m moving in on this one.

In fact, the only shockland I don’t like as a buy right now is Temple Garden, which is not only the highest price currently (due to demand in Standard) but it’s the least played in Modern. Finance writers tend to harp on the seasonality of manabases, yet I hear clamouring of “when did Land X shoot up and why?” We’ve got a change in PTQ season as well as a change in limited season, so we’ve got an increase in demand and a relative decrease in supply on these cards. While the physical supply isn’t going anywhere, as cards aren’t actually being consumed or destroyed, people who aren’t selling or trading have essentially removed their cards from the market until the price drives up enough that they change their mind.

Keep in mind the Draft season will include RTR again in Spring, so they may recede again. I’ll be watching them closely to try and identify exactly when they hit their peak so we can all get out at the best time.

Gatecrash Spoilers

Gatecrash spoilers are starting to trickle in. Thus far, there are no amazing speculation targets, but we do get a peek at the mechanics. Until we see something more motivating, I’m not ready to adjust any of my positions.

I will say, unlike most, I am a fan of the new Gideon. He’s going to break aggro and mid-range matchups, while against a Control deck he’s less exciting but still okay. Any planeswalker that can slowly tick up to his ultimate against a Control deck will win the game, so that’s just a given. However, in a creature vs. creature battle, a player facing down a Gideon will have to either A) Attack your Gideon, B) Ignore your Gideon, C) Leave back blockers to not die to Gideon. In these matchups, all of the above are actually awesome for the Gideon player. Option A gains you at least 7 life, and truly acts as a Time Warp. Option B means you get to start swinging with a enormous beater (so long as you aren’t immediately dead when they attack you). While option C means you get to Edict them every turn while you’re gaining life because they aren’t attacking, best of both worlds. Sure these are situational, but Magic is situational and dissecting the way matchups play out is how we find diamonds where everyone else sees coals. If you have second thoughts about Gideon, I suggest you proxy up some decks and see how he plays for yourself.

It looks like 2013 is going to be a great year for Magic.

7 thoughts on “Insider: Closing Out Standard and Diving Into Modern

  1. I like the steam vents call and as for Gideon, I am seeing a lot of varying opinions on the merits of this card. I’ll be watching it’s price and thinking about it some more. Nice article.

  2. I was not an early fan at all of the new Gideon, but now I’m reconsidering the card every day.

    That is a PW that may not be easy to kill after all, can kill other PW, be the kill card in control deck. It can literally come into play with 10 loyalty counters depending the deck your playing against. A 3/3 creature alone barely race him out.

    I foresee devastating cavern of souls-powered zealous conscripts on Gideon in control match up 🙂

  3. i fail to see how a planeswalker that does absolute nothing against aggro, is “good against aggro”. it doesn’t kill their guys, they only attack it if they want to, you aren’t going to race them no matter how big gideon gets. worst geist of st traft i have ever seen 🙂

    1. It does well in aggro mirrors. not so much in control vs aggro matchups. if you are already applying pressure on previous turns, he’s actually quite effective.

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