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Insider: Modern Masters at Last!

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MM Finally!

This week, we’ll cover the online impact on mythics reprinted in Modern Masters. We will share our predictions on price movement. Be aware that we will also be very active on the forums to adjust these predictions as time goes on, since detecting a price floor correctly requires a lot of time spent online, watching the Classifieds.

Modern Masters is now fully spoiled. For those who does not know yet about the online release of MM, here is the scoop from the Mothership:

“Modern Masters booster packs will cost $6.99 USD and will only be available in the Magic Online Store for two weeks, starting Friday, June 14, at 10:00 AM PDT and ending with the downtime on Wednesday, June 26. Modern Masters events also begin Friday, June 14, at 10:00 AM, will run until the downtime on July 10.”

That means we only have one month of drafting and no boosters will be available from the store after two weeks. There has been debate whether or not Modern Masters will be drafted a lot and whether or not the price will fall.

Before we continue with our predictions, let’s mention that we think MM will be heavily drafted. The set seems terribly fun to draft, and the Tarmogoyf lottery will likely attract many players to the events. We are also confident there will be plenty of good buying opportunities over the next month, even though the price of many mythics will not go down as much as we would like. Simply said, many players are waiting to grab a set of their favourite cards ever printed.

We would also like to point out that the money you are investing in MM reprints might be locked there for at least 5-6 months. We will take a position on a few staples ourselves, even if the targets require a medium-term hold. As Sigmund recently said, to us it seems like a good time to invest, rather than speculate!

We will detail our predictions card by card, based on our knowledge of the metagame. As a matter of fact, this is the format we know best. Our next two articles will be entirely consecrated to Modern Masters. In this and next week’s articles, we will talk about the cards we are watching for the release, and the last article will cover what we will call collateral damage (which other cards will be affected as well, such as Thoughtseize).

Mythics

Elspeth, Knight-Errant

Elspeth is a really good planeswalker. In fact, many players believe that it's the third best planeswalker ever printed after Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Liliana of the Veil. Unfortunately, she has not found a steady home in Modern yet.

There are two reasons from our point of view. First, control (meaning pure control) is still not well established in Modern and second, combo was very popular before the bannings, and she was bad in those match ups. Now that combo is out (or almost) we might see more people try to incorporate her in their build. Kibler had some success with her one to two months ago and we think that as Modern grows increasingly popular, someone will find a way to play her. Note that Elspeth also sees a little play in Legacy.

As of now, we will be buyers in the 7-8 ticket price range. We must get her at a good discount, since she might not see action early in the next season.

Vendilion Clique

This card is just absurdly good. It’s even better now with the new legend rule. One of the main problems was to draw a second Clique, but now a second one will still disrupt them at least. This means that many lists will contain four Cliques from now on, instead of the 2-3 copies we were used to seeing. The card has already dropped below its average of 22.5 (currently 20.4) and we bought some at 18 already.

It’s hard to tell how much further it will drop, but from our perspective, it’s already a buy. Anything you can find under 18 tix is almost assuredly profitable in the long run. Don’t forget that it’s played in all eternal formats. We believe Clique will be a 25-30 card again.

Dark Confidant

Bob is both a Modern and Legacy staple. With all the reprint frenzy, he's already under the average price (14 tix), and we started to buy some at 10-11 tix already. Bob will be 18-20 tix again. We don’t expect it to dive a lot under 10, so a buy in that range sounds like a good investment. It’s probably one of the safest targets, and we’ll go deep if we have a shot at it.

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

This card is crazy. We’ve seen it go from 5-6 tix to 25 in less than two months!. Now that Storm is out, people will defer to other combo archetypes. Kiki is played both in Splinter Twin decks and Combo-Pod.

Remember that key cards in cheap decks are always a good place to invest, since the whole deck is fairly cheap except for Kiki and maybe Spellskite. People are willing to pay a little extra for key cards when the rest of the deck is cheap to build.

If we can buy around 4-5 tix (which seems to be the floor price in the last months) we can grab a good amount of them with confidence. If we see it stay in the 7-8 range then we will have to reevaluate our position.

Tarmogoyf

There will never be enough Tarmogoyfs to flood the market. Tarmogoyf will be a 50-ticket card again in the near future. It’s played as a four-of in so many Modern and Legacy decks. Many players who could not afford to build a tarmo deck will now want their set.

We can’t wait to see what will be the floor on this one, but our guess is that it won’t go down that much. We’re hoping for 38-40. Other traders on the forums argued that the coming of Scavenging Ooze in M14 might affect Tarmo’s price, but it is highly likely that Tarmogoyf will see plenty of play and that it will remain both a Legacy and Modern staple. Goyf is, from our point of view, better than Ooze anyway.

We’ll buy back our own play sets and a few more if we get the chance. But we think it will be war out there… Just like with the promo Force of Will. Good luck guys!

The Swords & Shackles

We put these three together because they have lots of similarities.

First of all, while all being good cards, none have seen much play lately. Sword of Fire and Ice sees some play in an Esper-Blade list, whereas Sword of Light and Shadow sees a bit of play in Modern. As for the Shackles, the card was used a lot before the printing of Abrupt Decay. Now that Abrupt Decay is everywhere, the card is out of favor. Still, against many decks it’s good game when you can cast it. Shackles will certainly see some play again.

For all three, we are waiting for significant discounts or we will stay out. Since the cards are not played a lot, we’re pretty sure we will be able to buy them at an excellent price.

Shackles is already way below its average (14 tix) with an actual retail price of 8. We will be buyers at around 4 tix.

Sword of Light and Shadow has seen a recent spike of 15 and if we look at the last two years, its floor seems to be around 6. If it reaches the floor again, we should consider buying.

Sword of Fire and Ice has a regular and a promo version. The promo version is the cheaper of the two. Its has a floor of 4.35 and has never been higher than 7.5.

When we are looking to invest in a card, we prefer to look at the cheapest version to see the price we are ready to buy the card for. Here, if we can buy around 3 tix, we feel like it will be a safe bet, even though it doesn’t see much action at the moment.

Summary

All in all, we will be scanning the market for these cards, but we will be patient and we will avoid committing our money if we cannot clearly identify the new floor prices, or if the prices remain stable and see no decline at all.

We want to end this article by pointing out that Tarmogoyf, Dark Confidant, both Swords and Vedalken Shackles all have new art. We would like to hear from you about it.

First do you prefer the old or new version? Second, do you think that the new version will have a lower price than the old one in the long run? Usually the older version keeps an higher price due to rarity, so if you get the chance, try to buy the older version while they are at the same price. Still, some promos have higher price than the regular version (see Clique, Wasteland, Cryptic Command or even Restoration Angel).

Jeff is generally paying attention to cards’ art when buying his personal play sets, whereas Sébastien generally goes for the cheapest version. So we’re interested in your way of seeing this aspect of the speculation game!

7 thoughts on “Insider: Modern Masters at Last!

  1. Not for MTGO, but in general I prefer the original version of the card (Beta > Alpha though, don’t like Alpha’s corners). I hardly look at art at all, just to recognize the card. I always find new art to be highly annoying because I sometimes have trouble identifying what others have on the table because of it. I don’t care which is cheapest or prettiest, I tend to care about most recognizable (and perhaps most “pimp”).

  2. Agree with you about Clique! I hadn’t considered how the new Legend rule affects its playability, but it definitely helps.

    “All in all, we will be scanning the market for these cards, but we will be patient and we will avoid committing our money if we cannot clearly identify the new floor prices, or if the prices remain stable and see no decline at all.”

    Also, the above is very sound advice. Too often I get excited about a spec where having a little patience would reveal an even better opportunity.

    Nice article!

    1. Thanks for the feedback Matt. Finding the new floor price is often a matter of reading how many BUY vs SELL ads show up on the Classifieds. Whenever the price seems to have stabilized (no sellers undercutting others, narrow gap between buy and sell ads), we can then determine if that new price indicates a good discount compared to its usual price, and compared to its in-season price.

      Like we said, we,ll be active on the forums and we will try to update as often as possible what seems to be the trend and what our recommandation will be.

  3. I’m a lot less concerned about what cards look like online in general.

    However, I very much prefer the old bob to this new confidant art, and would pay a premium just so I have the original.

    For goyfs, I have a playset of future sight tarmogoyfs that I will likely never sell. The new goyf art is fine. If I didn’t already have the future sight ones, I doubt I would care enough to pay more for the old version instead of just the MM one.

  4. I think the new Swords will command a real premium. The art is stunning, and the consistency with the Scars block Swords adds a lot of desirability to these versions. Obviously, people will have individual tastes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if these end up as the most valuable printings.

    Personally, I dislike the new Goyf. The art is OK (and maybe even a bit better), but the future-shifted frame looks far more pimp to me.

    As for Bob, I’m not sure which I like better. Both seem good. I don’t think there will be a significant price difference between them.

  5. Ty for comments guy, I prefer the new Goyf and my playset shall be all new one…I do care even online about the look of the card. With the new client I might even be looking lot more at the art since graphics seems better.

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