Welcome back readers! Today's article will focus on movement we're seeing in regards to Modern cards. Modern Masters hit about a little over a month ago now and it's pretty safe to assume that most of the product that will be opened is already opened. That means that prices on staples should be at or near their low.
The Modern format starts back up soon. Here's a list of the upcoming big Modern events:
- GP Detroit (Sept 13-15)
- GP Brisbane (Oct 4-6)
- GP Antwerp (Oct 25-27)
- Pro Tour "Romans" (Winter 2014)
First off, this means there will be an increase in demand for Modern cards within the next few weeks as people prepare for the fall GP season which finalizes into the PT. It also means that now (and quite honestly the past few weeks) is the ideal time to pick up Modern cards before the inevitable spikes start to hit.
Unfortunately for us paper players, the Modern format, while being pushed by WoTC, hasn't taken a foothold in many local stores and hasn't even appeared much on the larger SCG Opens. That means we need to look to our MTGO friends for changes in the Modern format.
What cards are becoming hot right now, which ones are cooling off. What are the strategies that are doing well, which ones are falling by the wayside. Thus, for this week's article I have scoured the MTGO forums in search of references to Modern decks/cards that are doing well on MTGO. (Prices taken from ABUMTGO site.)
This card is the namesake for its deck, which usually plays Prismatic Omen, Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, and Scapeshift together to combo-kill an opponent. It has the beauty of being a combo deck that doesn't rely on creatures (like the Kiki/Twin) decks or on the graveyard (like Melira Pod). Thus it negates creature removal for the most part (although most versions do play Primeval Titan.)
Currently paper copies of this card on TCG player are $7-$8 while its MTGO counterpart is close to 22 tickets. While there may be some price differences due to the number of Morningtide packs opened on MTGO, the point is that it has doubled in price within the past month on MTGO but hasn't seen that same spike in its real world counterpart.
Linvala hoses the Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker/Splinter Twin combo deck, and is a thorn in the side of plenty of other decks. Currently she's around 21 tix on MTGO but her real life counterpart is closer to $27.
While this is only a common, it typically sells for around 10-25 cents in paper, whereas its MTGO counterpart is more like 2.35 tix. I wouldn't suggest going super-deep on this one, but this has always been a good common from an older set, which also sees play in Legacy. Foils go for around $3-4 in real life and 6.35 tix on MTGO.
This land is a four-of in RUW Control decks that are showing up a lot online (it appears Modern finally has a control deck). The paper counterpart is around $6 whereas the MTGO one is 10.42 tix. The fact that this is a card from Worldwake means the supply is limited, as that set was not opened much.
This card has already dropped pretty hard with its pending rotation from Standard. It's used in the Kiki-Pod decks as well as the RUW Control deck. It serves as an excellent combat trick or end-of-turn threat.
Currently paper copies can be picked up in the $7-9 range, whereas the MTGO copies are sitting at 10.52 tix ($10.52). This one could probably be picked up in the $5 range if you trade with Standard-only players, who see its rotation as a death sentence on its value.
The other Modern cards to target are ones which are near their floor or have a strong possibility of jumping in value during the Modern season. Recently my focus has been picking up uncommon Modern staples at buylist prices. Specifically, I've picked up copies of the following cards.
Diet Thoughtseize wasn't available for reprint in MM. The fact that it names a specific character in a specific plane makes it far less likely to see reprint in a Standard set (unless they do a return to Zendikar). This means that outside of reprinting in a specialty set (MM2 or Duel Decks) it will likely continue its rise in value to accommodate demand.
This guy was reprinted in MM, but again the number added to supply wasn't as large as many expected. If you can buy originals in the $3-4 range (buylist) or MM copies in the $2-3 range you should easily be able to make 60%+ profit come Modern season. The only potential wrench in his spike is the printing of Scavenging Ooze, which hoses the Melira style of combo deck pretty hard, given its reliance on persist to go off.
This is still the premier removal spell of the format. Similar to Kitchen Finks, I'm willing to pick up original and FNM copies in the $3 range ($4 for the FNMs) and MM copies in the $2 range. It's already been reprinted as a FNM promo, in Archenemy, Commander and the Venser vs. Koth duel deck, and still sits in the $5 range.
This is currently sitting in the $16 range (it's taken over as most expensive uncommon, thanks to Aether Vial's reprint) and is a necessity in Mono-Blue Tron, RUW Control, Scapeshift, and pretty much any blue based Modern deck.
WoTC has admitted it's too powerful for Standard, so its only reprint will be in a specialty product. It's pretty awful in Commander, but I can still see them trying to slide it in there just to add more to the supply.
I still like it as a spec for this Modern season only, but I don't know if I'd buy them for cash at higher than buylist. However, I wouldn't turn down trading for them.