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Insider: Modern Pro Tour Specs

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The title says it all. A Modern Pro Tour is fast approaching, and it’s sure to create some movers. This week I want to talk about the ones I believe are most likely to see that movement.

The Top Tier

I feel most confident in these cards taking off, if not for this Pro Tour than for Modern season in general. This week is probably our last chance to move in early on these.

Geist of Saint Traft

I mentioned this last week, and I’m very confident in this call. It’s also already seen some movement since then, as sub-$15 copies are beginning to dry up.

This is a huge player in Zoo, and I believe a Bant version of Zoo inspired by Noble Hierarch will be popular. This build allows you to sideboard counterspells against the combo decks and get tricky with Snapcaster Mage if you’d like. It’s true that Geist has been replaced by True-Name Nemesis in Legacy, but let’s be honest, Modern is the driving financial format these days.

As for the ceiling, $25ish is where it goes with a good Pro Tour, and $20-25 in-season if it sees no more play than now. If it truly has a breakout weekend, its going to double to $30. Either way, this thing will cost more come PTQ season than it does now.

Snapcaster Mage

Most of the “easy” targets from the older sets are beginning to disappear. New Phyrexia, Scars of Mirrodin, Rise of the Eldrazi, etc. have all taken off. Innistrad’s time isn’t far behind. Snapcaster is starting his ascent back upwards, and this is one of those cards that’s been $18-20 forever but before you notice will slip to $25 and then $30.

I think we’re at the perfect time to get in here since the $3 uptick in the past month has been so organic. Whether it’s the Pro Tour or not, soon there will be a mini-rush on this that will eliminate the cheap copies.

Restoration Angel

Been talking about this one for months, and its time is coming. It’s inching from $4 to $6 and will be $10 come Modern season. This should be an easy double-up.

I prefer targeting the regular versions to the promo foil, though so far the prices have stayed comparable.

Inkmoth Nexus

This is something you’re a bit late to if you didn’t already have them, and I’ve been talking about this card since it was $4. It’s now nearly $8 and will be $12-15 in-season, with a rise to $10 likely after the Pro Tour. Affinity may not be as good in the meta as it was, but I also doubt it’s going anywhere. Not to mention Infect which could also come back.

Cavern of Souls

Already seeing upward movement, and we know how powerful it is. It’s a great tool both for and against Faeries (mostly against it), so it’s a safe bet to assume these will see $20 again.

The Next Tier

For lack of a witty title, that’s what you get. I really like these cards but the upside on them is slower at least, if not lower.

Scavenging Ooze

People have to go somewhere for their graveyard hate. Ooze, along with Rest in Peace and Relic of Progenitus (the latter two have limited upside), will fill the role.

Of these, Ooze seems to be at a floor, so I would expect it to rise toward Modern season. I know it’s still in Standard, but this really can’t go much lower, I would think.

Griselbrand

I’m just going to assume you’ve all been following this one, since on QS we talk about it regularly. I don’t think it’s worth buying in at $25, because it’s unlikely to go higher than $35 anytime soon, so that’s a large opportunity cost paid. That said, it will continue rising and could bump from the Pro Tour, so trading into these seems fine.

Cryptic Command

It got reprinted and is just now beginning to rebound, to an astounding $35. Again, I’m going to preach limited upside but safe trade target. $45 in-season seems reasonable for this powerhouse, but I’m not sure you want to park cash into these when it’s so expensive to do so.

Birthing Pod

Another card that’s pretty much guaranteed to continue rising; another card we’ve been talking about for awhile (it actually feels like forever); another safe target to acquire.

It “spiked” from $5 to $9 a month ago, and has flatlined since then. We’ve seen multiple cards in Modern double-jump, with Splinter Twin being the most recent, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Pod did the same. $12 in-season seems reasonable, and if it goes crazy at the Pro Tour $15 feels like the ceiling.

Merfolk Cards

Everyone knows I love Merfolk. Hell, even Michael Jacobs knows at this point since he read and complimented my Modern Merfolk primer on his stream last week.

I’ll touch briefly on the deck as a whole since I’ve done so a few times before. A lot of the upside is limited at this point, and while the Zoo matchup is probably unfavorable, people will still build Fish.

Again, I think Master of the Pearl Trident and Aether Vial are the best targets since the other stuff has already risen so much, but everything will continue to inch upwards as we move forward.

Scars Fastlands

A year ago you were reading the same thing from me, and a year ago Razorverge Thicket was $2. We’re finally seeing movement on these (Thicket is now over $3), and this is the season where these reach $5. Except for Darkslick Shores, which already did so due to Faeries hype. The others will be following suit, so don’t miss your last chance.

Through the Breach

Cheating Emrakul into play isn’t getting worse any time soon, and this is still probably the best way to do it. I’ve been toying around with the G/W Trap/Breach deck that uses Windbrisk Heights and Mosswort Bridge along with Breach to go all-in on the Emrakul plan, and it’s been a lot of fun.

I don’t know if it’s going to do anything this season (I expect not), but it has shown me the “oops, I win” power of Through the Breach. It’s already $10, but I like it as a trade target that moves to $15 in-season.

Path to Exile/Lightning Helix

We have more Zoo incoming this season, and these aren’t getting any worse. Obviously the upside isn’t huge, but they’re not going down, either.

The True Specs

Now let’s go a bit deeper into the tank. I talked about Thrun, the Last Troll last week, and I’ll reiterate that one.

But the most interesting piece of news I’ve received this week is the deck found by PT testers that uses Congregation at Dawn to set up a Skill Borrower-Griselbrand combo. I have no idea what happens from there, but on MODO at least Skill Borrower seems like it can’t go lower. I’m not advocating buying into these yet, but keep your eyes and ears peeled for talk of it.

Gifts Ungiven seems like it’s either great or terrible in this new meta, a lot of which likely depends on Faeries.

Speaking of new decks, if B/W Tokens is a thing I expect Sorin, Lord of Innistrad or Ajani Goldmane to play a role. I especially like Sorin at his sub-$5 price, since as a planeswalker he can’t really go much lower. This is an easy double-up, either two weeks from now or a year from now. Obviously one is better than the other, but it’s an extremely low-risk bet.

 

Anything I missed or something else you want me to address? Let me know in the comments and I’ll respond. Happy speculating!

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter

12 thoughts on “Insider: Modern Pro Tour Specs

  1. Great article, Corbin! This is exactly what I needed to read going into the Pro Tour.

    Question on Geist – how deep should I think about going here? Is there risk that he shows up in the Modern Event deck?

    1. Mythics haven’t shown up in any past event decks. The question you need to ask yourself is WotC going to start putting Mythics in event decks (or change the rules on the Modern event deck and put some Mythics in there). My gut says no Mythics, especially when there are several high dollar Modern rares they could reprint anyways (Hierarch, Fulminator Mage, Threads of Disloyalty, fetches, etc.) to meet the MSRP.

  2. Articles like these and the forums on qs have given me some good insight into the Modern season(being new to magic and these forums) and magic the gathering finance. Also love the bit about Skill Borrower–my medium is MTGO most of the time so these are dirt, dirt cheap. Thanks man!

    1. No problem, and thanks! No promises about Skill Borrower, though. If it pays off, sweet, if not I’m not responsible for the dollar you lose 😉 It was just a tip I received this week, and I’m sure it’s one of very many decks being considered.

    1. Huntmaster kind of got screwed when Deathrite got banned. It’s unlikely that Jund will be anywhere near the major player it was before and I think the 4 drop slot for Zoo will likely be filled up with Ranger of Eos (if they even play 4 drops)

  3. Hey great article. Still pretty new here, and what are you thoughts about trading out my esper stuff in standard for these modern cards. The deck in standard seems to be pretty hot right now but I havent been playing much and getting more into the financial stuff.

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