Insider: The Event Horizon – Five Modern Staples to Watch

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Once again, the radar has fallen onto Modern.

The grand utopia that is this bastard step child is about to take center stage. Not only that, but all the hard work and speculation that has happened since the release of Modern Masters is about to be put to the test.

"Have you properly prepared for the Second Coming?!?!"

I say that a little tongue in cheek, but that's what the beginning of June truly feels like. The beginning of the post-Modern Masters era for Modern is about to descend upon us. Those who have prepared, both player and financier alike, will reap the glory or suffer the defeat all while proclaiming their losses or their wins on both the battlefield and in the pocket book.

I feel about as giddy as a school girl.

Banish that image from your head for a second. Think for a moment. This is a format that has netted me multiple $1,000's in both tournament winnings, Pro Tour qualifications, and sales. Not only that, but it has actually kept me up at night, appearing in my dreams as a goldmine. I lustily search the city, the country, and even the mountains for the path into this paradise of ever-flowing cards that no one was caring about.

Now they should care about it.

If everything that Wizards has done comes to fruition, this Pro Tour season should have about as much buzz as any in recent memory. There should be innovation, price volatility, price adjustment, interest, and people clamoring for cards galore.

All because of a dedicated interest that started months ago when they decided to reexamine their vast reprint policy, and how to make older formats relevant. I love it!

Richmond had a massive turn out. Busting records left and right. Minneapolis still hit almost 1700 players and compared to GP: Chicago's turnout of 1113 at the end of 2012, and we're still seeing wonderful growth. From the financier perspective, I can't wait to see what this season does to Modern staples.

Speaking off, let's get to the meat and potatoes...

Top Five Modern Staples To Watch

5.) Voice of Resurgence

Voice of Resurgence might be a negative spec for many players. The issue at hand is where can you get in? At the minimum, come Modern season a spike in Voice's demand is near guaranteed.

Many players have been shipping copies of Voice while its price has been relatively flat or declining. If you can pick up a few copies between now and the initial onslaught of tournament results, a forecasted profit margin of 25%-30% could be a reasonable expectation.

The thing to understand about this card is the large number that are potentially available, the long-term possibility for holding, and the almost certain increase in demand in the upcoming months. Considering just how little of Dragon's Maze was opened, there could be a long-needed price increase. Pod has proven again and again to be one of the best decks in the format--the only thing holding it back is that it's also one of the hardest.

Voice of Resurgence

End of Season Forecast: $35 +/-

4.) Tarmagoyf

It's hard not to include Tarmogoyf in a list like this. For the most part the consensus has been that Jund is dead. Grand Prix Minneapolis would like to have a word with you on that one, though. The Jund shell is still good--the community just hasn't yet convincingly answered the question, "How do you build the rest of it?"

There are about eight to ten slots that need to change with the loss of Deathrite Shaman, and in the months following it's banning there has been no consistent finisher that shows exactly what the new shell should look like. Jund is very much a finesse deck and requires many, many games to know what spells to use, when and how.

Take a look at the sideboards and you'll see. Jund is truly a numbers game. The consistent one-ofs allow the deck to morph in response to how your opponents play, letting certain things matter more at different times.

Once this gets ironed out, expect the bandwagon to come back on in force. You've also got Tarmo-Twin putting up numbers. With Tarmogoyf being at a relatively suppressed price earlier this year, I've been going about building up the number of foil copies I have.

Yes, this is a rather large big-ticket item--but it fills one of my goals, and I feel now has been the time to make that investment, if it was to be made. Slowly this has changed, and I look for this to increase even more in the upcoming months.


End of Season Forecast: $260-$275

3.) Snapcaster Mage

Snapcaster Mage fits in this same vein. While this should be rather obvious, let me talk about the subtle transformation this card has gone through.

Under the iron fist of Deathrite Shaman, Snapcaster was thought of as nearly irrelevant--but the bannings caught many off guard. Now Snapcaster Mage is making more and more of an impact in Twin packages. Combine this with the steady play of UWR strategies and continued usage in Legacy, and you begin to see Snapcaster's upward price trajectory.

The recent depression of his price is a current price correction after demand died off post-Grand Prix Richmond, but again I find this is the time to invest extra capital into foil versions or as many non-foils as I can lay my eyes on. The common misconception is that it's "too soon" since his printing for him to reach the price of Dark Confidant that everyone expects him to eventually.

While his future is certain, I say that time will happen sooner rather than later. The current influx of players ravenous to play a format they've heard is the bees knees are going to fall back to the best control deck of the format. And guess what fits that play style all too well.

Snapcaster Mage

End of Season Forecast: $45-$50

2.) Scapeshift

I would be a bad speculator if I didn't include the most recent Grand Prix-winning lynch pin. The truth is, even after winning there just hasn't been a ton of price correction on Scapeshift. Crazy enough, I still think there is room for this card to go up, or a chance that you can find a price difference somewhere out there. The card is never thought of much, and typically goes for well below it's true market value.

The problem with Scapeshift is Jund. If Jund rears it's head again, I suspect Scapeshift will suffer negatively, once again. For now this card is continuing on an upward trend, all while receiving little to no bump in the last week, pricewise.

End of Season Forecast: $35-$40

1.) Birthing Pod

Now, I finally come to the lynch pin of the entire Modern format. Even acquiring this card now, I feel like you can not help but make a profit by mid-season. Demand will continue to grow due to its high customizability, synergy with turning creatures sideways, and general appeal of enter-the-battlefield effects. Not only that, but "Look ma, combos!"

Pod will continue to perform and will continue to be the tier-one deck that people turn to. Supply and demand will bring this card up to a price point that would normally be out of reach, but I believe there is still room to grow here.

In fact, the price has price corrected downward, after the surge during Grand Prix Richmond. Another bump is in its future as I am not too sure many players have already acquired the deck pieces for Modern season. Some feel that it's still very far off.

Birthing Pod

End of Season Forecast: $30-$40

- Til Next Time,

Dylan Beckham

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Dylan Beckham

Dylan has been involved in Magic: The Gathering since the heyday of The Dark. Continually invested in the community, he's been a Pro Tour Player, Trader, Judge, Tournament Organizer, Volunteer, and Vendor. Currently involved with the day to day operations of selling online, Dylan has brought his experience to Quiet Speculation to make you a better investor. Hailing from the Atlanta area, and now part of the Dallas scene - he's often at big events sourcing cards or discussing Life, the Universe, and Everything. Have a question? Feel free to comment, message, or email anytime.

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9 thoughts on “Insider: The Event Horizon – Five Modern Staples to Watch

  1. I couldn’t agree more on Voice of Resurgence. I laugh every time someone asks me why I’m picking them up because they are about to “rotate out” (which is a sign that person hasn’t played eternal formats). I do think your Tarmogoyf target is a bit high. While Goyf is good and sees play in Junk (which is primarily what Jund evolved into) /Tarmo-Twin he isn’t played in a whole lot of other decks. I can see him breaking $230 over the season, but I think $260-$275 is a bit too hopeful. I did enjoy the article a lot and I believe your reasoning is sound.

  2. Thank you for the feedback!

    My forecast on Tarmogoyf is predicated on the whole premise that the rise of Modern is going to drive more prices into the stratosphere. I’ve noticed the trend of Wizards to not put too many cards into circulation and I think the amount of interest that Modern Masters has generated is going to out pace the supply of Goyfs. Therefor the high forecast. All of that would be fixed, and for the better I believe, if Wizards releases more Modern Masters product to the wholesalers and retailers. We’ll see what happens though

    1. I agree that the target on Goyf is a bit high. Keep in mind that more Goyfs are entering the market from the Modern event deck, too. This won’t be a large enough number to suppress the price drastically, but it will lower the bubble that they blow up to. Otherwise, very sound advice!

        1. Was there some other source you were looking at Jaime? Desymond called it right – Goyf’s aren’t in the Modern Event deck. Are you referring to Modern Masters? I covered that piece of information. Again, if Wizards releases more Modern Masters into the market, it will stagnate demand as supply levels increase. I’d actually like to see them do that, but based on current supply levels is what I have to base me assessments on

    1. Liliana herself has stabilized, I believe. The Legacy decks have been reaping the benefits of her, and I don’t know how much that pricing could change in Modern. There are a large number of copies available at this moment, but that number is dwindling day in and day out.

      I doubt she’s a target for reprint any time soon, and honestly – she’s still an amazing target to add to your long term hold. She is hands down the best three mana planeswalker ever printed as well as being a very flavorful card for even casual players. I’d still buy in, if at the right price, just to have some wiggle room.

      She’ll just take longer than some others, but should see a hefty spike if Jund becomes heavily played, and requires her as a 4 of again. Right now many lists are dropping to three.

  3. Hey Dylan,

    I have a doubt now. Is Jund really a problem to Scapeshift? I haven’t playing with Scapeshift but I was watching the finals Scapeshift vs Jund and it seemed that Scapeshift just needed to draw a Scapeshift to win the 3 games, and he has how to dig the Scapeshift! The big problem to Scapeshift I think is the Soul Sister deck. It is not popular, but I have seen the Scapeshift scooping after mana Martyr of Sands draw sac Martyr for 21 life. Concede.

    Good article as always! Have a great week!

    1. Every time I have ran into Scapeshift, while playing Jund – the games came down to two things. Managing life total + Liliana w/ Targeted discard.

      I’ve of course lost the occasional match up to it, but for the most part – the consensus is that Jund is a horrible matchup for Scapeshift. It will typically come down to resource management and the top of their deck. We are able to come down quickly with a Goyf, follow it up with Thoughtseize and then after board typically have Fulminators or other interference. Ajundi build also have Ajani to help.

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