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Insider: The Modern Event Deck and You

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There are many reasons I write for Quiet Speculation, but the main one is my situation provides insight into competitive Magic as well as the financial side. I’m a regular at PTQ’s and Grand Prix but during the week, I’m the co-owner of the shop Galaxy Games in Wintersville, Ohio.

Not only do I have my finger on the pulse of the competitive trends, but I have realtime data about pricing and financial trends. With that being said, today’s topic is centered on the recently released Modern Event Deck: ‘Budget Black-White Tokens.’ There’s a lot you need to know about this product so let’s get started.

If you have not seen the full list, or need to refresh yourself on its contents, this is what you will receive if you purchase the Modern Event Deck.

The Financial

Pricing

First of all, let’s look into the pricing of the cards in the deck and see what’s going on with them currently. As every person who discusses Magic finance predicted, all of the singles reprinted in the deck have decreased in price. While this is no surprise, it is good to know that nothing out of the ordinary happened. It’s one thing to predict something will happen and another for it to come to fruition.

When the deck list was revealed, it seemed like buying the deck would be a good financial decision because the singles totaled more than twice the MSRP. If you head out and about on the internet and purchase all of the singles from this deck right now, you would spend more money than just buying the actual deck, but not by much.

There is an interesting phenomenon I’ve noticed about Magic finance that occurs in situations with event decks and similar products. (Maybe this is an obvious observation but I have not seen anyone write about this topic.) Once the prices adjust to the influx of copies for sale, the sum of the contents trends towards the cost of the sealed product.

For example, the singles in the Modern Event Deck decreased to a point that you can basically either buy them all individually or buy the deck but pay the same price. This also happened with the Mono-Black Devotion Event Deck.

In the future, it will be a good idea to keep this concept in mind for other related releases. The hard part will be to predict how much the singles will drop individually. Dissecting which card will drop the most and which will be less affected can be difficult but worth thinking about.

Buylisting

Under no circumstances should you purchase this product with the intent of buylisting its contents. All of the available buylist data I’ve been able to collect is that dealers are already well stocked on every single one of these cards.

Therefore, their buy prices are either incredibly low or nonexistent. In addition, the cards that do have reasonable buylist prices are all great investments. Take a look at some further notes on that in the next section.

Trading

Unless you are interested in playing the deck, the info I’ve provided strongly suggest that it is not worth your investment. Although I don’t recommend buying into this product, some specific trading is definitely in the cards.

[cardimage cardname='Inquisition of Kozilek' a=5]

As you might expect from one of the best hand hate spells in Modern, the price of Inquisition of Kozilek has not been decimated by its reprint. After dipping down to almost four dollars, it has recovered some and is heading back to five almost immediately. If you can trade into copies of these cheaply, they are a sound investment long-term.

[cardimage cardname='Path to Exile' a=5]

Despite its many reprints, Path to Exile is holding strong at four dollars. As one of Moderns’ premium removal spells this is no surprise, but certainly worth noting. Just like Inquisition of Kozilek, if you can trade into cheaper copies of this card due to the influx in availability, it is certainly worthwhile.

[cardimage cardname='Sword of Feast and Famine' a=5]

It’s worth noting that the price trajectory of Sword of Feast and Famine has not changed virtually at all since the reprint in this event deck. The price of the Mirrodin Besieged version has been stable and while the event deck version is worth a couple dollars less, the difference is minimal and it looks to be meeting up with the original set price.

Any sword is a solid investment and they have retained their value better than any other card I can think of. All five swords are desirable for Commander, Cube, and fringe Modern play.

I doubt we will see a drastic price increase in this card anytime soon but the price definitely seems stable with potential to gain a bit more long-term. Trading into them may not breed huge dividends but turning RTR Block cards into Swords could prove fruitful.

[cardimage cardname='Elspeth, Knight-Errant' a=5]

How many times are Wizards planning to print Elspeth, Knight-Errant? Granted this is one of the best planeswalkers of all time and a favorite of many players, but with the number of times she’s been printed, her TCG Player page is starting to look a Yu-Gi-Oh cards. They print cards from that game so many times that it’s impossible to keep track of prices on cards.

Other games aside, Elspeth looks like she will be $15 for a long time to come. Solid investment to trade for but finding someone who does not already have their copy may be challenging.

Competitive

Removing Cards

Despite a few terribly awful cards in the deck, overall the strategy is solid and competitive. I would not suggest sleeving up the exact list, but with some minor changes it can be drastically improved. Most players breaking into Modern do not have many of the necessary cards so this deck will be a great start. There are a few cards that really need to be removed before the deck will start being playable.

[cardimage cardname='Shrine of Loyal Legions']

The number one offender is Shrine of Loyal Legions. This artifact is nowhere near playable in Modern. Maybe it is tolerable against UWR Control and Jund, but they both have answers to it if you manage to get some counters on it and cash it in. It’s unplayably slow and needs to be removed before you play any games with it.

[cardimage cardname='Honor of the Pure'][cardimage cardname='Intangible Virtue']

One of the major fundamental issues I have with this deck is that on top of Honor of the Pure and Intangible Virtue, the original deck also contains Zealous Persecution. My problems is not with the playability of these cards because I think all three of them are great, but rather, ten spells that pump your creatures is simply too many for a deck to support.

I’ve witnessed many games where the tokens deck is flooded with pump enchantments and cannot find any spells that make creatures. I don’t think removing most of these would be correct, but some number of the effect needs to be removed in order for the deck to run smoothly.

[cardimage cardname='Soul Warden']

Fortunately, Soul Warden is playable in most matchups but while I support the card once in a while, it belongs in the sideboard if at all. Even though Melira Pod can’t gain infinite life, Splinter Twin can’t win with Deceiver Exarch, and burn must deal with her the turn you play her or be unable to win the game, her impact in the rest of the matchups is miserably low.

Adding Cards

[cardimage cardname='Hero of Bladehold']

As a cheap option that has a huge impact, Hero of Bladehold is perfect for this deck. Not only can we count it as a pump spell part of the time, but all opponents will remember to fear this card quickly or be defeated.

[cardimage cardname='Inquisition of Kozilek'][cardimage cardname='Thoughtseize']

One aspect of the deck that is in dire need of attention is the hand hate department. Sure the deck has three copies of Tidehollow Sculler, which I like more than most Modern players, and two Inquisition of Kozilek, but that is not enough.

Ideally the deck would have both Inquisition and Thoughtseize if possible. By attacking the other players hand, you can disrupt whatever strategy they are trying to defeat you with. These cards are necessary for the deck's success.

The End Goal

The light at the end of the tunnel should look similar to what Craig Wescoe has been running in Modern. As it turns out, he and I were on nearly the exact same page in terms of this archetype. Check out his latest version of this deck.

As you can see, many of the ideas I presented run parallel to Craig’s thoughts on the deck as well. Mirran Crusader is more uncertain to me, but he claims it is quite good. I could see it being well positioned against some decks, but against the majority of the field, it seems like it will die to Lightning Bolt too often.

I’ve been wondering about where Brimaz, King of Oreskos fits in Modern and this could be a home for the cat king. Four toughness is exactly where you want to be in Modern especially if you are an aggressive deck, so he may be worth testing out in place of Mirran Crusader.

Other than that, I think this version of B/W Tokens looks strong and well positioned to find success in the format.

Hopefully you’ve gotten all the Modern Event Deck info you needed to make the right decisions for your situation. While I may not be ecstatic for the deck choice, I am glad this product exists to help players begin to experience the amazing Modern format. I look forward to more products like this in the future.

Until Next Time,

Unleash the Tokens Force!

Mike Lanigan
MtgJedi on Twitter
Jedicouncilman23@gmail.com

3 thoughts on “Insider: The Modern Event Deck and You

  1. Great analysis, I never thought to look for add-ins to sealed product as plausible speculation targets prior to reading this. Thanks for the tips!

  2. I’m not sure what people were up in arms about initially. The decklist is actually pretty solid and sealed product can be had for ~$50. I picked up 1 @ $53 to crack and play, then i picked up a sealed box of 4 @ 196 (less an 50$ a piece).

    I actually like the sleeves and box too, its much nicer than the regular event decks.

  3. As far as value goes, don’t forget you get the sleeves and box, both are which of fairly decent construction and great to look at (I had people one or two people offer to buy the sleeves for ~$5. Everyone who I saw me with them said something positive about them).

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