Yesterday, I wrote about the mental and physical benefits to downsizing one's collection. One by one, I went through the different categories of my personal stockpile, but there's one category of cards I didn't discuss: Modern staples. I'm currently in the midst of a mental battle with myself involving this format, and trying to weigh all the factors is not as cut-and-dry as I'd like.
I have a reasonably sizable Modern collection: playsets of all the Zendikar fetchlands and all 10 shocklands, all the blue staples, most of the red staples, and the most important white staples. I don't have Goyfs or Bobs, but I have a lot of options open to me, including Splinter Twin, any variety of non-Temur Delver, Jeskai or Azorius Control, or brews including most any of the cards from this, the most patriotic of color combinations.
I also have all the pieces for Birthing Pod, and although I wouldn't say I'm panicking—the non-Pod pieces may very well go on to become a new and awesome Modern deck—the banning of the deck out of the format has got me thinking about how much I really care to hold cards I'm not currently playing.
You see, I have a seven-month-old baby at home, and he's only going to become more of a handful as time goes on. I haven't gotten out to a Modern event in more than a year, and I don't see that changing any time soon. Additionally, my local community isn't super invested in Modern—Standard and Commander are the big formats here. I don't live in a major metropolitan area, so attending the random Grand Prix or SCG Open is unlikely. And the new PPTQ system is decidedly not designed for non-grinders like me (I'd much rather try my luck under the old system and have the chance to spike one event rather than basically committing myself to two). On top of that, by eliminating Modern PTQ season, Wizards of the Coast removed what would have been a dependable time of year to play a bit more of the format.
When I look at all these points, I think, "Well, duh. Sell your Modern cards. You're not playing any time soon."
But the problem is that I like Modern. I like the idea that if I move, or if the trend in my community shifts, or if WOTC brings back Modern PTQ season, or my LGS institutes a highly successful and popular Modern night, I'll be able to play. I was enthusiastic about the format when it was new, so I acquired a lot of these cards at very low prices—prices I won't be able to find again.
Still, the whole reason I started building a Modern collection was because it was appealing to get to build a deck or two to just have ready and available in between long periods of not playing. The banning of Birthing Pod, however, has highlighted the fact that Modern is not Legacy, and you can't just commit yourself to one deck without risking getting burned. This means having staples for multiple decks, which starts to get expensive. Even though I like the idea of playing Modern in the future, there's no guarantee that the decks I have available will still be in the format when I get around to it.
I'm torn, and I still haven't decided. For now, I'm getting rid of my fifth and sixth copies of cards that I want a playset of for Modern, but also have a copy of in my Cube and/or Commander deck. If I was alternating between cubing and playing Modern a couple times a week, the extra copies would be nice. But as it is, having five Splinter Twins, six Snapcaster Mages, or more than four copies of anything just doesn't make sense. It's more of my downsizing mentality making itself manifest.
Help me out here: what do you do when you have cards for a format you like but don't really play? I imagine that with Legacy it's easier to just sit on them, but what about more transient formats where card prices are more mercurial? Let me know if you have experience with this type of thing in the comments below.