This weekend saw three huge events that pumped a mountain of Modern Masters 2015 into the ecosystem, and it obviously depressing most of the prices on those cards. The next two weeks will be a phenomenal point to pick up missing staples from your Modern collection. The issue is that most of these cards aren't even Modern-playable!
This week, I'll go over my list of cards that you should focus on acquiring while prices are low if you play a lot of Modern (or want to start a collection).
In some ways, prioritizing cards is a challenge because cross-deck play doesn't make a card an all-star and an essential part of one deck is only relevant if you want to play that deck (looking at you, Splinter Twin). I've done my best to break down my list into categories that make sense. Let's not get too hung up on whether something belongs in one more than the other, either.
One big thing this is predicated on is that the thousands of people opening MM2015 will actually sell it this weekend after opening. It could be the case that enough people put them in a box and forget about them with the intention of holding if they ever get into Modern. Let's hope the market efficiently prices cards so that people want to sell off their Limited piles.
"Build Around Me" Cards
These three cards form a core of the G/R Tron deck in Modern right now. It's Tier-2 and I don't think it'll ever win a GP, but people like to play with battlecruiser cards. If we see more huge colorless spells in Battle for Zendikar, then we can assume that Tron is going to use one or two of the new cards and may get better. All three are also resoundingly good casual staples. More on Map later, too.
Affinity did well this time around. They're still reprints, since Opals alone ran $240 for a set. I expect Opals to drop to $30 and stay there for awhile. The Nexus and Champ should drop even more, since they have no real casual appeal.
We all know what this card is and what it does. The Rise edition was $16 as recently as January of this year. I predict these will settle to about $10 or so. Like the Affinity cards, these have little interest in casual circles and Twin is only useful in the two or three Twin variants floating around at any time. I am leaving Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker out of this because he hasn't seen play in Twin for a very long time and, consequently, doesn't rate a listing among the stars of the set.
From bulk rare to $30 staple, this enchantment shot up after people found out that Bogles was a real deck against Jund. It's still a force in the format and a scourge of 5-round tournaments. If you see yourself building the Bogle deck, this is essential. Otherwise, pass it by.
Solidly Good Sideboard Cards
I remember these being restricted in Vintage (really!) and then under a dollar for a decade. They picked up first in Vintage and again when Affinity became popular in Modern. For a while, Hurkyl's Recall was more expensive than Ancestral Recall on Magic Online! That should tell you something about the supply.
While I wish this card were printed as an uncommon, I can understand why they didn't want you to rewind an opponent's board for 1U in Limited. It's good to have at least two of these on hand for building sideboards. Decks with Snapcaster Mages get a lot of use from them. Sometimes you just can't make the mana right for Stony Silence, after all.
Suffering from the same problem as Hurk's, this card was printed sparsely and a long time ago. It's a unique answer to both discard and burn in Modern. On top of that, you'll want four to make the playset. Nobody sane runs just one of these. If you're looking to trade these away, try to trade away sets of two or four. Odd numbers don't play well with this.
A foil for Splinter Twin and a decent speed-bump for burn, Spellskite has quietly been an expensive sideboard card for a long time. It demolishes matchups like Infect and Bogles where other cards can't come close. This is one I expect to be right back up to its price in a year. You just can't print enough Spellskites.
If you're putting Faeries together, this is a godsend. In other decks, however, it's beyond bad. Even BW Tokens doesn't often run the Fae Factory.
Filling Out the Edges of Your Collection
These two show up in Gifts Ungiven decks with Unburial Rites. Though I'm partial to UW Tron, it's not a great deck right now. Elesh Norn is the better of the two cards and there's still a solid chance that we see it in other reanimation decks or things that can just ram seven mana together. Elesh Norn is worth picking up right now--I think there's some time left on Iona. The former is a Commander staple, so it'll be in demand where the Angel can only dream.
This comes up in the Amulet of Vigor deck and also in Monogreen Devotion. Neither deck really interests me much, and I feel like if you're playing those decks, you are intentionally not playing other things in the format. Some decks draw people to them and won't let go. Titan is banned in Commander and bad in other formats, so this one is not essential to pick up unless you've got a home for them right now.
Living End was the original driver of the Mage's price and I am so thankful we've got a reprint to take the heat off. It's a decently good sideboard option and Junk sometimes runs them to break up its awful Tron matchups. Where Mage picked up from fringe Modern play, the Liege had years of casual love before it slotted into Goyf-less Junk alongside Qasali Pridemage, Voice of Resurgence, Loxodon Smiter and Kitchen Finks. Neither of these cards are urgent pickups, but they're worth having if you want a complete collection.
Format All-Stars and All-Around Good Cards
The dream is for these to drop below $100. I doubt that'll happen with dealers paying that at Las Vegas. However, they're already on their way down. If you need a set, wait a week or two and then pick them up. Like many other cards on this list, people want four of them. Nobody runs just one Tarmogoyf.
Clique can either be one of those niche sideboard cards or an essential Flash creature in the maindeck to kick ass. I like it either way. Sometimes it's awful in the format (like with Treasure Cruise Delver), but it's great right now. It'll kill a Liliana or scrape a Scapeshift. Sure, the faeries suffer against Affinity and Lingering Souls, but they're a great clock otherwise.
Collected Company is earning Hierarch a lot of attention. I'll be carefully watching this one in the next few days, but $10 is a fantasy price for this. It'll be $15 at the minimum, which is a great buy in. At the moment, Hierarch is $36 and dropping.
Bobby Digital isn't so hot any more and he's got a rhino to blame. Siege Rhino is a better card in Junk and people are pushing the formerly-invincible black wizard onto the bench. It's a good card, but good in a deck like BW Tokens and not in Junk. Bob will be back at some point--Jund is waiting for one or two more good cards to beat Rhinos--and he'll have his day again.
Like Bob, Cryptic is waning in power. Control is not very good in Modern and this is solidly a control card. You see it as a 1-of or a pair in Twin now and then as a way to remove problem permanents. The age of a 4-Cryptic deck has passed, though. I counsel not picking these up right away because I don't believe you'll need them for a long time. Its favorite deck is UWR Control and Wizards has been especially antagonistic toward that color triad for a really long time. We won't see something on the level of Electrolyze any time soon.
Quick Hit: My Choice for the Best Pickup of the Set Is...
The Map, the lowly uncommon Map. It was a surprising $3 as a Zendikar common before its reprint and has since dropped to about $2 and below right now. I'm aggressively trading for these. The foils are especially interesting. ZEN foils are still $15 or so, but the new ones are $5.50. One has to come down or one has to go up. You can take a bet that ZEN will go down and you'll be buying MM2015 anyway, so that won't hurt. If it doesn't drop, then the demand will shift to the new ones and they'll go up.
Expedition Map is a casual all-star. People want five of them so they can run them in each Commander deck. Modern players want them for Tron alone, but Tron players are weirdly common about foiling their whole deck out.
Map is a wonderful card and, at $5, a great speculation target for the next 6 months. They'll be back up to $15 in a year or two.
What did I miss? What do you want to add? Please join the discussion below!