Insider: 7 Modern Cards to Watch

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Welcome to Modern mania. The format is hot as the sun and prices are surging left and right.

The hype is real. The format is actively becoming the most popular format in all of constructed Magic and people need cards. Lots and lots of cards...

We've been talking about betting on Modern prices for some time now. Many of the cards I've mentioned in the past months have already hit their stride. My impression of what's going on in Modern is basically that every card that sees play is trending upward at the moment. So, any time you can trade non-Modern cards for Modern cards you are likely investing wisely.

A $25 card? Wow. The key is that this is the trend for Modern prices in general. Maybe not jumping $10 overnight, but the prices are all going up. The key is to find cards that have room to grow and get in on them before it happens.

In today's article I'll point out some cards that I think are sitting in the basement just waiting to climb in value sometime over the next few months.

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Can you even imagine a more wicked pairing than Yawgmoth and the Eldrazi? Well, the stars have aligned and the two are fighting side-by-side in the Eldrazi Black decks. The interaction between Urborg and Eye of Ugin is undeniably busted. The Eye makes Eldrazi cost two less and the Urborg makes the Eye tap for {B}. Build-your-own Mishra's Workshop is still a shop...

Eldrazi Black has already established itself in the running for the best midrange deck in Modern, and Oath of the Gatewatch (OGW) has previewed some pretty insane Eldrazi creatures that may make the deck even better.

thoughtknotseer eldrazimimic

Mimic is completely free with an Eye in play, which is crazy when you consider it may be attacking as a 5/5 or bigger. Thought-Knot Seer is a Vendilion Clique with a much bigger body that doesn't let the opponent recoup the lost card until after it dies.

I also like the idea of picking up these new Eldrazi creatures right away, before people start hyping them as part of the Eldrazi Black decks before the Pro Tour.

If you think about it, Urborg is an absurdly powerful Magic card. It goes into lots of Commander decks and gets played across multiple archetypes in Modern. I've played it in Jund, Faeries, and various Smallpox decks. I feel very strongly about the strength of this pick right now.

Pia and Kiran Nalaar

As it turns out I was 100% right when I wrote about this card in my Magic Origins spec review. The value and versatility it provides, spaced out across multiple bodies that double as removal spells, is very good in a format where grinding is important.

"Chandra's Parents" have essentially established themselves as the premier grindy threat in Modern. Grixis Control, Splinter Twin, Naya Company, and others have all found room to incorporate this fearsome four-drop. Heck, I've even sideboarded this card in Affinity before...

I've been stockpiling this card ever since the prerelease and it's become difficult lately to find copies at local game stores. The most likely reason is that the price is too low compared to demand. I expect to see a jump at some point in the not-too-distant future.

As a side note, it's kind of tough to find foil copies of this card. I personally know four people who play at my local game store (who don't buy cards online) who have all been looking for this Standard-legal foil for weeks to no avail! Premium copies also seem like great investments at the moment.

Burrenton Forge-Tender

Secretly, but not so secretly, this is one of the most important sideboard cards in Modern.

Many of the best decks in the format plan to deal with creature-based strategies using Pyroclasm effects. Forgetender is essentially a one-mana preemptive solution to these decks' best answer. Also, using Aether Vial to drop this creature in response to a sweeper is terrific sweetness.

Let's not discount that aside from countering Tron, Twin, and Grixis's sweeper, the Forgetender is also a stone brick wall against Zoo and Burn. Hmm, is Maze of Ith plus Counterspell good against the Burn Zoo match-up?

The card is basically cheaper than a playable Standard uncommon and has only seen a reprint in a crappy Modern Event Deck. I think we can expect some gains for everybody's favorite sideboard kithkin.

Scavenging Ooze

I don't even understand how this card is still not $10. It's one of the most universally played creatures in the format and hasn't seen a ton of printings. It was in a Commander deck a long time ago and an M-set a few years back. That's it.

I've been snapping these up every chance I get over the past few years and I fully expect the card to see some gains soon.

The card has showed up in Jund, Abzan, Death and Taxes, Collected Company, Zoo, and even Elves. It is simply one of the best green cards legal in the format. It has great utility against any deck that wants to use the graveyard and the life gain is huge against burn-based decks. It's also pretty sweet that the exile feature could be a potential enabler for Eldrazi processor abilities.

One of Ooze's key features is how it beats Lightning Bolt and Kolaghan's Command by quickly growing out of range. So many decks crux on Bolt effects to deal with cheap, efficient creatures, and this card is pretty well positioned to trump that strategy if the games go late.

It seems very underpriced to me. I don't even put copies of this card in my trade binder because I'm not willing to trade it at $7.50. Honestly, I wouldn't give any of my copies away for $10 because I see the card as being more expensive than that at some point in the future!

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

Thalia is exactly the kind of card that's primed to become expensive as Modern grows. First of all she's the best card in the Death and Taxes deck. She has fantastic statistics and her "sphere" effect is devastating against half the field.

Most importantly, she goes into the creature decks (which everyone seems to love), and is great against those decks' typical bad match-ups (Bogles, Infect, Burn, Storm, etc.)

It also seems significant that Innistrad block was a long time ago. She hasn't seen a reprint yet and it's tough for players to find copies nowadays. If Gaddock Teeg saw a significant price spike already I assume that means there is demand for G/W Hatebears type cards, and Thalia is the flagship of those decks. It stands to reason that demand for Thalia ought to also be on the rise in the future.

It also helps my opinion of this card that I've spent a lot of time working on Death and Taxes the past few weeks and I believe it's among the best decks in Modern at the moment. I'm expecting the archetype to continue to be good as people figure out more about the format.

Finally, if Stoneforge Mystic gets unbanned, the price tag on Thalia will be "choose your own adventure."

Leonin Arbiter

Everything I said about Thalia applies to Leonin Arbiter. A $2 price tag is an absolute joke on this card and I've been buying up as many copies as possible over the past few weeks.

I wrote about this card last week and I feel even better about the pick this week, as I've gotten an opportunity to play more with various white Aether Vial decks.

Stony Silence

The best sideboard card in all of Modern? Probably.

Basically every single deck playing white runs between 2-4 copies of Stony Silence in the sideboard. In fact, when given an option of splash colors in various blue-red or black-green decks, people often choose white specifically for access to this card!

Affinity cannot beat it. Tron dies to it. And anybody who would even consider trying to play artifacts has to be aware that this card will be there to punish them.

It's impossible to keep in stock at local game stores which tells me one thing---$6 is too cheap. I expect we'll see a nice uptick on Silence in the near future.


Modern is a pretty awesome format right now. I can only expect that once the Banned and Restricted announcement hits we'll see more movement with regard to prices in advance of the Pro Tour. Now is the time to get your trades and buys in because next month is going to see major price shifts and then things will start to settle back down.

I'm loving the format and loving these price spikes! Modern is an investor's paradise.

2 thoughts on “Insider: 7 Modern Cards to Watch

  1. I hope your predictions ring true. I’m sitting on 6 of your 7 picks already and I agree that D&T/Hatebears may be very well-positioned if SFM is unbanned. Even without the unban, those decks seem to be well-placed for a large sweep in advantage.

    We’ll see…

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