Insider: Buyouts & The Arrival of Modern Season

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Greetings, Insiders.

Modern Season is back in full swing. What we've been discussing for months has finally arrived with some wild market movement and dramatic price spikes. This is hardly surprising---in fact, I was beginning to wonder when it would happen. As it turns out some ambitious “financiers” out there have shot the starting gun.

Everywhere we turn, on social media, the Insider forums or Reddit, we read about another buyout in progress. Just like old times, right? Whether justified or not, certain cards are flying off the digital inventory shelves.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most recent ones. Maybe from these we can determine where the hype and buyout train is headed next.

Eldrazi Lands

If I’m not mistaken, fellow QS writer Sheridan Lardner and others on the Insider forums have been discussing these for weeks. The B/x Eldrazi lists grew in popularity quite rapidly, and they're shaping up to be a viable (and fun) addition to the Modern metagame.

If you haven’t familiarized yourself with the archetype by now, here's a sample decklist:

This is just one of several lists running around on MTGO. It seems the deck can thrive with a multitude of different shells and color combinations.

Comparatively speaking, these were some of the buyouts that actually made sense. They had a more legitimate justification. The Eldrazi decks have been putting up solid finishes for the past few weeks and warranted attention---these cards finally ended up seeing a predictable price increase.

They're not likely to maintain their current price tag, but in the meantime anyone who bought them in the weeks prior has certainly seen considerable gains. These cards will likely never go back down to their original prices and it will be good to make a mental note of where they end up in the coming weeks.

Gaddock Teeg

Here's an instance of a card that wasn't so predictable and quite frankly came out of left field. There doesn’t seem to be a clear cut justification as to why this card spiked so dramatically.

I consider myself someone who monitors the Modern metagame closely, and I haven't seen Gaddock Teeg putting up notable finishes. According to MTGTop8, there are a negligible 26 decklists in high-end finishes featuring this card, dating all the way back to 2011.

It reminds me Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir which similarly increased quite a bit for a short period of time. Gaddock Teeg might have some EDH applications or something along those lines---but based on the amount of play it sees in Modern I have to think it will come crashing back down in short order. I strongly suggest selling these if you still can.

Wasteland Strangler

Foils of this card disappeared quickly after the other Eldrazi counterparts were bought up. Many felt it was the next logical step in procuring cards from that deck in an attempt to drive up prices. Well, the verdict is still out on Strangler, and its new price may not last considering it’s still an in-print Battle for Zendikar rare.

While this was seemingly justified by the hype surrounding the new Eldrazi lists, I just don’t know how any respectable financier looks at those lists and glosses over older cards with far less supply than the Strangler. Seems a little odd to me.

In any event, Strangler is now sitting at a new price of $10-12 for pack foils, and will likely start taking a downward turn as more and more people decide to cash out into this frantic hype session. If you have them, I would be rid of them.

Phyrexian Crusader

On the back of Tom Ross’s SCG Premium article and a recent MOCS finish, B/G Infect is now on the map. Subsequently we have our first buyout target from that deck in Phyrexian Crusader foils. It’s uncertain if this will continue, but with non-foils almost as good a target I suspect they will start heading north as well.

Other candidates like Abrupt Decay and Plague Stinger certainly seem like they could see residual effects from interest in this new version of Infect.

Abrupt Decay coming back onto everyone’s radar certainly isn’t surprising. I’d expect that card to increase normally since it’s a staple in Modern. It may have cooled off recently, but with another new deck promoting interest, things could be good for anyone still holding copies in inventory.

I’d even throw Might of Old Krosa back into the mix. Why not.

Glen Elendra Archmage

Glen Elendra Archmage has seen some recent movement on stocks sites, steadily increasing before finally doubling up in price. Now sitting anywhere from $16-20, the card at least gave some signs before its upward trend began.

The card is fairly fringe in Modern---but the caveat is there have been more sightings recently. I don’t know if this intense price spike is really justified considering its overall play percentage in the format. But it has been a fairly consistent card over the years, and maybe the time has come again when it will command a premium price.

I think Glen Elendra Archmage is still too fringe to warrant the price tag, and I’m fully expecting it to cool off some like Gaddock Teeg. It does see more play than Teeg, but not by a large margin, and a comparison to other staples raises some questions. Like, how is this now more than Abrupt Decay? Perhaps its Modern Masters printing didn’t add as much new supply as we thought?


That about covers this latest round of hysteria. As to where this train could be heading next, I already have some potential cards on the radar---but frankly it’s just about any card in Modern at this point. The buyouts so far have been fairly erratic. That leaves a whole lot of guessing, and forces us to make quick decisions in the heat of the moment.

As for what I've come up with, I've been looking through decklists and have a few suggestions to consider:

I’ll keep digging and share anything I find. At this point all of Modern is up for grabs, and it will be hard to pinpoint what will start trending or get bought out. Hopefully this helps keep everyone informed here at QS. I would urge you to continue to check the QS Insider forums---they're invaluable and can be used to exchange information much more quickly.

In the meantime, enjoy the Oath of the Gatewatch spoilers. A few other writers and I are putting up spoiler articles on the free side, and I'd love to discuss potential good pickups. Whether you listen to the QS Cast or chat with us on the Insider forums, I look forward to it.

- Chaz @ChazVMTG

4 thoughts on “Insider: Buyouts & The Arrival of Modern Season

  1. Great article. It was going to be my article next week, but you helped free up my time for other topics haha. Nicely written though and readers get the info sooner, which is great.

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