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Insider: Early Pro Tour Indicators & More Modern Movement

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I hope everyone enjoyed their Oath of the Gatewatch (OGW) prereleases and is gearing up for the official release this weekend. If my Financial Evaluation articles helped Insiders out this weekend, then fantastic. I still feel very strongly about my predictions, and right now prices are reflecting my expectations.

In the meantime, Modern is still firmly in the spotlight. Prices are fluctuating dramatically on a daily basis, and there have been many changes even since my last article highlighting a select few.

Many of the cards I mentioned there have seen a subsequent increase, and I'm feeling pretty good about having predicted the market. Truthfully, all of Modern is blowing up at this juncture so I can't take too much credit---but I will continue to do my best to figure out where people’s eyes (and wallets) will be heading next.

In the meantime, I was finally able to get into the MTGO Beta client for OGW. While I can’t divulge too much information as per the rules of the Beta, I can say I’ve been testing any and all formats when I get free time.

If I can’t offer any tidbits from the Beta, what I can do is share a website I've been using to see indications of where Modern may be going.

If you're not familiar with Magic-League, it's a decent resource for gauging what players are using in a post-banning meta, or before a set is released. Those are the specific times I like to refer to the site, because it helps with ideas and we get to look at decks before a set release or with a large Pro Tour on the horizon.

Recently I turned my attention to a few of the tournaments the site held marked "Trial." I use those because there are likely more participants. In the particular event I'll look at today there were 5 rounds and 29 in attendance.

Infect

So it appears everyone's inclination toward Infect, Affinity and R/G Tron might be correct as we enter a Modern metagame devoid of Twin and Bloom Titan. Infect is still a very powerful deck and a logical choice for Pro Tour attendees. With a 5-0 record, the pilot of the deck above leaned on a strategy known to be good instead of venturing out into the wilderness. It obviously paid off.

The archetype is as well positioned as ever now that it can ignore the pesky interaction from its old nemesis Twin, and focus entirely on comboing people as fast as possible. Cutting down to so few copies of Spell Pierce is a telling sign.

Unfortunately most of the deck's cards are already inflated. But there might be additional value to extract if players suddenly clamor to play this deck now that Twin is gone.

Some cards that might still be priced at attractive rates are the following:

It shouldn't be surprising to see these cards listed as candidates for a price increase.

Glistener Elf had a promo foil printing, but that shouldn’t affect normal copies (nor pack foils). Sitting at $0.50 with only one printing, I compare this card closely to a few recent gainers in Ancient Stirrings and even Ghost Quarter. Rising water lifts all boats, and this can easily trickle down to commons and uncommons even with multiple printings. If players need them, they’re going to end up buying them.

Moreover, Glistener Elf increasing to $2-3 dollars doesn’t drastically increase the overall price of the deck, and thus dissuade players. But it would be enough to warrant grabbing copies as both a financial and play investment.

Similarly, Noble Hierarch won’t be suppressed for long, and right now it's a logical buy. As seen in the graph below, Modern Masters 2015 is on an incline---any known Modern staple from that set is about to begin increasing or already has. It won't be long before this crop of cards makes up its lost value and reaches pre-reprint prices.

MM2015 Set Value graph MTGG
Modern Masters 2015 set value (courtesy of MTG Goldfish)

Eldrazi Black

It's no surprise that Eldrazi lists continue to show up, and I anticipate the deck making a showing at the Pro Tour. Whether it's successful is another story, but at this point that question is largely moot. The cards have increased drastically, and players are drawn to the deck for its novelty and fun factor.

Fun in the sense that playing City of Traitors and Ancient Tomb in Modern seems borderline unfair. Players enjoy doing unfair things, and I fully anticipate they will continue to do so, regardless of the deck's competitive pedigree per se.

What's interesting is that Eldrazi lists are wide open at this point, and can go large or small. This bodes well for my recent picks from OGW such as Reality Smasher. This card on face may not be as good as Stormbreath Dragon or Thundermaw Hellkite, but in this particular deck it's better than any of its predecessors.

There have been drastic price increases across the board for this deck, and I'm an advocate of locking in profits when possible. I do think the needle is pointing up for these Eldrazi lists, so the upward pressure may not be over yet.

More Bumps in Modern

In the meantime there has been another round of Modern price increases since we last talked. I’ll display them here, and maybe we can see where the market is heading next.

The list goes on. Like I and other writers here have been saying, it’s really the Wild West out there (not to be confused with the terrible movie). Any and every card with even a small chance of seeing play has a good chance of increasing.

If I had to put my finger on the pulse of the Modern market, I would look to the following cards in the near future to start gaining considerably:

That’s my best bet at covering as many prospects as I can over various archetypes. I’m going to keep my ear to the ground in the meantime, and you should all continue to use the QS Insider Forums to quickly relay information. It’s really invaluable, and plenty of us QS writers routinely check in and converse there with others.

Transverse the Modern landscape and use any resources you can---like I have with Magic-League---to gather valuable information as to what players and Pro Tour attendees might be thinking. As always, when I get a hold of information you’ll be sure to hear from me on this subject. Just keep in mind this market is in full swing and information is very time-sensitive.

Until next time.

- Chaz @ChazVMTG

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