Insider: Delicious, Delicious Scraps & Specs

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Pro Tour Eldrazi Apocalypse in Atlanta was a blast (well, besides that whole getting crushed by Eldrazi part). I finished 83rd and just narrowly missed cashing, but picked up an important 5 pro points in the process.

I played the Infect, aka got down with the sickness. I don't always make new metal references but when I do, I make this one, apparently. The deck is great but completely mind bending to play. If you even think about making a misplay you lose. Seriously, it's that hard. The reason you play four Gitaxian Probe is that without knowing the contents of your opponent's hand the odds of successfully playing a turn correctly are 725 to 1.

That may be an exaggeration. R2-D2 has been known to make mistakes... From time to time...

Long story short: Infect is a great deck but hard to play.

It's a sad, sad day when I'd actually consider Infect to be the good guys, but in the midst of an all-out Eldrazi infestation, desperate times call for desperate measures. I'll throw my hat in with the Phyrexians if it means taking the good fight to Chalice of the Void/Ancient Tomb decks in Modern.

My experience at the Pro Tour and my observations about the way that Modern is changing will be the topic of today's column.

Earlier I wrote about picking up:

Multiple times in the past month, including last week I harped on the point of picking up Eldrazi Mimics, so hopefully many of you cashed in on that one. I know I did.

Okay. So, by the time this goes live everything will have already spiked up so there is no use talking about the obvious level one stuff. The Eldrazi deck and the good cards will have done whatever they are going to do.

Let's talk about what level two might look like.

Blood Moon

Blood Moon is very good against these Eldrazi decks since it makes them unable to produce <> mana to cast most of their Eldrazi or use their utility lands. You can Moon the Eldrazi. So, I guess Magus of the Moon could be in this category as well. It isn't like Blood Moon was particularly bad before Eldrazi and now it looks to have gotten better.

Viridian Corrupter

Random uncommon? Why not. I love scrappy cards. Infect is inherently good against Eldrazi so long as they don't have a Spellskite or Chalice of the Void in play.

Guess what card is great against both of those cards. You guessed it, everybody's favorite sickly, pestilence-laden elf friend. Trust me, I wouldn't be friends with these new fangled Phyrexian rabble if they weren't so good at killing Eldrazi slime.


Another deck that is primed to be a player in the Eldrazi Modern are the Chord of Calling decks based around the Melira combo. Eldrazi are not great against opponents who go infinite. I saw Ari Lax playing a deck like this and crushing the Eldrazi decks, so that is something to be aware of.

Melira is one of the key cards that is still on the cheaper side and so I think it is worth checking into. Also, it's worth noting that Melira is quite good against Infect.

Mana Dorks

BOP and Hierarch are another important class of cards that go into all of the green midrange combo decks. If these decks start to catch fire I think we could see considerable growth in both cards. Remember Noble is a four-of in Infect as well. A format-defining card to be sure.

Birds is a great card as well. The ability to accelerate one mana on the first turn is what allows these green decks to even exist in Modern. Until they print something better, Birds is the gold staple and will be in the deck.

I know Beta copies are ridiculous expensive but if you're looking for a nice little investment on a high-dollar card, played Beta copies at a cheap rate might be something to keep an eye out for. 7th Edition foils are also likely a great investment.

I also got a chance to pal around with Doug and Kelly from Quiet Spec at the PT. They did an awesome job with coverage and I got a pretty sick QS Swag T-Shirt. Thanks guys!

They also tuned me onto the fact that some potential spoilers may have been leaked from Shadows Over Innistrad. One interesting factoid is the potential return of the madness mechanic. You know who is good with madness?

Jace, Vryn's Prodigy

There was an error retrieving a chart for Jace, Vryn's Prodigy

This Guy. Madness is a powerful mechanic and it only takes one or two really busted cards to rocket some sort of a card-drawing graveyard deck into existence. I don't know if it'll happen, but if it does expect to see a serious rise on JVP.

Archangel of Thune

I also got to watch Saito playing a really sweet-looking Abzan combo deck based around Angel and Spike Feeder. If you get both into play at the same time you gain infinite life at instant speed and make all of your other non-Feeder creatures infinitely large. Actually, you have to pick a real number but you get the idea.

Funny story: I was watching Ari play a match and he went infinite on life gain. He says, "Do my combo. Gain infinite life." Clueless table judge annoyingly interrupts, "You have to pick an actual number," even though both players clearly know and acknowledge what is going on.

Ari says, "Fine, I'll choose a googolplex." The judge says, no you have to pick a real number." Ari says, "It is a number, it's represented as: 10(10100)  but I can't write it down because its larger than all of the atoms in the universe." Classic Ari.

Gemstone Caverns

A pretty sweet piece of technology to come out of the Eldrazi decks. It may already spike before this goes up but if it's still sitting in the $5 range I'd be looking to buy in. The card is super unique and more people might start trying it out now that it's a known quantity.


Another card that seems quite good against the Eldrazi deck once you get it into play. The only way they can remove it is Ratchet Bomb.

It's also just a generally good card, which I've had floating around in my sideboards for a while. It's problematic for a lot of decks.

Ratchet Bomb

Speaking of which, at about a buck I don't feel like this card could possibly miss. Seems like a very solid spec target.

I love the scrap cards because they cost very little to acquire and have a very high potential for growth. I mean, if you wanted to play Eldrazi and you needed two Ratchet Bombs to play in a tournament, how much would you be willing to pay for them?

Say you log onto TCG or SCG and see they run about a dollar or two, but the store is sold out of them and nobody else in the room has them for trade. Let's say this is a tournament venue that allows players to sell cards to each other and I have the only two copies in the room. You need them to play and the tournament starts in ten minutes. Realistically, how much would you pay? Exactly. That is why I'd guess the card will jump up to $5-6 bucks if it continues to see play.

Scrappy cards are the best. All they do is win.

Stubborn Denial

Nothing to go nuts over but I've noticed this seeing a ton of play in Modern out of sideboards. I'd say it's one to start targeting as a throw-in. It will likely be a $2+ uncommon at some point in the next two years, based on the amount of play it sees and how lowly people think of it right now.

People just don't hold onto cards like this, and throw them out with the bathwater. Same thing with Become Immense even though the card is actively fantastic and already has some real value.

Lantern Staples

Lantern Control is the real deal. The deck is great and actually has an impressive match-up against the Eldrazi deck. Something worth considering as the format continues to evolve moving into the GP circuit.


Well, that is a bunch of information and quite a few cards to mull over. The PT was a blast. I very much enjoyed infecting people with Phyrexian venom. Good times, good times. Jammed the Quiet Spec T-Shirt on the plane home and to a Superbowl party tonight. Thanks again guys!

5 thoughts on “Insider: Delicious, Delicious Scraps & Specs

  1. Thanks for the positive feedback!

    Just wanted to get in with an answer before other people point it out:

    Some of these cards have already spiked…

    They hadn’t spiked YET when I wrote it on Sunday afternoon. It takes a day or two turnaround to get articles submitted and uploaded, so unfortunately some of the information is literally “old new” even though it is only a day or two past being “on the edge.”

    Thanks for reading! and hope you enjoyed the article.

    The Ari Lax “Google Plex” nearly had me in tears at the PT. So, AWESOME.

    1. Yeah, that googolplex thing SLAYS me. Ari is one of my favorite humans of Magic.

      Great write up, and great to see you this weekend. Rock your swag-@$$ tee shirt with radiant glory my friend.

      You better Q for Madrid so we can hang out again.

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