Insider: Tracking Modern Buylist Price Increases

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I’ve focused my study of the Magic market on retail price changes, but there’s a whole other world of buylist price changes that may be an even better indicator of the future. Dealers base their buylist numbers on future sales projections, so any large increases mean the dealers are confident in high future demand.

There’s a lot to be gained from understanding buylist prices, and because Trader Tools offers us the ability to track buylist price changes, today I am going to take the opportunity to begin a journey of studying them.

Khans Trilands

You saved all the trilands you drafted, right? Those guys looking through the discarded stacks of cards that are common at large events had the right idea, because Khans of Tarkir trilands like Mystic Monastery are beginning to appreciate and aren’t going to stop soon.

Shards of Alara trilands like Arcane Sanctum are worth over $2, and I fully expect the wedge lands to head there eventually too. I recommend targeting the blue lands, which typically demand the highest prices historically.


Scrylands like Temple of Enlightenment might not be "true" dual lands, but they are excellent mana fixing with a ton of appeal in casual formats. They’re truly among the best lands in the game, especially in singleton formats like Commander, and they’ve been adopted into the pantheon of go-to mana fixing whenever someone is building their deck.

The price of these lands plummeted hard after rotating out of Standard because of their limited appeal in eternal formats, but recent buylist increases indicate that we’ve reached the bottom and the price is beginning to rise.

I don’t see a lot of downside on these lands, particularly blue lands. These two from small expansion sets saw the biggest buylist increase and have the most long-term potential, while Temple of Deceit will see more mild growth due to higher supply.


Clifftop Retreat and Woodland Cemetery saw buylist growth this week, and it points to a general trend of the Innistrad checklands being great holds for the long term. I’ve long been a fan of Sulfur Falls, but the least-popular of the lands increasing in value points is a good sign for the cycle. Hinterland Harbor may still be a bargain for a blue land, and Isolated Chapel is still a bargain as the cheapest of the bunch.


Shocklands were long considered to be a gold standard spec that couldn’t go wrong, but it has taken a long time for the prospects of high demand and higher prices to come to fruition. The prices are beginning to increase, however, and with the bottom behind us, the future is now.

These lands are critical to the mana bases of Modern, and as the popularity of the format grows, so do the price of these lands. It’s hard to say where they will settle, if they do settle, but I fully expect they will continue to steadily appreciate.


Despite the hopes of many, no Zendikar fetchlands were reprinted in Eternal Masters. With no relief in sight their price is going to rise, and Arid Mesa is leading the charge with a 20% increase in buylist price this week. These lands won’t go down soon, so I’d get them now and profit later. Just keep your eye out for any announcement of a reprint.

Gemstone Mine

Modern real estate in general remains a good place to invest, and both printings of Gemstone Mine saw a buylist price increase this week. The paper price has been steady for a year, but the Magic Online price of both versions has more than doubled over the past month, which leads me to believe the paper price will continue to rise.


High-profile rares from Avacyn Restored did well this week, including Griselbrand, which is beginning to recover from the influx of Grand Prix promos last year.

Cavern of Souls

Cavern of Souls continues to perform in eternal formats, where its fate is currently tied to the success of Eldrazi.

Restoration Angel

Restoration Angel is a versatile card with Modern playability and casual appeal, and while its price has sagged this year after more than doubling in price in January, it’s back on the uptick.

Maelstrom Pulse

Modern staples continue to appreciate, and the buylist price of both versions of Maelstrom Pulse has been particularly strong this week. It’s a staple in the Jund deck that remains among the most popular in the format, and has now reached its all-time high price (since rotating from Standard) with more room to grow.

Serum Visions

Serum Visions continues to avoid reprint, and its price continues to fall from its high of over $20. It’s a bargain at this point around $6. I expect increased demand in the future will bring the price back upwards, if buylist increases this week are any indication.

Mindbreak Trap

Mindbreak Trap saw a buylist price increase this week, so now might be a good time to stock up on this eternal format sideboard staple that’s not likely to see a reprint. The online price increased over fourfold this year, to almost 17 tix, so the paper price of $5.50 seems like a bargain, and a discount compared to its high over $8 two summers ago.

Blood Moon

Modern was caught in a Blood Moon frenzy last summer when Urzatron and Amulet Bloom were everywhere, but the price began to fall until the Eldrazi invasion renewed interest in hosing nonbasic lands. Their banning has lessened demand on the enchantment, but a buylist price increase this week is indication that the trend is reversing.

Engineered Explosives

Engineered Explosives saw a buylist price increase this week, which is symptom of increased demand and steadily rising retail demand. Between steady online growth for a few months, high retail prices, and the buylist price increase, all signs point to high growth potential over the coming year.

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