Insider: Five Hot Modern Habaneros Before GP Indianapolis

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What could possibly be hotter or spicier than a Modern Grand Prix in the middle of August? When it comes to gaming, few things outside of randomly stumbling upon a Charizard outside your LGS in Pokémon GO can compete with the red hot awesomeness of a summer Modern GP.

A Modern Grand Prix always has an impact when it comes to finance. We may have moved away from the wild west days when a GP could wildly shake up the format now that the metagame is better established, but there are still plenty of surprises, neat tech, and breakout cards. In particular, going into a Grand Prix, thousands of players arrive at the tournament site looking to pick up the last-minute innovations before the event and these trends can lead to large gains.

Today I'm going to take a look at five cards that I think are well positioned to see gains as we move toward next weekend's Modern festivities.

5. Scavenging Ooze

One big trend going into this weekend is the breakout performance of Dredge over the past few weekends. Players are going to be looking to gain an edge against this new emerging graveyard-based powerhouse.

Scavenging Ooze is a card that has always seen lots of Modern play but could be positioned to become an even bigger player with Dredge being on the upswing.

One of the cool attributes of the card is that it is just generally a versatile and powerful Magic card that also happens to double as a dedicated graveyard hate card. Most devastating graveyard cards suffer from the drawback of being very narrow. You can't just go around maindecking Leyline of the Void! However, any deck playing green that is looking to gain an edge against Dredge can add an extra Scooze or two to the their maindeck.

I've generally done very well at picking winners here on QS but Scavenging Ooze has kind of been a head-scratcher for me. I've been picking Scavenging Ooze as a good investment card basically since I've started writing for the website and it has only made modest gains over the past year. For the types of printings it has seen (the original Commander series and one M core set), coupled with the sheer amount of Modern and Legacy play it sees, the low price tag doesn't fit.

I'm seriously wondering if the insurgence of Dredge and a demand for graveyard hate will finally spike the value of Scavenging Ooze. Even if it doesn't, I still think that Ooze is a great long-term hold.

4. Grafdigger's Cage

Let's continue down the path of cards that hate on graveyard-based strategies...

Cage was already pretty fantastic in Modern because it was lights out against the various creature-based combo decks that rely on the graveyard, or utilize Collected Company or Chord of Calling. It is just gravy that the card is also insane against dedicated graveyard decks like Dredge.

I think that Cage is the kind of card a lot of people will show up in Indianapolis looking for, which will very likely lead to an increase in buylist prices. These types of trends can easily translate to real changes in the price of a card.

It is also worth noting that my LGS has completely sold out of Cage in the past month. Less than a year ago I had ensured that the store had a stockpile of over 100 copies. Now no store on TCG Player has more than ten copies, and SCG only has 17 MP ones, which indicates the card is selling at a very high frequency.

It is one of the best cards ever printed at doing something that is very desirable across a wide array of formats. Don't even get me started on how good the card is in eternal formats like Vintage and Legacy where they can shut down Oath of Druids in addition to Dredge and Reanimator.

3. Drowner of Hope

I don't know why people insist on believing that Drowner of Hope is a bulk rare, because it isn't.

The card has already put up a ton of high-profile finishes in both Modern and Legacy and I see no reason why this trend won't continue. It is also worth noting that Bant Eldrazi had a breakout performance at the SCG Modern Open in New Jersey. It won the event and put tons of players into the Top 64. Look for Eldrazi to be a player in Indianapolis next weekend.

Generally speaking I think that all of the Modern- and eternal-playable Eldrazi cards are fantastic investments in the long-term. Most of the values feel about as low as they can possibly go which means there is nowhere to go but up.

I made an example of Drowner because it is basically a card that has put up lots of results already and has very little value. Lots of success in Modern and bulk value are two things that don't tend to go together for very long...

As the card gets a year or two removed from being in-print I predict we will see some significant gains in the prices of the better constructed-quality Eldrazi.

2. Leyline of the Void

Leyline of the Void is unique in the sense that it is insane against Dredge, but it is also a card that Dredge packs the full four copies of. When it comes to dropping an atom bomb on your opponent's graveyard and leaving your yard intact few cards can compete with the awesomeness of Leyline.

It also doesn't hurt that aside from being extremely effective, the card can also enter the battlefield free and uncounterable if it is in your opening hand.

It is also worth noting that Leyline of the Void is a very significantly played eternal card. In particular, the card sees a lot of Vintage play which makes it a great investment.

Leyline has already seen some gains in the past few weeks but I think it could still find some more room to grow. It is ironic that players looking to move in on playing Dredge who need them for the board will be a large contingent looking to pick up the card this week! Yet, I'm sure that plenty of other decks will look to play this spell. It has long been a mainstay in the Living End sideboard.

1. Death's Shadow

Death's Shadow may be one of the most undervalued cards in all of Modern. The Death's Shadow Aggro deck may be the best version of all of the fast Zoo/Burn aggro variants. The fact that it is blazing-fast and can win through a variety of different situations is pretty crazy. I also love the fact that it gets to play with cards like Thoughtseize to help clear the way.

The cool thing about Death's Shadow Zoo is that it uses drawbacks like paying life to cheat mana on spells like Gitaxian Probe, Dismember, Thoughtseize, and shocklands in order to power up ridiculously huge and quick Death's Shadows.

There is no other card in all of Magic that does what Death's Shadow can, which is part of why I think that card is undervalued. Any card that by virtue of being so unique can devise the formulation of an entirely new Tier 1 deck is pretty special. Death's Shadow Zoo is one of the decks I'm seriously considering playing this weekend.


I think a lot of the movement on Modern cards for the Grand Prix will center around how people try to account for Dredge. The graveyard hate cards all appear to have gotten much better. Bant Eldrazi also had a huge weekend. I'm a big believer that the eternal- and Modern-caliber Eldrazi are great investments long-term. Last but not least, never discount a unique card like Death's Shadow. Any card that is good enough to build a great deck around in Modern deserves every penny of value it gets.

9 thoughts on “Insider: Five Hot Modern Habaneros Before GP Indianapolis

  1. No love for Rest in Peace? I think it may be a little undervalued since it is so much alike Stony Silence. Perhaps I should account for the Shocklands? Maybe you’re expecting a little more Jund than Junk?

    Also, I think Anger of the Gods might be a versatile enough card to warrant it’s price, but maybe it’s just me.

  2. Is it too late to get in on these cards? With about half a week left I’m afraid to go in at the risk of getting burned if card prices spike and then drop quickly.

    However, would that not occur in Modern as much as it does in Standard? I got slightly burned from the Eldritch Moon Pro Tour but I’m thinking it will be better if I buy today because it is Modern and its a day or so earlier.

    1. I don’t see these as cards likely to spike and fall. I’d speculate they would rise by a few bucks or so and stay. These are all pretty legitimately ‘good’ Modern / Eternal cards. Also keep in mind that Modern season is right around the corner as well. So, there should be growing demand for these fomrat defining staples.

  3. I think Modern cards are good buys right now in general, considering the round of RPTQs in December is Modern constructed. There’s a lot of value to having a little foresight and getting what players need in advance of when they need it, for players themselves or speculators.

    I particularly like the Death’s Shadow pick as I think the deck is still under appreciated, though possibly not under the radar anymore.

  4. I think the thing holding Deaths Shadow back is that its so specific to one deck, its not cross deck/format like say snapcaster or hierarch, it also isnt a big casual/cube/edh card like say gargadon. So while I think it has room to tick up I dont see big gains any time soon

    1. I can actually see the phenomenon you are describing as being something that could really launch it up in value. What if the price has been supressed for some time already because people don’t view it as being “snapcasteresque?” The card is a busted combo card that has been out of print forever. If the deck is good enough and people all clamor to get copies at the same time it could really spike up a significant amount like Bloodghast or Gargadon did.

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