Insider: Modern Stars Posing as Standard Cards

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We are hot on the trail to Kaladesh but the real money on the collectible side is in the older stuff. I don't think it is unreasonable to say, "the older, the better," in most instances. However, it is quite pricey to start randomly investing in Beta and Antiquities cards. Obviously, the dream scenario is to garage sale a collection of old cards but short of that we collectors and investors are left to speculate on what people are willing to trade or sell on the open market.

Modern is a format about older cards. Not as old as dual lands and Moats but old enough that people playing Standard often won't have cracked packs of many of the legal sets. Most of the people playing in a Modern event will have been born before all of the sets came out. Well, the majority at least.

I also don't think it is a stretch to point out that Modern is becomingĀ the most popular format in Magic. Standard has gotten very expensive to keep up with (especially with the new rotation cycle) and it seems way easier to buy into Modern and not have to worry about constantly buying new cards.

Modern cards can get pricey but at least players only need to buy them once---and they don't typically tank in value once they've been legal for a few months. I really hope that I don't end up needing any of those $60 Chandras for the PT. I'm not going to be pleased if I need to purchase those at market price...

Anyways, Modern is great for casual-competitive players for a number of reasons, ranging from it being a good investment to it being a fun and diverse format.

We all know that Standard prices fluctuate wildly and typically on a downward trajectory. I think that makes Standard a really nice place to start looking for future Modern staples as possible investment targets. Today that will be the topic of my musings.

Yavimaya Coast

It's the coast with the most. It is also a staple of the Bant Eldrazi decks because it can produce blue, green, andĀ colorless mana.Ā As these continue to fade in value, be sure to pick them up now while people are dumping them at the end of Standard season. I expect they will rebound nicely in the future.

Reality Smasher

Speaking of Bant Eldrazi, the actual Eldrazi themselves should be pretty nice investment cards for the near future. They are not seeing a ton of Standard play at the moment which has allowed the value to drop off a little bit over the summer.

Thought-Knot Seer

While I think that all things Eldrazi will ultimately pan out asĀ reasonable investments, I assume that the best Eldrazi will pay the largest dividends when the time comes. TKS is the best Eldrazi card ever printed and is the reason the archetype continues to thrive, not only in Modern, but in other eternal formats like Vintage and Legacy as well. I'm pretty happy to trade for every copy of this card that anybody wants to let go.

Collected Company

I kind of liked the Coast angle of picking it up while players are trying to dump them off. I think that sentiment proves doubly true for the famed "Co-co." Company is the signature card of a whole host of decks: Elves, Bant Company, and my favorite Modern deck, Abzan Company.

The card is insanely powerful and will continue to be a fantastic Modern build-around for years to come. I'd argue the card was a big mistake to print (because of how it screwed up Standard for the past year) and we are unlikely to see another card like this for a while. I think it will see lots of play in Modern so snag them as they get cheap in the next few weeks!

Abbot of Keral Keep

I've seen this card see some play in the Modern Grixis Spells deck and think it has a lot of potential in the future. It has basically slid down into the very cheap range as it approaches rotation which makes it a nice little card to target for the next few weeks during the great Standard dump off.Ā Buy low and sell high...

Liliana, the Last Hope

So, the exact opposite of buying low and selling high. I just wanted to make a note of saying that Liliana, the Last HopeĀ is a legitimate Modern staple card in the Jund and Abzan control decks. I don't enjoy the $50 price tag (nor do I believe that price is sustainable) but if you were on the edge of wanting to pick them up for Standard or Modern at least they will retain someĀ significant value.

Nahiri, the Harbinger

While we are on the subject of Modern staples that buck the "buy low, sell high" model, let's talk Nahiri.Ā I actually think sheĀ has a pretty decent chance of maintaining a reasonable chunk of her value on into the future.

I say this because the card doesn't see much Standard play at all---which means theĀ bulk of her value is derived from Modern demand and/or speculative future Standard demand. I'm inclined to think Modern is carrying the bulk of the weight. As far as Standard-legal cards go, one could do a lot worse than to trade for Nahiri.

Grim Flayer

I think Flayer is more fact than fiction but the card has really been proving itself over the past month. $20 seems high on a card like this, but then again $150 seems high for a 1G Lhurgoyf variant and we all know how that ended up.

If the card continues to see Modern play the price could actually go up. The price could also go up if it becomes a big-time staple card in new Standard. I don't know if I would bet on this card to succeed, but I don't think I would bet against it either.

With that being said, I'm going to pick up my playset of this card at my LGS's Modern tournament on Tuesday... I don't want to get left in the dust if they go up in value because of Standard hype.

Spell Queller

Now we come to the point where I get to talk about the cards I think are the absolute best value. I can't believe Spell Queller has slipped so much. Do people not realize how insane this card is?

Kyle Boggemes put up a money finish at the GP with a deck that had fourĀ copies of Queller and talked nonstop about how amazing the card was in Modern. It may take a little bit of time to catch on but this card will certainly have a big impact before things are all said and done.

I think it will also be a big player in new Kaladesh Standard. You can't count a card this busted out.

Shambling Vent

I think Shambling Vent is the third best creature land in Modern behind Mutavault and Celestial Colonnade. There, I said it---how about themĀ apples, Raging Ravine?

The card is really, really good in Abzan Midrange. I'd much rather have a cheaper, lifelink land than a big durdle attacker. The small tag on the card is basically approaching free at this point and I think it is a great time to make a move and start hoarding these up for a rainy day.

Thing in the Ice

Did you guys not see Kurt Russel in The Thing? The Thing in the Ice // Awoken Horror is completely busted and kills everybody.Ā Pretty much the same thing in Magic.

The card is very powerful, unique, and will be a card people play with in Modern forever. The card is essentially a combo with a bunch of cantrips and free spells. Those are basically the most busted cards in the game when they also generate other value---like, for instance, turning your two-drop wall into a gigantic seven-power attacker and a one-sided Upheaval.

The card came out with a lot of hype but didn't make an immediate impact and people slept on it. The genie is out of the bottle now---expect the Thing to be out of the ice more often than not!

Collective Brutality

Oh, what an age we live in where people want to throw away their cards as quickly as possible for any kind of value. Welcome to Dredge.

Collective Brutality is a two-drop Duress effect that also doubles as a removal spell, burn spell, and moonlights as a madness outlet and delirium enabler. Wow, that was a mouthful. Any card that requires a mouthful of words for a basic description isĀ typically a game changer. I love the way BrutalityĀ is a Duress that isn't dead when you draw it late in the game. It allows BGxĀ decks to potentially play more discard effects without the downside!

It also goes in Dredge. Two birds, one spell...

Tireless Tracker

Last, but certainly not least, I think we're going to see a lot more tracking going on in Modern in the coming months.Ā Sure, the card isn't great against the hyper aggressive decks like Infect or Affinity. But it is an absolute house in all of the grindy matchups which are very common and popular right now.

I started with one copy in the sideboard of my Abzan Company deck and have slowly crept up to one maindeck and two sideboard! The card is completely absurd against any deck that doesn't combo in a flurry of zero- and one-mana spells.

I also think it is likely that Tracker will be one of (if not the) best creatures in new Standard. This card has room to grow, not just in the next month but for years to come.


The great thing about Modern is that the prices tend to always trend upward because the format just continues to grow and grow with each passing year. It is never too early to start thinking about what cards will be good in Modern even years down the road!

2 thoughts on “Insider: Modern Stars Posing as Standard Cards

  1. Don’t you feel that these cards may suffer a similar fate than Thoughtseize and the Fetchlands steadily falling in price because of the larger print runs of these modern sets?

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