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Insider: MM17 Set Review: Common/Uncommons

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Normally, I only do reviews of sets with new cards. Due to the nature of my set reviews (I only focus on commons and uncommons that we'll be pulling out of bulk), it's normally not worth it to focus on reprint sets or ancillary products, because the picks are known quantities.

Everyone who knew to pull Remand from MM15 before that set released knew to pull it after as well. That factor joins with the unfortunate truth that Modern Masters-type sets don't normally have a whole ton of commons and uncommons that are considered picks. The commons might get crushed into dust from 10 cents to nothing (Peer Through Depths is a good example of something you used to be able to ship for a quarter five or so years ago, and now barely sells for 20 percent of that), and the uncommons will either stagnate or rebound because of the low print run on the set (Lightning Helix continuing to return to $5, Kitchen Finks taking a dip to $3.50 before tripling back up, etc).


I often talk about how the common and uncommon market of a set correlates really highly with the overall trajectory of the high-end rares and mythics. We saw this on a larger scale with Expeditions and Masterpieces: the buy prices for commons and uncommons from Shadows over Innistrad and Eldritch Moon were higher than the buy prices for the blocks before and afterward. When approximately 15 percent of the box value is taken up by the Masterpieces, we see the rest of the mythics and rares drop to compensate.

For example, Heart of Kiran just can't hit $25 like Emrakul could, even if it's in the same number of decks. That effect trickles down to the commons and uncommons to an extent, although Fatal Push continues to defy expectations and hold $4. As for the rest of the cards in the set? Even Winding Constrictor and Felidar Guardian struggle to hold 50 and 25 cents respectively despite their obvious tier-one status.

My point here is that several of the "guaranteed quarters" we've seen in sets prior will be crushed by MM17, because of the sheer volume of quality pickable cards they threw in the set. You know how people have been saying we'll see $10 Goblin Guides because the value is being spread so wide across so many non-bulk cards? The same is true for why Inquisition of Kozilek will have its' final nail in the coffin at the uncommon slot.


Just for future reference; I'm sorting these by the order they appear on mythicspoiler.com. This is actually a really good example card to start out with, because it's always been a quarter-pickable card as a situational casual counterspell that also has a bit of pauper demand. After being in this set at common, you won't ever have a reason to pick this card anymore. There won't be a recovery period for stuff like this.


Grudge hasn't been a real pick for as long as I can remember. Original Innistrad neutered the value of the card, in addition to any reasonable chance of good flavor text. I've always continued to pick these, though; not to throw in buylist piles, but to be the person who has them readily accessible on Modern night to get $.25 a piece at retail when someone decides they want to hedge more against Affinity. Not a buylistable card anymore, but a playable one. It's the same category as Llanowar Elves nowadays.


This used to be a dollar rare, and could be buylisted at 50 or 75 cents just from casual demand alone. For that reason, I'll still pick these off draft tables hoping to get dimes or quarters. Maybe the reprint kills it because mono-Planar Chaos supply isn't exactly a bunch of copies, and this might fill the void.


Man, this one hurts. I own a lot of these, just because of how popular the card is and how often I find them in bulk. It's going to be a 50-cent uncommon, so get ready to pull these.


This art is much better than either of its' predecessors, so plan accordingly. I still expect Serum Visions to hang between $1 to $2 at uncommon status, but this probably won't be left on draft tables or left in bulk. You should definitely still pick these, but the supply will hit a point that it'll never be a spec again.


Ol' faithful. Vampire  Nighthawk holds a special place in my heart for one of the first cards I realized I could make money off of, because there was such a divergence in demand from competitive versus casual players. Sure, it had a tiny bit of competitive demand in the tribal Vampire deck back on original Zendikar, but almost all of the money I made was from trading them to casual players for $1 each. This card has survived enough reprints that I'm not concerned about it in the slightest. Even if the price drops to 50 cents, you want all of these. Stores will always need this card.


Meh. Reprint number 1000, and you can still get dimes to quarters. Still pickable, but just goes in this article because it's a quality Magic card.


See Might of Old Krosa below. This is another case of the Sylvan Scryings. Kind of identical in this case, because Mirrodin was the only printing. This will be worth nothing very soon.


Might of Old Krosa is a really good example of "it was only expensive due to scarcity." Remember how Sylvan Scrying went from $5 to 10 cents? Yeah, expect something similar, where this will turn into a dollar card. You should obviously still pick them, but don't expect it to ever return to a fraction of its original price.


Part two in the big three uncommon powerhouses of the set. We'll see $5 Paths for the first time in years, although I wouldn't start stocking up on them expecting to see $10 again. I could be wrong here (I was partially wrong on the next card in our list when it was in Conspiracy 2), but I don't want to be stockpiling Paths at $5. Just be thankful when you open this next to a Mind Shatter, throw it in your binder and move on.


Same with Path, but on a smaller scale. I'm really happy selling these for $3 or $4 in the next few months, and I'll be picking them up for $1 at the shop from people trying to get money back from the boxes that they overpaid for. If you're in the market for IoKs, wait a month until you can find a couple on TCGplayer for stupidly low.


This will soon be 50 cents. EMA gave it a flesh wound, but this is going to rip it wide open.


I find a lot of these in bulk, because it's just an underrated card in both Modern and Pauper. Easier to cast than Kor Firedancer, and it gives you a more immediate advantage, but the value train stops as soon as MM17 supply hits tomorrow.


You could get $1 from buylists on these a couple months ago, but you'll be lucky to get a quarter soon. (Everyone reading this article should already know to pick these, but if I leave it out, then I look like the idiot who forgot it.)


This used to be a dollar, but you'll still want to pick these. Notably, its "sister" could see a slight increase in price because it's still managed to dodge reprints to this day. Soul's Attendant becomes that much more of a lynchpin when the rest of the deck is dirt cheap. Think the Eidolon of the Great Revel spike, but on a micro-scale.


There's a lot of people who didn't know this was a pick, so I'm doing a quick public announcement. Wall of Denial is a great card in casual and Commander, so you should continue to pick these


Ughhhh, this one hurts. You used to be able to get $2 easy for these, even the older crappy art. Yeah, I said it. The older art is worse. Anyway, you'll still probably get close to a dollar for these. There's a nice overlap of casual with Modern demand for the various Grixis lists, so don't give up on these like some people will. I expect a lot of drafters to give up on certain cards with the expectation that they'll be worthless post-reprint, and that's your time to scavenge.


See Ancient Grudge. I want to own these to sell at $1 playsets, but not for buylisting.


Another card added to the common family! Maybe this is just a local thing, but I sometimes get requests for complete Pauper decks, or just cards to top off a list.

Signets




Sometimes locals will ask me why I charge more for the above three signets, but none of the others. To be honest, blue is the color that needs the ramp the most, and Simic Signet is outclassed by every other ramp spell out there, if you get to play green. Combine that with the fact that blue is often paired with artifacts anyway, and you used to end up with $2.00 retail on Azorius and Dimir, with Izzet trailing behind a bit. I'll still want to pick these three and try to get quarters or maybe 50 cents at best, but leave the rest in the dust. Don't waste your time picking out Signets that no one will ask for.

Tri-Lands






Man, all five of these used to be slam dunks at $1 or $1.50, but they're getting hit really hard by the double whammy of C16 into MM17. I honestly don't expect to get more than dimes for these in the future, but I would still absolutely keep them around to sell at 25 or 50 cents to Commander players who need them on the spot. It's still something that will take up a spot in your binder if you're a newer player who needs to fluff up the binder without using trash-tier bulk rares.

End Step

If you're opening up some boxes of Modern Masters 2017 tomorrow, the above cards are the ones you want to pull out and set aside from your bulk. Everyone's going to be trying to min/max every dollar on the boxes they overpaid for, so you'll be a small fish in a school of grinders trying to race to the bottom on TCGplayer. I highly recommend dumping everything immediately, because a month from now we'll start to see what we need to be picking up. Thanks for reading!

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