Insider: MMA17 Finance

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Over the past few weeks, I’ve advocated minimizing your Modern collection due to the reprint schedule for Modern cards. You should not be highly invested in the format unless you play it all the time. By all means, keep a deck or even multiple decks, but don’t invest in the format as a long-term plan. I’ve lived by this recently, and I detailed a lot of that in my article Grand Prix Pittsburgh Tournament Finance Report.

One of the key elements of that selling spree was unloading all of my extra fetchlands. I had a ton of Khans fetches that I moved, but that was only due to insane buy prices for them. More importantly, I sold my extra Zendikar fetches, because I was pretty certain we would get them reprinted in Modern Masters 2017 or in Amonkhet.

If you haven’t heard, the Zendikar fetchlands' inclusion are a huge part of why MMA17 is flying off the internet’s shelves. Local shops are preselling tons of boxes, as are all the online retailers, and the set keeps getting better and better as more spoilers are revealed. The fetchlands will be a huge part of this set's success, but they're not the only part players are looking forward to.

Last week, I detailed my predictions for possible inclusions for the mythic rare slot. If you’re into sports, I’d compare this process to something like filling out your bracket for March Madness or a Super Bowl pool. These are just fun theoretical process to enjoy with friends. It’s so exciting to go through spoiler season with your predictions set. Every spoiler is another possible cheering moment. So, let’s see how it’s going.

1. Linvala, Keeper of Silence: Yes
2. Idyllic Tutor: No
3. Snapcaster Mage: Yes
4. Consecrated Sphinx: No
5. Griselbrand: Yes
6. Liliana of the Veil: Yes
7. Goblin Guide: Yes and no
8. Koth of the Hammer: No
9. Tarmogoyf: ?
10. Oracle of Muldaya: No
11. Domri Rade: Yes
12. Blightsteel Colossus: No
13. Crucible of Worlds: No
14. Inkmoth Nexus: No
15. Horizon Canopy: No
16. Grove of the Burnwillows: No

Miracles being in this set really threw off the dynamic of the mythics. It also gave us a lot of unfavorable slots in our packs as well. The highest among the three spoiled so far is $6 or $7, and that's not the kind of card we're looking to open. I'm pumped about Linvala, Keeper of Silence, Snapcaster Mage and Liliana of the Veil being confirmed. Damnation and Goblin Guide as rares are going to be great pulls as well. Between those two and the fetches, many of the rares are better cards to open than the mythics. This set is shaping up to be great for everyone. Store owners are pumped because sales of this set are going to be great for business, the possibilities in this set are great for players, and the Modern format should be growing due to the influx of cards available again as well as prices coming down.

The 'Goyf Problem

As of this writing, Tarmogoyf is yet to be spoiled as a card in the set. I think the inclusion of this format staple is essential to the value of the set. With another high-profile mythic like Tarmogoyf in the set, players will be cracking packs all day long. If Liliana of the Veil is the best we have to open, though, I think the mythics might seem a bit lackluster. Many customers are just looking for their lottery ticket in the form of a foil Tarmogoyf. I see this all the time at my store, and I'm sure it's the same elsewhere.

Additionally, we still have the other mythic slots to fill. You'll notice I gave myself a no on the infect guys as well as the lands and artifacts. There is a possibility we still get those, but with the multicolored theme coming to light, I think its more likely we get different cards than I chose. The direction I thought Wizards would have gone with this set is clearly different than their decision. So far it looks like a rehashing of Shards of Alara, which is great for me because that's one of my favorite blocks of all time. The fetches and the plethora of dual lands in the set will help us play whatever color combination we want as well, so that should be a ton of fun.

What Should We Do with the Reprints We Own?

If you're like me, you already have some or all of these cards being reprinted. Even with selling a ton of Modern staples, I still have copies of a lot of these cards. My advice is to not panic and and don't have a fire sale on all of your cards from the set. Many players are doing that right now. The prices will fall because this is happening. Therefore, you should wait it out until the supply dwindles down.

One interesting phenomenon that's happened with both releases of Modern Masters thus far is that one or more of the cards in the set increases after release. This was the case with Tarmogoyf when the first Modern Masters was released. My theory about the increase even in the face of reprints was an increase in demand higher than the increase in supply.

Wizards goal is to use this product line to not only keep prices down in the format, but also to increase availability and interest in the format. So, when Tarmogoyf was first reprinted, I think players who opened one were just as likely to keep it and try to get three more as to sell it. This could very likely happen with Liliana of the Veil and Snapcaster Mage or maybe other cards in the set as well. Typically I'd think for a card to not only hold its price in the face of a big reprint, but also increase in value, it would have to be a flagship card of a deck or in the format. These two cards are exactly that. Tons of players want both of these cards and wide variety of decks play them.

What Should We Do with Extras We Open?

I've thought about this quite a bit. Normally, I get boxes of every set from my store. Modern Masters 2017 is looking quite lucrative, so I'll probably have some fun cracking packs too. Since I just sold a ton of Modern cards, this set will help replace many of the cards I've sold, but it looks like I'll be out of luck on Goryo's Vengeance, Through the Breach and Ad Nauseum. I think, though, the best time to sell the majority of this set will be about a year from now, so I'm contemplating holding the cards from this set for a year and then writing a follow-up article to see where everything has fallen. What do you think? Is that something you'd be interested in reading? Let me know in the comments.

As far as what you should do, I think selling or trading immediately after release isn't a great way to maximize your profits unless you get sick deals from dealers buying aggressively. The prices of these cards will bounce back, so hold off until you can get the most out of your investment. Players will always need these cards, except for maybe the miracles, so don't be in a rush to liquidate your prime stock.

That's all for me this week. I can't wait to see what they spoil next!

Until next time,
Unleash the Finance Force!

Mike Lanigan
MtgJedi on Twitter

3 thoughts on “Insider: MMA17 Finance

  1. Koth hasn’t been spoiled from what I’ve seen. I also think that when you look at the previous mm mythics, Lotv is close to Your and when you throw in Snapcaster and now Cavern the mythic slot value is likely still higher than the original MM set.

    1. Thanks. That was a typo that I fixed. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised about Past in Flames, but I just didn’t think it would be reprinted. I thought it would be banned way before it was reprinted.

  2. “One interesting phenomenon that’s happened with both releases of Modern Masters thus far is that one or more of the cards in the set increases after release. This was the case with Tarmogoyf when the first Modern Masters was released.”

    What was the card for MMA2?

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