Insider: Modern Market Trends and Specs in the Wake of Modern Masters 2017

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Modern has become the central interest of the Magic community with the current flood of Modern Masters 2017 spoilers and the set's imminent release. This is shaping up to be the best Modern Masters set yet, maybe the single best set of all time, and the hype is real.

Modern is going to see a general rise in popularity, with tons of new players entering, and players that were already invested doubling down.

Compared to past releases of Modern Masters, it’s said that Modern Masters 2017 is print-to-order like a normal set and won’t be a limited release, so large print runs should mean that Modern Masters 2017 will get cards into the hands of the players, and a fiasco like the first Modern Masters actually increasing prices of many staples won’t happen again. What I do expect to see is price increases in cards that aren’t being reprinted, perhaps unprecedented increases. It’s hard to make bets on those cards yet without the full spoiler, but once we have the full set, I’d make quick moves to acquire staples that escaped reprinting.

As far as the current state of the Modern metagame, Death's Shadow Aggro proved it’s fantastic, and we’ve seen increases in its cards. Death's Shadow itself has spiked, but news of its reprinting will bring the price back down. Mishra's Bauble saw massive growth this week: it was sitting at $20 at the beginning of the week, grew to over $30 by Wednesday, and as of Thursday night is sitting at $40. I expect much of this is due to anticipation that it won’t be reprinted, and upon the full spoiler being released we’ll see it increase even further, but a reprint would put the price into a freefall.

Abzan has proven to be a great foil to Death's Shadow decks, and Bant Eldrazi with its Engineered Explosives and Drowner of Hope is great in the matchup. I like the Eldrazi creatures as buys generally, especially with the emergence of Eldrazi Tron as a competitive strategy.

The price of Karn Liberated continues to rise on the strength of various Tron strategies, including the emergence of Eldrazi Tron, and it will keep moving up if not reprinted. It was slowly rising above $50, but a spike on Thursday sent it up to $75 on anticipation that it won’t be reprinted. I wouldn’t be surprised if this rose to a Liliana of the Veil-like level approaching $100, and it could even go higher.

Eidolon of the Great Revel nearly doubled in price over the last week due to speculation on a renewed demand for Burn on the logic that the reprinting of Goblin Guide makes the deck more accessible. At $12, it’s now nearly matched its all-time high, but I expect at this point it has nowhere to go but up as Modern gains new players.

There are no Arcane spells spoiled yet in MMA3 (which could explain the recent price increase of Kodama's Reach), so there’s no indication we’ll see Goryo's Vengeance or Through the Breach reprinted. This alone is reason for their prices to increase, but also consider the combo of Kari Zev's Expertise and Breaking // Entering added to this strategy finished in the top four of last weekend’s SCG Modern Classic, apparently making this deck more powerful and consistent than ever, which will surely increase demand for its cards.

The price of Gemstone Mine has spiked by over 50 percent over the past two weeks, partly due to the renewed interest in the Amulet Combo deck, and also because it’s unlikely to be reprinted in MMA3. The paper prices of both printings sit under $8, which seems like a bargain relative to the high prices of many format staples, so I’d expect this price to move upwards significantly if Gemstone Mine starts seeing more play.

The price of the various printings of City of Brass have seen minor gains since MMA3 began being spoiled, which leads me to believe it won’t be reprinted and will start to appreciate, so they look like great buys.

I like Mana Confluence as a spec for the same reason I like City of Brass and Gemstone Mine: that it is a versatile five-color land with applications in various decks and lot of future potential. It has been slowly growing in price since leaving Standard, and it’s Modern applications plus casual appeal makes it a strong blue-chip spec for the future.

Rite of Passage has found meaning with the printing of Walking Ballista, as the pair combines with Hardened Scales to create a combo generating infinite +1/+1 counters that immediately kills the opponent. It took a while for the community to actually figure out the combo and react, but the card spiked to astronomical levels this week, going from $0.40 to a high over $8, and has since fallen back to around $6. This has a high hurdle to become a legitimate Modern combo, but it’s surely going to be a casual favorite and Commander staple. This is likely to keep falling down a little bit more, but in the long term I see this appreciating.

There have also been some notable non-Modern price movements.

Take note that Tainted Pact has spiked in price, nearly tripling from under $2 up to over $5. I’m not certain why the spike has occurred, but as it’s not a Legacy staple I assume it’s primarily coming from casual demand. It seems to be a price correction that we won’t see fall below $5 again.

Carpet of Flowers has suddenly spiked from a couple dollars up to $10. This staple of Legacy sideboards has been seeing increasing play lately, but this massive spike is unexpected. A weird buyout target, this reminds me of the price spike in Choke at the end of 2014, and seems like a price correction that we won’t see tumble back down too far, so I’d expect this is the new price tag for a while.

What are your plans for making the most of Modern Masters 2017?


3 thoughts on “Insider: Modern Market Trends and Specs in the Wake of Modern Masters 2017

  1. I think this is the first place I’ve seen it stated that MM17 is “print-to-order like a normal set and won’t be a limited release” as opposed to being limited (but with a larger limit).

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