Grand Prix Las Vegas has become a summertime Magic institution over the course of the past few years, and this year's event might well top them all! Three Grand Prix, back-to-back-to-back? That is a ton of Magic.
In particular, there are two constructed events that may well have an impact on MTG finance as we move into the summer season: Modern and Legacy. The thing that separates Modern and Legacy finance from, say, Standard, is that the cards have more long-term staying power. In Standard cards can spike often, but they are always eventually trending towards the bulk bin—that is, unless they are able to find a steady day job in Modern or Legacy.
Between gigantic turnout and tremendous coverage, I believe these events will get a ton of views and have a big impact on the way people view the formats and metagames. In particular, Grand Prix Las Vegas is the first and biggest major Legacy event since the banning of Sensei's Divining Top. It will go a long way towards shaping the look of the format in both online and local events moving forward.
So let's talk about which decks (and cards) are primed to have breakout performances in both Legacy and Modern.
Legacy Specs for Vegas
The best deck-to-beat going into Grand Prix Vegas is Grixis Delver. The deck has been on a tear on MTGO and looks to be one of the best and most consistent decks in the format.
There are a couple of cards from Grixis Delver that I could see slowly beginning to tick upward in the future:
Deathrite Shaman has been beaten back, not only by its banning in Modern, but also by an Eternal Masters reprint. The price is currently very low. However, outside of the big blue spells (Force of Will, Brainstorm, etc.) DRS is easily one of the most played spells in Legacy. It is format-defining and a big part of the metagame.
The current price feels very low for one of the most played cards of Legacy, even if it has had a reprint. I've been picking up more copies of this card in hope that it does begin to pick up steam in the future.
Brian Braun-Duin tweeted out something that got me thinking last week:
This may sound crazy, but I think Gurmag Angler is the best creature in Magic right now.
— Brian Braun-Duin (@BraunDuinIt) June 7, 2017
His point was that it's the single card in the most "best decks" between both Modern and Legacy. Obviously, there are other great creatures in Legacy (for instance, DRS) but most are also banned in Modern. Gurmag Angler is one of the few that is elite in both formats.
It's also a common and has never been reprinted (yet). It seems like the kind of common that could easily double, triple, or quadruple without anybody batting an eye.
Deathrite Shaman isn't just a Grixis card, of course; it's in tons of decks. I'm also a big fan of the 4-Color Stoneblade deck (which I wrote about on Channel Fireball this week). It's a good stuff deck that's kind of a cross between Esper Stoneblade and Reid Duke's Sultai Midrange deck from the GP he won.
I've written about True-Name Nemesis the past three weeks in a row, and it looks like it doubled in price this week. Hopefully some of you got in on that action!
Another card that could be flying under the radar is Stoneforge Mystic.
Obviously, the card has been printed as a Grand Prix promo which means there are a lot of them. I do believe the card will become a huge player in the current metagame. Miracles has always been the natural predator of blue midrange decks and without those decks to check SFM, the card is going to be hot, hot, hot.
I don't know how much the promo will suppress the Stoneforge's ceiling, but I think the card is going to become much more popular than it has been moving forward. I expect Stoneforge Mystic to have a big weekend in Vegas. I will almost certainly be packing four in my deck. It's also a Death and Taxes staple. It's literally the lynchpin of two of the best decks in the format!
Speaking of Death and Taxes, how is this card less than a buck? It's so good and it sees play not only in Legacy, but in Vintage Workshops. I think Revoker is a pretty smart pick-up just based on how cheap it is and how good and versatile it is.
Here are a couple of sideboard cards that also seem to find their way into every deck that can make white mana. Both are seeing a ton of play because they are great against unfair decks and have a lot of crossover utility. They're good not only against Storm or Reanimator, but also against decks like Elves, Sneak and Show, etc.
Containment Priest is particularly hard to get ahold of because it was from a Commander deck. I'm also kind of surprised the Masterpiece version isn't a little bit more, considering it is the only premium version of the card currently available.
I feel like it is inevitable that Thespian's Stage will eventually make some gains. It's a combo with Dark Depths in the Lands deck, which is one of the best decks in the format. It's also just a fantastic Commander staple. Those two things combined make it a great Magic card with a very modest price tag. I expect to see this one trickle upward—that is, if it doesn't just spike at some point.
Lots of cool things to think about with Legacy but these are just some of the more mainstream decks that are likely to emerge at the top of the heap in Vegas.
Modern Specs for Vegas
There is also a lot going on in Modern at the moment and I think there could be some big metagame shake-ups about to happen. The biggest one revolves around the Devoted Druid/Vizier of Remedies combo decks. They are the real deal. Obviously, Devoted Druid has already spiked.
It's only a matter of time before we see a Collected Company spike. The card is too good and CoCo is looking like it is about to emerge as the best deck with a dagger.
There are various flavors of Collected Company with Vizier of Remedies, but it feels like the deck is pretty much the best deck in the format at the moment. Collected Company is the flagship card. I just don't see any combination of things happening that don't lead to Company continuing to gain in popularity in Modern. It's too good!
Another card that is seeing a ton more play because of the Collected Company uprising. Witness is truly a great Magic card. They literally cannot make a card like this anymore because it is just too powerful! With that being said, it's a staple and beloved by casual players everywhere. It's a good card to have copies of right now!
Another sleeper pick, Harsh Mentor is exceptionally good against the Collected Combo decks. You can't go off with Vizier of Remedies or Viscera Seer with this little critter in play. It's also a great sideboard card against Affinity. A very solid sideboard card that is bound to become much more popular in the future with Company being so good. It's dirt-cheap right now, so you might want to think about picking up a few copies.
I know this card is already expensive, but it just keeps getting better and better in Modern. Collective Brutality is great against CoCo because you can kill their mana creature and Duress the Company or Chord of Calling out of their hand. It's super good. It's also a staple of the BGx, Grixis, and Dredge decks in Modern. It's just a very strong card that is wildly flexible across multiple match-ups.
Finally for today, Anger of the Gods is the best sideboard card available against the Collected Company deck. It wipes out all of the mana dorks and leaves no Kitchen Finks persisted behind. It's very solid there. I could see the number of this card being played in Modern increasing a lot after Vegas.
Well, I'm looking forward to Vegas. Hopefully, I'll see many of you around at the venue! Be sure to say hello. Also, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for good deals on some of these cards because they look primed for gains! Viva Las Vegas!