Insider: Investing in Modern Staples

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Hello, guys.

Last week, I went over how to profitably pick cards from decklists posted online or from streams. Today, I'm going to talk about some Modern singles that used to be expensive but currently lack popularity. Big portion of my speculations are base on cards from this category, so this week, I'm telling you guys how I personally pick these cards.

Modern is a fast-changing format in terms of the metagame. The top-tier decks keep on changing from week to week. This results in certain Modern staples losing popularity, and their prices slowly going down. It's hard to keep track of every single in the format since its so wide. But that difficulty is where the opportunities come from.

Let us start with some value creatures that used to see a lot of play in Modern:

Voice of Resurgence was one of the most annoying creature to play against, especially if you were piloting a blue control deck. Nowadays, Jeskai Tempo is getting popular, and I think Voice is one of the best card to have against Jeskai. In order to deal with this 2/2, the opponent needs a card that exiles creature like Path to Exile or Anger of the Gods. Furthermore, it makes it hard for the control player to counter spells or draw cards without losing massive value. It's true that the reprint of Voice in MM3 increases the supply of this card by a lot, and there's not much demand for it right now in the format, but the price of the card did go somewhere past 13 tickets after the reprint, and I speculate that it can still go higher than 13 if players online use this card to tackle the format.

Courser of Kruphix was one of the best card in Standard while it was legal. Once it rotated, we rarely see players use this Centaur – except in Titan Shift and Green-White value decks. Now that Burn decks are frequently being played online, I think Courser is pretty good to beat those aggressive decks. It helps to gain life and block as well as potentially gaining us card advantage by playing lands off the top of our library. Having said that, if we look at the graph above, its price fluctuates between 3.8 and 1 ticket in a very weird pattern, and its current price can't gain us much profit unless the price goes above 3 tickets at least. I suggest keeping track of Courser's price and grabbing them when the price dips to the 1.5-ticket mark (or below), then starting to sell once you can lock in at least a ticket per card.

Tasigur, the Golden Fang is a very efficient threat in Modern, a format where we can fill up the graveyard very fast. If you notice, Tasigur has a cyclical pattern in its pricing history. Currently, you can see the price is going downwards and will probably hit its bottom soon. Basically, the pricing for this card is very straightforward: as long as Grixis Death's Shadow is still in the format, buy in when they are cheap and sell whenever you can secure a good profit.  Plan to keep track of its price now and act when needed.

Next up, Koth of the Hammer is a four-of in a rogue but powerful deck called Skred Red, and also played in Legacy Big Red. Skred Red is a deck that can occasionally turn up in an event and beat everyone who is unprepared for it. Looking at the graph above, you can see the obvious spikes, and those are when some player won a big event with a deck containing four copies of Koth. At its current price around 3.7 tickets looking like a low point for the last year, buying in seems like a reasonable play moving forward.

Two weeks ago, I talked about a Blue Moon deck that plays various different combos in the entire 75 with the help of Blood Moon. Now we are seeing more players bringing this deck to tournaments. When there are more copies of the same deck in the meta, players that pilot the deck will need cards that can break the mirror. Keranos, God of Storms is a commonly played mirror breaker card in blue-red decks. However, we haven't seen any increase of price for a very long time, and Keranos is usually a one-of card in decks. I think it's worth putting on our watchlists and maybe making a move if it starts seeing some play in a blue-red meta.

The next card is Horizon Canopy, the best green-white land in Modern. Although it was reprinted in Iconic Masters, Canopy's price didn't go very low from 20 tickets. Instead, when the Draft events started, the original Future Sight version went up in price to about 30 tickets, while the Iconic Masters version stayed very steadily between 18 and 23 tickets. Let's see which decks in Modern plays Canopy:

Humans and Counters Company are playing an average of two copies, while Bogles and G/W Company are playing the full four copies of Horizon Canopy in their 75. I'm surprised that this card hasn't gone up in price yet, considering the Company decksare  occupying a big portion of the metagame right now. Meanwhile, Bogles is also gaining popularity, with some of the pro players and streamers making content using the deck lately. I predict that Canopy has good potential to increase in price soon!

Finally, Copperline Gorge and Razorverge Thicket are currently at their respective low points. I think the green-white land is underpriced right now, because as I mentioned earlier, decks that play Horizon Canopy are putting up good results in the metagame, and these decks usually play Razorverge Thickets as well. As for Copperline Gorge, I can see why it's cheap: basically all decks that play it have disappeared from the meta except Dredge (and Dredge is also not having good time currently). Anyway, I do recommend stocking up playsets of these two cards at their current prices, as this cycle of land can easily go up to 3 tickets when there are demands.

Alright, guys, that’s all for this week. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you all next week!

–Adrian, signing out.

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