Insider: Modern Specs One Week After the Pro Tour

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Hi, guys. So Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan ended with a very diverse metagame and Top 8. Here's the summary of the Top 8 decks:

  • 2x Five-Color Humans
  • Lantern Control
  • Mardu Pyromancer
  • Traverse Shadow
  • BR Hollow One
  • Abzan
  • UR Pyromancer

Two of the cards that I wrote about last week increased in price by a bunch: Collective Brutality and Liliana of the Veil. They went up by 9 and 10 tix, respectively.

This card occupied 14 out of 32 possible copies in the Top 8 of PT RIX, which is a big deal in a Modern premier event. The card is very flexible, to the point that almost all black decks want two to four copies in their entire 75. Sadly I didn't call it last week because the price was already pretty high at 23 tix each, but we could definitely take this as a lesson.

Liliana of the Veil only occupied 25% of 32 possible slots in the Top 8, but that is already a good number in the Modern format as the card pool is so big.

The Modern metagame online is very dependent on the results of paper premier events as usual. Players on MTGO started to play Liliana a lot which made the price spike so much in the past seven days. Last week I said that BGx decks will eventually make Liliana's price increase but I didn't expect it to be so fast. Anyways, hope you guys got this one!

The Combo Decks

Alright, back to some speculation stuff. As usual, after knowing how the format is going, we want to predict what decks will emerge to beat the current top-tier decks.

After getting some ideas from watching streams, I think the next deck that will become popular could easily be a combo deck. The format right now is full of creature decks and midrange decks, so if we want to find a deck that can be good in the current environment, we need something that the creatures and midrange decks will have hard time interacting with.

Jeff Hoogland brewed up a five-color Jeskai Ascendancy deck with four copies of Glittering Wish in the 75. Glittering Wish is one of the key cards because it can get the win condition out from the sideboard. This card has been played by brewers for a long time but it just never become a meta deck.

At its current price, I think you can buy playsets of them for investment. We will target to sell them at 2 tix which will net us around 0.85 tickets each—small money, but I think worth the investment.

Scapeshift fell out of favor in the MTGO hive mind, but I think Scapeshift decks are still pretty good because there aren't many counterspell decks running around in the field. Besides, the GR Titan Shift deck can have Primeval Titan to tutor up Valakuts and win.

If the format has a lot of 5-Color Humans decks, Titan Shift can run some Pyroclasm or Anger of the Gods to slow their opponents down. On a side note, Anger of the Gods is another card that I mentioned last week that went up in price a bit. If you guys did buy those, you should have sold them for the sweet 0.5-ticket profit each.

Bant Knightfall is a creature-based deck with a two-card combo in it. Knight of the Reliquary is also played in Legacy, so if we buy this card we have more chances to profit from it.

Currently the price of Knight is at its low point. Considering the fact that the format is full of midrange decks now, I don't think Bant Knightfall can become very good in Modern at the moment, but I just want you guys to know about the price. If you think you want to spend some tix on long-term specs, this is a card you can consider.

To beat a ton of removal, we need something that has hexproof, right? Bogles is your best friend now. I've already identified two key components from Bogles that you guys can buy for investments: Daybreak Coronet and Kor Spiritdancer.

Nothing much to talk about with this deck as it's just the straightforward bad matchup for midrange decks. Although this deck has a bad matchup against Liliana of the Veil and discard decks, the matchup has been improved a bit with Cartouche of Solidarity so the deck is worth a try.

Sideboard Hate

As usual, sideboard cards against the existing tier-one decks can become very expensive. An excellent example from last year is Chameleon Colossus. From a cheap rare, the Colossus went up above 20 tix per piece just because Death's Shadow decks were so dominant back then, and players wanted to have a four-mana creature to beat the Shadows.

The same spike on Chameleon Colossus is unlikely to happen a second time, but we can take a look at some other cards that can potentially become very effective sideboard cards. The first card is Leyline of the Void.

Leyline is a strong graveyard hate piece that usually wins games when players have them in their opening hands. This card is good against at least three decks from Top 8 of PT RIX: Abzan, Mardu Pyromancer and BR Hollow One.

Leyline of the Void peaked at around 18 tix last December. I believe if players start to include more graveyard hate in their deck, this card can easily go up in price again. Thus I suggest picking up playsets of Leyline as speculation.

Ad Nauseam combo was popular last year but it was replaced by better decks, I think. Phyrexian Unlife is one of the main components in Ad Nauseam, and its price will also depend on the popularity of that deck. At the moment, this card is around 2 tix and the average high prices are around 3-4 tix.

So what I was thinking was whether or not Ad Nauseam will be popular online again. I can't really tell the answer, but Unlife has other uses too. I think including this card as a sideboard option against aggressive decks might be a thing if Humans and Burn take up a large portion of the metagame. Therefore, I suggest buying playsets of Unlife for investment.

Alright, that’s all for the week. Thank you all for reading, and I will see you guys again soon!

–Adrian, signing out

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