Insider: MTGO Block Staples to Watch – Mirrodin

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Hey, guys.

This week I'm going to start something different. I'm going to review cards from selected blocks week to week. The reason to do this is to identify cards that we should keep our eyes on all the time. Doing this block by block means we will be able to go through most cards.

This week we'll look at the Mirrodin block—the sets involved are Fifth Dawn, Darksteel and Mirrodin. As these sets are full of artifacts, most of the good picks here are artifacts as well.

Blasting Station is a combo component in Modern, especially in token-based decks. As you can see in the graph, the highest point is somewhere near 2.8 tickets while the average price is about 1 ticket.

I think this card is worth keeping our eyes on because combo is a way to catch opponents off guard in Modern, especially when part of the combo is an artifact where not all players will mainboard cards to kill artifacts. When there's a list that can abuse Blasting Station, its price will go up.

Engineered Explosives went up in price consistently during the last month. From the graph, you can see that the price did not fluctuate that quickly compared to other cards. It may take a long time for the price to fall to a place we'd want to buy, but I think its fine to put this card on our watchlist.

My reasoning for picking this card is pretty simple. Following the pattern, if we are able to pick up sets of this card at a low price, we should be able to earn some tickets in the long run. The reason we usually don't get to earn from cards like this is because we did not notice the price change due to its slow and steady change in price.

Lantern of Insight is pretty straightforward. Obviously this card will only be good when the signature deck built around it is popular. Now how do you know when Lantern will be good? Usually when the meta has lots of aggressive decks like Zoo and Humans, and when artifact hate is at a low point, players will start bringing back Lantern Control.

Serum Visions is one of the best cantrips in Modern. Although there's a slightly better one right now—Canoptek Scarab Swarm—this card remains good because of the scry 2 effect which allows the player to sequence their draws well in order to take control of the game.

Although I don't think this card will drop price anytime soon, I think it's fair to keep it on our watchlist just in case. It's possible that this card could decrease a lot in price just because nobody plays it for some time. When that happens—let's say the price drops to 1 or 2 tickets—we should take that opportunity to pick up some playsets as investment.

Aether Vial is a staple in Modern. Currently this artifact is most commonly played in Humans, but of course that's not the only deck that plays Aether Vial. Merfolk and Death & Taxes are among the decks that are good because of the one-mana artifact.

According to the trend, the card will only go up above 10 tickets when decks using it are good in the metagame. During other times, it will be somewhere between 5 to 7 tickets. I suggest keeping your eyes on this card to spot the correct timing and grab your playsets.

This card should be no stranger, as Affinity has existed in Modern for a long time and Arcbound Ravager is always one of the most important pieces in the deck. This card allows the Affinity player to have complicated combat tricks on the table, which is why the deck is quite resilient.

If you look at the graph above, the local high point that we can see is 15 tickets, which was back in November. In my opinion, this card has high potential to gain value in the near future. Tron decks are coming back, and in my experience, Affinity has good matchups against Tron and other ramp decks. So do keep your eyes on Arcbound Ravager!

This card has grown a lot in popularity recently, mainly because of Bloodbraid Elf. Although Trinisphere wasn't a popular card in Modern previously, we should still keep track of its price from now on since it has become a staple in the format.

If you ask me when will be the right time to buy copies of Trinisphere for investment, I can only say it's hard to tell right now. Based on the graph and its current popularity, I'd say when it drops to around 15 tickets, that's the opportune time to buy.

The price before this recent raise was around 10 tickets, but I don't think it will return to that price. Since it came off the banlist, Bloodbraid Elf has been a card to beat in Modern, and I expect that to continue. Trinisphere will remain as one of the main pieces of tech to beat Bloodbraid for as long as it's legal. Therefore I think 15 will be the new average price.

Chalice of the Void is one of the most played cards in Modern and Legacy. Simply because of that, its price fluctuates a lot. For this card, we have to keep track of its price at all times and catch the low points, like the one at the end of February you can see in the graph. Price drops this marked are rare occurrences, but it's always good to be able to capture events like that.

Oblivion Stone is played a lot big-mana decks like Tron. With the ability to generate lots of mana using the Urza Tron lands, playing and activating Oblivion Stone is not hard. With the Stone in play, the opponent is incentivized to hold back threats to avoid getting destroyed by the sweeper. In this way the Tron player is able to stall the game until he or she finds a win condition.

I suggest buying copies of this card when it's low—4 or 5 tickets—and selling off when they are at around 8 tickets.

Alright guys, that’s all for this week. I hope my examples are enough to elaborate on the topic. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you again next week.

Adrian, signing off.

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