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Insider: Some More Underpriced Modern Cards

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Hi, guys.

As I'm writing this, the Pro Tour is going on. We already know Karn, Scion of Urza is a great card, but with decks with UG Karn coming on the scene we still don't know where its price will settle. If Karn's price stabilizes after a while, I think it will be worth investing in for Modern. Meanwhile, I will be talking about other cards in Modern I think are worth a look.

Lands

Shambling Vent is a great creature land that gains life. In the current metagame, Humans and Burn are the best aggro decks. These decks are giving other archetypes headaches because no matter how much life gain you pack in your deck, decks like Burn can still top-deck burn spells and kill you.

Shambling Vent, although slow, gives an additional out to players. Looking at the other creature lands in the cycle, Celestial Colonnade and Raging Ravine were very cheap in the beginning but went up in price when they made it into top-tier decks like Jund and Jeskai Control. I think Shambling Vent could have a similar trend in the future.

Field of Ruin is an uncommon that sneaked into Modern and slowly became popular after a while. Before its existence, Ghost Quarter was the go-to answer against big-mana decks like Tron. When we compare Field of Ruin to Ghost Quarter, the downside of Ghost Quarter is that you will be down one land after you use it, while for Field of Ruin, you are required to pay mana but in return get another untapped land.

In two-color decks like UW Midrange or Control, it's possible to play Field as a four-of while not getting color-screwed. Doing so also gives you an edge against many decks in the format, since most play more than two colors. Therefore, I think in the long run, Field of Ruin is a great card that will see more play.

Botanical Sanctum has fluctuated a surprising amount throughout its days in Standard. It capped at about 12.5 tickets when Four-Color Energy was the best deck in Standard, and then slowly dropped to the current price at 2 tickets. With UG Karn showing up at the Pro Tour, I think that Sanctum will have a chance to rise again in Standard.

Even if it doesn't, it's part of one of the best land cycles in Modern. I've run into plenty of decks that play this card online—it's just that they're categorized under "rogue decks." I wouldn't be surprised if those decks become top-tier one day, and I strongly recommend picking up playsets of Sanctum while it's still cheap.

Creatures

Thought-Knot Seer is a staple in Modern and Legacy. Among creatures with similar effects like Tidehollow Sculler and Brain Maggot, it is the hardest to deal with once resolved. Also, the card that the opponent gets is just a random card instead of the card that was exiled, which is likely to be worse. In my opinion, this is the strongest version of this effect you can find.

In the long run, I don't think WotC will print a similar creature that's stronger than TKS, so I think it's a good investment. Cards that are hard to replace like this can easily go up to 20 tickets when they become popular. Other examples of irreplaceable cards include Collective Brutality, Kolaghan's Command, and Surgical Extraction—if you're still unsure about Thought-Knot's potential, I'd advise having a look at those cards.

Tireless Tracker is another card that is played in both Modern and Legacy. Although it's not the strongest green creature available, its ability makes it great as a mirror-breaker. Card advantage is one of the most important criteria in evaluating cards, and Tracker does an excellent job of providing it.

I've seen versions of BG Midrange that play the full four copies of Tracker, alongside Field of Ruin to synergize with it. I think it won't be long before the price of Tracker increases to 6 tickets again.

Spells

As I said earlier, Burn and Humans are very good aggro decks in the format, which makes a lot of the Modern decks available unplayable simply because it's difficult for them to stabilize. With Phyrexian Unlife, white decks can take an additional 10 damage at least. This is very good tech against aggro decks in my opinion.

Meanwhile, Ad Nauseam is really underplayed right now, and the entire deck is super cheap. Ad Nauseam is a deck that pretty much always wins game one unless you're really unlucky. It may be unpopular right now, but the deck is still competitive enough. If you think Ad Nauseam is going to come back, Phyrexian Unlife is one of the cards you should invest in now.

Traverse the Ulvenwald is the best creature tutor in the format, provided you can get delirium. The last time this card became expensive was after Jund Death's Shadow won a Grand Prix. For this card to increase in value again, it needs to be played as a four-of in a top-tier deck.

With the number of cards in the format, Modern isn't lacking for good creatures—so the possibility of another creature tutor deck appearing in the future is very high. At 0.5 tickets, Traverse is really cheap to invest in now, and I strongly suggest you do so.


Next week, we'll be talking about PT Dominaria based on the past two articles I wrote. I'll be discussing what this latest event can teach us about improving our specs before a PT.

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

Adrian, signing off.

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