MTGO: Modern Horizons Financial Outlook, Part I

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Modern Horizons is the first supplemental set ever released on MTGO that wasn't billed as a Masters set. Normally MTGO players get left out in the cold on supplemental summer sets like Conspiracy or Battlebond, but not this year! And what is more, since this is a set that was actually released like a regular set, whose cards weren't released exclusively through treasure chests, this set will follow the familiar pattern that speculators can capitalize on.

For the next month or so we should expect Modern Horizons to reach peak supply, and once cards cease entering the market altogether in August we can expect the value of the set to increase over time. Investors, speculators, and players should all make financial decisions in sync with this timeline.

I. When Should I Invest in Modern Horizons?

Currently, Modern Horizons is sitting at a set value around $225. Modern is not just the most popular format on MTGO but is also typically most popular during the late Spring and Summer. Product is still being opened, albeit more slowly than in the first few weeks of June.

The release of a new Standard set always shifts player excitement and focus toward Standard, and I expect Core 2020 to be no different. Eternal cards tend to dip at that time, and I expect the same to happen with Modern Horizons cards. That's when I'll be looking to buy. Hopefully, the set value will be closer to $175 at that time.

Prices should hold relatively steady until the set is no longer draftable (mid-August). After that, expect to see a slow gain. By next year, I think the set value for Modern Horizons will be at least $300. Over the next month, players should be happy buying cards from this set to play with as there is little financial risk in holding them.

II. Where will the Big Money Cards Settle?

1. Wrenn and Six

I expected Wrenn and Six to be the most valuable card in the set, but I didn't expect it to be this high this quickly. Standard, Legacy, and Pauper all command sizeable demand on MTGO, and Legacy demand is likely accounting for 50% of Wrenn's value. It is already showing signs of becoming a Legacy staple. I can't recommend investing in it due to the inherent risk of buying a card at this price point, but I don't think it's going to settle below $30. Prices are still swinging wildly and I'd be trying to snag your playset around that $30 point. Hopefully when Core 2020 releases it'll dip to that price. I will say, though, that Wrenn and Six has the potential to break the $100 mark if it sees more Modern play and isn't included in treasure chests. I'm not willing to bet the farm on that, but I see it as a possibility.

2. Force of Negation

Force of Negation is having a larger impact on Modern and Legacy than many had anticipated. Its high price tag is largely due to it seeing significant play in tier one Modern decks (UW Control) and tier one Legacy decks (UR and Temur Delver). Although that won't likely change, what is true is that Force of Negation is going to continue to be opened at a decent clip for the next several weeks since it is only a rare. Although it's possible the going rate for Force of Negation might settle around $30 eventually, I can't imagine it holding such a high price in the short term.

3. Seasoned Pyromancer

Seasoned Pyromancer has exceeded expectations and has really made its impact felt on Modern. It will likely get even stronger if some of the unfair graveyard decks are brought back to earth a bit with a ban. While I expect it to eventually settle well north of its current price point, I'm optimistic that buyers will get another chance to buy closer to $15 once Core 2020 releases.

II. What Mythics are Currently Undervalued?

1. The First Sliver & Morophon, the Boundless

Current Price: $0.75

Although they don't get talked about a lot, there are a lot of casual Magic players who play Commander on MTGO. MTGO is the only digital place to play Commander, and this means of playing has been popularized by MTGGoldfish's "Commander Clash" series. The First Sliver and Morophon, the Boundless will both likely see some amount of demand due to casual players, and the fact that they are both mythics in an expensive supplemental set means that there won't be all that many copies to go around. Both are going for $0.75 now, and that has nowhere to go but up. Popular 2018 Commander cards Tuvasa the Sunlit and Lord Windgrace have both skyrocketed in price, to $17 and $62 respectively, and it's possible something similar could happen to The First Sliver or Morophon.

2. Echo of Eons

Current Buy Price: $4.14

Echo of Eons is one of the cards that received the most hype during spoiler season. The power here is self-evident, but its price is low because it has only really broken into Legacy thus far. Right now Modern is so dominated by Hogaak that nothing this slow can be anything more than cute* in Modern. I'm expecting a ban or two to come to Modern that will slow down the format, possibly of Hogaak himself, possibly of his best enabler Faithless Looting.

Echo of Eons' value seems to be based predominantly on its Legacy chops and not on its potential in Modern. I cannot say whether Echo of Eons will ever be a thing in Modern. But what I do know is that its price isn't going to crater because its supply is so low, so there is less risk in speculating here than there usually is. Just like MLB baseball players are taught to do nowadays, swing for the fences in Modern Horizons. It's okay to strike out some in order to chase the long ball. You don't have to try to hit a home run with Echo of Eons, but know that there are few times in MTG or MTGO finance where you can take a few free swings like you can with the cards in this set.

3. Yawgmoth, Thran Physician

Current Buy Price: $3.49

Yawgmoth is among my favorite speculation targets from Modern Horizons. It is only seeing a tiny bit of play now because it is too slow in a Hogaak world. But if Hogaak decks get nerfed, I think Yawgmoth could become a real player in the format and command prices north of $15.  Yawgmoth is versatile and powerful and will likely go up in price if (and hopefully when) fair decks get a foothold in the Modern format.

III. Signing Off

In my next article (likely releasing later this week) I will cover the rares from Modern Horizons. What are your favorite speculation targets from this set?

I encourage those who have not drafted this set at all to do so. It is among the best draft formats I've ever played, and it's a shame I've been traveling down in Texas for the past few weeks so I've played a lot less of it than I would have liked. The draft portion is a bit harrowing and can sometimes feel arbitrary, but the gameplay is among the most interesting I've ever experienced. So many games are tight and come down to the decisions the two players make. Additionally, the value for non-phantom and phantom alike is higher than usual. The expected value for MTGO drafting overall is higher than it has been in at least five years, a subject I'll be thoroughly examining in July and August. Go get your Modern Horizons and War of the Spark drafts in.

QS Insiders who want to see my portfolio should contact me on Discord. My portfolio is up to date and includes all of my WAR and RNA season investments.

Thank you for reading and I will see y'all next time!

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