Checking the Sideboards

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Today I want to look at some sideboard cards in Modern and Legacy, things which aren’t seeing a lot of play yet but if they are good enough to make the 75, it’s worth thinking about what might pop given a little time or a minor metagame shift.

Deck: Death’s Shadow

Collective Brutality – $10/$18 foil – This is a very intriguing card, since it’s a small set rare with a foil multiplier that’s under two. It’s not seeing play in Standard currently, so this price is mostly from the other formats. This is seeing play in a range of decks, but not in large numbers. Mostly, it’s a one-or-two-of, as befits such a flexible card.

Forecast: The number of decks this is played in, and none of those being Standard, means that this is unlikely to get lower when it rotates this fall. If it goes even to $8, I would be in on this, as being $15 or more in a year seems very likely.

Maelstrom Pulse – $16/$32 – While not a big card in Death’s Shadow decks, it’s also present in Jund and this is a fantastic card in Commander. It was a mythic a long time ago, in a third set, it was a rare in the first, underprinted Modern Masters, and then it was a Grand Prix promo. It’s around, but there’s also demand.

Forecast: The buy-in is high here, but the potential is big. Only a couple of decks play this, but casual demand has soaked up a lot of the available copies. It’ll break $20 if not reprinted soon.

Deck: Burn

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Atarka’s Command – $9/$14 – This requires the three-color Burn list, and some players are content to be only Boros, because of access to Kor Firewalker. If you’re adding green, though, this is flexible and incredibly powerful.

Forecast: One of the Dragonlords is going to get a Duel Deck or a Commander appearance or something, and that’s the only thing I’m worried about. This is already on an upward trajectory, and it’s easy to see this gaining 50% or more in the next few months. If Burn wins a tournament, or performs well on camera, that could be a lot sooner.

Deflecting Palm – $0.75/$3.50 – This is from Khans of Tarkir, so there’s a lot more of it than there is for Atarka’s Command, but my goodness, this is exactly what I want in a sideboard card. It’s cheap, and incredibly swingy. When you draw this against a Death’s Shadow deck, you feel like you can’t lose. They are going to go for the win and you’re going to prevent your own loss and beat them with one play. It’s not widely played, though.

Forecast: Very slow growth. It’s not in enough decks, frankly. I don’t see this gaining a lot of value anytime soon, barring the unforeseen.

Deck: Affinity

Ghirapur Aether Grid – $1/$13 – The foil multiplier here is truly impressive, as is the uncommon being at $1. There were two copies in the intro pack too! This is casual gold, and sees light play in Lantern Control as well.

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Forecast: I’m in on the foils, to be frank. If this gets reprinted in a Commander product the nonfoils will take a hit, but they just printed an artifact Commander deck and didn’t include this. I think it’s safe for the next year, so picking up nonfoils is fine too.

Spire of Industry – $5/$13 – This is a maindeck card, but one worth attention as supply dries up and we move into Amonkhet. It sees a lot of play in Standard, but the casual appeal and the Modern usage has me eyeing this.

Forecast: I think this is a $10 card around Christmas of this year, and the foils are going to rise slowly but surely over time.

Deck: Abzan

Thrun, the Last Troll – $12/$34 – He’s dodged reprinting over and over again, and I don’t think he will end up in a Commander set. The supply from a middle-set mythic five years ago was never big, and without a supplementary printing, he’s due for a pop.

Forecast: This seems pretty safe to me. His value is a bit too high for easy reprints, and his next set would be Modern Masters 2019. I don’t know when he will spike, but spike he will. Sometime in the next 18 months, this will go up to at least $30.

Kitchen Finks – $12/$20-$30, depending on the foil version – This card is played a lot, as shown by its price. It’s resilient, catches you up, and can be played in white or green. Only two printings, plus the FNM promo.

Forecast: As an uncommon, it can be added to products easier. Its price has been quite low in the past, but it is also part of infinite life combos in Modern. I do not think the time is right to move in on this yet. I think it’s due for a reprint, and when that happens, I will want to be ready to pick them up. The exposure is too high here.

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2 thoughts on “Checking the Sideboards”

  1. Something wrong with the article? The Protrader block seems to be in an awkward place…and the Protrader title is missing.

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