Tag Archives: Modern Masters

PROTRADER: The Bottom for Modern Masters 2015

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I never thought I’d live to see the day I regretted not visiting Oklahoma City. Yet in a roundabout way, Wizards of the Coast made this happen by hosting a Modern Grand Prix there. This year’s fourth Pro Tour season is bookended by Modern events, kicking off in Oklahoma City and wrapping up in Pittsburgh near the end of November.

And there are zero Modern Grands Prix in between.

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The Mailbag Article

By: Douglas Johnson

Welcome back! The week after Vegas has been anything but dull, at least in terms of Modern cards jumping up and down (mostly up).  

Last week, I ended on the note that I would take specific requests concerning the financial side of Magic and answer them this week in as much detail as I could.  Thankfully, I got a few responses to that, which at least proves that there are a few people who read this column. After answering some questions, I’ll go over a few of the Modern cards that jumped in price this past week, and what you should do with them depending on how many copies you own.

I’ll throw in a disclaimer first though: due to the speculative nature associated with some of these questions, my answers are not guaranteed to have a higher percentage of being correct than any of your guesses. None of us know what’s going to be in Battle for Zendikar, and my being a financier doesn’t give me an edge in those predictions.

Question #1

Question1

First off, we have Jeremy B. asking when the correct time to upgrade his Zendikar fetch lands in his Commander deck is. He’s wondering if the (assumed) reprint in Battle for Zendikar will affect the original printing’s foil price, or if the shock lands will prove to set an example of “original print foils creeping above $100.” There’s also a follow-up question about the ideal time to pick up foil copies of Survival of the Fittest and Wasteland. Even though my record with predicting fetch land reprints is not exactly stellar, I’m more than willing to vomit my opinions and thoughts onto the internet.

The general consensus on whether fetch lands will be in BFZ or not is pretty divided, but I’m standing firmly in the camp of, “Yes, Wizards will bring them back in the fall set with new art.” While this would put all ten fetches into Standard at the same time for six months, I’m willing to believe that those six months will be the last part of ripping off the Band-Aid  of the new Standard rotation scheme. If they do end up in the set, foils of the new art will definitely be cheaper as product pours into the players hands en masse. That part is the no-brainer. But will the original Zendikar foils drop as well? I’m inclined to believe they will, but not by a huge amount.

An Onslaught foil Polluted Delta will run you about $400, and a large part of that is tied to a group of people who believe that old-border foils are the only way to play Magic. A 2005 foil Temple Garden is almost $75, because the old art is apparently loved by a larger group of people. I’m willing to believe that the same will hold true for these fetches—there will be people who want to believe that “older is better,” and this will keep the price tag up above the new foils—but they will still drop a bit, as some players will want to liquidate their foils in the face of the announcement.

As for Jeremy’s situation specifically: I think you can definitely wait on the fetch lands for your deck. You said in your message that you’re patient and that these aren’t something you need immediately for an event. Your Commander deck is fully functional with non-foils for the time being, and I don’t think anyone will fault you for not having the most expensive version of a card that appears to be imminent for a reprint.

Now, let’s talk about the desire for foils of Survival and Wasteland. The former is easy to get out of the way: it’s on the reserved list, so bite the bullet now and buy or trade for one if you really want it. It is not going to be printed again, and it’s an iconic enough art that it won’t be forgotten easily. I think you’re safe buying in now, and you shouldn’t have to work too hard to move it if you ever take apart the deck. If you’re patient, you can probably find one on a Facebook group or eBay auction for under $250.

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SurvivalOfTheFittestjudge

Regarding Wasteland, I’ve had multiple discussions with my colleagues about whether or not Wasteland could be reprinted in Modern or even Standard. The card’s power level in those formats can be debated by those who play the game at a much higher level than I do, but my concern is focused more on whether or not WOTC feels that its presence would be promoting a healthy game type. Wizards hasn’t printed Stone Rain in forever, and it’s not because the card is overpowered. Early and immediate land destruction just isn’t where WOTC wants to take the game, so I’m inclined to believe that buying into a foil Wateland for your commander deck is still safe. It’s not as safe as a foil Survival, but it’s better than foil fetches. Your best bet for grabbing both without Wastelanding your wallet is definitely through a trade binder or eBay/Facebook auctions for cash.

Question #2

Question3

Next up we have another question concerning Battle for Zendikar. Spencer asks if I think there will be new Eldrazi to replace the current ones, as well as what other reprints we might see from the original Zendikar. I don’t think that WOTC needs to one-up their Eldrazi from last time, especially since they’ve already tied the lore to those three specific titans. What I do think is possible is printing three “new forms” of Ulamog, Kozilekand Emrakul, similar to what was done with Niv-Mizzet in RTR. He was an iconic character that they wanted to “touch up,” so Wizards just printed a different version of him. I think the same is potentially true with the three Eldrazi, as I’m not sure how “fun” the originals were seen to be.

Niv-

Spell Pierce is an interesting case study, especially since I saw practically zero people complaining about the fact that it wasn’t in Modern Masters 2015. It’s a $2 common with a $35 foil, but I don’t think it or Goblin Guide will be in BFZ. Maybe I’m horribly wrong, but I think RTR is an excellent model that Wizards will use this fall when returning to Zendikar. Return to Ravnica actually had zero non-land reprints from the original block in 2005 and 2006, using the ten shock lands to support a significant portion of the nostalgia from the old set, while they got to spend the rest of the block creating and shaping new identities for the guilds and their members. The company could certainly do the same thing here and choose a different style of full-art lands to help hype up the set. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see Pierce or Guide pop up in a supplemental product soon, but I don’t think either will be in the upcoming fall set.

Question #3:

Question6

Liliana has almost reached the finish line in the race of $100 Modern singles, and foil Tarmogoyf has maintained its throne as the Modern Lotus of Magic (in fact, Maynard’s Goyf from Vegas sold for more than some Lotuses). I think the right answer to this question depends on your personal goals and what you’re planning to do with the cards in the future. If you plan on completing a set of foil Goys or hope to continue trading upwards and grinding value, then I think the single $350 bill is the place to be. The only situations I can think of where you might want to keep the Lilianas is if you’re planning on using them in a deck in the near future, or if you don’t have access to trading or selling very frequently and were planning on holding them for a few months. While the Goyf is better value at this moment, the Lilianas are quickly catching up and have a chance to pass the Goyf six months from now, as a rough guess.

lilianaoftheveil

 

Personally, I’d rather have the foil Goyf, and just sell it right now for $270, instead of selling the three Lilianas for $240.

Question #4:

Question4

Question5

Wow. Thanks to WUBRG from the MTGPrice ProTrader forums for the lengthy discussion topic! Reprints have definitely been the hot topic of late, with everyone wanting to maximize on value and not be screwed over by their expensive cards suddenly being worth nothing. This question is actually pretty similar to the first one I answered, but there’s definitely room to expand on where I would place my own money. Instead of buying into casual foils that were reprinted in Modern Masters 2015, I would prefer to put my money on reserved-list stuff, as you said. Sigmund recently touched on this, and I completely agree that Modern is not the place you want to be for long-term investments.

You suggested that “pimp” EDH cards will always have demand, even if Magic dies, but I have to disagree. If the game dies, none of those cards will matter anymore. I think the only thing that would potentially hold value is Power, Alpha, Beta, and maybe dual lands. The “pimp” factor makes cards a lot harder to move, especially when there is a higher percentage of players who just want the cheapest copies available to foil out their decks. If you’re just looking to “hold” value and prevent your cards from being absolutely decimated by reprints, then I think you’re fine, but I definitely wouldn’t use it as a solid investment strategy. Buying multiple copies of EDH staples and planning to sell them at a later date results in the huge inconvenience of moving them all, as I’ve learned the hard way by still owning over 45 copies of Ghave, Guru of Spores. Foils are even slower to move, so you’ll likely end up having to buylist them for a very minimal profit.

ghaveguruofspores

There’s also a pretty significant factor to consider in the similarity or difference in artwork between printings. If the artwork never changes, then the original printing becomes much less of a premium if the only differing factors are the set symbol and the hologram at the bottom. Take Creakwood Liege for example: the Modern Masters 2015 foil is $10 and the Eventide one is $15. If you buy into the Eventide foil at $10 for a 33-percent discount, who do you plan on selling it to? There’s no real flair to it that differentiates it as unique, so you’ll have to find someone who really cares about the set symbol. If you really want to invest in first-printing foils, pick something with a different art or different border.

End Step

In other news, there were several Modern singles that spiked over this past week. Oblivion Stone, Creeping Tar Pit, and Olivia Voldaren joined forces to make you miserable if you have to buy them now, and they form a team of “fringe playable cards in Modern that are now worth a lot more than you probably thought they would be.” If you have them, sell them. This article comes out on Thursday, but you should still be able to get a better deal than a week ago.  Meanwhile, Blood Moon is dropping back down, to the surprise of nobody. While it won’t go back to its previous $25 to $30, you can wait until the decline stops at $45 or $50 instead of buying in at $60.

So what do you do? Modern is supposed to be this reprint-centric, accessible format, but we also have $20 Tar Pits running around. Do you buy into a Modern legal-card that hasn’t spiked yet and hope it goes up, or do you wait and cross your fingers for a reprint like MMA15 before buying in ? Let me know in the comments what your approach to Modern singles is, because I’m curious about the different approaches that people are using.

Thanks for reading!

 

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UNLOCKED PROTRADER: The Fallout from Vegas

What. A. Week.

Vegas was crazy, and while we regaled with a few stories on this week’s Brainstorm Brewery, the craziness and great time that was had in Vegas is not the focus of this week’s article. After all, with so much financially-relevant happenings going down, how could it be?

The Bird’s Eye View

A few weeks ago I wrote about my thoughts regarding the initial price movements of Modern Masters 2015, with the promise to revisit those conclusions as more data became available. We now have some of that data, so this week I’ll be looking back at my initial conclusions and seeing what has changed since then.

There were more than 88,000 Modern Masters 2015 packs opened across the world last weekend, with many more coming in side events (which I went 2-for-2 on this weekend, yay!). All told, that’s a lot of Tarmogoyfs. And while many expected that to be good enough to crater prices, reality doesn’t seem to be lining up with that.

feat253c_overhead

At this point most of the product that was opened in Vegas or elsewhere has been processed by the stores that bought it on-site (and most players were selling the valuable cards they opened so they could go gamble), so we are at or nearing peak supply. In fact, given that some notable cards have already begun to rebound price-wise, we may even be past that point. With Grand Prix Charlotte coming up next week (I’ll be there working coverage, so come say hi!), we’re going to see continued demand for those cards opened in Vegas.

But before I get into specifics, what are we seeing with the set, and format, as a whole?

A quick look over the set shows that things are down sharply from a week ago, even if a few Mythics are bucking that trend. Sure, Mox Opal, Tarmogoyf and Vendilion Clique already seem to be bottoming out, plenty of other cards are still falling. Even Cryptic Command, Kiki-Jiki and the mighty Eldrazi aren’t done falling. So, for all the talk of peak supply and a bottom, there is at least some evidence to the contrary.

mm2_jap

But on the other hand, there are those that present the opposite of this trend. Tarmogoyf is of course the main offender (and we’ll get to that in a bit), but other highly-playable cards at Mythic and Rare are already beginning to flatline or rebound slightly. Mox Opal, Clique, Noble Hierarch, Spellskite and Karn are all showing, at the least, a steadying of prices.

Notice the trend there? The highly-playable, truly A+ staple cards are holding up against the reprinting. Everything else that held a big price tag at least in part to short supply based on print run is really dropping. Wilt-Leaf Liege, Elesh Norn, Daybreak Coronet, Leyline of Sanctity and more are all still dropping, as we originally expected with the large influx of new supply.

What does this mean moving forward? It means that Modern Masters 2015 is doing exactly what Wizards of the Coast intended it to do. No, your Tarmogoyfs aren’t going to be $50 anytime soon. But you’re also not going to be shelling out $100 for a super-niche card like Coronet that was only expensive because of its laughably-small print run however many years ago. I suspect the drop on these “Tier 2” cards will continue, and we’ll see them settle lower in the coming weeks and months.

The best of the best, though? I doubt we see much downward movement in that. Grand Prix Charlotte coming up will do a little to buoy prices, though it’s possible we’ll see some more leveling out after that, similar to how Richmond went the last time around. After Charlotte, Modern won’t be on the minds of most people until we hit Modern PPTQ season and Grand Prix Oklahoma City in September.

So, to sum it up:

  • High-end staples are bottomed out, and slow, incremental growth will likely return.
  • “Tier 2” cards will continue to slowly fall over the coming month before leveling out and likely staying flat for months to come.
  • Casual stuff, like Creakwood Liege, is being destroyed, and will take at least two years to come back, if Doubling Season is any indication.

The Big Ones

Dark Confidant

Dark Confidant

Time to get more specific.

Let’s start with Dark Confidant. Formerly the gold standard of both Modern and Legacy and a huge status piece, we’ve seen Bob fall from that lofty heights.

And he’s fallen hard. While Maher is still the third-most expensive card in the set, we’re talking about a card that was pushing $100 at its height. While Siege Rhino has done a number to push this guy out of the format, I’m not sold on his death quite yet, even if a field full of Affinity and Burn isn’t the ideal world for this guy.

Still, this thing has halved in price, whereas buddy Tarmogoyf has seen just a 25% reduction, even if we’re generous with the numbers. I don’t see a super-bright future for Dark Confidant at this moment, but if he continues to fall we may see an opportunity here. I’m not dying to buy in at $45, but if this thing starts to push $30 I like it as a pickup. This may not be in flavor now, but a metagame shift could bring Bob right back to the forefront.

Vendilion Clique

vendilionclique

The little Faerie that could. What’s interesting is that this may actually see more play in Legacy than Modern. Either way, the price here seems to have bottomed out, and I expect this to float around $45-50 for a while to come.

Tarmogoyf

tarmogoyf

Finally, we come to it.

Here’s what I wrote two weeks ago concerning where I saw the Goyf heading.

“The mythics will drop, yes, but not drastically. The most frequently played Modern ones like Tarmogoyf and Clique will hold up best, but as a whole, we’re looking at just 15- to 25-percent drops here. This will make these cards more affordable, but I really wouldn’t be surprised to look back at this set when Modern Masters 2017 comes out and see the prices right back where they started.”

Before I go any further, there’s something I want to address specifically regarding Tarmogoyf. I know we look at the market as some elusive figure that can be predicted but never controlled. And while in most cases that’s true, it’s not always that way.

Take, for example, Grand Prix Las Vegas and Tarmogoyf. Before the event we saw Goyf dropping toward $150 with momentum to go below there. Then the event starts and one dealer is paying significantly higher on Tarmogoyf than anyone else. Their price? $130 cash. That’ll put the stops on $150 retail Goyfs pretty quickly.

Everyone else raised their buy price to at least compete, and because of that you saw an average buy price on Goyf $10-20 higher than it likely would have been if not for the decision that dealer made to put their money into Tarmogoyfs.

The effect was felt. Instead of a falling Tarmogoyf price we have one that rebounded to $160 thanks to dealer actions, just like last time. Considering Tarmogoyf was retailing at $190-$200 before the reprint, this also leaves my prediction two weeks ago pretty spot-on. We’re done seeing Goyf majorly fall at this point, and even if it trends down to $150 I sincerely doubt it’s headed much further below that any time soon.

So where will the final price be? I don’t think it’s going to brush off the reprint and be $200 again in a month, but I think $150-175 will be where it oscillates over the next year. As I wrote two weeks ago, I would absolutely not be surprised to see it back at the same $200 mark by the time we’re writing about Grand Prix Vegas 3.0 and Modern Masters 2017.

Conclusions

Modern Masters 2015 is now officially behind us, and while I’m sure there will still be plenty of drafts over the coming weeks, it’s time to look elsewhere. Grand Prix Charlotte next week will be the best place to begin to do that, and Modern has certainly proven itself to be a fairly open format at this point, something I plan to address ahead of the event next week.

Until then, thanks for reading.

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter
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UNLOCKED PROTRADER: Trade Modern, Don’t Own It!

The word “eternal” is defined as “lasting or existing forever; without end or beginning.” In Magic, the word is used to describe non-rotating formats, as they essentially last forever. And we all know what non-rotating formats mean in the financial world: stability in prices.

Or does it?

 

While Vintage and Legacy prices remain largely predictable—especially the gradual increase of staples on the reserved list—the fledgling Modern format seems to go through constant flux. Prices skyrocket on some cards while other cards tank in value due to an array of variables (though none involve rotation). Bannings and unbannings act as forceful shake-ups to the metagame, newly printed cards can strengthen one deck or hinder another dramatically, and one could even argue that the format isn’t yet solved.

But all of these variables pale in comparison to the highest form of price manipulation: reprints! Often times, a card’s reprinting is almost like a death sentence, killing years of potential price appreciation.

seize

One look at the chart for Thoughtseize is all it takes to convey the dire consequence of a reprint. The black sorcery from Lorwyn peaked near $80 in value, but now sells for under $40. The more than 50-percent drop is also reflected in the buylist price (the blue line on the chart above), which dropped from $50 to under $20 for a brief moment before recovering to around $25.

Modern’s Reprint Epidemic

Of course, reprints don’t only happen to Modern cards. During the release of Conspiracy, we saw a handful of Legacy staples get absolutely destroyed value-wise due to reprinting. Examples include Exploration and Misdirection, though Stifle still sticks out the most to me: I remember buylisting my copies a few years ago for around $15, then regretting that I sold out early, as Stifle peaked at around $50. But then it got absolutely obliterated by its reprint: it’s now valued under $10!

Stifle

But while the Legacy format can also receive the reprint treatment now and again, it seems like Modern is taking the largest beating. After all, Wizards of the Coast has released two entire sets dedicated to Modern reprints. Not only that, but I suspect these sets are likely to become a recurring thing based on the year being listed in Modern Masters 2015, meaning we haven’t seen the last of Modern reprints. Far from it.

This means that despite the hundreds of reprints we’ve received since Modern’s inception, we can expect to see many more. As the format ages, Wizards of the Coast will have a larger and larger pool to choose from for reprinting. For example, in a hypothetical Modern Masters 2017, we can expect to see cards from Innistrad block like Snapcaster Mage and Cavern of Souls. Then in Modern Masters 2019, we’ll get reprints of Abrupt Decay and shock lands. The cycle could continue indefinitely—after all, Modern is an “eternal” format, right?

Huge Implications

While technically Modern fits the eternal format definition, I’d argue that prices are more inclined to behave like those of Standard than Legacy going forward. In a way, a recurring cycle of Modern Masters is equivalent to Standard rotation. Both phenomena have a profound impact on card prices by applying downward pressure. Then over the long term, the true powerhouse staples may slowly recover with enough demand and player base growth.

While Legacy cards may also see reprint to an extent, it’s clear that Wizards of the Coast is prioritizing the reduction of cost of entry to Modern. After all, with the company’s self-inflicted reserve list policy, it can never reprint dual lands. As a result, we are likely to see duals rise over a long enough horizon (despite recent pullback trends…which are the reason I’ve been building my dual land position).

Sea

This type of steady, predictable price inflation can not be a characteristic of Modern staples. Constant threat of reprints severely hinders the potential for appreciation over time. The looming fear that a card’s value will be cut in half is too severe.

Because of this ongoing threat, I anticipate there will be a number of long-term effects providing everlasting (eternal?) headwinds to Modern card prices. Below I present three results stemming from the reprint epidemic in Modern beyond the acute price drops.

1) Trading vs. Investing

You don’t have to be a fan of CNBC personality Jim Cramer to appreciate his sentiment on Apple stock over the past few years: “Own it. Don’t trade it.” His point is that while Apple’s stock is prone to sizable fluctuations, the long term prospects of the world’s largest company is overall positive. Therefore, he advocates that you don’t try to buy and sell the stock constantly, but rather sit tight and enjoy the upward ride.

The same statement could apply to dual lands. People often ask, “When’s the best time to sell out of my duals?” Take it from someone who sold out of Legacy a couple years ago, only to regret 90 percent of those sales: the answer is, “Never, unless you need the cash.”

None of this is accurate for any Modern staples. In the world of Modern, you need to be a frequent trader and not an investor. You can’t become complacent with a single Modern card because you just never know when a reprint may occur. You also never know when a card will be banned, for that matter. The banning of Birthing Pod may have been the right call, and it certainly shook up the format in time for the Pro Tour. But the move cost me over $100 when all the dust settled. Pod dropped, and so did the likes of Reveillark, Ranger of Eos (less severely), Orzhov Pontiff, and worst of all, Chord of Calling.

Chord

Even though we knew Snapcaster Mage and Inkmoth Nexus were strong buys once it was confirmed they were out of MM2015, staples like these really aren’t good “investments”—they’re good trades. They are good to acquire over the course of a few months. But there’s not a single Modern card I can advocate investing in for years.

2) Deck Building

Once again, I turn to Twitter for an inspiring dialogue that best illustrates this point.

Tweets

The debate at hand was whether or not Modern Masters 2015 will provide the same increase in Modern interest that the original MMA sparked. The jury is still out on this one, but I want to highlight the viewpoint I communicated: now that Modern has been around for years, most players already have their decks. And while many players are in Jamie’s boat, acting opportunistically on MM2015-incited price drops, the reality is most players already interested in Modern have most of the cards they need. Only the newest of new Modern players will be looking to acquire three more Tarmogoyfs after opening one in a pack.

Ben shared his desire to build many Modern decks. While he has my utmost respect for pursuing this quest, I am left questioning the financial sense it makes to do so. If you’re jamming Modern on a regular basis, I could see the value of owning multiple decks to adjust to metagames. But having a number of Modern decks built is also a major liability because you are subjecting yourself to so much potential downside due to reprints.

When I was playing Legacy on a weekly basis, I was fortunate enough to trade towards cards required to build multiple archetypes. Like Ben, I enjoyed the versatility of having multiple decks at my disposal. But while I sat on a sizable Legacy collection, I never feared a sudden collapse in my cards’ values. The Legacy format was stable enough to give me confidence my assets would hold their current prices or even appreciate. So if I wasn’t enjoying one particular deck enough, I at least knew I could make profit over time regardless.

This is not the case with Modern. Holding many decks—or holding a large Modern portfolio for that matter—for an extended period of time is like asking for punishment. It may not be as bad as buying multiple cars from a value standpoint, but it’s probably close.

If enough people have this sentiment as me, it could mean less demand for Modern cards from players going forward. Modern players could potentially build the decks they want and be content to stop acquiring. The opportunity cost of sitting on unused Modern merchandise is simply too great.

3) Higher Volatility and Liquidity

This last consequence is probably a corollary of the first two, but I want to call it out separately in order to emphasize it. If speculators are focused on trading (not investing) Modern staples, and players are less inclined to build many decks, then you’ll have an environment where Modern cards are much more liquid and volatile.

If I pick up an extra dual land or Lion’s Eye Diamond, I may be inclined to sit on it for a while as an investment. The same goes for reserve list EDH staples, like strategic Legends rares. By sitting on copies and not unloading them, players reduce liquidity in the market by removing copies from the economy.

LED

But with Modern, it’s different. Modern cards are far more liquid because players will frequently be looking to get rid of certain cards. Open a Vendilion Clique in an MM2015 pack, but playing Jund in Modern? Throw that Clique on TCGplayer for a quick sale! Have all the fetches you need already? Throw extras in your trade binder—they are highly liquid and should be easy to trade toward the cards you do need.

Along with the higher trade volumes comes higher price volatility. Reprints and banned-list changes are obvious drivers of volatility, but shifts in the Modern metagame will also have a major impact. Amulet Bloom’s appearance and disappearance from top tables reminds me of Brett Favre’s retirement and un-retirement from the NFL. Like the Minnesota Vikings’ playoff prospects during Favre’s final years playing football, the value of Amulet of Vigor follows a roller coaster trajectory as the deck falls in favor and out again (though now the price seems to have finally stuck).  (And sorry, couldn’t resist the awful analogy.)

Amulet

One weekend of Jund dominance could send Liliana of the Veil to new all-time highs. Sudden proliferation of Affinity decks could mean sizable gains for holders of Creeping Corrosion or Stony Silence.

As mentioned before, all of these rapid price moves lend themselves toward trading and not investing, which is why we’re likely to see massive volatility in the Modern market continue.

Wrapping It Up

In short, Modern speculation won’t be for the faint-of-heart nor for those short on time. Significant profits can be had dealing in Modern, but constant attention to the metagame and likely reprints is required. Whereas you could purchase a Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale and sit on it for years to make money, the same strategy simply doesn’t work with Modern staples. For one, you subject yourself to severe reprint risk. Additionally, you may miss a prime opportunity to sell at a peak when a given Modern staple may be in higher demand due to a metagame shift.

Lastly, be careful building many Modern decks for personal use. While it is certainly fun to switch up strategies from week to week, you need to consider the possible ramifications of sitting on so much Modern stock for long periods of time. In other eternal formats like Legacy, sitting on extra staples is often a boon for your wallet. But with Modern, it could mean riding many downward trajectories in card prices, such as the one below.

Opal

If you’re not using the cards often, think before you sit on many cards for too long. Weigh the opportunity cost of holding through potential reprints alongside how much you’re enjoying these cards. Personally, I maintain just one Modern deck—I concede the fact that some of my cards may drop in price due to reprinting because I like having a deck to play with. But because I don’t play frequently, I can’t justify suffering this financial pain across multiple decks. The losses are just too great. And with the likelihood of many reprints to come in the future, my recommendation to trade Modern cards and not own them is more important than ever.

Sig’s Quick Hits

If you’re up for some good Modern pick-ups to flip in a few months, here are some worthwhile considerations. Just don’t hold these for too long—you never know when they’ll get reprinted or fall out of favor in Modern.

  • Arcbound Ravager dodged MM2015 reprint. After getting the reprint treatment in MMA, the artifact creature has recovered in price completely. Now Star City Games has just two total copies in stock, and both are SP and from Darksteel. NM copies are just over $20 and are completely sold out, and prices should go higher if Affinity remains a popular strategy in Modern.
  • I like Hive Mind as a pickup in trade. The card was printed only once, in Magic 2010. SCG has just two SP and three MP copies in stock, and they’re sold out of NM copies at $5.05. While Amulet Bloom’s popularity may wax and wane, the raw power of this enchantment should help buoy its price for the foreseeable future.
  • Mutagenic Growth’s reprint in MM2015 will absolutely destroy this common’s value. SCG has 77 NM copies of the MM2015 version in stock for $0.49 and 97 New Phyrexia copies at the same price. Vines of Vastwood has a similar story. Might of Old Krosa, on the other hand, dodged reprint yet again. Star City Games has plenty in stock, but we’re nearing $10 uncommon territory. Foils are sold out, however, with a price tag of $14.99. Expect this price to rise very soon.

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