Money Ramp

Hello everybody and thank you for tuning into this week’s edition of Money Ramp!

My name is Zack Alvarado, and I will be your host for the present. My first installment on will examine price increases on the current market and discuss what I believe has influenced these changes.  Specifically, I will be discussing Modern format dual-lands and why they’re currently on an unavoidable uptrend.

Pain Lands, such as Temple Garden, are staple picks for land slots in Modern comps (competitive deck builds) that are utilizing multi-colored spell bases:  they provide an efficient mathematical dunamis – in terms of spell-casting and ability-activating potential. Paying 2-life to ensure that a vital 1-drop (such as BoP) can be played on the 1st turn, while simultaneously extending the variability of castable spells on turn two, seems very hard to argue against.

Now, what about Filter Lands from the Lorwyn-block? Five were printed in the Shadowmoor expansion, and five in the Morningtide expansion, but they haven’t received much favor until recently – why? Well firstly and foremostly, they lack a basic land type:  rendering them unfetchable by cards such as Scalding Tarn and Misty Rainforest. But I digress, are 8-12 Pain Lands necessary for efficient mana-fixing? – Especially in conjunction with 4-6 Fetch Lands? – I don’t think so – and neither do some of the currently best players.

Lorzeno Calzolari, who recently reached the top-8 of Grand Prix Bilboa, was asked what changes he would make to his deck after the tournament; he replied by saying, “I swapped a Cascade Bluffs for an Island at the last minute. I wouldn’t change anything else.” (staff). Calzolari wasn’t the only top-8 player at Wizard’s GP Bilboa this weekend to include Filter Lands in his build; 5 of the top 8 decks were utilizing Filter Lands this weekend. Why? Well, perhaps they agree that there is a point where a deck can have too many Pain Lands and Fetch Lands – freeing up a few slots for Filter Lands and the strong mana fixing they provide at the cost of 0 life.

I knew that players would mathematically tune their mana bases for Modern and would realize that Filter Lands have a solid home (in small amounts). A month ago, on Dec 22nd, 2012, I suggested that players invest in their sets of Modern filter lands via Twitter, #mtgfinance:

Let’s look at the increasing prices of Filter Lands at, via – simply because they have the least price flux, as opposed to; and the most stable inventory, as opposed to Now, I use the ProTrader features from MTGPrice to access my data – so your charts won’t go back as far as mine unless you’re a ProTrader as well. However, if you look at the price-spikes after my tweet on December 22nd, and prices at Jan 22nd, 2013:  you’ll understand that the database offers unprecedented reports of the MTG market that can assist traders in predicting uptrending and downtrending volatility.

Here are the price fluxes of Filter Lands between May 19th (the date that Modern format was announced) and Jan 22nd, 2013.

So all in all, it is apparent that these cards have skyrocketed since Modern became ‘a thing’: the 10 Filter Lands have collectively averaged a price increase of $6.25! Their collective average price in May was $7.50!

Stay tuned for my second article to drop next week – I’ll be revealing some premature uptrends and discussing bad investment practices that ProTrader features can save you from making!

Money Ramp Weekly Tip –
[ Keep an eye on the Lorwyn-block Lieges: you’ll be happy you did – or I’ll be happy you didn’t! ]
Until next time,

Zack R Alvarado
Twitter: Rh1zzualo



Johnson, G. (n.d.). Mathemagics: Onslaught Fetchlands. Retrieved January 20th, 2013, from

staff, W. o. (n.d.). Manders is Modern Man of the Moment. Retrieved from Wizards of the Coast: