Thinking About Modern Masters II

By: Jared Yost

For the Modern fans among us, I feel like it’s time to give some serious thought to the upcoming Modern Masters II now that Khans has been out for a few months. Gathering inspiration from some of the awesome deck’s I’ve been seeing last week at the Magic World Championships, I’ve decided to see what Modern looks like now that Khans has been in the format for several months. Knowing where the format is heading will be important in determining what cards have the highest chance of being in MM2.

Modern Masters Two will not only reduce prices, thereby allowing newer players to more easily enter the format, but it will also provide us with opportunities for picking up previously expensive casual and Commander cards that just happened to be included in the set because someone at Wizards R&D really liked them. Thinking about them now will give us plenty of time to consider whether or not we would like to trade them or buylist them for other potential value cards.

Current Day Values

Let’s see what the most current price swings for cards over the last week have been in Modern according to MTGPrice’s 50 Biggest Gainers of the Week.

Card Name
Chalice of the Void
Modern Masters
Chalice of the Void
Brimaz, King of Oreskos
Born of the Gods
Sliver Legion
Future Sight
Modern Masters
Shards of Alara
Arid Mesa
Liliana of the Veil
Phyrexian Obliterator
New Phyrexia
Eldrazi Monument
Infernal Tutor
Minamo, School at Water's Edge
Champions of Kamigawa
Dark Confidant
Modern Masters
Flooded Strand
Khans of Tarkir
Sorin Markov
Quicksilver Amulet
Phantasmal Image
Dark Confidant
Rhys the Redeemed
AEther Vial
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
Avacyn Restored
Whip of Erebos
Painter's Servant
Glimpse of Nature
Champions of Kamigawa
Sorin Markov
Tezzeret the Seeker
Shards of Alara
Furyborn Hellkite
Cascade Bluffs
Extraplanar Lens
Smash to Smithereens
Mox Opal
Scars of Mirrodin
Akroma's Memorial
Ensnaring Bridge
8th Edition
Glimpse the Unthinkable
Scalding Tarn
Sword of Fire and Ice
Deathbringer Liege
Wooded Foothills
Khans of Tarkir
Flooded Grove
Steam Vents
Razorfoot Grifin
City of Brass
Modern Masters
Hero of Iroas
Born of the Gods
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Rise of the Eldrazi
Elvish Piper
9th Edition
Glen Elendra Archmage
Garruk Wildspeaker
Ajani, Mentor of Heroes
Journey Into Nyx

Chalice of the Void is the clear winner. Treasure Cruise has arguably done the most damage in Modern than any other format. For now though, many players are fighting through all the TC decks with their cheap cantrips by maindecking or sideboarding Chalice of the Void. Chalice for one charge counter stops a large majority of the spells and will slow them down considerably.

I think the boat has passed on Chalice of the Void for now due to the recent spike. It has spiked to $15 TCG Median and will be sitting there for quite some time – at least until Treasure Cruise is banned. (maybe?)

Another notable high up on the list is Phyrexian Obliterator, which seems to still be hovering around the $30 threshold. It spiked to $30 back in January of this year and hasn’t moved since then. It is played in Modern but isn’t a staple of the format like Tarmogoyf or Dark Confidant. This leads me to believe that the majority of its demand comes from the casual crowd. Casuals love the effect of this horror which makes it seem like a good pickup. The price could easily spike again January of 2015 since it hasn’t moved for a year.

Now that we know which cards seem to be trending upwards in value, let’s take a look at the current metagame and most played cards.

Current Metagame and Most Played Cards

The MTGTop8 recorded metagame over the last two months includes the following: 

Aggro #
UR Aggro 72
Red Deck Wins 33
Affinity 25
Hatebear 13
Aura Hexproof 12
Zoo 11
Merfolk 8
Junk 8
RUG Aggro 5
Jund 3
Boremandos 2
Loam 2
Tokens 1
Other – Aggro 1
UWx Midrange 12
UrzaTron 10
Valakut 6
Martyr Life 5
Blue Moon 5
UW Control 4
Gift Control 2
The Rock 1
Faeries 1
Other – Control 6
Birthing Pod 38
Scapeshift 25
Twin Exarch 16
Bloom Titan 7
Jeskai Ascendancy 7
UR Storm 5
Ad Nauseam 4
Infect 2
Living End 1
Instant Reanimator 1
Other – Combo 1


UR Aggro has become the most dominant deck in the format, representing 20% of the Top 8 appearances. UWx is still the most popular control deck and Birthing Pod is still the most popular combo deck through Khans.

Scapeshift has started outpacing Twin Exarch lists as a favorite combo choice since it is much harder to disrupt land drops than creatures in order to execute your instant-win combo. Jeskai Ascendency has become a successful deck in Modern but it is not quite as dominant as everyone thought it would become.

One deck that is falling out of favor is UrzaTron, due to the speed of the UR Aggro decks in the format. Martyr Life seems to be a deck that is taking its place since gaining a huge amount of life in addition will help outpace all of the UR and Burn decks floating around.

Another deck falling out of favor is Living End. With only one Top 8 placement in the last two months, it appears that Living End is falling out of favor for the faster combo decks.

What Does It All Mean?

After reviewing both MTGPrice’s 50 Biggest Gainers of the Week and the MTG Top 8 results over the last two months, I would like to make some observations about several of the cards identified in the first section that I think have a surprising price. In addition, I would like to address the more expensive parts of the decks in the MTG Top 8 results that did not appear in the recently trending cards. My thoughts pertain to the non-foil version of the card for all cases. 

Card MM2 Possible Inclusion? Reasoning Price Thoughts
Chalice of the Void No Reprint in first MM Price is inflated due to Treasure Cruise metagame shift. A banning of TC will make Chalice drop again. If you didn’t get in before the spike, then you missed the boat for profit. Only pickup now if you plan on playing Modern in the near future.
Phyrexian Obliterator Yes Casual favorite, Some Modern play Expensive, but could spike again before MM2. Pick up your copies before January if you plan on playing with Obliterator in the near future – otherwise wait to see if it is in MM2.
Arid Mesa (and other ZEN fetchlands) Yes Modern staple, no reprint yet. The prices of the ZEN fetches have dropped considerably upon Khans fetches being released. They will drop even more if a MM2 reprint happens. I would wait on picking up ZEN fetches unless you need them right away.
Aether Vial No Reprint in first MM Aether Vial seems to be trending upwards yet does receive a reprint every now and then. I think Vial will continue to trend upwards until the next reprint, whenever that may come.
Cascade Bluffs (and other SHM filter lands) No As a set of ten two-color filter lands, this cycle would be better off reprinted across another block like the shocklands were reprinted in RTR block. Prices for these lands are waaaaay overinflated. Once these are reprinted they are going to bottom out hard. I would not pick up copies of these at all unless you need them for a deck.
Smash to Smithereens Yes Common, easy to include and is used heavily in Modern against affinity and other artifact based decks. Price will drop hard once the card is reprinted and it doesn’t have much room to move up. Get rid of any extra copies you have.
Mox Opal Yes Affinity staple. Price will drop, but not considerably. Still be wary of holding onto Mox Opals through next summer.
Ensnaring Bridge Yes Hard to find. Played in Commander, Modern, and Legacy. Casuals also love this card. Price will drop with a reprint. However, in the long run the price will go up over time until the next reprint. Wait for the bottom and then pick them up.
Steam Vents (and other RTR / GTC shocklands) No Just reprinted in recent block. Wizards even added extras to the market by including them in Dragon’s Maze. Pick up shocklands now before their price starts creeping back up again once they become harder to find. I would target blue lands especially.
Minamo, School at Water’s Edge No Kamigawa legendary lands are sometimes seen in Modern (Eiganjo is one example) but are played a ton in Commander. I’d expect these lands in a Commander product. Not something I would look to pick up. The card is not going to $20+ anytime soon and if reprinted next year will drop like a rock.
Sorin Markov No Two printings already, mainly just a casual card. Sorin is at $15 and climbing. I don’t think he will be reprinted in MM2 but could definitely be reprinted in a Commander or casual supplementary product.
Quicksilver Amulet No Two printings already, mainly just a casual card. Similar to Sorin, could easily be put in a supplementary product and is not doubling up any time soon.
Rhys the Redeemed Yes Only one printing and lots of casual love. $18 is very high for Rhys. He is worth almost as much as Doubling Season, which is saying something. The price is propped up by scarcity alone. One reprint will crash it.
Extraplanar Lens Yes Only one printing and lots of casual love. I would expect Wizards to skip EL over other cards for MM2 but this could be a last minute include since they did not include it in the recent C14 decks. Price will crash if a reprint happens.
Akroma’s Memorial No Two printings already, mainly a casual card. Akroma’s Memorial will keep rising over time until the next reprint. I don’t think this reprint will be in MM2.
Glimpse the Unthinkable Yes Popular casual card with some Modern appeal for a mill deck. Only one printing. Glimpse is a card that a ton of players love that has yet to see a reprint. MM2 is a great place for it. Price will crash when this happens since it is mainly just a casual card.
Deathbringer Liege No Popular casual card yet Wizards has found ways outside of MM sets to reprint these (C13, Planechase 2012, etc.) Lords are popular casual cards but I don’t see this one being printed in a MM set for the reasons I stated. The price will go up over time for this liege without a reprint, though I do expect a commander release to contain this or another liege next year.
Elvish Piper No Six reprints already. Can find another place outside MM set. Price will continue to go up until the next reprint. Last reprint was 10th edition, so it has been quite a while since Piper has had a reprint. Maybe the next commander set?
Voidslime Yes Only one regular reprinting (Champs was full art). Like Glimpse the Unthinkable its a popular casual card, even if not really played in Modern. I don’t think this card has much room to grow. Only casually popular. If included in Modern Masters the price will drop.
Young PyromancerSerum VisionsGitaxian Probe

Forked Bolt

Inquisition of Kozilek


Spell Pierce

Yes I’m including all these cards in the same category because I feel that they are uncommons and commons that could easily get reprinted. They are overvalued in price due to being scarce. Though not all of these uncommons / commons could be printed, I would expect a large majority of them to be on the list for MM2. I will be getting rid of any extra copies of these I have before next summer (except maybe Young Pyromancer because that is one hot uncommon!).
Goblin Guide Yes Hugely popular card, both casually and in Modern. Guide will drop significantly if printed in MM2. Will continue to increase in price until reprint is announced.
Eidolon of the Great Revel No Standard legal card, no reason. They could still include Eidolon in an event deck or other supplementary product. The price will continue to go up slowly until then.
Noble Hierarch Yes Very costly pricewise. Important piece of mana fixing and tempo in Modern and Legacy. High probability of being in MM2. Hierarch doesn’t have much room to grow, only because most are speculating a reprint in MM2. I would trade away any extra copies you have because the risk is far greater holding.
Daybreak CoronetAven Mindcensor Yes Random future sight rare with one printing that is amazing in Modern. Commander also likes this card. Like Hierarch, Daybreak Coronet would not be worth nearly as much if not for being in an older, less printed set. Aven Mindcensor is in the same camp.
Geist of Saint Traft Yes Popular casual, Commander, and Modern card. I think Geist has a fair chance of being reprinted as a mythic in MM2, especially if Treasure Cruise is not banned. Very powerful, efficient beater.
Snapcaster Mage Yes Multi-format all star with only one printing. Like Goyf and Bob, Snappy will probably be a mythic in MM2 to not kill the price. Should stabilize Snapcaster if this happens.
Restoration Angel Yes Efficient Modern beater, casual fan favorite being an Angel. Resto-Angel has a decent chance of being in MM2. If not MM2, then certainly a commander product in the future.
Karn Liberated
Grove of the Burnwillows
Yes Karn is way pricy for a planeswalker, only due to being in NPH. Grove is similarly expensive though played in more than one Modern deck. Both need another reprint to reduce prices. Both cards will continue to increase in price, but not substantially. Again, risk is way too high to hold extra copies.
Mythic Eldrazi (Emrakul, Kozilek, Ulamog) Yes? MM2 is a great place for the Eldrazi as a mythic rare cycle. Also, they are casual favorites like many cards on this list. Slowly going up, but reprint fear will keep prices stabilized for some time.
Ranger of EosSerra Ascendant Yes Hard to find, only one printing. Slowly going up, but reprint fear will keep prices stabilized for some time.
Linvala, Keeper of Silence Yes Hard to find, only one printing. Slowly going up, but reprint fear will keep prices stabilized for some time.
Birthing Pod Yes Modern staple Slowly going up, but reprint fear will keep prices stabilized for some time.
Splinter Twin Yes Modern staple Slowly going up, but reprint fear will keep prices stabilized for some time.
Azusa, Lost but Seeking Yes Hard to find, only one printing. Slowly going up, but reprint fear will keep prices stabilized for some time.


These are my brief thoughts on various cards for inclusion in MM2. Do you think I’ve missed anything important for this list? What curveballs do you think Wizards will throw into MM2? (Remember Ryusei, the Falling Star and other CHK dragon’s in the first MM? Eww.) What types of mechanic themes do you think the set will have?

Regardless of how my predictions turn out, I think that Modern Masters II will be a fun set!


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23 thoughts on “Thinking About Modern Masters II”

    1. Yes, and I actually had written this article last week before that information was revealed!

      So any cards that are after New Phyrexia you can just skip over them lol.

  1. nice article, cleared up some of my fears. But I strongly believe the new phyrexia and mirrodin swords will be there to further justify the $10 dollar MSRP on each pack. $10 dollars is a lot for a single pack.

    1. I’m still trying to reconcile these two facts:

      — The primary purpose of MM is to lower the entry cost to the Modern format.

      — $10/pack.

      1. Vendors immediately bumped up the price they charged to about this, maybe WotC figured to cut out the middle man so to speak. That said wonder if vendors bump up to $15.

  2. I saw the video with Ben Hayes, both designer and devoloper of MM 2015 Edition.

    “Mirrodin to New Phyrexia”
    (No Innistrad, thus no Snapcaster Mage or Geist of Saint Traft)

    “The new sets are all of Zendikar block, M10, M11 and all of Scars of Mirrodin block. I can tell you the exciting cards are in. Draft is the same style as the original Modern Masters where strong two color archetypes with cross synergy.”

    (Metalcraft is definitely in due to the Etched Champion spoiler and Sneak/Ramp is in due to Emrakul.)

    Metalcraft – Notable risks of reprint are Mox Opal, Steel Overseer, Inkmoth Nexus, Cranial Plating and Signal Pest.

    Tron – Urza lands would be terrible for draft so these are out.

    Sneak – Notable risks of reprint are Elvish Piper, Through the Breach and Fist of Suns. The only problem with this strat is the sneak spells are rare and hard to draft for this archtype, thus Emrakul will need reliant ramps to get off the ground.

    Ramp – Explore, Harrow, Cultivate, Lotus Cobra and/or Noble Hierarch. Harrow is huge with landfall and it would be a shame for cards like Avenger of Zendikar, Bloodghast, Groundswell and Valakut be left out.

    Ok…are we now finally going to get that Damnation reprint?

    1. Good insight, I had written the article before Sunday so some of the cards I’m guessing would clearly be a no after that reveal.

      Damnation would be good in this set, at mythic of course knowing Wizards.

      Since you mentioned Inkmoth Nexus I wonder if they will make Infect an archetype…. *shudder*

  3. Great overview of the cards that could be potentially reprinted in Modern Masters 2. I’ll certainly be checking back on your very useful table a lot in the next few months while trading /researching my own articles.

  4. If accessibility is part of WotC’s reasoning for this set I see no reason they wouldn’t reprint cards from MM1 that are still cost prohibitive for entry into the format. Tarmogoyf, Dark Confidant, Vendillion Clique, and Cryptic Command are all cards that will help sell packs and are still expensive enough that I don’t foresee them being left out.

    1. That’s a great point, they could use this product to consistently reprint Goyf, Bob, Clique, C. Command, and other cards that are format staples.

      I wonder how many copies of Goyf and Bob they would need to reprint in order to drastically reduce the price? If C. Command is at rare again the price will significantly drop. Another reprint of Clique would also lower its price significantly.

  5. There is no sense putting Zendikar fetches in MM2015.
    It would imbalance the land cycle in the Khans block and current standard.

    The Zendikar fetches will be in Dragons of Tarkir because Aaron Forscythe indicated that lands for current sets are printed in the full 10 cycle across the block. Onslaught fetches were already printed and will rotate with the painlands from M15. Once the Zen fetches are in Dragons and the opposite set of painlands are in M16, they will rotate together and will supplement the standard mana cycles once M15/Khanslaught rotate together. It will also support potentially one of the best standard PTs by providing Full 10 painlands, scrylands and fetchlands in Pro Tour M16.

    The rest I agree on.
    but $10 MSRP? thats a bit steep for a booster pack that could contain a bulk $0.50 rare like MM1. Might actually be better off with lottery tickets at this point lol

    MM felt like it was worth picking up at $7-10 per pack, as some packs you’d lose, and some you would easily double or triple your value.. and every pack had that chance at a Goyf.
    Then it became $12, I refused to buy… then $20 (not that bad of a deal!).. then GPs/PTQs offering drafts for $40.. That’s a steal! Glad I got my box for $160 when I could.

    1. I want to believe the Zendikar fetches will be in Fate Reforged/Dragons of Tarkir, but having both fetches in the same standard format would slow it to a crawl due to all the shuffling.

      1. That may be true, but if Wizards could print money, don’t you think they would? Khans of Tarkir has already sold what is it now, 50% more than Theros or RTR?

        Who cares if shuffling takes longer, it’s just going to make people play faster or result in potential draws.

        Oh no, standard may be like modern/legacy with the amount of shuffling… 🙂

    1. Depends on how good MM ’15 draft environment is compared to the first MM. If the first MM has a better draft environment that players agree is better than MM ’15, your box will go up in value more quickly than it would otherwise.

      The box will maintain value from a collector’s perspective, but think of the Innistrad scenario – Innistrad boxes went up much quicker in value than similar time frame sets due to awesome limited environment.

  6. No mention of Horizon Canopy? I feel it probably should have the spot Grove of the Burnwillows got, as its never been reprinted in any supplemental product and fills a spot in a lot of decks- many who haven’t bothered with its synergy or havent discovered it its potential in, say, dredge, miracles, etc. Way over price inflated due solely to scarcity in a single old set. I think its highly likely in MM2 (hope so, anyway!)

    1. Good call, an oversight on my part since it is really only seen in Bogles and in Legacy Maverick lists. Definitely has an overinflated price though!

  7. What are your thoughts on Thoughtseize (pretty sure LSV already used that, but oh well)? I guess the likelihood of a reprint is relatively low due to Theros, but OTOH it is widely played (also in Legacy), comes from Lorwyn, doesn’t distort limited and the price has started creeping up again. If Bob, Goyf, Cryptic command and other staples from MM1 are possible candidates for reprinting, how long do you think Thoughtseize is safe from it – and what does that mean for its price trajectory?

    1. Thoughtseize could see a reprint in an event deck, that would be the only place I would see it getting reprinted again for a while (at least until MM 2017 or whatever). Getting the Standard treatment usually prevents a card from getting reprinted for quite a while again.

      Thoughtseize may see a dip when Theros rotates but I highly doubt it. This means that its price will slowly go up over time, with the occasional spike, until the next reprint. Being in Standard will stabilize its price for the time being.

  8. How much do you think a reprint of Bob in mm2 would affect it’s value? Thinking about buying in on 4 at 35$ / card. (Sp quality) it seems like it should be a very good buy but I’m worried.

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