PROTRADER: What Do You Want to Get from Modern?

In early 2012, when Modern was still in its infancy, then-Wizards developer Zac Hill wrote this article (cached version linked because—surprise, surprise—the Wizards website is giving me an error code when I try to go to the live article) previewing Cavern of Souls. This section of Hill’s article single-handedly convinced me that I was never going to play Standard again once Scars of Mirrodin rotated:

One of the problems is that Mana Leak is simply a much more powerful card than we would be comfortable printing under modern development rules. Similar to why the Swords are so powerful—their costs were locked in before people really understood how to price Equipment—Mana Leak is a relic of a bygone era.

Now, I get into arguments whenever I make a claim like this, because it’s difficult to see. I can’t tell you how many times I have been in a conversation of the following form:

“You guys are power creeping so hard.”

“Hmm. I don’t think we are. After all, there are all kinds of spells that we would never print nowadays that ran rampant in old environments, such as Compulsive Research, Force Spike, Remand, ‘Signets,’ etc.”

Izzet Signet

This statement bothered me because Mana Leak and Remand are two of my favorite Magic cards, but what really blew my mind is that Hill cited Signets as being too good for Standard. Remember that this was just a few months before Return to Ravnica‘s release, and this was one of the first indications that the set was going to power down the format in a big way compared to the original Ravnica—except for the creatures, of course.

Pack Rat

Seeing the direction that Standard was heading, Modern seemed like the only reasonable choice for competitive Constructed on a relatively small budget.

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6 thoughts on “PROTRADER: What Do You Want to Get from Modern?”

  1. What do i want to get from modern?
    A non rotating deck. (bans suck).
    People spend hard earned money on decks that become great only until wotc swings the ban hammer. ” Woops we are sorry you wasted 500.00 completing that twin deck but hey now the format is more fair” Ok wotc how about a refund then!

    1. You mean $40 on a set of Twin. The rest of the deck is still fine, and even then Twin isn’t going to completely crater. This “sky is falling” attitude about prices is really annoying.

  2. Being pissed that wotc has banned all to many cards and deck strategy ive used in the past ten years is still a thing. Tired of their BS.
    Could care less about card prices just sick of the ban wagon.

  3. Mr. Danny Brown everyone:
    …”I’ve also shifted my focus for Modern: from finance-minded player to financier who doesn’t play. What I want to get from Modern now is steady income from picking up cards during the off-season and selling them during the months when Modern is all the rage.”…

    Feel free to do that, but… I hope you realize that people who speculate on a format that they never intend to play… is kind of the reason prices are SOOO HIGH in the first place. You kind of crossed that invisible line that “speculators” aren’t supposed to cross there. The one that alienates the playerbase…

    You also mentioned a ton of times that if you don’t intend on playing with a card before it is reprinted you DON’T NEED IT. Well… I think you just said you don’t intend on playing an entire format, so by your reasoning, you shouldn’t be spending your money on cards you DON’T NEED!

    So… What the fuck are you saying here? Your readers shouldn’t buy Modern cards they “don’t need” because you are going to buy Modern cards you don’t need… and what… sell them to them at the worst possible time for them and the best possible time for you? Even though they are actually playing Modern and you aren’t? Huh. I wonder if anyone bought that crap?

    How the hell is this even a Pro Trader Article anyway? Its more like a rant on reddit about a guy who is struggling with his decision to quit Modern but at the same time wants to profit off of those who are still loyal to the format.

    I don’t know about other Pro Traders… but I don’t really think the kind of crap Mr. Brown is spewing needs to be published in the future. This article really does deserve a NON-PAYWALL home buried in reddit somewhere.

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