PROTRADER: What You Weren’t Watching

How about that Bant Company deck? Or those Human decks? Or even the Eldrazi menace making its appearance in Standard?

It’s true that we had a wild first weekend of Shadows Over Innistrad Standard last week, and the results from the Star City Games Open in Baltimore give us our first starting point for this format, with Jim Davis and his Bant Company deck taking down an event that even saw the unlikely rise of Pyromancer’s Goggles.


It makes sense that everyone is infatuated with Standard at the moment. After all, we’re now officially out of the “four-color midrange” land that was Oath of the Gatewatch Standard, and with Rotation comes new life, new thrills and new opportunities.

I was going to write about those opportunities this week, but then I read Jim Casale’s excellent piece on Standard that ran on Tuesday. It covers basically everything I would say about the format, and there’s really no need for me to repeat what he said so well.

But Standard wasn’t the only thing that happened last weekend. If you have forgotten so quickly, there was a little bit of a shakeup in Modern. Eye of Ugin is gone and a couple cards you may have heard of named Sword of the Meek and Ancestral Vision were unbanned. So while SCG Baltimore marked a turning point in Standard, it also marked a brand new Modern format, one that’s been a bit lost in the shuffle this week.

But there was plenty there to like, so let’s dig in.

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2 thoughts on “PROTRADER: What You Weren’t Watching”

  1. What do you think about Judge’s Familiar?'s_Familiar

    If Curse Catcher can go from $6 to $15+ because of Modern play in Merfolk… Could Judge’s Familiar double up as well??? Maybe foils or the FNM promos are the better spec at around $1-$2 if we are looking for a double up… Then again, I don’t think it would take much to to see non-foils go from 50 cents to $2 if the right circumstances arise.

    Judge’s Familiar shows up in Hatebears already and maybe it will show up in some sort of U/W control list somewhere down the line. It just seems like such a low risk spec at these prices. Non-foil market price has remained flat for about a year but buylist price has quietly gone from 10 cents to 20 cents in the same time-frame.

    If we are moving into a more control focused Modern Meta… Isn’t this a good card to speculate on? Either your opponent must kill it right away, wasting their removal on a 1cmc creature… Or they need to come up with a 2-for-1 in your favor, giving you card advantage. Worst case scenario… They have to plan on paying an extra 1 mana tax for their instant/sorcery or you can just play this card as a 1/1 flier for 1.

    And Aether Vial is a thing too. I realize Modern Merfolk is the first of the Aether Vial decks to make a dent in Modern recently, but I feel like G/W Hatebears and maybe even U/W Hatebears or Death and Taxes won’t be far behind.

    How does Judge’s Familiar NOT break out in Modern over the next year? Even without huge numbers… I’m seeing it in enough Hatebear decks to at least consider this spec as a steady gainer.

    Maybe a U/W Taxes deck will emerge with Aether Vial, Thalia, Leonin Arbiter, Ghost Quarter, Spreading Seas, Judge’s Familiar, etc. All alone Judge’s Familiar doesn’t seem that great but you add in these other tax cards and now your opponent CAN’T pay the extra 1 mana to get around Judge’s Familiar.

    1. I’m not huge on Judge’s Familiar. It does a lot of things well, but the truth is it doesn’t have a home – Cursecatcher is a special case that happens to line extremely well in the deck it’s in – Familiar does have that deck.

      Yet, as you mentioned. If it does begin to pop up, we’ll have an opportunity then to move in on the promos. But no need to yet, in my opinion.

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