The Watchtower 3/6/17

By: Travis Allen

Don’t miss this week’s installment of the MTG Fast Finance podcast, an on-topic, no-nonsense tour through the week’s most important changes in the Magic economy. And if you enjoy playing Magic, make sure to visit to find PPTQs, SCG Opens, and more events on an interactive map with worldwide coverage. Find Magic near you today.

I’d love to tell you about some cool new deck in Standard, I really would. Maybe a Mechanized Production list that took the MOCS by storm, or something showing up repeatedly in the MTGO constructed leagues. That would be great. But I can’t. The MOCS was as boring as can be, with almost everyone in the room playing Copycat or Mardu Vehicles. The most exotic deck there was Temur Marvelworks, which is hardly an unknown quantity. I guess we’re stuck waiting for Amonkhet to shake things up? That or the ban list announcement next Monday. Either way, Aether Revolt’s exploration period was short lived indeed.

Instead, we’ll look over at Modern again. With the Modern Masters 2017 spoiler now completely available, we know exactly what’s coming, and more specifically, what isn’t. The last few weeks I’ve featured several cards that I thought had good outlooks if they weren’t reprinted, and I don’t think any of them were. All of those perspectives still stand. We’ll get into a few more now.

Threads of Disloyalty

Price Today: $4.50
Possible Price: $15

Remember this card? Remember how it used to be $30? Well, it’s $4.50 now. When a card that used to be $30 is now $4.50, and there was no reprint or banning involved in the presence of the card in the metagame, that means we could reasonably return to the old high.

Somewhere between Born of the Gods and Journey to Nyx, Threads spiked hard, and has ridden a slow train downhill to the roughly $4.50 a copy you’ll pay today. It doesn’t show up all too often today, though it was still seeing play for months after the initial price spike. Does that rule it out as unplayable though? No, not at all. More than likely, people just sort of forgot about it after it stopped serving an immediate need in the format.

Imagine this against Death’s Shadow, for instance. Threads can steal their Tarmogoyfs, for one thing. It can also steal the eponymous card. And in the instance where your life is high enough that Death’s Shadow doesn’t stick around, hey, that’s cool. It acts as a pseudo-removal spell in that situation. People aren’t playing three mana removal spells in Modern too often, but a three mana control magic that can kill Death’s Shadow in a pinch is fine. And it’s not like people stopped playing Tarmogoyf, or Snapcaster Mage, or Arcbound Ravager, or Scavenging Ooze, or Dark Confidant, or Grim Flayer, or…

There’s not an immediate impetus to grab copies of Threads of Disloyalty. I don’t expect it to come roaring back into Modern this week. It’s worth keeping an eye on though, all the same. With no additional copies having been added to the market since the last time it was far into double digit territory, there’s no reason whatsoever to think that it couldn’t do it again. If this begins sneaking into 5-0 league lists at some point, it may be time to act.

Eldrazi Temple

Price Today: $7.50
Possible Price: $15

This may have made you money a year or so ago, and it could be time to double dip if so. If you missed the first time around, well, don’t make the same mistake twice.

Browsing Modern events, whether they’re 5-0 league lists, or GP top 32s, or SCG Opens, there always seems to be a few Eldrazi lists floating around. They’re mostly Bant builds these days, with the usual crew: Reshaper, Displacer, Smasher, Seer. In every list there’s four Eldrazi Temple; mini Mishra’s Workshops each. The alien menace hasn’t run over Modern or anything, but it’s definitely carved out a part of the metagame for itself.

There’s also the Eldrazi/Taxes hybrids floating around. Those play cards like Leonin Arbiter, both Thalias, and Chalice of the Void. They’re more about restraining your opponent’s resources while presenting a clock rather than running hasty 5/5s into people’s faces, but they still play at least eight Eldrazi, and as such, four Temples. This isn’t a fringe deck either; like the Eldrazi Aggro builds, this archetype has claimed a slice of the meta.

We’ve now got two different Modern decks each running a full playset of Eldrazi Temple, as well as your typical fringe usage in Legacy, cube, etc. It’s even in a good 1,500 EDH decks over on Supply on the Rise of the Eldrazi and Duel Deck printings is sparse, with maybe a couple of playsets between the two editions. MM2 supply is considerably deeper, but there’s still less than a page total on TCGPlayer. This means that while I’m not expecting an explosion in price in the immediate future, there’s few enough copies out there that we could certainly see this start to climb without too much public chatter necessary.

With the Cavern of Souls reprint bringing down the price barrier on the Eldrazi strategies, supply where it is, and Modern’s history of driving mana bases wild, there’s definitely reason to believe that we could be looking at $15+ Eldrazi Temples within 2017.