By: Travis Allen
While you may have been hoping for a shakeup with the banned and restricted list update, alas, it was not to be. Both Krark-Clan Ironworks and Dredge (and Tron) survived unscathed in Modern. Will the Pro Tour be a mountain of uninteractive decks? With several high powered decks all operating on completely different vectors, it may be tough for competitors to find a strategy that beats enough of the linear decks while also managing to play some semblance of its own game.
Reality Smasher (Foil)
Price Today: $8
Possible Price: $20
With Ultimate Masters’ spoiler released in full, we can turn our attention to what’s missing. Among the notable omissions is Reality Smasher. Just in case you’ve forgotten, Eldrazi remains a potent threat in Modern, having taken second in an MTGO Modern Challenge just yesterday (behind Dredge).
With the rise of uninteractive decks, Eldrazi has undoubtedly taken a beating. Where once it was a top metagame choice, it has now slipped to a tier two or three strategy. It may take a banning elsewhere to give the deck space to grow, which after today is at least a few months away. That’s fine though, as it gives us a comfortable entry point.
Looking back on foil Reality Smasher’s price history, we saw it near $25. It floated around $20 as recently as this May. With the rise of KCI, Dredge, and similar strategies, that foil price has fallen to a lowly $8. Given the history of the card, both competitively and financially, it’s not unreasonable to assume it may make those same climbs again. If the Pro Tour sees a volume of Dredge that Wizards deems overbearing, we may see some key bans in January that could lead to a resurgence of Eldrazi.
Mystical Tutor (Foil)
Price Today: $17
Possible Price: $30
Another omission from Ultimate Masters, Mystical Tutor is an incredibly popular spell in EDH. How popular? It’s the 5th most played blue card, and the 43rd most played card overall. That’s popular. To be found within the top 50 means that practically speaking, there are hundreds of thousands of copies to be found in decks across the world.
Mystical Tutor has five various printings, and three come in at foil. That’s worth a closer look though. One is the From The Vault: Realms copy. Even by Wizards’ own admission this foiling process is not particularly popular. (That may be part of the reason we’ve since seen the discontinuation of the FTV series.) And speaking of FTV, its replacement, the signature spellbook, we can find a foil Mystical Tutor there as well. There are two issues with that one; one is that the art is all about Jace. There’s definitely burnout on Jace these days among the player base these days. The second is that the foiling process appears to be even worse than FTV’s. Watch a video of it; you can barely tell it’s foil.
Among the three foil printings of Tutor, two are empirically terrible, which leaves us with just the EMA foil. All of the sudden, we’re looking at a single good foil of one of the most popular foil cards in the game, with solid art to boot. I’m getting on board here.
There’s a couple copies below $18, and a chunk below $20. Not too many though, and the overall supply is relatively shallow. We haven’t seen much price movement over the last two years, but that doesn’t necessarily mean squat. Plenty of cards sit seemingly dormant for months or years at a time, only to suddenly see a otherwise unexplained surge in price. So long as Wizards doesn’t give us another Mystical Tutor, this could be one of those cards.
Price Today: $18
Possible Price: $30
Bloodghast won twice over today; not only is it not in the recently spoiled Ultimate Masters, it also wasn’t hampered by any bans today. He’s got a new lease on life as of 11am EST today, at least until January 21st (the next B&R update).
The math here is simple. Dredge is arguably the most popular deck in Modern right now. Every iteration seems to play four without question. It just dodged a major ban announcement as well as a reprint. Any reluctance on the part of buyers should be assuaged for two months. If a player were thinking about whether to pick up a set of ghasts, they’ve gotten all the messaging they need to take the plunge.
Zendikar foils are hanging around at $35, and IMA is half of that at $17 or $18. We shouldn’t expect IMA foils to fully catch Zendikar ones, as original foils always maintain a premium, but there’s plenty of room between $18 and $35. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Zendikar foils pull up towards $40 or more, and IMA foils trail at low $30s.
Travis Allen has been playing Magic: The Gathering since 1994, mostly in upstate New York. Ever since his first FNM he’s been trying to make playing Magic cheaper, and he first brought his perspective to MTGPrice in 2012. You can find his articles there weekly, as well as on the podcast MTG Fast Finance.