New Decks, Old Tech

I thought I’d give last week’s article an unofficial ‘part 2’, and flip the switch on it. There are a bunch of new decks and new variants popping up in Modern at the moment and I think that there are some good opportunities for pickups here, so let’s dive in!

Unburial Rites (Foil)

Price today: $2
Possible price: $10

The Reanimator deck in Modern has been picking up a bit of popularity over the past couple of weeks, and noted MTGO grinder aspiringspike took down a Modern Challenge with it last week. The main reanimation pieces of the deck – Unmarked Grave and Persist – have been talked about previously both by myself and James and Travis on the podcast, but Unburial Rites has started to find its way into lists as well.

This card has long been a staple of reanimator decks in multiple formats, and although those kinds of decks haven’t traditionally been at the top of the tables, with the new tech from MH2 I think that could be changing (in Modern at least). Faithful Mending from the new Innistrad set is in the mix there too, and I like this deck’s chances moving forwards in Modern – it’s fast, it’s streamlined and it’s got some decent protection too in the form of Teferi, Time Raveler and Ephemerate.

Unburial Rites may have had three different foil printings, but there are only 17 NM Foil listings across all of those versions on TCGPlayer right now, and I think that now is a great time to sweep up the last dregs. Seeing as we’re getting a slightly different version of Flashback in these Innistrad sets, I don’t think we’ll be seeing a foil reprint of this for a little while, and so if you want any personal copies then now is definitely the time before it’s too late. There are a few more available in Europe, but not too many so don’t hang around for long on these.

Vendilion Clique (Judge Foil)

Price in Europe: €37 ($43)
Price in US: $58

Possible price: $75

Another interesting deck that’s been popping up in Modern is a UW control variant based around flickering your creatures. Of course it plays Yorion as the companion, as well as a stack of Restoration Angels to blink your Wall of Omens, Solitudes and Vendilion Cliques. It’s a control deck with a value engine strapped on, and it’s been putting up some solid results, taking down a Modern Challenge along with some other high finishes.

Vendilion Clique drops in and out of Modern popularity all the time, and although it might not be the most prevalent card in any particular format, I’m focusing on the Judge Foils here because of low supply and arbitrage opportunity. It’s also a Cube favourite, and anyone foiling out their cube is likely to have this printing pretty high on their tier list – it’s the only version with this art and the foiling on Judge Foils is generally pretty great.

There are only 24 NM foil listings on TCGPlayer right now, but over in Europe you can pick these up a good deal cheaper, and I think you should if you can ship them for sale in the US. TCGPlayer has a steady price slope upwards and I think that in 6-12months this could easily have gone up to $75, making the $43 copies in Europe look pretty attractive. I doubt we’ll see Clique with this foiling/art again any time soon, so you should be safe for a longer hold if need be.

Grist, the Hunger Tide (Borderless Foil)

Price today: $20
Possible price: $40

For my last pick today I’m drawing inspiration from the Yawgmoth combo deck that’s seeing a small resurgence in Modern at the moment. This was an archetype that saw a decent amount of success soon after Yawgmoth, Thran Physician was first printed back in MH1, and has seen a small amount of success since then but never been a particularly dominant force in the meta. With the printing of Grist, the Hunger Tide in MH2 though, the deck might just have some legs again.

You can Chord of Calling and Eldritch Evolution into Grist, and Grist is both a token generator for Yawgmoth value as well as a handy piece of removal for problematic creatures or planeswalkers. What’s more is that if you’re looking to play it in EDH, you can actually use Grist as your commander due to its ability that makes it a creature when not on the battlefield – i.e. in the Command Zone.

When it comes to the different versions of this card we have the regular, the Sketch (Showcase) and the Borderless, and I think that the Borderless is a clear winner. The regular art and frame are fine, the Sketch doesn’t look great in my opinion, but the Borderless has some spectacular art and the foils look great. You can pick these up either in Europe or the US for around $20 at the moment and I think that due to Grist’s unique ability and status as a Mythic from MH2, it should be good for a double up over the next 12-24months.

David Sharman (@accidentprune on Twitter) has been playing Magic since 2013, dabbling in almost all formats but with a main focus on Modern, EDH and Pioneer. Based in the UK, he’s an active MTG finance speculator specialising in cross-border arbitrage.