Uncut Gems

Two weeks on from the Lurrus ban in Modern and the meta seems in reasonable shape, with plenty of different decks running around in the format and many different viable strategies. Today I want to take a look at some of the undervalued cards from these top decks, and what I think their futures have in store.

Unsettled Mariner (Foil)

Price in Europe: €5 ($5.50)
Price in US: $11
Possible price: $20

Unsettled Mariner isn’t much talked about any more; it used to be a very useful tool for the UW and Bant Spirits decks in Modern, as well as often appearing as a favourite for Humans decks. Those archetypes aren’t particularly prevalent in Modern at the moment, but another deck has picked up the slack and you can instead find the five colour Elementals deck playing a couple of copies of the Changeling. That’s what brought it to my attention, and a little look at the stock levels across Europe and the US showed that foils are in a nice position right now if you can grab some from CardMarket.

Mariner may not be in all the top tier Modern decks, but that’s the point of today’s article – cards that you might not look twice at normally. With the medium amount of play it sees in Modern plus a reasonable 6330 EDH decks on EDHREC, foils are in a good spot to make some solid gains over the next few months.

With foils sitting at around $11 on TCGPlayer, that’s not a bad price if you’re just looking to pick up some personal copies, but if you want to spec on these then I suggest hunting across the water. CardMarket in Europe has them available from around €5 ($5.50), and with supply as low as it is right now I think this card should be set to hit $20 before too long. Only 33 listings on TCGPlayer (almost all single copies) isn’t many, and I wouldn’t expect a reprint any time soon – the number of times we’ve seen Changelings printed is few and far between, so another foil of this card might not be on the cards for a little while yet.

Memory Deluge (FEA)

Price today: $11
Possible price: $25-30

UW Control has been seeing more and more play as a top deck in Modern over the past couple of weeks; whether that’s a product of the Lurrus banning or not, it means we’ve got some more cards to look at. March of Otherworldly Light is still going strong in the deck (I hope you bought some when I told you to a few weeks ago), and another card seeing a reasonable amount of success in the deck is Memory Deluge.

Dig Through Time this card is not, but honestly I think it comes closer than you’d guess at first glance. Both the normal casting cost and the flashback are fairly reasonable, but the instant speed of the card means that it’s a fantastic option to cast either early or late in the game at the end of your opponent’s turn to dig for an answer to something or just more card advantage. I think it’s the best four mana card draw engine that the archetype has at the moment, because of the added flexibility with the Flashback, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it remain a staple in the deck for a while to come.

I’m inclined to look to Shark Typhoon as a comparison for Memory Deluge – a card that was a big part of Standard when it was in rotation, and has since been a staple as a one/two-of in Modern control builds. FEAs of that card are now around $45 (having been even higher previous to that), and I don’t see much reason why Deluge shouldn’t follow a similar path. It might not prove to be quite as popular as Typhoon in EDH, but at around 2500 decks listed on EDHREC it’s certainly not doing too badly and should continue to see a decent amount of play in that format. It’s also a popular choice for control decks in Pioneer for what that’s worth, which should help to drive the price at least a little.

Otawara, Soaring City (FEA)

Price today: $15
Possible price: $30

Otawara, Soaring City might not be the first land from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty that you think of; it might not even be the second one either – but it’s definitely worth taking a closer look at. All the hype so far has been around Boseiju, Who Endures, and that’s definitely not been misplaced – Boseiju has been showing up in a lot of Modern decks since it came out, most notably in the Amulet Titan and Omnath decks. Otawara, however, has also proven to be a very popular choice as a one/two-of in quite a lot of decks…and I mean quite a lot. Murktide, UW Control, Living End, Omnath and Crashing Footfalls decks – to name but a few – have all been playing a copy or two in their lists, and I think that Otawara is here to stay as a flexible land choice in Modern.

I spoke about Takenuma a couple of weeks ago and the same logic applies here – this is a land that comes in untapped without restriction, taps for coloured mana and has a strong ability tacked onto it – what’s not to love? You can play around with this bouncing your opponent’s threats in a control shell, or your own haymakers in Elementals and Omnath decks.

Foil extended arts of this card are much cheaper than the Borderless foils, (almost half the price in fact) and I really quite like the look of them. I think that the art is much better than the Borderless version, and supply is currently a little lower on top of that, so it seems like a win/win to me. With continued Modern play and as the second most popular EDH card from the set (nearly 8000 decks on EDHREC already), this should be an easy win to double up in the next 12 months or so.

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