All posts by Jim Casale

Jim is a software developer and an avid blue planeswalker. He spellslings in Orlando, Florida but his old stomping grounds were in New York City. The best way to contact him is through twitter.

Grinder Finance – Preparing for Eldritch Moon

With Eternal Masters coming out Friday I’m sure everyone is running out to spend all of their money and then some on the hottest singles.  As of Sunday night, nobody has foils up for pre-order yet so I’m still waiting, longing for a foil Maelstrom Wanderer.

Poorly Photoshopped by me
Poorly Photoshopped by me

Modern is coming

With the release of Eldritch Moon we will be moving in Modern PPTQ season.  If you’re planning on finishing up your Modern deck while prices are reasonable I would recommend buying in soon.  While we had some cards peak during the double Modern GP weekend (LA and Charlotte), we won’t see widespread Modern prices rise until PPTQs start.  Modern decks that also play Legacy staples or didn’t get deep reprints in Modern Masters 2015 will probably see the biggest bumps.  Plan ahead and hopefully you won’t get caught with your pants down and have to pay $10 more for that last Mox Opal.

pro tour

Preparing for the Pro Tour

With the release of Eldritch Moon in a month, it will quickly pave the way for another Pro Tour.  During Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad we saw some decks breathe new life into cards that were almost bulk before.  I am generally not so worried about getting everything before the Pro Tour but this time is a little different.  I managed to qualify via the Orlando, Florida RPTQ and will be making my first international Magic tournament GP Sydney.  I’m not a professional player with a deep team and a sponsor so I need to figure out a way to purchase the cards I might need early and cheaply.  Let’s talk about what I’ve got my eyes on.

Story Cards


Target Price: $18

Nahiri has already proven she can be a force in Modern but the lack of a “big finisher” really makes her a little lack luster in Standard.  With the never ending rumors that Emrakul will be in Eldritch Moon I really want to secure my copies before any spoilers come out.  If there is a new Emrakul, she will likely be the best mana can buy.  Nahiri is also fairly flexible with her ability to kill enchantments and creatures.  In my opinion, she’s on the cusp of breaking out.


Target Price: $5

Oath of the Gatewatch continued some of the mechanics from Battle for Zendikar.  I fully expect Eldritch Moon to continue some as well.  Currently, I’m expecting double-faced cards and Madness to be returning mechanics.  I think a black/red vampire deck might be a few cards from being very powerful.  Whatever aggressive deck spawns from it will likely include Olivia.  She’s still $6 so I’m not terribly worried about picking her up very quickly but if people see good Madness cards spoiled then she can shoot up.

Good on paper but lacking a home


Target Price: $10

Arlinn is so close to good.  Right now red removal is being outclassed by White removal so it’s hard to find her a home over Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.  If we get some more support for werewolves or some better red removal we could see her value increase.  She’s already a very popular planeswalker with casual players.


Target Price: $5

I’ve never met a Jace I didn’t like.  What’s a “living guildpact?”  I think Jace will have his time to shine when other more aggressive BFZ block walkers rotate out of Standard but he might be good now.  I don’t think we’ll have to worry about him during spoiler season because there are not a lot of obvious synergies he could have.


mindwrack demongoldnight castigator

Target Price: $1.50 – $2

These creatures are very “all or nothing.”  Either you play 4 or you play none.  If I have to play 4 I want to make sure I’m paying $2 per copy not $5 or more if they get popular.  These are also cards I wouldn’t worry about spiking during the spoiler season but may be important during the SCG Open in Columbus on release weekend.
Oldies but Goodies

archangel avacyn sorin, grim nemesis

Taget Price – Avacyn: $20
Target Price – Sorin : $8

Archangel Avacyn and Sorin, Grim Nemesis have already proven their worth as Standard staples.  I have already purchased my copies for play but I think they could definitely see a nice bump if their respective decks continue to dominate after the set release.  It’s pretty hard to surpass either card in those colors.

gideon, ally

Target Price: $15

So I say my target is $15 but I don’t think he will realistically ever get that cheap.  Gideon put up another dominant performance this weekend.  There were 27 of a possible 32 copies played at GP Costa Rica top 8.  He was the third most dominant card in the top 32 (with 71 copies).  Coincidentally, he was also the third most dominant card (behind the same two cards, Sylvan Advocate and Dromoka’s Command) with 63 copies in the Top 32 of SCG Atlanta.  If you’re going to play Standard for the next year you’ll probably need some Gideons.



Nissa, Voice of Zendikar and Ob Nixilis, Reignited are likely to be in the Nissa vs Ob Nixilis duel deck coming later this year.  I am not terribly happy investing any money in either card unless you absolutely need them to play with.


Dromoka’s Command might be the best removal spell in Standard but it’s scarcely played in Modern and is probably at it’s all time high right now.  If you don’t need them, sell them at the next Pro Tour as they will rotate in October.


Grinder Finance – Eternal Masters part 2 : The Masters Quandry

ema class of 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s welcome the Eternal Masters class of 2016.  Otherwise known as the 21 cards currently pre-ordering for at least the cost of an Eternal Masters booster pack (at MSRP).  That’s right guys, of the 53 rares and 15 mythics, only 10 rares and 11 mythics are worth at least the cost of a pack.  But how does this compare to a normal set?  Currently (at retail prices) there are 24 cards in Shadows over Innistrad worth at least the cost of a booster (which for this exercise I assume is $3).  Shadows over Innistrad is a little weird with it’s flip cards but the number of break even cards is roughly the same.  What’s the problem then?  Finding Eternal Masters boosters at MSRP.  It is suggested, after all.

The Masters Quandry

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) Wizards of the Coast, a Hasbro subsidiary, can’t reprint expensive cards into oblivion.  It gets brought up often, but, Wizards of the Coast, a non-Hasbro subsidiary, did that exactly once.  Chronicles was a big problem and they are slowly trying to creep toward a middle ground.  This set will be a lot like Modern Masters and kill the price of a few casual cards but otherwise not make a dent in the prices of decks it is supposed to help.

The other issue with Masters sets is the need to “hold things back” for future Masters sets.  Modern Masters 2015 was generally perceived as underwhelming by the majority of people although it was more widely available at MSRP.  Without another round of reprints from the first set it was difficult to find enough new cards to print.  At some point, if they find it too difficult to reduce the over lap in Masters sets we might just get full set reprints (ie Modern Masters released in 2019).

These issues all culminate into a rather complex question: “How do we satisfy everyone?” I’m not sure there is an answer.

The Future of Eternal Masters

Well some of these cards will likely fluctuate up and down but there are some I am sure will see a sharp decline going into the end of the year.

shardless agentbaleful strixmaelstrom wanderer

All three of these cards made their debut in Planechase 2012.  Coincidentally, Planechase Anthology has already been announced to be including the Planechase 2012 decks and all of the planes.  Baleful Strix has already been reprinted in one supplementary product so it’s already not very expensive but Shardless Agent and Maelstrom Wanderer will likely quickly fall from their $10 pre-order price.  In fact, they may already be lower than $10 by the time this article is out.


The great Commander resource website,, was able to get me some data about the playability of Eternal Masters cards. Here is a dump of the frequency of cards from Eternal Masters in the decklists they parse.  Unsurprisingly, Swords to Plowshares, Counterspell, and Sensei’s Divining Top are 3 of the most played cards in their study.  They’re all extremely flexible, cheap, and powerful.  I woudn’t be worried about the prices of any of those changing much (although foils might get a little cheaper with more copies).  The biggest loser I can see on this list is Regal Force.  I expect this card’s price to take a bath similar to Adarkar Valkyrie.  Once a nearly $10 card based mostly on rarity the tiny print run has brought Adarkar Valkyrie into basically bulk rare territory.

Commander players tend to be more casual and even though you don’t need to pay for the cards you put on your decklists online, many people leave out prohibitively expensive cards in large numbers.  As a result I believe that we will not see much of a dip in the price of Mana Crypt.  It’s functionally very similar to Sol Ring (the most popular card in Commander – beating the next card, Command Tower, by about 30%) so the appeal to own a copy or five for your Commander decks is pretty high.  As a result, if the price drops any significant amount it will cross a lot of player’s thresholds into “purchasable.”  Mana Crypt started pre-order pricing on StarCity Games for $50.  As of this writing, it’s sold out at $90 which is just $30 less than the original printing.  The original printing is also sold out so it’s unlikely the demand for these can be satisfied this time.  I’m expecting Mana Crypt to follow Tarmogoyf as the chase mythic in all Eternal Masters sets.


Is it a little misleading that I’ve intentionally ignored the foil slot in calculating cards you can open in a booster pack to pay for it?  Maybe a little.  However, as of this writing, no stores have posted pre-order prices for foils.  It’s possible they don’t know the math exactly on how little they plan to open for pre-orders or they just don’t want to be the first one to blink.  The first store to set the prices of foils will be planting their flag in the ground and seeing if it sticks.  Some of these foils will be uncharted territory and it’s possible they could be leaving a lot of money on the table by being the first to sell out.  Let’s do a little recap on first time foils.

Technically first time foils (for completeness sake)

emmessi tome field of souls humble monk idealist giant tortoisephantom monster roots tidal wave wake of vultures

These cards all have original pack printings from Urza’s Saga or earlier.  There were no foil cards in those packs yet.  It’s unlikely any of these cards will light up any price graphs.

Expensive first time foils

ashnod's altar tooth and claw worn powerstoneperegrine drakepyroblasthydroblastbaleful strixcontrol magicgamblemalicious afflictionpyrokinesistoxic delugeunexpectedly absentwinter orb

Originally I had separated these into different groups.  One group of Commander foils, one group of Pauper foils, one group of Vintage and Legacy foils, one group of Cube foils, etc.  But I realized that breaking them down that way implies that there is no overlap and that’s just not true.  These first time foils will be worth some order of magnitude more than than their non-foil counter part.  Despite being an uncommon, I think Pyroblast foils will likely command the highest price tag on this list.

Missing Link

So as I stated earlier, Wizards of the Coast, a Hasbro subsidiary, needs to hold some of the best cards for the next set.  What are the biggest missing cards from this set?  Well one obvious one is damna…


As many people have already become well aware, Rishadan Port was left off the reprint list this time.  I don’t often talk about Magic Online but this miss hurts MTGO the most.  Rishadan Port was creeping down to about 150 tickets (1 ticket is about $1) while people feared a reprint but immediately shot up 50 tickets once it was announced to not be in the set.   There is some incentive not to reprint Port again so quickly after it was just announced as a Judge foil but this one stings.  Rishadan Port is part of one of the few Legacy decks that doesn’t use any reserve list cards (Death and Taxes).  This card was likely selected to be held back for another Eternal Masters set in 2 years.


Umezawa’s Jitte is one of the best equipment ever printed and one of the few cards from Betrayer’s of Kamigawa  worth talking about.  This card is not quite as pricey as a lot of things included in Eternal Masters but it’s a really hard card to reprint in a draftable set.  Jitte is frequently seen as a one-man army type card that would almost assuredly be a mythic these days.  Every time we get a set that can reprint Jitte and is evades another printing there is a possibility the price goes up.  Umezawa’s Jitte has a GP Promo version but this was before full year promos.  As a result only 6 months of Umezawa’s Jitte promos means there are not that many to go around.  It’s only saving grace is you don’t often want more than one of this legendary equipment in your Legacy deck.


Flusterstorm is a card that was “printed” many times online but only twice in paper.  Currently your choices for Flusterstorms in paper are the original Commander printing or judge foils.  At a minimum of almost $60, it’s fair to say Flusterstorm should be on Wizard’s radar for a reprint.  It’s possible that it still is on track to get reprinted this year.  Conspiracy: Take the Crown is going to be released in two short months and could include some Legacy and Vintage reprints with multiplayer applicability. Flusterstorm’s Storm ability plays nicely with a 4 player game (as it was originally intended as a Commander counter spell).  I’m not saying it’s likely, but its possible we get Flusterstorm in Conspiracy: Take the Crown.

show and tell

Show and Tell is a wonderful card.  It’s wonderfully pricey and part of two Legacy decks that don’t lean heavily on the reserve list (Sneak and Show and Reanimator).  It’s also the card that I am most surprised is missing.  If there is anything they could leave out of Eternal Masters to be in Conspiracy: Take the Crown it’s Show and Tell.  That card is easy to put into a draft set because you can control the worst thing put into play.  It also plays pretty nicely with a multiplayer game.  I just hope if it get’s reprinted they use the Urza’s Saga art.  Nothing against Zack Stella, but this one is so much cuter.

counterbalance lotus petal

These last two are not terribly expensive, yet.  I would have expected them to get a reprint to help ease the price while it’s not high.  Wizards has shown reluctance to reprint very expensive cards close to their original rarity especially if they can be detrimental to a draft format.  I’m guessing when we see a Lotus Petal reprint it won’t be at common.

aether vial chalice of the void damnationSnapcaster

Some cards are notably missing from Eternal Masters but I would never expect them to print in an Eternal set.  Aether Vial, Chalice of the Void, Damnation, and Snapcaster Mage are all Modern cards first and foremost.  If we get those in a Masters set, it will be Modern Masters not Eternal Masters.  I know every set goes by and people wonder if we’ll ever get Damnation again.  I’m sure it will come eventually and it will be in a Modern Masters set.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming

Eldritch Moon

We just got the full spoiler for Eternal Masters and we’re about to hit the ground running with Eldritch Moon spoilers.  Generally for Standard sets, spoilers last for two weeks and end the week before the pre-release.  Based on this, Eldritch Moon spoilers should start in about 3 weeks, on June 27th. Eternal Masters will have been released for 17 days before spoilers for the next set start.  I’m expecting some Magic fatigue in the worst kind of way.

Shadows over Innistrad logo

Have you been paying attention to the card prices for Shadows over Innistrad?  They’re reaching near time lows.  When the spoilers start for Eldritch Moon people will begin to buy more as they get re-excited for Standard.  If you’ve been waiting for some prices to go down before they rise again you’re nearing the best times until the late summer.

Grinder Finance – Eternal Masters Part 1

So.  Eternal Masters.  Day 1 is mostly over and I’ll be frank with you.  I’m surprised.  This looks a lot more like Modern Masters than Modern Masters 2015.  Maybe Wizards thinks they only need base hits to keep Modern cards flowing into Modern Masters and maybe wanted to make sure Eternal Masters was a home run.  But is this set really as good as Modern Masters?

Why are cards in Legacy/Vintage expensive?

It’s not the same as the reason Standard or Modern cards are expensive.  A lot less people can afford to play Legacy and Vintage at a competitive level than can play Standard or Modern.  The price increases we see in those cards are purely because of high demand.  Older cards have a slightly different reason they’re so expensive.  There just isn’t a lot of them in existence.  The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale (this is really hard to spell without looking  it up) is not expensive because there is such a high demand for the card.  It wouldn’t even break the top 50 most played lands in Legacy.  Hell, the most competitive deck that plays it only has 1 copy as it is.  Karakas is a U2 (which means it was twice as common as most of the other uncommons) from the same set and is worth less than 25% of the same amount despite a huge amount of play.  While it’s not a perfectly direct comparison due to the fact that there was a Judge Karakas and it is not on the reserve list, you can get an idea of how little the supply of these cards are.

What decks benefit most from Eternal Masters?

I’ve spent some time debating if I want to make some in roads to Legacy but it’s a big pill to swallow.  The decks that will be the easiest to build after Eternal Masters will be Force of Will decks that don’t play a ton of reserve list cards outside of duals.  The biggest winner I think will be Sneak and Show.  With only 1 day of Eternal Masters spoilers we’ve got three of the more expensive cards in the deck being reprinted.  The most expensive cards by % of the deck cost are Volcanic Island, City of Traitors, Scalding Tarn, Force of Will, Sneak Attack, Blood Moon, and Emrakul.  Only two of those are on the reserve list so the reprints should help the cost of the deck in the short term.

The other deck I’m keeping my eye on is Reanimator.  While half of it’s current cost is almost entirely Underground Sea, the rest of the more expensive cards can be printed again.  Force of Will, Entomb, Show and Tell, and Flusterstorm are not on the reserve list and could  all very well be in Eternal Masters.

Biggest Traps

Decks that are getting reprints of expensive cards but play a lot of really odd reserve list cards.  Lands is going to be a trap to a lot of people.  Even if they reprint Gamble, Wasteland, and Rishidan Port the deck still plays Mox Diamond, The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, and Taiga which are all on the Reserve list.  Hell, the single Tabernacle is almost a third of the cost of the $3,000+ deck.

Decks that likely won’t get a lot of support because almost the entire deck is in Reserve list cards.  Elves is the biggest offender as the Gaea’s Cradles and Bayous are so much of the cost of the deck that even a reprint of Glimpse of Nature and Cavern of Souls is unlikely to make the deck more accessible.


I’m not a mathemagician all the time, but I can’t see this really making any Vintage decks easier to play.  Eldrazi is as close as we’re going to get to a “budget” Vintage deck.  Power nine and Mishra’s Workshop will likely continue to be insurmountable barriers for many players.



“Ahhh after 10,000 years, I can finally afford a Mana Crypt” – Commander players everywhere

While this set will probably help with the prices of some cards, there are a few that probably won’t budge.  Mana Crypts are so rare that if people open them they aren’t likely to sell them to a store.  This card will be similar to Tarmogoyf in that it’s the “prize” for opening a pack but unlike Tarmogoyf, you don’t need 4 to play a deck with it.  My thought are this will likely remain $150-180 after a few months and then climb back to $200.  If you need/want one of these for a Cube or a Commander deck, I wouldn’t fault you for buying in early while the few people trying to fire sale the card exist.  If you really dislike the “wingdings” colorless mana symbol you should use this opportunity to buy an older copy of Crypt as some people sell assuming it would drop.


It’s always important to keep in mind in these reprint sets which cards are new to foil.  There are a lot of new cards that have never been foil before and some that have only been foil once in a small amount (like a promo).

Never Foil


Gamble is originally an Urza’s Sage rare and foils didn’t start until Urza’s Legacy.  This one missed the promo foil printings that a lot of Saga cards got.


Toxic Deluge was originally printed in the Commander series and as such has never been available in foil.

Once Foil


Necropotence technically has two foil printings but they are in such small quantities that it is unlikely to matter much.  This is the 2nd foil printing with this art but will likely remain very low.


Sneak Attack was printed in foil once with this art as a Judge Promo.  I’m still disappointed they didn’t use this an opportunity to sneak Emrakul or Griselbrand into the art.


Sylvan Library is likely the 2nd most expensive foil on this list and will take a pretty big hit if the foiling process isn’t terrible.  Sylvan Libraries from Commander’s Arsenal.


So I really like this new art for Enlightened Tutor but I’m really curious to see if they will finish the cycle.  Enlightened Tutor is part of a 4 card tutor cycle printed in Mirage and Sixth Edition.  Neither set had foils and since then Mystical Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, and Enlightened Tutor have had promo foils.  With the inclusion of Gamble, they could reprint a five tutor pseudo cycle.  If they do, Worldly Tutor would get it’s first foil printing and be quite valuable.  Even the foil Vampiric Tutor promo is pretty expensive.

force of will EMA

So Force of Will got a really small promo printing for exceptional Judges some time ago.  I believe they introduced a few more into the market recently in exemplar packs but for the most part, these are very very rare.  Until it was announced in Eternal Masters, the judge foil Force of Wills were $650+.  They have come down to a more “managable” $300-350 now but this pack foil will likely push it down further.  A lot of people like that this art is done by the original Force of Will artist (Terese Nielson).


Both of these non-rare cards will have some pretty significant foil implications.  Daze was only printed once in a significantly unliked set, Nemesis, and Nimble Mongoose was from a few years later in Odyssey.  These cards will likely not be $100 and $30 foils respectively.

Post Modern GP weekends

  • Nahiri failed to make the mark she needed to sustain her price tag.  I don’t think it’s bad to keep them if you’re going to play with them but vendors were buying her for cash at 75% of her retail value.  I don’t expect this to continue so get out of any copies you don’t want.
  • Affinity is still good.  If you were wondering which deck to play, that is a good place to start.  I expect to see an uptick on Mox Opal and Arcbound Ravager this summer.
  • Figure out what deck you want to play for Modern.  You have about a month to buy it before Eldtrich Moon comes out and the constructed format switches to Modern for 3 months.
  • The RPTQs for Pro Tour Eldritch Moon take place between May 28th and June 5th.  Make sure if you believe you should be qualified to check this list to make sure you’re on it.

Grinder Finance – Holy announcements, Batman!


So you get all that?  Wizards of the Coast is now moving to a new product announcement schedule (once in the spring and once in the fall) and announcing the whole next block and supplemental products.  What does that mean for us?  Well there won’t be any speculation or leaks coming before anyone would otherwise know.  If there’s a Modern Masters 2017 (as many assume), we will find out in September.

kaladesh logo

Well what do we know about Kaladesh?

chandra nalaar

It’s the home plane of Chandra Nalaar.  Presumably she will be the focal point of the story.

HangarbackThopter Spy

These cards are also from Kaladesh.  The blue and red thopter themed cards from Magic Origins give us a glimpse into what kind of world Kaladesh will probably be.

kaladesh art book

This art piece from the art book shows a very steam punk feeling with an unusual mechanical elephant.  While I can only hope that elephant is some how the reincarnation of Siege Rhino, it is clear there will be  heavy artifact theme in Kaladesh.  Clue tokens will be particularly useful if there is a mechanic that cares about how many artifacts you have.  Examples are Affinity for Artifacts and Metalcraft, the former of which is almost certainly not in the set.  Outside of artifact synergies and some colorless synergies I don’t know what else may come from the set.


Intro Packs/Planeswalker Decks

That’s not the only thing Kaladesh is bringing us.  Planeswalker decks (mock up pictured above) are going to replace Intro Packs for new sets starting with Kaladesh.  These decks will be similar to the 30 card starter packs that are given for free to new players.  The two decks will be 2 color themed Planeswalker decks and include 4 new cards not available in the corresponding expansion set.  In Mark Rosewater’s article, here, he explains that these cards should not be good enough to see competitive play but rather be very flashy for casual play.  I think it’s only a matter of time before a planeswalker in these decks is just a tiny bit too strong and it will be very expensive.  Preconstructed decks being the only source of a card has bit Wizards of the Coast in the butt before.  True-Name Nemesis was the worst case scenario where it was only included in 1 of 5 decks (and you have to order cases in sets of 5 decks).  While these cards may not be financially relevant upon release, I would recommend looking to pick these planeswalkers up casually in trade because there is definitely a lot of collector value for Planeswalkers even if they’re not good.

Fat Packs

Fat packs are also being renamed to “Set Bundles.”  Starting with Kaladesh bundle, there is a slight increase in MSRP (to $43) and a few more boosters (up to 10 now) but not much else changes.  I don’t think this will make this any more or less attractive of a buy. Nonetheless, it is important to note the changes.


Nissa vs. Ob Nixilis

The next duel deck was announced.  Unfortunately they did not include either of the Planeswalker cards outside of the new art.  I have to imagine that these decks will include Nissa, Voice of Zendikar and Ob Nixilis, Reignited but Wizards has suprised me before on lesser things.  At this point I don’t think you fire sale your Nissas or Ob Nixilis because they will still Presumably be very good until the release of the duel deck in 4 months.  Walker vs Walker duel decks typically sell better than Stuff vs Guys duel decks but both walkers see enough play they won’t tank.


Commander 2016 was announced to have 4 color commanders.  That’s about it.  I wouldn’t recommend buying Nephilim (the only 4 color cards) because they’re not particularly good even if you’re playing those colors.  Commander is Jason Alt’s forte so I will leave it to him to update you later in the week on things to pick up in preparation.


There’s some weird cards in Planechase.  It has the original printings of Baleful Strix and Shardless Agent.  Outside of those two, not many competitive cards are from Planechase.  I wouldn’t expect any influx of expensive Legacy or Modern cards but if you need some weird stuff for your cube from these sets I would wait.  I think it’s entirely possible that Shardless Agent ends up in this or the Commander release this year.


Guys, they’re getting rid of the “Ae” compound letter (that was previously used on cards like Æther Flash).  That’s pretty much all of the news for this set.  We don’t know a whole lot about Kaladesh so I am not going to even begin to speculate on a set we know even less about.

This Weekend

If you play a lot of Modern and don’t own Grafdigger’s Cages yet you will be very sad very soon.  The Modern Open in Indianapolis sported 22 copies in the top 32 decks.  That is the 10th most popular card in an extremely diverse field and the 2nd most popular dedicated sideboard card after Nature’s Claim.  This is a rare from Dark Ascension so the supply will be low enough to see a quick and violent price correction soon.  It allows any deck to cheaply interact with Nahiri, flashback (Snapcaster Mage and Lingering Souls), Chord of Calling, Collected Company, and Goryo’s Vengeance.

Nahiri is still the top of the heap as a the fastest way to win a game in Modern.  She’s got a very flexible removal mode, decent card selection ability, and an ultimate that wins the game almost instantly.  I don’t expect to see her south of $20 anytime soon so if you need copies to play  I don’t expect to get them cheap until December.  With Modern PPTQ season creeping up you may be best served investing sooner than later as we hit the 3 set stride which will cause less Shadows over Innistrad to be opened.

If Modern isn’t your thing, Standard is pretty cheap right now.  I played a sub $300 deck to the top 8 of the SCG Classic in Indianapolis last weekend.  I could have probably won if I didn’t have to get to the airport to get home.  As long as you don’t want to play Grixis Control or GW Tokens, most decks can be built for $300 or less which is a far cry from the “Grand Standard” with fetch lands.  If you’d like to play my list, you can find it here.