Category Archives: Watchtower

Modern: A Week on

We’re a week on from the banning of Lurrus of the Dream-Den in Modern (and Pioneer), so I want to revisit the format and see how much it’s changed since then, and what kinds of decks we’re likely to see doing well over the coming weeks.


As expected, the Murktide Regent decks have seen a decent uptick in play, and in price. The dragon itself is up to around $24 now from the $18 I called it at last week, and I expect it to see further gains towards $30 over the next few weeks. The Death’s Shadow decks have definitely taken a back seat without their cat in the sideboard, although I think that this could be more of a product of people trying different things, rather than the deck actually being significantly worse than it was before.


Cultivator Colossus (EA)

Price today: $21
Possible price: $35

As predicted in last week’s article, Amulet Titan (amongst other more mana-intensive decks) has pushed its way to the forefront of the Modern meta – for now, at least. I’ve wanted to talk about Cultivator Colossus for a little while now but haven’t quite found the right space, so instead have just been keeping a close eye on the price and play patterns of the card.

Now though, I think the time is right to take a closer look at this card. Since people started testing it when Crimson Vow was released, it’s been a consistent 2-of in most Amulet Titan lists that we’ve seen do well across mono-green, green-white and green-black variants. I think that it’s likely to be a mainstay in the archetype going forwards, and Titan decks seem to be in a healthy place right now so I wouldn’t expect any bannings any time soon. It’s effectively Primeval Titan copies five and six, with the added benefit of being able to churn through your deck if you get lucky and have a bunch of lands to put into play with it. A point to note is that you can’t go infinite with bouncelands, but that doesn’t stop them from still being great here.

I really like the look of EA non-foils at the moment, because they’re only a dollar or so more expensive than the regular non-foils, and could be an attractive option for Modern players. There are only around 40 listings on TCGPlayer, and Europe already has these a decent chunk more expensive at around $26. That’s a good indicator that this is a strong Modern card, and being a premium treatment mythic there aren’t ever going to be too many copies running around.

It’s worth noting that this is also a 5k card on EDHREC, putting it solidly in the top 5 cards from Crimson Vow if you discount the land cycle (so top 10 anyway if you don’t). I think that this is a solid pick for both medium and long term speculation, and would be happy grabbing a stack around $20-22.

Omnath, Locus of Creation

Price today: $8
Possible price: $20

Omnath has been a reasonable force in Modern for quite a while now, never really dominating the top tables but putting up solid results nonetheless, between a few different flavours of four/five colour Yorion piles and the dedicated Elementals deck. Even after the Uro banning, the Yorion variant of the deck has continued to perform and be popular, and we’re now seeing somewhat of an Elemental/Yorion hybrid version emerge into the metagame.

Pretty much all of the decks in Modern playing Omnath are currently running four copies, and I like the look of regular non-foils right now. Since the spike around September last year this is currently the lowest price the card has been, and I think it’s a good time to pick some up. As well as being a Modern playset, it’s an EDH favourite to play as a Commander and likely a popular casual card too. CardKingdom are currently paying $6.75 cash/$8.78 credit which is a good sign that they’re reasonably high on the card too, and I honestly believe that this could be a $20 not too far down the road.

I think that the only danger of a reprint for this card would be in a Commander deck, but even then I really think that they would prioritise a new four colour legend over reprinting this one. I’m betting that this Omnath will be safe for a little while, so I wouldn’t be particularly scared of picking these up right now – and hey, we might even see a five colour version of Omnath at some point before this one hits the printers again.


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.

Banned & Restricted

It’s times like these that I’m grateful for the fact that I don’t write these articles ahead of time and wait until Monday to decide what I’m going to talk about, because we just got a huge Banned & Restricted announcement. Not huge in the number of changes (although we did get three changes in Pauper), but huge in the fact that Lurrus of the Dream-Den has been a dominant force in both Modern and Pioneer since it was printed, and has just been banned in both those formats.

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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.

Modern Playsets

When we’re looking at cards to spec on in Modern, it’s unlikely that single copies of a card here or there in different lists are going to move prices much. What really makes something a solid spec is when it’s seeing consistent play as a playset in one or multiple decks, potentially even being an archetype-defining card. Those are some of the cards I want to take a look at today, but they might not be the cards you immediately think of when it comes to this format.


Summoner’s Pact (Foil)

Price in Europe: $6
Price in US: $10
Possible price: $15

Summoner’s Pact has always been an integral part of any Primeval Titan decks in Modern, be it Amulet Titan or Titanshift variants, as well as being played in Neobrand decks. It’s also previously seen play in Devoted Druid combo decks, although they haven’t been a prominent force in Modern for a little while now, with too much cheap interaction and disruption running around for that deck to be able to find its feet.

Regardless, Pact will almost always be found as a playset in Titan decks and as such is always a relatively in-demand card. It’s also around the 10k mark on EDHREC, a good sign that EDH players like the card too and are likely willing to pay a premium for foil copies. We’ve had four printings of the card now, all in foil and non-foil, but the older foils are getting more and more expensive, especially if you’re after an original Future Sight foil – that’ll set you back a pretty penny ($65 to be precise) if you’re looking at NM prices.

The most recent foils from Time Spiral Remastered are yet to quite catch up to the older foils (in Europe at least), with $6-7 copies being in reasonable supply on CardMarket. TCGPlayer has all foil versions starting at $10 or more, so there is a decent arbitrage gap that I think will be amplified by both markets increasing in price over the coming months. We had a good three years between the A25 and TSR printings of Summoner’s Pact, and so I expect a similar timeframe before we see another foil version thrown at us.

Persist (Retro Foil)

Price today: $3
Possible price: $10

Persist has shown up here and there in Modern since its printing back in Modern Horizons 2 (nearly nine months ago now), and although I don’t think it’s likely to ever be a hugely dominant force in the meta, I think it’s still worth taking a look at. It was used to good effect in an Amulet Titan variant for a little while, and has since been played in other reanimator style decks as well as one of the current flavours of Yorion blink decks, which utilises a bunch of flicker and reanimation effects to abuse the enter-the-battlefield triggers of Stoneforge Mystic, Solitude and Grief. Persist is a great card for these combos, especially if you’re going to be blinking the card again to remove the -1/-1 counter anyway.

Persist is also in nearly 10,000 EDH decks listed on EDHREC, a pretty good number considering how many strong reanimation effects we have in the card pool now. You can’t use this on your commander or other legendaries, but any other creature is fair game and for two mana with very little downside it’s easy to see why people like the card. With retro foils still at $3 but supply slowly draining, I expect to see the price bump up before too long at all. I think the retro foils are far superior to the sketch foils here, and with no EA versions this is definitely your best bet.

Thought-Knot Seer (Foil)

Price in Europe: $13
Price in US: $17
Possible price: $30

Eldrazi Tron used to be an incredibly dominant force in the Modern format, even after the Eye of Ugin ban brought about the end of the ‘Eldrazi Winter’. It’s waned from popularity in the past year or so, with more interactive archetypes like Lurrus and Ragavan decks at the forefront of the meta, but with the recent strength of the Hammer Time decks it seems that the Eldrazi might be a good deck to counter those strategies.

Eldrazi Temple is still a very powerful card, and being able to land a turn two Thought-Knot Seer into a turn three Reality Smasher is something that a lot of Modern decks just can’t deal with fast enough. Thought-Knot has always been a four-of in this deck and always will be, and the fact that it contains a colourless mana cost makes it a very difficult card to reprint, especially in foil. We’ve seen a non-foil reprint in The List, but I don’t think that we’ll be seeing foils of this again for a little while, and there really aren’t many left on the market.

NM foils on TCGPlayer start at around $17, which I don’t think is a terrible buy and could still make you a bit of money (or save you money on personal copies) – but I prefer the $13 copies in Europe. TCGPlayer is down to 33 listings with almost all of those being single copies, and it doesn’t take more than a few players picking up playsets of these to push the price over $20. Give it a few more months or so and I can see this being a $30 card, especially if the deck continues to trend upwards in Modern.


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.

Commander: Neon Dynasty

Last week I promised some talk on the new Kamigawa cards in this week’s article, and I’m keeping to my word on that. With the full card preview having been out for a few weeks now and paper cards in hands for a few days (other than cards from prereleases, that is), it’s time for me to take a look at what I want to be buying from the set, specifically for EDH. Some cards are yet to hit their lows and so we’ll need to keep that in mind, but it’ll be worth keeping an eye on a few of these to pick up when the time is right.

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ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

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.