Tag Archives: jared yost

Thinking About Future Stars of Standard

I’m writing this article mostly because I just saw Dig Through Time’s price and noticed that one of most powerful card selection spells in Standard reached its bottom in terms of price.

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Besides Standard, the card has burst onto the eternal scene and completely changed Legacy (it was already way too good for Modern, and along with Treasure Cruise quickly received the ban hammer). There has even been talk that this card should be banned in Legacy, right along with Treasure Cruise, because it just makes blue decks way too good – especially combo oriented decks like Omni-Tell, where if you have your combo countered initially you can just use all the trashed pieces in your graveyard to dig for another Show and Tell and Omniscience and still win even through an absurd amount of counter magic or hand disruption. For control decks, it makes them even more oppressive because they can also keep going through their deck until they again find a way to lock down whatever you’re trying to do again and again.

Now, Standard obviously can’t abuse Dig and Treasure Cruise like eternal formats. Even if they became more oppressive in the environment, because of the changes to the block structure Khans and Fate Reforged are going to rotate out earlier than they would previously (they rotate once the next large set after Battle for Zendikar is released). This means that there will be a smaller window for profit once we get into the accelerated Standard rotation window if cards like Dig become great. Picking cards before release should also become more profitable (or costly) depending on how good you are at it. For Magic Origins, many of the writers for MTGPrice were able to identify the vast majority of undervalued cards going into the set release so I highly recommend you follow authors like Derek Madlem, James Chillcott, and Travis Allen (if you have premium) so that you are better able to see which cards are undervalued. This way, you can make more informed decisions when it comes time to preorder if you like to add risk to your portfolio.

Besides preordering though, another way to profit on Standard cards is to pick up staples in the current block at undervalued prices before as rotation approaches. Of course, the counterpoint to this is to pick up undervalued casual or eternal cards in the rotating block, but here I would like to focus on cards in the current block that I feel have reached a bottom and have room to grow as Battle for Zendikar is released.

Dig Through Time

My strongest pick for value, both in terms of card selection and the current market price of the card, I would suggest that if you are a Standard player to finish your playset in the near future and if you want to speculate on the new Standard to pick up as many copies as you are comfortable holding. I think that this card is at least doubling up once rotation happens, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it headed to $15 or higher for a short period.


Another card that has reached a low point, this seems to be the direction that Wizards is taking Wrath of God cards. I believe that Standard players are going to be attracted to using it because a four mana board wipe that kills basically everything is the hotness. I especially think it will be a good pickup because Abzan is already an established boogeyman of the format and everyone will be playing aggro decks during the release of Battle for Zendikar to punish the slower decks. Well, this is an aggro punisher if I ever saw one!

I admit though, as Standard goes on I think that Languish will get worse and worse because I’m expecting some super large Eldrazi to come out of the next two sets (I mean, we might even see something bigger than Emrakul!) and Languish isn’t even coming close to killing them. I think the play here is to pick up copies now, and then get rid of extras once a spike happens because I don’t think it has a chance of a second spike during its Standard life.

Siege Rhino, Dromoka’s Command


The lynchpin of the current Abzan strategies, these cards were hit hard by the Clash Pack printing but should rebound nicely as rotation happens in the fall. We’re not going to see $10 Rhinos or $9 Dromoka Commands again but they each should go back up to at least $6, since I believe that many players are going to want tools to fight against Burn and super fast decks as the new Standard is being figured out. Also, both are applicable to Modern and should be buoyed financially if even they don’t experience a major spike in Standard. If you are looking for long term value, I think that since Siege Rhino and Dromoka’s Command were reprinted that both are good places to park some dollars in expectation of future gains, since they both have dropped in price considerably and have eternal application.

Dragon Whisperer

I’ve always ascribed to the philosophy that aggro tends to dominate Standard during the time of rotation, and this is a two-drop mythic rare that could fit nicely into a newly envisioned mono-red aggro deck. Another interesting possibility is its inclusion in a midrange deck which is able to take advantage of the Formidable ability, so you can generate 4/4 Dragons as the game goes on. Either way, for $2 you won’t be losing much if this doesn’t make a splash and have everything to gain if it does. On the plus side, Dragons of Tarkir will actually be Standard legal longer than Khans and Fate Reforged, so there is actually another rotation where this will be legal to see a spike. So you actually get two chances with this card to see a spike!

Whisperwood Elemental

Well, you know what they say, it’s always the quiet ones you need to watch out for… looks like both Whisper cards have hit their bottoms, and both being mythic rares means that if they spike then the price is going to go up higher and faster than their rare equivalents.

Whisperwood being green means that he’ll be better able to fit into ramp strategies, which I think players are going to experiment with once we get some large and imposing Eldrazis to work with in Standard. Whisperwood can keep generating 2/2’s as blockers to keep you alive until you get some Eldrazi online. Seems like a great card to me and I have big expectations for this guy.

Rattleclaw Mystic

I’ve been hyping the Rattleclaw Mystic money train for a while, and I’ve picked up plenty of excess copies of this guy in anticipation of a decent performance in Standard since this is predicted to be the best mana ramp creature we’re going to get. Going with what we’ve seen from Sylvan Caryatid, I expect Rattleclaw to start going up in price some time in October.

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Caryatid went from $5 to $15 in October, so going with Rattleclaw’s current price of $2 I expect it to be at least $6 by the time October hits.

Final Mention – Fetchlands


Wait a second, you say. How could these things possibl0y go even higher than they are now? Didn’t Polluted Delta and Flooded Strand recently see a significant appreciation in their price?

Despite both of these questions being valid concerns, fetchlands are in a league of their own when it comes to price and will be especially important to Standard since Landfall is being reintroduced in the coming-back-to-Zendikar block again.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Khans fetchlands go over $20 retail in their Standard life, with the most heavily played ones reaching $30 or more. We also have to consider that Modern will be driving demand in addition to Standard, since we just saw a spike of the original Zendikar fetchlands because of Maro letting us know that we have an “exciting” new type of dual land coming out shortly… mhmm, I think I’ll keep my excitement in check until I see those original Zendikar fetchlands reprinted again, mkay?

While the fetches have been trending up nicely over the summer, especially the blue ones, I still think they have room to grow before they rotate from Standard. I wouldn’t expect to get killer deals on these things near or after rotation – remember, everyone is going to be looking to pick them up at rotation so retailers aren’t going to be budging on prices much. While the best time to purchase fetchlands is behind us, I still think it is a good idea to complete unfinished playsets before Standard and Modern hype start bringing the Khans fetchlands to lofty new price highs.

That’s all I’ve got for this week! Which cards are you guys looking at in Standard that have reached their bottoms for some nice fall gains? I know I only covered non-rotating cards, so is there anything from Theros that you think is even more important to keep an eye on than Khans/Dragons/Origins?

Apples and Oranges

The apples and oranges of MTGFinance might be clear cut to some, however to others they can lead to mistakes that make Magic a very frustrating game to play on a set-to-set basis when considering the financial aspect of the game. These are some of the areas of interest that we all are aware of but sometimes think that the application of one area can apply similarly to the another in exactly the same way. The differences are subtle, but can make a world of difference when you consider the ramifications.

Let’s take a look at some of these scenarios and see where the differences lie.

Print mtg1

Example One – I’m buying or trading into my Standard cards for the next few months by closely watching Pro Tour coverage, and making my decision based on the the results seen. My friend is also making these same decisions at the same time but instead of watching Pro Tour coverage he is instead following the advice of Twitter personalities (finance or otherwise) in order to make his decisions.

Here, we might wrongfully assume that these two scenarios are basically the same thing. However, picking cards through watching coverage is vastly different than using Twitter to decide on which cards are the best to get in on. Twitter in this case can actually be much slower, and the reason why is the old adage “If someone already is talking about something it’s too late.” Also, by watching coverage you can actually see just how powerful the card in question really is. Did the card make an actual, significant impact on the game? Or was it just a “win-more” card that supplemented the game but wasn’t the vital piece of the deck’s strategy? A picture is worth 1,000 words and video coverage is almost impossible to convey in 140 character blurbs.

The reason I mention this is because even I myself have been burned in the past by thinking that Twitter is enough to see where card prices are going based on weekend results. The real gains come from a more in-depth look at the weekend, including watching live coverage and also deck analysis (if you have insider access to SCG premium for example) prior to the event.

In this example, both players would be on the same level if they both analyzed results on a deeper level.



Example Two – I have a great idea for a spec, and want to buy in on that spec in mass quantities before the market catches up to the real demand. So, I buy 300 copies of the card all at less than $1. The card is from the Commander product series and does see an increase from $0.75 to $4 within the next week.

My friend also decides to spec on a card, and he buys in on 300 copies of his card as well. The card is from a Standard legal set and also goes from (let’s say) $0.50 to $3 overnight as results from the latest tournament roll in. We’re both going to making bank, right?

Well, here you would (almost always) be dead wrong. Commander speculations are certainly great, however they are always for the long term – when making a Commander speculation I know that I am going to hold onto that card for at least one year before I can start largely liquidating the stock. Standard, on the other hand, everyone wants because it is the most popular format. That card that my friend speculated on will be super easy to liquidate since all the big retailers are going to want 20+ copies each, and will continue to want them as they keep selling out of stock. This also means that the buylist price will stay higher for a longer time since the demand is just so much greater. Niche cards tend to have their buylist prices decreased once supply is filled since stores run out of stock less often.

This is why for Commander I prefer to stock up on foil versions of popular cards rather than non-foil versions, simply because as they age they will go up even more in value than non-foil versions and I get the added benefit of being able to easily sell them on eBay since many players pick up foils through that medium. I’ve got a solid binder of Commander foils that keeps appreciating nicely over the years, and I attribute it to my philosophy on trying to get foil versions of Commander cards over non-foil.

mtg5           mtg6

Example Three – I keep a running tab of my purchases, sells, and profit margins through a spreadsheet that I maintain myself. My friend uses several different sources to keep track of progress – PucaTrade, Deckbox, MTGPrice, etc. We both know exactly where we stand in terms of net profits, right?

Here, the line becomes more blurred between apples looking more like oranges but I still feel that these two separate methods are distinct in a very big way. Time management. Managing your own spreadsheet of gains and losses, trades and buylist sells, can be exhausting and it doesn’t have to be that way. I used to spend hours combing through my list, sometimes daily, to see where I was headed in terms of boosting the value of my collection. Now, the internet and programming have made much that management very efficient. Utilizing tools like PucaTrade, Deckbox, and MTGPrice to keep track of a collection is nothing short of incredible. Only slight updates are needed and the system takes care of the rest. Sure, there are still time management issues when it comes to inputting large amounts of cards at a time (which hopefully will be resolved as picture scanning software becomes more usable for both commercial and private ventures) but hopefully as time goes on it will become less painful to manage larger and larger collections.

Look Out for Differences!

I hope that this article has shown you that there are differences, however slight, in the way that scenarios are setup that can lead to hugely different outcomes when dealing with the financial side of Magic. I’ve shared my top three scenarios that I find can sometimes mislead players into thinking they will get the same outcome as someone else, however did you have any other scenarios in mind when reading this article that you also think are pretty relevant to Magic (or more specifically MTG Finance) ?

I’m always on the lookout for more ways in which things appear to be the same but are actually different, for it is in this way in which we find the best path to compare methods and to see the optimal way to improve them.

Magic Origins: A First Look

Magic Origins spoilers have slowly been trickling out from the Mothership and beyond, so let’s take a look at some of the previews we’ve been given so far and what it could mean for Standard and other formats.



The planeswalkers of the set have been spoiled and it’s the first time we’ve seen walkers that start as legendary creatures and transform into planeswalkers when a condition is met for them to trigger their “spark”.
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Kytheon / Gideon

Wow, this has got to be the most insane Savannah Lions variant the Magic community has received yet! So this is what a one mana planeswalker looks like (well, sort of). We’ve all wondered how Wizards would be able to print a planeswalker at one mana as a balanced card and I think we have our answer here.

Of course, the only downside to Kytheon is his legendary status. Only being able to have one Savannah Lions out on the field at a time is a bummer in white weenie decks but the great thing here is that he dies pretty easily, so the odds of you having one stuck in your hand for a long time are almost zero. A similar case study here is Isamaru, Hound of Konda. Even though it is also a legendary creature, in Kamigawa Standard he was still played as three to four copies per aggro deck even with the legendary drawback. This makes me think that the legendary status will matter but not as much as as legendary creatures that cost three or more mana. But wait, I haven’t even discussed the indestructibility! For three mana, having a way to ensure that Kytheon becomes Gideon is super important for such a fragile 2/1 body. You could also just sit on him if you need a blocker, making him indestructible and chumping non-tramplers all day. So basically, the card is nothing but upside as long as you don’t get another one or two of them stuck in your opening hand or within your opening draws.

The Gideon counterpart is also pretty awesome. Gideon Jura was certainly played in Rise of Eldrazi standard, and Kytheon offers us a Jura-mini just for attacking and beating face. Unfortunately, this Gideon doesn’t kill creatures (let’s be real, for one mana that would just be way too powerful to -2 to kill a creature) but it can boost its loyalty very quickly and mess with your opponent’s combat. Think of the +2 as an opposite Frenzied Goblin. Instead of being unable to block, the creature is forced to attack Gideon, removing it from attacking your face and thus “removing it from combat” and being able to block when your next combat phase comes along. The +1 also affects combat quite nicely, by having an attacker become indestructible or untapping an already tapped attacker and having an indestructible blocker for next turn.

All in all, Kytheon / Gideon is a very solid card and I expect it to see a ton of Standard play, especially in the fall when aggro decks will tend to gravitate towards the Top 8 of tournaments.
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The text here is hard to make out on the right, so here is the Telepath Unbound text:

+1: Up to one target creature gets -2/-0 until your next turn.

-3: You may cast target instant or sorcery card from your graveyard this turn. If that card would be put into your graveyard this turn, exile it instead.

-9: You get an emblem with “Whenever you cast a spell, target opponent puts the top five cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard”.

Loyalty 5


Jace certainly feels like he has potential for Standard as well. Merfolk Looter has been well received in Standard environments throughout the years and a Looter with upside is very appealing. My current thinking is that he will slot into the Sidisi-Whip deck quite nicely, and will continue to support Sidisi, Brood Tyrant after Theros block rotates from Standard.

After filling up your graveyard, Jace can then create a mini Yawgmoth’s Will situation that gives one of your instant or sorcery cards flashback until end of turn. Even the ultimate ability is kind of cool, since it allows you to put a fairly fast clock on your opponent since all of your spells will also have Tome Scour spliced onto them.

All in all, this Jace doesn’t excite me in quite the way that Kytheon / Gideon did, but the control and Sidisi players among us will have a cool new toy to play with soon.
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I’m a huge fan of Liliana in eternal formats. I’m thinking that the new wave of Collected Company decks in Modern might try experimenting with her since they have so many ways of sacrificing creatures for value. Unfortunately, with the banning of Birthing Pod there are fewer ways to sacrifice your own creatures within the deck, but I think there are enough tools in a format like Modern to really push Liliana to the next level.

In terms of Standard, I’m not sure what type of sacrifice outlets we’re going to be getting in the future but currently the ones that exist are meh at best. She has weak stats for the mana cost and can be removed very easily before being able to be transformed into her ‘walker form. I think people will try to make her work in Standard decks but I’m not sure if the support exists to really get your mana’s worth.
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*Sigh*, why is Chandra always so bad? Red players never get a break. Remember Tibalt? Chandra isn’t that bad, but she is still pretty boring and lackluster compared to the other ‘walkers seen so far.

You have to do soo much work to transform her. However, one interesting trick is that you can attack with her to deal two damage, then cast a red spell during your second main phase to untap her and then tap her for the third damage in order to transform her into a ‘walker. So, sometimes you will only need one spell to transform her rather than two.

The planeswalker side is fine. +1 for two face damage is pretty nice, -2 for two creature damage is alright, and the ultimate ability if you get it off is certainly devastating. However, I’m just not sure that this Chandra has what it takes to see Standard play. She seems even more frail to me than Liliana, and I think that Liliana is going to have a hard time seeing Standard play currently. I think she would have been much better with Haste, however I didn’t do any of the play testing with the card to know if that would be too good or not.
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The text here is hard to make out on the right, so here is the Sage Animist text:

+1: Reveal the top card of your library. If it’s a land card, put it onto the battlefield. Otherwise, put it into your hand.

-2: Put a legendary 4/4 green Elemental creature token named Ashaya, the Awoken World onto the battlefield.

-7: Untap up to six target lands. They become 6/6 Elemental creatures. They’re still lands.

Loyalty 3

Creature Nissa is definitely underwhelming. A strictly worse Civic Wayfinder, Nissa doesn’t have much going for her ability-wise. Hey, at least she’s better than Chandra right!?

Seriously though, she has some pretty nice late game potential that makes up for underwhelming creature version. Casting her later in the game and activating the planeswalker transformation right away will be the most optimal play. Once Nissa becomes a planeswalker, it’s all upside from there. Her abilities are all very good. +1 to draw a card / drop a land, -2 to create a creature to protect herself (which can be activated right away), and then finally having a game ending -7 if the opportunity presents itself is a nice touch.

Keeping everything in mind, I do think Nissa will see Standard play since green midrange decks will be able to pretty consistently transform her since they ramp up to seven lands pretty quickly and her creature form is fine as a 2/2 blocker that gets you your next land drop.


Other Spoilers

Besides planeswalkers, we’ve gotten some other spoilers that I’d like to go over quickly here.
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Avaricious Dragon seems cool and all since we just received a set that gave us “dragons matter” cards. However, I don’t think it is quite as good as it seems at first glance. A 4/4 flyer for 2RR has already been filled by Thunderbreak Regent nicely and I’m not sure if the decks that play Thunderbreak Regent want this card. I’m thinking that if this card sees play at all, it is going to be as the top of the curve in Red Deck Wins. In other words, it could certainly see play in Atarka Red as the finisher of choice once you’ve exhausted your hand of all the cheap one and two mana spells.

The unfortunate thing about the dragon is that it makes you discard your entire hand right away, since it triggers during your end step. So, I guess you have to be playing a super greedy deck as the card’s name implies. Not that burn is greedy or anything, but you could certainly make it greedier by including one or two of these bad boys in your list.

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Ravaging Blaze itself isn’t that exciting to me, but the Spell Mastery ability is. See, Wizards has taken the direction of Magic much further towards creature based dominance rather than spell dominance. Now, they have created an effect that rewards you for playing instants and sorceries! I’m sure they’ve nerfed this ability in some way to make sure that it won’t be abused in Standard or other eternal formats, but it’s good to know that Wizards is also keeping mind that they need good instants and sorceries in order to keep the game fresh for players. Creature based dominance is fine, but when spells keep costing more and more mana for the same effect over the years it certainly gets annoying. Hopefully, we’ll get some exciting Spell Mastery cards that might even shake things up in eternal formats.
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Dwynen (I keep saying Dy-wen in my head) is actually pretty good. An elf lord with reach, an extra ability, and a huge butt? I think this card will see play somewhere along the lines in a Constructed format, and even if it doesn’t this card will be casual gold for years to come. Lord effects are very popular among casual players, and Dwynen provides that effect on a legendary creature which is also nice for the Commander players among us. I honestly don’t think this card will ever be bulk since the lord effect and life gain ability are two things that casuals love. Plus, reach and an additional point of toughness just because? That’s just icing on the cake.
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Really, Chandra’s parents needed a card? I’m not sure what role they play in her story or even the overall story of Magic as a whole, however I’m glad that they printed this card because it’s actually very unique for a red card.

I like the direction Wizards is taking red with creating Human Artificers like this card and Feldon. Though their has been a smattering of red artificers in the past, Daretti and company have reintroduced the red artificer creature subtype in a big way. This card is also breaking some color pie boundaries. A red card that generates 1/1 flying tokens when it enters the battlefield? That’s pretty sweet and definitely seems Standard playable to me.

However, the best part is that you can shock creatures and players with artifacts justs like Siege-Gang Commander does with goblins. So not only are you getting 1/1 flying Thopters with this card, but if it lives then it can start shocking things by sacrificing artifacts. That seems pretty powerful to me.

However, I guess the ultimate question is – is it good enough for Standard? I don’t really see this card being played in eternal formats, and maybe my own love for Siege-Gang Commander is making me think this card is much better than it actually is.


Wrapping Up

All the cards I’ve discussed today shouldn’t be preordered – I don’t think any of them are powerful enough to sustain their current preorder prices. However, they definitely offer a nice glimpse into what the future of Standard might look like. All of the planeswalkers seem playable, even Chandra if enough good red spell support is provided, so we’ll just have to wait and see what other support they are given (if any) once the rest of the spoilers are revealed.

What do you guys think? Did I miss the mark on some of my evaluations or do you also see some of the same connections and trends that I’ve noticed?

In Modern Masters’ Wake

This week I’d like to take a look at the most played cards in Modern, how Modern Masters 2015 has affected their prices, and what the future holds for many of these cards – including those which did not get reprinted.


Starting Thoughts – Tarmogoyf and Other Leaders in the Set


Based on my observations from Modern Masters 2013, we’re going to be in for another interesting ride this time around as well. Unlike last time, we had up-to-the-minute price tracking at GP Vegas because MTGPrice had authors on the floor keeping track of the event for everyone. This enabled us as a community to see in real time what the dealers were paying for certain cards from the set that weekend. Why is the GP weekend important? Because it shows us which cards the dealers felt were going to be the most important going forward by having their buylists reflect that confidence all at once (due to the massive influx of tons of people opening expensive cards and wanting to offload them).

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Hey, even Standard cards made the list! Thanks for the snapshot Douglas Johnson.

As Corbin mentioned in his post on June 4th, the dealers had to compete with buylist prices for chase cards like Tarmogoyf because even though only one or two vendors had a high buylist price for the card initially (the $130 and higher range) that meant that everyone else eventually had to raise their buylist prices in order to snag some Tarmogoyfs for themselves.

As they say, history is doomed to repeat itself and Tarmogoyf is no exception. Don’t get me wrong. This time the price of card did drop. Going from $220 to $170-$180 is definitely a discount. Yet, is it good enough? I’m sure we’re all thinking to ourselves that a 22% discount isn’t really that great in this case since the card is still pretty darn close to $200 per copy, which is what sets like MM15 are supposed to remedy. Many players were expecting ‘Goyf to fall much harder than this. A lot of us in the mtgfinance community we’re pretty solid believers in the idea that ‘Goyf might even drop into the double digits, at least for a while. Yet, the card is still as wildly popular and in demand as ever and an entire slew of fresh reprints hasn’t really made a large impact in the retail price.


Again, let’s go back to the release of Modern Masters 2013. That time, ‘Goyf didn’t move in price at all. It was $120 before the release and stayed $120 after the release. There are two reasons for this. The first is that ‘Goyf was (yet again) printed at mythic rather than rare. I can understand why Wizards printed it at mythic the first time around – they wanted to make sure that they didn’t crash the price of the card and create a situation similar to Chronicles. This time around they could have done things differently though. They knew that printing ‘Goyf at mythic wasn’t going to do anything to its price in the long term. This leads to the second reason that ‘Goyf didn’t move in price this time and last – the player base increase. Once you get a taste of the ‘Goyf, well you just can’t have only one. You need a full playset in order to make it work in Modern. Jund just isn’t the same without four of them. It also doesn’t help that Jund has been doing really well in Modern recently, further exacerbating the demand for Tarmogoyfs in the format.

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I think Wizards made a big mistake not printing ‘Goyf at rare this time around. They knew what happened last time, knew that players were still going to demand a large amount of ‘Goyfs this time, and still decided to keep it at mythic and guaranteeing it an absurdly high price. If it was a rare we wouldn’t be seeing the $180+ retail prices but I still think that ‘Goyf would be in the low $100s based on the demand we’ve been seeing in Vegas and beyond. As it is, by the end of the year we all know that ‘Goyf is going back to $200 and beyond as time continues. Again players who hoped to pick up ‘Goyfs cheap have had those hopes dashed.


Alright, alright, enough about ‘Goyf. I’m sure you’ve heard about him to death at this point and I’ve said what I have to say on the matter. Let’s see some prices on other staples. Also, let’s take a look at the data with the previous retail prices and see how much of discount we’re getting on singles now.


Tarmogoyf $172.99 $210.00 17.62%
Vendilion Clique $56.65 $80.00 29.19%
Dark Confidant $48.99 $102.00 51.97%
Mox Opal $40.32 $54.00 25.33%
Noble Hierarch $38.28 $74.00 48.27%
Cryptic Command $35.70 $63.00 43.33%
Bitterblossom $35.46 $44.00 19.41%
Karn Liberated $33.99 $50.00 32.02%
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn $33.17 $56.00 40.77%
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth $31.43 $65.00 51.65%
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre $24.93 $44.00 43.34%
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite $24.52 $30.00 (highest price $40 in Apr-May) 38.70%
Fulminator Mage $21.54 $44.00 51.05%
Spellskite $18.86 $22.00 14.27%
Iona, Shield of Emeria $17.39 $30.00 42.03%
Splinter Twin $17.36 $20.00 (highest price $30 in Apr-May) 42.13%
Leyline of Sanctity $14.99 $32.00 53.16%
Daybreak Coronet $14.68 $35.00 58.06%
Primeval Titan $14.28 $15.00 4.80%
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker $14.16 $27.00 47.56%
Wilt-Leaf Liege $11.00 $15.00 (highest price $30 in Apr-May) 63.33%
Tezzeret the Seeker $9.67 $15.00 35.53%
Blinkmoth Nexus $8.12 $11.00 26.18%
Remand $8.10 $12.00 32.50%
All Is Dust $6.97 $22.00 68.32%
Eye of Ugin $4.45 $9.00 (highest price $18 in Apr-May) 75.28%
Creakwood Liege $3.99 $13.00 69.31%
Hurkyl’s Recall $3.98 $12.00 66.83%
Etched Champion $3.96 $6.00 34.00%
Surgical Extraction $3.84 $7.00 45.14%
Necroskitter $2.63 $6.00 56.17%
Mirran Crusader $2.52 $3.50 28.00%
Puppeteer Clique $2.47 $6.00 58.83%
Lightning Bolt $2.33 $2.00 – $3.00 22.33%
Apocalypse Hydra $2.25 $10.00 77.50%
Electrolyze $1.97 $3.00 34.33%
Mystic Snake $1.93 $2.50 22.80%

(All cards in MM 2015 with a buylist price of $1 or more. Bolded all discounts of 35% or less to see which cards were the least affected by reprinting).


OK, so taking a look at the cards that were the least affected by the reprint. So far, the top five are:

  • Primeval Titan, 5%
  • Spellskite, 14%
  • Tarmogoyf, 18%
  • Bitterblossom, 20%
  • Mox Opal, 25%

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This is pretty interesting to me – who would have thought that Primeval Titan would still be about the same price after the reprint? The only deck it’s played in is Amulet Bloom, a deck that was almost destroyed by the banning of its champion Speck if not for the superb finish of Justin Cohen at GP DC. Also, it’s banned in Commander! Where is this demand coming from!? Well, my guess is that more people became very interested in Bloom Titan after seeing Justin smash face with it, and this makes me think that other pieces of the deck that haven’t been reprinted (and there a few – Azusa, Hive Mind, Summoner’s Pact, Gemstone Mine, etc.) will soon be under someone’s radar.

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Though I shouldn’t be surprised, I’m still pretty confused as to why Spellskite hasn’t dropped much in price. The card is mainly sideboard tech, albeit one that is included in basically everyone’s sideboard in Modern, but for a reprint to not move the price more than 15% is pretty telling. This means that many more people are trying to pick up Spellskite in order to combat the onslaught of Twin variants and decks that pack tons of spot removal. Due to Phyrexian mana, it truly is an evergreen card that can perform well in every deck / sideboard.

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Bitterblossom is yet another interesting case – why drop just 20% when it’s only played in Tier 2 strategies Black/White tokens and Faeries? In this case, mythic rare scarcity could be playing a part in the price sustainability. However, the first printing of Bitterblossom was at rare — unlike Primeval Titan, which has always been a mythic. Could this be telling us that players getting into Modern are starting with B/W Tokens (due to the event deck) or Faeries? Here are some other cards from those decks that have started jumping or might jump soon:



Open Discussion – Cards Not in the Set and Their Futures


Already we’ve seen several cards start climbing up in price due to not being in Modern Masters 2015.

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Blood Moon – This card has spiked to $50 due to a buyout, but I’m not sure if it can sustain that price. Blood Moon is great in Modern but only because people are playing greedy, three-color decks that can be hosed by it. Plus, in certain matchups it can be dead. The card was printed in Chronicles, so there are tons of these out there. I think if you want to pick up Blood Moons you will unfortunately have to wait.

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Urza’s Mine (and others) – Another buyout on TCGPlayer, this card will increase in price but the $18 I’m seeing it listed at won’t stick. However, this buyout will get people to notice that Tron lands were not in MM15 so expect the prices of others to tick up over time as well.

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Omniscience – MTGPrice authors from Vegas were tweeting and writing updates about how Omniscience seems to have been bought up by a ton of the vendors and that they were continuing to seek more copies. This is a Modern legal card, however demand here is coming from Legacy (since Omni-Show is currently one of the best decks in the format) and casual/EDH demand. Still though, regular copies are closing in on $35 and foils have broken past $100 due to not being seen in Modern Masters 2015.

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Snapcaster Mage – Everyone’s “duh” pick for going up in price since we knew Innistrad wasn’t part of the MM15 set, Snapcaster has now broken through $60 and I don’t see him stopping there until the next reprint. He is currently one of the most played cards in Modern. Foils have yet to catch up to the regular price, so if that’s your thing now would be the time to get in on foil Snapcaster Mages.

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Inkmoth Nexus – Blinkmoth Nexus was given the nod for MM15, which means that cousin Inkmoth was ripe for a price increase. This was probably one of the fastest cards to spike after MM15 was fully spoiled. I expect that Inkmoth will continue to go up since the decrease in price of Mox Opal and Etched Champion means that other parts of the deck will become more expensive over time. Steel Overseer is probably next in line for a price hike.

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Sower of Temptation – Casual and Modern sideboard demand has driven up the price of Sower to $25, and I can see it continuing to climb since Lorwyn is such a hard-to-find set. Be aware, though: this card is easily reprintable.

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Horizon Canopy and Grove of the Burnwillows – How these lands managed to dodge a reprint, I’ll never know, but they did so expect prices to start climbing up to match demand for Tron and Bogles players out there. One theory that Burnwillows didn’t get the reprint is because they knew Birthing Pod would be banned, so one of primary drivers for demand is now gone.

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Twilight Mire (and other filter lands) – Though they didn’t get a reprint and will continue to creep up, I still advocate avoiding these lands at all cost. Once they get reprinted, they will be hit hard so only get enough copies for your immediate needs and nothing more.

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Rings of Brighthearth – With non-foil copies clocking in over $20, this card has infinite casual demand behind it. Again though, like filter lands once the inevitable reprint occurs it will bottom out hard and take forever to recover. Acquire with care.

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Might of Old Krosa – Due to the reprint dodge, these have hit $9 and I don’t see them stopping since Infect is a viable Modern strategy.

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Choke – An amazing sideboard card in Modern and even Legacy, I expect Choke to also creep up over time due to not getting a reprint.

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Engineered Explosives – My final card mention is E.E., which according to floor reports was one of the sought after cards by vendors in the Modern Masters three GP weekend. It has been slowly climbing up to $10 but I still think it has legs and will grow more over time.


Too Many Cards, So Little Time

I believe Jason was the first to mention this but it’s pretty obvious in retrospect – Wizards can’t reprint everything. I’m sure you’re starting to get the picture at this point, but the release of Modern Masters 2015 caused just as many (if not more) price hikes as it did discounts for cards. For several Modern staples, the prices are now low enough that getting in on a deck like Splinter Twin or Affinity is starting to look plausible for many folks. However, the parts that weren’t reprinted will start rising due to the demand of the other cards and probably make it a wash in the end for those players who pick up singles more slowly than others. That’s all for this week, thanks for reading.