Tag Archives: jared yost

Modern Masters 2015 – Release Weekend Update

First, the good news. Modern Masters 2015 can be reordered, so you can all rejoice about how easy it is to get packs.


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Now, the negatives. If you want those MM 2015 packs right away please keep in mind that there are several issues going on with the first print run of the set. This first run might not be that desirable due to printing and packaging errors. And let me be clear, there are many errors with this product. James did a good job in pointing out the issues.


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Non-Tamper Proof Packaging


Since Wizards decided to be Earth-friendly for the release of Modern Masters 2015, they are putting these packs in cardboard packaging and using glue to keep the packages closed together. This youtube video shows why that maybe wasn’t such a great idea. Modern Masters is going to have value, but please make sure to get your packs from reputable dealers or people that you trust.


In-Pack Card Damage


Next on the list is in-pack card damage. This Twitter picture pretty much tells it all.

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I find it quite sad that every single foil common in the box was nicked in this manner. What do you do if you open a money common foil and it had this type of issue? What if every card in your pack had these kind of nicks? Not a very good feeling to see that pack fresh cards aren’t coming out NM and knowing that you have a good chance with this first run to get stuck with cards that are damaged due to the loose-packing style of the cardboard boosters.


Collation Issues


This reddit post does a great job explaining how cards in packs seem to be having collation issues. Washed out colors, misprints, badly centered cards – these are all basic things that shouldn’t be happening in sets like Dragons of Tarkir, let alone Modern Masters 2015. I’m wondering if the cardboard packaging did this to the cards or if the quality control was just that bad. Maybe it’s a one-of case that just happens to be anecdotal? Not sure, but based on what others are saying I find it hard to believe that this is an isolated case.


Pack Rarity Distribution Errors


This reddit post gives an account of packs containing no rares coming out of a sealed box. In the comments, a user gives an account of a friend opening packs containing multiple rares per pack. With this issue, I believe that Wizards will replace the defective product (that is, packs containing no rares) however it is still just another example of the low quality control seen so far.


Another issue with this is that you can even get these crazy DISCARD cards in your slot, or worse your mythic rare slot:


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These DISCARD cards are a bit more common, as they have happened over the years in plenty of recent packs of sets, but to get one in a $10 pack is still pretty disheartening.


Wizards’ Response So Far


Unfortunately, I don’t think there is going to be a lot that you can do about many of these issues. Wizards was listening to feedback starting on Friday and through Saturday about the reported print run issues and released this Twitter statement along with an official statement from the mothership.


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This statement doesn’t address anything with the concerns that people have been bringing up. It’s kind of a slap in the face to players, especially those who have bought boxes at WPN locations and discovered the issues with cards were nicked upon opening. Some of the louder voices on Twitter are continuously asking what we can do if we get packs with these types of print run issues. Hopefully there will be recourse in the future for the issues but for now we’ll just have to wait and see.


Continuous Discussion About Value and Condition


I’ve talked about potential issues with value for Modern Masters 2015 in my last article, but this video by Tolarian Community College does an amazing job explaining exactly why or why not to buy into Modern Masters 2015. He does get a bit preachy, especially when calling Wizards greedy for pricing packs with Goyfs in them at $10, but after seeing everything that has been going on with Modern Masters 2015 at this point I am inclined to agree with him. He also provides more documented footage of card conditions of cards that are coming out of pack fresh boosters. Great, straight-to-the-point coverage by The MTG Professor.

I realize that the vocal minority always complains the loudest. However, in my many years of playing Magic I have never experienced the amount of card quality complaints that I am seeing with this set over the past weekend. One factor could be because of the higher cost of entry – since players are paying more, they expect a higher quality product, and who can blame them. I have certain expectations when purchasing a Cadillac versus purchasing a Ford, however with Magic cards it should be even easier to guarantee that the product is up to snuff. Another reason might be the bandwagon effect – since it is popular to complain about Modern Masters 2015 during opening weekend, why not chime in with your own personal anecdote even if most other players haven’t experienced it. I mean, we’re all just kind of shooting from the hip here since we don’t know how exactly how much of the product is defective. However, recently players have said the Commander 2014 decks were also having issues, and I don’t remember the feedback for those decks being as negative as for Modern Masters 2015. This is only the first weekend, so maybe over time we’ll see that this is just overblown. However, I felt it was important to write this article because if you experienced these types of issues with your premium Modern Masters 2015 packs then please know that you are not alone and that several other community members both on Twitter and Reddit have been documenting and adding issues they are finding with the set.


I’ll leave you with this – even after seeing all of the issues with Modern Masters 2015, I still think Wizards has a chance to get it right with the next print run. They seem to have recognized that there is a problem, due to them Tweeting about it and releasing a statement on Saturday, however now we need action from Wizards to follow up with their mistakes. I expect great things from Modern Masters 2015 and hopefully future waves will correct the mistakes we are seeing on release weekend.

Modern Masters 2015 Controversy

So the full spoiler for Modern Masters 2015 has finally gone up at the mothership. As usual, there was both excitement and disappointment at the reveal. While players will certainly be getting some incredible staples reprinted like Tarmogoyf and Emrakul, there were also many who lamented the sheer amount of duds in the set. There are simply rares included which can’t be described as anything other than bulk. This telling graph that was posted shortly after the reveal on Reddit (link), and it tells all:

MM2 Bar Chart Compare

Odds are you are going to be pretty disappointed with those $10 packs if you buy them one at a time. On the plus side, If you’re lucky enough to pull a mythic rare than you have a very good chance of getting your value back and being quite happy – there are many more valuable mythic rares this time around than last time. Thankfully Wizards has learned from the Kamigawa dragon cycle fiasco. Yet, did they really have to put so many bulk rares into a set that is supposed to get Modern staples out there into the market? I realize that we as players want this set to be an amazing limited experience – there’s no doubt that players even until this day still enjoy drafting Modern Masters 2013 and I have friends that keep MM cubes together because reliving the experience is just so much fun. However, I think there is a way to balance this out that Wizards seems to have missed.

We Get Phyrexian Mana But…

There is no Gitaxian Probe. That’s right folks, what was probably on the Top 10 of everybody’s guesses at what was going to be printed into oblivion this summer got a reprint reprieve. When I saw Mutagenic Growth and Gut Shot without their blue brethren, my head turned slightly to the side like this.

Owl Face

Seriously, huh!?!? Well, that bodes well for the set foil copies that I picked up at $3 each but now I’m wishing I didn’t out all the promo copies that I’ve been acquiring. Thankfully we’re getting Spellskite this time around so everyone can stop complaining about how a card that only sees one or two copies per deck is over $20. Not anymore!

We Get Repeal But…

There is no Serum Visions. Alright, this one made me shake my head in serious disbelief. This was my number one card for getting a reprint in the set. This was the most obvious call! Yet, it was not to be and the little common that could will continue to keep climbing to completely absurd prices. Hope you at least held on to a playset because without a reprint in the near future Serum Visions is going up, up, up…


At least blue gave us the following:

Cryptic Command

Hurkyl’s Recall



We’ll just have to take the good with the bad, like we usually do as Magic players.

We Got Daybreak Coronet, yay! But…

The set has practically no Limited support for the enchantment-enchantment that is the all star of the Bogles deck. In other words, if you decided to actually, you know, draft the set then God forbid that you open one of these in your pack! Even worse is if you’re stuck with one of these in your GP Vegas Sealed pool! Talk about bad value, at least play-wise.

Thankfully, we did get the following spicy enchantments:

Splinter Twin

Leyline of Sanctity


So again, we must take the good with the bad. Ironically, Wizards was okay with just throwing in Leyline of Sanctity to get more copies out there (let’s face it: the card is actually worse than Daybreak Coronet in Limited) while at the same time excluding commons like Serum Visions and Gitaxian Probe. Sigh.

We Get Great Mythics But…

We’ve got a great assortment of mythics this time around – all of them are currently valued pretty high besides Comet Storm. Initial comparisons of prices (current day) were drawn up on the mtgfinance subreddit and this is what we have so far:

MM Comparison Prices

That’s a significant amount of mythics currently over $15. But, some won’t stay that way as time goes on – lots of cards are going to drop in price in the short term. Casual hits will drop in price as the market becomes saturated and that will be the time to pick them up.

Look at all those terrible, bulk rares. So let me see, besides a lack of commons and uncommons that are within the $2-$4 range, we also have a pretty decent chance of getting Inexorable Tide in a $10 pack? That just seems cruel to people who only buy one pack, Wizards.

It is cool that certain cards were downgraded to rare, like All is Dust – so instead of taking up a mythic slot you now have a much better chance of value at rare until the market is saturated. Still though, for every All is Dust there is going to be a Shadowmage Infiltrator, and for every Noble Hierarch there will be an Ant Queen. Since this is Modern Masters, the prices for many of these cards only stand to go down during the short term as more product is released to the market.

It’s Not All Doom and Gloom!

In summary, Modern Masters 2015 is a mixed bag just like the last one. While last time we received terrible mythics and decent rares, this time around we’ve gotten great mythics and mostly bad rares. To be fair though, they are only bad if we categorize them all as tournament staples – there are plenty of casual targets in those rares that are bound to go up once their price bottoms out such as Creakwood Liege. Like Warren Buffet (and Sig!), we should find opportunity where others find woe. Look for the diamonds hidden the rough that will grow over time due to non-Modern demand.

Also, even though there will be some bumps in terms of Sealed Deck play, this format looks great for Draft! My friends and I are going to love building and playing with a Cube of this set, and drafting fresh packs will surely lead to many memorable games.

I haven’t done the expected value per pack calculations on the set yet, but I’m guessing that the math will show that EV is going to be equal to MSRP in the short term when more than just the mythics and rares are considered (even with all the non-inclusions at common/uncommon). Singles might drop, however per pack players should be, on average, pretty satisfied with their pulls, especially since there is a foil in every pack. Plus, the mythics might not drop all that much if the set is scarcer than Wizards has led us to believe. Wizards is very good at pricing these types of products based on market research, so if you open a ton of packs right way you are bound to at least make your money back if we bring the commons and uncommons into the equation (thanks James Chillcott for the insight!).


What are your big targets from this set once the prices start to nose dive? Mine are Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Kozilek, Butcher of Truth, Cryptic Command, Noble Hierarch, and Creakwood Liege.


What’s on the Reserved List – Legends Edition

Legends has always been a fascinating set full of unique cards. It is certainly a set that we should keep our eyes on for card price movements. The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, Invoke Prejudice, Angus Mackenzie, In the Eye of Chaos, and Land Equilibrium have all seen substantial gains over the past few years. For some of them, these gains are only going to be greater as the years go on because they will become harder and harder to find.

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Recently there has been buzz around cards from Legends that have been gaining steam recently. Cards that have started seeing gains include the likes of Ragnar, Eureka, Divine Intervention, Lady Evangela, and Telekinesis. Well gee, what gives here? Sure, we could attribute some this movement to Tiny Leaders speculation since they are old, hard to find cards that can fill niche roles in the format. However, why are cards like Eureka and Divine Intervention gaining steam these days?

Simply, the Reserve List.

Today, I’m going to throw all of the cards from Legends on the Reserve List at you and provide some quick commentary on where I think its future will price will end up. This will cover everything from Tabernacle to Wood Elemental. Some of the areas of interest I’ll be looking for are:

  • Has this card’s effect been replicated in any way?
    • Follow up – Has this card’s effect already been outclassed by recent cards?
  • What formats will the card be played in?
  • Does the card have a good probability of being outclassed in the future? 

With those questions in mind let’s take a look at some of our Reserve List friends from Legends. One thing to keep in mind is when I say a card will “never be created again in a similar fashion,” I’m referring to Wizards’ modern design policies for how they want Magic to be created. Some examples includes watering down counterspells, making sure removal isn’t too efficient and “Staxx effects” that destroy lands, prevent spells from being cast or can easily lock the game down on a significantly early turn.


The List


Card Comments
The Abyss Our list starts out with one of the most expensive cards from Legends. The Abyss is something that will never be created again in a similar fashion. Imagine casting this on turn two with a Dark Ritual! Oh, the humanity. This is the definition of a Staxx effect that will never return. Magus of the Abyss is easy to remove and can actually kill itself without other creatures on your side of the board (which is why it’s a bulk rare) and I believe that is the closest we’ll ever get to seeing The Abyss’ power again. Well, Call to the Grave is pretty close but does cost one mana more!
This bodes well for the card’s future price, as it is set to only go up over time. This is a slow gainer though – the price hasn’t even moved in the past four years. It will be some time before this card goes up again because it has limited use in Constructed Magic, which relegates it to the kitchen tables and Commander games. Certainly a card to keep your eye on if you want to pick up something neat for your black Commander deck.
Acid Rain WELL, if green ever does become the dominant color of Magic in fifty years, this could be as insane as Boil!….
This card already being at $20 is pretty high for its limited utility. Color hosers are only as good in Constructed as the metagame, and for eternal formats blue will always be king which relegates cheap, massive Forest killing to the side. Cool art but this card has been outclassed by other blue things over the years. Sure, you can troll your Commander group with this if they have a particular knack for dual lands the color blue in general, though otherwise this will be a slooooooow gainer over the years.
Adun Oakenshield Depending on where you look, Adun is anywhere from $40 to $50 or more. This card took a particular hard spike back in April 2013 because someone recognized that it is pretty killer in Commander as a general. Tiny Leaders could add future value to Adun so he is something to watch out for in the future even at the current price.
Al-abara’s Carpet This card is actually pretty insane, barring that you play it early enough in a Commander game and your opponent isn’t playing a ton of flyers. I would say at $5 the “poor man’s Moat”  is pretty cheap for the reserved list and has a powerful effect. Certainly blows Scarecrow out of the water!
Alchor’s Tomb This is an example of a “do nothing” card – it costs a ton of mana for an effect that does nothing to hamper your opponent or increase your own board position without heavy outside support. The only reason this card is $3 is because it is on the list. This is the first card we’ve encountered that is RSB – reserve list bulk. Avoid.
All Hallow’s Eve One mana short of being in Tiny Leaders, this card could have fit right in with Time Spiral block since the scream counters are basically the same as the Suspend mechanic. The inspiration for Twilight’s Call, Living Death, and Living End, the card has power even if it is delayed.
At $40, it is a pricier card that probably will get outclassed in the future as Living End has a Modern deck based around it and is still only $6. Though neat, probably better to avoid if you’re looking for quicker gains.
Angus Mackenzie With Commander and Tiny Leaders demand, Angus has been gaining steadily over the past several years and has no signs of stopping. A great general and powerful static effect, I can only see him growing more steadily as the years go on.
One thing to keep in mind is that Angus’ effect might be outclassed in the future, though the creature would probably cost much more mana for a similar effect.
Bartel Runeaxe Legendary, yet sadly has been severely outclassed over the years by creature creep. RSB.
Boris Devilboon Boris does seem like he good be good, but he is competing with similar cards like Sek’Kura, Deathkeeper in the modern Magic landscape. Looking closer, he has weak stats for his mana cost and the activated ability is costly as well. RSB.
Caverns of Despair Similar to Al-abara’s Carpet, this card has a decently powerful effect since it gives red access to something that these days it would never receive. It’s pretty nice for control decks since it gives them another tool to stave off creatures. Though we look to Crawlspace as the de facto way to control attacks, this card also affects blocking creatures which is something to note. I can see it being outclassed in the future, though not in the color red. Keep an eye on this one moving forward.
Chains of Mephistopheles Chains is already crazy expensive, however it could get even more expensive as time goes on. It is a card that sees niche play in Legacy and is certainly cube and Commander worthy. The price explosion I believe is pretty much over, since the card has gone from $50 to $350 in the space of three years or so. I would still expect small, marginal gains from Chains over the next few years.
Cleanse A Wrath of God for only black creatures, this card might see play in Legacy one day though I highly doubt it. It’s on the cheaper end at $9 but, again, where is it going to see play? It is too narrow to have any applications in constructed environments 95% of the time. Not exactly RSB yet too expensive for formats like Legacy.
Disharmony A strictly worse Grab the Reins, this card is another to be avoided since it has been outclassed. RSB.
Divine Intervention Even though this card says the game ends in a draw, I think we can all agree that it you get this to go off in a game of Commander that you’re the real winner.
A neat card without any near comparisons other than the “you win the game” cycle of enchantments from Judgment, I could see this card gaining traction over time as players try to jam it into Commander as a fun way to end the game. A very slow gainer financially.
Elder Spawn Terrible creature, has been outclassed over the years. RSB.
Eureka A wild and crazy card that fits right in with a game of Commander, this card has massive casual appeal since it allows you to play all those Eldrazi and planeswalkers from your hand for free! Pretty neat! I believe I have also seen this card in a Legacy deck at some point (can’t remember which exactly) so it could pop up again in eternal formats if Hypergenesis-type decks become good again.
A slow gainer, but could spike if featured in a Legacy deck at some point.
Falling Star Yeah, this card is back when Wizards thought Chaos Orb was cool… Yeah, turns out people don’t like flipping their cards physically while playing with them. Not something you want to pick up for anything, really. RSB.
Field of Dreams OK, so black gets The Abyss and blue gets… this? Wow, can’t believe blue got the shaft here though I guess sometimes the power needs to shift to other colors (except green, of course – this is back when green was terrible). Avoid, has been outclassed over the years. RSB.
Firestorm Phoenix We’ve gotten several better phoenixs over the years, avoid. RSB.
Forethought Amulet The effect is way too narrow to be good, even with future cards added. Also, an upkeep of three mana to keep in play? Yeah, no thanks. RSB.
Gosta Dirk Legendary, but sadly has been severely outclassed over the years by creature creep. RSB.
Gravity Sphere Now here’s a card that has potential! Gravity Sphere is great at punishing blue players and similar by taking away flying. This card would fit right in with a tokens deck these days and has the added bonus of always grounding future insane flyers that Wizards decides to print.
Also, Tiny Leaders relevant! Keep an eye out on this card moving forward.
Gwendlyn Di Corci Gwendlyn is… ok. She has decent stats, however the mana cost is atrocious and the ability is sub-par at best. At $25 I don’t see how this becomes more expensive as time goes on and could easily be outclassed by future creature creep in Commander pre-cons and such.
Halfdane Though neat, this card is strictly a casual-only card as it the effect is decent yet not game breaking enough most of the time. You would have to find a way to give Halfdane other abilities like flying to make it really good. I could see this getting outclassed by similar clone effects, especially for the mana cost, however Halfdane is under $10 and could go up over the years if Shapeshifters become a thing as a tribe.
Hazezon Tamar Though slow, Hazezon is certainly powerful if you can get him to stick. I believe that he is a slightly worse Avenger of Zendikar that you can play as a general.
I think this card is rare enough to maintain the current price but will need a ton of support from future sets if it ever is going to go higher than $45.
Hellfire Hellfire is really strong however a dangerous card in formats like Commander. Yes, in a mono-black deck this can be incredible but you are risking doing a ton of damage to yourself. Lifelink and lifegain are possibilities, though.
At $16 this is one of the cheaper Legends cards and has potential in the future if mass removal continues to be printed at higher converted mana costs.
Imprison Terrible card, easily outclassed by other black removal. RSB.
In the Eye of Chaos This card was seeing some play as a sideboard card in Legacy decks as a way to help stabilize after maintaining board control. It is also pretty nice in creature based Commander or Tiny Leaders decks, as it prevents the opponent from easily casting instants and sorceries to catch up.
This is one to look out for the in the future, as it has already started climbing up in price and continues to climb as more players become aware of it.
Infinite Authority Marginal effect for a crazy mana cost, and is an aura to boot. RSB.
Invoke Prejudice Similar to In the Eye of Chaos, Invoke Prejudice is absurdly powerful in casual mono-blue decks. It makes all their creatures cost double the mana and can easily lock opponents out of the game. Even at a cost of quad-blue, the card has reached heights of $130. It does seem to be stabilizing here, and I don’t expect another huge increase for some time. Expect slow gains for this card.
Jacques le Vert As a general, this guy is marginal but certainly can be built around with such tools as Assault Formation to get more damage in. $5 is on the cheaper end of Legends cards, and with more support I could see a substantial price increase for Jacques.
Jovial Evil I guess you could kill someone playing a white weenie deck randomly with this card however the application is super narrow outside of this interaction. RSB.
Knowledge Vault Not that great – according to ME III this card should have only been an uncommon. RSB.
Kobold Overlord Thank you Prossh for turning this into a $15 card! Could it go higher? Possibly, but unlikely in the near future unless somehow more Kobold support is printed…
Lady Caleria Way too expensive for the stats and effect. RSB.
Lady Evangela One of the recent cards to spike in price, my guess is this was Tiny Leaders speculation. I’m somewhat doubtful as to its application though since removal is prevalent in the format and she is only a 1/2… Not sure I like it at $15.
Land Equilibrium Wow, this card is the definition of unfun. We will never see a card like this in Magic’s future since it can so easily prevent your opponent from executing their game plan if you’re close on land counts. The card has seen substantial gains over the past few years due to players realizing how strange and power this enchantment can be, though I doubt it will see these types of gains again in the near future.
Life Matrix Terrible, been outclassed by many other cards. RSB.
Lifeblood Color hosers really shouldn’t be rare… sigh. This card is powerful but again has narrow applications, so RSB.
Living Plane This card has some “fun” interactions with ping effects and other cards that can do one damage several times in one turn. We’re not likely to see cards like this again, so like Land Equilibrium this will go up over time though its bound to be a slow gainer (even after seeing a steady increase in price since three years ago). Planar Chaos has shown us that we can get similar effects in the future (Life and Limb).
Livonya Silone Hmm, this card is actually pretty solid since Legendary lands are played pretty often in Commander. This card allows you to play a red/green general that is decent at blocking and can sometimes get in for some damage. At $5, its pretty cheap but again could be easily outclassed in the future. Still, this is a card to watch and see if the future makes it better or worse.
Mana Matrix This is a pretty decent artifact in the right deck, and actually makes all of those big, splashy instants and sorceries Wizards has been pumping out somewhat castable! The card’s price has been pretty steady historically, so eventually we will be in for an increase once some really good sorcery / instant support is introduced.
Master of the Hunt Master of the Wild Hunt is much better. RSB.
Mirror Universe Cool card with a unique ability. This card has a lot of casual love, which has kept it over $40 for a long time. Similar to Mana Matrix, this card’s price hasn’t moved in some time and could be due for a correction eventually. Though Soul Conduit represents more repeatable switching (and other Commander shenanigans) why not play both in the same deck?
Moat One of the big daddies of Legends with Tabernacle, Moat is a card that is never going to be going down in price as time goes on. The effect is way too powerful to see print again (expect in crappy creature form) and players know this. It is even somewhat Legacy playable from time to time in the right deck. Expect slow increases over the years.
Mold Demon So bad, oh so bad… RSB.
Nether Void Similar to The Abyss, Nether Void is another black enchantment that basically locks the game down after it is cast. Trying to cast spells after this comes down is going to be pretty difficult, and again Wizards’ policies these days are to avoid Staxx cards like this that prevent players from playing the game. The card has seen some growth over the years, since it is occasionally seen in Legacy (or maybe even Vintage) decks however I would guess Commander drives much of the card’s price. Expect slow increases to continue
North Star Do nothing card, avoid. RSB.
Nova Pentacle Too expensive for the effect, will never see play even in slow formats like Commander. RSB.
Pixie Queen Green giving creatures flying is cool. Too bad it costs seven mana is tacked on to a 1/1 boy. Way too overcosted for the effect. RSB.
Planar Gate Like Mana Matrix but for creatures. This card hasn’t moved much in quite a while so I think it is up for a price correction as players look to play more artifacts that reduce the cost of creature spells.
Quarum Trench Gnomes This is a really bad color hoser… RSB.
Ragnar The other Legends card to spike recently, Ragnar could actually be pretty decent in Tiny Leaders since he allows regeneration to happen in a format full of removal. Again, like Lady Evangela the price is pretty overcosted for the stats. I guess in Tiny Leaders you take what you can get. I expect the price to settle down a bit as more cards are introduced to Tiny Leaders (aka power creep happens).
Ramses Overdark Bad, narrow creature. RSB.
Rapid Fire Expensive instant with marginal abilities. RSB.
Rasputin Dreamweaver This guy makes an awesome Commander because he can protect himself and make future cards you play cheaper with the dream counters. Plus, he can add dream counters to himself as well! Rasputin has gone up in price over time due to this and I expect that climb to continue albeit slowly.
Reverberation Too narrow of an effect for a rare. RSB.
Ring of Immortals Too narrow of an effect and overcosted. RSB.
Rohgahh of Kher Keep Combos well with Prossh, which should keep the price steady for a while. I believe the price did spike when the Commander 2013 decks were released but quickly went back down. Certainly a card to keep an eye out for once Prossh himself starts increasing in price – you can bet this card will follow suit!
Spinal Villain Could be an interesting sideboard option for Tiny Leaders or even Legacy, however being a 1/2 is definitely not that great. This is one of the stronger color hosers in the set and should be watched in case blue creature decks (like Merfolk) start dominating Legacy. However, due to the combo nature of the format I don’t really see that happening.
Spiritual Sanctuary Very bad card in general, should never have been a rare. RSB.
Storm World For one mana, I think this card deserves a second look. It’s kind of like The Rack except you can only have one of them in play. For Commander, these types of restrictions don’t matter so that isn’t really a strike against it.
For black/red discard decks, this card can do some heavy lifting for only one mana. I think at $5 this is one enchantment to keep an eye out for.
Sword of the Ages Certainly an interesting effect, though it requires you to kill practically all of your creatures. Decent in 1v1, however in Commander it’s pretty bad and unfortunately that is where this card is relegated. RSB.
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale Like our friend Moat, Tabernacle is all $$$ and will continue to be collected over the years as the best card from Legends. A slow, steady gainer for sure but the most solid bet for a card that will maintain value from the Legends set.
Telekinesis This card has always been around $8, and my thinking is that this offers Tiny Leaders blue decks something to do while they are setting up their combo (or whatever they’re doing).
I expect we’ll get better creature removal in blue as the years go on, however the effect is unique and might see an uptick in price if Tiny Leaders gains traction.
Tetsuo Umezawa Again, a Tiny Leaders increase that happened recently has made this card go from $22 to $40 this year. Unlike other Tiny Leaders specs from this set, Tetsuo is actually somewhat powerful in that he can kill tapped creatures every turn like Royal Assassin. Yet, I’m not sure it can go higher than $40 for the time being, and could even start dropping in price if more Tiny Commanders are printed in Grixis colors.
Thunder Spirit The inspiration for Thunder Totem, we have a similar card in Sky Spirit that is only white mana. I wouldn’t expect Thunder Spirit to be breaking any formats if Sky Spirit is only $0.20.
Tuknir Deathlock Hmm, a flying 2/2 in G/R? Interesting… and it can also pump creatures +2/+2 until end of turn? Yes, this is interesting… The question is though, is it good enough for Commander? Surprisingly, that answer could be yes since this card is so weird. At $3.50, this is one of the cheaper cards from the set and the effect is definitely unique for G/R.
Typhoon Pretty bad in eternal formats, even as a color hoser. RSB.
Ur-Drago Really bad, overcosted creature. RSB.
Willow Satyr This card is pretty cool and offers green a Control Magic effect that is rarely seen in that slice of the color pie. In Commander, this card is great because you can randomly steal other people’s generals since you’re playing green and no one would expect this! At $15 that is pretty cheap for a powerful effect.
Wood Elemental Utter garbage. I believe that this card is so bad that it actually has made several official Top 10 Worst Magic Cards lists. RSB to the max.



OK, based on that wall of text what are my top picks from Legends that might be undervalued? They are:


Al-abara’s Carpet

Gravity Sphere

Livonya Silone

Mana Matrix

Planar Gate

Tuknir Deathlock

Willow Satyr


All of these cards are in the $5-$15 range, which is fairly cheap for Reserve List cards, and will never be printed again. They all have decent effects that get better over time as more cards are introduced to the card pool. They all interact fairly well in Commander, and though aren’t the best at what they do anymore they still provide extra ‘similar effect’ copies of cards that you can use if you’re looking for more ways to create redundancy in a deck. 

Of course, we all know what the solid cards of Legends are (just check out the higher priced cards at the MTGPrice page for top Legends cards) but what are you guys tracking from Legends, if anything? Are there any undervalued reserve list cards that I just glossed over that you might think have potential? Let me know what you think in the comments!


The Timeless Adventures of Monastery Mentor

So from what I’ve been hearing recently, our recently released friend Monastery Mentor is quite the adventurer. Since Mentor hasn’t found a home in Standard yet, the card has felt the need to travel to far and distant formats in order to become the best. Based on the nature of cheap cantrips in eternal formats, it seems to have positioned itself as the next Vintage powerhouse, along with breaking into Legacy and Modern.

Seeker of the Way finally found it and thus became a master.
Seeker of the Way finally found it and thus became a master.

For the Vintage adventures of Monastery Mentor, I will direct your attention to this event in Rome. Only 71 players attended the event, but being sanctioned Vintage we can consider this a pretty big tournament. Monastery Mentor was the namesake of not one but four decks in the Top 8 of the event! It’s kind of crazy to think that a non-blue card would make such an impact on Magic’s oldest format. Let’s be honest, once we knew how crazy Treasure Cruise was in Legacy everyone knew that Mentor in Vintage was also going to be busted. Blue-Red Delver was a Tier 1 deck in Modern, Legacy and Vintage before the banned list update, so even after that restriction took place it looks like we have a more balanced card that has come in and again completely changed the format.

I think the Vintage Mentor deck was able to come about since Gush is no longer restricted in the format. Gush has opened up the doors for decks to really push their card draw engines to the max. The Monastery deck can either take the U/W route or splash red for cards like Dack Fayden and Red Elemental Blast. Either way, it seems like a spicy brew that is well positioned in the current metagame.

Two versions of the deck were also playing the somewhat forgotten Mystic Remora, a card that is also pretty decent in Commander and casual formats. They’re pretty cheap in paper at $0.25 or so if you’re looking to pick some up you can’t go wrong getting in at bulk prices. Vintage isn’t exactly a format that affects prices of non-foil cards at all, so the real reason to pick up Remoras is for casual and Commander appeal since it only has one printing.

What does this mean for the future of Monastery Mentor’s price? Well, I’m thinking that foils of Monastery Mentor are starting to look very appealing. Even at $55 I believe that they can up further over time. The reason is because Mentor is also up and coming in Legacy and Modern. Let’s take a look at some recent results to see where Mentor is played.


Mentor in Legacy

Grand Prix Kyoto Top 8 Stoneblade and UR Delver*

*Typo in decklist (should be listed as Monastery Swiftspear in UR Delver), ignore all references to Mentor in Legacy UR Delver.

Recent results from the Legacy GP, where ~2,000 players participated, have also indicated that Mentor is the real deal. He was played as a playset in UR Delver (splashing white just for Mentor) and Stoneblade in the Top 8. In fact, the Stoneblade deck was so radicalized by Mentor that it doesn’t even resemble a typical Stoneblade list. No True-Name Nemesis, no Delver of Secrets, and the only equipment to tutor with Stoneforge Mystic is Batterskull. Looking at the Stoneblade list, we can also see the Counterbalance / Sensei’s Divining Top package along with Terminus in the deck. All together, it looks like a cross between Miracles and Stoneblade rather than being a Stoneblade list. Still though, if the direction of Legacy is going this way with Mentor as one of the key cards in a tempo and control shell, I think it has a bright future in the format.


Mentor in Modern

Star City Games Providence (Esper Tokens) and States Results

First let’s take a look at the Esper Tokens list from Providence since it placed at a Premier IQ rather than a local states tournament. Playing four copies of Monastery Mentor, this deck was able to secure a Top 8 spot. A spin on the black/white tokens lists that have been floating around since Bitterblossom exploded in price, this deck is a control version of the tokens list. This makes sense considering Mentor rewards you for playing tons of noncreature spells. Looks like Vault of the Archangel made an appearance here too, which is pretty funny when you have a ton of Mentor tokens  and opponents are trying to get through your deathtouching army. Tasigur is a nice backup that allows you to recur those spells and keep making tokens. Not that this is necessarily the best version of the Mentor deck in Modern, but it did place the best and the States Results also featured more copies of Esper Tokens making Top 8’s than other decks playing Mentor.

Speaking of States, let’s take a look at the decks that featured Mentor besides Esper Tokens.

  • Mardu Tokens – Mardu is not a color combination seen often in Modern, so when it pops up the list is definitely worth analyzing. This particular build features Mentor and Young Pyromancer, along with tokens mainstay Lingering Souls and Intangible Virtue. Kolaghan’s Command gives the deck some reach (especially with being able to return the token generators to your hand after they get killed / countered) and red allows the deck to play the premier removal spells of the format Lightning Bolt and Lightning Helix. An interesting spin on the traditional black/white tokens list.
  • Cheerios – Definitely the strangest deck featuring Mentor, this is an equipment based combo deck that wins through either Grapeshot storm count or if that doesn’t work creating an army of Mentor tokens and attacking. I’m not sure what the merits of this deck are outside of the particular States tournament where it was played but still it adds another merit badge to Mentor’s resume.
  • Mardu Pyro – Similar to Mardu Tokens, Mentor was included to help generate advantage alongside Young Pyromancer. By including tons of removal and other noncreature spells, the deck can quickly generate an army while taking out your opponent’s creatures.
  • Jeskai Delver – Delver of Secrets is still pretty decent in Modern, and similar to the concessions made in Legacy the UR Delver decks are splashing white in order to play Mentor and other powerful white cards in the format.
  • Mentor Burn – A new take on Burn, this deck features Mentor as a way to continue killing your opponent through all the Burn you’re playing. Instead of Atarka’s Command this deck focuses on casting Boros Charms and Mentors to continue the beatdown.


Summary on Foils

So there you have it: my thoughts on why the foils are looking good as pickups. I’m not sure if Mentor foils have room to drop with all the potential they have in Eternal formats. I would look for any deals locally or online to see if you can potentially trade for them, since many Standard players are looking for cards that are good in Standard and are probably more willing to trade Mentor since it currently isn’t featured in any Tier 1 decks of the format.


Speaking of Mentor in Standard…

Yes folks, I believe there will come a day when Mentor will be insane in Standard. That time might not be now but I think it is slated to come in the future as long as the proper support is provided in this new (somewhat extended) Standard rotation. Is $15 for non-foil Mentors the low point buy-in? I’ll admit, it might not possibly be the lowest. At the same time I have a hard time believing that it will drop below $10 into the single digits. The extra $5 now to secure your copies could definitely be worth it in the long run if the card breaks through $20 and more during its Standard life. Again, trading for copies is going to be your best bet. Similar to the foil versions, Standard-only players are going to be more willing to trade them for cards that see play in Tier 1 decks.


Final Thoughts

Finally, Mentor of course has casual appeal. Like Young Pyromancer, which is a $3 uncommon despite being printed into oblivion in an event deck, this card is going to garner plenty of casual demand due its token-generating abilities. Though only average in formats like Commander, it can still hold its own and help you stabilize the board if you’re able to stick Mentor for a turn or two.

All in all, I can’t fault anyone for picking up copies of Mentor now whether they’re foil or non-foil. Buying with cash is a tougher decision but trading for these guys is a no-brainer in my mind. Even though there is a possibility of a price decline based on the direction that Standard is taking, I believe that foils won’t be dropping much due to the Eternal format applications of the card. Also, even if Mentor does drop in price, I can only see it as a short term decline. It has a very high chance of going back up later in its Standard life, especially when Theros goes away.

That’s a wrap for my current thoughts on Monastery Mentor. As always guys, let me know what you’re thinking in the comments.