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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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!).