Tag Archives: Modern Masters 2015

UNLOCKED PROTRADER: The Next Level of Modern

Inkmoth Nexus was the first domino to fall.

And, to be honest, it’s not much of a surprise, is it? Mox Opal is reprinted and Inkmoth Nexus is not, that means it should go up, right? Of course. That’s the easy call, and as we know by how quickly this thing disappeared, there’s no money there.

But there is money to made with the knowledge we gained from Modern Masters 2015, and that’s what I’m here to discuss today.

Our experienced staff of writers has done an excellent job breaking down what’s in the set and how they expect the prices on the cards in the set to react over the next few weeks and months. I won’t say much more on this except to expect drops. The whole “But the original Modern Masters increased prices!” line is old at this point, and, more importantly, inaccurate. Yes, a very select few cards rebounded, but the vast majority were either significantly depressed or absolutely crushed of all hope to rebound any time soon (RIP Stonehewer Giant).

The First Wave

As I alluded to above, the first wave is easy to tell. Basically everyone can figure it out, and sometimes those people even go and buy out Inkmoth Nexus. There’s nothing wrong with spotting this low-hanging fruit, of course, and I’d expect nothing less given how savvy the finance community has become over the last few years.

But the way I see it? Let others take this Level One approach. If you’re in early, then great. But if not? Let others chase, and move onto Level Two.

Once the low-hanging fruit is picked, it takes a little more work to find the good targets. And they’re going to, by and large, take a while to pay off. After all, if there was easy short-term money to be made on them, they would be Inkmoth Nexus and already be bought out.

When it comes to finding targets for something like this, the beauty is in how stunningly simple-sounding it is, as well as how much more difficult it is to actually pull off. Everything I’m going to present to you today can be found by anyone willing to put in the work. As the detractors of “MTG finance” like to claim, it’s not like we’re conducting rocket science here. And we’re not. But sometimes finding opportunity does take some legwork, and that’s not something everyone is either able or willing to do. And even if you have put in the work, you also have to know what you’re looking at, and nothing substitutes for experience in that regard. This list is by no means exhaustive considering just how many cards there are that see some amount of play in Modern, but this is wheat I’m working with over the next few months.

Anyway, let’s dig in.


The plan today is to look at decks that will see a surge in play thanks to key reprints in Modern Masters 2015, and then evaluate how that could affect the market.

Mox Opal

Nothing rests higher in that list than Affinity, and it gives us a ton to work with. Robots are notoriously easy to pick up and difficult to master, and with the only truly outrageous card being Mox Opal, there’s every reason to believe we’re going to see a lot of new players picking this up. After all, Affinity has the ability to win plenty of games out of nowhere, even if you’re still new and not good enough to squeeze every percentage point out of the deck like some of the masters.

So, looking at the deck itself, we see a ton of stuff that’s being reprinted. Mox Opal, Etched Champion, Cranial Plating, Darksteel Citadel and even Thoughtcast are all being reprinted, so basically half an Affinity deck is being handed to players in Draft.

A few key cards are left off, though. Arcbound Ravager is already $20, but I have no doubts this could be $30 in three months. It’s already showing growth and is an auto four-of in any build of the deck. Glimmervoid also likely has some upside at $10.

Looking at a few more niche cards from the deck, Steel Overseer could have a little upside at $7 and Master of Etherium could also see movement. Neither are exactly cheap buy-ins, but I expect them to see incremental growth this year.

Next up is a card that has seen a lot more than incremental growth: Creeping Corrosion. The green Shatterstorm, we’re seeing great movement on this recent bulk rare. You can still get these for basically free at your LGS, and they’re easy to pull out of any random pile of rares. But this has $3-4 written all over it, which is great considering your buy-in is going to be under a dollar.

Creeping Corrosion

With Smash to Smithereens reprinted, the next sideboard card that could see some movement is Shattering Spree. A lot less appealing than Creeping Corrosion due to the $5 buy-in, this nonetheless stands to see some gains.


Nothing huge included in Modern Masters 2015, though we do get Lightning Bolt at uncommon. Goblin Guide is a huge hole, but I’m not sure how much upside there really is considering that Burn has been the best it’s ever been the last few months and already taken cards like Searing Blaze on a ride up.

That said, Goblin Guide has been moving, and is up to $22. This is one of those Level One cards I was talking about, and I’m not sure how much this is chasing at this point. Could it be $30 soon? Sure, but when you’re buying in at $20+ it may be better to park your money in other options.

Molten Rain is an interesting option, and could be a $4-5 common in six months. On the other hand, it could also fall out of favor and languish at $2. Considering its recent stagnation I think it may be too late on this one, though you should certainly keep an eye on for this one laying around.


Noble Hierarch makes this instantly more available to play, and several other Phyrexian Mana spells being included makes it that much easier to put together. As we already know, Inkmoth Nexus gained big, Spellskite is being reprinted and Might of Old Krosa continues its crazy run from bulk three years ago to $7 today.

Is it worth buying into at that price? While it’s likely to continue climbing for awhile still, I’d rather sink my money into other pieces of the deck.

Two of them in particular, that is: Glistener Elf and Blighted Agent.

If you haven’t seen Glistener Elf as a money card yet, I hope you’re ready to change your mind. It’s well on its way up, and has doubled since 2015 began. Yes, we’re only talking about going from a quarter to 60 cents, but this is exactly where Serum Visions began. Where Gitaxian Probe was a year ago. Where Might of Old Krosa once was.

Glistener Elf

Glistener Elf will be our next $3-4 common, and Blighted Agent will trail a little behind. The promo version of Glistener Elf is likely the best buy at $3-4 given how very few there are in stock on TCGPlayer, and this could easily be $10 this summer.

The last piece is Wild Defiance, which has already seen astronomical growth. I don’t mind picking these up at $3, though I suspect it won’t go much higher than $5-6.


This doesn’t benefit so much from Modern Masters 2015 as it does from Collected Company. That said, we’re seeing the little green men popping their heads up all over Modern, even if it’s flown under the radar a little.

We actually saw large parts of this deck reprinted in Commander 2014, which limits the upside on some pieces like Joraga Warcaller (which despite multiple printings probably is still a safe pickup at its current $3).

But there are some pretty good picks here. One is Chord of Calling, which is super cheap since its reprint and is extremely good in these decks. While we’ve sometimes seen Elf decks go the combo route with Cloudstone Curio, the latest builds have been more of the face-smashing type. Craterhoof Behemoth and Regal Force are too expensive at $15 to be super attractive, but Heritage Druid is going to move from $5 to $10 very quickly. Even better could be the near-bulk Nettle Sentinel, which again is more of a volume play than anything else given it’s available at 50 cents a copy and 0 cents a copy in bulk bins everywhere.

There are, of course, plenty of other cards in Modern that see play that haven’t been reprinted. Restoration Angel, for instance, sees play across archetypes but hasn’t moved in price for awhile. But I believe giving too much information can be as paralyzing as too little, and naming every card in Modern that might go up isn’t particularly actionable. Instead, I tried to hit upon some of the cards that are impacted by recent events and are on my shortlist of cards to keep an eye out for at my store. Remember, when everyone else is worried about Modern Masters 2015 you want to be the guy worried about what isn’t in the set.

What do you think? Anything along these lines that is also a great target right now?


Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter

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.


UNLOCKED PROTRADER: MM2015 — The Unofficial MTG Stimulus

As a response to the Great Recession of Wall Street, the Federal Reserve initiated a multitude of stimulus programs. They initiated a massive bond buying program and they lowered interest rates to virtually zero. These two actions were done in an attempt to stimulate our economy and drive healthy motivation for investment in stocks.

The jury is still out on how sustainable the program was (is). Some dissenters will likely criticize the stimuli for years to come no matter the outcome. But regardless of what your political leaning may be, the resulting market performance since is impossible to argue with.


Turning back to MTG finance, one could argue that some particular cards have also been going through some economic turbulence. Original dual lands come to mind immediately – especially the out-of-favor color combinations. Other Legacy staples have also pulled off their recent highs by a measurable amount. Some Modern staples have also spiked recently, only to retreat to a lower price point.



What’s to become of this developing trend? Could Magic be due for a Great Recession type of pullback?

Certainly not. The game is as healthy as ever. In fact, this week I present a new thesis that supports a new surge in some card prices. Allow me to explain.

Modern Masters 2015

Who’s excited for the release of one of the highest EV sets upon release of all time? Who’s pumped up to participate in or watch the largest MTG tournaments ever? Who’s eager to draft this set, which will definitely be a Limited crowd-pleaser?

No matter your perspective, it’s difficult to argue with the hype behind Modern Masters 2015. Even if you are a complete skeptic, dripping with disdain for some of the wasted rare slots in the set (Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder?!), you’re likely excited about the future prospects of the cards that dodged reprint this set. Speculators have been very busy lately…


Six of the top ten price gainers last week were Modern cards that dodged MM2015 reprint. The Tron lands were noteworthy absences, and clearly Inkmoth Nexus and Serum Visions are strong buys on the news. Or at least, they were strong buys before the market overreacted, sending copies up excessively high overnight.

My conclusion for Modern Masters 2015: while I’m personally not ecstatic to be opening $10 packs with a high likelihood of obtaining a sub-$1 rare, the swirl this set is generating amongst the MTG finance community is nearly tangible. I’m delighted to witness hours of debate on Twitter about card prices. The buzz should continue through GP Vegas without a hitch.

If ever there was a time to engage in MTG speculation and finance, now would be it. And with the return of a Modern PTQ season, we’ve got even more reason to get excited about Modern.

MTG Stimulus: Part 1

When the Federal Reserve bought up many billions of dollars of bonds, they infused a large amount of cash into the economy. Then they reduced rates so low that there was practically no good place to park money other than into investments. The result: a rapid decline in unemployment and multiple years of double-digit gains in the stock market.

Turning back to Magic, we need to recognize how tentative people were with buying into Modern with the knowledge that a massive reprint set was on the horizon. It’s always a feel-bad when we buy cards only to watch them tank in price due to reprinting. Therefore, I suspect players and speculators held cash on the sidelines waiting for Modern Masters 2015 to be fully spoiled. Only then would there be high confidence in which targets would be safe to buy into.

Well, last Friday we received the complete spoiler from WOTC. Various absent cards created quite the surprise – namely, Tron lands, Serum Visions, Aven Mindcensor, Blood Moon, Inquisition of Kozilek, Azusa, Inkmoth Nexus, and more. It’s no surprise that many of these cards are on the move as players and speculators acquire copies for the upcoming Modern season.


In rapid-fire fashion, everyone is infusing cash into the MTG economy as they scoop up copies of the “safe” cards. This pseudo-stimulus is a combination of self-fulfilling prophecy and pent-up demand. Now that speculators know what cards are likely to further increase in value, they can invest with confidence. After all, what better place was there to invest funds than something like Inkmoth Nexus once we were certain it wasn’t in MM2015?

Now Inkmoth Nexus is a $20 card, and it will likely climb higher in the coming months. As speculators cash out on the movement they’ll have additional funds with which to work. What are they going to do with all their newfound profits?

MTG Stimulus: Part 2

I’ve got a couple ideas of where this money will go. First of all, there will likely be some great buy opportunities on my radar once MM2015 hits the market: namely, the popular reprinted cards. The Modern staples of the set are likely to sell off a bit in the coming weeks, due to both panic and the increased supply. The same thing happened with MMA on a card like Cryptic Command.


Modern demand sent this card up to around $45 in Spring 2013, but the MMA reprint caused a rapid decline back to the $30 mark. But about eight months after the sell-off, Cryptic Command rebounded like never before, shooting up to $70.

Now once again, we’re seeing a rapid sell-off. The blue instant is already back down to $50, with momentum suggesting this could go even lower. But this begs the question: will history repeat itself? Will Modern grow in popularity even more, sending Cryptic’s price right back up to new highs in eight months? It’s certainly not impossible, and I’d wager this was WOTC’s plan. They are hoping to support and stimulate interest in the Modern format with these Modern Masters sets, and time will tell how successful they will be with round two.

Either way the reprinted cards in MM2015 are bound to sell off, but eventually they’ll bottom. When that happens, we as speculators should recognize the buying opportunity screaming at us. And with their newly-minted coin from the recent movement in non-reprinted cards, they’ll buoy the MTG economy into these headwinds.

If you’re not bullish on the Modern format, or if you’re concerned about further reprints in other sets, I have some good news. MM2015 reprints aren’t the only solid buys once the dust settles.

As players discover their Inkmoth Nexus and Serum Visions are suddenly worth a bunch more, they’ll be likely to sell/trade excess copies away. Additionally, [lucky] players will suddenly come into all kinds of money when they pull Goyfs, Cliques, and Bobs in their MM2015 packs, not to mention a lineup of Eldrazi. What will the lucky ones do with their valuable pulls?

While it’s true some players will determine that opening a Goyf is the perfect motivator to sleeve up Abzan Midrange in Modern, I suspect many others will be cashing out of their valuable pulls. After all, if we are assuming the Modern Masters 2015 reprints are likely to lower prices, that means the market must see increased supply. That’s natural supply & demand logic – for the price to drop, demand must drop (not likely) or supply must rise. If supply is rising, that must mean people are selling more copies. Likely this will mean their newly-opened copies…after the initial panic, such as what we’re seeing in charts like Cryptic Command and Noble Hierarch.


As players cash out of their Modern staples, what do you think they’ll look to buy? I saw a well-phrased tweet last weekend from an individual I have high respect for in the MTG finance community.


I can’t vouch for Pucatrade specifically, but I condone his overall strategy 100%. Judging by all the favorites this tweet received, I can tell we’re not alone in this sentiment. Moving high-dollar Modern cards into equities on the Reserved List is a brilliant strategy. You’re basically capitalizing on short-term price fluctuations in the Modern market by moving into cards that will never see reprint again. Even if Inkmoth Nexus does rise to $30 during Modern season, we know it will see reprint eventually, right?

Meanwhile, Tropical Island will never see reprint.


This particular dual land has been out of favor for months now, but perhaps the recent stimulus of MM2015 is just the catalyst needed for movement. Although not on the Reserve List, Wasteland is another Legacy staple that could use some stimulus – the Nonbasic land has stumbled over 50% from its highs.

If high-end Legacy staples aren’t your forte, then picking up other Reserve List cards may be a more optimal strategy. We just saw Ragnar jump in price on Tiny Leaders speculation; why not grab a couple Lady Evangela? I hope to in Vegas, in fact. Or better yet, pick up a couple Old Man of the Seas (Old Men of the Sea?). These have been gaining traction lately. I even see casual stuff like Divine Intervention and Island of Wak-Wak show up on the MTGStocks Interests page on occasion. Not only is this on the Reserve List, there’s really nothing else like it. I have a sneaking suspicion Wizards will never again print a card that forces the game to end in a draw. And what casual Reserve List discussion is complete without mention of my favorite Magic card of all time, Shahrazad?


You’ll never see a sudden buyout of this card, but it’s worth noting how the top buy list price has gradually been on the rise for the last 2 years.

No matter your personal preference, moving out of spiking Modern cards or recently-opened MM2015 goodies and into Reserve List favorites is a tried-and-true strategy I recommend. It’s a great way to lock in profits and reduce risk at the same time.

Wrapping It Up

A significant amount of money is going to exchange hands this summer. Speculators will rampantly acquire non-reprinted Modern cards. Players will be opening high-dollar cards left and right. This will lead to a sudden surge of value in the MTG economy – a type of stimulus.

My prediction: this stimulus will be just what the MTG economy needed for the past few months. Modern interest will jump and demand for Legacy and casual staples will go higher as well. If you want to get ahead of the curve, consider moving into cards on the Reserve List now, as Xemit suggested. I’ve provided a few sound suggestions, and I’m sure there are many others worth considering.

The tide will rise once more, lifting all ships. Therefore it is a great time to have exposure to MTG assets. My portfolio is currently the largest it has been since I sold out of Legacy over two years ago, and I look forward to seeing my holdings appreciate in value in the coming months thanks to this unofficial stimulus.

Sig’s Quick Hits

  • If you have a large quantity of Modern stuff to move, one sound acquisition target is Bazaar of Baghdad. In fact in the last couple weeks Star City Games increased their price on the Vintage staple from $399.99 to $449.99 for NM copies. It’s a steep price of entry, but you can be confident in this long-term investment’s prospects should MTG continue to grow.
  • One Modern/Legacy card that is not seeing nearly enough buzz is Slaughter Pact. The card managed to dodge reprint in MM2015 (unlike in MMA), meaning we’re not getting any new supply of this rare. Every time I search for the card on SCG’s site, it is out of stock. Today is no exception, and the $10 price tag is almost guaranteed to rise as we head into Modern season.
  • Lion’s Eye Diamond gets very little buzz in the MTG finance community, but the Reserve List card has been a Legacy staple for years. Currently SCG is sold out of this one as well, with a NM price tag of $86.29. There are probably a few more exciting pick-ups to target with newfound profits, but no one can argue with the low risk of LED. The card is off its highs much like other Legacy staples, and this stimulus could help rekindle interest.


Welcome back, financiers! Before we get into talking about dollars, cents, and mana symbols, I want to thank everyone for sticking with me for the past 60 articles that I’ve written for Brainstorm Brewery and MTGPrice. I’m extremely excited to be on this Avengers-esque superteam that MTGPrice.com has created, and I have dibs on being Iron Man. We’re in the process of ramping up the benefits that ProTraders on the site receive, so please check out  this video if you’re interested in turning Magic into a more serious form of income that can work for you.

While some of our articles are going behind a paywall, I’m glad to report that my content will remain free to read. Now, let’s get into the real introduction to this week’s topic of discussion.

Reprints and Card Values

“Man, the reprint of Adarkar Valkyrie really killed the value.” How many times have you heard a statement or question similar to that? When done correctly (or incorrectly, depending on your view of the game and whether or not you own the cards), reprints can absolutely destroy the value of a previously expensive card by overloading the supply in the market. Back in the 1990s, Chronicles nearly destroyed the game due to the massive devaluing of collections across the board. We saw (well, I didn’t personally, as Chronicles was released when I was nine months old) the original five elder dragons tank down to fractions of their roughly $25 values.


Learning from its mistakes, Wizards of the Coast was much more cautious with the print run of the first Modern Masters. Popular and hard to find casual reprints such as Divinity of Pride  and Adarkar Valkyrie were hammered down to 20 percent of their original prices, and they don’t look like they’ll ever be able to recover anytime soon, especially since they both took an additional punch from the Commander products. Other top contenders for largest percentage price drop due to a reprint have been Polluted Delta, Stifle,  and Sanguine Bond.

Thankfully, WOTC has managed to tread the careful line between “Every card being on the Reserved List” and “Going full Yu-Gi-Oh! by reprinting practically everything, all the time”. Today, I want to talk to you about making money (or losing less money) in Magic, and how to utilize reprints to your financial benefit. In the past week or so, I’ve tuned into a subset of cards that, when reprinted, have shown enough consistent demand to warrant buying in at their floors post-reprint, because they will continue to show upward trajectory over the next several months or years.


Untitled1 Untitled

I promise that I don’t get extra money in my paycheck for pointing out the benefits of ProTrader, but these daily emails are honestly a huge help in noticing trends that I otherwise wouldn’t. In fact, the detail in these two daily emails sparked my interest for the topic of this week’s article. Blame my lack of attention if you’d like, but I was under the impression that the Conflux edition of Nicol Bolas was still only $5 or $6, closer to the price of his Duel Deck version.

The specific common trait that piqued my interest with both Platinum Angel and Nicol Bolas is that each has been printed at least three times, and yet still managed to climb in price over the next several years after each reprint. While Nicol isn’t cashing out at $20 anymore, he still managed to double up from $5 to $10 since his inclusion in Magic 2013. Platinum Angel was scraping $3 back in 2012 after consecutive printings in two core sets, and has steadily reached a plateau of about $8 since early 2014. If you bought in at the floor of either of these cards post-reprint and had been holding onto them in the past few months, you’d be very happy to sell out now. In addition to the “invisible” profit of the cards going up, these are two extremely iconic and popular cards to the casual crowd, so it shouldn’t be too much of a chore to liquidate multiple copies as long as you have a Facebook account or a TCGplayer store.

I might be exaggerating a bit here when I use the term “immortal,” but these are examples of the cards that shrug off being “killed” by reprints over an extended period of time. They’re spearheaded by popular or unique casual categories (angels, dragons, planeswalkers, having the ability to prevent you from dying), and grow in popularity with the game.

liliana ves

If we continue in the vein of planeswalkers, one of my favorite “immortals” to “speculate” on time and time again has been Liliana Vess. Heh. Get it? She gave her soul for eternal youth, so she’s—eh, forget it. I put speculate in quotations, because I really don’t think there’s a whole lot of risk buying into this version of Liliana every time she drops a bit too far below $10. Liliana Vess has been printed six freaking timesand she still refuses to be a $5 card. While I don’t think we’ll be seeing her again for a while (Magic: Origins will contain the new double-sided Liliana, and then I assume WOTC will be busy trying to prevent her accessorized version from having a $100 price tag. This isn’t to suggest to go out and buy a ton of copies right this moment, but I’ve always been willing to trade for Vess because of how easily she sells, and how casually she shrugs off reprints.


Remember when Doubling Season was reprinted in Modern Masters, and went down to $15 from the original Ravnica’s $30? Grabbing a bunch of those at their floor and dumping them today would have provided you with a much nicer investment than most sealed product that you could have purchased around that time, and would have also been easier to move with lower shipping costs. If, for whatever reason, Doubling Season shows up again in Modern Masters 2015(I do not think that this will happen, as I believe Wizards has a plan to implement a different type of Limited environment that Doubling Season would not fit well into) and the price drops to $10, I’ll trade for as many as I can find.

Did Someone Mention Modern Masters 2015?

Oh, would you look at that. We seamlessly segue’d into Modern Masters 2015. What a well-timed coincidence. If you’ve read this far, then you might be thinking; “But DJ, what about Tarmogoyf, Vendilion Clique, and Dark Confidant? They all shrugged off a reprint in Modern Masters, does this mean that they are the same types of card as those listed above? Am I safe to invest in them with their announced Modern Masters 2015 inclusion?” Well, high-pitched puppet hand voice, I’m going to have to go ahead and veto that idea.

The first Modern Masters set was a perfect storm of an extremely limited print run, a massive boom in the number of players wanting to get started in the Modern format, and the fact that opening a very expensive card has the tendency to encourage a player to build a deck containing it. While there will always be some players who are perfectly happy fire selling their prerelease pools, the following adage aptly describes a lot of what happened with the “Tarmogoyf effect” that followed shortly after the release of the first MMA set:

“Give a man a ‘Goyf, and he’s going to want three more.” – Derek Madlem

MMA2015 is already confirmed to have a larger print run than its predecessor, that much is obvious. The major question is whether the print run will have more of a noticeable impact on the top-dollar cards in the set this time around—and I expect that it will. If you were around for the release of the first Modern Masters, you might remember having trouble finding a box even at $250. SCG was selling boxes regularly at $350, but even they sold out relatively quickly. The big difference this time is that while boxes are approximately $250 retail, at least they are readily found everywhere around the web at that price.

Modern Masters ‘Mmortals

Remember that Divinity of Pride and Adarkar Valkyrie were absolutely crushed by their first reprints, and that there will be similar cards that will be targeted this time around. Our goal here is to find the Doubling Seasons of the set, that will take the hard-hitting reprint with a grain of salt, but slowly grow back over time and provide us with a consistent and steady gain. While there will be a larger print run, I have faith that we will be able to find specific casual cards at their floors when the dust settles, and take advantage of their slow and inevitable gains. I’ll point out one today:

Tezzeret the Seeker.full


What metal-armed, ambitious artificer sounds like a good candidate for the task? Tezzeret has already been locked in for the set, and he fought back from his Duel Deck reprint steadily over time. As these get cast aside and sold off for more ‘Goyf lottery tickets, I can definitely see him plummeting back down to $6 to $7. When he does, I’ll be more than happy to target all of them in trades, or maybe buy in if I’m looking to place my money in a solid long-term hold. If Tezzeret can survive being ripped apart by angry rat ninjas and being mind wiped by Jace, then certainly our “immortal ” half-metal walker can survive a Modern Masters 2015 reprint.

What do you think? Is there anything in Modern Masters 2015—confirmed or expected—that you are targeting at its floor price? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.