Tag Archives: modern masters prices

Reddit Questions #3: Finance 101

I really enjoy writing these personalized response threads, because I know for a fact that my content is helping at least a few specific people in particular with their questions about Magic finance. If you weren’t around to read the first two articles where I answered questions from Reddit, then feel free to do so. I mean, I’m not sure if the answers to those questions are still relevant two months later, but they should at least make for some decent reading material if you’re bored. Hopefully next week, I’ll be back with a more comprehensive article on collection buying, since that appears to be my niche among MTGPrice writers.

GriselGrand Prix

Our first question comes from user Edward_Dionysos


Griselbrand GP promo. It’s played in Legacy, modern and has a lot of casual appeal. It’s down to 13 and I think I can pick a number up for 11.

Worth buying into or wait a couple months yet? The regular foil is at 60.


I don’t think the promo Griselbrand is the best pickup you should be aiming for right now (unless you happen to need copies for personal play, in which case I don’t think you need to wait for it to drop any further). The supply on these is absolutely huge, and I think people often forget that these are still being given out! There will be over a thousand more copies added to the pool this weekend at GP Pittsburgh, and I don’t think the casual appeal on this is as high as you suggest, partially due to his “banned in Commander” status.

If you’re looking for safe Modern-legal investments, I would turn your attention towards Modern Masters 2015 cards that have been suppressed over the summer and fall, and will continue to dodge reprints through next year. We’re not opening anymore of that set, and we’re almost guaranteed to see cards like Remand that have hit an all-time low start to creep back up. I also wouldn’t hate you for picking up Fulminator Mage, Mox Opal, or Cryptic Command.

Boros Bartering

Question number two comes to us from A_Tattooed_Biker:


I pulled an Arid Mesa Expedition (currently @ $105) and a Sacred Foundry Expedition (currently at $65). I’ve watched the Mesa climb from mid 70s to the current price. My question is, how long should I hold on to these guys? They’re only going up, right?



Expeditions lands have definitely settled down over the past month, although I don’t recall Mesa ever being at $70. If you’re someone looking for pure finanical gain, then you’re correct that I think these can only go up in the long term. However, that long term is, well, a very long term. I expect these to slowly creep up over years, not weeks or months. If you’re a player who is on the hunt for pieces to decks, then I can only recommend trading or selling them to help you play Magic.

If you’re looking to get into Modern, these two lands can help to put a decent dent in some of the higher-dollar cards that you probably don’t want to shell out pure cash for. The Foundry can turn into a set of regular Foundries plus $15 in other random goodies. The Mesa can split itself into two Mesas plus some other small stuff. There’s probably someone at your LGS who is hunting these down and has a fully stocked trade binder for you to go digging through that you normally wouldn’t have access to without these kinds of cards. If you care about trying to build a deck, I think these are your ticket to help with that. If you’re not planning on playing anytime soon, they should be considered reasonably stable holds.

The Waiting Game

Next up at bat is N1trobunny asking about the potential growth of sealed product:



I usually just lurk on r/mtgfinance[1] , so please forgive me if I’m asking a question that always comes up (a link would be nice too!)

I was thinking of snagging a couple boxes of Khans to hang onto, as I imagine they’d go up in value due to the fetch land content. Is this a realistic Idea, or would I be better off buying fetches and letting them go up?

Thanks all!

Not to go too deep into the time machine, but one of my favorite articles that I wrote back on Brainstorm Brewery was about investing in Sealed product, and how it’s really not what it used to be. Return investment on boxes of RTR have been, well, lackluster to say the best, and that was three years ago. The TL;DR of the article is that other than novelty product like the  first-ever Commander set, I really don’t think we can expect the return on investment for fall- or spring-set booster boxes to be what it used to, like with Zendikar or Scars of Mirrodin. You’d be waiting three, maybe four years to get a return of 20, maybe 30, percent and then what? Selling them will be brutal with all of the shipping costs. I really think you’re better off looking into single card specs at that point, although not fetches. They’re currently too high from their ubiquity in Standard. If you’re looking for card specs that have the potential to span over several years, you can continue reading and we’ll get to that in just a bit.


If you’re looking to hold onto the boxes for three years and then have some booster drafts with your friends down the road for nostalgia, then my advice is a bit different. I’d tell you that you can find KTK boxes for around $85 on Massdrop. If you can’t wait patiently until the next drop becomes available, you can find a local judge who’s willing to sell you his box that he received for judging an event, or until you find a lucky deal on eBay or something. I wouldn’t feel like you have to run out and buy it right now is the point I’m trying to make here.

Bulk Rares are Best Rares

Lastly, we have a question on cheap cards to invest in that have the potential to show a lot of growth very suddenly, from dbchiu.


Okay, so maybe he wanted to know more about Pauper picks, but he didn’t ask that specifically in the question, did he? Eh, I’ll use any excuse to talk about bulk rare penny stocks. Instead of Pauper penny stocks that you may or may not have a hard time getting rid of to a large crowd, I love setting aside certain bulk rares that I pick up for a dime a piece. Eventually some of them pop, like Spoils of the Vault earlier this year. More recently, Kabira Evangel and his other ally friends from Zendikar gave me some pretty ridiculous percentage gains.

In terms of risk versus reward, I absolutely love cards that just have that sense of “this could be broken if the right card is printed.” At a dime each, you can’t really go wrong. The worst case scenario is buylisting back to a large vendor at a Grand Prix, or shipping them to someone like me who wants all of your bulk rares.


Okay, seriously. Someone has to break this eventually. It has so much potential, and just screams combo.


Once a proud $6 card, now reduced to a mere bulk rare. This one’s less of a “combotastic Modern sleeper” and more of a “non-competitive slow gainer over three years,” but I’d rather have 1,000 copies of this instead of a booster box of Khans of Tarkir any day. Even if I wait two years for a slow gain back up to being buylistable at 50 cents, I’m perfectly fine with that.

End Step

Normally this is where I give you some random small tid-bits of information that I realized at some point throughout the week, but I’m not sure I have anything today.

This coming weekend is Grand Prix Pittsburgh, and you might see me there. If I do decide to go, I promise I won’t write about it for next week. I’m trying to think of a topic focusing on collection buying that I can hone in on, so if you have any suggestions or requests, then I’d be glad to hear them! Hit me up on the Twitter or Facebook, or in the comments section. Have a great week!

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.