Tag Archives: MTG Modern

PROTRADER: Catching Up With the Times

Hey everyone, before I go any further let me apologize for being absent the last two weeks. I certainly didn’t expect when I left to work Grand Prix Mexico City what the next few weeks would hold for me. And, unfortunately, those few weeks haven’t been great. I got sick while working Mexico City solo, and was back home for about 8 hours before jetting off to the Pro Tour in Atlanta.

The Pro Tour was great (how ‘bout them Eldrazi?), but even as I recovered from being sick and felt things were on the upswing, the flu hit me during the Top 8 on Sunday. And hard. Sunday and Monday were a fever-induced blur, and the only real memory I have from those days is that somehow my Canadian Highlander deck — fully decked out with foils, Expeditions and expensive crap like Library of Alexandria — didn’t make it back home with me. I don’t have any idea what happened to me over those two days, much less what happened to it. So that’s pretty disappointing. I came home from the Pro Tour and spent the next four days in bed, eliminating any chance of an article last week.

That’s a few hundred words about my personal life that don’t affect your Magic finance, but I did want to offer an explanation of why I’ve been away. Sorry about that, and let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.

Now, I hear a few things happened in the Magic world while I was gone, so let’s talk about those.

The rest of this content is only visible to ProTrader members.

To learn how ProTrader can benefit YOU, click here to watch our short video.

expensive cards

ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

Please follow and like us:

Grinder Finance – “Taiga is a strictly worse Grove of the Burnwillows”

I’ll talk a little about Modern because it’s all the haps these days.  You know them hip kids and buying out the internet and whatever.

taiga

grove of the burnwillows

The worst part about these graphs is that the Grove of the Burnwillows one isn’t even as high as it should be.  Almost every store that MTGPrice.com pulls price information has stagnated because they are out of stock (it is common practice not to update the prices on sold-out cards).  Let’s look at the less steady but technically more accurate TCGPlayer prices.grove tcg

You know what’s really bad about this?  Convergent Mid and Low pricing.  With big shakeups like this even though the mid pricing seems to dip a little, copies are still being bought.  A steady price between mid and low indicates supply and demand are satisfied at this price point.  At the end of November that all changed and we haven’t settled since then.  It’s insane to think that the most expensive dual land in a pair of colors is not the ABUR dual.  Hence the title of my article, Grove of the Burnwillows is strictly better because of the formats it is legal in and it’s interaction with Punishing Fire.  Which brings me to my first point.

A Lot of F***ing People Play Modern

Excuse my French but that is the truth.  A lot of people are picking up Modern decks and playing them because of great strides to reduce the cost to play.

hallowed fountain

Do you remember the time when Hallowed Fountains were $45?  Modern was in it’s infancy and barely anyone played it.  Do you know how bad had they not reprinted them with such vigor 3 years ago?  If you think Modern is expensive now, let me tell you, it could have been so much worse.  Fetchland reprints in Khans of Tarkir also brought some needed reduction to the cost of Modern but that also made cards more expensive.

Bans and unbans make stuff more expensive

twin
Pour one out for my homies – my binder

People knew the writing was on the wall for Bloom.  The deck defied some ground rules for the Modern format but getting blindsided by a Splinter Twin ban is causing some really  bad panic buying.  Scapeshift is the easiest deck you can port Twin into (most of the shell is similar) but Scapeshift isn’t a card that got reprinted 6 months ago.  The original printing is from Morningtide which is even older (and smaller print run) than the original Splinter Twin printing.  The ripple effect will continue until probably a month after the Pro Tour as people try to figure out what to play now.  The security knowing the “pillars of the format” is lost in Modern now and we might see a cascade of price changes as people adjust their strategy.  At this point unless you need to play in a Modern event until Shadows over Innistrad, I would just stop buying Modern cards.

But this ban brings new brews!

Yeah, maybe?  To be quite honest, the Eldrazi deck is already bringing enough of a shake up to Modern I’m not sure we needed to ban Splinter Twin.  While it’s true the boogie man that was Twin allows for other decks to flourish, if you couldn’t beat Twin what makes you think your brew can beat the remaining decks?  I think people think that removing one of their bad matchups all of a sudden makes their deck playable.  What I am expecting is the opposite.  If your brew couldn’t beat a 3 mana 1/4 blue creature it probably can’t beat a lot of the decks in Modern.  While this is a finance column, I can not advocate people go out and buy a new deck right now because the format will be very unsettled.

Rise of the Rise of… Wait no – Oaths of Oath of the Gatewatch

kozilek's return 2world breaker

These two are likely to become a dynamic duo in Standard in the coming months.  They have both seen non-stop upward movement since their very early spoiling.  If you got in early you are probably feeling great but at this point I think I’d rather trade for them than buy copies.  Baring an unusually high finish (or large percentage of the top 8/16), they will likely not see a big jump next weekend.

Kozilek, the Great Distortion

This guy has been gaining the past week also.  He probably won’t see as much play as Ulamog (Kozilek is much worse in multiples) which means he probably can’t maintain a $18-20 price tag for very long.  I expect him to dip in the coming months and I’m a buyer at $10-12.  Kozilek, the Great Distortion (like Kozilek, the Butcher of Truth) will likely retain a higher price tag than he should due to being a casual favorite.  The only thing I can think that may change this course is if some Tron team at the Pro Tour adopts a large number of Kozilek in the main deck.  That will probably lead him to disappear from the internet in a few hours.

Thought-Knot Seer

The best card in the set. I regret not pre-ordering these at $4, $7, or $8 because the internet thinks they are worth $15.  I’m not interested at that point.  I’m not sure it’s good enough for Standard and Modern demand likely won’t push it close to the price of the rares of the Eldrazi deck.  My rule of thumb is it can’t be more than Ulamog or Eye of Ugin.  If you need them for a deck, I’m sorry but you probably wont find a better deal at $15 so good luck.

realitysmasher

This is a potential “sleeper” of the set.  I’m not sure how much upside there is at $5 but if you like the cut of his jib I wouldn’t fault you for getting yours.  Outside of Cracking Doom, nobody is really set up to kill this guy.

wanderingfumaroleneedlespireshissingquagmire

I’m totally on board buying all of these lands.  They’re $2-3.50 each which is in the ball park that the lower man land (Lumbering Falls) from Battle for Zendikar dropped to.  If these get a lot of play in Modern and EDH… Well I guess really it’s “when” they get a lot of play, they will go up.  There are not a lot of choice of good enemy colored dual lands.

matterreshaper

Some people swear by this guy, and on paper he looks pretty good.  The reality is he’s actually pretty difficult to cast unless you reshape your mana a lot to support it.  I’m not sure people will and I’m not on board buying into a $7 rare.  This is one of those “I have to see it to believe it” kinda cards.  But I’m not always right, I felt that way about Collected Company before that was $15.

goblindarkdwellers

This is the last card I’ll touch on.  He’s great.  He’s $2.75 but he’s the buy a box promo.  I would not fault you for buying or trading for some.  I may have done it myself.  While this unlikely another Goblin Rabblemaster, he’s got enough value on a sturdy body to be around for a bit.

One last bone to pick

So you guys know I used to advocate Pucatrade.  It was a fantastic service.  Was.

puca point bonus

This is the current Pucatrade plan page.  They have tripled the bonuses you get for signing up for paid plans and have the same bonus for new referrals. That’s a huge amount of additional Pucapoints flowing into the market that will cause more inflation.  At this point I don’t think there is an upside to using Pucatrade because there is such a large possibility people just stop sending you cards.  The fact that at this point, your entire Puca subscription cost turns into pucapoints is VERY concerning.  Without a way to take them out of the market it’s possible pucapoints just turn into Zimbabwean Dollars.  It is just a really bad way to get caught with your pants down.  I don’t know if the new website will fix these issues but it should be pointed out as something to watch.

 

Thanks as always for reading, hopefully if my weekend goes to plan and you’re watching the StarCity open in Atlanta you will see me on camera!   Gotta keep up the facade that I play more Magic than every other writer on this website, right?

Please follow and like us:

PROTRADER: Mitigating Modern Losses

Last Saturday, numerous Magic players woke up to surprising news: the sudden release of the latest Banned & Restricted announcements. The story goes that the MTGO Beta team enforced these updates, yet they hadn’t been announced yet on the Mothership. With the internet being what it is these days, it took all of a few milliseconds for this information to hit Reddit, then Twitter, and then the world.

Wizards had no choice but to acknowledge the mishap by reporting the changes. Talk about impactful!

banned

The rest of this content is only visible to ProTrader members.

To learn how ProTrader can benefit YOU, click here to watch our short video.

expensive cards

ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

Please follow and like us:

PROTRADER: The Golden Age of Modern

It’s a bold statement, but it’s one I believe to be true. We are living in the Golden Age of Modern.

I made a video saying as much, and before I go deeper I figure I may as well post it, as well as a rough transcript for those who can’t watch right now (remember to subscribe if you want more of this content, and I’d love any feedback!)

Eight different decks made the top eight of Grand Prix Oklahoma City last weekend.

I want that to sink in. Magic is an incredible game full of tons of interesting options and interactions, and still we almost never have that many different decks make it to the top eight of a tournament. Not only that, but a deck that has never even made a top eight before won it! Lantern Control is one of Modern’s most unique decks, and the odds of Zac Elsik winning the Grand Prix with it are truly unbelievable.

There’s no doubt about it: we’re in the Golden Age of Modern. Patrick Chapin summed it up best when he told me on Saturday at the Grand Prix that there was a tiny difference between the best deck in Modern and the 20th-best. And he’s right. More than 40 different decks made it to day two of Grand Prix OKC, and there were some pretty awesome new ones among those. Not only did new builds of Scapeshift and Elves pop up, we had some old standbys like Storm and White-Black Tokens advance to the second day.

Of course, all of this merely scratches the surface. The list of new decks that appeared last weekend is even more impressive. Freaking Naya Allies, people. Naya Allies is good enough to make day two of a Grand Prix. Soul Sisters. Suicide Zoo. Faeries. Jund Scapeshift. Ad Nauseam. The list goes on and on, and I haven’t even touched on Merfolk, my favorite deck and the one that Paul Rietzl called the best in the tournament on this way to the top eight with the fish.

Simply put, there is no better format in Magic right now than Modern. With more 50 decks capable of finding success in the format, this is the format Wizards of the Coast envisioned when it was created. All the decisions – bannings and additions – since have served to create the deckbuilder’s paradise we have now. This is the Golden Age, and I’m enjoying the ride.

Gild

The rest of this content is only visible to ProTrader members.

To learn how ProTrader can benefit YOU, click here to watch our short video.

expensive cards

ProTrader: Magic doesn’t have to be expensive.

Please follow and like us: