Ready or not, Modern season is here.
So what does this mean? Among other things, Inquisition of Kozilek’s ceiling just got higher. There will be plenty of people who will openly refuse to acquire $60 Thoughtseizes, both because of budget concerns and insecurities about its probable reprint. Inquisition is a completely reasonable substitute that costs much less and cannot be reprinted in Modern Masters. (It will only be cards from Eighth Edition to Alara Reborn.)
Already $6, I expected Inquisition of Kozilek to hit $8 during the season. But given the increase in demand because of the new Thoughtseize price, I think the Rise of Eldrazi uncommon could be as high as $15 by season’s end.
There is almost no movement. Looking back further we can see a slight increase since October, but nothing in the same league as Thoughtseize. Instead of the $150 Tarmogoyfs everyone feared before the Modern Masters announcement, we’re seeing the revenge of the casual All-Stars. Many players have begun investing in non-mainstream strategies because of budget and consumer confidence concerns. The market has responded with $20 Daybreak Coronets, $15 Serra Ascendants, $14 Wilt-leaf Lieges and $13 Auriok Champions.
Diamonds in the Rough
Daybreak Coronet’s TCG Mid price on Dec. 24 was $5.85 and it was still less than $7 on Dec. 30th. Pay attention to Magic Online, it can tell us the future.
Of course not every rogue deck has the immediate success of G/W Auras, which has multiple MTGO PTQ Top 8s in a very young season. But it never hurts to take a look at the up-and-comers. Here are some still-under-the0radar strategies with a few cards that have room to grow.
Monoblack Infect has been 3-1ing and 4-0ing dailies for a few weeks now and no one is talking about it. The best pickup is Inkmoth Nexus by a mile because its used in both Affinity and the green-based Infect strategies. But Phyrexian Crusader is about $1.50 TCG Mid and Phyrexian Vatmother is a whopping $.35, so what exactly do you have to lose?
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s … what exactly is that?
I have no idea if this deck is good, though something like it crops up from time to time in the Daily results. Pact of Negation is the card most likely to spike if this deck becomes mainstream, which doesn’t do us much good because it has a limited online casino supply and is fairly expensive (almost $17 TCG Mid).
Awkwardly enough, the card I like here is Serum Visions. The $3 common from Fifth Dawn is already difficult to find — it was $2 on Dec. 1 — and is a four-of in nearly every blue deck from Delver to Scapeshift to Splinter Twin to Storm to … Hive Mind. I do not like Serum Visions as a long-term play because of a likely reprint in Modern Masters, but right now there is a very real supply issue. I wouldn’t be shocked if it hits $5 by the end of March.
The first time I saw this deck, I called it some obscure kind of sandwich. I love Razorverge Thicket because it’s less than $2.50 TCG Mid and is a four-of in Auras, Good Stuff (as seen above), and Pod decks. Being a two-of in an event deck hurts the ceiling some, but it”s also the most played fastland and should be $4-$5 by season’s end.
Fauna Shaman is another intriguing piece in the GW toolbox, but I’m not quite sure how I feel about it yet. Like many Modern cards that have already spiked, it is a very popular casual card and has had only one printing. In fact it”s an awful lot like Serra Ascendant, which is also in M11. Martyr Proc and Soul Sisters are known quantities however, and Fauna Shaman has no well known home. I don’t feel like there’s much risk involved acquiring them at their current price of $4 TCG Mid because of the casual appeal they carry, and they could hit $7-$8 if they find a home fairly easily.
Modern is still evolving, and there is money to be made if you keep your eyes open. You might be staring at the next Daybreak Coronet.
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