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Finance in a Flash: Strike up the Bans

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Finance, Magic Culture

Did You Know?

Nonbasic lands will replace the basic land slot in Dragon”s Maze booster packs, including guildgates, shocklands, and a mystery mythic from the new set. This will keep shockland prices low well into the summer, which gives us more time to pick them up before they jump next October. I don”t think it effects their ceiling next fall much at all. Everyone will still need them barring something bizarre.

Quick Hits

1. It looks like I may have been wrong about Aurelia, the Warleader. Its already jumped to $20 TCG Mid from $11.5 over the weekend, and I have no idea why. We have obviously seen no results yet, but I”ve begun to reconsider my stance from last week. Aurelia fits into the same hole in the meta that Drogskol Reaver does except it costs one less and does something the turn it hits. This sounds like a pretty good deal given the current card pool, but there is no way I”m picking them up at $20.

2. Spark Trooper aka Ball Lightning Helix is a really cool card. It”s even cooler with double strike. You can pick these up around $3 and I think they could be $5-$6 pretty easily if the Boros aggro decks go toward that direction using Silverblade Paladin and Ajani, Caller of the Pride to deal an extra¬†12 damage out of nowhere. (Ajani is only $12 now, and there is obviously room to grow if this becomes a real strategy within the archetype.)

It will take time to see whether this is better than the Hellrider plan, and the choice between the two may end up being meta dependent, but either way Spark Trooper is better than its price tag.

3. Boros Reckoner is pretty spicy with Blasphemous Act. I have no idea how good this is, but it”s worth mentioning Blasphemous Act is also insane with Frontline Medic. It”s pretty easy to find Blasphemous Acts on the cheap and there”s no real downside here. Bulk boxes casino online ahoy!

Last Word

Bloodbraid Elf and Seething Song are banned in Modern. Storm obviously takes a hit from its best ritual being banned, which will make other budget-friendly decks more popular as well as Splinter Twin (the cheapest deck to transition to from Storm) and help decks like R/G Tron and Scapeshift, which were huge dogs in the Storm matchup.

Bloodbraid Elf getting the axe is dramatic if nothing else. People hate this card and that public view will probably have the greatest effect on the format. Jund is not dead, and Midrange will be fine in the long term so keep an eye out for people looking to trade off expensive Jund staples on the cheap. R/G Tron and Scapeshift will lose some of their appeal with less Midrange running around, but a lot of this will be mitigated by Storm”s popularity dropping.

The bigger question is, which cards or decks will benefit from the public perception of Jund being dead and gone? Splinter Twin probably gains the most, because Jund is (was? will be?) the only thing keeping this deck down, and a dip in B/G/X Midrange combined with converting Storm players should send even more Top 8s and blue envelopes into the combo deck”s corner. With Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker already above $30, the best financial play is probably Splinter Twin itself. It”s still only $3-$4 and could hit $7-$8 if the deck puts up results.

The other big winners are the less resilient all-in creature decks like Nivmagus Elemental and G/x/? Infect strategies that are notoriously bad against Jund. (Slippery Bogle kicks the crap out of Jund and will probably take a hit from its favorite food retreating into the background even temporarily). The best buys here are probably Inkmoth Nexus and Nivmagus Elemental itself, though I”m not in love with the latter.

There was already a pretty big run on Doran, the Siege Tower when the announcement hit because it was one of the obvious directions for the B/G/X decks to take. A rise in Doran strategies means more maindeck Spellskites, which are also very good against many of the decks I”ve already mentioned like Infect and Splinter Twin while also wrecking Bogle. Spellskite is my favorite pickup post banning and it was already $5. Look for cheap copies during the next week because $10 is a real possibility.

What about all the Jund players looking to tough it out and replace the Bloodbraid Elves? We”ve already seen some builds adding Huntmaster of the Fells, Olivia Voldaren or Thrun, the Last Troll, and depending on the meta, some combination of them will be the most popular replacement. Thrun is only $4 TCG Mid and will make you the most money if it takes off, but it was primarily for the mirror and will likely fall out of favor as the rest of the season unfolds. The others are already too expensive to make much money on.

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