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Medina’s Notebook: Pro Tour RTR

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

This weekend I’m going to try my hand at “live blog” style finance coverage. Every few hours I’m going to log in and update this page with information about cards that are performing well at the Pro Tour. I’ll also give some data as well as my thoughts on moves that you can make to stay ahead of the finance game.

Let’s Begin

Before I get started I want to make a couple of things are clear.

1) You should have been buying into modern way before today. If you didn’t it doesn’t mean that you can’t play along, it just means that your profits will be less.

2) The information in this article will be most useful if Modern becomes a “real” format. My personal opinion is that Modern has not been fully adopted by the player base yet. It seems to be a play-if-you-have-to format and as long as it stays that way the financial value of Modern cards will move with the season much like old extended cards did. Investments are more stable if the format becomes a mainstay like Legacy because that cards will maintain a solid value in and out of season.

3) The only sure pick up right now is the Scars or Mirrodin block dual lands. There’s so cheap that its hard to lose.

4) Because this is live I don’t have an editor, sorry!

That’s all for now let’s get started!

Wrap Up!

Wednesday 10/24/12

Sorry for not posting the wrap-up on Monday. I wanted to give things a few days to settle before mining for information. Let’s get started.

Modern Masters

This set creates an interesting tension that is really hard to translate at the moment. My instincts say that this set will drive the prices of Modern staples down and for some I’m sure it will but it will also make Modern more accessible for a portion of the player base. This could drive interest in the format and in turn more demand for the cards. So, what could happen is that this set will increase supply but also demand, which means that the prices of Modern staples may stay the same or they may even go up.  As a store owner I operate under the assumption of the “worst case scenario”, this saves me from getting blown out. This means that I’ll be buying the following cards lower than I normally would to protect myself.

Dark Confidant
Vendilion Clique
Noble Hierarch
Prismatic Omen
Cryptic Command

As a trader you may want to act differently. All I know is that this set will make for some interesting drama in the MTG Finance realm.

Cards of the Weekend

If I asked you what the biggest winner of the weekend was, what would you say?

I’ll give you a moment, no cheating!

Okay, I’ll start with the runner up.

Deathrite Shaman

This card is at $7+ on TCG Player and $10 on Star City Games. I don’t know if this price will stay but this little guy has proven himself as a player in the meta and a Jund staple. I think this card has more price potential than the actual winner. Speaking of which, here it is:

Second Sunrise

That’s right. Second Sunrise is officially a $10 card. It’s $5.99 and sold out on SCG and ebay auctions are closing at $7. Don’t people realize how miserable this deck is to play?! I expect this to drop, so if you have copies now is the time to sell them.

That’s all for this Pro Tour. If you have any question leave them in the comments. Thanks!

Eggs Wins

Sunday 10/21/12 – 9:42pm EST

There’s a lot of moment on the cards from the Eggs deck. Star City Games has already raised its prices.

Faith’s Reward $1.99
Second Sunrise $4.99
Lotus Bloom $7.99
Reshape $4.99

People are already complaining about canceled orders from less reputable vendors. Don’t worry, if you ordered from us, we’re shipping your cards! 🙂

I’ll be writing a wrap up tomorrow to give you an update on what’s settling and what’s moving. Thanks for joining me this weekend.

Number Crunching

Sunday 10/21/12 – 9:47am EST

Now that we have the top 8 decklist we can break down how many times each card has shown up. I do this to speculate on what the demand will be. Here’s the break down.

Mythic Rares

8 Liliana of the Veil
4 Mox Opal
3 Geist of Saint Traft
1 Thrun, the Last Troll
1 Sword of Feast and Famine


16 Verdant Catacombs
12 Blackcleave Cliffs
12 Dark Confidant
12 Misty Rainforest
12 Tarmogoyf
9 Thoughtseize
8 Deathrite Shaman
8 Inkmoth Nexus
7 Snapcaster Mage
6 Marsh Flats
6 Raging Ravine
6 Stomping Ground
6 Twilight Mire
5 Abrupt Decay
5 Cryptic Command
4 Blinkmoth Nexus
4 Blood Crypt
4 Breeding Pool
4 Celestial Colonnade
4 Faith’s Reward
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Lotus Bloom
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Overgrown Tomb
4 Reshape
4 Restoration Angel
4 Scapeshift
4 Seachrome Coast
4 Second Sunrise
4 Steam Vents
4 Steel Overseer
3 Arcbound Ravager
3 Geralf’s Messenger
3 Master of Etherium
3 Scalding Tarn
3 Vendilion Clique
2 Glimmervoid
2 Mutavault
2 Silence
2 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
1 Arid Mesa
1 Eiganjo Castle
1 Flooded Grove
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth


12 Bloodbraid Elf
11 Kitchen Finks
8 Inquisition of Kozilek
8 Treetop Village
4 Ghost Quarter
4 Memnite
4 Might of Old Krosa
4 Ornithopter
4 Path to Exile
4 Remand
4 Signal Pest
4 Spell Snare
4 Tectonic Edge
4 Telling Time
3 Dismember
3 Izzet Charm
3 Jund Charm
3 Rancor
1 Electrolyze

I did the Sideboard separate because depending on the meta these slots can shift so it’s hard to judge demand based on these numbers.

Mythic Rares

5 Batterskull
3 Olivia Voldaren
2 Wurmcoil Engine


8 Slaughter Games
6 Fulminator Mage
4 Grafdigger’s Cage
4 Leyline of Sanctity
4 Spellskite
4 Vendilion Clique
3 Creeping Corrosion
3 Etched Champion
3 Obstinate Baloth
2 Abrupt Decay
2 Phyrexian Metamorph
2 Pithing Needle
2 Silence
2 Supreme Verdict
2 Threads of Disloyalty
1 Hurkyl’s Recall
1 Master of Etherium
1 Rest in Peace
1 Stony Silence
1 Sword of Light and Shadow


4 Dismember
3 Jund Charm
3 Pyroclasm
2 Aven Mindcensor
2 Rakdos Charm
2 Volcanic Fallout
1 Beast Within
1 Bituminous Blast
1 Electrolyze
1 Favorable Winds
1 Steelshaper’s Gift
1 Unified Will

Top 8

Saturday 10/20/12 – 11pm EST

1) Stanislav Cifka (Eggs)
2) David Ochoa (Jund)
3) Kelvin Chew (UG Infect)
4) Shi Tian Lee (UG Scapeshift)
5) Eduardo Sajgalik (UW Control)
6) Yuuya Watanabe (Jund)
7) Willy Edel (Jund)
8) Pedro Carvalho (Affinity)

Deck lists are here.

9) Ari Lax (BUG Infect)
10) Gabriel Nassif (Affinity)

Stanislav Cifka’s Deck

Saturday 10/20/12 – 9:49pm EST

Here’s the undefeated deck!

Note: This deck was not complete when I posted it. Cards like Conjurer’s Bauble, Elsewhere Flash and Hallowed Fountain were added to the list.


Saturday 10/20/12 – 8:57pm EST

Stanislav Cifka is currently undefeated and a lock for Top 8. He’s running a combo deck that relies on Second Sunrise, Lotus Bloom, and Reshape. This deck almost Top 8ed in GP Columbus and seems to be a Modern mainstay. When a deck like this is successful it’s hard to figure out what card to invest in. Typically you want target the card that is:

a) More rare that the other options.
b) Is used in other strategies or decks.
c) Has the most casual appeal.

With these things in mind Lotus Bloom seems to be the best card to target.

UR Storm

It looks like Jon Finkel is going to lock up another Top 8 with Storm in Modern. One of the cards that I’ve expected to see hike in price since it’s release is Past in Flames. Let me ask you a question, why is a Mythic Rare that sees a decent amount of play in Modern less than $1 ?


Saturday 10/20/12 – 8:16pm EST

I mentioned earlier that Ari Lax was doing well with a Black/Blue/Green Infect deck. He just beat Gabriel Nassif on camera, now he’s 11-3 and in contention for Top 8. Here’s the deck list:

Taken from the Deck Tech

The key cards in this deck are Noble Hierarch and Inkmoth Nexus. Inkmoth Nexus has a huge casual draw and that demand for the card will be inflated by people who want to play this deck in Modern. It’s important to keep in mind that Inkmoth Nexus is in a couple Event Decks. It’s currently about $4 on TCG Player and 1.59 on MTGO. This could be a decent pick up because it’s price is already stable at $4. If it doesn’t go up you dont lose money by buying in at $4. As a store owner, I’ll be targeting this and Noble Hierarch on my Modern buylist.

Announcement Time!

Saturday 10/20/12 – 7pm EST

Modern Masters is a booster set that is not Standard legal. 229 Cards with 53 Rares and 15 Mythics. $6.99 a booster is the MSRP. 24 boosters to a box. The land slot will be replace with a foil card so you will get a foil in every pack. This will be released on June 7th 2013. It will be a small print run. English only.

The preview card is: Tarmogoyf (New art and it’s Mythic.)

Image courtesy of MTG Salvation

What does this mean?

The obvious conclusion is that with the increase of supply that the price of certain Mondern staples will go down in price. The bigger picture here is that people will be more gun shy about investing a lot of money in Modern cards because of the fear that their expensive cards will go down in price.

More thoughts to come…

Good Morning!

Saturday 10/20/12 – 11:43am EST

The excitement is over. If there was any new Modern tech it’s already been spoiled and price fluctuations will now be decided by what decks make it to the top 8. The best thing to do now is to look at the archetypes that are positioned for top 8 and try to find out more information about them. Here’s what we know.

Kenji Tsumura (RUG) 7-1
Conley Woods (Jund) 7-1
Christian Calcano (Doran) 7-1
Gaudenis Vidugiris (Storm) 6-2
Jon Finkel (Storm) 6-2

The deck that stands out to me is Christian Calcano’s Doran deck. It features these cards:

Loxodon Smiter $3.50-$5 / MTGO 1.40
Noble Hierarch $19-$22 / MTGO 6.82
Thoughtseize $30-$35 / MTGO 11.20
Fulminator Mage $2-$3 /MTGO 9.94
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben $4-$5 /MTGO 3.30
Tarmogoyf $85-$90 / MTGO 75.11
Doran, the Siege Tower $2.50-$3.50 / MTGO 3.75

The presence of Liliana of the Veil in Modern has increased the amount of Loxodon Smiter that we’re seeing. It’s in Christian’s deck as well as some Naya builds. Another card to look at from his list is Fulminator Mage. This card is becoming a Modern staple and as long as Tron is a deck Fulminator Mage has a lot of room to grow.

Before I take off let’s look at how our buddy Nivmagus Elemental is doing.

It’s price has seen a small increase, its about $2.50 on TCG Player and $4 on Star City Games.

Catching Up

Friday 10/19/12 – 6pm EST

I’m at FNM now just trying to put some data together. Here are some interesting stats.

Jon Finkel is 5-0 with Storm.
Ari Lax is on Black/Blue/Green Infect with Noble Hierarch.

More after next round of FNM!

Islands in Round 4!

Friday 10/19/12 – 5pm EST

Jon Finkel is on UR Storm with Goblin Electromancer.

Kenji Tsumura is on No-Delver RUG, with Consecrated Sphinx, Vendilion Clique and Snapcaster Mage.

It should also be noted that Kenji is running Vedalken Shackles which is a Modern staple from last season. It seems to have dipped over the last couple of weeks, but we can expect it to climb back to $15+ in Modern PTQ season.

The Action is Slowing

Friday 10/19/12 – 4:28pm EST

It seems that Jund has saturated the field at Pro Tour RTR, which has left me with very little to report. The last two hours has been Jund destroying people on camera and people talking about how awesome they are for buying infinite Nivmagus Elemental. It looks like the Nivmagus deck is very soft to Jund. Gerry says:

I don’t see a lot of upside to buying into this card. Here’s why:

  1. The deck is getting beat by Jund.
  2. The card is a rare out of a heavily opened set.
  3. The card doesn’t see play in any other format.

That being said, the card might see a small bump from the all the speculators buying in. I think a lot of these speculators are making their buys on MTGO since TCG Player seems to be untouched.

I’m going to hit Friday Night Magic in a little bit, but I’ll be checking in to keep you guys updated. One thing that I want to leave you with is to keep an eye on Kitchen Finks. This was touted as the most played creature in Modern. It’s the perfect example of a card that can maintain a chunky price if Modern catches on. During Modern season last year I watched Kitchen Finks hit $10. It’s about $5 or $6 right now and it’s in Alexander Hayne’s deck as well as some Jund build, and even Naya Decks.

Nivmagus Elemental II

Friday 10/19/12 – 2:39pm EST

This just in from Glenn Jones in regards to Frank Karsten’s tweet earlier.

This means that Reveillark is not on the radar and Nivmagus Elemental might be real (in Modern).

Nivmagus Elemental

Friday 10/19/12 – 2:13pm EST

There’s a lot of hype over this card on Twitter. Rumors of turn two kills are flying and people are issuing the “buy” call on this. It’s less than a dollar on TCG Player. If you like doubling up on cheap cards this could be up you’re alley. Personally I’ll bump the price on store.legitmtg.com but I’m not going deep on these.

Jund Break Down

Friday 10/19/12 – 1:48pm EST

Early reports are saying that Jund with Geralf’s Messenger is very popular. The staples for the archetype are below:


Tarmogoyf – Paper $85-$90 / MTGO 75.11
Dark Confidant – Paper $38-$40 / MTGO 15.06
Geralf’s Messenger – Paper $10-12 / MTGO 4.92
Bloodbraid Elf – Paper $1.5 – $2 / MTGO .78

— May not be “staples” —

Deathrite Shaman – Paper $5- $6 / MTGO 4.33
Abrupt Decay – Paper $10-12 / MTG 3.03

This post is primarily to give you a snap shot of the current staple prices. It’s still unclear what the “move” is here. As a shop owner I may raise the price of these staples until after the Pro Tour to hedge against price spikes and selling out.

Early Information

Friday 10/19/12 – 1:24pm EST

Kenji Tsumura is running four Blood Moon  in his main deck. Blood Moon has proved itself as a Modern staple its currently between $5 and $6 in paper and 8.5 Tickets on Magic Online.

Paulo Vitor’s Jund deck features Deathrite Shaman and Abrupt Decay. Keep an eye on these cards.

Christian Valenti is running a Valakut deck.

Kick the Tires, Light the Fires

Friday 10/19/12 – 12:34pm EST

I need to process what this means, but we could see some Reveillark action. I’m not jumping to conclusions yet, but Reveillark is another card that (like Vengevine) has slowly been creeping up. I can’t wait to see Frank’s deck.

Geist of Saint Traft is already on the rise because of Standard(it’s lowest price on TCG Player is $26), if it performs well in Modern we could see it spike even harder when it’s Modern season. I’m not saying to buy into this card for profit, but if you’ve been meaning to get a playset you should probably act soon or you’ll end up paying more.

Cedric The Boss!

Friday 10/19/12 – 10:14am EST

Cedric Philips just showed the world (via his stream) that he’s on Jund for the tournament. The only Return to Ravnica cards in the deck are three Slaughter Games in the sideboard. Notice that there were no Abrupt Decay in the seventy five. Abrupt Decay has been on steady decline since it’s release (I’m lowering the price on Legit MTG to $9.99), if it’s not featured in a big way at this Pro Tour then we can expect it to continue downward. One of the tibits that Cedric did offer was that there are rumors of Dredge-Vine cards being very popular at the dealers before the event. He included four Leyline of the Void in his sideboard to combat this and other strategies. Since we don’t know anything about the deck I wouldn’t recommend that you make any uninformed purchases, but if you bought some Vengevines, it wouldn’t be the worst thing.

Vengevine has a lot going for it. It’s a Mythic Rare that has seen Legacy play. It’s been on the rise since August so even if the deck is not real you may be able to still win on the forces that are pressuring it upwards.

Murmurs from the Floor

Friday 10/19/12 – 4am(ish) EST

It looks like the Canadian team may be considering switching to Splinter Twin Combo. The consideration alone is enough for us to look into investment opportunities. The card that sticks out as a possibility is Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. At the last Modern GP Kiki-Jiki reached $25-30 on-site. We can’t be blinded by the on-site price, but it’s something we should consider in our analysis.

The casual appeal (AKA Commander) of Kiki-Jiki will keep it’s price above $8. It was $10 before Modern season and has only raised $1 since then, this means it has a lot of room to grow. It’s was also in a very popular deck for GP Columbus (Naya Pod) and it could see some success at this Pro Tour. Keep an eye on the top tables throughout the weekend. If you see Kiki-Jiki as a four of in a sweet deck, make a buy.


Until the next update…

Jonathan Medina
@mtgmedina on Twitter

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