Bang for Your Buck: Investing in Cards for Modern Masters 2015 – Tier 2 Decks
Disclaimer: I can not be held responsible for any poor decisions I make in regards to any cards you might buy in response to my article. I’m going to post my thoughts and plead my case for each card I recommend, and if you agree then by all means head out to your local gaming store or buy cards online and try to snap up some good deals. I’m basing my information off of months of standard gaming experience as well as prices in my area and how they’ve reacted to the ever changing metagame. I can only hope that the decisions I make are good ones and that my gamble pays off after buying the featured cards. Prices I used are based on the iMTG IOS app, using TCG player.com’s mid-level price range.
Today I’ll be continuing my investment article for Modern. I’ll be looking at all the Tier 2 decks in modern, which is pretty much every other deck you’ll see at a modern tournament outside of a fringe deck. These decks might not be as popular as the Tier 1 choices, but they can win games all the same and have been tested well. As I stated in my last article, this cycle of Bang for your Buck is a little bit special. Modern is pretty diverse with an ever changing metagame. You’ll have weeks where Burn is on top, others when it’s Twin, etc. It’s hard to speculate for the long run when Wizards is always trying to print silver bullets to weaken overly powerful decks. What I’d like to help you out with is deciding what cards to pick up now if you’re going to build a deck, or which ones to hold onto in case they go up later. Hopefully it will both save you money and help you maximize the value on your trades. As always, if you have any suggestions of your own on these archetypes, please leave them in the comments section down below.
We start off today with Merfolk. This deck has put up some decent results lately and next to Affinity and Infect is one of the premier aggro decks in Modern. Modern Masters 2015 reprints will have very little effect on this deck. Hurkyl’s Recall and Spellskite help out in the sideboard, as well as Vapor Snag, but overall most of these cards’ prices will revolve around reprints. Some decks are using Thassa, God of the Sea ($7) and Master of Waves ($4.50) which are currently in standard, but outside of that you’ll have to pick up a lot of unique cards to make this deck.
Where I see the most possible movement for Merfolk is with Mutavault. The rare was just reprinted in M14 and there are currently lots on the market which has pushed the value down to about $10. I don’t expect Merfolk to become incredibly popular, though I think its continued results will persuade more and more people to build the deck and try it out. Slivers has also been showing up more and more at modern events in no small part in thanks to cards like Collected Company, and that deck also plays Mutavault. I don’t see this card getting reprinted again so soon, so you can expect the price to recover to about $20 by next year.
Merfolk runs a ton of Anthem effects in the form of Master of the Pearl Trident, Lord of Atlantis, and Merrow Reejerey. Merrow Reejerey and Cursecatcher are pretty pricey at $4.50 and $7.50 respectively. I think there is a good chance Cursecatcher and Master of the Pearl Trident will be reprinted in the Battle for Zendikar block. If you remember, Kiora came to Theros in search of creatures to battle the Eldrazi, which leads me to believe Merfolk will play a big role one of the sets alongside Kiora. Why I don’t think Reejerey will be reprinted is because they can’t have two anthem effects in the same set, especially at uncommon. The only way this could come back would be at rare. There is also a chance it could be back in Origins this summer since Lorwyn is related to one of the planeswalkers, but if you don’t see it by the end of next month picking up a playset might not be a bad idea (if you plan on playing Merfolk).
Other cards to look our for are Kira, Great Glass-Spinner ($9) and Coralhelm Commander, though I don’t think they’ll see much movement.
Abzan Company is getting better and better all the time. The deck is also known as Podless Pod, and it uses a lot of the same cards that the Birthing Pod before it used. At one time, Birthing Pod decks made up a large part of the metagame and the cards in the deck commanded a nice premium. Most were trending up before Pod was banned, and after that happened many of the prices of the cards in the deck plummeted. Lots of people sold their more expensive pieces, while others re-purposed the cards in the deck to other strategies. There are various strategies such as the Murderous Redcap or Kitchen Finks combo or a more midrangey Spike Feeder/Archangel of Thune infinite life combo. The thing about Podless Pod is that there aren’t a lot of playsets in this deck. There are some key cards, but otherwise you’re looking at one and 2 ofs.
Noble Hierarch was reprinted thankfully, but the card seems to still be demanding a premium thanks to a variety of other decks that use her and will make up most of the price of the deck. She is probably the only card that is stopping more players from playing this deck. If the Hierarch obstacle is lifted and enough supply is meted out to meet to demand, this deck could suddenly take off and lead to spikes in a few of the cards.
Chord of Calling will be rotating out in a few months, so I would get your playset now for $4.50 while it’s cheap. The card used to be one of the most expensive cards in Pod before it was reprinted. Once the supply dries up (and believe me, it can run out very quickly if this deck becomes more popular), this card will double in price over night. I’m predicting $10 by the end of the year, and possibly $15+ by next summer. It won’t hit $40 again, but give it a year and it could reach half that.
Kitchen Finks was just reprinted in MM1 and also has a rare ability (Persist) that can’t be easily reprinted, so I think it’s another candidate for a spike in the future. It’s a 4 of in this deck, and it also sees sideboard play in decks like Abzan Rock and GW hatebears. They’re going between 700-1000 yen in Japan already, and I think they’ll start to inch up after this modern season. They are only $5.25 which is a good buy in price in my opinion, so get your play set now at $20 instead of at $40 in another year.
Cards to watch out for in this deck are Birds of Paradise, Razorverge Thicket, Gavony Township, and possibly Voice of Resurgence. Birds has been printed a lot and could possibly see another reprint soon in Origins so I don’t think you should spend too much money on them right now. They are good cards to have, but not going to spike hard any time soon. Razorverge Thicket is currently $5 and is a 3 of in the deck, and could be hard to reprint due to its name. Might be a good pick up if you’re going to make this deck or GW Hatebears. Gavony has been inching up slowly and shows no sign of stopping. It’s at $3 now, and I think before the end of the modern season it could be up to $5. Another card to consider getting. Same with Voice of Resurgence. It’s $19 but could easily spike depending on the meta.
The most popular, and strongest of the Delver decks is Grixis Delver. RUG, UWR and UR Delver had their time when Treasure Cruise was at its peak, but that time has passed and now the decks are closer to Tier 2. Looking at the deck, there really isn’t anything you can buy now before it goes up. Snapcaster Mage is only going to get more and more expensive, probably hitting $100 by the end of the year with a reprint. Young Pyromancer is alright at $2.25, but it doesn’t seem like it’s that safe from being reprinted in the future. If I was going to wage my bets on any card in Grixis Delver, it would be the namesake card itself, and Tasigur, the Golden Fang.
It’s only $1.50 right now, but as a 4 of in the deck and being double sided makes it hard to reprint. This summer’s Origins could be testing the waters to see if double sided cards are alright outside of a special block set, but I don’t think we’ll see Delver back until the next Modern Masters set to tell the truth. Until then, Grixis Delver’s growing popularity coupled with the number of Delver players in Legacy will start to suck up extra Delver of Secrets laying around. A playset of Delvers is never bad, especially for $6. It’s unlikely to hit Serum Vision levels since it doesn’t see as much play as that card, but This could be $3-5 by next year. It’s already 300 yen in Japan, with buylists in some places of $1 so if you can pick them up cheap it might not be a bad bet.
A $6, Tasigur is a steal. It is a 3 of in Grixis Delver, but sees play in a variety of other decks in Modern (Junk mostly, some Jund) as well as a few in Legacy. Sure it’s currently a standard card, but it’s a proven card in both eternal formats, from a small set, and by the time Origins comes out we’ll be two sets away from it. This means they will be opened a lot less without DTK/FRF drafts going on and supply will suddenly dry up. Now is definitely the best time to get your 3, as this card could suddenly spike and then you’ll be stuck paying double digits for it. I definitely see it on an upward trend the farther we get away from the Dragons of Tarkir block.
Other cards to watch in Delver are ones I’ve already talked about picking up: Steam Vents and Gitaxian Probe.
I’ve only seen Amulet Bloom played a few times here in Nagoya, but it put up really good results recently at an SCG Invitational. The most expensive card in the deck WAS Primeval Titan, but since it’s reprint the card’s price has dropped by more than half to about $14. If the deck continues to do well I don’t expect this price to stay that low for long. It could easily recover to $20 in a matter of weeks. The various bounce lands were also reprinted in MM2, but I don’t think that will really influence people about buying into Amulet Bloom too much.
While Hive Mind could possibly be reprinted, it currently has only one printing and could easily spike if the card isn’t reprinted. If Amulet Bloom puts up some good numbers at GP Charlotte this weekend, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a run on these. Without a reprint this year, Hive Mind can effortlessly reach $10 from it’s current price of $5.
Summer Bloom, part of the namesake of the deck, is a 4 of and could also spike if the deck does well. Prices are anywhere from $4-5, so this is a safe bet I think. If you’re building Amulet/Bloom then now is a good time to pick up your playset. It’s been reprinted a few times, but in older sets where the distribution was a lot lower. In the near future I think it will hit $7 or so.
My last spec for Amulet Bloom is Tolaria West. Its Transmute ability makes it hard to reprint outside of a supplemental product any time soon and as a 3 of in the deck it might be a good idea to pick them up at $6 sooner rather than later.
I believe other cards in the set to keep an eye out are the Pacts. They were printed in Modern Masters 1, but they have gone nowhere but up since they were reprinted. Pact of Negation sees play more than just this deck and it’s at almost $22, while the others are hugging the $10 line. If you need them for the deck and see them creeping up, get them as soon as you can.
Some people just like to play control, plain in simple. Even if it’s not as powerful as it is in other formats, they still want to counter everything you play, draw a lot of cards, and wipe your board with a wrath. UWR and UW used to be pretty popular over here in Nagoya, Japan, but they’ve recently fallen out of favor and Grixis control has taken their place. That’s not to say that the deck can’t win. There are some metagames where it can do well, and others where it doesn’t stand a chance. Because it rarely puts up good results, I don’t expect many of UW Controls’ cards to go up. Instead, what we should look at is what cards it shares with other decks and how that will affect supply and demand overall.
We were lucky to get most of the decks cards reprinted in Modern Masters 1 (Lightning Helix, Electrolyze, Spell Snare, Cryptic Command, and Path to Exile), and MM2 has further helped to bring the cost down by reprinting Command and Electrolyze yet again while also giving us Remand and Lightning Bolt. What’s going to hit control players the hardest is Snapcaster Mage which is currently $75 and rising.
While it’s usually not a 4 of in this deck, it still is a key card in a lot of match ups and is great at resetting Snapcaster Mage. Sure, there is a possibility it will be reprinted in the From the Vault: Angels set, but if it isn’t I would snap up a playset as quickly as you can. It’s only $7.50 and even if it gets reprinted in standard that is still a great price to get it at. The card was upwards of $20 in standard at one point, and seeing as it sees play here in there in a number of other modern decks I would recommend pick them up.
That’s all I can really suggest at the moment, but I would keep your eyes on Celestial Colonnade ($18) if it’s not reprinted in in this autumn’s Zendikar set. That and the other man lands would be good pick ups if it’s decided they won’t be getting reprinted. Sphinx Revelation seems like another good pick up in trades at $7, but I don’t think it would spike too hard since it’s a 2 of in the deck. Supreme Verdict ($3.50) is another card to follow, but it can easily be replaced with something like Wrath of God so I don’t see it going up a lot either.
Scapeshift plays a lot of blue cards that are staples of modern (such as Cryptic Command) which only reinforces the advice to buy playsets of cards like Remand and Serum Visions. It also has Snapcaster Mage again, which makes it hard to get into now unless you got them at $30 each. Modern Masters 2 didn’t really help the deck too much, but the reprinting of fetchlands in Khans of Tarkir and their brethren in Battle for Zendikar should make things more bearable least. If you have Snapcasters laying around and are thinking about playing the deck, there is only one card I would recommend picking up.
The deck hasn’t seen too much play lately and the main card itself is currently hovering around the $23 mark. I think this is a good price, but I wouldn’t move on it just yet. With only one printing the card is crying for a reprint, and what better set to show up in than a set where lands are a big deal? You know what I mean. Zendikar. If you’re going to play it right now then pick them up. The price isn’t bad. However, if you’d rather play it safe, wait until after the Zendikar block has passed. The deck will be back eventually, it will all depend on the meta. Sometimes it’s really good, sometime it isn’t.
Returning to Our Origins
We aren’t too far off from Origins. There might be some key reprints in that set that could set off another ripple in modern, but at the moment I’m not going to worry about it. I also know this isn’t a complete list of Tier 2 decks, but this is what I feel I know most about. If you’d like to talk about your favorite deck (Hatebears, Boggles, etc), I would be more than happy to hear your picks for them in the comment section down below.
My posting schedule is going to be pretty busy from here on out, so be sure to check back with me later! My Puca Pals article is long overdue and bursting with new data, and I’ve been sitting on pictures from my visit to Osaka for a few months now. Not to mention that we’ll be seeing Origins in less than a month! It’s gonna be busy busy! Until then, take care and thanks for reading.