Modern Price Trends and Observations as of March 5th, 2014

It’s just a couple of days before the most anticipated event takes place this weekend which is Grand Prix Richmond and it’s highly likely that it would be a grand event. With almost 3000 players already registered as of March 4th, Starcitygames.com have decided to put an attendance cap to it of up to 5000 players max to ensure that everyone will be accommodated properly.

This aside, I’ve been monitoring the prices of some note-worthy cards for the past few days and I’d like to take the opportunity to share my findings with you in this article as well as my observations in the modern format.

Modern Price Trends and Observations as of March 5th, 2014

Modern Price Trends and Observations as of March 5th, 2014

Modern Price Trends and Observations as of March 5th, 2014

Modern Price Trends and Observations as of March 5th, 2014

There’s really nothing much to say about the Faerie pieces since no upward movement took place in the last week since Pro Tour Born of the Gods Valencia, especially that no copies of Bitterblossom made it in the top 8. Though, three players made it day two as what I mentioned in my previous article, it’s not enough to get Faerie pieces to spike as compared to the cards used by those who top 8ed the event.

Sadly, majority of the pros believe that Faeries just doesn’t have what it takes to be a dominant deck in the modern format. Also, most MTGO events only have at least one player using Faeries as a deck and nothing more as compared to the other archetypes. Based from this data, it’s very unlikely for the archetype to rebound this coming GP. On the other hand, the past MTGO events seem to be cluttered with Scapeshift, Pod, Twin variants, UR Storm and Robots with the occasional Jund variants.

This means that it would be the best time to sell your bitterblossoms. Unless you’re not going to use the green titan, might as well sell your copies though if Scapeshift decks make it to the top 8 of GP Richmond, not to mention a number of copies of Primeval Titan, it’s very likely that its price will spike big time. Then again, this is already obvious and is basically how things work in the M:tG economy.

Also, I found an interesting Faeries list that did NOT have any copies of the tribal enchantment and it looks sweet. The list seems built to deal with Faeries’ usual weak matchup which would be the aggressive decks.

Modern Price Trends and Observations as of February 5th, 2014

How about Zoo? Well, I didn’t really see much of it. With most decks having Anger of the Gods as tech and a lot of spot removals that efficiently deal with most of the creatures that Zoo decks have, it’s become challenging for the deck to keep up. Not to mention that a lot of the decks are good when it comes to dealing with gorillas, goyfs and lions and then suddenly combo-ing off a few turns later to seal the win.

Modern Price Trends and Observations as of March 5th, 2014

So, did Zoo suddenly become a bad deck choice? Of course not but with the resurgence of URW variants and other combo decks, it just became difficult to consistently kill opponents fast enough especially when their decks are built to kill most of the critters that you will be putting on the board. At the same time, with Jund or other similar decks being underrepresented, combo decks are not threatened by hand disruption unlike before hence they are more likely to pull up what they want to do every game.

As an added note, there’s also no Zoo deck that got in the top 8 in Mindstorm Games hobby shop, a local gaming center. For reference, here are the decks that top 8ed in the recent Tuesday event:

1st Place – Pao L. Robots/Affinity 4-1

2nd Place – Menard Q – Kiki Pod -4-1

3rd Place – Adan M – WU Control -3-1-1

4th Place – Ben C – Monogreen Devotion – 3-1-1

5th Place – Roberto G – RG Tron – 3-2

6th Place – Sunny A – UR Twin – 3-2

7th Place – Peter S – Merfolk 3-2

8th Place – Donovan B – Firemind Control 3-2

If there’s one archetype that I do find consistent though in this local gaming center, it’s the URW/UR decks as well as the pod decks.

Overall, the recent bannings/unbannings cause a series of changes in the modern format which used to be dominated by Jund decks. Combo decks seems to have been suppressed back then but with very few decks playing Thoughtseize and Inquisition as well as Liliana of the Veil, it’s very likely that combo decks will remain to be strong contenders in the modern format. Aggressive decks are still viable deck choices but now that most are utilizing Anger of the Gods, and other efficient mass and spot removals, they’ll probably have a hard time racing their opponents.

I guess that wraps up today’s article. It’s only a matter of time before the modern format shapes up and I’d be watching it closely. How about you? Any insights in how the modern format will shape up in the next few days to come?

Thanks for reading!

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

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Modern Movements

It’s already been a couple of days since the conclusion of Pro-tour Born of the Gods in Valencia, Spain and I was supposed to write a report about it in the financial aspect but I had to accomplish some important tasks first.

A lot of people are wondering why even though no copies of Bitterblossom made it in the top 8 is that it’s still retailing around $60. The thing is that it doesn’t mean that if it didn’t make it to the top tables is that it’s automatically a bad card for the modern format and that its price would immediately plummet.

Sure, only 6 players may have played the archetype at the event but take note that there were three of the 6 and these 3 are pro-players who made it day two; each one piloting their own version of UB Faeries namely; Alex Sittner, Shota Yasooka and Joel Larsson who unfortunately only ended up with a 3-2 standing as per this article.

Modern Movements

Modern Movements

Furthermore, even Gerry Thompson thinks that Faeries has the potential to make it big in modern. Another factor which may be keeping Bitterblossom at its current price is the upcoming Grand Prix Richmond which will be on the 7th to 9th of March. It’s just a week away before the next big event is upon us. This event will eventually determine if Bitterblossom really have what it takes to be a key player in the modern format or will end up sitting by the sidelines. However, this is a good time to be selling your Bitterblossoms if you want to take advantage of its exorbitant price.

Because if no copies of the said card makes it to the top 8 then I feel that it’s very likely for the hype to completely go down the drain along with its price. On the other hand, if copies of Bitterblossom make it to the top then it’s very likely that the price will be retained.

Moving forward, it wasn’t only Bitterblossom’s price that moved but also the following:

Modern Movements

One of the most noticeable price increases would be Primeval Titan’s. The fact is that a couple of Scapeshift decks have been winning MTGO modern events since last week and this has caused the mythic rare’s price to spike. The rest on the list on the other hand were perhaps due to the decks making it to the top 8, particularly Threads of Disloyalty which the eventual PT Champion Shaun Mclaren effectively utilized to win his final match against Wilson. In addition to these changes, I also took notice of this card’s current price and I am surprised that it already hit this high.

Modern Movements

Frankly, I am tempted to sell out my singleton planeswalker and eldrazi because I am not really planning to brew any RG Tron anytime soon as well as a Show and Tell deck. Still, it’s nice to see that the cards I held on to even after they rotated out of the standard format have their prices rocketing up.

To sum it all up:

  • Sell your Bitterblossoms or take a gamble by holding on to them and wait for the results of the up-coming PT Richmond. This is if you don’t plan on playing Faeries anytime soon.
  • There’s still a chance that Primeval Titan’s price may increase so I feel that it’s still safe to keep them for a longer period of time as compared to Bitterblossom. However, selling them right now may not be that bad of an idea as well.
  • The only direction that Karn Liberated and Emrakul, The Aeons Torn will go is up. First and foremost, they are utilized both in Modern and Legacy especially that the eldrazi is one of the core pieces of a popular Legacy deck which will probably remain a tier 1 deck for years to come. It’s up to you if you want to sell them or wait for the price to increase before selling them. The only time that their price will plummet is if one of them gets the axe (With Emrakul being more likely to get the axe than Karn IF they even become candidates for banning which I highly doubt will happen anytime soon).
  • A lot of people may believe that Faeries may not be cut for the current modern format but then again, there are also people who believe otherwise and some of them are pros. Furthermore, this guy has been very consistent in MTGO events when it comes to his results. Can we say that he’s just being lucky and or he’s just able to dodge his bad matchups when he’s constantly winning MTGO events?

Modern Movements

GP Richmond is just a week away and we’ll eventually find out the real score between the various archetypes in the modern format. Will Faeries be able to prove itself or eventually be forgotten to oblivion? Will URW based decks continue to reign supreme or will Zoo emerge victorious this time? What are your thoughts about the current modern format?

Thanks for reading,

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

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Meanwhile, in Modern…

Contrary to most would expect, there are not much Faerie decks occupying the top slots of tournaments even in MTGO. In fact, there was only one Faerie deck that got first place in MTGO.

For reference, here’s the deck list that the player used to win the event:

Meanwhile, in Modern…

As we can clearly see there’s still a lot of room for improvement and innovation for the UB Faeries deck but we can say that it’s likely that those who fought the Faerie player were caught off-guard hence their losses. Not to mention the inherent strength of the archetype and the banning of Deathrite Shaman which used to be an auto-four off in most decks that can afford to play the card, namely Melira Pod and Jund, with the latter’s performance being badly affected by the loss of Deathrite Shaman.

Meanwhile, in Modern…

It’s also not surprising to see a number of Zoo decks as compared to Faerie decks to occupy the top spot of MTGO events and even here in our local community. With Bitterblossom’s price continuing to shoot up as PT Valencia draws near (it’s currently at $60), as well as most Faerie pieces (Sunken Ruins, Mistblind Clique etc), local players are more likely to have a difficult time acquiring a play set of the said card as compared to 4 Wild Nacatls and some fetchlands, with the exception of Tarmogoyf which I believe is more accessible to most players in terms of availability if not the price.

These days, I’ve been taking note of the players who’re getting the top spot in a local tournament center called Mindstorm Games Hobby Shop since they usually host a tournament for the modern format. As I’ve mentioned in a previous article, I’ve been interested in playing in the modern format but I just haven’t found the opportunity to get some of the cards to complete a deck for modern since I am more focused on Standard. Let’s take a closer look at the local modern metagame.

For reference, here are the top 8 players as well as their respective decks.

Tuesday Night Modern at Mindstorm Games Hobby Shop Top 8

1st place – Ben C – Tribal Zoo

2nd place – JJ Luces – URW Midrange

3rd place – Ron J – Melira Pod

4th place – Roberto G – RG Tron

5th place – Francis P – Jund

6th place – Mark B – Monored Burn

7th place – Raymond M – RUG Eternal Command

8th place – Adan M – RB Elementals

I’ve been following the tournament results of Mindstorm Games Hobby Shop’s Modern format for a while now and I can say that based on the weekly results, there is no specific metagame in that tournament center. However, based on this week’s tournament results I can honestly say that Ben Cardenas has gotten a better grasp of how to pilot his Tribal Zoo as compared to last Tuesday’s tournament wherein he only got third place which is still an impressive finish.

For reference of last week’s Tuesday’s tournament results:

1st place – Ron J – Melira Pod

2nd place – Doc Yu – Geist Junk

3rd place – Ben C – Tribal Zoo

4th place – Donovan B – BG Rock

5th place – Josef G – Junk

6th place – JJ Luces URW Midrange

Jonathan Luces  (or JJ as he’s commonly referred to by those who personally know him) also had started to climb up rapidly piloting a URW Midrange deck while Judge Ron Joson’s results remain consistent; a clear testament that the Melira Pod archetype is a force to be reckoned with, as well as the remarkable skills of the player who has been piloting it for a very long time now.

Meanwhile, in Modern…

“Judge Ron Joson’s Melira Pod”

On the other hand, the only reason I could possibly think of why Ben Cardenas decided to play a Tribal Zoo as opposed to his usual UG Infect deck is that he wanted to try another archetype for a new fresh experience. His constant winnings with his UG Infect shows that the former nationals champion already mastered piloting the deck. Based from such a performance, we can say that UG Infect is also a good metagame choice in the local community though it would take a lot of practice to be able to identify optimal hands in every match up, as well as the sequencing of cards.

Meanwhile, in Modern…

“Ben Cardenas’ Tribal Zoo”

Also, something to take note of is that the Jund Archetype isn’t dominating the local metagame and it’s most probably because of a number of factors mainly card availability issues. The banning of Deathrite Shaman in the modern format also badly hurt the archetype, particularly against the more aggressive match ups since Deathrite Shaman does not only help ramp up to a third turn Liliana of the Veil but it can also stave off early damage by its ability to gain life. As evidence of the tournament results in the past few weeks.

Meanwhile, in Modern…

“Jonathan Luces’ URW Midrange”

There’s also the possibility of people hating the archetype more than they should which kept Jund decks in check. It is true that Jund may be one of the most powerful archetypes in the modern format but with the recent bannings, it’s likely to experience challenging obstacles in future tournaments to come. This is also not to mention the expected rising of the Faerie archetype which may not be apparent right now but will likely be the case after PT Valencia that I am anticipating to have multiple copies of Bitterblossom in the top 8.

Meanwhile, in Modern…

Another observation would be the decline of combo decks in the local metagame and this may be because of the threat Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek poses to combo decks. Not to mention Zoo decks kills fast. As an added note, I wouldn’t underestimate the power of Zoo decks as an archetype that already has occupied a number of spots in the top 8 both in the local community and in MTGO.

Meanwhile, in Modern…

Of course, we can’t really say that the tournament results in the local tournament center are the representation of the Philippine modern metagame as a whole, but since they’re the only tournament center that I know which hosts a weekly tournament for the modern format, it’s safe to assume that the decks in the top 5 at the least would be a good start if we’re to represent the local modern metagame.

Overall, the local modern metagame is wide open and any well-constructed deck with a sound plan can potentially take down the tournament. However, if you want to increase your chances of winning the tournament, you may want to consider playing Melira Pod, UG Infect, Zoo and or a URW variant, not to mention a Tron variant. Affinity may also be a sound choice but it’s up to you on how you plan to tackle the metagame. What do you think?

Thanks for reading,

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

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Special thanks to Judge Ron Joson of Mindstorm Games Hobby Shop, Jonathan Luces and Ben Cardenas for sharing their winning deck lists. Wishing them more winnings in tournaments to come!

Financial Trends: Faerie Rising

It’s just been three days or so when Bitterblossom became legal in Modern and look what’s happened in a short period of time

Financial Trends: Faerie Rising

“THAT Bitterblassam!”

I was planning to sell my extra copy of Bitterblossom but seeing its upward trend as well as the potential of the card’s price increasing more after MTGO gets updated of the latest changes and after PT Valencia and GP Richmond, I decided to hold back for the time being. Though for Bitterblossom’s price to rocket up further there has to be multiple copies of it in the top 8 of any of these big tournaments.

Of course, there’s also the possibility of decks without copies of Bitterblossom to make it to the top 8 instead as oppose to those who utilize the black faerie tribal enchantment due to hate. And the thing is that this is a real possibility because these days, I’ve been seeing and hearing people considering playing burn decks that are good against the blossom player.

As I’ve said in my previous article, Faeries, which will likely become a viable archetype in Modern, may be dominant back in the day but the environment it will face now is purely different. There may be people who believe that unbanning Bitterblossom will be disastrous to the format’s health but then again, we can’t also discount the possibility that it won’t and only time will tell which side is correct.

But based on the trending shown above, one thing is certain; a lot of people are excited in playing the Faerie tribal enchantment. In fact, you’d see conversations in Twitter revolving around Faeries and some who are already testing the archetype.

Financial Trends: Faerie Rising

The pros on the other hand are keeping mum with regard to their plans especially that PT Valencia is just a few weeks away so don’t be surprised if you don’t hear anything from them about the decks that they will be playing in the upcoming PT event. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple of them play some UB Faeries and B/W tokens which is another archetype that has tremendously gained an upgrade.

Financial Trends: Faerie Rising

“B/W Tokens”

Imagine this scenario:

T1: Land, Thoughtseize/Inquisition of Kozilek

T2: Land, Bitterblossom

T3: Land, Spectral Procession

T4: Land, Intangible Virtue and Blood Artist (or another Intangible Virtue or any 2-3cc spell)

Sure, it’s a nice trip to Christmas land but it’s possible none the less. And how about Abrupt Decay you said? Well, it’s similar to the Doom Blade argument. If your opponent has it, then well and good, but if your opponent doesn’t, or like lost it, thanks to being plucked away by a turn one Thoughtseize or Inquisition of Kozilek, then Bitterblossom will be uncontested and will be a problem and a big one at that.

Another archetype that is likely to return would be Zoo. With the unbanning of Wild Nacatl, true aggro decks will likely make resurgence especially this coming PT Valencia. Would the Bitterblossom decks be able to handle a deck having beefy creatures coming out of the gates as early as turn one?

Financial Trends: Faerie Rising

“THIS is a ZOO”

To sum it all up, Modern will surely be shaken up by these changes. These prices won’t be dropping anytime soon until the first batch of results from MTGO in the Modern format goes online, not to mention that the hype created by the unbanning of the said card is very high. I won’t be surprised if Bitterblossom’s price shoots up to $80 after PT Valencia, especially if multiple copies of the card occupy the top 8.

So, should you buy your own playset of Bitterblossom while it’s sitting at $50 each?

My take on that is unless you will be playing in a Modern tournament soon and or you’re going to invest in the format, you may want to hold off for the meantime and reconsider. Though keep in mind that even if no deck sporting the black tribal faerie enchantment gets in the top 8 of PT Valencia, it’s still unlikely that the hype and price of Bitterblossom will go down anytime soon. There’s still GP Richmond after that and by that time, the decks with the Bitterblossoms may already have adjusted to the new metagame as well as to the hate.

Do take note that these are purely speculations based on the data that I’ve gathered. I am no financial expert when it comes to Magic: The Gathering but the numbers above still say something about what could possibly happen in the near future. Would Bitterblossom take Modern by storm or would it get severely hated to survive the up-coming metagame environment? What do you guys think?

Thanks for reading,

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

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A Bitter Future

And the verdict is out.

A Bitter Future

I admit, I haven’t really participated in any modern event nor do I have a deck constructed for the modern format but I’ve been reading a couple of articles related to the Modern format  as of late. I’ve been interested in playing in but I was focused in Standard plus, I used to dream of having a Jund deck but it was way too expensive for me. Not to mention that I didn’t have any clue what else I could play back then.

A Bitter Future

“Yap. Greatness, at any COST.”

I’ve been considering playing a URW Splinter Twin for the sole reason that I have most of the deck components available at home, particularly the lands. In addition, I really enjoy playing with combo decks backed up with counter spells. Thing is, I have this pet peeve of keeping old decks intact rather than sell them after the cards rotate. Let’s just say they have sentimental value to me which I know, is not really an advisable characteristic when you have a limited budget and when you’re playing Standard. Despite this, I still wasn’t able to get around into getting the remaining deck pieces like Remand, Electrolyze, Kiki Jiki and some more since I am more focused into Standard.

A Bitter Future

“Tweedledee and Tweedledum they’re not”

Until this card became legal in Modern:

A Bitter Future

Now, this is not to say that I am going to sell my Standard deck right off the bat just so I can purchase some of the remaining deck pieces for a Faeries deck but I really enjoyed playing it back when the deck was legal in the old Standard. It’s one of those complex tempo-oriented decks that can be a challenge to pilot but rewarding when mastered. Sadly, I had just gotten back to playing Magic: the Gathering when Faeries became dominant in Standard back then so I wasn’t able to play the deck optimally. Not to mention that I wasn’t that dedicated to playing the game at that time as compared nowadays.

But now that Bitterblossom is already back, I am eager to take this opportunity to try constructing a Faeries deck in Modern and learn how to pilot it optimally. Though the environment it is currently legal in is very different from the environment that it used to dominate, I believe that it will be a viable strategy in the Modern metagame. Also take note that it’s not only the Faeries deck that can benefit from the power of Bitterblossom; there’s also BW tokens, and even Esper-based decks which sports Bitterblossom in the mainboard.

Though the unbanning of Bitterblossom was received with mixed reactions by people across the globe, I am one of those who’re excited to play with it. Right now, I’ve glad that Liz and I didn’t sell our Faerie deck pieces and have kept them.

If I were to make a Faeries deck in Modern right now, it would probably look like this.

 

UB Faeries

Main Deck: 60 cards

Lands: 23

5 Island

4 Misty Rainforest

4 Mutavault

4 Scalding Tarn

1 Swamp

2 Tectonic Edge

3 Watery Grave

 

 

Creaures: 17

3 Mistbind Clique

4 Scion of Oona

4 Snapcaster Mage

4 Spellstutter Sprite

2 Vendilion Clique

 

 

Spells: 20

4 Bitterblossom

3 Go for the Throat

4 Remand

3 Spell Snare

2 Spell Pierce

4 Thoughtseize

 

This list is of course untested and is barely decent but at least we have somewhere to start right? While I was also in the process of putting up a deck list here, I took the opportunity to ask a good friend of mine, Conrad Dungan, who’s one of the best and respected M:tG players here in the Philippines for some advice with regard to how he would build a UB Faeries deck and the reason behind the inclusion and exclusion of some cards, particularly on the spell portion of the deck, as well as the reason behind the numbers. Thanks again Conrad! Appreciate the help!

The list he came up with was:

UB Faeries by Conrad Dungan

Main Deck: 60

Lands: 23

5 Island

4 Misty Rainforest

4 Mutavault

4 Scalding Tarn

1 Swamp

2 Tectonic Edge

3 Watery Grave

 

Creatures: 14

3 Mistbind Clique

4 Scion of Oona

4 Spellstutter Sprite

3 Vendilion Clique

 

Spells: 23

4 Bitterblossom

3 Go for the Throat

4 Remand

3 Spell Snare

2 Spell Pierce

3 Vapor Snag

4 Thoughtseize

 

He also shared another Faerie list but doesn’t focus much on the Faeries aspect of the tribe but more on the idea of jamming the best cards in a single deck:

 

Bug Tempo by Conrad Dungan

Main Deck: 60

Lands:23

4 Creeping Tar Pit

1 Forest

4 Island

4 Misty Rainforest

2 Overgrown Tomb

1 Swamp

2 Tectonic Edge

4 Verdant Catacomb

1 Watery Grave

 

Creatures: 15

4 Snapcaster Mage

4 Spellstutter Sprite

4 Tarmogoyf

3 Vendilion Clique

 

Spells: 22

3 Abrupt Decay

4 Bitterblossom

2 Mana Leak

4 Remand

2 Spell Pierce

3 Spell Snare

4 Thoughtseize

 

I actually like this list than the usual UB colors but then again we have Tarmogoyf on the list which is a luxury I currently cannot afford. Overall, I am really considering the idea of trying out Modern soon and hopefully I can get the remaining deck pieces to brew a decent one.

Thanks for reading!

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

 

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