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Modern Decks Cost 25 Percent More Today than Six Months Ago


Over the past few months when we've discussed the Modern format, our focus has been on individual cards. We asked questions like what cards will show up in Modern Masters 2015? What cards will spike next? What cards will get banned? While these conversations are beneficial, they also have potential to cause us to miss the big-picture of Modern. 

We have this (mis?)conception that the release of a set like Modern Masters 2015 is designed to (and will) make it cheaper to build a deck in the format. Say, for instance, you are looking to build Jund. You decide you might as well wait until MM2 is released so that you can save a bit of money since two of the big pieces of the deck (Tarmogoyf and Dark Confidant) are likely to be reprinted. MM2 hits the market and, guess what? The prices of both Tarmogoyf and Dark Confidant decrease significantly. You hurry to put together the deck before prices start to increase. Great decision, right? Not so fast.

When you take a meta-perspective and look at card prices as a whole rather than the prices of a few specific cards, you'll see that even though cards reprinted in MM2 decreased significantly in price, the prices of other cards have increased. In fact, they have increased so much that even though you are saving $35 a copy on Tarmogoyf and $30 a copy on Dark Confidant, you are actually paying more for your Jund deck today than you would have if you had purchased the deck six months ago during the time when most of us were too busy discussing how much Tarmogoyf would drop to see the bigger picture.

Unfortunately the Jund example isn't an isolated one. I examined the twelve most played decks in Modern (as of July 1st), which includes every deck that makes up at least two percent of the field and found that, on average, the price of a Modern deck has increased 25 percent since January 1st, 2015. Of the twelve decks in our sample, eleven cost more today than they did six months ago. 

So today we are going to look over the Modern format deck by deck and card by card to explore what exactly has caused such a significant change. I must warn you, there are a lot of spreadsheets, charts and graphs in this article, but I think they are all necessary to our pursuit. 

Methodology Notes

  1. Prices are for the least-expensive version of a card (for example, all fetchland prices are for the Khans of Tarkir edition).

  2. For cards that were reprinted in Modern Masters 2015, the January 1st price is for the least-expensive edition that was in-print at that time (e.g. for Tarmogoyf we use the MMA price since it is cheaper than the Future Sight price). The current price for cards reprinted in MM2 is the cheapest out of all editions, including Modern Masters 2015. 

  3. While I use the term "current price" through out the article, this actually reflects the price as of July 1st, 2015. This means things like the very recent Arcbound Ravager spike are not included in our pricing.

  4. The card images used to showcase each deck are for the two biggest gainers (price increases) over the six-month period followed by the two biggest losers (price decreases) over the same time frame.  

  5. All decklists are the "default" lists from the MTGGoldfish Modern Metagame page.

  6. All cards that were worth less than $1 on both January 1st and July 1st are excluded. All cards worth at least $1 on either January 1st or July 1st are included.

Grixis Twin

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Grixis Twin Price Changes
Card January 1 Price Current Price Copies Total Change
Deceiver Exarch $0.60 $4.28 4 +$14.72
Snapcaster Mage $31.50 $82.99 4 +$205.96
Tasigur, the Golden Fang $5 $7.50 2 +$5.00
Vendilion Clique $71 $58.12 1 -$12.88
Splinter Twin $16.10 $15.40 4 -$2.80
Lightning Bolt $1.90 $2.30 4 +$1.60
Serum Visions $7.40 $14.80 4 +$29.60
Remand $12.00 $7.00 3 -$15.00
Cryptic Command $54.00 $32.40 2 -$43.20
Kolaghan's Command $4.00 $8.40 2 +$8.80
Spell Snare $3.80 $7.80 2 +$8.00
Dismember $1.10 $1.00 1 -$0.10
Terminate $1.10 $4.00 1 +$2.90
Polluted Delta $16.00 $17.50 4 +$6.00
Scalding Tarn $55.00 $57.00 4 +$8.00
Sulfur Falls $7.20 $10.40 3 +$9.60
Steam Vents $12.00 $13.90 2 +$3.80
Blood Crypt $7.40 $7.60 1 +$0.20
Bloodstained Mire $11.30 $11.00 1 -$0.30
Watery Grave $9.90 $10.30 1 +$0.40
Totals        
Total Increase/Decrease +$230.3      
Total Dropping High/Low +$67.44      
Change as percent of total deck price +25.60 %      
Percent change dropping high/low +6.34 %      

Grixis Delver

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Grixis Delver Price Changes
Card January 1 Price Current Price Copies Total Change
Delver of Secrets $1.40 $1.50 4 +$0.40
Snapcaster Mage $31.50 $83.00 3 +$154.50
Young Pyromancer $2.60 $2.50 3 -$0.30
Tasigur, the Golden Fang $5.00 $7.50 2 +$5.00
Lightning Bolt $1.90 $2.30 4 +$1.60
Serum Visions $7.40 $14.80 4 +$29.60
Gitaxian Probe $2.70 $3.40 3 +$2.10
Remand $12.00 $7.00 2 -$10.00
Spell Snare $3.80 $7.80 2 +$8.00
Terminate $1.10 $4.00 2 +$5.80
Electrolyze $2.60 $1.70 1 -$0.90
Go For The Throat $2.00 $2.60 1 +$0.60
Kolaghan's Command $4.00 $8.40 1 +$4.40
Shadow of Doubt $5.70 $8.80 1 +$3.10
Spell Pierce $2.30 $2.30 1 +0.00
Scalding Tarn $55.00 $57.00 4 +$8.00
Polluted Delta $16.00 $17.40 3 +$4.20
Steam Vents $12.00 $13.90 2 +$3.80
Blood Crypt $7.40 $7.60 1 +$0.20
Bloodstained Mire $11.30 $11.00 1 -$0.30
Darkslick Shores $3.80 $6.10 1 +$2.30
Sulfur Falls $7.20 $10.40 1 +$3.20
Watery Grave $9.90 $10.30 1 +$0.40
Totals        
Total Increase/Decrease +$225.70      
Total Dropping High/Low +81.20      
Change as percent of total deck price +30.17 %      
Percent change dropping high/low +9.07 %      

Affinity

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Affinity Price Changes
Card January 1 Price Current Price Copies Total Change
Etched Champion $5.00 $3.40 4 -$6.60
Arcbound Ravager $18.00 $29.00 4 +$44.00
Steel Overseer $8.40 $8.50 3 +$0.30
Spellskite $18.00 $21.90 2 +$7.80
Memnite $1.00 $1.30 2 +$0.60
Cranial Plating $2.00 $1.10 4 -$3.60
Springleaf Drum $1.00 $0.90 4 -$0.40
Mox Opal $50.00 $36.50 4 -$54.00
Blinkmoth Nexus $10.20 $6.40 4 -$15.20
Inkmoth Nexus $9.30 $27.00 4 +$70.80
Glimmervoid $9.50 $20.40 3 +$32.70
Totals        
Total Increase/Decrease +$76.40      
Total Dropping High/Low +$59.60      
Change as percent of total deck price +12.53 %      
Percent change dropping high/low +9.50 %      

Jund

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Jund Price Changes
Card January 1 Price Current Price Copies Total Change
Dark Confidant $78.00 $45.10 4 -$131.60
Tarmogoyf $190.00 $156.20 4 -$135.20
Fulminator Mage $36.00 $19.90 2 -$32.20
Scavenging Ooze $5.30 $5.70 2 +$0.80
Huntmaster of the Fells $6.00 $15.80 2 +$9.80
Tasigur, the Golden Fang $5.00 $7.50 1 +$2.50
Liliana of the Veil $54.80 $97.10 4 +$169.20
Lightning Bolt $1.90 $2.30 4 +$1.60
Terminate $1.10 $4.00 3 +$8.70
Inquisition of Kozilek $5.50 $14.40 3 +$23.70
Thoughtseize $18.70 $24.00 3 +$15.90
Abrupt Decay $10.40 $17.00 2 +$13.20
Kolaghan's Command $4.00 $8.40 2 +$8.80
Maelstrom Pulse $7.50 $9.50 1 +$2.00
Blackcleave Cliffs $6.00 $12.20 4 +$24.80
Verdant Catacombs $31.30 $38.90 4 +$30.40
Raging Ravine $4.00 $9.30 3 +$15.90
Bloodstained Mire $11.30 $11.00 2 -$0.60
Wooded Foothills $11.50 $14.00 2 +$5.00
Blood Crypt $7.40 $7.60 1 +$0.20
Overgrown Tomb $8.40 $8.50 1 +$0.10
Stomping Ground $8.50 $9.10 1 +$0.60
Twilight Mire $30.50 $35.50 1 +$5.50
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth $5.50 $9,00 1 +$3.50
Totals        
Total Increase/Decrease +$42.60      
Total Dropping High/Low +$8.60      
Change as percent of total deck price +2.33 %      
Percent change dropping high/low +0.47 %      

Burn

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Burn Price Change
Card January 1 Price Current Price Copies Total
Goblin Guide $19.00 $32.00 4 +$52.00
Monastery Swiftspear $2.70 $2.40 4 -$1.20
Eidolon of the Great Revel $5.60 $11.40 4 +$23.20
Grim Lavamancer $5.00 $7.60 1 +$2.60
Atarka's Command $4.80 $6.30 4 +$6.00
Boros Charm $2.00 $2.70 4 +$2.80
Lightning Bolt $1.90 $2.30 4 +$1.60
Lava Spike $2.00 $2.80 4 +$3.20
Rift Bolt $1.50 $2.30 4 +$3.20
Searing Blaze $0.50 $1.10 2 +$1.20
Shard Volley $1.90 $1.90 2 +$0.00
Skullcrack $1.00 $1.20 2 +$0.40
Lightning Helix $2.90 $4.30 1 +$1.40
Bloodstained Mire $11.20 $11.00 4 -$0.80
Scalding Tarn $56.40 $57.10 4 +$2.80
Wooded Foothills $11.60 $14.00 4 +$9.60
Sacred Foundry $10.40 $12.60 3 +$6.60
Stomping Grounds $8.50 $9.10 2 +$1.20
Arid Mesa $30 $32.20 1 +$2.20
Totals        
Total Increase/Decrease +$118.00      
Total Dropping High/Low +$67.20      
Change as percent of total deck price +24.58 %      
Percent change dropping high/low +10.97 %      

RG Tron

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

RG Tron Price Changes
Card January 1 Price Current Price Copies Total
Wurmcoil Engine $10.00 $15.80 2 +$17.40
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn $45.90 $28.50 1 -$17.40
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre $37.50 $19,80 1 -$17.70
Spellskite $18.00 $21.90 1 +$3.90
Karn Liberated $43.00 $36.40 4 -$26.40
Ancient Stirrings $0.60 $3.40 4 +$11.20
Sylvan Scrying $2.70 $4.70 4 +$8.00
Chromatic Star $1.20 $2.60 4 +$5.20
Expedition Map $1.40 $1.30 4 -$0.40
Oblivion Stone $10.20 $33.10 3 +$68.70
Relic of Progenitus $1.10 $1.10 2 +$0.00
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon $32.00 $27.30 1 -$4.70
Grove of the Burnwillows $36.00 $46.30 4 +$41.20
Urza's Mine $1.30 $1.80 4 +$2.00
Urza's Power Plant $1.30 $1.80 4 +$2.00
Urza's Tower $1.40 $1.80 4 +$1.60
Eye of Ugin $9.00 $3.20 1 -$5.80
Totals        
Total Increase/Decrease +$88.80      
Total Dropping High/Low +$45.50      
Change as percent of total deck price +15.9 %      
Percent change dropping high/low +7.56 %      

Merfolk

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Merfolk Price Changes
Card January 1 Price Current Price Copies Total Change
Master of the Pearl Trident $3.50 $4.80 4 +$5.20
Lord of Atlantis $3.90 $4.10 4 +$0.80
Silvergill Adept $2.90 $3.20 4 +$1.20
Cursecatcher $7.50 $9.40 4 +$7.60
Master of Waves $3.00 $4.30 3 +$3.90
Merrow Reejery $3.70 $3.90 3 +$0.60
Tidebinder Mage $0.70 $0.80 3 +$0.30
Aether Vial $21.40 $35.00 4 +$54.40
Dismember $1.10 $1.00 2 -$0.20
Relic of Progenitus $1.10 $1.10 2 +$0.00
Mutavault $11.80 $12.40 4 +$2.40
Wanderwine Hub $2.20 $10.00 3 +$23.80
Minamo, School at Water's Edge $10.00 $18.60 1 +$8.60
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds $7.00 $14.70 1 +$7.40
Cavern of Souls $17.10 $48.40 1 +$31.30
Totals        
Total Increase/Decrease +$147.30      
Total Dropping High/Low +$93.20      
Change as percent of current total deck price +28.45 %      
Percent change dropping high/low +10.24 %      

Bloom Titan

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Bloom Titan Price Changes
Card January 1 Price Current Price Copies Total Change
Primeval Titan $12.10 $12.20 4 +$0.40
Azusa, Lost but Seeking $22.50 $39.20 1 +$16.70
Simian Spirit Guide $2.60 $3.70 1 +$1.10
Serum Visions $7.40 $14.80 4 +$29.60
Ancient Stirrings $0.60 $3.40 4 +$11.20
Summer Bloom $1.40 $4.40 4 +$12.00
Summoner's Pact $5.70 $13.40 4 +$30.80
Amulet of Vigor $2.90 $8.80 4 +$23.60
Hive Mind $2.50 $5.50 3 +$9.00
Pact of Negation $10.80 $23.00 2 +$24.40
Slaughter Pact $7.70 $10.80 1 +$3.10
Engineered Explosives $7.30 $16.30 1 +$9.00
Gemstone Mine $6.00 $7.80 4 +$7.20
Tolaria West $4.30 $6.30 3 +$6.00
Tendo Ice Bridge $4.40 $12.10 1 +$7.70
Mana Confluence $12.00 $10.00 1 -$2.00
Cavern of Souls $17.10 $48.40 1 +$31.30
Vesuva $12.30 $17.60 1 +$5.30
Totals        
Total Increase/Decrease +$226.40      
Total Dropping High/Low +$197.60      
Change as percent of total current deck price +60.03 %      
Percent change dropping high/low +48.67 %      

Elves

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Elves Price Changes
Card January 1 Price Current Price Copies Total Change
Elvish Archdruid $1.10 $1.30 4 +$0.80
Heritage Druid $5.00 $20.00 4 +$60.00
Eternal Witness $2.50 $6.00 2 +$7.00
Ezuri, Renegade Leader $1.90 $9.70 2 +$7.80
Nettle Sentinel $0.70 $3.60 2 +$5.80
Spellskite $18.00 $21.90 2 +$7.80
Dryad Arbor $6.10 $7.40 1 +$1.30
Magus of the Moon $9.80 $19.70 1 +$9.90
Scavenging Ooze $5.30 $5.70 1 +$0.40
Collected Company $4.40 $15.00 4 +$41.60
Chord of Calling $3.40 $7.60 3 +$12.60
Razorverge Thicket $4.40 $8.80 4 +$17.60
Windswept Heath $14.00 $13.50 4 -$2.00
Gavony Township $2.50 $3.60 2 +$2.20
Nykthos, Shrine of Nyx $3.00 $5.20 2 +$4.40
Horizon Canopy $34.20 $54.00 1 +$19.80
Pendelhaven $5.50 $11.40 1 +$5.90
Stomping Ground $8.50 $9.10 1 +$0.60
Temple Garden $8.60 $8.90 1 +$0.30
Totals        
Total Increase/Decrease $205.80      
Total Dropping High/Low $147.80      
Change as percent of current total deck price +55.42 %      
Percent change dropping high/low +44.53 %      

Infect

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Infect Price Change
Card January 1 Price Current Price Copies Total Change
Ichorclaw Myr $1.00 $1.20 4 +$0.80
Noble Hierarch $65.60 $37.00 4 -$114.40
Might of Old Krosa $3.90 $9.30 4 +$23.60
Vines of Vastwood $2.00 $0.90 4 -$4.40
Gitaxian Probe $2.90 $3.50 4 +$2.40
Rancor $1.60 $2.20 2 +$1.20
Inkmoth Nexus $9.30 $27.00 4 +$70.80
Windswept Heath $14.00 $13.50 4 -$2.00
Wooded Foothills $11.60 $14.00 4 +$9.60
Breeding Pool $10.00 $11.40 3 +$4.20
Pendelhaven $5.50 $11.40 2 +9.80
Overgrown Tomb $8.40 $8.50 1 +$0.10
Totals        
Total Incerase/Decrease +$1.70      
Total Dropping High/Low +$45.30      
Change as percent of current total deck price +0.25 %      
Percent change dropping high/low +7.22 &      

Grishoalbrand

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Grishoalbrand Price Change
Card January 1 Price Current Price Copies Total Change
Griselbrand $17.00 $17.00 4 +$0.00
Worldspine Wurm $3.30 $5.80 4 +$10.00
Simian Spirit Guide $2.60 $3.70 4 +$4.40
Borborygmos Enraged $0.60 $1.00 2 +$0.80
Night's Whisper $1.30 $1.30 4 +$0.00
Goryo's Vengence $11.10 $38.50 4 +$109.60
Nourishing Shoal $0.40 $9,70 4 +$37.20
Through the Breach $9.40 $24.70 4 +$61.20
Manamorphose $2.50 $3.50 4 +$1.00
Bloodstained Mire $11.30 $11.00 4 -$1.20
Temple of Malice $3.30 $1.90 4 -$5.60
Blackcleave Cliffs $6.00 $14.50 2 +$17.00
Blood Crypt $7.40 $7.60 2 +$0.40
Totals        
Total Increase/Decrease +$280.84      
Increase Dropping High/Low +$176.84      
Change as percet of total current deck price +57.79 %      
Percent change dropping high/low +29.97 %      
         

Naya Zoo

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Naya Zoo Price Change
Card January 1 Price Current Price Copies Total Change
Knight of the Reliquary $5.00 $5.40 4 +$1.60
Loxodon Smiter $0.90 $2.00 4 +$4.40
Noble Hierarch $65.60 $37.00 4 -$114.40
Qasali Pridemage $1.70 $1.70 3 +$0.00
Tarmogoyf $190.00 $156.20 3 -$101.4
Scavenging Ooze $5.30 $5.70 2 +$1.20
Voice of Resurgence $16.40 $22.60 2 +$12.40
Birds of Paradise $4.00 $4.50 1 +$0.50
Lightning Bolt $1.90 $2.30 4 +$1.60
Path to Exile $5.80 $9.00 4 +$12.80
Collected Company $4.50 $17.50 3 +$39.00
Dromoka's Command $3.40 $6.30 1 +$2.90
Windswept Heath $14.00 $13.50 4 -$2.00
Wooded Foothills $11.50 $14.00 4 +$10.00
Temple Garden $8.60 $8.90 2 +$0.60
Stomping Ground $8.50 $9,10 2 +$1.20
Bloodstained Mire $11.30 $11.00 1 -$0.30
Kessig Wolf Run $1.00 $1.20 1 +$0.20
Sacred Foundry $10.40 $12.60 1 +$2.20
Verdant Catacombs $31.30 $38.90 1 +$7.60
Totals        
Total Increase/Decrease -$119.90      
Total Dropping High/Low -$44.35      
Change as percent of total deck price -9.3 %      
Percent change dropping high/low -4.46 %      

Deck Price Percentage Change

As you can see, the price of a tier one/two Modern deck has increased across the board over the past six month, with the only exception being Naya Zoo which decreased slightly based on significant declines from Noble Hierarch and Tarmogoyf. While it makes sense that decks like Grishoalbrand and Elves increased in price due to the transition from relatively unplayed to top tier, this phenomena is not limited to new, hot decks. Jund, basically synonymous with Modern since the invention of the format, ended up increasing slightly despite the fact that Tarmogoyf, Dark Confidant and Fulminator Mage decreased nearly $300 by themselves. Even with all the reprinting, you still would have been better off buying the deck in January in the middle of MM2 hype knowing full well that several major reprintings were on the way.

Modern Masters 2015 Prices

There is no doubt that MM2 decreased card prices, but here the big picture can be a bit deceiving. Having cards like Tezzeret, the Seeker, Creekwood Liege, and Apoclypse Hydra lose betwen 50 and 75 percent of their pre-reprinting value doesn't have any impact on the price of building a tournament-worthy Modern deck. So instead of focusing on the entirety of MM2 , let's take a look at only reprints that show up in our twelve tier one/two decks and see just how much being reprinted lowered their prices.

MM2 Price Changes - January 1 to Present
Card Percent Change
Spellskite 21.67 %
Lightning Bolt 21.05 %
Splinter Twin -4.34 %
Expedition Map -7.14 %
Dismember -9.09 %
Karn Liberated -15.34 %
Tarmogoyf -17.19 %
Vendilion Clique -18.14 %
Mox Opal -27 %
Etched Champion -32 %
Electrolyze -34.62 %
Blinkmoth Nexus -37.25
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn -37.9 %
Cryptic Command -40 %
Remand -41.66 %
Dark Confidant -42.18 %
Cranial Plating -45 %
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre -47.2 %
Vines of Vastwood -55 %
Eye of Ugin -64.44 %

This chart illuminates the good and bad of Modern Masters 2015. The positive is that almost all of the playable cards are less expensive today than they were on January 1st and many are significantly cheaper. Four-of mythics decreased by between 15 and 25 percent, rares (even four-of rares) decreased by 30 to 40 percent (except for Spellskite, which actually increased slightly in price) and cards that are only played as a one-of dropped by close to 50 percent. The problem is there were just not enough Modern playables printed in the set, which is ironic considering it is called "Modern Masters."

If you look at the breakdown by rarity, less than 50 percent of the mythics from MM2 show up in our sampling of tier one/two decks, along with just over 10 percent of rares, and less than four percent of commons and uncommons. This is compared to the original Modern Masters, which has a lower amount of played mythics (20 percent), but nearly twice as many rares, uncommons and commons which show up in tier one/two decks.

The basic equation is that almost all MM2 staples lost 20 to 50 percent of their value after being reprinted, but the decks these cards are played in increased 25 to 50 percent in price during the same time. All of this together shows that the prices of non-reprinted cards have increased a ton over the past six months. 

At first I thought this might be related to a few specific cards that have increased significantly like Snapcaster Magic, Oblivion Stone and Inkmoth Nexus, but this simply isn't true. If you look at the percentages dropping the biggest gainers/losers, the decks still become more expensive. These are across-the-board, format wide price increases. Just how across the board? Check out this chart showing the percentage of cards in each deck that have increased in price over the past six months.

The Moral of the Story

The moral of the story is that Modern Masters 2015 didn't make Modern any less expensive or more available to the average joe. While it made a handful of tournament staples cheaper (which, to be fair, does create a window for getting some important pieces of deck on the cheap), as a whole it increased the price of the format. 

If Wizards wants to make the format more accessible to a wider audience, the solution isn't reprinting cards more often. A biennial Modern Masters release, supplemental products several times a year, and a quarterly expert expansion is more than enough landing spots for all the cards we need reprinted. The solution isn't even to print more of Modern Masters — the prices of the cards included in the set dropped significantly. The solution is to reprint a wider range of playable cards. 

And here I'm not even talking about chase rares and mythics; these cards will be reprinted, but it is going to be a careful and slow process. As I talked about at length in my article regarding reprint equity, Wizards has a stake in keeping the prices of these cards high and using them wisely to sell sets. This allows them to turn a profit and continue to make more sets, which in turn allows us to keep playing the game, watching great streams, reading great content and shooting for the Pro Tour. 

The embarrassing part of the Modern format is having $14 Inquisition of Kozileks, $10 Might of Old Krosas, $4 Terminates and Simian Spirit Guides, $3 Lava Spikes, Rift Bolts and Ancient Stirrings. These type of cards, for the most part, do not sell sets. An average player isn't going to purchase Battle for Zendikar because Wizards decides to put a situationally better Giant Growth or a strictly worse Lightning Bolt in the set. Even at $10 and $3, Might of Old Krosa and Rift Bolt just are not worth that much to Wizards in regards to reprint equity.

At the same time, if some (or all) of these format and archetype staple commons and uncommons had been included in Modern Masters 2015, we wouldn't be having this conversation about how Modern decks increased in price 25 percent over the past six months. Reprinting the Serum Visions, Heritage Druids and Eternal Witnesses of the world would be enough to counteract the increases in Snapcaster Mage and Liliana of the Veil. Plus, it does it in such a way where buyouts are minimized since it is basically impossible to move the market on an in-print or recently in-print common or uncommon — there is just too much supply available for sharp, sudden spikes. 

Would a significant decrease in the prices of commons, uncommons, and rares cause the chase cards to increase even more? Perhaps, but even if it does, I'm not sure it is a problem. Investing $150 in a Tarmogoyf which is not only playable in several archetypes but is also likely to maintain its value is one thing; spending $100 on a set of Heritage Druids and Ancient Stirrings which are only playable in one deck and are likely to get crushed in value upon reprinting is another.

I believe that printing playable commons, uncommons, and less valuable rares into the ground so that anyone who wants them can have them for $1 per play set is the win-win solution. Wizards gets to manage their reprint equity carefully for the flashy, exciting, set-selling rares and mythic (and keep making huge profits), while Modern gets cheaper so more people can play the format. 

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Leave your thoughts, criticisms, or ideas in the comments and you can always reach me on Twitter (or MTGO) @SaffronOlive. 


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