Conjured Currency #26: RAMPANT SPECULATION (and Organized Play Changes)

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Welcome back, recently christened experts of personal budgeting and finance! Well, experts probably isn’t the word I should use. All I did was recommend three possible methods of categorizing your personal spending and income, but I’m curious to hear if any of those worked for you. Have you started jotting down your transactions into Google Drive? Or did you start doing your own research, and find something that works for you? I was hoping to receive a bit of feedback (positive or negative) on the second part of last week’s article, so hopefully someone somewhere learned something.

Changes in Organized Play

Even though I’ve decided to drop off the competitive scene, I begrudgingly still try to keep up to date on the updates to the Organized Play (OP) system to discern possible financial information heading forward. Even though I only play lower-level paper Magic, keeping up with the changes in things that don’t concern me personally (MTGO and OP) are still relevant to the part of the finance game that I consider myself strong at. If you’re in the same situation as I am, remember to keep up to date with MTGGoldfish.com for updates on Magic Online, and wait for the links on Twitter for information about Organized Play (unless you want to try and navigate the labyrinth of the Wizards home page).

PTStandards

On August 2nd, Wizards of the Coast announced the upcoming schedule for grands prix and pro tours of 2015. One of the biggest glaring omissions in the schedule was a Modern pro tour—every pro tour heading forward for the entire year would be Standard. Seeing as how Standard is the best way to advertise the newest set, and the pro tour is one of the best ways to advertise Standard, it’s understandable as a company that they wanted to make the most of their advertising budget and highlight the newest set as often as possible. Even though it’s a beloved format, Modern doesn’t exactly allow a ton of newcomers from Journey into Nyx or M15 into its clique. However, thanks to the fact that WOTC is slightly better than Hitler and anthrax combined, they decided to make their customers hate them less and change Pro Tour D.C. to Modern.

What Does It Mean?

Well, for starters, it means that WOTC doesn’t hate you. As Helene said, they value your opinion and have proven that they are willing to change their program (and potentially lose a bit on advertising via Standard pro tours) to convince you to lower your pitchforks. It’s also another sign that reinforces a fact that should be obvious: Wizards is not giving up on Modern. It is their lovechild, it is their golden goose, it’s the single largest force to create demand in eternal cards in years. Your Modern collections are safe as a whole, and there’s no reason to fire-sell Modern decks.There are even more Modern grands prix next year than last, and LGS owners have the ability to decide the format of their own PTQ qualifiers.

Yep, that’s right. Pro tour qualifier qualifiers are a thing now. Instead of PTQ invites being a highlander contest, there will be a locally run event where the winner qualifies for a regional PTQ, of which the top X players will score a plane ticket to the big leagues. Due to the fact that store owners get to cherrypick the format for their own PTQQs, the whole concept of “Modern season” or “Standard season” gets thrown out the window. Instead of jumping from Kiki-Pod to RG Aggro because of a season change, a grinder has to lock in those decks for the long haul if he or she plans on attending a large number of PTQQs, since each could be Modern, Standard, or Sealed.

Blocked Out

If you didn’t realize, three Standard PTs and one Modern PT leaves one little format leaving lost and alone on the street like an abandoned puppy. There will be no Block pro tour in 2015. However, unlike the Modern incident, where players showed their addiction to casting Dark Confidant, no one cared enough about Block to see a complete backpedal to the old schedule.

And personally, I’m okay with that. Instead of a crystal ball that shows us which cards will be powerful when their predecessors leave, we have a whole new world to play with, and it will be a lot harder to predict what cards will leave a lasting impact in their second year of play. I think it’ll be more interesting for the average FNM-goer to watch the pro tour if it’s a format they actually know and enjoy, rather then something that will most likely never be relevant to them.

Mystery Prix

If you skimmed down over the list of grand prix locations because you didn’t care and weren’t going to 90 percent of them anyway, then you did what I did. Check out Season 3, on the weekend of May 30-31. Three simultaneous grands prix occurring across multiple continents, almost exactly two years after the release of Modern Masters?

STUFF

I think assuming that Modern Masters 2: Electric Boogaloo will exist is safe now. Wizards saw the results of its experiment with the first set, and deemed that the waters were safe to go full force on a sequel after what happened in 2013. What happened in Vegas will not stay in Vegas.. Unless Wizards decides that they’re allergic to money, proceed from this point forward with the assumption that Modern Masters 2 will exist, and will be in players’ hands earlier than May 30, 2015.

What’s In It?

The first Modern Masters contained cards spanning from Eighth Edition (2003) to Alara Reborn (2009). For those of us who have been playing a while, it’s kind of shocking to realize that almost the same amount of time from Zendikar to Khans of Tarkir will have passed that did between Eighth and Alara. As such, the Zendikar fetches are looking like prime reprint candidates for the set, most likely as rares. After printing the enemy cycle of pain lands in M15, it seems unlikely that an immediate followup of enemy fetchlands in Khans will happen. If we get fetches in Khans, they’ll be Onslaught allied ones, which leaves Zendikar reprints in MMA2.

I’m starting to go down the rabbit hole a bit here, but could Zendikar fetches aid in a landfall-themed environment for Modern Masters 2? Landfall was widely received as a great Limited mechanic, much like suspend helped hold together the first Modern Masters. If we have a landfall-themed Modern Masters 2, what are some of the reprints that we could expect from between Zendikar and current day?

Scapeshift

scapeshift

Cornerstone of a competitive Modern deck? Check. Price has been steadily increasing over the past year? Check. No prior reprints? Check. Land-themed to potentially help with landfall? Check. If you’re holding onto any Scapeshifts and don’t plan on jamming them into a deck, I recommend starting to look into selling/trading them off in the near future in search of greener pastures.

Birthing Pod

pod

This is the card in Magic that has given me the most euphoria and the most stress. Every banned and restricted announcement is a heart attack waiting to happen to hear if my cardboard lover has received the cold text of the executioner. All drama aside, you should probably trade/sell these off before the card gets banned/reprinted. Yes, it’s weird and hard to reprint Phyrexian mana, but stranger things have happened.

Celestial Colonnade and friends

celcol

Would it be weird and awkward for Limited purposes to have both Zendikar fetches and Worldwake manlands in the same set together? Yeah, probably. However, if MM2 doesn’t have fetches for whatever reason, these are the most likely runner-up.

Goblin Guide

 goblinguide

See Scapeshift reasons. Literally, all of them.

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite and friends

eleshnorn

If we’re going by the assumption that we’ll get a cycle of legendary mythics (SO MANY ASSUMPTIONS), I don’t think the praetors are a bad place to start. Norn has seen quite a bit of love from EDH/eternal players alike, and most of her friends are casual all-stars as well. Then again, Norn did just get that absolutely gorgeous judge foil…

Spellskite

spellskite

Same as Birthing Pod. Phyrexian mana is hard to reprint, but if the mechanic gets the green light, I can see them throwing as many reprints as possible that don’t destroy the Limited format with free spells. This might be their only chance for a long while to prevent the 0/4 lifesaver to stop growing into Fulminator Mage territory down the road.

Liliana of the Veil

lilianaoftv

With Vess hanging around in Standard for the next year, it’s safe to say that’s not where this $60 damsel will be making her reprint appearance. She’s definitely had enough time in the spotlight with a single printing to the point where another wave of copies would be expected, and I don’t think something like a Commander product would be appropriate for the multi-format winner.

Mox Opal

moxopal

Progenitus wasn’t exactly reprinted for the sake of its Limited format, and I don’t think this would be either. This is more of a safety valve reprint instead of a casual “WOW” reprint, but there feels like a ton of risk in holding onto something like this, even if it would be a dud in Limited.

Just to Be Clear

Just as a reminder, my recommendation is not to immediately fire-sell all of your Modern cards that could potentially be reprinted. The entire point of Modern is to be able to reprint these cards, get them into the hands of players, and jam games in a fun, diverse environment. I’m just trying to pick some of the tallest growing money trees that Wizards could have their eyes on trimming. I don’t expect a situation like Cryptic Command or Dark Confidant, where the low print run is overrun by the hunger and demand for the cards. If Modern Masters 2 comes true, the printing presses will be on full blast, and the value of the reprinted cards will drop as a whole. If you currently run your Goblin Guides or Liliana of the Veils in your only Modern deck, don’t just dump the deck because of a potential reprint. I just think holding onto extra copies is a risky decision financially.

Even if every single assumption here is wildly incorrect, I think it will be fun to look back at this article around May of next year to see where things went wrong and why. If I’m hitting the nail on the head with my predictions, then I get to yell and scream, “I TOLD YOU SO!!!” to everyone (not really). It seems that rampant speculation articles get the most controversial discussions rolling, so let’s see if this one is any different. Let me know in the comments section or via social media whether you hate me for being bored by Block, or if I’m insane for thinking Modern Masters 2 is now all but a guaranteed event in our future. Thanks for reading!

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Douglas Johnson

@Rose0fthorns     -     Email     -     Articles
Douglas Johnson is a 20-year-old MTG player who goes to college courtesy of a scholarship from Gamers Helping Gamers. He is currently found writing a weekly finance column at MTGprice.com, and you can always feel free to contact him on Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit.
Douglas Johnson

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5 comments

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    • Will on August 14, 2014 at 3:16 pm
    • Reply

    Good list of possible reprints in MM2! Feel like Noble Hierarch could also be a possibility (all conjecture at this point of course)

    1. I’m not disagreeing entirely (all speculation, of course), but if you think they’ll include Alara Reborn stuff again, how far back do you think the set will go in terms of reprints? It’d be extremely difficult to stretch a coherent set together spanning from Mirrodin to Theros.

        • Will on August 14, 2014 at 3:31 pm
        • Reply

        I just feel they wont bind themselves to how far back/forward they will go when there are so many cards making the barrier of entry for modern high in terms of cost that are so easily reprinted. But who knows!

    • Anth on August 14, 2014 at 11:09 pm
    • Reply

    I think that Mirrodin to Scars is open for reprint. If something is needed to be reprinted in the early blocks of modern then there is no reason to assume it won’t be included.

    I wonder what mechanics/synergies well see for drafting. Maybe metalcraft/exalted etc.

    1. My logic was that they might want the set to have a different Limited “feel” to it, and it might just feel too similar to the original Modern Masters if we saw a bunch of the same stuff from old Mirrodin.

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