Birds of Paradise
Magic: the Gathering blog, top decks, strategy, and more.
July 2, 2013

Modern Madness

I realized a little while ago that a big part of the total Magic experience is building your collection. Playing Magic is a lot of fun (it is my favorite game after all), but at least for me, I enjoy the collecting aspect just as much.

The recent release of Modern Masters got me thinking about the Modern format. The very existence of the set proves Wizards is serious about building the format. I truly believe in Modern because as I described, here when the format was announced, it's truly in both Wizards' and the players' best interest to have an eternal format where reprints keep tournament staples reasonably priced. That being said, you certainly don't have to worry about the value of your Modern cards plummeting in a Chronicles-like price crash. In fact, because of increased demand, Tarmogoyf is still at $150, all most double it's price when I wrote the first article two years ago. Sounds like a recipe for Modern Masters 2?

Why the increased demand for Modern? Let me give you an example.

The group of guys I irregularly play Magic with, because of Modern Masters, started talking about Modern, then eventually about putting some decks together. This was kind of a big deal because the kind of decks we normally play could only be described as "casual".

A few days later I was over at Neil's house watching the kids while the girls were out, and he busted out out a fully stocked, no proxies, tier 1, Modern Melira Pod deck. To help put this in context, I think the last constructed game Neil and I played involved Mijae Djinns and Spike Drones. So naturally, I started thinking about getting my own Modern deck.

At first I didn't think it would be worth the investment, mainly because I wouldn't play enough for it to be worth it; this year I've probably averaged less then ten games of Magic a month, but I told Neil that I'd start thinking about it. Not long after that he emailed me: "Okay, so Modern merfolk... It's not tier 1, but it looks really strong and could be fun." Modern Merfolk? When I fist saw Master of the Pearl Trident that is exactly what I thought... but I don't know. He continued, "The only really expensive part of the deck right now is Mutavault, and it's getting reprinted at Rare in M14". Well, that did sound interesting, so I checked out a few Modern Merfolk lists, and noticed that both Aether Vial and Kira, Great Glass-Spinner were reprinted in Modern Masters. Now here's the weird part: because of the reprints, I decided to buy the deck. I'm not sure why, but I didn't want to let the very first Modern Masters set pass me by without picking up some cards, and a full set of Aether Vials seemed like a fine "investment" or "collection piece", and of course, if I'm going to spend $50 for the vials, why not spend another $100 for a very playable Modern deck, something I always vaguely wanted anyway?

I drove to the new CoolStuff near my house, bought every single card in the decklist and some new sleeves, and just like that, I now play Modern.

I'm already thinking about investing in some shocklands and potentially converting my Garruk vs Lilianna duel decks to respectable Modern decks, and of course I'm keeping an eye on the price of Mutavault. It's fun to be a part of a real Magic format. I won't be conquering any PTQs any time soon, but it's fun to play with friends, and I might find a Modern FNM to go to every now and then. That's the beauty of the eternal formats. I don't have to play now. I can play my Merfolk deck in sanctioned tournaments tomorrow, next year, or ten years from now. With a reasonably priced eternal format, I could actually see myself investing slowly over years and building up a nice collection of legit decks and staple cards. I daresay Modern is the future.

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