Global Team Spirit
The 2016 World Magic Cup is in the books and it has been a great celebration of magical diversity.
The 2016 World Magic Cup is in the books and it has been a great celebration of magical diversity. The Top8 and even the Top16 were filled with teams from smaller countries – small in actual population size as well as in Magic player numbers. Last weekend wasn't about the titans of the game whom you expect to see at the Pro Tour top tables, it was about team spirit, friendship and representing your local Magic community.
The format was Team Unified Modern, allowing only 4 copies of every card (besides basic lands) divided over all three decks. Despite Modern being a large format by now this still puts some constraints on the playable deck combinations. Fetchlands, shocklands, Lightning Bolt, Path to Exile, and other staples can easily create overlaps between on the surface very different archetypes. Infect and Affinity share Inkmoth Nexus as an essential card, denying the ability to play both archetypes on a team. The same is true for various other cards, especially colorless sideboard cards. Once they found various legal combinations, the teams probably tried to find the best setup in this more narrow and more predictable field. With higher odds of not facing decks with the correct answers, straight forward strategies like Dredge and Infect were popular choices, but another aggressive deck may have been the most successful deck of the weekend. This information can't really be extracted from the results of the teams, as the wins of specific players/decks were not recorded, but teams with Kiln Fiend decks did exceptionally well in various metrics.
I had this deck on my radar for a while already, but didn't write about it because it isn't exciting from a financial perspective. Kiln Fiend has been printed three times as a common already, with the last reprint in Conspiracy: Take the Crown being very recently. Most of the other cards are very cheap as well, turning the deck into an exciting entry point for new Modern players, instead of a great investment enabler.
I have already written about Thing in the Ice / Awoken Horror and Bedlam Reveler multiple times in the past. They are great cards and will show up again and again in spell-heavy Modern and Legacy decks in the future. Therefore they should provide great long-term value, but if you aren't playing them at the moment, picking them up when they rotate out of Standard might be even better than now.
Spirebluff Canal is obviously a perfect fit for that deck. The most desired new fast land continues to outsell the other variants despite costing more than double their price, beating even Smuggler's Copter both in number of sales and current price by now!
Bant Eldrazi was very successful as well. Noble Hierarch has been gaining value in recent months and that is not going to change any time soon. Cavern of Souls is currently on a small downward trend after going up for years. Players expect Cavern to be reprinted in the next Modern Masters set, but there have also been rumors that it didn't make the list. If it won't be reprinted the current (and maybe continuing) weakness of the price offers a high risk / high reward scenario. Imagine it dropping down to 40€ before MM17, and then not getting reprinted. This is the kind of card that can instantly jump to 60€ or more in response.
If you are playing the card, just hold it. You will always want it in various Modern and Legacy decks.
The rest of the format looked like usual. Seven out of the Top16 teams played Dredge, and there was graveyard hate in basically every sideboard. With demand for graveyard removal this high, you might want to look into selling your copies of Leyline of the Void, Grafdigger's Cage, Rest in Peace and so on.
What will you be playing in Modern at MKMS Prague this weekend?