Modern for the Masses
- Dr. Hans Joachim Höh
Will MM17 be able to grow the already most popular format even further?
Modern Masters 2017 is the best Masters set so far, there is no way to argue otherwise, but what does that mean for a player trying to keep their magical costs reasonable via smart trading?
MM17 can help you get into Modern or expand your options, allowing you to build more different Modern decks. Which path should you take toward those goals though? Should you buy boosters, boxes, cases, or single cards?
In most cases players should aim to buy single cards, unless they don't own very many Modern cards yet, but are eager to fully get into the format and are open to spend thousands of Euro to do so. In that rare case, MM17 is really great for you (especially in comparison to MM15). If you don't own Tarmogoyf, Liliana of the Veil, Cavern of Souls, Snapcaster Mage or any of the enemy fetchlands, you probably still need a lot of other cards from the set as well. The opening or drafting of every single pack would feel wonderful for you, as Stony Silence and Inquisition of Kozilek still are worth more to you than just duplicate cards you need to sell again for value or to be used as trade fodder. Therefore opening cases is the way to go for the archetype of the wealthy player returning to the game after a hiatus or a Standard player deciding to buy into Modern in one fell swoop.
Most players will not fall into that category though. If you already own lots of Modern cards, but would like access to more decks, buying single cards is clearly the best method. Tarmogoyfs can open up a whole new set of creature decks for you, Snapcaster Mage can allow you to play various control variants. Maybe you just want to finally have access to the correct fetchlands for your favorite deck, which you were already playing with sub-optimal fetchlands from Khans of Tarkir before.
If you are short on some of the reprinted (un-)commons like Path to Exile, a mixed strategy could work fine as well. Use one or two displays to draft with your friends and decide which singles you want to get after knowing what you already received from those drafts. Keep in mind that a lot of value is allocated to the rare slot this time, causing a much more even value distribution between displays than the the high variance one you might remember from MM15.
Either way there is one important thing to keep in mind. If you are opening product yourself, you want to open it as soon as possible and sell off your unwanted cards immediately. Why? Because there is no such thing as a set with contents that are more valuable than the display price. The value always evens out in the mid term. This is a great set with lots of valuable reprints, but given that various signs point towards a huge print run, all the card prices will come down. All the singles will become cheaper once players start opening and listing cards and the display prices will fall with them. Depending on the size of the print run unopened boxes and a few single cards could become more expensive in a few years again, but not in the immediate future.
This means that you have to act fast if you are opening and selling, but can take your time if you are looking to pick up cheap singles from MM17. I understand that it might be tough to stay patient, after finally seeing those sweet reprints on the horizon.
What are your concrete plans regarding MM17 and what is your reasoning?
Please, share your thoughts with us!