Left Behind

Chas takes a look at the eligible cards that didn’t make it into Modern Masters & tells you which ones might be coming back & which ones you should pick up before it’s too late.

I’ve written about 15,000 words about Modern Masters, and there isn’t much left to say. This article will go up right after Grand Prix Las Vegas dumped an additional 25,000 or so packs into the marketplace, but I don’t think this will tip the needle much. It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of thousands of packs opened two weeks ago. The time to buy Modern Masters cards is still right now.

But what of the cards that didn’t make it into Modern Masters? Those format staples from Eighth Edition through Alara Reborn that were left out of the set? Are we destined for $40 Flooded Groves and $90 Damnations? Thoughtseize jumped from $60 to $75 this week—is this your last chance to buy in?

This week, I’m going to talk about the cards that were left behind. Focusing only on the sets eligible for reprint in Modern Masters and ignoring the cards that made it into the expansion, I’m going to take a look at which spells might be coming back to packs near you and which cards you should pick up before it’s too late.

I’m going to categorize cards in one of four ways:

Modern Staples are cards that see a significant amount of play in Modern, either as regular role players in a single deck or role players in multiple decks.

Fringe Cards show up in Modern from time to time.

Popular Casual Cards are the most expensive four or five casual cards in a set that didn’t show up in Modern Masters.

Banned Cards were not reprinted in Modern Masters because they are currently banned in the format.

Got it? Let’s make some lists!

Eighth Edition

Wrath of God is an intriguing pickup. It saw enough play last season to be considered a format staple, but the price will forever be limited due to the fact that 99% of the time it is functionally identical to Day of Judgment, a card that is significantly cheaper. I could see it hitting $10, but I doubt it’ll move past that.

The Eighth Edition copies the Urzatron lands recently jumped from $1 to $1.50, and they could hit $2 at some point soon due to the popularity of the deck. They’ve been in so many sets over the years, though, that I doubt they could go any higher than that.

Ensnaring Bridge is $10 now, but that price jump is fairly recent. It did see a little bit of play last season in B/R Burn decks, but aside from that it is hasn’t really made a splash in Modern. I doubt we’ll see it printed again anytime soon since it encourages the sort of long, drawn-out games that Wizards doesn’t like to support anymore.


Interestingly enough, it looks like the developers of Modern Masters ignored Tron decks almost entirely. I don’t really know why considering they’ve been good since the earliest days of the format, but perhaps they had fallen out of favor while the set was being developed. Regardless, Oblivion Stone was actually a recent addition to the deck which probably explains why it was left out. An older staple that’s popular with both casual and tournament players, I could see this $12 card hitting $15-$18 next season.

Sylvan Scrying is a more glaring omission from Modern Masters, enough to make me curious if it’ll be reprinted in M14. If not, this $4 uncommon should start trading at $5+. Demand was very high last season.

Honestly, I think that Modern Masters nailed the rare slot while leaving out many quality uncommons that I was shocked didn’t make the cut. Sylvan Scrying, Remand, Aven Mindcensor—these cards have already started to climb due to Modern Masters omission, and they have nowhere to go but up over the next year or so.


Arcbound Ravager, Blinkmoth Nexus, Skullclamp, Aether Vial, and both Swords are the standout tournament cards from Darksteel. With one of them banned and the other five appearing in Modern Masters, there’s not much else one could have reasonably hoped for in the set. Wizards nailed this one.

Fifth Dawn

There are quite a few cards from Fifth Dawn that deserved an appearance in Modern Masters. Chief among them are two commons—Serum Visions and Cranial Plating—that act as backbones of the format. I can’t see either getting reprinted any time soon, so feel free to pick them up whenever you can—they’ll trade well next season. Auriok Champion is a better candidate for reprinting, and I wouldn’t be shocked if we see it in M14. Otherwise, she will break $15 next season if she continues to see play.

Steelshaper’s Gift is an outstanding tutor that gets better with each piece of equipment printed. I wouldn’t be shocked to eventually see this hit $10+ like Enlightened Tutor before it. Crucible of Worlds is more of a Legacy and Commander card—it’s not as good without Wasteland around—which is probably why it didn’t make the cut for Modern Masters. I don’t see this one rising in price anytime soon. If it does, it won’t be because of Modern.

Champions of Kamigawa

One might argue that too many Champions of Kamigawa cards made it into Modern Masters—Jugan says hello!—but they were certainly thorough in reprinting all of the useful Modern cards in the set. Through the Breach was a trendy pick to give Modern a Sneak Attack effect a few years back, but it never really panned out. Ghostly Prison shows up occasionally, but it was recently reprinted in the Commander precons.  

Betrayers of Kamigawa

Threads of Disloyalty sees a good amount of play in Modern and was a surprising omission from the set. Perhaps it was left out because it is rarely a maindeck card, instead showing up in the sideboard of several different blue-based brews. It’s up to $7 now and could hit $10-$12 next season. Disrupting Shoal and Goryo’s Vengeance are two cards that have seen play in Modern before but didn’t do anything last season. They’re worth monitoring but not worth picking up unless that changes.

Saviors of Kamigawa

Saviors of Kamigawa is easily the worst set in the Modern format. Kataki, War’s Wage made it into Modern Masters, and none of the other cards here are likely to ever make an impact in tournament play.

Ninth Edition

This set is fairly similar to Eighth Edition with a few notable exceptions. The only one that matters in Modern is Sleight of Hand, but with Eggs leaving the format (or at least radically changing), I suspect demand on this card will be lower next season. It is still played in Splinter Twin decks, though, so I’d expect the price to stay in the $3 range.

Ravnica: City of Guilds

I’m not surprised Birds of Paradise didn’t make the cut in Modern Masters—the card has been reprinted so many times that the world doesn’t really need another couple thousand copies. The other two staples were surprising omissions, though. I don’t see Chord of Calling or Remand showing up in Standard again, and both see a lot of Modern play. Perhaps the other shoe will drop at some point, but until then Remand will start to climb towards $15.

Chord, meanwhile, is already at $15. It’s a great casual card too, and I could see it hitting $20 or $25 as one of the crucial and expensive pieces of the Pod deck. This is a reasonable pickup for next season.

Cloudstone Curio hasn’t seen any Modern play yet, but if the Beck // Call deck ends up working out, I’d expect the Curio to be right there in the mix.


Other than the shocklands and Electrolyze, this set lacks in Eternal playability. Angel and Shattering Spree show up now and again, but neither are great spec targets.


Dissension is actually a pretty good set, but there aren’t many cards worth thinking about for the purposes of this article. Proclamation of Rebirth and Infernal Tutor are better in other formats. The shocklands are in Standard. Ghost Quarter was in Innistrad. Spell Snare and Trygon Predator were in Modern Masters. That’s…pretty much the end of Dissension.


Without Sensei’s Divining Top to fuel its shenanigans, Counterbalance sees no play in Modern. Braid of Fire might become broken in the future, but in the meantime it’s a powerful card without a home. Martyr of Sands has fallen out of favor.

Time Spiral

Many of you might be unaware of the fact that Might of Old Krosa has become a full-fledged tournament staple, but it has. Featured in many of the winning Infect decks, the card has hit a $4 retail price and should trade well next season. Other than that, the rest of the good cards in this set were featured in Modern Masters, reprinted, banned, or are better in casual play.

 Planar Chaos

Neither of the two best-known cards from Planar Chaos showed up in Modern Masters. In the case of Urborg, the card had recently appeared in a From the Vaults set. Damnation is the more glaring omission, of course—a $30 card that has no hope of being reprinted in Standard left on the sidelines.

I suspect part of the reason for this was Wizards’ insistence that the color-shifted cards be more or less left alone. This is the sort of effect that R&D wants white to have, not black. I’m pretty sure Damnation couldn’t have been ignored if it were showing up in more winning decks, but in the current Modern metagame it doesn’t see all that much play. You’re probably good to build a Modern collection without Damnations for now, but if it does start to see more play, it’ll be a $50 card overnight. Keep an eye on things.

Future Sight

Modern Masters has a ton of Future Sight cards in it, but that goes to show you how stacked this set was. Aven Mindcensor was one of Modern Masters’ biggest omissions, one that pushed the little Bird Wizard up to $10. Considering how many decks it fits in—Pod, Geist, Control, Naya, Tokens—I expect this price tag to hold up over the long term.

I’m guessing the G/W Auras deck was just hitting the scene when Modern Masters was being developed because many of the cards from that archetype are on this list. Luckily, most of those cards—especially Daybreak Coronet—are useless outside of that one deck. The price will only go up if demand for that deck starts to rise.

Grove of the Burnwillows and Dryad Arbor were probably left out of Modern Masters because, like Urborg, they had just appeared in From the Vault: Realms.

Tenth Edition

Tenth Edition didn’t bring us many new goodies for Modern as many of the better reprints came from Modern legal sets. Shivan Reef shows up in U/R decks sometimes, but most of the other painlands don’t see play in Modern at all.


Thoughtseize is a glaringly obvious omission, and it will be corrected shortly. There is a strong rumor going around that it will be reprinted in M14, and I believe it. If it isn’t in M14, it’ll be in Theros for sure. I expect Thoughtseize to be a regular rare—not a mythic—meaning it will settle in the $30 range. Please do not pay $75 for this card right now.

Gaddock Teeg is a nice little spec target, though. It’s a very good card and has a strong price memory at $5, meaning you can probably pick them up at a discount. I like it as a buy. Springleaf Drum is a great Affinity card that you can sometimes still find in bulk bins. Stock up on them now.


Mutavault will be a rare in M14, dropping the price from $35 into the $20-$30 range. Scapeshift is in the same book as Daybreak Coronet—if the deck stays good and popular, it could hit $15-$20. Otherwise, it should stay in the $8-$10 range.

I’m calling Heritage Druid a fringe card even though it didn’t do anything last season because I do expect people will want to try out the Beck // Call deck. For now, it’s more of a Legacy card. Other than these, there’s not much to worry about. Morningtide has always been more of a top-heavy set.


The filterlands are rumored to be coming back in Theros block. I can certainly see this happening, but I also suspect they might go with a new group of dual lands this year so that the filterlands show up in fall of 2015. The secondary market prices on these aren’t too high, and there are lots of alternatives, so there’s no pressing need to reprint them right now. If the rumors of a leak are true, though, you’ll see these again starting in the fall.

Fulminator Mage and Prismatic Omen weren’t Modern staples until late last season, which is probably why they were omitted. It’s interesting to me that no banned cards showed up in the set nor did any that were recently unbanned. I think Wizards wanted to avoid any cards that they thought might be anywhere near being banned in order to prevent disappointment in opening a Modern Masters pack and finding a card that you couldn’t play in the format.


Eventide was a great set from a casual perspective, but other than the filterlands there wasn’t much for Modern here. While these are significantly pricier than the Shadowmoor variants, I still don’t think they have much room to grow. As I said earlier, these will likely be back in the fall or worst-case fall 2015. Hold off buying if you can.

Shards of Alara

Ajundi showed up long after Modern Masters had been put to bed, so its signature card never had a chance of making the set. Luckily, the card was both the Prerelease and release foil for Shards of Alara. It was also in a Duel Deck. The point is that there are a ton of these going around, and the price is severely limited by that. It might hit $12, but I couldn’t see it going much higher.


Most people I talked to about Noble Hierarch thought it missed the Modern Masters cut because Deathrite Shaman had more or less replaced it in a bunch of decks. That isn’t really true—Noble Hierarch saw a ton of play all the way up to the end of last season. I also don’t know where or when it’ll be reprinted—exalted and tapping for Bant mana aren’t really core set things, and it’ll be hard to fit it in a fall set as well. I would say that they held it back (along with Crucible of Worlds) because of the recent judge foil, but that didn’t stop them printing either of the Swords.

I do think they’ll find a way to bring Noble Hierarch back, but I can’t see what it is right now. In the meantime, it might be worth picking a few of these up just in case.

Alara Reborn

Alara Reborn is filled with expensive Commander cards, but with Maelstrom Pulse being reprinted and Bloodbraid Elf banned, there isn’t much to say about it here.

This Week’s Trends

– Thanks to Theros speculation, a bunch of people are trying to make Didgeridoo an expensive card. These sorts of things never work out. Even though some people are listing them at $7-$8, you can still find them easily for $4 and the highest buylist price is still just $1. Don’t believe the hype. Stay away.

Coalition Relic is making a move as well. As of this writing, they’re still easy enough to find at $3-$4, but people are trying to make this an $8-$10 casual card. There’s a better shot for this to occur than Didgeridoo—the card is actually good—but this is still very artificial price manipulation. Stay out until you see if the bubble bursts or not.

– People are attempting these buyouts on Legends cards right now, too: Living Plane, Ragnar, and more. Again, I urge you to stay away from all this nonsense.

Until next week –

– Chas Andres