Modern Horizons Financial Set Review, Part 2

More cards, more prices, more observations! Should The First Sliver be one of the most expensive cards in the set? Should Plague Engineer be one of the cheapest rares? Those and more, plus This Week’s Trends!

It has come to my attention that some people don’t think that Modern Horizons is as exciting a set as I do.

I get it. If you were expecting Modern Horizons to print a broken card or three for all of Modern’s existing top decks, you’re probably not all that happy right now. Most of the best cards we’ve seen so far look more like role-players in existing decks or flagship cards for decks that may or may not ever exist yet. Combine that with the fact that the most-hyped cards in the set are clearly aimed at Commander players, and you end up with the recipe for a lot of internet nay-saying.

It’s certainly possible that Modern Horizons will go down in history as a big ol’ bust. Wizards of the Coast has certainly taken a more conservative approach to designing it than some people had expected, with cards like Counterspell and Force of Will being left out. Long term, though, I think this is a good thing. If Modern Horizons only ends up introducing a dozen new staples and a two dozen more role-players, the set has done a good job. If it ends up making half of all Tier 1 decks suddenly unplayable, then we’d be looking at anxiety and chaos among the player base as people cope with the fact that the deck they just dropped $1,000 on is no longer good. Avoiding that reality at all costs seems like the smart move.

But again, WotC choosing not to upset the apple cart isn’t a great way to make a set that looks exciting at first glance. And this problem is only exacerbated by the fact that most of us are constantly comparing Modern Horizons to a set like Modern Masters 2017.

It was pretty easy to tell how good Modern Masters 2017 was during its preview season, because it only had cards that were known quantities in Modern. That’s not true for Modern Horizons, which is full of cards like Wrenn and Six. Wrenn and Six might end up spawning a brand-new Tier 1 deck, or it might end up falling flat on its face. We just don’t know yet.

I’ve evaluated a lot of sets in my lifetime, and as of now I feel like Modern Horizons is likely to hit the sweet spot of “very impactful but not overwhelmingly so.” The Horizon lands are going to make a larger impact than most people seem to think right now and having an amazing set of rare lands in your expansion is almost enough to make it worthwhile by itself.

Beyond that, there are quite a few other cards that people seem to be sleeping on so far. Make sure you check out Part 1 of my Modern Horizons set review if you haven’t done so yet, and then check out what I have to say about the cards that have been revealed over the past few days.

Mythic Rares

The First Sliver – $45

It’s a little wild that the most expensive card in Modern Horizons right now is probably not going to see much Modern play, but Slivers is one of the most popular casual tribes of all time and its five-color lords tend to be very, very expensive. Sliver Hivelord is sold out at $40, Sliver Overlord is sold out at $45, Sliver Legion is sold out at $110, and Reserved List card Sliver Queen is sold out at $150.

Granted, a lot of these price spikes are recent. Sliver Hivelord was a $15 card to start 2019, and Sliver Overlord was $15 just a few days ago. A lot of speculators are betting big on The First Sliver (as well as the other Slivers in Modern Horizons) causing a run on casual Sliver staples.

They’re probably right, too. The First Sliver debuted at $40 and sold well enough that Star City Games decided to raise the price. As of this writing, The First Sliver is sold out at $45 as well and there’s a shot it hits $50 before this article is published. It’s not speculators buying those copies, either. It’s Commander and kitchen table mages.

You can snag The First Sliver for $45 now if you want – eventually, it’ll probably end up back in the $40-$50 range – but I suspect it’ll end up bottoming out around $25-$30 in a couple of months once Modern Horizons has been on store shelves for a while. The card is great, and it’s going to have a casual audience forever, but the overall pack EV is a little too high right now, so some deflation is necessary. If you’re willing to hold off a bit, you should be rewarded.

What about The First Sliver in Modern? Well, there is actually a Modern Slivers deck, though it hasn’t had a high finish in a while. Check it out:

I can certainly imagine this deck running a copy or two of The First Sliver, since cascade is such a powerful ability. It probably wants Cloudshredder Sliver, too – more on that card a bit later. I’m not sure I can recommend speculating on any of these cards at this point, though – whether it was a leak (likely based on what happened, though I have no evidence) or just a lot of solid guesswork, most of the best Slivers and Sliver-related cards began spiking in price about a month ago, around the same time as the best snow mana cards. Sliver Hive, for example, started to surge in price back in late April. Many of the other good Slivers, both for Modern and causal play, have doubled or tripled in price over the past couple of days. Galerider Sliver would have been a solid pick-up at last week’s retail price of $5, but the card is hard to find for under $12-$13 right now, which feels like a bit much.

Should you sell your Slivers into the hype? Absolutely. The deck is unlikely to break into Modern’s top tier, and casual demand is only going to remain as high as it is right now for another month or so. I don’t think any of these cards will crash or anything, but you should still take advantage of the bull market for Slivers while you can.

Unbound Flourishing – $40

I get the “It’s Doubling Season but for X-spells!” hype for Unbound Flourishing, but I suspect that this card will end up being a lot less popular than its counterpart. For one thing, X-spells are a lot less popular among casual and Commander players than cards that use counters. For another, this card doesn’t actually double the value for X on nonpermanent spells – it just gives you an additional target, which is a lot less exciting.

I’m not saying that Unbound Flourishing won’t have a home in Commander – it will. Rosheen Meanderer decks are about to surge in popularity once people start opening this card, and Unbound Flourishing also combines super well with cards like Hydra Broodmaster, Villainous Wealth, and Torment of Hailfire. The best spec here is probably foil copies of Rosheen Meanderer, which are still dirt cheap thanks to a reprint at uncommon in Iconic Masters. I suspect you’ll find plenty of demand for your copies over the next few months, and that sub-$1 price won’t last more than another couple of days.

The other card that’s rising due to Unbound Flourishing is Helix Pinnacle, which is up about $6 this week so far. Expect that trend to continue – the card isn’t very competitive, even in Commander, but it was only printed once (back in Eventide) and it’s the sort of fun casual card that’s necessary in a Commander deck like Rosheen. $30+ isn’t out of the question here.

Unbound Flourishing itself won’t remain a $40 card for long, though. This isn’t enough of a universal Commander staple to stay above $20 or so. Some of the cards in Modern Horizons must drop value from current retail, and this feels like one of the most likely candidates to me right now.

Might that forecast change if Unbound Flourishing ends up making waves in Modern? Sure, but I don’t see that outcome being particularly likely. At first glance, it appears to combo best with Walking Ballista and Magus of the Candelabra, so those two cards seem like the best specs for anyone who thinks that Unbound Flourishing has competitive legs. I don’t buy it yet, but if I start to see any rumblings about Unbound Flourishing decks showing up on my Twitter feed or in the Magic Online 5-0 reports, those are the cards that I’ll look at first.

Wrenn and Six – $40

Finally – a card that’s likely to become a Modern staple!

The only issue I have with Wrenn and Six is that they don’t really slot into any of Modern’s powerful existing decks. Life from the Loam sees most of its play in Dredge right now, and I don’t think Dredge wants this. Wrenn and Six might make the occasional appearance in Jund, but that deck has a pretty tight card list already and Wrenn and Six has a pretty narrow ability.

Does that mean that I’m down on this two-mana planeswalker? Heck no! Wrenn and Six are oozing with raw power, and I have to believe that it’ll show up in at least one good deck. Tom Ross had some good ideas in his preview article last week, though his decklist was for Legacy, not Modern.

Even though I’m bullish on Wrenn and Six, I’m probably not going to buy in at $40. There’s $80+ upside here – that’s what the best Modern staple planeswalkers are worth – but the downside is real, too. This card will be $7-$8 if it doesn’t find a competitive home, and that’s not the kind of risk I like to take.

Instead, I recommend snapping up a few sets of Crucible of Worlds. Even though Wrenn and Six are kind of like a two-mana Crucible (seriously – this planeswalker is very good), the decks that run Wrenn and Six will want to run Crucible as well. And even if they don’t, Crucible is already in the middle of its post-reprint price jump. The reward there isn’t nearly as great, but the risk is almost nonexistent.

If you want other potential spec targets, check out foil copies of Raven’s Crime and Flame Jab. These cards have a shot of ending up in some sort of Loam-based Wrenn and Six deck, and foil copies are very cheap right now. Again, there isn’t a ton of upside here, but the risk is quite low.

Mox Tantalite – $30

I figured I’d have a lot to say about a brand-new Mox, but I really don’t. Mox Tantalite probably would have been absurd with suspend 2, but it seems near-unplayable with a suspend cost of 3.

Those of us who have played with the Moxen and Black Lotus a decent amount in Cube or Vintage know just how much more powerful Black Lotus is in almost every situation, yet Mox Tantalite has the same suspend cost as Lotus Bloom. Lotus Bloom sees almost no Modern play as it is, and I can’t imagine there’s a good deck out there that wants to run this card instead.

Casual demand should keep Mox Tantalite in the $10-$15 range – it’s a solid enough card in Commander – but there’s no way I’m buying this one at $30. I’d rather spend that cash on a Horizon land, which is going to be a Modern staple for years to come.

Ranger-Captain of Eos – $25

Ranger-Captain of Eos looks incredibly powerful to me. A 3/3 creature that draws you a useful card when it enters the battlefield (Serra Ascendant? Martyr of Sands? Giver of Runes?) while also providing you with a turn of useful disruption against combo or control? Yeah, this creature is going to be a format staple for sure.

At the very least, Ranger-Captain of Eos will slot nicely into Mono-White Martyr. Check out this list, and it’ll be clear why Ranger-Captain of Eos is going to give decks like it a massive boost:

Mono-White Martyr is one of the better budget decks in Modern, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of its staples start to increase in price as more people buy in. Serra Ascendant and Ranger of Eos are probably the two best targets here, followed by Proclamation of Rebirth and Flagstones of Trokair. All these cards are solid long-term bets regardless, so buying in now is safe and fairly risk-free.

Ranger-Captain of Eos also looks like a solid potential addition to Counters Company. The three-mana slot is very competitive in decks like this, but take a look and tell me that you wouldn’t want at least two or three of these:

What’s the best spec here? Well, just like with Mono-White Martyr, most of these cards are at or near their short-term lows. Noble Hierarch, Knight of the Reliquary, Chord of Calling, and Collected Company all seem like solid pickups at current retail. Best case, you’re buying in on a future top Modern archetype near the bottom of its market. Worst case, all these cards are likely to remain at least somewhat popular for the foreseeable future.

Of course, Ranger-Captain of Eos showing up in Humans would be the biggest game of all. The card should be stable in the $20 range regardless, but we’d be looking at a $30-$40 card at least if Humans starts to run these in its maindeck.

My best guess is that Ranger-Captain of Eos will only be an occasional sideboard card in that deck, which probably wants to stick with Mantis Rider and Reflector Mage in the three-drop slot. I’d monitor this development going forward, though, because you should be absolutely buying these at current retail if it’s going to become a new Humans staple. And even if it doesn’t, Ranger-Captain of Eos is still one of the better buys in the set at current retail.


Archmage’s Charm – $15

I was all ready to write about how great a buy Archmage’s Charm was when I started writing this article on Friday and the card was pre-ordering for $7. Oops! Its price tag shot up to $15 over the weekend, and now I feel like it’s best to hold off for now.

Much like Cryptic Command, Archmage’s Charm is a lot more powerful than it looks. You can’t judge spells like this based on their most powerful mode – you have to respect the power of versatility. A card that can counter any spell, draw you an extra card, or steal something relevant (Death’s Shadow, perhaps?) is going to see play in Modern.

The real issue here is the UUU mana cost. Cryptic Command sees play in Azorius Control, Esper Control, and several other decks, but those manabases must improve if Control really wants to run multiple UUU cards in their maindeck. I can definitely see a reality where decks like Esper Control give Archmage’s Charm a pass in order to keep casting things like Kaya and Esper Charm, but I doubt it. Most of the control mages I’ve talked to are pretty hyped about Archmage’s Charm, and I suspect it’ll see quite a bit of play.

You can snag these at $15 if you want – I suspect it’ll be worth at least $15 long-term – but it’s not like anyone is sleeping on Archmage’s Charm right now. The short-term upside is probably only $20-$25, and there’s a chance you’ll be able to snag these for $10 or so once packs start flying off shelves. I’d suggest waiting if you don’t have an immediate use for them, but feel free to buy in at current retail if you do.

Altar of Dementia – $6 (Reprint)

Altar of Dementia is a very popular casual and Commander card. It bottomed out as a bulk rare the last time it was reprinted – in the original Conspiracy set –before climbing every month since, finally hitting the $7-$8 range right before it showed up as a Modern Horizons preview.

Will Altar of Dementia actually see play in Modern, though? Yes, but probably not in a top-tier deck. We’re talking about Altar of the Brood, Hedron Crab, Enduring Renewal-type jank for the most part. These are the kinds of decks that cause one- or two-week spikes thanks to a Saffron Olive or Conley Woods brew going 5-0 in some MTGO League, but they’re unlikely to become long-term players in the format.

Altar of Dementia’s best bet is in some sort of Gravecrawler / Bridge from Below deck, so I’d think about snagging those two cards if you’re looking for a solid spec target here. Otherwise, I’m just going to wait until this card hits bulk rates again and then I’m going to buy a whole bunch of copies. Worst case, causal demand will eventually cause it to rise again. Best case, someone actually makes it work in Modern. I’m definitely in on this one—just not at (or near) current retail.

Cloudshredder Sliver – $6

Cloudshredder Sliver is one of the most powerful Slivers ever printed. While Modern Slivers probably needs a few more pieces to actually become a viable deck, anyone who does want to run Slivers in Modern is absolutely going to run this. It’s still probably worth running four copies of Galerider Sliver in the maindeck – one-drops are that important – but this is a strict upgrade on Blur Sliver and probably a few others as well. Giving all your Slivers haste and evasion is amazing, and this is at least a three-of in any sort of competitive Sliver deck.

Galerider Sliver has been stable in the $5 range for years, so that’s the realistic long-term floor here. Cloudshredder Sliver might dip into the $2-$3 range briefly this July, but that’s a long shot. Regardless, buying in at $6 is fine if you need these. Worst case, you’ll be able to get your money back at some point in the future. Best case, you’ve just picked up a key four-of in one of Modern’s hottest new decks.

Goblin Engineer – $6

Goblin Engineer is another card that I absolutely love for Modern. While it might not slot neatly into an existing Tier 1 deck, the power level is absolutely there. It’s not quite Stoneforge Mystic, but what is? Goblin Engineer can go fetch Ensnaring Bridge in a Mono-Red Prison deck, it can snag Aether Vial in Goblins, or – perhaps most importantly – it can help provide consistency for any Thopter/Sword decks that want to run red.

I’d have suggested going in on Sword of the Meek as a solid Goblin Engineer spec, but that ship sailed last week when Urza was previewed. Instead, I’d suggest checking your LGS or bulk boxes for copies of Trash for Treasure. While that card has already spiked from bulk to $5 over the past couple of days due to its interaction with Goblin Engineer, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it hit $15-$20 once someone starts winning games with Goblin Engineer Combo. I’m not sure if it’ll be consistent enough to become a top-tier deck, but there’s more money to be made here if the deck even enters the format’s second or third tier.

Regardless, Goblin Engineer looks like a $10-$12 card if it sees even a little bit of Modern play. There’s some downside buying in at $6, but if you’re a believer in this card, as I am, you might want to think about snagging these soon. Tutors – even graveyard tutors – are always good, and this seems like one of the best of them.

Force of Despair – $6

Wait, what? Why is Force of Negation $30 while Force of Despair is $6? I wouldn’t be surprised if twice as many decks are running Force of Despair a month from now. This card is amazing.

First off, you don’t have to actually pitch anything to Force of Despair if you’ve got three mana up. The actual casting cost here is fine! The fact that you can pitch a card to really punish your opponent if they decide to go off while you’re tapped out is what makes it go from good to absurd, but make no mistake – this is not going to be card disadvantage most of the time.

Force of Despair is amazing against all sorts of decks: Elves, Affinity, Living End, and literally any deck that’s trying to cheat a large creature or two onto the battlefield. It’s also not dead against aggro, which gives it the sort of cheap versatility that a Modern staple needs. I’m not sure Force of Despair lines up all that well against Modern’s current top tier, where there’s a lot of planeswalker-based control and graveyard decks, but that shouldn’t prevent it from making an impact.

At any rate, $6 seems like a bargain here. I suspect it’ll climb in price once people start playing with it, and even if I’m wrong all these cards with alternate casting costs are great long-term holds. All it’ll take is one deck running three or four copies a year from now, and bam – we’re looking at a $15 card. I’m getting my set now.

Force of Virtue – $5

Force of Virtue is the only card in the Force cycle that I don’t think will see any Modern play – and yes, I’m including the red one. It’s possible that some sort of Orzhov Tokens deck is going to end up running this, but those decks aren’t all that great right now to begin with and I’m not sure how much good a surprise free Anthem is going to do you. Beyond that, spending four mana for this effect is far below the curve – Honor of the Pure cost just two – so you’re paying quite a bit for a chance at the pitch effect. I just don’t see it. Future bulk rare.

Fallen Shinobi – $5

Fallen Shinobi is probably a little too expensive and a little too high-variance for Modern. Spending four to five mana on a creature that may just whiff entirely when you connect with it doesn’t feel like it belongs in the current crop of Modern playables. I could be wrong – frankly, I’d love a Modern format where Fallen Shinobi was playable – but this seems like one of the $5-tier rares that seems most likely to end up in the bulk bin.

Long-term, Fallen Shinobi will be a solid hold. Ninja cards always have strong casual demand. I’m just not going to buy in for another couple of months, because I suspect that Fallen Shinobi will bottom out pretty hard and I don’t see it paying off for at least a year or two.

Winds of Abandon – $5

Winds of Abandon is yet another solid role-player that will make an appearance in Modern. Yes, it’s a sorcery, and yes, it ramps your opponent. It’s no Path to Exile, but Path to Exile is literally the second-most-played card in all of Modern. Being Path to Exile is a really high bar to clear.

As with Archmage’s Charm, people tend to overrate raw power and underrate versatility. Modal cards are usually very good, and a card that can act as spot removal early and mass removal late will see at least a little bit of play. It might only be in Selesnya decks that can easily ramp to six, but that should be enough to maintain a $4-$5 valuation, especially since this card is going to have a lot of Commander demand. Have y’all looked at the price of Cyclonic Rift lately?

That’s the realistic worst case for Winds of Abandon. Best case, it ends up being a second-tier removal spell in the format, just after the Lightning Bolt / Path to Exile / Fatal Push tier. That would make this a $15-$20 card at least. That’s not particularly likely, I admit, but I still feel like folks are sleeping on Winds of Abandon. It’s definitely among the most exciting cards in the set.

Bazaar Trademage – $5

Bazaar Trademage looks like it might slot into Dredge at first glance, but I’m not so sure. Discarding after drawing is a pretty big downside for any decks that want to take advantage of the dredge mechanic, and Bazaar of Baghdad is only as powerful as it is because it’s free, comes down on Turn 1, and is repeatable. Bazaar Trademage is none of those things.

What about control decks? Even though Bazaar Trademage is a cheap flier that lets you filter your hand, the card disadvantage is just so rough. If Bazaar Trademage finds a home, it’ll be in a deck that can take advantage of the discard triggers.

I don’t know if a deck like that exists, but if it does, it’s probably playing Hollow One. Honestly, I’d rather snag those right now if you’re going speculate on anything. Hollow One is just two bucks right now, and it’s not like they’re printing any more Amonkhet. I can easily imagine that card hitting $10+ at some point in the future.

Planebound Accomplice – $5

I don’t want to dismiss any Sneak Attack variant out of hand, since that’s one of the most powerful Magic cards ever printed. My issue with Planebound Accomplice is that most planeswalkers aren’t designed to hit the battlefield and immediately do something splashy – they’re designed to sit around and build up advantage over time.

As with subset tutors like Call the Gatewatch and Idyllic Tutor, Planebound Accomplice is only going to get better with each Planeswalker printed. It’s possible – likely, even – that at some point, WotC will print a ‘walker that combos spectacularly well with Planebound Accomplice. I don’t think that card exists right now, though, which means that Planebound Accomplice will probably lose value before gaining it. Snag your set in a couple of months when it ends up in the $2-$3 range.

Scrapyard Recombiner – $5

Scrapyard Recombiner feels like it was built for Hardened Scales. Arcbound Ravager is a Beast, not a Construct, but the Recombiner can still fetch Hangarback Walker, Walking Ballista, Steel Overseer, and Arcbound Worker. That’s almost certainly good enough.

This card’s future price is going to depend largely on how many copies Hardened Scales ends up running in its 75. If it’s just two or three, the $5 price tag makes sense. If it’s a four-of, the upside would be far higher. For example, Steel Overseer has been a $10+ card for years now despite being printed in a set with $4 booster packs, not $7 booster packs.

I don’t think that Scrapyard Recombiner has the versatility to end up being an immediate winner out of Modern Horizons – it’s basically just slotting into one deck – but it’ll likely be a long-term grower. $5 seems pretty close to this card’s floor, so if you play Affinity at all, you should grab your set at some point soon.

Lightning Skelemental – $4

I have no idea whether Ball Blightning Lighting Skelemental is going to find a home in Modern, but it sure is powerful enough to do some serious damage if there’s a shell for it. Burn probably doesn’t want to dip into black, but maybe? It also doesn’t seem quite like a Jund card, but cascading into Lightning Skelemental off a Bloodbraid Elf seems pretty outstanding.

I’m not currently buying Lightning Skelemental because I suspect it’ll be a bulk rare if it doesn’t end up in a deck right away, which is the most likely outcome. The power level is here, though, so pay attention to Modern deckbuilders and snag a set if it looks like it’s going to break through.

Sisay, Weatherlight Captain – $4

I don’t think Sisay, Weatherlight Captain is going to show up in Modern at all. This is a Commander card, and it’s a pretty solid one. It’s not going to be as universally beloved as Morophon, the Boundless, but it will have enough fans for the foil to command a price tag in the $20 range even though the card itself is likely to end up a bulk rare.

I can’t imagine too many secondary spikes caused by Sisay, but older copies of the Weatherlight crew cards might see a slight bump in demand as folks build their theme decks. I’m talking about things like Skyship Weatherlight from Planeshift and Selenia, Dark Angel from Tempest. I’m not going to spec on these cards yet, but if I see any of them start to pop off, I’ll start buying into the rest.

Aria of Flame – $3

All right, let’s math this one out quickly. Assuming you’re sending all the damage from Aria of Flame to your opponent’s face, it’ll take casting four more instants or sorceries before you’ve broken even on the ten life that you’ve spotted them. At that point, Aria of Flame scales up swiftly and kills quickly.

Is that good enough? Probably not in Modern Burn, where most of your cards cost less than three mana anyhow, and this is just about the worst topdeck in the world. Instead, I think you have to look at it like a weird Modern version of Tendrils of Agony: if you cast Tendrils with a storm count of ten, you can make your opponent lose twenty life and (probably) win the game. Aria of Flame is honestly pretty similar – with an Aria on the battlefield, casting eight more spells does 36 damage, which is enough to kill your opponent even after you spot them an extra ten life.

Does this make Aria of Flame better than something like Grapeshot in Modern Storm? I’m not sure. I don’t have a lot of personal experience with the deck, but I haven’t heard any Storm players talking about it yet, so I’m guessing it’s not obviously better, at least. The card reminds me a lot of Pyromancer Ascension, though, which makes me feel like it’s got some long-term potential one way or another. Much like with the card I’m about to discuss, it’s one of the Modern Horizons near-bulk rares that I’m going to keep a sharp eye on over the next few months so that I can buy in at the bottom of the market with long-term growth in mind.

Ayula’s Influence – $3

$3 is essentially the bulk rare price for pre-ordering cards from Modern Horizons, so it appears as though nobody has much faith in Ayula’s Influence yet. I suspect that’ll change at some point. GGG is easier to cast than RRR in Life from the Loam decks, and 2/2 creatures are generally better than Shocks, so Ayula’s Influence is at least as good as Seismic Assault, if not better. Granted, Seismic Assault doesn’t see much play in Modern right now, but I expect Ayula’s Influence to at least show up as much as that card does. It’s also quite likely that Ayula’s Influence will be a big part of whatever deck Wrenn and Six show up in, which could cause both cards to increase in price.

If you’re not a believer in Wrenn and Six, I’d hold off picking up Ayula’s Influence until it ends up in the $1-$2 range. It’s got a solid long-term profile regardless. If you think that Wrenn and Six are going to spawn a new archetype right away, though, you might want to pick these up as well. After all, $3 is a pretty cheap buy-in for a card this good.

Ayula, Queen Among Bears – $3

Unlike her Influence, Ayula herself is unlikely to see any play in Modern. I suppose we’ll have to consider Ayula at some point if a couple of Bears randomly end up being Modern-playable all on their own, but this card is likely to remain in the casual realm for the foreseeable future. Future bulk rare.

Force of Rage – $3

Everybody hates Force of Rage. Everybody! It’s almost funny, going on Twitter or Reddit and reading the hate for this card. It’s like a kid opening presents on Christmas, hoping for a Fireblast and getting…a bad Ball Lightning? Boo!

I’m not the biggest Force of Rage fan, but I don’t know if I’m ready to dismiss it as unplayable dreck. Cards that can be cast at instant speed without paying any mana tend to be the most powerful spells in the game, and just because Force of Rage looks underpowered next to Force of Will and Fireblast doesn’t make it necessarily awful. Don’t forget – in some matchups, this can deal six out of nowhere. In others, it’s a pair of surprise blockers that can hit the battlefield while you’re tapped out. I’m not saying that Force of Rage is low-key one of the better cards in the set, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it sees play somewhere.

I’m probably not buying in at $3, but if this hits $0.50-$1 I’m absolutely going to snag a few sets. Sometimes it takes a while for “free” cards to pay off – Allosaurus Rider looked like a bust for years, remember – but they almost always do.

Genesis – $3

Genesis seems a little too slow for the current Modern metagame, but it’s possible that Dredge wants to run one or two of these in their sideboard as a way to win the grindier matchups. That won’t keep this card from being more than a $1-$2 rare, though.

If you want to invest in Genesis, check out foil copies from Judgment. That version is almost absurdly scarce, and old-bordered foils are always a lot of fun to play in Modern. It looks like the price is in the process of spiking already, but I can still see a few sub-$20 copies out there. I suspect they’ll be cleared out soon, and the price will end up closer to $40-$50.

Plague Engineer – $3

Wait, why is one of the best cards in Modern Horizons for actual Modern players down here with the rest of bulk rares? Come on, people – you can’t complain that this set isn’t good enough for Modern and then ignore cards like Plague Engineer!

Plague Engineer seems like it’s got solid game against Humans and Elves at the very least. If decks like Faeries, Goblins, or Slivers end up trying to crash the party, Plague Engineer will be there to meet them as well. Want to play Devoted Druid combo? Good luck keeping your Vizier of Remedies on the battlefield alongside Plague Engineer.

Engineered Plague was good in Legacy for a very long time, and Plague Engineer might actually be better in a more combat-centric format like Modern. It’s going to show up, and you should snag your copies before people start to realize that. $3 is a heck of a deal for a playable Modern card, and I’m going to grab my set ASAP.

This Week’s Trends

I talked about most of this week’s trends in Friday’s article, so go check that one out if you haven’t done so yet. Most of the cards that spiked this week are covered there, including things like Fist of Suns (spiked due to Morophon, the Boundless) and Sword of the Meek (spiked due to do Urza, Lord High Artificer).

Most of the other cards that spiked this week are Slivers. Sliver Legion, Sliver Hivelord, Sedge Sliver, Galerider Sliver, Sliver Hive, and Diffusion Sliver were the big ones, with all those cards surging on the back of The First Sliver hype in Commander and competitive Slivers hype in Modern. As I said earlier, I recommend selling your Slivers into the spike so that you can take advantage of the current climate of Sliver-mania.

Lastly, don’t forget that a good deal of Modern Horizon’s reprints are likely to be previewed this week! If you’ve got the time, make sure you’re following these reveals in real time and snagging any old-bordered foils of cards that are previewed. So far, nearly all these old-bordered foils have spiked immediately after being added to the Modern card pool, which basically makes this a free way to make some quick-flip cash – next week only. Need a few extra bucks to pay for those Horizon lands? This might be the best way to do it.