Before we dive in, a brief disclaimer: I omitted all commons from these Top 10 lists because opportunity cost is the biggest predictor of a card's sales volume and commons are simultaneously super cheap and not very fun to talk about.

The five top-selling cards on TCGplayer in 2019, in order:

1. Snow-Covered Island
2. Snow-Covered Swamp
3. Snow-Covered Mountain
4. Snow-Covered Forest
5. Snow-Covered Plains

I don't want to write about these cards and you don't want to read about them, but it is worth discussing snow-covered lands philosophically because they are a legitimate misstep. There's no reason not to play them because they can't really get punished. This means that basic lands—a fundamental cornerstone of Magic: The Gathering—are effectively phased out of any format that has a snow payoff. It just so happens that Modern Horizons has a particularly pernicious and efficient snow payoff in Arcum's Astrolabe, a card that's already been banned in Pauper and still sees a ton of play in both Modern and Legacy.

Basic lands are a form of self-expression that scales up and down and left and right really well. You can project anything with basic lands: you can project wealth with Guru basics, you can project seniority with Beta basics; you can celebrate your favorite artists or sets with the basic lands you choose. You can even project "this is beneath me" and take random lands from the land station. Like I said, they scale to the needs and wants of any budget.

Snow-covered basics take self-expression out of the equation. Snow-covered lands were only printed in three expansions: Ice Age, Coldsnap, and now Modern Horizons. To illustrate my point I made a graph.

And that doesn't even count Guru lands, Euro/APAC lands, or any other supplemental or promotional set. Not only do the no-downside snow lands cut off an avenue of self-expression—they also ubiquitize the decks.

How This Plays Out

Modern Horizons is the first set designed specifically for Modern that contains new cards—it would not be legal for Standard play. Every card in Modern Horizons had never been legal in Modern before (except for the full-art snow-covered basics). Of the 254 cards in Modern Horizons, 209 of them were new. The conceit of the set was that it would have a substantial impact on Modern right out of the gate.

Any recap of 2019 Magic necessitates visiting and revisiting the cards that got banned this year. To that end, this wiki has been an indispensable asset in completing these write-ups.

On July 8th, less than a month after Modern Horizons' release, Bridge from Below was banned in Modern.

Immediately after Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis was revealed, Magic Twitter was alight with Hogaak decks. It's not a subtle card—it's a humongous beater with both delve and convoke that states that it can be cast from the graveyard, as long as mana isn't spent to cast it. Oh, and in case it's still not clear enough what you're supposed to do with Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis, they went ahead and reprinted Altar of Dementia in Modern Horizons too. You know—just in case it wasn't obvious what to do.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Bridgevine by Steven Rubin

'Bridgevine' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Steven Rubin

Event: SCG Team Open Modern - Pittsburgh - 6/30/2019

Rank: 5th-8th

Modern

Market Price: $796.69

Cards

Gemstone Mine

Market Price: $7.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14598_200w.jpg

Gemstone Mine enters the battlefield with three mining counters on it.
{T}, Remove a mining counter from Gemstone Mine: Add one mana of any color. If there are no mining counters on Gemstone Mine, sacrifice it.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/14598/magic-timeshifted-gemstone-mine

Cryptbreaker

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $7.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/120259_200w.jpg

{1}{B}, {T}, Discard a card: Create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token.
Tap three untapped Zombies you control: You draw a card and you lose 1 life.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/120259/magic-eldritch-moon-cryptbreaker

Bloodstained Mire

Market Price: $32.85

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/92830_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Bloodstained Mire: Search your library for a Swamp or Mountain card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/92830/magic-khans-of-tarkir-bloodstained-mire

Blood Crypt

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $14.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/182838_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B} or {R}.)
As Blood Crypt enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/182838/magic-ravnica-allegiance-blood-crypt

Bridge from Below

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180828_200w.jpg

Whenever a nontoken creature is put into your graveyard from the battlefield, if Bridge from Below is in your graveyard, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token.
When a creature is put into an opponent's graveyard from the battlefield, if Bridge from Below is in your graveyard, exile Bridge from Below.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/180828/magic-ultimate-masters-bridge-from-below

Seasoned Pyromancer

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $34.66

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/190992_200w.jpg

When Seasoned Pyromancer enters the battlefield, discard two cards, then draw two cards. For each nonland card discarded this way, create a 1/1 red Elemental creature token.
{3}{R}{R}, Exile Seasoned Pyromancer from your graveyard: Create two 1/1 red Elemental creature tokens.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/190992/magic-modern-horizons-seasoned-pyromancer

Faithless Looting

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.47

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236106_200w.jpg

Draw two cards, then discard two cards.
Flashback {2}{R} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Polluted Delta

Market Price: $40.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/92829_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Polluted Delta: Search your library for an Island or Swamp card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/92829/magic-khans-of-tarkir-polluted-delta

Godless Shrine

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $12.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/182836_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W} or {B}.)
As Godless Shrine enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/182836/magic-ravnica-allegiance-godless-shrine

Wear // Tear

Color Identity:R,W

Market Price: $2.50

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227383_200w.jpg

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/227383/magic-commander-legends-wear-tear

Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215721_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/215721/magic-core-set-2021-swamp-268

Altar of Dementia

Market Price: $9.54

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/191735_200w.jpg

Sacrifice a creature: Target player mills cards equal to the sacrificed creature's power.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/191735/magic-modern-horizons-altar-of-dementia

Bloodghast

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $12.89

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145411_200w.jpg

Bloodghast can't block.
Bloodghast has haste as long as an opponent has 10 or less life.
Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you may return Bloodghast from your graveyard to the battlefield.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/145411/magic-iconic-masters-bloodghast

Carrion Feeder

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/191578_200w.jpg

Carrion Feeder can't block.
Sacrifice a creature: Put a +1/+1 counter on Carrion Feeder.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/191578/magic-modern-horizons-carrion-feeder

Insolent Neonate

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/116413_200w.jpg

Menace (This creature can't be blocked except by two or more creatures.)
Discard a card, Sacrifice Insolent Neonate: Draw a card.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/116413/magic-shadows-over-innistrad-insolent-neonate

Gravecrawler

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $15.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/113263_200w.jpg

Gravecrawler can't block.
You may cast Gravecrawler from your graveyard as long as you control a Zombie.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/113263/magic-duel-decks-blessed-vs-cursed-gravecrawler

Stitcher's Supplier

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $3.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/169236_200w.jpg

When Stitcher's Supplier enters the battlefield or dies, mill three cards.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/169236/magic-core-set-2019-stitchers-supplier

Blackcleave Cliffs

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $29.83

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/36399_200w.jpg

Blackcleave Cliffs enters the battlefield tapped unless you control two or fewer other lands.
{T}: Add {B} or {R}.

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Fatal Push

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218830_200w.jpg

Destroy target creature if it has mana value 2 or less.
Revolt — Destroy that creature if it has mana value 4 or less instead if a permanent you controlled left the battlefield this turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/218830/magic-double-masters-fatal-push

Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis

Color Identity:B,G

Market Price: $0.77

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/191348_200w.jpg

You can't spend mana to cast this spell.
Convoke, delve (Each creature you tap while casting this spell pays for {1} or one mana of that creature's color. Each card you exile from your graveyard pays for {1}.)
You may cast Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis from your graveyard.
Trample

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/191348/magic-modern-horizons-hogaak-arisen-necropolis

Leyline of the Void

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $6.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192544_200w.jpg

If Leyline of the Void is in your opening hand, you may begin the game with it on the battlefield.
If a card would be put into an opponent's graveyard from anywhere, exile it instead.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/192544/magic-core-set-2020-leyline-of-the-void

Vengevine

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $10.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218466_200w.jpg

Haste
Whenever you cast a spell, if it's the second creature spell you cast this turn, you may return Vengevine from your graveyard to the battlefield.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/218466/magic-double-masters-vengevine

Unfortunately, banning Bridge from Below had no negative impact on hogaak, arisen necropolis Modern dominance.

Demand for Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis reached a fever pitch during Mythic Championship IV (Hogaak decks comprised more than half of the decks that went 8-2 in the MC's Modern portion) and yet the price still dropped steadily. That's how obvious it was that Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis was going to get banned.

And with that, the stated goal of "building up favorite Modern strategies" was complete, resulting in multiple bans and a stagnant format that otherwise should've taken the game and the LGSs that support it through the summer, a notoriously tough season for Magic.

Another stated goal of Modern Horizons was that it would create new archetypes altogether, and once Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis was finally banned, there was another busted Modern Horizons< card to take its place.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Simic Urza by Dan Jessup

'Simic Urza' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Dan Jessup

Event: SCG Team Constructed Open Modern - Columbus - 01/05/2020

Rank: 1st

Modern

Market Price: $987.28

Cards

Cryptic Command

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $18.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145338_200w.jpg

Choose two —
• Counter target spell.
• Return target permanent to its owner's hand.
• Tap all creatures your opponents control.
• Draw a card.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/145338/magic-iconic-masters-cryptic-command

Metallic Rebuke

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/219572_200w.jpg

Improvise (Your artifacts can help cast this spell. Each artifact you tap after you're done activating mana abilities pays for {1}.)
Counter target spell unless its controller pays {3}.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/219572/magic-double-masters-metallic-rebuke

Misty Rainforest

Market Price: $25.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/238609_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Misty Rainforest: Search your library for a Forest or Island card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/238609/magic-modern-horizons-2-misty-rainforest

Archmage's Charm

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $17.65

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/191041_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Counter target spell.
• Target player draws two cards.
• Gain control of target nonland permanent with mana value 1 or less.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/191041/magic-modern-horizons-archmages-charm

Gilded Goose

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $2.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198394_200w.jpg

Flying
When Gilded Goose enters the battlefield, create a Food token. (It's an artifact with "{2}, {T}, Sacrifice this artifact: You gain 3 life.")
{1}{G}, {T}: Create a Food token.
{T}, Sacrifice a Food: Add one mana of any color.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/198394/magic-throne-of-eldraine-gilded-goose

Oko, Thief of Crowns

Color Identity:G,U

Market Price: $11.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198356_200w.jpg

+2: Create a Food token. (It's an artifact with "{2}, {T}, Sacrifice this artifact: You gain 3 life.")
+1: Target artifact or creature loses all abilities and becomes a green Elk creature with base power and toughness 3/3.
−5: Exchange control of target artifact or creature you control and target creature an opponent controls with power 3 or less.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/198356/magic-throne-of-eldraine-oko-thief-of-crowns

Urza, Lord High Artificer

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $40.50

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/190836_200w.jpg

When Urza, Lord High Artificer enters the battlefield, create a 0/0 colorless Construct artifact creature token with "This creature gets +1/+1 for each artifact you control."
Tap an untapped artifact you control: Add {U}.
{5}: Shuffle your library, then exile the top card. Until end of turn, you may play that card without paying its mana cost.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/190836/magic-modern-horizons-urza-lord-high-artificer

Ceremonious Rejection

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/122644_200w.jpg

Counter target colorless spell.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/122644/magic-kaladesh-ceremonious-rejection

Arcum's Astrolabe

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/191281_200w.jpg

({S} can be paid with one mana from a snow source.)
When Arcum's Astrolabe enters the battlefield, draw a card.
{1}, {T}: Add one mana of any color.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/191281/magic-modern-horizons-arcums-astrolabe

Mishra's Bauble

Market Price: $10.00

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218598_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Mishra's Bauble: Look at the top card of target player's library. Draw a card at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/218598/magic-double-masters-mishras-bauble

Damping Sphere

Market Price: $1.40

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162250_200w.jpg

If a land is tapped for two or more mana, it produces {C} instead of any other type and amount.
Each spell a player casts costs {1} more to cast for each other spell that player has cast this turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/162250/magic-dominaria-damping-sphere

Nature's Claim

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $1.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145523_200w.jpg

Destroy target artifact or enchantment. Its controller gains 4 life.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/145523/magic-iconic-masters-natures-claim

Mox Opal

Market Price: $51.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218602_200w.jpg

Metalcraft — {T}: Add one mana of any color. Activate only if you control three or more artifacts.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/218602/magic-double-masters-mox-opal

Scalding Tarn

Market Price: $31.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/238610_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Scalding Tarn: Search your library for an Island or Mountain card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/238610/magic-modern-horizons-2-scalding-tarn

Aether Spellbomb

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216111_200w.jpg

{U}, Sacrifice Aether Spellbomb: Return target creature to its owner's hand.
{1}, Sacrifice Aether Spellbomb: Draw a card.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/216111/magic-jumpstart-aether-spellbomb

Breeding Pool

Color Identity:G,U

Market Price: $20.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/182842_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {G} or {U}.)
As Breeding Pool enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/182842/magic-ravnica-allegiance-breeding-pool

Mystical Dispute

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.92

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198683_200w.jpg

This spell costs {2} less to cast if it targets a blue spell.
Counter target spell unless its controller pays {3}.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/198683/magic-throne-of-eldraine-mystical-dispute

Emry, Lurker of the Loch

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $3.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198857_200w.jpg

This spell costs {1} less to cast for each artifact you control.
When Emry, Lurker of the Loch enters the battlefield, mill four cards.
{T}: Choose target artifact card in your graveyard. You may cast that card this turn. (You still pay its costs. Timing rules still apply.)

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/198857/magic-throne-of-eldraine-emry-lurker-of-the-loch

Dismember

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.38

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98390_200w.jpg

({B/P} can be paid with either {B} or 2 life.)
Target creature gets -5/-5 until end of turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/98390/magic-modern-masters-2015-dismember

Stoic Rebuttal

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98772_200w.jpg

Metalcraft — This spell costs {1} less to cast if you control three or more artifacts.
Counter target spell.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/98772/magic-modern-masters-2015-stoic-rebuttal

Ashiok, Dream Render

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $1.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188627_200w.jpg

Spells and abilities your opponents control can't cause their controller to search their library.
−1: Target player mills four cards. Then exile each opponent's graveyard.

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Ice-Fang Coatl

Color Identity:G,U

Market Price: $3.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/190654_200w.jpg

Flash
Flying
When Ice-Fang Coatl enters the battlefield, draw a card.
Ice-Fang Coatl has deathtouch as long as you control at least three other snow permanents.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/190654/magic-modern-horizons-icefang-coatl

Mystic Sanctuary

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199417_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)
Mystic Sanctuary enters the battlefield tapped unless you control three or more other Islands.
When Mystic Sanctuary enters the battlefield untapped, you may put target instant or sorcery card from your graveyard on top of your library.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/199417/magic-throne-of-eldraine-mystic-sanctuary

Flooded Strand

Market Price: $31.89

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/92828_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Flooded Strand: Search your library for a Plains or Island card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/92828/magic-khans-of-tarkir-flooded-strand

Engineered Explosives

Market Price: $16.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218293_200w.jpg

Sunburst (This enters the battlefield with a charge counter on it for each color of mana spent to cast it.)
{2}, Sacrifice Engineered Explosives: Destroy each nonland permanent with mana value equal to the number of charge counters on Engineered Explosives.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/218293/magic-double-masters-engineered-explosives

Polluted Delta

Market Price: $40.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/92829_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Polluted Delta: Search your library for an Island or Swamp card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/92829/magic-khans-of-tarkir-polluted-delta

Snow-Covered Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230148_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/230148/magic-kaldheim-snowcovered-island-278

Snow-Covered Forest

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.86

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230146_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {G}.)

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/230146/magic-kaldheim-snowcovered-forest-284

Ironic that the card that would eventually get Mox Opal banned (and it will, book it) wasn't Arcbound Ravager or Whir of Invention but a four-mana legendary 1/4—albeit one with Karn, Scion of Urza's -2 ability, Temporal Aperture, and a Tolarian Academy that continually accounts for each successive artifact stapled onto it.

To be clear, this is the price chart for a card that's thoroughly dominating Modern but hasn't been banned yet. The price stayed steady for about a month and a half after Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis got banned, but since about mid-October, the writing's been on the wall for Urza, Lord High Artificer. Demand is steady, but the price has dropped anyway, settling in the $30 per copy range. This could be a result of lots of copies on the market, but I doubt it—this trend is the result of sellers getting more and more desperate to drop their copies before Mox Opal gets banned in Modern.

Who are cards like this good for? They're not good for stores, and competitive players don't love being dead money unless they play one strategy (which has been how Modern has worked since this stupid set hit the streets). I suppose I could buy that casuals like the flavor of this, but let's get real—this is a joylessly blue card, and a commemoration of a character that died 20 years ago. No one wants this, and that is Modern Horizons in a nutshell.

Intended as a love letter to Time Spiral block, Modern Horizons wound up being a paean to Coldsnap, which, if you're not familiar, is a set that's stupid enough to earn its own Pretty Deece spotlight. Originally sold not just as a continuation of Ice Age block but as a long-lost expansion, covered in dust both literal and figurative, Coldsnap sucked. The Limited environment was terrible. The cards were mostly bad, drawing their design inspiration from a set chock-full of convoluted, unplayable nonsense with its own oversights sprinkled in. Even the ludicrous "long-lost set" announcement was quickly walked back, to the obvious frustration of its engineers.

The snow mechanic, somehow simultaneously pernicious and insular, is a hallmark of both sets and crept into everything. The only difference between the two sets is that by 2019, R&D had given themselves license to print better snow payoffs than Scrying Sheets. Resurrecting a mechanic borne from a set whose aesthetic feel screams "Booster Packs On Clearance at the 1996 State Fair" is a curious move. Modern Horizons marks the second time R&D has done it.

 

#10: Force of Negation

 

 

 

Just like Force of Will was part of an Alliances cycle of uncommons, Modern Horizons introduced a cycle of rare "pitch" cards that can only be free-cast if it's not your turn. Force of Negation is the only card from that cycle to make the Top 10.

The price trend for a card like Force of Negation, much like the reasons players purchased it, aren't interesting to explore. The card's situational but also obviously powerful, mostly serving as Force of Wills five and six in Legacy and Vintage.

 

#9: Goblin Engineer

 

 

 

Goblin Engineer is an obvious allusion to Goblin Welder, but also comes with a conditional Entomb stapled onto it. Despite the conditional nature of its two abilities, Goblin Engineer sold well, likely owing to its relatively low opportunity cost.

 

 

Even during the highest period of buyer activity, Goblin Engineer's price tag hovered around $4. These aren't traditional "low opportunity cost" prices, but Modern Horizons isn't a normal set. Goblin Engineer's abilities may be conditional in comparison to the cards they invoke, but the card is still absurdly powerful and its abilities have relatively high upside.

 

#8: Dead of Winter

 

 

 

Toxic Deluge, but snow! This card is really good and would probably be much better if any of the formats beyond Modern cared about building up a lot of creatures. How soon till we get a Wrath of God for 1WW in a Commander set?

 

#7: Giver of Runes

 

 

 

We got Ranger-Captain of Eos as our Modern Horizons preview card last year. I remember seeing it in my inbox and thinking, "Oh God, they're going to reprint Mother of Runes. That's really messed up." Turns out I wasn't exactly right, but I was close enough. Giver of Runes can give protection from colorless, but it can't protect itself and most importantly, it's not a Human. That's a non-intuitive distinction to, like, 99.9% of magicians, but yeah—it'd be really bad if Giver of Runes were a human. Giving the Modern Humans deck that powerful of a one-drop would be a disaster.

 

#6: Unbound Flourishing

 

 

 

The least subtle fan service you'll ever find. For all the pomp and circumstance around how complex and rich and rewarding Modern Horizons was supposed to be, the cards don't pose puzzles that are difficult to solve—they're just really powerful cards. The intended application of Unbound Flourishing in particular is hilariously obvious; the art features a BIG OL' HYDRA which commonly have VARIABLES IN THEIR CASTING COSTS and PERHAPS Unbound Flourishing COULD HELP WITH THAT.

Cards like Unbound Flourishing aren't for me, but I'm curious if shoehorned cards like it don't just cheapen things, steering intrepid Commander deck builders away from interesting deck building choices and toward in-print mythic rares with narrow applications. On the other hand, Magic neglected Commander and casual play in general for such a long time (especially relative to the percentage of magicians who chose to enjoy the game casually as opposed to competitively) that maybe a little extra attention feels nice. Who can say?

 

#5: Plague Engineer

 

 

 

I already mentioned in this series that I'm a sucker for a Grey Ogre with a cool ability, and Plague Engineer is just a Scathe Zombies with Engineered Plague tacked on.

I think the reason I've been able to stay so bad at Magic despite playing for so long is that I value disruption far more than I value trying to execute my own plan. Linear decks never appeal to me because I like interacting and disrupting and overpowering an opponent who's trying to do the same thing as me. Drawing my deck with Angel's Grace and Ad Nauseum and subsequently winning with a Lightning Storm (love that Coldsnap!) backed up by Pact of Negation feels lame in comparison, like the conclusion's foregone. It's obviously not, but like I said: I'm bad at Magic. This is a roundabout way of saying that I like Plague Engineer much more than I should.

 

#4: Vesperlark

 

 

 

OOOH LOOKIT THE WIDDLE BABY Reveillark

 

#3: Ice-Fang Coatl

 

 

 

"Baleful Strix is pretty good, but what if it had flash?" is evidently a question someone thought was worth answering.

 

 

 

Price and sale trends for Ice-Fang Coatl. The red bar in the center marks the day Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis was banned.

 

Ice-Fang Coatl was never going to be good enough in a world with Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis. One of the many words on that card is "trample". Once it got banned though, it stood to reason that the hypothetical decks Ice-Fang Coatl thrives in—U/G/X midrange nonsense decks with a light snow theme—would become a contender in Modern.

Demand died down quickly after that initial rush, and prices decreased along with it. Then people started to streamline their Urza, Lord High Artificer decks. Turns out two snow lands and an Arcum's Astrolabe to give Ice-Fang Coatl deathtouch isn't a high bar to clear.

 

 

 

One of the unspoken upsides to relatively expensive cards is that they're pretty speculation-proof. It's much easier to talk yourself out of buying a card when the barrier to entry is high, and investors aren't immune to that. I mention this because Ice-Fang Coatl is not speculation-proof.

The sales spikes around November and December are almost all speculations, but they're not arbitrary—they're a result of more and more players demonstrating, at high levels, that a snow subtheme has close to no impact on how a deck performs its basic functions while also giving them a Baleful Strix with flash, as a treat.

 

#2: Rebuild

 

 

 

There's this card called Hurkyl's Recall. Perhaps you've heard of it.

 

 

 

Price and sales trends for Hurkyl's Recall from 2014-2015. Red bars indicate the release of Modern Masters 2015, where Hurkyl's Recall was reprinted. I omitted Antiquities copies because they're outliers in terms of price.

 

Before the reprint, prices on Hurkyl's Recall were pretty bonkers relative to its impact on Modern as a narrowly applicable sideboard card. The average price sold on non-Antiquities copies since June 2015 has stayed steady in the $2-$5 range.

 

 

 

Price and sales trends for Rebuild in 2019. The small spike in sales on the graph that obviously happens a week before Rebuild got spoiled is a coincidence and not insider trading, unless a handful of folks in the finance cabal got together and all agreed to buy only one copy.

 

Urza's Saga, the block Rebuild was originally printed in, is where cycling made its debut. A lot of the designs for cycling cards in Urza block were either "adjust an existing card to make it slightly worse and give it cycling 2" (Miscalculation, Wild Dogs) or "add a mana to an existing card's converted mana cost and give it cycling 2." (Lay Waste, Rescind). Rebuild is kind of both—it bounces everyone's artifacts and it costs one more mana than Hurkyl's Recall does. Cool card though. Cycling is sweet, and putting it on conditional cards is a smart design move, which are hard to come by in Urza block.

 

#1: Battle Screech

 

 

 

The two straight-up reprints in the Modern Horizons Top 10 Sellers, Rebuild and Battle Screech, were the #2 and #1 sellers in the set, respectively.

 

 

Battle Screech's chart looks similar to Rebuild's—the only difference lies in the source of the demand. Demand for Rebuild is unclear, but Battle Screech has been really good in Pauper for a while now. It's synergistic with itself!

 

 

 

For all the attention around its limited (read: opaque) print run, Modern Horizons and the cards that sold well in it followed the same trends that traditional sets do: a few cards that have seen tournament play, but by and large, cheap cards ruled the day.

Core Set 2020's up next.


 

Jon Corpora

 

Jon Corpora is in charge of content at TCGplayer. His name is pronounced "ca-pora."

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