Modern Horizons 2 officially releases in just over a week. WotC packed MH2 with tons of flavor, mechanics, and exciting card designs. As stated on WotC's MH2 product page, it has everything.
With over 450 various cards in MH2, this spoiler season may be one of the wildest. I don't fault anyone who had difficulty keeping track of everything between sketch artwork, retro frames, and other card variants. For example, Grist, the Hunger Tide has three different and distinctive card frames and artwork.
Several new MH2 cards are throwbacks to old MTG cards, themes, and lore. Also, some of these new cards synergize well with existing cards and deck strategies. As a result, MH2 spoilers caused several card price spikes. Let's take a look at some of the notable ones.
One of the more surprising inclusions in MH2 is Squirrels. There are powerful new Squirrel cards, including Chatterfang, Squirrel General, and Squirrel Sovereign. Toski, Bearer of Secrets may have some new competition as the leading Squirrel commander. MH2 also contains a reprint of the Odyssey classic, Squirrel Mob. Squirrel cards spoiled for MH2 caused some related cards to spike in price—fans of Squirrel tribal should already be familiar with the following creature from Modern Horizons 1.
As a functional alternative to Deranged Hermit, Deep Forest Hermit populates the board with Squirrel tokens, and buffs them by +1/+1. The above chart for the Deep Forest Hermit shows units sold by day across the bottom bars, and the average market price along the blue line. At the beginning of May 2021, Deep Forest Hermit had an average market price of $1, but exploded by 300% to $4 after the announcement of Squirrels in MH2. I don't see the Deep Forest Hermit pulling back to $1 any time soon, due to the added support for Squirrel decks.
Liege of the Hollows is a fascinating Reserved List card from Weatherlight. When Liege of the Hollows dies, each player can pay any amount of mana to put that number of 1/1 Squirrel creature tokens into play. The average market price for Liege of the Hollows was around $15 before May 2021. There was an uptick in purchased copies leading up to the initial MH2 Squirrel spoilers on May 24th. I find it a little odd that a few spikes in quantities sold occurred during the first half of May 2021. The increase in sales volume on a few days could be a coincidence, or individuals knowing Squirrels were coming to MH2. Regardless, Liege of the Hollows average market price in May jumped to over $40—a 167% increase from $15.
Nut Collector is a Human Druid creature card with a single printing in Odyssey. The trending average market price for the Nut Collector was around $25 prior to MH2 spoiler season. After the initial spoiler of Squirrel cards, [Nut Collector's] average market price jumped to over $60. Since then, the average market price has dropped to $42—still a 68% increase from $25. Interestingly, organic demand drove the price spike for Nut Collector as many individuals bought less than four copies. I believe it's safe to say that players are genuinely interested in Squirrel decks, particularly for Commander (EDH).
MH2 includes a handful of cards that let you flip coins. Yusri, Fortune's Flame is a new legendary creature capable of becoming the premier commander for a coin flip EDH deck. Pairing Yusri, Fortune's Flame with the reprint of Chance Encounter will lead to game-ending situations in Modern or EDH. One coin-flipping Reserved List card that spiked in price thanks to MH2 is Frenetic Efreet.
Before the MH2 spoiler season, Frenetic Efreet had an average market price of around $10. After Yusri, Fortune's Flame was revealed on May 20th, Frenetic Efreet average market price shot up 200% to $30. Yusri, Fortune's Flame and Frenetic Efreet share many similarities, including flying, power, casting cost, and creature type. Both creature cards slot well into the 99 of a coin flip EDH deck.
Speaking of EDH, Frenetic Efreet and Chance Encounter are a two-card combo. You can stack the activated ability of Frenetic Efreet any number of times necessary to put ten counters on Chance Encounter, winning the game at the beginning of your upkeep. Another coin flip card that saw a recent increase in price is Krark's Thumb.
One of the staple inclusions found in coin flip EDH decks is Krark's Thumb. Before May, copies of Krark's Thumb sold for around $20. After Yusri, Fortune's Flame spoiled, Krark's Thumb jumped to an average market price over $30. Even though Krark's Thumb received a reprint in The List, supply remains relatively low. If coin flip EDH decks increase in popularity due to MH2, Krark's Thumb may maintain its newfound price point.
There was a rumor that MH2 would include a reprint of Shardless Agent. Not only did the rumor turn out to be true, but WotC additionally spoiled several new suspend cards. As a result of Profane Tutor previewed on May 20th, copies of As Foretold started selling quickly.
In a matter of days, As Foretold average market price dramatically rose from under $20 to over $30. The new MH2 suspend cards may push Restore Balance up the Modern archetype tier list. It'll be interesting to see if As Foretold can significantly impact the Modern metagame after MH2's release. Another deck that could see an increase in Modern competitiveness is Mill.
Mill decks in Modern have seen some play with new additions from Zendikar Rising. Ruin Crab, Maddening Cacophony, and even Bloodchief's Thirst ramped up Mill's power level. The introduction of Fractured Sanity in MH2 may help Mill get one step closer to the top echelons of Modern competitive play.
As far as EDH is concerned, Mill's a playable strategy using commanders such as Phenax, God of Deception, Anowon, the Ruin Thief, and Bruvac the Grandiloquent. Fractured Sanity is a solid inclusion in the 99 of these commanders and other Mill EDH decks. And once it got spoiled, this peculiar Mill card saw a dramatic price spike.
Sanity Grinding average market price went from $3 to $18 overnight—a 500% price increase. According to the sales data, though, Sanity Grinding price spike appears to be a targeted buyout, not organic demand. I don't believe the inflated price for Sanity Grinding will hold long term for a few reasons.
One is that Sanity Grinding currently sees no play in Modern decks. In my opinion, Glimpse the Unthinkable, Maddening Cacophony, and Fractured Sanity are better choices for Modern mill strategies. Another reason is that Sanity Grinding only targets one opponent, limiting its usability in EDH. Other mill cards target multiple opponents, or offer more value for their mana cost. I'd advise players interested in grabbing a copy of Sanity Grinding to wait a while for its price to subside.
Dakkon Blackblade is a nostalgic card from Legends and Chronicles. MH2's Dakkon, Shadow Slayer is a throwback to the original Dakkon Blackblade. As a result of the MH2 product packaging and card spoiler for Dakkon, Shadow Slayer, average units sold and market price for Dakkon Blackblade soared.
The above chart includes unit sales and average market pricing history for the Chronicles version of product-hover id="3382". There's a noticeable increase in units sold on May 6th, which is when MH2 packaging featuring Dakkon Blackblade appeared. Chronicles product-hover id="3382" had an average market price under $2 before May. Currently, the average is $12. I'd once again advise anyone wanting either version of Dakkon Blackblade to wait a while since it sees niche play, and isn't a Reserved List card. On the other hand, now may be a great time to sell those Chronicles copies of product-hover id="3382" sitting in a binder or card box.
Some of the cards mentioned above are beginning to normalize in price after their initial spikes. Cards that seem to have minimal demand, like Sanity Grinding and Dakkon Blackblade, will likely continue falling closer to their pre-spike average market price. However, I wouldn't expect any Squirrel cards that spiked to reverse back to previous pricing levels unless reprinted. The demand for Squirrel tribal cards seems natural enough to maintain elevated prices for some time. And there may be additional price spikes for MTG cards after Modern Horizons 2's release date, as players experiment with new decklists across multiple formats.