Procrastination's picture
By: Procrastination, Christopher Giovannagelo
Jan 23 2014 1:00pm
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Welcome back to The Modern Perspective! When I started testing the Elf deck a few months back (has it really been that long already?) I chanced upon the interaction between Garruk Wildspeaker and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. I was only running a few copies so it didn't come up very often, but when it did, it was obvious just how potent the combo was. Other players were already way ahead of me as Nykthos Green decks started showing up in the Daily Results listings. This new deck had clearly arrived.

Early versions of the deck were based around producing tons of mana and then casting Genesis Wave for most of your deck. Usually Cloudstone Curio was included so that various 'bounce loops' would let you lock the opponent out of the game with Primal Command or even a loop of Garruk Wildspeaker and Karn Liberated! Players continued to refine the deck with better, more useful Devotion enablers and a tighter focus on Primeval Titan. Some lists, like Petr Brozek's from GP Prague, tried using Tooth and Nail as a more "direct" use of the mana. It's a fertile framework to build within and players appear to enjoy "working the land", as it were.

While most builds are moving away from Cloudstone Curio, some brief discussion in the Comments Section of 'State of the Program' a few weeks back caused a sudden jolt of inspiration to form in my mind:

Purphoros_God_of_the_Forge.jpg + 2x Burning_Tree_Emissary.jpg +  = Infinite Damage

If I'm going to Genesis Wave for 20 cards, why wait for an untap when I could win on the spot? Even without all of the pieces, the deck often drops a lot of creatures into play. The God of the Forge seemed like a card worth testing.

Part I. Exploring Nykthos Wave
Part II. The Test Match-ups
Part III. The Modern Land Prices

Part I. Exploring Nykthos Wave
The established core of the Nykthos Wave deck is pretty set: Garruk, Nykthos, Arbor Elf, Elvish Visionary, BTE and Utopia Sprawl always make an appearance in some number. After that though, there is some room for adjustment. Most lists now run Primeval Titan, who is pretty awesome for the deck, but I couldn't see investing in him when I was dipping my toe into the pool.

This is what I settled on for testing: 

The goal of the deck is to set up mana, either by creating Devotion to Green or by Enchanting lands that can be untapped repeatedly. Once you have enough mana, you want to fire off a Genesis Wave that plops as many cards into play as possible. Thanks to Eternal Witness you'll often be able to repeat this step next turn, but with more mana to work with. In this build, if you can hit the combo cards shown above, you can then deal infinite damage on the spot. If not, you'll probably crash in for lots of damage just from creatures.

For those that are interested, here are three very useful tips I learned as I tested the deck:

  1. Use the Legend Rule to your advantage: Now that you can choose which Legendary permanent to keep in play, don't be afraid to drop a new Nykthos or Garruk into play off of a Genesis Wave, or even just out of your hand. In fact, this is often how the deck can power through multiple Waves in the same turn. I've cast Wave for X=11 followed by X=15 in the same turn because I found a new Nykthos and Garruk. This also gives you the chance to cast a Wave, then use a new Garruk to drop a Beast into play with Purphoros out. Few decks get to utilize this rule, but this deck can and you need to do so if you want to win.
  2. Cast Arbor Elf on Turn 1 instead of Utopia Sprawl: While the Sprawl is usually the safer option, since it can't be destroyed with common removal, the Elf leads to more explosive T2s. It's risky, but the difference between a T2 Garruk or a T3 one is massive in Modern. Some match ups this won't be the correct call, but against the unknown, just pull the trigger and pray.
  3. Bounce Creatures Often with Curio Triggers: While the first instinct is to keep Devotion high by only bouncing "value" creatures, having some creature in hand is usually a good idea. This will provide you with a way to re-trigger Curio when you do want to bounce a particular creature and gives you some ammo for any future Purphoros you may get into play.

Other than that, this deck is all about becoming familiar with play sequencing and mulligan decisions. It has a great deal of power, but you could easily misplay the first few turns of the game without even realizing it.


Garruk Wildspeaker

Garruk is arguably the most important non-land card in the deck. His synergy with Nykthos helps produce the extremely potent turns that helps the deck power out wins in Modern. Garruk is also very good with any land that has a mana boosting enchantment on it.

When needed, Garruk can also summon 3/3 Beasts as well. In some match ups, producing a solid sized creature a few turns in a row is the best use of your Planeswalker, especially if you get him down early.

Even Garruk's ultimate ability will come in handy from time to time. A big Wave turn to stabilize followed by a turn where Garruk threatens to give every creature +3/+3 and Trample has won me a few games online.

In this deck, you can cast Garruk as early as Turn 2 with a strong hand. T2 four mana cards are pretty awesome. T2 Garruk is great, but it also leads to the tough decision of which ability to use. Think carefully about what moves you opponent could make if you drop Garruk to 2 loyalty for a Beast or if you keep his loyalty higher with the +1.


Arbor Elf

While the "Llanowar" variant of 1 mana accelerators is usually superior to Arbor Elf, in this deck AE is a superhero. Once you get a Utopia Sprawl or two on a land, the Elf is mini-Garruk. I've cast respectable Waves just by tapping and retapping the same Forest multiple times.

The Elf leads to the strongest T2 plays the deck can muster, including T2 Garruk, Polukranos or when combined with the Emissary, T2 Nykthos activations!

As an added bonus, the Elf can also produce double Red out of Stomping Ground, although the current build doesn't require it.


Elvish Visionary

An unassuming, yet useful card, the Visionary helps draw down to the key cards of the deck. Multiple Visionaries out of the same G-Wave are always welcome since you can deplete your hand rapidly in the first few turns.

Visionary is also great in Purphoros/Curio loops with Burning-Tree Emissary. (I had a game where I just kept bouncing them back and forth; every 2 mana was worth 4 Damage and a card.)

While the Elf is never a head turner, it's a finely designed card for Green Fans.


Sylvan Caryatid

I wanted another card to provide Mana that also could be a body when I needed it. Caryatid won out over Wall of Roots because it could provide Red mana and Hexproof meant it would usually stick around when I needed it to.

I would say over all that the Caryatid did what I needed. It was rarely a superstar, but there were a few games where that extra blocking came in handy. I could see testing the WoR instead, especially in Mono-Green builds.


Masked Admirers

I was running a single copy because I wanted another creature that provided card drawing. Also, if you can produce enough green mana, it was a threat that could come back again and again.

Other players have already found the better suited card for this role: Wistful Selkie. The Selkie can be cast on T2 at times and also provides even more Devotion to green. I would recommend picking up Selkies if you want play the better card. The deck really needs that card draw on a body, but Selkie is the better choice.


Polukranos, World Eater

Since I wasn't running Primeval Titan, I wanted another beater that was a good use of mana. I was lucky to have gotten two of these in draft so I tossed them in. It doesn't serve quite the same function as Titan, but I can't say that Polukranos was ever useless. 5/5's that are immune to Abrupt Decay can end games quickly in Modern. That it could get even larger as a mana sink was great.

The multi-target fight ability was actually the most important aspect of Polukranos. Often there would be one or two pesky creatures on the board that I needed to deal with before I could win the game. It also let me "turn off" Twin and other creature based combos, just by sitting there with a functioning Nykthos next to it.

The 4 Casting cost was nice when I only had 7 mana to cast a Genesis Wave. At X=4, this deck has the ability to flip any card possible in the deck. 4 is a number that Titan causes problems for.


Purphoros, God of the Forge

It provides an infinite combo and machine guns damage when you drop in 1 and 2 cc creatures, what's not to love?

With multiple Emissaries out, Purphoros could become a creature and swing, but it never really happened in testing. Usually if I had two BTE, I could win via the combo. You could get a really lucky hand and have the T2 6/5 Indestructible creature, but then it would probably just get hit with a Path to Exile and it would be so very, very sad. Nice to dream though.

It won't come up very often, but don't forget the mass fire breathing ability. When you're trying to win swinging with a bunch of 2/x creature, pumping them up a few times goes a long way.


Burning-Tree Emissary

The pride of the Gruul tribe, the Emissary has helped cause a stir in various types of G/R decks. From Devotion to Zoo Aggro, she isn't afraid to spread the gospel wherever she goes.

Part of a couple good Curio loops, she also helps smooth out mana to cast Purphoros or the SB cards that need Red mana and provides the Devotion needed for the really great "God Draws" of the deck.

What more could you ask for?


Genesis Wave

Random yet powerful, Genesis Wave is the true threat of the deck. Once you chain Waves into Waves, you suddenly have your entire deck flopped onto the battlefield.

In this build, even a lucky Wave on X=4 could turn over all of the combo pieces for an instant kill. Other times you reveal a strong assortment of card drawers and an Eternal Witness to do it all over again.

I can see why some players are getting away from G-Wave in favor of a more direct card like Tooth and Nail, but for me, I'm all about seeing just how crazy things get. (Besides, I could just drop some Craterhoof Behemoth into this list, I did LOVE it in the Elves deck).


Primal Command

A Swiss Army Knife of abilities, the Command saw more play in the earlier builds of Nykthos Green since it synergizes nicely with Eternal Witness. You could eventually set up a loop where you scooped a land to the top of your opponent's deck and grabbed another Witness. Repeat a few times or forever with Cloudstone out.

I kept one copy in since Life Gain could be very important, the ability to Witness Loop was still a possibility, I often wanted to tutor for a Purphoros and even the graveyard shuffling could be used both offensively and defensively.

Cloudstone Curio

The odd little piece of the puzzle. While most builds have retired this card, it does lead to many powerful game states that opponents overlook. Being able to re-use Elvish Visionary and Eternal Witness lets you grind out games against decks that have stopped your primary plan. Combined with Purphoros, it lets you churn out 2 damage for as much mana as you can spare.

Don't forget that it activates for all permanent types, so if you Genesis Wave in some lands and haven't laid a land yet, don't be afraid to pick up that Nykthos for another round of fun. The same for Land enchantments that are on already tapped lands. There might even be a situation where it's safe to bounce a Blood Moon off of Purphoros coming into play to give you access to Nykthos.

There are lots of neat interactions that you might find, so keep an eye out for them.


Blood Moon

Another great reason to use Red, Blood Moon can wreck several decks in the format if it hits the board early. This deck can land BM on T2 if it gets lucky. That often spells game over for the 3 color decks in the format.

You have to be careful since Blood Moon turns off your Nykthos, however, in most match ups where the Moon is good, if you got it down early enough, casting 1-2 creatures and swinging will win the game while your opponent isn't casting spells.

All of your other non-basics are there to produce Red mana, so if they turn into Mountains, they are still providing useful mana. There are more than enough Basic Forests to offset the effect.



Scavenging Ooze

Every sideboard could use some graveyard hate in Modern. The Ooze is quickly becoming the Green grave-hate of choice. In this deck, which can often produce more Green mana than it knows what to do with, the Ooze can be an even more devastating top deck than usual. Eating 6 or 7 cards the same turn it's cast isn't uncommon.

The Ooze is also good in situations where you want to lower your curve to or need to have more creatures to swing with in general.


Obstinate Baloth

The Sideboard Beast Supreme. Additional life gainers are always useful and with the recent surge of discard decks online, it often pounces into play for free.

I could see swapping this with Kitchen Finks since they also gain life, the Persist is handy and they are that sweet casting cost of 3 that can happen on T2. They don't provide any defense against discard, so take that into consideration.

Baloth still doesn't cost much for how useful it is, so if I were playing Green, I'd consider picking up a few if you haven't yet.


Ancient Grudge

Since I was splashing into Red, I figured why not use one of the best Artifact destroying cards in the R/G arsenal?

This was a mistake.

All Grudge was really doing was diluting my permanent count for Waves. I'd have been better off using a creature based solution, such as Viridian Shaman, Acidic Slime or (Indrink Stomp Howler). At least then I could continue to race decks like Affinity while still getting value out of Waves.

If I had to choose a non-creature card, I'd have been better to choose Creeping Corrosion since 4 mana is easy to produce in this deck and you didn't have to worry about stumbling on Red.

The other Sideboard cards don't require as much mention. Choke might have finally been overkill for this deck. Pelakka Wurm was a cute idea, life gain and a powerful threat, but it probably would have been better off as Thrun, Wurmcoil, Craterhoof or another Baloth. 

Relic of Progenitus was good, I'd suggest keeping it.

Part II. The Test Match-Ups
All of the test matches were played in the Tournament Practice Room. 

Deck Name Record
Bloody humans 0-2
Tron Eggs 2-1
UR delver 1-2
Melira Pod 1-2
RB aggro 2-0
UWR Control 2-1
UR Delver 1-2
UB control 1-0
Living End 1-2
Mono White control 2-0
Ad nauseum combo 0-2
UR Tempo Twin 2-1
Mono-U Tron 1-2
Match Record 5-7

That record isn't as impressive as the Niv-Kiln Combo deck's, but it's how things played out. There were a few horrible mis-clicks in the mix, but at best that was going to take me to 7-5. The deck can win, even against some decks that it shouldn't, but it is very draw dependent. Be prepared for some agonizing losses and awesome victories.

Match Highlights
I have the notes for all of the test games, so if there is a match I didn't talk about in the highlights that you would like to know about, just let me know in the comments and I'll share them.

Norin the Wary  Bloody Humans  Champion of the Parish

Game 1
This is my first time playing against Bloody Humans, but I feel I am in good shape since they can't really disrupt me and once I clog the board they are done for.

Boy, was I in for a surprise.

Champion of the Parish quickly grows when Norin is triggering every turn. Combined with Soul Warden and Mentor of the Meek, the Human deck can get out of hand quickly.

Luckily I was dropping card draw creatures of my own. I pop off a mid-size Wave and then get it back with Witness. I'm ok if I go infinite soon. Instead, my opponent drops down a 2nd and 3rd Warden and now I can't even go infinite against them! I play my re-acquired Wave, which chains into another Garruk and Nykthos so I then get to put 30 mana into my pool with about 33 cards left in the deck. I'm not sure what my plan will be, but (almost) my whole deck should help.

Then I click OK to end my Main Phase.

Yeah, oops. I would have been fine too because seconds after the game is over, I realized I hadn't seen Polukranos yet, so I could have picked off the Sisters and then gone infinite.

Game 2
My opponent gets T1 Champion of the Parish again and proceeds to drop another Champion and Norin T2. I stumble a little on mana and can't keep up with the rather quickly growing 5/5+ Champions. My opponent added a Purphoros of their own at the end, but it just helped speed up an already doomed clock.

0-2 Loss
This match up might have turned out differently if I hadn't screwed up Game 1, but it happens. The Bloody Human deck can have some surprisingly fast starts. Plus, the Life Gain and Card Draw means it can hold its own in a variety of ways. This deck may not be optimized yet, but don't underestimate its raw power.

Electrolyze  UWR Gifts Control  Gifts Ungiven

Game 1
I have down a few critters for Devotion and feel like I'm in good shape. My opponent casts an EoT Gifts into Elesh Norn and wipes my board. Not willing to throw in the towel, I cast Purphoros and drop a hapless creature just to get the burn in. The opponent is down to 5, but I draw into too many lands while they beat with Norn and a pumped up Colonnade.

Game 2
I cast a BTE and a Visionary early and get in some little beats. I have decent Devotion but only a Genesis Wave and they have mana open to counter. On T5 my opponent taps out to play a Baneslayer Angel. Foolish. Knowing this is my chance, I cast a G-Wave on X=5. The key cards of the flip are Garruk, Blood Moon and Eternal Witness to retrieve the Wave. My opponent now has nothing but Mountains, so starts to race with Baneslayer. I do an even larger Wave which includes a Cloudstone to bounce my Witness and then recast her to get the Wave back again. Opponent quickly concedes.

Game 3
I drop T1 Relic of Progenitus, T2 Visionary, T3 Utopia Sprawl. I look at my hand of Blood Moon, Garruk, Primal Command and Purphoros and decide to start forcing out counters. I cast the Blood Moon...and it resolves! My opponent is left with 1 Basic Plains and 3 Mountains. On the next turn my opponent cast a Lightning Helix on my lonely Visionary. The turn comes back to me and I choose Purphoros first. The opponent concedes again.

2-1 Win
Any of the UWR builds are difficult to deal with. They have removal for most of your small creatures and counters for your haymaker spells. Blood Moon is a great weapon but you have to be able to resolve it. That is one of the reasons I liked having all four Utopia Sprawl plus Arbor Elf in the hopes of casting T2 Moon on the play. Other builds of Nyk-Green have more card draw creatures and resilient ones like Strangleroot Geist and Leatherback Baloth.

Living End  Living End  Violent Outburst

Game 1
I'm not sure what my opponent is playing at first, but once they start cycling creatures, I know what I'm up against. This isn't great for me because I can't interact very well with Living End. Luckily they don't find a Cascade card when they hit 3 land, so I use Primal Command to scoop one and make them shuffle their graveyard. I beat down with Polukranos and a few 1/1's.

Game 2
I ramp into an early Garruk but make the mistake of creating a Beast token that becomes a nice target for Demonic Dread. A few beastly creatures hop out of their yard and beat me down.

Game 3
This time I only put out early Caryatids and Garruk so that they are limited to Violent Outburst as the only means of Cascading. This is working while I build up lands. I eventually have to drop something to try and win with, so I start with Visionaries so I can reflood the board if they do Living End. I have Eternal Witness and Polukranos in hand and then I get this brilliant idea:

I'll cast my small creatures, then use Polukranos to blow up my own creatures, making a huge Polukranos and have spares in the yard, including the Witness to give me back Polukranos. This plan is awesome!

I put it into motion, cast Polukranos, untap Nykthos and an enchanted land, put about 14 mana into my pool, fire up the Monstrosity....

And uhm, wait, Polukranos got larger, but I never targeted anything?

Seems I was so caught up in my cool plan I forgot to read the fine print. Polukranos can only fight with opposing creatures.

It was almost cool. I told my opponent what I was trying to do and they agreed that if it had worked, it would have been very cool. Then they cast living end for 8 creatures and killed me.

Magic: Share some laughs. Celebrate good times.

1-2 Loss
Living end isn't a great match up unless you cast an early Primal Command. Even then, it's not very great. There are plenty of SB cards to help it out, but you have to be lucky enough to see them in time.

Snapcaster Mage  UR Tempo Twin  Molten Rain

Game 1
I have a T1 Arbor Elf but it gets bolted away. Then I get Garruk, but my opponent casts a Snapcaster targeting bolt and then swings to end Garruk's party. While they are tapped out, I play Purphoros. I suppose they didn't find that very threatening, so they tap out to cast Splinter Twin on their Snap with no other mana up.

Well, alright then.

I cast Genesis Wave for X=4 netting me Burning-Tree, Eternal Witness, Visionary and Nykthos. Purphoros burn drops them to 6 (they had taken a lot from their lands). I re-cast the Wave again next turn but see only 2 creatures. One of them was another Witness who pulled my long dead Elf from the yard for the last 2 points of damage.

Game 2
I attempt a T2 BTE which had it resolved, would have led to another BTE and a Visionary. Instead, that same BTE is hit with Remand three turns in a row. I draw nothing but 3 and 4 drops while waiting to resolve that BTE, so I lose to Pestermite beats.

Game 3
I cast a T2 Emissary and beat a few turns while dropping lands. My opponent casts a Grim Lavamancer but there aren't any cards in the yard, so it just stares menacingly at my BTE as it walks on by. I have Blood Moon in hand, but they keep leaving counter mana open. I lure out counters with Admirers and Garruk. I need the BTE on the board so my Nykthos can produce Red to cast the Moon, so of course on my 4th swing it gets bolted. Knowing how much I need it, I cast Eternal Witness and get it back. On their turn my opponent taps out to Molten Rain my Nykthos. I seize the moment to cast BTE and use that Red mana to cast Blood Moon. The BTE immediately eats Lavamancer burn, but her death was not in vain.

My opponent now only has 4 Mountains out. The turn after I draw a non-basic so I have the Red mana needed to cast Purphoros. After that I get down a Scavenging Ooze but my opponent answers back with double Anger of the Gods. I know I just have to run them out of burn before they can find a Basic Island. I draw a Witness to get back the Witness in the yard. I never need to commit more than 1 Witness at a time in order to have a constant threat. My opponent sees the writing on the wall and concedes.

2-1 Win
This match up is very difficult, but if your opponent doesn't know what your actual threats are, you can try to misdirect their counters. Have a firm strategy in mind, such as playing for Blood Moon, or Purph + creature drops, and try to steer as best you can. They can attack your lands, so don't become overly reliant on Nykthos to bail you out.

If this match up is popular in your meta, consider some SB Thrun, the Last Troll or try builds that use Strangleroot Geist.

I really enjoy playing this deck. There were times when the match would be within reach, but I would draw lands or a 1/1 mana elf then lose. Other times I'd get T2 Garruk into T3 Wave on X=5 while the opponent cast a lone Melira. With so many different builds to try, I'd highly recommend this for the player that likes splashy finishes or putting together on-board puzzles.

Part III. The Modern Land Prices
All prices are from The version linked was the cheapest when the land was added, but be sure to check for the best available price!

The Zendikar Fetch Lands
The Fetch Lands are the lynchpin of most mana bases in Modern. Being able to fix your colors by finding a Ravnica Shock Land is critical to the various top tier multi-color decks. The Fetchlands also have great synergy with the best one drop creature in the format, Deathrite Shaman. The price of Fetchlands is often considered the defining cost barrier of Modern, however, on MTGO, they are usually cheaper than many high demand Mythics.

Fetch Lands SET 14JAN14 21JAN14 Change %
Arid Mesa ZEN 13.74 10.43 -3.31 -24%
Marsh Flats ZEN 12.33 11.37 -0.96 -8%
Misty Rainforest ZEN 23.44 19.22 -4.22 -18%
Scalding Tarn ZEN 24.00 21.09 -2.91 -12%
Verdant Catacombs ZEN 21.14 16.11 -5.03 -24%

Zen/Zen/WWK Flashback drafts were announced and the price of Fetches tumbled. If you have been wanting to invest in Fetches, this next weekend is going to be one of the best times between now and the PTQ season. Set a price tag for yourself and then keep an eye on the fetches you desire.

The Ravnica Shock Lands
The Shock Lands, with their dual basic land types, are very important pillars of the Modern format. The nickname is derived from the 2 life paid to put the land into play untapped compared to the 2 damage from the card Shock. After being reprinted in the Return to Ravnica block, the prices dropped dramatically and it is now much easier for players to acquire these lands with a modest budget.

Shock Lands SET 14JAN14 21JAN14 Change %
Blood Crypt RTR 3.38 3.76 0.38 11%
Hallowed Fountain RTR 3.65 3.27 -0.38 -10%
Overgrown Tomb RTR 2.98 3.32 0.34 11%
Steam Vents RTR 3.51 3.35 -0.16 -5%
Temple Garden RTR 3.51 3.36 -0.15 -4%
Breeding Pool GTC 4.64 4.00 -0.64 -14%
Godless Shrine GTC 5.25 4.70 -0.55 -10%
Sacred Foundry GTC 5.66 5.32 -0.34 -6%
Stomping Ground GTC 4.05 4.25 0.20 5%
Watery Grave GTC 4.20 3.56 -0.64 -15%

Devotion decks continue to keep the Shocks in check. I really thought they would be double these prices by now, but who could have expected a mono-color mechanic to work?

The Scars of Mirrodin Fast Lands
The Fast Lands are a great way to ensure two colors of mana in the first few turns of the game. Only available in allied color pairings, they see the most use for colors that have strong aggressive themes that are not affected by the drawback. The Fast Lands have a relatively low price threshold and are an inexpensive way to add mana consistency to a deck.

Fast Lands SET 14JAN14 21JAN14 Change %
Blackcleave Cliffs SOM 2.27 2.39 0.12 5%
Copperline Gorge SOM 1.02 0.93 -0.09 -9%
Darkslick Shores SOM 1.24 1.29 0.05 4%
Razorverge Thicket SOM 1.11 0.84 -0.27 -24%
Seachrome Coast SOM 0.49 0.46 -0.03 -6%

Razorverge and Seachrome are back to their "dipping" phase. The others are mostly stable.

The Worldwake Man-Lands
The ability to produce two colors and provide a creature with an ability makes these lands rather attractive. More useful in mid-range and control oriented decks that don't mind the drawback as much. Currently only one of these lands appears as a '4-of' in a deck; so while they have a moderate price threshold, keep in mind that you usually only need about 1-2 copies of each per a deck.

Man Lands SET 14JAN14 21JAN14 Change %
Celestial Colonnade WWK 8.64 8.60 -0.04 0%
Creeping Tar Pit WWK 6.40 5.56 -0.84 -13%
Lavaclaw Reaches WWK 0.49 0.52 0.03 6%
Raging Ravine WWK 3.80 2.97 -0.83 -22%
Stirring Wildwood WWK 1.41 1.03 -0.38 -27%

The upcoming Flashback drafts are also hitting the prices of the Man Lands. While there is only one Worldwake pack opened, they are still Rares and can show up easily. I know personally, if Tar Pit plummets down to where it was most of last year, I'll pick them up this time. Colonnade being a "4-of" land, I expect it's price won't go down nearly as much.

The Core Set/Innistrad Check Lands
While they do not provide mana on the first turn of the game, the Check Lands still have enough potential to see use in Modern. When combined with the Ravnica Shock Lands, the Checks are an inexpensive way to create reliable 2 color mana bases. Now that the Check Lands have rotated out of Standard, their prices are extremely low. Newer players to Modern, as well as those with very tight budgets, may want to start with these extremely cheap lands.

Check Lands SET 14JAN14 21JAN14 Change %
Clifftop Retreat ISD 0.40 0.48 0.08 20%
Hinterland Harbor ISD 0.55 0.39 -0.16 -29%
Isolated Chapel ISD 0.61 0.91 0.30 49%
Sulfur Falls ISD 1.75 1.87 0.12 7%
Woodland Cemetery ISD 0.73 0.76 0.03 4%
Dragonskull Summit M12 0.13 0.15 0.02 15%
Drowned Catacomb M12 0.25 0.25 0.00 0%
Glacial Fortress M12 0.16 0.21 0.05 31%
Rootbound Crag M12 0.12 0.11 -0.01 -8%
Sunpetal Grove M12 0.11 0.09 -0.02 -18%

The Innistrad checks are slowly climbing back up. They will never return to their Standard prices, but they are no longer as low as the Core set ones.

The Utility and Deck Specific Lands
This section covers Utility Lands, off cycle mana fixers and Deck specific lands that you might need if you want to build a Modern deck. Whether it's the Urza Tron Cycle, Affinity or you just want to know how much the most used lands that blow up other lands cost, this should give you some idea of what you are working with.

Utility & Deck Specific SET 14JAN14 21JAN14 Change %
Grove of the Burnwillows FUT 29.38 30.69 1.31 4%
Horizon Canopy FUT 17.48 18.20 0.72 4%
Tectonic Edge WWK 1.64 1.40 -0.24 -15%
Ghost Quarter ISD 0.15 0.15 0.00 0%
Urza's Mine ME4 0.14 0.14 0.00 0%
Urza's Power Plant ME4 0.08 0.08 0.00 0%
Urza's Tower ME4 0.13 0.13 0.00 0%
Academy Ruins MMA 0.55 0.68 0.13 24%
Gavony Township ISD 0.29 0.20 -0.09 -31%
Treetop Village PRM 0.28 0.22 -0.06 -21%
Blinkmoth Nexus MMA 3.74 3.24 -0.50 -13%
Darksteel Citadel DKS 0.62 0.50 -0.12 -19%
Glimmervoid MMA 1.88 2.12 0.24 13%
Inkmoth Nexus MBS 3.58 4.42 0.84 23%
Mutavault M14 25.05 29.15 4.10 16%
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx THS 1.96 1.86 -0.10 -5%
Eye of Ugin WWK 4.58 4.58 0.00 0%

Tectonic Edge also sees a drop thanks to the Flashback drafts. The Future Sight lands are almost back to their Pre-Theros release prices. I wonder if there is any chance of a Time Spiral Block flashback draft?

Here we are at the end of the article! I hope you enjoyed reading about Nykthos Green as well as my attempts at granting it godhood. Modern is a format where the power to 'go infinite' is usually winning at the big tables. I think it's hard to ignore a slight build change that can provide that kind of power.

If you are interested in the deck, then I'd say to check out all of the different builds out there, whether from Dailies, GP's or on message boards and find a version that clicks for you. It could have Titans, Behemoths, Selkies, Knights, Purphoros, Karn or some other things that people haven't even tried yet, but I know that Garruk and Nykthos will be there for sure.

Next week it's already time for the full 'Born of the Gods' spoiler! I will put on my "speculation goggles" and makes some guesses at what might see Modern play.

Plus, there will be one of those "Banned and Restricted" announcements next week as well, so who knows what kind of changes are in store for us?

Wild Guess

Until next time,

- Gio

The Modern Perspective Archive


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