Quote from Daeyel »(Note to Moderators and readers - I realize this is not strictly a discussion of Modern card prices, but at the same time, these cards are modern and standard legal. I understand if this is moved, but note this is NOT a discussion about Frontier.)
I'd like to discuss a new format that is looming. As I've seen new sets roll out with the hologram, I'm becoming aware of format staples being printed under new names and with new costs. I am watching the groundwork be laid out for a brand new format, and precautions taken to ensure certain elements remain under control. This format will likely supplement Modern. In my estimation, we are in the final year or two of Modern as a format. Modern Masters was a beautiful way to monetize the demand before letting it go the way of Legacy (yet Legacy seems to be getting more popular, as people realize you can build decent decks without dual lands)
I'm not going to go into an exhaustive list, but, for instance, we do know MaRo is adamantly opposed to fetchlands in any new format replacing Modern. As such, a new format will not be able to grab the named dual lands currently in Modern. I do not expect any card to be able to do that on the level of current fetchlands. I could see a card released in coming years that searches for a specific basic such as 'search your library for a Plains', as have been printed in the past. This will not occur until the BFZ cycle rotates out, obviously. But will it wait until the Kaladesh cycle rotate? If such a card is released, their playability in a new format is greatly enhanced.
Meanwhile, the only real fetchland in the current crop of sets that we accept as being eligible for a new format, be it Khans of Tarkir or Origins, is Sylvan Scrying. In a new format, as the only non-basic land tutor this card could easily see a sharp spike upwards. Likewise for other format staple replacements like Transgress the Mind ( IOK/Thoughtseize), Vessel of Nascency, Attune with Aether, and a host of others.
My father has a test on investing: "If I put $X on the ground and walked away, would it hurt me?" If the answer was no, he could invest.
With cards like Sylvan Scrying, Crook of Condemnation, Immolating Glare that would quickly become format staples it might not be a bad investment to sink $25 into getting ~100 them, in the hopes that in a few years, they become a huge demand item, with the attendant spike. If they do not, you haven't lost much. The trick is figuring out which currently cheap cards will be these staples.
If you're playing a long, long investment game, there isn't much harm in this. You risk all those cards being reprinted, but the entry cost is probably quite low for many of the cards you are thinking of. That said, there is basically a 0% chance Modern goes anywhere for years to come. We're talking a 5-10 year scale here. It's Wizards' most popular format, they just introduced it back to the PT, and its tournaments generally have the best overall attendance for all providers. We all watched that ridiculous Frontier format crash and burn and we've seen Modern continue to put up impressive numbers.
I suppose if you want to invest in the 5-10 (or more) investment range, go for it. But I think it's a much better use of your money to speculate on Modern staples, given that Modern isn't going anywhere and the profits will be more immediate, more certain (if you speculate well), and more predictable.