Last week, I began running down the list of cards that are being given the old-border treatment in the upcoming Time Spiral Remastered, looking for solid pick-ups for Modern. A lot of people are very excited about these cards, such as Magic boomers who grew up with the old frame and people who are excited to play with iconic newer cards in the iconic older frame.
Given the unique nature of this release, and the relatively slim chance that a lot of these cards get reprinted in this fashion, I believe the old-bordered cards represent a good opportunity for a bit of speculation. These cards with retain value for a long time, given their distinctive, nostalgic look, and because they were also very deliberately chosen by Wizards to be (mostly) quite desirable cards in the first place.
As I touched upon last week, Modern staples with the old border, like Dismember, represent a slam-dunk addition to your collection. Not only will you get good mileage out of the card due to its playability, I don’t think the price of the Timeshifted versions of cards like these is going anywhere but up.
Generally, you shouldn’t buy into hype, and while there is hype for these old-bordered cards, it’s not reflected with a staggering price differential when compared to normal cards – something I’m confident will change as time passes and these cards become increasingly scarce.
Today, I’m going to look at the remainder of the Timeshifted cards from Time Spiral Remastered and examine which Modern-playable cards might be worth adding to your collection.
Anger of the Gods
With a relatively affordable buy-in cost, Anger of the Gods represents that sweet spot between moderate popularity and long-term playability that equates to a great buy. Anger of the Gods is a card whose fortunes shift and change, but when Modern gets aggressive and it’s needed, it’s there to do its job. I’d look to pick up this card, particularly if you need copies to play with anyway.
I’ve talked about this card representing a budget replacement for Seasoned Pyromancer in many spell-based decks, and this version is the perfect one to buy. It’s relatively cheap compared to other Timeshifted cards, playable without being overpowered and popular in Commander, this is an easy pickup that won’t break the bank.
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
People have tried and tried again to revive Splinter Twin by using Kiki-Jiki as a replacement to little effect. It’s a cool and iconic card and this printing will hold value as a result, but it’s not a card you should aggressively look to acquire for your Modern collection. If you want the card anyway, great, snag one – just don’t hold out hope that Kiki-Jiki will make waves in Modern any time soon.
This card is cheap and effective, is a mainstay of Burn decks and is unlikely to be supplanted by a better card in the foreseeable future. I don’t know how much your average Burn player cares about cosmetics – I’ve seen fewer foiled-out Burn decks than, say, Jund decks – but given the low price of this card in the first place, I don’t think there’s much risk in going after Lava Spike.
For similar reasons, Monastery Swiftspear is a good pickup. It’s an expensive uncommon, sure, and the Timeshifted version reflects that, but overall this is a good access point for a card that’s heavily played in Modern and also sometimes in Legacy. That’s where I expect this version of the card to flourish – I suspect Legacy players will be, on average, more interested in these old bordered versions.
Past in Flames
Speaking of which, old-school Magic players love to play spell-heavy decks like Storm, and this Timeshifted Past in Flames will be perfect for them. Complete with the old flashback icon, diehard older Magic fans that miss the days of underpowered creatures and overpowered spells will quickly snap this card up to put in their Storm decks. Get in on the ground floor with this one.
While Ancient Stirrings is very narrow, it’s a staple four-of in Tron decks and comes in relatively cheaply. Do Tron players want this version of the card? Perhaps they can tilt people off even further by mismatching their Ancient Stirrings, so maybe they’ll want just two copies – I don’t know. Tron doesn’t have the old-school appeal of decks like Storm or Jund, but it’s a powerful deck and maintains its relevance even in today’s fast-paced Modern. I’m going to be honest and say I just don’t know – given the price delta between the Timeshifted and regular versions, however, I’ll be giving it a miss.
Courser of Kruphix
Courser of Kruphix occasionally pops its head up in Modern, but not often, and certainly not enough to want to add this card to your collection. It’s not inconceivable that this card comes back if Modern becomes the grindy format it was years ago. However, that seems unlikely in today’s world, with Modern dominated by quick decks that’ll laugh in the face of a clunky three-drop.
I’m really unsure about Prime Time. On the one hand, it has been the backbone of many Modern decks throughout the years, from Summer Bloom to Scapeshift, but on the other, it’s a narrow card that’s banned in Commander and unplayable in Legacy. In addition, it already commands a steep price, and I’m not convinced the buy-in is worth it. I might be wrong on this, but I’d err on the side of caution and skip Primeval Titan.
The main driving force behind the price of Reclamation Sage will be the Legacy format, where diehard Elves players will happily include it in their decks. Still, it’s not played in great quantities, and has been reprinted many times in the new border, so the supply is there. I still think it’s worth picking up, however, given it’s a good Modern sideboard card and comes relatively cheap.
This card is similar to Remand in many respects, in that it’s played in the sorts of decks that Magic boomers like to play and already has a high price floor. It’s an important Legacy card, a format where the old border is naturally going to be highly prized, and therefore should hold value over time. Still, it’s an expensive buy-in, even if you’re unlikely to lose out on the investment.
What a rollercoaster this card has had: banned in Modern for years, only to take over the format once it was let off the leash, and now a mainstay inclusion in Jund decks where it helps cheat out cards like Liliana of the Veil or Wrenn and Six. BBE isn’t an expensive card and while the new version is a little pricier, this card is so beloved by so many people it’s sure to maintain a healthy price tag.
While Dredge is one of Modern’s top decks, and while every self-respecting Dredge deck plays Prized Amalgam, I’m still not sure it’s a good investment. There’s a significant delta between the regular version of this card and the Timeshifted one, and it doesn’t have the history and broad appeal of Bloodbraid Elf. The flashback tombstone icon is very cool, but this card is popular without being iconic, and I don’t know that it will maintain its current price.
Chalice of the Void
Chalice is a powerful card and has been a mainstay of many Modern decks over the years, but there are two things that mean it’s a very poor card to add to your collection. First, Chalice decks aren’t really a thing in Modern at the moment. Second, it’s outrageously expensive, driven no doubt by hype for Legacy play. Give this one a miss.
Remember when Hollow One was one of the best decks in the entire Modern format? The deck is nowhere to be seen, and this card is similarly absent. There was a time where this would have been a hot pickup, but with the banning of Faithless Looting it would take something monumental to bring back Hollow One decks.
Lotus Bloom decks tended to also rely on another way to sneakily gain free mana: Simian Spirit Guide. The recent banning of SSG is a huge hit to degenerate combo decks that relied on cards like Lotus Bloom, so I don’t see it as a high-priority pickup. I’m not saying the card will never be relevant in Modern, but it’s narrow, there isn’t a great deck for it and there may never be.
If your objective is to build a Modern collection slowly and steadily, Time Spiral Remastered offers a unique opportunity to do that while picking up printings of some format staples that’ll undoubtedly hold value better than regular, modern-border versions – especially as they are prone to reprints, whereas the Timeshifted versions are much less likely candidates.
Building a Magic collection is an expensive endeavor at the best of times, but the canny collector stands to recoup a good amount of their initial outlay with judicious investment in a unique buying opportunity like Time Spiral Remastered.