There is a lot happening with Modern Masters.  I think, anyway. 

The card pool knocks some choices out of the park, completely whiffs on others, and generally leaves people roughly equal parts confused and excited.  If you take in the entire set, you’ll see that Wizards of the Coast has created a limited environment roughly in the same vein as the recent legendary creatures they’ve been putting out; that is, the set tries really hard to showcase a broad selection of hits, but really ends up suggesting a handful of archetypes from years past to force.

There are some reprints of recently reprinted reprints.  There are some head-scratchers that seem completely out of place.

And there’s the prices.  People will rush to do math and explain the rough average price per pack based on the cards in each slot.  People will then multiply that by twenty-four to explain exactly why $200 or $250 or $300 is a good/bad/stupid price to be paying for a box (if you can get one.)  People will pay those prices, and others (hi there!) will complain about them.

And as is with any release, the one constant remains-

No matter how few packs I open, I will pull the absolute-worst cards possible.


I’m in a unique (or maybe not-so-unique) position with Modern Masters – I don’t particularly care about it one way or the other.  I don’t play Modern, and don’t plan to, so I don’t need the cards for that.  I have a love/hate relation with limited play, so I’m not exactly rushing out to find some over-priced novelty drafts.  (Full disclosure – I am signed up for two over-priced novelty Modern Masters sealed events at GenCon.  I’m some combination of a hypocrite/getting caught up in the hype after all/using the environment to convince myself it’s worth the experience/likely going to be in some stage of inebriation.  Mix and match however you feel comfortable.)

I’ve also gone over the full spoiler and realized that while there are some solid EDH playables, I don’t particularly need any of them for any of my decks.

This, my friends, is as close to unbiased as I get. 

That said, here’s my initial take on Modern Masters from an EDH perspective.  (Fair warning – biased, and likely formed while on very little sleep.  In other words, gimme some slack here.):

The Hits:
Auriok Salvagers
Path to Exile
Stonehewer Giant
Cryptic Command
Kokusho, the Evening Star
Greater Gargadon
Doubling Season
Eternal Witness
Kodama’s Reach
Krosan Grip
Life from the Loam
Tooth and Nail
Woodfall Primus
Grand Arbiter Augustin IV
Jhoira of the Ghitu
Maelstrom Pulse
Relic of Progenitus
Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Light and Shadow
Academy Ruins

Nice Includes:
Adarkar Valkyrie
Yosei, The Morning Star
Etherium Sculptor
Glen Elendra Archmage
Keiga, the Tide Star
Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
Take Possession
Thirst for Knowledge
Executioner’s Capsule
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Sarkhan Vol
Trygon Predator
Divinity of Pride
Myr Retriever
City of Brass

There is a decent amount of value in these packs.  There are some cards that hold a high dollar amount on the secondary market, such as Doubling Season and the Swords of Card Advantage and Value that are going to be nice pulls for people, and will become more available to the EDH card pool as a result.  Wizards hit a really good cross-section of regular role-players as well, such as Eternal Witness, Path to Exile, and Woodfall Primus.  It certainly feels like while they claim to be engineering this as a Modern limited product, there was some thought given to adding things to EDH.

Past the clear strong stuff, there are also some reasonable selections that see play but aren’t necessarily staples.  Seeing Trygon Predator, Divinity of Pride, and Thirst for Knowledge in there presents a great showing of tier-two roleplayers.  There are some powerhouses like Kiki-Jiki and Yosei that don’t fit every mold, but nevertheless there will be some happy people pulling them out of packs.

Wizards Gets The Finger

Thanks for the Kiki-Jiki/Pestermite combo in here.  Perhaps this is your way of reminding me that I don’t like shelling out for Limited events due to the variable factor.  Or maybe you just hate me.  With my luck, I lose to this in the first round.  You heard it here first.

Value!  (AKA – Thanks For Being Popular In Other Formats And Not So Much Here!)
Elspeth, Knight-Errant
Pact of Negation
Vendillion Clique
Bridge from Below
Dark Confidant
Summoner’s Pact
Arcbound Ravager
Chalice of the Void
Engineered Explosives
Vedalken Shackles

The set has a high MSRP for a reason.  There is value in here – solid value.  Now, I know that some people will be clamoring to play this stuff in EDH as well (and likely scratching their heads on the inclusions in the selections up above too), but I call it like I see it.  Watch how fast I run from the gaming hall to the dealer hall to ship a Tarmogoyf if I open one.  (On second thought, don’t hold your breath…)

In other news, it is now officially fine to laugh out loud the next time anyone affiliated with Wizards of the Coast makes some claim to the effect that they don’t take secondary market prices into consideration when coming up with products.  (Those of you still laughing since the From The Vaults series was released…take a break and get a glass of water or something.  We’ve got this covered.)

Honorary Card I Will Open A Ton Of In Addition To Scion Of Oona:
Gifts Ungiven

And it likely will completely tank in price before I make it to GenCon too.

Please Stop Reprinting This S**t!
Vivid lands
Terramorphic Expanse
Lightning Helix
Sa…ah, screw it.  You know what?  Anything in the Commander Pre-Cons, Premium Deck Series, Duel Decks or Planechase.

Kinda wraps that up nicely, I think.

You Missed One

The former needs a cheap reprint for EDH.  Seriously.

The latter needs to not jump up to triple digits and be the poster child for why Modern Masters was a failed experiment when pundits go off on the set in the next month or two.

Don’t Tempt Me…
Death Cloud

Don’t think I haven’t been trying to go there for about two years now.  I’ll do it.  I promise.

Token Bandwagon-Esque Complaint
Jugan, the Rising Star

Not the whole cycle, although I can understand where people are coming from on this.  Seriously, not many people at all will be upset to see Kokusho, and Yosei, Keiga, and even Ryusei are pretty solid in draft while also seeing EDH play.  (Okay…maybe not Ryusei.  You got me there.)

But Jugan?  There are now instants and sorceries that are way better at doing Jugan’s job than Jugan is.  I get the cycle thing…we all do.  All I’m saying is that maybe Jugan is a good reason to not do the cycle to begin with.  Something to chew on…

Closing Time

For now, anyway.  There will be more.  I’m sure Mr P has a thing or two to chime in on here if you were to ask him nicely.

For now, though, what do you think?  Is this splash damage worth cracking packs over?  Are you psyched that some of this stuff is in here?  What do you want to open?  Are the limited archetypes as force-fed as they look?  Do I complain too much?

You know what to do…