Modern Masters 2: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – Commons
With Grand Prix Shizuoka coming up this weekend, and Fates Reforged Spoilers set to hit around the same time, it’s probably a good idea to get this final article about MM2 out before things get hectic. I expect January and February to be very busy here on The Japan Hobbyist, and as long as my work schedule doesn’t get as hectic as it did in November and December, I hope to put out more than 1 article a week.
Today I’ll be covering the commons I think will be in Modern Masters 2, and there certainly aren’t any shortages of cards to choose from. After going through each set looking at the Mythic Rares all the way to the commons, I noticed that I could only really feel confident on about 50% of my choices. The rest were pure speculation. There are also going to be a lot of spaces to fill up in this set that you simply can’t guess unless you know all the of themes Wizards is planning.
Why oh why weren’t you reprinted in the first Modern Masters? One printing in Fifth Dawn = a $7+ price tag for a common . . . a COMMON. I’ll admit, it’s pretty powerful but at the moment it mostly sees play in UR and RUG Twin decks in modern. UR Delver and Miracles also play it I think. It’s a key card and usually a 4 of so you can grab your win conditions and go off by turn 4. Just as I guessed that Aven Mindcensor might be reprinted as a rare, I think Serum Visions would be much better reprinted as an uncommon. If Treasure Cruise gets banned, I could see Serum Visions seeing even more play.
This is a flip of the coin. If Infect is a theme in MM2, there will definitely be some Infect creatures at common to help facilitate it. Blighted Agent is one of the better ones, but I would also expect Glistner Elf to make an appearance, and maybe even see a reprint of Apostle’s Blessing so that you can push through damage early and often without losing your creature to removal or blockers. I think Infect creatures would also work well with cards meant to go with Slippery Boggle enchantment decks, so I wouldn’t count these cards out.
Coiling Oracle is an all around fun card that sees a lot of play in EDH, and in a limited environment such as MM2, I think it would fit well. It helps you ramp into an Eldrazi if you’re going for fast mana, and it would also be an okay card in a Birthing Pod deck to search for after sacrificing your mana creature. It sees a lot of casual play too I think.
If there is going to be an Affinity theme, you can be damn sure Cranial Plating will be included. You probably won’t be able to get those turn 1 hands to play it in MM2 limited, but it’s a solid card to draw at any time if you are playing cards like Memnite, Inkmoth Nexus, or Signal Pest. This is another card that I wouldn’t mind seeing as an uncommon in the new set. It seems too powerful in modern to be a common. It’s a 4 of in a tier 1 deck, and if you’re going to have an influx of new Modern players after Modern Masters 2, I think you’ll want to make it so that 80% of the new players don’t jump into Affinity due to it’s affordability. At $10 a pack though . . . it might still be a common though.
Chromatic Sphere is another solid utility card that I think can have various applications in Modern Masters 2. It could fit in an GR Tron theme, works in Affinity when you need colored sources, and it’s also works well with Tezzeret (both versions). Without Zendikar fetch lands or Shadowmoor filter lands, mana fixing will definitely be needed and this card fits multiple roles. Speaking of Mana fixing, Druid of Anima from Shards of Alara might not be a bad choice as a common either. It would work well in a Naya Zoo build if that was a theme, as well as in Pod and other ramp decks.
Sees play in almost every eternal format in multiple decks . . . yeah, I’m going to say this is pretty much a sure thing. It’s a $3 common at the moment, and if Delver in both Legacy and Modern continue to put up good numbers that number will only go up if they don’t reprint it.
It’s no Ethereal Armor, but Hyena Umbra will be a pretty sweet card to have if you’re building an Infect of Boggle deck in MM2 limited. First strike and the ability to deal damage as well saving your creature from dying will be pretty useful in limited. The card only sees play in Boggles, which is a tier 2 modern deck, but I still think a reprint is warranted.
I think the time of seeing Lightning Bolt in a regular set are gone. Wizards has slowly but surely been pushing back the power of burn spells, going from Lightning Bolt to Incinerate, Incinerate to Searing Spear, and now we have Lightning Strike. I think that’s the closest we’ll get to Bolt for a long time. Lightning Bolt is a staple of modern decks everywhere that run red, and it also sees play in UR Delver and Burn in Legacy. This is a card I would wholeheartedly support becoming a pillar of all future Modern Master sets. Will they reprint it in MM2? Well, if they don’t maybe they are saving it for the final Core set release to let the Core set go out with a “bolt”.
Mana Leak doesn’t really need a reprint as it was reprinted quite a lot from 8th Edition onwards, but I think it would be a nice inclusion in MM2 that can fit well in a limited UR Twin deck that lacks multiple counterspells such as Cryptic Command. I won’t be disappointed if it’s not reprinted, but I also could see it being printed solely for its limited applications.
Molten Rain is mostly a sideboard for red decks when they play against decks like Tron that plays a lot of non-basic lands. It has recently fallen out of favor with burn players though, however I think it sees enough play in sideboards to warrant a reprint. It’s only been printed once in Mirrodin and is a somewhat expensive common, so it fits some of the criteria of cards that deserve a reprint.
This card would be soooo good in Modern Masters 2 limited I think. It fits perfectly in a Birthing Pod or GW Hatebears limited deck, it’s great against Slippery Boggle/Enchantments, and deals with artifacts in Affinity decks as well. He’s one of my favorite commons in Modern, and he’s really deserving of a reprint in MM2. He sees a lot of sideboard play, including decks like Zoo as well as the ones mentioned above. Speaking of Naya Zoo decks, I would be surprised if Wild Nacatl makes an appearance too.
If Wizards reprints Valakut and Scapeshift, it’s only natural they reprint Sakura-Tribe Elder as well as other cards to grab mana. Sure it was just reprinted in Conspiracy, but it works well in Scapeshift, Eldrazi ramp strategies, and possibly GR tron as well. He could just as easily be replaced by Rampant Growth or something like Cultivate as well.
Could we possibly be getting enough cards in MM2 to build a limited Burn deck? Well, if Molten Rain, Lightning Bolt, Searing Blaze, and other cards cards such as Shard Volley are reprinted (and all at common no less!), it’s a distinct possibility. God knows we need a Flames of the Bloodhand reprint, and it wouldn’t hurt to get Forked Bolt either. Shard Volley is sometimes used in burn decks, especially mono-red ones, and is currently around $2. It’s also only been printed once which means it would be nice to get a second printing. We might not have enough cards in limited to build straight burn, but I expect there to be a few pieces.
Well, as much as I’d like to see a Boggle deck in limited, I don’t think there are enough cards with hexproof (such as Gladecover Scout or Invisible Stalker, which won’t be in this set) to make it work. Sure they can reprint Daybreak Coronet, but it can just as easily fit on a Zoo target like Wild Nacatl or an Infect target like Blighted Agent. Maybe they’ll print him, maybe they won’t, but I’m starting to think the later. It’s not like his price is out of control, and he could easily be put in new set instead.
A limited format with Affinity decks is going to need removal for artifacts, and nothing seems better to reprint than Smash to Smithereens. At around $5 now, it’s a bit too much to spend for a sideboard card in burn or other red decks, but a reprint could drop the price considerably and make it much more attractive as a sideboard option in Modern. Smash and Shattering Spree would be great cards to have in your deck when facing Cranial Plating or an Inkmoth Nexus in Modern Masters 2.
We’re going to get some Affinity cards in this set alongside Mox Opal and Cranial Plating, and Thoughtcast seems like an obvious inclusion. Yeah it was reprinted in Elspeth Vs. Tezzeret not too long ago, but I still think it would work in Modern Masters 2. It would work well in Affinity, and might work in a few other builds too.
Vapor Snag has been seeing a lot more play recently in blue decks, namely Merfolk and UR Delver. It’s a good way to get rid of Affinity decks that play Ensoul Artifact on Darksteel Citadel, and has a few other targets as well. I think this would be a good choice for a reprint.
I’ve talked about 20 commons so far, but there are going to be A LOT more than that in the set. There are a few other cards I’ve considered, but I don’t think their chances are more than 50 percent. There are some fun cards in this list to be sure, but I won’t be able to really speculate until we get a bit more information in a few months.
- Vault Skirge – Phyrexian mana to play it in anything, works well in Affinity, probably going to be in the set.
- Ravnica Signets – Signets see a lot of play in EDH and are big in casual games, they’d help with MM2s mana fixing and work in any deck. Foils would be nice too.
- Frogmite – used to see some play in Affinity decks, maybe we’ll see it again?
- Galvanic Blast – only sees play in Affinity builds, but would definitely add to the limited experience to make you feel like you were playing that deck.
- Spellbombs from Scars block – I could see these being in the set. Nihil works well against reanimator decks, Horizon finds mana to help you ramp, Panic is good for aggro . . . maybe.
- Soul Warden/Soul’s Attendant – we don’t really want Soul Sisters in limited I think, but they could be reprinted. I’d much rather see them appear in a regular set though.
- Terminate – it was just reprinted in Sorin Vs. Tibalt, but did anybody really buy that? (j/k). Would be great to see in limited again.
- Unmake – I always liked this card cause it gave black access to an exile effect. Without Path to Exile being reprinted again, this could be very welcomed.
- Vines of Vastwood – Would work great in an Infect build. Pay kicker, 5 poison or more and hexproof.
Playing the Waiting Game
Well, that’s it for my Modern Master’s 2 speculation. May 30th is when the simultaneous Modern Master 2 Grand Prix happen, and we can expect more information to leak out sometime in April. Until then, enjoy the new Fates Reforged set coming out in January, and good luck at the pre-release. If you have any other suggestions for commons you’d like to see in the set, please put them down below.
Be sure to check back after Grand Prix Shizuoka for my Playing to Your Weaknesses articles where I go over which commons and uncommons I think will be great in Khans/Fates limited. The set is looking like it’s going to be really powerful (for a small set), and an already great limited environment is going to get even better I think. Thanks for reading!