Modern Masters 2: Hits and Misses – Mythic Rare and Rare Cards
If you already haven’t checked out the full spoiler list for Modern Masters 2015, you should head on over to Wizards’ website right now and do it. So what do you think of the list? There is a lot of value in the set for sure, but don’t you feel like there are quite a few cards missing? Overall, I think the draft format will be pretty entertaining, but I think what has a lot of people scratching their heads right now are “why was this reprinted but this wasn’t?” As you know, I wrote some articles back in December about MM2015 about which cards I thought would appear and which wouldn’t. Overall I think I did a good job of picking out the cards I thought would be reprinted, but there is definitely going to be a lot of action on the MTG Finance front as people scramble to pick up staples that are only going to get rarer until Modern Masters 3 in a few years. Today I’ll be going over each of the picks at each rarity from my previous articles, and also talk about the future of the cards that didn’t get reprinted in MM2.
What I Got Right
We all knew that Emrakul was coming back in this set, but I was a little surprised to get the whole run of Eldrazi in the set. I said it was a possibility, and sure enough Ulamog and Kozilek got reprinted as well. I take this as to mean we will either see new Eldrazi in the Battle for Zendikar block this fall, or that somehow the Eldrazi have changed and no longer have Annihilator.
Another card I got correct was Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. The card sees play in Modern and EDH and needed a reprint to keep its price under control. The other Praetors’ prices weren’t in any danger, but Elesh Norn need this reprint. Karn Liberated was another card I thought was a sure thing in MM2015 and I got correct. I had expected GR Tron to be a possible archetype in the set but that seems to be totally wrong since other cards needed to run that deck are nowhere to be found.
Mox Opal has become a centerpiece in Modern Masters 2 in the Affinity archetype, and it seems like it will be highly sought after during this print run. I expect people putting a Modern or Legacy affinity deck together to push the value of this card up after its initial dip as they look to get an entire playset (or as people say, the Tarmogoyf effect). Speaking of Tarmogoyf, I had stated back in December that I wouldn’t put it past Wizards to reprint it and Vendilion Clique and sure enough those cards were included in the set as well. I had expected something like the Titan cycle to get reprinted as well, but only Primeval Titan found its way into MM2. Not really surprised that the others didn’t get reprinted in the set because Primeval was really the only one that needed a reprint badly. The only other card that I sort of got correct was Tezzeret the Seeker. I had hoped it would be Agent of Bolas, but Seeker got printed instead.
What I Got Wrong
I think a lot of people are disappointed with what DIDN’T get reprinted in the set. Here were my choices from December:
- Consecrated Sphinx
- Elspeth Tirel
- Linvala, Keeper of Silence
- Phyrexian Obliterator
- Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Not a huge list, but Batterskull is the most notable card missing from MM2. Sure it was a GP promo last season, but I think the card really needed a reprint, especially with the growing popularity of the Legacy format. I guess a reprint isn’t out of the question for Batterskull in the near future, but I feel like the “Living Weapon” artifact type isn’t something that can be put in just any deck. I plan on picking 1 or 2 up for trading as I expect them to go up in value a little bit.
Elspeth Tirel and Consecrated Sphinx were long shots as they are nothing more than sideboard/EDH cards, so I’m not really disappointed they didn’t get a reprint. They might see a slight increase in value in the coming months as supply gets less and less. Elspeth probably won’t be reprinted any time soon, but Sphinx is a possibility. I’m also not too surprised that Linvala, Keeper of Silence didn’t get reprinted. I had expected Birthing Pod to still be around back in December, but after being banned there really isn’t a place for Linvala and with FTV: Angels coming out this year, she might just get reprinted yet.
Phyrexian Obliterator was another card that I thought would get reprinted because its flavor and name would make it hard to put in just about any other future set outside of another Mirrodin block. I expect prices to go up gradually on this card, but since it isn’t played heavily in any formats there’s no rush to get them. I’m kind of disappointed that Tezzeret the Seeker was chosen over Agent of Bolas though. AoB is much stronger than Seeker, and I guess that’s why he didn’t get the reprint. Affinity is already looking like a great archetype in MM2 Limited, and having AoB in the set would be bonkers. I could see Agent of Bolas appreciating in value nicely before the next Modern Masters set is released unless we have a Ugin Vs. Nicol Bolas showdown in a future set that puts Sarkhan against Tezzeret. Not happening soon though.
My Initial Thoughts
Overall, people seem to be happy with the Mythic Rare cards included in the set. You can never get too many Tarmogoyfs, and having Karn and the Eldrazi under $40 will be nice. I expect more people to pick up Tron decks this year, and we could see more reanimator decks as well if the Eldrazi are easy to get a hold of. Iona, Shield of Emeria was chosen by my friend S.B. Jackel in his Modern Masters 2 article, and his reasoning that she is powerful yet not unbeatable in a set full of colorless Eldrazi is sound.
Reprinting Vendilion Clique was also a good call, and I think it will make decks like UB Faeries much more viable in both Modern and work well with the Faerie archetype in MM2 limited. I also agree with increasing Bitterblossom’s rarity to Mythic Rare as it puts more copies of the card in players hands, while also protecting the value of the card. I expect the price to dip initially, but if UB Faeries becomes popular again, this is another card that could experience the “Tarmogoyf Effect” and see an increase by the end of summer. Keep an eye on it.
Jund has been fighting back recently, but Dark Confidant has seen a lot less play recently. I don’t think his value will plummet, but I think he’ll definitely become more affordable after all the boxes are opened. I’m guessing $50 or so in the first few months before supply drops again.
The cards I don’t really think needed a reprint were Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Comet Storm. We had Kiki-Jiki in the first Modern Masters set, and with Splinter Twin in this set and no way to get an infinite combo (since there is no Pestermite or Deceiver Exarch) it seems rather pointless. Okay, we get a copy of a value creature like Mulldrifter or Vendilion Clique, but it’s hard to emulate the Modern experience like MM1 did with Storm and Kiki/Pestermite combo when you get rid of the key cards. I guess it makes the format a bit more fair, but it’s still kind of disappointing. Comet Storm is okay in limited, but not really something we needed. I would have much rather have seen Batterskull and Phyrexian Obliterator in their spots instead.
What I got Right
Just as with the Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, we knew that Etched Champion was going to be in the set from the get go. It pretty much assured that Affinity was going to be an archetype in this set, and made picking some of the cards we thought would appear in the set a little bit easier. Spellskite was one such card, and this also meant that Hurkyl’s Recall would have to be in the set as well to counteract the strategy. I called both of these cards in my article back in December.
Fulminator Mage was another card that couldn’t escape getting reprinted that I was correct on, and I also was right on target with Daybreak Coronet, Leyline of Sanctity, Noble Hierarch, and Splinter Twin. I also said that I thought Phyrexian mana would be returning in MM2 because of how hard it would be to reprint in a future set and for the most part I was right. Surgical Extraction is going to be reprinted at rare, and there are a number of other Phyrexian cards in this set as well.
While I wasn’t correct that Bitterblossom would be reprinted at Mythic Rare, I did guess that it would be back correctly. Mirran Crusader was another card that I talked about in passing that could see a reprint and it ended up show up in the MM 2015 set as well.
What I got Wrong
Wow. There were quite a lot of cards that I thought would be in Modern Masters 2015 that didn’t show up in all. A few of these cards could be reprinted over the next few months or in a future set, but I’m really confused why some cards didn’t get reprinted at all.
- Inkmoth Nexus
- Melira, Sylvok Outcast
- Birthing Pod
- Phyrexian Metamorph
- Orzhov Pontiff
- Auriok Champion
- Ranger of Eos
- Serra Ascendant
- Birds of Paradise
- Creeping Corrosion
- Gaddock Teeg
- Goblin Guide
- Goryo’s Vengeance
- Leonin Arbiter
- Rhys the Redeemed
- Threads of Disloyalty
- Celestial Colonnade (and other Man lands)
- Pyromancer Ascension
- Horizon Canopy
- Grove of the Burnwillows
- Through the Breach
First and foremost is anything related to Infect. Inkmoth Nexus is the elephant in the room here. It sees play in both Modern and Legacy in a number of decks and now that we know it won’t be back for at least another few years we can all expect the price on the card to stay high for the foreseeable future. It also means that Melira, Sylvok Outcast won’t be reprinted either (but that doesn’t really matter anyways, does it).
My biggest “whoops” moment came when I said that Birthing Pod had a 90% chance of being reprinted. Before the banning was announced I think everybody would have guessed it would be in MM2, but when it was canned, it affected quite a lot of possible cards in the set. It meant Phyrexian Metamorph wouldn’t get reprinted, Linvala wasn’t going to be back, and it also cut out the possibility of seeing Orzhov Pontiff or Harmonic Sliver. I guess it cleared up a lot of spots for the set though, which let them put in other things that might not have made it otherwise. This is also why Leonin Arbiter didn’t show up in the set I think. There was simply no need for him.
Also absent from MM2 are any Soul Sister cards. During testing, they must have found out that gaining 100 life in a limited game doesn’t make for a lot of fun for anybody ^_^. That means no Auriok Champion, no Ranger of Eos, and no Serra Ascendant. Out of those 3, I think Auriok Champion has the lowest probability of being reprinted before the next Modern Masters set. The name “Auriok” is pretty much locked into the Mirrodin world, so it would be hard to reprint it in any other block. The other 2 could possibly be reprinted though, so I wouldn’t run out and buy those any time soon.
I’m somewhat surprised that we didn’t get Creeping Corrosion as a board wipe against Affinity archetypes in limited either. Sure we got some spot removal, but I think the set could have used something like Corrosion or Shattering Spree. As for the other cards in the list above, Goblin Guide, Bloodghast, Scapeshift, and the Man lands could quite possibly be returning in the Battle for Zendikar this fall. Their flavor, typing, and abilities all make them prime candidates for a set based on land mechanics and having a world fighting back against the monstrous Eldrazi.
There seem to be a lot of missed opportunities with the other cards I had chosen but didn’t appear either. Rhys the Redeemed would have fit in with the multicolor theme they have going on in MM2 and would have worked great with all the token makers out there, Goryo’s Vengeance would have been a great way to reanimate Elesh Norn, Iona, and the handful of other powerful Legendary creatures in the set, and Damnation could have been reprinted in this set to bring the price down on it as well. Instead, we get All is Dust, which was just released as a GP Promo not too long ago.
For investment opportunities, I think Gaddock Teeg might see more sideboard play in GW hatebear/Zoo/Junk aggro, Horizon Canopy and Grove of the Burnwillows will continue to be an important part of the decks they’re in and will be hard to reprint in the immediate future, and finally Through the Breach could head upwards in value before it’s next possible printing in MM3.
My Initial Thoughts
While I stated above that I thought this format would be great for drafting, there are a few cards that have me scratching my head. The first one is Daybreak Coronet. How do you play this in a set with only 5 total aura spells? I’m sure people don’t mind opening it, but it’s a garbage choice in a pool of cards. Guile seems like another random card included in the set. Sure it’s an elemental that can be unearthed by Horde of Notions, but who actually plays counter spells in limited? Also, why do you need 2 Stampede effects in the same set? Overwhelming Stampeded and Overwhelm even share a similar name, so why print both? Really bad planning I think.
Aside from the cards I mentioned, I think the other rares have pretty good synergy and when put together can make a pretty solid deck. They might not be worth $50 each, but if you know how to build decks and can draft the pieces of the different archetypes such as Affinity or UB Faeries and win yourself some tournaments. For once I’m glad Japan only does re-drafts after a booster draft. You put all your rares on the table and people choose one card at a time depending on your rank. This could end up getting you better rares than you originally opened!
Coming Up Next time
We’ve only just begun to look into this set. The rares and mythics might be covered, but the bulk of our cards, the uncommons and commons in Modern Masters 2 will be covered in a few days. I’d like to get your initial reactions to the set, so if you have something you’d like to say about how MM2 will affect prices, the metagame, etc, please leave your comment below so we can discuss it.