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May 24, 2016

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Musings of the Madman: Wishing for Eternal Masters – The Essentials

Welcome back all! With Eternal Masters just around the corner in early June, let’s look at some possibilities and hopes for each colour. The methodology here will be simple. Over the next two weeks, I’ll look at Top 8 lists from Vintage and Legacy and Commander primers from MTGSalvation and go from there.

I’ll also bear in mind that this is a Limited format, so there likely won’t be any duplication in styles of cards (no duplicate mass land destruction seems likely). Let’s take a look at five cards in each colour (as well as lands and artifactcts/colourless) that could badly use a reprint.

White

White is a nice support colour in Commander and Legacy, with excellent spot removal, sweepers and some killer planeswalkers. Let’s take a look at some needed reprints.

Sure, it’s a narrow answer to Sneak & Show decks but there are no foil printings and it’s getting harder to find them. Keep it at rare and throw it in the mix, since more options for Legacy is a good thing. It might also serve as disruption if there are any “cheat” effects for creatures in the set for Limited.
With a single printing in a previous Conspiracy set, would help foil True-Name Nemesis in draft and affords us a few new copies. Sees play in Commander as well in some more controlling lists.
Arguably should have been reprinted in Modern Masters II, really needs another reprint and would allow them to include a few juicy Equipment cards in the set to spice things up. A no-brainer really, just leave it at Rare or Mythic Rare and move on. 
There have been many, many, many printings of “Mr. Plow”, but one more can’t hurt. Original art would be great on another foil, or even the one from Ice Age. Sees play in virtually any deck using white in Commander or elsewhere. Perfect at uncommon!
She sees cross-format play, is incredibly efficient and disruptive for her mana cost, and has a very cool Judge Foil. We’d love to see her back for another play or two and could fit into a hatebears strategy for Limited if they wanted to go there.

Wildcard/Commander Pick:

The feared turn one play in Commander is quite fair in a 20 life format, and there aren’t a ton of copies available out there for trade. Simply drop it at Rare and call it a day.

Blue

The best colour in Magic has a few staples that we’d like to have back.

Like its colleague the Imperial Recruiter, there have only been two printings of this, one in a Commander product and the other a Judge Foil. It’s high time for a reprint, perhaps in the uncommon or rare slot, as it’s unlikely to see a reprint in a Standard or Commander product.
Nice sideboard card that has a single foil printing that’s exorbitantly expensive to obtain. Throw it out there at Uncommon to give us a few more in circulation, It might even come up if there are a lot of artifacts in the set.
It was pointed out to me by Kenneth Gallagher that the foils are reaching the $50 range, with only one printing. If there are fetch lands in the set, this might make a tidy bit of library fixing. Best at common so there’s an abundance of them, but allowable at uncommon for fears of too-long library manipulation.
Another deck-defining staple that needs a reprint yesterday. Sees abundant play in Legacy, some corner play in Commander and would make collectors excessively happy with a foil reprint.
A more unlikely entry, but it seems plenty of play in Legacy, Modern and Commander. Would make for a very swingy Limited format though if there are any efficient counterspells or burn spells.

Wildcard/Commander Pick:

Again, only one printing and no foils available. Yes, it would be a bomb in Limited, but that shouldn’t constrain Wizards from doing the right thing and sending a few more into the wild. They could even make a Merfolk sub-theme for drafts if they wanted to.

Black

Black is a staple colour in Commander with its abundance of tutors, fast mana and utility creatures (that invariably die to Skullclamp). Wizards will have the easiest time of all picking a handful of cards to reprint, so let’s speculate!

Its last printing was a Judge Foil ages ago. Demonic Tutor has seen a recent printing and this card’s rarity and value increases by the month. A staple in Commander and would definitely see some play if allowed in Legacy.
Yes, there are a ton of these in circulation. No, that isn’t an excuse to leave it aside for Eternal Masters. Print it at Uncommon if you must, but print it again. More foil copies of Dark Ritual are a must.
She wasn’t in the recent Shadows Over Innistrad and she wasn’t in Modern Masters II, so let’s get it right this time? This absurdly powerful planeswalker sees cross-format play and we could use a few new copies. Keep it at Mythic for Limited play concerns if you wish.
Its also had a reprint in the Premium Deck Series: Graveborn, but remains a four-of in decks using it and is hovering close to $20 each at the moment. Would love to see a reprint if only to give Ad Nauseam players a little breathing room.

Wildcard/Commander Pick:

Reprinted in a recent Commander product (thankfully!) but the foil ones are exceedingly hard to find these days. Ideally with the original art but any reprint is a welcome reprint of this strong, but not overwhelming, source of card advantage.

Red

Red suffers in Commander from the higher life total, but there are tons of potential staples here for constructed formats. Let’s take a look at a few possibilities.

There are a scant two versions of this card available, and they’re close to the $300 CDN range. One is a Judge Foil and the other from Portal Three Kingdoms. It sees play in Painter’s Stone in Vintage and some fringe play in Commander, but this is in desperate need of a reprint, if only to bring down the price a few dozen dollars.
I refer here to any number of the “Bolt” variants, which could be the original, or Lava Spike or Rift Bolt. While they aren’t onerously expensive at the moment at only around $5 each, a reprint at the common slot in Eternal Masters would be a relief, if only because it would flood the market a little more. You can also include Chain Lightning in this list as it’s consistently around $20 or so on the secondary market.
This hyper-aggro staple is closing on $60 at the moment and should have been reprinted ages ago. Goblins are common to nearly any plane in the Magic multiverse and a reprint in the rare slot would be great. I don’t want to imagine the prices if they aren’t in EMA. $100 Goblin Guides? Let’s hope that never happens.
Another fun card that lets you cheat an early Chalice of the Void or fuel an Ad Nauseam combo deck in Modern, SSG could use a reprint. They’ll probably want to place it at Uncommon though so people aren’t exploding their hand with it as a pseudo generic mana enabler.
Come on Wizards! This is nearing $100 at the moment and it sees play in Modern, Legacy, Vintage and even some controllish Commander builds as well. It’s a great card and if they’re worried about it crushing a limited format, just place it at Mythic rarity. I’d much prefer it at Rare though, where more would enter the secondary market.

Wildcard/Commander Pick:

They have said they’d release some Commander options into the wild here and red is a nice support colour in the format. Deretti is a popular option for artifact builds and can get especially nasty once he ultimates, bringing back Mindslaver and essentially locking players out of the game. The art on the original is fairly good so there isn’t a need to “correct” this issue either.

Green

We probably won’t be seeing Tarmogoyf making a comeback here, but there are still some nice green cards that are abundandly played in Commander and some more aggressive Legacy builds. Let’s wish upon an Eternal star once again…

It’s Uncommon and a real bomb in Limited, so expect a bump to Rare if in this set. Sees play in Infect as a finisher and in the odd Commander deck, but would be a welcome reprint overall.
We “recently” got a reprint of this in Commander’s Arsenal, but they are still hovering from $40+ to $150+, depending on the version. Would add some nice library filtering in Limited and would be great to add to our various Commander decks.
Elves are under the radar for the most part these days, but a few of their pieces are getting up there in prices. This mana enabler usually goes for $15 to $20 and is a four of in those decks, and sees Commander play in Ezuri decks as well.
Has already been reprinted in Conspiracy, and there’s a second Conspiracy set coming down the pipes this year, so that may be a player there. Still, more foil Explorations would be sweet to have, and this would make a decent rare slot filler.
Fantastic mana-enabler that also helps your creatures in combat and a staple in Infect strategies as well, the Hierarch sees play in Commander wherever it can fit. Would love to see it back in play.

Wildcard/Commander Pick:

Hovering close to $40 these days, the inevitable finisher off a Tooth and Nail sees play in all allowed Commander variants. It’s in dire need of a reprint, so let’s get that done, shall we?

Artifacts/Colorless and Lands

Mana Crypt is too ambitious (though I’d love to be surprised) and Sol Ring likely too strong for a draft format. Ancient Tomb at Mythic or Rare would add a little punitive push and be a welcome addition for those of us on the hyper-greedy end of the spectrum.
Only one foil version and the regular version tops $50 on a regular basis. It’s time, so don’t put it off any longer. Makes a nice speed bump in Limited as well.
It’s an Uncommon so it can be reprinted. Its colleague Pendelhaven has been already, but its more valuable brethren’s price keeps increasing. There’s also only one foil copy, so killing two birds with one stone would do us all a world of good.
The “Zen-fetches” are needed beyond any other land cycle. They are four-ofs in nearly any playable deck in Vintage, Legacy, Modern and they see abundant play in Commander as well. They were reprinted (sort of) as Expeditions, but this isn’t enough to satiate demand. Do it right and reprint them at Rare.
The swords and their equipment ilk aren’t especially prohibitive to buy, but they are getting rarer and are useful in a cross-format capacity that few others can match. Throw in Skullclamp in here for the Commander players and watch a short-lived Limited format explode!

Wildcard/Commander Pick:

Yes, its lesser expensive cousin Ashnod’s Altar is still around, but this one has the added benefit of producing coloured mana and is becoming prohibitively expensive in its foil version.

With official Eternal Masters previews coming soon, I hope that some of my wishlist will be heard by the powers above. If not, perhaps EMA can become a yearly (or staggered yearly) occurence to refill our card collections with those loved and loathed staples of years gone by.

Until next time, let’s be eternally grateful there is no Comet Storm hitting our fellow players out of these packs.