February 23, 2016

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Musings of the Madman: Wishing for Eternal Masters

Welcome back all! With the recent announcement that Eternal Masters will, indeed, become a reality in June, we’ve been teased with reprints of Wasteland and Force of Will and some interesting tidbits. First, no cards off the Reserved List so any hopes for dual-land reprints can now be put to rest. However, this still leaves an enormous field to play in. Let’s look at some cards that would do us a world of good to access both as Commander and sanctioned format players. I’ll be grouping these in broad categories then delving into specifics in each case.

Equipment

From Sword of Fire and Ice to Sword of Feast and Famine and passing through Skullclamp Street on your way to Umezawa’s Jitte Jetee, these could all use a reprint. Jitte is banned in Modern but the set seems aimed at Legacy and Commander. It would be quite overpowering in draft though, so that’s a concern. The Swords are equally strong and would be a welcome addition to our binders. Skullclamp is broken, will break some draft pods, and is in need of a reprint as it’s jammed into every Commander deck imaginable.

Mana Rocks

Sol Ring, Coalition Relic, Darksteel Ingot and even (dare we dream?) Mana Crypt would be great to have around. Yes, all of these (outside Crypt) are reasonably affordable but we’re always going to need them for our gameplay. Cards like the Ingot might even help fuel a multi-colour archetype in Draft, as Modern Masters 2015 Edition has shown us with Sunburst being around. Oh, can I get a shout-out to my friend Phyrexian Altar, which has had one printing and is crazy useful?

Lands

Where to start? Speculation has already started that the Zendikar fetchlands (such as Scalding Tarn and Misty Rainforest) might be in because of the collector number on Wasteland obviating the addition of Wooded Foothills. Outside of these morsels, Grove of the Burnwillows, Ancient Tomb, Strip Mine (too unlikely with Wasteland in the format?) and filter lands such as Mystic Gate would be fantastic. Even smaller stuff like Tectonic Edge and/or Ghost Quarter would be nice.

Utility spells

Chain Lightning is $20 at the moment. It has had a foil printing but with that being on a different film than regular foils, it’s not overly popular. Rancor at $5 isn’t unreasonable, but if it were at common in Eternal Masters we might see a dip there. Other removal such as Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, Return to Dust, and Hero’s Downfall would make sweet additions to your draft pool while replenishing your collection. And no, Replenish is on the Reserved List, so no luck there. This category is so wide it could include various tutors such as Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, Mystical Tutor, Muddle the Mixture, etc., etc.

Portal Three Kingdoms and Other Curio

They’ve already reprinted some Portal Three Kingdoms cards in Commander products. There’s a judge foil of Temporal Manipulation. They have the ability but do they have the will and more importantly, how much would it break the nascent Draft format? Giving a permanent +2/+2 and Horsemanship via Riding the Dilu Horse would be backbreaking in Draft. Imperial Seal is vastly expensive and its foil version might eclipse the prices. Imperial Recruiter and Loyal Retainers all see various levels of competitive play and could really use another version on the market. There are likely odds and ends cards that would be nice to have back as well, such as Pyroblast, Hydroblast, Crucible of Worlds (might be too much with Wasteland!) and not Carrier Pigeons. Never Carrier Pigeons.

Commander Reprints

As we well know, the unique cards in Commander products are never initially printed in foil form. They can be re-released as such, and this would be a great opportunity to get Derevi, Empyrial Tactician, Teferi, Temporal Archmage, Nin, the Pain Artist and a bevy of other cards such as Martyr’s Bond, Flusterstorm and True-Name Nemesis. That’s not even dealing with good Commander-viable cards such as Solemn Simulacrum, Wayfarer’s Bauble, Cyclonic Rift, Birthing Pod and the list goes on and on!

Potential Draft Archetypes

This is the fun part. A Humans theme could bring back Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Mother of Runes, Hero of Bladehold and so on. A “lands matter” theme might see Avenger of Zendikar, Rampaging Baloths and so on. Mixing functionality with desirability would be fantastic here.

Even though the set isn’t released until June, there are a multitude of rumours swirling about its contents. Make sure you obtain these from a verified source; even if it’s on your favourite rumour site it might be a clever mock-up instead of the real thing.

Until next week, may your Eternal Masters foil never be a Comet Storm.