Demonic Tutor

Magic: the Gathering in the UK

I loved Innistrad.  I believed Maro when he said New World Order made things better for experienced players too and used Innistrad as an example.

Then Modern Masters came out and despite having to include a bunch of rares and only being allowed cards from Mirrodin to Shards it was way better than anything we've seen since Innistrad, and most of what came before, too.

It will be minimum one year until the next Modern Masters.

So, my idea is, let's make our own Modern Masters.

Random ideas that are very much half formed:

* 6 of each of 60 commons, 3 of each of 60 uncommons, 2 of each of 50 rares, 1 of each of 10 mythics is 650 cards.

* Use old cards, pre-Mirrodin, for spell-based funtimes and novelty even for players that have been playing for a while.

* Invent cards where necessary to fill holes.

* Some possible seeded archetypes: free spell necro, ug madness, gro, draw-go, astral slide, reanimator, artifact control, mill, auras, tokens, birthing pod, pox, sacrifice, prison, wizard tribal.

* Possibly include a lot of Legacy playables and call it "Legacy Masters".  What wizards would print if they said fuck it to the secondary market and the reserve list and tried to support legacy via a "Masters" release.

What do you think?  Interested in being on the development team?  Could make for some cheap Tuesday nights during the long reign of M14* ...

* = Bit of a cheap shot.  I've actually really enjoyed 3 of the last 4 core set drafts.

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actually didn't even realise that tempest-scourge was the same size as MM! just suggested it without much forethought as tempest-scourge (+5, 6, 7) extended is probably my favourite format outside vintage

Definitely down with Tempest - Scourge as a format. I'd imagine the best way to kick this off would be the way they seem to have designed Modern Masters - decide which rares you want to reprint, see if they suggest any archetypes, then build those archetypes to be playable without the rare. Things should flow organically from there - e.g. you could start with Entomb as a rare, add Stitch Together as a renimate spell, and suddenly you're looking at a possible B/x self-mill reanimate deck and a B/x Threshold deck.

That would be fun, by fun I mean HORRIFIC!!

Glenn Goldsworthy said:

man I so wanted squiral opposition and the old stasis decks in (the stasis deck just to play against Mills)

That is a pretty good suggestion Kieran. Expanding on Tom's imaginary management idea that we are required to reprint specific cards that are required to help make Legacy more accessible might give us a good start.

This guy has done some good analysis of recent Legacy tournaments to pull out top decks and representative decklists:

Perhaps we can use these to trawl for hard to get or expensive cards in our set range to help give us that initial pool to derive archetypes from?

These are the Legacy playables that have jumped out at me so far:

RARE - Allied Fetchlands, Back to Basics, City of Traitors, Cursed Scroll, Dream Halls, Energy Field, Entomb, Gamble, Ill-Gotten Gains, Manabond, Meddling Mage, Misdirection, Mox Diamond, Rishadan Port, Show and Tell, Stifle, Terravore, Unmask, Vindicate, Xantid Swarm, Pernicious Deed, Sneak Attack, Solitary Confinement, Sylvan Safekeeper, Goblin Piledriver, Grim Lavamancer.

UNCOMMON - Ancient Tomb, Chain of Vapor, Choke, Energy Flux, Gempalm Incinerator, Goblin Ringleader, Massacre, Smother, Sterling Grove, Submerge, Tendrils of Agony, Turnabout, Wasteland, Wirewood Symbiote, Cabal Therapy.

COMMON -Brainstorm, Cabal Ritual, Counterspell, Dark Ritual, Daze, Disenchant, Duress, Fertile Ground, Flame Rift, Ghastly Demise, Goblin Matron, Innocent Blood, Land Grant, Lotus Petal, Mental Note, Putrid Imp, Snuff Out, Swords to Plowshares (only if you include core sets at the same time as our chosen blocks).

Going by price these are the expensive cards that imaginary head office might want us to print:

Gaea's Cradle


Polluted Delta, Flooded Strand, Windswept Heath, Bloodstained Mire, Wooded Foothills

Show and Tell

Rishadan Port

Sneak Attack

City of Traitors


Mox Diamond

Goblin Piledriver




Academy Rector


Pernicious Deed


Burning Wish

Land Tax

Orim's Chant

Argothian Enchantress

Below here less than $10:

Enlightened Tutor

Energy Field

Goblin Lackey



Dream Halls

City of Brass 

Tower of the Magistrate


Dust Bowl

Ancient Tomb

Goblin Sharpshooter

Cunning Wish

Ensnaring Bridge


Living Wish

Akroma, Angel of Wrath 

Below here less than $5 but still expensive for their rarity:

Tangle Wire

Cabal Therapy


Cursed Scroll

Back to Basics

Price of Progress

Wirewood Symbiote

Solitary Confinement

Lotus Petal

Mother of Runes

Ill-Gotten Gains

Careful Study

Nimble Mongoose


Goblin Bombardment



There are also these expensive cards that don't get played in Legacy (from casual, edh, cube, just damn rare):

Grim Tutor, Sliver Queen, Temporal Manipulation, Serra's Sanctum, Gilded Drake, Scroll Rack, Volrath's Stronghold, Humility, Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary, Mirri's Guile, Bribery (core set only in the time period), Phyrexian Tower, Replenish, Genesis, Recurring Nightmare, Defense of the Heart, Toxin Sliver, Treachery, Yavimaya Hollow, Mirari's Wake, Ruby Medallion, Pearl Medallion, Jet Medallion, Reflecting Pool, Burgeoning, Greater Good, Cabal Coffers, Diabolic Intent, Sapphire Medallion, Patron Wizard, Eladamri, Lord of Leaves, Patriarch's Bidding, Urza's Incubator, Decimate, Seedborn Muse, Mind Over Matter, Riptide Laboratory, Grave Pact, Dromar, the Banisher, Squirrel Mob, Magma Sliver, Altar of Dementia, No Mercy, Test of Endurance, Ertai, Wizard Adept, Karmic Guide, Living Death, Palinchron, Nether Spirit, Elvish Piper, Meditate, Coat of Arms, Helm of Possession, Deranged Hermit, Emerald Medallion, Form of the Dragon, Exalted Angel, Propaganda, Morphling.

Any of these could be the "doubling seasons" of the set.

Plus cards that are expensive AND banned in Legacy: Tolarian Academy, Survival of the Fittest, Vampiric Tutor, Yawgmoth's Will, Oath of Druids, Tinker and Earthcraft.

wrt lands, it's quite apparent that they shied away from reprinting any rare mana fixing lands in MMA, the vivids and terramorphic are all that we get. With that in mind, would it be worth keeping this restriction in place? It's tempting to put in fetches and duals, but in a limited format are they really necessary - and would having a cycle of 5 take up too much real estate in the set?

Various ideas floating around from these lists:

Artifact Combo/Control
Cheating Fatties into Play/Reanimator
U/x tempo

Reasonable amount of support for combo mostly in the form of fast mana and tutors.

I'm also wondering if we could shift the fetchlands down in rarity and print Brainstorm at Common making the lynchpin Legacy interaction of Brainstorm + fetchland a thing in the format.  Or if that is basically like printing a bunch of Ancestral Recalls and then asking people not to play U?

Goblins seems like it *has* to be a deck with Siege-Gang Commander, Lackey, Matron, Ringleader, Mogg Flunkies, Mogg Fanatic and Gempalm Incinerator in the pool.

Show and Tell and reanimation have at least one good target in the form of Akroma.  Sneak Attack is not hot with Akroma, though.  Scion of Darkness?  Symbiotic Wurm?  Bladewing the Risen?  Serra Avatar???

Then again we probably don't want entirely cube-like power levels with crazy blow out games where your opponent Emrakul's you on t2.  Can we achieve any kind of balance with Dark Ritual, Ancient Tomb, City of Traitors, Lotus Petal, Cabal Ritual?  We may need to cut some of those if they make everything degenerate.

Enchantress gets a bunch of cards from the Legacy deck: Argothian Enchantress, Enchantress' Presence, Sterling Grove, Cloud of Faeries, Living Wish, Elephant Grass, Seal of Removal, Carpet of Flowers, Words of Wind.   NO idea if this translates into something good or fun, though.  Worth trying.

Still pretty sure it would be sweet if there was a theme around sacrifice.   Goblin Bombardment, Grave Pact, Fecundity, Carrion Feeder, Culling the Weak, Ertai, the Corrupted, Recurring Nightmare, Sadistic Hypnotist, Smokestack, token makers.

It might be worth thinking about color pairs unless we are going to print so much fixing that you usually play 3+ colors.

WU - Artifact control.

WB - Disruption/Prison.

WR - Aggro.

WG - Enchantments.

UB - Reanimator.

UR - Some kind of combo.

UG - Tempo-based Aggro.

BR - Goblin sacrifice.

BG - Rock mid-range/Pernicious Deed control.

RG - Goblinish Aggro

Not sure how we make Goblins a two color deck.  I see why they did what they did with GB elves and RB goblins, etc. in Lorwyn block now ...

In my head I kind of had the land breakdown as:

Rare/Mythic: Gaea's Cradle, Serra's Sanctum, Volrath's Stronghold, Tolarian Academy, Barbarian Ring

Uncommon: Allied Fetchlands 

Common: Cycling lands + Terminal Moraine or somesuch

If we want to support a Lands archetype then we would need a heap more, probably starting with Saga manlands

Paul Hodgson said:

wrt lands, it's quite apparent that they shied away from reprinting any rare mana fixing lands in MMA, the vivids and terramorphic are all that we get. With that in mind, would it be worth keeping this restriction in place? It's tempting to put in fetches and duals, but in a limited format are they really necessary - and would having a cycle of 5 take up too much real estate in the set?

I definitely think we want a large-ish amount of manafixing but I'm completely open as to how we achieve it.

MMA had City of Brass at Rare, Vivids at Uncommon, Terramorphic, Kodama's Reach and Search for Tomorrow at Common.

There are lots of good fixing lands we have available to us from the pool:

Allied Fetchlands

All 10 Painlands

Invasion duals

Grand Colliseum

City of Brass

Krosan Verge

Reflecting Pool

Tainted Lands (probably too B specific to make the cut)

Tarnished Citadel

Terminal Moiraine

The super-awkward allied duals from Odyssey like Darkwater Catacombs and Mossfire Valley.

As well as cycling lands, Odyssey sac lands, Ancient Tomb, Dust Bowl, Rishadan Port, Wasteland, Kor Haven, High Market, Nantuko Monastery, Contested Cliffs, Phyrexian Tower, Rifstone Portal, Riptide Laboratory, Serra's Sanctum, Gaea's Cradle, Shivan Gorge, Stalking Stones, Temple of the False God, Terrain Generator, Tower of the Magistrate, Unholy Grotto, Volrath's Stronghold and City of Traitors.

If we don't want to make Brainstorm-fetchland a thing in the environment I could see us putting the Invasion duals at Uncommon as our primary non-green fixing.

Next question for me is, what were the fun archetypes in the blocks we are including?  I have no idea.

Tempest - ?

Urza - ?

Masques - ?

Invasion - Domain?

Odyssey - Threshold?

Onslaught - CMC matters?  Morph?

Someone who played those blocks want to enlighten us?

If we had Brainstorm at Uncommon then there is a maximum of only 3 in the draft, having 15 potential fetchlands to use with them is quite a lot, but perhaps we could leave the fetches at rare and have other shuffle effects to compensate?

I think the painlands might be a better fit than Invasion duals as they are more aggro friendly, and I think this is an environment that might need some help in that area.

I forgot about many of those cool colourless lands that are actually colour affiliated, like Riftstone Portal or Riptide Lab, those might be nice to squeeze in. Grand Coliseum seems like a nice add too, would be great if we were allowed Tendo Ice Bridge!

What do people think about including cards from speciality sets that are now Legacy playable like Shardless Agent or Baleful Strix?

Tempest - Shadow (lets just ignore each other and race!) Buyback was here too, I almost always ended up U in this format

Urza - Pestilence at common, yay! Was supposed to be the enchantment block

Masques - Rebels, Mercenaries, Spellshapers, tapping all your lands, free spells

Invasion - 5 colour green, Kavu tribal, RB aggro (in fact allied colour decks only really)

Odyssey - Threshold, Madness

Onslaught - Morph, Storm, CMC Matters, Tribal

Thomas David Baker said:

Next question for me is, what were the fun archetypes in the blocks we are including?  I have no idea.

Tempest - ?

Urza - ?

Masques - ?

Invasion - Domain?

Odyssey - Threshold?

Onslaught - CMC matters?  Morph?

Someone who played those blocks want to enlighten us?

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