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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The great U draw spell face-off.

The current U Commons list has:

CU10 - Brainstorm U - draw (storm)
CU11 - Careful Study U - sorcery, card selection (storm, madness)
CU12 - Obsessive Search U - instant, cantrip (storm, madness)
CU15 - Rush of Knowledge 4U - sorcery, draw
CU17 - Deep Analysis 3U - sorcery, draw (madness)

Choking Tethers also draws a card when cycled which is often a useful thing to do.

There are two other cyclers (Miscalculation and Cloud of Faeries) but they don't do anything when cycled.

We also have Fact or Fiction as a potential Uncommon.  Opt and Sift have hovered around the Commons list but aren't currently on it.  Exclude and Dismiss are in the pool.


Common - 3 draw spells (including Brainstorm which only nets you one card), Choking Tethers, Obssessive Search and Careful Study.

Uncommon - 1 draw spell, plus undecided others.

Compare MMA:

Common - Latchkey Faerie, Perilous Research, Petals of Insight, Reach Through Mists.

Uncommon - Careful Consideration, Electrolyze, Mulldrifter, Thirst for Knowledge.


Common - 2 cantrips, 2 draw spells.

Uncommon - 1 cantrip, 3 draw spells.

Seems like we should possibly trim a little at Common as Simon has been suggesting.

There's a lot of draw spells in the pool.  Narrowing it down to cards that net you cards without doing too much work gives us:

Sift 3U Draw 3, discard 1

Rush of Knowledge 4U Draw equal to highest CMC you control.

Breakthrough XU Draw 4 then discard all but X.

Whispers of the Muse U (Buyback: {5}) Draw 1.

Concentrate 2UU Draw 3.

Deep Analysis 3U Draw 2, Flashback 1U, 3 life.

Arcanis the Omnipotent 3UUU T: Draw 3 cards.

Opportunity 4UU Draw 4.

Fact or Fiction 3U

Of these I most want Deep Analysis (madness/threshold reward) and Fact or Fiction (fun/skill testing).  Fact or Fiction can be a Rare if it warps the format at Uncommon.  I like Rush of Knowledge as a reason to be a control deck at Common.

If we print allied fetchlands at Uncommon then Brainstorm becomes more like a genuine draw spell, but because mana costs are not so low in this format as they are in Legacy that interaction will never be as powerful as it is in Legacy.

What do you think we should print at Common/Uncommon?  Is Brainstorm a thing in this format?  Could Rush of Knowledge go to Uncommon?  Is it underpowered?

Should we replace Obsessive Search with Pendrell Flux?

I think Careful Study should be the one to go. It seems like it would only be really useful for the U/G Madness deck but when we tested it that was the enabler I least wanted to see. The others enablers all do something actually useful whilst this one is card disadvantage even if it is also selection. I like Obsessive Search because it's okay in storm as a cheap cantrip and decent in madness where you can discard it for value. Not sure Deep Analysis should be a common as it is really strong, whilst I'm okay with Rush of Knowledge because you have to work for it and it's an awesome combo with Pendrell Drake.

You reasoning re: Careful Study makes sense.  Do we think Deep Analysis should go to Uncommon?  What would replace it?  That leaves Rush of Knowledge as the only true draw spell at Common although there is a bunch of cantrip/cycle/incidental draw.

This is the third pass at the rares after mine and Simon's initial attempts.  It actually fell out pretty much correct in numbers in one go although there's nothing to say that half the cards in this list won't ruin every draft they are a part of.  With the current printing plan you'd expect to see each of the Mythics once every six drafts 8-man drafts, and P1P1 for someone once in every eighteen drafts and the rares once in every 3 8-man drafts, P1P1 once every 9.  Or course we are completely at liberty to entirely cut any card that is completely unbeatable or makes games miserable.  But they serve their usual purpose in limited of giving you something to build around and ending games.

Akroma, Angel of Wrath
Eternal Dragon

Dream Halls
Time Spiral

Phyrexian Arena
Recurring Nightmare

Form of the Dragon


Legacy Weapon
Mox Diamond

Gaea's Cradle
Serra's Sanctum

Academy Rector
Enlightened Tutor
Glorious Anthem
Karmic Guide
Land Tax
Mother of Runes
Solitary Confinement

Ertai, Wizard Adept
Future Sight
Patron Wizard
Show and Tell

Avatar of Woe
Diabolic Intent
Grave Pact
Ill-Gotten Gains
Living Death
No Mercy
Patriarch's Bidding
Sadistic Hypnotist

Goblin Bombardment
Goblin Lackey
Goblin Piledriver
Goblin Sharpshooter
Siege-Gang Commander
Sneak Attack
Grim Lavamancer
Urza's Rage

Argothian Enchantress
Defense of the Heart
Deranged Hermit
Enchantress's Presence
Nostalgic Dreams
Verdant Force
Vernal Bloom

Meddling Mage
Goblin Trenches
Mirari's Wake
Prophetic Bolt
Mystic Snake
Pernicious Deed
Last Stand

Coat of Arms
Cursed Scroll
Ensnaring Bridge
Tangle Wire

Ancient Tomb
City of Brass
City of Traitors
Grand Coliseum
Phyrexian Tower
Reflecting Pool
Riptide Laboratory
Rishadan Port
Volrath's Stronghold

Anything there we have to get rid of?  Anything we should add?  If we're going to print Aluren we should probably print Cavern Harpy somewhere for the once-in-a-blue-moon three-color mondo combo.

Notably missing from the Rares list:

Dromar, the Banisher and friends
Energy Field
Karn, Silver Golem
Sulfuric Vortex
Burning Wish
Orim's Chant
Tower of the Magistrate
Cunning Wish
Living Wish
Price of Progress
Scroll Rack
Back to Basics

Is there any way to make the Wishes work?  Could they ever be good as one-of?  What about at Uncommon?

How many rares is each colour getting? I thought it was 6?

Of the notable missing ares I think stifle could be printed at uncommon without breaking anything, and I'm not that bothered by the absences of the others. Price of Progress would be a good reprint if this was real, but might be a blank in our set. Scroll Rack would be another reason to print Fetchlands at uncommon. Morphling would be nice from a nostalgic point of view.

We probably need a wrath effect somewhere. Akromas Vengeance would be okay as it forces the cycling player to destroy their own enchantments if used, and hits the enchantment deck too. Although I'm not sure what white deck plays it except those, so maybe it isn't so great.

Terravore seems pretty weak with no land destruction/armageddon effect in the set.
Regarding blue draw spells, I think it is fine to cut Careful Study. Deep Analysis is fair at commo I think. You have Pendrell Drake, but I think you mean Peregrine Drake.

The most approximate and incomplete version of the set with Uncommons and Rares is available on Ben's amazing Cube Tutor for draft and analysis:

There are 53 rares in MMA so I was going off that although I overran a little.  10 for each color, 10 lands, 5 artifacts = 65.  Could prune it down to 53 I'm sure.

I was thinking about Wraths and wondering if we really want them?  There is none in MMA (which of couse we don't have to follow slavishly).  We have Wildfire at Rare and Slice and Dice at Uncommon, maybe Gloomdrifter for the Infest-level effect.  If we do want one or more there are a million to choose from ... Kirtar's Wrath, Catastrophe, Rout, Wind's of Rath, Mutilate, Infest, Planar Collapse, Akroma's Vengeance, Forced March, Decree of Pain and Plague Wind.  There are probably others too!

Both Winds of Rath and Planar Collapse are the opposite of Akroma's Vengeance in that they play into the Enchantments plan but perhaps too much, given that it is already a very powerful effect.  If you draft a wrath effect and some Fact or Fictions/Deep Analysis's then you have the makings of a UW control deck I guess.  Is that a good thing?

Really not sure about Wraths.  Should try one or two I guess and see how we feel.  There are plenty of other very powerful cards on that list like Upheaval so I'm not sure why I'm being precious about a Wrath.

Plus you can draft super sweet decks like this (have NO idea if it is any good but it's definitely fun):

3 Lotus Petal
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Barren Moor
5 Swamp
2 Forest
2 Mountain

5 Carrion Feeder
3 Festering Goblin
3 Ravenous Rats
1 Rotlung Reanimator
2 Bone Shredder
1 Goblin Matron
1 Faceless Butcher
2 Gravedigger
2 Symbiotic Elf
2 Disease Carriers

2 Terminate
1 Threaten

I think the Fetchlands at uncommon are a bit of an issue. Just drafted a deck with 5 fetchlands, 2 cycling lands, 3 Ghastly Demise and Psychatog which have pretty great synergy that you don't get in other colours. Also it makes fixing insanely easy to come by, which takes away one of Green's few abilities!

I think you may be right.  Unfortunately we have the land cyclers at Common so even without the fetchlands non-green fixing is exceedingly easy to come by!  Perhaps we have to move them to Uncommon.

Also really interested to see which of these very synergistic interesting decks I have drafted is actually good at winning matches.  Testing tomorrow or Tuesday?

Living Death is a wrath that is currently in the set.  It's probably better than a normal wrath as you can set up for it to just win or thereabouts.

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