jump to navigation

Modern Masters Review June 11, 2013

Posted by James in : all, reviews, strategy, tips, limited, draft , trackback

Modern Masters is currently my favorite Magic set and I’m disappointed that so few packs of cards were printed. The packs are currently selling for $10-12 rather than the $7 retail price, which is already quite high. This is also preventing regular draft events. I have drafted the set four times and might never get another chance to draft it.

Modern Masters reminds me of Time Spiral because it consists of reprints and fun interactions. There are ten main themes (every two color combination). I like every theme, but I do have one complaint. The so-called blue/green theme is domain/sunburst, which basically requires you to play all five colors — and the blue cards meant for the theme aren’t good enough. I love the domain theme. I drafted the domain theme three times and none of them were blue/green decks. Instead, I drafted two artifact domain decks and one red-green storm-domain deck.

Although the rare you open will often determine what you will want to draft, there are certain commons and uncommons you will need for the theme you decide to play. If these uncommons are passed to you, then it’s a good sign that you should go ahead and give it a shot. These are ten of the uncommons I think we should look for:

1. Tromp the Domains

tromp the domains

Tromp the Domains is probably the most powerful uncommon in the set, and it tells you to go for a five-color domain theme. It is also easy enough to splash in any deck. Wizards expects us to play green-blue domain, but I don’t know if blue is very helpful to the deck.

2. Etched Oracle

etched oracle

Etched Oracle requires a strong four to five color theme, and it can work well in an artifact-themed deck. One reason that the domain theme encourages us to play artifacts is because all the creatures with sunburst are artifacts and they work well in artifact decks. Wizards wants us to play white-blue artifacts, but you might want to play all five colors. There’s a red-affiliated artifact (Pyrite Spellbomb) and black artifact (Executioner’s Capsule) that can be very good in an artifact deck.

3. Marsh Flitter

marsh flitter

Marsh Flitter is one of the best Faeries in the set, it works very well with Goblins, and it can work well in any deck. This card is likely what I would want before trying to get into Faeries (blue-black), but I could go into Goblins with it and also be quite happy.

Although Faeries is one of my favorite themes in the set, there’s two reasons I usually won’t play it. First, I worry someone else will also try to do it because it’s obviously good. Two, almost all the Faeries are good all by themselves, so any player can take some Faeries for their deck. That can make it hard to get enough Faeries to have much of a theme.

4. Pardic Dragon

pardic dragon

Pardic dragon is one of the best Suspend cards and is also made for the Storm theme. You wait for a suspend card to be cast during your upkeep before playing a card with storm to get more copies. (You get one copy of the storm spell for each spell anyone cast that turn.)

The storm deck is supposed to be a red-green deck with suspend cards, but it is probably possible to use some color other than green. There’s also at least one great blue card with suspend in the set.

5. Mad Auntie

mad auntie

Mad Auntie is the kind of card that makes the Goblin theme worth playing (which is red and black). Murderous Redcap is probably the best Goblin other than Mad Auntie.

6. Glacial Ray

glacial ray

Glacial Ray is made for an Arcane deck. You can combine many arcane spells using the Slice mechanic to allow you to get the spell abilities multiple times. The Arcane Deck is supposed to be red-blue, but there’s at least one good black card with Arcane (Hideous End) and a good green card with suspend (Kodama’s Reach). It is possible to play some splice onto arcane spells in any red or blue deck, which can make it hard to get enough of them to make a strong stand-alone theme. Other people will probably take some of the arcane spells from you.

7. Cloudgoat Ranger

cloudgoat ranger

Cloudgoat Ranger is a four-for-one and it a good reason to try to play a Giant deck (red-white). The other giants you will want areThundercloud Shaman and Feudkiller’s Edict.

8. Bound of Silence

bound in silence

Bound in Silence is good in any white deck, but it can also be a good reason to make a Rebel deck. There’s a couple rebels that can search your deck for a Rebel and put it onto the battlefield. Bound in Silence counts as a rebel. The Rebel deck is white-black.

9. Sporesower Thallid

sporesower thallid

Sporesower Thallid is a decent creature by itself, but it’s even better in a Thallid deck (white-green). I don’t think a lot of people will generally fight over the Thallids, but they could be put into any green deck.

10. Worm Harvest

worm harvest

Worm Harvest is the most important card to get for the Dredge deck. The card seems a bit slow, but it can be quite powerful.  Stinkweed Imp and Masked Admirers are also very good in dredge decks (but they are good in any deck using those colors as well).


1. johan - June 19, 2013

good stuff. Thx dude. see you in Vegas?

2. James - June 20, 2013

Thank you for the compliment. I won’t be going to Vegas. It will be too big without necessarily having a bigger price payout, and it would cost a lot of money I don’t really have right now for the trip.

Of course, I would want to go if I won 3 byes for it.