Deep Analysis – Dash Hopes

Deep-Analysis
*Amended on 6/3/16 due to the fact that Treachery is a Reserved List card*

Last week I said that this week’s article was going to be about my theory for the future of the Legacy format.

Friday’s spoiling of Eternal Masters changed that plan.

There are a number of glaring omissions from EMA that make a number of player seeing red and not talking just about the Legacy community.  Commander, Pauper, and Modern players were also doing their share of fuming as well.

Today, I’m going to share with you one card in each group (W, U, B, R, G, Multi, Artifact, Land) from each format that should have reprinted and what card should be out of EMA for that spot.

Legacy

How did this make it through testing?

How did this make it through testing?

Balance OUT
Stoneforge Mystic IN

Here is the first change I would have made.  Balance is a card that is Banned in Legacy AND Commander and is restricted in Vintage.  It has never been printed as a common and it was last printed in 4th Edition, so it isn’t legal for Pauper or Modern.  The only players who would be hunting this card are Cube owners and the card can be picked up for less than $1.50 for a non foil or $5 for a foil.  There was 0 need to reprint this.

Stoneforge Mystic, on the other hand, was sorely needed.  With only 1 printing, it’s price has soared to over $20.  It isn’t legal in Modern, so it won’t see print in MM3.  It is a card that is a Commander and Cube staple as well as seeing high level play in Legacy and some play in Vintage means this would have been the better choice.

Today I'd like to introduce you to Cthulhu

Today I’d like to introduce you to Cthulhu

Diminishing Returns OUT
Show and Tell IN

To me, this is a no brainer.

Diminishing Returns is card that is no longer played in Legacy (or Vintage to my knowledge) and it isn’t listed among Commander staple cards nor is it a Modern legal card.  At less than a $1, it would be far easier to pick up a copy via the secondary market.

Show and Tell, on the other hand, is a card that is a Commander staple, Legacy mainstay in multiple decks, and a Cube favorite. With only 1 printing since Uzra’s Saga as a Judge Promo, this card has now crested above $50.  With both mythics also needed in Blue, this one could be reprinted a normal Rare and I don’t feel that it would hurt ‘limited’.

It's Necro...on a Stick

It’s Necro…on a Stick

Necropotence OUT
Griselbrand IN

I tried really hard not to bring up a Modern legal card here since I’d get players arguing that the card could be in Modern Masters 3 next year but this one still makes sense to me.  Necropotence is still one of my favorite cards ever printed but with it being banned in Legacy, restricted in Vintage, and not available in Modern, it is difficult for me to want this card as my mythic.

Instead, enter Griselbrand.  Now, I realize that he is banned in Commander but he is legal in the Modern, Legacy, and Vintage.  Also, this card being only printed 1 vs. Necropotence being printed 4 times, twice as a foil, was another trump.

Yes, Smeagol leads you No, Gollum won't lead you

Yes, Smeagol leads you
No, Gollum won’t lead you

Crater Hellion OUT
Goblin Guide IN

So who thought Crater Hellion was a good call here? Even with it being legal in many formats, only Cube and Commander would it garner any love but even there it isn’t even a top level card. It has had 3 printings total and the average cost is under $0.50.  I understand that he could be used in limited as a reanimation target but honestly, for this set only, I don’t care about limited.  I care only about constructed formats.

Goblin Guide, on the other hand, is very sought after for Legacy, Modern, and Cube.  With only 1 printing currently, the price has reached almost $40 with almost no end in sight.

A Rare? Seriously?

A Rare? Seriously?

Imperious Perfect OUT
Argothian Enchantress DOWN to a RARE
Craterhoof Behemoth IN at MYTHIC

Green was very tricky color.  The color had several rarity upshifts that I didn’t agree with (Argothian Enchantress, Heritage Druid, Imperious Perfect) which makes it more difficult to explain what I would have done.  The only reason why those 3 cards were shifted up was due to limited.  I am OK with Heritage Druid at Rare for limited but Imperious Perfect only sees play in Commander and Cube and already has foil copies on the market.  At just over $2.50, it really doesn’t need to be in this set.  Argothian Enchantress was a card that needed a reprint and only had foil copies as a judge promo (I know I owned one) but dropping it to rare would not hurt limited much IMHO.

Craterhoof Behemoth is a staple of Elves in Legacy, a Commander staple, and a playable in Modern.  With it also being sought after for Cube players, this seemed like a perfect spot for the card to end up.  At $23 and no reprint in sight, I expect this price to continue going up.

How did I get in here?

How did I get in here?

Sphinx of the Steel Wind OUT
Abrupt Decay IN

Rarity upshifts plagued the Multicolor cards.

Serious WTF Wizards? You left Bloodbraid Elf as an Uncommon but Shardless Agent and Baleful Strix are Rare. Also, you somehow manged to reprint Sphinx of the Steel Wind, a mythic that has been printed 3 times but left off the best removal spell in Modern and Legacy in Abrupt Decay.

Too Le-jitte to Quit

Too Le-jitte to Quit

Nevinyrral’s Disk OUT
Umezawa’s Jitte IN

There was really only 1 artifact that I didn’t agree with being on this list and that was Nevinyrral’s Disk.  While being a Commander staple and even played in Cube, the card has been printed 9 times and even has a foil version available.  You can pick up a copy of that card for under $2.

Umezawa’s Jitte is another story.  Pushing over $30, it has only seen 1 printing (in one of the worst Magic sets in recent memory) and has only 1 promo version.  With the card being banned in Modern, there was 0 chance of getting it reprinted in MM3, so it made perfect sense to print it here.  With it being a Cube, Commander, and Legacy staple, you’d figure Wizards would have done the right thing.

Nope.

Rishadan Port IN

IN

I didn’t realize tariffs were so high now.

There are so many lands that were omitted from this set, I don’t even know where to begin.  The list of lands is almost as painful to look at as the multicolor cards.  First off, who in their bloody mind wanted to put 10 common lands in this set and not reprint anything of use?  Seriously another WTF Wizards.

The most glaring need to me in Legacy, Vintage, and Cube is Rishadan Port.  A card that has exactly 1 regular and 1 promo printing and is now over $100 for a regular print and over $500 for a foil printing could have helped almost anyone looking for this card.  My second choice would have been to find room for Ancient Tomb since it is a $20 Uncommon.

All of the Rare / Mythic lands needed printing here, so I’d have to go removing cards from the Multicolor section to make room for this card.  Having more than 1 multicolor card per color pair was probably too much since many of these were squeezed in to me.

Commander

Never thought I'd see the day I wanted this reprinted over Swords to Plowshares

Never thought I’d see the day I wanted this reprinted over Swords to Plowshares

Swords to Plowshares OUT
Path to Exile IN

This one probably will surprise you but I feel that Path to Exile should have been printed in Swords to Plowshares spot.  StP has been reprinted a lot lately making the card more accessible to those players (Legacy, Vintage, Cube, Commander).  Most copies can be found under $2.50.

Path to Exile has also been printed a number of times in the past several years but do to the popularity of Modern, along with its need in Cube and Commander, have pushed Path to Exile into the $10 range.

How did you come up with this pile?

How did you come up with this pile?

Control Magic OUT
Bribery IN

This one is another head scratcher from WotC.

Control Magic has been reprinted 8 times, including Commander 2013 and Jace vs. Vraska while Bribery has only 3 printings (Mercadian Masques, 8th Edition, Judge Promo).

Bribery is a sought after Commander and Cube cards and fetches a price north of $18.45.
Also, Bribery is actually a rare while Control Magic has been an Uncommon before.

How do you make it into this set as a Legend if you are banned in Commander?

How do you make it into this set as a Legend if you are banned in Commander?

Braids, Cabal Minion OUT
Vampiric Tutor DOWN to RARE
Overwhelming Forces IN at MYTHIC

First off, how does Wizards decide to print a Legendary Creature that is banned in Commander?  Also, why print Vampiric Tutor at Mythic?

Moving Braids out (since we added Griselbrand) as the second legend, bumping Vampiric Tutor to Rare (matching its cohorts) then putting in a card that has 1 printing that is one of the hard to find cards from Portal 3 Kingdoms, Overwhelming Forces.

Overwhelming Forces is a $75 card and a reprint at Mythic would help its value drop some and make it accessible to many.

This head doesn't match

This head doesn’t match

Rorix Bladewing OUT
Urabrask the Hidden IN

So why is Rorix an important card here?

Sure he is legendary but he doesn’t even see play anymore in most formats.

Urabrask the Hidden sees play in Commander and is a Cube favorite.  With Urabask hitting over $10 bucks, this would have been a much better print here.

Is this legend worth $30?

Is this legend worth $30?

Silvos, Rogue Elemental OUT
Azusa, Lost but Seeking or Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger at RARE IN

Every color got at least 1 Legendary creature reprinted.

I can think of better reprints than Silvos, Rogue Elemental in this spot.  Two other Commander staples in both Azusa, Lost but Seeking or Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger would have been better in this spot.

Taking into consideration that Silvos can be found for under $2 while Azusa and Vorinclex are $32 and $23 respectively.

Chris Pikula should be in the MTG HOF

Chris Pikula for MTG HOF

Brago, King Eternal and Goblin Trenches OUT
Aurelia, the Warleader at RARE and Meddling Mage IN

This is another multiple moving to get the right card in here.  Both Aurelia and Meddling Mage needed additional printings for Commander, Cube and for Meddling Mage, Legacy.

Brago hasn’t fully caught on in Commander and hasn’t seen play in other formats.  Goblin Trenches does see play much in anything other than Commander but can be found for under $0.50.

Why wasn't this here?

Why wasn’t this here?

Winter Orb OUT
Crucible of Worlds IN

Now, this was a hard choice.

Winter Orb hasn’t been printed since 5th Edition and has moved up to around $5 but few could argue that the card that needed to be reprinted in this set was Crucible of Worlds.  Listed as a Commander and Cube staple as well as sees play in Modern, Legacy and Vintage, this card has ballooned to $70 and that sees no end in sight.

Shadowmoor and Eventide Filter Lands IN

IN

Too scarce to not be reprinted

Here again, this is another section where the choices were endless but the cycle I heard the most about is the Filter Land Cycle from Shadowmoor / Eventide.  Even though these aren’t played in older formats, Cube and Commander enthusiasts are having a hard time getting them.  Even with the Zendikar Expeditions, these aren’t cheap.

Modern

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben by Steve Argyle

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben by Steve Argyle

Eight-and-a-Half-Tails OUT
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben IN

I completely understand wanting to put Eight-and-a-Half-Tails but Thalia has more standing in more formats than Eight-and-a-Half-Tails does.  They are both around the same price ($7.50) but Thalia effects in Modern, Legacy, and Cube would win out here.

But, did you die?

But, did you die?

Serendib Efreet OUT
Snapcaster Mage IN

How can you not reprint Mr. Chan here in a set brimming with cards for eternal sets.  Cube, Vintage, Legacy, Commander and Modern all need another printing of a card that has pushed over $60.  Also, he fits the Flashback draft theme :P.

Just a little off the top

Just a little off the top

Duress OUT
Inquisition of Kozilek IN

This is another major oversight.  Duress has been printed 10 times and is even currently legal for Standard play.  It didn’t need another reprint.

Inquisition of Kozilek did need a reprint and this would have been the perfect set to do so.  The card has reach $17 and has been printed once in a set and once in a pre built deck.

All my spells smell like burnt hair lately." —Jaya Ballard, task mage

All my spells smell like burnt hair lately.”
—Jaya Ballard, task mage

Beetleback Chief OUT
Simian Spirit Guide IN

As much as I like the goblin theme here, Simian Spirit Guide would have been a better card to reprint since it has seen use in Modern and Legacy.  Currently it has only been printed once and is over $6 a copy for a common.

Can I get a witness?

Can I get a witness?

Flinthoof Boar OUT
Eternal Witness IN

Here is another case of a card needing reprinting that wasn’t.  Eternal Witness has continued to balloon to $6 per copy due to the need for the card in Modern.  Flinthoof Boar sees some occasional play in Modern but not enough for a reprint IMHO.

Hasta La Vista, Baby!

Hasta La Vista, Baby!

Torrent of Souls OUT
Terminate IN

While I like having another reanimation spell in the set, Terminate is a common that has pushed over $3 a copy now.  Torrent of Souls sees little play outside of Commander and Cube while Terminate adds Pauper and Modern to that list as well.

This Cage Match is scheduled for 1 fall...

This Cage Match is scheduled for 1 fall…

Isochron Scepter OUT
Grafdigger’s Cage IN

I get why Isochron Scepter moved up to a Rare with Counterspell at Common.  It runs about around $5 right now but Grafdigger’s Cage has ballooned to over $10.  Being that it is a perfect sideboard card in many formats (and even a nice foil in limited) this would have made more sense to me.

I ain't afraid of no ghosts

I ain’t afraid of no ghosts

Karakas OUT
Cavern of Souls IN

All of the Rare and Mythic lands needed a reprint but the 1 land that Modern needed reprinted, Cavern of Souls, didn’t make the list.  The card has been a staple in Modern, Legacy, Cube, Commander, and I wouldn’t doubt it being Vintage playable too.  With a price tag above $50, I felt that someone should have found a way to make this fit in the set.

Pauper

I’m not going to lie, Pauper made out like a bandit with so many rarity downgrades (Elite Vanguard, Humble, Mistral Charger, Monk Idealist, Rally the Peasants, Cephalid Sage, Glacial Wall, Peregrine Drake, Phantom Monster, Stupefying Touch, Tidal Wave, Warden of Evos Isle, Night’s Whisper, Prowling Pangolin, Avarax, Carbonize, Desperate Ravings, Dragon Egg, Orcish Oriflamme, Undying Rage, Wildfire Emissary, Elephant Guide, Elvish Vanguard, Emperor Crocodile, RootsSylvan Might, and Yavimaya Enchantress).

Sorry, I got a bit lost

Sorry, I got a bit lost

Second Thoughts OUT
Journey to Nowhere IN

Journey to Nowhere is a Pauper, Commander, and Cube staple while Second Thoughts might see play in Commander.  Beyond that, Journey sees play on occasion in Modern so this would have been a better reprint in the long run.

Don't even say it...

Don’t even say it…

Deep Analysis OUT
Gitaxian Probe IN

I can’t really complain about many of the blue commons here.  The only one that sticks up to me falls under the Flashback theme as it doesn’t help other formats like it does Pauper.  Deep Analysis, which was an awesome common for its day, doesn’t cut it in other formats like Legacy and Modern.  Git Probe is now a $4 common and getting more expensive every day so this should have found a home in this set.

This was the BEST that you could come up with Wizards?

This was the BEST that you could come up with Wizards?

Honden of Night’s Reach OUT
Oubliette IN

About this Honden cycle, why did WotC want to print you?

There are far better enchantment cycle to use than an obscure Legendary Enchantment cycle from one of the worst blocks in recent history.  Oubliette is a perfect common to reprint since it hasn’t seen print since Arabian Nights and is an integral part of Pauper Mono Black Control deck.  A common should not cost $27.

Red – No Changes

I can’t make any changes here except to see Lightning Bolt or Fireblast in this set as well but would be 0 chance of that happening

This ain't no Warcraft movie...

This ain’t no Warcraft movie…

Llanowar Elves OUT
Either Quirion Ranger or Nettle Sentinel IN

The Lawnmower Elves (or the Smurfs as we called them) have been reprinted 18 different times.  Time to give them a rest.

Both Quirion Ranger ($1.27) and Nettle Sentinel ($2.09) have exactly 1 printing and both are played in Pauper as well as either Legacy and/or Modern Elves builds.  I think either would have been better than their Llanowar brethren.

Fast mana since 1997

Fast mana since 1997

Pilgrim’s Eye OUT
Lotus Petal or Chromatic Star IN

This is a glaring omission.  I understand that you want mana fixing in a limited set but this set needed a reprint of either Lotus Petal (a $4 common from Tempest) or Chromatic Star (a $3.50 common from Time Spiral / uncommon from 10th Edition).  Both have applications in other formats, such as Legacy, Modern, and Cube.

Multicolor – No Changes

With no commons in this set, it would be hard to affect Pauper.

Better than 9 other cards wasting slots

Better than 9 other cards wasting slots

Khans Lifegain Duels OUT
Rupture Spire IN

This is the biggest gripe that I have with this is the fact that WotC used 10 spots for common dual lands that were just printed in Khans / Fate Reforged.  Reprint something like Rupture Spire in a slot and use the other 9 spots for other good hard to find commons that need reprinting in the other colors and in artifacts.

Besides my regular article next week, I also plan on having a Eternal Masters booster box opening to record for the views to enjoy.

Until next week,

Nicol_Bolas@mtgdecktechs.com

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