Deep Analysis – Modern Masters: Third Time is the Charm

Welcome back to Deep Analysis!

Normally, I rant about Hasbro / Wizards of the Coast because they won’t fix issues the players see.  I have rarely praised them for doing something correct, so you can check the temperature in Hell, ’cause it just froze over.

Modern Masters 2017 edition is the best ‘reprint’ set every put together by Magic R&D.  This set had many cards that needed reprinting for Modern, Legacy, Commander and even had a few nice downgrades that helped Pauper.

What They Got Right

For once, this list is longer than what they got wrong, so bare with me.

Staple Modern Reprints

Liliana of the Veil
Snapcaster Mage
Cavern of Souls
Blade Splicer
Linvala, Keeper of Silence
Ranger of Eos
Restoration Angel
Stony Silence
Gifts Ungiven
Phantasmal Image
Temporal Mastery
Death’s Shadow
Blood Moon
Goblin Guide
Pyromancer Ascension
Scavenging Ooze
Abrupt Decay
Olivia Voldaren
Voice of Resurgence
Basilisk Collar
Grafdigger’s Cage
The Zendikar fetchlands: Arid MesaMarsh FlatsMisty RainforestScalding TarnVerdant Catacombs
Compulsive Research
Mystical Teachings
Path to Exile
Inquisition of Kozilek
Serum Visions
Lingering Souls
Spell Pierce
Might of Old Krosa
Sin Collector
Burning-Tree Emissary
Ghor-Clan Rampager
Goblin Electromancer
Izzet Charm
Ancient Grudge
Domri Rade

That is quite a list.  A bit under 20% of the set was Modern cards that see play currently.

Staple Legacy Reprints

Abrupt Decay
Liliana of the Veil
Snapcaster Mage
Cavern of Souls
Scavenging Ooze
Abrupt Decay
Blood Moon
Goblin Guide
Entreat the Angels
Venser, Shaper Savant
Past in Flames
Craterhoof Behemoth
Inquisition of Kozilek
Grafdigger’s Cage
The Zendikar fetchlands: Arid MesaMarsh FlatsMisty RainforestScalding TarnVerdant Catacombs

Since this was Modern Masters set, the focus was on Modern but there was still quite a number of Legacy worthy reprints in this set.


Besides the preceding cards that were hot for Modern and Legacy, Commander got a few reprints as well:

Deadeye Navigator
Bonfire of the Damned
Fiery Justice
Evil Twin
Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius
Obzedat, Ghost Council
Wort, the Raidmother
Sphinx’s Revelation
Cyclonic Rift
Zur the Enchanter

Damnation was a long awaited reprint that a Black Wrath of God for 2BB except it costs $50.


Pauper made out like a bandit in this set, thanks to all of the rarity shifting.  Returning reprints that were a nice surprise were:

Sea Gate Oracle
Ghostly Flicker
Soul Warden
Momentary Blink
Lone Missionary

New to Pauper

Now this is a list that Pauper fans were excited about.  All of these cards were downshifted from Uncommon or even Rare to Common:

Augur of Bolas
Cower in Fear
Falkenrath Noble
Gnawing Zombie
Grixis Slavedriver
Mortician Beetle
Magma Jet
Scorched Rusalka
Scourge Devil
Thunderous Wrath
Slime Molding
Call of the Conclave
Dinrova Horror
Ground Assault
Spike Jester
Burning-Tree Emissary
Gift of Orzhova

Apparently after hitting Cloud of Faeries and and then Peregrine Drake with the ban hammer, they really wanted to shake up aggro decks.

What They Got Wrong

You knew there had to be a caveat, right?

There was still quite a list of cards whose value is far too high in Modern.

Mishra’s Bauble

OK guys.  This one was an Uncommon from Coldsnap.  A $40 uncommon.  I realize that this one probably wasn’t on the radar when the set was worked on but still.

Ancient Stirrings

Tron, Lantern Control and Eldrazi decks use this card a ton and it’s at $10 for a common.  You knew about this being played in Tron even if Eldrazi wasn’t on your radar.

Karn Liberated

Speaking of Tron, how could you guys forget Karn?  Now he’s spiking to infinity and beyond ($70)

Through the Breach & Goryo’s Vengeance

So I kinda understand how they didn’t find their way into the set due to mechanics BUT I don’t feel that any Masters set should be sold as a DRAFT set.  Because of this, Wizards didn’t include these cards.

Noble Hierarch

How did you guys drop the ball on this one?  You focused one of the themes of the set to be Multicolor and somehow Noble Hierarch didn’t make the cut?  Now it’s pushing $60 a copy.

Chalice of the Void, Crucible of Worlds, Aether Vial, Arcbound Ravager, Ensnaring Bridge and Mox Opal

I’ve put most of the rest of the artifacts here.  The cost to play artifact based in Modern is outrageous.  Despite this, none of these cards got a reprint in MM2017.  Affinity, Lantern Control, & Sun and Moon all gained a ton of overhead cost thanks to missing one or more of these cards.


There is only 1 printing of Scapeshift currently.  I’m not sure how one of the few combo decks in Modern is suppose to survive when R&D doesn’t reprint this card.

Engineered Explosives

The cheapest board wipe in Modern is also notable missing from MM2017.  This card will have its value grow substantially until the next Modern Masters

Ancestral Vision

So this card gets an unban but not a reprint?  I’m willing to let this one slide a bit simply because R&D could have unbanned it after the set was completed.

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Our favorite Cthulhu replica was missing as well.

Horizon Canopy and Grove of the Burnwillows

These two cards are far too expensive for what they do.  A reprint was needed.  I realize that they wanted to slot 1 set of 5 lands into the rare slot and the Fetches made sense though.


It looks like that I will be putting my Column on hiatus for a bit.  This is due to a number of things in my personal life:

  • Work has gotten quite stressful.
  • Non-work related free time has been cut significantly recently and it doesn’t seem to get any better anytime soon.
  • I’m no longer able to take the appropriate time to put this column together.
  • I believe that, after much searching, we have the right team of columnist, streamers, and podcasters so that the site can continue to grow and develop.

I will be remaining on as Editor in Chief, which will allow me to work on other behind the scenes projects for the website.

@Nicol_Bolas_ on Twitter


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