With Modern Masters 2017 right around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to go ahead and talk about some cards we should be on the lookout for. Remember, we are talking about a set that will be full of reprints, and the goal is to have a ton of Modern staples even though not every Modern-legal card is eligible to be reprinted in Modern Masters 2017. This time around any card from Innistrad and Return to Ravnica blocks can be reprinted, along with anything older than that. However, cards that were printed more recently than that won't be eligible to be reprinted just yet.
I have no insider information here, so I'm simply making educated guesses on what might or might not get reprinted in Modern Masters 2017. Since this is the first time Innistrad and Return to Ravnica blocks will be eligible to have cards reprinted, it is more likely in general that cards from those sets will be featured this time around. The reason is that many Modern staples have already been reprinted in earlier Masters sets, and the goal is to have each new Masters set be unique. I am going to go ahead and break down some of the high-profile cards to be on the lookout for. I am also going to include the current price tag of the card, since there are certain cards that desperately need to be printed to drive the price down.
While I want to talk mostly about rares and mythics, there are also some important uncommons that could use a reprint as well.
A $12 uncommon is simply too high. Kitchen Finks doesn't really see play in Legacy or Vintage, so the price here is primarily for its impact in Modern. This card is played in Collected Company decks, and some midrange and Hatebear strategies. Kitchen Finks is also a great sideboard card for any deck (Jund or Abzan come to mind) as a way to gain life and have a difficult-to-answer threat. This one was reprinted in Modern Masters but feels like another reprinting is necessary.
For a card that only sees play in Infect, this one is pretty expensive. One of the reasons is that Might of Old Krosa was never reprinted, so hopefully that is about to change.
This one is crazy expensive, and I will be shocked if we don't see it in Modern Masters 2017. Mishra's Bauble is primarily played in Death's Shadow and can also be seen in Lantern Control as well. Zero-mana artifacts seem to very good in Modern, who would have thought?
This unassuming staple in Merfolk doesn't look like much, and in a deck full of uncommon creatures, this is the priciest one. It feels like some Merfolk could use a reprint, and this seems like the most important one.
We have a perfect card in Hatebears, or a good potential Chord of Calling or Collected Company find. Aven Mindcensor helps supplement Leonin Arbiter in Modern, and could use a reprint.
We see Dryad Arbor in decks that want to be able to search for a creature with a fetch land. One such deck that comes to mind is Hexproof Auras (Bogles) since that deck doesn't play too many creatures, this also helps provide protection against edict effects, though there are multiple decks that want this kind of effect.
This is my Zoo list from Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch. Reckless Bushwhacker being able to give Dryad Arbor haste is pretty important here. By the way, this deck could also use Hidden Herbalists now that Aether Revolt is legal.
Another card that was reprinted in the original Modern Masters, but could use another printing. A true staple of the format like Path to Exile should be easily accessible, as there are so many decks that play this removal spell. One-mana removal is king, and between Path to Exile and Lightning Bolt I would much rather see a Path to Exile reprint.
Compared to the other cards here this one is very cheap, but it sees more play than most of them. The card not only stops deck with lots of flyers, it is a great way to grind through midrange matchups. This can be a trump card that is worth splashing white for – just take a look at the Death's Shadow deck.
Let's move onto rares and mythics. With only 15 mythics and 53 rares in Modern Masters 2017, there is certainly some picking and choosing to be done here.
If I was a betting man, I would say this will be a signature mythic in the set. Up until now, Liliana of the Veil hasn't been eligible to be reprinted in a Masters set, now that has changed. I'm looking forward to seeing more planeswalkers in the Modern Masters sets, as there really haven't been many printed so far. This is a very important card in black midrange decks of various flavors. Beyond the traditional black-green based decks, let's take a look at a deck that isn't quite as popular.
8-Rack doesn't see a ton of play, but in a field of combo and midrange it's a perfect choice. With all the discard spells the opponent finds themselves short on cards in hand very early. The Rack and Shrieking Affliction are win conditions, but Liliana, of the Veil's ultimate can be as well. Having a card that can attack the opponents hand and is an edict effect is what makes her so versatile.
Here is another card I would be very surprised to not see reprinted. Almost every Modern control deck is based in blue and features this card. There are also various Delver decks and even combo decks that want Snapcaster Mage (think of when Splinter Twin was legal). If Snapcaster Mage is reprinted, the big question is whether it will be a rare or mythic.
As the most expensive card in Modern since the format's existence, the question is whether Tarmogoyf will be reprinted again. Personally, I actually think Tarmogoyf should not be reprinted in Modern Masters 2017 – It has been in both other Modern Masters sets, and there is the possibility of overloading the market with these. If Tarmogoyf isn't reprinted, the hope would be that other big ticket items can be printed in its place, so as to keep the value of Modern Masters 2017 up.
Here is a card that I feel even more strongly shouldn't be reprinted, similar to Tarmogoyf. There are already a lot of Cryptic Commands in circulation, which has hurt the card's price. While Cryptic Command is featured in Grixis Control and other blue-based decks, it isn't seeing quite as much play as it once did, and the current price isn't astronomical.
It seems like Wizards is fine with having Blood Moon in Modern, even though it creates some very uninteresting and non-interactive games. If it is going to be allowed in the format, it would be nice to see a reprint here, since the card has been going into more and more decks recently.
Restoration Angel goes well in any deck with other creatures that have comes-into-play triggers. We sometimes see it in the same deck as Kiki-Jiki Mirror Breaker, to create infinite Restoration Angels with haste. This card is actually at a pretty good price right now, as it isn't seeing as much play as it once did.
Similar to many of the cards I've mentioned here, we have already seen Damnation drop in price in anticipation of a reprint. This is one that has been overdue for a reprint, and I expect it will finally happen. The card has had an inflated value for being a sweeper that is traditionally only a one or two-of in the sideboard of some black midrange decks.
This is one that has just become available for reprint, and it is more likely to happen than not. Voice of Resurgence has been seeing more play recently in both green-white and Abzan Midrange decks, but it also fits into Collected Company and Abzan Evolution decks. Here is a look at a first place Regionals list, featuring Nicholas Davis' take on Abzan Evolution.
While we have seen some Eldritch Evolution decks before, the addition of Renegade Rallier makes a big difference. Sacrificing Voice of Resurgence to an Eldritch Evolution and then bringing it back with Renegade Rallier means taking your opponent on a trip to value town.
This is another Modern staple from Return to Ravnica. Abrupt Decay is the perfect removal spell in black-green midrange decks. There are some annoying permanents out there, not just creatures, and getting around countermagic is also important. Looking beyond Modern, Abrupt Decay affects eternal formats as well.
This card has seen some play in Modern red aggressive decks, but not a ton. It doesn't seem like one that sees enough play to be reprinted, but it wouldn't hurt either.
She doesn't really need to be reprinted. We see Sigarda, Host of Herons sometimes as a one-of in the sideboard of Abzan and other midrange decks, and even as a target for Glittering Wish, but overall she isn't that popular right now.
This is an extremely versatile sideboard card, that hurts both graveyard strategies and cards like Collected Company and Chord of Calling. The card has seen a ton of play and the recent price drop is primarily because there is already an anticipation this will be reprinted.
Ensnaring Bridge is a very frustrating card to have to play against. There are some decks in Modern that play this card in an attempt to stop you from playing a normal game of Magic. Lantern Control, Skred Red and Burn sideboards are some places you can expect to see Ensnaring Bridge.
Burn is supposed to be one of the more accessible decks in Modern, but Goblin Guide holds that back to an extent. While most of the burn spells are inexpensive, the rares are not. Goblin Guide is the go-to one-drop for red aggressive decks, and there really isn't a good reason it hasn't been mass reprinted yet.
We have already seen this recently as a Grand Prix Promo. I think I have about 40 copies. While it is an important card in Goryo's Vengeance, it doesn't need to be reprinted again.
Over the past year this card has become more and more popular, and really does need another reprint. Engineered Explosives used to be a singleton sideboard card in one or two decks. Now it is sometimes seen as a four-of in the sideboard at times. With the popularity of the Death's Shadow deck continuing to rise, it seems that Engineered Explosives is still in a perfect spot in the metagame. The card is super flexible, which is what makes it so attractive.
This is one I definitely expect to see in Modern Masters 2017. Stony Silence has been one of – if not the – most popular sideboard card in Modern over the past few years. Being able to completely Nullify a deck like Affinity or other artifact themed decks is why Stony Silence is so important. Any deck with white mana should at least consider sideboarding this card.
Another classic sideboard card. There are definitely some good options for graveyard hate, so it is necessary to pick and choose which to play in Modern, but this is probably the best one if you don't care about exiling your own graveyard.
We sometimes see this as a top-end finisher in Jund, because being able to gain life and create an additional threat is nice, and creatures that transform are fun to play with in general. This is another borderline card that is now eligible to be reprinted, but is still not a big enough player for it to be a necessity.
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is a signature "hate bear" in the decks that bear that name, and overall it sees play in a wide variety of decks. This is one that sees enough play and is important enough to the format I would reprint it as soon as I had the chance.
Can we get some rare lands, please? Cavern of Souls is a land that fits right into any tribal deck, and there are a number of those in the format. It is also a part of the reason there aren't that many counters played right now, since it punishes them so hard. This one hasn't been getting a ton of attention as a potential reprint up to this point, but definitely is worth being on the lookout for.
This is an Eternal card so it may not end up in Modern Masters 2017. Green-Red Tron is no longer the most popular version of Tron, and that is where Grove of the Burnwillows has seen the most Modern play. To me this is a toss-up, we will just have to wait and see.
The price tag on Horizon Canopy is pretty absurd. It is frustrating to put together a Bogles deck knowing you will need a playset of these. Horizon Canopy isn't actually played in very many decks, but there also aren't very many of them in circulation.
Here is a card that is extremely powerful, but mostly sees play as a singleton in some Elves decks. Since it doesn't see that much Modern play, it might not get reprinted this time.
I have a feeling this one isn't going to be printed in Modern Masters 2017, but it really should be. You will be lucky to pick this one up for a mere $50. Modern decks right now have a ton of one-mana cards in them, and this is an easy way to put one card in your deck and trump what opponent is doing completely. Think about how many one-mana cards are in the Death's Shadow deck…
Linvala, Keeper of Silence does see play as a bullet to search for in decks with Chord of Calling, but overall isn't seeing that much play right now. With that said, she is rather pricy still. This may be another card that continues to have an inflated value because it never has been reprinted.
There have been some Human-based decks featuring this guy that have popped up. This should be one of the inexpensive white rares in Modern Masters 2017. Here is a look at Craig Wescoe's Mardu Humans build that takes full advantage of Champion.
Clearly some of the best cheap creatures in Modern happen to be Humans. Being able to utilize Dark Confidant because of its creature type isn't something that you see every day.
This one has lost some popularity, but still sees some play. Jeskai Control utilizes Geist of Saint Traft as a win condition that is extremely difficult to kill and plays well alongside a host of burn and removal spells. Based on the current price tag, Geist of Saint Traft doesn't actually need a reprint at the moment, but that doesn't mean it won't happen.
- Seth Manfield