Mana Mind – Queensberry Rules: Modern Times by Brad Pearce

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Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of talk about the new “eternal” format ‘Modern’. Modern uses all cards released in expansions since the 8th Edition of Magic was released, with the “new” card frame, although to call it new after eight years is probably incorrect.

There are allot of opinions floating about, and I couldn’t resist putting in my 2 pence in.

I’m sure you have met a player that has been playing longer that yourself, I have. When you remark on the cards that they have, now sky rocketing in price you usually hear the same thing too, “ I got them when they were about 5 (insert currency)”.

As Magic ages, formats need constant monitoring, not only for unfair combos, but for the availability of the cards and catering for different consumers; after all, Wizards of the Coast are a business.

A good example is Legacy. Legacy is pretty healthy at the moment, however the mana base required by many of the tier 1 decks will set you back, indeed the cost of dual lands has increased exponentially in the last 3 years. Can you imagine the price of these lands in 10 years time? Furthermore, the printing of Mental Misstep has hit the meta hard, and that’s good for selling packs!

Formats have changed regularly, I would say none more than the format labeled “Extended”. Once upon a blood moon extended was essentially Legacy, then, what many call “Over Extended”; the point is, the format only serves to balance availability of cards with playability as a format. An example of this was the first World Championship in ’94 and Pro Tour in ’96 where the finals went on for hours, the format dictated that only a few cards were essentially playable and your deck had to contain at least 5 cards from specifically released expansions; this meant that lists look very much like a Legacy deck.

So back to Modern… as we see from the masters of the cardboard crack, growing formats are bound to change, and this format will in time become as popular as Legacy is today, just by the virtue of it’s accessibility. This will obviously not be true in 5 years, when the Ravnica dual lands are super expensive, then who knows; “Super Modern” Tada!

The great thing about new formats is you get to watch them grow, and probably break. At the moment Zoo is the yard stick for Modern, and maybe in time we may see something akin to the brutality of Flash-Hulk. It will be great, however, to see some of the more recent cards printed that had been nudged out by Legacy, in the hands of my friends at Manaleak in Worcester soon, until then I will leave you with a Combo build that I think is pretty cool.


4 Gemstone Mine
4 City of Brass
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Watery Grave
3 Hallowed Fountain
4 Island
4 Simian Spirit Guide
1 Vendilion Clique
4 Ad Nauseam
4 Angel’s Grace
4 Coalition Relic
1 Conflagrate
4 Lotus Bloom
3 Mystical Teachings
3 Pact of Negation
4 Ponder
4 Preordain
1 Slaughter Pact
1 Thoughtseize



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