Modern Masters 2015 Edition (MM2) is coming, and this time it’s even Modern Mastersier than before! MM2 takes players back to some of the most remarkable planes from recent history, including Zendikar, Mirrodin, Ravnica, Lorwyn, Kamigawa and Alara. Each of these has a plethora of great Modern staples for players as well as interesting cards to create a spectacular limited format.
The set is designed to increase supply of various cards in the Modern format while also providing a fun “expert level” draft format. Given that first and foremost, the set’s purpose is to provide a greater supply of Modern staples, let’s take a look at some of the notable inclusions and exclusions.
The original Modern Masters was often criticised for having the Kamigawa Dragons in the mythic slot, thereby ‘wasting’ five slots on cards that do not see any Modern play. MM2 seeks to redress this by having every mythic slot occupied by a Grade-A Modern staple (Vintage for Tezzeret). Or Comet Storm. While there will certainly be a sense of feel-bad for anyone opening Comet Storm in their mythic slot, at least the odds of having a feel-bad mythic are significantly less than they were in the first Modern Masters. Comet Storm also is a complete bomb in limited formats, so you’ll have more chance of winning your draft if you do open it. Every comet has a silver lining, or something.
Whereas in the first Modern Masters, a high percentage of rares saw play in Modern, this time around they have a more even split in terms of Modern playability and casual appeal. While there are certainly some excellent and much needed reprints (Spellskite, Noble Hierarch, Leyline of Sanctity and more) there are definitely as many low-value low-demand ones (Endrek Sahr, Horde of Notions, and the long-forgotten Long-Forgotten Gohei). Nevertheless, as with mythics, the MM2 rare slots contain some cards that were in the original Modern Masters, but have been reprinted again to keep their supply high, Cryptic Command being the most notable.
Looking at the rares and mythics in their entirety, MM2 does a good job of reprinting important staples in an attempt to keep supply high, thereby getting more people into the Modern format. That’s not to say there aren’t some cards people clamoured for to be included that weren’t, namely Damnation (maybe it’ll be in FTV: Angels…) and the Lorwyn block filterlands. While the former has been described as “too strong for Standard” the latter could easily be reprinted in an upcoming Standard set.
A source of contention for many has been the lack of powerful commons and uncommons. Deceiver Exarch, Pestermite, Sylvan Scrying, Inquisition of Kozilek, Gitaxian Probe and others are notably absent. However, Serum Visions is coming as an FNM Promo, as is Path to Exile. Nevertheless, the choices that have been reprinted were surprisingly valuable; Cranial Plating ($1.50), Dismember ($1), Electrolyze ($2), Expedition Map ($2) to name a few. Even Lightning Bolt is over $2, so there’s certainly enough value within the set, even if there are a higher proportion of cards for the limited environment.
Of course, to see the goodies within a pack of MM2, first you must get into it and on this front Wizards of the Coast have introduced something that excites me greatly, recyclable packaging. While the environmental element of the change is beneficial, it isn’t the cause of my excitement – I am terrible at opening booster packs. Not in the sense that everything I open contains terrible cards (though this is true), but that I physically look like a muppet opening them.
I have delayed top 8 drafts trying to get into packs and am often seen smiling proudly when I get into a booster with any amount of ease. The problem is more noticeable with older packs. Recently I was given a Conflux pack and couldn’t open it, struggled with it for a good few minutes before surrendering, and passing it despairingly to a small child who happily walked off with the Voracious Dragon within. The new MM2 packs are a doddle to open, it’s brilliant! And good for the environment.
With a newfound level of dexterity, I ripped open some MM2 packs and found these shiny cards, because as before, every pack contains a foil in the basic land slot.
Flicking through the commons and uncommons, I sadly found no real value or strong modern cards. This was rectified when I pushed back the final uncommon to reveal 5 gems and an Inexorable Tide.
Fair to say that I’m as happy with these packs as Brimaz is with his new scarf in the art for Daybreak Coronet.
If you want to open some MM2 packs with as much ease as me, and with hopefully similar results, you can do so by clicking here.
Aside from the increased popularity of Modern and the improved supply of expensive cards, one of the big success stories to come out of the first Modern Masters was Grand Prix Las Vegas. The event, which boasted a record attendance of over 4,000 people was eventually won by Neal Oliver but was more than just a tournament. More so than any other GP, it was a Celebration of Magic (also more than the short-lived Magic Celebration events…). With so many fans of Magic, as well as artists, dealers, side events, cosplayers and WOTC employees it was as much a convention as it was a Magic tournament.
To build on the success of GP Las Vegas, this year Wizards are running three consecutive Grand Prix, each MM2 Limited, across the globe. This has never been done before and if you aren’t attending Las Vegas, Utrecht or Chiba, you should certainly reconsider. Attendances for each are already at record breaking levels; Las Vegas is over 6500 and has been split into two events, Chiba sold 4000 tickets in a day and Utrecht is over 3000. With three convention level Magic events taking place, it would certainly be a shame to miss out. Also you get to open (with the greatest of ease!) more MM2 boosters, which is always exciting.
An additional benefit of the triple Grand Prix weekend is the amount of packs that will be opened will increase supply of Modern cards drastically. On the assumption that 15,000 people attend and open their sealed pools, 90,000 packs of MM2 will be opened. Given that 1/8 packs contain a mythic and there are 15 mythics in the set 750 Tarmogoyfs will be opened on day 1 alone, not taking into account side events or day 2 drafts. Add this to the amount of non-Grand Prix packs opened and secondary market prices for Modern staples likely to drop much more than they did following the release of the original set, which had a much more limited print run. This will in turn allow more people to invest in the format – good news for everyone.
If you have any thoughts on the inclusions or exclusions within the set, comment below. Be sure to mention whether you’re going to one of the three Grand Prix, and if not why not?
Community Question: Will you be getting a Modern Masters 2015 booster pack/box?
Thanks for reading,