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Reprints and the Return of Morph

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There are always promotional videos during pro tours, and sometimes you can pick up some interesting tid-bits from them. That was the case this weekend.

In the video “Inside R&D Magic 2015: Green,” Magic developer Sam Stoddard discussed returning mechanics and reprints: “Whenever we do a returning a mechanic for a set, we, of course, do want to have a big iconic card that reminds you of why the mechanic is awesome. And for this set it was Chord of Calling. This was probably the most popular convoke card in the original Ravnica set, and a lot of players were confused a lot [about] why we didn’t include it in Modern Masters. It’s a card they really wanted to own. Well, of course, we didn’t include it because we were saving it for this.”


After not reprinting Noble Hierarch in Magic 2013, some of us thought Chord of Calling would be safe from reprint in M15 (I’ll raise my hand on this one). Stoddard’s comments are interesting in light of the fact that we already know the returning mechanic for Khans of Tarkir: morph.

So what are the iconic morph cards from Magic’s history? I wasn’t active during previous appearances of the mechanic, but I am familiar with some of the cards with morph that are commonly played in Cube. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your point of view), there’s nothing particularly expensive on the list.

Below are a dozen morph cards often seen in Cube lists. Some are more likely reprints than others, especially given that flavor will be a factor. Which ones do you think we’ll see in Khans of Tarkir?

morphcards

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Danny Brown

Danny is a Cube enthusiast and the former Director of Content for Quiet Speculation.

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11 thoughts on “Reprints and the Return of Morph

  1. To be honest, they are all pretty bad compared to the power of cards released after the tenth edition (including the tenth edition). I do not see any iconic morph card in the cards displayed. Exalted Angel was strong at that time but not as of today. As a result, my guess is on new strengthened morph cards.

      1. What about the Blistering Firecat? I would love to see a reprint. The card is powerful in a mono red deck! Back in the days, it was worth tons of Zulies! I also hope they print more red cards with the morph ability so as to balance this colour with the other ones! Meowwwwwwwwwwwwww

  2. For sure, if there are any, it will be the Devotion based ones that make amazing reprints, so, Blistering Firecat, and Voidmage Prodigy are very likely to see play. Other reasons being, cats are quite popular in boros colors in Theros, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot more of them in Khans based on the Raksasha. Voidmage being a wizard is really a hint to an out-of-place card in M15 Fugitive Wizard. He certainly looks better alongside Voidmage, Thassa and Master of Waves.

    A tribal theme can be felt from the seeds in M15. And both of these cards seem to lend themselves to tribes, while providing really good devotion.

    1. Red Akroma isn’t gonna show up in Khans. Grinning Demon is another one missing from the list, though I don’t think it’d see competitive play these days.

  3. The morph card that currently sees the most tournament play in Legacy is Birchlore Rangers. Gathan Raiders occasionally shows up in Dragon Stompy lists too.

    Morph is my favorite mechanic and I’m happy it’s returning. Imperfect information in the battlefield zone is a unique and awesome thing.

  4. The trick with morph was that it was always a lot better when your opponent couldn’t be entirely sure what it was (although the rule for EDH has pretty much become morph = willbender). While many older morphs are now underpowered by modern creature standards I could definitely see Exalted Angel making a return (1 drop, 2 drop, morph, unmorph Angel would still be a solid line of play) and the utility morphs like Willbender and Nantuko Vigilante (although that one’s a bit too world specific) are still of a relevant power level.

    One interesting morph that I could easily see showing up that hasn’t been mentioned is Zoetic Cavern, I was always a big fan of the morph land, helps against mana flood, is a slow colourless form of ramp and there was nothing sweeter than having an opponent spend a removal spell on one only to have it fizzle when you unmorph it into a land.

  5. I first started playing mtg during onslaught block, so this comment will be kind of “nerding out.” Seeing morph brought back is a big nostalgia kick for me. Gave me a reason to look back at my old U/R morph deck and hope to see things like Dermoplasm, Skirk Alarmist, and Dream Chisel possibly make a return. Though it’s a far off possibility for any of this, I would also kill to see old characters from onslaught flavor reappear (Ixador as a planeswalker, not likely). I mean, Ixador was the cool U wizard before Jace ever showed up.

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