Insider: Eternal Masters, aka Modern Masters 3?

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Nothing is easy, obvious, or should be taken for granted.


Don't make things too hard, overthink them, or build them up too much.

The moral of the story is moderation. Moderation and taking huge wild risks. But mostly moderation. Also, "Modern"ation because all the smart money is on Modern cards right now. Despite WotC's best efforts to make the format as miserable and unplayable as possible, ain't nothing gonna stop Modern.

"What up, Eldrazi's?"

Magic finance is weird like that. There is so much information to absorb and there are so many different trends you need to be aware of. At the same time a lot of change comes out of left field and often defies logic. Splinter Twin banned? Okay, sure, let's move on.

So, let's rap about how Eternal Masters is going to change everything and be a super huge deal---and by super huge deal I of course mean more of the same old, same old.

Things That Seem Predictable Enough

Well, we know Force of Will and Wasteland are in but other than that not a whole lot.

One thing we also know is that cards on the Reserved List cannot be reprinted and therefore will also not be in. It should be no surprise to anybody that Reserved List cards are fantastic long-term investments because there is no chance of reprints.

My issue with Eternal Masters is there doesn't seem to be a huge demand for more eternal cards right now. I mean, SCG has pulled support for Legacy and there are only a couple of Legacy GP's a year. Why even bother with a surprise out-of-nowhere Eternal Masters reprint set? I mean, who is this even for? Who even wants this set besides people who think opening packs will be value?

Fortunately, there are a lot of people who are going to want to open packs in hopes of opening cool old cards.

I think Modern Masters is a good predictor for trends we can expect from Eternal Masters. The one thing that we have to keep in mind is that Modern Masters consisted of reprints for a format that is wildly and quickly growing, whereas Eternal Masters consists of reprints for formats shrinking or at best growing at a snail's pace. This difference in demand is going to be very significant.

My honest, knee-jerk reaction is that the effect on the value of any card that gets reprinted is going to be cancerous.

Look at what happened to the value of an expensive Legacy staple like Misdirection when it got reprinted in Conspiracy as a regular rare. You can get copies of Misdirection now for just a couple of bucks when the card used to be a chase $30+ card.

I'm really worried that the same kind of thing could happen to a lot of eternal cards that might be reprinted in Eternal Masters. Especially cards that are likely to be reprinted as regular rares as opposed to mythics.

I don't know exactly how much Eternal Masters will be printed but imagine if there were suddenly as many new EMA Wastelands floating around as MM2 Spellskites... Who is going to need or want all of these Wastelands!? Sure, it is a great card and the EDH kids will get extras for their decks, but seriously that is a ton of Wastelands suddenly existing.

If I had a portfolio that revolved heavily around non-Reserved List eternal staples I'd be pretty worried right about now.

Is Eternal Masters Really Modern Masters III?

I already said that I don't understand who is the target audience for this set other than people who want to play the crack-a-pack lottery. What if the set is actually another opportunity to reprint Modern cards? Just something that I've been thinking about.

Sure, they are going to put Force of Will, Wasteland and other popular Legacy cards in there, but there are a lot of eternal staples that are also Modern staples. Are we going to see Tarmogoyf, Dark Confidant and Scalding Tarn?

Remember they have to build a whole set full of commons and uncommons to draft with so it is an opportunity to reprint lots of random Modern cards. Eternal staples don't exactly make much of a draft format. Sure, when you have a cube and every card is a rare or mythic you can do some cool stuff, but drafting with regular packs full of commons requires creatures and combat tricks. It would be a good opportunity to reprint some of the in-demand Modern uncommons.

Here are a couple of my Eternal Masters (really Modern Masters) selections that I think are likely to be in the set.

90% of the demand for this card comes from Infect and Affinity in Modern. It's a Legacy card though! Legacy Infect!

Vintage Mishra's Workshop all star!

So Vintage it's restricted. Also, Legacy hotness.


Punishing Jund?

True Legacy Reprints

So I think there's a fantastic chance that we see a bunch of Modern reprints masquerading as eternal reprints. Technically they are eternal reprints, but the point is that the demand making these cards expensive has nothing to do with Legacy or Vintage.

While I do think a big part of the purpose of this set is to quietly reprint Modern cards, I also think there are a few true Legacy staples that should be in the set.

First of all, I'd be shocked if Port didn't make an appearance.

The card is really hard to find and obnoxiously expensive both in paper and online. It is a critical part of one of the best decks in Legacy (Lands) and also a card that would go into more Commander decks if it wasn't so darn expensive. It is exactly the kind of card that should get an Eternal Masters reprint.

I would be shocked if this wasn't in the set. A very solid, popular card.

Do people like opening foil Brainstorms? Does that sell packs?

The good news is that most of the likely reprints probably won't hurt anybody too much even if EMA really does tank prices. Not too many people are investing in non-Reserved List Legacy staples these days...

The upside could be giving Modern some reprints to help get us through until MMA 3. For me, this set is unlikely to affect any of my portfolios one way or the other (as the cards likely to be reprinted are typically pretty mediocre investments with Legacy on the downslide).

Before the spoilers come rolling in, consider whether or not you buy into my "EMA as Modern Masters set" theory. If you believe it's possible there will be a lot of Modern reprints in the set it may be time to consider moving off certain Legacy/Modern crossover singles, especially cards that would likely be reprinted at rare as opposed to mythic.

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