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Insider: Predicting Modern Masters 2017

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Let’s talk about a really fun topic: Modern Masters 2017!

This Modern reprint set is fast approaching, and I’m pumped. My favorite part about these sets is the Draft format. Wizards puts a lot of time and effort into making the set fun to draft so that when you spend hundreds of dollars on your cards, you get multiple avenues of fun: opening sweet cards, hopefully worth money, as well as being able to enjoy a unique Limited format. The other part about Modern Masters that I love is trying to predict which mythics will be in the set. So let’s try to nail it down today. Let’s go!

Each of Modern Masters, Modern Masters 2015 and Eternal Masters  have included 15 mythic rares. These sets have been following a pretty consistent pattern with those mythics as well. Both Modern Masters sets have had two of each mono-color mythics and five total multicolored, artifact and/or colorless slots to utilize. EMA differed a little by only having one white mythic and a land, Karakas, that took up the other white slot. So it's reasonable that to expect MMA17 to follow this pattern as well.

Here are my mythic predictions for Modern Masters 2017.

White


First up we have Linvala, Keeper of Silence. I think Linvala was the biggest omission in From the Vault: Angels and it’s a surprise this creature hasn’t been reprinted yet. The reason I love this as a pick for MMA17 is because her price isn’t based on much tournament success. In fact, I doubt there’s been a winning list since Birthing Pod was legal that utilized her. She’s a casual favorite because of her creature type and ability to shut down problematic abilities from other creatures as well as being a relevant Modern reprint. Lastly, there just aren’t that many good options for white cards that need reprinting.


Speaking of minimal white cards that need reprinting, I’m digging deep with this one. Idyllic Tutor is technically a Modern-playable card, and I have heard a couple players working on various decks for this tutor, but if Idyllic Tutor gets a reprint slot, it will certainly be to appease the Commander crowd. In every set like this, there are cards that, while Modern legal, are really being reprinted for the more casual among us. I think Idyllic Tutor fits this role similarly to how Doubling Season did in Modern Masters.

Blue


With Innistrad block being legal for reprints now, I think Snapcaster Mage is an obvious choice. When this set was being developed, the PTQ promo had not been released yet, and so Snappy was still sitting around $80 instead of half of that, which is where he is now. They already have the promo art they can use, similar to what they did with Dark Confidant, so I think Snapcaster Mage would make a high-profile card to include in this set and get players excited to buy some packs.


Although I don’t really want a Consecrated Sphinx reprint, I think this flying monster card drawer fits well with what Wizards is trying to do with this set. It’s a bomb when you draft it, Commander players love it, and it has been creeping up in price.


If something lower end doesn’t get chosen like Consecrated Sphinx, I’d love to see Ancestral Vision get a reprint. I don't think this wouldn have been on the reprint radar when the set was being developed, though, so I suspect Ancestral Vision will have to wait for the next go around, but I’d be happy if they had the foresight to include this prevalent blue card in the set.

Black


Here we are folks. Liliana of the Veil. Lilly is going to be one of the marquee reprints from the set, and all the dealers know it too. I was sitting on an extra Lilly of the Veil at GP Pittsburgh, and if you read my article last week, it was one of the cards I was looking to move. If I didn’t care about my signed playset, I would have sold those too, because I think her reprint is almost as certain as it can be. She’s one of the most expensive cards in Modern, sees tons of play and is an iconic character in the Magic universe. There isn’t a better card to choose for this set than her.


I have a feeling that one of the themes in this set will be infect, so I’ve chosen some infect cards for mythic slots. Even though you may not hear about it often, casual players love Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon. Sitting slightly under $15 currently, this black infect dragon wouldn’t be embarrassing to reprint. He would still be worth a little money but would fill a lot of the requirements for the set. If infect is a mechanic in this set, I’d expect us to see one of the low-end mythic slots be taken by this guy.


If infect isn’t a mechanic in this set, I’d expect a card like Mikaeus, the Unhallowed to get the nod to fill in. Both Mikaeus, the Unhallowed and Mikaeus, the Lunarch are hugely popular casual cards. I could even see both of them make it in the set, and then the Lunarch would be the Comet Storm of the year.


As it turns out, one of the mythics is most likely Griselbrand. I thought this rather unlikely due to the fact that it was recently a GP promo. We could see this demon as a rare, but I think it will stay the same rarity as its original printing. The printing of this prime reanimation target makes sense from his original price trajectory, but not from the price correction due to the promo. Both versions of this card are sitting right around $11, so this should be one of the lower-end mythics in the set. With this announcement, I’m feeling pretty good about unloading my play set at GP Pittsburgh recently. At that event, I let go of a majority of my Modern collection, because as time progresses, more and more of those cards will be reprinted and their values will be much lower than they are now. That’s my advice for other players as well. Don’t cash out of the format, just minimize your investment so that you don’t get shafted by price cuts from the reprints.

Red


As I was researching for this article, I realized that Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker was one of the red mythics in both of the first two Modern Masters sets. I’m sure I knew this at the time, but I’d completely forgotten he had been reprinted twice before. Looking through old sets, though, this fact became less and less surprising. What red cards actually see play in Modern? The answer is very few. I’ll go further: I think if Lightning Bolt weren’t a card, red would be the least played color in the format by far.

With that being said, I think the card that makes the most sense to reprint for red is Goblin Guide. This is still considered to be the best one-drop in the deck. While its price isn’t the highest, I think the community could benefit from more copies floating around. I know I can’t keep these in stock at my store, and I rarely get them traded in as it is. Combine the low supply with a low number of options and I think the answer is clear: that this card will be in the set.


The other option for a high-profile reprint is Blood Moon. I’m skeptical to suggest this oppressive enchantment for my second red mythic slot, though, because I think this card should be under consideration for every banned list announcement. Blood Moon’s effect on the game makes playing unfun for one player and Wizards doesn’t typically print effects like this anymore. I could see this card being reprinted, but I’d rather see it banned.


At the top of my list of reprints was Through the Breach. This rising star, both financially and competitively, seems like a great candidate for a reprint. The only problem is that it’s an arcane spell. Wizards did an arcane theme already, and I doubt they’d reprint this instant without having other arcane cards to go along with it, so unfortunately, I think your Through the Breaches are safe for now.


My real second pick for the red mythic slot is Koth of the Hammer. We need to fill in the lower end of the monetary spectrum somewhere, and I think Koth would be a great pick. He may not be worth lots of money, but he’s a great seller. It’s rare that I have this planeswalker in stock for very long, because players love him. Koth is technically playable in Modern as well, so I think he would be a great fit for this set.

Green


Originally, when I started thinking about this article, I questioned the inclusion of Tarmogoyf in this set. Then I remembered the timeline. When MMA15 was first released, Tarmogoyf didn’t go down in price at all. He stuck around $150 for a long time and then dipped to $125. It wasn’t until recently that he fell under $100, so I think we will see ‘Goyf in this set yet again. Wizards will bring the price of this staple down eventually, or they’ll keep reprinting him.


I’d love it if we got Scapeshift in this Modern Masters set, but that doesn’t seem likely to me. The effect is quite narrow, and I doubt it will fit with the draft theme either.


I hope we see a Noble Hierarch reprint in this set as well. Even printing her at rare didn’t solve the problem last time, so I think she needs another reprint to hold her price down. I don’t think she will get a mythic slot, but she should be in the set, so I wanted to mention her here. If you’re thinking about getting any copies, hold off until we see the full set spoiled.


My pick for mythic in this set is Oracle of Mul Daya. Oracle is playable in Modern and Commander and is becoming seriously hard to come across. This would make a great reprint, especially if one of the mechanics in the set was landfall. Every mythic can’t be an all-star, but Oracle wouldn’t be embarrassing to open. Plenty of players would be excited to get the value out of their pack back by opening this one.

Multi-Colored


I don’t know about you, but Domri Rade really surprised me as an inclusion in this set. This planeswalker was not even a consideration in my original sketch of the mythics because Gatecrash shouldn’t be able to be included in Modern Masters just yet. Nevertheless, this low-end planeswalker will be part of the set whether we like it or not. Personally, I’ve played a lot of Domri in Kiki-Chord decks over the years and think he’s great. I don’t think he’s seen a lot of play recently, but he is definitely of the caliber needed to compete in Modern. I wish we had gotten something else in this spot, though, like an extra artifact from the list below.

Artifacts


Fitting in with my predicted infect theme, I think Blightsteel Colossus would be a great choice for the set. I don’t know whether the known quantities like Domri Rade, Stoic Angel and Griselbrand help my theory about infect being a key part of the set, but they don’t necessarily oppose it either.


The Crucible of Worlds situation is getting desperate. This Fifth Dawn rare is a staggering $50. We don’t even see much from this artifact in Modern, and I think most of the price is derived from its play in Commander, but $50 is still no joke. Whether in this set or another in the future, we need another printing for Crucible.


Boom! Engineered Explosives has really blown up in Modern. After a long valley in its price, this destructive tool has recovered drastically. I think it’s a little too soon for Explosives to be printed, since it was in the original Modern Masters, but if I had my way, it would be in the set.

Lands


My real hope is that we get the fetches in this iteration of Modern Masters, but since I don’t think that’s a real possibility, I narrowed my thoughts down to a couple different lands that we really need to see reprinted. At the top of that list is Inkmoth Nexus. At the core of a couple different strategies, Inkmoth Nexus is a prime target due to its popularity in the format.


Lastly, I have two lands that see tons of play in Modern and have yet to be reprinted outside of promo cards. The first is Horizon Canopy, which is sitting up around $50.


The second land is Grove of the Burnwillows, which has dipped in price due to the resurgence of other Tron variants. I think all three of these lands will get reprinted sometime soon. My hope is that we will see some land spots in Modern Masters 2017 so we can increase the supply for Modern players.

To Summarize...

As of this writing, we don’t know many cards from Modern Masters 2017. Here are my final picks for the mythics of the set:

1. Linvala, Keeper of Silence
2. Idyllic Tutor
3. Snapcaster Mage
4. Consecrated Sphinx
5. Griselbrand (confirmed)
6. Liliana of the Veil
7. Goblin Guide
8. Koth of the Hammer
9. Tarmogoyf
10. Oracle of Mul Daya
11. Domri Rade (confirmed)
12. Blightsteel Colossus
13. Crucible of Worlds
14. Inkmoth Nexus
15. Horizon Canopy
16. Grove of the Burnwillows (with the hope that Domri is downgraded a rare and we can get a better mythic in his spot.)

So, what do you think about my predictions? Is there some other card you think is more likely? What do you predict the 15 mythics will be? Start the conversation in the comments below.

Until next time,
Unleash the Modern Masters Force!

Mike Lanigan
MtgJedi on Twitter

8 thoughts on “Insider: Predicting Modern Masters 2017

  1. This is a horrible list. You could start fixing it by throwing out every card post-Shards that started as a rare; no card that wotc could have printed at mythic, but chose not to, has ever been bumped up to mythic (a handful have been downgraded, Eye of Ugin most notably). Which makes sense:

    1. players would HATE it. Hate, hate, hate!

    2. most of the rares you listed qualify as “basic utility cards”, even if very good ones, and therefore don’t meet the criteria for mythic that wotc uses. The one time they flirted with making a very basic effect mythic (Lotus Cobra) they got a HUGE pushback.

    So a simple tutor like Idyllic? GTFO. Terrible choice.

    Likewise you can throw out Goblin Guide, Oracle, Snapcaster, Blood Moon, EE, Noble Hierarch, Inkmoth Nexus. Also throw out the two duals for being duals, a category explicitly called out as NOT what mythic rarity is for.

    I happen to think the Inkmoth WMCQ promo implies it won’t be in this set, and hence infect will be out as a mechanic; but there’s room for disagreement there, so your Skitheryx and BSC picks aren’t total fantasy (just suuuper contrary to my opinion).

    What IS total fantasy is imagining they’re ever going to print a planeswalker at anything other than mythic. Get real. If I were your editor I would have sent this back for this line alone.

    Koth is a good pick, sure. C.Sphinx is too, and remarkably not one I’ve seen discussed much (though “blue mythic” is a very contested slot this time around – I can think of a half-dozen GREAT candidates off the top of my head). Same with Crucible. So credit where it’s due.

  2. I doubt Domri is downgraded, PWers always feel mythic, regardless of how good they are. Also, the original announcement included RtR, I assume this meant the whole block (of which GTR is a part of).

  3. How far down do you think Liliana of the Veil will drop? I’m tempted to sell mine, by I can only get about $50/$55 for her, and I don’t think she’ll go below that. I sold my Noble Hierarchs before they were last reprinted, and ended up having to buy them back at the same price I buylisted them for.

    1. If you have a tcgplayer or ebay account, I’d advise selling, but if your only option is buy listing at the new probable price, I’d hold. I would think her price would fall to at least 50, but maybe down to 40 due to the current meta.

    1. I think cavern is a great idea, but I didn’t think they would give that to us. So far, since we have fetches, I’m doubting we get any other lands at all. It seems more like they are going a multicolor direction.

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