Much of the appeal of next year’s Modern Masters set will likely be based on the thrill of power. The two cards that have already been spoiled, Tarmogoyf and City of Brass, point to a high power level overall than any given normal set. But some cards in Modern are simply too strong for inclusion, so much so that they’d warp the set’s metagame in ways the developers would not want. Here are five cards we shouldn’t expect to get a reprinting any time soon, especially not in Modern Masters:
5. Baneslayer Angel
BSA has been out of Standard for two whole years now, but the memory of her brokenness is probably still too raw. Giving white the best 5/5 creature would take away from both its own supposed expertise at small creatures and green’s specialty, being the best at fatties. In a product made with Limited in mind, a 5/5 flying lifelinker alone would be enough to be an automatic first-pick either as a “real” draft or a hatedraft, even if it cost more than five mana. Also, there are probably many cool Demons and Dragons that R&D would like to reprint without fear of them never seeing play.
4. Jace, the Mind Sculptor
I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a reprinted cycle of planeswalkers in this set. Clamor as blue players may for this version of Jace, though, he’s not going to be among them. Whereas other planeswalkers are capable of completely dominating games as long as they’re built around, Jace, the Mind Sculptor singlehandedly produces wins without needing any kind of support cards at all. His +1 and -1 abilities are supremely annoying and slow the game down in two completely different ways. His 0-loyalty ability is as good or better looting than any other similar blue card. And his ultimate is probably one of the hardest to deal with. Overall, seeing him again would be unpleasant and unfun.
3. Goblin Guide
The presence of Tarmogoyf shows that R&D is willing to allow for an environment that sometimes is very fast. But I don’t think anyone is prepared for the kind of aggro speed that Goblin Guide would lead to. Tarmogoyf does not swing until turn 3, whereas Goblin Guide essentially says “your opponent starts with 18 life.” And the Guide’s drawback is even less relevant than it was in Zendikar block. The dominance of Zoo and subsequent banning of Wild Nacatl indicates that super-strong two-mana creatures are okay with the development team, but they draw the line at insane one-mana ones.
2. Mana Leak
For all intents and purposes, in most Modern situations, this card is a Cancel for one blue mana fewer. It is no fun to face turn-two “soft counters” that will almost always counter. No matter how powerful control is intended to be in Modern Masters, it won’t get the kind of tools to give it total dominance, given that aggro decks have always been an integral part of Modern. The purpose of this set is definitely not going to be to remake the image of the format.
1. Blightsteel Colossus
I will go on record as saying this: I like infect. I like Darksteel Colossus. And I like alternate win conditions. But there are simply too many ways to win instantaneously in an unfair way with Blightsteel Colossus. It may be unable to be reanimated, but there are plenty of ways to cheat out both artifacts and creatures. And Blightsteel Colossus in the set is too much of a non-interactivity risk for R&D to consider it.
Got your own opinions about what Modern Masters will have in store for us? Let me know in the comments.