The Modern Masters set for Magic the Gathering has arrived. A 229 card set that consists of reprints between Eighth Edition and Alara Reborn. However, many of the cards feature makeovers in the form of illustrations and rarity. The booster packs have also been tweaked, as the basic land in each pack has been replaced with a premium foil card. I for one can find absolutely nothing wrong with that little alteration. So let us take a trip down memory lane and welcome some old friends back into our decks, and allow their potential for mayhem to be unleashed once again upon our unfortunate opponents.
Tarmogoyf is back, and looks better than ever. Although I liked the design on the original copy of this card, I think the new artwork really communicates the size of this formidable beast, and that size is huge. Just ask the fleeing Deer in the new artwork that look like tiny insects scattering in comparison to the Tarmogoyf. I have discussed my affinity for the Golgari guild in a past article, and this card would fit nicely in any Golgari deck. The Tarmogoyf’s power and toughness are equal to the number of card types in all graveyards, and for an incredibly thrifty converted mana cost of only two. This ability is active whether the Tarmogoyf is on the battlefield or in a graveyard. I would love to get this creature in a deck with Varolz, the Scar Striped, then I could scavenge what is sure to be a high power for the afore mentioned low mana cost of two. With that low cost, I can also afford to put the maximum number of these fearsome creatures in my deck allowed by the Modern rules format. Four of these things running around, effective on both the battlefield and in my graveyard is a wonderful thought.
I’m a big fan of equipment. It’s like having auras that you can bounce around the battlefield as more creatures that would put it to better use come into play. I absolutely love having the ability to Hexproof some of my more important creatures as they enter the fray. So Whispersilk Cloak and Mask of Avacyn are some of my most beloved artifacts. I mention this because I think I have found a new favorite creature in the Modern Masters set, and that creature is the Stonehewer Giant. When I’m playing my second favorite color combination of Green and White, or otherwise known as the Selesnya guild, I like to make heavy use of tokens or creatures that bring tokens into play. I then try to bolster those tokens and overwhelm my opponents. Captain of the Watch is usually a card I prefer to serve this purpose, and can be a very crucial part of my success for such tactics. The Stonehewer Giant would be a perfect compliment to my equipment heavy deck. At a converted mana cost of five, he is quite the bargain at 4/4 with vigilance, and the low cost mana activated ability of two and tapping to hand pick and equip any specific artifact from my deck. I could easily see a couple of these cards making their way into my Selesnya guild deck. Combine that with a couple of Sword of Light and Shadow artifacts, another card in the Modern Masters set, and if I can’t get a vital creature hexproofed before they are cut down by pesky instants or sorceries, it will be back to the battlefield shortly for another run.
I have only mentioned a few cards from the Modern Masters set, but I’m sure I will find more combinations as I examine the set further. I consider myself a casual player that is quickly evolving into a tournament worthy opponent, and most of the cards in this set are not old revivals, but new and exciting options. So what about my fellow planeswalkers? What cards have you found within this set that you might have forgotten? What cards from this set have never completely left your arsenal? Will some find their way into your Return to Ravnica and Dragon’s Maze decks, or are some of them already there? Let’s talk strategy as we either welcome back the old dogs, or rejoice in the arrival of another exciting set in the Magic the Gathering realm, and let the battles of the Modern Masters commence.