There are certain strategies in Magic: The Gathering that have lasted down through the ages. There’s “make a bunch of little dudes who get big and attack together.” There is “use counterspells to keep your opponent from playing the game.” There is even, if you’re an old enough player, the “find a weird combo that activates on turn three that wins every single time.” All of these are good, and the upcoming Modern Masters 2017 set (or MMA17) is an ample opportunity for these time-honored strategies to appear in new and weird ways.
Unlike Kaladesh, Shadows Over Innistrad, or the tumultuous Zendikar, a Modern Masters set isn’t a story-focused, brand-spanking-new set of cards. Instead, it’s all reprints, a kind of “greatest hits” (much like the Eternal Masters set) that pulls from what is called the “modern era” of Magic. The selection of cards in Modern Masters goes all the way back to 8th Edition, a card set from 2003, and so the kinds of cards that can be reprinted (and thus the strategies that can be present within Modern Masters) are wide and varied.
I’m incredibly happy to say that there’s a strong “sacrifice” element to Modern Masters 2017.
The idea of sacrificing creatures goes all the way back to the beginning of Magic, and the basic idea is incredibly elegant. You take your creatures, you purposefully kill them, and you get some greater boon from that. Your Mortician Beetle gets bigger when you kill your other, lesser creatures; your Gnawing Zombie gives you a way to kill them; you literally explode your creature into your opponent’s with Bone Splinters.
But what about payoff cards? The big, splashy cards that make you dig deep into sacrificing your creatures? What cards in Modern Masters 2017 will make you say “yeah, I’m gonna play this way” when you open them?
Here’s a couple of them:
These are the kinds of glorious, exciting cards that these reprint sets get me jazzed up about, and I’m now much more excited about playing MMA17 than I was before I saw them. Now I just want to start driving my creatures into the dirt like there’s no tomorrow. Demons and vampires wait for no player.
Cameron Kunzelman tweets at @ckunzelman and writes about games at thiscageisworms.com. His latest game, Epanalepsis, was released last year. It’s available on Steam.