Four Cards Wizards Should Reprint for Modern

Everyone has a pet card (or three) they want reprinted in a Modern legal set. For me, that card is Goblin Bombardment. Combo power? Check: who didn’t love Enduring Renewal and Shield Sphere (except your opponent). Value power? Check again: Gravecrawler must have been a Goblin in a previous life, because he was made for bombarding. Flavor? Let’s just say I want the original Brian Snoddy art and will be accepting no substitutes. Everyone has their own Bombardment they want reprinted in Modern, whether an old-school staple like Masticore or a new all-star like Baleful Strix. Today, with a new set coming in September, we are going to talk reprints.

Baleful Strix

A reader emailed me last week asking why we didn’t do more “fun” articles. As “fun” as I think metagame statistics and analysis is, I hear the underlying desire in this comment and today’s article aims to fill that gap: reprint speculation is as fun as it gets! Modern is a great format with a lot of diversity (especially these days), but it’s hard not to wonder about cards that could improve lower tier decks, reign in scary ones, or fulfill personal wishlists. Today, I’m going to look at a handful of awesome cards which deserve a new home in Modern. Big shoutout to the MTGSalvation “Modern Reprint” thread for all the discussion opportunities on this exciting and enjoyable topic.

Reprint Parameters

Did you think we would get through an entire article without some kind of “parameters” and “context” discussion? What “fun” would that be! Jokes aside, the reprint topic can be as contentious as other more Psychatogcommon Modern discussion points like the banlist and card prices. Everyone has their own definitions of both the cards themselves and the purpose of reprints in Modern. Some players think Modern should be Legacy but without the duals, Brainstorm, and some of the format’s more powerful effects like Show and Tell or Lion’s Eye Diamond (i.e. the “Legacy Lite” crowd). Others think Modern should be a home for extinct strategies: Psychatog, Phyrexian Negator, and Blastoderm unite! And others still want to improve their own pet deck without any regard for how it would affect the rest of the format (e.g. Chain Lightning to help out those poor, outmatched Burn players with their 8%+ metagame share…).

At the risk of offending all the players who want nothing more than to play Force of Will in Modern, I see reprints as having a more limited goal. Reprints Force of Willshould serve one of two goals (or both). First, they should improve tier 2 or lower strategies without significantly improving tier 1 ones. Second, they should create new strategies in space that was previously unfilled. Additionally, reprints should not violate other rules of the format, especially surrounding the turn four rule (sorry, Dark Ritual and company). Although some players are critical of too much format diversity, largely due to sideboarding difficulties and the “matchup lottery”, a greater range of viable strategies is important for metagame regulation. It’s hard to reach a Caw Blade or Mirrodin Affinity situation in a metagame with lots of powerful decks to regulate the others, and reprints can be very valuable in that respect. Also, in the spirit of that email I received last week, reprints are just plain fun. People want to play cool new cards and even if they aren’t seeing a lot of play (I’m still rooting for you, Goblin Piledriver!), their presence is good for longterm format health. The following reprint suggestions live in these categories, either improving existing decks, making new ones, or just being awesome.

The Reprint List

Important disclaimer before we start: if your card didn’t make this list, it doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s a good reprint. This article could easily have been a “One Hundred and One Cards Wizards Should Reprint for Modern”, but then where’s the room for a fun part two or part three? There’s a lot of room for reprints in Modern (more than a lot of players acknowledge), and these cards are only scratching the surface.

1. Innocent Blood

It’s always seemed unfair to me that black mages have bad removal in Modern. Red gets Lightning Bolt, white gets Path to Exile, and BGx mages EN MTGHOP Cards V3.inddget Abrupt Decay and/or Terminate. Meanwhile, if you’re playing black you’re struggling whether to run Doom Blade and lose to a turn two Dark Confidant, Go For The Throat and lose to Affinity and Tron, or Dismember and lose to Burn. Innocent Blood would change that in a big way. Right now, control in Modern is heavily reliant on a red splash to keep the board under control. How else are you supposed to answer those turn one or turn two creatures at parity? A white splash gives you Path, but Path isn’t where you want to be against turn one Birds and Goblin Guides. As a result, Esper Control is basically nonexistent and cool ideas like UB Control, Mono Black Control, 8Rack, and others are relegated to the “maybe next year” pile. Blood gives those decks early removal in the critical turns one through three window, which is the exact test a lot of these decks fail.

The best part about Blood is that it doesn’t break top-tier decks. The current versions of Abzan and Jund have far too many cheap creatures to safely run Blood. You don’t want to get into situations where you went turn two or turn three Confidant/Goyf and then had to Blood to remove an opposing threat. It’s a great turn one play for the BGx player, but the antisynergy is too steep beyond that first turn to run safely. I’m not sure how Blood would play in the Grixis Twin or Grixis Control shells, but my suspicion is “not well”. It’s really lame with Snapcaster Mage and just terrible with your Delvers. You really want to play Blood in a deck where it’s a safe play on turn one as much as on turn four, and/or with redundant creatures you don’t mind losing. The only thing cooler than playing Lingering Souls and Blood is the flavor of that combo. In case you needed more arguments in favor of Blood, it’s a great maindeck card against both Burn and Affinity, especially Burn which gets a lot of mileage out of those early creatures.

2. Baleful Strix

if you want to play blue-based control in Modern, you’ve probably looked at Thirst for Knowledge and sent Wizards a dozen letters pleading them to unban Seat of the Synod. Baleful Strix card Thirst is an excellent spell in the abstract but Modern doesn’t have the tools Thirst needs to succeed. Blue-based Tron decks use the card, but we don’t see a lot of these outside of random PPTQs and local events. Unfortunately, the Thirst engine doesn’t have enough fuel to work in “better” decks. Making matters worse, control decks also struggle with early Tarmogoyf, Tasigur, and Angler beatdown, something Thirst couldn’t even address on its own. Baleful Strix addresses both of these problems. The world’s scariest owl activates a powerful Modern card-advantage engine while also providing control decks an early Fog/removal hybrid to get them into the mid-game. We won’t see spells like Preordain unbanned anytime soon, which means blue players will always have to look elsewhere for good card draw. Thirst isn’t quite in the same cantripping category as Preordain, but the combination of Strix and Thirst is a powerful tool these decks could leverage.

There’s a potential danger with Strix in the Grixis shell, whether Twin or Control. On the one hand, these are slot-tight decks without too much room for new cards. On the other hand, these decks don’t need that much help (as evidenced in the Grixis metagame share today), and Strix could push them into a higher share. I think the potential benefits of Strix are worth the costs, especially as it gives control players a way to better react to aggressive posturing by either fast decks like Burn and Merfolk or slower ones with beatdown roles like Jund and Abzan. I also think the Thirst/Strix deck is very different from the conventional delve-based Grixis Control we see today, which would be a net positive for format diversity. Grixis Delver could also benefit here. Beyond Grixis, Strix could also enable a host of Sultai strategies like the underappreciated Sultai Delver or the out-of-fashion Sultai Control, not to mention indirectly improving cards like Disrupting Shoal. This improves the quality of policing decks in the format, both increasing deck diversity overall and also giving our format safety measures against less fair decks.

3. Cycling lands (Tranquil Thicket and co.)

Speaking of card advantage engines, blue isn’t the only color with an underused but powerful card lurking on the sidelines. Life from the Loam deserves better than tier 3 status Tranquil Thicketalongside Smallpox and Seismic Assault. What better way to bring this grindy engine back to Modern than the Onslaught cycling lands? Tranquil Thicket and its four friends don’t look like the most exciting reprints on paper, but they would have a considerable effect on Modern. Aggro Loam decks fill a BGx-esque space in Modern, adding a fair deck to the format that also polices less fair ones. A turn three Seismic Assault is one of the most abstractly powerful drops in Modern, but it is blunted by the weakness of the Aggro Loam shell. Cycling lands let Assault shine, whether clearing the board of opposing threats or pinging an opponent down to zero in a few turns. The cycling mechanic is also perfectly suited for a diverse format that rewards diverse answers. Thicket-powered Loam decks are incredibly consistent, digging through their deck for answers in only a few turns, which is the sort of policing force Modern can use.

Modern doesn’t have Punishing Fire, which means Loam decks need to look a little different from their Legacy counterparts. We’re also missing the iconic Green Sun’s Zenith. Despite these shortcomings, and other differences with the absence of Mox Diamond and Wasteland, there’s still a lot of room for Loam decks in Modern to succeed. A version of Raphael Levy’s Smallpox Loam deck recently got fourth at an SCG IQ, and although Shakopee, Minnesota might not have the largest Modern scene in the States, it’s a promising finish that shows the core strategy has legs. This kind of Molten Vortex/Seismic Assault/Smallpox-powered shell is very powerful in Modern’s midrange matchups, and the cycling lands would definitely elevate the strategy to at least the fringe of tier 2.

4. Mother of Runes

No reprint discussion would be complete without a controversial proposal. I’m not going to tackle the big dogs like Counterspell and Daze in this article, but I’m Mother of Runesgoing to borrow a mainstay from the Legacy playbook and see how she does in Modern. Mother of Runes is one of the best one-drops in Magic, and the workhorse of Legacy’s Death and Taxes deck. She protects your creatures from removal, stalls big attackers, and lets you swing in for lethal through even the most stalled boardstates. She’s also white (and I don’t just mean the woman depicted in the art). White mages don’t get a lot of love in Modern: it was pretty much all downhill since Path to Exile. It’s the least-played color in the format, shows up in the fewest top-tier decks, and is often regarded as a sideboard or removal color if anything at all. Many players, however, don’t just want to play Stony Silence and Leyline of Sanctity. They want to play white creatures. They want their Thalia, Guardian of Thraben to put in work in a removal-clogged format. No one enables this more than Mama Runes herself.

Of all the reprints discussed today, Mother of Runes is by far the most potentially dangerous. She’s incredibly powerful and there are lots of white strategies that might want her. Abzan plus Mother could be very scary, and even if the midrange version didn’t want her, Abzan Liege almost certainly would. Death and Taxes and Hatebears (you can tell the difference by the Flickerwisps) would certainly benefit from Mother, but maybe by too much: maybe Modern doesn’t need all those land-destruction and taxing effects. There are two reasons I don’t think these fears are founded. First, I am generally of the opinion that Modern needs more policing decks and cards. Mother of Runes would definitely make Death and Taxes and/or Hatebears a tier 2 deck, and these strategies are the fairest of the fair in Modern. They are also almost explicitly designed to beat up on unfair strategies, which is what Modern needs if we want to avoid future bans, encourage future unbans, and preserve format diversity. Second, Modern is a powerful format already, and that baseline power level can almost certainly accommodate more powerful cards. Players underestimate Modern’s ability to incorporate powerful effects into the existing metagame structure, and I suspect Mother would be “good” but not “broken” in this format.

More Reprints?

I’ve avoided some of the hot-button issues in reprints like Counterspell and Pernicious Deed to test the waters for this kind of article. If people like it and want to see more, you can expect to see more fun speculation (potentially even test results!) of these cards in Modern. Goblin Bombardment will make an appearance. Cards like Opt, Soothsaying, Prohibit, and others could too. Otherwise, there’s always more metagame analysis to discuss.

What cards do you want to see reprinted? Any cards you think are particularly dangerous and should be avoided? How do you feel about this list above and its potential impact on Modern? Take your ideas to the comments and I’m excited to think more about reprints as we get into BFZ in the fall! Also, speaking of more metagame analysis, our Top Decks page has been updated to reflect the mid-August metagame (you can see these changes on the Top Decks sidebar too).

Editor’s note (8/18): Changed a sentence in the Innocent Blood paragraph to better explain Blood’s importance in black-based control. 

60 thoughts on “Four Cards Wizards Should Reprint for Modern

  1. I for one want to see you put out in public your arguments, for or against counterspell. Preferably with testing. I suspect the results would be largely what we’ve theorized over on salvation–there’s not a huge functional difference between counterspell and mana leak for most of the decks in the top tiers, only for decks looking to go longer does it truly matter. I’m willing to jump on the testing team for it if you want to tackle that article.

    1. If this article generates enough interest, I’ll definitely investigate those more controversial cards like Counterspell, Price of Progress, Wasteland, etc. There’s a lot of theory surrounding them but not a lot of results or evidence, and it’s high time we fix that. I’ll definitely let you know if we need extra testers: it might be nice to have some independent results from a separate testing group apart from my own too.

      1. Counterspell would just be a slightly worse Mana Leak most of the time, because you are more likely to need to spend life on a fetch-into-shockland to cast it turn 2 than you are Mana Leak. It would be better than Leak if the format slows down and might change the cards control decks use (if in future they exist again) to seal games.

        Wasteland (and its two cousins, Sinkhole and Stifle) would totally transform the format. If it had a shell, any one of these cards would be pretty much equivalent to banning all 5+ mana cards and most 4 mana cards from the format.

        Price of Progress – just GOD NO. Burn is strong enough without it.

    1. Vindicate seems a bit too good, especially in Abzan. If Maelstrom Pulse is the Modern-level standard for permanent removal, and Utter End is the fixed version of Vindicate, I just can’t see the card being healthy in the format. I’m a big fan of police cards, but we know BGx decks are capable of scary metagame shares even without this kind of boost, and I don’t want to encourage that too much. Police cards are good, but this kind of police card fits too easily into a deck that needs no help.

      1. I think you overestimate Vindicate.

        It was not hegemonic in its Standard tenure despite being good.

        Modern is far too fast for overloading on land destruction to be viable (at least without Sinkhole, Stifle or Wasteland), so Vindicate is basically a worse Pulse most of the time that sometimes steals a game when you have a fast start and suspect the opponent is tight on mana.

        It would help Abzan but I don’t see it pushing that deck back to its former oppressive dominance.

  2. I love this article ! It feels so much more researched than the nonsense we occasionally get in the MTGS thread.

    I hope you make more of these and write articles with decklists and test results. It’s fun and interesting.

    1. We’re off to a great start with feedback and traffic, so if this keeps up you can definitely expect followups next week. Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Definitely a fun topic to write on.

  3. I’m hesitant to say a certain reprint would “definitely” push any archetype into Tier 2 status. The tiers indicate metagame representation, and it’s impossible to know what a card will do for a deck, especially considering its potential impact on or application in other decks. While Mom would help Hatebears, for instance, it might help Abzan so much that Hatebears remains more or less unplayable.

    Additionally, I’d love to see Divert, Unearth, Envelop, and Gush in Modern. As much as I’m in love with Daze, I think it does far too much in a format full of 3- and 4-drops.

    1. Divert would be awesome, but I’m always cautious of adding cheap blue spells to a format where Snapcaster is already such a rockstar. I also wouldn’t be too worried about Mom in Abzan. Of course, no card is truly “safe” or “not safe” until it’s either in the format or has significant testing, but it’s not such an obvious boost as, say, Counterspell in Twin.

  4. Interesting article. I’m definitely on board with Mother of Runes (white is in a sorry state at the moment, so it needs a boost of some sort – plus I have a soft spot for Hatebears/D&T) and Innocent Blood (nonbo with the current powerful black strategies, enables some of the weaker ones). I’m not sure the Cycling lands are going to help Assault Loam that much (slow deck getting slow lands doesn’t necessarily strike me as dramatic improvement), but it can’t hurt, and if nothing else, they might help decks like Living End and Grishoalbrnad sift through their decks in hopes of finding their pieces.

    The one I’m a bit apprehensive of is Baleful Strix – it may be too good in Grixis Control. The likes of BGx and Twin are gonna find it awful hard to out-grind a Grixis deck that goes T2 Strix to trade with an incoming attacker into T3 Kolaghan’s Command to pop another attacker and bring the Strix back, not to mention the fact that Snap-Command lets you do it again. Additionally, aggro decks forced to play a grindy game against Grixis (which sometimes happens thanks to choice removal spells) will struggle mightily to race Strix + Kommand before Grixis Control stabilizes and starts beating them over the head with a Gurmag Angler. I could be wrong, but given how potent the deck is already, it won’t take much to put it over the top. I’d love to see it reprinted because I think it’s a super cool card, but I worry about its impact. I know I’d probably try to run at least 2 (maybe even 4) in Grixis Control.

    Since we’re on the subject of reprints, though, here are a few I’d like to see return:
    1. Commander Eesha – a great card for white-based midrange (and heaven knows it needs the help right now).
    2. Psychatog/Wild Mongrel – these being good would be contingent on the madness keyword showing up in Modern, but that’s something I’m also a proponent of.
    3. Yavimaya Elder – Ramp decks are kind of blah in Modern, this one should spice things up nicely.
    4. Spiritmonger – This one may be a bit controversial given how potent it once was (and how good BGx Midrange already is), but given its CMC5 cost, it probably wouldn’t wreck things as it once did, and it’s fun as heck to play with.

    1. I can see Strix being strong in Grixis, but Grixis itself isn’t too strong right now. It’s hovering around a 5% metagame share, so even if Strix were to DOUBLE that share, the deck would still be no more prevalent than Burn, Affinity, Twin, and Jund/Abzan have been. Admittedly, this would violate the parameter of “not powering up top-tier decks”, but it might be an acceptable risk if it could make TfK-powered control decks better.

      Love the other reprint ideas, especially Yavimaya Elder. Maybe Veteran Explorer could join her!

      1. Since we’re adding Veteran Explorer, how about the most skill-testing discard spell ever: good ol’ Cabal Therapy?

        Or my ultimate fantasy: a black-bordered Denied!

      2. That’s a fair counterpoint, actually. Grixis Control’s meta share doubling wouldn’t be format-warping, and the deck isn’t quite dominating the field enough that we have to be walking on eggshells around it. I think that given your assertions, I can back Baleful Strix wholeheartedly (which is great, because I really enjoy the concept of the card).

        Looking back at some of the other replies, I’d also like to assert my backing for cards like Absorb and Undermine, as well as Cloud of Faeries (I’m almost embarrassed I forgot about those – I played so much blue back in the day). Do you think that cards like Repulse or Fact or Fiction could also be appropriately impactful?

  5. I would love too see Dr. Teeth, Goblin Bombardment, Innocent Blood, Astral Slide and the Cycling lands. While I don’t want Legacy Lite, there are decks that are just too slow or weak for Legacy that would be right at home in Modern in my opinion.

    1. There’s a good balance between “Legacy Lite” reprints and “Modern Plus” reprints. I would be very hesitant of adding too many cards that are current Legacy all-stars. Strix is in this camp, but not nearly as much as the Modern-inappropriate Shardless Agent. But those cards like Slide and Psychatog are way too weak for Legacy and could find a home in Modern without significantly changing the flavor of the format.

    1. Absorb and Undermine would be great. Not a big fan of Toxic Deluge because it does a little too much for Jund and Abzan decks trying to survive early aggro. I like Merfolk and Affinity having decent matchups there because it’s a form of format regulation. Deluge gives those decks a bit too much sweeper-power in those kinds of matchups, but maybe it would be proven okay with testing.

  6. Genuinely enjoyed this article actually, and I completely agree with each of the chosen cards. As a faeries player I have to admit you have strong points about innocent blood, and I would personally even say that Cloud of Faeries would be a very under the radar reprint.

    1. Cloud is a nifty reprint, as would be other “free” spells like Snap. Happy to hear you enjoyed it! you can probably expect more of these in the near future.

    1. I will say that “we” as a site did not test the card. We generally leave testing results and veracity to the authors themselves, although I will say the site has its own responsibilities in accepting articles and approving them for publication. I’m not super concerned on site authors missing some card evaluation. Every site does this and at least the Day’s Undoing articles had test results to support the claim instead of just evidenceless rhetoric. But this does speak to the importance of not overstating claims and making sure testing is representative.

  7. I would love have Armageddon in Modern. It’s made for this format, too good for Standard, too bad for Legacy but it will be great in Modern creating a new tier 2 or… 1?

    Also, oldies would be very happy

  8. If we could make the entire Legacy D&T Modern playable, that would be great.

    I’m only half joking – the deck is ‘fair’ and doesn’t do anything degenerate in a degenerate format and would be the ultimate police deck in Modern.

    Swords to Plowshares is key to the deck’s strategy of mana denial.
    You’ve discussed Mom.
    Stoneforge Mystic is no more broken than anything any other deck is doing in Modern, and we’re talking about LightningBolt.Format
    Wasteland could be too strong, but Rishadan Port is definitely ok (being a double tax on it’s caster)
    You might have to keep Jitte on the banlist to allow for more creature strategies.
    Karakas would be an interesting one – it’s only function would be to protect Thalia, since there wouldn’t be much need to bounce reanimation targets. You could keep that one if you wanted to.

    The rest is pretty much Modern legal.

      1. I feel as though requiring the creature to be a creature other than Mother of Runes or perhaps even giving a restriction such as “another target white creature” would help solve the problems with Mother of Runes. By making it a white creature, it slots into D&T and Wilt-Leaf decks but doesn’t make Tarmogoyf more ridiculous than it already is. Notably, Abzan could still target Siege Rhino, but it would make her less splashable in top-tier decks and more focused on rebuilding white as a viable color in Modern maindecks.

    1. When I read the article I though a MoR reprint would be great, but immediately worried her ability to protect herself might make her to powerful in Modern. Taking away her ability to protect herself makes her less powered and stops her being the ultimate chump blocker … and one of the applications for such a “fixed” Mother would be randomly hosing Twin and Infect strategies (and any fringe deck that tries to win by “suiting up” its creatures through spells or creature abilities, like Boggles on Kor Spiritdancer, Kiki Chord, etc.) .

  9. I cannot agree more with the first three cards in this article being printed into modern – especially innocent blood. As someone who plays and brews in all the archetypes you mentioned and then some, it is very frustrating to choose the removal spell. Its not right that blacks best 1cmc removal spell is disfigure. The choice you mentioned in the article was dead on from my standpoint.

    I too would like to see more articles in this vein – although it doesnt seem useful or even that interesting to argue for or against things like counterspell and wasteland in modern – save that for the mtgs modern threads! As a daily reader that would be too far in the realm of irrelevance for me.

    1. I would want to test something like Counterspell to try and confirm suspicions (or challenge them) about this card being too powerful. That’s an interesting topic a lot of Modern players have an opinion on, and it would be nice to generate some results around it. As for the dissatisfaction with black removal, I totally hear you on Disfigure being subpar. Yuck.

  10. Baleful Strix would be sweet. It would also power up those UB Tezzeret decks that show up once a in a while (like that top8 by Shota Yasooka in GP Kobe last year). I’ve always wanted those decks to be good, but they are missing power, and take a lot of splash hate from people’s anti-affinity sideboard cards.

    1. Yeah, that would be awesome. UB Tezzeret is a cool strategy and it’s too bad it doesn’t see Modern play. A big reason for this is the relative weakness of TfK in the current cardpool and UB Tezzeret’s inability to effectively handle early threats. Strix would definitely help in that regard (maybe even Blood too!).

      1. As a UB Tezzeret player, I would be ecstatic to see Baleful Strix in Modern. Far too many games get decided for me on whether or not I cast Damnation t3 or t4, and K-Command just made my life that much more difficult. 4x TfK is already my favorite draw, and getting some decent artifacts will go a long way to help it!

  11. Instead of rolling my eyes at the sight of some of the suggestions, I’m going to point out something that doesn’t make sense to me:

    In the Innocent Blood section we read “Right now, black-based control in Modern is heavily reliant on a white or red splash to keep the board under control”. OK, that’s a fair assessment of the situation. This sentence, however, is (almost immediately) followed by:

    “As a result, Esper Control is basically nonexistent and cool ideas like UB Control, Mono Black Control, 8Rack, and others are relegated to the “maybe next year” pile”.

    Now I’m really confused. Technically the statement is correct – Esper (especially Control) is basically unplayed and only hanging by a hair in Tier 2 because of it’s good Grixis matchup (I can argue all day about this with anybody) and the rest of the decks described in the quoted sentence are, indeed, in the “maybe next year pile”. However, from an article standpoint, this makes no sense. Just in the first quote you have identified white as a splash that black is reliant on to “keep the board under control”. In the next quote we see the following sentence – “AS A RESULT OF THIS (a.k.a. because black is reliant on white and/or red) WHITE-blue-BLACK Control is basically nonexistent…”.

    Maybe some clarification on that? It really does not make any sort of sense. The argument collapses upon itself, even if the statement is not false in any way.

    1. The bit about the “white splash” shouldn’t be in the previous sentence. It’s the red splash which is really important, because Path can’t remove an early creature at parity and Bolt can. I’ll edit this later to clarify, and add an editor’s note to reflect the change. Thanks for pointing this out!

      1. Yep, that makes a lot more sense. I do agree that Path is “the best removal but the one you least want to play” and certainly stinks against early and/or cheap creatures, it was just phrased weirdly. Thanks.

  12. I’d love to see psychatog reprinted. I missed the Tog days in standard. So I loved playing Tog in Extended. Since it rotated out, I slowly lost interest in magic for awhile. Then a buddy introduced me to Modern about 2 years ago. The thought of play ole Dr. Teeth makes me giddy. I don’t think he’d be very good. Just like any other creature combo deck in the format, he’d be susceptible to being abrupt decayed/killed. But Tog decks don’t kill fast. And they need a graveyard. Giving your opponent multiple turns to draw their RiP or Leyline of the void or scooze, or the other graveyard hate cards that are in abundance.

    1. Hmmm not so sure about this. I think we want to keep Amulet Bloom about where it is right now, and Exploration is a pretty strong effect. I like the idea of opening up more ramp decks in Modern (Nic Fit style), but I don’t think Exploration is the way to do that. At least, not the safe way to do that.

      1. I was just joking, Exploration would totally break Amulet Bloom for many reasons XD homever as a Bloom’s fanboy I still hope for a nice card allowing you to play extra lands printed in Batle for Zendikar because hey it would work great with landfall!

  13. Being able to play Young Pyromancer and Innocent Blood together in Modern would make me so happy. I would love to see Tezzerator decks get to use Baleful Strix too.

    1. Very nice synergy there. It might open up some space for more Rakdos or Mardu-colored decks to be viable in the format, which would be nice because these are often policing decks running discard, removal, and Blood Moon.

  14. As a white mage, I’d love to see a reprint of Mom, but I understand why it would cause a ruckus. Although, is it really that much better than Kira? (not a serious question.)

    In order to give white a shot in the arm as a color to be considered as a primary color I think:
    Karmic Guide would be nice
    Romosian Sergeant would be cool if we get some quality allies
    Orim’s Chant would bring scepter chant decks back to the fore
    Containment Priest (not technically a reprint–but a card that would be good for modern white mages)
    Eternal Dragon might be playable for mana fixing and a late game bomb for something like esper control.
    Harm’s Way would be a nice card too.

    1. You can bet I’ll add another white card (maybe two!) to a future reprint article . White is really underpowered in Modern compared to other colors, and it needs some strong cards to be more viable. Chant would be cool here, and I think Priest is a very real possibility in a near future. I’d also love to see Eternal Dragon and can see them bringing this guy back in a future cycling-themed set. Dragon might not be the most helpful card in Magic for white mages, but it’s an interesting start for a UW Silumgar’s Scorn-style Dragon deck (along with Ojutai and others).

  15. Really nice article, I really like playing with old cards and would die for some cool reprints in modern!
    Mother of Runes seems really strong, but boosting D&T could be a good thing, I played a little with the deck and I felt it missed something to be actually good.

    As you said, there are tons of cool cards that could see a modern reprint, my personal favorites are Dack Fayden, Opt and Impulse

    1. I would love to see Impulse, but it seems unlikely with the recent Anticipate printing. Opt is much more reasonable though, and you can expect to see me discuss this card more in the future. Dack would also be amazing, and totally fair given the Modern card pool.

  16. I really liked this article and the thought you put into it, agreed with the first three wholeheartedly and you made me want those reprints now, haha.

    Mother though… I’m not sure I can get behind that. Not just because it’s incredibly powerful, but mainly because I feel like it’s incredibly unfun to play against, and would lead to a ton of very frustrating games.

    It strikes me as that same kind of uninteractive gameplay style that hexproof provides, which people generally hate.

    1. Having played with and against mother of runes since the card was printed, I have to disagree–the key part about mother of runes that most people forget is that since it’s an activated ability, you can respond to it. There is almost always a ton of outplay potential when mom is on the table in a fair creature deck matchup. You also have to remember that mom is inherently weak to board wipes, and pushing her into the format could indirectly help control by increasing the overall utility of board wipes in the metagame.

    2. One thing a lot of players forget is the number of viable, but unplayed, sweepers in Modern. We have access to Wrath, Damnation, AND Verdict, and yet we rarely play them in decks. Mother would change that calculus and encourage greater diversity among removal spells. The big danger with Mother, and the thing we would want to test, would be Mom’s power in Abzan. That’s a deck which definitely needs zero help.

  17. Great article! I would love to see all of these in modern, espeically strix. Mother would definitely help the whiteweenie decks. How about an article talking about Fact or Fiction. If it isn’t good enough for legacy, shouldn’t it be in modern?

    1. Fact or Fiction will probably show up in a future article. There’re a lot of blue card-draw spells deserving this kind of spotlight, and FoF is a big one. I’d want to think about it more in relation to Twin and Scapeshift, but I think it could abstractly be a nice addition to Modern.

  18. MTGSalvationers from the UBx Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas thread have been wishing for a modern Baleful Strix for a loooooong time.

    On the current metagame, I’d expect a Strix reprint to:
    1. Slot in current Grixis Control lists, but then;
    2. Creating a whole new archetype, as you said, leaning heavily on Strix, Thirst for Knowledge, and possibly more Kolaghan’s command for recursion and massive card advantage in grindy games (ironically, Kommand is also very good *against* Baleful Strix), and who knows where that list would evolve into, and;
    3. Give UBx Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas control just the card it needs to >>reliably<< bridge the early to the midgame and have a shot a consistently beating top decks, and maybe climb into tier 2-ish.

  19. I’m a fan of articles like this. Being a rather large fan of control decks, I would love to see Accumulated Knowledge enter the Modern format. It’s a strong card advantage engine for longer games but has an interesting enough interaction with Snapcaster Mage that you don’t want to just mindlessly snap them back without having cast 2-3 already because it makes future ones worse.

  20. Mother does indeed worry me since removal is so much more important than in legacy, but your 1-3 here have some of my most wanted cards as well.

    I always wanted to play Flametongue Kavu in Kiki pod…

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