Friday, May 27, 2016

Eternal Masters Set Review: White

The set is a weird mixture of money cards at rare and mythic that will be lottery tickets, a few crowd favorites that will be fun pulls, and cards included to make limited work. Its almost a core set with a bunch of money cards thrown in. I see many creatures that were not issued in the Legacy years, and that makes sense since most creatures issued before the Modern format sets are downright terrible.

If this set was reflective of the most powerful cards in Legacy, half the set would be blue, and a third would be artifacts, including most of the mythics. This is why I react to most of the non-blue/non-artifact mythics as 'Hmm, what are you doing here?' The set also has many cards at a higher rarity level than the one they were issued at, and its not just the obvious ones (Force of Will and Wasteland). Those two make sense, but some of the others are going to make the lottery aspect of pulling a valuable card more pronounced than for previous 'Masters' sets. To those familiar with Modern Masters 2015, the best way to say this is: this set has a few more Comet Storms than I was expecting. Also, many of the uncommons read like commons and that are not crowd favorites... I don't know what happened to the uncommons.

There is not much room for complaining, though: the $10 a pack is because of some really valuable cards in the set, and the limited experience should be a ton of fun for those willing to pay the price. Online its a slightly different story. The $7 online packs seem to have a lower estimated value as a percentage of the price paid, but that may change.

My bias: I am terrible at Limited and love Constructed. I am a casual Johnny deck-builder and bottom-feed the cheapest cards.

OK, enough general commentary.

Aven Riftwatcher: Limited.
Balance: what are you doing here? This card is restricted in Vintage, and banned in Legacy. Here because blue is the color of Legacy.

Limited, moving on.

Calciderm: unusual for an uncommon to be limited Jank.... what happened?
Coalition Honor Guard: Limited.

Eight-and-a-Half-Tails: this set got hit with a sideswipe of the Kamigawa stick... and that's usually not the best thing. This is still a solid card, but will make the lottery aspect of the packs really painful to some.
Elite Vanguard: Limited.

Enlightened Turor: one of the better lottery tickets. I need it! Of course, you better not be playing against a Jace, the Mind Sculptor.
Field of Souls: Limited uncommon....hmm, I wonder why this wasn't a common. Its a good effect, though, but you just got something removed. I could see a reanimator trick working here, but its a stretch.

Faith's Fetters: ok, I guess. Another so-so uncommon.
Glimmering Stag: great exiling effect, but an under-powered card in what should have been an over-powered set.

Honden of Cleansing Fire: the Shrine deck is a casual Modern deck. I have no idea what the Shrines are doing in a set aimed at Legacy. Still, that's cool. I want to play the Shrines deck anyways.
Humble: Limited.

Jareth, Leonine Titan: In the great tradition of terrible Legacy creatures. We are so spoiled by Modern era creatures.
Intangible Virtue: nice! Always a welcomed card in ANY set.

Karmic Guide: OK, I guess.
Kor Hookmaster: Limited.

Mistral Charger: Limited.
Mesa Enchantress: One of my favorite creatures, and great to chase all those other unpalatable uncommons. There is a really fun White/Green enchantments deck in this set and that, my friends, is awesome.

Monk Idealist: goes with Monk Realist, which would have been a nice flavor include.
Mother of Runes: one of the best white creatures ever, such a great inclusion in this set. Its great against an opponent with lots of target removal.

Pacifism: hello, old friend. A note about artwork: it would been cool to issue our old friends with the Legacy set artwork. This was a missed opportunity to make this set look like something other than a core set.
Raise the Alarm: Limited.

Rally the Peasants: makes sense. If this set had been issued with a bunch of Legacy creatures, it would have been painful to play. The Innistrad inclusions are great to make the non-blue colors work well in Limited.
Second Thoughts: what some of the speculators are having right now knowing what's in this set, and I am glad, because I may be able to pick up a pack or two. Speculators are not good for this hobby.

Seal of Cleansing: I would have preferred Disenchant with old school artwork.
Shelter: Limited.

Serra Angel: hello, old friend. I would have liked the Alpha artwork. That would have been so cool!
Squadron Hawk: hey buddy, someone forgot Stoneforge Mystic. Glad you are here.

Soulcatcher: Limited.
Swords to Plowshares: its easy to come off as a hypocrite in a set review. Before I was saying how nice it would have been to include old school artwork, but in this case, I really like this artwork a lot more than the old school one. Nice include, for sure!

Unexpectedly Absent: a solid card. Nonland permanent can be a Planeswalker, and as we get more Planeswalkers issued, one or two make it into Legacy and Vintage.
Whitemane Lion: Limited.

Wall of Omens: more of a Modern card, a good include always.
Wrath of God: solid include, yet a card that is not in small supply.

War Priest of Thune: I would have preferred one of the Shadow creatures from Tempest block.... something about most of the uncommons has me puzzled.
Welkin Guide: Limited.