Soooo… Iconic Masters! I am sure many of you have heard about this recent announcement that has been blowing up the MTG social media sphere. We know very little about the set so far other than the details are going to be relatively secretive. With the prominence of the Internet, spoilers run rampant and everyone knows the set’s contents a week or two in advance. Wizards has stated that there will be no spoiler season for this set and that the goods will be revealed the day of release when players first open the packs. They stated their desire to emulate the old feeling of cracking your first packs from a new set.
Additionally, there is one other BIG thing we know about this November 2017 Iconic Masters set (IMA) so far… There will be ZERO Reserved List cards printed in it.
When players hear the word “Iconic” in regards to Magic the Gathering many things come to mind. Lightning Bolt, Swords to Plowshare, Shivan Dragon, Serra Angel, Force of Will, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Tarmogoyf, Wasteland, and even Storm Crow. Those seem like viable options for reprints right? Well what about cards like Black Lotus, Juzam Djinn, Wheel of Fortune, Time Walk, Ancestral Recall, Time Vault, Library of Alexandria, Mishra’s Workshop, Tolarain Academy, and Bazaar of Baghdad? Surely those cards also evoke a feeling of or nostalgic and reverence. They are also absolutely iconic. I know they do for me and I’ve only been playing since Innistrad!
Since their initial announcement, Wizards has publicly stated that they will not be printing any Reserved List cards in the set and that there are plenty of iconic cards besides them to be included. I could go on for hours about the Reserved List, its merits and its downsides, but that is for another article.
For this article today I would like to discuss my top 10 wishlist for Iconic Masters. This isn’t a list of cards I think will be in the set, just cards that I would love to see. To preface this list, I would like to mention I would be over the moon if they brought back the old border for all the cards in the set. I know it is probably asking for the impossible but, it is technically allowable. Since it would look horribly mismatched if they did half and half, I would suggest that the whole set be printed in old, pre-8th Edition border, but that is surely a pipe dream. A girl can dream right? Let’s dig in!
10. Shivan Dragon
I would LOVE to see Shivan Dragon in this set. There is no argument against the original Melissa Benson artwork as it is a memorable callback to days long gone. Wizards may have stated that there would be many new card artworks in the set, but you can’t beat this classic.
IMA booster packs will have an MSRP of $9.99 per pack. NOBODY wants to open a Shivan Dragon from a pack that cost them $10, so the solution? Make it an uncommon! We have already seen cards like Volcanic Dragon and Pardic Dragon at uncommon in other sets, so Shivan Dragon should be no different. Many players once coveted the mighty Shivan Dragon and seeing them at uncommon would be win-win for everyone.
9. Grim Tutor
Grim Tutor is a very expensive piece of cardboard. Rolling in at over $200 each, Grim Tutor is in desperate need of a reprint. Tutors are an iconic part of Magic’s history. Grim Tutor has always been eclipsed by its peers, most of which are more powerful.
That being said, most of the other tutors have seen several reprints. This would be a great opportunity to finally reprint Grim Tutor with new artwork to boot. Maybe keep that amazing flavor text, though.
Combo decks have had a huge impact on Magic’s history. Some of these decks were so powerful that they even instilled fear in the hearts of opponents. Necropotence, while not being the first combo card of all time, surely does a great job displaying the more broken aspects of Magic. I understand the need for this to be printed at rare/mythic, but I am hoping for the former. When Necropotence was a mythic in Eternal Masters it was a complete dud to open. It would hit the sweet spot at rare, even with the $10 MSRP.
The Mark Tedin artwork is a must and I would absolutely cry if I saw the FTV/Eternal Masters artwork again in IMA. To make this card even more viable for Limited I would also include Dark Ritual as a common/uncommon. Without the Storm mechanic, I think it would be safe to have a turn 1 Necropotence here and there in Limited. That’s never something I thought I would write, but here we are folks. There was a time where that was absolutely iconic and everyone should be able to try it at least once… or ten times.
Ancestral Recall is one of the most iconic spells of all time. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Being a piece of the prestigious Power 9 and arguably the most powerful spell ever certainly makes its mark. But that card cannot be reprinted. SO, how about a card that calls back upon this powerful spell and is in desperate need of a reprint?
Ancestral Vision is illustrated by the talented Mark Poole, the same artist as Ancestral Recall itself. The card was created in Time Spiral as a throwback to the early Magic draw spell and has since been adopted in Modern. Despite being printed three total times, this card still commands a ~$50 price tag. Not to mention, the foil version hovers around $200. Combine these factors and you have the perfect candidate for a reprint. This spell and would be a great addition to IMA’s value.
Crucible of Worlds was actually part of program WotC had called “You Make the Card.” This was where, through a series of public polls, Wizards actually built a card from scratch and used various player-submitted cards as inspiration. They have made several cards this way, but Crucible of Worlds is by far the most iconic and powerful.
Crucible of Worlds may not be an all-star in Limited, but it certainly sees play across every format it is legal in. Despite its various printings you are paying close to $60 for the cheapest copies. Combined with the fact that this card has absolutely stunning artwork by Ron Spencer makes it a welcome addition for value as well as its iconic place in Commander and Vintage.
Okay Jace the freakin Mind Sculptor is absolutely iconic. In the modern era of MTG, Planeswalkers are by far the most iconic cards. Jace the Mind Sculptor sticks out as a giant among Planeswalkers. This Jace is, without a doubt, the most powerful Planeswalker printed to date, and despite it having 3 printings, still pushes ~$60.
Jace deserves a place in IMA because it is recognizable to all and his power is ubiquitous with the color blue itself. I feel this card is extremely likely to be included in this set, and because of this, any small hope I may have held for an all-old bordered set is shattered. Old frame planeswalkers just isn’t going to happen. And for that I will remain forever sad.
Christopher Rush, old border, no flavor text. Done. Article is over thanks for reading!
Okay just kidding. Black Lotus may wear the crown for the most iconic card in all of Magic the Gathering, but Lightning Bolt is certainly top 5. Seeing a brand new black bordered version of the Christopher Rush classic artwork Lightning Bolt coming out of a booster pack would overwhelm so many players, old and new, with incredible emotion.
I know Lightning Bolt isn’t the most expensive card and it would only be a common or uncommon at best. But, a sub ~$200 version of Christopher’s artwork in foil would be amazing for us all. Formats with Lightning Bolt are a blast to play and this spell is always deserving of a place in masters sets. I do uphold the condition that if IMA does not contain the Christopher Rush artwork for Lightning Bolt, I would absolutely remove this card from my list and replace it with something like Birds of Paradise.
Let’s face it, Merfolk are awesome. You either love them or you’re wrong. Merfolk are such a classic tribe in Magic and one of the few that see play in competitive formats almost 25 years later. When Lord of Atlantis was printed in Alpha, Merfolk of the Pearl Trident was the only creature in the game that it could actually pump. Did that stop people from running the little blue men in their deck? Nope.
Lord of Atlantis has a storied history throughout Magic and saw play in every constructed format there is. Because of their popularity, many creature of this tribe are actually quite costly. Cursecatcher, Silvergill Adept, and Merrow Reejery all contribute to the inflated price tag of this tribal deck. When they made the Modern pre-constructed decks, I believed that Merfolk would eventually be one of the products. But the plug was promptly pulled on that product forcing us to look elsewhere for needed reprints. This would be a great time to reprint not just Lord of Atlantis (please Melissa Benson art) but quite a few fishy friends for an amazing limited archetype. Move over Master of the Pearl Trident, bring us back the classic.
Perhaps the most requested reprint we didn’t get from Eternal Masters was Rishadan Port. Sporting play as a 4-of in both Legacy Lands and Death and Taxes, the Port commands a price tag over $100. When it comes to this iconic land, it isn’t a matter of if, but when it will be reprinted. I figured Wizards would wait for Eternal Masters 2 to reprint this iconic land as a flagship addition to the set, along with the classics like Force of Will and Mana Crypt. But now, Iconic Masters would be an even better spot for the much desired reprint.
Rishadan Port has one of the most amazing artworks in the game and the original painting recently changed hands for around a whopping $80,000!! So yeah, I would absolutely call this card as iconic as it gets. Since they commissioned a new artwork for the Judge Promo Port relatively recently, I would not be surprised if they went with that artwork. But hey, this is about my hopes and dreams here. Just spoil me please!
The moment you have all been waiting for. The card the masses have clamored for and reason for the season. Wizards has heard your cries of desperation and your songs of hope.
**Ahem** Moving on.
And the winner is… Demonic Tutor! THE card I would most love to see reprinted in IMA, Demonic Tutor, is an Alpha classic. At one point it even graced the Reserved List. Most people who have ever picked up the game of Magic have seen or played with a Demonic Tutor. The original artwork, while iconic, would probably have issues being released in a 2017 world. This would be the perfect time for an amazing new artwork commission!
Demonic Tutor is the most powerful and most played tutor in all of Magic the Gathering. The effect is coveted and the power level is undeniable. This would make a perfect upshift to rare in Iconic Masters. It sees play in almost half of all black EDH decks posted online and obviously that number should easily be 100%. Never a bad draw, Demonic Tutor comes in clutch at all points of the game and the power of the deck itself is the only limit for the card. Because of this, even ugly white bordered versions of this spell command around $20 and the Divine vs. Demonic version is pushing above $30. With the only foil of this card soaring above $225 a pop this would absolutely be an excellent time to reprint this perfect little piece of MTG history.
That wraps up my thoughts on Magic’s November 2017 set Iconic Masters. This set will blow minds, I can guarantee that. You can’t just call a set iconic and have it disappoint. Magic has 25 years of rich history and amazing cards, so you can bet that there will be a little something for everyone here. What cards do you want to see reprinted? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! I do read them all. Thanks so much!
Rachel Agnes is a VSL Competitor, Phyrexian Princess, Collector of all things shiny and a Cube, Vintage, Legacy, and EDH enthusiast.
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