Top 8 Ideas for Masters Products
(Disclaimer: I love Magic, have a lot of respect for Wizards R&D, and understand that building formats is a very tough job. The following contains some… er… playful jabs at Wizards, but is hopefully enjoyed as good-natured.)
Wizards recently announced that they would no longer be doing Modern Masters sets regularly, instead moving to themed Masters sets. This trend has already begun with Masters 25, celebrating the most iconic cards in Magic’s 25 years, and Iconic Masters, celebrating… dragons and hydras, apparently. While I’m sure we have a long string of similarly-named products ahead of us, I wanted to offer up my top 8 ideas, which Wizards is welcome to use!
- Master Masters
You might think that Master Masters is the ultimate Masters set, a collection of all the greatest cards from the greatest Masters set. But with Iconic Masters, Wizards showed us how much they enjoy misleading-but-technically-correct marketing. As such, Master Masters will include these smash hits:
That’s right! People keep complaining about Masters sets, eh? Let’s give them exactly what they wanted: +1/+0 to all Kobolds! More of Endrek Sahr, one of the most hyped rares of Modern Masters! Let’s even give them Goblin Rabblemaster, the card that ended more games on Turn 6 in Standard (or Turn 4 when you drew two!) than any other! I’m even willing to print a 4-mana 4/3 that can’t block; you basically don’t need to worry about combat tricks! We even get to sprinkle a teensy bit of value in with the set, as both Huntmaster of the Fells and Chandra, Pyromaster, both Modern staples frequently featured as a 1-of in Jund lists, happen to be masters! Yay Jund!
- Pauper Masters
You know those boxes of garbage commons that have just accumulated more and more garbage commons since you started collecting garbage commons? Well now, you can go to Wal-Mart and spend only $9.99 to get a pack of 14 garbage commons (and one foil) to add to your box of garbage commons! The exciting thing is that in the years since their first printing, many commons would be upshifted in rarity today. This means that we get to print Urzalands at uncommon, Brainstorm at rare, and Faerie Miscreant in the Mythic rare slot it always deserved. Don’t worry though; apparently, Dark Ritual will always be at common.
- Standard Masters
For too long, Standard players have had to balk at elitists who scoffed at their Lightning Strikes as they cast Lightning Bolt. But no longer! Standard Masters will allow you to relive the glory days of all your favorite Standard-format-defining cards! Remember how fun it was to see how many times you could blink Thragtusk with Restoration Angel in one game? The glory days of catching up on your sleep while your opponent slowly milled you out with their Elixir of Immortality control deck? Of wondering why you couldn’t just discard cards from your hand and turn them into an army of 10/10 Rats like your opponent, and then remembering it’s because you had a soul? I bet you can complete the following sentence: Siege Rhinos always come in _________. That’s right, by the end of the format, Saffron Olive’s answer to that question was 34’s!
Doesn’t the conglomeration of cards above bring back only your fondest memories of playing Magic? Doesn’t it make you appreciate just how good Wizards is at promising better Standard formats and then delivering, time after time, by one-upping themselves on new ways to concentrate all of a set’s power into one or two cards? This is why I laugh whenever I hear someone claim that Legacy/Modern/Commander/Tiny Leaders/Pauper/Frontier/Canadian Highlander/93-94/Candyland/Cube/Vintage/Go Fish is better than Standard; because Standard’s track record is just too damn good. At this point, if we play word association with “Standard,” the first word out of your mouth is…? That’s right, “much beloved, balanced, fun, and diverse format. Also Siege Rhino.”
- Tokens Masters
With many Masters sets under their belts, I want to offer something different and exciting. Now, the player response has been very positive toward recent foil Zombie tokens and Thopter/Servo tokens, and they keep asking for more venues in which WOTC can give these out. Well when you go to a Target near you and buy a $9.99 pack of Tokens Masters, you are guaranteed to get not one, but fourteen foil tokens.
You could have the above-pictured tokens and more pimped out in foil. Since we’re doing packs that are all-foil, what happens to the foil slot, you ask? Well, the foil slot will be occupied by that much-loved staple of FNM’s everywhere, the double-sided foil token!
Now, I’m sure there would be some backlash, but the data just doesn’t bear this out. Whether it was Modern Masters or Eternal Masters, the number of packs sold just didn’t vary all that much. Purchase rate of Masters products is generally not noticeably tied to the community’s online response, positive or negative, to the specific Masters product. Ultimately, Wizards doesn’t want players showing up just because they want the cards in the packs. They hope players are there because they enjoy playing Magic, hanging out with their friends, and having a good time. And if they get something cool out of it, well – bonus!
- Meme Masters
Throughout its life, Magic has embraced the internet. From WOTC deciding to build MTGO in-house instead of through a professional software developer, to shutting down/suspending MTGO in 2003… and 2008… and 2013, WOTC has a track record of being on the cutting edge of 90’s computing technology. As a premier internet-dwelling entity, many of its cards have been integrated into the internet’s memey ways. A Meme Masters set would appeal to the edgiest of edgy teens everywhere, providing them a lit way to play some Gucci Magic with the fam. #squadgoals This set would be the straight fire that teens everywhere are thirsty for purchasing in between eating up those Tide Pods with bae before some Netflix ‘n chill. Fix that case of FOMO by savagely living it up through Storm Crow. And remember: if Fblthp and Enthralling Victor are woke, what’s stopping you?
- Banned Masters
Pretty straightforward product here; players often complain when their favorite cards get banned, so WOTC should give them an opportunity to play all their favs at once.
Finally, a set where you can punish your opponent’s Birthing Pod with your Rampaging Ferocidon! You can use Emrakul to Mindslaver your opponent, Stoneforge up a Skullclamp, and kill all their stuff with Skullclamp! (Oh, wait…) In fact, Banned Masters even has its own ban-worthy combo that Wizards didn’t notice until the internet pointed it out a minute or two after the full spoiler went up; that’s right, Felidar Guardian and Splinter Twin produce infinite attackers! Better be running those Ferocidons!
- We’re Not Eliminating the Reserved List Masters
Look, the Reserved List isn’t going away. It’s just not. And to help people cope with what is, surprisingly, still a revelation in 2018, this product will provide cards that come close to sating customers’ appetites for RL cards. You can’t have Mold Demon, but you can take a less-fungus-y Rune-Scarred! And if you thought Thunder Spirit was cool, how ‘bout dat Aerial Responder? Whisperwood Elemental is just a much quieter Wood Elemental, and Hallowed Fountain is just so much prettier than Tundra that it’s definitely worth paying 2 life for.
- Some People Enjoy This/Definitely Good for the Game Masters
People enjoy all different strategies in Magic; some like aggro, others like control. Some like midrange, and some prefer combo. However, there’s a special class of player, which I feel all special and snowflakey for being able to include myself in, who have the most fun when their opponent isn’t having any. There’s just something about watching the hope in their eyes slowly fade away as they foolishly refuse to scoop, whether through stubbornness or because they just started playing last month and thought you won games by attacking with creatures. Nothing is more inviting to new players than casting a Turn 2 Blood Moon and explaining that, no, they can’t cast spells for the remainder of the game.
But for too long, Limited has catered to the type of player who likes Magic as a game that is actually fun to play for everyone. This Masters product will finally provide Magic players who hate playing Magic an experience that they can enjoy. Have you ever wondered what the Turbofog vs. Lantern matchup looks like? Well, with Some People Enjoy This/Definitely Good for the Game Masters, you can find out! Though I do pity the poor, poor player who walks into a draft of this set thinking it’s actually Standard Masters… or any other Magic expansion, for that matter.
Those are my top 8 ideas for future Masters products! Which of these products would you be most eager to purchase?
Ryan is a grinder from Boston with SCG & GP Top 8’s and a PT Day 2. His fragile self-esteem is built on approval from others, so be sure to tell him what you think of his articles on Twitter @RyanNormandin and in his Twitch chat at twitch.tv/norm_the_ryno.
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