etched champion art wide

Hello all! I am veering from my usual tribal fun in Modern today to talk about the limited environment of the upcoming set: Modern Masters 2015. Hopefully all of you are excited for the release of this amazing set of reprints but I am most excited about the hand-picked and well-polished draft environment created by these special sets.

This is going to be one big long article / primer. It will be broken down as follows and you can jump around as you like.

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As I said earlier, I am very excited for Modern Masters 2015 and will hopefully be drafting it more than I did the original Modern Masters. As well, right now I am going to go over my grading system for cards.

Grading System

A+: Best of the best. Best bombs in the format. I would splash for this nearly regardless. To distinguish this from an A, A+s can win the game, stabilize the game, and bring a player back from a losing position (yes, all of this in one card).

A: Still a very good bomb, just maybe only posses two out of the three of the traits that an A+ card has. These cards are auto-includes and might be splashed for too.

A-: The highest non-bomb cards can get. Very good utility. This is the premium removal or evasion creatures. As well, this would be maybe a bomb that cost 1 more mana than it should, but still very likely an auto-include if you are in the colors.

B+: Decent removal, evasion creatures, and utility cards. As well, this is about the average bomb. These are usually where the quality aggro creatures are at too. It is pretty likely that you will be playing these cards

B: The average card. Removal that works, decent evasion creatures, average aggro creatures, and low-end bombs. The middle of the road deck would have mostly B cards. In general, you will be running a decent amount of these cards.

B-: Good filler. Very low-end bombs, maybe not as effective removal, and not very efficient cards or evasion creatures. You probably will run some of these cards just as filler.

C+: Decent filler. Very bad removal and debatably costed vanilla creatures. Hopefully you are only running one or two of these cards.

C: Bad filler. Generally poorly costed vanilla creatures or creatures that have irrelevant abilities and so they are poorly costed. You are only going to be playing this is bad decks.

C-: Very niche cards that only act as bad filler in a few decks.

F: Fails. I would strongly advise against these cards in any deck or strategy.

S: Sideboard material. It shouldn’t make the mainboard but you might want to keep it handy for sideboards

These reviews will be slightly more relevant for sealed than draft, but in general the grades apply for both sealed and draft. This set is designed for the optimal draft experience, so my grading my be higher than a regular block set, but hey, that just means that the draft experience is more fun!

Draft Archetypes

Here are the archetypes that I think are draftable:

  • G(x) Eldrazi Ramp
  • (U)(W) Affinity
  • Ux Control
  • R(B)x Aggro
  • RU Elementals
  • UB(W)(G) Counters
  • W Spirits and Arcanes
  • GW Tokens and Convoke
  • U(x) Flyers
  • RB Sacrifice and Midrange
  • Midrange of any single color or two color pair

As a note, when I give a card that may be horrible out of context a good grade, remember that it has to be in its respective archetype to be good. As another note, if you crack open a foil Tarmogoyf or Karn Liberated or anything worth big money I would strongly recommend that you take it.

Take cards that will more than pay for this already expensive draft, despite the fact the my grades might not reflect the price tags of some cards. Hopefully you are as excited as I am not only to draft Modern Masters 2015, but also for this limited set review.

Feel free to discuss any of my grades in the comments below.

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Blue | Red | Green | Black | White | Artifact and Land | Multicolored

Blue Cards in MM15

The first color is blue. I’ll be going in alphabetical order.

Aethersnipe: B+
This card should find a home in most blue decks. Not only can it provide tempo and a big body, but can bounce something in a pinch. It can have synergies with enter the battlefield triggers as well. I would be careful as 6 mana is a lot so I wouldn’t quite first pick it.

Air Servant: B
This is an efficiently costed flyer that is a force to recon with in the air. Not only does the creature have a nice size for its price, but it is a tapper. Tappers are always good in limited and although it is limited to only flyers, that is what you usually want to tap the most. As well, it can tap down your opponent’s only blocker and attack in the same turn. The last plus is that it has evasion.

Argent Sphinx: B+
The card is slight better priced than the Air Servant and still has evasion. Alone the inclusion of this card can be justified in most blue decks, but if the metalcraft ability is turned most the time (i.e. affinity decks) then the card gets much better. For only , it protects itself.

Cloud Elemental: B-
It is a decent costed flyer. It can attack decently and it does definitely hurt that it is a 2/3 but yet has a huge drawback in blocking. In more aggresive strategies this card might be a bit better, alone that card isn’t great.

Cryptic Command: B+
I gave this card a B+ (rather than a B or an A-) not only because I do feel that this is one of the cards you might consider picking up even if you aren’t in blue just for the value, but also Cryptic Command just isn’t quite as good in constructed play. First of all, it costs and that triple makes it very hard to play in a two colored deck. Also, it seems that especially in blue decks turn 4 is a busy turn and it would be hard to leave mana up for the command. Regardless of all of this, the card is very good at permission and card draw and will easily find its place in a control deck.

Faerie Mechanist: B-
I was inclined to give this card a B, as a 2/2 flyer for 4 is always fine in limited, but the ability will be a whiff in most deck. Now considering that Affinity seems like a very viable archetype, and this card should likely find a home in most all affinity decks. Regardless, this is a fine-costed flyer and can be good in blue midrange or flyer decks.

Flashfreeze: S
This is a great sideboard card against red or green decks. Bring it in against these decks and it is a straight up Counterspell, but I wouldn’t recommend maindecking the card.

Guile: A
This is a premium finisher in any control deck. Not only can this big body either be just straight up unblockable or it will likely clog up the whole ground. At this point, it is already a big evasive creature. As well, in a control deck the counter clause can be backbreaking for an opponent, either scaring them out of playing spells or forcing them to play very conservatively or letting you steal all of their spells. On top of that, not even a removal spell can stop this from coming back. The only real downside of this card is .

Helium Squirter: B
A 5 mana 3/3 is nothing great, but for 1 mana you can make it gain flying. As well, you can give any creature that enters the battlefield after it gain flying for only 1 mana. This ability can be very good in a blue flyers deck or even just a good blue midrange deck.

Hurkyl’s Recall: S
Although affinity may be a popular archetype, in most games you will get little to no value out of this card. This card finds a good home in the sideboard against affinity decks.

Inexorable Tide: C-
This card is no better than when it was in Scars of Mirrodin. It is still an overpriced enchantment that still has little to no impact even in counter decks.

Mana Leak: A-
This is one of the best permission spells in Modern and at common rarity I would pick up as many of these as you can get. Likely you will be countering any spell that is even close to on curve or even just make a great tempo play. This card is just as good as it is in constructed play as it is in limited. Likely the best counterspell in Modern Masters 2015 (maybe Remand).

Mulldrifter: A-
Mulldrifter is just as good as it way in its Lorwyn days. Likely you are playing it as a 2/2 flyer for 5, which is already half decent, but then you get to draw not one, but two cards off of it. This tremendous advantage more than compensates for the slightly inefficient mana cost, making it an amazing card. I would pick up this card when you see it because I highly doubt something this good will wheel.

Narcolepsy: A-
This card is basically a blue Pacifism. At two mana Narcolepsy is an extremely efficient removal spell that will likely take any creature out of the picture. Again at only two mana this is one of the best creature removal spells in the set and likely the best spell in blue. At common, I would pick up as many of these as I can get.

Novijen Sages: C
6 mana for a 4/4 is pretty bad to start with. Even in a counters deck, the card draw isn’t really that helpful. For 8 mana you get only 2 cards. This creature is fairly inefficient and its card draw ability doesn’t really make up for its bad cost. I would try to stay away from this card if possible.

Qumulox: C+
8 for a 5/4 flyer isn’t exactly good, but the affinity for artifacts might help to make this card playable. In a deck with little to no way to reduce the cost, this card shouldn’t be in a deck, but in an affinity where you can get the cost down to around 5 or 6 mana consistently, this beast can be a lot better and even act as a finisher in an affinity control build.

Remand: B+
Probably the second best permission spell in Modern Masters 2015, this card is slightly worse in limited than in constructed, although it is still very good. For 2 mana not only do you get a card draw, but likely you get to time walk them with a very good tempo play, sending their threat back to the hand, giving you 2 draws minimum to find an answer to the upcoming threat. At uncommon, I would try to draft these as much as possible still.

Repeal: B+
This is an amazing tempo card. You can make x=0 to return a land or get rid of a token for good and draw a card. As well, you can delay your opponent’s threats for likely another turn or get another enter the battlefield trigger off of one of your cards. It also can work very well against the counters decks to reset your or the opponent’s counters on a permanent.

Somber Hoverguard: C+
I was on the fence between C and C+, but considering that the average affinity deck should be able to get a 2 mana reduction on this card, it will be at healthy 3/2 for 4. At this price, the card is definitely playable, although with no cost reduction this card is way overpriced.

Steady Progress: C-
This is a bad cantrip. It is essentially two mana for a counter, which is likely a 1/1 with haste and a card. At this price, the cantrip is very overpriced and makes not nearly a large enough impact in combat or even in a counters deck to be played really at all.

Stoic Rebuttal: B
I am not quite sure on my grade for this. In an affinity deck likely by turn 3 this will be a Counterspell. The fact that it costs makes it a bit hard on two colored decks. Even a non affinity blue deck would like to have it, even acting as a Counterspell for one more mana. At common I would definitely pick up a few of them as they may be a major part of your control package.

Surrakar Spellblade: B-
With no evasion and not exactly an aggressive cost or body, it is fairly hard to get this guy through to deal damage, even if it means drawing a lot of cards. Even a 1/1 can block and kill him. Against a blue control deck or a slower deck this could mean a lot of cards for you, but in general this will be a 2/1 that will be quickly blocked and will result in a loss of 3 mana.

Telling Time: B+

Tezzeret the Seeker: A-
In a non affinity deck, this card is likely a whiff. I wouldn’t pick him if you already aren’t in the affinity direction, I wouldn’t pick him, but he is a great first pick to get you into the affinity direction. In an affinity deck not only can he tutor an artifact and let you have multiple uses out of utility artifacts or let them have sudo vigilance.

Tezzeret’s Gambit: B-
Paying two life and 3 mana for a counter and 2 cards is good deal. It is nothing amazing and this card loses a lot of its value if you can’t consistently proliferate but in a counters deck this is a great proliferate cantrip.

Thoughtcast: B+
In affinity decks, this card is great. Even with just a 1 mana reduction, this card provides decent value, but in an affinity deck where you can get 2-3 mana reduction, this card is a very good straight up card draw engine.

Thrummingbird: B
2 mana for a 1/1 flyer is already good value. At this point, the card is already good, but in a counter deck you can get even more value off of the proliferate triggers. If you combine all of this together, this is an efficient costed flyer that can really help you with getting extra counters on permanents.

Vapor Snag: B+
For only one mana Vapor Snag is an amazing tempo play. Not only do you get a life point off of them, but also likely a time walk since they have to replay the creature. At one mana the only downside to this efficient bouncer is that it only hits creatures.

Vendilion Clique: A
This Modern staple is not only an efficiently costed flying beater, but also lets you see your opponent’s hand and take a card or even cycle a card from your hand. Without this ability, the card is still a great beater and blocker but adding this on top of it makes Vendilion Clique an auto include in most any blue deck.

Vigean Graftmage: B-
A 2/2 for 3 is fine in limited. The ability to make creatures with +1/+1 counters have sudo vigilance for only two mana makes this creature have fairly decent utility. He can find a nice spot in a counters deck.

Water Servant: B
4 mana for a 3/4 is already a decent costed body. The ability to shapeshift the power and toughness makes this card a very good attacker and defender, all packed into a well-costed creature.

Wings of Velis Vel: B
Personally I liked the card similar to this in Dragons of Tarkir. This spell can not only jump but also boost a lot of smaller creatures. I would usually run this type of card in an aggressive blue deck to smash in for a few extra points of damage.

Again I will talk about any discussions in the comments below. Tomorrow will be red, so get ready!

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Blue | Red | Green | Black | White | Artifact and Land | Multicolored

Red Cards in MM15

The second color we’re going to look at today is red.

Banefire: B+
This Fireball can finish off a player or act as a removal spell. In an aggressive deck this can easily finish off your opponent with an x=5. As well, this spell can act as removal, burning a creature out. Also if you need to finish off a control player the uncounterable clause can help.

Blades of Velis Vel: B-
This pump spell is a fine combat trick. The creature type is likely irrelevant in most decks, but being able to give two creatures +2/+0 in combat can either crunch in a lot of extra damage or make some favorable blocks for you. Since it is an instant, the card can also be used on the defense.

Blood Ogre: B-
Depending on how aggressive your deck is, this is either a 2/2 for 3 or a 3/3 for 3. If you can get the bloodthirst to trigger consistently, this can be a fine on curve filler, and even at 3 mana for a 2/2 this can find a slot in most aggressive decks.

Bloodshot Trainee: C
A 2/3 for 4 is nothing great to start off with. You would need either a lot of equipment or a lot of pump spells to be able to turn on a big burn engine. Unless you need a bad filler, it is probably not worth it to try to get him up to the 4 power.

Brute Force: B
I’d be happy to pick up a red Giant Growth. Giant Growth is already a great combat trick on its own. The boost in power and toughness means that you can use this to save a blocked creature, bolt your opponent by giving the boost to an unblocked creature, or make one of your guys block well. I would pick up a few of this versatile cheap combat trick.

Burst Lightning: B-
Most the time this is a Shock, which isn’t the best burn in the set. If this is kicked then it becomes a slightly worse Lava Axe. All around this isn’t a bad burn spell. It gives you options, but it isn’t the most efficient burn spell around.

Combust: S
Against a white or blue deck, this is an amazingly efficient removal spell. I wouldn’t recommend this maindeck but it definitely finds a good home in the sideboard.

Comet Storm: B+
This letdown of a mythic is still a fairly effective Fireball. Although this costs one more mana than Banefire and is always counterable, for a slower red deck this can hit not only a player, but also 1-2 creatures. For this reason, this is still an effective and scalable burn or removable spell.

Dragonsoul Knight: C-
I do not at all suggest to try to build a 5 color domain deck. Since this archetype isn’t really a viable option, this is just an intimidating 2/2 first strike for 3.

Fiery Fall: C
This very highly costed burn spell is a bit of a letdown as a finisher. First of all, it costs 6 for 5 damage, not the greatest efficiency. As well, the damage only hits creatures. It basically removes one creature for 6 mana. The best part of the card is the basic landcycling.

Goblin Fireslinger: C+
This 1/1 for 1 is a decent aggressive creature that can basically act as unblockable. He is a fine filler for an aggressive deck, but I wouldn’t jump on him.

Goblin War Paint: C+
For 2 mana likely the haste clause of this card will not be relevant. An aggressive deck likely wont be able to play a threat and have 2 mana to spare, but, regardless, the boost in power and toughness provides a big boost on any creature.

Gorehorn Minotaurs: B
Either a 3/3 for 4 or a 5/5 for 4, this card just depends on how consistently you can deal damage. Even if you can deal damage super consistently, a 3/3 for 4 still isn’t horrible and a 5/5 for 4 is quite good.

Gut Shot: B
1 mana or 2 life for only 1 damage isn’t great, but it works as a burn spell. Simple as that.

Hellkite Charger: A-
This is a pretty good bomb. A 5/5 for 6 that has flying and haste is just a very good big body on its own. It is fairly unlikely that you will be getting any extra combat steps off of him, but the ability is there and can potentially be used if you get a land and have nothing better the next turn. I would definitely pick this up for a R(x) midrange deck.

Incandescent Soulstoke: C+
The elemental theme is definitely one of the weaker ones throughout this set. It is unlikely that you will get to cheat an elemental into play, but there are some spells that make a creatures all creature types, which allows you to take use of the pump. A 2/2 for 3 is a respectable body.

Inner-Flame Igniter: C+
Again a 2/2 for 3 is not horrible in limited. Likely in any aggro deck 3 mana for a mere +1/+0 to your whole team isn’t quite good enough. In a slower deck, this ability may be used to push some extra damage through and I highly doubt you will activate it three times in one turn.

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker: A-
This Splinter Twin on a stick is very good. Even though it does cost for a 2/2 haste, it is likely that you can easily get a lot of value off of his ability. Copying something that has an enter the battlefield trigger or just another attacker, Kiki-Jiki provides invaluable value.

Lightning Bolt: B+
This classic burn spell is just as good as ever. Use it to pick off a smaller creature or even hit to the face, this card is a very efficient use of mana and a card.

Skarrgan Firebird: B+
Either a 3/3 flyer for 6 or a 6/6 flyer for 6, either way the cost is still respectable (of course a 6/6 flyer for 6 is quite good). What really brings this card over the top is not only its ability to be a finisher, but also its insane recursion. What was once a rare is still a very good common.

Smash to Smithereens: S
Against an affinity deck, this card is not only great removal but also a Lightning Bolt. I would pick one of these up for the sideboard.

Smokebraider: B-
This is basically a 2 mana 1/1. Your deck will likely just become a UR good stuff deck if you don’t pick up a few of these guys. If you go die hard elementals, I grab some of these, if not, then just draft the good stuff.

Soulbright Flamekin: C+
A 2/1 for 2 is a decent deal and giving trample to some of your 4/1s, 5/1s, 6/1s, etc. can be very useful. This ability may even resolve three times in a turn in a more midrange deck.

Spikeshot Elder: C
This is little more than a 1/1 for 1. It is very unlikely that you will get any value off of his ability at all.

Spitebellows: B-
A 6/1 for 6 is nothing great, but likely removing a creature when this big beater dies provides it enough value to be picked up. On top of that, you can evoke it to likely remove a creature for only three mana.

Splinter Twin: A-
Much like its on a stick counterpart, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, this enchantment can provide a lot of value, whether providing another attacker or blocker or simply getting more value off of the creature’s ability. The problem with enchantments are that they allow for you to get 2-1ed.

Stormblood Berserker: B
Even without the bloodthirst trigger, a 1/1 that likely can’t be blocked the first turn it is played is good value. If you can get the bloodthirst trigger then you get a 3/3 that has decent evasion. For only 2 mana, that is an amazing deal.

Thunderblust: B
At five mana this will likely be chump blocked then crunch in a matter of a few points of damage, but it can bring down creatures with it. This is a pretty nice finisher in an aggressive deck and even works well in red midrange decks.

Tribal Flames: F
As I said, five color decks aren’t going to work. This will never be an effective burn spell. I would not recommend picking these up.

Viashino Slaughtermaster: C
A 1/1 double strike for 2 is decent. That is likely the whole value of the card, considering that I wouldn’t play 3 colors in this format, despite the bounce lands, and even then this wouldn’t be something I would want to put my mana into.

Wildfire: B
At 6 mana, this can do a good job shutting out a player, but you will need multiple outs to let you win after this near wrath. There are so many situations where this just is a flat out waste of mana and very few situations that work out well for you. Regardless, this can be used as a one sided sweeper in a ramp deck and does deserve a slot in a lot of RG decks.

Worldheart Phoenix: C
4 mana for a 2/2 flyer is fine in limited. That is all this card is. The alternate casting cost is not very realistic. So the value as a filler is fine, nothing great.

Wrap in Flames: B-
Not only can this pick off a few 1/1s, possibly 2 for 1 the opponent, but it can also let you alpha strike in for the final points of damage. This is a slightly less good and overcosted Pyroclasm, but I would still pick one or two up.

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Blue | Red | Green | Black | White | Artifact and Land | Multicolored

Green Cards in MM15

Now on to the green cards!

Algae Gharial: C
A 1/1 for 4, even with shroud, is not that good. Its ability is to slow. It is way to slow to get any good value out of the card at all.

All Suns’ Dawn: B-
The five color deck is not a viable option. Despite the cool art, you will never get full value out of this card. Regardless of this, in a 2 colored deck you can still get some good recursion value for your 5 mana, even if it isn’t the most efficient.

Ant Queen: A-
A 5/5 for 5 is a nice starting point and being able to churn out tokens for only 2 mana a piece is a very good ability. Alone this is a nice sized body but the ability to either make many attackers or clog up the ground for a cheap cost is a very good ability and can help break board stalls.

Aquastrand Spider: B-
A 2/2 for 2 is fine value. The graft ability gives it a little more value and the last ability adds little value to the card. It is a very narrow ability that likely won’t do much, but still it is a fine card.

Bestial Menace: B-
Getting 5 power out of 5 mana is a fine trade. It is both good and bad that this power is dispersed throughout 3 tokens. For the pros, it clogs the ground and can help break board stalls. On the negatives, all 3 of these creatures are fairly small and can be killed quickly. Both the pros and cons are fairly minor and I still believe this card is fairly good.

Commune with Nature: B
This is a solid cantrip for a green deck. If you are playing green, it is highly likely that you will at least hit one creature off of this card. At common, I would pick up a few of these as some early game action and to fill up your hand.

Cytoplast Root-Kin: B+
Again a 4/4 for 4 mana with graft is nothing to laugh out, but both of the other abilities on this guy are relevant. In a creature heavy deck, this can get quite a few counters down on other creatures. The last ability can be used to push through extra damage or even a constant threat, as it was a combat trick on a stick. I would try to pick up these guys.

Gnarlid Pack: B-
As I have said many times now, a 2/2 for 2 and after the first kick the card gets to have pretty bad value. The card is fine and the multikicker is an option to scale him up for the late game, but it is likely a 2/2 for 2 or a 3/3 for 4, both fine inclusions.

Karplusan Strider: C+
3/4 for 4 has some value. About 40% of the time the card will have hexproof. I would definitely consider it for the average green deck but for some stronger green decks you may want to the sideboard.

Kavu Primarch: B+
A 4 mana 3/3 with convoke is a very good deal, especially in the GW Tokens Convoke. You ca easily power this out for 3 or even 2 mana and the ability to make it likely a 7/7 for around 5 is a very good scaleable option for the mid to late game. I would try to pick up a few of these.

Kozilek’s Predator: B
A 3/3 for 4 is fairly good in limited, but it isn’t great. What really helps this guy is the fact that he makes not 1 but 2 tokens that can be used to convoke spells, ramp, and chump block if needed. All of this makes him just as good as he was in the Rise of Eldrazi days.

Matca Rioters: C
Again I don’t believe that the 5 color domain strategy will really work so at best this is maybe a 2/2 or a 3/3. I wouldn’t prioritize this common over much better commons in the set.

Mutagenic Growth: B+
2 life or 1 mana for +2/+2 is fine value. What really brings this over the top is its versatility. Not only can this be used to crunch in some extra damage, but also as a fine combat trick even when you are tapped out. All of this I feel makes this a very effective combat trick.

Nest Invader: B
A 2 mana 2/2 is nothing to laugh at. On top of that, you get a token that can convoke, chump, and ramp. All of this for only 2 mana is a good deal that I would pick up.

Noble Hierarch: B
This Modern staple is not nearly as effective in limited. In general, Noble Hierarch is just a 3 mana fixer and a mana dork. The exalted triggers doesn’t do much. Most decks, especially green decks, won’t want to only attack with one creature. The card is still quite good, but still not the best bomb.

Overwhelm: B-
This near Overrun can have the potential to be very good. At 7 mana it is not at all worth the cost, but with convoke this spell can get a lot cheaper. Although the convoke doesn’t work well with the rest of the card, tapping creatures to cast it. This prevents you from attacking with them. Even despite these fore comings, the card can be quite potent for an alpha strike.

Overwhelming Stampede: B+
Another Overrun like spell, at five mana this is likely a +4/+4 to all of your creatures. For 5 mana, Overwhelming Stampede is a very potent Overrun spell that can easily allow for a big alpha strike.

Pelakka Wurm: A-
This is quite a good finisher. This wurm is a huge 7/7 for 7 with trample. A big creature with semi evasion and it doesn’t even stop there. You gain 7 life when it enters the battlefield and you get a card if it ever leaves the battlefield. All of this for 7 mana, this card has great value as a finisher

Plummet: B+
For only 2 mana this is a very effective removal spell likely for a flying finisher. In some decks this could find its place in the sideboard, but I feel like it is still very potent in the mainboard.

Primeval Titan: A+
This standard and Modern powerhouse is still an amazing powerhouse in constructed. For 6 mana you get a big 6/6 with trample. Not only that, but also you get to ramp out a ton of lands. This giant will likely finish off the game fast, if not then it will allow you to play the spells that will finish off the game.

Rampant Growth: B
In some type of eldrazi ramp deck, this can be an efficient ramper and fixer. For only two mana, if you want to play stuff off curve then pick up 1 or 2 of these.

Root-Kin Ally: C+
3/3 for 6 is not that great at all. Adding convoke makes the spell closer to an acptable 3 or 4 mana. The second ability I feel is to overcosted. 2 less attackers for only a +2/+2 bonus I feel isn’t that worth it.

Scatter the Seeds: B-
5 mana for 3 1/1s at instant speed is pretty mediocre to start with, but to add convoke to reduce the cost, this can allow you to add chump blockers, attackers with sudo haste, or extra creatures to convoke all at instant speed. This is enough value to try to grab 1 of these.

Scion of the Wild: B
What was once a rare is now still a glorious common. In a tokens convoke deck this can easily become a 3 mana 4/4 or 5/5. At this rate, the creature is just value, a second Tarmogoyf. I would pick up quite a few of these at common.

Scute Mob: A-
This is a nice finisher, despite its small size. Play this turn five and it is only one mana. If you can keep the fragile 1/1 body alive to untap with it, he is going to get very big very fast. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any form of evasion so he is likely going to just get bigger and bigger. This little bug is a good bomb in my eyes.

Simic Initiate: C+
A 1/1 for 1 that can give a counter to another guy is just fine filler. Pick him up if there is nothing more exciting in the pack. Simple as that.

Sundering Vitae: S
A 3 mana Naturalize is a fine sideboard card, but having the option to convoke it and make it 2 or even one mana earns this card a fine spot in the sideboard.

Sylvan Bounty: C-
Life isn’t that important especially in the GW Tokens and Convoke deck. For 6 mana, 8 life is no where near that important. The only thing that keeps this from a fail is the basic landcycling ability, which is at a reasonable cost.

Tarmogoyf: A-
This Modern staple and the most valuable card in the set is not nearly as good in limited as in constructed. Of course he is still very good, but by turn 2, since there aren’t fetches, cantrips, and perfect curves in limited, he will likely be a 0/1 or a 1/2. Still, later in the game your 2 mana investment will likely result in a huge payout later in the game when the beast is around a 4/5. I would almost always try to snag this guy.

Thrive: B
In a counters or tokens and convoke deck, this spell can provide a lot of value. If you have a lot of creatures on the board or even just a few this can add a counter likely to all of them. The only downside is that it isn’t instant speed.

Tukatongue Thallid: B
This green Doomed Traveler provides not only a small body, but another body when it dies. For 1 mana you get 2 power and 2 toughness. In a convoke and tokens deck (or any deck), this can provide a lot of value in convoking and chump blocking.

Vines of Vastwood: B-
This classic infect pump spell can provide a lot of value. Against maybe a control deck an unkicked Vines of Vastwood can make a difference, but most the time you this is for +4/+4 and shroud. At this cost, this will likely mean that you want to pick up a few of these.

Wolfbriar Elemental: A-
A 4/4 for 4 is a fine deal. Hopefully you won’t just be playing this as a 4/4 for 4, hopefully you will be able to kick this 2+ times. If you can do this, then you will be getting a increasing amount of value. 4 mana for 4 mana, 5 mana for 6, 6 mana for 7, etc. At this rate, this wolf can work real well to flood the board with 2/2, which act as attackers, blockers, and convokers. I would pick this wolf up if you are in the colors.

dismember art wide

Blue | Red | Green | Black | White | Artifact and Land | Multicolored

Black Cards in MM15

Next up we have black.

Bitterblossom: A
This faeries deck powerhouse is still as good as ever in limited. For 2 mana, you will be getting quite a few tokens. Even if they are 1/1s, not only do they have evasion, but they also can act as chump blockers and creatures to sacrifice. The life loss isn’t really that much. I would definitely snag this card if you see it.

Bloodthrone Vampire: B-
2 mana for a 1/1 isn’t anything great, but being able to trade small creatures for a whole +2/+2 boost. At this rate, this vampire is a fine filler especially in a sacrifice and midrange deck.

Bone Splinters: B+
A 1 mana destroy target creature is absolutely amazing value. In basically any black deck you can likely find a useless creature to sacrifice. If you are already going for the sacrifice archetype, this is the prime removal. Either way, if you are in black this will be quite good.

Daggerclaw Imp: B-
This is a pretty good aggressive creature. Even at a 3/1 for 3, since it has good evasion this creature has nice value, especially as an aggressive creature. In general, it shouldn’t be a hinderance that this can’t block. I would definitely snag 1 or 2 of these if you are already going aggressive and even in a midrange deck he is a nice filler.

Dark Confidant: A-
This Modern staple is still quite good in limited. Not only is it a decent 2/1 for 2, but also he provides an amazing amount of card advantage. Even if you do hit a bomb, the amount of life loss is nothing compared to the amount of card advantage. I would take this guy real quickly.

Death Denied: B-
I really liked this spell in the first Modern Masters and now that the spirit and arcane theme is slightly supported, this card is even better. Personally, I found great recursion value even just to get back 1 or 2 cards back to your hand.

Deathmark: S
Amazing removal against a green or white deck, but other than that I would keep it in the sideboard.

Devouring Greed: F
First of all, I don’t think that I would want to sacrifice any number of spirits, especially considering that it would be traded for a simple life drain. If you add the 4 mana it costs to cast this, I wouldn’t even consider picking this.

Dismember: A-
Dismember is premium removal. Even just as a target creature gets -5/-5, the card is great value and will likely get rid of any creature. What really brings this over the top is that it can be played in any color deck and can be a simple 4 life and 1 mana. As well, it is instant speed. All of this combined makes an amazing removal spell.

Dread Drone: C+
A 5 mana 4/1 isn’t quite a great deal. Since it will be played in the midgame, the opponent will likely be ready to deal or trade with it. What makes this card fine is that it creatures acceleration, chump blockers, and sacrifice fodder.

Duskhunter Bat: C+
Even just a 1/1 flyer for 2 is fine, but in a very aggressive deck with quite a few 1 drops this card can easily become a 2/2 flyer for 2, in which case it is pretty good filler.

Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder: A-
My favorite EDH general is still quite good in limited. Especially in a sacrifice deck, this allows for any spell to provide its own sacrifice fodder and when the card isn’t a sacrifice outlet, Endrek provides some attackers or blockers or some sacrifice fodder. It is unlikely if you have a decent amount of sacrifice outlets that Endrek will ever dies (or if you have a big bomb of converted mana cost 7+). Endrek can really put you in a dirrection and can really help an already forming black deck.

Ghostly Changeling: C+
A 2/2 for 3 is just fine and maybe the changeling ability will be relevant in a RB Elementals deck, but most of the time it means nothing. The pump ability is fairly inefficient but can still allow to crunch in some extra damage or block better.

Grim Affliction: B-
In a counters deck is where this card gets most of its value. 3 mana for two -1/-1s and some other counters is a fine deal. At instant speed, this can act as a very nice combat trick. At this rate, it is a nice filler spell.

Instill Infection: C
4 mana for a -1/-1 and a card is pretty bad deal. Even with both of these effects on one card, Instill Infection still is very mediocre. It does allow you to hit another creature when you proliferate, but other than that it isn’t really worth the cost.

Midnight Banshee: A-
for a 5/5 wither is fine value but a little heavy on the black mana. The wither works very well in a counters deck and on a 5/5 can really hurt blocks for your opponent. As well, especially in a mono black deck the second ability is amazing. Every turn making each of your opponent’s creatures weaker and opening any of them up to proliferate. Even in a two colored deck the cost you pay is fairly reasonable to the gain you get.

Nameless Inversion: B+
For only two mana this can act not only as removal but as a pump spell as well. A -3 in toughness is pretty significant and a +3 in power can result in a lot of extra damage. With that much versatility, this is definitely good utility.

Necroskitter: A-
A 1/4 wither for 3 is fairly nice value. As well, he is a very nice elemental in a deck that cares for this. As well, blocking can set the seed for proliferation. The second ability may have varying levels of potency. In a black midrange deck the ability likely won’t get to much use, but in a proliferate deck the ability could easily be a win condition. Just because of its potential, I would definitely still take this if you are in the colors.

Plagued Rusalka: B+
A 1/1 for 1 is fine value. Also doubling as a pretty nice sacrifice outlet. It puts the creatures to decent use. The biggest problem with this is the 1 mana. This means that you have to waste a lot of creatures and likely a whole turn to bring down a big creature with this guy. He is a nice filler in a counters deck and fine in a black midrange deck.

Profane Command: A-
With 4 all very potent modes, this can act in so many ways, all of which are scalable. It can act as removal, allow an alpha strike, an Exaguinate style finisher, and a reanimation spell. Not only that, but it acts as two of these modes at the same time. With so much versatility and power level, this is probably the best instant or sorcery in black. The only downside is that it is sorcery speed.

Puppeteer Clique: B+
A 3/2 flyer for 5 is nothing great, but this puppeteer has a bit more going for him. First of all he comes back as a 2/1 flyer after he dies once. As well, the biggest thing going for him is that you get to steal not one but two of your opponent’s best creatures, whether they died, were milled there, or simply taking a creature that traded with the Clique after its first death.

Reassembling Skeleton: B
2 mana for a 1/1 is fine, but what makes this card a bit better is the recursion ability. For only 2 mana you can get this guy back. This makes him an invaluable chump blocker or sacrifice fodder. For this reason, this skeleton is quite a good card for most all black decks.

Scavenger Drake: C+
4 mana for a 1/1 flyer is pretty subpar and in most sets the second ability would be just to slow but in this set the sacrifice theme is fairly prevalent. If you do find yourself with a heavy sacrifice theme then this card could be worth it. If not, then this card becomes a lot less good, likely being quite slow.

Scuttling Death: C+
A 5 mana 4/2 is nothing great. Again likely by turn 5 the opponent will at least have decent trades with this guy. His ability is fine. It can complicate combat math, kill a 1/1, and most importantly return a spirit with converted mana cost 4 or less from your graveyard to the hand. This recursion value is what makes this card significantly better.

Shrivel: B-
Likely all this will do is kill off 1 toughness creatures. This can really hurt against an aggressive deck. If you set it up well, this can also pick off blocking creatures. This is a usefully spell to have, but not quite a black Pyroclasm.

Sickle Ripper: B-
2 mana for a 2/1 wither is pretty good value. It can be used for a 2/1 for 2 in an aggressive deck or still an aggressive wither creature in a counters deck. Either way, he is a fine pickup.

Sign in Blood: B
2 mana and 2 life for 2 cards. I’d take that deal any day. This is a great draw spell for any black deck. The only real downsides are that it is sorcery speed and that it cost , a hard cost for a 2 colored deck by turn 2. Regardless, I would pick up one or two of these if they come to you.

Spread the Sickness: B+
I’d be fine with destroy target creature, even if it is at sorcery speed, but this spell not only is non conditional removal, but it also fits in very well in the counters deck. I would play this even if you aren’t playing a counters deck.

Surgical Extraction: F
In limited, this has no value. It does absolutely nothing. End of story.

Thief of Hope: B-
3 mana for a 2/2 is fine. What puts it over the top is the life drain ability whenever you cast a spirit or arcane and you can get back one of your early aggressive spirits. I would pick this up especially if you are already devoted to the spirt and arcane theme.

Vampire Lacerator: B+
This is the premium aggro creature. 2/2 for only is great early aggression. The life loss really doesn’t matter. If you want to be aggressive at all, I would take as many of these as possible.

Vampire Outcasts: B-
Either a 2/2 lifelink for 4 or a 4/4 lifelink for 4, this card is pretty nice value. Most decks will be able to deal damage turn 4, so at that rate as a 4/4 lifelink for 4, this card has great value as not only a nice sized body but can also gain you some life.

Waking Nightmare: C+
Its an arcane Mind Rot rot. That is fine as in filler in that deck. I would maybe take one of these if I want to be a bit more control-like, but it isn’t anything premium.

mirran crusader art

Blue | Red | Green | Black | White | Artifact and Land | Multicolored

White Cards in MM15

Now on to the white cards!

Apostle’s Blessing: C+
1 mana and 2 life or 2 mana for protection not only from any one color but also artifacts is a pretty nice spell for a control deck. I would still consider this for some other type of white midrange or aggressive strategy.

Arrest: A-
Even if it was just a Pacifism for 3 mana, I would still take every one of these that comes around. But, this card is better than just a Pacifism. For 1 extra mana, you completely shut down a creature. I would pick up every one of these that comes around.

Battlegrace Angel: A-
5 mana for a 4/4 flyer is a fine deal. Even just attacking alone, a 5/5 lifelink for five is a fine deal. What makes this better is the potential for a voltron style deck and giving your best creature +1/+1 and lifelink is a good enough bonus on a 4/4 flyer. It is a nice bomb.

Celestial Purge: S
Against a black or red deck, this card is amazing removal. 2 mana to get rid of anything on their board is great value, of course in the sideboard.

Conclave Phalanx: B+
A 2/4 for 5 isn’t great value, but the more devoted to the convoke and tokens theme you are, the better this card gets. It can easily be 2 or 3 mana and gain you around 5 life. At this rate, Conclave Phalanx is a key card in most convoke and tokens decks.

Court Homunculus: C
Likely a 1/1 for 1, even if this does become an Isamaru, Hound of Konda, in terms of today’s creatures that isn’t that good. It is quite unlikely that this will happen. In particularly aggressive affinity decks, this can be a fine aggressive filler. In other decks, this is really just a 1/1 for 1.

Daybreak Coronet: F
There are so few other auras in the set that this can’t really enchant anything at all, so in basically every case it is just a dead card in your hand. I wouldn’t even take it for a voltron deck.

Dispatch: B
A 1 mana instant speed tap spell is pretty nice value. Stop an attacker or blocker at instant speed is pretty nice. What really puts this over the top is in an affinity deck, this is for exile target creature at instant speed. That is insane value and is premium removal in an affinity deck and quite good value in any white deck.

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite: A
A 4/7 vigilance for 7 is definitely subpar, although it does attack and block decently. What makes this a bonkers card is the fact that it makes your 1/1s better than their 4/4s and kills all of the opponents creatures with toughness 2 or less. This swings any board state very quickly in your favor the second it hits the battlefield.

Fortify: B-
In a tokens and convoke deck, this can be 2 mana for an extra 4+ damage and more favorable blocks. Just that mode alone allows for a relatively cheap offensive combat trick. With the option to give a nice boost to all of your creatures’ toughness makes this quite a fine combat trick on the offense and the defense.

Hikari, Twilight Guardian: B
This is basically a 4/4 flyer for 5 that has very conditional protection. A 4/4 in the air is nice size and body and for a fine cost of 5 mana. There really isn’t a flicker or enter the battlefield theme in Modern Masters 2015 and there aren’t a ton of instant speed arcane, so the second ability, although it may save Hikari occasionally, most the time it will do nothing. Still, it is a very nice in the air beater.

Indomitable Archangel: A-
At even better value, a 4/4 flyer for 4 is a pretty nice deal and is a pretty nice in the air beater. Even if you can’t activate the metalcraft, this is a very nice beater. If you can, then it makes this card slightly better. Granted in limited shroud doesn’t do a whole lot, but in some cases it can provide some nice inevitability.

Iona, Shield of Emeria: B+
It you get her down, this is backbreaking for the opponent. A 7/7 flyer that will likely shut down at least half of their deck. The biggest problem I have with her is her cost. 9 mana is a ton, not to mention the included in the cost! She is great if you ever get to play her, but she is just so expensive, that is the big problem.

Kami of Ancient Law: C+
A 2/2 for 2 is fine. That is likely all that the card is. It is very unlikely that there will be a really pesky enchantment where this comes in a ton of use, so it is just a fine on curve vanilla creature.

Kor Duelist: B-
A 1/1 for 1 is fine value and if you do happen to be going for voltron deck (which I don’t think is that strong) then he definitely reaps the benefits of the enablers. I would pick him up if you already have a fine voltron shell, otherwise, unless you need a 1/1 for 1, I wouldn’t take him.

Leyline of Sanctity: C+
There isn’t as much burn in limited. This doesn’t provide you nearly as much value as it does in a constructed format. You can’t aggressively mulligan into it and there isn’t a ton that is going to be targeting you. As well, 4 mana for hexproof isn’t great for the same reasons. It is basically a dead card.

Mighty Leap: B
2 mana for evasion and +2/+2 is decent in my eyes. Play it on the offense or the defense, the spell is cheap and has a pretty potent effect, especially if you are jumping a big creature.

Mirran Crusader: A
This is a great aggressive creature. 3 mana basically for a 4/4 is very good value and aggression. What really puts the card over the top is that it has protection from about 40% of everything. If you are in white, this is definitely the type of early beater I would pick up.

Mirror Entity: A-
A 1/1 for 3 is not very good and there is really no use for the changeling ability. What makes this card good is its ability to break board stalls. Late game you can make all of your creatures huge. This could mean that only 1 creature getting through could be lethal. With mana open, this can close out a game fast.

Moonlit Strider: B-
A 1/4 for 4 isn’t great, possibly better in a control deck. What makes this card a lot better is the ability to protect another creature on a stick. You can threaten to counter any of your opponent’s removal spells. As well, it recurs another spirit if you are going for the spirits and arcane deck, but even if you are just playing a control deck I would pick up a few of these.

Myrsmith: B+
This is the premium card for an affinity deck. It doesn’t matter what the body is (although a 2/1 for 2 is nice), the ability to crank out not only creature tokens, but artifacts creature tokens as well allows for quick enabling of metalcraft and a flood of tokens. I would pick this up even if you are just thinking of going into affinity.

Oblivion Ring: A-
This is premium removal. 3 mana for any nonland permentant. Little more than another Oblivion Ring or a Kami of Ancient Law can get rid of this. Even though it is at sorcery speed, I would splash for this if I need removal.

Otherworldly Journey: B
Being able to flash a creature for only 2 mana is like countering a removal spell for only 2 mana. As well, the creature grows when it comes back. This can fit in with the arcanes and spirits or just be a good spell in a control deck.

Raise the Alarm: B-
This is the premium card in a GW tokens and convoke deck. At instant speed you get 2 1/1s, all for only 2 mana. It floods the board with tokens that can block and convoke. Even in a non tokens and convoke deck I would consider picking 1 or 2 up, at common.

Skyhunter Skirmisher: C+
Another fine creature for a voltron deck. Basically a 2/2 flyer for 3 is good, but if you are in the voltron deck then this can become a huge evasive beater. Even if you aren’t, it is fine value for some semi early aggression.

Spectral Procession: B
This is the prime card in GW tokens and convoke, even more so than Raise the Alarm. Even if you can’t cast it for , 4 mana for 3 1/1s that fly is very good value. Again, they flood not only the ground but also the air with evasive creature, blockers, and convokers. I would even consider this in a different white deck, but it mostly does wonders as a GW Tokens and Convoke deck enabler.

Sunlance: B+
This is more very good removal. It is close to a Lightning Bolt in white. Granted it has some restriction, this can still bring down nice sized creatures and in conjunction with a chump block, much bigger creatures. Against some decks this is slightly dead and it is to bad that this doesn’t work as a combat trick, but still I would pick this up and add it to the pile of great removal in white.

Sunspear Shikari: B-
Again in most decks this is just a 2/2 for 2 if you need it, but if you already have a voltron shell going, this is definitely one of the better cards to equip. Lifelink and double strike really helps pay the equip cost. If you are building a voltron deck, snag these. Otherwise, only take it if you need a 2/2 for 2.

Taj-Nar Swordsmith: B-
A 4 mana 2/3 is nothing great, but what is great about this card is its ability to enable voltron. I feel like there aren’t a ton of great equipments in this set but they definitely are cheap. The average converted mana cost is a mere 2, with the most expensive being only 3 mana. This means that with 7 mana open you can get any equipment in the set and with 6 you can get quite a lot. What brings down this guy’s grade is the fact the he isn’t that good in any other deck.

Terashi’s Grasp: S
Against an affinity deck, this is quite good. Not only do you get to destroy their best artifact for only 3 mana, but you gain some life too (granted it is at sorcery speed). This is a fine card to have in the sideboard if you don’t already have a ton of removal.

Waxmane Baku: B
A 3 mana 2/2 is fine in limited, but this is a very big enabler for the arcane and spirit deck. You should fairly quickly be amassing ki counters on this guy. Tappers are always good in limited and what makes this guy better is that he can not only keep a creature tapped down, but can also tap down multiple creatures and keep himself untapped for a fog or to enable an alpha strike. What brings this guy’s grade down is that he is really just a 2/2 for 3 in a control or any other type of white deck (maybe you will get a little value), but in the devoted arcanes and spirits, this guy is quite good.

karn art

Blue | Red | Green | Black | White | Artifact and Land | Multicolored

Colorless Cards in MM15

On to the colorless cards (artifacts, eldrazi, karn, and lands). I’ll sort these alphabetically by subcategory: colorless, then artifacts, and finally lands.

Eldrazi and Karn

All is Dust: C
A 7 mana sweeper is not that good at all. What makes this not a fail is that maybe an affinity deck might want to run this, as it is a one sided sweeper, but even then it is so expensive.

Artisan of Kozilek: C
Again the same problem. It is just so expensive. Ramp isn’t really supported in this format. 9 mana is just so much. Again if you do get to cast it, it is a huge swing. Reanimating something and annihilator 2 on a 10/9 is big. Regardless, 9 mana is just to much.

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn: F
I have to disregard the power level on this monster. There is no way to cheat this into play and 15 mana is WAY too expensive.

Karn Liberated: B+
More expensive cards. 7 mana is achievable and you do get a payout when you play this. It can turn the tables in your favor and assure the win and even act as a restart button in some cases, but t is just so expensive, so that is what it really holding it back.

Kozilek, Butcher of Truth: C-
More of the to expensive syndrome. 10 mana is just way to much for basically every deck. This is the only one of the eldrazi that may very vaguely be castable, which is why it doesn’t fail.

Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre: F
11 mana is to much. I don’t care what it does. 11 mana is to much for limited.

Ulamog’s Crusher: C
8 mana is finally near the realm of castable in some decks (maybe a ramp or control), granted that you will need likely around half of your lands. If you do cast it, an 8/8 annihilator 2 is quite backbreaking for the opponent, but it can’t quite stabilize you as it can’t act as a blocker. Regardless, the 8 mana is the most prohibiting part of this card and that is why it gets such a poor grade.

Artifacts

Alloy Myr: B-
A 3 mana 2/2 is fine in limited. What makes this card better is it’s ability to ramp and fix. He can attack and block fine. I would pick a few of these up for most affinity and 3+ color decks.

Blinding Souleater: B+
A 1/3 for 3 is nothing that impressive, but what really makes this card good is the tapping ability. In my experience, tappers are very good in limited. Granted this goes a lot better in a white deck where you don’t always have to pay 2 life, it does leave the option to put it in any deck. Tap down a blocker at their end step then still tap down an attacker next turn. Keep a threat on the board tapped. Any of these things. Its like a removal spell that can change what it is getting rid of. I would pick a few up especially if you are in white.

Cathodion: B
A 3/3 for 3 is fine. It is a nice body and has the added utility of making the opponent afraid to kill this, and when it does, you could get nothing out of the mana, which is still fine (you got a 3/3 for 3 so be happy) or you could use it to play to spells in a turn or ramp into something off curve. All of these are fine options to utilize this nice sized artifact beater.

Chimeric Mass: B-
This is anything you need it to be. A 1/1 for 1, a 2/2 for 2, a 5/5 for 5, anything. As well, it can act as a 0 cost artifact. The more counters you put on this the less that 1 mana to activate it becomes and this can be a good late game mana sink, but generally this is just an on curve creature that takes 1 to activate.

Copper Carapace: C+
For a total of 4 mana +2/+2 and can’t block isn’t quite great value, but it is an equipment, so this means a few things. First of all, it acts as a 1 mana artifact for affinity decks and helps voltron decks. As well, you can move it around and pay that 4 mana in 2 installments. For those reasons, this is a fine equipment to suite one of your creatures up with.

Cranial Plating: B
I was very conflicted over what grade to give this card. It can be decent in voltron, but really shines in affinity, where you will be getting great value out of it. I don’t care at all if you aren’t playing black, the equipment is still really just as good. What brought the grade down slightly is that this is a fairly narrow card.

Culling Dais: C
Although its effect can be potent in a sacrifice deck, a total of 3 mana, a few turns, and a few creatures with a payoff of only a few cards doesn’t find a spot in most decks. In the sacrifice decks, this is a decent sacrifice outlet, but there are better ones.

Darksteel Axe: C
It doesn’t matter that this thing is indestructible, still, 3 mana for +2/+0 (and 2 of that on the equip cost) isn’t that potent of an effect. Maybe in a voltron or affinity deck, but in most decks this will be just another under par pumper.

Etched Champion: B+
3 mana for a 2/2 is fine but not great, but the ability to make it untouchable is what really makes this card over the top. Metalcraft is not that hard to get, and this guy provides a big payoff for that. In non affinity decks, he is just a 3 mana 2/2, but in an affinity deck he (it?) is definitely a great early aggressive creature.

Etched Monstrosity: B
A 5 mana 5/5 is fine. I highly doubt that you will be able to make him a 10/10, for , especially turn 6. If you can then it is a great payoff, a 10/10 and 3 cards, but this will likely be a trap of a bomb. Still this guy is a big 5/5 that may intimidate opponents and fits in any deck, affinity or otherwise as a 5/5.

Etched Oracle: C
Another artifact card that goes with the 5 color theme, although in most decks this is a 2/2 for 4, maybe a 3/3 for 4. There are very very few decks that can put this out as a 4/4 for 4 on turn 4. The only reason this gets a C is that in a proliferate or counters deck this can get up to a 4/4, which means a big payout in cards.

Everflowing Chalice: B-
I like a 0 mana artifact, even if it just sits there and activates metalcraft. For 2 mana you can get a decent mana dork and the best part about this is that it is scalable. Lategame this can be easily generating 3 mana. The only real problems are that the mana is colorless and it is a little expensive, but still good.

Expedition Map: B-
In a limited environment where all this does is fixing, it is a little expensive. 3 mana to fix your mana is a little much, and that is all that is holding this card back from being in most all decks that need fixing.

Flayer Husk: C
A 1/1 for 1 is fine. 2 mana to give another creature only +1/+1 is just to pricey. This could be a bit better as one of your low end equipments in a voltron deck, but in most decks it isn’t quite worth the spot.

Frogmite: B-
A 2/2 for 4 isn’t great and in most decks this frog will be just that, although, if you are playing affinity then this could easily cost 1 or 2 mana. If you aren’t playing affinity, this is way to inefficient, but if you are then this is just another piece to the puzzle. Fairly cheap and it enables metalcraft.

Glint Hawk Idol: B
Again, in a decent amount of decks this is a completely dead card, but in any white deck it is a fine inclusion. Only 2 mana then another to make this idol into a 2/2 flyer. What makes it even better is that in an affinity deck you basically get a 2/2 flyer for 2. I would pick this up if you are playing affinity or are in white.

Gust-Skimmer: B-
A 2/1 for 2 is pretty average. What makes this playable is easy evasion. Jumping itself is a nice thing to do in the early game to get in some extra points. In a non blue deck I wouldn’t recommend this pest, but in an affinity deck this is nice and also just in a blue deck it is good.

Kitesail: C+
Again this is a bit to expensive for most decks. Granted it does give evasion, a +1 boost in power really isn’t that much. What makes this fine is the ability to make a creature in a voltron deck have evasion. That is generally the only place where this shines at all.

Lodestone Golem: B
This vintage shops powerhouse isn’t nearly as good in limited. A 4 mana 5/3 is a pretty good body, but that isn’t exactly the focus of the card (although 5 power is very nice). In a limited format, even in an affinity deck, you will still have a significant amount of non artifact spells. Although this will definitely hurt the opponent more, affinity in limited isn’t as aggressive and it doesn’t matter nearly as much that you opponent is slowed down by a turn while you are sometimes slowed down too. Regardless, the card still does have some value as both a 5/3 and in slowing down your opponent, so if you are going the affinity rout I would pick it up.

Lodestone Myr: C+
A 4 mana 2/2 isn’t that good, even if it has trample (trample on a 2/2 doesn’t do that much). What makes this card fine is that in an affinity deck you might be able to pump it up a little. Its not the best of cards in an affinity deck and definitely not the best of rares and is quite bad in any other deck, but you could give it a try.

Long-Forgotten Gohei: B-
In a spirit and arcane deck, this card can not only be an anthenem effect, but it can also reduce the cost of a lot of your spells. For only 3 mana, in that specific deck it is a pretty nice utility card to have. In any other deck it is completely dead. Maybe you will get a little boost off of it, but in general it is completely dead. So, if you are already headed down the path to spirits and arcanes then pick this up, otherwise, don’t.

Mortarpod: B-
A 2 mana 0/1 that pings is fine. The ability to keep on equipping this to keep on pinging is what makes this good in a tokens or sacrifice deck. I would definitely consider this for tokens and convoke decks and sacrifice decks.

Mox Opal: B
This staple in affinity can still do lots of work in limited affinity decks. Although you likely won’t have metalcraft turn 1, even if you get metalcraft turn 2 or 3 this is still a premium mana rock in any affinity deck, although its only power is in its ramping and fixing ability. Even though it has a good spot in an affinity deck, it doesn’t have any insane power.

Myr Enforcer: B-
A 7 mana 4/4 isn’t great value in most decks, but with a 3 mana reduction this becomes a nice beater as a 4 mana 4/4 in an affinity deck. By turn 4 or 5 most decks can get a 3-4 mana reduction on this guy, making it worth the big body. If you are going the affinity rout, this can be a nice sudo finisher, if not, then this is a dead card.

Precursor Golem: B+
5 mana for 9 power is a really good deal. Even if this is distributed over 3 3/3s, it is still a nice deal. In an affinity deck this is a very good finisher. It adds a lot of decent sized artifact creature tokens to the board. It can also be decent in a tokens and convoke deck and can generally find a home in any deck, if it needs a sudo finisher. The big downside with this is that removal hits all of your golems. In an affinity deck, this can be a huge blowout and it can still be a pretty big blowout in any other deck, although this can work in your favor if you use pump or protection spells.

Runed Servitor: C+
A 2 mana 2/2 is a fine deal. In most decks, this will act as just that. In an affinity deck it can act as another artifact. When this guy dies, each player draws a card so it evens out, making this little more that a 2 mana 2/2.

Rusted Relic: B-
In an affinity deck, this is a likely a 4 mana 5/5. By turn 4 most affinity decks should have metalcraft, if the relic doesn’t make the 3rd artifact. In an affinity deck, this is a nice big and efficient beater but in anything else this is dead card, which brings down the grade a little.

Sickleslicer: C+
3 mana for a 2/2 isn’t great, but not only is this an artifact but it can also be a pretty effective equipment in a voltron deck. +2/+2 is a pretty potent boost and 4 mana is fairly reasonable. This can find a place especially in voltron and affinity (and maybe even a sacrifice deck).

Skyreach Manta: C
For most decks this will be a 2/2 or a 3/3 flyer for 5, which isn’t that good of a deal. There are few decks that can get any value out of this card at all. Maybe an affinity deck might pick 1 of these up or a 5 color deck, but generally I wouldn’t recommend it.

Spellskite: B+
This Modern powerhouse is still quite decent. Not only is it a 2 mana artifact, but also an effective blocker. In a blue deck this can just be an annoyance to the opponent, sucking up burn, removal, and pump spells, although the ability for it to suck up burn and removal means that its lifespan is short. In a non blue deck the 2 life can hurt quite a bit, but still I would consider picking this up in any deck.

Sphere of the Suns: B
This acts as a decently cheap fixer and an artifact for affinity decks. If you need the fixing, this can fit the bill. Other than that, it does nothing.

Sunforger: B+
In any deck 3 mana for the equipment then another 3 mana to equip is a pretty nice deal for +4/+0. In a RW deck the ability to fetch up basically any instant or sorcery in your deck is a very nice ability for only . I would definitely consider this for any deck, but I would strongly consider this for a white or red deck.

Tumble Magnet: B-
Tappers are pretty good in limited. 3 mana for 3 taps is fine. If you are playing an affinity deck or need a filler then this is a fine filler. To watch out for, once you use it all up, it just sits on the board.

Wayfarer’s Bauble: C+
This, similar to Expedition Map is decent fixing but is a little expensive. Your first 2 turns are spent fixing (or maybe ramping a little). Unless you need the fixing, this isn’t the best card to pick up.

Lands

Guild Karoo Lands: B
E.g. Azorius Chancery, etc. In general, these lands all fix pretty well and allow for a bit of ramp and prolonged land drops. In a faster deck, this can shut down your turn 2, but in general this is the best fixing in the set and should be your first attempt if you need fixing.

Blinkmoth Nexus: B-
Generally this is just a colorless land. Sometimes you can crunch in some extra damage in the air. Little more than that. Mostly it is just a colorless land and maybe an artifact. The 3rd ability means nothing. I’d maybe consider this in most decks, especially affinity.

Darksteel Citadel: C
In most decks this is just a colorless land, which brings down the grade on this card significantly, but in an affinity deck this can be very good, acting as not only a land (since color matters a lot less, it doesn’t matter as much that the land is colorless) but also a free artifact. In an affinity deck, this is a pretty good land but it does nothing in any other deck.

Eldrazi Temple: C-
Maybe if you have picked up some of the cheaper eldrazi then you will get some value out of the second ability, but most of the time this will just act as a colorless land and even in a deck that uses its second ability this card is not very potent at all.

Evolving Wilds: C+
This is a nice fixer. If you need the fixing then this is worth the value. If you already have your colors set then this isn’t the best fixer out there.

Eye of Ugin: F
This does nothing in basically every deck. Simple as that. I wouldn’t recommend this for any deck.

niv mizzet art wide

Blue | Red | Green | Black | White | Artifact and Land | Multicolored

Multicolored Cards in MM15

Now the last section, multicolored!

Agony Warp: B+
This is pretty premium removal. For only 2 mana you can likely remove one creature and fog another creature. If this isn’t close to a 2 for 1, this can really mess up combat math for the opponent. This might not be a first pick as it puts you in 2 colors, but it is definitely quite good if you are in the colors.

Apocalypse Hydra: A-
Either a 4/4 for 6 or a 10/10 for 7, this usually isn’t exactly on curve. Usually this will be played as an early aggressive creature or a chump blocker. The versatility makes it quite good and this hydra scales very well. Also you can ping things. If you play it small you can crunch for some damage then cash it out for damage and as a big hydra and ping off some smaller creatures.

Ashenmoor Gouger: B
A 3 mana 4/4 is very good in any mono red aggro deck. It is an efficient beater that comes down fairly quickly. This is a nice card to have in any aggressive deck.

Boros Swiftblade: B-
This is a fine creature in an aggressive deck. It is from the days when double strike is way overvalued, although this is a pretty good price for a creature who suites up very well.

Creakwood Liege: A-
This is a Call of the Heard every turn. All jokes aside, a 4 mana 2/2 is nothing great. Pumping your whole team with a potential +2/+2 every turn is very potent. This is another great card for the BG sacrifice deck. Not only does this allow you to get a little extra kick out of sacrifice fodder, but also pumps out tokens every turn to sacrifice. Even if it does leave you with an army of 1/1s afterwords, this is still a nice card for any BG deck, especially sacrifice decks.

Dimir Guildmage: B
A 2 mana 2/2 is a fine deal. What makes this nice is that it is both an early and late game thing to do. It is versatile and a good mana sync. Whether you make your opponent discard or draw some cards, this is a nice pick up for any BU, B, or U deck.

Drooling Groodion: B-
6 mana for a 4/3 isn’t very good. What makes this card very good is in a sacrifice deck, this is a very good sacrifice outlet. Even though this costs 4 mana, not only can this act as pump and removal, but can also really mess up combat math for the opponent. This is definitely a good sacrifice outlet if you are going for that deck.

Electrolyze: B+
This is a very good removal and cantrips. For only 3 mana, this can easily be a 2 for 1 and get you a card. Even if it is just a 1 for 1, it still cantrips. If you are in the colors, this is just the kind of thing you want to pick up.

Ethercaste Knight: B-
A 2 mana 1/3 is fine in limited, but exalted is a very nice ability. Even though late game in a limited game exalted isn’t nearly as good, as you usually don’t just want to be attacking with just 1 creature, in a fairly aggressive affinity deck not only is this a nice artifact creature but it can provide a nice boost to one of your guys.

Fulminator Mage: B-
A 3 mana 2/2 isn’t great. In a midrange deck this is fine, but this isn’t nearly as good in an aggressive deck. The ability that makes this card great in constructed is basically dead in limited. Although you may get some use out of it, generally this is just for a 2/2.

Ghost Council of Orzhova: A-
There is lots to this card, but this is the kind of a strong card that puts you into a WB Sacrifice deck. If you pick up then you are likely going to only be playing WB, as it does cost , but its effects are quite potent. First of all it is a 4/4 for 4, a nice body. Also, granted sacrifice fodder, it not only protects itself but can also drain a lot of life throughout the course of the game. All of this combined makes Ghost Council of Orzhova the premium card for a WB Sacrifice deck (although it doesn’t fit in most all other themes).

Glassdust Hulk: B
First of all, this cycles for , which is always a good bonus. If this is not needed, just cycle it away for another card. Now on to the real stats. This is a 3/4 for 5 and is an artifact creature. Although that is a nice body, what really makes this good is in an affinity deck you can just go artifact, hit for 4, repeat. This can close off games pretty fast and is fine even in a non affinity deck.

Hearthfire Hobgoblin: B-
Again back to the days when Wizards thought that double strike was the most over powered ability, this is basically a 3 mana 4/2. At that rate it is a fine aggressive creature in a RW or mono red aggressive deck and this is a decent card to suite up, but it isn’t the greatest aggressive creature.

Horde of Notions: C
Elementals are cool and this is a cool card but really it is just going to sit stranded in your hand. Even with its stats, it is just to hard to cast. I wouldn’t recommend picking this up. Even in a 5 color deck the payout isn’t huge.

Lorescale Coatl: B+
This is a very good card. A 2/2 for 3 is fine. If you can power this out turn 2 than it gets even better. Every turn this just grows and grows. If you have card draw spells, graft, or proliferate then this just gets bigger faster. If this snake doesn’t suck up a removal spell then he is going to be a big problem for the opponent. This can get you and put you into the UG colors very well as a great 3 drop.

Mystic Snake: A-
This is Counterspell plus Grizzly Bears. A Counterspell on a stick is always a big surprise. Even at 4 mana (Cryptic Command is 4 mana remember), this is great value. For essentially a 2/2 haste and a Counterspell, this is a great pickup to start or add to a UG deck.

Necrogenesis: B
This set doesn’t even use the graveyard, so for only to cast and 2 mana to generally pump out 1/1s is quite good. This is the best uncommon for a GB sacrifice deck. It repurposes all of the dead creatures into more sacrifice fodder and at a decent cost to. Even if you aren’t in the colors this is still a pretty nice card.

Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind: A-
A 6 mana 4/4 flyer is decently costed, even though there is a included in that cost. A 4/4 flyer is a nice beater, but what makes this card quite good is that it can not only act as a big flying beater also pings every turn and can draw you an extra card every turn. With this much utility as a beater, pinger, and a card drawer, the 6 mana cost is warranted. I would pick this up if you are in the colors.

Nobilis of War: B+
A 5 mana 3/4 flyer isn’t great value. What really makes this card good is that attacking creatures get a big boost in power. This card is versatile, pretty good in a token deck, an aggressive deck as a finisher, or in a midrange deck. All of this makes this a fine pick up.

Pillory of the Sleepless: B+
Although this is multicolored and is 1 more mana, this is the Pascifism of the set. Not only does this shut down a creature, but for an extra mana it pings your opponent every turn. Granted this is 2 colors so it isn’t as first pickable, if you are even thinking of going into BW then this is the premium removal.

Plaxcaster Frogling: B
A 3 mana 3/3 is a pretty good deal. In a GU counters deck, the graft really helps. As well, for only 2 mana giving the majority of your creatures shroud. For that value, this is definitely a nice graft card for any deck, especially a counters deck.

Restless Apparition: C+
A 3 mana 2/2 is fine, even if it does recur as a 1/1 (although this is quite good in a sacrifice deck), but the ability to make this a 5/5 for only 3 mana can help you get in some extra damage or mess up combat math for the opponent. It is just fine card in a midrange or sacrifice deck.

Savage Twister: B
This is a pretty effective mass removal spell. Although this is no Pyroclasm, it can still easily clean up the whole board. At only 2 mana to start, this can easily reset the board in a RG Ramp or Aggro deck.

Selesnya Guildmage: B
Just as Dimir Guildmage, this has 2 good abilities that are decently costed. Whether you want to pump out 1/1s every turn or provide an anthem for your army of tokens, this is a late game mana sink and an something good to do early game. This is a quite nice pick up for any GW Midrange or Tokens deck.

Shadowmage Infiltrator: B+
A 3 mana 1/3 with evasion is fine. Most of the time it will be unblockable, 1 damage doesn’t do that much damage. What really makes this good is that it is a consistent card draw engine. With the decent cost and a potent ability, this is a good pickup to start or add to a BU deck.

Shrewd Hatchling: C+
A 4 mana 2/2 isn’t very good. If you are in a UR Elementals, Midrange, or Control, or a deck of U or R, this is a nice card. He will slowly (or even quickly) become a big 6/6 that has very nice evasion. He is a nice big creature for any deck in the colors.

Sigil Blessing: B
Even just for +3/+3 at instant speed is fine, but in a tokens deck were you can easily get a total of +8/+8, this spell is potent enough to make the cut in basically all tokens decks and most all GW decks. This can act to crunch in a lot of extra damage or mess up combat math or be used as a combat trick.

Swans of Bryn Argoll: B
This is generally a 4 mana 4/3, which is a fine deal. It is nearly indestructible, but if you are playing some burn then you can get some card draws off of this. Otherwise, it is a fine attacker or blocker, although it can be a big draw engine for your opponent.

Vengeful Rebirth: C+
For 6 mana this spell is a bit to expensive, despite its potent effects. 1st of all, it is sorcery speed. 2nd of all, there aren’t huge spells that really need recurring. Since this spell is just a bit to expensive for its effects, it isn’t quite premium.

Wilt-Leaf Liege: A-
If you are in the colors, this is a great pick up. A 4 mana 4/4 is pretty good but to boost all of your tokens is a very good effect in a tokens deck. Even though the last ability doesn’t matter in limited, it still provides a big anthem to all of your little tokens.

Wrecking Ball: B-
For 4 mana, most of the time this is going to be a nice creature removal spell. In a RB deck, this is pretty nice removal. Most of the time this won’t hit lands at all, but it also has that option, but most the time this will be a 4 mana creature removal. No catches.

Blue | Red | Green | Black | White | Artifact and Land | Multicolored

Hopefully you made it through this very long article / primer and you are excited to draft Modern Masters. Again feel free to discuss any of my grades below!

-Dylan

 

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