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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jun 13 2016 12:00pm
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I love this game. I love writing about it. Compiling lists about it. Evaluating it. Sometimes, I even play it. I'm an Accidental Player.

> summary <

 Something old, nothing new, something borrowed, something blue (because, eh, there's not going to be a Magic set without blue cards, I guess). Oh yeah, Eternal Masters is a set of reprints, so there's nothing to add to the tribal totals here. And yet, it's a very important set that's bound to leave a lasting mark on MTGO, if not the paper world as well.

 There's certainly many great noncreature cards being reprinted here, stuff like Wasteland and Natural Order and Force of Will. But what about the creatures, the very realm of these articles? Eternal Masters not having a specific theme like a regular block's set means the tribes involved are many and all across the board, with most of them only getting one or two representatives (the most notable exception being Elf, since Elves.dek is one of the intended Limited archetypes). This said, is there some particularly noteworthy critter being reprinted here? Let's have a closer look.

 As always, the focus is on all the Constructed applications (but this time we may look at Limited with a different eye), the tribes are listed alphabetically, and you'll find a hypertextual list at the end.

 Infodump

  • Cards: 249
  • New cards: 0
  • New creatures: 0
  • Reprinted cards: 249
  • Reprinted creatures: 120
  • Creature types affected: 67
  • Tribes with more than 5 appearances: Human (23), Elf (15), Warrior (9), Bird (8), Druid (8), Beast (6), Cleric (6), Goblin (6), Soldier (6)

Angel: 2

 

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 Related Tribes: Spirit

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: While Serra Angel is just a timeless classic (still fully capable of doing her job), Karmic Guide is a veritable top-notch creature, great on her own, incredible in devoted graveyard combo decks. Unfortunately (well, so to speak) the renowned Angel Spirit from Urza's Legacy had been already printed with her new, gorgeous art in Vintage Masters, meaning her secondary market value is already close to zero. That is not true of paper cards, though, since VMA was an online-only set, so you can still get the new art and spare some dollars thanks to this reprint.


Ape: 1

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 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: A lot of the tribes getting a single EMA reprint had it in the form a very quintessential representative. Kird Ape is indubitably a quintessential Ape, and an excellent 1-drop for any RG aggro build. Too bad it's been reprinted several times since its debut in Arabian Nights 23 years ago, including a few times with its new, Hellboy-inspired art by Terese Nielsen. This might be the wider-printed set in which our primate friend appears since Revised, though.


Archer: 1

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 Related Tribes: Elf

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: This is a good Archer, especially relevant for the Elves archetype that EMA Limited provides, as seen below. Still, it's not something that anybody needed reprinted.


Assassin: 2

 

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 Related Tribes: Elf, Human

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: Assassin contributes the removal to the Elves archetype in EMA Limited, and gets Nekrataal as a highlight, as one of the all-time best removal-on-legs ever printed. It's particularly great in Limited because it leaves behind a 2-powered first-striker, which means more killing, with a fat chance not to be trading even.


Barbarian: 1

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 Related Tribes: Human

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: Barbarian is not a big or particularly noteworthy tribe and hasn't gotten a new member in 10 years, but I bet every Magic player remembers it for this guy that might deal up to 6 damage the turn it hits the battlefield. Good times.


Bear: 1

 

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 Related Tribes: Druid, Human

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: Werebear is not even actually a Bear (it's a Human Druid who turns into a bear), but it's another of those commons that you pick immediately in Limited and might want to play in Constructed, too, since it's a 2-drop mana dork that turns into beater in late game, so it's almost never a bad draw. The art has been updated sort of underwhelmingly, and the card lost its Odyssey perfect flavor text, "He exercises his right to bear arms" (it might have been deemed too punny). It's a shame.


Beast: 6

  

  

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 Related Tribes: Hellion

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: Now, this is a good group of Beasts, isn't it? None of these are money cards, unfortunately, but most of them are welcome in any collection. Trygon Predator has to be the most celebrated of the lot, showing up pretty much in every format is or has ever been legal for, including Vintage. And its success makes sense: it's a reasonably-costed flyer that repeatedly kills artifacts or enchantments. Very powerful design.

 The other cards here are less acclaimed, but Crater Hellion neatly replaces a board sweeper, Phyrexian Ingester is a Commander staple, and Calciderm is the color-shifted version of all-time favorite Blastoderm (in kind of an odd yet still effective color). Admittedly, Avarax and Prowling Pangolin are not as worthwhile, but still something you might want to pick in Limited, if not right away. Plus, let's take a moment to rejoice the fact that we dribbled a Pangolin creature type there; we haven't been so lucky in other cases.


Berserker: 2

 

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 Related Tribes: Elemental, Elf

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: Again, nothing to money-draft here (let's get this out of the way: the creatures are not what makes Eternal Masters a great economic investment), but these Berserkers are two very celebrated cards for different reason: Bloodbraid Elf was the main engine of Jund in Modern, and is a beast in any aggro format; whereas Flame-Kin Zealot is still one of the cheapest ways to give haste to all your creatures (not to mention, an alpha strike boost), and was featured in decks using Protean Hulk and a bunch of Kobolds as an endgame. They're both prime picks in Limited, I'm sure.


Bird: 8

   

   

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 Related Tribes: Cleric, Rebel, Soldier, Wizard

 Impact of the Reprints: Medium

 Highlights: Most of these Birds make for not very meaningful filler. Exceptions are Aven Riftwatcher, a Pauper staple and very solid creature all-around, and Squadron Hawk, that has some nobility, having been the "caw" part of the Caw-Blade archetype from back at the beginning of the decade. Exploiting it in Limited might not be that easy, but it's feasible.

 Of course the highlight here would be Baleful Strix, which used to cost quite a lot on the secondary market before it was reprinted in Vintage Masters. For the paper world, this reprint is still a boon, as the Strix is an incredibly versatile card, replacing itself, trading for anything and chipping away at the opponent's life total when needed. You can see it featured in Vintage and Legacy, which is a clear sign of a card's power.

 Among the rest, I want to namecheck Soulcatcher for trying to push EMA Limited into a "flying matters" archetype. Might it be viable?


Boar: 1

 

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 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: Flinthoof Boar is akin to Kird Ape, and in fact a perfect follow up to the gorilla in RG decks. It was heavily used in Standard. Of course everybody has a set online, so that's definitely not the card that'll make the set.


Cat: 2

 

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 Related Tribes: Giant

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: Jareth, Leonine Titan is yet another card Eternal Masters has in common with Vintage Masters (maybe it's me, but I would have preferred a bit more variance there, although you have to consider that VMA Limited did work well, and the paper world didn't get those cards). The gigantic Cat was not reprinted often in paper, only once in Commander 2015. Not that it matters much: it's a great blocker, but triple white 6 mana is not going to make him a staple of anything. Whitemane Lion is an excellent trick, though. It's a constant presence in Pauper. Flash and ETB abuse are both marks of panache.


Centaur: 1

 

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 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: This is not a memorable Centaur, or creature, but you can do worse than haste and a potential boost for your Hill Giant variant. I can see it played in Limited.


Cephalid: 1

 

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 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: I don't think of this when I think of Cephalid, and I don't think anybody will pick this very early in drafts either. Until you reach threshold it's very bad, and afterwards it's still sort of meh, even with all that library digging, because you may not have, say, two lands in hand to discard.


Cleric: 6

  

  

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 Related Tribes: Bird, Fox, Human, Monk

 Impact of the Reprints: Medium

 Highlights: You know, Mother of Runes with the sexier art was still worth a few tix before this reprint; not anymore, I guess. And she's definitely a card everybody should own a set of.

 Other Clerics here are interesting if not especially valuable: Eight-and-a-Half-Tails (aka He Whose Spelling Will Give You Nightmares) is one of those cards that can dominate a battlefield given enough mana; Pauper staple Benevolent Bodyguard is relevant in most board states; War Priest of Thune is a good sideboard card; and Monk Idealist works for the "enchantments matter" archetype that's hardwired in EMA Limited.


Construct: 2

 

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 Impact of the Reprints: Medium

 Highlights: You know, these two guys (both from Tempest block) are cards that I have played in Construct decks and of which I lamented the absence of a modern-frame version. Mindless Automaton (which was actually reprinted with Modern frame in Tempest Remastered) is the most relevant here, as a card that has been played in top-tier decks in the past. Millikin is just one of the Constructs' resident mana-dorks (Manakin and, of course, Metalworker are better – they missed the latter's reprint here), although it interacts with reanimation and general "graveyard matters" strategies.


Crocodile: 1

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 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: You know, it's a creature that's easy to backfire. But do you remember any other notable Crocodile?


Demon: 1

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 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: This is kind of preposterous: In a set that encompasses the very history of Magic: The Gathering, this is the one Demon they could think of? I mean, it has its virtues, being a big flyer that doubles as mass removal once you try and get rid of it (or due to your own shenanigans, of course), but I'm still a bit appalled this is the tribe's only representative here. And yes, we needed a Griselbrand reprint.


Dragon: 3

  

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 Related Tribes: Nightmare

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: This is some disparate yet not terrible collection of Dragons. I, for one, like Rorix. Of course it's one mana more than modern tribal stars Thundermaw Hellkite and Stormbreath Dragon, and it doesn't even have any other ability, and it's legendary to boot, so you may call it obsolete and not be wrong; but it still packs an effective punch.

 And Dragon Egg is cute, in that it prevents an attacker from connecting and then it gives you your own Dragon Whelp; as for the recently unbanned in Legacy Worldgorger Dragon, well, that's one piece of history, isn't it? Its combo with Animate Dead is made of the stuff of legends, being one of those that make new players going, "What is happening here?!". But you know what, it's not a bad creature on its own, too. It's a bomb, a 7-powered evasive trampler that puts the opponent under a severe clock; and if they deal with it, oh well, you'll get everything back, untapped (which was the crux of its combo, of course).


Drake: 2

 

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 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: We never expect too much from the Drake tribe, do we? Yet, Peregrine Drake is an honest midrange member of the Cloud of Faeries cycle, and Thunderclap Wyvern (which I'm sure few players ever heard about) is another attempt at that "flying matters" EMA archetype that might or might not exist.


Druid: 8

   

   

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 Related Tribes: Bear, Elf, Human, Warrior

 Impact of the Reprints: High

 Highlights: Druid is where the money is at! At least online, where Argothian Enchantress used to cost as much as 25 tix a couple years ago. Of course that was no more the case as of late, but this reprint is still bound to make you save a few tix on her.

 It seems Druid is split in half in Eternal Masters: either serving the "enchantments matter" archetype with three different Enchantresses, or providing the mana acceleration for Elves.dek, as Druids are known for. Werebear is the odd Druid out, providing mana and beating for everyone.


Efreet: 2

 

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 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: The Efreets made a comeback in Tarkir block (they may return in Kaladesh, which has an Indian background but it might feature Middle Eastern influences too). These are two very good representatives of the tribe, both having seen play in competitive decks, if from many, many years ago. Serendib Efreet is an early threat that share functionalities with fellow Arabian Nighter Juzám Djinn. And Wildfire Emissary is as valuable as any beater with the rare protection from white rule text. They will be both high picks in EMA Limited.


Elemental: 4

   

> summary <

 Related Tribes: Berserker

 Impact of the Reprints: High

 Highlights: Both Maelstrom Wanderer and Regal Force are: Commander staples; good Natural Order targets; insane card advantage engines; and still quite expensive cards! So there's another tribe that took advantage from EMA reprints. Silvos, Rogue Elemental has no economic value, but it's also something you might want to fetch with that Natural Order you happened to open in your draft. Back in Onslaught, Silvos was an updated, fixed Force of Nature: no more stupid upkeep costs, improved durability due to regeneration. For 6 mana, it's still somehow a relevant player.


Elf: 15

   

   

> summary <

 Related Tribes: Archer, Assassin, Berserker, Druid, Shaman, Spellshaper, Warrior

 Impact of the Reprints: High

 Highlights: The largest tribe from Eternal Masters, with Deathrite Shaman as the money reprint (sort of; it's not worth a lot, but still more than the single cent you get for your average card), Elf focuses on delivering on its namesake archetype. The engine here seems to be made of Elvish Vanguard and Lys Alana Huntmaster, both at common, both more than respectable cards capable of carrying Elf aggro in the two complementally directions of building one big threat and swarming the battlefield. Of course Llanowar Elves is there to contribute to the plan while accelerating it, and Timberwatch Elf at uncommon can be the lethal edge that pushes damage through, while Bloodbraid Elf is just her amazing self (now with a more dynamic art that emphasizes her being a Berserker).

 Curiously, there's only one proper lord at higher rarity: Imperious Perfect, which, short of some Ezuri, Renegade Leader, is probably the most effective Elf bomb you can hope for. I'm not sure what Heritage Druid would contribute here, but it's worth noting it was another expensive card before this reprint.


Elk: 1

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 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: Okay, it's never been a tier-1 creature or anything, but I've always admired Glimmerpoint Stag for what it does, which is essentially replicating another permanent's ETB ability, then being a pretty solid 3/3 with vigilance.


Faerie: 2

 

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 Related Tribes: Wizard

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: Sprite Noble is the third in the line of "flying matters" creatures, and Wee Dragonauts is a proto-prowess. Both are a bit underwhelming as Faerie representative. C'mon, Wizards, it's time for a new Vendilion Clique reprint.


Flagbearer: 1

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 Related Tribes: Human

 Impact of the Reprints: Medium

 Highlights: Remember the Flagbearers? No? I didn't think so. Flagbearer is a creature type that only appeared twice, both on Apocalypse creatures (this one and Standard Bearer). They were never reprinted before, so does this mean they're planning to bring them back? Truth be told, it's a flavorful "class" and their defining ability is useful and could open some design space. Anyway, this gets the prize for weirdest, most unexpected Eternal Masters reprint.


Fox: 1

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 Related Tribes: Cleric

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: As far as foxes go, this one is good.


Giant: 1

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 Related Tribes: Cat

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: He's definitely a giant cat, and I guess it's more of a giant than it is a cat.


Gnome: 1

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 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: Gnome is another creature type of which MTG kind of gave its own take. After a first red guy from Legends that's not even online (and has a unique ability, by the way), there have been all artifact creatures. Which means the gnomes of the actual folklore don't exist in Magic, for some reason. They started this way in Homelands, then most blocks until Odyssey had one or two, then they disappeared. Again, is this reprint a sign that something is cooking in this corner of the multiverse?

 Anyway, Ticking Gnomes is a good card, for 3 mana you get a 3/3 that can kill stuff. I like to play it in artifact decks with Living Death where you don't even plan to ever pay the echo cost, you just block and then deal 1 damage to some target or the opponent, like an overgrown Mogg Fanatic. Plus, the new art is gorgeous.


Goblin: 6

  

  

> summary <

 Related Tribes: Warrior

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: There's not a Goblin archetype in EMA Limited, but it's close. Both Mogg War Marshal and Siege-Gang Commander are strong cards that's been played in actual Constructed decks, and Beetleback Chief, which was already in VMA, is another token-maker, if not a great one.

 On the other hand, Battle Squadron is kind of a strange card for a Goblin (not surprisingly, it's from Mercadian Masques, which is a strange block). It can be bomb-ish in the right Limited deck, though. And Stingscourger is a fast Man-o'-War effect, which always makes for useful utility.


Gorgon: 1

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 Impact of the Reprints: Medium

 Highlights: Visara is undeniably as classic a creature as they get, and probably one of the major bombs in this Limited format. I would have liked better to get the Brad Rigney art from From the Vault: Legends, especially considering we already got this one in modern-frame in Vintage Masters.


Hellion: 1

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 Related Tribes: Beast

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: Yeah, this is more Hellion than Beast. Why do they always feel the need to add the Beast type to other, perfectly standalone monstrous guys? Like, what makes this Hellion more bestial than other Hellions?


Horror: 3

  

> summary <

 Impact of the Reprints: High

 Highlights: Ichorid is another card whose reprint is bound to make you save some tix. Provided you're interested in building a Legacy dredge deck, of course; but if you are, you want a playset of these fearsome Horrors for sure.

 Of the tribe's other appearances in EMA, Phyrexian Rager is one of those cards that you're always happy to draw into, because it's a decent body for a decent cost and immediate card advantage. And Phyrexian Gargantua is the Rager times two: double the stats, double the card-drawing, double the costs. Which unfortunately doesn't mean it's twice as good. More like half, really. That's some strange Phyrexian math, isn't it?


Human: 23

   

> summary <

 Related Tribes: Assassin, Barbarian, Bear, Cleric, Druid, Flagbearer, Knight, Minion, Monk, Nomad, Rogue, Shaman, Soldier, Wizard, Warrior

 Impact of the Reprints: Irrelevant

 Highlights: A bunch of Humans spanning a bunch of other creature types, as expected. Except Sengir Autocrat, which is just Human. And he spawns tokens with the Serf type, which doesn't exist elsewhere. Trying to understand the intentions of the Homelands designers is pointless. Like, are these supposed to be vampire fodder? Is this the political leader of the vampire thralls? Hard to tell. There's not even much in the way of Vampires in this set, anyway.


Illusion: 1

> summary <

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: The fact that this guy is an Illusion has lost any meaning, now that Illusions have specific abilities and interactions. This is just a 3/3 blue flyer. But hey, it's Phantom Monster from Alpha! It's older than many players in 2016! The original art was cooler, though.


Incarnation: 2

 

> summary <

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: Wasn't there room for the entire Judgment cycle? At least Anger could have been worthy of an inclusion. Anyway, Incarnation is a type last seen in Lorwyn. Avatar has become more commonplace, and honestly it's a bit hard to tell them apart, conceptually (in some cases Elemental might overlap, as well). Still, they might attempt another cycle at some point.


Insect: 3

  

> summary <

 Impact of the Reprints: High

 Highlights: It doesn't seem like much but Xantid Swarm has been an expensive card lately, getting close to 15 tix online earlier this year. It's a way to prevent countermagic for green combo decks. The Swarm doesn't even need to connect, it just has to survive into the combat phase, and then your postcombat main phase has free rein.

 The other two Insects are good as well, with Wirewood Symbiote corroborating the Elves archetype (while getting a nice new art that underlines its parasitic aspect), and Giant Solifuge being a little, semi-unstoppable Ball Lightning.


Jellyfish: 1

> summary <

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: Man-o'-War has been reprinted a lot, but it's always cool to see it. Proudly carrying the Jellyfish banner since 1997.


Juggernaut: 1

> summary <

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: Another timeless classic, if one that's not played as much as it used to. Still, 4 generic mana for 5 power is a nice deal. New art from M15 seems a bit over the top, though.


Kithkin: 1

> summary <

 Related Tribes: Soldier

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: This appears to be a recurring "theme" of Eternal Masters: to include single creatures belonging to larger tribes yet not carrying any particular link to those tribes. Take this one, for instance: Kithkin are well-known for having strong linear synergies, but Ballynock Cohort only generically cares about white creatures.


Knight: 1

> summary <

 Related Tribes: Human

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: A red Knight is kind of an oddity in itself, but I can see this (fairly obscure) one seeing play in Limited, the way Voldaren Duelist is played in SOI Limited, for instance. It nicely sets alpha strikes.


Kor: 1

> summary <

 Related Tribes: Soldier

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: Once again, a tribe with a lot of synergies is being singled out through a creature that's just generically useful. Kor Hookmaster doesn't have to be a Kor, it just happens to be one. And it's a nice, quasi-removal. EMA Limited might appreciate it.


Leviathan: 1

> summary <

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: Possibly the scariest and most played of all Leviathans. Is there a way in the set to cheat it into play? Well, Animate Dead works, I guess. As does Sneak Attack.


Merfolk: 1

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 Related Tribes: Rogue

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: Same as above: this is in the set as a generic looter (something that's always useful in a Limited environment), not as a Merfolk.


Minion: 1

> summary <

 Related Tribes: Human

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: It looks like Eternal Masters has purposely gone digging for forgotten creature types. The last time we've seen a Minion was in Onslaught block (with the exception of Tidewater Minion from Ravnica, which might have taken the type in an errata afterwards, due to the card's name). It used to be common enough between Tempest and Odyssey, then got discontinued (apparently for good). To be honest, it wasn't a very well-thought-out type, because it has an awfully generic definition.

 Braids, a character from the Odyssey storyline, is one of those two-sided effects that might prove highly disruptive under the correct board state, but dead weight elsewhere.


Mongoose: 1

> summary <

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: Nimble Mongoose: single-handedly raising Mongoose awareness through massive Legacy play. And it doesn't even need hexproof in place of shroud, which it would have gotten, were it printed ten years later.


Monk: 1

> summary <

 Related Tribes: Cleric, Human

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: Why did this need to have a dual-class Monk-Cleric type? Couldn't it just be a Monk (which was a given, because of the name)? Aren't Monks mystical enough to manipulate enchantments? And by the way, why aren't the "class" types listed alphabetically in the type line?


Mutant: 1

 

> summary <

 Related Tribes: Zombie

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: Chances are, this guy is played almost uniquely for its swampcycling ability.


Nightmare: 1

> summary <

 Related Tribes: Dragon

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: Worldgorger Dragon gets the Nightmare type because it adheres to Judgment-block Nightmares' M.O. of exiling stuff and then bringing it back when the Nightmare is gone. Most of these are black or blue creatures, but there are a few red ones, too (Petravark and Petradon, for instance), although it's not exactly clear what red has to do with nightmares.


Nomad: 1

 

> summary <

 Related Tribes: Human

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: Another blast from the past, Nomad was once again mostly a tribe from Odyssey block, which seems to have been the go-to block Eternal Masters went to find its run-of-the-mill filler. Not in this specific case, though, because Ghitu Slinger was from Urza's Legacy (which also gave us another well-respected red Nomad, Avalanche Riders). A decent body that casts a Shock right away is not that bad. Meaning, it's actually a good one.


Pegasus: 1

 

> summary <

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: Well, what do you expect from Pegasus? Exactly this, exactly this.


Rebel: 1

> summary <

 Related Tribes: Bird, Soldier

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: Recently someone made me realize that Rebel is such a generic term that it might in future apply to people who fight for an entirely different cause than whatever the rebels from Masques block used to fight for. So the tribe might not be dead yet, with or without their "recruitment" mechanic (the fetching of another Rebel in the library – the same goes for Mercenary, of course). Aven Riftwatcher belonged to the Rebel reprise in Time Spiral (hence the "rift" in its name), and it didn't feature the mechanic, but it's still a good creature.


Rogue: 2

 

> summary <

 Related Tribes: Human, Merfolk

 Impact of the Reprints: Medium

 Highlights: While Merfolk Looter is just, well, a Merfolk who is a looter and as such it's also a Rogue, Shardless Agent is the real highlight here, being a creature who's extensively played in Legacy as junior Bloodbraid Elf. Card advantage always trumps everything else. And since it only existed so far from Planechase 2012, it used to cost quite a bit in paper – online we also got it in the Legendary Cube Prize Packs, but was still close to 10 tix as recently as last April.


Shaman: 5

  

 

> summary <

 Related Tribes: Elf, Human

 Impact of the Reprints: Medium

 Highlights: Shaman is represented by three Elves and two Humans. Among the latter, the notable card is Young Pyromancer, who can give more punch to any deck with a fair amount of noncreature stuff. Among the Elves, the always insanely powerful Deathrite Shaman catches the eye, but Shaman of the Pack is actually a viable endgame for Elves.dek. I'd still pick Deathrite Shaman first, though. It's a beast in Constructed, an atomic bomb in Limited (then again, it's easier to stumble into Shaman of the Pack at uncommon, I guess).


Shapeshifter: 1

> summary <

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: Short of any good blue Clone variant, Duplicant is the perfect representative for the Shapeshifter tribe. A must-include in Commander decks, it's maybe a little overcosted as removal in regular Constructed formats, but still effective, and able to play off of massive colorless sources like Metalworker or Cloudpost.


Soldier: 6

  

  

> summary <

 Related Tribes: Bird, Human, Kithkin, Kor, Rebel

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: Nothing here that suggests a relevance of the Soldier subtype in EMA Limited, unfortunately. Elite Vanguard is a viable 1-drop for white weenie builds, so I guess with that one plus curve follow-ups Ballynock Cohort, Aven Riftwatcher and Kor Hookmaster, the Soldiers can make their presence known within a fast white aggro archetype.


Spellshaper: 1

> summary <

 Related Tribes: Elf

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: Spellshapers were a thing in Masques block, with a reprise in Time Spiral block (there's definitely a lot of Dominaria stuff in Eternal Masters). They might be a one-and-done tribe, since they're basically Wizards using one specific mechanic, but you never know. As far as Spellshapers go, Plague Witch here is removal, so there's that. She's also an Elf, so that plays into the Limited archetype, although with a splash (but that's true of the very desirable Shaman of the Pack, too, not to mention the aggressive activation of Deathrite Shaman, so Elves might be a Golgari archetype to begin with).


Sphinx: 1

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 Impact of the Reprints: Medium

 Highlights: One of the only four Mythic creatures in Eternal Masters, Sphinx of the Steel Wind certainly represents her tribe well, being one of the most powerful beaters in the game, built along the same lines as the Akromas. It still seems to me like the set would have wanted some kind of cheat-artifact-into-play shenanigans that are missing.


Spider: 1

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 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: There's two kinds of anti-aircraft Spiders: the small ones and the large ones. Sentinel Spider belongs to the latter group, which is nice, because it doubles as beater, especially with the added bonus of vigilance. Of course it's never been played in Constructed, because in Constructed you have better things to do with 5 mana, but in Limited, I like.


Spirit: 4

   

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 Related Tribes: Angel

 Impact of the Reprints: Medium

 Highlights: Brago, King Eternal is not worth much because he was already reprinted in Vintage Masters (or we should say "printed", since we didn't get Conspiracy online). He's a great creature, capable of many, many shenanigans. I like to think that the set is actually named after him.

 Speaking of greatness, Spirit also gets Karmic Guide, because she's a Spirit as much as she's an Angel (is she a dead Angel? Unclear). And I appreciate the ironic contrast between Skulking Ghost and Jetting Glasskite's abilities. And speaking of Jetting Glasskite, that's some obscure Kamigawa dwellers, isn't it? And it's definitely overcosted for Constructed (where you can just play, I don't know, Sphinx of Jwar Isle and get it over with), but it's kind of a pain to get rid of it in Limited.


Thopter: 1

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 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: Is this possibly the only Thopter that's always useful? Yeah, I think it might be.


Turtle: 1

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 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: It's a Turtle. That's the extent of what I have to say about this.


Vampire: 1

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 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: Okay, so I like Blood Artist and his arresting, insane, borderline offensive art. I get that it's a generic effect that you can play in whatever deck (in fact, I think that's good for the Golgari Elves archetype in particular). But is that it? Vampire in Eternal Masters only got one? Seriously? I guess it's to avoid stealing Shadow over Innistrad's thunder, but some classic Vamp was expected here and could have contrasted the contemporary ones nicely.


Wall: 2

 

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 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: See, even Wall makes more than one appearance in Eternal Masters! Two, to be exact. One is a generic stopper, but the other is one of the all-time greatest, Wall of Omens, which is serious Constructed material.


Warrior: 9

  

  

  

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 Related Tribes: Druid, Elf, Goblin, Human

 Impact of the Reprints: Low

 Highlights: Pretty much half the Warriors here are Elves, and the other half are Goblins – why is Stingscourger even a Warrior, anyway? He looks more like a Wizard, he's even casting a spell in the art (that spell being Unsummon). That's some major flavor fail.

 Of the two Human Warriors, one is very frequently seen in Constructed: Keldon Marauders, Burn.dek's companion of choice. Since, you know, it's essentially 2 to 5 damage for 2 mana.


Wizard: 5

  

 

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 Related Tribes: Bird, Faerie, Human

 Impact of the Reprints: Medium

 Highlights: Did you know that Arcanis the Omnipotent is the only nonartifact creature bearing the Wizard subtype alone? (Artifacts have Etched Oracle, Memnarch, Neurok Replica and, of course, Wizard Replica.) I guess nobody really knows what's under that hood. Arcanis is also a staple in Commander, albeit it's too costly and kind of clunky to be a thing in other Constructed formats. But in Limited, well, talk about a bomb.

 The wizardly corner of Eternal Masters features other interesting members, too: Dualcaster Mage, aka Fork-on-a-stick, used to cost a couple tix since its release in Commander 2014; Warden of Evos Isle continues the "flying matters" subtheme we found out exists in EMA Limited; and Prodigal Sorcerer is just, well, one of the first cards you ever owned, probably. Now with a new art that's almost, but not quite, entirely horrible. I mean, what's with that dorkish haircut? (All right, Prodigal Sorcerer never had the best aesthetic taste, I'll give you that).


Zombie: 4

   

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 Related Tribes: Mutant

 Impact of the Reprints: Null

 Highlights: Eternal Masters doesn't make for the strongest showing of our shambling undead. Carrion Feeder is a nice sacrifice outlet, and Gravedigger is decent card advantage and saw some play in Pauper, but that's pretty much it.


SUMMARY

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 Check the Complete Creature Types Reference Table here.


THE MYTHIC RARES
(click on them to go to their main tribe)

 

 

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KUMA'S TRIBAL EVALUATIONS

 

2 Comments

Regarding Prodigal Sorcerer's by mihahitlor at Mon, 06/13/2016 - 12:30
mihahitlor's picture

Regarding Prodigal Sorcerer's art: it's an example of a style that I've noticed in Magic lately, and that I really don't like - more and more they picture humans (and human-looking creatures) with these precise, very characteristic faces. (The faces also seem very "contemporary", like they are of some supermodels or pop singers.)

Stingscourger has a scourge by AJ_Impy at Mon, 06/13/2016 - 15:17
AJ_Impy's picture

Stingscourger has a scourge in his hand, the head of which is a jellyfish, hence the name. The Jellyfish is a man o'war, hence the effect.