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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Dec 12 2018 1:00pm
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ULTIMATE MASTERS

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 With Ultimate Masters done and gone, that will (probably) be it: no more Masters set. The reprints will have to find new homes. It's no big deal, really, as a set of reprints can take any form, but the gist of it remains the same: getting into circulation fresh copies of some crucial cards, both in the physical and digital world. In the case of the Masters series, which started on MTGO in 2007 with Masters Edition and on paper in 2013 with Modern Masters, the reprints of such key pieces were accompanied by a whole Limited environment that made the set draftable (as opposed, for instance, to precon decks like in the Duel Decks series), contributing to its diffusion, but also diluted the value of a single booster, which is usually priced much more higher than usual.

 In this swan song for the series, we find very compact themes amidst the colors: Aura for white, "instants and sorceries matter" for blue and red, graveyard and madness for black and green. And the creature types are fragmented, as per usual with these sets. To better celebrate the occasion, though, multiple cards come with a new artwork, and a select group of them (including all the 20 mythics) are released as additional, semi-borderless, extended art foil "Box Toppers", which on MTGO will show up in the Treasure Chests.

  

 Let's have a look at the creatures and tribes of the Masters series's last hurrah, then, to find out on one side how juicy the reprints are for the secondary market, and on the other how fittingly the chosen cards represent 25 years of Magic history, much in the same way as Iconic Masters one year ago, and Masters 25 last spring. As always, the tribes are presented alphabetically, and you'll find a hypertextual list at the end.

 Infodump

  • Cards: 254
  • New cards: 0
  • New creatures: 0
  • Reprinted cards: 254
  • Reprinted creatures: 122
  • Reprinted Legendary creatures: 13
  • Reprinted artifact creatures: 5
  • Reprinted enchantment creatures: 0
  • Triple-subtype creatures: 0
  • Creature types affected: 60
  • Tribes with more than 5 appearances: Human (35), Elemental (13), Shaman (10), Wizard (9), Cleric (7), Zombie (7)

Advisor: +2

 

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 Related Tribes: Elf, Kithkin

 Historicity: High

 Comments: After being altogether ignored in IMA and represented mostly by Imperial Recruiter in A25, the Advisors get a nice pair here with two combo hosers, classic multi-purpose show-stopper Gaddock Teeg and more devoted storm hoser (or generally blue control's pain in the butt) Leovold, Emissary of Trest. They look like minor money cards, too: Gaddock was just coming down from the $7 of his Lorwyn version, while Leovold originates as a chase mythic from Conspiracy: Take the Crown that was only available online through Treasure Chests, which meant it took a while for its price to stabilize and was at one point worth a few dozens tix (it should be just a couple now). Both have Box Topper versions as well.


Angel: +5

  

 

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 Historicity: High

 Comments: It's not hard to put together a host of good Angels, but after all the reprints the tribe got from IMA and A25, there weren't many that would create much economic value, short of instantly reprinting Lyra Dawnbringer and Resplendent Angel. Still, Sigarda, Host of Herons is always a safe choice for a finisher, Sublime Archangel is an underrated endgame engine, and Angel of Despair might have had her thunder stolen by Ashen Rider, but she's still a great reanimation target. Emancipation Angel is fine, I guess, as a more expensive Kor Skyfisher, especially in a Limited environment. Reya Dawnbringer is from a different generation, though; she's definitely overcosted at 9 mana for her body and ability, and reanimating her so she can reanimate more stuff feels a bit too casual to be a real plan.


Ape: +1

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 Historicity: Medium to High

 Comments: A solid delve card and one of the most played Apes in history, maybe right after Kird Ape itself.


Assassin: +1

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 Related Tribes: Goblin

 Historicity: High

 Comments: He might have too many competitors in the Goblin all-time hall of fame, but Murderous Redcap, thanks to his Birthing Pod-era association with Viscera Seer and Melira, Sylvok Outcast, certainly went down in history as a top-class Assassin (of two-powered creatures and players alike), and his very distinctive nose saw tons and tons of play in his days.


Avatar: +1

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 Historicity: Null

 Comments: This one sort of came out of nowhere, as it's not a famous Avatar nor a widely known card in general, and at the end of the day it's just an extremely convoluted and inefficient way to do what Snapcaster Mage does.


Beast: +1

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 Historicity: High

 Comments: Another single representative of a larger tribe that somehow doesn't feel wrong. After all, not many creatures have an entire archetype named after them; in this case, even one that UMA Limited is aiming to reproduce in its drafts, thanks to the many Auras the set is offering to attach to the Bogle's slippery body, here graced with new fish-gobbling art. (Yes, the Bogle is gobbling.)


Berserker: +2

 

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 Related Tribes: Human, Vampire

 Historicity: Low

 Comments: I surmise these two apparently similar common Berserkers are meant for two very different archetypes: Rakdos Shred-Freak is a decent two-drops for fast aggro builds, while Olivia's Dragoon functions mainly as a madness enabler. They're both essentially meaningless in Constructed, though, and always have been.


Bird: +2

 

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 Related Tribes: Soldier, Zombie

 Historicity: Low

 Comments: Another couple of commons that enable self-milling and madness, respectively, and reanimator in both cases, but don't particularly serve well their tribe, historicity-wise.


Cat: +1

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 Related Tribes: Cleric

 Historicity: Low

 Comments: This is not a terrible heroic creature, and I can see it played in Limited with Slippery Bogle and its Auras (thus bringing the Bogle back, just in case). But it's quite definitely not the first card that comes to mind when thinking of Cats (the tribe, not the musical).


Cleric: +7

   

  

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 Related Tribes: Cat, Human, Zombie

 Historicity: Medium to High

 Comments: Clerics get a big reprint with Containment Priest, which is a crucial sideboard card in Legacy and as such it needs all the reprinting it can get, since it was originally part of a low-circulation supplemental set (Commander 2014, therefore Legendary Cube Prize Packs on MTGO). Other than that, there's no much else. Fiend Hunter is classic in-tribe removal, and Martyr of Sands is the protagonist of her own archetype in Modern, and generally useful in monowhite decks. Heliod's Pilgrim is meant for the Aura archetype in UMA Limited, but it's not a played card in Constructed. The mythic, Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, sort of surprised me, because I took him as strictly casual fare (he's a six-mana curve-topper that mostly combos with a specific tribal setup), but his high paper price suggests he must be at least very popular in Commander. A righteous reprint, then, and a Box Topper to boot.


Construct: +1

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 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: I've always liked Cathodion, and it's kind of historical in its way (it's from Urza's Saga, when the death trigger was partially meant as a downside due to the mana burn), but it's not a high-profile Construct nowadays. Still very playable, though, even without specific sacrificial shenanigans; you can just dump the free mana into, say, a Walking Ballista or something.


Devil: +1

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 Historicity: High

 Comments: Vexing Devil had its 15 minutes of fame once upon a time, and it's indeed a good representative for Devil, a small but perky tribe. It mostly plays like a harder-hitting yet less reliable variant of Lava Spike in burn decks, but the tribute-like ability puts the opponent in a devious pickle, especially on turn one.


Djinn: +2

 

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 Related Tribes: Monk

 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: Big, straightforward Djinns here. Whirlwind Adept is too slow and awkward for prowess lists to consider him in Constructed. Mahamoti Djinn is a timeless classic, everybody has played with him at least once, and even if he's now almost completely obsolete (I mean, it's the same CMC as Consecrated Sphinx), he still does his job of being a four-turn clock. But yeah, the downgrade to uncommon is well-deserved.


Dragon: +1

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 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: Dragon had a huge presence in IMA and a trio of truly historical members in A25, so this lone Balefire Dragon feels a little sad. I mean, it's not awful or anything, the trigger is certainly powerful and not hard to achieve, but online it's a 4-cent mythic nobody ever played competitively with. For one of the most iconic tribes in the game, you would expect more.


Drake: +2

 

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 Related Tribes: Zombie

 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: Iridescent Drake gets new art that goes in a wildly different direction from the Urza's Destiny original. It's a solid card for UW Auras (or Bant Auras maybe?). Stitched Drake is similarly solid in self-mill builds. Both are just Drakes anyway, so you can't ask too much.


Druid: +3

  

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 Related Tribes: Elf, Human

 Historicity: Severe

 Comments: Noble Hierarch, aka the best mana dork ever printed (if you don't care about black or red mana), is one of the most awaited reprints from UMA; at the moment I'm writing this, with the set released since a few days, her price has not really been impacted yet, and is still around 12-13 tix. Here's hoping UMA will be drafted enough to reduce it a big more, since it's really the kind of basic-foundation card that should be made affordable to every player.

 I've discussed at length the merits of Devoted Druid, new art and all, in this article, since she was PureMTGO's exclusive UMA preview card!


Eldrazi: +5

  

 

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 Historicity: Extreme

 Comments: Well, what can we say here? Eldrazi is represented by the three original Titans, all Box Toppers, and two other very playable heavies from ROE, the double-value Artisan of Kozilek and the "cheaper" Ulamog's Crusher. No love for BFZ block's second wave of cosmic monstrosities, it seems, but it feels correct, as these are the Eldrazi that Magic players first learned to know and fear back in 2010.


Elemental: +13

  

  

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 Related Tribes: Shaman, Spellshaper

 Historicity: Severe

 Comments: The land-destroyer Fulminator Mage and the aggro-combo star Vengevine are the most coveted cards here, but the Elemental selection was good (much better than the disastrous one from Iconic Masters at any rate), with a whole bunch of the "noncreature spell effects on legs" from the Lorwyn/Morningtide's evoke cycle, of which Reveillark and Shriekmaw are the most commonly used members (the others, as represented here, are Aethersnipe, Ingot Chewer, Walker of the Grove, and Offalsnout, the latter featuring new art). Lord of Extinction might seem a strange choice of mythic, but it's a cool card nevertheless, often at the center of some graveyard combo or other.


Elf: +4

   

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 Related Tribes: Advisor, Druid, Scout, Shaman

 Historicity: Medium to High

 Comments: We already know all about Leovold, Emissary of Trest and Devoted Druid, and both aren't particularly relevant as Elves, per se. In fact, the green tribe doesn't get specific focus in UMA, as even Fauna Shaman is mostly played in non-tribal decks, being Survival of the Fittest on legs, and Safehold Elite is just a generic persister that doesn't even need green. But she needed new art, apparently.


Faerie: +1

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 Related Tribes: Wizard

 Historicity: High

 Comments: There have been many strong Faeries in Magic history, but with Vendilion Clique already part of Masters 25, Glen Elendra Archmage feels like the next best thing. The double Negate she offers you for just one mana apiece will never be unhelpful. The new art is fully earned by all the years of honorable service.


Fish: +1

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 Related Tribes: Zombie

 Historicity: High

 Comments: Let's face it, this weird undead Fish might well be the most played delve card ever, because in extreme dredge builds in Legacy and Vintage, Tasigur, the Golden Fang's four-mana activation stays out of reach, so the extra point of power becomes the superior advantage. It's like Hooting Mandrills for Ape; this is the Fish most players have learned to know and respect.


Gnome: +1

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 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: I don't know that anybody ever felt the need for a reprint of Patchwork Gnomes, but it's nice to have it in a modern frame. That's all. (Online we already had that through Tempest Remastered, but I like this new art better anyway).


Goblin: +3

  

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 Related Tribes: Assassin, Warrior

 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: Just like for their rival Elves, the Goblins too see the reprint of some well-known cards that aren't usually played in Goblin buids. Murderous Redcap is a creature toolbox card, and Squee, Goblin Nabob is the ultimate self-discard enabler. Less well-known is Scuzzback Marauders, which could actually work within a traditional Goblin list, but it's too slow to bother.


Golem: +1

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 Historicity: High

 Comments: Another big tribe well-served by a single card. It had happened with Sundering Titan in A25, and Platinum Emperion is only slightly less paramount. Notably, it's a defensive card with an aggressive body while Sundering Titan is an aggressive card with more defensive-oriented stats.


Gremlin: +1

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 Historicity: Low

 Comments: Gremlin is a very small tribe of only nine members, but even they could muster up something more relevant than this one. Though, admittedly, it's not a bad pick in a draft where you're already committed to red.


Homunculus: +1

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 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: Homunculus is only slightly larger than Gremlin (14 members), but I've always liked Stitcher's Apprentice, it feels very Johnny-friendly, what with being a reasonably costed sacrifice outlet that also creates ETB triggers (meaning, it enables triggers that look for another creature entering the battlefield), and can provide unlimited chump-blocking as well, provided you had at least one other creature to sacrifice during the first activation.


Horror: +3

  

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 Related Tribes: Treefolk

 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: Nothing too exciting for the Horror, but not entirely awful representatives either. Fume Spitter and Slum Reaper are both functional, self-sacrificing removal at two very different points in the curve, that only ask for a way to be exploited recursively. Canker Abomination can be decent in Limited, it's not very reliable elsewhere.


Horse: +1

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 Related Tribes: Zombie

 Historicity: Null

 Comments: Here's a perfect example of an incidental tribe: Horse usually shows up as a byproduct of Elemental or Nightmare, this one's a Zombie. Not that this guy means anything for the Zombie tribe as well. I didn't even remember this extremely slow discard outlet from Shadows over Innistrad existed. It's one of only four black Horses that aren't Nightmares, though. Yeah, they're all bad.


Hound: +1

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 Historicity: High

 Comments: This one's a very famous Hound. Aggressive, and aggressively costed, discard outlet, it might not be worth a thing but it deserves all the recognition it gets, it was once extremely popular.


Human: +35

   

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 Related Tribes: Berserker, Cleric, Druid, Knight, Monk, Rogue, Shaman, Soldier, Spellshaper, Warrior, Wizard

 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: Snapcaster Mage and Containment Priest are the Human reprints of note. The new art for Eternal Witness is also notable, and sweet, but nothing will ever replace the Terese Nielsen classic. Sorry, Chris Rahn.


Incarnation: +2

 

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 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: For some reason, for Incarnation they went with a partial cycle (the tribe amounts to just two cycles, this uncommon one from Judgment, which includes two extra rares, and the one with Vigor and company from Lorwyn, plus the original Personal Incarnation). I guess creatures that are meant to end up in the graveyard asap are good in an environment with so much focus on self-mill and self-discard. Anger more than Brawn, I gotta say.


Kithkin: +1

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 Related Tribes: Advisor

 Historicity: High

 Comments: The severe Gaddock is a Kithkin, yes. But he apparently looks taller in person, according to the flavor text. He also sounds like "the wisest for the four winds". That seems specific. I wonder which one is that.


Knight: +1

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 Related Tribes: Human

 Historicity: Null

 Comments: No, sorry, this is not a Knight worth talking about. You certainly want to draft him if you're trying to build heroic/Auras, but that's about it.


Lhurgoyf: +1

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 Historicity: Extreme

 Comments: Yeah, at this point Tarmogoyf might just be the new name of the Lhurgoyf tribe, because nobody ever faces one of the other seven anymore (Terravore was a thing once, though). Did you realize this is the fourth Tarmo reprint in five years? Oh well, at least the MTGO price is kinda down now, despite the fact that all these reprints have been mythics even if the original from Future Sight was a rare. Now there's also a new artistic rendition of our favorite unfathomable collection of teeth, scales and fur. I don't know if I like this one better than the one from each Modern Masters set.


Lizard: +3

  

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 Historicity: Medium to High

 Comments: Of these three Lizards, the one that got new art, Hissing Iguanar, seems to me it's the least relevant, is it not? I mean, Basking Rootwalla is a key element of madness decks, and Golgari Brownscale is a minor dredge player. I guess the Iguanar is also somewhat meant as a combo piece. It's the way of the Lizards, apparently.


Merfolk: +1

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 Related Tribes: Wizard

 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: Well, Talrand, Sky Summoner never fulfilled his potential of being an advanced Young Pyromancer, mostly because you don't need an advanced Young Pyromancer that's higher on the curve. As a consequence, he's barely played, except in the occasional Vintage build that's seeking new avenues for Storm. This is not to say he's a bad card, though. He's extremely powerful, and clearly a bomb in Limited. He does some justice to the Merfolk tribe. Which is much, much larger and filled with great cards, though.


Monk: +3

  

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 Related Tribes: Djinn, Human

 Historicity: Low

 Comments: Only common filler stuff for Monk, unfortunately. Wandering Champion might be one of the worst discard outlets in the environment. A double condition? Just to loot? With a creature that's super-easy to trade with? Really?


Myr: +1

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 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: We had Palladium Myr in Iconic Masters and then Perilous Myr in Masters 25. This one feels like a natural continuation of the approach "let's include a Myr that doesn't need any other Myr to function". Except in this case, you do: you'll need multiple copies of Myr Servitor, or they won't do anything. Sure it's a common, but you still have to commit to several picks. It's kind of a historical combo piece in its little way, though. But Myr Retriever would have been a more inspired choice to complete this Myr Trilogy.


Naga: +1

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 Related Tribes: Shaman

 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: Naga is a young tribe, so it doesn't pack a high level of historicity no matter what (in fact, I don't even know why it's represented, it seems deliberate enough), but this is a particularly meaningless specimen in the great scheme of things, and not even a particularly strong self-milling piece like Satyr Wayfinder


Ouphe: +1

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 Historicity: Severe

 Comments: Yes, Kitchen Finks is definitely the one Ouphe anybody has ever played or seen played. I can't even tell which one comes at second place. Gilder Bairn? And then... nothing? Anyway, it's so renowned they made it a Box Topper, despite being just an uncommon (it shares this honor with Eternal Witness). It's a great acknowledgment of its strengths, and people who feel bad being rewarded with an uncommon after buying a full box should consider they're going to sell their extended-art foil Kitchen Finks for much more than your average rare.


Phoenix: +1

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 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: Of all the ways they came up with in 25 years to bring a Phoenix back from the grave, just paying its cost again, twice, is not one of the most inventive. But it does its job, I guess; it's unconditional (provided you're running heavy red), and this is one of the hardest-hitting Phoenices anyway. It's not a famous one by any stretch of the imagination (I mean, just consider how much time it passes from the moment it dies to the moment it's able to attack again), but it's not an awful one at least.


Rogue: +2

 

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 Related Tribes: Human

 Historicity: Null

 Comments: Whoa, Ultimate Masters does not agree with Rogue. Is Ghoulcaller's Accomplice meant as a good self-discard target because you can then pay four and get one Zombie token at sorcery speed once? At least with Marang River Prowler (which might well have been a completely new card if you ask me, I have literally no idea where he comes from), you can just recast your unblockable guy from the graveyard over and over again, if you're in Dimir or in Simic, both combinations that don't seem particularly supported in UMA Limited, but hey, he's not hard to splash for. Except for when you have to justify with yourself why you're even splashing for him.


Satyr: +1

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 Historicity: Medium to High

 Comments: See, Sultai Skullkeeper? This is how you do a self-mill enabler.


Scarecrow: +1

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 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: This is a Scarecrow (and a creature, in general) with some merit, especially within an environment where you're going to want a way to try and stop graveyard shenanigans. I won't pretend it's a single slot that does justice to the tribe, though.


Scout: +1

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 Related Tribes: Elf

 Historicity: Null

 Comments: This is... functional, I guess, an aggro Bear with some staying power. But as a Scout? Well, congratulations, guys, you managed to print four different Scouts between IMA, A25 and here, and not a single one of them searches for a land. It's a true accomplishment, considering searching for lands is what 90% of the tribe does, it's in fact the reason the tribe exists to begin with. Also, the new art for this Safehold Elite is cool enough, but why waste new art commission on a card that won't be played? "Not even death will keep her from her mission" (unless, you know, it comes twice).


Shaman: +10

  

  

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 Related Tribes: Elemental, Elf, Naga, Human, Treefolk

 Historicity: Severe

 Comments: Now, that's a good representation of Shaman. They got three Box Toppers, Eternal Witness, Fulminator Mage and Tasigur, the Golden Fang, all of which are great, extremely popular cards that are the best at what they do (and Fulminator Mage was a sought-after money card until now, so it's a crucial reprint). Young Pyromancer is the centerpiece of a successful archetype that encompasses all the Eternal formats, Fauna Shaman is almost as successful as an enabler that tries to give justice to her Survival of the Fittest roots, and Woodfall Primus is a major reanimation target and one of the great green fatties. Excelsior.


Skeleton: +2

 

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 Related Tribes: Troll

 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: Sanitarium Skeleton is not the best at recursion, but Golgari Grave-Troll is the most iconic of the dredge creatures, so there's that. Boy, they really went all-in with the self-mill theme in UMA, didn't they?


Soldier: +5

  

 

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 Related Tribes: Bird, Human

 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: Soldiers are mostly here to fulfill the duty of sustaining the heroic archetype. Akroan Crusader, Hero of Iroas and Phalanx Leader do a damn good job with that, but they're meaningless cards otherwise, too linked to a build-around-this strategy that's not even especially popular or successful, yet here it's allowed to hijack entirely one of the largest tribes in the game.


Spellshaper: +3

  

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 Related Tribes: Elemental, Human

 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: Spellshaper does have a place in Magic history, at the very least as the most single-minded tribe. Originally a one-off of the Mercadian block, it was brought back in the Time Spiral block (from which all the UMA reprints come), so now we are left with a non-negligible 56 of them. And they all do a different thing in the same exact way: by discarding a card, thus effectively transforming one of your other spells into the one they know how to cast. Icatian Crier is the best here, as you can use her to turn a surplus land into two tokens. But the idea was to exploit (once again) the self-discard side of the Spellshaper shtick. Dreamscape Artist becomes intriguing, then, because he allows you to discard what you want to dump into the graveyard while casting Harrow. In blue. Gotta love that Time Spiral weirdness.


Spider: +1

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 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: There have been more widely known Spiders than this, but if you have to include just one, the one that works as anti-aircraft artillery for green decks is not a terrible choice.


Spirit: +4

   

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 Related Tribes: Wall

 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: Now, that's a veritable hodgepodge of a selection. Basically none of these cards has ever been played in a Spirit-based deck. Sovereigns of Lost Alara is in the the right colors, and interacts with all the Auras reprinted in the set, most notably its old combo pal Eldrazi Conscription. Wall of Reverence is a great defensive system, while Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker is able to generate some cool interactions. And Verdant Eidolon... has new art, for some reason.


Treefolk: +3

  

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 Related Tribes: Horror, Shaman

 Historicity: Medium to High

 Comments: Woodfall Primus and Wickerbough Elder are some major representative of the Treefolk tribe, and strong cards in general. Canker Abomination less so, even of it's a common (originally uncommon) with a good chance of being a 6/6 for 4, if you time it right, probably after a sweeper of sort. It's no Nullhide Ferox, but it can be used indifferently in monoblack, monogreen or Golgari, and back in its native Eventide, it was supposed to fuel -1/-1 counters shenanigans as well.


Troll: +1

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 Related Tribes: Skeleton

 Historicity: Medium to High

 Comments: It's a famous Troll all right. Better than Undercity Troll, which is what amounted to the grand total of Troll reprints from the past year in the Masters series. Also, I never paid mental attention to the fact that it's an undead, and a Skeleton specifically, the only one in existence with no black identity.


Unicorn: +1

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 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: I won't even go search what other Unicorn could have been a better fit at representing the tribe. Ronom Unicorn is a Bear that kills one enchantment when needed, at instant speed, without asking for any additional resource. I'm sure they could do a lot worse than this.


Vampire: +3

  

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 Related Tribes: Berserker

 Historicity: Low

 Comments: I like Twins of Maurer Estate because they're flavorful and tell a story. But to be honest, they're not even such a great madness card, they're just a vanilla 3/5 for 3. They combo with the similarly mediocre Olivia's Dragoon; and later with Bloodflow Connoisseur, if you want. Let's face it, they just reprinted a trio of scarcely interesting common Vampires.


Wall: +1

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 Related Tribes: Spirit

 Historicity: Medium to High

 Comments: Well, Wall of Reverence is one of the most powerful and sophisticated Walls ever printed. Let's just be happy with that. Iconic Masters had Wall of Roots and Overgrown Battlement and three solid blue Walls. Then Masters 25 featured no Walls at all. This feels like a right compromise. If you're interested in Wall reprints, that is.


Warrior: +5

  

 

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 Related Tribes: Goblin, Human

 Historicity: Null

 Comments: Man, Warrior gets an even worse treatment than Soldier. Who are these people? I guess Golgari Thug is a (very) minor dredge enabler. But those heroic green cards? And did we really need to reprint Garna, the Bloodflame from Dominaria? I get that it's a Standard set still in the stores they might want to advertise, but I doubt any new player will be compelled to buy Dominaria boosters because of Garna alone.


Wizard: +9

  

  

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 Related Tribes: Faerie, HumanMerfolk, Zombie

 Historicity: Severe

 Comments: Now, after the Rogue, Soldier and Warrior debacles, we can safely say Wizard emerges victorious from UMA (Shaman, too). First of all, Snapcaster Mage is a sweet reprint for economical reasons of possibly the most celebrated Wizard in history. But Glen Elendra Archmage is also excellent, Talrand and Archaeomancer are good, and, last but not least, Laboratory Maniac is an important endgame piece. Although, I wonder, does he really work in Limited? I guess it's the reason why they went so overboard with the dredge and other self-milling. Of which Magus of the Bazaar is another element. All monoblue Wizards, by the way. It feels about right, though it's not quite the reality of the tribe.


Wurm: +3

  

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 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: Penumbra Wurm is a solid big Wurm, and this art is new for paper (it debuted on Vintage Masters). For the other two Wurms, they chose a faster route, peculiarly. Reckless Wurm is a decent madness card, and Boneyard Wurm plays into the "fill the graveyard" theme, but they're not in general very memorable specimens.


Zombie: +7

   

  

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 Related Tribes: Bird, Cleric, Drake, Fish, Horse, Wizard

 Historicity: Medium

 Comments: That's six secondary types out of seven Zombies! Well, it surely represents well the tribe's mingling with other tribes. As for the power, eh, not so much. Except for delve favorite Gurmag Angler and curve-topper Mikaeus, the Unhallowed (which I found out with some surprise is a minor money card in paper, I imagine due to Commander), none of these Zombies are played, or even good. Though some, like Grave Scrabbler and Stitched Drake, retain some degree of playability under specific setups.

 And that's all. Z for Zombies, that's the (proposed) end of the sometimes glorious, sometimes controversial Masters series. It's been a fun ride, more or less, and I, for one, am curious to find out how they'll handle the reprints from now on.


SUMMARY

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 Check the Complete Creature Types Reference Table here.


KUMA'S TRIBAL EVALUATIONS