Tag: vendilion-clique

Gregoire Thibault - December 7, 2014

Modern Masters 2015 Edition

Modern Masters 2015 logo


Announcing Modern Masters 2015 Edition

Wizard announced it’s next installment of Modern Masters 2015 to be released May 22, 2015. The set will take players back to some of the more remarkable Magic the Gathering planes such as Zendikar, Mirrodin, Ravnica, Lorwyn, Kamigawa and Alara. A number of the cards will have new artwork and every card will be legal in Modern format. The set promises players a new draft experience by playing some of Magic’s most iconic cards just like the first MM.

Every box of Modern Masters 2015 Edition contains 24 booster packs [each with 15 randomly inserted game cards, including one premium card in every pack] making it perfect for exciting draft play.

MM2015 symbol

Release notes

  • Set Name: Modern Masters (2015 Edition)
  • Number of Cards: 249
  • Release Date: May 22, 2015
  • Twitter Hashtag: #MTGMM2015
  • Initial Concept and Game Design: Erik Lauer (lead), Ben Hayes, and Ken Nagle
  • Final Game Design and Development: Tom LaPille (lead), Ben Hayes, Max McCall, and Adam Prosak
  • Languages: English, Japanese, Chinese Simplified


Modern Masters 2015 Edition will be releasing on Magic Online May 29. The digital MSRP will be $6.99. It will not be available for redemption.

Card Gallery


SpellskiteSplinter TwinEtched ChampionVendilion CliqueTarmogoyfKarn LiberatedEmrakul, the Aeons Torn


Modern Masters 2015 artwork

Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - May 15, 2014

Kiki Control by Shaun McLaren (3rd at GP Minneapolis Modern on May 11t...

Deck of the Day

Restoration Angel - Kiki Control

White-Blue-Red Control by Shaun McLaren

3rd at GP Minneapolis Modern on May 11th 2014

Shaun McLaren has already proven his dominance of the UWR Control deck in Modern so it looks like he felt it needed a tweak to keep performing for him. And while it was not able to propel him to the top spot, it was good enough to push him into the top 4 of a very strong field. His deck still has the classic control elements of draw, permission and removal but adds an interesting creature twist to grind out all the value.


Let’s start from the top with the title card which adds the new spin with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker who is no stranger to Modern but has traditionally been found in either the Twin or Pod decks. Here we find him used to grind out some mega-value or even surprise combo for the kill. So looking first at that combo kill, when we pair Kiki up with Restoration Angel you create a possible infinite loop of tapping Kiki to copy Resto then blinking Kiki with the copies into play trigger to rinse and repeat. You can also flash in Resto as a blocker if Kiki is in play and create enough blockers to shut down an alpha strike from a Twin deck, very sneaky. The other key target for Kiki is Wall of Omens which works to shore up some ground defenses while providing a solid and steady stream of card advantage. There is also Snapcaster Mage which can continue to rebuy spent spells in the grave with Kiki. A singleton Vendilion Clique is extremely useful in the deck as a way to not only gain information about your opponents plan but also to help disrupt it as well. The manabase also affords us the inclusion of a set of Celestial Colonnade which are a key beatdown element and one of the main avenues to victory. As advertised this is a control deck and thus has a well rounded permission suite starting with a set of Mana Leak, a pair of Remand, and singletons of both Spell Snare and Cryptic Command. The removal is also very heafty including Lightning Bolt and Electrolyze to either burn creature or straight to the dome, and Path to Exile to decisively remove any creature threat in the way. The deck is also able to squeeze two Tectonic Edge into the manabase as an additional hedge against manlands or Scapeshift combo. The draw power of the deck lies primarily with the Wall, Electrolyze, Remand and Cryptic, but the are also singletons with a Sphinx’s Revelation and a Desolate Lighthouse to bolster the draw package.

So once again Shaun shows us it was no fluke that he won Pro Tour Born of the Gods almost fighting his way to another victory. He clearly enjoys this style of deck and has a finger on the pulse of the metagame. It is going to be exciting and interesting to see what sort of evolution he continues to push with this deck, and also if it continue to be a strong metagame choice.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
Email: ejseltzer@hotmail.com
Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - March 15, 2014

Deck of the Day – UB Faeries by Alex Sittner (15th at Grand Prix...

U/B Faeries
Alex Sittner
15th Place at Grand Prix on 3/9/2014
When the last Banned & Restricted announcement was released one of the cards that was unbanned was Bitterblossom. Bitterblossom was one of the cards that was placed on the initial banned list when the Modern format was born mainly because of the dominance that Faeries had during its lifetime in Standard. A highly repressive Aggro-Control deck that used the tribal synergy of Faerie creatures to create a very streamlined and highly efficient machine. That unbanning of Bitterblossom was heralded by some as the beginning of a second coming of the Fae, but so far the deck has under performed expectation.

A huge part of the functioning of this deck comes from that newly legal enchantment which provides every turn a new 1/1 Flying Faerie with which to either continue a beatdown strategy or defend your life total, which can be very important as it slowly bleeds you one life each turn. The other Fae in the deck are not just aggressive creatures but are efficiently equipped with additional abilities and all are able to appear at will with Flash. Starting with a look at the permission package we have Spellstutter Sprite which with so many Faeries around to support it will more often then not be able to counter any spell threatening you. It is complimented by Mana Leak, Spell Snare and Cryptic Command to ensure dominance over the opponent. Next we look at the disruption which is rooted in the legendary Vendilion Clique which can appear out of nowhere to remove a key piece of action from their hand and then move into a beatdown role. There is also a mix of Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize which coming out turn one plays to the harsh opening into Bitterblossom turn two which can often spell doom for the opponent. Our last true Faerie is Mistbind Clique which is used as a virtual Time Walk by flashing out on the upkeep of your opponent to tap down his lands for that turn. The Champion ability can also be your savior in a long game where Bitterblossom, which is coincidentally also a Faerie, is taking down your life too low and you’re able to make it disappear for as long as Mistbind is around. To round out the creatures there is also a pair of Snapcaster Mage which help take full advantage of the decks instants and sorceries, and also manlands in the form of the evasive Creeping Tar Pit and Mutavault which when active is also a Faerie to help either Spellstutter or Mistbind if necessary. A bit of spot removal is found in the form of Tragic Slip and Go for the Throat to contain the most important of threats. Finally there is the powerful Sword of Feast and Famine which will allow you to play spells or activate manlands before combat and then untap your lands to keep up mana to counter the enemies plans as well as forcing incidental discard.

While many pros have already dismissed the Faeries deck as an under powered option in this powerful format I’m not convinced that it has been put through the ringer yet. Only time will tell what new interactions people will think up to push this deck back into the top tier.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - March 11, 2014

Deck of the Day – UW Control by Shaheen Soorani (18th at Grand P...

Cryptic Command

U/W Control

Shaheen Soorani

18th Place at Grand Prix Richmond on 3/9/2014

Those that know Shaheen Soorani know that he is no stranger to UW based Control style decks, in fact he can be called somewhat of an expert on the subject. It’s no secret that it is his person preference as far as play style and he has championed those Control decks in every format. Often it is difficult to build a Control deck in a relatively wide open field especially one as hugely diverse as Modern, but Shaheen is never one to back down to a challenge.

As with any Control deck in the post-Lorwyn world of Magic we find a very important package of Planeswalkers. Working as primary win conditions which come down once the deck has taken over the game we find the incredibly powerful dynamic duo of Elspeth, Knight-Errant and Gideon Jura both with their own style of beatdown. Also, we have Jace Beleren or ‘Baby Jace’ which is a very strong source of card advantage. There is also a pair of Vendilion Clique and a set of Celestial Colonnade to help the deck finish off the opponent making great use of Flying to sneak through the beats. Next we get to the permission package of the deck which sports some diverse answer with full sets of each Cryptic Command, Mana Leak and Spell Snare to ensure the opponent isn’t allowed to advance their game plan. There’s also a singleton Repeal to bounce any nuisance which they may have been able to sneak in at some point. And no Control deck would be complete without a range of removal with this deck rife on both spot and mass including a set of Path to Exile, trio of Supreme Verdict and pair of Detention Sphere which will find a way to get rid of anything that was allowed to hit the board. There is also a set of Tectonic Edge in the manabase to fight against opposing manlands, Tron lands or even Valakuts. As for draw supplementing the Jace and Cryptic there is also Serum Visions to help dig through the deck to find that right answer. The last piece of the puzzle is found in a trio of Snapcaster Mage that given this deck runs 23 spell targets for the Snappy to rebuy is a dream for any control player when able to slot them in.

While the trend for Control in Modern had been to go with a Blue/White shell adding Red to supplement with reach through burn that route does limit some of the options available to you and relies heavily upon cooperation from your manabase to operate effectively Shaheen was content to stick with the two colors and while it didn’t pay off with a top 8 it did get him 18th out of some 4300 players which is none too shabby. I expect with this result we should be seeing more of the straight UW Control builds and they will as always never end in their constant tweeking and tuning to adapt to an ever-changing metagame.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - February 25, 2014

Champion’s Deck – UWR Control by Shaun McLaren (1st at Pro...

Ajani Vengeant

UWR Control

Shaun McLaren

Pro Tour Born of the Gods – Modern – Champion

What an amazing final game this deck played with such patience by Shaun McLaren.  This deck is basically your quintessential Counter-Burn deck for the Modern format. It plays to go long by playing a draw go style and stifling the opponent until stabilizing the board and taking over the game. During that stabilizing period it’s able to send extra burn to the dome to chip away at the opponent until beating out those final life points with its select few creatures.
The beatdown plan in the deck comes primarily in the form of Celestial Colonnade which as a manland is able to sneak around the formats sorcery speed removal and with 4 toughness bests 3 damage spot removal. There is also a Vendilion Clique which serves as minor disruption but also an efficient Flying clock against a format comprised mainly with armies not air forces. The land creatures comes in the truly overworked Snapcaster Mage which in a deck comprised with 27 maindeck spells to target will always find a use especially now that Deathrite Shaman is gone from Modern no longer eating your Flashback targets. The next key element of this style deck is the permission package and this one packs a wallop indeed boasting Mana Leak and Cryptic Command, backed up by Remand and Spell Snare to deal with threats of all shapes and sizes. One great interaction between Cryptic and a Snapcaster on board allows you to bounce the Snappy further grinding additional value from him. We next get to the burn suite in the deck and find all the heavy hitters with format staple Lightning Bolt, lifegainer Lightning Helix and additional card draw with Electrolyze. Combo those with Snappy and your opponent will end up crispy in no time flat. While the burn will often be used as removal you also have another format staple in Path to Exile dealing with particularly devastating creature threats and find the decks lone sweeper in Anger of the Gods which works it’s Exile clause to the max with many of the creatures it finds. There is also Tectonic Edge which against opposing manlands is solid removal but often will be able to hit an integral dual land to cut the opponent off a key color. The primary draw power comes from a pair of Sphinx’s Revelation which has a knack of pulling a control deck from the brink of death into a commanding position refueling both your hand and your health in one fell swoop. We finally get to the decks lone Planeswalker with Ajani Vengeant who first has the ability to lock down a particularly troublesome permanent such as a Birthing Pod or particular land as seen in the finals. The second ability basically grants the deck additional Lightning Helix to either remove creatures or blast face. But the final ability is one of the most destructive ultimates with a one-sided Armageddon which we saw is able to practically end games instantly and against an unprepared foe should often draw a concession.
So this deck was not a deck which took advantage of either the unbanning of Wild Nacatl or Bitterblossom but instead was given a slight extra edge from no longer worrying about splash damage from the banned Deathrite Shaman. And while this configuration was suited to take down this meta we are sure to see many different tweeks and variations in the future as a control deck must always adapt to its environment.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - January 12, 2014

Champion’s Deck – UWR Midrange by Vjeren Horvat (1st Place...

Geist of Saint Traft

UWR Midrange
Vjeren Horvat
1st Place at GP Prague Modern on 01/12/2014

Lands (25)

Creatures (13)

Spells (22)


The first Grand Prix of the new year has come and gone this past weekend from the historical European capital of Prague in the Czech Republic.  The format for this tournament was Modern which since its inception two and a half years ago has been one that always piqued my interest, much like the Extended format which it took its roots from did for me before it.  This weekend was another very exciting weekend and Vjeren was able to battle through Moderns rather diverse field to rise to the top and take the first GP crown of the new year.  It was great to see Modern in action as it is sorely lacking from this PTQ season since Wizards decided to push the Modern PTQs to the summer.  This was also partially a tune up for some players as this is the only big tournament for the format before the Pro Tour in Valencia next month which is also going to have Modern for its constructed portion.

Getting into the deck it is at its core an extremely strong Counter-Burn shell using some of the most powerful elements of control and aggression to take over games and destroy opponents with impunity.  The creature suite is centerpieced by a pair of legendary creature with Geist and Clique.  They are supported by a pair of one-ofs in Resto Angel and Thundermaw which really help to dominate the skies.  But the real synergy comes from a full set of Snapcaster with a plethora of targets to push his value to the limit.  A huge burn package starts with the requisite set of Bolt along with a set of Helix, then to top it off Electrolyze which doubles as card draw as well.  As if all that burn wasn’t enough there’s a trio of Path to clear away any pesky creature threats.  Then we get into the permission package with the versatile Cryptic, tempo play Remand and stock control piece Leak.  Put that package together and we get a deck that can really lay out the beats.

So if you are lucky enough to have your local game store host Modern FNMs or are already thinking ahead towards the summers PTQs definitely give this deck high consideration.  And even if you don’t think this deck is your style make sure you have it in your gauntlet to be sure you know how to attack it lest it burns you out with a Bolt Snap Bolt GG finish.

Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter

Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - December 21, 2013

Decks of the Day – Spotlight on Shaheen Soorani at the SCG Invit...

Shaheen Soorani

Esper mastermind and longtime magic aficionado Shaheen Soorani battled last weekend at the SCG Invitational in Las Vegas to a third place finish. Fighting through a field of 299 qualified participants he was able to slaughter most every mage who stood in his way. The Invitational, much like the Pro Tour, is a multiformat tournament requiring proficiency in both Standard and Legacy to find success. In true Soorani fashion his weapon of choice for both formats was blue, white and black control style concoctions. With the two byes he had been awarded he drudged to a final swiss record of 12-3-1, the last round an intentional bye with Thea Steele to clinch the top 8 berth. The competition was fierce with hard wins against Tom Ross, Tim Landale, Erik Smith and Jeff Hoogland. Some tough losses came at the hands of Matt Nass the last round of day 1 playing for the perfect 8-0 and against eventual winner Max Brown entering the second leg of Legacy putting Shaheen on the ropes fighting to maintain a top positioning. In the top 8 he was immediately put to the test against Brian Brawn-Duin but dispatched him easily in three games but was knocked out by Greg Hatch after a hard fought five game battle.

Esper Control
Shaheen Soorani
3rd Place at StarCityGames Invitational on 12/14/2013
Lands (26)
 Creatures (3)

Planeswalkers (6)

For the Standard rounds he piloted a sweet and well rounded Esper Control list built around the stock UW pieces. Full sets of Supreme Verdict, Detention Sphere, Jace, Architect of Thought and Azorius Charm are complimented by a trio of Sphinx’s Revelation and a pair of Elspeth, Sun’s Champion to for the core of the deck. Premier creature finishers come with an Ætherling and a pair of Blood Baron of Vizkopa both very resilient to removal in the meta. Speaking of removal the deck sports pairs of Devour Flesh and Hero’s Downfall for spot duty and an additional sweeper in Merciless Eviction which with its many modes is surely able to remove the permanent that is most troubling you. The deck is rounded out by a light disruption package that contains counters from two Dissolve and a Syncopate with discard from two Thoughtseizes.  Shaheen took this to a 6-2 record through the swiss and top 8 winning games 15-5, with three of those losses in the semifinal match.
Esper Stoneblade
Shaheen Soorani
3rd Place at StarCityGames Invitational on 12/15/2013
Lands (22)

Creatures (8)

Planeswalkers (3)

 Spells (27)
For his Legacy deck Shaheen kept in the same vein with Esper Stoneblade sticking to a more classic list by eschewing both Deathrite Shaman and Legacys newest golden boy True-Name Nemesis. In quintessential control style we start with a formidable draw package with Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Brainstorm, Ponder and a singleton Intuition. For the permission the is the requisite Force of Will with a Counterspell comboing with discard from Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek to stifle the opponents plans. The plan of attack starts with Stoneforge Mystic which is able to tutor up preeminent beatstick Batterskull. There is also an Umezawa’s Jitte which paired up with the Lingering Souls can make short work of your opponent. I especially like how Intuition can work together with Lingering Souls to quickly provide access to a small flying army. To complement those flyers there is also a one of Vendilion Clique which also carries equipment, and has an abusable interaction if you’re also able to get your Karakas out. For removal there is a diverse array with spot removal from Swords to Plowshares and Vindicate complimented by sweepers in Supreme Verdict and Engineered Explosives. Finally, to take full advantage of all the varied instants and sorceries we have a trio of Snapcaster Mage to flashback whichever answer you need access to the most. For the seven rounds that he played with the deck Shaheen was able to pull out a 5-2 record including his two last wins in the swiss which allowed him to intentionally draw the final round to secure his spot in the top 8.
So if you enjoy control style decks and need a list to try either in Standard or Legacy I definitely recommend giving one of these decks a go. It’s great to see Shaheen continue to excel at these high level tournaments and you can be sure that we will see him maintaining this caliber performance for years to come, and where he goes control mages everywhere will benefit from his tightly tuned lists.
Eric Jeffrey Seltzer
Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - December 9, 2013

Champion’s Deck – Esper Stoneblade Control Charles Gordon (1st Pla...

Esper Stoneblade
Charles Gordon
1st Place at StarCityGamesLegacy Open on 12/8/2013
Lands (23)

Creatures (10)

Planeswalkers (2)
Spells (25)


You really have to admire the sheer versatility of this deck. Packed with threats and answers I personally find it to be one of the true top tier lists in legacy right now. This is one of the decks that can actually capitalize on the full potential of True-Name Nemesis by providing an armory of weapons for it to wield. Stoneforge Mystic is working overtime in this build with three targets to snag in Batterskull, Umezawa’s Jitte and Sword of Fire and Ice. The sword is particularly useful in sneaking Batterskull or Snapcaster through opponents defensive True-Names.  To round out the creature base there is a Vendilion Clique which just offers so much value in conjunction with Karakas and a pair of Snapcaster Mage to grind extra use out of the decks varied spells.  With the Planeswalker rules how they are there’s just a pair of Jace, the Mind Sculptor which is more than adequate given he is much less vulnerable now.  As with almost every blue deck in legacy there is the set of Brainstorm and a singleton Ponder to sift through the deck to find your answers.  The deck is backed up with permission by a set of Force of Will and a pair of Counterspells which give some hard counters to deal with big threats.  A great removal package is headlined by a full four Swords to Plowshares for creature threats and a one of Vindicate as a catchall answer with sweepers from two Supreme Verdict and an Engineered Explosives.  One thought I had with having the Explosives and the equipment that there might be a one of Academy Ruins in the mana base replacing one of the Underground Sea, but it may be too much.  Finally the deck is rounded out with some small disruption with two Thoughtseize and one Inquisition of Kozilek to assure some answer to random threats.