Amonkhet’s Masterpiece Preview

Recently there has been a lot of buzz in social media on how Standard’s biggest problem is the lack of answers to planeswalkers and other very high impact cards. Some people have been advocating that a few “catch-all”-style-of-cards should be in every “Core” set – I mean, every Fall set, since Core Sets do not exist anymore. Something as simple as Pithing Needle, for example, would tremendously help in fightning some of these bombs that we got used to see during the last few years.

Well, for everyone hoping to find one of these cards in Amonkhet packs, we will have at least one!

Sadly, it won’t be Standard-legal since it is an Invocation (that’s how we will call the Masterpieces of Amonkhet), but I’m still super excited to have an old love from the past, this time with a new art and cardframe. I am in love with the Egyptian style on the cards’ frame and font! Note that, flavor-wise, the art shows the black god and the green god from Amonkhet teaming up to cast this spell, which is super cool.

Now – without any further ado, here it is in all its glory:

I consider Maelstrom Pulse to be the greatest “catch-all” of all times. Unconditional creature removal? Yes. Problematic planeswalker, artifact or enchantment? Sure. A million tokens? No problem! And all these for a mere three mana and conveniently in the best possible color pair.

My relationship with Maelstrom Pulse started a long time ago. The first time I played it was back at PT Honolulu 2009, in which the format was Block Constructed, and Alara Reborn had just been released. For some bizarre reason, it wasn’t in a Jund deck; it was Five-Color Control instead, and I obviously failed to make Day 2 with it. Oh well, how I regret it!… but at least, in my defense, the deck also had a playset of Bloodbraid Elf. After that big mistake, I played Jund (with BBEs and Pulses) for quite a while in Standard until they rotated out.

Fortunately by the time Modern was created, I was able to keep playing my favorite duo from Alara. Jund’s popularity in Modern exploded with the releases of Liliana of the Veil and Deathrite Shaman in the following years, and the deck has undergone a lot of evolution – some by metagame adaptation, some forced by the DCI; but amongst all formats, rotations, metagame changes and bans that Jund has endured in all these years, Maelstrom Pulse has always found room in my 75 on all formats (even Legacy!), and more importantly – in my heart.

Some last words: Lately I have been thinking that one way to insert some Modern cards in the market and, to a lesser extent, lower the format’s prices, is to reprint some of the non-broken staples in Standard sets. Maelstrom Pulse fits that bill perfectly. It is a Modern staple, not really cheap, not broken in Standard by any means (Hero’s Downfall is probably a better Standard card) and it could be one of those “catch-all” cards that Standard currently so desperately needs. Or, at the very least, it is a card I really want to cast again in Standard. Wizards, I never asked you anything, so please – one time?

 Willy Edel

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