March 29, 2017

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Daily Dose of Amonkhet – The Evolution of the Masterpiece Series

Welcome all to the first edition of the Daily Dose of Amonkhet. We have started to get some preview cards for the newest Magic set already and I for one am excited to get into what this set must offer. Kaladesh was a nice place to visit for a couple of months, but it’s time to switch destinations and leave the land of Energy and Vehicles. Today I’m going to be talking about the evolution of the Masterpiece Series and the latest in the Masterpiece Series, the Amonkhet Invocations.

When Expedition Lands came out in Battle for Zendikar, players were extremely excited to have some ultra-rare reprints of cards that could really enhance their collections based on their look and rarity. Expeditions brought with them some full-art lands that players always crave. The return of full-art basic lands came in Battle for Zendikar, and with Zendikar having a rich history of using lands, having all the Expeditions be lands was a logical choice. The Expedition lands used a frame like recent Game Day promos and used a border that didn’t stray too far from conventional Magic card design. There were 25 Expedition Lands that also included five new lands that were not reprints and ended up being a rare land cycle from Battle for Zendikar. Here a few examples of some Battle for Zendikar Expedition Lands.

After Battle for Zendikar, Oath of the Gatewatch expanded on the Expedition Lands by adding 20 additional reprints, but no new cards. The 20 new cards were more land cycles like the filter lands and some unique lands that produced colourless mana like Wasteland and Ancient Tomb.

Soon after that came Shadows Over Innistrad, and guess what, no extra cards, just a plain old regular Magic set. Now, to our knowledge, cards like the Expedition Lands from the Battle for Zendikar block wouldn’t be returning anytime soon. After trying to deal with a certain very large Eldrazi in Eldritch Moon, we got an announcement that we were heading somewhere Magic had not visited before, Kaladesh. Kaladesh was a land full of Energy and invention, and full of creation and optimism. Through this invention, many artifacts were created, which led to the announcement that these additional cards put into sets would now be a permanent fixture called the Masterpiece Series.

Thanks to all the inventions spawning from Kaladesh, the Masterpiece Series: Kaladesh Inventions were born. This time the large set of the block would have 30 extra cards and they would all be popular reprints of classic Artifact cards. Like Expedition Lands, they made it so five of the cards were a cycle of cards from new Kaladesh set. This time they went with all Mythic cards, as they made all the Gearhulk creatures into Kaladesh Inventions. Here are some examples of the Kaladesh Inventions.

As you can see, the framing of these cards is drastically different than any promo or card we had seen up to this point. There was still the main black border around the cards, and the wording and layout of the cards were exactly like normal Magic cards. The bronze frames looked good foiled out and added something to the Masterpiece Series that the Expedition Lands didn’t have.
Aether Revolt would continue the Inventions theme and bring us 24 new Masterpiece Series Inventions, with 22 of them bring reprints. Planar Bridge and Paradox Engine were added from Aether Revolt to fill out the Inventions for Aether Revolt.

This now brings us to Amonkhet and it’s Egyptian-themed setting. After having a set of lands and artifacts, what would the Masterpiece Series of Amonkhet bring to the party. Introducing the new Masterpiece Series, Amonkhet Invocations!

Aven Mind Sensor
Chain Lightning
Consecrated Sphinx
Counter Balance
Cryptic Command
Dark Ritual
Force of Will
Loyal Retainers
Maelstrom Pulse
Pact of Negation
Wrath of God

The first thing that you notice is the complete departure from the regular frame, design, and look of any previous Magic cards. We haven’t seen a departure like this since Future Sight cards. I’m a big fan myself on everything from the border to the new font. Check out how the foiling looks on these wonderful new cards:

We are unsure of what new cards from Amonkhet will be in the Masterpiece Series, but I’m hoping that the five new gods will be part of it. What is your favourite Masterpiece Series collection so far? Are you a fan of the new Amonkhet Invocations? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for joining me for the start of the preview journey that is the Daily Dose of Amonkhet. I look forward to talking about some new mechanics and the return of an old favourite. The flavour in Amonkhet seems to be off the chart and I can’t wait to see what it brings.