Modern Masters is finally out! As I’m going through the set, I’m starting to realize that there are a lot of keywords that are unfamiliar to me. Since I began playing Magic around the release of Innistrad, my keyword knowledge is limited to that block and later, with an occasional exposure experienced during the modern PTQ season or cube draft. By this point, I’ve seen all of the evergreen keywords (flying, vigilance, trample, landwalk, flash, etc.) and most of the keyword actions (counter, sacrifice, exile, tap, etc.).

Evergreen keywords can appear in any set, particularly the core set where they are usually the only keyword used (with exceptions) while keyword actions aren’t abilities, but rather specialized verbs which are used to describe common game actions. Ability words (battalion, bloodrush, morbid, etc.), which are depicted in italics followed by an em dash, are words that are used to tie together cards with similar abilities. This article will be focusing on the keywords (mechanics) (extort, cipher, flashback, etc.) that are featured in Modern Masters.

Modern Masters hosts 19 returning keywords:

Affinity for Artifacts: This spell costs less to cast for each artifact you control

Basic landcycling: Discard this card: Search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library

Changeling: This card is every creature type at all times

Cycling: Discard this card: Draw a card

Delve: You may exile any number of cards from your graveyard as you cast this spell. It costs less to cast for each card exiled this way.

Dredge: If you would draw a card, instead you may put exactly the indicated number of cards from your library into your graveyard. If you do, return this card from your graveyard to your hand. Otherwise, draw a card

Echo: At the beginning of your upkeep, if this came under your control since the beginning of your last upkeep, sacrifice it unless you pay its echo cost

Entwine: Choose both if you pay the entwine cost

Evoke: You may cast this spell for its evoke cost. If you do, it’s sacrificed when it enters the battlefield

Kicker: You may pay an additional cost as you cast this spell

Modular: This enters the battlefield with the indicated amount of +1/+1 counters on it. When it dies, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target artifact creature

Modular- Sunburst: This enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each color of mana spent to cast it. When it dies, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target artifact creature

Persist: When this creature dies, if it had no -1/-1 counters on it, return it to the battlefield under its owner’s control with a -1/-1 counter on it

Prowl: You may cast this for its prowl cost if you dealt combat damage to a player this turn with a specified creature type

Retrace: You may cast this card from your graveyard by discarding a land card in addition to paying its other costs

Splice onto Arcane: As you cast an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card’s effects to that spell

Split Second: As long as this spell is on the stack, players can’t cast spells or activate abilities that aren’t mana abilitie

Storm: When you cast this spell, copy it for each spell cast before it this turn.

Sunburst: This enters the battlefield with a charge counter on it for each color of mana spent to cast it

Suspend: Rather than cast this card from your hand, you may pay the indicated cost and exile it with the indicated # of time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter. When the last is removed, cast it without paying its mana cost. It has haste

I have compiled a list of these keywords and their associated cards along with all of the instants and flash creatures that you may come across while playing Modern Masters limited. With GP Las Vegas in the near future, I hope these PDFs provide you with a little extra knowledge on what to expect from this highly anticipated set!

KeywordsDownload the PDF

mm key 1 mm key 2 mm key 3


Bonus tech! Modern Masters Instants and Flash CreaturesDownload the PDF

mm instant1 mm instant 2 mm instant 3

Monique Garraud is a Brooklyn native who started playing Magic in 2011. “Grinding It Out” is her weekly take on the trials, tribulations, and joys of being a competitive tournament player.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.