This week we take a break from the normal commentary and criticism to put on our R&D hat and take a spin at designing Magic’s latest online offering: Tempest Remastered. The set, which releases in May, will be built from the cards in Tempest, Stronghold, and Exodus with the intent of supporting a draft format. Today I’ll tell you which 269 cards I would include if I were in charge (which I should be).

Tempest Remastered

As soon as the announcement was made I knew that speculation would begin immediately. Some of the artwork in the announcement reveals a few inclusions but I had the bigger picture in mind. How do you take a massive block like Tempest, long heralded for being the pinnacle of limited experiences, and transform it into a new limited experience.

Before we dive into that, let’s think about how big this is for Magic Online. These are the kind of products that can only be done in a digital format thanks to the reserve list (a topic for another day). More importantly it gives people a new interesting thing to do with Magic Online. Hopefully this is a sign that more work will actually be done on MTGO this year.

Now, to design this set I kept a few things in mind. First, I considered the draft environment as a whole with an attempt to create a meaningful limited experience. That’s probably where I made the most mistakes but it was my first thought. This wasn’t too different from designing a cube, to be honest. Second, I thought about which cards need to be reprinted to meet a demand online. Finally I tried to avoid effects which are severely out of the modern color pie or mechanics/effects that no longer see much or any print.


Let’s start right off the bat with some of the heavy hitters from Tempest block. The concept of mythic rare didn’t exist back then but 15 cards will be granted the illustrious honor for Tempest Remastered.

While going through the list of cards to find the mythics I tried to keep in mind that they should be splashy effects and powerful but they shouldn’t be format staples. I also used the rarities in Vintage Masters as a guide.

I also tried to balance out how many ended up in each color and only Green ended up with an extra mythic, mostly because of Oath of Druids.

White: There are some decent white cards in Tempest block but none of them stand out like Cataclysm and Humility. In the case of both cards a lot of the decision came down to wanting to reprint them but not wanting them to show up very often in limited. Cataclysm is a devastating card and easy to build around while Humility is just as crushing. A close runner-up was Winds of Rath which I ultimately decided could be relegated to rare.


Blue: Time Warp was an easy inclusion here since it was printed as a mythic rare in Magic 2010. To find another blue card to include I had a lot of options. Tempest block was full of powerful blue cards similar to many Magic sets from the time period. Ultimately I settled on one that wasn’t the most powerful but was very flashy and could inspire unique limited decks. That card is Dream Halls. Close runner-ups were Intruder Alarm, Intuition, and Evacuation.


Black: The first card to include for the pair of black mythics was trivial as it is one of the most oppressive cards from Magic’s past and leads to plenty of degenerate lines of play. Hello, Hatred. Finding another mythic was a bit tougher but then I realized some mythics are going to have to be bulk and settled on Crovax the Cursed. Crovax is splashy enough as a 4/4 for 2BB that can gain flying and quickly grow bigger. Honorable mention goes to Living Death but because it was a rare in Vintage Masters I decided to leave it there.


Red: Red was a tough color to pick mythics for because a lot of red cards were kind of lame. When in doubt though go with an iconic creature and I did with Rathi Dragon. A 5/5 flying dragon for four mana is pretty exciting on it’s own but Rathi comes with a steep drawback. The other mythic I picked is Apocalypse which is one of the color’s most iconic board wipes. It doesn’t see much play but it certainly is mythic. I also thought about including Flame Wave but it’s cost makes it very unplayable.


Green: I ended up giving a third mythic to Green because Oath of Druids was printed at mythic in Vintage Masters. I decided there were two options, reprint the entire Oath cycle at rare, or just reprint Oath of Druids at mythic. Since the rest of the cycle is terrible I went with the latter option. Joining the Vintage archetype are two of the game’s most powerful combo-enabling enchantments: Aluren and Survival of the Fittest. I thought about making Eladamri’s Vineyard a mythic but because it benefits your opponent first (barring Time Warp) it should be fine at rare.


Multicolor: This one was an easy call with Sliver Queen handily fitting the role and definition of a mythic rare. Vhati il-Dal may also warrant being a mythic rare but a 3/3 creature shouldn’t be a problem at mythic.

Artifact: Mox Diamond is an obvious choice for mythic based on the fact that Mox Opal was a mythic and Mox Diamond is clearly far more powerful. I also picked another artifact for potential balance issues in a limited format and slotted Memory Crystal at Mythic as well. Putting it at rare may have caused too many problems with buyback spells like Capsize. Lotus Petal‘s proper rarity intrigues me but ultimately I decided mythic wasn’t the place for it. Altar of Dementia, Ensnaring Bridge, and Scroll Rack all receive honorable mention.


Lands: Last but not least is Wasteland. No I’m just kidding. Wasteland is going to be a rare. Could you imagine if it was mythic? Holding down the final mythic rare spot will be Volrath’s Stronghold. This is another exceptionally powerful card in the right deck but also not something worth seeing a whole lot of in limited. I didn’t consider any other lands for this, not even City of Traitors which should clearly be a rare and Ancient Tomb which was a rare in Vintage Masters.


For the rares I want to give you the full list for each color and then talk about what I decided to include. Note that green has one fewer rare than the other four colors in order to make up for its extra mythic rare.

White: Avenging Angel, Exalted Dragon, Limited Resources, Orim, Samite Healer, Paladin en-Vec, Soltari Champion, Winds of Rath

I’m pretty excited about white in this limited environment. The Soltari are a very powerful tribe and the color is rounded out with great top-end creatures here and of course you can just blow everything up if you need to. I added Limited Resources because it’s a quirky card that helps with the weenie decks and Orim is in because I wanted as many story characters as possible.


Blue: Ertai, Wizard Adept, Evacuation, Forbid, Intruder Alarm, Intuition, Meditate, Mind Over Matter

Yes, I decided that Forbid is too good to be an uncommon. I’m not a developer but this card is simply too good. The rest of the inclusions here should be pretty self-explanatory. Evacuation may actually be too powerful of a card these days, but I’m a huge fan so here it is.


Black: Bottomless Pit, Commander Greven il-Vec, Corpse Dance, Grave Pact, Living Death, Recurring Nightmare, Stronghold Assassin

There are a few powerful effects here and a few mediocre effects which I think balances the whole color out on the whole. I included Bottomless Pit but not a lot of other discard effects and not Megrim. While this kind of stuff was common back in the day, it’s not a whole lot of fun anymore. I like the graveyard recursion theme and paying life for effects much better than discard.


Red: Furnace of Rath, Magmasaur, Ogre Shaman, Pandemonium, Rolling Thunder, Seismic Assault, Shard Phoenix

Red wants to deal a ton of damage and I’ve tried to make it so people can play dedicated burn and aggro decks with red in this format. The rares should really reflect that with the only theme being the ability to deal a lot of damage to your opponent and their creatures.


Green: Eladamri, Lord of Leaves, Eladamri’s Vineyard, Mirri, Cat Warrior, Nature’s Revolt,  Overrun, Verdant Force

Green is a bit all over the place but the big focus is on ramp spells and big creatures. Nature’s Revolt plays nicely with another card on this list. I’m sure you can figure out which one it is. Verdant Force is one of my all-time favorite Timmy cards and I wanted to make sure this format provided the ability to ramp up into Verdant Force. Turn one elves into a turn two Harrow set’s up a solid ramp.


Multicolor: Dracoplasm, Lobotomy, Selenia, Dark Angel, Soltari Guerrillas, Vhati il-Dal

You may have noticed that these five cards have something in common. They are all enemy-colored cards. I thought there was something very elegant in having a group of enemy-colored rares so I threw in all five. This was probably the easiest choice to make in this design exercise after putting Wasteland at rare.


Artifact: Altar of Dementia, Coat of Arms, Ensnaring Bridge, Grindstone, Heartstone, Horn of Greed, Lotus Petal, Mindless Automaton, Scroll Rack, Volrath’s Laboratory

This was one of the more challenging lists to put together. I was a bit concerned about putting Ensnaring Bridge into a limited environment, but feel there should be enough artifact removal to deal with it. The rest of these cards should be pretty self-explanatory with Coat of Arms and Horn of Greed having potential to be built around in limited.

I scratched my head a lot over the rarity of Lotus Petal or even if it warranted being reprinted. With Mox Diamond already slotted at mythic I didn’t want to put Lotus Petal there as well. Obviously it would be too good at common, but what about uncommon? Simian Spirit Guide was an uncommon and this is sort of the same thing but not really because it’s any color. Ultimately I decided that the format didn’t need to give a lot of decks the ability to accelerate early off Lotus Petal and I made it a rare.


Lands: Ancient Tomb, City of Traitors, Reflecting Pool, Wasteland

I think that it should be obvious that Wasteland needs to be reprinted and it needs to be done so at rare instead of mythic so that the price online drops significantly. Today it costs the same to buy one Wasteland online as one Mox Sapphire.

I included Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors because they give people a reason to draft Wasteland. Reflecting Pool also helps with mana fixing and was an iconic part of Tempest that I felt deserved to be part of this experience.



I’m going to talk about the 101 commons and 80 uncommons as a group because I put them together at the same time. With the selection of mythics and rares behind me I knew that I was missing two core facets of the set: themes and creatures. Among the higher rarities I had only selected 22 creatures, meaning the rare slot only had a 33% chance of being a creature. In order to get close to a 60/40 split of creatures, I knew my commons and uncommons would need to have plenty of creatures.

Picking themes for the set was also done in a very straightforward manner and allowed me to fill out the final 181 cards. I started with some of the more obvious ones including slivers, shadow, and buyback. I wanted to make sure all of these were present at common and uncommon and I think you’ll find they’re represented well, especially shadow. For white I then built out soldiers and knights along with some iconic spells. Blue was given heavy counter-magic and some draw cards along with the best fliers in the format. Black got mana acceleration, graveyard recursion, spot removal and a few decent creatures. Red got plenty of burn spells, goblins, and some pump enchantments. Green was given spikes, elves, ramp spells, and some big Timmy creatures. Multicolor only got slivers. I put 14 artifacts in at uncommon, and none at common. I wanted the colored themes to be more prevalent than anything in the colorless section. Last, but not least, I added the 10-card cycle of two-colored lands and Stalking Stones at uncommon, and put Maze of Shadows at common.

This is easily the section where you may differ the most from my picks. I left out a lot of quality cards in order to create the themes I wanted to include. You may want to see different themes entirely. If so, let me know where I made my mistakes!

White: Armor Sliver, Knight of Dawn, Pegasus Stampede, Quickening Licid, Shackles, Soltari Crusader, Soltari Monk, Soltari Priest, Soltari Visionary, Soul Warden

Blue: Capsize, Chill, Curiosity, Dismiss, Gliding Licid, Mnemonic Sliver, Propaganda, Shadow Rift, Thalakos Dreamsower, Whispers of the Muse

Black: Corrupting Licid, Dauthi Cutthroat, Dauthi Embrace, Dauthi Ghoul, Dauthi Warlord, Knight of Dusk, Mindwhip Sliver, Reanimate, Sarcomancy, Slaughter

Red: Barbed Sliver, Enraging Licid, Fanning the Flames, Goblin Bombardment, Jackal Pup, Mogg Maniac, Opportunist, Renegade Warlord, Shadowstorm, Sudden Impact

Green: Charging Rhino, Constant Mists, Elven Rite, Horned Sliver, Krakilin, Nurturing Licid, Spike Breeder, Spike Feeder, Spike Hatcher, Spike Rogue

Multicolor: Crystalline Sliver, Hibernation Sliver, Acidic Sliver, Spined Sliver, Victual Sliver

Artifact: Bottle Gnomes, Bullwhip, Energizer, Manakin, Medicine Bag, Metallic Sliver, Patchwork Gnomes, Phyrexian Hulk, Phyrexian Splicer, Puppet Strings, Shifting Wall, Telethopter, Transmogrifying Licid, Watchdog

Lands: Caldera Lake, Cinder Marsh, Mogg Hollows, Pine Barrens, Rootwater Depths, Salt Flats, Scabland, Skyshroud Forest, Stalking Stones, Thalakos Lowlands, Vec Townships


White: Advance ScoutAllay, Charging Paladin, Cloudchaser Eagle, Disenchant, Elite Javelineer, Honor Guard, Master Decoy, Mounted Archers, Nomads en-Kor, Pacifism, Shield MateSoltari Emissary, Soltari Foot Soldier, Soltari Lancer, Soltari Trooper, Standing Troops, Staunch DefendersTalon Sliver, Youthful Knight

Blue: Cloud Spirit, Counterspell, Fighting Drake, Gaseous Form, Giant Crab, Mana Leak, Merfolk Looter, Mind Games, Power Sink, Robe of Mirrors, School of Piranha, Scrivener, Sift, Spindrift Drake, Thalakos Mistfolk, Thalakos Scout, Thalakos Seer, Thalakos Sentry, Wind Drake, Winged Sliver

Black:Carnophage, Clot Sliver, Culling the Weak, Dark Ritual, Dauthi Horror, Dauthi Jackal, Dauthi Marauder, Dauthi Mercenary, Dauthi Slayer, Death Stroke, Death’s Duet, Diabolic Edict, Disturbed Burial, Endless Scream, Enfeeblement, Gravedigger, Marsh Lurker, Pit Imp, Serpent Warrior, Vampire Hounds

Red: Craven Giant, Fling, Giant Strength, Heart Sliver, Kindle, Lightning Blast, Lightning Elemental, Maniacal Rage, Mob Justice, Mogg Bombers, Mogg Conscripts, Mogg Fanatic, Mogg Flunkies, Mogg Raider, Raging Goblin, Sandstone Warrior, Shatter, Shattering Pulse, Shock, Wall of Diffusion

Green: Elvish Berserker, Elvish Fury, Harrow, Heartwood Dryad, Muscle Sliver, Plated Rootwalla, Rampant Growth, Reality Anchor, Rootbreaker Wurm, Rootwalla, Seeker of Skybreak, Skyshroud Archer, Skyshroud Elf, Skyshroud Ranger, Skyshroud Troopers, Spike Colony, Spike Drone, Spike Worker, Spined Wurm, Wood Elves

Lands: Maze of Shadows

The Quick Hits

  • Owen Turtenwald lists the top five formats of all time, and the bottom five formats of all time, in which he shares how he really feels about Modern [Channel Fireball]
  • Worth Wollpert wants to remind everyone that “support for Magic Online could not be higher” except it could if you actually fixed the parts that make the game crash [Daily MTG]
  • MJ Scott shares her cosplay adventure as Azusa, Lost but Seeking and it’s worth checking out even if you aren’t interested in the process [Gathering Magic]
  • Mark Nestico throws his hat in the ring of pundits talking about Modern, and his hat falls in the “ban fetch-lands” camp [Star City Games]
  • Modern Masters will be packed in boosters that are recyclable (they look like cardboard) which is good because a billion packs will be opened at GP Las Vegas [Daily MTG]
  • The Dragons of Tarkir prerelease may not be a whole lot of fun for some folks, which I’ll talk about more as we get closer to the event [Daily MTG]
  • Mike Linnemann has put together a top 8 of influential members of the MTG community and I could not be more proud to see Nick Coss on the list. Nick is an amazing human being and I could talk more about his importance to the community but you should go read about it for yourself [Gathering Magic]
  • Danny Brown has compiled the be-all end-all guide to why working at Wizards of the Coast, especially in technology, is not a great gig [Quiet Speculation]
  • Ryan Overturf has some complaints about the PPTQ system but overall he’s a fan [Quiet Speculation]
  • A little more info and images come out about Arena of the Planeswalkers, which unfortunately won’t be on display at PAX East (who knows why) [Magic Arcana]
  • Magic Origins is shaping up to be a very interesting set and should be a big win for the casual and Vorthos crowd [Daily MTG]
  • The new version of Morph has been spoiled and it’s called Megamorph and it is basically Morph with a +1/+1 counter [Gathering Magic]
  • Spoiler season began a few hours early with this leaked dragon promo [Gathering Magic]

Wallpaper of the Week

Yasova Dragonclaw is definitely one of the more bad-ass Khans in Tarkir’s history. Unfortunately she’ll go down for having been a puppet of Nicol Bolas and helping in the attempted murder of Ugin. Luckily, Sarkhan fixed all of that up. What? You haven’t been paying attention to the story. Google Uncharted Realms and thank me later!

Grade: B+

What We Learned is a weekly feature here at Hipsters of the Coast written by former amateur Magic Player Rich Stein, who came really close to making day two of a Grand Prix on several occasions. Each week we will take a look at the past seven days of major events, big news items, and community happenings so that you can keep up-to-date on all the latest and greatest Magic: the Gathering community news.

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