Spoiler Season for Eldritch Moon is in full swing but last week Wizards hit the eternal (and Modern) community with a sledgehammer when they unveiled Harmless Offering. With only one very small change, this card is very, very close to a functional reprint of the card Donate. The only difference is that Donate costs one blue mana along with two generic, while Harmless Offering costs one red mana along with two generic. Since this is apparently enough to skirt the rules of the Official Reprint Policy, it’s time to dig through the list that is the bane of Legacy players worldwide and see where else we can make some Harmless Offerings to recommend color-shifting some cards.

Color Shifting the Reserve List

The Reserve List which comes from the Official Reprint Policy is a list of cards that Wizards has promised to never reprint on paper again. While many of them are bountiful on Magic Online, they’re among the most expensive cards in the world for the paper-playing communities. Once, a long time ago, Wizards tried to skirt their own rules by printing promotional versions of the cards, believing that their own policy only prohibited putting the cards into booster packs. Lawyers got involved and that loophole was closed. Now, Eldritch Moon has brought us a new loophole in the form of Harmless Offering, a color-shifted version of Donate.

So we decided to look into the list and see if there were any other viable candidates to be color-shifted. Obviously not every card is a candidate for this treatment since artifacts can’t be color-shifted and some cards are banned in most formats anyways (such as ante cards). But still, there are plenty of cards on the list that could really make a splash in Modern and maybe even Legacy and Vintage with a shift of color. Also, the color-shift has to adhere to the modern color-pie. I wouldn’t want Mark Rosewater to shoot down any of my ideas because they violate the color-pie.

Already Shifted

Even though there’s a lot of community outrage over Donate moving to red’s slice of the pie, it turns out plenty of cards on the reserved list have already made the jump from one color to another. Not all of these were straight up shifts, but several of them were, so we can use them as an example.

So Humble Offering is in fact the fifth card from the reserve list to be straight-up shifted from one color to another but otherwise kept intact. But, there are another five cards on the list that are almost exact copies as well:

In the case of Twincast it is an exact copy of Fork (heh) except that we don’t change the color of the original spell. Portent is actually a straight up better card than Natural Selection but shifted to blue thanks to adding “draw a card.” The other three were shifted into two colors instead of remaining mono-colored.

So what makes Humble Offering different? It’s likely because Donate is far more notorious than any of the other cards above. Twincast ended up seeing a lot of competitive play, but everyone agreed it made sense and that Fork was never that good anyways. Recycle and Drop of Honey were powerful when printed, but never dominant and their shifted reprints never saw any competition.

But Donate was a problem and Humble Offering could similarly be a problem. Could Wizards toy with more potentially-problematic color shifts? Let’s get to our top candidates!

Honorable Mention: Gilded Drake to Red

If Donate can be shifted into red, it makes sense that Gilded Drake might deserve the same treatment. The drake has proven to be a very powerful card in the past but doesn’t see play in eternal formats. But in Commander and Cube it is very popular. A red variant would probably be too strong for Standard and might dominate Modern. But if Donate is in, anything is possible.

#5 – Rock Hydra to Green

In Magic’s early days the hydras were all red and Rock Hydra was the first one. Moving this into green could give it a very potent threat that is not just able to go on the offensive but can also play a reasonable defensive game. While red decks don’t have access to the kind of mana that can abuse Rock Hydra’s abilities, green decks would definitely be able to make more use of this menace.

#4 – Three Wishes to Red

Pretty much all draw spells used to be blue, but the mechanic from Three Wishes is now a red card. Similar to some of our previous examples this card may need a bit of a tweak to come in-line with the way red card advantage works, but 1RR to flip the top three cards over and play them until the beginning of your next turn could provide red with some serious card advantage in Modern.

#3 – Demonic Hordes to Red

Speaking of giving red some staying power in Modern, let’s talk about land destruction. Demonic Hordes has been a scourge of casual kitchen-table Magic for over 20 years now, but it’s never been a competitive threat. In Modern it could deal some serious damage to already-fragile mana-bases and possibly give land destruction a way to return to prominence (so long as it can’t be supported in Standard).

#2 – City of Solitude to White

I have a soft spot for white prison decks, especially in Modern where I feel they’re only one or two cards away from being truly competitive. Could City of Solitude be that card? Suppression Field, Aura of Silence, Leyline of Sanctity, and Stony Silence already give white a strong set of tools. City of Solitude might just be the icing on the cake.

#1 – Copy Artifact to Red

Red can create and destroy artifacts, so why not make a copy of them as well? Sure, maybe Affinity decks don’t need any help putting more copies of cards like Arcbound Ravager and Etched Champion into play, but maybe there’s another artifact combo deck waiting to be born from Copy Artifact? I certainly hope we get to find out one day.

Wizards isn’t getting rid of the Official Reprint Policy anytime soon but it’s clear that they’re more than willing to skirt the rules and have been for some time. Humble Offering won’t be the last time. Perhaps one of these suggestions will be next? (I hope it’s Demonic Hordes)


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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