Here we are in Masters 25 preview week. Go check out the two cards Ryan Sainio previewed here yesterday. Fierce Empath and Zombify are two sweet uncommons that point toward the combo potential that Mark Rosewater says was a driving force of this set. We can expect a lot of flashy bombs will dominate the Masters 25 limited environment. Obviously Jace, the Mind Sculptor will be good. Akroma, Angel of Fury and Gisela, Blade of Goldnight won’t be the only game-winners you can tutor up either. But what else might show up? There have to be a lot of commons nd uncommons to fill out the format.

R&D says they included a card from each tournament-legal set in Magic’s history. That must mean a few of the clunker sets get key includes. But there should be room for a handful of cards from a few sets. Cycles might be tough, though it seems like a few lands cycles will show up. Regardless, we don’t have a lot to go on for predicting the

We probably won’t be seeing Misty Rainforest or Steam Vents in Masters 25. But hopefully the lands will be more exciting than tapped duals. Theros block scrylands like Temple of Malady could be nice. They have the bonus of being spread across three sets of the block. What about the Rocky Tar Pit cycle of slow fetchlands from Mirage? Cheap, slow fetchlands could be the perfect include, and can service a lot of decks without having to print ten lands.

If ramping into giant creatures is a thing they want us to do, there must be some mana rocks. Coldsteel Heart seems like an obvious inclusion from the underwhelming Coldsnap expansion. Fellwar Stone and Coalition Relic could also be good choices. I doubt they want to include all ten signets, but nobody would complain if they did. Thran Dynamo and Worn Powerstone are old cube favorites as well. For that matter, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Joraga Treespeaker or Lotus Cobra show up.

Combo seems to be the name of the game. Is it finally time for a foil High Tide? Merchant Scroll can fill the Homelands slot. Dark Ritual and Brainstorm have already been revealed in the set. There has to be a storm deck, right? Tendrils of Agony could use a reprint. I suppose the set could be taking a more creature-centric approach to combo decks, with the reveal of Flash as a reprint. Fetching that up with Merchant Scroll sounds reasonable.

With Dark Ritual, Lightning Bolt, and Giant Growth being included, we have to confront the real question: will Healing Salve return? I assume not, because R&D tries to avoid printing four cards of a cycle, and they can’t include Ancestral Recall. Maybe Brainstorm counts as finishing the cycle of boons,? Seriously though, is there a one-mana white spell that gains life and is actually playable? Hallow? Scent of Jasmine? Swords to Plowshares?

Fierce Empath suggests that expensive morph creatures might play a big role. We’ve already seen Akroma, Angel of Fury revealed. Willbender is in M25 too, and while it’s not a combo with Fierce Empath, it is if you play it as a morph the turn after you fetchup a different morph and reveal it. I doubt we’ll see Scornful Egotist, but why not uncommons like Brine Elemental or a downshifted Thousand Winds? Weaver of Lies might be interesting. Hell, I’d take Glacial Stalker! I guess there are some solid green morphs too, like Woolly Loxodon. I doubt we’ll see any megamorphs, though.

What else might be in there? Red looks burn-heavy. Fireblast would be a welcome reprint. If Savannah Lions is coming back at common, why not Jackal Pup too? Speaking of weird damage-linked creatures, what about Boros Reckoner? If so, Blasphemous Act can’t be far behind! I assume we won’t see my old favorite Fissure; but if we do, I hope it includes the original flavor text from the Dark.

How about one more wild guess? What if they reprinted Archive Trap at uncommon? Wouldn’t that be interesting for Limited? How many would you need to draft before you could reasonably hope to win with them? How sweet would it be to drop three Archive Traps on turn two in response to them cracking a Bad River? That’s probably not a great idea, but I know I’m not the only one who would love to have the chance to do that—or at least an excuse on which to blame a trainwrecked draft.

What do you think? We’ll have the full set soon enough. I hope it is a fun set to draft.

Carrie O’Hara is Editor-in-Chief of Hipsters of the Coast.

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