A new format has arrived: Premodern! You can check out the official site here. It has been getting some attention lately, and those of us who enjoy Legacy, Vintage, and Old School might find some interest in the new format.

Premodern’s card pool consists of all sets that were standard legal between 1995 and 2003 (so portal and promo cards are not legal). Unlike some versions of Old School you can play any printing of the cards—it does not have to be printed in that area as long as the card itself is legal. The format was created as a way to play a static format with cards that people are nostalgic for, but aren’t good enough to see play in other formats. 

The ban list currently has 32 cards. It includes cards like Earthcraft, Entomb, Show and Tell, Tendrils of Agony, Time Spiral, Grim Monolith, Mana Vault, Force of Will, and Brainstorm. Most of them are pretty obvious cards to ban that I doubt most people would be surprised by. There is also a watch list for cards that aren’t banned currently but are at risk of being banned at some point in the near future. (Right now the only card on that list is Yawgmoth’s Bargain.) I really love this concept and wish that it’s something WOTC would consider enacting because to me, it lets me know that they’re paying attention. 

Premodernmagic.com does a great run down of the format, even including some deck lists like Bargain Storm, Four-Color Control, Elves, Goblins, Lands, Mud, and Reanimator. The format so far seems fairly diverse with lots of fun options, though to be fair it’s only in its infancy. If you’ve been missing cards you played with long ago, or cards you love that don’t quite make the cut for your Legacy deck, this is a great casual format for you. The people managing the format seem to be doing a great job of curating it. They are being public about which cards may or may not get banned, and have been careful to try to create a diverse format. Old school only has two sets, but it features many powerful decks. I hope that we see the same type of diversity in Premodern.

Metalworker is legal in the format, so I’m sure it surprises no one that I’m very interested doing that. With eternal getting so expensive, it’s important to me to find some affordable formats where I can still play my favorite cards. I’m normally pretty sceptical of new formats, but I’m actually pretty excited for Premodern and think it has potential to be popular if only for the nostalgia factor.

The format has been gaining attention. If you’re interested in playing Premodern, the official site has links to several Facebook groups, a Discord server, and even a group for playing over Skype. If you live in an area that supports eternal formats, like I do, you might be able to convince a local store to pick the format up!

Kate hails from Worcester MA and also does a bit of card altering. Check her stuff out on Facebook! She mainly plays legacy and modern though will occasionally find herself playing EDH.

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