Personal Tutor
Personal Tutor

Personal Tutor – Commander Masters

Date Reviewed:  August 7, 2023

Constructed: 4.00
Casual: 3.75
Limited: 3.00
Multiplayer: 3.38
Commander [EDH]: 3.75

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below: 


I think there are a lot of things that people could learn from cards like Personal Tutor, assuming they were inclined to. It’s “strictly worse” than at least one older card, yet still incredibly powerful. Its effect is nominally restrictive, but still gives you both a deckbuilding direction and strategic flexibility. Its power is contextual, but consistently desirable. I think people need to spend a lot less time thinking about playing a deck perfectly (which is impossible anyway) and about stacking their deck with upsides, and more about what they can do with the cards at hand. A card like Personal Tutor forces you to think about that in one form or another, and the fact that it gets some play in eternal formats shows that it does so very well.

Constructed: 4
Casual: 4
Limited: 3
Multiplayer: 3.5
Commander [EDH]: 3.5

 James H. 


Commander Masters brought an interesting mix of reprints and new cards, and one of them that’s especially intriguing is a reprint of a mostly obscure card from Portal. It’s a card that sort of slots into the same niche Imperial Seal did, in being a “bad” version of a good card that’s still quite good.

Personal Tutor was a retooled version of Mystical Tutor from Mirage, reschooled to suit the limitations of Portal. The Portal sets were set to be a simplified version of Magic, with mostly only sorcery-speed options, and so Personal Tutor is a sorcery that fetches other sorceries to the top of your library. Mystical Tutor, fittingly, is a banned card in nearly every format, but Personal Tutor is actually not banned or restricted, and it sees play in Legacy as a one-mana way to help set up for Doomsday combo in the format.

Personal Tutor is a bad version of a card strong enough to be banned, and that fittingly gives it enough room to have its own niche. It’s not fast enough for most decks that can’t take advantage of what it offers; the strength of the Mirage tutors is their ability to be played as a sort of reactive measure to prepare an answer, and the Portal tutors are generally a bit slower than most decks would like. But when you have no other ways to dig out a needed spell for one mana, a spell like this will do the job.

Constructed: 4 (weaker than most tutors, but strong enough to have a role)
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 3 (relies on having a spell you need to dig out, but it’s cheap enough to not be an issue)
Multiplayer: 3.25
Commander [EDH]: 4 (more tutors help consistency, and a one-mana tutor has enough of a niche to get there)

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