CardName – Doctor Who
Date Reviewed: October 20, 2023
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I was just recently lamenting the lack of full-art creatures in recent sets, in the vein of the original Nessian Courser from Future Sight and his friends, as well as the concurrent fact that some of the ones they have done are completely inappropriate for it (Omnath). But the extended art treatment has grown on me, and I can get behind it as a compromise in an age with fewer vanilla creatures. The Master is downright ominous regardless of which version you consider.
His ability is also very effective at suggesting complex plots and multi-part schemes, because he’s certainly not the sort of card you just slot into any kind of deck. His copy ability is powerful but somewhat restricted – you generally can’t use it to get a second copy of the creature he exiles. But he is one of the cheapest Clone effects out there, and if the creature you chose was mainly appealing for a comes-into-play ability, it might not really matter that you don’t have both at once. I also can’t help but notice that he interacts with the Battle for Zendikar Eldrazi who want you to return cards from exile to your graveyard, like Blight Herder. That’s a pretty obscure interaction and might not be the main thing players want to do, but I’d be surprised if there isn’t something else hiding out in Magic’s archives that wants to be played alongside him.
With appropriate apologies if I get this wrong, the Master is the chief recurring antagonist of Doctor Who, in direct opposition to the Doctor and their myriad forms. Much like the good Doctor, the Master assumes different forms periodically, which is captured here nicely.
The Master, Formed Anew is an interesting sort of puzzle to solve…useless on his own, but impressive with set-up. You exile a creature you control and take their form…which might pair quite well with things like stealing effects, to steal their creature and then keep it forever. And if he dies…well, he can just come back again, be it with the same body or a different one.
I think the value here is that he can, as a Commander, basically be any creature you want to repeatedly have access to, something with a comes-into-play trigger or something bigger. Interacting with exile is rare enough that, once something’s an option, it’ll stay that way. He’s not a simple card to play, and I’m not sold on him doing enough in Legacy quickly enough, but he is versatile if nothing else.
Casual: 3.75 (definitely needs more care and thought to make work)
Multiplayer: 3.5 (pairs very well with being able to “borrow” other forms)
Commander [EDH]: 3.75 (might be better if he was in red, since that’s the color of taking things temporarily, but there’s plenty he can do with your things and with those of others)
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