March 28, 2017
The Masterpiece I’m previewing today is a card that’s very dear to my heart and that I’ve played many times in many different decks over the years. I tried to think about a clever way to preview it, but since I failed miserably, I’m just going to show you the card in all its glory:
Cryptic Command is almost the perfect Magic card—it’s a mix of very common, useful modes with rarely used and potential game-breaking combinations. It’s extremely versatile, and I’ve used every combination of modes multiple times—even the very rare “bounce-tap.” It’s also a card that rewards good play, both by giving you a lot of choices and by being hard to play against.
Overall, I’m much happier playing Magic when Cryptic Command is involved, and the fact that I can now have Cryptics with this new sweet layout (which I imagine is the same for all Masterpieces, but works extra well with Cryptic Command because it’s very, well, Cryptic) is a good bonus.
Unfortunately, Masterpieces aren’t legal in Standard, so you aren’t going to have some sweet Gearhulk-Cryptic turns, but the card is still potent in Modern and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to play your new fancy Cryptics. It’s also of course great in Limited, if you happen to be one of the blessed people that open Masterpieces all the time *cough* Shahar *cough*. If you do find yourself with one or more Masterpiece Cryptics, here are some of the decks you can play it in:
If you want the most mainstream option, you can try Corey’s Grixis deck. Team CFB Fire’s Corey Burkhart has been a diehard Grixis fan, and this was the build he piloted for a 19th place finish at GP Vancouver.
If you want a deck that’s still relatively unrepresented but has been rising in popularity recently, you can try Faeries. Here is a list from STLCARDS:
Or, alternatively, you can try UW. UW has almost disappeared from the meta, but from time to time expert pilots still do well with it. As a bonus, UW decks don’t share a lot of cards with other archetypes, so they’re a great choice for Team Modern. This is a UW version that was played by GOTTELICIOUS to a 6-2 finish at the MOCS:
Whatever your choice, I’m sure you’ll have a great time playing Cryptic decks in Modern, and I hope I have the chance to do it soon again.
When you think of the greatest players in the history of Magic, Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa (PV) is near the top of every list. One of the most dominant Magic players in history, the rate at which he has Top 8'd Pro Tours has been truly extraordinary. PV is an international relations graduate who loves to play games—outside of Magic, his favorites include both bridge and League of Legends. PV is well known for writing some of the best Magic theory articles in history, as well as for his deep appreciation of all things chocolate and Disney. His favorite card is Vendilion Clique and his favorite archetype is aggro-control. PV is the captain of Team ChannelFireball Ice, and he hopes to continue his Pro Tour dominance while leading the team.
Eric Froehlich (EFro) has been playing Magic for over 2 decades. He put up his first Pro Tour Top 8 at 18 years old in 2002 before stepping away from the game to pursue a poker career. Success followed, as he managed to capture a pair of World Series of Poker bracelets at the ages of 21 and 22. His return to Magic in 2010 has also worked out well, as he added 3 more Top 8s at the Pro Tour level and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Once known as a Limited specialist, EFro had the best Constructed win percentage on the Pro Tour the year he was elected into the Hall. At his induction ceremony, he got engaged to Magic streamer and Super League producer Athena Huey. The two were recently married near their home in Las Vegas. His favorite card is Shivan Dragon, thanks to the iconic art that helped hook him on Magic. EFro brings his top-level ability to tune decks and analyze Draft formats to the team.
Joel Larsson brings not only incredible Magic talent to CFB Ice, but also incredible style. Once affectionately nicknamed “Swedish Kibler” due to his similarities in looks, hair, and dress to Hall-of-Famer Brian Kibler, Joel quickly proved that he resides in no man’s shadow. Not only does Joel have a 1st and 2nd place finish in just 22 PT appearances, but he also sports 9th, 10th, 11th, and 15th place finishes! Joel is a brewer at heart when it comes to both Magic and in the kitchen—his other true love is food. Limited has always been his forte, but he enjoys piloting aggro-control the most in Constructed, and his favorite Magic card is Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir. Joel brings both his incredible style and results to the team.
Mike Sigrist (Siggy) has been playing Magic since the beginning, but has managed to put up truly impressive results lately. Always regarded as a top player in the game, especially in Limited, Siggy’s re-dedication to Magic demonstrated his excellence in all formats. He was rewarded with a pair of Grand Prix wins, a pair of Pro Tour Top 8s, and a Player of the Year title—all in the same year. Siggy is the father of twin girls, Sofia and Anabella, and spends every spare moment he has with his family. He loves playing flashback Draft formats and Cube. His favorite Magic card is Sneak Attack, and he always enjoys playing combo decks. Siggy brings his considerable experience and drafting prowess to the team.
Ben Stark (BenS) is widely considered to be one of, if not the, best Limited players in the history of Magic. Like many others, he started playing Magic from a very young age and stepped away from the game with a pair of Pro Tour Top 8s. His return was extraordinary as he added two more Top 8s, including a win at Pro Tour Paris. Mentored by many of the game’s historic greats, such as Neil Reeves, Ben’s ability to dissect a Limited format and teach those around him is second to none. In addition to his talent as a Limited player, Ben’s peers regard him as one of the best technical Constructed players in the world. An avid sports fan supporting all Miami teams, you can expect to find him watching sports on TV, playing basketball live, or drafting on MTGO. Ben is a level-3 flavor judge, and it’s well documented that his love of all things Magic lore and flavor is what keeps him coming back for more. Ben’s role is to break down new Limited formats as quickly as possible to aid the team’s testing.
Ondrej Stráský is still fairly new to the Pro Tour, but his results are nothing short of extraordinary. The young Czech player has already finished in the Top 8 of 2 Pro Tours, and in the Top 16 of two more, in only 11 lifetime PTs played. Ondrej hates math and considers himself to be dreadful at it. He once got engaged after a night of intense partying and questionable decision making. His favorite card is Grafdigger's Cage due to its power against the Living End deck. (Don’t ask. Actually, go ahead and ask!) Ondrej is a true Spike and likes playing the best deck in every format, as there is nothing more important to him than having a high win percentage. His win rate is truly remarkable, and Ondrej hopes to add to the fantastic start he’s had to what’s sure to be a great Magic career.