The Magic 2010 Core Set That Could’ve Been

27a_m10_spys5Warning: Again spoilers about reprints in the Core Set.

Not every Core Set is going to be great. Sometimes Wizards puts in cards that go great in the environment, other times, you think a rare is so good, then you never play it for two years.  I’m not talking about money spike rares that you have to play with to win, but sometimes even they don’t cut it in the environment (See: Troll Ascetic).

But sometimes you’re tired of seeing the same rares over and over again in the card pool and no one plays them. Sure there will be those people that do play the decks and that’s who you have to consider, but sometimes even they don’t have a need for 5 Flying Carpet decks.

With M10 adding new cards and throwing some repeats in there, I was tired of seeing some of the same rares over and over. So I thought, “What if they replaced a previously used rare with one that hasn’t been printed in a Core Set before?” Brilliant! So, as we say goodbye to the old Core Set and Hello to M10, I want to toss out some rares that have been printed at least twice in the Core Sets and throw in new rare cards that haven’t got the second chance that I believe they deserve.


I agree that Mesa Enchantress should be in the Core Set (plus I was really high on this card for Planar Chaos) and no other white cards have been reprinted.  But, I wanted the list to be ten cards added in, so I chose a White enchantment that would see some play again.

Solitary ConfinementNothing Out -> Solitary Confinement

Why: White is the champion of trying to protect itself and what better way of doing that then putting yourself in a bubble? While this enchantment would slow down the game a little (and who wouldn’t be opposed to that at the moment?), it would allow control decks to prosper a little better after WoG and Cryptic Command leaves. Plus, it would have White with a marquee control card for M10.

Other Possibilities: Pristine Angel, Promise of Bunrei, Reverence


As with the post Core Sets, Blue has tried to been toned down. Of course, we all know how well that works once the new blocks are released, but that’s besides the point. I know that blue needs to be put in it’s place, but let’s have a little fun here.

Fact or FictionPolymorph -> Fact or Fiction

Why: I’m completely serious. First, even though Polymorph “changes” one creature to another, it should be 2RU instead of 3U (Red is the random next creature it would be). Second, Fact or Fiction this time would be a rare and you would still be glad to see it come back. It’s a good Spike card but it’s one of those skill intensive cards that help take players to the next level of understanding the game and card choices. This time it will only be in for a year for Standard (Core Sets rotating every year now) and would Extended still play it? To this date, Wizards has not reprinted a card that is restricted in Vintage (came close for Crop Rotation when it was restricted) so besides being powerful, Fact or Fiction just might not see print. While last time I said that Counterspell shouldn’t be reprinted (and it shouldn’t), this on a different power level of playing cards. It doesn’t cheat cards into play (and it helps with Unearth, which is in Blue), and could draw a random number of cards (this time, not a red ability). I would love to see it back in a whole new environment.

PiracyTraumatize -> Piracy

Why: For the first time since Revised (when I started playing) Millstone is not in the Core Set. We know Wizards is still kind of allowing mill decks to see some play so taking out Traumatize might be a bad choice, but it has been reprinted twice. Piracy, on the other hand, is complete Blue, allowing to use other player’s lands for your own use. It is sorcery so it can’t be used like Misblind Clique and it’s only been printed in the Starter sets. Bring in a new card most players haven’t seen and make for some crazy multiplyer/2HG games.

Other Possibilities: Last Word, Pulse of the Grid, Stifle


One of the few cards I hate seeing reprinted is back, again. Usually when I switch cards out I like to stay with the same card type, but I took out one more creature and added a sorcery that people might like in here. Am I powering up Core Sets? You bet!

MutilateHypnotic Specter -> Mutilate

Why: I better in flavor card for Black then Damnnation, Mutilate would bring back Mono-Black Control by itself. Hippy’s had a nice few years being back in the turn of things and it saw some play, but it’s time for it to ride off into the sunset again and wait for nostalgia to come back. Looking at the cards in M10, you wouldn’t know that Black is the king of killing creatures and this card would cement in player’s heads that notion. Plus, it would encourage mono0color play, something that hasn’t been seen in a while.

Laquatus’s ChampionNightmare -> Laquatus’s Champion

Why: Nightmare is a cute card, but it doesn’t belong in the Core Set. People who want to have nightmares can find them easily, plus the art isn’t as cool as the original Mellisa A. Benson “I’m a Horse and I’m on Fire, who do you think you are” art that should be painted on the hood of a 80’s corvette.  Wizards, please please please let this card go. In it’s place, a card that have make new players go “wow!” It can be hit by Lightning Bolt (learn about Regeneration) and it’s something that might see some serious play, but at least players will be building decks around it. I have never seen a Nightmare deck in casual play, and I don’t remember the last time anyone played it in draft. I could be wrong, but I think it’s time to put it out to pasture.

GuiltfeederRoyal Assassin -> Guiltfeeder

Why: Give the assassin a break for a while. It was the first rare I ever pulled (revised) so it’s not like I’m being mean here. Icy Manipulator isn’t in M10, so it lost it’s main purpose besides being a “wall.” Guiltfeeder is an interesting card to play and it allows fun decks to be played with it. It would be a monster in draft and wouldn’t change Standard too much, if at all. Let the new kids try out some fun stuff like this as it’s very flavorful.

Other Possibilities: Death Cloud, Nether Spirit, Skeletal Vampire, Unliving Psychopath


Only one card here, and I bent the rules a little.

Thoughts of RuinWarp World ->Thoughts of Ruin

Why: Warp World has always been in print since it first came out so I thought it was in two Core Sets, but only just one (before M10). Red has one new random card in the set (Capricious Efreet) and if they wanted a second, my vote would be Confusion in the Ranks. I figured that Red needs a heavy hitter (besides Ball Lightning and Earthquake). Thoughts of Ruin isn’t like Armageddon, it can be variable (see: random which fits the Red requirement besides the blowing up land part), and most of the time Red players aren’t going to keep 7 cards in their hand (unless it was a control Red deck, and those are fun to play). It’s an interesting trade-off to try and destroy as many lands and could be a good card. It’s not as unfun since the players get to choose which lands they sacrifice.

Other Possibilities: Confusion in the Ranks, Fiery Gambit


Green, the color of creatures. So why not have the cards it’s replacing help out creatures?

GenesisElvish Piper -> Genesis

Why: I got rid of the two ways to cheat Darksteel Colossus into play cheap from M10 (this and Polymorph). My fault? Not really, both of these card can be traded/bought pretty cheaply (five printings for Elvish Piper, still no serious play). Instead of putting a creature into play easily, how about getting one back from the grave? Genesis is pretty good all by himself, but it’s in a creature friendly color that people what their fatties back. It might see play as a 1 or 2 of, but casual will run it all the time. You still get to cheat something with creatures, but now it’s from a different direction.

BeaconMight of Oaks -> Beacon of Creation

Why: Another card that promotes mono-color play that creates creatures (better than Howl of the Night in terms of creature type and cost/effect of spell). While Might of Oaks does create a nice combo with Rafiq of the Many, we’ve seen Might of Oaks plenty of times before. Three of the five beacons saw print in Xth (and Blue gets Time Warp in M10) while Green gets a card like beacon, only not. Wouldn’t Green/White Tokens be fun (Yes, Howl of the Night works with the new wolf lord, but Beacon is still better)?

Other Possibilities: Caller of the Claw, Eternal Witness, Vinelasher Kudzu


Last one. Promise.

Solemn SimulacrumCoat of Arms -> Solemn Simulacrum

Why: With the new dual lands you think this would be an easy fit. It’s great at card advantage and teaching players to think about mana bases. Coat of Arms has seen print through 2 creature blocks, saw a little play, but now it’s time to let it sit for a while. Solemn will see play(funny how it was supposed to be a UG creature and the major deck that played it was UG) from kitchen tables to the red zone. It’s a good card and needs its time to shine once again.

Other Possibilities: Lodestone Myr, Silent Arbiter, Stuffy Doll

And that’s it for now. You guys have any suggestions? Either comment down below to tweet it on Twitter (

One thought on “The Magic 2010 Core Set That Could’ve Been”

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