Eternal Central: Introducing Middle School


tl;dr: New format with:

  • 4th edition to Scourge (AKA Ice Age up until original border died)
  • Mana Burn
  • Damage on the stack
  • Wishes can get exiled cards
  • This banned list

@thecravenone hoping for a MM-Scourage format to pick up sometime

This is very interesting when compared to Premodern that has been getting a small buzz. ( Comparing the two formats Middle School has a very different approach to the banned list than Premodern took and I absolutely love that they allow the World Champion gold-bordered cards. When a format is pretty much going to be unsanctioned for a while, there is no reason to barrier things that are still playing with a Wizard's product.

Here is how the two ban lists differ and it makes it such a vastly different format even though the two of them have for the most part the same set legalities. Comparing the banned lists and omitting the cards they have in common we have a very interesting difference in the formats:

-Middle School-

Dark Ritual
Lion’s Eye Diamond
Mana Crypt
Yawgmoth’s Bargain


Black Vise
Force of Will
Frantic Search
Grim Monolith
Land Tax
Mystical Tutor
Show and Tell
Tendrils of Agony
Time Spiral
Worldgorger Dragon

Middle School attacked fast mana (while strangely leaving Grim Monolith unbanned) while Premodern looks to nip any combo nonsense in the bud since they don't allow Force of Will while still letting you use Dark Ritual and Lion's Eye Diamond. Storm is tougher as well since Premodern players have only Brain Freeze and Hunting Pack to kill with. Necropotence being legal is interesting but with no Dark Ritual to power it out, it seems like it would be more of a controlling card rather than something you slam down on turn 1 to win on turn three after drawing 8 for two turns in a row.

All in all this is definitely something I'll be interested in seeing where it goes and how different it is going to be from the semi-established Premodern. Force of Will changes a ton of things so who knows!

last edited by SamuelA

It is worth mentionning also that Portal sets are allowed which on top of my head allows:

Imperial Recruiter for Aluren
Personal Tutor for ?

Very interesting format anyway. i think they complete each other with Premodern.

This format sounds great! I'm very much a gameplay > aesthetics kind of guy, and this format certainly hits the sweet spot when it comes to format size. With all printings being legal it's much more inclusive as well, and feels much more like a celebration of Magic's past rather than Old School's snooty luxury persona. I'll be brewing this format for sure, and I hope it takes off!

I am happy to talk about decks and also why we made the choices we did on the ban list (I was involved in a lot of the testing of the format). It is a pretty great format that hits those of us with nostalgia that starts just a little later than old school. Definitely some of the most ridiculous magic i have played in the last couple years has been middle school.

Really looking forward to putting together my old Rock and slivers decks. Gonna be a bit painful without dual lands but I'm sure the mana is there!

I was also involved in testing Middle School. It's a blast, and I am blown away by the amount of variety in the format.

@monkey_island said in Eternal Central: Introducing Middle School:

It is worth mentionning also that Portal sets are allowed which on top of my head allows:

Imperial Recruiter for Aluren
Personal Tutor for ?

Very interesting format anyway. i think they complete each other with Premodern.

Yep. Stompy gets Jungle Lions, and black gets Hymn to Tourach (Anthologies!). I'm curious to see if there is some sort of turbo-fog deck with Time Warps (Time Warp, Temporal Manipulation, Capture of Jingzhou).


Oh man, the kill with Aluren+Recuiter is so Janky.

Recruiter gets Man'o'War, bouncing Recruiter, which then gets Cavern Harpy, which then gets Spike Feeder (or any lifegain dude, really).

I want to play this disaster so badly.

Have a few HyperExtended decks that improve in the switchover, given that most tutors are restricted there.

Gonna get Weird with it.

0_1540415889485_Screen Shot 2018-10-24 at 5.17.15 PM.png

Exploring a 4 Necro world excites me. I like that Black Vise is there to balance it somewhat.

Wonder is psychatog is strong enough.

@neo_altoid you have infinite life. what then?

I kinda wish Mind's Desire wasn't banned (since it WAS legal in extended as a 4-of) and there's no format you can play it in as a 4-of. I might be biased but it's probably one of the funnest cards you can play, and I wonder how busted it really is. Maybe you wouldn't mind the question @garbageaggro ?

That being said a 4x Necropotence format is definitely intriguing as hell for me.

last edited by Hrishi

@mediumsteve when i googled jungle lions i found this
Jungle lions cant 'intercept'
Love that. 😃 ..... intercept!

Nostalgia reading those articles. Oh yes definitely loving those old extended than vintage now.

last edited by covetousrat

@neo_altoid You can do that one, or ghitu fireslinger, or maggot carrier with one of the life gain when a dude enters cards. The green dude that draws a card when you play a beast is pretty important i think.

@hrishi We have talked about desire a couple times. We just removed a couple other cards before formalizing the format, and wanted to make sure those were cool first (gush and monolith) both seem ok, but we wanted a little time before we let mind's desire free since both those cards could help it.

I think there is a chance it gets unbanned, but we need to figure out how fast it is relative to the rest of the format.

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