Stoneforge Mystic never got her time in the Modern spotlight due to a preemptive ban brought on by her dominant time in Standard. Alongside Jace, the Mindsculptor, she was deemed too much for Modern. This upset many people, and there has long been a rallying cry to unban Stoneforge Mystic. However, despite unbanning her partner in crime Jace, Wizards of the Coast has kept her out of the format. Today, Modern Horizons spoilers continued by revealing a new twist on our beloved Stoneforge Mystic’s design: Goblin Engineer.
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Similar, but not the same
If your goal is to tutor out powerful equipment and put it onto the field the next turn, Stoneforge Mystic does that much better than Goblin Engineer. Goblin Engineer has to have an artifact on the field to sacrifice, and the target card has to survive graveyard hate in order to be brought back. In addition to this, one of the most common Stoneforge Mystic plays in Legacy is to go fetch Batterskull — which has a converted mana cost of 5, meaning Engineer can’t grab it. Between the two, it’s no contest. Mystic is far more powerful.
However, Goblin Engineer is what Modern players have been given in her place (presumably). Despite his shortcomings when compared to good ol’ Stoneforge Mystic, Goblin Engineer does something very important: he fetches the Swords of X and Y (shown below).
The three swords shown above are part of a 6-card cycle of swords with similar effects. The protection they provide and their additional abilities make them very strong. However, Modern has never had a reliable way to get them onto the field until now. Goblin Engineer can do it, with the proper setup. The only question is whether this strategy is strong enough to survive Modern’s drag-race style format.
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