MSEM2 Breakdown 14/05/19: Introducing MSEM2 & Villany

Hey guys, Sushi here! Today is going to be a little different, as we have a completely differential topic in the SparkHouse today! (Does that work, SparkHouse?)
Anyway! Today I am going to be writing about Magic Set Editor Modern, a format made completely out of Player Created (or Custom) Magic Cards – through the program Magic Set Editor (which I highly recommend checking out and joining the MSE discord – thanks to them for helping me get started with this article), and a card that is very relevant in the format currently; a card that won the last MSEM2 Grand Prix (which I had to sadly drop out of due to personal issues).

But first…

What is MSEM2?:

Magic Set Editor Modern 2 is a format which was specifically created to utilise onlycards made in Magic Set Editor in a competitive format. As of right now, there are over 25 sets in MSEM2, with a miniscule amount of WOTC Modern reprints – creating a completely unique competitive setting. Sets may be submitted by anyone, and are reviewed strictly by the MSEM Council – with a vote being conducted every 3 months through the council. There is a lot of quality control – to ensure that only the highest quality of custom cards are in MSEM; it honestly shows! As a custom card amateur designer, I honestly dream of making cards on the same level as the cards that get submitted into the format. However, the sets that enter the format aren’t decided by experience – rather play-ability and the fit into the format. Anyone can design for MSEM, and there is a lot of support within the MSE Discord server for new designers who aspire to be a part of it! If that interests you, check out the “Submitting Sets to MSEM2” section on the “Joining MSEM” page on their website!

There are frequent tournaments held for MSEM too! Weekly single elimination tourneys called ‘Skirmishes’ take place, and there is a cycle of ‘Grand Prixs’ – complete with the City Name (Although you don’t have to fly out to these ones, as they’e held online). If this interests you, then check out the ‘Joining MSEM‘ page and the ‘Tournament Info‘ page on their website – I couldn’t explain how to join better than the website itself!

Grand Prix Verona is currently underway, with today’s Featured Card – Villany – appearing in multiple decklists!

The Epitome of Machiavellianism:

Villany is essentially a card that encourages spellslinging, invasive removal and hand attacking, and gives grievous amounts of card advantage if played correctly, while essentially being a Harvester of Souls with a Yawgmoth’s Bargain downside that is immune to edicts and creature removal – all for the cost of 3 Black Mana. Yeah, this card is nuts.

Designed by Pipsqueak, Villany earned a Champion card at GP St Gallen – its creator had earned it a spot in the MSEM ‘Hall of Fame’

This card has finished the last two MSEM GPs in the winning deck, with FifthDragon creating the winning deck of Grand Prix Ulaanbaatar (the capital of Mongolia) around this card. It is a true black card, with the idea that any means can be used to get to power (hence the header of this section). I think that Fifth’s GP Ulaanbaatar decklist honestly shows the potential of building around the deck in MSEM – which I think I will be having a shot at in time for Grand Prix W (unnamed as of right now).


Creature (8)
4x Jara Champion
2x Kurayami Ronin
2x Lady Genvieve of Caulder

Planeswalker (6)
4x Zetla, the Dragon’s Voice
2x Kalemn Weller

Instant (9)
2x Engrave
4x Memento Mori
3x Blood Frenzy

Sorcery (11)
4x Stolen Secrets
2x Honorless Offering
2x Soul Release
1x Lost Memories
2x Deceitful Tutor

Enchantment (4)
4x Villainy

Land (22)
4x Wayfarer’s Shrine
4x Crumbling Precipice
4x Shardstone Rift
1x Moon of the Encroaching Night
3x Halskrow Street Gallows
5x Swamp
1x Mountain

Sideboard (15)
4x Wave of Decay
3x Lucien, the Grifter
2x Duress
2x Just Business
2x Fateshaper
2x Flesh to Rot

The deck honestly is superb, using Villany to turn cards such as Memento Mori and Engrave into draw machines, and turning Lost Memories and Soul Release into lifedraining machines. Lady Genevive is another way to draw cards from an early stage, and Jara Champion turns a lot of the damage into +1/+1 counters. Kalemn Weller is essentially Liliana of the Veil in this case, but better! Card advantage is everything to this deck, as you can just push spells out for direct damage, and can adapt to many match situations. Villany is the core to this deck – and for 3 black mana I think that it works very well.

Fifth’s deck was unbeaten at GP Ulaanbaatar – going 4-0 and only dropping a single game in the whole tournament – against Kaiyu’s ‘Fated Champion’ deck. I would honestly say that it’s dominating MSEM right now, and I don’t see that as a bad thing. Maybe it’s just me, but cards like Villany are, in my opinion, part of what makes WOTC’s Modern so great – Tron and Phoenix are currently hugely popular but there’s ways to beat both, and so even the £30 deck which little Timmy is bringing to his first FNM could beat one of those decks. Could. Especially with Nature’s Claim in MSEM – as one of the only non custom cards in the whole format – Villany isn’t completely unstoppable.
But it’ll take a damn lot of courage to step up against it.

Thank you so much for reading this! Disagree with anything I said in this article? Comment below, or tweet me @sushiske on twitter, or the MTGSpark twitter @sparkmtg. I’m still getting used to MSEM as a format, and so it would be awesome if people would leave constructive feedback as to what I could do to improve these types of articles, as they really fascinate me! To anyone who just found out about MSEM and is interested, I hope to see you around the community! But anyway, thanks for reading!
– Sushiske

Correction: 14/05/19
Pipsqueak from the MSE/MSEM Discord Server corrects that Villany in fact won GP U and GPU S, and burn won at GPU T.
Challonge doesn’t include the single elimination portion either, so all statistics in this were from the group stage of the GP.

– Sushi

Just love Magic tbh!
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