Driving home after midnight…on the first time I ever drafted Modern Masters. I have come to really look forward to draft in my short career as a Magic player, but I have never been as satisfied as I was tonight!
(Apology, readers. Somehow when I cut and pasted this from my cell phone, the formatting was lost!)
I have spent all week studying tips and things to prepare…and have been feeling a lot of apprehension about taking things like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. I studied the archetypes, and everything. But this draft went way left of any preparation that I made.
As the draft began, I opened my first pack, and went to the rare. It was Wildfire. Not a card I am too crazy about. Behind it where the basic land normally is was a foil Ulamog’s Crusher. I opted to pass the crusher…good move! (In Modern Masters, no basic lands are released…instead foils are substituted.)
I know the guy beside me was going to draft black…he always does. I fretted about this, hoping to draft Black/Green sacrifices. But to my surprise, he passed me Profane Command! Wow! I had this card already, but in my studies of the set this week, this card was easily in the top three of everyone’s picks. (Later he told me he took a foil All is Dust…) I mention this because it was indeed a defining moment for the rest of the night.
I felt crazy, picking cards from the first pack. I grabbed a black and green card here and there, but nothing seemed to synergistic. And as pack 1 rounded out, I had no idea what direction I was heading.
The summary of pack 2 was Dark Confidant! I seemed to be seated firmly into black anyways! More about this card later. Pack two had me seeing Skyreach Manta and Etched Monstrosity. As pack two wrapped up, I felt even more confused. Sure I had the Command and Dark Confidant, as well as a few big bombs. But my colors weren’t lining up to the archetypes of the draft…My thought was…I will pull something out of pack 3 that will glue this deck together.
Pack 3…The rare was Karn, Liberated. I had to take him! I snatched another Skyreach Manta, and knew I was going to pull together a FIVE COLOR DECK! It became my mission to find some fixers…find a little more removal…and to get some chumps. (I was light on chumps.)
Because my bombs were colorless…five colors worked out for me. I also had Matca Rioters, which is just as good as Tarmogoyf if you are playing five colors! Because I had Gorehorn Minotaurs, a card I knew would be a winner in a deck with good flyers like Skyreach Manta, I decided my primary color would be black, secondary color red, and then splash the other colors. It helped that my two bounce lands were blue.
My deck looked like….
Simi Growth Chamber
2 Viashino Slaughtermaster
2 Skyreach Manta
2 Sylvan Bounty
SIGNIFIGANT SIDEBOARD CARDS
Blades of Velis Vel
Sphere of the Suns
I have never, ever felt like I have put together a more fun deck.
A little talk about how this deck really worked. The Basic Landcycling on Sylvan Bounty and Fiery Fall were partially the “glue” that held this thing together…I like to say they were the oil in the machine…they kept it fluid and going. I only casted Fiery fall once to do five damage to a creature.Early game I would mulligan if I didn’t have anything to play …. if my land didn’t match up or there were no chumps, for instance. The only exception being if I could land cycle or pop Expedition Map. I also was on the draw whenever possible. I knew this deck would amount to control until I had as many colors available as possible.
Dark Confidant is a beast…he is also painful. More than once did he bring me to a low life total. One opponent foolishly didn’t block him after seeing Skyreach Manta burn me for five…(YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, A.F.!) Thought cast was a real thing all night, but I had none…Dark Confidant filled that card advantage spot for me. However, usually I would side him out after the first game. I felt a little uneasy with ulamog’s Crusher and Karn Liberated in the deck, and had to sigh a sigh of relief a couple of times when I revealed a basic land. I generally sided him out for Blades of Velis Vel.
Karn Liberated just wins. Period! The one time that I was able to cast him, I targeted and exiled a Pelakka Wurm. The game ended before I had the chance to ultimate him. I never realized until today why he was so expensive? Now I know!
Etched Monstrosity…When I drafted this…I thought “No way I will EVER get to draw three cards with this.” I was wrong…I casted him twice…the first time he died to removal. The second time I removed those -1/-1 counters and drew three cards, then Cast Profane Command, making him unbloackable and burning the opponent for the win!
Tribal Flames…A nuts card in a deck with lots of different basic land on the battlefield.
Savage Twister…My only sweeper. This card worked miracles against loaded board states. And since Skyreach Manta and Gorehorn Minotaurs are as big as 5/5, I usually killed all of my opponents cards and had things still standing.
Skyreach Manta and Matca Rioters were two early/midgame cards that were very annoying to my opponents. The Manta was usually at least a 4/4, and the Matca Rioters as well.
Remember how I Profane Command-ed my opponent…Banefire does about the same thing. My opponent tried to counter it, but there is a line of text that says “If X is greater than five, Banefire cannot be countered.” (GG, C.M.!)
Viashino Slaughtermaster was generally an early chump in my deck, but if I was able to get Blades of Velis Vel on him in game two, my opponent would start to panic. The double strike makes them refrain from blocking, and then because I wasn’t playing “pump spells” in game one, they just didn’t see it coming. This was on Turn 4 agains M. I was able to activate the pump ability on the card, as well as cast the blades. This brought 8 damage. And then he said on the next turn “I have had quite enough of that!” and removed him. Good move for him, because I had another blades in my hand…
Gorehorn Minotaurs was also really good. All week I saw this card on lists for fun in draft. Because Skyreach Manta Gust Skimmers had such reliable evasion, I never casted him without triggering Bloodthirsty, making him yet another 5/5 for them to deal with.
I wished I could have casted Profane Command more often, and I never casted Mana Leak even once. I only sided in Blades of Velis Vei, Sphere of the Suns, (which was countered once.) And Plagued Rusulka, which never saw play. The only time I casted Ulamogs’s Crusher, I wound up blocking the same card on the other side. It didn’t hurt me to sacrifice Reassembling Skeleton and the card that was tapped down with Narcolepsy!
My feelings about tonight are really good! I was ranked 14 at the end of round 4, and know I must have moved up to ten or eleven after winning my final match of the evening. But the store owner at The Tangled Web said “You pulled Dark Confidant and Karn, Liberated, so you really won!” He was right! I would have never purchased Dark Confidant, a card that stays around $80, and have passed up on Karn Liberated before when I build an artifact deck…because his price is generally about $40. Was it worth the $35 gamble for this draft…absolutely, at least for me!
Based on my feelings about drafting Modern Masters 2015, I give the set a 5/5! What are your feelings, oh Hub City Geeks? Leave some comments!