Hey everybody, welcome back to Limited Edition, the article series where I run through a draft with you, showing you all my picks and the reasons behind them.
This week I have another Modern Masters 2017 draft for you. If you read last week's draft, you'll know I did horribly (0-2 drop), so I am certainly hoping to improve this week! I have managed to do a paper draft since last time and went 4-0 (it was a 10 person pod) with green/white (my deck had seven Call of the Conclave!) Let's see what I can manage this week.
Pack 1 pick 1:
This is a horrible pack 1. I took Bone Splinters purely on the fact that it is removal, but there is nothing in this pack I'm happy to first pick. I could have perhaps taken Savage Lands or Izzet Guildgate, but like I said, terrible pack.
Pack 1 pick 2:
This pack is better. There are two cards here I'd be happy to pick: Terminate and Azorius Signet. Terminate is a great, cheap removal spell, while Azorius Signet is mana fixing as well as ramp. In the end I took Terminate solely due to the fact I had first picked a black card.
Pack 1 pick 3:
I've mentioned before that in a draft I like to stay open early, generally just picking the best card in the pack, and in my opinion Sedraxis Specter was it here. It's on colour with my first picks (well, plus blue), and I could see myself being a black/red unearth deck with a blue splash. Vampire Aristocrat and Mudbutton Torchrunner also fit the theme of that deck, but the Specter is just better.
Pack 1 pick 4:
Moroii is a powerful card. The drawback of losing 1 life each turn is real, but a 4/4 flyer for 4 mana is no joke. I also considered Magma Jet but the power of Moroii was just too much to pass up.
Right now I have some powerful cards in Grixis colours, so I'll be looking to go into that archetype if possible.
Pack 1 pick 5:
Agony Warp, Falkenrath Noble, Dragon Fodder and Serum Visions were all considered here. Grixis tends to be a mix of control and sacrifice stuff, so any of those four cards would fit. I picked Agony Warp just because again, it is removal.
Pack 1 pick 6:
The two best cards in this pack for me were Thunderous Wrath and Spell Pierce. I've mentioned before I'm not usually a fan of counterspells in limited, so I took Thunderous Wrath.
Pack 1 pick 7:
Wow, this pack! There were only 2 cards here I did not want, which were the two green ones. The rest would all have gone nicely into my deck. I decided to take Kathari Bomber; it is another flying threat that can come back for more, and is one the opponent has to deal with fairly quickly.
Pack 1 pick 8:
This pick was either Crippling Chill or Forbidden Alchemy. As I already had much better removal spells, I skipped on Crippling Chill and went with Forbidden Alchemy.
We are back to the first pack now, so let's quickly run through the picks:
Pack 1 pick 9:
Pack 1 pick 10:
Spire Monitor is another flying threat, though not as powerful as the others.
Pack 1 pick 11:
Pack 1 pick 12:
Pack 1 pick 13:
Pack 1 pick 14:
Pack 1 pick 15:
15th pick Serum Visions was a surprise.
To recap the pack 1 picks:
I'm reasonably happy so far. I'll need some fixing, but I have a good mix of threats and answers.
Pack 2 pick 1:
Relooking at this pick, I'm not sure if I made the correct one by picking Sever the Bloodline. Sure it is a removal spell, and there are a lot of tokens decks running around, but I'm not sure if I would have been better off picking another Agony Warp or even Opportunity.
Pack 2 pick 2:
This pack really has nothing that thrills me. I could have taken Crippling Chill or Aethertow, but just decided to take Orzhov Signet because why not.
Pack 2 pick 3:
Again, really a nothing pack. (I should point out why Blood Moon is still in this pack: this is a phantom draft). I took a second Spire Monitor.
Pack 2 pick 4:
From rags to riches... this pack had Izzet Guildgate, Rakdos Guildgate and Augur of Bolas I would be happy taking. I decided the blue/red fixing was what I needed most.
Pack 2 pick 5:
This pick should have been Tandem Lookout; my only concern was I didn't have a lot of creatures at this point to pair it with. I took Cower in Fear and am getting quite unhappy about pack 2.
Pack 2 pick 6:
At this stage, as it is looking like I will be Grixis Control with a few end game threats, I was happy to take Wall of Frost. It freezes ground-based attacks in their tracks and buys me time to set up the end game.
Pack 2 pick 7:
It was either Agony Warp or Augur of Bolas and it was close between the two, but I took the removal spell.
Pack 2 pick 8:
We are back to our first pack, so let's run through the picks:
Pack 2 pick 9:
Pack 2 pick 10:
Pack 2 pick 11:
Pack 2 pick 12:
Pack 2 pick 13:
Pack 2 pick 14:
Pack 2 pick 15:
After making some cuts, this is what I have that I will be looking to play:
Pack 3 pick 1:
There were a few cards in this pack I would have been happy picking. Sea Gate Oracle, Falkenrath Noble, Compulsive Research and Soul Ransom are all fine picks for my deck. I went with Sea Gate Oracle for no particular reason.
Pack 3 pick 2:
Night Terrors, Spell Pierce, Soul Manipulation and Izzet Charm were all considered here. I went with Soul Manipulation, not because of it being a counterspell, but instead because I could get one of my threats back if it happened to be killed. The versatility is a big bonus, though, and made it worth the pick.
Pack 3 pick 3:
I'm still looking for more fixing, and Izzet Signet fills that role better than Izzet Guildgate due to it ramping me.
Pack 3 pick 4:
I really wanted to prioritize fixing now, so took Dimir Guildgate over Gifts Ungiven, the other card I was considering.
Pack 3 pick 5:
Not really likely to play Grasp of Phantasms, but I was less likely to play anything else.
Pack 3 pick 6:
Finally, I take a Falkenrath Noble.
Pack 3 pick 7:
Again, not a card I am likely to play, but Crippling Chill is better than the other options here.
Pack 3 pick 8:
This pick was a bit trickier. I would have been happy with either Forbidden Alchemy or Goblin Electromancer, but Grixis Slavedriver is another late-game threat that keeps coming back for more. I ended up taking Slavedriver.
The final picks were:
Pack 3 pick 9:
Pack 3 pick 10:
Pack 3 pick 11:
Got it back anyway, quite happy with this.
Pack 3 pick 12:
Pack 3 pick 13:
Pack 3 pick 14:
Pack 3 pick 15:
This is the deck I ended up with. I have early game defence with Kraken Hatchling and Wall of Frost, plenty of removal, and some must-answer threats. I'm pretty happy, much happier than the deck I drafted last week. Let's see how it goes.
A turn 3 Moroii got me off to a great start in game 1, while my opponent tried to find a way to deal with it. Eventually they were able to Terminate it but by this stage, I had both Spire Monitors on the battlefield. They survived one more turn by blocking one of my flyers with a Falkenrath Noble, but they couldn't find answers and lost.
The first play in game 2 was me casting Night Terrors to reveal my opponent's hand of 3 lands and a Fists of Ironwood. Things didn't get much better after I cast Sedraxis Specter, and they must have drawn more land as they conceded a couple of turns later.
All three games were very close, grindy affairs. Our decks were very similar. I won game 1 when my opponent couldn't find an answer to my turn 4 Moroii, backed up with a Spire Monitor.
In game 2, my opponent found their removal for my early threats, while I couldn't find any. Despite that, I was able to attack them down to 2 life with two Spire Monitors. My opponent answered one, then dealt with the other, plus my Moroii. They were then able to unearth their own Sedraxis Specter and Grixis Slavedriver and, in combination with Gnawing Zombie, overran me.
I couldn't find any threats in game 3, but neither could my opponent. My opponent was drawing removal spells while I was drawing things like Serum Visions and Forbidden Alchemy. When I was able to play threats, my opponent was able to deal with them, while I couldn't do the same to my opponent. I was eventually able to get them down to 6 life, but they stuck more threats than I did and won the game.
Versus: 4 colour (non-black)
Game 1 wasn't great, with my opponent getting off to an aggressive start with the likes of Burning-Tree Emissary and Mogg Flunkies. For my part, all I could find was a pair of Kraken Hatchlings and not much else. My opponent was able to overrun me pretty easily.
Game 2 was a little different, with my opponent stumbling on mana early (after cracking a Misty Rainforest and failing to find, no less). I cast a turn 4 Moroii and quickly ran away with the game.
Game 3 was almost identical to game 1, and went much the same way. I also drew land after land and could not keep up with the flood of creatures.
I'm disappointed with a 1-2 result for this deck as I thought it was better than that. Match 2 could have gone either way, the games were that close, but this one stings a bit. I'm now 1-4 in Modern Masters drafts for my articles, and am not feeling too good about it, to be honest. Still, I'll be back with another one next week, and hopefully this time can do better.
As always, feel free to leave a comment on what you thought of my draft picks.