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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Nov 30 2017 12:00pm
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By the time you read this, Iconic Masters will have been out for almost two weeks. However, I am writing this article just after it came out, and this is my first draft of the format.

My first impressions of the format is that the colour pairs don't quite look as focused as other Masters sets. Some of the archetypes have clear themes - +1/+1 counters, spells matter, etc. Others, like white/blue and red/white, don't seem to have as much focus. Still, the set looks fun.

Let's get into it. 

THE DRAFT

  Pack 1 pick 1:

  My Pick:

I treat Masters sets a lot like I treat Cube drafts - either take great cards that fit into any deck, or take archetype payoffs in the hope you get there. I considered taking Savageborn Hydra but didn't want to take a gold card this early. My next thought was Azorius Chancery or Golgari Rot Farm - if you haven't played with the bounce lands before, you probably wonder why I'd consider them this early. Hint - they are very good in this type of format. I finally settled on Abzan Falconer, a pay off for the +1/+1 counters theme in white, black and green. 


  Pack 1 pick 2:

  My Pick:

One thing I notice with this pack is there is a lot of cards for the blue/red spells matter deck - Riverwheel Aerialists and Kiln Fiend, and then to a lesser extent Thought Scour and Hammerhand. There is also Izzet Boilerworks, which is what I picked, as I think it is the best card in the pack.


  Pack 1 pick 3:

  My Pick:

I believe Jhessian Thief is the best card in this pack - it really fits into the blue/red deck, which I just passed a bunch of cards for, but I did take the on-colour bounce land for. I remember how good it was in Origins draft, so I was happy to take it here.


  Pack 1 pick 4:

  My Pick:

I wasn't really happy with most of the blue/red cards here, though Bewilder is okay. However, I do like Inspiring Call as a pay off for +1/+1 counters matter decks, and it goes with my first pick. It means I now have two cards for blue/red and two for green/white, so I need to make a decision in the next few picks.


  Pack 1 pick 5:

  My Pick:

Two Kiln Fiend (one foil), Ojutai's Breath and Monastery Swiftspear for the blue/red deck, and nothing for the green/white one. I'm hoping to get one of the Kiln Fiends back, so I took Swiftspear.


  Pack 1 pick 6:

  My Pick:

I didn't need to wait - I can pick up Kiln Fiend now. Mnemonic Wall is also good for the blue/red deck, but I hope I can get that later. There is again nothing for green/white, so I am off that deck and will focus on blue/red spells.


  Pack 1 pick 7:

  My Pick:

Ojutai's Breath is a good tempo card, and works well in the deck I am drafting - it triggers Prowess and Kiln Fiend twice across two turns, and can get blockers out of the way nicely.


  Pack 1 pick 8:

  My Pick:

As above.


  Pack 1 pick 9:

  My Pick:

Aetherize is a good Magic card, but I want to be the one attacking. If I need to cast this card, I am doing something wrong. Instead I took Darksteel Axe which, depending on what else I draft, I may or not play.


  Pack 1 pick 10:

  My Pick:

Hammerhand is a perfect card for this deck, and I happily took it here. I also note that Thought Scour and Kiln Fiend have come back around, so I'm happy to be drafting blue/red.


  Pack 1 pick 11:

  My Pick:

I'm mostly interested in Fury Charm for its middle ability, though the other two modes could actually come in handy against certain decks.


  Pack 1 pick 12:

  My Pick:

I hadn't drafted many creatures up until this point, which is why I took Splatter Thug here.


  Pack 1 pick 13:

  My Pick:

Cheap instants and sorceries (especially cantrips) are key to the deck I am drafting in most cases, which is why I chose Diminish.


  Pack 1 pick 14:

  My Pick:

I doubt I will play Trumpet Blast as I am not really a creature-heavy deck.


  Pack 1 pick 15:

  My Pick:

I don't think I like Mark of Mutiny and doubt I will play it.


  Pack 2 pick 1:

  My Pick:

There are a lot of good cards here for me: Kiln Fiend, Frost Lynx, Ojutai's Breath and Guttersnipe. However, there is also a Fireball. I'm confident that one of the other four will come back to me, and that Fireball will not, so I took Fireball.


  Pack 2 pick 2:

  My Pick:

I considered Phantom Monster for this pick, as it is a good card. However, I really want to make this deck as focused as possible, so I took Tormenting Voice. I am expecting this to be a low curve deck, so discarding lands should not hurt me too much.


  Pack 2 pick 3:

  My Pick:

Kiln Fiend was really the only choice here, so I took it.


  Pack 2 pick 4:

  My Pick:

None of these cards were overly appealing, so I took what I expect to be the best card for me: Magus of the Moon


  Pack 2 pick 5:

  My Pick:

I don't think I really want two of these, but there was nothing else here anyway.


  Pack 2 pick 6:

  My Pick:

I could have taken another Fury Charm, but I'm a little low on creatures. Frost Lynx is a great tempo creature and can help me get damage through, so it's the pick.


  Pack 2 pick 7:

  My Pick:

I didn't want yet another Tormenting Voice, so I took Lightning Helix on the very slim chance that I could splash it. 


  Pack 2 pick 8:

  My Pick:

Trumpet Blast is also not what I want in this type of deck, as it is not really a go-wide strategy and it would not benefit me all that much. So I took Splatter Thug - not a creature I want to necessarily play, but one I might have to if I don't end up with enough.


  Pack 2 pick 9:

  My Pick:

As predicted, both Ojutai's Breath and Guttersnipe came back. I took Guttersnipe. 

The rest of pack two went like this:


  Pack 2 pick 10:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 11:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 12:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 13:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 14:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 15:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Heat Ray was a pretty easy pick for me here. A good, instant-speed removal spell that also triggers my Kiln Fiends and Guttersnipe, it was too goof to pass up.


  Pack 3 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Out of the cards available to me in this pack, Elusive Spellfist is easily the best choice right now. Unblockable with pseudo-Prowess when I cast a non-creature spell, it is a great addition to my deck.


  Pack 3 pick 3:

  My Pick:

I almost took Claustrophobia here, and it probably is the most powerful card for me. But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to use Coordinated Assault in conjunction with Kiln Fiends for a devastating blow to my opponent.


  Pack 3 pick 4:

  My Pick:

Mana Leak was a consideration, but again, I want to be attacking and not defensive. For that reason it may seem like taking Mnemonic Wall is a mistake, but its ability to get back cards like Fireball was just too good to pass up.


  Pack 3 pick 5:

  My Pick:

Izzet Boilerworks is a pretty easy pick for a blue/red deck.


  Pack 3 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Again I considered Phantom Monster, but I realised what I really want are cheap spells, especially cantrips, so Thought Scour become the pick. Triggering prowess and my creatures for one mana while replacing itself is too hard to ignore.


  Pack 3 pick 7:

  My Pick:

I thought about taking Surreal Memoir here, but I'm really not sure how good it is (if you know, let me know in the comments). I took Furnace Whelp instead as an evasive threat.


  Pack 3 pick 8:

  My Pick:

I hope my games don't really go that long, but Riverwheel Aerialists does fit the theme of the deck.


  Pack 3 pick 9:

  My Pick:

This was the only card in the pack for me, so Fury Charm was the pick.


  Pack 3 pick 10:

  My Pick:

Frost Lynx was also a pretty easy pick.


  Pack 3 pick 11:

  My Pick:

It was out of another Kiln Fiend or Ojutai's Breath - I had less creatures than spells at this point so Kiln Fiend won. My remaining picks were:


  Pack 3 pick 12:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 13:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 14:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 15:

  My Pick:

 

THE DECK

I'm fairly happy with how the deck has turned out, I've only got five cheap creatures (two mana or less) which is slightly concerning, but if I can get one-two of them out early then keep my opponent's creatures at bay, I'm confident I can deal a lot of damage in a short space of time. 

THE MATCHES

Round one was against an opponent playing a Temur deck. I never really got to see what it was all about, though, as the match lasted a total of 11 turns as I took it out 2-0. My deck was blistering fast and my opponent was durdling a bit, which led to this blow out.

I lost round two 1-2 to a black/green counters deck. I learned in this match that if I didn't get off to a quick start I was as good as dead; in game 1 I was only able to play a Kiln Fiend early while my opponent powered out creatures thanks to a Wall of Roots. I won game 2, but lost game 3 in the same way as game 1.

Round three I faced off against a blue/red dragons deck. I won the match 2-1, thanks to a sideboarded Mark of Mutiny in game 3 that let me win an incredibly close game by stealing my opponents Hypersonic Dragon.  

CONCLUSION

The deck felt strong and, more importantly, the matches were fun. If you get a chance to try Iconic Masters (if you haven't already), I recommend you do. I'll be back again soon with more limited Magic coverage.