TheWolf's picture
By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Mar 20 2018 12:00pm
0
Login or register to post comments
4575 views


Hello! It's been a while! I took a bit of a break from writing Limited Edition articles to focus on Penny Dreadful for a bit, and also to reevaluate this series. I moved to video content so that I could keep churning articles out, but I feel the series suffered for that. So, I am going back to text for the foreseeable future! In addition, thanks to sstung, it should be a lot easier to see the cards in the packs now - try hovering over the cards to see a larger version. 

Today, we are going to jump into Masters 25. This is my first draft - as I write this, the set has just gone live on Magic Online and I am jumping straight it. Let's see how the set drafts and plays out.

 

Pack 1 pick 1:

My Pick:

If you know anything about me, you'll know this was never going to be any pick other than Lightning Bolt. Besides, it is easily the best card in an otherwise pretty bad pack; my next pick probably would have Man-o'-War. 


Pack 1 pick 2:

My Pick:

This pick was a bit harder. I thought about Ruric Thar, but I'm not really sure how good it is. Looking back, it's probably very good, but it was also gold and I'm not a fan of taking gold cards this early. Other than that, I was looking at three blue cards - Ghost Ship, Man-o'-War and Merfolk Looter. I ended up taking the jellyfish as I quite like that card, though either of the other two would have been good as well.



Pack 1 pick 3:

My Pick:

Another not great pack. I ended up taking Sai of the Shinobi over Nezumi Cutthroat and Griffin Protector, mostly because it was colourless and would allow me to stay open.



Pack 1 pick 4:

My Pick:

A fourth pick Murder is probably a good sign black is open. It was the best card in the pack quite easily, and was an obvious pick.



Pack 1 pick 5:

My Pick:

Nothing in any of three colours I already have that I really want to take in this pack. I feel like Dauntless Cathar was the best card here, so took it. I now have cards from four different colours; I need to start working out what is open and get into those colours.



Pack 1 pick 6:

My Pick:

Hordeling Outburst and a second Dauntless Cathar were what I feel the best cards here. Giant Growth is also good, but I'm not looking for combat tricks yet (and it would put me into a fifth colour). I took the Cathar.



Pack 1 pick 7:

My Pick:

Alright, well now I am taking Hordeling Outburst. There was a Trumpet Blast in the previous pack as well, and I'm hoping that might come back. With the Cathars making tokens and these Goblins, maybe some kind of go-wide aggro deck could work.



Pack 1 pick 8:

My Pick:

If go-wide aggro is a thing, Griffin Protector might be good, especially if I pick up a few more Hordeling Outbursts. There is another one in this pack and, though I won't get it back, it indicates that people aren't taking them. 



Pack 1 pick 9:

My Pick:

Well, now I wish I had have taken Hordeling Outburst last pack. Oh well, this is still good if in conjunction with the other cards I have.



Pack 1 pick 10:

My Pick:

Knight of the Skyward Eye is nothing special with what I am looking to do, but it is a 2/2 for 2 mana which might be okay for what I am looking to do.



Pack 1 pick 11:

My Pick:

I don't want another Griffin Protector, so instead take Savannah Lions. Again, it's an early, aggressive drop that helps with the go-wide plan if that's where I end up.



Pack 1 pick 12:

My Pick:

Skeletonize is not the most efficient removal spell but it also creates a token, so fits the theme. It seems like red/white go-wide is a supported archetype, so let's do this.



Pack 1 pick 13:

My Pick:


Pack 1 pick 14:

My Pick:

Well, this was tricky. I want the Trumpet Blast, but I feel like I can get them late in other packs. Hordeling Outburst is better, so I took it.

Pack 1 pick 15:

My Pick:

Another Knight of the Skyward Eye to round out pack 1.



Pack 2 pick 1:

My Pick:

If this wasn't a phantom draft I probably would have taken Blood Moon, but instead I took a third Hordeling Outburst over Savannah Lions and Whitemane Lion.



Pack 2 pick 2:

My Pick:

Sword to Plowshares is the best removal spell in the game, and it was a no-brainer here.



Pack 2 pick 3:

My Pick:

I'm not sure that I really want a fourth Hordeling Outburst, but I don't think I want any of the other cards here either.



Pack 2 pick 4:

My Pick:

Ok, so we now have a pay off card for this archetype. Kongming, "Sleeping Dragon" is a perfect card for my deck, acting as an anthem for all my 1/1s. This pick makes my deck a lot stronger.



Pack 2 pick 5:

My Pick:

Well, there is obviously diminishing returns on Kongming what with him being a Legend and all, but I'm happy to have two in the deck.



Pack 2 pick 6:

My Pick:

I wonder if Skirk Commando should have been the pick here; instead, I went with Loyal Sentry, which I think was the wrong pick. I took it thinking of the go wide strategy, but I think it was wrong.



Pack 2 pick 7:

My Pick:

I went back and forth on Squadron Hawk and Mogg Flunkies here. If I could pick up another one or two Hawks it would be the better pick, but Mogg Flunkies should never lack for a companion to attack and block with. In the end I went with the Hawk and would look to pick up some more.



Pack 2 pick 8:

My Pick:

It's a two drop, it's unexciting, but I don't think I want Soulbright Flamekin in this deck.



Pack 2 pick 9:

My Pick:

If this wasn't a phantom draft, Blood Moon would not still be here. I'm still not taking it; instead, I will take Savannah Lions.



Pack 2 pick 10:

My Pick:

Both Act of Treason and Disenchant are sideboard cards, and I took Disenchant.



Pack 2 pick 11:

My Pick:


Pack 2 pick 12:

My Pick:

I'm not unhappy to get another one of these late.



Pack 2 pick 13:

My Pick:


Pack 2 pick 14:

My Pick:

Path of Peace is not the greatest removal spell but it is still unconditional removal. For a fourteenth pick, it'll probably make the deck.



Pack 2 pick 15:

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 1:

My Pick:

Welp. You can't see it from above, but the Jace was a foil. Opening this and Rishadan Port in paper would have made me drop from the draft and just take the pack, I think. As it is, I don't want either of them. I also don't want a third Kongming, so end up taking Skeletonize.



Pack 3 pick 2:

My Pick:

I'm not sure what I think of Lunarch Mantle. On the one hand, with all the Goblin tokens I will likely have, the card seems good. On the other hand, it's an Aura in a set with very good removal. I took it (there was nothing else anyway) but I am unsure if I will run it.



Pack 3 pick 3:

My Pick:

I wanted to take Chandra's Outrage here, but I also know this deck really wants a Trumpet Blast. It's likely Trumpet Blast would wheel, but I don't want to risk it; I take it.



Pack 3 pick 4:

My Pick:

Kindle is a decent enough removal spell, especially in multiples; it's the only one I have seen in all the packs though, so someone else might be taking them. Still, I am taking it here.



Pack 3 pick 5:

My Pick:

A 3 powered flyer for 3 mana is pretty decent, though the 1 toughness is concerning. It's still the best pick for me here.



Pack 3 pick 6:

My Pick:

Here is the second Squadron Hawk I have been looking for. I wouldn't have minded Simian Spirit Guide either with all the double-red three drops I have.



Pack 3 pick 7:

My Pick:

This is a nothing pick. It'll go into the sideboard on the off-chance I need it.



Pack 3 pick 8:

My Pick:

A third Griffin Protector is unlikely to make it into the deck as I will be too heavy on four-drops, but I didn't want anything else either.

The rest of the draft went as follows:



Pack 3 pick 9:

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 10:

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 11:

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 12:

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 13:

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 14:

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 15:

My Pick:

Ok, three packs done, let's look at the deck I ended up with:

 

 

I'm pretty happy with how the deck turned out. I have plenty of creatures thanks to the Hordeling Outbursts, and a few anthem effects in the form of the 2 Kongmings and a Trumpet Blast. The mana base is a little wonky; the double-red for Hordeling Outburst meant I really wanted to play 10 Mountains, but I couldn't afford to play only 7 Plains with the 1 drops.

I wasn't happy with how the matches went, however. I went 1-2, winning the first match quite easily, losing the second one badly to an opponent that outplayed me at every turn, and losing the third one due to variance. I ran into the exact problem I was worried about with mana; so many times, in just about all the games I lost except one, it was because I failed to draw a second Mountain. The only time this was not true was in game 3 of round 3. I had my opponent on 1 life, and then drew five land in a row when either of the burn spells or any of the removal would have won me the game. I'm going to count this as a moral 2-1 victory! Unfortunately it's just the way Magic goes sometimes.

Apart from those mana issues, the deck performed exactly as expected. I think if I draft this deck again I will go heavier on red so that I can play 10 Mountains and try to avoid that problem. As for what I faced, my first opponent was a green/blue Timberwolf Pack deck; my second opponent was a black/red control deck with a lot of removal and beefy creatures like Horror of the Broken Lands; and my third opponent was on a green/white deck that utilised a lot of Morph creatures.

That's it from me for this week; I'll be back again soon with another draft!

First Pick, First Pack

If you opened this pack of Masters 25 in a draft, what would you take first?