Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success! Modern Masters 2017 is in full swing and I'm quite excited for the spoilers that have been coming out. Good value at the rare slot means that it's not as much as a feel bad when opening/drafting the set given the high price point for booster packs. I will do be doing Modern Masters 2017 drafts when they come out on Magic Online but I'm not sure how many I'll do. They will replace Aether Revolt drafts in this column, but likely for only two weeks. I'll still be running Aether Revolt Sealed Leagues alongside the drafts so that'll stay the same (unless sealed leagues are a thing). Let's take a look at the upcoming schedule:
Aether Revolt Draft #5, Aether Revolt Sealed League #2 videos, Aether Revolt Sealed League #3 video
Aether Revolt Draft #6, Aether Revolt Sealed League #2 videos, Aether Revolt Sealed League #3 videos
Aether Revolt Draft #7, Aether Revolt Sealed League #3 video, Aether Revolt Sealed League #4 video, possible MM2017 review
Aether Revolt Draft #8, Aether Revolt Sealed League #3 videos, Aether Revolt Sealed League #4 videos
Whether or not I do a review for Modern Masters 2017 is still up in the air. With a lot of mana fixing it's hard to pass up the opportunity to draft 3+ color good stuff, which makes a review a little less useful since it would be a review focusing on the various two color pairs. As more and more of the set is revealed I'll see whether or not I want to do a review. Until then however, let's open some packs!
Aether Revolt Draft #5
As I explained in the video, the idea was to draft a red aggressive deck to see if my paper draft results would translate to Magic Online. The basic concept is that the format is about attacking, while blocking leaves you in a disadvantage. Most creatures aren't very strong in Aether Revolt so trying to block with them is a bit more difficult than one would imagine. There's also a fair amount of combat tricks/removal that leave you a little vulnerable when trying to block. If you take Aether Chaser for example, would you block an attacking Aether Chaser into your 3/3 while they have open mana? If they have a pump spell or Shock, then you're in a bad spot if you block. They get to trade up on mana efficiency and still progress their board if they have a 2 mana play.
Things started out perfectly with a pick 1 Quicksmith Rebel that allows your Aether Chaser Servos to be even better than they are already. Back to back Aether Chasers and a Shock that tabled from my first pack meant that red was going to be open this draft. Oddly enough, red dried up a bit in pack 2, but that gave me time to pick up green cards to go along with the red I already had. I didn't have to be deep red in order to make the deck work, I just needed a good number for 2 and 3 drops to make the strategy work. Overall the deck I ended up drafting I was happy with, but it wasn't necessarily the best I've seen. I had to play some mediocre cards to keep the curve the way I wanted it but there's nothing I could have done about that.
I got a 3-0! The games ended up going the way I had hoped they would with me curving out, putting on pressure and backing it up with removal. Embraal Gear-Smasher and Quicksmith Rebel gave the deck the reach it needed to close out a game in the case that the opponent was able to gum up the ground and prevent my small creatures from attacking profitably. As you saw in the videos, blocking an Aether Chaser is hard! If you play the game correctly your opponent is forced to start blocking sooner than they'd like and it's not a good proposition to block into open mana. Hopefully I can run back R/x back next week and see if it can work magic again.
Aether Revolt Sealed League #2
Going from 3-0 to 4-2 isn't where I wanted to end up after Stage 2, but there wasn't much I could do to change the outcome of those two matches I lost. The first match I lost was really close and if my opponent hadn't been able to cast Rishkar's Expertise and draw five cards I feel like I can close the game out from there, but props to them for being able to engineer that comeback. I did have my out to win that game and I just didn't get there. The second match felt like I had no chance given my mana stumbles and mulligans throughout the match. I was able to play surprisingly well from behind in game 1, but eventually missing my 3rd land drop for too many turns was too much to overcome.
I still like my deck very much and feel I have a strong chance to 3-0 the last stage, especially now that I have a Combustible Gearhulk in my deck. Given the addition of this card I'm more than likely going to go to 17 land as it's now imperative that I hit my 6th land drop to cast my powerful mythic. I could still stay at 16 and play the Gearhulk, but I'm not sure about that. What do you think? Would you play 16 or 17 land with the Combustible Gearhulk in the deck?
Aether Revolt Sealed League #3
This pool is a bit of a tricky one and not in a good way. With the rares being spread out it gives me less direction to start with as I look through the pool. White is unplayable so that eliminates a color but the other four are still in the mix. Red is fairly mediocre and is only saved by a Chandra's Revolution. The presence of Dark Intimations makes a potential Grixis deck viable; although red would definitely be the splash color there.
The Winding Constrictor deck has good synergy with the various energy producers and Ridgescale Tusker, but is a little less impressive without the snake in play. It does have a fair amount of 2 mana plays, but not all of them produce 2 power so there are less aggressive starts here as opposed to the other R/x decks I've played in the column today. If I get a good draw and the synergies going/play Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter and not have her die I feel I can win some games. If I get a bit of a durdly draw though, I'm not too sure about that. What do you think? Would you play the Grixis deck or the GB deck?
Winning the draft felt pretty good, even if my opponent got salty in the last round. There really isn't any need for that. Magic is just a card game and if your results or lack thereof are that important that you would insult someone for beating you, well you need to fix your priorities. The better player doesn't always win and variance is a thing. You can do everything right and still lose and you can't change that, so best not to worry about it.
Next week I'll be back with another draft and my sealed leagues. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns leave them in the comments section below. As always, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here for early access to the videos that appear on this column and content exclusive to the channel.