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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Jun 16 2015 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  I had thought that Modern Masters 2015 drafts would stop this week, but apparently Wizards decided to extend them instead of end them.  I personally like this change if for no other reason to make sure people playing in the Modern Festival can actually use the prizes they win in drafts.

For me however, this still marks the end of my Modern Masters 2015 drafting (online at least).  I feel I didn't give Dragons of Tarkir a proper place to shine, especially Dragons of Tarkir Sealed.  With any luck next week I'll be going over the Dragons of Tarkir Sealed Limited Qualifiers, if not then a Daily Event or two for you sealed aficionados.

So today I bid farewell to Modern Masters 2015 and I'd like to talk about what I found to be good about the format as well as what I didn't like about it as well.  These are just my opinions and you're free to disagree with me if you like.

Modern Masters 2015 - The Positives

The best thing I like about Modern Masters 2015 is that it got people excited to draft again.  The chance for money rares, a Cube-like draft environment, and the triple Grand Prix weekend made it so that Modern Masters 2015 brought a lot of people together.  Even the constructed spikes at my store decided to try a draft or two just to see if they could open foil Tarmogoyf and hit "the lottery".

The draft environment was also quite excellent.  Every strategy felt powerful enough to take down the draft and you were never really short on playables throughout the draft.  The power level of the individual packs was so high that you could take something in picks 1-4 and except to get something back on the wheel that could possibly make your deck.  That doesn't happen too much in a regular draft environment and it's something that I imagine less experienced Limited players appreciate very much.

With so much manafixing in the format, it's really easy to draft all the colors you want and play a powerful deck that can just stomp on any opponent. 5 color decks aren't just being drafted because there's a lot of powerful cards in the set, it's also just fun.  I believe at some point during every Magic player's career they played "jank" decks that had too many colors and just had the most awesome and sweet spells they could find.  Unfortunately that strategy doesn't lend itself to a lot of wins if you want to play competitively so it eventually gets left behind for more consistent decks that are more about winning than having fun.  Being able to play Mulldrifter, Wrecking Ball, Selesnya Guildmage, and Thunderblust isn't just for the casual players, it's something you can actually do and win with.

Opening packs is fun, but opening Modern Masters 2015 packs is an experience.  At 10 dollars MSRP buying a single pack of Modern Masters 2015 is a huge investment for most players and hoping to get rewarded is something that is very hard to replicate in a regular Standard set.  The fact that you're more likely to miss than hit makes it that much more memorable when you do actually hit.  I know a relatively new player who opened a foil Tarmogoyf, had no idea how good it was/how much it was worth but took it because it was shiny and ended up selling it for ~300 dollars!  For that player it was like Christmas because now they were able to buy all these sweet cards they wanted but didn't have the money for before.

Modern Masters 2015 - The Negatives

Even though Modern Masters 2015 did a lot of good things, it wasn't exactly perfect.  Card quality and price were a huge deterrent initially even before you took into account that you were likely to open a bulk rare and not even make half your money back from any particular booster.  I like drafting, but 30+ dollars to more than likely just draft was a bit much for me and many others.  Fun Limited sets are great and they'll sell even if the money isn't there, but no draft should be worth 30 dollars.  I understand the need for the high MSRP, but you can't tell me you're not allowed to make a good Limited set and keep it reasonable to draft.

As for the drafting itself, I did find issue with the 5 color decks that were popular to draft.  When you draft 5 color you don't send accurate signals to your neighbors and it can put your drafting buddies in a bad position if you dip too much into a color they're drafting.  Think of it like this: in a normal draft environment the strongest cards that are being passed to you are the colors that are not being drafted by your immediate neighbors.  You'll pass good cards that aren't in your colors for cards that are strong in the colors you're drafting and your neighbors will do the same.   However, if you pass good cards in the open colors and they're just taking good cards period regardless of how open it is, there's a chance you'll get burned once they start passing to you.  The odds of good cards in your colors being passed to you goes down a bit and if the packs line up a certain way you could find yourself forced out of a color.  I don't think this is a huge problem, but it is something that can come up and potentially derail someone's draft experience.

I also didn't like how much artifacts were in the set.  This isn't to say that I didn't like the Metalcraft theme in UW, I just didn't how many artifacts you could see in a given pack.  There were some packs I saw that were half colored spells half artifact spells and it made it difficult to know what colors were open if you got hit with a glut of artifact packs in the middle of pack 1.  There were also times when you ended up having an artifact subtheme in your deck simply because they're generic playables that are sometimes the best option for you to take in a given pack.  Now, having more playables is a good thing but not at the cost of sacrificing synergy.  Every 2 color archetype is full of synergy and if you're having to play cards that don't add to your synergies then your deck isn't going to be as explosive as you might think for a 2 color deck.

Lastly, while I do any given archetype is capable at winning the pod, it felt like some archetypes had more support than others.  For example, RW was an archetype that I didn't think could win with an average draw as opposed to other strategies that could do it.  RW could be very brittle if you were solely on #teamdoublestrike and you were better off drafting RW bloodthirst as opposed to the key mechanic of the color combination.  The support for RW wasn't really there in my opinion.  The pump spells were okay but never exciting to draw in multiples, the equipment would be taken by other drafters leaving you with Copper Carapace and Kitesail as opposed to Flayer Husk and Sickleslicer.

Modern Masters 2015 Drafts


Despite some of the negative things I said about this format, it's still a great set to draft and play.  No matter what happens I feel like the Modern Masters sets will be some of the best Limited formats of all time and that's a testament to how much work goes into doing something like this.  As for me, if I draft this format again all I see myself doing is drafting R/x or B/x aggressive decks as that appears to be the only thing I can do correctly!  It takes skill to draft the green decks in Modern Masters 2015 as they're simply popular/overdrafted and if you don't know what you're doing you can end up like my last draft having a UG Affinity/5 Color deck that was just a train wreck.  

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns please leave them in the comments section below!  Next week I'll be back with Dragons of Tarkir action and talk a bit about Magic Origins spoilers.

Thanks for reading/watching!


very good analysis in the by bdgp009 at Tue, 06/16/2015 - 19:46
bdgp009's picture

very good analysis in the good and bad of mm2. The only thing i don't agree is the end part of the negative where kitesail seems to be a bad card because it actually won me my game a lot of times.