TABLETOP TALES PRESENTS
MODERN MASTERS 2015 DRAFT: "BLACK & BLUE SKY"
This article serves two purposes: To share the nerd entertainment around with anyone who might find it interesting and, in this case, to share my experience with Modern Masters 2015.
You can find Magic Cards in super stores (Ex. Walmart, Target) but the best place you can buy your cards, meet other players, and play in events is at your local comic book store or hobby shop. I buy most of my cards at The Comic Cellar. Here is a link to its Google Maps location at 3620 Austin Peay Highway #2 Memphis, TN 38128.
And here is a link to Comic Cellar's Website
Modern Masters 2015 is not your average Magic set: each pack runs you $10 and, rather than being a standard block, it is a set created for drafting and building Modern decks. Modern is a format that includes cards from 8th Edition and on. This means Modern is a format that changes as new cards are added but is fairly stable. Furthermore, as the cards don't rotate out of the format, Modern staples retain their value much better than most other cards do in their respective format. So, you're paying for cards that, on average, have higher value and hold their value due to their timeless nature. This is also a draft set so you can expect the set to suffer from a few wonky additions to make drafting smooth but ultimately is a value set for anyone wanting to get into Modern or get a trade binder full of Modern staples. But mostly I just wanted to draft!
In the draft, we had a pod of eight players. In order to draft, each player received three packs. You take a card from the pack and pass it to the right/left with each players taking turns taking a card from each pack until there are no more cards. Rinse and repeat twice. Everybody ends up with 45 cards and uses those materials to create a 40 card or greater deck with available lands. The draft is best of three against three opponents. Based on your outcome, you are placed higher in the standing and the winner gets a prize.
And I wanted to win this time, so I built the best deck I could and even drew some amazing rares with amazing value!
MODERN MASTERS 2015 DRAFT DECK
"BLACK & BLUE SKY: DRAW CARDS, DENY BOMBS!"
I barely even remember the first pack I popped. I think I got a foil Inexorable Tide. I started by trying to build a black & blue proliferate deck which, in retrospect, was not a good idea. I got a big bomb, Iona, but it didn't seem I could play here. So what do I do? I focus on building a deck with black and blue flyers, a good bit of removal, and enough of a card draw to get advantage on slower big creature decks.
The biggest barrier? Token decks that could out race me.
Let's see how a deck I normally wouldn't build comes together.CONTAINS 40 CARDS
(16 Creatures: 1 Black/Blue Creature, 6 Black & 9 Blue Creatures)
Reasons? I love this guy. You're basically paying 4 mana for a 4/4 which is fair and then two mana to bounce something back to your opponents hand. That's some serious power and advantage that can win you a race. But he is even better thanks to the flexibility of his Evoke cost. You can overpay to just bounce someone. Nice. This card helped me win my last match by bouncing an Eldrazi back to my opponents hand (and I followed it up with a Mana Leak to pull the win out from under him!)
Reasons? These guys are the black and blue clouds that allow you to swing away and block flyers to win the race. His toughness makes him vulnerable to Lightning Bolts but able to handly most small flyers and small removal spells.
Reasons? This guy is a flexibly costed 2/2 that works fantastically in my colors and allows me to force an opponent to top deck and/or allow me to pull that card I need to pull ahead in a sticky situation.
Reasons? Two more flyers! Duskhunter Bat is one of the best costed commons in Black that can easily come as a flying 2/2 (works with Proliferate) and can easily help you race for damage and block those pesky 1/1 flyers.
Reasons? It is a great card in Affinity and satisfactory in this deck just so I can get another flying creature in my fleet.
Reasons? Ghostly Changelingdoesn't get the credit he deserves a black common staple for Spirit decks and a potential beast in many games I've witnesses. a 3/3 or 4/4 is hard to deal with in this format without using a valuable bit of removal.
Reasons? Talk about amazing value! Seriously, paying 3 mana to draw two cards? Worth the evoke cost in most situations but paying another two for a 2/2 flyer makes this card a valuable asset in any blue deck in this format.
Reasons? I love this Skeleton's value. He is an almost guaranteed chump block every round that can proc some nifty intereactions with other black creatures. He isn't a powerhouse like in decks that need sacrifices, but he is pretty sweet as a 2 drop.
Reasons? Iffy but worst case scenario is you got a 2/2 unblockable creature that can make it to a 6/6 unblockable that can roll over your opponent if you're lucky.
Reasons? A 1/1 flyer for 2 isn't that great but when he can set up your bloodthirsting bats with more +1/+1s, you can see the value potential of Thrummingbird in even this deck.
Reasons? This guy is risky but with all my flyers and bouncing, I rely on them to try and win an early race against decks that require some time to build steam. Or I can chump block with them. Not bad.
Reasons? I am a very lucky young man and this is why you draft Modern Masters for value. A flying flashing 3/1 creature for 3 that can make your opponent discard their most valuable card? It is easy to see why I would want to play this sucker in this format or any format for that matter.
Reasons? What a water servant! It is a must in any elemental deck and his value is tricky. You can pump his power or toughness, but not both! In fact, if you do either you decrease the other stat! This would seem bad but if you get damage when you get through, you can increase it to up to 3 extra damage! Or if you need to block a big bastard, you can pump him indefinitely!
(7 Non-Creature Spells: 1 Black Sorcery, 2 Blue Enchantments, 4 Blue Instants)
Reasons? Is it wrong to call this one of the best cards ever designed in magic? It is simple, it is flexible, and it will be reprinted eternally alongside Giant Growth, Lightning Bolt (or Shock if we're fair), Pacifism, and Doomblade. And in a format with rather expensive bombs, it can win you matches.
Reasons? Strictly better than Pacifism, since it stops creatures for using tap abilities and, since few decks in this draft format run enchantment removal, this card is strong pick.
Reasons? Worst case? You pay a blue to draw a card or, if you're lucky, you get to bounce something at the right time. Nice.
Reasons? Usually not a high pick but being able to make sure I get the right removal and right monsters, faster, is pretty important in this deck.
Reasons? Vapor Snag is fantastic. It allows you to bounce a creature at instant speed!
Reasons? And here is a filler card that I'd swap out for something else in a pinch but otherwise helps me get advantage on my opponent.
(17 Lands: 10 Islands, 6 Swamps and 1 Other)
IDEAL 1ST HAND