Note from Hunter: Though I’m currently in Las Vegas for Magic’s biggest Grand Prix ever, unfortunately I haven’t yet cracked a single pack of Modern Masters 2015. So this week I wanted to turn my column over to Friend of Hipsters Rob Ceretti, who was able to draft a sweet MMA15 deck last weekend. Read on and find out how to draft one of the set’s premier archetypes!

By Rob Ceretti

So I was pretty antsy to play some Modern Masters 2o15, and didn’t have a chance to make it to Brooklyn this week (the kiddo is under the weather, and it’s not fair to stick Janel with a sick kid for a whole day), but I did manage to carve out a couple hours to draft at TimeZone Gaming, 10 minutes from my house.

They were charging $40, and prizes were one pack per match win. Both seemed reasonable enough, so I got in the noon draft.

Pack one, I opened some junk rare that I can’t even remember, and picked Spectral Procession over very little else in the pack. Pick two I got passed a Nameless Inversion (with the rare still in the pack), which I took as a sign that black was going to be reasonably open, and I was off to the spirit deck races! I think I picked Arrest third, and got Waxmane Baku and Thief of Hope fairly late, which I saw as a pretty good sign.

Pack two I opened a foil Karn Liberated ($$$!!!) in a pretty stacked pack and passed Arrest and some other pretty sweet stuff. Pick two I had to choose between Pillory of the Sleepless and another Nameless Inversion. While I thought there was a chance that Pillory might wheel, as no one else was likely to be playing B/W, I took it, because splashing is super easy in this format (see: Wrecking Ball off Rakdos Carnarium, two Evolving Wilds and a single Mountain). I picked up Mortarpod fourth or fifth.

Pack three was basically nothing and Hikari, Twilight Guardian, who I windmilled. I took the second Thief of Hope fourth or fifth over Devouring Greed, and ended up getting Devouring Greed as a 14th pick!

I think the only thing I would have done differently was not picking Grim Afflictions so highly, somewhere around fourth. I picked at least one over another Plagued Rusalka—who, as it turns out, is absurd in this deck and did all sorts of stuff, whereas Grim Affliction mostly stayed in the board. Here’s the full deck:

Abandon All Thieves

Abandon All Thieves B/W Spirits

Creatures (13)
Thief of Hope
Ghostly Changeling
Waxmane Baku
Blinding Souleater
Plagued Rusalka
Vampire Outcasts
Scuttling Death
Conclave Phalanx
Hikari, Twilight Guardian

Spells (11)
Karn Liberated
Bone Splinters
Sign in Blood
Nameless Inversion
Pillory of the Sleepless
Spectral Procession
Wrecking Ball
Devouring Greed
Lands (3)
Evolving Wilds
Rakdos Carnarium

Sideboard (10)
Otherworldly Journey
Celestial Purge
Copper Carapace
Darksteel Axe
Terashi's Grasp
Taj-Nar Swordsmith
Grim Affliction
Dread Drone
Raise the Alarm

Looking at it, the deck is about as good a spirit deck as I could ever ask for. Maybe another Plagued Rusalka or two and a couple of two-drops like Kami of Ancient Law would have put it over the top.

I won my first two matches, but lost in the finals to a guy who drafted mono-red. He was literally the only red drafter at the table, and had Thunderblust, two (!!!) Hellkite Chargers and four copies of Burst Lightning in his deck.

My deck had a lot of play to it, and I really liked playing with Thief of Hope. In one game I killed my opponent from 12 with two Thieves and a couple other spirits into Devouring Greed.

A few final notes on individual Modern Masters 2015 cards:

  • Devouring Greed was a pretty impressive game-ender on a stalled board, but most of the time it felt like a win-more card.
  • Wrecking Ball was great, and it seemed very easy to always have the mana for it.
  • Scuttling Death was better than it looked, but still not great. One opponent was just letting it through rather than give me the soulshift trigger.
  • Mortarpod was bananas in this deck. There were times I would attack with three spirits in the air, then pay six to Mortarpod them all up and finish off my opponent. Other times, it was great just to get the bloodthirst counters on Vampire Outcasts.
  • Bone Splinters was usually sided out. The deck ended up feeling pretty creature-light, and as a result the sorcery was rarely any good.

Thanks for reading, and good luck this weekend at GP Las Vegas!

Rob Ceretti spends too much time commuting, and not enough time playing Magic. He never played competitively outside of drafting because the idea of playing a fourth round makes his skin crawl.

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