Hello, friends! I’ve got a quick one for you today. This past Friday I managed to sneak in three MMA2015 drafts, each time exploring a different archetype. Here’s how it went.


Deck #1: GW Tokens

I didn’t plan on drafting tokens (I wanted to try out Elementals, but there weren’t any cards past P1P2); I kept seeing what appeared to be late copies of [casthaven]Scion of the Wild[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Scatter the Seeds[/casthaven], took ’em, and had a deck. Sure, I would’ve loved some [casthaven]Nest Invader[/casthaven]s and another [casthaven]Fortify[/casthaven], but the deck felt pretty strong and synergistic. [casthaven]Kavu Primarch[/casthaven] and [casthaven]All is Dust[/casthaven] didn’t even make the cut—the Primarch just felt weaker than my other expensive cards and I felt I had more to lose to my own wrath than my opponents (particularly considering how many artifacts are in this set).

The deck went 2-1, though I feel it could’ve made 3-0 with better draws and fewer mulligans. It was fun to play and quite fast, though it felt underpowered when I failed to find ways to pump my team. It also created nearly incomprehensible board states with Eldrazi Spawn, Soldiers, Saprolings, Snakes, Wolves, and Elephants…and I had no means of distinguishing them. There’s a reason that most sets don’t have this many types of tokens, particularly not at common.

Overall Grade: B


Deck #2: WU Affinity

I loved drafting Affinity in the original Modern Masters, and the MMA2015 archetype, while somewhat modified, is still awesome. [casthaven]Darksteel Citadel[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Glint Hawk Idol[/casthaven] are incredibly powerful engines in a dedicated affinity deck, just like [casthaven]Etherium Sculptor[/casthaven] was two years ago. [casthaven]Darksteel Citadel[/casthaven] is basically an [casthaven]Ancient Tomb[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Glint Hawk Idol[/casthaven] is a hard-to-kill [casthaven]Wind Drake[/casthaven] for 2 that’s also a [casthaven]Helm of Awakening[/casthaven]. I prioritized them over almost everything and my deck felt all the stronger for it. Your rewards for having them are cards like [casthaven]Thoughtcast[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Myr Enforcer[/casthaven], which are only good if they’re cast at a steep discount.

This deck went 3-0, dropping only one game to an incredibly greedy keep (seven lands, [casthaven]Cathodion[/casthaven], [casthaven]Myr Enforcer[/casthaven] on the play—I drew five lands in a row to punish my greed). It had disgusting turns such as 2x [casthaven]Thoughtcast[/casthaven], free [casthaven]Myr Enforcer[/casthaven]s, [casthaven]Faerie Mechanist[/casthaven] for extra cards.  It never benefited from [casthaven]Mirror Entity[/casthaven], since it was winning fast enough and was light enough on lands that it was never worth tapping out for a three mana 1/1. It also benefited hugely from [casthaven]Culling Dais[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Mortarpod[/casthaven], two unassuming artifacts that come out early and provide lots of value over time in addition to enabling affinity and metalcraft. I would and will happily draft this archetype again.

Overall Grade: A-


Deck #3: WB Spirits

My Pack 1, Picks 3-5 were [casthaven]Waxmane Baku[/casthaven], and I was off to the (dead spirit?) races. I committed hard to the archetype, felt that I wasn’t getting cut by any other player, but my deck ended up quite weak. In the end, I saw zero copies of [casthaven]Nameless Inversion[/casthaven], so my spirit chains weren’t rebuying removal and my interaction was lackluster. I saw no more copies of [casthaven]Waxmane Baku[/casthaven], so my deck ended up with plenty of the expensive, otherwise useless enablers like [casthaven]Moonlit Strider[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Scuttling Death[/casthaven], but not enough power to rebuy with them.

I went 1-2. I drew pretty poorly, but the deck felt very underpowered when it didn’t have multiple [casthaven]Waxmane Baku[/casthaven] on the battlefield. It would likely still 1-2 or 0-3 with more average draws. When I had multiple Baku and a [casthaven]Moonlit Strider[/casthaven], I felt invincible, since I could tap my opponent’s team constantly and protect my important cards… but that rarely happened. I was once again impressed by [casthaven]Culling Dais[/casthaven], since it allowed me to start a soulshift chain whenever I wanted while providing value.

Spirits reminded me a lot of rebels from MMA: it’s a lot of weak cards individually, but you can bury your opponent in card advantage over time (assuming you get the right engine cards). I’ll happily draft spirits again, but I’ll likely jump ship if I fail to get [casthaven]Nameless Inversion[/casthaven] or multiple copies of [casthaven]Waxmane Baku[/casthaven].

Overall Grade: C-

Thief of Hope

That’s all for this week. Best of luck to everyone in Vegas, Chiba, and Utrecht! And, as always, thanks for reading.

—Zachary Barash

Zachary Barash has been playing Magic on and off since 1994. He loves Limited and drafts every available format (including several that aren’t entirely meant to be drafted). He’s a proud Cube owner and improviser, creating entire musicals from scratch every week. Zach has an obsession with Indian food that borders on being unhealthy.

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