Hello everyone!!! Modern Masters 2017 edition is here and it has been a great set so far. I have really enjoyed playing, drafting and building sealed pools with the set. My hat goes off to R&D for their work in making a really fun set to play that really feels special when you open a chase rare or uncommon.
I have drafted the set multiple times on Magic Online, as well as attended a sealed PPTQ and I would like to share my experiences and findings with you.
The set is really synergy driven, if you are not drafting a deck based on the synergies that were pushed in R&D for the set then you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. The archetypes are: WU Blink, UB Control, BR Unearth, RG Tokens and GW Populate. Kenji talked about them here. I have drafted most of these archetypes so far and in my experience they are reward you for prioritizing synergy over unnecessarily splashing.
In my sealed PPTQ I opened a really synergistic GW Populate deck with multiple Call of the Conclave, Wayfaring Temple and Eyes in the Sky, the deck was missing 1 anthem or overrun type effect to really push it into a deck capable of taking me to the top 8. This was a 65 person event and as such was a 6 round tournament. I traveled roughly 4 hours for this tournament and I had much higher expectations that how I performed, but ultimately I was happy I made the trip.
I cracked my packs and was rewarded with a foil Arid Mesa. I nearly paid my entry way with the first pack, so my spirits were high. The other 5 packs had an assortment of decent and playable common and uncommon GW token creation and populate enablers. My other rares were unplayable nonsense like Pyromancer’s Ascension and a couple Séance. I sorted my pool and built a very cohesive, synergistic, and ultimately underpowered deck. I remember thinking to myself “if I pulled a Craterhoof Behemoth I would have a very good shot at top 8” This statement is entirely true, but in reality, anyone who pulled a Craterhoof Behemoth would have had a powerful avenue to top 8 regardless of what they put together. This was the case as a Behemoth deck did make top 8. On to the tournament analysis!
I played against a really nice guy who had built a Jund deck with a lot of removal and large blockers to clog the ground. Game 1 I ran him over with a few 3/3 centaurs and some birds. I though he was on 2 color during this game as I never saw black from him. Game 2 I kept a 2 land hand with a Call of the Conclave and some token production. We traded resources for a while and when I went for an alpha strike he had Cower in Fear for my team and won on the crack back. Game 3 I kept a 2 land hand and never found a 3rd land, the game was over rather quickly.
I sat down to my round 2 opponent after a long break in playing, there were a ton of games going to time each round. This format gets really grindy and playing quickly will reward you. My opponent was playing a UW blink deck and landed 2 Wall of Denial to shut me out of the game rather quickly. Game 2 I curved multiple centaurs together and ran away with the game. Game 3 I made an egregious play mistake and mistakenly misread a fog card in my hand which gave the game away ultimately.
I was pretty down at this point and decided that if I pick up another loss I would start the 4 hour drive back home. My opponent was a really cool kid playing a GW populate deck like myself but without as much synergy. Game 1 I curved centaurs into birds and ran away handily with the game. Game 2 was a near mirror of game 1 and I felt really great finally pushing off the 2 loss start. As I was gathering my cards my opponent exclaimed “If only I drew my Craterhoof Behemoth.” “If only I pulled one!” I thought.
This matchup was against a BR sacrifice and unearth deck. We were both aggressive and pretty non-interactive and I won the race game 1. Game 2 he sided into a more control heavy deck and kept counting his mana and was stuck with a disappointed look when he hit 7 mana and stalled, I correctly identified his goal of Casting Griselbrand and stabilizing, I pushed and let his top deck win or lose the game for him. Griselbrand is not as fun when you are casting him for 8 mana. If you want to cast him for 1 mana then follow along with me as I learn how to do so in my legacy series (In Search of a Legacy)
My opponent was on a UW blink deck, although it may have been mono Wall of Denial. A 3 mana 0/8 shroud flying wall is really hard to play against with no pump spells. 3 of them is impossible. 2 games with 3 of them is just the worst and as much as I wish there was more to say about this matchup, there isn’t. I wished my opponent luck in next round as he tries to win-and-in for top 8.
I am getting really close to the 1 round bye thresholds for Planeswalker Points so I decided not to drop from the tournament as every point I earn is very important right now. I watched a few matches and got to see a sweet double Obzedat, Ghost Council and Entreat the Angels deck in all its glory.
I got the bye and finished the tournament a measly 3-3. Good for 26th out of 65 people. I feel like I left rounds 1 and 2 on the table and really should have been more focused; it’s hard to fight your way back from 2 early losses. If I could build the deck over again I would have run a nearly identical list and maybe splashed for some minor removal.
Thanks for taking the time to read this tournament report. I hope to bring you additional reports with more competitive results in the future. Until next time: May your land drops always be on time.
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