Modern Masters 2015 again
There’s something very addictive about playing a format where you can open a pack with powerful staples like Tarmogoyf, Dark Confidant, and Vendilion Clique. As someone who spent way more than he likes to admit on Vintage Masters, it’s important to play premium sets like this sporadically as the cost of entry is quite high. I found a shop that had it for the cheapest in Seoul at about 42 bucks a pop. They also let people keep their foils as to avoid losing out on value cards just in case you happen to open a foil Tarmogoyf with a nonfoil one.
I was over the moon when after pack one, a shiny mox smiled back at me. I didn’t have much sleep, so I initially thought it was a Precursor Golem. Then I was like, the golem doesn’t cost 0 to cast. It was pretty amazing and because of this pack rule, I got myself a Hellkite Charger as well.
The rest of the pack had two or three Nameless Inversions and about four or so Burst Lightnings. Both of these cards are great pieces of removal and as I was trying to concentrate I kept trying to remember the mnemonic BREAD (Bombs, Removal, Evasion, Aggro, Dregs) and trying to justify why Inversions was better than a Blood Ogre.
I found plenty of removal and there was a point where I needed to take more aggressive cards, but I figured that having tons of removal should take precedence over effective aggressive creatures. I had a subtheme of Elementals and Spirits. Because Nameless Inversion was a changeling spell, it allowed me to get it back with Soulshift and allow me to cast it with Smokebraider. It was a stretch, but I also had Bloodshot Trainee in there that worked well with Inner-Flame Igniter and Sickleslicer.
Round 1: Against Red/Blue aggro
My opponent had a pretty similar deck to mine, full of removal and aggressive creatures. I let him hit me with a Blood Ogre, enabling him to get a 5/5 Gorehorn Minotaurs thanks to bloodthirst. At this point, my removal didn’t do much and I eventually was edged out.
The second game, my opponent got flooded and Thief of Hope with other small creatures was all it took to get my opponent’s life to zero.
The third game was much closer and I was down to 10 life while my opponent tied down my Hellkite Charger and Ghostly Changeling with a pair of Narcolepsy. I equipped Thief of Hope with Sickleslicer and forced my opponent to block with his Aethersnipe, allowing me to get back Nameless Inversion thanks to soulshift and letting me take care of his 3/3 graft flier. I eventually took over the game, thanks to Sickleslicer on a Bloodshot Trainee.
Round 2: Against Blue/Black affinity
Both games I lost quickly to my opponent. He kept refreshing his hand with Mulldrifter and Thoughtcasts as he laid down troublesome artifacts I couldn’t take care of. He snapped my biggest creature down with Profane Command and although I had lots of removal, he was able to draw into more threats. Had I played a bit tighter, I think I’d have done much better.
Round 3: Green/White Eldrazi ramp
There was one deck I was most scared against playing: the guy who drafted a sweet eldrazi deck. His deck had three Eldrazi temples with all the typical ramp from Kozilek Predator to Nest Invader. In addition to ramp, he also had an affinity subtheme that let him build up a defense thanks to Myrsmith. I kept a questionable hand with four lands. I was justly punished by drawing more blanks as my opponent established his board.
The second game was much better. I sideboarded Blinding Souleater to deal with his Eldrazi and a Smash to Smithereens to take care of any troublesome artifact creatures he had. Turn 1 Plagued Rasulka, followed by a Smokebraider, and followed by a Thief of Hope. I was able to removal any of his small creatures and kept turning my creatures sideways.
Game three was more or less same to the first game. Blinding Souleater was fantastic at pushing creatures out of the way and a Sickleslicer dealt damage to leave my opponent facing a 5/5 Gorehorn Minotaurs. By the time I cleared his creatures and cast a 4/5 Ashenmoor Gouger, it was hard for my opponent to recover.
All in all, this was a great way to end modern masters. I ended up taking second place going 2-1 and had a lot more fun. Opening value is why people are playing this format and while the archtypes in this format grew on me, it is not something I’d want to spend 40 or so on, when I could use that to put into my modern decks or playing three standard drafts.