Fare Thee Well: Modern Masters 2017

Modern Masters 2017 season was a brief but bright flame wasn’t it? Expertly engineered to create a series of near-busted draft archetypes, all sorts of multi-coloured shenanigans, and more mana fixing than you could shake a bird of paradise at.

Here at MoM we went deep, so deep we met members of East 17 en-route, in an effort to tell you our best stories and experiences of this most exciting of the Masters releases. Why? Because of our gluttony we managed to source six boxes of the good stuff between us. Six boxes. And also because we are more disciplined than a monastery full of Shaolin monks on a calorie controlled diet, we managed to hold our collective selves together to use these sweet packs for limited business.

It’s at this point that I have send a massive thanks to our friends at Geek Headquarters in Chesterfield. They helped to sort us out a significant portion of our boxes at a very reasonable price. In addition to that they were supremely helpful and, after our visit their for Aether Revolt Pre Release, I can say it’s a friendly and favourable place to play your cards. Pay ‘em a visit on Facebook.

Back to the set!

I often believe that what is best in life was best summed up by our lord and saviour Arnold Schwarzenegger when he said, “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women.” But it was during my first draft of Modern Masters 2017 that I realised the best thing was to have a bunch of sacrifice outlets, some crazy value creatures, and a dash of graveyard recursion. Slide in my personal favourite fodder engine – Goblin Assault – and I was in heaven. It turns out that what is best in life is to launch your creatures at your enemy, see them block ineffectively and hear the lamentations of your own creatures as they are yanked in and out of the gravyard. Was it Jund? Nay – I think of it as Golgari red to be honest and it was sickeningly good.

 

And that’s the crux of a Masters set. Doing things that, as a relative newcomer, I’ve never had the opportunity to do in Magic. This was my first time playing a Miracle card, I managed to make nine angels at the start of my turn once. That was a hell of a turnaround in that particular game. Last year I managed to use the ultimate ability on Jace, the Mind Sculptor in a game of sealed Eternal Masters. The opportunity to do that would otherwise be shut off, because of the cost of buying into a format he’s actually legal in, is one of the reasons I look forward to these annual sets. With all that in mind, I asked around for stories of sick beats, busted plays and favoured cards.

For me personally the combination of Goblin Assault, Gnawing Zombie and Falkenrath Noble was a dream come true. A steady stream of goblin lads (often accompanied with me chanting ‘Lads, lads, lads!’ like an English football fan in a European town square) threw themselves into the maw of the enemy with gay abandon and netted ludicrous value on their way. Such brave, brave boys. Chuck in a Golgari Rotwurm or two, a Falkenrath Aristocrat and the raw exploitative joy of a Scavenging Ooze and I was regularly on a trip to value town, emerging with a trolley full of pain.

Our resident tournament expert and Richard Ayoade impersonator, Chris Vincent, gave me an abject lesson in his favourite archetype – Dinrova Horror control. The eponymous Horror was overlooked in its initial life on Ravnica, where the format suited speedy aggression. But here it found its chilling Lovecraftian home bouncing creatures into an untimely abyss. Chris reckoned Esper colours were best to go because you could flicker the Horror enough to leave your opponent wondering where his board state had disappeared to.

 

Turtle fanboy Sean Johnson gave us a report of someone at Patriot Games Sheffield who managed to draft a deck with 13 Burning-Tree Emissary. I’m not sure how helpful that is in our reflection on the set other than it being a thing that could make some rather special turn two plays.

Friend of the site Jonny Roberts noted that three colours was absolutely the place to be and that, as Gordon Gecko once said, “Greed (in terms of a diverse manabase) is good.” I’m paraphrasing, but he’s right.

Our man of aggro, James Wise, pointed out his delight at taking advantage of multiple copies of Soul Warden that were passed his way. He neglected to mention his greed at attacking me with a Desecration Demon on turn five, pumping it with an Auger Spree for the fat ten damage, only to find a further Auger Spree cast from my end of the table. So I thought I’d mention it for him. I’m nice like that. Greed, apparently, not always good.

We did silly busted things. We cracked some value. We made miracles happen.

But most importantly, we had fun would do it all again if Wizards would print another run at Christmas. Please…

In response...