You, Me, and Modern Masters 2015 Draft Archetypes – Part One

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Posted May 11, 2015 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Nerdy Bits

Let’s not kid ourselves: Modern Masters (2015 Edition) is a Limited set. Sure, it may not be pushing Limited like Conspiracy did, but come on. The only reason you’re not going to print $10.00 commons (Looking at you, Serum Visions), is if you’re worried about them destabilizing a draft environment. Frankly, there are a significant amount of value cards in this set, and the Draft environment is looking like it will easily be the best since Innistrad block, which, if you weren’t aware, is the best Draft format of all time. That’s not an opinion. That’s a straight up fact. Ok, maybe there’s a little bit of my own opinion in there.

But, this article is not designed to be a discussion of Innistrad Draft, but rather, of Modern Masters (2015 Edition) Draft.  Specifically, the archetypes present in the environment. Of course, as the format progresses, new decks will undoubtedly be discovered, but, at a glance, there are a couple that are fairly obvious. There are also some others that may be less obvious that could just be a ton of fun to draft, so I’m definitely going to be talking about those as well.

Affinity

Affinity

The first archetype, and probably the most obvious is the “Affinity,” or Artifacts, deck. There are only a few cards with Affinity in the set, but I’ll be referring to it as Affinity for simplicity’s sake. Also because I’m lazy, and there’s one less key I have to tap when typing the word “Affinity.” Anyhow, in a draft, there are some great commons to power this deck. This a synergy based deck, working around controlling many Artifacts to trigger Metalcraft and enable Affinity. Of course, this deck will be complemented by colored spells as well, and if you’re looking to be in this deck, you’ll want to pick up some blue and white spells throughout the draft. Or, if you pull a Cranial plating, some black will be in order as well. Many of these spells are actually at common and uncommon, so it’s likely that you’ll be able to pick up quite a few as drafts progress. These spells are important to protect your creatures and ensure that key synergistic pieces are taken out by a pesky Lightning Bolt.  Now, this deck also has a fair number of bombs at higher rarities. If you pull something like Etched Champion or Chimeric Mass you should definitely at least be considering this deck. However, these rares are not needed to play the deck. Seeing as many of the cards this deck needs to function are common or uncommon, you’ll probably be able to piece together this deck fairly often, and it’s likely you’ll run into it in nearly every draft you play.

Equipment

Equipment

Staying on the topic of Artifacts, there is definitely an Equipment sub theme going on in this set. While none of the heavy hitters are present (no Swords or Batterskull, unfortunately), there are some decent bits of equipment at common and uncommon. These cards will be playable in nearly any deck in the draft. However, if you’re savvy enough, these cards can guide an entire deck. This archetype may not be the most powerful, but it looks like tons of fun. Not only are there creatures that carry equipment well, but creatures that reward you for playing equipment. Taj-Nar Swordsmith may seem like a discount Stoneforge Mystic, but in Limited, its tutor effect is fairly powerful, allowing you to grab any equipment you want, even the rare Sunforger. Once you grab that equipment, Sunspear Shikari and Kor Duelist will carry those weapons well. Not only do they get the power-boosts from the equipment, but they have effects that give them boosts as long as they’re equipped, making them especially potent. In addition, some of the Metalcraft spells work quite well in this deck as well as the affinity deck, so there are some often spells unlocked that way.

Control

Control

Ah yes, my favorite archetype, which, unfortunately, is not often supported in Draft. Modern Masters (2015 Edition), however, seems to support a pretty great blue-based control deck. You’ve got everything you need at common and uncommon – counter spells, draw spells, and powerful bounce spells. Adding a secondary color for removal only makes the deck better. Black, Red, and White all have premium removal spells. These spells will allow you to deal with anything that makes it through a wall of counter spells. The best part? It’s all at common or uncommon! There could be four or more flavors of control decks in this Draft format, some more viable than others. Now, the one issue this deck may have is a finisher. Guile and Surraker Spellblade are both great, but at common and uncommon it may be a bit difficult. Picking up Evoke spells may be very important to these decks. A few other things come to mind, but for as good as this deck will be at answering threats, it may not be all that effective at closing out games. Still, I’ll be forcing this deck very, VERY often.

Black-Red Aggro

Aggro

This deck looks absolutely NASTY. Turn one Vampire Lacerator into turn two Stormblood Berserker into turn three Ashenmoor Gouger makes me want to lie down and sob. Deeply. There are enough aggressively costed one, two, and three drops to make super aggressive decks a real thing in this format. This deck has the potential for insane damage output. Plus, there’s enough burn and pump spells to make sure this deck is dealing way more damage per turn than it has any right too. Oh, and that removal I was talking about? That’s going to give this deck windows to punch through. This deck has the potential to be so quick that other draft decks don’t even have enough time to set up their game plan. This is the one deck so far that does not require any rares to function, but is actually the hardest to piece together. Of course, versions of this deck will pop up left and right. However, there are very specific cards that are needed to make this deck operate at maximum efficiency. Still, the mere thought of this deck scares me.


About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.