Welcome back for another edition of What’s the Pick? Pick One Pack One with Iconic Masters Draft. This will be my second to last installment of this series for Iconic Masters, as it’s not really a competitive format, but I hope you all enjoyed the content.
Taking a gold card is always a risk, but when it’s as powerful as Malfegor, it’s usually worth it. A card like Malfegor is so impactful that it will often win the game on its own. From here, you’d like to draft cheap and efficient spells as well as mana ramp, particularly something like Star Compass, that will also fix for the BBRR in Malfegor’s mana cost. You should remember to hold excess lands, so that when you draw Malfegor, you have lands in hand to discard and get maximum value from Malfegor’s enters-the-battlefield ability.
Honorable Mention: Illusory Angel.
Illusory Angel is strong in this format. The abundant mana ramp will let you play two cards a turn earlier, or in the case of Mind Stone, you can simply play Mind Stone and Illusory Angel on turn 4. A 4/4 flyer is tough to deal with in most Limited formats, and Iconic Masters is no exception. You should prioritize cheap cards more highly after starting a Draft with Illusory Angel, and be on the lookout for cards like Thought Scour. Suspend, particularly Search For Tomorrow, is also another way to get Illusory Angel into play without too much of a drawback.
One of the best removal spells in the format, Doom Blade will be one of your best cards in any black deck. A 2-mana instant-speed removal spell that kills almost anything is going to break into virtually any Limited format.
Honorable Mention: Draconic Roar.
Draconic Roar is basically a slightly worse version of Doom Blade. The good thing about Draconic Roar is that U/R is likely the best deck in the format, although U/B is also very strong. Draconic Roar will be better if you’re able to pick up some Dragons, but that’s not always an easy thing to do. In these high power formats, you’d always prefer to get one of the bomb rares rather than an efficient removal spell, but in some instances, the removal spell will have to do, and this is one of them.
This is both a really fun and an excellent card. The flash lets you drop it in to trade with a creature and draw 2, 3, or even 4 cards. Sometimes you can even just chump-block Durkwood Baloth to make your own Tidings. Be careful about trying to get too aggressive with Illusory Ambusher in board stalls. My friend was recently playing a game of Iconic Masters Limited in which there was a board stalemate, and his opponent attacked with an Illusory Ambusher. My friend was able to block with something like 20 power worth of creatures and threaten to deck his opponent.
Honorable Mention: Reave Soul.
Reave Soul is far down the list of efficient removal spells in this format, but out of this pack, it’s not competing with much. There’s an argument to be made for taking one of the bouncelands, but I think I’d just err on the side of taking the removal spell here.
Teferi is one of my favorite cards to play with, and basically any time I’ve been able to cast it in Constructed or Limited, I’ve been impressed by it. In Limited, you’ll almost always be able to eat a creature by flashing it in and blocking. This is especially true because of Teferi’s passive ability. Because your opponents can’t only play spells at sorcery speed, even if they have something like Doom Blade, they can’t cast it until the second main phase. If Teferi lives, and all of your creatures are constantly a flash threat, it can be extremely disheartening for your opponents to attack at all. I’d consider Teferi a bomb rare and would happily first pick it out of most packs.
Honorable Mention: Swords to Plowshares.
I’ve written about Swords to Plowshares before, but I’ll reiterate that Swords to Plowshares is probably the best removal spell ever printed. It would take a lot not to first pick it out most packs, but in this case, Teferi qualifies.
There’s not too much card draw in the format, and Amass is by far the best card draw at common. Amass the Components lets you use 1-for-1 removal and counters to create an insurmountable advantage. It’s also a great card to return with Mnemonic Wall to push your edge. Blue is the best color in the set, and Amass the Components is easily one of the best few blue commons.
The enormous gang block on Illusory Ambusher I talked about earlier in the article was probably the coolest play I’ve seen so far in Iconic Masters. Stuff like that rarely comes up in Magic these days. Do any of you have any cool stories of plays you’ve made or maybe plays made against you so far? See you next time!