Welcome back to another edition of Pack 1 Pick 1 with Modern Masters 2015! I’m still getting ready for Grand Prix Las Vegas—I’ve been trying to do a fair amount of theorycrafting with this set, and I really can’t wait to play it.

Here are today’s packs:

Pack #1

My Pick:

Dismember.

Dismember is the best card in this pack even if it were a colored card. But, thanks to Phyrexian mana, part of the upside of taking Dismember here is that you actually don’t commit to a color. Although it is still preferable to be black so you have the option of not paying 4 life every time you cast it, Dismember can and will go in any deck you end up drafting.

Honorable Mention: Nameless Inversion.

Nameless Inversion is another cheap and efficient removal spell. Not quite as cheap and efficient as Dismember, but good nonetheless. Nameless Inversion does have the upside of being a changeling, which in this format means you can accrue some soulshift creatures and return it to your hand with them, since Nameless Inversion counts as a Spirit, and cast it multiple times in the same game.

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Pack #2

My Pick:

Bitterblossom.

Bitterblossom is one of those cards that is almost impossible to beat when it hits play on turn two. It’s a bit weaker if you draw it later in the game, particularly in games in which you’re losing, but it doesn’t matter. The upside is just so high and the card is so powerful that it’s going to be the first pick out of almost any pack that it’s in.

Honorable Mention: Lightning Bolt.

Lightning Bolt has been around for so long and in so many formats that we all understand why it’s a good card. 3 damage for 1 mana at instant speed is an absurd rate, and there will never be a Limited format where Lightning Bolt isn’t one of the best cards.

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Pack #3

My Pick:

Banefire.

Fireballs are bombs in most Limited formats, although recently they haven’t been as good as they were in the past. Even so, Banefire is a Fireball in a format with ramp decks and has the added bonus of being unable to be countered OR prevented if X is 5 or more. Also, although Banefire and X spells in general tend to be so powerful because they can do massive amounts of damage to the opponent, they are also commonly used to remove major threats from our opponent. Don’t get too greedy, and don’t be afraid to pick off annoying creatures with Banefire, either.

Honorable Mention: Cytoplast Root-Kin.

A 4/4 for four mana is a good rate on its own, and Cytoplast Root-Kin has multiple abilities on top of that. Being able to graft counters onto other creatures and then take them back is a very powerful interaction. Also, if you draft a deck with other graft creatures, or creatures with +1/+1 counters from other means, he will pump them all when he comes into play, and then can take several counters for himself, making him hard to block profitably in combat. Lastly, he is an Elemental and can be accelerated out by Smokebraider, which is good to keep in mind.

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Pack #4

My Pick:

Savage Twister.

Savage Twister is the perfect card to clean things up in a green based ramp deck. You can spend the early turns developing your mana, playing bounce lands, casting Rampant Growth and using land cyclers as your opponent puts creatures into play, and then by turn 5 or 6, just use Savage Twister to effectively and efficiently sweep the board. I haven’t actually played the format yet, but I have a feeling Savage Twister might be “mythic uncommon” level. Of course, this is just based on instinct, and I could definitely be wrong, but we’ll see.

Honorable Mention: Wrecking Ball.

A 4-mana removal spell that kills any creature at instant speed is pretty powerful, but I actually think being able to destroy a land adds a fair amount of value in this format. The bouncelands will be very popular, and removing one of your opponent’s on turn four can decide a game on the spot, as it’s nearly as good as removing two lands.

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Pack #5

My Pick:

Primeval Titan.

Primeval Titan is just an absurd card. If you ever cast it and it doesn’t die immediately, you win the game. If it does die, you’ve gotten to put two lands into play, although that’s not exactly what you’re hoping for. Primeval Titan even gives you a little more value because of the bouncelands. And if you’re very lucky, maybe you’ll have an Eldrazi to ramp in to.

Honorable Mention: Sunlance.

Sunlance is a cheap and efficient removal spell, although conditional on not being able to target white creatures. Sunlance provides removal to white deck, a color that often does not have this type of removal as well.

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Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read my first picks. Is there anything that you think I’m overlooking, whether it be cards or strategies? If so, let me know in the comments. If you happen to be coming to Vegas next weekend for the Grand Prix, feel free to come say hi as well. Hope to see you there!