Hi everyone! Welcome back for another edition of Modern Masters 2015 pack one pick one. This is the second installment of this series using the newest version of Modern Masters. This is especially exciting because Grand Prix Las Vegas, hosted by ChannelFireball, is right around the corner, which is one of only three Grand Prix (the other two being in Europe and Asia on the same weekend) to feature Modern Masters Limited.
Let’s get to the packs!
Honorable Mention: Burst Lightning
Arrest vs. Burst Lightning is a pick that I could see going either way here. If the red decks end up being superior to the white decks, Burst Lightning could easily be the pick. But typically, in Limited, a card like Arrest, which can deal with a creature of any size, tends to be better than a card that can’t with a creature that’s bigger than 4 toughness. That being said, Burst Lightning does have the ability to deal 4 damage to a player, which should not be overlooked, but in Limited, your damage spells are going to be pointed at a creature way more often. Arrest is the better Limited card overall, so until I have a reason to do otherwise, I would take it over Burst Lightning. I don’t think of any of the other cards in the pack are particularly close to those two in power level.
Battlegrace Angel is the perfect kind of top-end card for a Limited deck. A 5-mana 4/4 flier is a reasonably potent threat on its own. Add in the fact that it also turns your other creatures into bigger threats by giving them +1/+1 and lifelink as an exalted trigger, and it gets even better. With at least a couple cards in the format that are effectively removal spells, Narcolepsy and Arrest, Battelgrace Angel is even a little bit more powerful because those passive advantages will continue to apply even if the Angel is targeted by one of those cards.
Honorable Mention: Narcolepsy
Narcolepsy is very efficient at preventing your opponent’s best creature from being able to participate in combat of any kind, by tapping it in each upkeep. It does have the drawback of being weak against creatures with activated abilities, as they can be used in response to the Narcolepsy trigger, and also against any creatures with passive abilities, like Battlegrace Angel.
Profane Command is truly a bomb in every sense of the word. It almost always gets a 2-for-1, killing a creature and returning a creature from your graveyard to the battlefield. The exception to that, of course, is when you’re using one or both of the other abilities to kill your opponent on the spot. I’m not sure how many cards in the format I’d take over Profane Command, but that number is certainly very low. Of course, there are a lot more rare vs. rare or rare vs. mythic picks in Modern Masters 2015 than normal sets because every pack has a foil card, so it will still happen sometimes.
Honorable Mention: Lodestone Golem
Lodestone Golem is a powerful card with a powerful effect. It’s not a bomb first pick like Profane Command, but it fits exceptionally well into an affinity deck. I’d first pick Lodestone Golem here because I believe the pack to be somewhat weak, and hope I’m able to put it into an artifact aggro deck.
A 4/4 flier for 4 mana is a good rate, and a good threat. Add in the ability to give all of your artifacts shroud if you have metalcraft, and the Archangel is an easy first pick. Frankly, I would be more likely to try to draft artifacts if I first picked this card, but just a 4/4 flier for 4 with no other abilities is good enough to include in any white deck.
Honorable Mention: Golgari Rot Farm
Golgari Rot Farm and the bounce lands in general do something that lands very rarely do—provide card advantage. There are of course some drawbacks. Like if your opponent is able to remove one with something like Fulminator Mage, you can lose the game on the spot. Also, your lands coming into play tapped can throw you off of your curve, but these are easily made up for by the ability to basically get a “free” land as well as provide some mana fixing.
A 4-mana 4/4 is a decent rate. For each additional green you pay you get a 2/2 creature. When you start to think about that, especially if you end up in a green ramp deck, you can really get a lot of power in play, and at a very efficient rate. The green-based decks tend to have access to a lot of fixing as well as ramp, and that usually means that those decks have access to a lot of removal spells to extend the game. So you should be able to cast Wolfbriar Elemental for quite a few tokens. Also, it’s worth noting that Wolfbriar Elemental is an Elemental, so you could even get lucky and draft an Elemental deck with a couple copies of Smokebraider. Turn-2 Smokebraider into turn-3 Wolfbriar Elemental with kicker is very tough to beat.
Honorable Mention: Cranial Plating
This pack is weak outside of Wolfbriar Elemental. I’d be fine first picking a Cranial Plating to run the gambit on affinity. A card like Cranial Plating is so powerful in the right deck, despite the clear risk that it really doesn’t go into very many decks, basically just affinity or maybe the white equipment deck if you are unable to find better equipment to play. The upside of course, is that it could end up being our best card. I’d gamble here because of the power drop off in the pack, but I suppose there could be an argument for taking a bounce land.
That’s all for this edition. There’s not too much longer before Grand Prix Las Vegas! I’m really looking forward to it. Playing in the biggest Magic tournament in history definitely has a special feeling to it. If you haven’t registered yet, do it right away! There’s still some time left, luckily, so I’ll be back with some more Modern Masters first pick first packs before the Grand Prix.