Three weeks ago, before Modern Masters 2017 actually released, we ran through the early picks of a draft using some simulated packs. You can read that article here. Now, with some experience with the format under our belts (and I’ve drafted this set a ton), we can examine some real pick decisions we’ve encountered. Here’s one I had the other day:

What’s my pick? Broodmate Dragon. In a normal set, three-colored cards are somewhat risky first picks, but this set has enough fixing to support taking the Dragon off the bat. We are rewarded with a ton of evasive beef across two bodies, and the best part is that this card synergizes with basically all of the sets themes; you can populate the token, flicker the Dragon itself for another token, or sacrifice both bodies to Gnawing Zombie for those last few points of damage. The next pest card in the pack is probably Arachnus Web, so this decision isn’t even particularly close. Next pack! Let’s see where this dragon leads us.

There are a lot of tempting white cards here- Blade Splicer, Flickerwisp, and Urbis Protector– and we also have the option to take Penumbra Spider if we want to stay on color. Penumbra Spider is a very solid pick. In my experience, very few things can attack through a 2/4 reach in this format, and by the time the opponent’s finally punched through with a trick the Spider has already called for backup.



Blade Splicer and Flickerwisp are both powerful options, and they have both impressed me. Blade Splicer is a bit more flashy, but it’s also more replaceable in this format, where every uncommon and its uncle comes with a beefy token attached. Flickerwisp is a great card in this format as well. Even without its triggered ability, a 3/1 flier for 3 is about as efficient as it gets. But the trigger adds so much on top of that. It kills tokens, which as we just noted are extremely abundant in Modern Masters 2017-land. It can also remove blockers for a turn, and it can even blink your own creatures for another go at their enters-the-battlefield abilities.

The problem is that our first pick was Broodmate Dragon, and as hard as it is to get white-black-red-green online in a game, it’s much much harder to get white-white-black-red-green online, and picking Flickerwisp here all but guarantees that we won’t get to play both of our first two picks, unless we work our butts off prioritizing fixing above everything else for the rest of the draft.

In the end, Penumbra Spider just isn’t far enough behind our other options power-wise that it’s worth the headache of diluting our color representation, so while others might prefer a different approach, I’m taking the Spider here.

Lots of cool stuff here. If we had taken Blade Splicer in the previous pack, I might be tempted to take the Momentary Blink here to go for some crazy 5-color value brew. But I’m glad I didn’t because that deck would have fallen flat on its face. Instead, we’re mostly deciding between Ghor-Clan Rampager and Arachnus Web. Arachnus Web is a nice removal spell, and it’s so good for green that it breaks the color pie.

 

The prospect of picking up an Arachnus Spinner at some point to recur it is a nice thought as well. I’m probably going to take the Rampager here though. We just talked about how Flickerwisp is so nice because it’s both efficient and flexible. Well, Ghor-Clan Rampager is also both of those things, except on top of that it’s in our colors. Getting a 4/4 Trample for 4 is an excellent rate, and the ability to double as a battering ram while you’re putting pressure on your opponent is incredibly useful as well.

Looks like we’re settled on Jund for now, and based on our picks so far, we’re heading in the direction of the classic midrange version of the deck over the sacrifice version with Vampire Aristocrats and Dragon Fodder. In the next few picks, we should be looking out for value creatures and efficient removal spells that we can use to Jund our opponents out.

While you’re in the Modern Masters 2017 mindset, check out my last article, where I discuss some of the biggest winners and biggest losers in Modern Masters 2017 limited.

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