Saturday, 29 March 2014

Feeling Disenchanted

Recently I've felt very disenchanted and disconnected with Magic. This hasn't affected how much I love and enjoy the game, however it has dampened my enthusiasm for it. This has been a gradual process over the last few months and really started to get to me at the start of February. This past week I've decided that I need to tackle this issue head on rather than let it continue to get me down. To do this I need to look at the root causes of the disenchanted feeling and address them one at a time.

Causes

When I sat down to write this post I had already been thinking about this for some time and had identified what I felt the causes of the disenchanted feeling were.

To me it seemed that the main cause was money. No matter how I tried to budget I never had the money to either get the cards that I wanted/needed for my deck ideas nor go to events I wanted to play in. Buying cards wasn't such an issue as I could always trade for cards I wanted/needed or find replacements that I already owned. However the frustration that came from missing out on amazing events was getting to me. I think the last event I actually attended was the M14 Game Day.

To add to this, as I no longer have a car, when I did save a bit of money to tend events I had to rely on public transport. Normally I have no problem with this, however due to the weather and floods that we've had in the last few months the public transport hasn't been the most reliable.

This frustration led me to read more articles and watch more live streams which in turn made me more frustrated as all I wanted to do was play. Especially one I had finally got all the cards I needed for my Standard G/B Midrange/Control deck.

Solutions

When I stopped to think about it there was a lot of things I could do to overcome this frustration and disenchanted feelings. My first thought was to take a step back from the game itself and focus on something completely different and unrelated. I have taken breaks from Magic before and wondered I just needed another break.

Work had started to get really busy, especially as we were working on the next version of our software so I had little time to read articles during my lunch break and when I got home I rarely felt like going on the PC to read articles or watch live streams. This, however, didn't last long as I began to fall into old habits and started reading articles on my phone and watching live streams via the Twitch app on my phone. This then ended up leading to the same frustration regarding not being able to play as before. I decided I needed to take a different approach.

To work out the correct approach I needed to look back at why I had started going to events in the first place and what I enjoyed about them. Back when Dark Ascension was released I was looking for a hobby, something that I could do in my free time instead of replaying the same PC/Console games over and over. I had thought about painting Warhammer and started to throw myself into that but it lacked the connection I was looking for. I think what I really wanted was a hobby where I could meet new people who were interested in the same things as I was and potentially make new friends and have new experiences.

When I was a teenager Magic was a game that I had played with friends and family, whilst I may not have ever built any competitive decks I had always had a good laugh and enjoyed playing. I started reading articles on Daily MTG and became drawn to the tournaments section. After looking on their tournament locator page I found that I could get to some tournaments via a 15 minute train journey.

Originally I set my sights on going to the Avacyn Restored pre-release as I had ready these were meant to be friendly and welcoming events without being too competitive. I, however, missed the pre-release due to a clash with other plans. This didn't matter though as it had re-ignited the love of the game I had. I started playing around with deck ideas and eventually came up with an Undying Birthing Pod deck.

I was a bit nervous as I entered Eclectic Games in Reading for the Avacyn Restored Game Day. I had been in the store plenty of times before but never for a tournament. I had no idea what to expect or what the people would be like. Thankfully everyone was really friendly and whilst I didn't win too many games I was surprised at how well my deck could perform. I think I came 20th out of 30 odd people, that didn't bother me as I had found the connection I had been looking for.

Unfortunately I couldn't afford to attend regular FNMs, that didn't stop me however from updating my Undying Pod deck and taking it back to Eclectic Games for the M13 game day. This time I had done a lot of reading about the most popular decks and had a sideboard to help me defeat them. That day I had a blast and placed 9th, missing the top 8 due to tiebreakers. I still won a few boosters and had heard people talking about my deck throughout the day.

Fast forward back to the present, I've been wondered what really hooked me to the tournament scene during those two game days. Was it being able to play in a challenging environment? Winning with a deck that I had built and not just copied from the net? The connection with other people with similar interests? To be honest I'm not 100% sure, I think it's probably a mixture of all three.

With this in mind I started to tackle my current problem of feeling disenchanted with the game. I came up with these ideas:

  • Work out a monthly Magic budget. This can then be used to buy cards for decks or attend events. What I don't want to do is fall into the trap of spending more money than I can afford as this then just leads to more frustration.
  • Play test decks on Cockatrice before buying the cards, this will allow me to keep to my monthly budget by not spending money on cards I think I need only to find out they don't really work in the deck I'm building.
  • Build casual decks and play in a non-competitve setting to remind myself that the game should be about fun. I'm also interested in building Pauper/Peasant Standard decks as I've done this in the past and they can lead to some interesting and fun games.
  • Find a play group in my own town. I know there's a group that meets up in Didcot, however a lot of the time they meet up on a Saturday when I tend to be not available. I need to find out if they meet on a weekday evening. I know the group doesn't run any sanctioned tournaments, however it would be good to play regularly and test for events with other people.
  • Continue to brew decks and play test them. I'm tempted to see if I can work out a way to record Cockatrice matches if I start playing on there regularly. If I do I'll create a YouTube channel.
  • Last, but by no means least, remember that Magic is a game to be enjoyed and not something to be taken so seriously that it starts making you feel down.

Thanks for reading my ramblings, hopefully my next post will be more interesting.

Until next time.

The Bloodbraided.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Counterburn, a different sort of control

I don't know about you but I get bored reading about the same handful of decks. Over the last few days I've had a few days off work to relax and get ready for Christmas. Every day I've gone to various websites and have ended up reading articles about U/W Control, Esper Control, Mono Black Devotion and Mono Blue Devotion. Whilst I like reading them to keep up with the meta-game and to help tweak my competitive decks I do find the articles a bit repetitive.

Today I wanted to talk about a budget deck that I've been pondering recently. It is by no means perfect and needs a lot of testing.

The deck idea originally started not long after Theros was released, with all control decks getting good results I wondered if a faster more aggressive route would be able to beat them. The problem with this is I had played RDW and Big Red style decks before and whilst they can win games they can also run out of steam and get very dull to pilot.

Instead of RDW or Big Red style decks I wondered if burn was a viable strategy. A lot of decks run shocklands, Thoughtseize or Underworld Connections (and to a lesser extent Read the Bones), all of which cause your opponent to lose life. If you add in effective burn spells it wouldn't take long to finish your opponent off. Guttersnipe and Young Pyromancer even reward you for playing the burn spells allowing you to deal more damage and gain some useful defenders.

This is the list I originally came up with.



The main idea behind the deck is pretty simple, on turn 2 play Young Pyromancer then on turn 3 play Guttersnipe and start casting all the burn spells you wanted. The problem I found when playtesting is that this can be too slow and a lot of the time I ended up having to choose between Chandra's Phoenix, Guttersnipe and Spellheart Chimera on turn 3.

I found the worst problem was you could start the game with lands and a handful of burn. Whilst this isn't necessarily a bad thing if you don't draw Young Pyromancer by turn 2 and either Guttersnipe or Spellheart Chimera by turn 3 you weren't getting the maximum value from your burn spells.

To solve the issue of knowing what to play on turn 3 I ended up cutting Chandra's Phoenix, it was really only in the deck to provide a decent beater that could return from the graveyard when hitting your opponent with a burn spell. The position of beater was already filled by Spellheart Chimera which, in testing, seemed to do a better job than Chandra's Phoenix. Sure Spellheart Chimera doesn't have haste and can't return from the graveyard, however it has trample and the potential to grow as the game goes on.

With the loss of Chandra's Phoenix the deck seemed to play a lot slower. I tinkered around with adding more burn spells or cheaper creatures but neither really seemed to solve the problems the deck was having. I took a break from the deck and read another article about U/W control. As I was reading it suddenly hit me, why not use counter spells in the deck? We're already splashing blue for Spellheart Chimera so why not delve a little deeper?

This revelation would allow the deck to counter the spells that the burn spells couldn't deal with. It, therefore, didn't matter if the deck was slightly slower than aggro decks as it still contained the burn spells that could take care of their early creatures but now also had the option of countering their bigger threats. Against the control decks the counter spells provide a way of countering spells like Sphinx's Revelations which puts them out of reach for the burn deck.

After a bit of tweaking this is the list I came up with.



I shuffled around a lot of the burn spells so I could make room for all the counter spells. I also added in Steam Augury to help draw cards and get more spells into the graveyard to power up Spellheart Chimera. The higher number of spells in the deck in general means you can get more value from Guttersnipe and Young Pyromancer as well as powering up Spellheart Chimera even more.

I've moved Skullcrack to the sideboard, it's a great card against U/W Control, Esper Control and Mono Black where your opponent can gain a lot of life quite easily, however against other decks it just acts as a Lightning Strike that only hits your opponent.

One card I was reluctant to remove was Turn // Burn as it can help you remove almost any creature on the board, even the Gods from Theros. It may, however, not be needed due to the high number of counter spells in the deck.

There are still a few other bits I'm unsure of with the deck, whether or not it needs more card drawing, whether 10 counter spells is too many and whether Mizzium Mortars should be moved to the sideboard or not. These questions, however, can only be answered by playtesting against a variety of decks.

For now I'm really interested in taking this to an FNM and seeing how well it does. I'm hoping to get all the cards together before Christmas if I can, as most of the cards are common or uncommon this shouldn't be too hard to do. Once I've built it and taken it to a few FNMs I'll post up the results and see if anything needs changing.

Thanks for reading.

Until next time.

The Bloodbraided.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Basic Land Art

The artwork on basic lands looks incredible and gives you a sense of the plane its portraying. When I build my decks I always go through my box of basic lands and pick out the ones I like the most. I almost always try to get each land to have a different artwork as I love seeing a wide variety.

From watching streams of pro tours and grand prixs recently I started to notice that a lot of the pros made sure all their basic lands had the same artwork. I initially assumed this was because they liked the artwork as many were using the full art lands from Unglued, Unhinged or Zendikar.

After thinking about it a bit more I begun to wonder if there was another reason for it, especially with Thoughtseize and other hand disruption effects being prominent in Standard at the moment. If some one cast Thoughtseize on you and sees a land with a specific artwork and then next turn you draw a land with different artwork. If you play the land you've just drawn your opponent will know that's what you've drawn and still know exactly what's in your hand.

Whereas if you had a land with the same artwork your opponent wouldn't know that you drew a land as they'd assume that you're just playing the land they saw in your hand. This provides your opponent with less information about your hand and allows you to potentially bluff what you've drawn by leaving certain mana up if you need to.

With so much going on in a game of Magic it's a lot to ask people to memorise the artwork of the cards you see, either in play or in someone's hand, however it's these subtle hints that can provide you with more information than your opponent realises.

I'm still hoping to acquire full art Zendikar lands for my decks. Previously I wanted all the different artworks, however after this realisation I'm going to pick my favourite artworks and get as many as I need for the deck.

I hope this has been helpful and as always thanks for reading.

Until next time.

The Bloodbraided.

Taking A Step Back

Sometimes it's necessary to take a step back from things to fully appreciate them. Recently everything has been insanely hectic and when you add in the fact that Christmas isn't that far away I haven't had the time or the money to play magic or build as many decks as I would like to.

So what have I been doing with my time? Besides working I've been meeting up with friends and trying to save up for a new car after my first car died during the summer. During this period I've been reading more Magic articles and watching a lot more coverage than I used to. It has definitely put me in the mood to play more, however something always comes up.

Despite this lack of playing I have been brewing decks and playtesting them on Cockatrice. I now have, thanks to an insanely good Theros booster box and a lot of trading, a deck I'm really happy with and a sideboard that will hopefully work really well in current meta.

Due to how hectic the Christmas period is getting I doubt I will attend any FNMs before the end of the year. This, however, does mean I can focus on this blog more.

I've always had a problem with blogs, I create them and then find that either my interest fizzles or I can't think of anything to write about. When I started this blog I thought that would never happen due to how passionate I am about Magic and how there's always something to talk about but as time went on I began to post less and less.

Over the last week or so I kept coming up with ideas for posts but never had the enthusiasm to start writing them up. It's now my intention to allocate some time in the evening for writing blog posts and I intend to publish a post at least once a week. I haven't yet decided what day to post on as I need to experiment with timings and how busy I get.

I've also been looking into better auto-carding/deck list options as the way I have been doing it can take up a lot of space and the auto-carding never really worked properly. The space issue has put me off listing commander decks as it would take ages to scroll through the whole list.

As always thanks for reading.

Until next time.

The Bloodbraided.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Self Deck Critque: Rethinking Undying Golgari

Once I'm happy with a deck I've built I tend to be very reluctant to change it. This is fine if the deck is working well, however becomes a hindrance if the deck isn't working well and something needs to be changed. This is made more of a hindrance in Standard where the format changes so often.

I have a feeling, for me, the reluctance to replace cards or change the deck comes from being attached to the cards. I've often not wanted to cut something because I like the card no matter how well it works in the deck.

A key example of this is my Undying Golgari deck. This deck originally started life in as an Undying Birthing Pod deck before the Scars of Mirrodin block rotated out of standard. The deck itself was aggressive and could win without Birthing Pod, however became even better once Birthing Pod was on the battlefield. I really loved the synergy between Birthing Pod, Hex Parasite and Undying creatures. This was the first Standard constructed deck I took to officially sanctioned tournaments. Admittedly it did take a bit of tweaking until I was completely happy with the deck, but I became very attached to it.

When the Scars of Mirrodin block rotated out I still wanted to use the undying creatures as I really enjoyed the fact that they came back stronger once killed, it gave extra value to the creatures. From this the first iteration of the Undying Golgari deck was born. It wasn't amazingly powerful and had a lot of problems but I was keen to stick with it. 

After Dragon's Maze was released I thought I had finally put together a deck list that I was happy with and that worked really well. At the same time I had started attending more FNMs and Game Day tournaments, however I never felt overly comfortable running the Undying Golgari deck. Instead I opted for a Boros aggro deck (which later became a RDW deck) which not only seemed to do really well in sanctioned tournaments but all the cards seemed to work together.

After taking a break from sanctioned tournaments for personal reasons I decided to go to the M14 game day. The night before I packed both the Undying Golgari deck and the RDW deck, unsure which deck I wanted to play. My gut was telling me to play the Undying Golgari deck but something made me reluctant to do so. To this day I'm not sure where this reluctance came from, it may have been that I wasn't sure how competitive the deck was or that I was afraid it wasn't going to do well.

I decided to play the RDW deck and overall went 2-2 which earned me 6th place (there was only 13 players in the tournament). This wasn't a bad score but I didn't enjoy playing as much as I usually do. I felt like I didn't connect with the deck and that playing the Undying Golgari deck would've not only been more enjoyable but would've produced better results. 

After the first round my opponent asked to look at my deck. When I mentioned that I had brought another Standard deck with me he was keen to have a look at it. After flicking through the Undying Golgari deck he asked me why I wasn't playing it. I wasn't sure how to answer so I just told him that I wasn't sure how competitive it was and that it needed to be playtested more. 

After flicking through the deck again my opponent said that he could see that it had potential, however the deck was torn between an aggro strategy (Strangleroot Geist, Rancor, Dreg Mangler) and a mid-range strategy (Deathrite Shaman, Corpsejack Menance, Jarad). I took this advice on board and tried to work out what to do with the deck. I must admit it was slightly painful hearing criticism about a deck I really liked, however, it was worth it to not only make the deck better but to help me build better decks in the future.

When I got home that evening I decided to have a look at other Black Green decks, not only in Standard but in other formats to see how they worked and why they were so good. I came across two deck lists, one Standard and one Modern, that helped me decide what sort of deck I wanted to build.

The Modern deck was a deck list I saw on a VS video on SCG piloted by Brian Braun-Duin. The mixture of removal and strong on-board threats really appealed to me. This was the sort of deck I wanted to run. I started to look at Standard cards to see if I could apply the same deck style to the Standard format. It wasn't long before I discovered 'The Rock' deck that a few people were running in Standard. It seems to have grown in popularity so much that it's actually now an archetype in Standard

I encountered two problems with The Rock, firstly I didn't want to just copy a deck off the net and claim it as my own. I wanted to use the idea of the deck and build around it. Secondly some of the cards, Thragtusk for example, I didn't have any of and being so close to rotation I didn't want to trade for cards that were rotating out.

To solve these problems I looked at cards I already owned and cards that weren't rotating out. If I didn't own the cards that would stay in Standard after rotation I could easily trade for them. Thankfully I already had a lot of the cards I needed.

This is the deck list I came up with:

Creatures:

4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Scavening Ooze
4 Vampire Nighthawk
4 Desecration Demon
2 Disciple of Bolas

Spells:

3 Duress
3 Abrupt Decay
2 Doom Blade
1 Ultimate Price
3 Sign in Blood
3 Putrefy

Planeswalkers:

2 Vraska the Unseen

Lands:

3 Forest
2 Golgari Guildgate
4 Overgrown Tomb
12 Swamp
4 Woodland Cemetery

Ideally I would like to add in 3-4 Mutavaults, however I haven't worked out the mana base for that yet and was considering waiting until after rotation as Woodland Cemetery will be rotating out. I am, however, currently trying to get hold of a playset of Mutavaults for post rotation.

I haven't tested this deck in an official sanctioned tournament yet, however I have playtested it against a few other decks and it seems to work a lot better than the Undying Golgari deck did. I think one reason for this is I'm now running 25 lands instead of the 22 in the Undying Golgari deck. This usually means my opening hand contains enough mana along with some decent removal to keep me in the game until I can get a big on board threat out like Desecration Demon.

I do think the deck would be a lot better if it had Thragtusk and Liliana of the Veil in, however as these are going to rotate out of Standard in a couple weeks and I don't have any copies of them I didn't want to trade for them (that being said I am looking for Liliana of the Veils for a Modern BG Rock deck, however that's another story).

I'm not sure whether Duress should be main board or side board, however once Theros is released I'm hoping to get a playset of Thoughtseize for the deck.

Speaking of Theros there's a few cards I'm looking forward to testing in a BG Rock shell:


As soon as Gray Merchant of Apshodel enters the battlefield you'll drain at least 2 life from your opponent, however with other black permanents on the battlefield he becomes a lot stronger. His 2/4 body is significant as well, he may not be that powerful but does dodge a lot of burn spells and isn't affected by Abrupt Deck or Doom Blade. Being a common as well will make him easy to pick up.


As soon I saw this card I got excited. A 4/5 for 4 mana is really good, like with Gray Merchant of Asphodel the gorgon dodges burn, Abrupt Decay and Doom Blade, but also dodges Ultimate Price as well. The ability to make the gorgon gain Hexproof will also help dodge other removal.

I'm not sure how relevant the Scry death trigger will be, although with the amount of removal in the deck I can see it being fairly powerful. I think Scry's power isn't the fact that you get to see the next card and can help you plan your next turn out, but its ability to put cards that you don't want on the bottom of your library.

Deathtouch is also a nice ability. It's a shame it has to be activated and isn't just a constant ability, however it will help remove larger threats if need be.


Read the Bones is an upgrade to Sign in Blood, sure it costs one more mana but you do get to Scry 2 first which seems really powerful and worth the extra mana.


Unfortunately I wasn't playing too much when Lorwyn came out, however I have seen how powerful Thoughtseize can be in Modern. I was really glad when the card that could've been printed in Modern Masters (hinted at by Mark Rosewater) turned out to be Thoughtseize as it will be powerful in Standard but will also drop the price making it easier to get into Modern (something I'm looking at doing).

As we don't yet know all the cards in Theros there may be cards that are better suited for this deck, however at the moment these are the ones I'm most excited for.


I should mention Erebos, God of the Dead. Erebos was a card I was really looking forward to, however his static ability seems to be a bit lackluster compared to the other Gods. Sure it's great if you're playing an opponent who's running life gain but I'm not sure how relevant it will be. I do, however, like his card drawing ability but I think Read the Bones does a better job.

That being said I am looking forward to Theros as I love Greek mythology and have been excited by the cards I've seen so far.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Slivers: Traditional vs New

With the release of M14 just around the corner there has been a lot of discussion about the new slivers and the change from traditional slivers.

Traditional slivers, to me, are slivers prior to M14 that boost all slivers in play, no matter who controls them. This can lead to interesting mirror matches, especially with the release of Plague Sliver in Time Spiral.

Reflex Sliver from Planar Chaos
The new slivers in M14 are essentially the same as traditional slivers with one difference, they no longer boost all slivers in play. Instead they only boost slivers with the same controller. This updated mechanic makes a lot of sense to the game play and can be less confusing to new players. As the core sets tend to be aimed at newer players I don't see a problem with this.

Battle Sliver from M14
So why have the new slivers caused such a backlash? I believe there's a couple reasons:

  1. As slivers are part of Magic's history, both in card form and in stories, players have a nostalgic link to them. To change part of them means changing their identity. 
  2. The new artwork makes the slivers look less like traditional slivers and more Predator-esque.
I agree slivers have a nostalgic feel around them, especially as one of my first decks was a sliver beatdown deck, and changing anything about the slivers disrupts this nostalgic feeling to a degree. However I don't think it completely destroys it or stops the new slivers from being slivers. 

I know there are quite a few people who have been saying that these new slivers don't feel or look like slivers. MaRo posted an intriguing question on twitter, 'What defines slivers as slivers?' Should it be how they look? how they act? Or some deeper flavour?

I thought about this and what defines slivers to me is the fact that they're all connected via a hive mind meaning they can adapt and evolve. This theory of adapting and evolving can explain the changes to slivers for M14.

Initially I didn't like the artwork for the new slivers as it meant they didn't look like slivers at all, however they have grown on me. I still prefer the old style artwork for slivers, but that's just personal preference.

MaRo also said historically in stories regarding slivers the boosting ability had a limited radius meaning that only slivers close by were affected. This could also justify the mechanical change to slivers.

It'll be interesting to see how the new slivers are received once M14 has been released. I can imagine they'll be insane in limited, both sealed and draft. Not sure how good they'll be in constructed as I wasn't playing in tournaments when slivers were last in Standard. I am half tempted to build a sliver deck, even if it's only a casual deck as they can be quite fun to play. Although I do prefer the slivers with more obscure abilities like the ones introduced in the Timespiral block. 

Friday, 14 June 2013

Modern Masters: A view from the side lines


With the release of Modern Masters last weekend I've been reading a lot about people's experiences with the set. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get hold of a box myself or attend any Modern Masters drafts so I have no personal experience of the set.

When Modern Masters was originally announced I loved the idea of a set that contained Modern staples, especially as I was trying to get into Modern. What made me more excited for the set was the fact that Tarmogoyf was being reprinted and I was looking to build a Jund style deck. Since the initially announcement of Modern Masters I abandoned the quest for a Jund deck, mainly due to the cost of the deck, and instead created my own variant of a Zoo deck.

I admit I took my eye of the ball with Modern Masters and only remembered about it when the spoilers/previews started coming out. I knew not all cards could be amazing staples, especially as there had to be a mixture of rarities throughout the set. After seeing the full spoiler the set seemed decent to draft, which I believe was Wizards intention.

I did, however, notice some staples like Mutavault and Thoughtseize were missing from the set. Speculation around this seems to suggest that they'll be in either M14 or Theros. I believe Mutavault has now been confirmed for M14, which would make sense due to Slivers being in the same set. There is still a lot of speculation surrounding Thoughtseize and whether it'll be in M14 or Theros block.

Nearer the release date of Modern Masters I searched online for anyone stocking booster boxes. The only place I found that were stocking boxes and taking pre-orders were Magic Madhouse. I expected a box to be more expensive than a normal set due to the limited print run, the high value of some of the reprints, a foil in every boosters and the high demand for Modern Masters, however I wasn't expecting it to be as high as £240. There was no way I could afford a box, especially having just purchased my first car, getting it insured and taking my driving test all within the same month or two. If I hadn't ordered a box of Dragon's Maze the previous month and had saved up a bit more I may have been able to get a box of Modern Masters, however I'm not too fussed that I missed out. There are still Modern Masters drafts going on in stores near me.

A comic strip on Cardboard Crack about the cost of Modern Masters made me laugh:


Unfortunately due to the cost of drafts being roughly £20 plus the cost of travel I haven't been able to draft Modern Masters either, however I have heard various stories about how people are drafting. A lot of the time it seems people are rare drafting instead of drafting the set as intended. I can understand this, if you open loads of good rares, especially foil rares, then you're going to want to keep them. 

Due to this a few stores have begun rare redrafts for people who want to draft as intended initially and then rare draft. I'm in two minds about this idea. It can be great if you want to draft the set as intended and not miss out on the rares, however if you're the person who picked up a foil Tarmogoyf then understandably you won't want to redraft.

The latest Durdling Around comic strip highlights this issue:


The best suggestion I've seen online, was actually featured in the 'Masters' Friday Nights episode by Loading Ready Run, is to get a box of Modern Masters and draft it with friends. That way you still get to draft the set as intended but can also keep the valuable cards you open. you can also make a cube out of the box so you can keep redrafting it with your friends.

Despite Wizards' intention of Modern Masters helping people break into Modern I think the limited print run and high cost of boosters and boxes have restricted the number of people that can actually achieve this. That being said I do appreciate that they were trying to avoid another Chronicles issue and respect collector's collections as well as making the cards more available. 

I wonder if Wizards will take into consideration the demand for Modern Masters if/when they create Modern Masters 2. I see no reason to think that there won't be Modern Masters 2 and I'm sure the demand will be just as great or even higher. Especially as the set would contain staples from Zendikar, the most notable of which are the Fetchlands that everyone seems to be after at the moment. 

For me personally I would love some of the cards in Modern Masters, however I don't actually need them for any decks that I'm creating. Thanks to a lot of trades with people in the UK & Ireland Facebook Trading Group I have managed to acquire all the cards for my Modern Zoo deck and have most of the cards for my Dredgevine deck. 

I would say if you have the money and are interested in the archetypes in Modern Masters, or alternatively if you just want to add some value to your trade folder, it may be worth buying a box or some boosters. Drafts look like they could be fun, but unless there's a rare redraft you have to expect people not to draft as intended. 

I'm hoping Wizards continue to reprint Modern staples, hopefully in larger quantities than Modern Masters as Modern seems like a very diverse format with so many different cards at its disposal.

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