Eternal Masters – The Draft

ATGNEternalMasters

The original Modern Masters release enjoyed great success and was well received by the players of Magic: The Gathering.  Not just for the re-release of a number of Modern staples into the market, but because it was also a fun set to draft, while at the same time containing value.  Modern Masters II didn’t quite hold up, especially once Splinter Twin hit the floor. Buying a ‘Lottery Ticket’ just didn’t seem worth the risk.  So the questions everyone have been asking are “is it fun to draft?” and “does the set have value?”

I’ll admit I’m not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to Magic: The Gathering. While I’ve been a Tournament Organiser for 10 years, and played the game on and off since ’94, I’m not the passionate enthusiast many others are and I certainly don’t know every nuance of the game, especially with a game as multi-faceted as Magic: The Gathering, with its enormous card range and multiple formats. So I did what I considered to be the only logical thing to do: I recruited seven Magic players to help me – each of them a specialist in their given field – and drafted a box of Eternal Masters with them. Through this, I hope to give you – dear reader – the most balanced and rounded review of Eternal Masters that I could possibly conjure up.

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ManaCryptEMName: Boyd
Focus: Vintage

On a scale of 1 to 10 how fun is Eternal Masters to Draft: 9

Best card in release from a Vintage format perspective and why?
Mana Crypt. The concept of fast mana for free is a desired feature of the Vintage Format, with the inevitable chance to cast powerful spells faster than usual.

From a Vintage format perspective, should similar players buy/play Eternal Masters and why?
Drafting this set is highly recommended for Vintage players.  With a set designed like a cube, players get to play a balanced but powerful format. Non-proxy vintage players will more than likely own the majority of the most valuable cards, but newer entrants to the format and drafters alike will be rewarded.

From a Vintage format perspective, share your thoughts, tips, ideas and general feedback.
Archetypes around the table were extremely diverse, with very few archetypes crossing paths. The set allowed for creative deck building and interesting combos. Red exists, Reanimator exists, UW control and more were created tonight.

 

ForceOfWillEMName: Connor
Focus: Legacy

On a scale of 1 to 10 how fun is Eternal Masters to Draft: 8

Best card in release from a Legacy format perspective and why?
Force of Will. It’s uniformly played in blue decks, and increasing supply will give new players a look into the blue decks that are stereotypically among the most expensive.

From a Legacy format perspective, should similar players buy/play Eternal Masters and why?
Prospective or new players to Legacy should definitely look into buying a box.  Established players will also enjoy collecting new arts and the chance at never-before-printed foils.

From a Legacy format perspective, share your thoughts, tips, ideas and general feedback.
Colour fixing is incredibly easy, allowing the brave player to draft three colours with less difficulty. The set is a 9/10 for value if you consider that we’re likely to see EMA 2.0 in two to three years time.

 

RelicOfProgenitusEMName: Dougal
Focus: Modern

On a scale of 1 to 10 how fun is Eternal Masters to Draft: 8

Best card in release from a Modern format perspective and why?
If you’re looking for sweet Modern money cards in EMA you aren’t going to have a good time. Reprints of Relic of Progenitus, Young Pyromancer, Wall of Omens and Heritage Druid are the dim light at the end of the tunnel for Modern players.

From a Modern format perspective, should similar players buy/play Eternal Masters and why?
One of the biggest barriers of entry to Legacy has been the price points of the format staples. No longer will purchasing eternal cards leave a bitter taste as EMA should drop the price of many format staples: Force of Will, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Karakas, Shardless Agent to name a few. Picking up a few of these cards turn a modern deck into a pretty competitive Legacy deck quickly (bar the land base).

From a Modern format perspective, share your thoughts, tips, ideas and general feedback.
If you want to use EMA to jump start your eternal collection and build a Legacy or Vintage deck, target singles over purchasing boosters. Over the coming months, prices of EMA printer cards will be relatively low. Pick up the playsets you need and start building! If you’re a Modern player wanting Modern cards this isn’t the product or set for you.  Save your dimes and wait it out for Modern Masters 3.

 

DuressEMName: Harry
Focus: Standard Format

On a scale of 1 to 10 how fun is Eternal Masters to Draft: 7

Best card in release from a Standard format perspective and why?
Duress, because its the only decent card in the set legal for Standard.

From a Standard format perspective, should similar players buy/play Eternal Masters and why?
Buying EMA is a bad idea for standard players. For every pack you open with a Wasteland, you’ll get three Worldgorger Dragons. If you like difficult drafts with powerful cards, draft away.

From a Standard format perspective, share your thoughts, tips, ideas and general feedback.
EMA is a fun distraction, but an expensive one. As a Standard player it doesn’t give much.

 

DackFaydenEMName: Dylan
Focus: Casual Player

On a scale of 1 to 10 how fun is Eternal Masters to Draft: 8

Best card in release from a casual player perspective and why?
I have no idea. I’m not familiar enough with the cards from EMA as I’ve only been playing since Khans of Tarkir.

From a casual player perspective, should similar players buy/play Eternal Masters and why?
It is certainly a great way to learn the older cards from MTG and to expand your skills beyond the archetypes you would find at a FNM draft.

From a casual player perspective share your thoughts, tips, ideas and general feedback.
Don’t get distracted! There is no story to follow, no stand out colour archetypes that you could have heard of because everything is open.

 

ManOWarEMName: Matthew
Focus: Drafting

On a scale of 1 to 10 how fun is Eternal Masters to Draft: 9

Best card in release from a drafting perspective and why?
Man-O’-War.  Simply put: value. As an avid drafter, having good value at a common level is outstanding. With a bunch of cards that combo to flicker or bounce it, you can’t go wrong with Man-O’-War in EMA draft.

From a drafting perspective, should similar players buy/play Eternal Masters and why?
Any drafter worth their salt should give EMA a go. It’s surprisingly simple to read the pack. It poses a similar challenge to cubing but you get to take your cards home with you!

From a drafting perspective, share your thoughts, tips, ideas and general feedback.
It’s so much fun going into a set like this that I know nothing about. Drafting EMA will help improve your understanding of all the formats while getting great cards for trade and EDH decks.

 

ProdigalSorcererEMName: Barnet
Focus: Judge

On a scale of 1 to 10 how fun is Eternal Masters to Draft: 9

Best card in release from a judge perspective and why?
Prodigal Sorcerer. Nice and easy to explain (in terms of game mechanics) to players who don’t have a great handle on the rules and want to learn more. I’m also excited about the proper Oracle Text on Sylvan Library.

From a judge perspective should similar players buy/play Eternal Masters and why?
Definitely. It’s a good test of skills and knowledge (game wise). It’s also not necessary to know every card, but be aware of certain interactions such as Brainstorm and Sylvan Library.

From a judge perspective, share your thoughts, tips, ideas and general feedback.
Look forward to draft the set.

 

WastelandEMName: Toby
Focus: Retailer

On a scale of 1 to 10 how fun is Eternal Masters to Draft: 10

Best card in release from a retailer perspective and why?
Wasteland. Dack Fayden. Karakas. The list goes on and on.  This release is jam packed with value!

From a retailer perspective, should similar players buy/play Eternal Masters and why?
Putting EMA on your shelves is a no brainer. With every booster sporting a foil in the pack, it’s double dippings for consumers. Players will be buying lottery tickets in this format for some time and for the most part I think they will be satisfied with the value in this release. It’s not just a random assortment of old cards jumbled together either. It drafts very well.  Retailers and Tournament Organiser should be pushing draft-on-demand all launch weekend. Could you start a Legacy scene in your store with this release? Possibly, although there are still a bunch of staples on the Reserved List – including most of the mana base.

From a retailer perspective, share your thoughts, tips, ideas and general feedback.
Stock it. Sell it. Draft it. Maybe put a box or two out back to get dusty.

 

In summary, EVERYONE enjoyed drafting Eternal Masters, regardless of what format they preferred to play or what their MTG focus may be. Cracking open a box for booster draft works really well, whether you are a veteran drafter, eternal player or simply a casual player who enjoys a fun draft. At best, you’re going to get a bunch of cards that will help you transition into the Eternal Format while you have fun. At worst, you’ll get some great trade value cards while you have fun. Either way, head down your local friendly game store this weekend and get involved in a draft (or two, or three, or four, or five…). If you aren’t sure where your nearest store is, head over to the Wizards of the Coast Store & Event Locator here.

Oh, and there is a secret hidden within Eternal Masters that reveals some juicy tidbits about the upcoming Conspiracy II release. Make sure you pool together all your token cards with your friends and see if you can solve the puzzle.

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Eternal Masters releases globally Friday June 10th.

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