Modern Masters 2017 – Draft & Review

ATGNMM17Draft

Welcome again, dear reader. The hype has been real! We’ve been watching the spoilers and speculating on what we’d see (Tarmogoyf. Again. Really?!?) and this weekend Modern Masters 2017 hits shelves for your drafting pleasure.

So what do you expect? Does Bant Flicker require too many rares to make worthwhile? Is Red Go-Wide too weak to stand without an extra colour? How many colours is too many? ATGN was yet again given the privilege of drafting a box to ourselves, and the team met again to sort the chaff from the gold. This is what we thought:

Boyd

LilianaOfTheVeilOn a scale of one to ten how fun is this set to draft?
10. This set reminds me directly of drafting triple Return to Ravnica and triple Innistrad. The power levels that decks can reach is very high and can easily be matched by others, making it an explosive and powerful draft.

On a scale of one to ten how much value for money is the set?
Value for money in this set is fantastic. I believe it will be very hard to walk away from any draft without some value gained outside of prizes.The power level of the draft as well as the concept of rare/value drafting cards rather than contributing to the deck can become very difficult, which I find can be a good thing. It keeps the draft honest, as well as making sure you head home with something in your possession.

Should you be buying boosters, boxes or drafts? Why?
This can be answered in many ways, but I believe boxes and drafts are the best way to make the most of this set. Buying loose packs is almost always a bad idea, unless you’re always a lucky person. Buying a box means guaranteeing acquiring Modern staples, not missing out on cards, as well as hosting a draft with anyone you wish to play with. Paying for a draft will guarantee a fun time as well as something to walk away with, while buying packs singularly can end not the way you want it to.

Name your top three cards of the set? Why?
Liliana of the Veil: This goes without saying. The power level of the card is insane. She’s a big staple in the modern format. Hopefully the printing of this set will decrease the price to give more players access to such a card.

Gifts Ungiven: The value that this card can bring is as much as the skill of the player, and how you believe your opponent will deal with the situation that you’ll place them in, putting both players in the tank.

Restoration Angel: The power that can be generated from the creatures contained in this set by using Restoration Angel is insane. Zealous Conscripts, Snapcaster Mage, Thragtusk, Ranger of Eos, Blade Splicer, Venser, Shaper Savant and many others. Evasive, big stats, and surprising threat.

Tips for drafting?
Don’t worry about sticking to specific archetypes or colours. The mana fixing brought to this set allows you to play whatever you believe comes to you, within reason. Archetypes are obviously well defined, but there is always an element of experimentation allowed in draft, and Modern Masters 2017 allows more than previous sets. The most important tip that I could give is to make sure you have fun with it, and don’t focus too hard on making sure your deck follows a specific path. I strongly recommend not forcing, as the variety in this set for decks to use cards available in other archetypes is too high.

Overall thoughts on this release?
This draft is by far the best drafting experience I’ve had in five years of playing Magic. If you played draft during Return to Ravnica or Innistrad, be prepared for waves of nostalgia. If you didn’t, prepare for a treat.

Harrison

MistmeadowWitchOn a scale of one to ten how fun is this set to draft?
Draft is not my format. I like to have control over what cards are in my deck. That being said, the Modern Masters 2017 draft is very reminiscent of Return To Ravnica limited, which was my first limited format. A solid 6.

On a scale of one to ten how much value for money is the set?
Out of the box, there were two mythics and two fetches opened. You are not going to make your money back from getting packs. But I need to get my hands on Goyfs, Liliana’s and Zendikar Fetches, and anything that drives those prices down is good for me. I’ll give the value a *+1, where * is the number of cards you can actually use in the set.

Should you be buying boosters, boxes or drafts? Why?
DRAFT! The barrier to entry is too high to buy packs for fun.

Name your top three cards of the set? Why?
Mistmeadow Witch did some insane work for me in the draft. Call of the Conclave and Advent of the Wurm are two of my favourite throwback standard cards, and it’s great to see them again.

Tips for drafting?
You are heavily rewarded for having 2+ colours. Rate fixing highly and prepare to play a longer game, as the GW life gain will drag out.

Overall thoughts on this release?
Modern Masters has proven itself as an enjoyable limited format and a much-needed kick in the backside for the Modern format. Modern Masters 2017 is no different.

Dougal

BurningTreeEmissaryOn a scale of one to ten how fun is this set to draft?
I hate draft. I rarely see the appeal when new sets come out to give it another shot. Modern Masters 2017 changed that for me, after just two matches (both of which I lost mind you). I was pretty into it. I played an aggressive GR deck, so getting a bunch of 2/2 for 2’s (shout out to the bears out there) and a few Burning-Tree Emissary‘s is perfect for the strategy of an early beat down. The amount of different strategies you can draft is also a massive appeal for drafting the set.

On a scale of one to ten how much value for money is the set?
I think people overestimate the value of the set. Sure there are some money rares and mythics, but this set is going to be opened and drafted a ton, making those cards significantly drop in value. You’re probably going to come out of the average draft with some valuable Modern and even Eternal playable cards, but you’re going to be lucky to come out even or on top for every draft. I was lucky enough to draft a Misty Rainforest out of my first pack, and as I don’t need it right now, will be trying to get rid of it ASAP after Friday.

Should you be buying boosters, boxes or drafts? Why?
DRAFT! You’re going to get so much more value out of six or seven drafts than buying a box and opening it. If you’re after singles, don’t be bought into the mindset that you’ll just buy a box and probably open the cards you need (AND MORE!) because that is rarely the case. Have fun with the set. Drafting allows you to get value out of those dank uncommons and commons that only really see draft play.

Name your top three cards of the set? Why?
I played an aggressive deck, so Burning-Tree Emissary was insane. I did get 4 for 1’d by a Fiery Justice, so that’s my second pick. Olivia Voldaren also did a ton of work across the table from me, so that’s lucky number three.

Tips for drafting?
Don’t go into the draft with colours in mind, then force your picks. READ THE CARDS as you move through the booster content. I can’t say this enough to players who aren’t aware of what all the cards do and can achieve with other cards. Have fun. Don’t take it too seriously and don’t value pick enough so it ruins your actual draft.

Overall thoughts on this release?
A great mix of cards in regards to power, value and variance of the strategy they power. I can see myself redrafting this set a bunch of times with my mates.

Nick

CraterhoofBehemothOn a scale of one to ten how fun is this set to draft?
Sure. I like draft sets where I know all the cards, and I’ve been playing since the first set of Modern. There’s a couple things I don’t recognise, but I feel at home drafting these cards. I’m gonna give it a 7.

On a scale of one to ten how much value for money is the set?
I don’t think so. The original Modern Masters had an excellent uncommon slot, so you could draft a bunch, pick some choice uncommons, and at least recoup some of the cost of admission. As I assume that this set will be commonly drafted without prize packs due to cost, I feel I’d be hard pressed to get my money back. Especially not with the deck I drafted. That being said, there are a lot of cards in this set that are going to be desirable in foil, so I think if you drafted enough you’d probably have a good chance at picking some of them up.

Should you be buying boosters, boxes or drafts? Why?
I’ve always felt with Modern Masters packs there is zero value in opening booster or boxes. It’s been pretty hard to break even given the costs of boxes in Australia. That being said, if you are buying a boxes, you should be doing it with the intention of drafting. You’re paying a premium on the booster packs, and I feel that part of that premium is being able to draft a pretty fun set!

Name your top three cards of the set? Why?
I won’t bother picking the financial ones cause it’s already obvious. I’m a little unsure draft wise either. Top three cards of my draft were Craterhoof Behemoth, Fiery Justice and Signets.

Tips for drafting?
The fixing in this set feels strong, but there’s so many nice interactions with the cards in this set that you want to be doing a bit more than swinging with dudes and removing their creatures. I went into this draft reasonably blind but knew there was a decent token theme. Once I saw that Dynacharge was in a pack, I knew I was going towards R/G. Tokens seems like the obvious theme, but I think there’s a lot of sweet stuff you can do if you can slow the game down a bit and get your ducks in a row. Harrison did some pretty bonkers stuff with Enter the Battlefield effects.

Overall thoughts on this release?
It feels a lot more fun than Modern Masters 2015 but not as good as the original Modern Masters. It’s nice that this set is stacked with all star cards. It was just a shame that we didn’t see any in our box except for two fetches. I think part of the appeal of the original Modern Masters is that there were so many clear strategies because of the tribal theme, and I’d like to see a throw back to that at some point. Also, put more decent uncommons in the set. Kitchen Finks anyone? Finally, just give up on red mythics please. No one wants to open them.

ModernMasters2017Draft

Barnet

BroodmateDragonOn a scale of one to ten how fun is this set to draft?
Definitely a 10. Haven’t had this much fun drafting a set in a long time.

On a scale of one to ten how much value for money is the set?
Depends on what you value. If you value fun times, then it is more than worth it.

Should you be buying boosters, boxes or drafts? Why?
I would strongly advise that anyone and everyone draft this set. It is definitely the best way to enjoy it.

Name your top three cards of the set? Why?
Broodmate Dragon: 6 mana for 8 power and toughness over two bodies, with populate in the set. Solid.
Olivia Voldaren: If your opponent lets you untap with this card out, it is basically game over.
Restoration Angel: There are plenty of enter the battlefield effects to take advantage of (see Broodmate Dragon), and she isn’t colour-intensive, so she would be worth even the smallest splash.

Tips for drafting?
Mana-fixing is fairly important, so try not to simply disregard the guildgates.

Overall thoughts on this Release?
Drafting is definitely the best way to enjoy this set. Will definitely continue smashing it.

Matt

MistRavenOn a scale of one to ten how fun is this set to draft?
This is easily the most fun I have had drafting a new set. I have to give it a 10. A massive improvement on Modern Masters 2015.

On a scale of one to ten how much value for money is the set?
If you base value on fun then this is one of the best value sets going. If you base value on opening money then this set is might not be the best ever due to a limited number of pricey uncommons, but it is still quite high.

Should you be buying boosters, boxes or drafts? Why?
It is definitely worth buying a box. This is a set you can buy to draft or simply to put in a cupboard and you will be happy with the result.

Name your top three cards of the set? Why?
Mist Raven: I started drafting in Avacyn Restored and Mist Raven was one of my favourite cards to draft.
Grasp of Phantoms: It was surprisingly good with all the token generation in the set.
Thragtusk: Simply one of the best value cards you can get in draft.

Tips for drafting?
Go in with an open mind and do not be afraid to play a lot of colours. There is so much fixing with lands at every rarity and signets at uncommon. I found myself in a four colour control miracle deck and it was hilariously sweet!

Overall thoughts on this release?
It looks like being a ton of fun to draft with friends at home or at your local store. I can’t wait for all the release day drafts.

Michael

RewindOn a scale of one to ten how fun is this set to draft?
10/10 on the fun factor. Found it actually slightly stressful drafting the packs, as there were multiple chase rares and uncommons floating around that you just want to snap off. But overall it was insanely fun. Some interesting decks were made.

On a scale of one to ten how much value for money is the set?
Depends on your outlook on value for money. 7/10 cash wise it’s a decent set, whether you will get the $300+ dollars back out of your box will obviously vary. If you’re only chasing specific cards, the best bet would be to wait and buy those specific cards with the money you would have bought the box. 10/10 if your value is on fun had playing the set.

Should you be buying boosters, boxes or drafts? Why?
I would be either buying boxes or drafting. Straight boosters seems like a lottery. Drafting at your local game store works as you may win extra product, and boxes (if unopened) retain their value well generally. If you open them you get the enjoyment of playing with the cards.

Name your top three cards of the set? Why?
Rewind: Look I thought long and hard about what my favourite cards were leading into it but the draft had me evaluate things. Having three Rewinds and two Goblin Electromancer really went off and was very scary for my opponent’s. Who doesn’t like a free counter spell or one that nets mana?

Forbidden Alchemy: Never played with this card before, but it was super sweet digging deep and filling your yard with as much flashback and value as possible.

Deadeye Navigator: With all the enter the battlefield effects in the set, who doesn’t love Soulbond flicker-your-dudes for two mana. There are so many cool cards in the set its hard to choose three. I could just be because it was in my first ever bought event deck I bought during gatecrash!

Tips for drafting?
There is potentially a lot of money in the set. Take the money cards unless there are significant prizes on the line in the draft. If it’s a rare redraft, my tips would be stay open with your picks and take powerful cards early and look to solidify on a colour or three in pack two and then fill the gaps pack three. There are a lot of enter the battlefield effects and tokens in this set. Early on, look for cards that abuse these, and when taking filler cards, look for ones with utility.

Overall thoughts on this release?
Super sweet set. If I had unlimited funds I would draft this for a long time and not get sick of it. Just at our table there were at least six established archetypes out of eight, which made for some serious games of magic. It really did feel like a Modern draft rather than a Standard draft. Power level was there. 100% recommend to draft this.

Connor

OliviaVoldarenOn a scale of one to ten how fun is this set to draft?
Seven.

On a scale of one to ten how much value for money is the set?
Eight.

Should you be buying boosters, boxes or drafts? Why?
Draft it. It’s made to be drafted and you have way more fun than opening boosters all alone.

Name your top three cards of the set? Why?
Olivia Voldaren: Wins every game you play her.
Call of the Conclave: A 3/3 for 2 is some sweet value, and with all the populate in the set can form the basis for a deck.
Momentary Blink: Take a couple of enter the battlefield effects and you can blow a game out. Basically a necessity for Bant/BW flicker.

Tips for drafting?
Keep your options open through pack one. You’ll always take value, but keep an eye out for choice uncommons if your rare is worth less than a prize pack (ie Inquisition of Kozilek).

Overall thoughts on this release?
It’s obviously jammed with value, but it was nice to have a balance of power and synergy as well. It’s a winner in my books. I’ll be release drafting for sure.


So there you have it. Everyone had a great time, and the set seems balanced in its power level. The value alone is reason to draft Modern Masters 2017, with the majority of mythics worth over the cost of the pack, and fetchlands at rare to sweeten the deal.

What did you think of the set? Is there an archetype you think we missed out on? Or perhaps a card you feel is valued more highly in draft than it seems? Let us know in the comments below.

For more information on this release, head over to the official Wizards of the Coast website here. And if you are looking to find your nearest gaming venue head over to the Wizards Store & Event Locator here.

Have a great time out there this weekend, and may all of your Lilis be foil!

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