Modern Masters 2017 Limited is finally here!
So far I've learned a couple of things, but one really sticks out: blue appears to be the best color. It is very difficult to know if this is true, but the commons are great, and somewhere around 90% of pods I have seen were won by base-blue decks (not a blue splash). With this in mind, blue cards will get a slight edge, but I rarely let color preference dictate much.
I also want to mention one specific blue common that I have been impressed with: Tandem Lookout. The card looks unassuming, but if you curve into some tempo game, which is not very difficult, it will take over the game. Tandem Lookout works very well with many blue commons, notably Wingcrafter (which you can probably get pretty late), and Mist Raven. I'm not saying the card is an insanely early pick, but be on the lookout to pick one up.
All right, let's get into the draft!
Pack 1, Pick 2
The Picks So Far:
I didn't want to bore you with a trivial Pack 1, Pick 1 scenario, so we're going straight to Pick 2 with an amazing rare! Thragtusk is best in the Bant deck, since that deck has a lot of ways to abuse the enters-the-battlefield effect and even populate the Beast token. But it should be noted that Thragtusk is easily splashable and will go into pretty much any deck. So even if I move into Grixis control, I'll be looking to pick up green Guildgates and Signets in order to facilitate the Thragtusk splash.
I'm going to start this off by saying that I'm not sure which common is better, Grisly Spectacle or Chandra's Outrage, but they are both quite good. My guess is that Chandra's Outrage is better due to the fact that flashback and unearth are mechanics in Modern Masters 2017, but I could be wrong here. Also, R/G is a supported color pair — according to Magic R&D — whereas B/G is not, which also gives Chandra's Outrage a bonus, given Thragtusk. So if I'm taking a removal spell, it'll be the Outrage. Luckily for us, some of our uncommons will be better picks.
Jungle Shrine is a wonderful card here. The only way it doesn't help cast Thragtusk is if we end up in U/B specifically. Tri-lands always have been premium uncommons, and fixing seems extremely important in this set. I would be happy to pick it up here, and wouldn't fault anyone for taking it, but there is one other option that I argue is better: Wing Splicer.
Possibly the best of the Splicers, Wing Splicer offers great bang for your buck. Four mana gives you four power and toughness worth of stats, an evasive threat, and a body ripe for blinking to boot. Did I mention that it's even splashable? I tend to follow the heuristic of “power over fixing,” and I think Wing Splicer is powerful enough to overcome Jungle Shrine. It also goes quite well with the Thragtusk I have, since it'll amplify cards like Momentary Blink and Ghostly Flicker. I'm going to take Wing Splicer here.
Pack 1, Pick 7
The Picks So Far:
This draft is going extremely well. I have a good base for a Bant blink deck with green as the splash. I have the best tri-land, two great blink effects, and three great value creatures. Let's see what the next pack has to offer!
I have been impressed with Vanish into Memory from my last blink-style deck. An important interaction to understand, one which makes the card go up in value, is how it works with tokens. If you cast Vanish into Memory on your opponent's Golem token, you draw three cards and exile the token. Since the token cannot return to the battlefield, you never have to discard three cards! Other than that, the card blanks removal, generates additional value, and works a little too well with Thragtusk. So it's a pretty big frontrunner here.
The only other compelling card is Sea Gate Oracle. In a set with so many powerful cards, card selection and card advantage become much better, and this card is both (kind of; I mean, a 1/3 body isn't great). With all the blink effects, it's very nice to have one enters-the-battlefield creature that draws cards. Sometimes the battlefield is stalled, and an extra Golem token really won't help much. So I like having a couple of copies of this card in most of my blue decks, but especially the one I am currently drafting.
In general, with these formats, I like taking the card with the highest power level. Yes, I will want Sea Gate Oracle, and I already have a bunch of blink effects, but Vanish into Memory can do many powerful things that Sea Gate Oracle can't even fathom of performing itself. It also sends a signal to the table that the blink deck is being drafted, which can be important in such a synergy-driven format. So I am going to take Vanish into Memory.