Welcome back to another Crack a pack with Bruce. I would like to first off apologize for being a little behind this week. It being the summer and all I was away with my family, but I am back now and excited to Crack open a pack for all of you and to see what we find. We’ve had some interesting packs in the last couple of weeks and if you want to catch up with things you can find those articles right here on Three Kings Loot. This week we’ll be opening a pack of M15 because it will now be the default draft environment if you are out in the shops.
M15 is an interesting set to draft because the overall power level of the cards is much more flat. There are much fewer absolute bomb cards in this set, but there are also a much higher level of generally viable cards that can make spots in your deck and offer you some interesting twists mid-game. Let’s take a look at what we’ve got in this pack.
Once again, this pack is a very mediocre pack. There just are not any huge, obvious bombs in this pack that make it clear what direction you should be taking it. The rare is Aggressive Mining which is a fine card, but is not something I would be looking for to start my draft off. For starters, it’s an enchantment that has very little impact on the board when I cast it. As I have said before, I want my first pick to be something that when I cast it I can tangibly see an impact on the board. Aggressive Mining does very little initially. Also, while the situation can arise in draft that you have too many land cards, I very rarely ever want to physically prevent myself from playing further land by casting Aggressive Mining. Sure I can net some extra cards, but at what stage of the game am I comfortable doing that? My initial sense is late in the game at which point Aggressive Mining is likely too late…or helping me to pour on the pressure because I’m out in front anyway. It also isn’t even worth that much, so drafting it for value also falls short. While Aggressive Mining is a neat card, and might have a place in a Constructed deck somewhere, for a draft I’ll pass and find something else.
So, what else grabs my attention. Believe it or not, the card that gets my attention first is Frost Lynx. This simple little 2/2 for 3 mana is exactly the sort of card I like to play in a draft. It has a serviceable body at a decent cost and even comes with a very useful ability to “freeze” another creature. While this guy isn’t flashy, he’s very useful and something that I can get behind.
Another card that I could see myself get on board with is Coral Barrier. It seems weird to be ready to get behind a Defender, but 2/4 worth of power and toughness for 3 mana is good value, and if I can find a way to recur it I would be pretty happy. Also, the squid token has Islandwalk which is surprisingly relevant.
The third card that grabs my eye is Encrust as a piece of reasonable removal for Blue. There isn’t much to say about this card, but it is reliable and reasonably costed and always seems to do good work. Also, you might notice that this point, we’re three cards deep and they are all Blue meaning something from this pack might wheel because the other players at the table might not want to be grabbing Blue at this point.
Oreskos Swiftclaw is another decent body as a 3/1 for 2 mana. He’s vanilla and hardly exciting, but if you want the aggressive body, he’s the guy for you.
Wall of Frost is the 4th Blue card that gets my eye and is another defender. This one is another one that doesn’t need much in the way of discussion because he’s just solid, but not flashy at all.
Dissipate is a solid counterspell and something that I would be looking at to wheel. I don’t prioritize counter magic too highly in a draft if I’m Blue, but it is nice to have a little in your deck to keep your opponent honest.
Verdant Haven can play a useful role to let you splash for another colour, but let’s be honest, this will likely be there late if you really want it. I’ll take my chances on finding one later in the draft if I really want one.
Sacred Armory is about the poorest card in the pack, which isn’t too bad. It is still a playable card, but I’m not really excited about pumping my creatures for power only with this, but it could be a useful mana sink if you lack other options.
My first pick, as discussed, would NOT be the Aggressive Mining, mainly because I don’t think it does enough for me. I’d pass on it and see if it comes back to me. No, my first pick in this pack would be Frost Lynx. A serviceable body, a relevant ability and it doesn’t overly commit me to playing any one colour too heavily at this point. It fits in almost any deck, even if I just need to splash it, and can impact the board quite significantly by freezing something else. As much as this isn’t an exciting first pick it is a reasonable choice. Also, seeing the amount of Blue in this pack I might hope to see something else that is useable come around when the pack wheels. Perhaps the Dissipate or Coral Barrier could still be there to give me another solid Blue card to add to my pile.
Well, there we have it…another week…another pack. What would you have picked out of this pack? Would you take your chances on the Rare? Would you have gone with another of the Blue cards in this pack? Something else? Let me know…I’d love to hear what you guys think and what you feel should have been the first pick, so tweet at me and let me know.
Next time we’ll bust open another pack of M15 or a pack of Journey into Nyx…I haven’t decided, but once I do I’ll let you all know. Thanks for reading and until time may you crack nothing but mythic bombs!
by Bruce Gray – Casual Encounters @bgray8791 on Twtitter
The key to Affinity is a critical mass of artifacts and this deck boasts 48 including the manlands. The reason why the amount of artifacts is so crucial is because Cranial Plating can turn a simple tiny creature into a one or two shot killing machine as it boosts power for each artifact you control. The army comes from a variety of artifact creatures starting with zero drop in Ornithopter and Memnite which help the deck start the game by emptying as much onto the battlefield as quickly as possible increasing the total artifact count substantially. The decks true one drop is Signal Pest with it team pumping Battle Cry and uniquely evasive ability, but Vault Skirge with it Phyrexian mana cost is most often played as a one drop and can quickly gain back the life lost paying for it. Speaking about pumping the team Steel Overseer is a card that if you are allowed to untap with it on the board can quickly make your army of mites turn into ferocious battle bots quickly. Another strong card is the Arcbound Ravager which carries a lot of history in the Affinity decks. With him able to manipulate the board state and sneak damage through where you opponent left himself defenseless can create an inevitable demise for your enemy. The final creature is Etched Champion which in a land of spot removal and opponents with colored creatures it reigns supreme. Often once you attain Metalcraft with him on board it’s gameover in very few hits. There is also two set of manlands with Blinkmoth Nexus and Inkmoth Nexus, both able to help end the game but Inkmoth with it poison counters pairs up with Cranial Plating very nicely to quickly infest your opponent from the inside out.
|Set Name||Magic 2015—Core Set|
|Number of Cards||269|
|Prerelease Events||July 12-13, 2014|
|Release Date||July 18, 2014|
|Launch Weekend||July 18-20, 2014|
|Game Day||August 9-10, 2014|
|Magic Online Prerelease Events||July 25-27, 2014|
|Magic Online Release Date||July 28, 2014|
|Pro Tour Magic 2015||August 1-3, 2014|
|Pro Tour Magic 2015Location||Portland, Oregon, USA|
|Pro Tour Magic 2015Formats||Swiss:
|Official Three-Letter Code||M15|
|Initial Concept and Game Design||Aaron Forsythe (lead)
|Final Game Design and Development||Billy Moreno (lead)
|Languages||English, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish|
|Available in||Booster Packs, Intro Packs*, Clash Pack*, Fat Pack*
(* – Not available in all languages)