The First Eternal Masters Decks I’m Drafting

As great as it is that the Eternal Masters singles will help out people assembling Constructed decks, let’s be honest: This may be the sweetest Limited format ever! Pro Tour Shaun McLaren tells you how to make the best of your awesome pack openings!

SCG Tour <sup>®</sup>Atlanta Open Weekend June 4-5!” border=”1″ /></a></div>
<p><i>Eternal Masters </i>is almost here and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun to draft.</p>
<p>It’s difficult to not compare Wizards of the Coast making <i>Eternal Masters</i> to the actual printing of money. It’s got be fairly close. They already have the cards; they just need a few new pieces of art, a good Limited format, and ba-da-bam! Instant success. </p>
<p>At that point it’s just a question of what’s more efficient, the machine turning cardboard into <i>Eternal Masters</i> cards or a machine that prints dollar bills<i>.</i></p>
<p>But it’s a complete win-win situation, since we the players are getting to play that sweet Limited format, and we can fill our empty wallets with <a href=Force of Wills that we can rub all over our faces whenever we want.

That promise of an excellent Limited set is important, though. Both Modern Masters sets and Vintage Masters satisfied in this regard, and based on initial impressions, it looks like Eternal Masters will too.

If there’s one thing better than playing Magic, it’s playing a fresh Magic format, even if we’ve seen the cards before.

Why Are There No Eternal Masters Grand Prix?

This is disappointing. The Modern Masters Grand Prix events were fantastic, fun, and a spectacle unto themselves. They were also incredibly skill-testing events that pushed your abilities to understand incredibly nuanced formats quickly. Now there is this potentially amazing Limited format that has no high-level events to tie it to (unless it’s a format at Worlds).

Perhaps they just don’t need the hype.

Since they’re going to sell their limited print run anyway, they don’t need to do anything. Why waste money on advertising if you’re already selling all of your product? If Wizards isn’t actually seeing much return from a Grand Prix (not sure whether they are), it makes a lot of sense from their perspective to just not hold one for Eternal Masters.

Still, it would have been fun to see, and it seems like a missed opportunity to not only give fans what they want but possibly make even more money.

In an ideal world, I could even imagine a private Invitational-style event where Wizards invites the Top 24 ranked players in the world to draft Eternal Masters andbroadcasts the competition, with the winner getting their art on an iconic Magic card in whatever the next Masters set is. While I’m dreaming, I might as well ask for a pony too.

All right, enough daydreaming about what we don’t have; that path will only lead to eternal sorrow, regret, and Damnation. After-all, the set is called Eternal Masters not Eternal Damnation, and for good reason.

Let’s look at the styles of decks I’m hoping to draft once Eternal Masters gets released in the coming weeks.

This seems like a fairly obvious archetype, as most of the two-color combinations do. But within each color combination there do also seem to be at least a couple of different directions you can take.

For example, your basic U/B deck could be reanimation-focused, control-focused, and the deck should work just fine in the middle, playing as a control deck with some elements of reanimation involved.

That last option actually seems how most versions of it should end up, since there are a limited number of ways to reanimate big creatures, not all that many incredibly powerful cards to reanimate, and not even all that many good discard outlets.

But that’s okay, since your reanimation targets should work well just being hardcast and your reanimation spells should work fine at most points in the game returning any old thing, while occasionally being great early on and hopefully getting better as the game progresses.

This archetype seems incredibly spicy with a lot of potential.

It might be a little reliant on Burning Vengeance, but that might just be the card that supercharges the entire deck, turning it from good to bonkers.

Oona’s Grace and Burning Vengeance seems like a dream come true, and there’ll also be Flame Jabs floating around.

Quiet Speculation seems like it’s a little slow, but if you have the right options, especially Deep Analysis, and plenty of time, it can generate a lot of value.

G/W has a clear enchantment theme going on, but there is a lot of overlap with other archetypes.

Commune with the Gods is great in a U/G Threshold deck but also works as a tutor for enchantments.

Intangible Virtue would work best in R/W Tokens but might also be a great fit in a G/W Tokens deck. You know what card is an enchantment that encourages you to play lots of creatures? Glare of Subdual. Yep, that card still seems good in Limited.

Mesa Enchantress and Argothian Enchantress might look a little worse when examined under the harsh light of day rather than as they appear in my dreams. They do nothing when you cast them, the first enchantment you cast just breaks you even, and you need to run a lot of enchantments to get value from them in the first place.

Another issue is that Seal of Strength looks a lot more like a Stag of Strength to me.

Squadron Hawk is an omen that this is going to be a good Limited set.

Consult this ancient guide for determining your fortune based on how many Squadron Hawks your draft deck has:

5+ Squadron Hawks: Fortune, wealth, and prosperity will follow you and your firstborn forever.

3-4 Squadron Hawks: Your hard work and tenacity will soon pay off.

2 Squadron Hawks: Mistakes happen. Turn them into opportunities.

1 Squadron Hawk: A mule will kick you in the groin before the new moon rises.

0 Squadron Hawks: The greatest risk is not taking one. You will also be kicked by a mule.

Here are two decks that demonstrate how easy it looks to splash in your control decks. This is mostly thanks to the addition of common dual lands (Tranquil Cove, etc.) but there are also great options like Prismatic Lens and Pilgrim’s Eye.

I expect I’ll be drafting plenty of three-color control decks, as well as…

At the Modern Masters 2015 Grand Prix, I Top 8ed using the strategy of drafting four- or five-color control decks. It looks like that is going to be a viable strategy in Eternal Masters as well.

To be honest, this is probably the deck I’m going to draft the first twenty times. Then I’ll consider trying some of the other archetypes. This strategy is almost always underdrafted when a set is just released. While people are still figuring out how the archetypes work, that’s often the best time to capitalize with a slow card advantage engine full of removal and bombs.

It’s going to be slow. It’s going to be messy. It’s going to be spectacular.

Drafting five-color decks is one of the best ways to test your skills as a Magic player and improve. If you don’t do it often, it will push you out of your comfort zone and flex Magic muscles you didn’t even know you had.

The Hondens aren’t exactly the biggest payoff, but you should be perfectly fine without having a bunch and happy when you’re able to snag a few or more.

Watch out for Price of Progress from clever opponents. Yep, that’s a card that will punish anyone who often has to question if they’re running too many nonbasic lands.

Eternal Masters is almost here. What decks are you excited to draft? Are you just hoping to windmill-slam your rare? Are you sad there’s no Eternal Masters Grand Prix, or just interested in Constructed and still planning how to get your first Underground Sea?

Just remember…

What We Draft in Life… Echoes in Eternity.