My first M15 draft experience

I have previously read about how the M15 Limited experience is quite good, and much better than M14. Historically, I’ve never taken Limited very seriously, though I’ve won the occasional prerelease. I really like drafting, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to draft M15 for the first time at the LGC. We were 8 people drafting, followed by three rounds of swiss, meaning 3-0 would take first place barring unintentional draws. Very nice and casual.

In the draft I tried to stay as open as possible in the first pack. I read Melissa DeTora‘s article on archetypes and imagined I could draft Ur Artifacts pretty undisturbed, so that was the original plan. The first decent card, a Scrapyard Mongrel, didn’t show up until the middle of the first pack, not a single Aeronaut Tinkerer, no Ensoul Artifacts and no Shrapnel Blasts. I had picked up two Welkin Terns instead, and by the time we rolled into pack two, I was deep into Uw Fliers, an archetype not mentioned by DeTora in her article, but I had enough fliers for 1U or 1W to justify it, in my opinion. I picked up a Triplicate Spirits in the second pack, a Paragon of Gathering Mists and a pair of Sungrace Pegasus. The third pack yielded my only rares, Mass Calcify and Chasm Skulker.

The deck I sleeved up:

1 Geist of the Moorwelkintern.full
1 Raise the Alarm
1 Razorfoot Griffin
2 Sungrace Pegasus
1 Tireless Missionaries
1 Triplicate Spirits
1 Chasm Skulker
1 Coral Barrier
1 Frost Lynx
2 Kaprsho Kitefins
2 Research Assistant
1 Paragon of the Gatherings Mists
2 Welkin Tern

2 Oppresive Rays
1 Encrust
1 Into the Void
2 Void Snare

9 Plains
8 Island

 

Sideboard cards that mattered:
1 Mass Calcify
1 Oppresive Rays
1 Peel from Reality
1 Tyrant’s Machine

 

Overall, the deck is probably pretty bad. There are no bombs at all to be found, every creature it plays dies to Lightning Strike and the removals in the deck are situational or temporary. I was all-in on the tempo plan therefore.

 

Round 1 vs. GB Reanimator

My opponent kept milling himself for the first turns of the first game, shaming me as I had to read many of the cards he milled. I played a bunch of fliers and attacked meanwhile. On turn six or seven, he dropped his bomb: Nissa, Worldwaker, animated a land and passed the turn. I cast Into the Void, targeting the land and a five-drop, killed Nissa and attacked him to 8. He scooped, as he had no way of stopping me from swinging for lethal in the air.

In game two, my opponent kept a pretty loose hand after a mulligan and I won very quickly with my fliers. Turn two Welkin Tern, turn three Raise the Alarm, turn four Triplicate Spirits, if I recall correctly.

 

1-0 (2-0)

 

Round 2 vs. Rg Beats

My opponent had drafted an aggressive red deck with a slight green splash, meaning I was scared of Lightning Strikes. My opponent wins the roll and starts the game with a turn two Borderland Marauder and turn three Krenko’s Enforcer. However, he stumbled a bit on mana, and my hand was very aggressive. I managed to gain some time with Tireless Missionaries and win with my fliers. In game two, he has a great hand against my mana-heeavy draw and wins very easily and quickly. In game three, I draw all three Oppresive Rays, to effectively make him choose between attacking or playing more threats. I win in the air after a rather grindy match.

 

2-0 (4-1)

 

Round 3 (effectively finals) vs. Wb Lifegain

My opponent was the only other one on white, aside myself, and he was sitting on the other side of the table, so he had an awesome deck. Ajani’s Pridemate backed up by multiple Sungrace Pegasus, Divine Favor, with a black splash for, among other things, Liliana. I manage to win game one thanks to Oppresive Rays shutting down his defenses, but in game two he opens with turn two Sungrace Pegasus, turn three Ajani’s Pridemate. I bounce the Pridemate, but he can easily recast it, along with a Divine Favor on the Pegasus. I can’t find an answer to his 2/5 Flying, Lifelink and 4/4 creature and lose quickly. Game three is very grindy, and it all ends up with me having a Tyrant’s Machine, a Frost Lynx and a Welkin Tern together with a Paragon of the Gathering Mists in play. He’s at 9, but with several creatures in play. I elect to just swing with the Welkin Tern, bringing him to 6, and pass the turn. He has double Oreskos Swiftclaw (one with Divine Favor), a Preeminent Captain, a Selfless Cathar, and an Accursed Spirit with Rouge’s Gloves equipped. He swings with the entire team, and I’m at 13. I elect to tap the Accursed Spirit with the Tyrant’s Machine, since I don’t want him to be able to draw an answer to my lethal damage. Then I tank, finally coming to the conclusion that he can at most hit me for 12 unless he has a trick, if he sacrifices the Selfless Cathar. I choose not to block, since if he kills even one of my creatures, I lose lethal damage. He has the Sanctified Charge, so it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. On the top of my library was a land, the third one in a row for the final game, so the outcome was assured in any case. I didn’t feel bitter at all, though, since it was a very close and exciting game.

 

2-1 (5-3)

 

Second place meant I won a couple of Qasali Pridemates (I think number seven and eight in the collection, but nevermind), but more importantly – I had great fun drafting and playing the deck. Other players at the table suggested my deck wasn’t as a bad as I thought it was, but I think Ux Skies could be drafted way better. It was, for sure, not my last M15 draft, I encourage everyone to go out and try it!

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