Hareruya Pros Blog
Drafting Double Master 2022
Lee Shi Tian
Hareruya Pros Blog
Lee Shi Tian
Double Masters 2022 was released last weekend. It is essential to know that the set mainly includes reprints instead of newly designed ones. This means that the synergies between cards would not be as strong as a new set. Also, lots of reprints imply that there will be some Rare/Mythics printed as a good card to boost the sales that are likely irrelevant or unplayable in the draft.
Even though that is the case, I will help you drill down the card list and try to discover some of the limited deck types for the set.
Let’s start with an easy one.
Selesnya Counter is always a straightforward archetype. The core of the deck is about running our opponent over with synergies between +1/+1 counters. We try to outgrow the early turn creatures against the opponent’s board and win with beat down.
The Outlast creatures like 《Tuskguard Captain》, 《Ainok Bond-Kin》, and 《Abzan Falconer》 are the best as they are both payoffs and enablers at the same time. They provide us extra value for all creatures with +1/+1 counters. We can easily prioritize them as our top picks or as a strong signal when we get passed in mid to late picks.
Supportive cards like 《Thrive》, 《Travel Preparations》 and 《Biogenic Upgrade》 can mess up the combat math. While 《Travel Preparations》 is an MVP in almost any deck, the other two should be relatively easy to pick up. It is important to have a correct ratio of creatures and spells count though. I would love to have 17-18 creatures in my beat-down decks.
《Conclave Mentor》 and 《Hardened Scales》 are some narrow payoffs that are broken in the right deck. I do expect to get passed if we are the only Selesnya Counter drafter on the table. This also applies to 《Chronicler of Heroes》 as it is only good when you can consistently enable the card to draw trigger.
Last but not least, having a high number of creature counts and being able to curve out is always the key to aggressive strategy. Creatures that get you a sticky board (《Doomed Traveler》, 《Brindle Shoat》) or card advantages (《Militia Bugler》, 《Mentor of the Meek》, 《Eternal Witness》, 《Gnarlback Rhino》) are always great cards to fill the deck with.
There are lots of good enablers at two casting costs which are the bane for this deck type. Most of the cards replace themselves or put up board positions and generate card advantage from the milled. A turn two 《Deranged Assistant》 could make sure we got a good board development.
For the payoff, the four drops are good sizing on curving. Payoffs like 《Aven Initiate》 and 《Dreg Mangler》 are simply great both on curves or as an advantage source in the late game.
The hardest part of drafting this deck is the ratio between payoffs and enablers. A payoff that could be cast on a curve would help the deck function much better. For late game, 《Liliana’s Elite》 and 《Spider Spawning》 could go over the top.
There are also three uncommon reanimation spells in the set which we could pair with random bombs in the set. 《Scion of Darkness》 at uncommon make sure there is always a fine reanimation target.
Another classic deck type for Azorius. The set provided lots of blink effects in both common and uncommon. 《Momentary Blink》 is obviously sick as it doubles the effect with built-in flashbacks. Meanwhile, we got 《Nephalia Smuggler》 and 《Mistmeadow Witch》 as repeatable blinking sources.
We also do not lack “enters the battlefield” effects in the set. 《Militia Bugler》 can help us dig for more synergies so does 《Wall of Omens》 and 《Mulldrifter》. 《Sensor Splicer》, 《Aethersnipe》, and 《Lyev Skyknight》 are good for controlling the board position. It is also possible to splash black for 《Vampire Sovereign》, 《Skinrender》, 《Orzhov Pontiff》 or even 《Ashen Rider》.
This deck type is clearly good. However, there is also a major problem. Creatures with the “Enters the Battlefield” effect are good at any deck. We could not expect to pick up 《Mulldrifter》 or 《Aethersnipe》 in late picks. Cards like 《Settle Beyond Reality》 are overcosted if we do not get to use both of the abilities. I will rather bet on wheeling it late instead of any of those value creatures.
Therefore, to draft Azorius Blink, I would rather prioritize all the value creatures over the blink effects. This way we could have a reasonable value-based deck even if we are not able to get any blink effects afterward.
The last deck type I would like to cover is everyone’s favorite.
Other bounce lands.
Any Tri-Color bombs and Eldrazis.
If you love to rare-draft like me, this is the default archetype for you. While I named it as 5C Ramp, the core of the deck is a Simic color. We got a couple of ramp spells in blue and green plus some mana artifacts.
If you drafted the original Ravnica block, you might be able to remember how broken the bounce lands are. It is a very neat two for one. This deck abuses them the most with the possibility of turning 《Elvish Rejuvenator》 into a three-for-one. 《Bounty of the Luxa》 helps us jump the mana into Eldrazis and 《Firemind Vessel》 basically allows us to cast any tri-color bombs.
For the payoffs, evoke creatures scale with the deck the best. 《Annoyed Altisaur》 is the best common payoff in the set. Imagine how your opponent looks when you cascade 《Annoyed Altisaur》 into a random 6 mana dragonlord. It got to be one of the best parts of drafting a master set.
To draft this deck type, we simply pick up any bombs passed to us and all the mana fixing. I would say most of the time we could bury our opponent with six-plus bombs in our deck.
So here is what I had for today. You will find out I did not cover any deck type with red. I think Jeskai Prowess and Mardu Sacrifice are also considered when the set designers gather the card list for the set.
However, the lack of good cantrips and token generators made me think it is less likely to draft them with this card pool. Also, red removals are mostly single red which could be easy to splash and picked by off-color players.
Overall, I think I dislike red in Double Master 2022 at the early stage of the format.
I hope you all enjoy and have fun drafting Double Master 2022.
Lee Shi Tian Lee Shi Tian is a super star from Hong Kong. He has 5 PT top 8s and 10 GP top 8s with 1 trophy and is well known as a Modern specialist. He is an outstanding player but also well known as a great community leader for Asia. Lee and his squad "Team Mint Card" made a lot of excellent results one after another at pro scene. His impressive results and contributions were rewarded and he was elected Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame 2018.