My name is Eric Severson. I’m an aspiring pro Magic player from Berkeley who just had a great run in the latest team Grand Prix in Portland, along with my friends Ben Weitz and Josiah Skallerup. Qualifying for the first Pro Tour of this season, winning a ticket to Hawaii, and getting a head start in the Pro Points race felt fantastic, but sharing it with my friends made it even greater.
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I’m always excited to draft Magic 2015, I’d be lying if I told you there wasn’t another format that’s been consuming my time and attention. When I wasn’t practicing Modern for GP Boston, I was drafting Vintage Masters (VMA). The set is incredibly deep and fun, and it just keeps getting better. Archetypes have emerged and matured since the format’s release in June, and there’s a pretty clear metagaming of draft archetypes, very similar to what you find in constructed formats.
You start looking through the 168 cards registered to your team. 168! You begin to realize you have no idea where to start. The permutations of decks you can build seem nearly endless… 15 minutes to go! But you’re not even near finishing. Doggedly, you cobble together some decks, hoping they’re the best you could have built. You’re not too confident about that. Let’s avoid that confusion, shall we? I’m going to demonstrate by example in this article, building a real team sealed pool with enough accompanying explanation to work as a step-by-step guide for your future M15 sealed endeavors. Sound fun? Let’s go!
The M15 Prerelease is behind us, and it sure shook up how we think about Limited. Limited has been returned to a more normalized state; it was refreshing not to worry about getting destroyed by a giant bestowed monster. I can happily say that our Theros days are behind us. I actually thought the Prerelease promos were reasonably balanced this time around, and only the Blue one felt completely miserable. I don’t quite understand the reasoning behind cloning effects now only hitting your own creatures, and the move certainly strips Clone of a lot of its power.
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This past weekend, I played at GP Chicago with my new Standard brew. I have been pretty disappointed with Standard lately. The format has stagnated since Mono Blue, Mono Black, Esper, and Jund Monsters became the go-to decks almost a year ago (though Monsters arose a bit later). Thoughtseize is a very oppressive card, destroying mana curves and forcing the format to a place where redundant proactive strategies are king. The only time this isn’t true is when you can go way over the top in the late game with a card like Sphinx’s Revelation, which is the only reason Esper decks still exist. The format’s good cards are also way above the regular power curve, so if you aren’t playing with them, you’d better have both a very good reason and a plan to beat them.