M15: Playing to your Weaknesses – Artifacts and Wrap Up
(NOTE: “Playing to your Weaknesses” is a series of articles I have been doing on my own blog since Avacyn Restored that cover all of the uncommons and commons in a new expansion and which ones I would choose to use as one of the 23 cards in a 40 card limited deck. For those of you uninitiated to limited, it simply means sealed and booster draft, where you open packs and then proceed to make a deck out of them. I’ve purposely left out the rare cards because it is much more likely that you’ll see multiples of uncommon and commons in your packs/pools.)
Artifacts never really make their way into draft or sealed decks unless the set is heavy with them, and M15 is no different. There are a few playables, but nothing that can’t be cut for a card in your colors that’s better. The rares are pretty good, especially Soul of New Phyrexia, but for the most part I think you’ll be passing by most of these artifacts. In the rare case that you have a 22nd or 23rd slot free in your limited deck, here are some to consider.
If your deck is lacking big creatures, Will-Forged Golem will fill that slot. Sometimes in draft you get cut off from all of your colors and get stuck with absolute junk. In those cases, I would play Will-Forged Golem. It’s a decent sized creature and Convoke could help you put it on turn 3 or 4. In draft it would be one of my later picks.
Two mana isn’t bad, and the ability is pretty good too, but without a body like Akroan Mastiff you won’t see this played much. It might be good in a wall deck that is looking to lock down a game so it can get to its win condition. Definitely something you’d only consider as one of the last cards in your deck.
This isn’t bad if you’re playing with a lot of flyers or have a lot of evasion. It’s not a bad effect and it doesn’t cost much, but in limited sometimes you just don’t have the space to put in cards like this. Definitely an afterthought and only viable in certain decks.
Juggernaut is slightly better than the Golem, and that’s because it costs 2 less and goes right past walls. I don’t think there are too many walls worth playing in limited, but sometimes he’ll do a lot of work for you. I might pick him up around pick 7 or 8 in my first pack, but I don’t know if he’d last that long. It really depends on how deep the packs are. If you see a lot of garbage going around, pick him up around card #5.
Ha! This card wins for flavor in M15. The picture, the effect, everything is just perfect. If I was playing an aggressive red deck I just might draft this as my 6th or 7th choice. Heck, it might actually be good in a variety of decks. I think you should test it out and see how it plays. Red decks with burn spells are pretty much the only ones that will be able to kill the equipped creature, so against all others this card could really do some damage.
This is another one of those cards that fits well in that final, 23rd slot in your deck. In best case scenarios you’d have a 3 mana creature with evasion in the colors you are playing, but that’s not always the case. Gargoyle Sentinel isn’t that bad. You get a 3/3 body early on in the game that can block and trade with a lot of creatures, and later on it becomes a 3/3 flyer. I wouldn’t take it high in draft, but I think as your 9th+pick in either of your packs would be fine.
This is a great card in a green or black deck where you have strong enough creatures to push through damage, but that casting cost and equip cost are a bit high for me. Like with many of the other artifacts, this is probably a 23rd choice for your deck, and a late pick in draft. You definitely don’t want it in an aggressive deck, but it might not be bad if you’re playing a UW flyer deck that needs some power.
Here it is, the last card of my M15 limited series: Evolving Wilds. I think this will be a sought after card in limited, and drafted somewhat highly, especially if players get the creatures with a secondary activated ability in another color. Not only does it help you make those guys stronger, but it also filters your land (making your draws better), and makes splashing a bomb a lot easier. If you open it in sealed, play it. If you get passed it as your 8th or 9th card in draft, take it. I think it should be one of the 17 lands that you play.
Of course this might change as I play the format more and get a feel for it, but from a first glance, here’s a list of color combinations that I think will do well in M15 limited and why.
- Red/Green – Fast aggressive creatures coupled with big creatures means you’ll be able to curve out well and deal a lot of damage. Burn spells also help considerably.
- Red/Black – Best of both worlds. You get aggressive creatures, decent flyers, and tons of good removal spells.
- Green/Black – big creatures with removal spells and card advantage, as well as strong flyers makes this a good combination I think.
- Red/Blue – Red’s fast creatures, and blue’s bounce effects and card draw can make for a pretty potent combination.
- Green/White – As with my other choices, green has big enough creatures to finish the game, but white’s flyers and exile effects will be useful in many match ups as well. I also think white’s tokens will help with Convoke.
Once you get past these first 5 I think the power levels drop considerably, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the combinations are bad. There are going to be some funky builds out there playing walls, UW and BW flyer decks, RW aggro might not be bad either . . . these combinations won’t be horrible, but they’ll hinge on getting key cards and certain rares to make them work well. If you choose one of the above combinations, you should do well though I think. If you come across or think of any other good decks, please share them with us down below.
And That’s a Wrap
I hope you’ve enjoyed my series on M15 limited. Be sure to bookmark these articles and check back from time to time if you plan to do a lot of M15 booster draft and sealed events this summer. I’ll be taking part in a few pre-releases this weekend, so I’ll be posting my thoughts on playing with set on Sunday. As soon as the pre-releases are done, I’ll be starting to work on my next series of articles, “Bang for your Buck” to discuss the financial impact of M15 and what you should invest in before the set in released. I look forward to seeing you then! Thanks for reading.