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2016, the Year of Modern Flashbacks


Last Monday, Magic Online announced that 2016 is officially the year of Modern flashbacks. What this announcement means is that, outside of release periods for new, Standard legal sets, Magic Online will be featuring a new flashback format every single week of the year. Even better, the flashbacks are going to start at 8th Edition and move sequentially through Modern, so we'll get a chance to play every draft format in Modern over the course of the next 52 weeks. 

On its face the new flashback format is amazing news. Access to flashback drafts has been near the top of many wish lists for Magic Online. Most importantly, these are not phantom events. You actually get to keep the cards you open. The supply of Modern cards is about to increase, which not only gives players a chance to buy staples on the cheap, but gives the finance community an opportunity to stock up on cards at depressed prices. Plus, it's going to be a ton of fun. 

Today we are going to discuss everything you need to know about the year of Modern flashbacks, starting with payouts and entry fees, then the formats themselves. Finally, we'll conclude with the five formats I most look forward to drafting over the first half of 2016. 

Payout

My first impression of the new entry fee / prize structure for flashback events is that is was lacking. However, after doing the math, it appears the exact opposite is true. Even the least value-filled of flashbacks are of comparable value to Standard draft formats. Some of the most valuable sets are off-the-charts in terms of value. Let's compare the new flashback drafts with the other major draft structures on Magic Online. To allow for easy comparison, I've converted everything to Play Points (PPs). As a reminder, 1 Event Tix is the equivalent to 10 Play Points, and one booster is worth 4 Event Tix (or 40 Play Points). 

Magic Online Limited Structures
Format Play Points In Play Points Out Percentage of Points Paid Out as Prizes
8-4 1120 480 43.85%
4-3-2-2 1120 440 39.28%
Swiss 1120 480 43.85%
Flashbacks 800 400 50%

As you can see, if we value boosters at 4 tix or 40 PPs each, the payout of the flashbacks are significantly higher than all other formats on Magic Online. Without taking into consideration the variation between formats, things are already looking good for the flashbacks. They cost less than normal drafts and their payout is only slightly less. However, this change doesn't impact all players equally. 

Payout By Finish
Format Finish Percent of Total Payout
8-4 1 66.67 percent
8-4 2 33.33 percent
8-4 3-8 0 percent
4-3-2-2 1 36.36 percent
4-3-2-2 2 27.27 percent
4-3-2-2 3/4 18.18 percent
4-3-2-2 5-8 0 percent
Swiss 1 25 percent
Swiss 2/3/4 16.67 percent
Swiss 5/6/7 8.33 percent
Swiss 8 0 percent
Flashback 1 50 percent
Flashback 2 25 percent
Flashback 3/4 12.5 percent
Flashback 5-8 0 percent

The payout for the new flashbacks fall somewhere between 4-3-2-2's and 8-4's. Unlike 8-4's, the third and fourth place finishers in a flashback draft get rewarded with half of their entry fee back (50 Play Points). Unlike 4-3-2-2's, the flashbacks put a premium on winning the draft. Basically, these queues have a slightly more top heavy prize structure than 4-3-2-2's, but still reward players for winning the first round. This prize split suggests Wizards wanted to give pros and limited specialists a reason to play, but also giving some rewards to the random player who just wants to experience the old cards and hopes to scrape out a win or two. 

The Formats

The payout for the new flashback drafts are solid, but left out of the equation is the cards themselves. The most exciting thing about the new flashback drafts is you get to keep all the cards you open. Some formats will be much better value plays than others. Right now Future Sight boosters sell for 8-9 event tix. Soon you'll be able to enter a Time Spiral block draft for 10 event tix total. Let's examine the expected value (EV) of each format, while also highlighting the money cards you should be on the lookout for. 

Dec. 30 - Jan. 6: Triple 8th Edition

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Rares $10+: Blood Moon, Ensnaring Bridge

Rares $5+: None.

Uncommons $1+: Choke, Urza's Mine, Urza's Power Plant, Urza's Tower

Commons $0.50+: None. 

Eight Edition is a fairly top heavy set. While is has two big money cards in Blood Moon (40 tix) and Ensnaring Bridge (30 tix), there isn't a lot in between. When you combine this disparity with the large set size (111 Rares, more than double a modern set) and the lack of value at Common, drafting the format is risky from a value perspective. Every 18.5 drafts you'll hit one of the big money cards, but the rest of the time you'll be picking from very little value. 

Pack EV: 1.12 tix.

Draft EV: 3.36 tix.

Bottom Line: 8th Edition - Entry 100 Play Points
Place Total Winnings (in Play Points)
1st 233.6
2nd 133.6
3rd/4th 83.6
5th-8th 36.6

Jan. 6 - Jan. 13: Triple Mirrodin

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Rares $10+: Oblivion Stone, Chalice of the Void, Glimmervoid

Rares $5+: Chrome Mox

Uncommons $1+: None.

Commons $0.50+: Molten Rain, Chromatic Sphere, Wrench Mind, Great Furnace, Ancient Den, Seat of the Synod

The best part about triple Mirrodin is there's a ton of random value at Common. While none of the six "money" Commons are really high value (between 0.69 and 1.86 tix), it doesn't take too many 1 tix commons to make a draft worthwhile. Plus, you could always open an Oblivion Stone, the one big money rare in the set at 30.99 tix. 

Pack EV: 1.67 tix.

Draft EV: 5.01 tix.

Bottom Line: Triple Mirrodin - Entry 100 Play Points
Place Total Winnings (in Play Points)
1st 250.1
2nd 150.1
3rd/4th 100.1
5th-8th 50

Jan. 13 - Jan. 20: Mirrodin/Mirrodin/Darksteel

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Rares $10+: None.

Rares $5+: Arcbound Ravager, Trinisphere, Sundering Titan, Serum Powder, Sword of Fire and Ice, Mycosynth Lattice

Uncommons $1+: Aether Vial.

Commons $0.50+: Chittering Rats, Spire Golem

While lacking in high-end Rares, Darksteel has a lot of fairly valuable cards at this rarity. In fact, you'll open a Rare worth 4 tix or more in 14% of packs. It also has Aether Vial (6 tix) at Uncommon, which adds a lot of value to a pack thanks to the small set size (55 Uncommons are in the set). As a result, adding one pack of Darksteel increases the EV of the draft compared to triple Mirrodin

Pack EV: 1.94 tix.  

Draft EV: 5.28 tix. 

Bottom Line: MMD - Entry 100 Play Points
Place Total Winnings (in Play Points)
1st 252.8
2nd 152.8
3rd/4th 102.8
5th-8th 52.8

Jan. 20 - Jan 27: Mirrodin/Darksteel/Fifth Dawn

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Rares $10+: Auriok Champion, Crucible of Worlds, Engineered Explosives

Rares $5+: None.

Uncommons $1+: Krark-Clan Ironworks, Night's Whisper, Lantern of Insight

Commons $0.50+: Serum Visions, Condescent

By far the most valuable set in Mirrodin block, Fifth Dawn is stuffed full of value with three Rares worth more than 15 tix (including Auriok Champion at 27.50 tix), a 5 tix Uncommon (Krark-Clan Ironworks), and a 4 tix Common (Serum Visions). Once again, replacing a pack of Mirrodin increases the value of the draft format.

Pack EV: 3.04 tix. 

Draft EV: 6.65 tix. 

Bottom Line: MD5 - Entry 100 Play Points
Place Total Winnings (in Play Points)
1st 266.5
2nd 166.5
3rd/4th 116.5
5th-8th 66.5

Feb. 17 - Feb. 24: Triple Champions of Kamigawa

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Rares $10+: Azusa, Lost but Seeking.

Rares $5+: Through the Breach, Boseiju, Who Shelters All, Night of Souls' Betrayal

Uncommons $1+: Sensei's Divining Top, Ghostly Prison

Commons $0.50+: Lava Spike

Value wise, Champions of Kamigawa is severely lacking. It has one semi-chase Rare in Azusa, Lost but Seeking that could lose most of her value if something from Amulet Bloom gets banned before the Pro Tour this winter. Sensei's Divining Top is the topic of endless ban discussion. Overall, Champions seems like the type of format you play if you're one of the weirdos that loves Kamigawa for some reason. 

On a unrelated note, I'm super confused at how Wizards determined set size for some of these older sets. It seems completely random. Champions of Kamigawa has 87 Rares, 88 Uncommons and 110 Commons. It's almost like they made the set first and then determined the Rarity of cards later. I don't get it. 

Pack EV: 0.91 tix. 

Draft EV: 2.73 tix. 

Bottom Line: Triple Champions of Kamigawa - Entry 100 Play Points
Place Total Winnings (in Play Points)
1st 227.3
2nd 127.3
3rd/4th 77.3
5th-8th 27.3

Feb. 24 - Mar. 2: Champions/Champions/Betrayers

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Rares $10+: Goryo's Vengeance

Rares $5+: Threads of Disloyalty, Disrupting Shoal

Uncommons $1+: None.

Commons $0.50+: Ninja of the Deep Hours

The downside of Betrayers of Kamigawa is the lack of value at the lower rarities. Pretty much the only card you can even hope to open is Ninja of the Deep Hours, which is currently 3.12 tix. Otherwise there's nothing. At Rare there are a handful of semi-valuable cards highlighted by Goryo's Vengeance which, like every valuable card in Kamigawa block, has some chance of being banned in Modern before the flashback takes place. That said, dropping a pack of Champions for a pack of Betrayers does increase the value of the draft slightly.  

Pack EV: 1.45 tix. 

Draft EV: 3.27 tix. 

Bottom Line: Champions/Champions/Betrayers - Entry 100 Play Points
Place Total Winnings (in Play Points)
1st 232.7
2nd 132.7
3rd/4th 82.7
5th-8th 32.7

Mar. 2 - Mar 9: Champions/Betrayers/Saviors

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Rares $10+: Oboro, Palace in the Clouds

Rares $5+: Enduring Ideal, Kataki, War's Wage, Mikokoro, Center of the Sea, Erayo, Soratami Ascendant.

Uncommons $1+: None.

Commons $0.50+: None.

The trick to coming out ahead in Saviors of Kamigawa is opening valuable Rares. The lower rarities are completely devoid of value, without a single cards of note at Common or Uncommon. The Rares are fine, but not especially exciting. Most are maintaining their value because they are scarce rather than playable. That means it may take awhile for their prices to recover from even the small increase of supply that comes from one week of flashback drafting. Because of the total lack of value at Common and Uncommon, adding a pack of Saviors of Kamigawa over Champions of Kamigawa actually decreases the value of the draft. 

Pack EV: 0.78 tix.

Draft EV: 3.14 tix. 

Bottom Line: Champions/Betrayers/Saviors - Entry 100 Play Points
Place Total Winnings (in Play Points)
1st 231.4
2nd 131.4
3rd/4th 81.4
5th-8th 31.4

Mar. 9 - Mar. 16: Triple Ninth Edition

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Rares $10+: Blood Moon

Rares $5+: None.

Uncommons $1+: Kird Ape, Urza's Power Plant, Urza's Mine, Urza's Tower

Commons $0.50+: None.

Triple Ninth Edition is basically Blood Moon or bust. While there is some value at Uncommon, it's questionable if even this will be true after the Urza's lands get drafted in 8th Edition a couple months prior to the 9th Edition flashback. Overall, 9th Edition falls in the bottom half of flashback drafts in terms of value. 

Pack EV: 0.84 tix. 

Draft EV: 2.52 tix.

Bottom Line: Triple 9th Edition - Entry 100 Play Points
Place Total Winnings (in Play Points)
1st 225.2
2nd 125.2
3rd/4th 75.2
5th-8th 25.2

Mar. 16 - Mar 23: Triple Ravnica

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Rares $10+: Dark Confidant.

Rares $5+: Golgari Grave-Troll, Glimpse the Unthinkable, Sacred Foundry

Uncommons $1+: Remand

Commons $0.50+: None. 

Without significant value at Common or Uncommon, and lacking any big money Rares outside of Dark Confidant, which isn't worth as much thanks to constant reprintings, triple Ravnica comes in near the bottom of flashbacks in terms of value. However, people will still play it like crazy because it has a strong nostalgic factor and is fun to draft. Draft Ravnica because you love the format, not because you are expecting to profit. 

Pack EV: 0.82 tix. 

Draft EV: 2.46 tix. 

Bottom Line: Triple Ravnica - Entry 100 Play Points
Place Total Winnings (in Play Points)
1st 224.6
2nd 124.6
3rd/4th 74.6
5th-8th 24.6

Mar. 23 - Mar. 30: Ravnica/Ravnica/Guildpact

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Rares $10+: None.

Rares $5+: Stomping Ground, Steam Vents

Uncommons $1+: Shattering Spree

Commons $0.50+: None.

Guildpact is somehow even lower value than Ravnica. The best card you can hope to open is a shockland, which tops out at 7.5 tix for Stomping Ground and Steam Vents. The only lower rarity card worth mentioning is Shattering Spree. The biggest problem with Guildpact, however, is that the Rares scale to bulk quickly. There are only 8 Rares worth more than 1 tix, which means more often than not you'll go through an entire draft without opening any value at all. 

Pack EV: 0.65 tix. 

Draft EV: 2.33 tix. 

Bottom Line: Ravnica/Ravnica/Guildpact - Entry 100 Play Points
Place Total Winnings (in Play Points)
1st 223.3
2nd 123.3
3rd/4th 73.3
5th-8th 23.3

Mar. 30 - Apr. 4: Ravnica/Guildpact/Dissension

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Rares $10+: Infernal Tutor.

Rares $5+: Breeding Pool

Uncommons $1+: Spell Snare, Ghost Quarter

Commons $0.50+: None.

While Dissension isn't a high value set by any means, it does look pretty good in comparison to the rest of Ravnica block. At least you have a small chance of opening a 46 tix Rare in Infernal Tutor or a 3 tix Uncommon in Spell Snare, which actually happens fairly often thanks to the small set size. In fact, you'll open a copy of Spell Snare once in every six drafts. Overall, adding in a pack of Dissension over Ravnica increases the value of the draft a bit, but it's still a low-value format. This said, it's an amazing format, and you should draft it as much as possible. 

Pack EV: 1.52 tix. 

Draft EV: 3.08 tix. 

Bottom Line: Ravnica/Guildpact/Dissension - Entry 100 Play Points
Place Total Winnings (in Play Points)
1st 230.8
2nd 130.8
3rd/4th 80.8
5th-8th 30.8

Apr. 6 - Apr. 13: Triple Coldsnap

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Rares $10+: Dark Depths.

Rares $5+: Scrying Sheets.

Uncommons $1+: Counterbalance, Mishra's Bauble.

Commons $0.50+: Martyr of Sands, Snow-Covered Mountain, Snow-Covered Island.

Coldsnap is all about the Uncommons. Considering there are only 55 Uncommons in the set, and two of them are the 13.81 tix Counterbalance and the 8.21 tix Mishra's Bauble, the odds of opening one card that pays for your entire draft is higher in Coldsnap than any other set. It also has some value scattered through the other rarities with Dark Depths being the single most valuable card at over 20 tix. The snow-covered basic lands add some value at Common. At current prices, drafting Coldsnap is almost a free roll. You pay 10 tix to enter the draft, and you can expect to open a whopping 8.55 tix from your packs. 

Pack EV: 2.85 tix. 

Draft EV: 8.55 tix. 

Bottom Line: Triple Coldsnap - Entry 100 Play Points
Place Total Winnings (in Play Points)
1st 285.5
2nd 185.5
3rd/4th 135.5
5th-8th 85.5

May 4 - May 11: Triple Time Spiral

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Rares $10+: None.

Rares $5+: Living End, Vesuva.

Uncommons $1+: None.

Commons $0.50+: Rift Bolt.

Triple Time Spiral manages to come in as the least valuable format out of all the flashbacks, with the average Time Spiral booster yielding only 0.49 tix worth of cards. The set is completely barren of value. The problem is three-fold. First, it doesn't have any true "money cards." The best opens in the set (Vesuva and Living End) are only worth 6 tix. Second, there are no valuable Uncommons in the set at all. Third, Rift Bolt is worth 0.77 tix, but Time Spiral has a massive 121 Commons. Draft triple Time Spiral if you enjoy funky cards. 

Pack EV: 0.49.

Draft EV: 1.47 tix. 

Bottom Line: Triple Time Spiral - Entry 100 Play Points
Place Total Winnings (in Play Points)
1st 214.7
2nd 114.7
3rd/4th 64.7
5th-8th 14.7

May 11 - May 18: Time Spiral/Time Spiral/Planar Chaos

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Rares $10+: Damnation.

Rares $5+: None.

Uncommons $1+: None.

Commons $0.50+: Simian Spirit Guide.

There is exactly one card in Planar Chaos that is worth more than the price of a pack: Damnation. Otherwise, you can hope that people pass a lot of Simian Spirit Guides around the table. Even despite these deficiencies, Planar Chaos is actually worth slightly more than Time Spiral

Pack EV: 0.54 tix. 

Draft EV: 1.52 tix. 

Bottom Line: Time Spiral/Time Spiral/Planar Chaos - Entry 100 Play Points
Place Total Winnings (in Play Points)
1st 215.2
2nd 115.2
3rd/4th 65.2
5th-8th 15.2

May 18 - May 25: Time Spiral/Planar Chaos/Future Sight

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Rares $10+: Tarmogoyf, Horizon Canopy, Grove of the Burnwillows, Magus of the Moon.

Rares $5+: Pact of Negation, Glittering Wish.

Uncommons $1+: Aven Mindcensor, Dryad Arbor, Tolaria West.

Commons $0.50+: None. 

Time Spiral is such a strange block from a value perspective. Time Spiral and Planar Chaos are among the two least valuable sets on Magic Online. Then you have Future Sight, which is the single most valuable set in all of Modern. The only place Future Sight is lacking is at Common. It has a 70 tix Rare in Tarmogoyf and three more Rares worth between 25 and 40 tix. At Uncommon it has the 5 tix Aven Mindcensor, the 2 tix Dryad Arbor, and the 1 tix Tolaria West. Future Sight has so much value that adding one pack takes the draft format from the least valuable of all flashbacks and pushes it into one of the most value packed formats. 

Pack EV: 4.16 tix. 

Draft EV: 5.19 tix. 

Bottom Line: Time Spiral//Planar Chaos/Future Sight - Entry 100 Play Points
Place Total Winnings (in Play Points)
1st 251.9
2nd 151.9
3rd/4th 101.9
5th-8th 51.9

May 23 - June 1: Triple 10th Edition

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Rares $10+: Crucible of Worlds.

Rares $5+: Hurkyl's Recall, Wrath of God.

Uncommons $1+: Shatterstorm, Treetop Village, Chromatic Star, Mind Stone.

Commons $0.50+: None.

While there are a handful of high value cards in 10th Edition, highlighted by Crucible of Worlds at Rare and the 5 tix Shatterstorm at Uncommon, the biggest issue with the set is that it's huge. Tenth Edition has 121 cards at each rarity, making the total set size 363. Your odds of opening any of the money cards are extremely low, and there is a lot of variance in the boosters themselves. Overall, it's on the low side of average when it comes to booster EV and flashback value. 

Pack EV: 0.75 tix. 

Draft EV: 2.25 tix. 

Bottom Line: Triple 10th Edition - Entry 100 Play Points
Place Total Winnings (in Play Points)
1st 222.5
2nd 122.5
3rd/4th 72.5
5th-8th 22.5

Value Rankings

Purely from a value perspective, which sets are most profitable to draft? The following table shows the average total value a player will get from a draft. It includes not only the Play Points paid out in prizes (split equally among the eight participants), but also the expected value of the boosters the player will open in the draft. Remember, it costs 100 Play Points to join any of these flashback drafts, so a score of 100 will mean the average player can expect to break even after playing the event.

Value Rankings
Format Average Payout Average Play Points Won/Lost
Triple Coldsnap 135.5 +35.5
Mirrodin/Darksteel/Fifth Dawn 116.5 +16.5
Mirrodin/Mirrodin/Darksteel 102.8 +2.8
Time Spiral/Planar Chaos/Future Sight 101.9 +1.9
Triple Mirrodin 100.5 +0.5
Triple 8th Edition 85.2 -14.8
Champions/Champions/Betrayers 82.7 -17.3
Champions/Betrayers/Saviors 81.4 -18.6
Triple Champions of Kamigawa 77.3 -22.7
Triple 9th Edition 75.2 -24.8
Triple Ravnica 74.6 -25.4
Ravnica/Ravnica/Gildpact 73.3 -26.7
Triple 10th Edition 72.5 -27.5
Time Spiral/Time Spiral/Planar Chaos 65.2 -34.8
Triple Time Spiral 64.7 -35.3

Fun Rankings - Five Formats to Draft

Of course, drafting on Magic Online isn't just about value. Magic is a game, so sometimes it's worth it to lose a bit of money in the name of fun. Here are my completely subjective rankings of my five best flashback formats for the first half of 2016!

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

1. Ravnica/Guildpact/Dissension: I love multi-color formats, and the way the guilds break down by set makes drafting the full block challenging. You have to think ahead to packs two and three in making your picks. Ideally, you want to have one guild in each pack (e.g. take Dimir cards in Ravnica, Izzet cards in Guildpact, and Rakdos cards in Dissension), and you can get yourself in trouble by going for the wrong color combinations too early. If you take Boros in pack one and Gruul in pack two, you'll find yourself guildless by the time you reach Dissension. While I'm by no means a master of drafting the format, I really enjoy the fact that you have to think ahead and draft with packs two and three in mind while you are making your very first picks. 

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

2. Time Spiral/Planar Chaos/Future Sight: I'm a big fan of all forms of Time Spiral block limited, but the full block format gets a shout out because of one Common: Sprout Swarm. If you've never played the format, you pretty much go through the first two packs in hopes of two things: either you open a Tarmogoyf or you open a Sprout Swarm. While it might not look like much on paper, the token generating Common is among the all time broken limited cards. Seriously, do you remember when everyone was salty about Pack Rat in Return to Ravnica? Now imagine Pack Rat printed at Common — that's Sprout Swarm.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

3. Mirrodin/Mirrodin/Darksteel: While adding a pack of Fifth Dawn might increase the EV of the format, most people agree that Mirrodin/Mirrodin/Darksteel was a better limited format. There are tons of overpowered artifacts. These sets were before Wizards learned to balance the power level of equipment. 

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

4. 8th Edition: Now to be fair I've never drafted 8th Edition. I bet the format is completely miserable. It contains many of the most busted hate cards and hosers printed in the modern era of Magic. The potential of being able to assemble Tron, lock people with Ensnaring Bridge, or randomly Choke or Boil an opponent out of the game is too much for me to resist. I'm sure every game will be completely unfun, random, and horrible, but I can't wait. 

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

5. Triple Coldsnap: Have you ever played the release drafts on Magic Online where they put up random queues like Triple Dragon's Maze, even though Dragon's Maze is a small set and was never intended to be drafted by itself? That's basically what triple Coldsnap is. Personally, I always have fun with these weird formats because you get so much redundancy at Common and Uncommon. In triple Dragon's Maze it was a legitimate strategy to spend your entire first pack picking Gates and then draft as many of the gatekeepers as possible. Coldsnap is even wackier. Since there are only 60 Commons, on average four of each common will be opened every single draft. Crazy things will happen, especially when someone ends up with a ton of the same Ripple cards. Plus, the set does a fairly good job of feeling old (technically it is the third set in Ice Age block), so you get a bunch of weird mechanics and cards that typically wouldn't be printed in a modern Magic set. 

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. What set are you most excited to draft? What do you think of the payout? Are you excited for a new flashback every week, or are you worried about flashback overload? As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments. You can reach me on Twitter (or Magic Online) @SaffronOlive. 


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