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Rough Drafts: Year of Modern Flashbacks - 8th Edition

Hello everyone! It's time for another edition of Rough Drafts! As you probably know by now, 2016 is the year of the Modern flashback on Magic Online, which means each and every week, outside of release periods for Standard legal sets, there will be a new flashback draft format on MTGO. One of my goals for the year is to record at least one draft of each format, as soon as they release, and get it uploaded so all of you can have a peak at the format before jumping into the queue and trying out the format for yourself. 

Since I'm only familiar with some of these formats, the formatting of the article is going to be a little bit different. Instead of discussing the format itself and trying to break down the best way to draft it (because I'm definitely not qualified to give that advice for some of these formats) we are instead going to focus on three things. First, we'll break down the money cards in the set, so if you decide to jump into a queue you won't pass a $40 card. Second, I'm briefly talk about my observations from the draft and the format. Third, I'm going to try to link to some primer/pick order articles written by other people who know way more about these formats than I do, so you'll be fully prepared when you decide to jump on and draft!

Anyway, today we are playing 8th Edition. Actually, this is the very first 8th Edition draft that I've ever done, so you'll probably get to see a lot of card reading and questionable picks. The two things I know about the format are as follows. Most importantly, you want to open a Blood Moon or an Ensnaring Bridge, not because they are good in limited (they're not), but because they are - by far - the two most valuable cards in the set. Secondly, the format looks fairly random and awkward. Every other spell is some sort of strange color hoser, so I think the main idea of 8th Edition limited is to hope that you happen to draft cards that hose your opponent's colors, and hope that they don't draft cards that hose your Sounds like my kind of Magic!

Let's get to the videos, then we'll talk briefly about 8th Edition limited. A quick reminder. If you enjoy the Rough Drafts series and the other video content on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish Youtube Channel to keep up on all the latest and greatest.

8th Edition: Drafting

8th Edition: Round 1

8th Edition: Round 2

8th Edition: Finals (Round 3)

8th Edition

Remember, you should probably take my 8th Edition observations with a grain of salt, since this was my first every 8th Edition draft, but anyway, here are my takeaways about the draft and the format.

  1. 8th Edition feel extremely high variance and almost random. There are so many color hosers in the set that you pretty much hope your deck randomly hoses your opponent's deck, and than your opponent's deck doesn't randomly hose you. This was especially evident when we ran into the Black-White mirror. The two decks were almost identical, except we opened a Western Paladin which won us two games all by itself. The odds of us having a Western Palain? 2.7 percent. Actually, as strange as it sounds, we won one match because we had Circle of Protection: Red, another because we had Western Paladin and one because of Unholy Strength. Basically, this time we were on the right side of the hosing spectrum, but next time around it will probably be our opponent with the random card that we just can't beat. 
  2. While maybe it's just how this draft turned out, I felt like every creature - no matter how much mana it cost - had two power. Seriously, our deck was basically all 2/2 and 2/3, but some cost two mana and others cost five mana. As such, 3/3's seem pretty good in the format. The obvious exception is Green and Red, which have a ton of big creatures, but they also have some really weird drawbacks. 
  3. I didn't mention it in the videos, but my basic rule of thumb for drafting creatures in old formats is "if this was in a modern Magic set, could I still imagine putting it in my deck." I sill play 2/2's for two, so Glory Seeker is probably fine. I still happily to play 2/2's with flying for three, so Diving Griffin is likely a solid card. Not very scientific, I know, but using this method does keep my from playing horrible cards. 
  4. The packs aren't that deep. With a few exceptions, picks 9-15 are pretty much total blanks, as least for the main deck. I could imagine struggling to find enough playables in 8th Edition draft if things go poorly. With the last picks in a pack, drafting random hosers that, on a scale of 0 to 10, are zeros in 80 percent of matchups, but nines in 20 percent of matchups seems preferable to drafting utterly unplayable jank. 
  5. I still have no idea if our deck was good, or if I just got lucky and happened to have the right hosers. Typically, winning a draft makes me confident that my deck was solid, but not in 8th Edition.
  6. In retrospect, I probably should have money drafted the City of Brass. It's the 7th most valuable card in the set, and $2.69 almost pays for the pack. In 8th Edition, there are not many opportunities to add valuable cards to your collection, so passing up on one is likely bad form on my part. 

The Money Cards

8th Edition Money Cards
Card Rarity Current Value
Blood Moon Rare $34.85
Ensnaring Bridge Rare $23.90
Bribery Rare $4.29
Defense Grid Rare


Phyrexian Arena Rare $3.74
Wrath of God Rare $3.74
City of Brass Rare $2.69
Worship Rare $2.49
Choke Uncommon $1.83
Intruder Alarm Rare $1.52
Birds of Paradise Rare $1.23
Urza's Power Plant Uncommon $1.22
Urza's Tower Uncommon $1.07
Urza's Mine Uncommon $0.79
Merchant Scroll Uncommon $0.65
Circle of Protection: Red Uncommon $0.62


  1. 8th Edition Draft Primer.Written by Kai Budde back in 2003, contains pick orders by color from the greatest of all time.
  2. Drafting 8th Edition In this 2004 edition of Limited Information, Paul Sottosanti discusses the basics of drafting 8th Edition and breaks down his top commons by color.
  3. 8th Edition Draft Primer. Posted in the Limited Resources subreddit, this primer discusses four themes and 10 cards to watch for in 8th Edition draft!


Anyway, that's all for today. While I don't think that 8th Edition is one of the better Modern flashback formats, I do recommend giving it a try because it is so much different than any other set you'll get the opportunity to draft this year. There are just so many strange cards and powerful hosers, you never quite know what will happen on any given draft. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter (or MTGO) @SaffronOlive. 

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