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Rough Drafts: Year of Modern Flashbacks - Champions/Champions/Betrayers


Hello everyone! It's time for another edition of Rough Drafts! This week we are heading to the second Kamigawa format, Champions/Champions/Betrayers. I'm still not all that confident I know what's going on in the format, but I do know one deck I'll be on the lookout for: the Arcane deck. Last week I talked a bit about the arcane deck, and there were some confused comments about how it works. As such, if we get a chance (i.e. get a Dampen Thought early in pack one), we are going to give it a shot so everyone can see how it works. Plus, it has to be one of the coolest archetypes from any limited format ever!

Let's get to the videos, then we'll talk about my impression of Champions/Champions/Betrayers 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.

Champions/Champions/Betrayers: Drafting

Champions/Champions/Betrayers: Round 1

Champions/Champions/Betrayers: Round 2

Champions/Champions/Betrayers: Round 3 (Finals)

Champions/Champions/Betrayers

  • First off, I'm really glad we ended up in the arcane deck, not so much because I built a great example of it (I'm unsure how good of an arcane deck it was), but because arcane is super sweet. Over the course of Magic's history there have been a handful of limited archetypes that everyone should try at least once before they die. A more recent example is the Spider Spawning deck in Innistrad. Arcane is certainly high on the list. 
  • One of the reasons I'm unsure about our deck is because my perception of the arcane archetype is tainted by Modern Masters, where pretty much the only way to build the deck was to be Blue / Red. As such, being Blue / White felt weird, although we got some good additions by going White (and Red clearly wasn't open). Both Candel's Glow and Ethereal Haze were great, and even Kami of False Hope had its moment, so maybe UW Arcane is a real thing in Kamigawa limited? 
  • While I'm far from an expert in the format, going from Triple Champions to Champions/Champions/Betrayers didn't really change the feel of the format all that much. Instead it felt like Betrayers was mostly just another pack of Champions, but with different cards. 
  • Betrayers of Kamigawa does bring with it the best limited card of all time, Umezawa's Jitte. Cross your fingers and hope you open a copy (and that no one else in your pod does). It's really hard to lose if you have one, and really hard to win when your opponent slams it on turns two though four. 
  • There are a lot more tricky things going on in Betrayers, mostly because of the Ninjutsu mechanic, which can be really strong. Make sure to keep it in mind when you are choosing your blocks. Sometimes letting through some innocent creatures will end with you getting wrecked by a Throat Slitter or Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni

Money Cards

Betrayers of Kamigawa is not a high value set. We get one big winner in Goryo's Vengeance, four more "pays for the pack" Rares, and a whole lot of nothing as you can see from the huge drop to Sickening Shoal, the 10th most valuable card in the set, at 0.29 tix. However, it is worth keeping an eye out for Ninja of the Deep Hours. It's a fine card on its own, and Commons that are worth more than a ticket are an easy way to make up some value when flashback drafting. 

Resources

  • If you are looking to get some advice about Magic, you might as well get it from the greatest of all time, right? Kai Budde's five part limited review of Betrayers of Kamigawa on TCGPlayer is required reading for anyone thinking about jumping into the flashback queues. Green, blue, black, red and white.
  • Abilities and Mechanics in Kamigawa Block. While not especially focused on limited, Justin Tucker's 2011 article on GatheringMagic provides a good, brief overview of some things you should look our for when drafting Champions/Champions/Betrayers.
  • Drafting with Betrayers of Kamigawa - Initial Impression. Nick Eisel gives some general thoughts on the format and breaks down one of his Champions/Champions/Betrayers draft decks.

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. While I still don't understand Kamigawa limited, I have to admit both the limited format and the flavor of the block is starting to grow on me. While most of the cards from the set are horrible, there is a lot of interesting synergy in limited and the flavor of the set is definitely unique. It's definitely worth trying out for yourself if you've never drafting it before. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, options, and suggestions in the comments. You can reach me on Twitter (or MTGO) @SaffronOlive. 


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