When I record Flashback drafts I accompany them with a short review of the format and some drafting advice, but Seth Manfield already put together a great Eternal Masters Limited guide, which I recommend to anyone drafting the format.

I started out my first Eternal Masters draft with a Chain Lighting before getting passed a Burning Vengeance, so I took it and jumped at the opportunity to draft what many consider to be the best deck in the format; I put together what looked like quite a nice U/R Flashback deck, but a R/G aggro deck complete with Kird Ape, Flinthoof Boar, and a stream of Avarax made very short work of me. In the first game I landed Burning Vengeance early, but his X/3 creatures proved to be effective against my Burning Vengeance and Firebolt, which showed me the value of three-damage removal like Carbonize to catch what the two-damage effects miss. The second game looked great with a turn three Burning Vengeance, but a Nature's Claim immediately put an end to my strategy and made winning very difficult. In my second draft I set out to draft a more solid deck, a deck less reliant on a few key cards, perhaps a deck less powerful, but a deck more capable of actually playing Magic in a variety of situations. Here are the results:

My takeaways from the format so far is that it's defined by the tension of synergistic decks working against the quality disruption in the format. Decks full of quality cards, but lacking much synergy, or "good stuff" decks, aren't just something that happens when a theme doesn't come together, but it's a legitimate strategy for attacking the Eternal Masters limited metagame. The format is full incredibly effective combinations of cards, but it's also filled with very efficient disruption that can break these cards apart and allow individually powerful cards to take over. For example, the Legacy format is full of synergistic decks, like Storm combo, and Elves, and Sneak and Show, but these decks don't dominate because the format is also full of efficient and flexible disruption, which allows decks like Miracles and Shardless Sultai to be so successful playing "fair" strategies. Eternal Masters replicatesthis environment,with efficient disruption supplemented by card advantage fighting against synergies. Control decks take advantage of the plethora of mana fixing like gainlands, Prismatic Lens, and Pilgrim's Eye to play upwards of five colors colors, which provides access to all of the best cards it can find, particularly creature removal, card advantage, and bomb threats. Aggressive decks of all varieties support their strategies with disruption like Duress, Memory Lapse, and creature removal like Eyeblight's Ending and burn spells, to disrupt opposing creatures and stop their power cards, which buys the time necessary to end the game with aggression.

What are your favorite Eternal Masters draft strategies?

-Adam