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Ben Stark: EMN is Great, You Should Draw in Sealed

In a rare recent draft video over on CFB, limited guru Ben Stark drafted an unusual (and cool) black/red spells based control deck.  Throughout the video he dropped a few format-specific gems of knowledge between rounds.  Namely:

You Should Be Drawing in Sealed

We’ve all heard this a million times, but it is great to reinforce the point — if a format is a) low pressure and b) you have tons of cheap removal, you should be on the draw.  Both Eldritch Moon draft and sealed happen to be fairly low pressure environments, so this is something to be looking for when you evaluate your match against your opponent’s deck.

If he or she is not going to run you over by curving out on you, then having that extra card is imperative.  One other interesting comment that Stark had was if a pro Magic player chooses to draw against you in game 2 of a GP, you should think long and hard before not drawing in game 3 yourself if you get the choice.  That person, being a pro, is likely to have a more sophisticated understanding of the matchup than you.

Eldritch Moon is Ben’s Type of Format

Because the format is so low pressure, it allows you to spend more time gaining value through card advantage.  As opposed to dying with a card rotting in your hand that you were unable to cast, you can afford to hold on to an expensive, yet powerful, card a bit longer and at a lower opportunity cost.  This is similar to the first Modern Masters set, which had quite a high power level.
[cardimg align=right]Drownyard Behemoth[/cardimg]
I don’t think this is to say that Eldritch Moon is glacially slow – anything but.  There are aggressive archetypes that are capable of applying a lot of early pressure if they get the right cards, especially at uncommon or higher (eg R/B vampires). You just have a little more time than usual to deploy powerful, gamebreaking sources of card advantage like emerge creatures.

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