Release weekend for Double Masters 2022 (2X2) is right around the corner, and I assume if you’re reading this article, that you’re as stoked as I am to sit down for your first draft either in-person or on MTGO! In this article, I want to give a quick overview of what to expect in Double Masters and then dive into specific commons that I expect will be big players in the format and why.
The headline for Double Masters 2022 is that it’s all about three-color archetypes and that the mana fixing is excellent. If you’re suffering from Streets of New Capenna PTSD, don’t worry, because all 10 three-color archetypes, shards and wedges, are supported. Yes, you read that correctly… all 10! This is the first time in the history of draft that all 10 three-color archetypes were supported in the design of a format. This means that 2X2 should be incredibly deep and complex, with lots of sweet drafts and gameplay.
Before we get into WotC’s elevator pitch for each archetype, I want to make sure you know the rest of the schtick for 2X2 in case you didn’t draft the original Double Masters. Similar to last time, every pack is guaranteed to have two rares or mythics, which means they will play a bigger role than normal. Since everything is doubled, you also get to pick two cards out of your first pack, and then you draft one card per pack like normal after you pass your opening pack.
However, there is a new twist this time around for 2X2: every pack will have 16 cards, and the 16th card is always going to be a copy of Cryptic Spires in every pack.
A copy of Cryptic Spires in every pack means that fixing is going to be plentiful and powerful – such a cool design concept! The fact that you get to delay your decision about what colors Cryptic Spires taps for until the end of the draft for each copy makes me think it will be a fairly high pick. In addition to Spires, the Ravnica block bounce lands, or Karoo lands, are also included in the format. With all of those lands being on the slower side, it will be interesting to see how that affects the pace of the format. It certainly seems like it will be possible to play three-color decks with good mana, but we’ll have to see how many ETB tapped lands you are happy running on average.
If you want more nuts and bolts information about Double Masters 2022, Mark Rosewater wrote an excellent article explaining the design process here:
In the article, he gives some detailed information about the draft archetypes that I don’t want to repeat here, but I do want to give you WotC’s description of what each archetype is all about.
- Esper (WUB) Flicker: blink creatures with ETB effects for value.
- Grixis (UBR) Graveyard Midrange: get small amounts of value out of the graveyard.
- Jund (BRG) Jund ‘Em Out: win via attrition with value creatures and removal.
- Naya (RGW) Heroic Aggro: pressure the opponent with heroic creatures and tricks.
- Bant (GWU) Big Ramp: ramp to big creatures and effects to win.
- Mardu (RWB) Aristocrats: sacrifice synergies for value and aggression.
- Temur (GUR) Midrange Ramp: versatile deck with the best of red, blue, and green.
- Abzan (WBG) +1+1 counters: counter synergies that go tall and/or wide.
- Jeskai (URW) Prowess: prowess creatures and tempo spells to disrupt your opponent.
- Sultai (BGU) Big Graveyard: self-mill and graveyard shenanigans.
Armed with all of this knowledge, what should you expect from the format? According to WotC, you should be anticipating a high-powered, complex and synergistic Limited environment. In particular, I want to put an emphasis on synergistic. In my experience, these curated draft environments provide a lot of powerful cards for everyone, so drafting a highly synergistic deck is the best way to get an edge over your opponents.
Identifying the cards that are powerful and synergistic across multiple archetypes is especially important, and it can be difficult to do without playing with the cards. However, I’m going to take my best shot at predicting what commons will be important to multiple archetypes and why so that you can see my thought process and potentially apply it to future formats.