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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Jun 20 2017 12:00pm
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 When Wizards of the Coast announced the Battle of the Planes sealed format to celebrate Magic Online's 15th birthday, I knew I would be interested. The format would be a fun one - choose a plane (Dominaria, Innistrad, Zendikar, Mirrodin or Ravnica), receive 6 boosters related to that plane, and play three matches!

Of course, I couldn't decide which plane I wanted to do for the article, so I let my play group decide. Dominaria was the winner, with Mirrodin, Innistrad, Zendikar and Ravnica following in that order. So come and watch or read about how I built my deck and see how the event went!



I received a booster each of Onslaught, Legions, Scourge, Time Spiral, Planar Chaos and Future Sight. I never played with these cards when they were out, so I am not really sure how to evaluate these very well. This is the pool:

I always start by selecting my playable cards - usually, to begin with at least, this is efficient creatures or creatures that are hard to block, and removal. This is the bread and butter of limited, and sealed deck in particular. You always want to try and play your best cards. As you can see, black had the most depth but, when I separated the playables, I found white, red and blue had the highest number:

The problem with red was it had a lot of removal and few good creatures - it might not be a great colour except to use for support. White and blue looked like it was possibly going to be the best, especially with Decree of Justice. But I had noticed something else - there were a lot of zombies and a zombie tribal theme in black.

So I first built a black/red deck, trying to play on the zombie synergies and also, to a lesser extent, some sliver synergies. This is what I came up with:

This seemed ok, but I was still interested in exploring the white/blue deck as well. I soon learned that I didn't have a lot of removal, but what I did have was some decent fixing: Chromatic Star and Coalition Relic. This meant I could splash, so I added in the two copies of Ghostfire I had in my pool, thanks to a foil. This is what I ended up with:

I feel this is probably better than red/black, but both might be viable. Happy enough with the decks, I went to the matches.


Match 1

My opponent was from Innistrad and was on white/black. I started with the red/black deck and got absolutely slaughtered in game 1, thanks to a Silver-Inlaid Dagger on a Gisela, the Broken Blade. I needed one of the three removal spells to kill her but instead drew Swat

I moved to the white/blue deck in game 2, as I felt it just had a bit more to deal with Gisela and, if I could kill her, I could also copy her with Body Double! Whilst that did not happen, I did beat down with Calciderm, copying it when it died. Decree of Justice for 1 sealed the game out.

Game 3 was a bit more of a grind. My opponent managed to play Gisela, but I was able to cast Reality Acid on it a then bounce the enchantment with Dream Stalker, killing her instantly. There was a bit of an aerial stand-off between us, but the deadlock was broken when I cast Decree of Justice for 5 (thanks to Clockspinning putting a bunch of counters on Coalition Relic). 

Match 2

This opponent was also from Innistrad, and was also on white/black, but splashing blue. I soon learned what for in game 1, when they played two copies of Moon Heron. I was unable to find any of my fliers or anything to deal with them at all, and quickly fell.

Game 2 started in a similar way, except this time I had Pacifism and Ghostfire in hand. Unfortunately, the curse of variance then hit me and, 6 spells and 10 lands later, I lost. 

I have to admit I'm not sure I would have beaten this opponent anyway. Their deck was very good, with cards such as Accursed Witch, Stormrider Spirit and Moon Heron. I was impressed by how quickly it was able to kill me.

Match 3

I avoided the Innistrad trifecta and got an opponent that was from Ravnica. They were on all five colours and started slowly with Guildgates, but I couldn't take advantage of their slow start. Still - and despite me not realising that Tajic, Blade of the Legion had indestructible (and losing a creature to it), I was able to use Pacifism on him and beat down with Calciderm and Glory Seeker, while using Ghostfire to remove their blocker.

In the second game, I was able to play out some early fliers while my opponent played Frostburn Weird and some signets. With the help of Coalition Relic, I was able to play Decree of Justice to get two Angels, which was going to end the game quickly; my opponent played Stratozeppelid as a blocker. Luckily I had been holding Pacifism in hand and went on to take the game and match.


I didn't expect much from Dominaria, so I was pleased with being able to go 2-1. I'm not surprised that I faced two Innistrad opponents, as I expected that to be the most popular plane. This was a lot of fun, and I hope Wizards decides to bring it back again soon.

Next week, Vintage Cube is back! See you then.