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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Nov 16 2017 11:00am
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Firstly, apologies for my abscence over the last two weeks. I fell ill and did not feel up to writing an article, let alone attempting to concentrate to play at my optimal level. On top of this, Ixalan is probably one of my least favourite draft formats in recent times and that gave me even less motivation.

So, this week (and next - this is a two-parter), I'm going to delve into sealed deck! This is going to be a Friendly Sealed event, meaning I will get to play nine matches and be able to add two extra boosters (one after the third match, one after the sixth). This week, I will break down the sealed pool, walking you through my methods and thoughts as I examine it, and I will play the first three matches. Next week you will see the two extra boosters and the final six matches.

THE POOL

What immediately stands out to me is that black and white are extremely shallow. Secondly, I have two Raging Sawtooth and a Regisaur Alpha, as well as a Huatli, Warrior Poet, which immediately makes me think I want to look at Naya Dinosaurs. 

But, first thing's first. I always look at my rares before anything else to see what bombs, if any, I have. In this pool, this is what we have:

It's pretty spread out among the colours, with Regisaur Alpha and Huatli, Warrior Poet as the bombs. Legion's Landing is also a good card. I'll be keeping these three in mind as I go through the rest of the pool.

What I like to do next is break down the best cards in each colour. The purpose of this is to show me what colours are the strongest, and can be used as a guide as to which colours I should be looking to play. For this pool, my thoughts are that these are the best cards in each colour:

As you can see, conveniently, red and green have the highest number of "best cards", which goes well with my three red/green gold cards. Black is very low and I will be pretty much ignoring that colour for now. I have some decent Merfolk cards here as well with Shapers of Nature and Vineshaper Mystic

My next step is to begin looking at decks. The first deck I am going to look at is red/green Dinosaurs, possibly splashing white or going full Naya. Let's have a look at what a first draft of this deck looks like:

This deck is very heavy at 5 mana, which is likely going to be a problem. But each of those five mana cards is powerful and it's hard to justify cutting them. There are seven two and three mana creatures which can at least help if I face an aggro deck. I'm not sure how I feel about this; it might be too slow, but it is sealed deck and that is all about playing your strongest cards.

Let's have a look at what we might be able to do with Merfolk instead:

As you can see, I don't quite have enough playables to make a deck with just these two colours, so would need to splash (most likely for red). There are also only five Merfolk which makes Kumena's Speaker, Shaper Apprentice and Vineshaper Mystic much worse. I can add New Horizons for more synergy with Shapers of Nature, but right now I don't think this is as good as the Dinosaurs deck. Still, I get to add two boosters during the event, so I will be keeping this deck in mind.

No other deck jumps out to me at all in this pool, so I settle on playing red/green Dinosaurs splashing for Huatli.

THE DECK

This is what I settled on. I ended up taking out one of the New Horizons for a Blossom Dryad, as I wanted an extra body I could cast early. Let's see how it goes!

THE MATCHES

I played against a white/black opponent in round one (2-0), a blue/black/red opponent in round two (2-1), and another white/black opponent in round three (0-2). Round three wasn't much fun, after a mulligan to four in the second game. My opponent's deck was quite good though so I have to give them credit. That bit of bad luck also balanced out round one, when that opponent had some bad luck with land.

The deck played out quite aggressively, and was able to do lots of early damage then following it up with one of the five drops. I cast Huatli three times in the seven games, and won each of those games. Raging Swordtooth also wrecked havoc on my round one opponent who played a lot of 1 toughness creatures, when they were able to play anything at all.

NEXT WEEK...

Next week, I'll be adding a booster pack to the mix, playing three more games, then doing it all again. I'm curious to see if you like sealed deck articles as well, so please let me know below! Until next week!