Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success! The end of the year is rapidly approaching and looking back it's like the year went by so quickly. A lot of sets came out this year and a lot of Magic was to be had between Standard sets and supplemental products and the flashback drafts on Magic Online.
I had intended to do the flashback drafts every week until they finished, but at some point the drafts lost their luster. My videos would go up when the format changed and since I was very much new to most of them, I didn't have a good record doing those videos. It just wasn't worth it for me and for you, the reader, for me to continue doing something that I didn't have good results in. If I want to do something for fun, then I can try to do Cube drafts if I feel so inclined.
As I stated last week, we're in a bit of a lull with the end of the year coming soon. This week I have a practice sealed, a sealed league and a draft league. Let's get to it!
Kaladesh Practice Sealed
As I said in the video, I picked a pool at random and didn't look over it before I started recording. Unfortunately, this one was relatively simple to do. Red and blue are my best colors and the rest of the colors just aren't worth playing with. Once I identified that it's all a matter of adding whichever artifacts I want and making a 40 card deck. Sealed pool are sometimes easy or difficult, and this time it ended up being easy. You can argue about which cards to add/cut once you're in UR, but even then you're looking at 20th-23rd cards, so you can't go too wrong there.
Kaladesh Sealed League
There's a few different ways I can go here, but I think the best option is for me to be UG Energy. The big draw here is Aethersquall Ancient since if I can get enough energy I can play from a losing position and retake board presence first. Architect of the Untamed and Multiform Wonder are also good payoffs for having energy in the deck, but are the backup options if Aethersquall Ancient doesn't work out. With double Wild Wanderer and the single Prophetic Prism I do have some leeway in how much I can splash, but for now I think just the singleton Welding Sparks is good enough for me. Unlicensed Disintegration wouldn't be too much of a stretch to manage, but I'm not hurting for removal so I don't feel there's incentive to make my mana worse for just one card. The rest of the options in the pool are merely okay and far much worse than the UG deck that I consider to be the best choice for me.
Kaladesh Draft League
Is Depala a first pick and is she worth forcing an archetype around her?I'm not sure, even after the videos, what the answer to this question is.I do know Depala is a powerful card, but you have to have the right deck for her.You need Vehicles and you need Dwarves, which while are plentiful in Kaladesh, aren't always open if other drafters value them appropriately.Most Dwarves are playable on their own so you don't need a card like Depala to want to play them.The same goes for Vehicles, either you want them or you don't and you don't need a payoff to put them in your deck.If you first pick Depala and want to be in RW Vehicles, then it has to be open otherwise you end up basing your deck over a 3 mana 3/3.
For me, it appeared as those I would have forced a deck around a 3 mana 3/3 but pack 3 came in the clutch and gave me some cards that worked with Depala well, so I actually got some value off of her. That being said, while she's a powerful card, you can't force the deck if you first pick her. You have to keep yourself open and see how the draft plays out because a bad to mediocre RW deck isn't going to do well against other decks that had free reign to be more focused since you weren't taking those cards at all. At the end of the day Depala is just a 3 mana 3/3. She doesn't win you the game on the spot, and she's very beatable if you have good blockers. Depala, Pilot Exemplar is a good payoff in RW Vehicles, but she's not the reason to force the archetype.
Despite my drafting and mistakes, the deck ended up going 2-1 overall to get us back 2 Kaladesh packs. I would have expected one win at best but the deck does have the capability to have free wins so I'm happy with the result. I'm a little embarrassed that I missed my 1st land drop in one of the games because I hit F6 before Magic Online could properly respond to my click of playing a land. When it happened I thought my opponent was going to run away with the game, but they "skipped" their 2nd land drop so I could play my 1st. Turns out they kept a one land hand so my opponent wasn't doing me any kindness and eventually found enough lands to punish me for missing that land. That's certainly one way to lose!
I would have started matches on the sealed league but I wanted to leave it up a bit before actually playing games. Should I play Decoction Module in my UG Energy deck? It does give good synergy with the deck, but I feel it might be too slow. Do you think it's worth playing or no? I think the deck works fine without it and the upside is there if I play it, but I'm not sure if it's worth it.
If you have any comments, questions, or concerns leave them in the comments section below! Next week I'll be back with another draft league and practice sealed along with starting to play matches of my sealed league.