Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success! Christmas has come and gone and pretty soon the New Year will be upon us. A new year means new sets, new content, and a change in just about everything. I for one am ready for Aether Revolt to shake up the Kaladesh Limited experience. There's only so many times I can force myself to draft a mediocre U/B deck and surpass expectations about half the time in paper drafts.
We all need some excitement and 2017 will hopefully bring that to us. This week we're bidding Kaladesh farewell for the year and we'll look to come back to it in January and see what we can do with it until a new format is upon us. One last Kaladesh Draft League and one last Kaladesh Sealed League for 2016. Let's open some packs!
Kaladesh Draft League
First off, Lathnu Hellion is not a first pick quality card. It's a good creature but it's not going to win you the game and it pushes you in one particular direction that may not be suited for you (red aggro). Moving past that I picked Lathnu Hellion in a pack that had Furious Reprisal and Welding Sparks in it. There's going to be two players that might go into red when they see that pack so I'm hoping red is open in pack 1 because it won't be in pack 2. Unfortunately I didn't realize this would happen and took the Hellion anyway. I realized my error too late into the draft, but I at least caught it and didn't miss it completely.
I latched onto white early in pack 1 and was rewarded in pack 2 with an abundance of riches for my good fortune. Sadly, I didn't have a second color because red was not a thing in pack 1 and I kept taking white cards as opposed to finding the other color. I could have entertained a blue option by taking either Experimental Aviator or Malfunction in pack 1, but alas I didn't and there's no way to know how that would have affected my draft if I had tried to make a push into blue. Given my seat I should have been U/W as I take a first pick Skywhale ignoring all the red cards in that pack. Last pack had me take a first pick Saheeli Rai that ultimately was not worth the splash. She doesn't do enough to impact the board state and can't protect herself that well. She's a planeswalker that can do things, but you're not necessarily enthused by what she does.
As for my 0-3, it's a mixture of poor draws and poor decisions. Some of those 2 land hands on the play I should have mulliganed, but then the same occurred while I was on the draw. As I said in the last video, the odds of a 2 land hand working out on the draw are good, while less so on the play. We do have a Prophetic Prism and some amount of 2 mana creatures we can cast, so that can help bridge the gap between a 2 drop on 3 and a 3 drop on 4. I didn't draft a 0-3 deck but I did play myself into a 0-3 deck.
Kaladesh Sealed League
I did say last week that I didn't expect to do well and that prediction turned out to be true. Fact of the matter is that the pool is not good. The deck I assembled operates on hopes and prayers and that's not enough to take on even the average decks in the format. In practice I shouldn't have played the Cultivator's Caravan. Crew 3 is actually a little hard to pull off given that you might have to commit more than one creature to actually activate it. That isn't to say it's a bad card, it's just that I sometimes don't have the board to use it properly. You have to be the aggressor with that card and my deck does a poor job of being a good aggressive deck. Yes, I have some cheap cards but they need help to punch through damage and I didn't have that help.
I think I should have splashed the Cloudblazer in the deck. It's an evasive creature and the card draw is always relevant. It makes the best use out of my Cultivator's Caravan and allows me to have a good draw after I use my Fumigate. Speaking of Fumigate, I found it to be a rather odd card to play with. Normally a "Wrath of God" variant allows you to not only get virtual card advantage but it also ensures that unless they draw a haste threat you won't be attacked next turn. In Kaladesh Limited Fumigate does not always ensure that given that Vehicles will survive the destruction. If your opponent has a Renegade Freighter and draws a creature to crew it, you're taking 5 damage that normally wouldn't happen. This puts you in the awkward position of needing a removal spell to go along with your Fumigate for the Vehicle that won't die. Yes, you should play removal spells but you don't have that immediate pressure to have an answer to whatever is in play. You can wait a turn or two to either find that spell or a creature to block with in normal circumstances. Fumigate is still a great spell, it's just a little less effective in some situations in this format.
I did not get the three wins I had hoped for and that caps a rather poor showing in Kaladesh Sealed to end the year. I do think I've gotten some bad pools to work with so there's only so much I can do. Not every pool is a winner and on Magic Online every match has to have a loser. I've fallen on the wrong end of things a little too often in this format and that's that. Hopefully the New Year will bring better fortune in terms of the pools I open.
Not a whole lot of winning to end the year, but you can't win them all. We're just saving the wins for 2017 right? If you have any comments, questions, or concerns leave them in the comments section below. Just a reminder you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here to catch all the videos before they come up here on the site.
I appreciate all of your support throughout 2016 and I hope to see you all in 2017.