Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success! To begin each article going forward I'm going to give an outline of the next four weeks (including this week) worth of content. Not only does this help keep the column organized, it helps me if/when I record content in advance. So without further ado, here's what I have planned:
Aether Revolt Draft #4, Aether Revolt Sealed League #1 videos, Aether Revolt Sealed League #2 videos
Aether Revolt Draft #5, Aether Revolt Sealed League #2 videos, Aether Revolt Sealed League #3 video
Aether Revolt Draft #6, Aether Revolt Sealed League #2 videos, Aether Revolt Sealed League #3 videos
Aether Revolt Draft #7, Aether Revolt Sealed League #3 video, Aether Revolt Sealed League #4 videos
In one of those weeks I may elect to do a Modern Masters 2017 set review if I feel it's warranted. It may be that it just becomes a basic draft guide for all the two color pairs, but I don't anticipate anything I do with Modern Masters 2017 to take up an entire article. I will do at least one Modern Masters 2017 draft and/or sealed, so when that happens we'll have that content instead of Aether Revolt. I still have plans to do the Limited PTQ at Grand Prix San Antonio, but that may change if it's 8 flights of single elimination matches to get to a top 8. I'd much rather pay 50+ dollars for a 9 round swiss event than a single elimination flight because I at least get more value even if I don't make top 8/win. With all that said, let's crack some packs!
Aether Revolt Draft #4
Oh this draft was just a train wreck from the start. When I was drafting I felt as those there were packs that didn't really have anything going for me, and looking back at it I think I was right about that. A lot of packs had 4-5 artifacts that were low impact and it didn't help that I kept seeing off color Implements. This narrowed what cards I could actually take just on that alone and limited my options more than I would like. I think red/white was open as I saw some late Renegade Wheelsmiths, but the red part of that deck was not open and the white was fairly mediocre. I could have taken an Aether Chaser in pick 2 in pack 1 to try to position myself in red, but red was pretty dry after that, so even with hindsight that pick would not have worked out.
Blue looked a little open back half of pack 1 and pack 2, but if I move into blue I have to decide what color to move out of, and I'm not sure there's a clear answer there. I like move out of white since I already have Tezzeret's Touch and try to be UB Improvise, which is something I had in mind early on in pack 1. I didn't rate Ice Over very highly so I glossed over them in the end of pack 1, but it was incorrect to do so. Even so however, I don't believe blue and black were deep enough to cobble together a decent deck.
I ended up going 1-2 but had a decent shot at going 2-1 surprisingly. The 2-1 wouldn't have been reflective of the deck, so I'm fine with the 1-2 I actually got. Personally I feel the packs were weak for my seat and I tried to do the best I could with what I saw, but that's just me. What do you think? What went right or wrong in the draft?
Aether Revolt Sealed League #1
A disappointing end to the league at 2-3, but at least I got a win in the last round with the type of draws I expected to get with the deck. The deck is very clearly better than a 2-3, but a combination of mistakes and underwhelming draws lead to the 2-3 result. It did feel as those I never drew all my good cards at the right time, instead having to rely on support cards to try and get me there. Part of me wishes I played 16 lands and a Renegade Map, so I have less lands to draw and more spells. Given that my curve effectively stops at 5, drawing the 6th land is going to do nothing for me.
If my blue was a bit better I would have loved to been able to play Saheeli's Artistry and Dovin Baan. While the Planeswalker is merely okay, Saheeli's Artistry can be quite exceptional as you can copy the best creature in play and/or best artifact/artifact creature. It's usually a 2 for 1 in your favor that can get you back from behind or pull you way ahead. Perhaps the best version of this deck is actually white/black and splashes for Ajani Unyielding. The green was actually fairly weak outside of Ajani, so it might have been better to play Daring Demolition, Vengeful Rebel, and Aether Poisoner. This way I have a clean removal to Vehicles at sorcery speed and have good blockers. What do you think? Would I have done better with a white/black deck with Ajani Unyielding?
Aether Revolt Sealed League #2
I had a great start to this league as I finish the first portion of the league at 3-0. After the first three and six matches I have the opportunity to add one booster pack to my sealed pool. It's not free however as either you use play points you already have or the ones you earned in those three matches. The downside it that it takes away from your overall prize pool at the end of the league. Those 40 play points I earned and used on a pack could have been part of my prizes at the end of the league, but instead I used them as an opened pack now. Opened packs are usually worth less than an unopened pack, but at least I have the potential to use those cards to win better prizes.
The deck operated like I thought it would by being able to use cheap creatures and answers to put pressure on my opponent, forcing them to use removal earlier than usual and fall prey to my bigger threats. I don't frequently play 16 land, in fact I'm more likely to play 18 land in sealed as opposed to 16, but Aether Revolt is a format that does not kindly respond to flooding. Mana flood usually spells death for you because having less spells than your opponent is a huge liability when your life total is under duress. As you saw in the videos, I didn't do a whole lot of blocking and if I did, it was in a losing position. This format is all about racing and getting the other person dead before they kill you. That isn't to say you can't be a blocking deck and try to play for a longer game, it's that I think this format is more proactive than reactive.
I have a great sealed deck in the second league, so let's hope the third league is as kind as this one is! I'll be back next week to do another draft and start a new league. Hopefully I can draft a red/white deck like I've been doing in paper. 16 land red/white aggro has treated me well in draft, so let's see if it can work in draft leagues.
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