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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Apr 27 2017 11:00am
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  Amonkhet will officially release tomorrow and we'll be drafting at the store all weekend long so I have plenty of Amonkhet to look forward too.  As far as my openings go, I was able to open a foil Gideon of the Trials and Invocation Spell Pierce and Maelstrom Pulse, so not a bad opening in terms of money.  So Amonkhet came out early on Magic Online and so we'll be able to do start Amonkhet Limited today.  We do however have to finish up Aether Revolt Limited, so there won't be too much Amonkhet today.  Instead we'll dip our toes into Amonkhet today and go into it full force next week.  Speaking of that, let's go ahead and take a look at the upcoming schedule:

  • Today - Amonkhet Prerelease Pool #1, Amonkhet Draft #1, Aether Revolt Draft #9, Aether Revolt Sealed League #4 & 5
  • 5/4 - Amonkhet Prerelease Pool #2, Amonkhet Drafts #1 & 2, Amonkhet Sealed League #1 & 2
  • 5/11 - Amonkhet Draft #3, Amonkhet Sealed League #1 & 2
  • 5/18 - Amonkhet Draft #4, Amonkhet Sealed League #1 & 2

A bunch of Amonkhet Limited is coming up for the month of May!  The leagues will take a bit to complete so while I think I'll also be adding in practice sealed pools so the content doesn't stale every week.  I will try to come up with something while we have both leagues going at a steady pace to start out with.  With all that said let's go ahead and look at some Amonkhet Limited before we send off Aether Revolt! 

Amonkhet Prerelease Pool #1

As I said in the video I wasn't too impressed with the pool and was unhappy that I wasn't able to play with my foil (Gideon of the Trails) that I opened.  In my opinion Gideon isn't a game winning card, he just makes it much harder for your opponent to actually win.  I like Gideon in more aggro oriented decks since you're able to leverage the middle +0 more than a slower deck can.  I ended up building R/B Aggro and went 4-1 with it, but I will admit that the deck was fairly underpowered and I had to luck my way into those wins via my opponents either flooding or getting screwed by mana.  This is also the first prerelease article where I don't have to add all the pictures by hand to generate the pool, so that's nice!

Amonkhet Draft #1

Since Amonkhet is relatively new I wanted to just get the drafting video up this week and talk about it before playing the matches.  Next week I'll be back with both the matches and the complete playlist for the second draft.  This draft unfortunately was a bit of a mess.  I tried being open in pack 1 but nothing really jumped out at me, so I was left with being in all 5 colors by the end of that pack.  That's usually a sign the draft is not going to go well and it didn't end up turning out that way (at least in the drafting portion).  I took a Neheb, the Worthy early in pack 2 and forced my way into a RB deck that I'm not too happy about.

Looking back on it I'm not sure what I could have done to change the outcome of pack 1.  I think being open is still correct and trying to read the draft, but it wasn't readily apparent what was open in the first pack.  What do you think?  What was open in pack 1 and what made me miss it?  Should I have changed my first pick to Destined/Lead?

Aether Revolt Draft League #9

Looking back at this draft I feel I was better off taking Rishkar's Expertise as my first pick as opposed to taking Pacification Array, but that's with the benefit of hindsight.  I would have been able to settle into a green/white deck coming out of pack 1 and perhaps I end up drafting a better deck than the one I did.  I did say it had been awhile since I drafted Aether Revolt, but that's not really an excuse for not drafting a better deck than I did.  What I ended up with was actually okay and I feel I would have had a good chance at a 2-1 if it were not for the lag that hit me at the end of round 3.  You can even see my opponent's timer go from 10 minutes to 6, and then the time get added back on to theirs and taken off of mine!  That was infuriating to have to witness.  Thankfully I was able to get compensation back, so that train wreck of the first Amonkhet draft is a bit of a free roll.

Aether Revolt Sealed League #4

Going into the last stretch at 4-2 I thought I had a good chance at going at least 6-3 and finishing out okay with the deck.  Turns out my opponents had other plans and I ended at 5-4, which is still a winning record but not what I wanted it to be.  In the end the deck was just a little too clunky and relied heavily on Herald of Anguish for it to win games.  I had a lot of removal but I wasn't being very mana efficient with it, so I could actually fall behind even if I draw 3-4 pieces of removal because it takes too long to deploy it all.  That part of the deck I couldn't change or fix and it did hurt me sometimes, but it's a good problem to have when you have all that removal.  An important lesson to learn is that while removal is good, if you have to spend the first three turns of the game not doing anything, you're going to die even if you kill things.  You can't kill everything and Limited is all about creature combat, not spells.

Aether Revolt Sealed League #5

I ran out of time to do the last 3 matches of the sealed league so I decided to do the replay version instead so I could just knock out the matches any time I wanted.  It ended up being that I did last matches on Monday morning before the league officially ended, so I was pretty tired because I hadn't gone to sleep yet.  The idea was to play until I lost a match and was knocked out of prizes, but I unfortunately won round 3 and 4 to so I had to play the last match to see if I got anything at all.  For the second half of the league I decided to play B/W because in round 3 I thought my green cards wouldn't do anything against my opponent and Fumigate would.  Turns out I liked how it played out and kept it for the rest of the league.  Ended up 2-3 after losing the last round to poor draws/not enough mana.  It happens, oh well!

Conclusion

It wasn't the worst way to send off Aether Revolt, but I could have done a lot worse than I did.  I played a little poorly and got punished for it, but I think overall my win percentage for Aether Revolt is somewhere between 50 and 60 percent, and that's against Magic Online competition.  At the local store level I think my win percentage is at least 60 percent, which shows the strength of those players on Magic Online.

Amonkhet Limited seems to be off to a rocky start for me, but we'll see if I can improve things next week.  Next week I'll take a deeper look into Amonkhet and see what changed from my initial impressions to where I see the format now.  Overall I think it's going to be a fun set, it's just a matter of figuring out what everything is trying to do and using that to my advantage.  It all tends to play out really well, although drawing trials and cartouches in the wrong order is a little annoying, especially if you want to get maximum value from your trials.

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns leave them in the comments section below!  You can subscribe to my YouTube channel here where you'll see all the content in this article early, alongside with extra content just for the channel.

Thanks for reading/watching!