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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
May 11 2017 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  The Pro Tour is this weekend and I can't wait to see how the pros tackle Amonkhet draft and what we're able to learn from the format going forward.  I used to break down the drafts that the pros did in the past, but I've decided not to do that anymore and instead offer a brief overview of what I learned from watching the drafts and seeing the games play out.  I don't think it's my place to comment on the drafts, but I do think I'm able to share what I feel is important from the entire weekend and use that knowledge to better myself and you, the reader, in our future drafts of Amonkhet.  Let's go ahead and take a look at the upcoming schedule for this column over the next few weeks:

  • Today - Amonkhet Draft League #3, Amonkhet Sealed League #1 videos, Amonkhet Sealed League #2 videos
  • 5/18 - Amonkhet Draft League #4, Amonkhet Sealed League #1 videos, Amonkhet Sealed League #2 videos
  • 5/25 - Amonkhet Draft League #5, Amonkhet Sealed League #1 videos, Amonkhet Sealed League #2 videos
  • 6/1 - Amonkhet Draft League #6, Amonkhet Sealed League #3, Amonkhet Sealed League #4

Depending on how badly or well we do in the sealed leagues we may start the third league a week early, so that is subject to change.  Going into the Pro Tour I feel like any exert deck is going to do well in draft, but given that the pros have spent a few weeks on the format, we might see a control deck come out that can stop these exert decks from running around and ending games quickly.  What do you think?  Is exert well positioned in Amonkhet draft, or is that a byproduct of aggressive strategies being more prevalent early on in a draft environment?  What are your thoughts on Amonkhet draft and the speed of the format?

Amonkhet Draft League #3

I like to think that this was a pretty easy draft to follow.  We first pick Angel of Sanctions and keep ourselves relatively open even though we take a Temmet, Vizier of Naktamun early that would have pushed us into white/blue.  Instead I see the red cards flowing, jump onto the red/white train and never look back.  With a decent curve and some removal to go along with Angel of Sanctions and Heart-Piercer Manticore I thought I was in a good position to take down the league with a 3-0.  We actually encountered a bug along the way that would force us to replay our first match in order to get a fairer result.  During the first game of the first match I played, my opponent played a Vizier of Deferment that exiled a Trueheart Duelist that had a -1/-1 counter on it.  When my Trueheart Duelist came back, the counter that should have been taken off instead was still on my creature.  Since that influenced the match, I filed for compensation and instead of getting my money back, they just voided the match result.

I ended up winning that round again, and then the second round of the draft to go to 2-0 before I finally succumbed to a mulligan to 5 on the play against an opponent with Archfiend of Ifnir in their deck.  Truth be told I probably die to an Archfiend of Ifnir nine out of ten times, so I'm not too upset that it was also accompanied by a mulligan to five cards.  The deck played great and we easily could have gone 3-0 had one thing gone my way.  Oh well, there's always next week!

Amonkhet Sealed League #1

One of my subscribers on YouTube said that I should splash Final Reward in my blue/white deck since I had the Fetid Pools to go along with it.  I agreed that I should do that and added a basic Swamp to the deck to help make that splash easier to manage.  Having made my deck a little better I thought at worst I would split the first two matches 1-1, but I was wrong.  My early creatures are very mediocre at best, so they don't have any durability when I trying to be on offense or defense.  My Shimmerscale Drakes and Glyph Keeper are great, but the rest isn't really ideal.  I have Sacred Excavation in the deck but it doesn't work the way I want it to.  Perhaps I shouldn't try to cycle early and instead hold onto my cycle cards and use Sacred Excavation as a way reuse them after I've already cast those cards.

My deck is a card or two from during those two losses into wins, but I can't add cards to the deck in order to make it better.  Perhaps I need to switch colors or go a full on three color deck in order to have access to the most powerful cards I'm afforded?  I'm not sure what to do in order to prevent me from losing any more matches with the deck I have.  What do you think?  Is there a better option in my pool that would increase my chances at winning games?

Amonkhet Sealed League #2

I wasn't too thrilled to play this pool since I knew the deck would have issues just given how the curve looks and how few powerful cards I have, but anything can happen so might as well try right?  I expected to be blown out in all three matches but instead I was able to force three games in the matches I lost, so that gives me a little hope for this deck.  I have to attack in the air and keep my ground assault to a minimum since I don't have the advantage there.  With double Shimmerscale Drake and an Archfiend of Ifnir, I should be able to dominate the air and win that way.  I don't have a very good curve so I need to curve out and hit my 5 mana fliers on turn 5 every game in order to have a chance.  I'm playing 18 lands but I'm having issues getting to 6 mana on 6, although I think that's more a function of me having poor draws than the deck itself.   I do need to beef up my early game, but black and blue aren't really known for good creatures early on, so maybe that's something I just can't fix.  I escaped the first three matches with one match win, so at least we didn't start 0-3 in the league.  Our pack gave us some good cards, so hopefully we can do better next week.


If nothing else I seem to be drafting well, so that keeps me happy despite my woes in Amonkhet Sealed.  Hopefully our fortunes improve once the leagues turn over and we're able to get new pools to break down and play with.  Until then I'll keep battling with these decks and hoping to make them better as I go along.  One thing to note about Amonkhet is that it feels fast to me.  You need to be able to do something on turn 2 that either is a creature or interacts with a creature because otherwise you get run over.  Embalm makes it so it's harder to run your opponent out of creatures and Exert makes them more likely to attack and pose a bad block when you're defending.  I don't like blocking much unless I'm in green, so in a sense it reminds me of Aether Revolt limited.

Next week I'll be back with more Amonkhet Limited and a brief analysis from the Pro Tour.  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 where you'll be able to find all the content that you find on this column early, along with exclusive content just for the channel.  If you like Approach of the Second Sun in Standard go check out my channel for discussion on the archetype.

Thanks for reading/watching!