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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Jun 29 2017 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  Today we bid farewell to Amonkhet as this is the last week we'll play Amonkhet only Limited.  Next week is the set review for Hour of Devastation and the week after it will have already been released on Magic Online!  So with our stay in Amonkhet nearing can we get a 3-0 in Amonkhet Draft?  And what was my match win percentage for Amonkhet?  We'll find that out all at the end of the article, but for now let's take a look at the upcoming schedule:

  • Today - Vintage Cube Draft #1, Amonkhet Draft League #8, Amonkhet Sealed League #4 videos
  • 7/6 - Vintage Cube Draft #2, Hour of Devastation Sealed Set Review
  • 7/13 - HOU Draft League #1, HOU Sealed League #1 video, HOU Sealed League #2 video
  • 7/20 - HOU Draft League #2, HOU Sealed League #1 videos, HOU Sealed League #2 videos

That's right, we're doing Vintage Cube Draft!  I figured that I might as well try it out since I wanted to add something else to the article other than just finishing up Amonkhet.  I don't normally draft Cube online since I don't like the way it feels when I do it.  Drafting in real life allows me to talk to my opponents and be in awe at the cool and crazy things they do with their decks, but online it just feels like we're both trying to kill each other and not fully enjoy the social experience of Cube.  Cube to me is about hanging out with friends and having fun and I don't get that feeling online.  Despite that I decided I'd try it out and see how it went.  I had the "free" Play Points from the Battle of the Planes event so why not?  Let's open some packs!

Vintage Cube Draft League #1

Since I don't normally draft Cube I didn't have an earthly idea what archetypes were in the Cube.  Heading into an unknown draft format where the other players know it is a recipe for disaster if you don't have a game plan lined up beforehand.  Luckily I know that most cube have a mono red deck that can be drafted and went into the draft with the intent of forcing mono red as a strategy and seeing if it would allow me to be competitive against more powerful decks.  Now, mono red isn't the most exciting deck to draft and play but without any intensive study of the cube I would be trying to draft a "good stuff" deck without knowing what the real good stuff is.

I started out with a first pick Rift Bolt that had me wondering what the heck I was doing taking a burn spell over cards like Snapcaster Mage and Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre.  It just seemed so bad that I started hedging my next picks by taking (Walking Ballista) and white planeswalkers until I settled into a R/W aggressive deck after seeing a sixth pick Hellrider showing me that the rest of the table was not interested in red aggro.  I could have really forced the issue and been completely mono red, but the white cards I drafted were really powerful and worth it for me to be a two color strategy.

I didn't expect to go 3-0 with this deck but I mostly got there on the power of Elspeth, Knight-Errant and some key early pressure from my red creatures.  Elspeth remains to this day my favorite planeswalker ever since the original Modern Masters release where I played against her in a draft and thought her middle ability was a minus ability.  I then read the card and thought it was insane for having TWO plus abilities that worked well with each other.  She's a really versatile planeswalker and I'm glad I was able to play her in this deck.  Since I went 3-0 I figured I'd do another cube draft since it's still technically free, so why not?

Amonkhet Draft League #8

To start out with the idea that I might be a U/W deck and end up in W/B Zombies seems a little odd looking back at it.  The black was weak in pack 1 and 2, so I shouldn't have been considering black at all and yet I ended up sticking to it for some reason.  Green was more open than black was, but part of this was me staying in white and not wanting to commit to another color until I saw the incentive to do so.  I started making headway into WB with the (Wayward Servant) in pack 2 and solidified myself in black with a (Bone Picker) and (Wayward Servant) in pack 3.  At first I was surprised that I didn't take (Approach of the Second Sun) but I realize that during the draft I didn't have the deck for it and it would have pulled me in a direction that didn't play well with the cards I already had.  There's no point in playing a 7 mana do nothing card when you're looking to play creatures and curve out with them.

In the end I was happy with the deck I drafted, which is a rare thing for me to say in Amonkhet Limited.  I actually thought after my first match that I had a good chance at finally getting a 3-0 but it was not meant to be.  Still, a 2-1 to end Amonkhet is not the worst thing in the world, so I'll take it.  I do end Amonkhet with no draft trophies to my name, but I do have a chance to correct this in Hour of Devastation.

Amonkhet Sealed League #4

I had a good 4-2 record coming out of the second stage and even added a few cards to my deck so I was optimistic about a 6-3 or 7-2 finish but instead I was given a 5-4 record for my efforts in trying to make a playable deck out of an unplayable pool.  My deck ended up having a little more play to it than I thought it would, but even with that it wasn't enough to stop taking at least one loss in every stage I played.  The main takeaway from this pool is that even when your pool is bad you can still cobble together some wins if you play to your strengths and take some risks.  I knew this pool couldn't win a game that took 10+ turns so I decided that playing the lowest curve I could would give me the best chance at victory, even if that chance seemed slim at times.

Conclusion

Well if you count up the numbers for Amonkhet Draft and Sealed they come out to 9-13 (41%) for Draft and 13-14 (48%) for Sealed.  While those numbers aren't very good, I feel fortunate that I was close to winning half of my matches with those awful sealed pools I had to contend with.  As far as draft goes it either was a 2-1 in my favor or a 0-2/0-3 train wreck of a draft.  I never got the 3-0 I was looking for in Amonkhet, although I was close a few times but ended up coming short with four 2-1 finishes.  I feel like Amonkhet was a format that wanted you to push the synergies in the two color pairs and when I didn't do that I was losing a lot, but when I did I had a good chance at winning matches.  In the end I needed to draft better and that didn't happen.  Hopefully things will improve with Hour of Devastation

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns leave them in the comments section below.  Please check out my YouTube channel as I will be uploading my Hour of Devastation Sealed Set Review way in advance of the actual article, so if you want a sneak peek head over to my channel here.  You'll also find Standard content as well as new Commander videos coming out once the multiplayer banlist is updated with Hour of Devastation.

Thanks for reading and watching!