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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Aug 10 2017 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  I have good news: I finally managed to win an Hour of Devastation draft!  Of course, it was in paper and not on Magic Online.  I first picked a Sinuous Striker out of a weak pack and then took a Wall of Forgotten Pharaohs, followed by a 4th pick Vizier of the Anointed.  To me that pick told me that blue had a chance to be open, and it was definitely open once I took another Vizier of the Anointed. This led me down the path of a U/W Embalm/Eternalize deck that topped off with Hour of Eternity to make even more 4/4 creatures.  The hardest pick in the draft was between a second pick Desert's Hold and Sunset Pyramid.  I knew I wouldn't see the other come back and I tanked a lot on this pick.  In the end I had the person in front of me pick either left or right and I'd take the card in that hand.  That person chose Sunset Pyramid and it ended up being the right pick.  I was able to out value and out card my opponents and in part it was thanks to the Sunset Pyramid.

I wasn't able to get a lot of creatures to pair with Vizier of the Anointed, but it turns out just being able to find them quickly either with Vizier or Sunset Pyramid was enough to get the value train going.  I was able to beat a removal heavy deck and a deck with Hour of Revelation because of all the value the deck was able to accrue.  I think my best play was following up an Hour of Revelation with my Hour of Eternity for X = 3 and still having cards in hand.  This deck was really fun!

 

Let's take a look at the upcoming schedule before diving into more Hour of Devastation Limited:

  • Today - HOU Draft League #5, HOU Sealed League #3 video, HOU Sealed League #4 video
  • 8/17 - HOU Draft League #6, HOU Sealed League #3 videos, HOU Sealed League #4 videos
  • 8/24 - HOU Draft League #7, HOU Sealed League #3 video, HOU Sealed League #4 videos
  • 8/31 - HOU Draft League #8, HOU Sealed League #3 videos, HOU Sealed League #4 videos

All of this month will have two HOU Sealed Leagues start and end, so that leaves September with a bit of uncertainty.  The first two weeks of September are free for more Hour of Devastation, but the last two weeks are bookmarked by the set review and Ixalan release videos.  Given how I schedule my videos I'm not sure what I'll do to fill in the void.  Perhaps I can do HOU Phantom Sealed?  It's only 3 rounds and should be done fairly quickly.  What do you think?  What would you like to see the first two weeks of September?

Hour of Devastation Draft #5

This draft was a bit of a disaster and it was all on me to navigate this one correctly.  I chose to put myself in a fight in red with my other drafters that I was passing to, and it didn't end up working out for me like I wanted.  Pack 1 was a little dry but there was enough to send a red signal so that in pack 2 I was cut off from red and had to hope my second color was open.  Red opened back up a bit in pack 3, but it wasn't enough to make up for the fact that I had little red for the first two packs.  Sadly I picked blue as my second color and while it was a bit open in pack 1, it fell flat in pack 2.  Pack 3 initially offered a bit of hope, but after the first few picks the pack dried up completely and I was having to take 8th-13th pick cards highly just to have cards in my colors. I'm willing to put a lot of this on me, I should have stayed away from red and looked for another color to draft.  I could have taken Vizier of the True and perhaps in up in U/W since I imagine I still take Vizier of the Anointed fourth pick.

After a surprising victory in round 1 that actually gave me hope for a potential 2-1, the shoe dropped very quickly and I lost two quick matches to end up with another 1-2 to my name.  With a little luck I could maybe get a 2-1, but at this point I'm thankful I didn't go 0-2/0-3 and make my bad record in this draft format even worse.  We are now 5-9 in Hour of Devastation draft and we're such in a bad hole that in order to have a 50/50 record overall I'd have to win seven of my next nine matches remaining this month.  Our prospects look grim, but we'll keep looking to improve and do better.  Perhaps I need to draft green again?

Hour of Devastation Sealed League #3

A YouTube commenter put this pool the best: "..sadly you seem to be lacking a finisher...".  We have a pool that has some good removal, but I can't win the game with just regular creatures.  My best finisher is Glyph Keeper, but that's in blue and the blue in this pool is not good.  I have a Hazoret's Undying Fury that is quite strong in a vacuum, but if I'm flipping 2/2s and 3/3s I'm not getting a big advantage out of the card.  I like the idea of red/black the best since I'm able to use a lot of removal to hopefully allow my bad creatures to get in for damage and hope that's enough.  If I had better fixing I'd like to play a bit of green for Rampaging Hippo and Colossapede, which should tell you the state of my finishers if I'm wanting to "splash" for just those two cards.  I honestly don't think the pool is good but we'll have to play on with it.  What do you think?  What deck would you build?

Hour of Devastation Sealed League #4

This pool seemed relatively straightforward as there were only two colors that stood out from the initial cuts: green and black.  There are a few questions however that I still have trouble with.  First off, is Apocalypse Demon worth playing?  It has the potential to be a big flier for only six mana, but the downside is you need to keep sacrificing creatures in order to have it stay untapped.  Naturally this gives you a way to make the demon bigger, but what happens if you run out of creatures, or they kill it after you make a sacrifice?  For the moment I'm weary of the card, but I'd like to know what you think.  Is the card worth it or not?

Secondly, how deep do I go on the Nest of Scarabs synergies?  I can choose to not play the card and have the deck function fine without it, but if I play it and the right situation comes up I can have a big advantage over my opponent.  I have about 7 ways to trigger it, which means I should have about 2-3 activations per games to make some amount of Incest tokens.  The problem is that I'm adding a synergy card and would have to take out a card of either raw power or important utility to the deck.  For the moment I have Nest of Scarabs out of the deck, but I can easily take out Frilled Sandwalla if I was inclined to do so.  The problem there is Frilled Sandwalla fills a role of letting me have another cheap creature that I need to make up for the glut of three mana plays in the deck.  What do you think? Should I play Nest of Scarabs?  Am I overvaluing Frilled Sandwalla?

Conclusion

I'm excited to see where my new sealed pools take me, even if I'm only really excited about one of them.  My draft woes continue to beguile me as I'm now 5-9 overall in Hour of Devastation, but it can't get too much worse.  I had some success in green, so if the opportunity arises in my next draft to be in green I'm going to take it.  The only comfort I have right now is that even if I continue to be bad at Hour of Devastation, at least Ixalan is right around the corner.  Sometimes a format doesn't agree with a person and a fresh start with fresh cards can do wonders for a win percentage.

Next week I'll be back with another draft league and I'll start playing matches with my sealed pools.  If you have any comments, questions, or concerns leave them in the comments section below.  I have a YouTube channel you can subscribe to here for access to all my videos plus exclusive content only for the channel.  I'm beginning a Standard league on Magic Online featuring my Grixis Control deck, so come out and see how it goes!

Thanks for reading/watching!