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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Aug 24 2017 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  A few Ixalan cards have gotten spoiled so that means Ixalan is right around the corner, and which that means that our time in Hour of Devastation is looming towards an end.  For me personally I'd like to get to Ixalan as soon as possible because I like winning and I haven't done much winning at all while we've been on Amonkhet.  I just don't think the format agrees with me even though on a basic level I have an understanding of archetypes and what cards are a signal that a color is open.  The format is more nuanced than I have an understanding of and that definitely plays a role in how well I do.  Let's take a look at the upcoming schedule before we get into today's action:

  • Today - HOU Draft League #7, HOU Sealed League #3 video, HOU Sealed League #4 videos
  • 8/31 - ????, HOU Sealed League #5 video, HOU Sealed League #4 videos
  • 9/7 - ????, HOU Sealed League #5 videos, ????
  • 9/14 - ????, HOU Sealed League #5 videos, ????

There's a few questions marks as to how the first two weeks of September will play out and while I don't currently have an answer on what I'll be doing, I'll figure it out by next week.  We will be starting a new sealed league and wrapping it up the week before the set review and we'll have at least one more week of Hour of Devastation draft, but if I keep losing I'd rather play another format so I don't feel like I'm wasting my time.  If I get at least a 2-1 I'll keep playing HOU draft the next week.  The moment I stop I'll find some other format to draft (perhaps Aether Revolt draft).  With that said, let's see if I can get a 2-1!

Hour of Devastation Draft #7

It's funny to say this but I actually liked how I drafted this time.  I picked Hour of Revelation as my first pick given the power level of the card and hoped to build a midrange white/x deck that could take advantage of the card.  Vizier of the True as my second pick went well with my first pick and is a good card on its own, so it wasn't as though I wanted to force myself into white.  I took a Hippo out of a weak pack and then saw a Fervent Paincaster.  Seeing it 4th gave me the idea that red was open, and white was definitely open as I got a second Vizier of the True to go along with 2 Dauntless Avens to finish the first pack.  Pack 2 gave me another Fervent Paincaster fairly late and my R/W Exert deck was locked in.  The dream scenario would be to exert Steward of Solidarity, tap down a creature due to Vizier, untap Steward with my Aven and then tap down another blocker with Vizier.  That's a lot of value!  In the end I had a creature heavy deck with few noncreature spells, one of which was still my first pick.  

I told myself going into the games that if I didn't go at least 2-1 with the deck I would give up on Hour of Devastation draft and try to find something else to fill the void with.  Well, I guess I'm stuck with Hour until Ixalan comes out.  I like how I "sideboarded" in game 3 of round 1 where I cut my Hour of Revelation and added another creature in its place.  If my opponent play Nicol Bolas and I have Hour, that's not going to win me the game because they're not going to walk into it and making the game go long isn't in my favor.  The plan for that game was to beat down and deny my opponent as much mana as possible because if Bolas comes down I'm not winning.  Game 3 of Round 2 stung a bit, but my opponent was missing lands and that meant they had spells to cast.  It might seem odd for me to keep attacking when I'm on the defensive, but if my opponent is mana screwed and I play defense, they will beat me when they draw mana.  I might lose no matter what, but at least by attacking I give myself the chance to win.  The last game of Round 3 I didn't know if my opponent could have a Fog or not, that's why I didn't use my Shefet Dunes to try to go for the win.  Instead I figured that if they didn't die I could use Trial of Zeal as a removal + play a blocker.  Turns out they had a removal but they went to 3 and I played Trial of Zeal for the win.

Hour of Devastation Sealed League #3

Well that was quite a beating.  Sitting at 0-3 with a bad pool I decided it's best to drop from the league and start up a new one.  It'll help fill the void of those two weeks we have before Ixalan rolls around.  Looking back on it I don't think we could have won a match with this deck no matter what we did.  No finishers even with a lot of removal isn't going to win us games.  You have a chance with those kind of decks but they're tempo decks at heart and we didn't have the tools to be that type of deck.  It's unfortunate that the pool didn't work out but they can't all be winners.

Hour of Devastation Sealed League #4

After starting off 3-0 and getting a decent pack to add to my deck I felt confident in how the second part of the league would turn out.  I was hoping for a 3-0 but would settle for a 2-1 if it happened.  Turns out I did get that 2-1, losing to a deck with The Scarab God in it as I had no way to exile the creature from play.  It's interesting that I had an easier time killing a god card from Amonkhet in the first stage but killing The Scarab God proved to be quite the task.  Not only does it just keep coming back, it doesn't even have to attack or block to win the game as it can make an army all on its own. That kind of value was too much for me in game 1, and while it didn't show up in game 3, I had a Crook of Condemnation in play during game 3 that served little use to me because my opponent played in a way to not lose to that card.  The next two matches when more in my favor as I was able to leverage my removal and good creatures to overcome my opponents.  What makes this pool good is that not only do I have removal, I have creatures that can actually attack and win the game.  Greater Sandwurm and Sifter Wurm are big and hard to deal with once a bunch of trades happen before that.  7/7 is just very large in this format and demands a removal spell to actually be dealt with.  Sitting at 5-1 I'm looking to go at least 2-1 again to end the league with a very good record. 

Conclusion

I actually did more winning than losing this week (2-1, 0-1, 2-1), which may be a first for our time in Hour of Devastation.  Hopefully it can continue but anything can happen in the next draft so I'm not too optimistic that it'll happen again.  Frankly, there isn't much time nor is it worth it to try and get better at Hour of Devastation draft since it'll be "worthless" in about a month.  Once Ixalan comes out everyone will want to draft that, so whatever I learn in Hour of Devastation isn't going to be relevant very soon.  

Next week I'll be back with a new sealed league/draft and I'll wrap up the other sealed league before starting to look forward to Ixalan.  If you have any comments, questions, or concerns leave them in the comments section below.  As always you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here where you can find all my videos upload early along with extra content exclusive to the channel.  I'm playing 4 color control at the moment, come check out the games!

Thanks for reading/watching!