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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Sep 07 2017 11:00am
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  Last week there was no article and that was because Hurricane Harvey made it so I could not reliably make videos during the days I would normally record.  San Antonio was not hit badly, but the heavy rain plus spotty Internet made it so I wasn't comfortable at all doing a video and losing power halfway through.  Thankfully nothing bad happened here in San Antonio and life here can continue as normal.  The unexpected week off did change up the schedule though, so let's see where we stand now:

  • Today - HOU Draft League #8, HOU Sealed League #4 videos, HOU Sealed League #5 video
  • 9/14 - Modern Cube Draft League, HOU Sealed League #5 videos, HOU Wrap Up
  • 9/21 - Ixalan Sealed Set Review
  • 9/28 - Ixalan Prerelease Pool #1, Ixalan Prerelease Pool #2, Ixalan Sealed League #1 video, Ixalan Sealed League #2 video

I no longer have time to spread out my last sealed league like I planned, so today will be the pool breakdown and next week will be all the game play videos.  Additionally, this Hour of Devastation draft will be my last one since Modern Cube draft seems much more appealing to me than the alternative. Lastly, as far as the first week of Ixalan goes I don't know if I will have a full draft recorded by the time I would send the article in.  I'll likely have the draft portion up on my YouTube channel, but won't introduce it here until week 2 of Ixalan.  I will start my sealed leagues that week though, so keep an eye out for that.  With that said, let's dive into Hour of Devastation while we can.

Hour of Devastation Draft #8

Looking back at the draft I'm not sure if I could have drafted a better deck, but I could have made better decisions.  Fourth pick Vizier of the Anointed is a sign that blue is open and I didn't take it, instead opting for a safer pick in Rampaging Hippo.  I think taking Vizier is better since it has the better payoff and I'm not going to be hurting for big things to do in green.  If I had taken it then the Sinuous Striker and Proven Combatant I end up playing get a lot better if I'm able to draw a card when I use their abilities.  I try to make red/green work in pack one but realize that red is not open and switch into blue for a bit, but I still try to make red until I get Hour of Eternity and solidify myself in blue/green.  My blue could have been a lot stronger if I had taken Vizier and left red along earlier, but hindsight is 20/20.  

After winning my first match I actually thought I had a chance at maybe going 2-1 with the deck after realizing Samut was bad and I should be playing Final Reward instead.  Sadly that didn't end up happening.  I had a good shot at winning game 2 of round 2 but I needed my opponent to miss one more time so I could start turning the corner and they drew the card they needed to win the game.  It's a little frustrating that it ended that way but I didn't deserve to have a winning record.  I drafted poorly and my deck was poor because of it.  At the end of the day I needed to get better at the format and I didn't do that.  

Hour of Devastation Sealed League #4

After getting a lackluster Amonkhet pack I decided to just run back the deck I had before and see if it could work like it did before.  There was no reason to add marginal cards to the deck just because they were new.  I looked at my black and green and found that I didn't want to take anything out for a card that I wasn't already playing.  I left Splendid Agony and Lethal Sting in my sideboard and even though that feel wrong, it was the correct move.  I had built my deck to have cohesion and have every card work as best as it can with the others, and it wouldn't be right to change that.  I went 3-0 in the last portion of the league, ending with a "boss fight" against a deck with Hour of Glory, Torment of Hailfire, Angel of Sanctions, and Angel of Condemnation.  That's quite the tall task to ask to beat that sort of deck but I was able to do it in the end.  Mirage Mirror really proved to be worth it as it copied Sifter Wurm to make big attacks and help fend off an Angel of Condemnation when almost no other card would let me do that.

In the end I said I wasn't bad at Hour of Devastation, I just keep getting bad pool and I can't do well with that.  That's partly true but I also need to amend that statement by saying that I'm not counting draft when I said it.  I'm definitely not good at draft, but if I have a good pool then I can play well and have a winning record.  I don't like saying I did a lot of losing because of bad pools, but I feel like if my other decks had to play against all 9 opponents I had, they would have done a lot of losing.

Hour of Devastation Sealed League #5

I felt good when I saw the rares that I got and figured I'd have a shot at a good deck but after looking at it and making a few decks, I didn't really get anything good.  My rares are great, but the support they need just isn't there.  I need good creatures and this pool doesn't have it.  I have enough removal to get by but if I have to rely on attacking/blocking then it's not going to work out well for me.  I have to play black as it has removal I need to even think about being competitive, but the fact that blue isn't really pulling weight is a concern.  It feels wrong to not play Hour of Eternity but I don't have better options in green.  Green has its own issues and that's why after making GB I didn't choose it on the spot.   I think I have to play UB, but I'm not happy about it.  We'll see how the games go next week.

Conclusion

I'm glad I was able to get a winning record throughout all stages of my friendly league (3-0, 2-1, 3-0) so I have something to hang my hat on when this format is over with.  Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation have not been kind of me and I'm very much ready for a chance of pace in Ixalan.  The set looks sweet and I can't wait to review it in two week's time for the set review.  Next week we wrap up our stay on the plane of Amonkhet so be on the lookout for that. 

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 find all the videos in this article series posted before the actual article releases, along with content exclusive to the channel.  

Thanks for reading/watching!