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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Dec 14 2017 2:00pm
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 Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  My laptop is back and I am back as well.  It would appear Dell has fixed my laptop, and with that I took the added precaution to buy an actual cooling pad that would also elevate my laptop while I record.  For the moment everything is working well, but I will remain vigilant to ensure that it doesn't happen again.  I did miss playing Magic Online and doing videos, so it's good that I'll be able to get back into the groove to close out the year and head into 2018 better than I started it.

Unstable released last week and while I only took part in one draft, I did win that draft 4-0 with a pretty fun B/R Contraption deck.  I drafted the most contraptions out of the draft pod and had numerous ways to assemble them, giving me an advantage every single time it was my turn.  It was my first time playing with an Un-set and I very much liked the experience of it all even though it's very unlikely you recoup your money by just opening the packs.  The lands give some value so you're not completely throwing away your money, so the point of it all is to pay to have fun and a lot of fun is what you get.  I had a match where I played Skull Saucer and had to play with my head on the table or else I sacrifice it, and I ended up dropping my cards as I did that.  I couldn't look down to see where they were and if I let go of the table I would lose my creature, so I spent quite awhile trying to feel for my cards as I continued to play the game.  It was fairly amusing for the people around me and they very obviously did not help me with my cards.

While I only had to miss one week, it does throw me into a bit of a loop in terms of planning out the next few weeks.  Let's take a look at what I have planned so far:

  • Today - Ixalan Draft League #10, Ixalan Sealed League #5 video, Ixalan Sealed League #6 videos
  • 12/21  -Ixalan Draft League #11, Ixalan Sealed League #5 videos, Ixalan Sealed League #6 videos
  • 12/28 - ???
  • 1/4 - ???
  • 1/11 - Rivals of Ixalan Sealed Set Review

I have two weeks after I finish my sealed leagues where it doesn't make sense to start up Ixalan sealed leagues again at the tail end of the format.  If I had one more week I could consider introducing the last two leagues when I wrap up leagues 5 and 6, then use the next three weeks to get the leagues done.    Essentially I could have finished the leagues this week and introduced the new leagues while using the following three weeks to play the games, but that's all assuming I didn't lose a week and had the urge to do more Ixalan sealed.  As it stands I'll be finishing up the leagues and doing no more Ixalan sealed leagues until Rivals of Ixalan comes out.  I'm not entirely sure what I'll do for the two weeks I don't have anything planned.   I'm open to doing more Ixalan drafts and possible some cube drafts as well, but that's something I'll think about and decide on for next week.

Ixalan Draft League #10

You'll notice that I have no actual draft video this week, and that's because when I went to process the video all it showed me was a black screen.  The audio and my mouse moving was still there but you couldn't see anything else.  It was literally a black screen with audio accompanying it.  The plan was to actually not present any draft content at all and say the recording software bugged out on me, but then I went 3-0 for some reason!  I didn't record all the games because I truly felt my deck was pretty mediocre after I finished the draft and thought I'd get a 1-2 record and be sad about it.  After I won the first match I thought I'd maybe look at the second game of that match to show that even with a bad deck you can win as long as you know how your deck could win and leave it at that.  When I won the second match I was laughing because I won with a mull to 4 in game 3 and thought I reached the peak of my luck, but then I won the last match after somehow winning game 2 and having my opponent mull in game 3.  The one thing I did tell myself after the draft ended was that if I was going to win any games at all it was because I was the aggressor and attacked every turn I could.  My deck is bad going late and I don't have much removal, but I have enough things going on that I can win a race if my opponent doesn't know we're racing.  Always know how you're going to win a game and play to that out because even if the odds are against you, you can still manage a victory.

Ixalan Sealed League #5

There really isn't much to say here, I mulliganed to oblivion in game 1 and I was just a bit short in game 2 to force a deciding game.  The deck can't go long very well and the second game went far longer than I wanted it to given the fact that my opponent had just enough defensive measures to run me out of cards and untap with a Thundering Spineback and the mana to make tokens every turn.  Down 1-2 I need to win both matches to earn prize support and if I lose round four then I'm calling the league quits since I have no incentive to play the last round.

Ixalan Sealed League #6

I don't believe I actually made any changes with the booster I got after the first three rounds, which speaks to how bad the booster was for the U/R deck I played in the first three matches.  Since the deck didn't change the gameplan didn't change either: protect Captivating Crew and be ahead on life when I cast it.  If the game is a game where Captivating Crew matters then I'm almost guaranteed to win that game because of the ways I have to protect my trump card.  I like how Captivating Crew turns the game into a race and any apt opponent will be quick to realize that and start attacking into you to try and outrace you.  It's hard enough to block when one of your creatures gets taken away, and even more so difficult to win via damage if that very same creature is attacking you and possibly forcing a block on it.  If you can't kill Captivating Crew then your best bet is to start attacking and hoping you win that race because in a board stall Captivating Crew will definitely win the game for whoever wields it.  I go 2-1 again in this portion of the league and position myself to have a nice record after the final three matches end.


I'm counting this draft as my third draft win in a row, which is something I don't think I've ever done in either draft leagues, 8-4s, or swiss drafts.  It's hard to consistently win and do so with different draft archetypes, and not something I thought I'd be doing after my poor performance in Amonkhet block.  I'd have to say for the moment Ixalan is easily top 5 best formats for me in terms of win percentage, and it's something I'll check once I finish up Ixalan play.  I do like my chances at ending up 6-3 or 7-2 in my friendly sealed league, but I'm not sure how I'll end up in the competitive league.  I can very easily see a 3-2 as well as a 1-3/1-4 happening.  With that deck I need to have a good draw otherwise it'll be tough for me to win games.

Next week I'll be back with another Ixalan draft and I'll finish up my sealed leagues as well.  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 early along with content exclusive to the channel.  I recently went 5-0 in a Modern Friendly League with Abzan, so go check that out if you're at all interested in Modern.  

Thanks for reading/watching!