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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
May 03 2018 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  I drafted a fair this weekend due to Draft Weekend and somehow managed to go 2-2 with a deck that had Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar and Helm of the Host in it.  I got destroyed by a W/B Knights deck with On Serra's Wings and my own mulligans in the other match I lost.  On Serra's Wings is a card that just seems unbeatable at times if you're unable to block the creature that is enchanted.  It's definitely a strong uncommon and one of the strongest uncommons in the set in my opinion.  It ends games quicker than they should and makes it hard for your opponent to even think about racing back due to vigilance and lifelink.  I say the games end quicker because the format isn't that fast, even in the draft format.  2 mana creatures aren't at a premium here so you're able to rely on your three mana creatures to hold off any early aggression because a 2/2 for 2 just isn't worth it here.  Krosan Druid sometimes is a good play on turn 3 just to hold off multiple 2/2s if your opponent was employing a beatdown strategy.  

This isn't to say the format is super slow since there are strategies that don't allow you to set up for a long game, RW Auras and UR Wizards come to mind as strategies that care about board presence early and can beat you down if you're not ready with early interaction.  The green decks tend to be slower so you don't have worry about early creatures, it's the Untamed Kavus and Baloth Gorgers that will mess you up if you're not ready for them.  From my early experiences 2/2s for 2 aren't really worth a card and anything with 1 toughness on the ground is going to get hosed real quick by Saproling Migration if you're not playing with Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive.  It seems that just about anything is viable in this format as long as you're able to keep what others are doing in mind when you play the games out.  I'd advice for sealed players to be on the draw in most cases and it's not out of the realm of possibility to even take the draw in draft.  It's context dependent but I imagine there will be in uptick of people considering to draw first in draft given how bad the two mana plays are at times.  Of course, it's one thing to say it and it's another to see it in action. Will I play or draw in this format?  Let's find out!

  •  Today - Dominaria Draft League #1 & 2, Dominaria Sealed League #1 videos, Dominaria Sealed League #2 videos
  • 5/10 - Dominaria Draft League #3, Dominaria Sealed League #1 video, Dominaria Sealed League #2 videos
  • 5/17 - Dominaria Draft League #4, Dominaria Sealed League #1 videos, Dominaria Sealed League #2 videos
  • 5/24 - Dominaria Draft League #5, Dominaria Sealed League #3, Dominaria Sealed League #4

Dominaria Draft League #1

Going 2-1 wasn't bad for a deck that didn't really have much synergy going on.  In non-Core Set environments there is an emphasis on synergy, so a collection of random good cards is less powerful than a group of cards that all work well together.  This was proven during my match with my B/R opponent who had a Valduk, Keeper of the Flame and multiple Auras/Equipments on it while I had a random pile of cards on my side of the battlefield.  Synergy is more important because of how well cards can work together so it's important to draft the synergies if they're there, but even so we did okay despite the lack of cohesion in the deck.  Fungal Plots proved to be a good mana sink and Grow from the Ashes wasn't as slow as I thought it would be.

Dominaria Draft League #2

Going into the draft I wanted to keep myself flexible with my picks and allow myself to speculate on colors early on before deciding on what two colors I thought were open.  This is the best thing to do when you're exploring a new format for yourself and wanting to learn it using your own personal experience rather than advice from others.  My first pick of Territorial Allosaurus was a nice way to start the draft by giving me an efficient beater early and a removal spell later on in the game.  I second picked Slinn Volda, the Rising Deep as a way to possibly branch out in to a U/G Kicker strategy if it was available in the format.  Since both my first two picks had Kicker, I could see a green ramp strategy with Grow from the Ashes along with a splash color if it was feasible.  Urgoros, the Empty One as my third pick was also keeping myself flexible while not cutting black from me completely in pack 2.  Urgoros is a good card and if I pass the second one then it's harder for me to justify being in black if I find another good black card to take.  

By allowing myself to be open I was able to take not one Slimefoot, the Stowaway, but two of them in pack 2 and pivot hard into B/G Saprolings with a light splash for Blessed Light (pun intended).  Once I had two Slimefoots I made it a priority to pick cards that could produce Saprolings and was rewarded with three Saproling Migration and a Verdant Force.  An interesting combination was possible with my picking of Whisper, Blood Liturgist in that you can use Final Parting to put a big creature in the graveyard and then sacrifice Saprolings to get it into play immediately.  I didn't end up playing Final Parting but that little combo allowed me to put a Thorn Elemental out much earlier than normal when it got discarded from my hand.

I went 2-1 overall and I had a good shot at running the tables if it not were for my opponent having a great draw in the last game of round 2.  There's not much I could have done to stop that other than to kill Song of Freyalise, which was an option I did not have available to me at all.  The deck was great and every time I had Slimefoot, the Stowaway in play I felt like I had a good shot at winning the game.  Perhaps the 3-0 will come next week?

Dominaria Sealed League #1

Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar is not a fair Magic card when you're playing a Limited format.  Why on earth does it have reach, trample, and the ability to get itself back from the graveyard?  You have to exile it either on the stack or once it's in play because otherwise it's going to be hard to beat it over and over again.  Both matches that I played it in were also the two matches that I won.  My deck itself is pretty strong with Aryel, Knight of Windgrace, The Mending of Dominaria, and Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar.  Those set of cards in any pool would be good already and I'm playing them all in one deck.  I'm also able to splash Eviscerate because that card for some reason only have one black mana in its casting cost.  The amount of cards you can easily splash in this format is a little absurd actually for a format that doesn't have a multicolor theme to it.  Generally speaking I don't have good starts in the competitive sealed leagues so starting 2-0 is pretty nice.

Dominaria Sealed League #2

I'm not too sure how I ended up 3-0 coming out of this stage but here I am.  To be honest I expected a 1-2 at best so winning more than one match felt like a free roll at that point.  Granted, one of my wins came from an opponent timing out, but I did have to earn the other two wins the hard way.  I still don't think the deck is good because a lot of its cards are pretty useless if your opponent has a slightly better creature on curve, but it does have some recursion so I'll give it that.  If the game goes long then we're not in a terrible spot to win from there, it's surviving the early game and making sure we're not beaten by random good creatures on turns 2/3.  Sometimes I will struggle to beat a Knight of Grace and that's pretty sad.  The pack I opened didn't help me out a lot so I'm likely to not be adding new cards to my deck.  Instead, I might be adding a Bloodtallow Candle to the deck as an additional removal spell.  What do you think?  Should I have gone 3-0?

Conclusion

Across all the events I did I managed to rake in an impressive 9-2 record overall, with my record in draft being a combined 4-2 and the sealed leagues still ongoing.  My online results have been a little better than my results in paper, which isn't usually the case early on in a format.  I tend to do better in paper while I struggle early on in online drafts, but right now that isn't the case.  I do seem to do well when I'm drafting green, so perhaps I just need to keep drafting it and hope for continued success.  In fact, all my decks so far have had green in them across the drafts and sealed events.  It might be that G/x/x is a good strategy to employ when playing Dominaria Limited.  We'll see if that trend continues next week when I take on a new Dominaria draft league.

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns leave them in the comments section below.  You can always check out my YouTube channel here where I'll post all my videos a few days in advance of this article.  If you want a sneak peek before the article comes out, by all means go watch it early.

Thanks for reading/watching!