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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
May 10 2018 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  I've been finding my stride in Dominaria draft in the paper world with my last two drafts having a combined record of 6-1.  I've been drafting midrange green decks that end up splashing for a card or two that is enabled by the lack of pure aggressive decks in the format.  Grow from the Ashes has quickly become one of my favorite commons in the set due to how good mana fixing and ramping is to certain decks.  There's a fair amount of mana sinks thanks to cards with Kicker on them and some good cards in this format only have one colored mana in their cost, making them prime candidates for splashing.  These are a few cards I would be happy to splash even if I didn't have green in my deck:

Your results may vary, but I've found that it's possible to play a mana base of 7/7/3 and not lose games due to color screw if you pay attention to your mana costs and if you have ways to draw cards to allow you to smooth out your curve/mana.   This isn't to say that you should always splash a third color because there are some decks where you don't need to do that, it's more to get you comfortable with the idea of doing something that you normally wouldn't do otherwise.  Splashing is something not done often in draft, especially when you don't have any fixing to help play those off color cards in your deck.  The opportunity cost is higher than normal because there's always the fear of drawing your splash card without the mana to cast it and vice-versa.  Still, this format is more forgiving towards splashing so I would consider it more often than I would other formats.  Let's take a look at the upcoming schedule before diving in to Dominaria Limited:

  • Today -  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
  • 5/31 - Dominaria Draft League #6, Dominaria Sealed League #3 videos, Dominaria Sealed League #4 videos

Dominaria Draft League #3

I first picked Naban, Dean of Iteration because it's a very powerful effect that gives me a clear direction to draft a U/R Wizards deck.  The floor is very low with Naban, but the ceiling is quite high if you draft enough Wizards with ETB effects.  I planned on being open with my picks and not force the deck, but once I picked Ghitu Journeymage over The Mending of Dominaria I was locked into playing a Wizards deck.  I didn't get that many Wizards with ETB effects like I had hoped after the first two packs but Helm of the Host in pack 3 solved all my issues as long as I could stick a relevant Wizard in play after playing Helm of the Host.  Helm functions like an additional Naban while also giving me more creatures to attack/block with, which is something Naban cannot do.  By the end of the draft I didn't have as many creatures as I'd hoped so I didn't have high hopes for it going into the games.  I had envisioned a U/R Wizards deck with Naban to have a large amount of Wizards to trigger him, and what I ended up with fell short of that vision.

That said, the deck performed above expectations and I got a 3-0 win out of it.  Helm of the Host was definitely the MVP as it helped me win two matches by giving me so much value with Academy Journeymage.  Even in a regular deck Helm is quite powerful as it gives you copies of your best creature without having to do anything in combat.  It's quite good when you're ahead and at parity, and with the right creature it can be good when you're behind as well.  There was at least one game where all I had was Helm of the Host with Academy Journeymage in play and that was enough to stabilize from behind and then turn the corner to win the game with multiple copies of the Journeymage in play.  The format is slow enough that even a card like Helm of the Host can be played and not be laughed at because you have the time to take a turn off and play a 4 mana artifact that you need to invest 5 more mana in before you get a return.  With this result I'm currently 7-2 in Dominaria draft and that's quite the impressive start all things considered.  I'll do my best to keep the wins coming next week.

Dominaria Sealed League #1

There isn't much to talk about here other than Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar is not a fair Magic card at all.  This week's match only took 10 minutes to complete and even though my opponent seems to be color screwed in both games, having to beat Multani is a tall task if you're not able to exile it when it hits play.  Destroy and regular counterspells aren't effective against Multani if you don't have enough closing speed, so that means Multani is more than likely to win any game that goes longer than 10 turns.  Even without Multani our deck is pretty strong so there are more problematic cards to deal with even if you're able to get past Multani.  We're now 3-0 with two matches left to go and I'm confident we will end up at least 4-1, if not complete the full 5-0 sweep.

Dominaria Sealed League #2

I still have no idea how I've gone 3-0, 3-0 in both stages so far but I'll take all the wins I can get with this deck.  I talk about how in the videos I'm either underrating the deck or been getting lucky, and I think it's a combination of both that have allowed me to get to 6-0 so far.  I have a decent removal suite, card advantage, and a few threats that require removal otherwise they'll win me the game.  Grunn, the Lonely King has so far been called The Abyss since every time he attacks my opponent is forced to chump block it until they run out of options.  The Eldest Reborn sometimes will either get one of my better creatures or a creature that my opponent put into the graveyard, all while being a virtual 3 for 1 in the process.  Memorial to Folly can get back my best creature from my graveyard all while giving me an additional spell effect while serving as a land.  There are some good things to like about the deck that I may have underrated from the start.  With one more stage to go can I pull another 3-0 sweep, or will I finally take losses in this league?

Conclusion

It's very rare that I'm undefeated in both leagues after two weeks of playing matches, and even more rare that I go the entire article undefeated in at least 7 matches of Magic.  I would like to say this was all a testament to my skill, but at least part of it has to do with me getting lucky in certain situations.  Overall I'm happy with how this week turned out and I'm looking forward to duplicating this success again next week.  I'm very happy with Dominaria Limited and I feel this is going to be one format that will be remembered fondly for years to come.

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 can find all my videos posted early along with other content I make for the channel.  I've finally gotten around to recording videos just for the channel and I'll be uploading regularly shortly.

Thanks for reading/watching!